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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-22

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1396), January 22, 1998

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address:


  • [01] Pangalos refers Turkey to The Hague over its dispute of Greek airspace
  • [02] .... European Conference
  • [03] ... Reactions
  • [04] 24-hour strike today to affect urban transport, banks, etc.
  • [05] ... Papantoniou
  • [06] WEU's de Puig to officially visit Athens today
  • [07] Closer Greek-Turkish trade ties discussed
  • [08] New Greek ambassador to Paris
  • [09] Top US army official to visit Greece
  • [10] Reconstructed Trikala mosque inaugurated
  • [11] Gov't seeks ways of better informing overseas Greeks
  • [12] G. Papandreou inaugurates 'Greece in Britain' events
  • [13] Alternate foreign minister talks with British EU presidency
  • [14] Russia determined to deliver S-300 missiles to Cyprus
  • [15] Premier comments on transparency for 2004 Games committee
  • [16] Papadopoulos: State will only hire those necessary, qualified
  • [17] Cyprus' Lyssarides meets with Greek leadership
  • [18] European Information Center in Rodopi prefecture
  • [19] Premier springs surprise visit on state hospital
  • [20] Radio news bulletins in Albanian, Polish
  • [21] US university to publish translation of Greek dramas
  • [22] Prosecutor calls for Bianco's extradition
  • [23] Israeli travel agents wind up annual conference in Athens
  • [24] Greek stocks end flat, market awaits fresh incentives
  • [25] Greek money market's climate improves
  • [26] Greece's positions on EU-ACP dialogue
  • [27] Macedonia-Thrace Bank sale to go ahead - Papantoniou
  • [28] Merchant marine minister presents new harbor police regulation
  • [29] National Insurance group's earnings rise 94 pct in 1997
  • [30] Int'l marketing conference week in Greece
  • [31] HEPO promotion of Greek dairy products in Germany

  • [01] Pangalos refers Turkey to The Hague over its dispute of Greek airspace

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos emphasized yesterday that Ankara should take recourse to the International Court at The Hague if it disputes Greece's 10-mile airspace limit.

    Mr. Pangalos reiterated at a press conference that the limit of Greek airspace was determined by a presidential decree in 1931 and consolidated by international practice up until 1973, at which time Ankara began to dispute the 10-mile limit. Up to 1 973, Mr. Pangalos said, Turkey itself recognized the extent of Greek national airspace as being 10 nautical miles.

    Commenting on the Turkish argument that there is no international agreement establishing Greece's right to 10 nautical miles, Mr. Pangalos said: "There may be no agreement, but Ankara cannot overlook the fact that not challenging a right for a long period is tantamount to the creation of a legal right".

    "Nothing prevents Turkey from challenging the extent of Greek national airspace before the International Court at The Hague," Mr. Pangalos said, adding however, that Ankara would not do so because this would force it to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court.

    Regarding the extent of Greek territorial waters, Mr. Pangalos once again referred to Athens' right to extend them from the present six to 12 nautical miles, in accordance with provisions of the Law of the Sea convention.

    He noted that Greece had not taken practical steps to implement this right but had repeatedly stated that "when we decide to do so, we shall do it in a responsible manner as a major sea power".

    Mr. Pangalos said the practical consequences of Greece extending its territorial waters were very minor and "under no circumstances of the dimension intentionally given by Turkey".

    At another point, Mr. Pangalos said it was wrong to claim that there were no bilateral contacts between Greece and Turkey, adding that he had a long conversation recently with Turkey's new ambassador in Athens, Ali Tinaz Tuygan. Describing the envoy as a "very likable" and an "interesting" person, Mr. Pangalos said he had reiterated to Mr. Tuygan that Greece harbored no hostility towards Turkey, nor did Athens wish to see Ankara distanced from European integration.

    Mr. Pangalos added, however, that it was wrong for Turkey to continuously seek abroad the causes for the problems it was facing on its domestic front.

    "Even if Greece disappeared from the map, Turkey would still not attain the target it has set in Europe, because it placed the 'bar' too high..." Mr. Pangalos said.

    Developments in the last few days, he continued, confirm that Turkey is experiencing serious problems in the field of political freedoms and democracy.

    Ankara, he said, was wrong to believe that it could establish an "autonomous relationship" with Europe which was not connected with the problems Turkey had with Greece.

    Replying to reporters' questions on the committee of experts set up by Greece and Turkey to examine procedural aspects of efforts to resolve bilateral differences, Mr. Pangalos said Greece had from the outset conducted itself "honorably", appointing "real experts" to the committee, as opposed to Turkey, which he said appointed political figures.

    "From the very outset, Greece insisted that the experts should focus on the procedural aspect of Greek-Turkish problems, while Ankara wanted substantial talks on all issues," Mr. Pangalos said.

    He added that Greece would raise the issue of the committees of experts at next Monday's General Affairs Council, underlining that Athens believed the process should continue under two conditions - namely, the preservation of its European dimension and the need for encouraging signs from Turkey concerning a meeting between the members of the two committees "which will be of a procedural nature".

    The idea of the committees of experts was proposed by the EU and accepted by Greece and Turkey. To date, the committees have been exchanging memorandums and replies via Brussels.

    According to Mr. Pangalos, it is of crucial importance for the two sides to agree on the way in which each dispute will be settled "in the event that we disagree during our talks".

    [02] .... European Conference

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Regarding the procedure for the participation of EU hopefuls in the European Conference, Mr. Pangalos said that this was stated in the conclusions of the Luxembourg summit, but referring to Turkey indicatively, he added that the EU would expect, for instance, some statement that it recognized the need for negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem.

    He clarified that one would not, of course, expect Turkey to convince Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to resolve the Cyprus issue before the European Conference, but there should at least be a statement making clear its intentions on this matter.

    Asked to comment on Turkey's constitutional court decision to dissolve the Welfare Party (Refah), Mr. Pangalos said that although he was not a supporter of the banning of political parties, it was not his business to resolve Turkey's internal problems.

    Commenting on a reference by his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on Tuesday, namely, "that the mouse that got angry with the mountain, and the mountain did not even notice," Mr. Pangalos said: "if Mr. Cem referred to our two countries, then his reference is unworthy of comment".

    Finally, he added that US State Department special coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller, who held talks with the Turkish leadership, told him at their recent meeting that there are no encouraging signs at the moment.

    [03] ... Reactions

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Commenting on Mr. Pangalos' statements, main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said they were at least curious, and needed immediate clarification.

    "Mr. Pangalos surely knows that the determination of the limit of the airspace is a unilateral act of a sovereign state and does not need ratification through an international agreement," he said.

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras said Mr. Pangalos' statements were "an anteroom for referring to The Hague all of Ankara's paranoid claims".

    "Today we are bringing the whole of the Aegean to trial," he added.

    [04] 24-hour strike today to affect urban transport, banks, etc.

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The government and trade unions are on collision course in light of today's 24-hour strike, called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) at all public utilities and state-run banks.

    As of midnight yesterday, urban transportation and the Athens to Kifissia electric railway were scheduled to go on strike, while Olympic Airways will only carry out one flight to each domestic destination. In addition, major delays are expected for Greek Railways Organization (OSE) schedules, since staff will only allow six trains to run.

    The Public Power Corp. (DEH), the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), the ELTA postal service, the Athens Water and Sewerage Company (EYDAP), public banks and remaining utilities (DEKO) will also strike.

    The cause for the strike is a clause in the taxation bill, amending the status of labor relations in public utilities.

    The government and the trade unions appear to agree that dialogue and negotiations will be necessary for whatever change in labor relations and staff regulations at major public enterprises. Disagreement continues to exist on the crucial question who will take the final decisions in the event of disagreement.

    Trade unions believe that a matter of principle is being created with state interference in collective negotiations and GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos said that legislative interventions create a problem of circumvention of international labor agreements, and even of the Constitution itself.

    The trade unionists consider as a minimum basis for an agreement a return to the status set out by law 2414/96 which anticipates that the decision ultimately taken for changes in regulations at public utilities is taken by the Mediation and Arbitration Organization (OMED).

    OSE announced that due to the 24-hour nationwide strike, the following trains will run today:

    The trains 500/501 on the Athens-Thessaloniki-Athens route.

    604/613 on the Thessaloniki-Dikaia-Thessaloniki route.

    302/303 on the Piraeus-Patras-Kyparissia-Kalamata route.

    The commercial trains 53422/53423 will be running on the Piraeus-Megalopolis-Piraeus route and 23722/23723 on the Dialogi-Komanos-Dialogi route.

    Staff will also be provided to cover special trains which might have to run for military purposes or for perishable goods.

    [05] ... Papantoniou

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    On his part, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday that the controversial provision will be applied only to loss-making or bankrupt public enterprises and corporations.

    Mr. Papantoniou said the provision would not affect DEH, banks or OTE, but would affect Olympic Airways, urban transport, the post office and OSE.

    He said urban transport organizations alone have debts of 850 billion drachmas, which will be accommodated by legislation to be submitted to Parliament later in the year.

    Mr. Papantoniou said the provision would be amended to clarify the situation and the revised version submitted to Parliament on Tuesday.

    "Our ultimate aim is to list all public companies without exception, on the condition that they all undergo restructuring," Mr. Papantoniou said.

    [06] WEU's de Puig to officially visit Athens today

    Paris, 22/01/1998 (ANA - O. Tsipira)

    In a statement on the eve of his visit today to Athens, the president of the West European Union's (WEU) Parliamentary Assembly, Luis-Maria de Puig, said "we expect a great deal from the Greek presidency in various sectors, and in particular with the future operation of the parliamentary assembly itself."

    Mr. de Puig, who is due in Athens this evening, will hold talks with Greek leadership over the next two days to define in detail priorities in Athens' action program, which holds the six-month presidency as of Jan. 1, 1998.

    "The decision to come to Athens was clearly personal. I am not always accustomed to visiting capitals. However, there is such a feeling of communication with the Greek authorities that I wished to show that they will have our full support.

    "In parallel, we hope that Greece will try over the next six months to defend the positions of the parliamentary assembly and give the necessary impetus for a solution to some of its basic problems," he said.

    Mr. de Puig and many other members of the parliamentary assembly have placed many hopes on the Greek presidency, particularly after the two more or less disappointing French and German presidencies.

    "Odd as it might seem, in an organization such as the WEU, a small country like Greece often has bigger possibilities than a larger country to secure a consensus and be able to convince on important issues it will desire to promote," Mr. de Puig added.

    He further said that the parliamentary assembly expects and hopes the Greek presidency will give the WEU the possibility of being able to proceed with the assumption of an operation, even when all members are not agreed. It further hopes that until the ministerial summit meeting in Rhodes in May the mechanism will have been defined which will permit countries agreeing on an action to go ahead independently from countries having a different view.

    The creation of the European Armaments Service. It will be a necessary body to coordinate, the organization of production, procurements, and the export and development of weaponry systems. Infrastructure existing to date only has jurisdiction in the research sector, without the possibility of signing contracts for procurements, etc.

    The determination of duties and the composition of a military committee created in June 1997. This new body is considered a necessary go-between after the taking of political decisions after their implementation. It is up to the Greek presidency to promote the definition of duties and of the way it will be incorporated in the WEU's decision-making mechanisms.

    Mr. de Puig will meet with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, as well as Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and ma in opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis.

    The WEU official and Mr. Pangalos will give a joint press conference at noon tomorrow.

    [07] Closer Greek-Turkish trade ties discussed

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Turkish ambassador in Athens Ali Tinaz Tuygan yesterday visited the president of the Association of Greek-Turkish Business Co-operation, Panayiotis Koutsikos.

    The two men discussed the course of Greek-Turkish trade as well as the activities of businesses in the two countries, expressing their belief that the development of closer trade relations will aid efforts at normalization of bilateral relations.

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, in commenting on the meeting, said that while Greece is not against such initiatives towards closer trade relations, only the political will of Turkey through the acceptance of international law can lead to normalization of bilateral relations.

    [08] New Greek ambassador to Paris

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Ilias Klis, head of the Greek-Turkish relations section at the foreign ministry, has been named as Greece's new ambassador to Paris, replacing Haralambos Korakas, who is retiring, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos announced yesterday.

    Mr. Klis, a career diplomat, has previously served as head of the Middle East and North Africa section at the Foreign Ministry and as Greece's General Consul in Istanbul.

    Mr. Pangalos said Ambassador Klis' placement would assume his post most likely in March.

    He said the appointment was in "recognition of Mr. Klis' contribution to the ministry".

    Mr. Pangalos also announced that the ministry would hold competitions to hire new diplomatic personnel in April and December this year.

    He added that the ministry would begin looking into purchasing real estate abroad to house Greek embassies to reduce the cost of renting premises. He said that the state currently paid four billion drachmas a year on rentals.

    [09] Top US army official to visit Greece

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The chief of the US Army General Staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer, will pay an official visit to Greece between Jan. 22-25 at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis.

    During his stay, the high-ranking US military official will be received by the national defense ministry's leadership, and will hold talks with Lt.-Gen. Paragioudakis on issues of mutual concern.

    He will also visit military formations, army units, as well as archaeological sites.

    [10] Reconstructed Trikala mosque inaugurated

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The reconstructed Osman-shah mosque in Trikala, central Greece, was inaugurated yesterday. The 16th century mosque, designed by the medieval Greek architect Sinan, will be used as an art gallery and for cultural events.

    The municipality of Trikala will retain management, while the first event, a photo exhibition entitled "Byzantine Heritage-International Heritage" is already in progress. The exhibition is a photographic collection of buildings included in the UNESCO catalogue of international heritage monuments.

    [11] Gov't seeks ways of better informing overseas Greeks

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Problems with media broadcasts to overseas Greeks were discussed at a meeting of the relevant Parliamentary committee, where Press Minister Demetris Reppas promised improvements with regard to both quality and quantity.

    "(State radio station) ERA 5 is broadcasting programs to 14 of the most important regions 24 hours a day, while television programs are being sent via satellite to Europe, the US and Canada. This service will soon be extended to Australia, as well," Mr. Reppas said.

    He also referred to initiatives by the General Secretariat for Information to invite journalists of Greek descent to visit Greece (40 have been invited this year) and to award prizes to overseas Greek radio and television programs and journalists.

    The minister also announced plans to create a unified satellite program with the participation of all television broadcasters.

    Existing problems, chiefly concerning copyright, were being ironed out, according to Nikos Sotiriadis, program director for the satellite service. He added that the final form of the program would soon be ready and that it would meet most of the criteria that had been set.

    Athens News Agency General Director Andreas Christodoulides referred to the ANA's "two-way" relationship with overseas Greeks, which he said was "very constructive", although he noted an unwillingness on the part of expatriate Greek media to pay for services, such as a special daily bulletin for overseas Greeks and Cypriots which contained 150 news items, as well as photographs.

    Newspaper publishers present at the meeting referred to transport problems involved in sending newspapers abroad as well as a lack of information regarding the activities of overseas Greeks.

    According to committee president Grigoris Niotis, there are 191 newspapers and magazines, 138 radio stations and 41 television stations directed at expatriate Greeks.

    [12] G. Papandreou inaugurates 'Greece in Britain' events

    London, 22/01/1998 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday inaugurated at the House of Commons the "Greece in Britain" program of events, occurring during the tenure of the British EU presidency.

    British Culture and Sports Secretaries Chris Smith and Tony Banks, respectively, former Tory party vice-Chairman Jeffrey Archer and 10 other deputies from all parties attended the inauguration.

    Mr. Papandreou in his speech said Greece placed much hope in British leadership during its tenure.

    "The challenges are many: Unemployment; the protection of the environment; promoting the respect for human rights; fighting crime and drug trafficking, supporting life long education; promoting peace; security and co-operation; starting the historic process of enlargement with countries only recently part of the communist block; and, of course, with Cyprus - while negotiating a solution so that the last Berlin Wall is torn down so that the two communities might live together in peace," he said.

    He added the program of events aimed to combine the finest of the past two millennia with the best of the present, which would also be the motto for the Olympic Games of 2004.

    "We hope to draw on our past in order to provide a vision for the future. One such example pertains to our efforts to rekindle an ancient tradition in our modern world. The tradition of the 'Olympic Truce', where all lay down their weapons so as to travel safely to take part in the games - the games which sometimes became the negotiating grounds for peaceful solutions to violent conflict," he said.

    Mr. Smith spoke with enthusiasm about the program of events, which he described "as the large jewel on the crown" in the context of events that will take place in the first half of the year.

    The events began last night with a Byzantine music concert with Lycurgus Angelopoulos' choir and the London Symphonietta at the Royal Festival Hall. Composer John Taverner also presented his work "Seeing", which he has written for the Delphi Center.

    A reception will be held at the Greek embassy tonight for Greek letters in Britain.

    [13] Alternate foreign minister talks with British EU presidency

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou had talks in London yesterday with British International Development Secretary Claire Short on the problems facing the Balkan region.

    Mr. Papandreou stressed Greece's particular interest in the region and underlined the problem facing the Balkan states by an influx of refugees, mainly Kurds.

    Mr. Papandreou also discussed with Ms Short European Union co-operation with and assistance to the 70 Asian, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries under the Lome Convention.

    As current president of the European Union Council, Britain is giving priority to supporting ACP countries, most of which are members of the Commonwealth.

    [14] Russia determined to deliver S-300 missiles to Cyprus

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Russian government will fulfill its obligations concerning the implementation of the contract for the supply of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Cyprus during 1998, Moscow's envoy in Athens, Valentina Matvienko said yesterday.

    "No threat from Turkey or any other country can change our decision. If the Cyprus government wants (the missiles), Russia will fulfill its obligations, because these (weapons) systems are of a defensive nature and it is Nicosia's undeniable right..." Ms Matvienko said.

    Russia, she continued, will find the most appropriate way to send the missiles to Cyprus.

    Asked how Russia would react if Turkey carried out its threat to attack any ships carrying the missiles, Ms Matvienko condemned Ankara for resorting to threats.

    "As we enter the 21st century, politicians and diplomats should not be using the language of war threats. I do not think (Turkey has) such a capability and I believe that the international community has many ways to put in its place any state which violates international law and uses the language of threats," the envoy said.

    Ms Matvienko concluded by saying that if necessary, Russia had the capability to take corresponding measures in the event its national interests were threatened.

    [15] Premier comments on transparency for 2004 Games committee

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday stated in Parliament that the government is giving close consideration to transparency and honesty to financial management issues of public works for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Mr. Simitis, answering a question, repeated that members of a national committee as well as those of the governing board of the "Athens 2004" sociiti anonyme will be announced within the week, while the first meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday.

    The prime minister also said that the goal for the 2004 Games will not only be "athletic-financial," as other initiatives, such as a proposed international Olympic armistice, will be at the forefront.

    The government is doing its utmost to ensure that there is complete transparency in everything related to the organization of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, government spokesman Demetris Reppas said yesterday.

    Mr. Reppas denied that the organizing committee for the Games would be able to place contracts for projects with contractors directly, thus circumventing the relevant legislation.

    Mr. Reppas said that the parliament discussion of the legislation for the organization of the games would provide a forum for differing viewpoints.

    "The government has taken draconian measures to ensure transparency," Mr. Reppas said.

    A three-member committee of judges will carry out "pre-emptive" checks, he added, while checks would also be conducted on the procedures for placing contracts on all projects worth more than 100 million drachmas.

    [16] Papadopoulos: State will only hire those necessary, qualified

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The public sector will cease being a refuge for the unemployed and only those necessary and possessing special qualifications will be hired, Interior and Public Administration Minister Alekos Papadopoulos stressed yesterday.

    He was commenting on a demonstration at the same time by a few hundred successful applicants of a public sector examination in 1995, all of whom are still awaiting their appointment.

    Mr. Papadopoulos left open the possibility that a draft amendment, which protesters claimed is contradictory to a court ruling endorsing their demands, might not be tabled in Parliament after all.

    [17] Cyprus' Lyssarides meets with Greek leadership

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Cyprus EDEK Socialist Party leader and presidential candidate Vassos Lyssarides yesterday had a series of meetings with National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis.

    Mr. Lyssarides noted during the meetings that he is expecting drastic developments on the Cyprus issue, after the presidential elections, set for Feb. 8.

    On his part, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that the joint defense doctrine between Greece and Cyprus will be continually reinforced and that any action by Turkey in Cyprus or the Aegean will be answered by the Greek armed forces.

    [18] European Information Center in Rodopi prefecture

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The European Information Center (EKP) of the Rodopi prefecture is operational, ready to aid businessmen and the media on obtaining information about the European Union regulations and law. EKP will also organize seminars on trade and commerce.

    A similar information center is successfully operating in Kavala.

    [19] Premier springs surprise visit on state hospital

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis surprised staff and patients at the Athens General Hospital (Laiko) yesterday when he arrived for a spot-check on one of Greece's largest state hospitals.

    Mr. Simitis chatted with patients, many on camp-beds located in corridors, and listened to their complaints.

    "You need to place emphasis on health and hospital issues, Mr. prime minister," one patient was reported as telling Mr. Simitis, who replied:

    "That's why I'm here."

    The hospital was not scheduled to receive emergency medical cases during the prime minister's visit.

    Mr. Simitis, accompanied by health ministry officials, toured outpatients clinics, operating rooms and laboratories.

    In a statement issued later by his office, the prime minister said he had formed the impression that the congestion recorded at the particular hospital was due to the transfer of many, not necessarily serious medical cases from the provinces, and to its good reputation.

    He asked the health ministry to set up afternoon outpatient clinics in the capital's major hospitals, and to reorganize emergency room departments.

    Yesterday's surprise visit was the second in as many months. In November, he visited the state Social Security Foundation (IKA) medical center in Neos Kosmos, where he commented on delays and absent doctors, although he characterized the center's operation as "satisfactory".

    Government spokesman Demetris Reppas said later that the prime minister would continue to make spot-checks on public institutions, like today's on the General Hospital, as this was part of the wider framework of working to resolve problems.

    [20] Radio news bulletins in Albanian, Polish

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Demetris Avramopoulos yesterday announced that Athens' 9.84 municipal radio station will broadcast news bulletins in Albanian, Polish and Tagalog for Filipino nationals.

    Mr. Avramopoulos said that this initiative is part of an effort to better inform such nationals in Athens.

    [21] US university to publish translation of Greek dramas

    Philadelphia, 22/01/1998 (Reuters/ANA)

    The first complete English translation of ancient Greek drama in more than 60 years will be available early next year from the University of Pennsylvania Press, officials said on Wednesday.

    Twelve volumes of the new Penn Greek Drama Series will span 49 plays in all, including the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as the comedies of Aristophanes and Menander.

    Forty translators were assembled to produce the work.

    Among them are Pulitzer Prize winners Carolyn Kizer and Henry Taylor, and Frederic Raphael, who won an Oscar in 1965 for the script of the film "Darling", which starred Dirk Bogarde, Julie Christie and Laurence Harvey.

    The last complete collection of ancient Greek drama to appear in English was published by Random House in 1938.

    The University of Chicago re-translated the tragedies in the 1950s. Oxford University Press started publishing new translations of the tragedies in 1973 and has since produced 20 plays, each in a separate volume.

    Five thousand copies each of the first three volumes in the Penn series appeared last month. They were: The Oresteia, with Agamemnon, the Libation Bearers and the Eumenides; Euripides One with Medea, Hecuba, Andromache and the Bacchae; and Euripides Two with Hippolytus, Suppliant Women, Helen, Electra and Cyclops.

    Due out this spring is a third volume of Euripides, the first two volumes of Sophocles, and one volume of Menander. The target date for completing the series is the spring of 1999.

    [22] Prosecutor calls for Bianco's extradition

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    An appeals court prosecutor yesterday called for the extradition of Italian national Enrico Bianco, rejecting his claim that charges brought against him by Italian authorities concerned activities of a political nature rather then relating to criminal law.

    He noted that Italian authorities had already acquitted him of political activities that might have been connected with the murder of former Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1977.

    Mr. Bianco himself again rejected the charges relating to the committing of grand larceny, attempted robbery and illegal possession of firearms, claiming that his activities were not related to terrorist organizations and that Italian authorities had asked for his arrest and extradition for reasons of expediency.

    [23] Israeli travel agents wind up annual conference in Athens

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The annual conference of Israeli travel agents began on Tuesday and will be concluded at a downtown Athens hotel today with the participation of hundreds of Israeli tourism professionals.

    The opening event was addressed by Greek National Tourist Organization (EOT) Secretary-General Nikos Skoulas, the mayor of Veria Yiannis Hasiotis, the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Andreas Sefiha, as well as the president and managing director of the Union of Israeli Travel Agents, Mosik Brikman, and Yosi Fatael, respectively.

    In the past four years, despite serious problems in airline linkage between the two countries, the annual increase tourist arrivals from Israel to Greece exceeds 25 per cent.

    Mr. Skoulas made a detailed presentation of improvements in Greece's infrastructure through several major projects underway. He also made special reference to the close ties of friendship and co-operation between the two countries which can, as he said, constitute a binding link for co-operation in the Mediterranean.

    In another development, the Israeli company Netafim will organize a conference on "Agricultural and bio-organic cultivations" on January 30-31 within the framework of the Agrotica exhibition.

    Greek and Israeli experts will focus on issues concerning greenhouse technology, tree cultivation, open cultivations, flower growing and bio-organic cultivations. The event will take place at Helexpo's convention center in Thessaloniki.

    [24] Greek stocks end flat, market awaits fresh incentives

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended yesterday's session with minor changes reflecting lack of fresh incentives and direction in the market and reluctant trading due to an unstable domestic interbank market.

    The general index closed 0.06 percent off at 1,439.30 points, ending a three-day advance.

    Construction shares came under heavy pressure to end 3.0 percent lower. Other sector indices were mixed. Banks fell 0.15 percent, Insurance rose 0.07 percent, Leasing increased 1.06 percent, Investment ended 0.52 percent up, Industrials eased 0.21 percent, Miscellaneous rose 0.36 percent and Holding ended 1.10 percent higher.

    The parallel index for small cap companies rose 0.75 percent, while the FTSE/ASE index ended 0.17 percent down to 790.21 points.

    Trading was moderate with turnover at 14.9 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 125 to 87 with another 22 issues unchanged.

    Macedonia-Thrace Bank, Eteva, Agrinio Metalplastics, Singular and Pairis scored the biggest percentage gains at the day's upper limit of 8.0 percent, while Macedonian Mills, Dane, Desmos and Alysida suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 20,795 drachmas, Ergobank at 13,640, Alpha Credit Bank at 14,105, Delta Dairy at 2,800, Titan Cement at 13,400, Intracom at 14,970 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 5,600.

    [25] Greek money market's climate improves

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's interbank interest rates moved lower yesterday after nervous trade despite a new intervention by the Bank of Greece.

    Bankers said the central bank drained 150 billion drachmas in excess liquidity at 19 percent helping move interest rates lower.

    The overnight rate fell to 10.5 percent, while short-term interest rates ranged around 14 to 17 percent for one and three months respectively.

    The central bank also reported inflows totaling 50 million ECUs at the drachma's fixing.

    The Greek currency rose 0.13 percent against the ECU. It was 0.29 percent higher against the US dollar.

    Bankers said however that the Greek derivatives bond market remained stagnant.

    [26] Greece's positions on EU-ACP dialogue

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Negotiations between the EU and ACP states for the next Lome Convention begin next month. The existing convention, signed in December 1989, has a 10-year commitment period.

    Britain is promoting sustainable development for these countries, centered on the fight against poverty. It favors more resources being made available as well as support for development programs.

    Human rights is another issue that both Greece and Britain agree should be given priority. Mr. Papandreou confirmed Greece's support for every effort made by Britain in this direction.

    [27] Macedonia-Thrace Bank sale to go ahead - Papantoniou

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday reiterated the government's commitment to proceed with the partial privatization of Macedonia and Thrace Bank.

    He was speaking to General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos, the presidium of the Federation of Bank Employees (OTOE) and representatives of workers of the Macedonia and Thrace Bank who had expressed their opposition to the government's plans.

    After the meeting, OTOE representatives said they would escalate their protest action in an effort to prevent the planned sale of 27.5 per cent of the Thessaloniki-based bank's stock.

    Approximately 33 per cent of the bank's share capital is controlled by the National Bank of Greece, the National Investment Bank for Industrial Development (ETEBA) and the Post Office Savings Fund.

    National economy ministry sources said later that the sale was part of the government's general strategy aimed at strengthening competition in the banking system.

    Mr. Papantoniou said the bank's stock would be sold by the National Bank on the Athens Stock Exchange "with complete transparency".

    [28] Merchant marine minister presents new harbor police regulation

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis yesterday presented a draft bill on new harbor police regulations that incorporates provisions from the past.

    Mr. Soumakis told a press conference that since the establishment of a harbor police in Greece in 1919, authorities had issued numerous laws regulating the force's operations resulting in serious problems in distinguishing existing legislation from older ones.

    The new coded text includes legislation in ranking harbor police's staff, training and code of ethics and operation.

    [29] National Insurance group's earnings rise 94 pct in 1997

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    National Insurance group's premiums turnover totaled 116 billion drachmas in 1997, a company statement said yesterday.

    The statement underlined that the previous year was one of the most important periods in the company's history due to the completion of a merger deal with Astir Insurance, Eteva Insurance and Panhellenic Insurance. The group's combined earnings totaled 36 billion drachmas last year, a rise of 94 percent against the four companies' consolidated earnings in 1996.

    Life insurance premium turnover totaled 47 billion drachmas, while 69 billion accounted for general insurance contracts.

    [30] Int'l marketing conference week in Greece

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The marketing institute of the Hellenic Business Administration Company is organizing an international conference on marketing March 9-13 in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Crete and Hios.

    The conference will discuss the latest trends and developments in international marketing.

    Delegates will also be presented with a new survey on the marketing's future in Greece.

    [31] HEPO promotion of Greek dairy products in Germany

    Athens, 22/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) is taking actions to promote dairy products in Germany.

    Specifically, HEPO will proceed with publishing an advertisement in the German trade sector magazine "Milch Marketing" with the purpose of briefing the buyers of Germany's main stores. The advertisement, which will have the form of an insert and will be included in the July 1998 edition, will contain informative texts on possibilities and developments in Greece's dairy products sector, as well as full-page presentations of Greek enterprises concerned.

    Moreover, HEPO will send a brochure on Greek dairy products to Germany's "cheese club", which has 6,400 members.

    For more information call HEPO at tel. 99.82.100 by Feb. 2.

    End of English language section.

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