Visit the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence (MOD) Mirror on HR-Net A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 8 December 2019
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-29

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 1402), January 29, 1998

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


  • [01] President, PM receive Athens 2004 organizing committee
  • [02] ... Simitis rejects criticism
  • [03] Rozakis elected to European Court of Human Rights
  • [04] Tsohatzopoulos dismisses Turkish claims over Greek airspace
  • [05] ... Turkish comments
  • [06] Defense minister satisfied with contacts in Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • [07] Macedonia-Thrace minister to receive US ambassador
  • [08] Cook comments on S-300 a 'personal view', Athens stresses
  • [09] Simitis on defense procurements
  • [10] Reports cite mass executions by Turks during '74 Cyprus invasion
  • [11] Europarliament's Robles to meet with Greek leadership
  • [12] 'Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus' program unveiled
  • [13] Support for Athens' decision to abolish Article 19
  • [14] EU policy guidelines for handicapped people
  • [15] Parliament discussion on DEKO amendment on Monday
  • [16] ESHEA work stoppage
  • [17] Evert support for GSEE opposition to DEKO bill
  • [18] Press Ministry's Secretary General Nikolaou on official German visit
  • [19] 'Magical city' exhibition at Piraeus Port Authority
  • [20] Iordanescu to head Greek national foot ball team after World Cup
  • [21] Turkish vessel adrift in Greek waters after fire
  • [22] Interbank rates drop on Bank of Greece intervention
  • [23] Greek stocks under pressure, market breaks 1,400 level
  • [24] Government determined to restructure public enterprises
  • [25] Greek tourism industry cautiously optimistic on 1998 outlook
  • [26] Greek-Yugoslav bilateral economic relations discussed

  • [01] President, PM receive Athens 2004 organizing committee

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday that Athens' successful holding of the 2004 Olympic Games was of national importance. Mr. Simitis received the members of the Games organizing committee before accompanying them to the presidential mansion where he introduced them to Mr. Stephanopoulos.

    Wishing the committee members every success, Mr. Stephanopoulos told them that the success of the 2004 Games was the common aim of the entire Greek people, "a true national target".

    Mr. Simitis said he had told the organizing committee that the 2004 Games were a national issue and that the efforts to be made involved not only the present government but the entire Greek people. "We must all do our bit and the effort must not be allowed to succumb to conjunctions or (political) party expediencies," Mr. Simitis said.

    "We can promote our country, its views on foreign policy and peace, and give new content to athletics and send out messages different to those emitted by previous Olympiads. The composition of the (organizing) committee guarantees the success of this effort," the premier added.

    [02] ... Simitis rejects criticism

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    In a related development, Mr. Simitis also dismissed as "ridiculous claims" reports that he had received pressures from ministers regarding the composition of the 2004 Olympic Games organizing committee.

    Replying to a question by main opposition New Democracy deputy Dora Bakoyianni, the prime minister said: "I selected persons who will be able to act in a broader perspective, and not party representatives as proposed by ND, or people who have expressed the intention to work professionally for the organization of the Olympic Games." The premier also stressed that the organization of the Games is a national effort which does not only concern the parliamentary majority, it concerns the whole of the Greek people and cannot come under any expediency.

    "The composition of the Olympic Games organizing committee must not be restricted to a specific political and social area or activity, it must be meritocratic and fully transparent, supported by all people," he said.

    [03] Rozakis elected to European Court of Human Rights

    Brussels, 29/01/1998 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Prof. Christos Rozakis, a former foreign under-secretary, was elected yesterday as one of the 30 new judges of the New European Court of Human Rights.

    After the announcement of the results, the president of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, Leni Fischer, said the new judges "are being called upon to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of hundreds of millions of people."

    [04] Tsohatzopoulos dismisses Turkish claims over Greek airspace

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, currently on an official visit to Slovakia, described claims by the Turkish foreign ministry on the extent of Greece's national airspace as ridiculous.

    Commenting on the Turkish ministry's accusations, which also point to Greece as responsible for tension in the Aegean, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stressed that Greece's national airspace was and will remain 10 nautical miles.

    He further noted that what should be of concern to Turkey was that Greece's territorial waters could be extended to nautical 12 miles in accordance with the Law of the Sea, which will mean that the national airspace will also be extended.

    However, this eventuality was not currently being considered by Athens, he said.

    The defense minister called on the neighboring country to direct its efforts towards a serious path in fulfilling European Union expectations, preparing itself with regard to improving its human rights record, in dealing with the serious Kurdish problem and democracy.

    Greece should not have to be constantly facing Turkey's unreasonable claims, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, since that country is near other areas of crisis as well.

    The minister reiterated that stability in the entire region was connected to a positive outcome of the Cyprus problem, as well as acceptance by Turkey of the terms which would prevent Ankara from continuing what he called its destabilizing behavior.

    [05] ... Turkish comments

    Ankara, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    "Preserving territorial waters in the Aegean at the present extent, on the basis of the Madrid communiqui, will facilitate the settlement of remaining issues in the Aegean", Turkish foreign ministry said earlier in a written statement.

    It added that "extending territorial waters to 12 miles was not a full right. According to international law, the highest level of extension was 12 miles, insofar as geographic characteristics allow it".

    Nevertheless, the Turkish ministry expressed satisfaction at the reference by Athens to the Madrid communiqui.

    [06] Defense minister satisfied with contacts in Czech Republic, Slovakia

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday his trip to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which ended yesterday, had given the opportunity to promote prospects of co-operation in the fields of security and co-operation in Europe and the new NATO.

    He expressed the opinion that the Czech Republic must be integrated now in almost all of NATO's functions, while Slovakia is aspiring to participate in one of the next phases of enlargement of the alliance.

    "These are political initiatives of Greece which establish its role and upgrade its special weight and help in dealing with issues that concern ourselves," he said.

    Winding up his visit to Slovakia yesterday, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos had successive meetings with Prime Minister Vladimir Meclcar, Foreign Minister Zdenka Kramplova and Parliament VP Rudolf Filkus.

    He also attended the opening of the Greek embassy in Bratislava.

    [07] Macedonia-Thrace minister to receive US ambassador

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns will be received today by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos in Thessaloniki.

    In a related development, the flagship of the US Navy's 6th fleet, the USS "La Salle", will dock in Thessaloniki port's from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4.

    Rear-Adm. Charles Abbot, the commander of the 6th fleet, will visit local government officials, while La Salle crewmembers are scheduled to participate in several social and athletic events.

    [08] Cook comments on S-300 a 'personal view', Athens stresses

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    The government said yesterday that the views expressed by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook concerning Nicosia's plans to install S-300 anti-aircraft missiles were his own personal opinion.

    Government spokesman Demetris Reppas underlined that the views expressed by Mr. Cook, who currently presides over the EU Council of Ministers, were not those of the EU.

    Nicosia intends to purchase and install the Russian-made missiles to bolster the island republic's defense.

    Mr. Reppas said Russia would fulfill the commitment it had undertaken so that the missiles could be installed in Cyprus according to schedule. The spokesman noted that Mr. Cook had recognized Cyprus' right to strengthen its defense.

    Mr. Cook said in Brussels on Monday that the deployment of Russian missiles in Cyprus would not be a particularly prudent action. He clarified at the time that this was his own personal view.

    [09] Simitis on defense procurements

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Speaking in Parliament last night, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said the government placed special importance on the timely delivery of defense armaments without special processes attached.

    "The timely delivery of defense armaments 'without special processes', licenses and other obstacles constitutes an element which we examine for its purchase, and in every case we search the market of several countries and not only one," he said in reply to a question by main opposition New Democracy party deputy Marietta Yiannakou-Koutsikou.

    Ms Yiannakou-Koutsikou called on Mr. Simitis to find alternative sources for the procurement of armament systems and for the government to secure assurances from countries providing armaments for the release of hi-tech systems.

    Mr. Simitis said the allocation of defense funds is rational and is based on proposals by the armed forces' general staffs.

    On the question of possibly purchasing the four-country European fourth generation "Eurofighter 2000", he said it is being considered, taking into consideration that the procurement of a new type of aircraft increases the cost of their maintenance.

    [10] Reports cite mass executions by Turks during '74 Cyprus invasion

    Bonn, 29/01/1998 (ANA - P. Stangos)

    A Turkish-language newspaper yesterday published an eyewitness report of human rights violations and executions committed by the Turkish armed forces and Turkish Cypriot paramilitary units in Cyprus during the 1974 invasion.

    The newspaper "Ozgur Politika", which supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), reported that Turkish soldiers and Turkish Cypriots killed about 100 old men, women and children at the Mora village near Nicosia during ethnic cleansing campaigns.

    Eyewitness Mustafa Ongan, a soldier in the 48th Turkish artillery regiment during the invasion, said that he remembers the executions and a mass grave site, since he helped bury the bodies.

    Mr. Ongan, who came forward citing remorse, saying he is willing to point out the site if he receives international guarantees for his safety.

    He said that Turkish officers ordered executions, rapes and tortures. Mr. Ongan quoted Turkish officers as saying "we must kill these dirty infidels, otherwise, we must feed them."

    [11] Europarliament's Robles to meet with Greek leadership

    Strasbourg, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    European Parliament President Jose Maria Hill Robles will pay an official visit to Greece on Jan. 29-31 at the invitation of Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    During his three-day visit, Mr. Robles will hold meetings with the country's leadership on issues concerning relations between the Parliaments of member-states and the European Parliament, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), relations between the European Union and Turkey and Greek-Turkish relations in particular.

    Mr. Robles will meet today with Mr. Kaklamanis and afterwards with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos. In the evening he will attend a dinner given in his honor by Mr. Kaklamanis.

    Tomorrow morning he will visit Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Afterwards, he will meet main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis. Mr. Robles will participate in a special meeting of Parliament's European Affairs Committee and at noon he will be received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    He will give a press conference at the European Parliament's office at 12:30 p.m.

    Afterwards, he will have a working luncheon at the foreign ministry with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    In the afternoon, Mr. Robles will meet Athens Mayor Demetris Avramopoulos and the Governor of the Bank of Greece Loukas Papadimos.

    Mr. Robles is also scheduled to meet Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Demetris Tsovolas and Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras.

    He will complete his official visit and depart Greece on Saturday morning.

    [12] 'Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus' program unveiled

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos and Aegean Minister Elisabeth Papazoi yesterday unveiled the "Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus" program at a press conference in Thessaloniki.

    The program aims at promoting co-operation in the sectors of culture, the environment and sports, as well as provide support to common activities in the fields of tourism, economy, production and transport.

    "We consider our obligation to maintain our cultural identities and continue the cultural campaign through these border areas to the countries of the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Middle East," Mr. Petsalnikos said.

    For her part, Ms Papazoi said the environment and culture had been selected as one of the main axes of the program because the basic aim is development of "our cultural area and maintenance of the belief that the environment constitutes the dominant factor in development."

    [13] Support for Athens' decision to abolish Article 19

    Brussels, 29/01/1998 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Bureau for the Less Common Languages expressed its satisfaction with Athens' decision to abolish Article 19 of the Citizenship Code.

    The bureau said it considered the specific measure a step in the right direction, expressing a hope it would also apply retroactively, and that Greece will sign the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages, which will come into force on March 1, 1998.

    [14] EU policy guidelines for handicapped people

    Brussels, 29/01/1998 (ANA- P. Pantelis)

    EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn yesterday set out EU policy guidelines for handicapped people, in reply to a question by New Democracy Eurodeputy Panayiotis Lambrias.

    He said the Commission was examining the possibility of renewing the Helios II program, which ended in 1996, and emphasized the activities of structural funds, particularly the "Employment-Horizon" initiative.

    He further specified that the essential aim of the strategy would be to promote a policy for handicapped people based on equal rights and implementation of various measures, such as encouragement of the activities of non-governmental organizations and the forming of high-level groups to promote co-operation among member-states.

    [15] Parliament discussion on DEKO amendment on Monday

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    The government and the opposition yesterday agreed that a controversial amendment introducing alterations in the labor relations of public utilities will be discussed in Parliament on Monday.

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said the amendment was one of the basic elements of the overall plan for rehabilitation of public utilities.

    ND leader Costas Karamanlis said his party's seven proposals regarding the utilities included speedy privatization, abolition of monopoly privileges and opening up to competition, meritocratic selection of management, compulsory publication of balance sheets and three annual programs for reducing deficits.

    [16] ESHEA work stoppage

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    A two-hour work stoppage called yesterday by the Athens Journalists' Union (ESHEA) was observed by most editors and reporters across the country, while a demonstration was held in front of Parliament.

    The 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. work stoppage targeted a tax bill amendment regarding journalists' tax and expenses benefits.

    ESHEA President Aristides Manolakos said that although National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou initially agreed with the proposed amendment he later backtracked.

    [17] Evert support for GSEE opposition to DEKO bill

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Former main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert held talks yesterday with the presidium of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) regarding the government's amendment to the taxation bill concerning the labor status at public utilities (DEKOs).

    Mr. Evert called on the government to withdraw the specific clause, adding that when the government feels ready it can present a law in Parliament containing specific proposals for specific DEKOs to enable them to modernize.

    He said that in essence the government tabled the amendment to change it six months later and that with these moves the government is preparing a law today to bring a new one later on.

    Mr. Evert said that in the past 15 years the PASOK governments have created an indescribable administrative, labor and economic chaos in public enterprises which the Greek people are ultimately called on to pay for with bad and expensive services.

    GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos thanked Mr. Evert for his sensitivity in desiring to be briefed on GSEE's positions and said the government's decision is a hostile act both for enterprises and trade unions.

    [18] Press Ministry's Secretary General Nikolaou on official German visit

    Bonn, 29/01/1998 (ANA - P. Stangos)

    Press Ministry Secretary General Yiannis Nikolaou paid a visit to the headquarters of the German press and information service here, while he was due to meet last night with government spokesman and the head of the German press services Peter Hausmann.

    Mr. Nikolaou was briefed on the organization of the German services by the agency's various department heads.

    In addition, Mr. Nikolaou and his associates will hold a meeting today with the directors of the Greek press bureaus in Bonn (St. Stathoulopoulos), Munich (N. Sotiriou) and Hamburg (Th. Frangiadakis) and the head of a German firm, Peter Schutze, which specializes in communication policy.

    The meeting will probe possibilities of promoting Greece and the European aspect of Greek government's policy.

    Mr. Hausmann was also scheduled to give a dinner in Mr. Nikolaou's honor.

    [19] 'Magical city' exhibition at Piraeus Port Authority

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    The New Generation General Secretariat will set up a "magical city" exhibition at the Piraeus Port Authority's stone warehouse in an effort to familiarize children with their urban environment and its history.

    The exhibition is within the framework of the "Child and City" program, sponsored by the New Generation General Secretariat and the Center of Expression and Creativity. It will run from Feb. 3 to April.

    [20] Iordanescu to head Greek national foot ball team after World Cup

    Bucharest, 29/01/1998 (Reuters/ANA)

    Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu said yesterday he would quit his country's national team after the upcoming World Cup in France and take over the Greek national squad for the run-up to the 2000 European finals.

    "Today, I advised the Greek Soccer Federation (EPO) in writing of my agreement to work with the Greek national team," he said by telephone. "I had previously only spoken of possibly cooperating with the Greek Soccer Federation."

    Mr. Iordanescu, 48, offered no details on his contract.

    "I have a single priority at the moment - leading Romania at the World Cup finals in France," he said.

    Mr. Iordanescu coached Romania at the last two World Cup finals, taking them to the quarter-finals in 1994 in the US. However, at the 1996 European championships in England they performed dismally, losing all three matches.

    Romania, which qualified for this year's World Cup finals by sailing through their group undefeated, has been drawn with England, Colombia and Tunisia for the opening phase.

    [21] Turkish vessel adrift in Greek waters after fire

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    A Turkish-flag freighter was adrift yesterday inside Greek territorial waters off the islands of Andros and Evia after a fire broke out in its engine room, Piraeus harbor authorities said.

    According to reports, the "Hassan Bei" was reported 10 nautical miles northeast of the Cavo Doro peninsula off Evia when its captain radioed the merchant marine ministry's search and rescue center.

    The center immediately dispatched the navy frigate "Epirus", a tugboat and two other nearby ships to the scene.

    A Hellenic Navy helicopter was also sent to the scene.

    The ministry said 20 persons aboard the "Hassan Bei" were all safe and accounted for. The ship was en route from Dakar, Senegal to Istanbul, without cargo, when the fire broke out.

    When asked by the tanker "Star" if he required assistance, the Turkish skipper replied that the fire had been extinguished and that none of the crew were injured.

    He gave the same reply when asked by the pilots of the two aircraft which had gone to the vessel's assistance.

    The vessel was later reported to be adrift inside Greek territorial waters, just five nautical miles north of Andros.

    The Turkish captain reported that due to the fact that he was in Greek waters, the towing of the vessel would be undertaken by a Greece-based shipping company with which he had already come into contact.

    [22] Interbank rates drop on Bank of Greece intervention

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, yesterday intervened in the domestic money market, draining liquidity in an effort to defend the national currency.

    The central bank drained 220 billion drachmas at rates of 19 percent pushing interbank rates substantially lower.

    The overnight rate fell to 11 percent while short-term interest rates fell to 17.5 percent from 19.5 percent on Tuesday.

    Bankers reported capital inflows totaling 100 million ECUs at the drachma's fixing after outflows totaling 400 million ECUs in the previous two days.

    The Greek currency was 0.13 percent and 0.18 percent up against the ECU and the DMark respectively, although it fell substantially against the US dollar following a sharp recovery of the greenback in international markets.

    [23] Greek stocks under pressure, market breaks 1,400 level

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities remained under pressure for a third consecutive session yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange to lose further substantial ground.

    The general index fell below the 1,400 level to end at 1,390.96 points, off 1.37 percent, but off the day's lows.

    Traders said the market looked vulnerable to further selling despite a temporary improvement in the domestic money markets.

    Analysts expected interest rates to climb higher in the banking sector after a Supreme Court decision to ban overdraft penalty rates on lenders.

    Sector indices ended lower. Banks fell 0.68 percent, Insurance eased 0.66 percent, Leasing dropped 2.16 percent, Investment ended 1.48 percent off, Constructions fell 1.84 percent, Industrials plunged 2.11 percent, Miscellaneous eased 1.34 percent and Holding fell 1.37 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies lost 1.58 percent, while the FTSE/ASE index dropped 1.01 percent to end at 762.04 points.

    Trading was moderate with turnover at 15 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 173 to 40 with another 16 issues unchanged.

    Alysida, Bank of Central Greece, Balkan Export and Heliofin scored the biggest percentage gains, while Technodomi, Eskimo, Macedonian Mills and Radio Athina suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 19,500 drachmas, Ergobank at 13,320, Alpha Credit Bank at 14,420, Delta Dairy at 2,720, Titan Cement at 13,310, Intracom at 14,510 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 5,380.

    [24] Government determined to restructure public enterprises

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek government will proceed with a restructuring of all loss-making public enterprises regardless of the political cost, government spokesman Demetris Reppas told reporters yesterday.

    Reiterating the government's determination to restructure the country's public sector, Mr. Reppas said that the government could not stay indifferent to a sad reality.

    The government, he said, would take measures in order to improve public enterprises' balance sheets or ensure they return back to profitability.

    [25] Greek tourism industry cautiously optimistic on 1998 outlook

    Athens, 29/01/1998 (ANA)

    Tourist arrivals and stayovers will be slightly higher in 1998 but foreign currency revenues will remain stable, the Greek Union of Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said yesterday.

    The union's chairman Spyros Kokotos told a news conference that Greece's tourism industry was less optimistic on 1998's outlook than the government.

    He said that a rise in tourist arrivals should be attributed to stable hotel prices at 1994 levels.

    Mr. Kokotos urged both the government and the industry to stay alert and not rely on a slight improvement in statistics.

    The chairman of Greek tourism enterprises criticized the government's new development law for not fully acknowledging the needs of a developing tourism policy.

    He called the new measures insufficient.

    SETE proposed higher spending in promoting Greek tourism abroad stressing that Greece spent less in advertising compared to other competitors, like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Portugal and Spain.

    [26] Greek-Yugoslav bilateral economic relations discussed

    Belgrade, 29/01/1998 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    Serbian Chamber of Commerce President Momir Pavlicevic and Greek ambassador in Belgrade Panayiotis Vlassopoulos stressed yesterday that the activity by Greek investors and entrepreneurs in Serbia were of critical importance to the Yugoslav economy.

    Issues relating to the development of bilateral economic co-operation were at the center of the men's discussions in the Yugoslav capital.

    In addition, interest by several Greek banks in opening branches in Serbia was also discussed, as both officials underlined that banking co-operation should be intensified and made more effective in order to assist in the application of contract agreements between Greek and Serbian firms.

    End of English language section.

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ana2html v1.01g run on Thursday, 29 January 1998 - 15:09:50 UTC