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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-30

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

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1403), January 30, 1998

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece plays down significance of Turkish exercise
  • [02] GSEE reiterates call for withdrawal of controversial DEKO amendment
  • [03] ... ND reaction
  • [04] ... Chamber president: Gov't must proceed with restructuring
  • [05] Simitis-Papaioannou meeting
  • [06] DHKKI secretariat meets on strategy for upcoming elections
  • [07] CoE committee rejects probe into Greek Moslems living conditions
  • [08] Europarliament president arrives in Athens
  • [09] G. Papandreou briefs Parliament committee on foreign policy issues
  • [10] Massive amounts of carcinogen benzoline in Athens' air
  • [11] Turkish-flagged vessel remains grounded off Kos
  • [12] SEB says fewer profit-making companies in '96
  • [13] Progress report on Athens 2004 to be presented at Nagano Games
  • [14] PM to tour provinces in March
  • [15] Arsenis meets with Albanian counterpart Ruka
  • [16] European Culture Forum event
  • [17] Simitis sends best wishes on occasion of Muslim religious holiday
  • [18] Burns expresses support for Athens' Kosovo initiative
  • [19] ... Thessaloniki speech
  • [20] ... US Sixth Fleet flagship in Thessaloniki tomorrow
  • [21] Greece's current accounts deficit off 39.1 pct in October
  • [22] Volatile money markets hit Athens bourse
  • [23] Greek shipowners award environmental prize
  • [24] New tenders for Egnatia Road
  • [25] Development minister urges tourism quality improvement
  • [26] EU industrial production increases by 1 per cent
  • [27] INTRACOM agreement with Northrop Grumman
  • [28] AMTECH '98 opens
  • [29] Ukrainian airliner detained pending compensation
  • [30] ... Ukraine protests over plane
  • [31] Foreigners arrested for burglaries
  • [32] Nobel laureate in Thessaloniki
  • [33] Gov't to probe allegations of mass executions by invading Turks
  • [34] Majority of Cypriots back S-300 deployment

  • [01] Greece plays down significance of Turkish exercise

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek government yesterday downplayed the significance of new military exercises in the Aegean announced by Turkey, saying that Ankara had also announced exercises for January which eventually had not taken place.

    Replying to reporters' questions, government spokesman Demetris Reppas added that Greece's Civil Aviation Authority would issue the relevant Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) for those cases in which the Turkish exercises conformed to "the situation prevailing in the region" and were in accordance with the rules of international law.

    Otherwise, the spokesman implied, NOTAMs will not be issued and the respective areas will be declared dangerous for civil aviation.

    [02] GSEE reiterates call for withdrawal of controversial DEKO amendment

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) called on the government to withdraw a controversial amendment affecting labor relations in Public Utilities and Corporations (DEKOs), even at the last moment.

    GSEE warned that if the government insists on supporting the amendment, placed with a tabled tax bill, and expected to be ratified in Parliament on Monday, it will be eliminating a climate of dialogue, stressing that trade unions will not permit the abolition of free collective negotiations.

    GSEE's executive bureau convened yesterday and called on employees in public transport to observe a work stoppage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, when the amendment will be debated in Parliament.

    At 6.30 p.m. on the same day, GSEE called a rally at Klafthmonos square in downtown Athens.

    GSEE summoned all the federations and labor centers in the wider Athens area to attend a meeting today to discuss the possibility of expanding strike action. The possibility of a 24-hour nationwide strike remains open, according to reports, if the government insists on its position. Trade unionists of the ESAK labor grouping affiliated to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) are proposing 24-hour strikes on Monday, Feb. 2 and Thursday, Feb. 5.

    GSEE is also requesting meetings with party leaders. In this context, a meeting will be held with Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos at 3 p.m. today.

    Trade unionists are also peeved over what they called the tactics of the national economy ministry to leak selective information to the press in support of the scenario of "privileged" people in DEKOs.

    In another development, government spokesman Demetris Reppas strongly attacked main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis over statements he made on Wednesday on settling labor relations in loss-making DEKOs with the legislative initiative undertaken by the government, accusing him of lacking will and of being incapable of taking a position and contributing positively to a solution to important problems. He also wondered who actually leads the main opposition New Democracy party.

    Replying to Mr. Reppas, ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos accused the government of inability and incompetence and of leading DEKOs to closure with mathematical precision because they will be unable to stand international competition they will be faced with.

    Mr. Spiliotopoulos said that with abuse and wretchedness the government, through its spokesman, is not even able to disorientate the Greek citizen who is suffering under unbearable taxes nor, of course, is it able to save PASOK (the ruling party) from its course towards splitting up into many pieces.

    [03] ... ND reaction

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, ND cadres continued to be divided over the party's position on the DEKO amendment.

    Although Mr. Karamanlis, with the seven proposals he tabled in Parliament, attempted to overcome differing positions expressed by leading ND members, many deputies are insisting on their position that the party must vote in favor of the clause submitted by the government, even if it lacks boldness in their view.

    ND cadres believe that if a roll call vote is carried out in Parliament on Monday on controversial Article 31, the possibility of some deputies such as George Souflias, Stephanos Manos and Dora Bakoyianni voting in favor of it cannot be ruled out.

    [04] ... Chamber president: Gov't must proceed with restructuring

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    On his part, the president of the Central Union of Chambers of Commerce Andreas Kyriazis said the government must proceed resolutely in taking necessary measures to restructure public Utilities and Corporations (DEKOs), even if measures exact a temporary political cost.

    "However, in each case the measures must be substantive and aim at restricting the monopolizing privileges of the DEKOs, increasing their economic effectiveness and improving services rendered by DEKOs to Greek citizens and enterprises," he said.

    Referring to recent developments and strike actions, which are creating problems in the market and the business world, Mr. Kyriazis reminded that although social partners have been sounding the alarm for years on repercussions resulting for the economy by the gigantism and monopolizing structure of enterprises in the public sector and calling for more privatization, the government is continuing the tactic of continuous and generous subsidization of the DEKOs' deficits with hundreds of billions of drachmas.

    Mr. Kyriazis said that strikes deal a blow at the economy itself at a time when it needs support from all sides and primarily create huge problems in the country's business world which is experiencing one of the worst crises in past decades.

    [05] Simitis-Papaioannou meeting

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis held talks with Labor and Social Insurance Minister Miltiades Papaioannou and his Undersecretaries Christos Protopapas and Nikos Farmakis yesterday, focusing on an account of the ministry's work and the program for 1998. The meeting was attended by the director of the Prime Minister's economic bureau Tasos Yiannitsis and the adviser on insurance issues Platon Tinios.

    Mr. Papaioannou said the ministry is proceeding ahead dynamically and in accordance with the government's policy statements. According to reports, the preparation of the national employment plan was examined, and the program for the young unemployed in particular, as well as the "small" insurance package which must appear after February, the bill on labor relations, etc.

    Mr. Papaioannou will give a press conference today on issues concerning Law 1648 (the hiring of handicapped people).

    [06] DHKKI secretariat meets on strategy for upcoming elections

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Democratic Social Movement's (DHKKI) political secretariat and its Parliamentary group met yesterday and examined the party's strategy for upcoming local government elections.

    DHKKI leader Demetris Tsovolas criticized the government for its foreign policy decisions, which he said are damaging to the country's independence. He also accused main opposition New Democracy of hypocrisy.

    Mr. Tsovolas said that the government is preparing to sell off public utilities and enterprises to foreign and domestic private interests.

    [07] CoE committee rejects probe into Greek Moslems living conditions

    Strasbourg, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The control committee of the Council of Europe's (CoE) Parliamentary Assembly yesterday rejected a proposal for the initiation of a probe into the living conditions of Moslems in Greece's Thrace province.

    The proposal was garnered 17 votes against, three in favor and four abstention.

    Kimon Koulouris, Greek deputy-member of the committee, set out Athens' positions and briefed his colleagues regarding improvements in the conditions of the Moslem minority. He also produced the Greek Cabinet's decision to Abolish Article 19 of the Citizenship Code, which had for long been a controversial measure, denying citizenship to those who left the country with the intention of not returning.

    The decision will be sent as an opinion of the committee to the presidium of the assembly, and is expected to be discussed in the next few days.

    [08] Europarliament president arrives in Athens

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    European Parliament president Jose Maria Gil-Robles arrived here yesterday afternoon on a three-day official visit for talks with the Greek government leadership on relations between the Europarliament and the EU member-states' national parliaments.

    Soon after his arrival, Mr. Gil-Robles held talks with his host, Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and immediately after with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    The Europarliament president's talks with Mr. Kaklamanis focused on the more active role of the Europarliament in the Union, and its co-operation with member-states' national parliaments, as well as a unified election system for Euro-deputies' election.

    Also on the agenda are relations between EU and Turkey, and Greek-Turkish relations.

    This morning he will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, followed by main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis. After taking part in a special sitting of the Greek Parliament's committee on European Affairs, Mr. Gil-Robles will be received at noon by President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The Europarliament president will give a press conference at 12:30 at the Europarliament office in Athens - 8, Amalias Ave.

    He will then attend the awards ceremony of the European Studies 1997 Prizes of the Greek University Association of European Studies, followed by a working lunch at the foreign ministry hosted by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    This afternoon he will hold separate talks with Athens Mayor Demetris Avramopoulos and Governor of the Bank of Greece Lucas Papademos.

    He will have separate meetings later in the evening with Communist Party of Greece Secretary General Aleka Papariga, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Demetris Tsovolas, and Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras, departing Athens tomorrow morning.

    [09] G. Papandreou briefs Parliament committee on foreign policy issues

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Luxembourg EU summit did not set the inclusion of a Turkish Cypriot delegation as a condition for continuation of the island republic's EU accession course, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou told Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday.

    Replying to questions, he said the right of veto in the framework of the EU remained, but this was not always the best tool for the promotion of foreign policy aims.

    Regarding EU-Turkish relations, Mr. Papandreou said that from the moment Ankara rang Europe's doorbell, it would be judged with European criteria, and for this reason it should undertake the necessary reforms at a social and political level.

    [10] Massive amounts of carcinogen benzoline in Athens' air

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Disturbing figures on air pollution in Athens and on the health of residents was publicized yesterday, according to which Athenians inhale 12.9 micrograms of benzoline per cubic meter of air, more than the maximum level indicated by the World Health Organization.

    According to the initial results of data obtained by the inter-European program, the amount of benzoline inhaled by Athenians is double in relation to other European cities and three or four times greater if Athens is compared to such cities as Copenhagen. The data was disclosed at a press conference by Athina Linou, an assistant professor at the Athens University's medical faculty.

    Benzoline is an organic compound which is primarily produced by the burning of gasoline. High dosages can lead to diseases which are the forerunners of leukemia. The cause of the increase in benzoline in the environment is considered the use of unleaded gasoline by cars without catalytical converters and the poor maintenance of cars equipped with such converters.

    The research program is the biggest program of environmental registration promoted by the European Union with the purpose of collecting necessary data and submitting it to the Commission to enable a relevant directive to be issued by the end of 1999 .

    [11] Turkish-flagged vessel remains grounded off Kos

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    A Turkish-flagged freighter remained grounded off the Dodecanese island of Kos for a second day yesterday as its skipper refused assistance from Greek coast guard vessels to set it free.

    The "Barbaros Oktay", carrying a cargo, ran aground in the shallows 150 meters off Cape Ammoglossa in Kos. It had disembarked from the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossyisk and was headed to Haifa, Israel.

    A merchant marine ministry spokesman said that Greek naval vessels, coast guard patrol boats and three tugboats were on stand-by near the ship awaiting orders to refloat it.

    "The Turkish capital said the vessel was not taking on water and that he was trying to refloat the ship on its own," a ministry spokesman said, "but so far, negotiations to have the ship refloated by a Greek tugboat have been fruitless, as the Turkish captain refuses any assistance."

    Meanwhile, another Turkish vessel, the 200-ton motor ship "Hasan Bei", which caught fire off Evia and was adrift on Wednesday, was being towed to Izmir by a Greek tug. The Hassan Bei's captain initially refused to be towed by a Greek tug, saying he would ask for assistance from Turkey since his vessel was in international waters, however, he requested Greek assistance when gale-force winds swept the ship into Greek waters near the island of Andros.

    [12] SEB says fewer profit-making companies in '96

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) yesterday announced that profit-making enterprises decreased to 3,957 in 1996, down from 4,070 in 1995. According to SEB, this translates into a loss of 7,000 jobs in 1996, mainly from the loss-making enterprises.

    [13] Progress report on Athens 2004 to be presented at Nagano Games

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    "Athens knows how to keep its promises," will be the central slogan of the Greek delegation at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where the delegation will present a file on the progress of infrastructure projects in the Greek capital in view of the Olympic Games of 2004, Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras said yesterday.

    "We are fully ready to present within half-an-hour all we have done so far. We shall show them that projects are progressing, the metro stations, the Spata (airport) building installations, and all the other necessary works," he said.

    Mr. Fouras added the organization of the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens would not present any serious economic problem, although this aspect of the event was not the government's primary concern.

    "The budget is 400 billion drachmas ($1.4 billion). We'll receive 230 billion from television rights, while the 90 billion needed to construct the Olympic village will not be lost either, as these houses will be sold after the Games. Also, do not forget the amounts we shall get from the tickets and the rights from the Olympic Signs. There is not economic problem," he said before going on to stress that Greece's real aim was "a return to the Olympic ideals."

    "The children who are 12 years old now must be brought up with the Olympic idea. Woe betide if we only think and talk about the financial side of the Games," he added.

    Referring to the Athens 2004 organizing committee, he said its term would be seven years, and its members, according to the relevant law, could be replaced in the same way they were appointed.

    Meanwhile, government spokesman Demetris Reppas stressed yesterday that the government placed priority on transparency and proper management of funds in general, and those relating to the 2004 Games in particular.

    [14] PM to tour provinces in March

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will tour several provinces in March, in order to gain a first-hand knowledge of local problems, it was decided during Wednesday night's PASOK political secretariat session.

    The secretariat also dealt with the party's nationwide congress on ideological issues, between Feb. 13 and 14, as well as planned mobilizations by workers and farmers.

    [15] Arsenis meets with Albanian counterpart Ruka

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Education Minister Gerassimos Arsenis and his Albanian counterpart Ethem Ruka yesterday issued a joint communiqui noting that activities of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania are important for bilateral relations.

    It was also noted that the participation of the Greek minority in Albania is a bridge of co-operation between Greece and Albania.

    In a related development, the presidents of the ethnic Greek educators' unions of Albania met with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou on the issue of the re-education of teachers, who reassured them of his support.

    [16] European Culture Forum event

    Brussels, 30/01/1998 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Commission-sponsored "European Culture Forum" yesterday opened its two-day proceedings as part of preparations for a cultural framework program.

    The forum includes delegates from the Europarliament, the associate members of the eastern and central Europe and Cyprus, as well as personalities and organizations from the European cultural scene.

    [17] Simitis sends best wishes on occasion of Muslim religious holiday

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis has addressed greetings to the three Muslim muftis in Thrace province, on the occasion of the religious holiday of Ramadan.

    Letters were handed to the three clerics, Mehmet Emin Sinikoglu, Meco Jemali, and Mehmet Damatoglu, by the foreign ministry's director of political affairs in Thrace, Ambassador Efstathios Loxos.

    Similar wishes were extended by local and regional government officials.

    Mr. Jemali expressed his thanks for the premier's best wishes, stressing that "this holiday is based on peace and brotherhood".

    [18] Burns expresses support for Athens' Kosovo initiative

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns said yesterday that Washington supported all initiatives by Greece aimed at defusing tension in Serbia's troubled province of Kosovo.

    Mr. Burns was speaking in Thessaloniki where he had talks yesterday morning with Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.

    Greece earlier this month offered to host a meeting between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Albanian Premier Fatos Nano and the leader of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, to help resolve the Kosovo problem.

    Commenting on the Greek initiative, Mr. Burns said the Greek government had great experience in the region "and we work with Greece to limit tension in Kosovo and constructively with the Belgrade government to persuade it to defuse the tension".

    "We therefore support every Greek initiative which could help in this major problem," the ambassador said.

    The US envoy praised Greece's role in the Balkans, underlining that Athens' "presence in Albania at a political and economic level is positive, as is (its participation) in economic developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)".

    Asked to comment on Turkey's continuing provocations in the Aegean, Mr. Burns said the US was the friend of both Greece and Turkey and expressed the hope that the two countries would be able to resolve their problems.

    Mr. Burns also had talks this morning with Thessaloniki Mayor Constantine Kosmopoulos.

    Underlining the growing importance of Thessaloniki in the greater region, Mr. Burns said he intended to upgrade the US consulate in the northern Greek port city.

    [19] ... Thessaloniki speech

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    While speaking in Thessaloniki last night during a Propeller Club dinner, Mr. Burns said Greece and the US must come closer as allies and underlined the traditionally good relations between the two countries.

    He said that for this to be achieved the two sides must respond to five challenges.

    Mr. Burns said that firstly, "we must upgrade and strengthen our relationship, create a good relationship, a really great relationship."

    "We must make the economic part, expanding commerce and investments, the nucleus of this relationship."

    "We must create the conditions which will safeguard a continuous peace between Greece and Turkey and unite Cyprus."

    "We must reaffirm our commitment to security issues, the one towards the other, also including the struggle against the terrorists who murder Greeks and Americans."

    Finally, "we must transform our co-operation so that it becomes more mature and modern."

    Mr. Burns was speaking at an event organized by the "Propeller Club" and reiterated the important role played by Greece in southeastern Europe, as well as the geostrategic significance of Thessaloniki itself.

    [20] ... US Sixth Fleet flagship in Thessaloniki tomorrow

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    USS "La Salle", flagship for the Commander of the US Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral Charles Abbot, arrives in Thessaloniki on Saturday for a five-day port of call, the first by the flagship to the northern Greek capital's port city.

    During the flagship's visit, the Sixth Fleet Commander will pay courtesy calls on government officials and host a reception on board the La Salle, while its crew will be taking part in civic, social and sports activities in Thessaloniki.

    USS La Salle assumed the role of Sixth Fleet flagship in November 1994 with a primary mission of providing flagship support and facilities to the Commander, Sixth Fleet. Outfitted with state-of-the-art communication and command and control equipment, the La Salle can direct any operation or exercise involving sea, air, land and amphibious forces, increasing the Sixth Fleet's capability to respond to crisis and contingency operations.

    Since its commissioning in 1964, USS La Salle has deployed continuously in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, and has engaged in operations in the Middle East, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

    The 170-meter-long ship carries a complement of 420 enlisted men and 25 officers. It is commanded by Capt. Bruce W. Clingan.

    [21] Greece's current accounts deficit off 39.1 pct in October

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's current accounts deficit shrunk 39.1 percent in October last year to 406 million US dollar from 666.8 million the same month in 1996, the Bank of Greece said yesterday.

    The central bank said that the country's current accounts shortfall rose by 7.2 percent to 4.54 billion dollars in the first ten months of 1997 compared to a deficit of 4.24 billion in the corresponding period in 1996.

    Greece's trade deficit widened by 2.4 percent to 15.49 billion dollars in the period January-October 1997 from a shortfall of 15.13 billion in the same period in 1996.

    The Bank of Greece also said that the invisible revenues balance showed a surplus of 10.94 billion dollars in the first ten months of 1997, up from a 10.89 billion surplus in 1996.

    The country's foreign exchange reserves rose to 13.3 billion dollars in December from a 11 billion figure in October last year.

    The Bank of Greece attributed a rise in foreign reserves to a return of foreign capital in the Greek market following a turbulent period in autumn.

    [22] Volatile money markets hit Athens bourse

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities remained under pressure to end lower for the fourth consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday.

    Traders said market sentiment was hit by persistent volatility in the domestic money market and high interbank rates.

    The general index closed 0.78 percent down at 1,380.13 points, reversing an early 1.13 percent advance.

    Most sector indices lost ground. Banks fell 0.69 percent, Insurance eased 0.84 percent, Investment ended 0.09 percent off, Constructions dropped 1.86 percent, Industrials eased 0.55 percent, Miscellaneous eased 2.07 percent and Holding fell 1.45 percent . Leasing bucked the trend to end 0.95 percent up.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 1.36 percent. The FTSE/ASE index ended 0.90 percent down at 755.18 points. Trading was thin with turnover at 11.4 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 132 to 80 with another 26 issues unchanged.

    Nematemboriki, Balkan Export, Xylemporia, Radio Athina and Ideal scored the biggest percentage gains, while Ermis, Eskimo, Dane, Agrinio Metalplastics and Technodomi suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 19,290 drachmas, Ergobank at 13,200, Alpha Credit Bank at 14,350, Delta Dairy at 2,680, Titan Cement at 13,125, Intracom at 14,005 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 5,320.

    [23] Greek shipowners award environmental prize

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek Shipowners Union has decided to award a bi-annual environmental prize worth 10,000 US dollars to any Greek individual or organization for its work on protecting the sea environment, starting 1998. The award, in memory of the late shipowner George P. Livanos, will be granted for any action, survey, scientific result, literature or artistic work referring to the protection of the sea environment.

    [24] New tenders for Egnatia Road

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Five new projects will be tendered next month for works on the Egnatia Road, a road network linking the western with the eastern borders of northern Greece.

    The five projects, budgeted at 60.5 billion drachmas will cover a total length of 45.4 km of road works.

    [25] Development minister urges tourism quality improvement

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Improving tourism services was a vital precondition to strengthen Greece's share in the global tourism market and to better prepare the country for the 2004 Olympic Games, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou told a tourism exhibition yesterday.

    Speaking at the inaugurating ceremony of the annual Xenia tourism exhibition, Ms. Papandreou said that improving quality should cover all aspects of tourism services and urged Greek businessmen and citizens to seek better quality in the production process as well as in daily life.

    [26] EU industrial production increases by 1 per cent

    Brussels, 30/01/1998 (ANA - G. Daratos)

    Industrial production increased by 1 per cent in the European Union's 15 member-states over the period from August to October compared to the May-July period in 1997, according to statistical data publicized yesterday by the EU's statistical service.

    The smallest increase in industrial production over the same period appears in Greece with 0.1 per cent.

    According to the statistical data, the increase in industrial production over the August-October period compared to the May-July 1997 period is as follows: Sweden 2.6 per cent, Spain 2.4 per cent, France 1.8 per cent, Denmark 1.3 per cent, Finland 1.3 per cent, Germany 1 per cent, Italy 1 per cent, Belgium 0.9 per cent, Britain 0.6 per cent, the Netherlands 0.4 per cent and Greece 0.1 per cent. The average for the EU was 1 per cent.

    [27] INTRACOM agreement with Northrop Grumman

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek telecoms group INTRACOM in effect yesterday announced its dynamic entry to the vast defense industry market with a Team Agreement with the US firm Northrop Grumman providing for the joint production of electronic defense systems.

    In particular, the co-operation agreement will focus on the joint production of the E-2C Hawkeye flying radar which will be used by the Greek army and is an area in which Northrop has become highly specialized. The 440 million dollar program involves the manufacture of six Hawkeye flying radar aircraft. INTRACOM is expected to undertake between 20 and 25 per cent of the overall program.

    Of the 114 such radar systems currently operational around the world, the Hawkeye is used by the US Navy as its principal early air warning system.

    [28] AMTECH '98 opens

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce's "AMTECH '98" exhibition opened yesterday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Athens.

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns inaugurated the exhibition on Wednesday.

    Mr. Burns said that Greek-US trade is of significant importance and added that the goal is to double trade within the next five years.

    The exhibition features 49 firms involved in the sectors of computers, telecommunications and office automation systems, among others.

    The Economic University of Athens (ASOEE) will operate an exhibition on electronic trade applications, a first in the 11-year history of AMTECH.

    [29] Ukrainian airliner detained pending compensation

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    A Ukrainian airliner impounded by authorities, following a court decision ordering its owners to pay compensation to the relatives of a woman killed in a crash last month, remained grounded at Macedonia Airport for a second day yesterday, while chances for its immediate departure appeared slim.

    The seizure of the Boeing 737, belonging to Ukraine's Aerosweet airlines, was ordered by a first instance court moments after it landed at the northern Greek city's airport, stranding 46 passengers.

    According to airport authorities, the confiscation petition was submitted by a lawyer representing the family of a young teacher, Triada Karafiloudi, who was killed when a Russian-made Yakovlev-42 airplane crashed into the Pieria mountain range in northern Greece on December 17, killing all 74 passengers and crew on board.

    The relatives are asking for the confiscation of Aerosweet's assets in Greece, claiming that the company is responsible for the death of the passengers and crew, an airport spokesman told the ANA.

    The Boeing was temporarily prohibited from leaving until Feb. 19, when the petition of Karafiloudi's family is heard.

    The airliner's passengers spent the night at a Thessaloniki hotel "hoping that the issue will be settled soon," the spokesman said, adding that Aerosweet's lawyers "have lodged a petition asking for revocation of the court's confiscation order".

    [30] ... Ukraine protests over plane

    Kiev, 30/01/1998 (Reuter/ANA)

    Ukraine's foreign ministry protested to Greece on Thursday over the detention of the jet.

    "The detention of the Ukrainian plane does not correspond to internationally accepted norms," the foreign ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters.

    "It (detention) comes even though the official investigation into the crash of the Yakovlev-42 plane is not finished."

    "There have been no conclusions from Greek investigators and the principles for compensating the victims' relatives has not been settled," the statement added.

    The Greek authorities said they would hold the aircraft until Aerosweet paid US$140,000, a sum demanded by a Greek court for compensation.

    "The plane is the only property asset of Aerosweet in Greece and this is why it was confiscated," police said on Wednesday.

    Ukrainian media reported recently that Aerosweet was in a row with the state-owned airline Air Ukraine, whose Yakovlev jet was used to replace Aerosweet's Boeing after it was grounded with a technical problem during a stopover in Odessa.

    Aerosweet argues Air Ukraine should compensate the victims' relatives, but Air Ukraine insists that it only leased the plane and that the flight and tickets - on which insurance details are printed - were Aerosweet's.

    [31] Foreigners arrested for burglaries

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Police have arrested seven Romanians and charged them with a number of burglaries of apartments and stores in the Attica area.

    So far, the Romanians have been charged with seven burglaries, but police are continuing their investigation as they believe the arrested have committed other offenses.

    The seven were identified (phonetic spellings) as Christian Dovlek, 30, Patricia Kopa, 28, Ion Postonigu, 48, Christian Simeon, 24, Julian Balu, 26, Konstantin Buzor, 19 and Ion Stavig, 24.

    In an unrelated case, the police arrested Italian national Antonio Romano who, together with three compatriots who are being sought, are alleged to have committed a number of burglaries and robberies in Attica during the past year that they were living in Greece illegally.

    A search of the apartment in which the four were staying revealed three sawed-off shotguns, a 22-mm. pistol, ammunition for automatic weapons, hoods, forged passports, five bullet-proof vests and a small quantity of explosive material.

    Romano's three alleged accomplices were identified (phonetic spellings) as Antonio Laccava, Giuseppe Timacio and Ivan Delerpa.

    [32] Nobel laureate in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 30/01/1998 (ANA)

    Belgian Professor Ilya Prigogine, who received the 1977 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, will be presented with an honorary doctorate by the University of Thessaloniki on February 2.

    Prof. Prigogine will be made an honorary Doctor of the General Polytechnic, Physics and Philosophy-Education departments at a ceremony during which he will deliver a lecture on "Time, complexity and the laws of nature".

    Prof. Progogine, who has been declared an honorary citizen of Athens and Thessaloniki, has also received the medal of the Parliament of the Hellenes in the past.

    [33] Gov't to probe allegations of mass executions by invading Turks

    Nicosia, 30/01/1998 (ANA/CNA)

    Cyprus will investigate allegations that some 100 Greek Cypriot civilians were executed and buried in a mass grave during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said here yesterday.

    "We have already instructed the various government departments, including our embassy in Bonn, to make all the necessary actions to collect information on the basis of which we can move ahead on the matter," Mr. Kasoulides said before yesterday's Cabinet meeting.

    "We take this case very seriously", he added.

    The minister was reluctant to reveal whether information contained in the press report, which surfaced Wednesday in Germany, matches information the Turkish Cypriot side handed to the Greek Cypriot side about missing persons last week.

    The two sides exchanged information about the location of graves of persons listed as missing for the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, a development brokered by the UN top envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

    Pressed by reporters on this issue, Mr. Kasoulides said the information included in the recent report is not included in the information the Turkish Cypriot side gave the Greek Cypriot side.

    "We had received some information in the past relating to this specific issue before it became public knowledge, and everything will be looked into", he concluded.

    Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos told CNA the information needs to be investigated and noted that it appears to be more truthful than similar information that emerged in the past.

    "If need be, we are ready to co-operate with anybody to get to the bottom of this", he added.

    On his part, the chairman of the Committee of Missing Persons Relatives, Nicos Theodosiou, said similar information has seen the limelight in the past and stressed that "any such information made available should be investigated thoroughly".

    Mr. Theodosiou told CNA past reports of this kind often proved to be unreliable or untrue.

    He refrained from disclosing any information about how the report will be investigated.

    Mr. Feissel said he had not seen the report, and therefore, could not comment on it.

    According to a report in the pro-Kurdish daily "Ozgur Politika", some 100 Greek Cypriot civilians, mostly elderly men, women and children, were killed and buried near the capital Nicosia during the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    A 45-year-old Kurd, Mustafa Ongan, told the paper he was serving in the Turkish army at the time of the invasion, and was brought to Cyprus with his regiment.

    He says Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officers ordered the killing of the fleeing civilians, who were later buried in a mass grave.

    Mr. Ongan, an eyewitness, is seeking international protection in exchange for detailed information about the location of the grave and says his admission of the circumstances for the killings 24 years afterwards is the result of emotional torment he has been suffering ever since.

    A total of 1,619 Greek Cypriots and Greeks were listed as missing soon after the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third in 1974.

    [34] Majority of Cypriots back S-300 deployment

    Nicosia, 30/01/1998 (ANA/CNA)

    The overwhelming majority of Cypriots believe the deployment of Russian surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles will boost efforts for a political settlement in Cyprus, according to a recent opinion poll.

    Cypriots also believe that despite international pressures regarding deployment of the missiles, they will arrive on the island, according to the poll, conducted earlier this month for the Cyprus Broadcasting Corp.

    The poll, which comes more than a week before the presidential elections, said Cypriots do not exclude the possibility of armed conflict in Cyprus with Turkey.

    Nearly 60 per cent of Cypriots believe the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, ordered by the government in January 1997, will be deployed here and only 26 per cent think it will not.

    Sixty eight per cent of Cypriots consider that the presence of the missiles will help efforts for a solution of the Cyprus question. Another 22 per cent think such a move would be bad for the peace effort.

    Slightly more than 50 per cent of the people of the free areas of Cyprus believe there is a distinct possibility that Cyprus and Turkey may get involved in a hot incident.

    On the other hand, 58 per cent believe it is more likely to see a hot incident between Greece and Turkey.

    The Russian missiles are expected to be deployed in the summer of 1998 and the government has always stressed the weapons will not be used unless Cyprus is attacked.

    Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership have chastised the decision of the government and threatened to take reprisals, warning about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike.

    End of English language section.


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