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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-06-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Simitis holds talks with Blair ahead of Cardiff summit
  • [02] Patriarch officially invited to Athens by Christodoulos
  • [03] Pangalos focuses on Greek-Turkish,EU-Turkish difficulties in `Cumhurriyet` interview
  • [04] First conference of Balkan state broadcasters concludes
  • [05] Regional cross-border cooperation the subject of one-day seminar
  • [06] Two Greek F-16s to participate in NATO exercise over Albania, FYROM
  • [07] Athens responds to Paris comments on EU-Cyprus relations
  • [08] Laliotis concludes tour of Mount Athos
  • [09] New ONNED president elected
  • [10] Karamanlis warns internal party dissidents
  • [11] 'Teen deputies' hold sessions in Parliament
  • [12] Five first-place Greek finishes in second day of Balkan Games
  • [13] Medical symposium considers viagra, drug's sideffects
  • [14] Third day of teachers' exams marked by fewer clashes,larger turnout
  • [15] Bust unveiled to veteran politician Kanellopoulos
  • [16] Papaioannou denies press report on labour changes

  • [01] Simitis holds talks with Blair ahead of Cardiff summit

    LONDON 15/06/1998 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis emerged satisfied from an hour-and-a-half- long meeting with British counterpart Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street on Saturday morning.

    "We had a very friendly and cordial discussion, touching on all issues to be discussed in Cardiff on Monday: the state of the economy in the EU, issues of the 'Agenda 2000' and financing of the various funds, the international situation and the Kosovo problem. Of course, we also discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the situation in the SE Mediterranean. Greece's positions are well-known, we reiterated them and we shall persist with them," Mr. Simitis said.

    The two premiers later attended a military parade on the occasion of the British monarch's birthday.

    On behalf of Mr. Blair, a Downing Street spokesman described the discussion as "positive and constructive", noting that "the Greek Prime Minister made clear his firm view that the Cardiff Summit should not go beyond the Luxembourg statement."

    He added "the British Prime Minister made clear he believes that the EU should try to re-open fruitful discussions with Turkey and has found widespread support to this view."

    Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, Greece's ambassador to Britain Vassilis Zaphiropoulos and British envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay were also present at the meeting.

    Afterwards, Mr. Blair escorted his Greek counterpart to the Trooping of the Colour.

    Mr. Simitis flew to Cardiff in Wales yesterday for the European Union summit, marking the end of Britain's tenure in the rotating six-month EU presidency.

    Socialists' meeting : CARDIFF (ANA) -- Representatives of European socialist governments met here yesterday ahead of the EU Summit.

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said after the meeting that delegates discussed the summit's agenda.

    "Our side will mainly focus on EU economic issues and on employment," the Greek minister told reporters.

    He also expressed the hope that issues resolved in the previous Luxembourg summit would not be tabled "thoughtlessly" in Cardiff.

    EU leaders to debate reforms : CARDIFF, Wales (Reuters) - European Union leaders meet today to talk about reforming the Union's unwieldy structure to accommodate new members early next century.

    Host nation Britain is hoping the two-day, $18-million summit in the Welsh capital will help bring the EU closer to its citizens and make it less bureaucratic.

    Speaking to reporters before going into a meeting of EU socialist leaders, British PM Blair said economic and political reform would top the summit agenda.

    He said he expected leaders from the 15-member bloc to make progress in finding ways to tackle high unemployment and creating jobs.

    Earlier, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said in a BBC television interview that as Europe got bigger it must make sure it did not become more remote from its people. "At Cardiff...what we need to do is to reach agreement on how we take this forwa rd, implement it in practical ways and get reform of Europe."

    French President Jacques Chirac echoed that view, saying in a television interview that the EU's institutions "do not work very well and when we are more than 15 members they will not work at all". Concentrating leaders' minds is the prospect of up to 10 new members from the former communist countries in eastern Europe over the next decade.

    The EU's current structures largely date from an era when it was a six- nation grouping.

    Around 6,000 officials, aides and reporters were arriving for the summit, the first major international gathering ever held in a city famous mainly for its declining smokestack industries and drab weather.

    Several thousand farmers also descended on Cardiff from around Wales, marching through the streets to cap a weekend of protests by various groups ahead of the meeting.

    "No Farmers, No Future" read one banner among the crowd of about 8,000 farmers and their families who tramped along rain-drenched roads.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Patriarch officially invited to Athens by Christodoulos

    ISTANBUL 15/06/1998 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Visiting Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos yesterday extended an official invitation to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos to visit Athens.

    During their meeting at the Phanar,the two Orthodox leaders exchanged views on a number of ecclesiastical issues, including ways to advance their work and perform their duties. They also officiated at a joint service at the Agios Georgios Cathedral in Is tanbul.

    Archbishop Chistodoulos observed that relations between various Orthodox churches, even the autocephalus ones, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate were "protecting them from the temptation of becoming simply conventional institutions".

    "The Church of Greece is looking forward to a more effective and extensive cooperation with you, and is ready to respond to your challenges and initiatives for humanity's better future," the Archbishop replied to Patriarch Vartholomeos' welcoming address yesterday.

    Vartholomeos underlined the Patriarchate's great pleasure in welcoming the Autocephalus Church of Greece's new Archbishop,in his first visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which started on Saturday.

    The Archbishop's visit, the first abroad since his election last April, puts an end to several years of cool relations between the Patriarchate and the Autocephalus Church of Greece, according to reports.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Pangalos focuses on Greek-Turkish,EU-Turkish difficulties in `Cumhurriyet` interview

    ANKARA 15/06/1998 (ANA - A. Abatzis)

    Foreign Minister The odoros Pangalos noted that problems in Turkey's relations with Greece and Europe originate in Ankara's refusal to recognise the International Court at The Hague's jurisdiction.

    "Turkey will be asked, during its course towards EU membership to recognise the Court," the Turkish daily "Cumhurriyet" reported in an interview with the Greek minister, published yesterday.

    He reiterated that "the sole negotiable issue (between the two countries) is that of the Aegean continental shelf."

    Referring to tension caused by continuous violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighters, Mr. Pangalos said he has repeatedly suggested the following practical solution to his Turkish interlocutors:

    "If you do not accept the Greek 10-mile airspace limit, you can, once a month and on pre-arranged dates, hold such flights, but on condition you declare the reason in advance. If this occurs, then the daily unpleasant incidents with interceptions will disappear."

    Athens News Agency

    [04] First conference of Balkan state broadcasters concludes

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    The first conference of Balkan nations' state broadcasters, organised at the initiative of the Greek Radio and Television (ERT), ended in Halkidiki on Saturday with participants unanimously approving a text on promoting cultural, economic and ed ucational relations among such agencies.

    Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas said the historical and cultural heritage of Balkan peoples should become a criterion of knowledge and responsibility, in order to allow the "successful turning of a new page in history."

    Participants also decided that such a conference be organised annually in a Balkan state, with Romania's state broadcaster undertaking to host next year's event.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Regional cross-border cooperation the subject of one-day seminar

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Cooperation in the Balkans on a regional cross-border level was the subject of a one-day meeting in Komotini on Saturday, organised by the departments of eastern Macedonia-Thrace and central Macedonia.

    The meeting, attended by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos, as well as local and Bulgarian officials, heard that the EU was promoting the cross-border cooperation and socio-economic participation by regions, a framework that could include such cooperation in the Balkans. However, as Mr. Petsalnikos stressed, success of cross-border cooperation needed specific decisions, as well as infrastructure projects. NICOSIA (ANA) P Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos arrived yesterday in Cyprus for a three-day visit.

    Mr. Constantopoulos, who heads a Synaspismos delegation, will be received by President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, House of Representatives Speaker Spyros Kyprianou and will meet with leaders of Cyprus' political parties.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Two Greek F-16s to participate in NATO exercise over Albania, FYROM

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Two Hellenic Air Force F-16 fighter jets will take part in today's NATO exercise over Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), according to reports.

    In total, 40 planes (fighters, interceptors, refuelling and early warning planes, etc.) as well as helicopters will be involved in the exercise.

    AWACS planes stationed at the NATO base in Aktio may also participate, a decision resting with the commander of the alliance's south Europe wing.

    According to reports, the two Greek warplanes will either fly to Italy and be stationed at a NATO base there, or will take off from the Nea Aghialos base to join other NATO jets in carrying out the mission before returning.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Athens responds to Paris comments on EU-Cyprus relations

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Greece on Saturday said that France's attempt to overthrow rules with which the EU's functions will not be accepted.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to statements by French foreign ministry spokeswoman Catherine Colonna on Friday implying that EU- Cyprus negotiations should be reconsidered, noted:

    "France is attempting to overturn the rules with which the EU operates. This policy is easily interpreted. It will not, however, be accepted, because the EU is a cooperation that serves principles and promotes communal interest...and we will not allow it to be transformed into an intransparent bazaar," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Laliotis concludes tour of Mount Athos

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, who ended a three-day visit to Mount Athos on Saturday, expressed his satisfaction over works carried out at the autonomous monastic community as part of the "Athos Programme."

    He also reiterated that the programme, whose aim is to restore, preserve and protect Mount Athos' monasteries, was an obligation by the state towards the unique religious and spiritual centre.

    The programme's first phase, 1994-2000, has a cost about 20 billion drachmas, with works currenty being carried out in 18 monasteries. The second phase will be extended to 2005.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] New ONNED president elected

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Yiannis Economou was elected as the new president of New Democracy's Youth Group (ONNED) with an overwhelming majority against rival Eftychis Vardoulakis, during the group's 4th congress over the weekend in Patra.

    "This congress has neither winners or losers, but co-fighters for ONNED's new course, for making ONNED active", Mr. Economou said after the announcement of results on Saturday.

    Yesterday afternoon participants at the congress took a vote to elect the group's new central committee, as well as its representation on main opposition ND's central committee and the election of ONNED delegates to the ND congress.

    Results were expected this morning, but according to estimates, candidates on the side of the newly elected president are likely to dominate.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Karamanlis warns internal party dissidents

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Saturday warned all ND dissidents not to "stop the party's course".

    Addressing a ND meeting in Ilia prefecture, western Peloponnese, Mr. Karamanlis also called on citizens to "ally with ND", while he accused the government of over-reacting to non-appointed public school teachers' protests over the past few days.

    "I never adopt excessive demands...but the worse was the way the Simitis government reacted. It pushed things to an extreme point of violence, thus proving that it has become an enemy of the citizen," Mr. Karamanlis added.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] 'Teen deputies' hold sessions in Parliament

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Major national issues as well as education, the environment and the economy were some of the issues young students considered in yesterday's sessions of the "Youth Parliament's" committees.

    Most prominent among the young deputies were those hailing from border regions, northern Epirus, Cyprus and expatriate Greek communities.

    Concerns over various sectors of public life dominated discussions, even touching on the issues of tourism, agriculture and shipping. Committees are scheduled to continue sessions this morning.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Five first-place Greek finishes in second day of Balkan Games

    BELGRADE 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek mens' and womens' track and field teams picked up five gold medals, five silver and two bronze medals at the second day of the Balkan Games, held in the Yugoslav capital.

    Among the first-place Greek winners were Papasotiriou in the heptathlon and Tsentemidou in the shotput, for the women. In the mens' events, Yentekos was first in the hammer throw; Dimotsios in the 200-metre dash and Lenis in the triple jump.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Medical symposium considers viagra, drug's sideffects

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    The latest "Viagra" pill is neither an innocent medicine, nor a panacea for male impotency, researchers at the 1st Balkan Symposium of Andrology were told over the weekend.

    The medical conference ended in Alexandroupouli yesterday. It was organised by Dimokritos University's Urology and Andrology faculty.

    The meeting, which looked into recent medical advances in the field of male impotency and low fertility, heard research information that viagra - manufactured and distributed by the multinational Pfeizer - is a drug that can cause certain implications, while massive advertising should cease.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Third day of teachers' exams marked by fewer clashes,larger turnout

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Nine people were arrested in Athens yesterday after riot police again moved in to disperse protesters for a third day, as unappointed educators and their supporters tried to block candidates from taking newly introduced teachers' appointment exams in several cities.

    Protesters were joined mostly by groups of college students and construction workers, while police said that "anarchist elements" had also "infiltrated the rallies".

    In the most serious incident, shop windows were smashed and cars vandalised as riot police fired tear gas to disperse a 2,000-strong crowd at a central Athens examination centre on Patission Avenue, while two firebombs were thrown at a Commercial Bank branch, causing extensive damage.

    Authorities said they used tear gas to disperse the crowd after protesters pelted them with rocks and other objects.

    On its part, the education ministry said there had been a higher turnout among registered candidates at yesterday's exams throughout the country, reaching 70 per cent against 55.8 per cent on Friday and 59.47 per cent on Saturday. The final day of exams is today.

    Meanwhile, the Union of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) called a 24-hour strike at schools for today and said it would hold a protest rally later in the day to condemn police reaction to protesters, as well as to decide further action.

    The government wants substitute and part-time public school teachers to take exams for permanent appointment in public schools, reforming the previous system of giving positions to those with graduation seniority on a waiting list (epetirida).

    Some teachers have worked part-time or as substitutes for more than 10 years while waiting for permanent appointments. Their representatives have accused the government of hypocrisy by suddenly making them take exams after allowing them to teach for up to decade, in some instances.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Bust unveiled to veteran politician Kanellopoulos

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    The unveiling of a bust of politician, author and journalist Athanasios Kanellopoulos in his birthplace of Andritsaina, Ilia prefecture, was attended on Saturday by President Kostis Stephanopoulos, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, J ustice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos, area officials and many local residents.

    A memorial service was earlier officiated by three area Metropolitans.

    In a speech before the unveiling ceremony by the bust's creator, Eirini Hariati, Mr. Stephanopoulos said he shared a common political career with the veteran politician, whom he described as an important figure in modern- day Greek politics and a signifi cant loss for the nation.

    Mr. Karamanlis stressed that Kanellopoulos was a man of distinction, very educated and with a well-known volume of works as a writer as well as an extensive contribution to the country's public life.

    Other short addresses were also delivered by Mr. Yiannopoulos and editor Christos Pasalaris, who read out an article by Kanellopoulos.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Papaioannou denies press report on labour changes

    Athens 15/06/1998 (ANA)

    Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou on Saturday denied a press report that a ministry draft bill on labour regulations contains provisions likely to spark new confrontations with labour unions.

    "Those forecasting new fronts and upheavals or seeking to create a climate of anxiety and insecurity among working people will be refuted," he said.

    The report, published in the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia," claimed the bill provides for the possibility of increasing work hours up to 10 a day, part-time employment for 20 per cent of staff, conversion of full to part- time employment, and local agree ments abolishing minimum wages for unskilled labour.

    He said such proposals had only appeared in working texts for consideration by the ministry, and that a draft text of the bill, aiming to better codify labour relations and promote employment, would be put to the unions for consideration and dialogue be fore being tabled in Parliament.

    "The government has committed itself to bringing before Parliament a bill implementing order in labour relations and introducing control mechanisms for protection of labour rights, with security for working people and boosting employment - particularly among the young -upmost in mind," he said.

    The bill will be submitted to interested parties within June, he added.

    Athens News Agency

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