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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece to adopt EMU-oriented budget in throes of market turmoil
  • [02] Industrial output jumps 6.4 pct in June yr/yr
  • [03] Greek stocks slump, dragged down by turmoil in world markets
  • [04] State gets around Dr 50 bln from new tax-free bonds
  • [05] German tourist arrivals in Greece up 10 pct in 1998
  • [06] Greek mutual fund assets post 21.23 pct rise this year
  • [07] New committee meets to find ways of aiding trade
  • [08] Greece, Tunisia sign defence agreement
  • [09] US stand has no relation with Denktash proposal,Greece says
  • [10] Moscow rejects Denktash proposal for Cyprus confederation
  • [11] Yilmaz voices pessimism over future of Greek-Turkish relations
  • [12] PM optimistic on outcome of municipal elections
  • [13] Greek consulate in Nis
  • [14] ND leader chairs party meeting
  • [15] Simitis to inaugurate TIF today
  • [16] Greek nationals among dead in Swissair plane crash
  • [17] Constantopoulos meets Bank of Greece governor
  • [18] Medical conference in Kefalonia
  • [19] All-female fishing cooperative
  • [20] Youths at Council of Europe anniversary
  • [21] Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
  • [22] Bill on digital TV tabled
  • [23] Interior ministry draft bill
  • [24] OTE to participate in transatlantic cable
  • [25] 'Value of Education in Journalism'

  • [01] Greece to adopt EMU-oriented budget in throes of market turmoil

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government plans to stick to its target of joining European economic and monetary union by January 1, 2001, reflected in planning for next year's budget, amid a financial crisis rocking world markets.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters yesterday that economic policy for 1999 would keep the same targets as this year, which are cutting inflation and deficits, shrinking the public sector, and making structural changes to the economy.

    "This is the only right recipe," Mr. Reppas said.

    He was speaking after a meeting of the inner cabinet with the ruling PASOK party's political bureau focusing on economic policy for 1999, due to be announced by Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Thessaloniki tomorrow.

    The government was concerned at the financial fallout from Russia's crisis, and could not rule out the outbreak of renewed turmoil; but any fresh eruption could, to some extent, be controlled, Mr. Reppas said.

    The government felt that domestic markets and the public had reacted maturely to the crisis, and the country had the resources to handle the pressure, mainly due to the drachma's membership of the European Union's exchange rate mechanism.

    Government officials said this summer that they expected details of the 1999 budget to be finalised in October.

    Under the constitution, the budget has to be submitted to parliament by the end of November.

    Mr. Simitis, who has repeatedly pledged to keep to the same EMU-oriented policies, would also outline the government's plans to help financially weaker groups in his policy speech tomorrow, the spokesman said.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Industrial output jumps 6.4 pct in June yr/yr

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Industrial output jumped 6.4 percent year-on-year in June, contributing to a 4.5 percent rise in January-June against the same period in 1997, the Greek National Statistics Service (GNSS) said yesterday.

    GNSS attributed the increase to a 13.8 percent devaluation of the drachma in March that boosted exports, in turn stimulating output; inflows of European Union project funding, and a rise in exports to eastern countries, especially in the first half of the year.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Greek stocks slump, dragged down by turmoil in world markets

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended sharply lower yesterday hit by renewed turbulence in international markets as uncertainty rose over the impact of a Russian financial crisis on the global economy.

    Following a 5.15 rise on Wednesday, the general index ended 3.79 percent off at 2,117.11 points in light-to-moderate trade with turnover at 44.8 billion drachmas.

    Sector indices lost ground. Banks fell 3.69 percent, Insurance eased 1.22 percent, Investment ended 3.49 percent off, Leasing plunged 8.0 percent at limit down, Industrials fell 4.28 percent, Construction dropped 2.92 percent, Miscellaneous ended 6.0 pe rcent off and Holding dropped 3.56 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 4.22 percent off. Bucking the trend, the FTSE/ASE 20 blue-chip index rose 3.42 percent to finish at 1,296.26 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 208 to 34 with another 10 issues unchanged.

    Keranis, Mosholios Chemicals, Mouriadis, Dimitriadis, Daring, Commercial Invest, Ideal, Bank of Central Greece and Aspis scored the biggest percentage gains.

    Sysware, Alpha Leasing, Kambas, Hellenic Mills, Ionian Hotels, Boutaris, ETBA Leasing and Fourlis suffered the heaviest losses hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit down.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 40,480 drachmas, Ergobank at 25,000, Alpha Credit Bank at 22,395, Ionian Bank at 10,700, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,700, Delta Dairy at 3,150, Intracom at 11,000, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,650 and Titan Cement at 18,705.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] State gets around Dr 50 bln from new tax-free bonds

    Athems 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The state has collected around 50 billion drachmas from the sale of new savings bonds aimed at retail investors that were put on the market in a public offer, according to early estimates released by the finance ministry yesterday.

    The two-year fixed-income bonds dated September 2 have denominations ranging from 10,000 drachmas to 15 million drachmas, and are tax-free if held until maturity, but can be liquidated before then. The rate until expiry is 10.75 percent.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] German tourist arrivals in Greece up 10 pct in 1998

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    German tourist arrivals in Greece by the end of the year will show an increase of more than 10 percent against 1997, the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) said yesterday.

    The favourite holiday destinations for Germans, who showed the highest rate of increase among visitors to Greece, were Crete, Rhodes and Corfu.

    According to Platon Davaki, who heads GNTO's Germany office, sales of package holidays to Greece rose by 5.0-18 percent in line with the size of tour operators.

    Embattled national carrier Olympic Airways also posted a slight rise in passengers from Germany, despite cancelling around 90 flights so far due to strikes and staff shortages.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Greek mutual fund assets post 21.23 pct rise this year

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Assets of Greece's 180 mutual funds totalled 8.7 trillion drachmas on August 31, showing a 21.23 percent rise from the start of the year, the Union of Institutional Investors said in a statement yesterday.

    The composition of the market by assets per category was money market funds at 66.22 percent; fixed income at 21.03 percent; combined at 8.72 percent; and equity at 4.02 percent.

    There are 30 mutual fund management firms operating in Greece.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] New committee meets to find ways of aiding trade

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    A new committee comprising government officials and representatives of industry and trade met for the first time in Thessaloniki yesterday to find solutions to problems hindering domestic exporters.

    The committee, called Hellaspro, authorised the launch of a study to identify operational and procedural problems at all border posts used in freight transport as a base for simplifying the system.

    Representatives on the committee include members of the foreign and national economy ministries, Hellenic External Trade Board, Hellenic Railways Organisation and Federation of Greek Industry.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Greece, Tunisia sign defence agreement

    TUNIS 04/09/1998 (ANA - M. Savva)

    Greece and Tunisia yesterday signed an agreement providing for cooperation in the defence and military sectors.

    Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, winding up a three-day official visit to Tunisia, signed the agreement, which provides for joint military exercises and defines conditions for other forms of cooperation, such as in the defence industry.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the countries of the Mediterranean could contribute decisively to the maintenance of stability and security in the region, overcoming the problems arising at a localised level.

    A joint Greek-Tunisian military committee will examine the details of the agreement which aims, Tunisian Defence Minister Ben Yahia said, "not only at defence but at peace in the region of the Mediterranean."

    In statements to reporters, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the issues of security and economic growth were linked, saying: "Economic progress can be achieved when there is collective security in the entire region".

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos criticised European governments for not doing more to make "words deeds" and that all the talk about European and Mediterranean cooperation had come to little.

    The defence minister held talks with a number of Tunisian government officials on bilateral, regional and international issues, including the Cypriot problem and the need to respect United Nations Security Council resolutions.

    In his meeting with Tunisian President Ben Ali, he asked for Tunis's support for Greece's bid to sit on the Security Council as a non-permanent member.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] US stand has no relation with Denktash proposal,Greece says

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece said yesterday that there was no relation between the official stance of the United States and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's proposal for a Cyprus confederation.

    Commenting on a US State Department's statement issued late Wednesday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said:

    "There is no relation whatsoever between the official US position with the position formulated by Mr. Denktash. Mr. Denkash proposes a confederation while the US officially spoke once again for the need of a solution with the creation of one federal, b icommunal, bizonal state."

    US reaction : WASHINGTON (ANA-T.Ellis/CNA) - The US said that it has not moved away from its declared objective to establish a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus, a goal which the US administration is working to achieve.

    The statement, by a US State Department spokesman, comes in response to a proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash earlier this week to establish a Cyprus confederation with "two sovereign and equal states".

    The governments of Greece and Cyprus rejected the proposal as "unacceptable" and said Mr. Denktash's demands were "absurd and contrary to the high-level agreements (concluded by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in 1977 and 1979), the UN resolutions and the recent Security Council resolution which reaffirms the basis for settlement talks.

    "We are looking at the proposal. The US continue to support the objective of a bizonal, bicommunal federation agreed to in the 1977 and 1979 high level agreements", the State Department spokesman said.

    He noted the US administration continues to "work actively to bring the two sides into a negotiating process to reach this goal".

    "We urge the sides to focus their attention on the core issues of the Cyprus dispute and to prepare themselves for compehensive negotiations", the spokesman added.

    He pointed out that there is no useful purpose in discussing various proposals in the media and added "our focus remains our efforts through quiet diplomatic channels to bring about a settlement to the Cyprus problem".

    Other permanent members of the UN Security Council also reiterated their backing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Mr. Denktash presented his proposal at a press conference on Monday, in the presence of Turkey's Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who was visiting Cyprus' Turkish-occupied areas illegally.

    Kranidiotis : DURBAN (CNA/ANA) - Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis described US reaction to the Turkish proposal as "not particularly satisfactory", pointing out it could have been "more positive".

    Mr. Kranidiotis, in Durban for contacts on the side lines of the 12th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement to promote Greece's bid for a non- permanent seat in the UN Security Council, next October, met yesterday with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    Commenting on the proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and already rejected by the Cyprus government and political parties, Mr. Kranidiotis stressed it did not help achieve peace nor the efforts for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He said the Turkish positions outlined in the proposal, that calls for a confederation of "two peoples and two states", are not new, adding that "Turkey has simply revealed its true face".

    Mr.Kranidiotis believes the proposal was put forward because "Turkey feels isolated in the European world and has realised that Cyprus' course of accession to the European Union (EU) is irreversible."

    He added that Mr. Denktash's proposal "looks to the past and not to the future" and described the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leadership as "aging".

    The deputy foreign minister said "Turkey is becoming all the more isolated from the EU."

    He stressed that "the international community and organisations, the US and the EU should now clearly send the message to the Turkish side that they will not accept the partition of Cyprus or recognise the consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion and o ccupation, nor would they recognise Denktash's illegal regime".

    Asked whether initial reaction to the proposal indicates there is such a prospect, Mr. Kranidiotis expressed the view that the majority of states would not accept it.

    However, he described the reaction of certain countries, especially the US, as "not particularly satisfactory", pointing out that "they could have been more positive."

    He called on the US administration to be less "short-sighted" in respect to its political and strategic policies.

    Referring to his meeting with the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kranidiotis said he briefed Mr. Annan on Greece's positions regarding the Turkish proposal and asked him for a more active role in the implementation of relative UN resolutions. "The UN Secreta ry General said he was concerned about the Cyprus problem, which he considers as one of his priorities," he said.

    Mr. Kranidiotis expressed satisfaction with the reference on the Cyprus problem expected to be included in the NAM Summit's final communique, pointing out that it could provide a "good basis" in case Cyprus decides to appeal to the UN General Assembly.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Moscow rejects Denktash proposal for Cyprus confederation

    MOSCOW 04/09/1998 (ANA/CNA)

    Russia stressed yesterday that the proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the establishment of a confederation of two separate states on the island, contradicts many UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    Moscow also said it is unproductive and constitutes yet another effort to gain recognition of the self-proclaimed illegal regime in the Turkish- occupied areas.

    Russian Foreign Ministry senior spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said in a statement that his country consistently calls for a rapid resumption of the intercommunal talks.

    He said one cannot ignore the fact that the proposal contradicts UN resolutions, as well as high-level agreements signed by Mr. Denktash himself in 1977 and 1979.

    The high-level agreements and the UN resolutions envisage for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The Russian spokesman recalled recent UN Security Council resolution 1179, which among others reaffirms that a Cyprus settlement should be based on a single state with a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship.

    Mr. Rakhmanin said Russia supports the resumption of intercommunal talks, the basis of which has been determined clearly by the international community.

    He added that the aim of the talks is to reach a stable and just solution, serving the interests of all Cypriots, Greeks and Turks.

    The Turkish proposal for a Cyprus confederation has already been turned down by the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and China, insisting on the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal fed eration as provided by the UN resolutions and the high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Yilmaz voices pessimism over future of Greek-Turkish relations

    BONN 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz expressed "pessimism" over the development of Greek-Turkish relations in a televised interview with "Deutsche Welle", making it clear at the same time that Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot Denktash regime int ended to speed up "incorporation processes" for Turkish-occupied territory in Cyprus to Turkey.

    A part of Mr. Yilmaz's interview, which was based primarily on relations between his country and Germany and Turkey's European prospect, refers to Greek-Turkish relations and the issue of Cyprus.

    "The European Union's decision (to include Cyprus among candidate countries for accession and start accession negotiations) constitutes a violation of the founding treaty of the Republic of Cyprus. Neither we (Turkey) nor the Turkish Cypriot government on the island will participate in accession negotiations. On the contrary, we will speed up accession processes between Turkey and the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'. And we are doing this already. This violation of the founding treaty, this mistak en decision by the EU will ultimately lead to the final partitioning of the island," he said.

    "I met with Mr. Simitis for the first time in Crete last December. I got the feeling that he could be a good interlocutor. However, it is a fact that Mr. Simitis, probably under pressure from the domestic situation in Greece and indeed his own party, ab uses the position of Greece in the European Union as a means of pressure against Turkey. Under these circumstances, I am more pessimistic over the future of Greek-Turkish relations," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] PM optimistic on outcome of municipal elections

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis predicted last night that results of October's municipal and prefectural elections will be good for his ruling socialist PASOK party.

    Mr. Simitis visited the offices of PASOK's Prefectural Committee B3 in Agia Paraskevi in Athens last night and held talks with local cadres on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the founding of the PASOK party.

    Referring to the party's founding and course, Mr. Simitis said that the small circle of persons in 1974 became a big party which determined and is continuing to determine developments in the country thanks to the personality of Andreas Papandreou (the party's late founder and former prime minister) and the effort made by its members and cadres.

    Mr. Simitis also said that there are no differences between 1974 and 1998 and that it is a mistake to compare that time with today. He said the target remained the same and is the transformation of society, adding that it must be understood that great changes have taken place from 1974 until today. He further went on to say that targets remain the same and are none other than the implementation, with continuation and consistency, of Democratic Socialism.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Greek consulate in Nis

    BELGRADE 04/09/1998 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    A Greek consulate will be inaugurated in the city of Nis today to cover the region of southern Serbia as well as Kosovo.

    Greece is the first country to open a consulate in Nis to facilitate Yugoslav tourists and businessmen wishing to obtain visas.

    It will also serve the big Greek community in Nis, composed primarily of students and businessmen, and will contribute towards the development of economic and cultural relations between Serbia and Greece.

    The inauguration will be conducted by the Foreign Ministry's Administration and Organisation Secretary General Constantine Zoras in the presence of the Mayor of Nis Zoran Zivkovic and other Serb officials.

    The Greek consulate in Nis will function as a branch of the Greek consulate in Belgrade until its establishment is ratified by the Greek Parliament, and will be controlled by officials from that consulate.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] ND leader chairs party meeting

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis held a meeting with colleagues at party headquarters yesterday and adopted the tactic of "not replying" to statements by former ND Prime Minister and current ND Honourary President Constantine Mitsotakis with which he virtually questioned his leadership capabilities.

    When asked yesterday whether there is a worthy prime minister in Parliament, ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said "no comment."

    ND cadres claimed that if Mr. Karamanlis replied to Mr. Mitsotakis a new round of conflict and friction would open and would disorientate from developments in the economy and the confrontation expected to take place between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Mr. Karamanlis due to the opening of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    However, the possibility cannot be ruled out of Mr. Karamanlis replying indirectly to Mr. Mitsotakis on the issue during the tour of the Arcadia prefecture he will start today and conclude in the Corinthia prefecture on Sunday and after previously visit ing the Messinia prefecture.

    Former ND leader Miltiades Evert also intervened in the issue, criticising Mr. Mitsotakis indirectly and saying that "on the eve of the municipal elections all cadres must take care not to harm the party's overall effort with their statements."

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that statements by Mr. Mitsotakis, who referred to former prime minister Andreas Papandreou and the political situation currently prevailing in the country, do not contain anything new.

    Mr. Reppas said that it was usual for leaders of the conservative party to combat the leaders of the democratic party when they are alive and embrace their memory after they have passed away.

    He said that Mr. Mitsotakis' accession to the ranks of those respecting Andreas Papandreou was pleasant even if it was made out of selfishness.

    In an interview with the "Planet" radio station, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that "politics mean planning the future and not reconsidering the past."

    Avoiding any comment on possible political innuendos in Mr. Mitsotakis' statements, Mr. Constantopoulos accused the two major parties of introversion and "politics with terms of summit scenarios, moves by cadres and balancing its internal conflicts."

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Simitis to inaugurate TIF today

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) will be inaugurated at 8 p.m. today by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is expected to arrive in the city at 6:15 p.m. at the head of a large number of government members.

    The inauguration ceremony, due to take place at the "Ioannis Vellidis" convention centre, will be attended by US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mary Fran Kirchner, the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister of Cyprus, the Ukrainian Public Order Minister, the same country's International Economic Relations and Agriculture Undersecretaries and the Polish Finance Undersecretary.

    The pavilions of the 63rd TIF will be open as of 10 a.m. tomorrow and the fair will come to a close on the night of September 14.

    As is the case every year, a speech by the prime minister at a dinner given in his honour by the administration of HELEXPO tomorrow is expected with great interest. The speech will start at 9 p.m. and will be given live TV coverage and will focus on the main points of government economic policy over the next 12 months.

    Mr. Simitis and government members accompanying him will also be in Thessaloniki at noon on Sunday when, as is also the case every year, the prime minister will give a press conference on all issues. Earlier, he will visit HELEXPO's administration offices and pavilions of the 63rd TIF.

    This year's TIF will be dedicated to the participation of the People's Republic of China, whose state pavilion is one of the biggest and covers 500 square metres.

    China's participation is not limited solely to exhibits but also includes cultural events among the many parallel events to be organised during the 63rd TIF.

    The state participation of the Ukraine (800 square metres) is also big. HELEXPO's administration had signed a cooperation agreement with it last year anticipating reciprocity in providing exhibition space and the exchange of exhibition know-how. State participations amount to 18, while hundreds of Greek firms, a big number of foreign companies from scores of countries, ministries, organisations, agencies and banks will also be participating in the 63rd TIF.

    In a message on the occasion, President Kostis Stephanopoulos stresses the importance of the TIF for the economic life of both the country and the Balkans.

    He said that services the TIF can provide for the Greek economy are valuable "particularly today when our country is making an important, difficult and nationally-impera-tive effort at economic restructuring, development and progress with the ultimate target of accession to Europe's Economic and Monetary Union for the prosperity of the Greek people."

    As is the case every year, wishes for the success of the TIF were sent from the Fanar. In a message to be read during today's inaugural ceremony, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos expresses regret that he will be unable to attend the inauguration, to which he is invited every year, due to commitments undertaken.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Greek nationals among dead in Swissair plane crash

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    A Swissair representative in Greece said yesterday that three Greek nationals and another five of Greek origin were on board the Swissair airliner that crashed with 229 passengers and crew aboard off the Canadian coast early yesterday.

    Names of the dead were not released until families were notified, Swissair Athens' head of public relations Laura Filadelfeous said.

    Nineteen passengers, including an infant, aboard the Flight 111 were scheduled to board a connecting flight from Geneva to Athens, she added.

    The Swissair wide-bodied MD-11, Flight 111 en route from New York to Geneva, crashed into the sea off the southern coast of Nova Scotia at around 3 a.m. Greek time on Thursday. There appeared to be no survivors. Ms Filadelfeous said Swissair was providing a special flight for those relatives of the dead wishing to travel to Halifax. The flight leaves Athens today at 10 a.m.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Constantopoulos meets Bank of Greece governor

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos and the party's Parliamentary representative Yiannis Dragasakis held talks yesterday with Bank of Greece Governor Loukas Papadimos on the international economic crisis and its side-effects on Greece.

    In a statement afterwards, Mr. Constantopoulos said the irrational functioning of the world market indicates a lack of structural fabrics in economies, as well as failure by existing political institutions to exercise control and intervention, resulting in the collapse of the savings and sacrifices of peoples in their entirety.

    Referring to Greece, Mr. Constantopoulos said that the Greek economy and society are experiencing difficult situations due to "mistaken options."

    "The one-way streets and one-sided political options are now leading to deadlock and the claim is arising now for necessary control and intervention institutions," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Medical conference in Kefalonia

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The international natural medicine and physical therapy conference entitled "Chronic Illnesses" begins today in Kefalonia and will be attended by more than 1,000 doctors, students, nurses and other medical professionals.

    Greek and foreign university scholars will address the event.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] All-female fishing cooperative

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    A pilot programme introducing the first ever in Greece all-female cooperative in fishing, until now a strictly all-male profession, has been announced in the coastal town of Kavala, northern Greece.

    The programme, according to Ms Domna Voutyra, General Director of the Development Company of Kavala Local Administration, will be launched with the exclusive participation of female candidates aged 23 to 50 years, who will form the EU subsidised coopera tive after they complete training in contemporary fishing techniques, business management, fishing cooperative finances and legislation.

    Ms. Voutyra told ANA that findings of a social research conducted on the female crews to staff the coastal fishing boats "have revealed the candidates' love for the fishing trade and their unchallenged equality to men".

    The pilot-cooperative candidates will participate in a two-day international meeting on Mediterranean fishing and fishing cooperatives that begins in Kavala today.

    The meeting is organised by RECORMED, a network between fishing research centers and regional authorities on the Med, and will be attended by the French INFREMER and the Italian ICRAM research centres as well as the University of Barcelona, Spain, and t he Fishing Research Institute of Nea Peramos, Kavala.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Youths at Council of Europe anniversary

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    A delegation of seven Greek youths will represent Greece at the " Council of Europe of the youth" next year and will participate at the 50th anniversary since the establishment of the Council of Europe.

    The Greek Parliament has the responsibility for the selection of the seven youths, while eligibility is open to those who can speak fluently both English and French and were members of the 3rd Youth Parliament, which convened earlier in the year.

    The agenda of the " Council of Europe of the youth" includes social, political and human rights issues.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    Thessaloniki Film Festival (TFF) director Michel Demopoulos yesterday announced the establishment of the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival.

    Greek state television, the European Documentary Sector, Media II and the Culture Ministry are co-founding members of the new festival along with the TFF.

    He said that the first run of the festival was set for March 15 to 21, 1999, while he added that the art director of the new institution will be Dimitris Eipidis.

    Mr. Demopoulos said that the festival was entitled "Images of the 21st century", while he added that it will not be competitive.

    He noted that Greek Radio and Television S.A. (ERT) will aid the festival by purchasing films from international and local distributors.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Bill on digital TV tabled

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The bill on digital TV was tabled in Parliament with certain amendments yesterday. It had previously been given to various bodies for observation and comment several weeks ago.

    The bill is titled "For the provision of digital radio and TV services and similar clauses" and contains 21 articles defining the country's new digital "landscape and environment."

    A report by Press and Mass Media Minister Dimitris Reppas tabled together with the bill said that "Proceeding with the enactment of a specialised legislative framework for providing digital radio and TV services, our country is entering the informatics society equipped with all the guarantees which are necessary for the democratic, transparent and individual-focused provision by the electronic mass media of new informational, educational and entertainment services for Greek citizens."

    The report places particular emphasis on the new operational form imposed by technological changes and stressed that "this new operational rapprochement now constitutes an actual fact in our country as well."

    In a statement on the issue, main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos condemned the government's option of having the bill on digital TV debated by a Parliamentary summer recess committee, adding that the sole debate that can take place and be acceptable to ND is at plenum level.

    On its part, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) considers that with the bill on digital TV tabled in Parliament the government is delivering "the sector of crucial significance to a handfull of monopolies, undermining ERT in parallel which it substanti vely places outside the digital (sector)."

    ERT recruitment notice under fire : An announcement by the Athens Journalists Union ESHEA yesterday said a recruitment notice by the Greek Radio and TV network ERT for 160 journalist jobs with specific duration labour contracts does not safeguard the jobs of those working with the company for many years.

    ESHEA accused ERT's administration of making the notice with the exclusive purpose of depriving of their jobs hundreds of journalists working for the company for many years.

    It has made it clear to ERT's administration that for the issue to be settled the safeguarding of the jobs of ERT's longtime journalists was a precondition.

    ESHEA called on journalists currently employed by ERT wishing to claim labour contracts to submit applications, not to succumb to pressures by the company and to be prepared to participate in whatever mobilisation aimed at the satisfaction of their claims.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Interior ministry draft bill

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    A draft bill by the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Ministry on "Collective negotiations in public administration, permanent status for those having contracts of indefinite duration and other clauses" was publicised yesterday.

    According to Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, the bill's important points include ending renewable 8-month contracts for seasonal staff, the granting of permanent status to staff serving in private law jobs with contracts of indefinite duration,resolving the problem of about 1,850 people who were runners-up in a nationwide test held in 1995, ending the hiring of people related to employees and the introduction of informatics sectors in the public sector based on a programme budgeted at 500 billio n drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] OTE to participate in transatlantic cable

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation OTE will participate in the international underwater cable TAT-14 which links Europe with the United States and increases the capacity currently linking it to the US 50 times.

    The General Director of Commercial Affairs Mr. Kargados signed on behalf of OTE in Paris on Wednesday for the organisation's participation in a joint venture establishing the new transatlantic cable.

    The joint venture establishing the new cable comprises 50 telecommunications companies including AT&T, Cable and Wireless, Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom and Sprint. They jointly signed an agreement for construction and maintenance for the establishme nt of a new cable optical fibre network which will link the US with Europe.

    The TAT-14 will have a length of 15,000 km and will cost less than 1.5 billion dollars. The Japanese company KDD-SCS will undertake to construct the project which is expected to become operational at the end of 2000.

    Having a 2.3 per cent stake in the joint venture, OTE is one of the important shareholders. It will pay over 32 million dollars (about 9 billion drachmas) and will acquire an additional capacity of 1,008 2 Megabait circuits with the US which is a capaci ty which is 50 times greater than its current linkage with the US.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] 'Value of Education in Journalism'

    Athens 04/09/1998 (ANA)

    The International Women-Journalists' Union (IWJU) will hold the "Value of Education in Journalism of the 21st Century" conference in Athens on Sept. 14 to 17.

    The conference will focus on ethics, the responsibility of journalists to the public, Internet and the effects of globalisation on journalism.

    The 90 participants from Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States elect the new governing body of the union at the end of the conference.

    Athens News Agency

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