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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-10

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] National Bank of Greece shareholders endorse merger with subsidiary
  • [02] Greek stocks hold impetus, again finish higher
  • [03] Rise in jobless figures due to rush for subsidised training, jobs
  • [04] Greenpeace campaigners again try to block dumping of toxic waste
  • [05] National economy minister to stay on the job
  • [06] National Bank of Greece chief denies talk of minister's job
  • [07] Ministers hold talks on urban transport issues
  • [08] Ferrari, SuperFast Ferries and Campari to stage happenings
  • [09] Consul notes improvement in Greece-France trade relations
  • [10] 'Mytilineos' obtains substantial share of 'METKA'
  • [11] ND leader begins three-day visit to Thessaloniki tomorrow
  • [12] Retail sales prices of gasoline to decrease
  • [13] Agriculture minister addresses European Auditing Convention
  • [14] Move to safeguard voters from influence
  • [15] 'Partnership '98' conference to be inaugurated today
  • [16] Greek sugar company reports losses
  • [17] Commission reiterates intention to curb education funds
  • [18] Pangalos says satisfied with results of tripartite meeting
  • [19] Mediterranean culture ministers conference in Rhodes Sept. 25- 27
  • [20] US ambassador to tour eastern Aegean islands
  • [21] Pangalos says he favours institution of deputy prime minister
  • [22] Tsohatzopoulos voices concern over nature of Turkey-Israel military cooperation
  • [23] Archbishop Christodoulos receives Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives
  • [24] FM to meet US envoy for Cyprus this afternoon
  • [25] Greece denies any postponement of deployment of Russian missiles on Cyprus
  • [26] Simitis,Arsenis discuss educational issues
  • [27] Yugoslav FM to begin two-day visit to Athens today
  • [28] Papariga speaks of possible early national elections
  • [29] Karamanlis briefed ahead of Thessaloniki visit
  • [30] Attica hospital doctors to stage three-day strike

  • [01] National Bank of Greece shareholders endorse merger with subsidiary

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Shareholders of National Bank of Greece yesterday endorsed the absorption of National Mortgage Bank, a housing loans subsidiary.

    The two banks will have combined assets of over 12.5 trillion drachmas, deposits of 10 trillion drachmas, loans of 3.3 trillion drachmas, and a network of 605 branches at home and more than 100 abroad.

    Shareholders of National Mortgage Bank had approved the absorption on August 20.

    National Bank of Greece governor Theodoros Karatzas told shareholders that joining the two banks' resources, especially their dealing rooms, would cut operating costs, boost performance and allow a stronger presence abroad.

    No redundancies would be ordered due to the absorption because staff would be utilised in the new, larger bank's expansion, Mr. Karatzas said.

    Stock allocation would be 1.9 shares of National Mortgage Bank for one each of the parent company, he said.

    National Bank of Greece posted pre-tax profits of 61.7 billion drachmas in January-July, up 63.9 percent from a year earlier.

    The results are after provisions of 24.7 billion drachmas against 20.9 billion in the same period of 1997.

    More provisions totalling 30 billion drachmas are expected by the end of 1998.

    The bank's improved performance was due mainly to a rise in organic profits, progress in a modernisation plan and revitalisation of the bank's loans and holdings portfolio.

    In addition, the rate of increase of operating expenses was contained despite costly investments to modernise the bank's infrastructure, Mr. Karatzas said.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Greek stocks hold impetus, again finish higher

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended higher in moderate trade yesterday after soaring early in the session and then falling as profit-takers elbowed into the market.

    The Athens general index ended 1.55 percent higher at 2,214.23 points in turnover of 47.2 billion drachmas from 30.5 billion drachmas in the previous session. Prices had jumped 3.40 percent in early trade.

    Sector indices scored gains across the board. Banks gained 1.83 percent, Insurance rose 1.68 pct, Investment jumped 1.99 pct, Leasing remained unchanged, Industrials increased 1.38 pct, Construction gained 0.92 pct, Miscellaneous ended 1.68 pct up and H olding rose 1.87 pct.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies rose 2.37 percent.

    Of 254 stocks trade, advances beat declines at 175 to 55 with another 24 issues unchanged.

    Aspis Bank, which made its trading debut yesterday, finished 43.9 percent higher. An eight percent daily volatility limit either way does not apply to new listings.

    Finishing at the eight percent limit up were Bank of Athens (common), Alko, Remek, Singular, Inerga, Keranis (common and preferred), Mouriadis and Lavipharm.

    The day's biggest percentage losers were Mohlos, Daring, General Warehouses (common), Aspis Invest, Intertek, Thessaliki, Eskimo, Emborikos Desmos (common), Yannousis and Fourlis (common).

    National Bank of Greece ended at 41,750 drachmas, Ergobank at 25,345, Alpha Credit Bank at 24,000, Ionian Bank at 10,600, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,895, Delta Dairy at 3,380, Intracom at 10,910, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,720 and Titan Cement at 18,700.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Rise in jobless figures due to rush for subsidised training, jobs

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    A recent sharp rise in unemployment figures is due to the jobless signing on to gain eligibility for vocational training programmes and subsidised jobs, Labour and Welfare Minister Miltiades Papaioannou told reporters yesterday.

    The jobless rate surged to 9.8 percent in June, or 2.86 percentage points higher than the figure for the same month in 1997, hitting a record high for the summer season when unemployment usually drops.

    "This is a positive intervention in the job market, and not a rise in real unemployment," Mr. Papaioannou said.

    He was speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Deputy Labour Minister Christos Protopapas.

    The officials met to discuss progress in the government's action plan to boost employment through subsidised work and training, and to lay down the basic principles of a new 1999-2000 scheme, which is due to be given to the European Union for approval.

    Mr. Papantoniou said employment would become a key factor in the economy in coming years.

    Announcing economic policy for 1999 at the weekend, the prime minister pledged to set a priority on combatting joblessness.

    The government's action plan subsidises the self-employed and employers who hire jobless workers. The scheme covers 60,000 young people aged 20- 27.

    Also offered are vocational training programmes for another 20,000 young people, and subsidised work experience programmes with enterprises for 3, 500 young and unemployed university graduates.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Greenpeace campaigners again try to block dumping of toxic waste

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greenpeace activists yesterday made a new attempt to prevent barges belonging to Larco, a domestic state-run ferronickel producer, from dumping allegedly toxic waste in the sea.

    Costas Dombros, a Greenpeace spokesman, said that several activists had tied themselves to the barges. They had also unfurled banners with slogans against dumping waste in the sea.

    "We are wondering how long the ministries involved will keep silent, refusing to give explanations to the Greek public and the international community about the unacceptable cover they are providing," Mr. Dombros said.

    Twelve Greenpeace activists were released by the coastguard on Tuesday after being detained for taking over Larco's loading facilities near Volos but the activists again boarded the Greenpeace ship MV Sirius, launching a new protest yesterday.

    A public prosecutor on Monday night had ordered their removal from the port which serves Larco's plant at Larymna, and they were detained without being charged.

    Greenpeace's protests are costing Larco 100 million drachmas a day, the company's president Constantine Daskalakis told a news conference.

    Mr. Daskalakis said he feared that the protests would halt operations at Larco's factory, and he questioned Greenpeace's motives for the protest at a time when nickel prices were falling.

    Both Mr. Daskalakis and the plant's union president claimed that the waste was not toxic.

    Greenpeace representatives said the organisation was determined to continue its protest until the authorities banned dumping of the slag.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] National economy minister to stay on the job

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government yesterday denied newspaper reports that National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou's job was on the line.

    "Mr. Papantoniou enjoys the full confidence of the prime minister...There is no such issue," acting government spokesman Yannis Nikolaou told reporters.

    The minister had undertaken the government's economic planning for the coming year, Mr. Nikolaou said.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] National Bank of Greece chief denies talk of minister's job

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    National Bank of Greece governor Theodoros Karatzas yesterday dismissed talk that he would become national economy minister, replacing Mr. Papantoniou.

    Replying to a question at a shareholders' assembly, Mr. Karatzas said: "I will disappoint all those hoping for my early retirement from the bank".

    He said that press reports and other talk of his change of position bore no relation to the truth.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Ministers hold talks on urban transport issues

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou held talks yesterday with Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis and Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou, focusing primarily on the voluntary withdrawal of surplus staff, 134 billion drachmas n eeded from public investments for the restructuring or renewal of the bus fleet and the transfer of 700 people employed in urban transport at present.

    Transport minister denies talk of civil aviation lay-offs : Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis yesterday dismissed press reports that the government was planning mass lay-offs in the Civil Aviation Authority as part of a restructuring plan.

    Modernisation of the agency would boost employment along with turnover and profits, Mr. Mantelis said.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Ferrari, SuperFast Ferries and Campari to stage happenings

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Ferrari,owners of the famous sports car, SuperFast Ferries and Campari are organising a six-day event in Athens with the participation of over 70 Ferrari cars from all over Europe.

    The cars will leave the Italian port of Ancona on September 17 to arrive in Patras 19 hours later aboard a SuperFast ferry, owned by Greek blue-chip Attica Enterprises, which is listed on the Athens bourse.

    Among events planned starting on Friday are races of skill in Alepohori near Megara and then a drive to Athens.

    The Ferraris will park in front of the Kallimarmaro Stadium in central Athens and the Acropolis.

    SuperFast Ferries, Campari, ELPA, Interassistance, Genesis and Pirelli are the main sponsors of the event. The events were announced at a news conference yesterday.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Consul notes improvement in Greece-France trade relations

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday on the occasion of the French pavilion's inauguration at the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), the French consul in Thessaloniki Pierre Vouayeri referred to the continuous improvement in trade relations between Greece and France, the increase in French exports to Greece by 20 per cent in 1997, primarily in the automobile industry and equipment sectors, and the improvement in Greek exports to France, primarily regarding aluminium and textiles products.

    The pavilion has been visited by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos who referred in statements they made to the French Bouygues company which leads a joint venture for the construction of the Thessaloniki Metro.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] 'Mytilineos' obtains substantial share of 'METKA'

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    The "Mytilineos" company now possesses over 20 per cent of the "METKA" company's shares together with its subsidiary Stanmed Trading Company.

    According to a notification made in a letter it addressed to the Athens Stock Exchange, the Mytilineos S.A. company as of August 26, 1998 possesses 1,033,330 shares representing 17.7 per cent of the total amount of capital and its subsidiary possesses 2 70,120 shares, namely 4.8 per cent.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] ND leader begins three-day visit to Thessaloniki tomorrow

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis will start a three-day visit to Thessaloniki tomorrow in the framework of his established visit to the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) over the second weekend of its operation.

    Mr. Karamanlis will start his visit tomorrow morning with a tour of the Seich Sou forest, a large part of which was destroyed by a fire last year, and then visit sewage treatment facilities in Kalohori, as well as the Papageorgiou hospital.

    On Saturday evening, he will address social partner representatives and refer to the policy announced by Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the TIF last week. His address will take place during a dinner to be held at 8 p.m. at the "Ioannis Vellidis" conve ntion centre.

    On Sunday morning, Mr. Karamanlis will visit the administration offices and the pavilions of the TIF. At 2 p.m. he will be giving the usual press conference at the Macedonia Palace Hotel which the main opposition leader makes every year.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Retail sales prices of gasoline to decrease

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    The retail sales prices of gasoline will decrease as of today and for a week, while prices of diesel will increase due to a change in international prices.

    According to announcements by the Public Petroleum Corporation (DEP) and the Development Ministry, the retail sales prices of super gasoline will decrease by 2.80 drachmas per litre and those of unleaded gasoline by 2.90 drachmas per litre, while prices of diesel will increase by 3.30 drachmas per litre and of heating oil by 3.40 drachmas per litre.

    In the Attica region and the Thessaloniki Prefecture, super gasoline will cost 212.30 drachmas per litre and unleaded gasoline 196.30 drachmas per litre.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Agriculture minister addresses European Auditing Convention

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas and National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pachtas made a presentation of management and control mechanisms for European Union funds in Greece to the members of the European Auditing Convention who convened in Thessaloniki last night.

    Addressing the meeting, Mr. Tzoumakas said that Greek administration was not familiar with the programming and management of EU funds with modern processes, resulting in omissions taking place and mistakes being made, adding that a systematic effort has been made in the direction of initiating auditing mechanisms, which is continuing.

    On his part, Mr. Pachtas made extensive reference to interventions made by the Greek government, at all levels, for the better control of the management of EU funds provided for major projects, stressing that "the target does not constitute absorption for absorption, but absorption for the projects."

    The meeting was inaugurated by Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos who underlined the contribution of EU funds towards carrying out major projects.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Move to safeguard voters from influence

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    All advertising and promotion of programmes funded by the Community Support Framework will be postponed until the end of October so as not to influence voters during the municipal elections next month, according to a national economy ministry announcement .

    The announcement, from National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas, said that the decision had been taken following complaints from conservative opposition New Democracy party members.

    Municipal elections will be held on October 11, with run-off elections being held a week later.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] 'Partnership '98' conference to be inaugurated today

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis and Development Minister Vasso Papandreou are to inaugurate today the "Partnership '98" conference in Thessaloniki.

    This year's conference will focus on the Euro and electronics equipment trade and 400 participants of the Intra-European Cooperation Network from 50 countries will participate.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Greek sugar company reports losses

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek Sugar Industry SA (EBZ), a factory listed in the Athens bourse, posted a loss of 3.5 billion drachmas in 1997, despite its good record a year before with 4.22 billion dr profits. However, the firm is satisfied for having won back its full control of the Greek market.

    Presenting the company's economic details during a press conference yesterday in the context of Thessaloniki's International Fair, EBZ Chairman Vasilis Papagiannis and Managing Director Antonis Vafeiadis, expressed optimism over the firm's course in the current fiscal year.

    Mr. Papagiannis said EBZ efforts had focused on the one hand on reducing industrial costs, and on the other to win back its share in the Greek market lost to European, mainly Italian competitors.

    Price policy and a varied credit policy helped the company to regain the lost ground, but recorded losses due to a gradual reduction in the price of sugar down to 231.5 dr per kilo from 245 dr three years ago.

    However, as there is a surplus of 45,000 tons of sugar, according to the EBZ chairman, consumers will not need to buy imported sugar, while freezing of the price at a two-year old level, will mean that apart from sufficient amounts, Greek sugar is the cheapest in Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Commission reiterates intention to curb education funds

    BRUSSELS 10/09/1998 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Commission reiterated its intention to curb funds amounting to 1.35 billion ECU from the operational programme "education and initial vocational training" concerning Greece.

    The way in which they will be curbed, as well as the use of the funds which have not been absorbed, as is already known, is subject to consultations between the Commission's services and the Greek authorities.

    The reply was given by Commissioner Padraig Flynn to a question by Greek Coalition of the Left and Progress party Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos.

    Mr. Flynn said that in the last meeting of the monitoring committee of the operational programme "education and initial vocational training", held in Athens on May 7, 1998, the Commission proposed cutbacks in the programme.

    He said that despite the fact that the way for curbing each subprogramme was not clarified, it is noteworthy that the subprogramme 2 (initial vocational training) is developing well and is almost achieving its target concerning the percentage of absorpt ion of European Social Fund amounts (47 per cent at the end of March, 1998). The corresponding figures for the other subprogrammes amount to 20 per cent (secondary education), 23 per cent (third stage education) and 16 per cent (modernisation of the admin istration of the educational system).

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Pangalos says satisfied with results of tripartite meeting

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos concluded his contacts in Tehran yesterday with meetings with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Khatami and the Iranian government's first Deputy Prime Minister (who virtually exercises the duties of prime minister) Hassan Habibi.

    Mr. Pangalos expressed satisfaction over the results of the tripartite ministerial meeting between Greece, Iran and Armenia and announced that the three ministers will meet again in Yerevan in September next year.

    He also announced that the idea of carrying out a intercivilisational forum on the big civilisations of the world, namely the Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Iranian ones, is being promoted.

    It is an idea Mr. Pangalos discussed in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi and over which certain initial contacts have already taken place, at bilateral level, between the foreign ministers of Italy, Egypt, Iran and Greece.

    Mr. Pangalos said that the representatives of the corresponding culture foundations from the four countries will meet soon to pave the way for a meeting of the culture ministers and possibly of the foreign ministers of the four countries.

    Meeting with Talabani : Mr. Pangalos held a meeting yesterday morning with the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jalal Talabani, who is in Tehran, at the latter's request.

    Briefing reporters on the meeting, Mr. Pangalos said that Mr. Talabani requested Greece's support in the effort for recognition of the Kurds' rights and autonomy and briefed him on latest developments on the Kurdish problem.

    Mr. Talabani expressed concern over the situation prevailing in Turkey, as well as on the way in which the neighbouring country is carrying out its operations in northern Iraq lately.

    Mr. Pangalos said that Mr. Talabani's concern is focused on the fact that the Turkish military has changed its tactics and no longer withdraws from the regions in which it launches attacks, but establishes some soldiers, creating in this way a kind of " bases."

    On the question of Mr. Talabani's request for Greece's support for the human rights, freedoms and special personality of the Kurdish people, Mr. Pangalos assured him that Greece will support relevant claims in any way it can at the UN and elsewhere.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Mediterranean culture ministers conference in Rhodes Sept. 25- 27

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday announced the first Mediterranean wide conference of culture ministers will be held on the island of Rhodes from September 25-27.

    Mr. Venizelos noted that all countries exept Libya will be participating and will discuss all the large cultural programmes planned for the celebration of the new millenium as well as the 2004 Olympic Games.

    The minister said that the celebrations for the year 2000 include exhibitions, publications, Greek participation in musical and theatrical international events, as well as the new monuments such as the new Acropolis museum and Goulandris Museum of Modern Art.

    He said that the events for the year 2000 include a religious element represented by the Orthodox Christian Church and organised by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and will include Byzantine art exhibitions.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] US ambassador to tour eastern Aegean islands

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    In view of US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns' tour of the eastern Aegean islands of Rhodes, Samos, Hios and Lesvos next week, a meeting was held between Mr. Burns and Aegean Minister Elizabeth Papazoi yesterday.

    According to sources, Ms. Papazoi raised the issue over security needs in the Aegean, given the tension created by Turkey following a recent announcement of military manoeuvres in the region, which in turn seriously hinders the islands' development.

    The Aegean minister also briefed Mr. Burns on environmental problems due to the disposal of toxic waste by plants in Turkey`s coasts, as well as the imminent construction of a nuclear plant in Akuyu.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Pangalos says he favours institution of deputy prime minister

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos placed himself in favour of the institution of a deputy prime minister, in a discussion he had yesterday with reporters while flying back to Athens from Tehran.

    He reminded the press that he had tabled a relevant proposal when the first government of Prime Minister Costas Simitis was being formed, but it had not attracted the required consent.

    Explaining his position, the foreign minister said that a deputy prime minister could oversee the operation of organs and institutions in cases of the prime minister's absence.

    Speaking on the forthcoming congress of the ruling PASOK party, the foreign minister said he was against turning the floor into a polling booth, noting that the PASOK congress' odds to be turned into an "electoral congress", will depend on whether an is sue of leadership will be raised.

    He also announced that he was to make a number of proposals in view of the congress, including a higher participation of women in the party's organs.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Tsohatzopoulos voices concern over nature of Turkey-Israel military cooperation

    BONN 10/09/1998 (ANA - P. Stagos)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopulos' concerns over the nature of a Tu rkey-Israel military cooperation was the highlight of a report from Athens, published in yesterday's issue of the German newspaper "Syndoitche Zeitung".

    The report quotes Mr. Tsohatzopoulos as saying that Ankara and Jerusalem's "axis policy" was "worrying" to Greece, and further underlining the necessity to set up a regional security system with participation of all eastern Mediterranean countries.

    "We have nothing against Turkey-Israel economic relations, despite the fact that these include the supply of armaments", the defence minister told the paper, adding however that, "when Israel's advanced technology is made available to Turkey, with Ankar a's objective being to use it agressively, then this goes beyond the limits".

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos specifically denounced the fact that Israeli fighter jets together with Turkish warplanes have repetedly flown above Cyprus, "showing that they ignore international law".

    In his conversation with the paper's Athens correspondent, the Greek defence minister challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that his country's cooperation with Turkey was of no trouble to the region.

    For this reason, Mr. Tsohatsopoulos said, he had invited his Israeli counterpart Yitsak Mordehai to visit Athens in November for talks.

    "Unilateral commitments give rise to problems", he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Archbishop Christodoulos receives Ecumenical Patriarchate representatives

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos yesterday received representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate led by Metropolitan of Ephessos Chrisostomos and discussed the establishment of a Patriarchal office in Athens as well as the estabilshmen t of a Church of Greece office in Brussels.

    The Greek prelate, addressing the delegation, said that the aim of the meeting is the maintenance of brotherly relations and cooperation between the churches, so as to confront in time all issues which might upset their relations.

    He added that these annual meetings can protect the unity of the churches by elements within and outside the church who wish to upset that unity.

    Mr. Chrisostomos delivered to Mr. Christodoulos two letters Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos addressed to the latter, announcing the establishment of the Patriarchal office in Athens and the estabilshment of a Church of Greece office on Brussels.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] FM to meet US envoy for Cyprus this afternoon

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will receive US State Department special coordinator for the Cyprus problem Thomas Miller in Athens this afternoon, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

    Mr. Miller's visit to Athens opens a new round of contacts with the Greek government on the Cyprus problem, following consultations between Cyprus and Greece in Athens last month and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's proposals for a confederation on Cyprus.

    The visit to Greece was postponed two months ago when Mr. Pangalos refused to see him following statements in the press by a US official on Mr. Miller's mission.

    The governments of Greece and Cyprus have made clear, in their August 27 joint statement, that the Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation, refusing to focus the talks on the S-300 anti-aircraft Russian-made missiles, due to be deployed on the island republic later this year.

    Sources said the Greek government was awaiting for US proposals or ideas focusing on the political side of the Cyprus issue, which will create the conditions for the resumption of inter-communal talks on the island, based on the United Nations resolutions.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] Greece denies any postponement of deployment of Russian missiles on Cyprus

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday denied that there would be any postponement of the deployment of Russian S-300 missiles on Cyprus and said it would not be dragged into the furore over the issue.

    "The Cyprus issue is and remains an issue of the invasion and occupation of a free state," acting government spokesman Yannis Nikolaou said. The government in Nicosia is handling the issue of the missiles, Mr. Nikolaou added.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Simitis,Arsenis discuss educational issues

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis discussed educational issues for two hours at the Maximos Mansion yesterday in light of the new school year starting tomorrow.

    Speaking to the press afterwards, Mr. Arsenis said that he held talks with Mr. Simitis in his capacity as Education Minister and a member of the ruling PASOK party's Executive Bureau. He said that issues discussed primarily concerned education and inclu ded a series of other matters.

    "It was a useful meeting as was the case with other meetings. I consider it not only useful, but constructive as well," he said.

    Mr. Arsenis said that the new school year is starting with very good omens.

    "We have made a very good preparation. Better than than in any other year. As you are aware, this year will also be the year for the implementation of educational reform. All will go well," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [27] Yugoslav FM to begin two-day visit to Athens today

    BELGRADE 10/09/1998 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic will begin a two-day visit to Athens today at the invitation of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, according to an official announcement by the Federal Republic of Yugosl avia's foreign ministry yesterday.

    The announcement said that the two ministers will discuss issues regarding the further development of friendly relations between the two countries, all forms of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation as well as international issues of mutual concern,including multilateral cooperation between the countries of southeastern Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [28] Papariga speaks of possible early national elections

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga said early national elections are possible in the country in the event the ruling PASOK party is defeated in next month's municipal elections and accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis of bei ng a "supporter of savage and barbaric capitalism."

    Speaking at a press conference in Thessaloniki yesterday, on the sidelines of her visit to the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair, Ms. Papariga said that "logically they (elections) can be combined with the European Parliament elections (next year) and take place under a state of ideological terrorism since the dilemma will be set of a vote for accession to Economic Monetary Union or not."

    Ms. Papariga further pointed out that the elections alone will not solve the problem if they are not combined with popular action.

    She strongly criticised Mr. Simitis over what he said in his press conference last Sunday when, referring to the crisis in Russia, he spoke of the absolute failure of the Soviet socialist model. She said the logic was dangerous that "Russia is to blame for everything for having a revolution in 1917 and that the communists are to blame."

    "He almost told us that the communists are to blame for everything, eat the communists," Ms. Papariga added.

    Athens News Agency

    [29] Karamanlis briefed ahead of Thessaloniki visit

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis met representatives of social partners yesterday morning to be briefed on existing problems and suggested solutions, in view of his weekend visit to the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

    The meeting was attended by the presidents of major Athens and Piraeus chambers and other trade union officials.

    Last night, Mr. Karamanlis was due to meet with representatives of the association of large families, while on Tuesday he met with the boards of SEB, GSEE and ADEDY.

    The opposition leader is due to travel to Thessaloniki tomorrow morning. His schedule includes on-site visits to various major projects and meetings with ND deputies. On Sunday, he will tour the TIF and at noon he will give a press conference at a Thessalonki central hotel.

    Athens News Agency

    [30] Attica hospital doctors to stage three-day strike

    Athens 10/09/1998 (ANA)

    Hospital doctors in the Attica region will begin a three-day strike on Monday to press for more government funding for duty rosters and pay increases. Doctors want payment for being on call to be increased by 60 percent of the daily rostered-on pay as wel l as increases for rostered duty pay, a 10 percent increase in starting wages and bonuses for specialists.

    The strike will affect public hospitals and clinics in the Attica basin. Skeleton staff will be on duty during the strike.

    A statement by the finance ministry said later that the real issue lay with mismanagement at hospitals which allowed the abuse of the duty roster system and payment for shifts never worked.

    The doctors' strike action aimed at continuing this squandering of public monies, the statement said.

    The problem will be resolved with the new wage scale, which provides payment for rostered duty only when they have actually been worked and provides for wage increases of some 20-35 percent, according to the statement.

    Athens News Agency

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