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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK's 5th congress set for next March
  • [02] Europe slams Al banian ex-president for latest turmoil
  • [03] Tsohatzopoulos stresses need for effective air force
  • [04] Yilmaz-Mitsotakis meeting in Istanbul
  • [05] Simitis holds separate meetings with 2 Cypriot political leaders
  • [06] KKE leader speaks at youth group festival
  • [07] Papandreou promotes 'Olympic Truce' concept to Olympic medallists
  • [08] DANE announced new hi-speed vessel for Rhodes route
  • [09] Simitis speech tomorrow in Kallithea square
  • [10] Papoutsis to inaugurate conference on SMEs in Austria
  • [11] Greek Film Festival in Sweden
  • [12] Three dead in Kos road accident
  • [13] 3 charged with stealing cars, blackmailing owners for their return
  • [14] Single-engine plane makes unscheduled landing in Kalamata
  • [15] Bus accident leaves two dead, 30 injured
  • [16] Murder rate in Greece sharply rises over past 7 years

  • [01] PASOK's 5th congress set for next March

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Ruling PASOK's central committee on Saturday decided to hold the party's 5th congress next March.

    A majority of 81 central committee members voted in favour of the PASOK executive bureau's earlier proposal, while 31 voted against and eight blank votes were cast.

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, before the vote said that he believed a congress in March 1999 would fail for lack of "adequate time to discuss the essence of policies and strategies." In turn, he favoured a different date for the congress.

    However, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos noted that all PASOK cadres will share the essential responsibility of organising the congress, whether in favour or not. He also said that the issue of the party's leadership was resolved during the last congress.

    Furthermore, he criticised certain aspects of the government's economic and social policy, saying that a policy based only on taxation was of "marginal importance."

    He said despite the important steps achieved towards EMU accession, there is an unequal burden on citizens.

    Papoutsis : European Union Commissioner and central committee member Christos Papoutsis counter-proposed the congress be held in November 2000 after Greece's accession to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and general elections.

    Mr. Papoutsis, in his address, stressed that Greece will not enter (EMU) by a political decision, therefore, the effort for reaching the criteria should continue.

    He added that he did not agree with the proposal that the congress be held in March, since in such a case PASOK will be injured, although he earlier assured that if a majority decided to hold the congress, all will work for its success.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Europe slams Al banian ex-president for latest turmoil

    TIRANA 21/09/1998 (ANA-P.Haritos/Reuters)

    European envoys urged Albania's leading politicians on Saturday to find a peaceful solution to the country's turmoil, blaming opposition leader and former president Sali Berisha for undermining peace in the neighbouring co untry.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, representing the Council of Europe in the delegation,warned the former president that he and his party would be isolated by the international community unless they stopped undermining Albania's political process.

    "I...say to Sali Berisha that these tactics...have undermined democratic institutions, and that if they continue, it is certain that the international community will isolate not only his tactics but also him personally," Mr. Papandreou told a press confere nce after the delegation met separately with Albanian President Rexhep Mejdani, Prime Minister Fatos Nano and Mr. Berisha.

    Mr. Papandreou also said the CoE was ready to assist Mr. Mejdani and Mr. Nano to overcome difficulties in the government's work as well as in the effort to consolidate democratic institutions, promote economic reforms and combat corruption.

    "The (Albanian) government agrees to that...What is now needed is to advance rapidly in the implementation of the government's programme for the country's stability. The problem is Sali Barisha's stance, who undermines Albania's democratic institutions," he said.

    On his part, Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, participating in the mission as chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said:

    "We fully support President Mejdani to develop the consensus and to find a political solution. The opposition should participate".

    Tirana witnessed the worst political violence in 18 months last Sunday and Monday, sparked by the killing of Berisha aide Azem Hajdari.

    Mr. Geremek blamed Mr. Berisha's Democrats for the rioting, during which five people were killed and dozens injured in clashes with police, saying that his party had not denounced the violence.

    But hopes of talks waned as Mr. Berisha accused Mr. Nano of sidelining the president in the running of the country. Mr. Nano said after meeting the delegation that he would "not cooperate with crime and its promoters".

    His Socialist-led government has accused Mr. Berisha of attempting a coup during the violence earlier last week and on Friday Albania's parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution to open the way for his arrest.

    While Mr. Berisha met with the delegation, around 3,000 of his supporters marched to the city's main Skanderberg Square for the fifth consecutive day of protests, calling for Mr. Nano's resignation.

    Mr. Geremek condemned Hajdari's murder and urged the government to bring his killers to justice. He intimated that Mr. Berisha's arrest would serve nothing.

    Commenting on this issue, Mr. Papandreou said:

    "Nobody questions the legality of the parliament's decisions, but one should consider whether these lawful acts contribute to Albania's political stability. This, of course, would be decided by President of the Republic Mejdani and Prime Minister Nano".

    "The place of the political opposition is in parliament, not in prison and not in street demonstrations," Mr. Geremek said on his part.

    "We expect a genuine political dialogue and any repressive measures should be condemned," the Polish foreign minister added.

    Mr. Nano stressed that his government was committed to stabilising the country with a three-month plan to fight crime and restore order. He did not elaborate.

    The envoys said they would support any initiatives for peace in Albania and urged President Mejdani, a former leader of the Socialist Party and now an independent, to take charge of the process of mediating a political solution.

    Athens News Aagency

    [03] Tsohatzopoulos stresses need for effective air force

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Air Force must be strong and effective in order to avert threats wherever they may come from, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday during a visit to a training centre for newly inducted airmen in Tripoli, central Pelop onnese.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, accompanied by Airforce General Staff Chief Gen. Georgios Antonetsos, said the country's efforts in the present crucial period of time was hopeful and opened up new prospects, leading the country towards a new century in the best ever conditions.

    The minister declined to reply to reporters' questions on political developments.

    In a related development, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos will observe the final two phases of the large-scale "Parmenion '98" military exercise being held in Evros (land forces) and Hios (naval forces), sources said yesterday.

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will join Mr. Tsohatzopoulos to observe the Evros exercise.

    The final phases are scheduled to take place tomorrow and Wednesday.

    All three branches of the armed forces are participating in the annual exercise, which began last Thursday.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Yilmaz-Mitsotakis meeting in Istanbul

    ISTANBUL 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    New Democracy (ND) honorary president and former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis met yesterday evening with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz in Istanbul for talks expected to focus on Greek-Turkish relations.

    The Turkish premier, accompanied by his wife, arrived at the hotel where the veteran Greek politician is staying at around 10 p.m., after flying in from Ankara. Mr. Mitsotakis and his wife Marika received the Yilmaz couple at their 17th floor suite. Mr.

    Yilmaz made no comments prior to the meeting, while statements were expected after the talks.

    Mr. Mitsotakis is in Istanbul for the wedding of ND deputy Manolis Kefaloyiannis. On Saturday, he met with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Simitis holds separate meetings with 2 Cypriot political leaders

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis met separately in Athens on Saturday with visiting Cypriot Democratic Rally leader Nikos Anastasiades and leftwing AKEL secretary general Demetris Christofias.

    The focus of discussions in both meetings was the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Afterwards, Mr. Anastasiades told reporters that he discussed the essence of the Cyprus problem with the Greek premier, adding that Cypriots' general sentiment has been reinforced as Greece's support in all areas has been reaffirmed.

    On his part, Mr. Christofias said he discussed the recent Simitis-Clerides communique with the Greek premier, saying AKEL agrees with the notion that the focus on missiles or weapons systems is misleading.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] KKE leader speaks at youth group festival

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga yesterday criticised both the government and other opposition parties, saying differences between KKE's policy from other political forces was a deterrent to any likely cooperation.

    Ms Papariga was speaking during the 24th festival of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE-Odigitis).

    She said KKE would see cooperation with other parties as a positive move only under the condition that such cooperation "help the rallying of the people against the neoliberal policy prescribed by the EUIagainst the privatisation of education, health and social welfare," as she stated.

    Referring to upcoming local elections, the KKE leader called on KKE and KNE supporters to struggle "so that a serious blow is achieved against the government's policy."

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Papandreou promotes 'Olympic Truce' concept to Olympic medallists

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday called on Olympic Games medallists meeting in Greece to support and become the symbols of the idea for an "Olympic Truce".

    Speaking on the first day of an international conference of Olympic medal winners at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Mr. Papandreou briefed participants on the project, which is being organised in close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    "The ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce can evolve into an effective tool for the preventation and resolution of conflict, a fact which makes it a moral obligation for Greece to support the respective initiatives of the IOC to revive the insitution in a contemporary context," he said.

    Mr. Papandreou said the support of past Olympic Games medallists was "exceptionally important" as they could inspire and guide the young, and particularly those coming from strife-torn regions, to help in consolidating peace.

    Organised by the Association of Greek Olympic medal winners, SEO, the conference has drawn the participation of 35 Greek and 120 foreign athletes who have won a total of 300 Olympic medals.

    Among the issues to be discussed at the conference are: the Olympic movement and the Olympic Games; a historical approach to the Olympic Games; the challenge of the Olympic Games; the timeless spirit of Olympism; Olympic Games and the media; and women a nd the Olympic movement.

    The conference ends on Sept. 23.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] DANE announced new hi-speed vessel for Rhodes route

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    DANE Sea Lines announced yesterday that it was introducing a new high-speed passenger vessel that is expected cut travelling time from Rhodes to Piraeus to 5.5 hours.

    A DANE official said the order placed for the high-speed Trimaran, combined with the company's share capital increase, which began on Sept. 2 and ends on Oct. 2, was part of efforts to save the indebted shipper by diversifying its activities.

    Last week, DANE, which is listed on the Athens bourse, said the company planned to buy a stake in a cruiseship to ply a route linking Rhodes, Turkey and Cyprus. The company held talks last week with the Cypriot group, which includes participation by a bank representing the interests of a major international business concern.

    The Trimaran is set to go into operation as of April 15, with the Australian ship-building firm INCAT leasing DANE a Trimaran until its own is constructed. DANE will pay INCAT 10 per cent of the proceeds from the route as a downpayment on the new 55-m illion-dollar ship.

    The Trimaran being leased can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, has a capacity of 1,000 passengers and 380 passenger vehicles, whereas the new Trimaran being acquired by DANE will be 120 metres long, with a capacity of 1,200 passengers and 420 vehicles. The new ship's delivery date is the beginning of 2000.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Simitis speech tomorrow in Kallithea square

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is scheduled to speak at a rally of ruling PASOK supporters tomorrow evening in the Athens distict of Kallithea to mark the second anniversary of his party's 1996 general election victory. Mr. Simitis is expected to out line the government's progress to date and stress its commitment to achieving inclusion in Economic and Monetary Union.
    Athens News Agency

    [10] Papoutsis to inaugurate conference on SMEs in Austria

    VIENNA 21/09/1998 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    European Union Commissioner Christos Papoutsis will today declare open a two-day European Union conference on SMEs, set for the Austrian city of Baden.

    The meeting, organised by the European Commission and the Union's Austrian presidency, will focus on an exchange of expertise on SMEs, aimed at improving businesses. It expected to contribute to formulating the EU's policy on SMEs in 2000.

    Issues to be examined include funding and training of SME managers, as well as national and international cooperation in further boosting developement of SMEs.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Greek Film Festival in Sweden

    STOCKHOLM 21/09/1998 (ANA - N. Servetas)

    A Greek Film Festival ended here last night, as part of events for the "Stockholm-European Cultural Capital '98" events.

    Screenings took place at a local theatre, a traditional movie house for film classics and "haute cinema."

    "I hope you will see a Greece other than the tourist one," Greek film director Pantelis Voulgaris told an audience before the screening of his movie "Ola einai dromos".

    A Greek film week opens in Oslo tomorrow.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Three dead in Kos road accident

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Two Greek-Australians and a local man were killed in a traffic accident on the island of Kos on Saturday, when their car overturned and spun off a roadway.

    Police identified the two Greek-Australians as Pantelis Papoulis, 26, and Constantine Nissiotis, 25, both residents of Sydney. The two men were visiting Kos to attend the wedding of Pantelis Zamayias, 25, the driver of the ill-fated vehicle.

    The three victims, all cousins,had reportedly been celebrating at a number of nightclubs on the island and were on their way home when the accident occurred at approximately 6 a.m.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] 3 charged with stealing cars, blackmailing owners for their return

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Police arrested three Albanians on charges of stealing cars and then blackmailing their owners to get the vehicles back.

    The three, Antoni Bezeri, 19, Alexi Prapi, 21, and a 13-year-old accomplice, were arrested after the victim of a theft informed police that he was told to pay 300,000 drachmas in order to get his stolen car back.

    A meeting was organised in the near Athens suburb of Kolonos, where the three suspects were arrested.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Single-engine plane makes unscheduled landing in Kalamata

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Kalamata airport authorities reported an unscheduled stop by a single- engine C-114B airplane at the airport on Saturday evening. The aircraft was en route to Corfu with a final destination to Germany where the pilot, Bangladeshi citizen Rahma Shikh Tashdique, 23, a US resident and an aircraft mechanic, was scheduled to conduct repairs on another aircraft.

    The man made the unscheduled stop at Kalamata because he said the temperature had fallen to below freezing as he was flying at 12,000 feet, resulting in frost on his windshield.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Bus accident leaves two dead, 30 injured

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    Two passengers were killed and 30 were injured when a Halkida-Athens inter- city bus (KTEL) fell into a 10-metre-deep ravine Saturday morning near the village of Krioneri, Attica.

    Emergency crews transported the victims to various hospitals.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Murder rate in Greece sharply rises over past 7 years

    Athens 21/09/1998 (ANA)

    The murder rate in Greece has increased dramatically over the past seven years with the majority of victims and perpetrators being non-Greeks, especially Albanian nationals.

    The figures were presented at the First National Conference of Forensic Scientists and Toxicologists, which began Friday in Thessaloniki.

    According to research conducted for the Athens forensic service, in the 12- year period 1978-1990 there were 406 murders, of which 55 involved foreigners; in the seven-year period 1991-1997, there were 499 murders, of which 153 involved foreigners - 69 A lbanians and 25 of undetermined origin.

    1996 was a bleakest year for homicide, with 83 murders recorded in Athens alone. Of that number, 63 of the victims were foreign nationals. By comparison, in 1978, Athens recorded 21 murders, with only two foreigners as victims.

    The conference is being held with the participation of more than 150 Greek and foreign experts.

    Athens News Agency

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