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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-02-19

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] Cabinet reshuffle following Ocalan uproar
  • [02] The new Cabinet as of Feb. 18, 1999
  • [03] Kranidiotis stands in for Pangalos at Parliament session, says criticism of Athens `unfair`
  • [04] Karamanlis: Gov`t handling of Ocalan affair a `fiasco, degradation`
  • [05] G. Papandreou: Athens will demand common EU stance on Kurdish issue
  • [06] Occupation of Greek embassy in London ended
  • [07] Pangalos defends his actions in Ocalan affair
  • [08] Thousands rally for Ocalan in downtown Athens
  • [09] Slovakian FM Kukan meets with Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos
  • [10] Kurdish Red Crescent appeals for food, medicines
  • [11] Kaklamanis receives US Congressional delegation
  • [12] Greek Culture Foundation destroyed during occupation
  • [13] Outlook brighter for euro entry in 2001, analyst says
  • [14] Stocks slump on political unease following Ocalan affair
  • [15] Bond prices finish off the day's lows, hit by Ocalan affair
  • [16] State OTE now owns 35 pct of Rom Telecom
  • [17] Infoquest forges alliance with US cable firm
  • [18] British Hellenic Chamber to hold finance conference
  • [19] Plan to boost growth in the northeast
  • [20] EU directive on electricity enacted
  • [21] Geothermal energy possibility in Evros
  • [22] Athens foreign exchange
  • [23] To Readers of the Daily Bulletin

  • [01] Cabinet reshuffle following Ocalan uproar

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday asked for the resignations of three of his key ministers in the wake of the uproar over the capture of rebel Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos and Interior Minister Alekos Papadopou-los had tendered their resignations.

    A mini cabinet reshuffle was announced later in the day by Mr. Reppas in which George Papandreou, until now Alternate FM succeeds Mr. Pangalos, while Yiannos Kranidiotis succeeds Mr. Papandreou.

    Replacing Mr. Papadopoulos is Vasso Papandreou, who leaves the development ministry.

    Replacing Ms Papandreou at the development ministry is Evangelos Venizelos, whose post at the culture ministry is taken over by Elizabeth Papazoi, until now Aegean minister.

    Mihalis Chrysohoidis, until now deputy development minister, ta-kes over as public order minister, replacing Philippos Petsalnikos.

    Stavros Benos, until now deputy interior minister, takes over at the Aegean ministry. Leonidas Tzanis, a Cabinet newcomer, takes over as deputy interior minister, while also Gregoris Niotis takes over as deputy FM, replacing Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Finally, Cabinet newcomer Yiannis Haralambous takes over as deputy development minister.

    The new ministers will be sworn in today morning before President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, prior to a Cabinet meeting chaired by Mr. Simitis.

    Announcing the ministers' dismissal, Mr. Reppas said the prime minister thanked the three ministers for their contribution to the work of the government and ruling PASOK. Mr. Simitis called for the resignations during an extraordinary joint meeting yest erday of the PASOK political secretariat and the inner Cabinet.

    At the same time, the prime minister ordered an inquiry to determine which individuals had acted "ille-gally and above and beyond the limits of national responsibility" that brought Abdullah Ocalan to Greece and "created the current problem", he said.

    Asked by reporters what had taken place between Mr. Simitis' written statement on Tuesday evening, in which he fully backed Mr. Pangalos, and yesterday's decision, Mr. Reppas replied that the premier had in the meantime been informed of certain facts "w hich he apparently did not know the previous days."

    Mr. Reppas said it emerged from an examination and evaluation of the situation that "mistakes and omissions" had occurred which led Mr. Simitis to take the decision to ask for the resignation of the three ministers.

    Asked whether Mr. Simitis bore any responsibility for the outcome of the Ocalan affair, Mr. Reppas said the premier had "no responsibility and no involvement" since "he did not handle any issue".

    The spokesman acknowledged, however, that Mr. Simitis had been informed of the Ocalan issue as it developed. He added that it was not the right time to refer in detail to the events surrounding the Kurdish leader's capture, while stressing that the prem ier wanted "ample light" to be shed on the affair.

    Replying to other questions, Mr. Reppas said there was no question of early elections being held.

    The spokesman rejected accusations that Greece had "collabo-rated" to hand over the PKK leader, stressing that only Greece had provided assistance and protection to Mr. Ocalan. Outgoing ministers: Speaking to reporters after submitting his resignation, Mr. Pangalos said he had handled the Ocalan affair in the best possible way and "his conscience was clear".

    Mr. Pangalos said there had been no difference of opinion between himself and Mr. Papadopoulos over the handling of the Ocalan issue. He also charged that the persons who brought the Kurdish rebel leader to Greece had committed a crime against t he nation and were responsible for the situation in which Ocalan now found himself.

    Asked by reporters whether the PM had been informed of all aspects and handling of the Ocalan affair as it developed, Mr. Pangalos replied: "Of course," adding that it could not have been otherwise.

    Mr. Pangalos said the issue had been a very difficult and complicated one not only because of the stance of Ocalan himself but also "because of the international situation which we did not control".

    Asked what he would advise his successor, Mr. Pangalos replied: "To watch his back".

    Outgoing Interior Minister Papadopoulos said that all the facts led him to the conclusion that the issue would not end but would have a complicated development.

    "The Ocalan affairIconceals dangers and traps for Greek interests and probably for the Kurdish people," he told a news conference.

    Mr. Papadopoulos, recounting to reporters his role in the affair, said that he was briefed on Ocalan's presence in Greece as he returned from a trip to Morocco. He spoke by phone to Mr. Pangalos, Mr. Petsalnikos and Cabinet secretary Cosmidis

    Mr. Papadopoulos said his opinion was that all those involved in bringing Ocalan to Greece should be arrested, the aeroplane impounded, the crew arrested, and to sack the airport police staff and the personnel in charge of the VIP lounge, and seek expla nations from EYP personnel who failed to act.

    At the same time, he said, the fact that Ocalan had entered Greece and was in the process of being arrested should have been made public.

    This proposal, he said, was not adopted. Instead, it was decided to send the head of EYP to speak with Ocalan.

    The EYP head arranged for Ocalan to fly to Minsk in Belarus where he would be transfered to Rieka and from there to the Netherlands.

    Minsk airport authorities did not give Ocalan permission to fly to Rieka and so the airplane returned to Athens airport, from where Ocalan was sent on to Corfu.

    The Kurdish leader was taken to a house which had been selected by EYP while arrangements were made for his transfer to Kenya by the foreign ministry.

    The plan was for Ocalan to move to South Africa or another country with which negotiations were already under way, Mr. Papadopoulos said.

    At some stage last Friday, the need arose to move Ocalan immediately from the embassy to another country, or for another country to extend him asylum or for him to seek sanctuary in a Greek church.

    "From the foreign ministry, we knew there was a problem in cooperation," Mr. Papadopoulos said. On Sunday, it was obvious that both the embassy and the ambassador's residence had been surrounded by Kenyan security forces and by some white person s, he said.

    It was obvious that Ocalan was in danger of being kidnapped, he said. "I proposed to Petsalnikos, Pangalos and Cosmidis... and in consequence the prime minister, that in order to avert Ocalan's arrest and abduction, we should publicise the matter and have contacts at the highest level with the Kenyan foreign ministry," he added.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said the aim would be to attempt an agreement with Kenyan authorities to move Ocalan to a third country or, a less desirable option, to bring Ocalan back to Greece and see what developed.

    "From Sunday evening to Monday evening I was not involved or informed of developments; I learned them like everyone else," he said.

    Petsalnikos also told reporters that he was leaving the public order ministry with a clear conscience about the way he had handled the Ocalan issue.

    He said Mr. Simitis had asked for his resignation saying although he acknowledged that Mr. Petsalnikos bore no responsibility for the affair, "what else could he do".

    Mr. Petsalnikos said he first became involved with the issue on the evening of Jan. 29, when the deputy director of the National Intelligence Service (EYP) informed him that Ocalan might be in Greece.

    After investigating the report, Mr. Petsalnikos said he discovered that Ocalan had arrived at Athens international airport with three other persons.

    He said he learned that Ocalan had managed to slip into the country without showing his passport, after which he gave orders for the arrest of the persons who had brought Ocalan and accompanied him into Greece.

    Mr. Petsalnikos said the handling of the issue was then assumed by the foreign ministry and EYP and from the moment Ocalan departed for Kenya, the public order ministry had no further involvement. He clarified that the Greek police were not resp onsible for Ocalan's entry to Greece, since he did so through the VIP lounge "where other procedures are followed".

    Mr. Petsalnikos took over the public order ministry in the latest cabinet reshuffle 3 1/2 months ago, replacing George Romeos who was ousted for the bungled handling of a hostage crisis in which a hostage was fatally injured. G. Papandreou letter: Earlier yesyterday, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, (now new foreign minister) in a letter to the prime minister, indirectly but clearly called for the removal from the government of all those responsible for the "mishandling" of the Ocalan case.

    Mr. Papandreou, in his letter, distanced himself from the handling of the Ocalan issue, adding that the latest developments have "harmed our country's reputation, undermined the dignity and pride of the hospitable Greek people, and gave rise to substantial questions as to the true events".

    In the 10-point letter, Mr. Papandreou called for full, public clarification of the Ocalan issue and Greece's involvement, "as painful as that may be", and full briefing of the public on the true events.

    "It is our duty to make every effort so that politics may regain the confidence of the people and to avert the creation of a sentiment of humiliation," Mr. Papandreou said.

    He said the Ocalan issue once again raised the immediate need for all the public insitutions and the political parties to function democratically, collectively and with transparancy.

    "Our government and PASOK have the duty to take immediate steps in such a direction. Difficult situations demand courageous initiatives," he said.

    Mr. Papandreou further called for an examination of the involvement of the Greek intelligence services, as Greece's image "must not be indentified with 'secret service' me-thods", adding that "the para-state must be combatted wherever it remains", as it posed a threat to a "transparant and democratically controlled Greek foreign policy".

    He said the Ocalan affair confirmed the need to restore rules for the ethical operation of the political system in the country and its public life, and called for the immediate establishment of a National Council on Foreign Policy, which he said was a d emand of nearly the entire political sector.

    Mr. Papandreou further called for Greece to persist with the initiatives it has undertaken to render the Kurdish people's cause a cause of all of Europe.

    The minister also said that Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Turkish government were greatly mistaken if they thought that the Kurdish problem had been solved with Ocalan's arrest.

    "The Kurdish issue is a national, political and social problem for Turkey. It is a problem of Turkey's European orientation and one of respect of human rights. That is why Ocalan's integrity and a just trial for him must be ensured, with the active part icipation of the EU in monitoring the judicial procedure," Mr. Papandreou said, adding that he would bring this up personally with the German EU presidency at the imminent EU council of foreign ministers' meeting. ND wants Simitis' resignation following Ocalan's capture: The main opposition New Democracy party yesterday demanded Prime Minister Costas Simitis' resignation over government's handling of the Ocalan affair.

    "Mr. Simitis is the primary individual responsible for the country's disgrace and if anybody has to resign, it is he," ND leader Costas Karamanlis told a meeting of his party's MPs yesterday morning.

    Mr. Karamanlis said his party could not "impose elections" but that it could ensure that ruling party PASOK would lose the next elections.

    Earlier, ND MP Dora Bakoyianni said the prime minister had to stop hiding and "get up and call elections now".

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas also called for the resignation of Mr. Simitis.

    "The government has proven itself, in its entirety, to be dangerous and harmful to national interests, which it can no longer be allowed to handle, " Mr. Tsovolas said.

    "It has brought the Greek government unbearable feelings of humiliation and shame," he said.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos told a news conference that the resignations of the three ministers could not be used as "an alibi" to cover up the circumstances of Mr. Ocalan's capture.

    "Mr. Simitis has to assume his responsibilities and cannot hide behind ministers," Mr. Constantopoulos said.

    He added that a delegation from ND, led by himself, would attempt to attend the Kurdish leader's trial in Turkey.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] The new Cabinet as of Feb. 18, 1999

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister: Costas Simitis

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister: Vasso Papandreou
    Deputy Ministers: George Floridis, Leonidas Tzanis

    National Defence Minister: Akis Tsohatzopoulos
    Deputy Minister: Dimitris Apostolakis

    Foreign Minister: George Papandreou
    Alternate Minister: Yiannos Kranidiotis
    Deputy Minister: Grigoris Niotis

    National Economy Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
    Deputy Ministers: Christos Pachtas, Alekos Baltas

    Finance Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
    Deputy Ministers: George Drys, Nikos Christodoulakis

    Development Minister: Evangelos Venizelos
    Deputy Ministers: Anna Diamantopoulou, Yiannis Haralambous

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister: Costas Laliotis
    Deputy Ministers: Theodoros Koliopanos, Christos Verelis

    Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Gerasimos Arsenis
    Deputy Minister: Ioannis Anthopoulos

    Agriculture Minister: George Anomeritis
    Deputy Ministers: Costas Vrettos, Paraskevas Fountas

    Labour and Social Security Minister: Miltiades Papaioannou
    Deputy Ministers: Fivos Ioannidis, Christos Protopapas

    Health and Welfare Minister: Lambros Papadimas
    Deputy Ministers: Nikos Farmakis, Theodoros Kotsonis

    Justice Minister: Evangelos Yiannopoulos

    Culture Minister: Elisabeth Papazoi
    Sports Deputy Minister: Andreas Fouras Merchant

    Marine Minister: Stavros Soumakis

    Public Order Minister: Michalis Chrysohoidis

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister: Yiannis Magriotis

    Aegean Minister: Stavros Benos

    Transport and Communications Minister: Tassos Mantelis
    Deputy Minister: Nikos Salayiannis

    Press and Media Minister: Dimitris Reppas

    Minister to the PM: Costas Geitonas
    Deputy Minister to the PM: George Pashalidis

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Kranidiotis stands in for Pangalos at Parliament session, says criticism of Athens `unfair`

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Deputy FM Yiannos Kranidiotis said yesterday that "it is unfair for Greece to be held responsible" over the latest developments in the Ocalan affair.

    "We have supported the struggle of the Kurdish people in the past, repeatedly raising the issue in Europe, and will continue the same course in future," he said during heated discussion of the issue in Parliament's foreign affairs committee.

    Mr. Kranidiotis was standing-in for Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, whose absence from the session caused furor among deputies of all parties, many of whom called for his resignation and a full account on the affair.

    Former PASOK minister Sifis Valyrakis said he was "withdrawing his confidence from the foreign minister," while Stelios Papathemelis said the Greek people demanded to know the whole truth over this tragedy, and expressed regret that Mr. Pangalos could n ot be "forcefully brought" to testify before the committee.

    Another PASOK MP, retired army general Kyriakos Spyriounis, said he would resign from the ruling party and as member of Parliament if it were proved that the government was guilty of "gross dishonesty" in Ocalan's transfer to the Turks.

    Former ND prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis and Coalition of the Left deputy Maria Damanaki proposed the establishment of a special committee of inquiry.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) spokesman Orestis Kolozov said the foreign minister was showing contempt for the committee and called for "someone to assume the responsibility and resign."

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas proposed the adoption by Parliament of a resolution in support of the Kurdish people, making the European Union and the international community responsible for Abdullah Ocalan.

    The session was interrupted, with the committee deciding it would resume only in the presence of Mr. Pangalos.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Karamanlis: Gov`t handling of Ocalan affair a `fiasco, degradation`

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis sharply criticised the government yesterday over developments in the Abdullah Ocalan affair, saying Greece is experiencing an ordeal both on the domestic front and abroad.

    Mr. Karamanlis spoke of a "fiasco and degradation" and added that the country and its credibility have been exposed.

    He further spoke of an "unbalanced, failed and flippant" policy and "wretched handlings" by the government, while he also criticised the government "of lying because it is guilty, and this makes it more dangerous."

    Mr. Karamanlis said "if existing fears are confirmed, it will be a question of the largest dishonesty."

    Referring to Eurolections in June, Mr. Karamanlis said they were not routine elections or a slackening process, but the antechamber to national elections, adding that ND will be the first party. KKE: Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga called for the resignation of Prime Minister Costas Simitis, while speaking at an extraordinaty press conference on the Ocalan issue yesterday.

    She said Mr. Simitis, before asking for the resignations of the three ministers, who certainly had a personal responsibility, should have submitted his own resignation.

    The fact that he did not do so, she said, showed that among others he is dangerous, just as the government's policy is dangerous for the people and their rights.

    Ms Papariga said the Greek people should not consider that the government, and the premier in particular, "whitewashed their criminal responsibilities" with the three ministers' ouster.

    KKE, she said, does not accept any of the misleading and false or dilemma- type excuses, or the transfer of responsibilities to third parties attempted by Mr. Simitis and Mr. Pangalos, the other ministers and (government spokesman) Mr. Reppas.

    Assessing the situation created, Ms Papariga said that Mr. Ocalan's hand- over is only the tip of the iceberg. Namely, as she said, it is not the result of some bad or mistaken handlings but the unavoidable result of the willing rallying and submission t o the "new dogma" of NATO, the US of the European countries which are in the European Union and NATO at the same time.

    She said that with their vote in national elections, which they must demand now, the Greek people must intervene in developments.

    According to Ms Papariga, the need for national elections is maturing at present because of what she called the "modern plans of the imperialist world order" as being underwayI"and are directed against the Greek people and all the neighbouring peoples."

    Earlier, the KKE had requested the resignation of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos and Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos, considering them responsible for developments over the Ocalan case.

    An announcement by KKE said the overall responsibilities of the government are unquestionable and particularly those of the PM and the three aforesaid ministers.

    KKE said that it has been confirmed that the universal denial by EU countries to grant political asylum, the delivery of Mr. Ocalan and his trial in Turkey have clear targets: Dealing a blow at the struggle of the Kurdish people to enable the plans of t he imperialist world order to be implemented unimpeded in the wider region of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and in general smashing popular resistance.

    KKE expressed a certainty that Mr. Ocalan cannot have a fair trial.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] G. Papandreou: Athens will demand common EU stance on Kurdish issue

    BONN, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister designate George Papandreou yesterday announced Greece's intention to demand the formulation of a common European Union position regarding the Kurdish problem. He was speaking to reporters after talks in Bonn with f ormer German chancellor Helmut Kohl.

    "The EU must at last take a position and formulate a common stance on the Kurdish problem and also ensure, by any means possible, that Ocalan's integrity will be guaranteed at his trial, which should be conducted in a European manner," Mr. Papandreou sa id.

    The Ocalan affair, the stance of the EU and relations with Turkey are expected to dominate Monday's General Affairs Council, at which Greece will be represented by Mr. Papandreou.

    During the next few days, Mr. Papandreou said he will have the opportunity to have talks with the German presidency of the EU "and, of course, I will be raising the Kurdish issueIabout which there is, unfortunately, a great deal of hypocrisy in the EU. We have not confronted the problem with strength and determination."

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Occupation of Greek embassy in London ended

    LONDON, 19/2/1999 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Kurdish protesters who had occupied the Greek embassy in London since Tuesday yesterday evacuated the building.

    The Kurds were protesting the capture of Abdullah Ocalan.

    British special forces police arrested the undetermined number of protesters and announced that embassy employee Babis Patsouris, who was held hostage throughout the occupation, is "very well."

    Mr. Patsouris said "yesterday morning I was really scared. The Kurds were angry. I thought I was a target. Later, they calmed down and they treated me well..."

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Pangalos defends his actions in Ocalan affair

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Outgoing foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos said in a press interview yesterday that if rebel K urdish leader Abdullah Ocalan had listened to the Greek government, he would have been safe today.

    "I insist on believing that if he had followed our advice, most probably he would have been safe and unharmed today," Mr. Pangalos said in an interview with the Athens daily "Ta Nea" newspaper, published yesterday.

    At the same time, the embattled FM said at the time that he would not resign from the foreign ministry despite calls even from inside his own PASOK party, adding that he would leave the post only if the prime minister sacked him, something that happened a few hours later.

    Commenting on the furor that has erupted in Greece over the Ocalan affair, Mr. Pangalos lashed out at his critics as having a "narrow-minded conscience that is out of touch with international reality and the international trends of thought."

    "The Kurdish struggle is not being carried out solely by Abdullah Ocalan's organisation, the PKK," Mr. Pangalos said, noting the Kurdish party in Turkey, a similar party in Iraq and the Kurdish community in Iran.

    "The PKK opted for a style of action that set it apart from all the other organisations P armed struggle in the mountains of southeastern Turkey, a form of struggle that appears to have reached its limits for a variety of reasons," he said.

    Greece, "having the duty to support the Kurdish struggle, needed at the same time not to give the impression that we identify ourselves with the most extreme, the most isolated form of that struggle," Mr. Pangalos said.

    He explained that in no way should it have appeared, "as unfortunately it does today", that "we sympathise with the Kurds solely because they are enemies of Turkey".

    "That is not the basis on which solidarity with the Kurds should be founded. Solidarity should be accompanied by sentiments of friendship and understanding for the rest of the Turkish people, too, so that the two sides can live peacefully in a democrati c country and in order for the future to open up before them," he said.

    "This was the correct Greek position, and this correct Greek position imposed that Mr. Ocalan should not be in Greece, for the sake of the country, peace in the region and the Kurds," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Thousands rally for Ocalan in downtown Athens

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Thousands of Greeks and Kurds demonstrated in central Athens yesterday night, protesting the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    The demonstrators, chanting "freedom and independence for Kurdistan," burned flags of the US, the European Union, Turkey and Israel, and forced a strong police cordon to retreat to a near distance from the Turkish embassy.

    A delegation handed a petition to Parliament and the prime minister's office - also pinned to the door of the Turkish embassy- calling on Turkey to immediately grant Mr. Ocalan political prisoner status, for the convening of international conference fo r a political solution to the Kurdish problem, and for the setting up of an international committee to monitor the conditions of his detention.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Slovakian FM Kukan meets with Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Outgoing FM Theodoros Pangalos met yesterday with Slovakian Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan for talks on the prospects of Slovakia joining NATO and the European Union as well as bilateral issues.

    Mr. Pangalos later expressed Athens' support for Bratislava's Euro-Altantic orientation.

    The Slovakian FM also met with National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    Sources said the two sides noted an identity of views on all issues.

    The two ministers discussed possibilities of the two countries cooperating to help resolve the crisis in the strife-torn Yugoslav province of Kosovo and prospects for further strengthening bilateral defence cooperation.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Kurdish Red Crescent appeals for food, medicines

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    The Kurdish Red Crescent yesterday appealed "to every Greek democrat and patriot" for food and medicines after what it described as "the unacceptable attitude of the Greek state to the Kurdish political refugees."

    It also called on the Greek state to end what it called the "surveillance of Kurds or Greek volunteers active, for purely humanitarian reasons, in the Kurdish Red Crescent activities."

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Kaklamanis receives US Congressional delegation

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday received a US Congressional delegation at his office.

    The delegation, en route from Cyrpus, was escorted by US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns.

    Following the meeting, Mr. Kaklamanis expressed what he called "feelings of bitterness" by the Greek people and Parliament in relation to Washington's dealing with Ankara.

    According to the announcement issued by Mr. Kaklamanis' office, the United States was not doing anything for the continuing Turkish invasion and occupation in Cyprus.

    He added that Ankara has been transferring US-made military equipment, while Washington is also idle regarding the threat against Greece created by a Turkish landing fleet stationed on the shores of the eastern Aegean.

    Several US Congressmen responded that the United States wishes for a peaceful and stable Mediterranean and the best possible relations between Athens and Ankara.

    The US Congressmen are scheduled to visit Ankara next.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Greek Culture Foundation destroyed during occupation

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    The Greek Culture Foundation (GCF) announced that it is continuing its operation and activities in Berlin despite the complete destruction of its offices following its 24-hour occupation by Kurdish demonstrators this past week.

    The GCF's offices and Greek language lessons will be housed temporarily on premises granted by the Goethe Institute in Berlin.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Outlook brighter for euro entry in 2001, analyst says

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Greece's chance of entering the euro zone in 2001 is increasing but the government has no room for error in handling the economy, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said yesterday.

    In a report on the economy, the IOBE urged a swifter pace of structural changes to the economy while acknowledging difficulties faced by the government.

    It said that "tentative steps" in structural reform harboured risk.

    An anticpated rise in the economy's rate of growth could fuel inflation and lower competitiveness, if unaccompanied by enough restructuring, the report said. High priority sectors for restructuring were the labour market, the tax system and social insurance.

    IOBE also warned that growing competition among banks and a higher availability of loans could erode credit expansion targets.

    Finally, the report said the outlook for the Athens Stock Exchange in 1999 remained healthy with profits and dividends expected to rise.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Stocks slump on political unease following Ocalan affair

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Political unease in the wake of Turkey's capture of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan hit stock prices on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday although the market managed to end sharply off the day's lows helped by bargain- hunting.

    The general index ended 2.08 percent off at 3,359.22 points after losing around 7.0 percent early in the session.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis had asked three ministers to resign, which meant a reshuffle was ahead. Details of the reshuffle came long after the market's close.

    Traders said domestic institutional investors mainly bought shares and retail investors were on the selling side.

    Turnover was a record 174.1 billion drachmas and volume 37,122,879 shares.

    Sector indices suffered losses.

    Banks fell 1.88 percent, Insurance eased 1.31 percent, Investment dropped 3.29 percent, Industrials fell 2.80 percent, Miscellaneous ended 1.36 percent off, Holding eased 0.02 percent, Leasing plunged 5.27 percent and Construction lost 6.49 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 3.20 percent off while the FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 1.80 percent down at 2,091.88.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 227 to 58 with another 6 issues unchanged.

    Eskimo, Thessaliki, Macedonian Spinning Mills and Hellenic Petroleum were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Nematemboriki, Lambropoulos, Xifias, Aspis Invest, Fanco, Endysi, Tasoglou, Aspis Pronia, Naoussa and Hellenic Bottling hit the day's 8.0 percent limit up.

    Mosholios Chemicals, Barba Stathis, Alysida, Ideal, Corinth Spinning Mills, Gek, Vioter, Atemke, Gener and Fintexport hit the day's 8.0 percent limit down.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 20,000 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 33, 490, Ergobank at 24,200, Ionian Bank at 16,830, Titan Cement at 23,000, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,790, Intracom at 19,995, Minoan Lines at 7,600, Panafon at 9,410 and Hellenic Telec oms at 7,880.

    Merrill Lynch, the US investment firm, said that the Ocalan affair was not expected to have any serious or long-term repercussions on Greek markets, saying that any drop in equity prices signalled buying opportunities.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Bond prices finish off the day's lows, hit by Ocalan affair

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Bond prices yesterday sank up to 60 basis points on ministerial resignations in the aftermath of the Ocalan affair, then staging a partial rally on an upcoming reshuffle to end about 40 basis points lower.

    Turnover in electronic trade was 104 billion drachmas.The latest 10-year bond was at 102.90, showing a yield of 5.90 percent; and the previous 10- year bond was trading at 116.95-116.80, resulting in a yield of 6.11 percent.

    Interbank rates also firmed and then softened to the previous session's levels except for one-month funds, which stayed high at 10.30 percent.

    The drachma shrugged off the news. It was at 321.990 versus the euro at the central bank's daily fix.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] State OTE now owns 35 pct of Rom Telecom

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), a heavily traded stock on the Athens Stock Exchange, now owns 35 percent of Rom Telecom and has 51 percent of voting rights, OTE president Vassilis Rapanos told a news conference in Bucharest yesterday.

    Mr. Rapanos also said that a 2.7 billion dollar investment plan for the Romanian telecom was being discussed with the country's government.

    Romania's telecommunications infrastructure was lacking, but investments would lead to development, he said.

    In addition, Rom Telecom was overstaffed but management would follow Romanian law. Staff levels would drop gradually, Mr. Rapanos added.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Infoquest forges alliance with US cable firm

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Infoquest, a domestic software company, has signed a strategic alliance with Lucent Technologies, a US market leader in global cable systems.

    Infoquest said in a statement yesterday that the deal aimed to create a powerful group in telecommunications networks ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games to be hosted by Athens.

    Lucent Technologies was seeking information projects linked to the Olympics and selected Infoquest as a partner, the statement said.

    The two companies' alliance has already begun with training for technical staff in designing cable systems, it added.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] British Hellenic Chamber to hold finance conference

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    The British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is to hold a conference on February 24 in Athens on financial regulations in a changing competitive environment, and the resulting challenges and implications, it said in a news release.

    The conference at the Hilton Hotel is also being arranged by the Hellenic Banking Association and the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Among the speakers are Nikos Christodoulakis, deputy finance minister; Stavros Thomadakis, president of the capital market commission; Robin Felgett, undersecretary of the UK Treasury; and Panayotis Thomopoulos, deputy governor of the Bank of Greece.

    Other speakers are major players in the Greek and British financial world.

    Further information available on 7210361.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Plan to boost growth in the northeast

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    The Macedonia-Thrace ministry plans to increase development in northeastern Greece, including the border region, working with local authorities.

    The scheme was presented in the town of Xanthi yesterday by the ministry's secretary general, George Lyssaridis, and senior regional officials.

    The programme, entitled Border Zone, includes infrastructure projects and administrative improvements.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] EU directive on electricity enacted

    BRUSSELS, 19/2/1999 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis yesterday expressed satisfaction over the enactment of a European Union directive on electricity, set to begin today.

    The directive was set to pave the way for an internal European power market with an annual turnover of 150 billion euros.

    During a press conference, Mr. Papoutsis said the first step was taken, thus moving from a monopolistic energy market to a competitive one.

    He added that this means lower rates across Europe as well as a decrease in price differences between member-states.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Geothermal energy possibility in Evros

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    An Institute of Geological and Metallurgical Research (IGME) spokesman yesterday said the use of low-impact energy sources in Evros prefecture created possibilities for the better development of the area.

    IGME geologist Nikolaos Kolios said a 350-metre-deep drilling in the municipality of Trajanoupolis, Evros, produced hot water of 90 degrees celsius equivalent to 10MW in thermal power, generating enough energy to replace several thousand tonnes of conve ntional fuels.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Athens foreign exchange

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    Banknotes               Buying Selling
    US Dollar               284.109 290.696
    Can.Dollar              190.127 194.535
    Australian Dlr          180.271 184.451
    Pound Sterling          464.554 475.324
    Irish Punt              405.572 414.976
    Pound Cyprus            550.560 563.325
    Pound Malta             699.005 728.130
    Turkish pound (100)       0.074   0.077
    French franc             48.694 49.823
    Swiss franc             199.784 204.416
    Belgian franc             7.918 8.102
    German Mark             163.314 167.100
    Finnish Mark             53.722 54.967
    Dutch Guilder           144.944 148.305
    Danish Kr.               42.969 43.966
    Swedish Kr.              35.750 36.579
    Norwegian Kr.            36.474 37.320
    Austrian Sh.             23.213 23.751
    Italian lira (100)       16.496 16.878
    Yen (100)               237.485 242.991
    Spanish Peseta            1.920 1.964
    Port. Escudo              1.593 1.630
    
    Foreign Exchange        Buying Selling
    New York                284.109 290.696
    Montreal                190.127 194.535
    Sydney                  180.271 184.451
    London                  464.554 475.324
    Dublin                  405.572 414.976
    Nicosia                 550.560 563.325
    Paris                    48.694 49.823
    Zurich                  199.784 204.416
    Brussels                  7.918 8.102
    Frankfurt               163.314 167.100
    Helsinki                 53.722 54.967
    Amsterdam               144.944 148.305
    Copenhagen               42.969 43.966
    Stockholm                35.750 36.579
    Oslo                     36.474 37.320
    Vienna                   23.213 23.751
    Milan                    16.496 16.878
    Tokyo                   237.485 242.991
    Madrid                    1.920 1.964
    Lisbon                    1.593 1.630
    
    Athens News Agency

    [23] To Readers of the Daily Bulletin

    Athens, 19/2/1999 (ANA)

    The Athens News Agency (ANA) provides a same-day, around-the-clock- newsservice in English to keep subscribers up to date on the issues that shape Greece's political and economic scene. The ANA Special English Service offers diplomats and journalists the latest news through on line (PC & Modem) on the country's foreign and domestic policies, its political parties, trade unions and pressure groups, the economy, industry and transport, and visits by officials from abroad. For further information, please ca ll Chris Eliou, Director of the Special English Service on 6400560 , Ext.613. You may order subscriptions from George Tsambras, Management and Sales Department, on 6400580, fax 6400024.

    Athens News Agency

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