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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-03-02

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] Papandreou says new parameters of Cyprus issue should be used
  • [02] Gov't says Kosovo tension easing, Tsohatzopoulos warns against idea of independence
  • [03] Papandreou says Greece wishes Europeanization of Turkey
  • [04] Premier accuses ND of creating confusion over insurance issue
  • [05] ND leader visits Rhodes and Karpathos
  • [06] Skandalidis certain of PASOK victory
  • [07] Papariga
  • [08] Gov't says it's unaware of any report by US ambassador regarding Greek elections
  • [09] German PDS leader to visit Greece
  • [10] Greek, Turkish NGOs sign protocol of cooperation
  • [11] First meeting between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria since WW2
  • [12] U.S. report on drugs commends cooperation with Greek police
  • [13] New Greek ambassador at Council of Europe delivers his credentials
  • [14] Greek stocks rebound on selective buying
  • [15] Report by PASOK Eurodeputy on course of EU economy to be discussed on Wednesday
  • [16] Greece to participate in Hannover EXPO 2000 fair
  • [17] Industrial production up 4.5 pct in December
  • [18] Greek shipping register rebounds in February
  • [19] Subsidized loans for returning Greeks
  • [20] British Parliament committee to examine the Parthenon
  • [21] Ceremony in Turkey commemorates 100-year anniversary since poet George Seferis' birth
  • [22] Road accident statistics
  • [23] Athens seminar on int'l human rights law this month
  • [24] Italian Navy transport vessel arrives in Piraeus for visit
  • [25] Transport ministry unveils Internet site of intercity bus schedules
  • [26] 2004 Olympics committee seeks French investments
  • [27] De Soto begins contacts
  • [28] Hannay in Cyprus on March 13

  • [01] Papandreou says new parameters of Cyprus issue should be used

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday reiterated that all new parameters affecting the Cyprus problem, including the Greek-Turkish dialogue and the European Union aspect, should be used appropriately in efforts to reach a settlement on the island republic.

    "The role of the European Union is decisive not only from the accession angle but also on a political scale and its involvement in efforts for a solution in Cyprus," Papandreou said.

    The Greek foreign minister made the statement during his presentation of a book by Cypriot politician Kypros Chrisostomides entitled "The Republic of Cyprus - A study in International law", published in the English language by Kluwer Law International.

    Papandreou called the monograph "important in efforts for a settlement" in Cyprus as it outlines the legal and political aspects of the problem.

    He added that the Cyprus problem should be solved within the parameters of UN resolutions and the two agreements reached between the two sides in 1977 and 1979, stipulating for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The minister also noted that the Greek-Turkish dialogue, which began last year has improved relations and helped reduce tensions, adding however that he has made it clear to the Turkish leadership that "our relations cannot be completely ironed out unless the unacceptable status in Cyprus is overturned and a just and viable settlement is reached".

    Referring to the new parameters in the Cyprus question, the Greek minister quoted a statement made last year by the group of seven most industrialized countries plus Russia (G8), backing efforts for a settlement as well as the European Council conclusions last December, which say that a solution in Cyprus is not a precondition for the Republic's accession to the European Union.

    Cyprus opened accession talks with the Union in 1998.

    Papandreou also said that "experiences of the past make us cautious, but this must not be an obstacle in us taking advantage of all parameters, which strategically affect the Cyprus question".

    The UN's latest efforts to resolve the longstanding Cyprus problem included two rounds of proximity talks last December and January, while a third round is scheduled to open in New York on May 23.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops invaded in two successive waves and occupied 37 per cent of the island republic's territory in July and August 1974.

    [02] Gov't says Kosovo tension easing, Tsohatzopoulos warns against idea of independence

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The Greek government on Wednesday said it considers the volatile situation in strife-torn Kosovo over the past few weeks as heading towards normalization.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement in response to a press question, adding however, that the situation in Kosovo remains tense.

    Reppas mentioned that the "international presence" in the area guarantees stability, while underlining that any flare-up of fighting in the KFOR-controlled Yugoslav province "would be disastrous to all."

    Additionally, he said Greece supports the implementation of UN resolution 1244 for the supervision of forces in the region and the inviolability of borders.

    He also noted that Athens views any differences between Belgrade and Montenegro as an "internal issue", emphasizing that the international community does not accept any changes in the region's status quo or borders.

    Tsohatzopoulos: On his part, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos stressed that any ideas of autonomy and independence in Kosovo will surely "lead to a conflict".

    Speaking from Thessaloniki, the Greek minister blamed ethnic Kosovo Albanians, the Yugoslav government as well as the international community for the tension in the region.

    Commenting on the dispatch of Greek troops to the Mitrovica region in northern Kosovo this week, the scene of violence between Kosovars and French peacekeepers recently, Tsohatzopoulos said all national contingents comprising KFOR are used periodically in trouble spots so as not to warrant an increase in the multinational force's size.

    Finally, he called for the reopening of the Danube to shipping and substantive European Union investments both in Kosovo and the surrounding Balkan states.

    [03] Papandreou says Greece wishes Europeanization of Turkey

    ROME, 02/03/2000 (ANA- L. Hatzikyriakos)

    Greece wants to assist the Europeanization of Turkey but expects indications of a further stabilization of relations, Foreign Minister George Papandreou has said.

    "What I would like to see as soon as possible is a Turkey which adopts European laws, European structures, European behavior. We Greeks wish to help in this process because it is a long one through which the (existing) problems will find their natural solution... Nevertheless, instead of expecting symbolic moves, I wish to see indications of a further stabilization in relations. We want the Turks to open (the Orthodox theological school of) Halki and say 'we do this because these are the rules of our society', consciously in other words, and not because they are under pressure," he said in an interview with the Sole 24 Ore newspaper, published on Wednesday.

    He said the context of relations was now significantly different from the past.

    "There is now a common desire to see a European Turkey. It is evident that in this new framework Greek-Turkish relations, for various reasons, now become Euro-Greco-Turkish... Cyprus, for instance, will accede to the EU and the Turkish Cypriots will want to be part of it. How is it possible for a 'green line' to exist in a Union without borders?" he wondered.

    He noted, nevertheless, that there were European countries, which were not sure of Turkey's place in the EU.

    "There are European countries which, for different reasons, are not at all sure they want to see Turkey in the EU. Greece does not face this dilemma," Papandreou said.

    He further remarked it was a mistake to consider as of minor importance issues, which had been the subject of recent extensive talks.

    "We have overturned the context of relations: we do not tackle the hot issues, rather only those in which we have a common interest... Within six months we have launched at least 130 initiatives in different sectors, in sports, universities, agriculture and tourism -which is a basic factor in our development. For this, it would not be correct to speak of issues of minor importance," he said.

    [04] Premier accuses ND of creating confusion over insurance issue

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday blamed the main opposition New Democracy party for whatever confusion might exist on the social insurance reform issue.

    Speaking in Parliament in reply to a question by ND's former President Miltiades Evert, Simitis accused ND of creating confusion over the insurance issue for reasons of election expediencies and called on Evert to request from party leader Costas Karamanlis to state his position on the issue "to enable us to learn ND's view as well because we do not know it."

    He said that Evert is probably right in asking PASOK because he knows who will be in government after April 9 (the date of general elections in the country).

    Simitis said the PASOK government will proceed with insurance reform with the same principles and methods it has followed so far, adding that the experience of the people from policy it applied so far is proof of what it will do in the future.

    On his part, Evert said the Prime Minister's reply "instead of allaying fears, increased working people's anxiety and uncertainty."

    [05] ND leader visits Rhodes and Karpathos

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday criticized Prime Minister Costas Simitis for saying that Greece's accession to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will be in jeopardy if ND wins the elections.

    "Is their anyone so silly as to believe that EMU is in danger from Karamanlis," the ND leader said.

    Karamanlis, who toured the islands of Karpathos and Rhodes, addressed party supporters at an indoor stadium in Rhodes on Wednesday evening. He accused the government of using "models to replace reality and of moving against political forces in their entirety with arrogance and provocativeness".

    Karamanlis further said that the Stock Exchange should be shielded, institutionally upgraded and strengthened to be able to find its balance and move with a continuous upward trend.

    He reiterated his proposals to support tourism, small and medium-size enterprises and farmers and accused Simitis of copying ND's positions for farmers.

    In a related development to the upcoming April 9 general elections, one-time New Democracy minister and top cadre Andreas Andrianopoulos announced on Wednesday that he would not stand as a candidate for Parliament with the main opposition party. He added that the reasons that forced him to leave ND have not been resolved. Andrianopoulos also denied recent press reports that he's in contact with ND's leadership.

    However, he noted that he would support New Democracy in the upcoming elections if the party removes a condition excluding individuals with neo-liberal viewpoints from its ranks.

    [06] Skandalidis certain of PASOK victory

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    PASOK is certain to win the April 9 election on account of its record in power, party secretary Costas Skandalidis said on Wednesday.

    "The outcome of the election will depend on three big issues, the general prospects of the country, the welfare state and the efficient management of power. On all three the government has a considerable edge (over the main opposition New Democracy)," he said during a luncheon at the Foreign Press Association.

    Responding to questions, Skandalidis said the fact that opinion polls showed PASOK ahead in urban centers was a very positive sign and predicted that there would soon be a recovery in the provinces too.

    Regarding the present bear market for stocks, he said the less politicians spoke about the bourse the better.

    "The Stock Exchange is a picture of the economy. I believe in the long run it will gain a positive balance. Let the politicians stop busying themselves with it and the players feel investors rather than speculators," he said.

    Finally, Skandalidis said New Democracy lacked in new ideas and seemed to be praying for the stock market to fall further.

    [07] Papariga

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, Communist Party (KKE) secretary-general Aleka Papariga said on Tuesday that the basic criterion of voters in the election should be the parties' practical stand vis-a-vis the New World Order and globalization which were against the interests of peoples.

    "The decisive support to the KKE ticket, which includes broader forces supporting the struggle against the New World Order, will give a new impetus to the struggle of our people... It is necessary to create a new sociopolitical alliance against the war and NATO," she said during a press briefing.

    She said the government and parties had to clarify now their positions on the issue in view of the scheduled arrival of NATO troops early next month to take part in the exercise code-named 'Dynamic Reply 2000'.

    [08] Gov't says it's unaware of any report by US ambassador regarding Greek elections

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The government responded on Wednesday that it is unaware of any report supposedly composed by US ambassador to Athens Nicolas Burns regarding the upcoming general elections in Greece.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement in response to a press question.

    [09] German PDS leader to visit Greece

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) President Lothar Bisky is expected to arrive in Athens on Mar. 5 for a two-day visit at the invitation of Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) President Nikos Constantopoulos.

    The German politician will participate and address an event commemorating the Distomo, central Greece, massacre by Nazi forces occupying Greece in the early 1940's.

    [10] Greek, Turkish NGOs sign protocol of cooperation

    ISTANBUL, 02/03/2000 (ANA - Kourkoulas)

    A protocol of cooperation was signed here this week between the Greek non-governmental organization (NGO) "Center for Strategic Planning and Development (KESSA) - Dimitra" and the Turkish "Foundation for the Development of Human Resources."

    "With this protocol we begin a long-term and stable cooperation for humanitarian activities in Turkey, Greece and in third countries," the head of the Greek NGO in Turkey, Costas Sklavounos, said.

    "The Greek organization has pulled off a major humanitarian effort in assuming the responsibility for assisting the quake-stricken residents of Golcuk not living in official camps for quake victims," said European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) director in Turkey Alan Cameron.

    The Dimitra organization was responsible for distributing some 4,500 winter coats to quake-stricken residents in the Golcuk region of Turkey last month, an area severely hit by a massive Aug. 17 that struck northwest Asia Minor.

    The Greek NGO is an official ECHO collaborator and is active in various humanitarian and social assistance programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Members of the group arrived in the neighboring Turkey immediately after the Aug. 17 earthquake.

    [11] First meeting between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria since WW2

    SOFIA, 02/03/2000 (ANA/AFP)

    The first tripartite meeting between the leaders of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey since World War II will take place on Mar. 5 in three border cities of the three countries respectively, according to an announcement by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

    The meeting, to be attended by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezda Mikhailova and her Greek and Turkish counterparts George Papandreou and Ismail Cem, will be "an excellent opportunity for all three countries to give an example for shielding regional security", Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ranko Vlaikov said.

    "Greece and Turkey are two NATO member-states and Bulgaria is a candidate country for accession to the European Union in the second wave of enlargement," Vlaikov said.

    The three ministers will visit the cities of Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Edirne (Turkey) and Alexandroupolis (Greece) by helicopter and, apart from the issue of security, they will also be discussing issues concerning their economic cooperation and joint infrastructure plans, the spokesman said.

    [12] U.S. report on drugs commends cooperation with Greek police

    WASHINGTON, 02/03/2000 (ANA/T. Ellis)

    Greek and U.S. law enforcement agencies enjoy an "excellent working relationship" the annual U.S. State Department report on drug trafficking noted.

    "Local U.S. authorities report an excellent working relationship with Greek law enforcement agencies. The government of Greece is an active member of international anti-drug and anti-money laundering organizations," the report published on Tuesday stressed.

    The report also noted that the "Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE) of the Ministry of Finance has participated in a number of narcotics interception operations since it was activated in 1987".

    It also made specific mention of a 10-month investigation (of) the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), working with the Hellenic National Police (EL.AS.), SDOE and the Hellenic Coast Guard seizing "about four tons of cocaine" worth "4.5 million dollars and arresting 16 suspects".

    "Greek authorities' valuable assistance to DEA also led to the arrest of several high-level Colombian traffickers based in Barranquilla and Panama," it added.

    The three-page report on Greece also noted the creation of an internal affairs unit within EL.AS., mentioning, however, that according to information provided by the U.S. embassy in Athens there where "no reports of serious corruption within the narcotics department of the police force, nor the governmental anti-narcotics agencies".

    The report stressed that "Greece's geography, particularly its extensive coastline ... and its membership in the European Union make it a favored drug transshipment route to Western Europe. Two major Balkan drug routes pass through Greece: from Turkey through Greece and Albania to Italy and from Greece to Bulgaria and on to central and Western Europe".

    Finally, the report mentioned the increase in heroin use in Greece, which ranks second in drug related deaths in Europe.

    The report called Turkey a crossroads in drug trafficking and transport to Europe, noting that the increased heroin trade in Albania originates mainly in Turkey. It added that Turkish law enforcement agencies arrested 5,030 people in 1999 narcotics related cases.

    [13] New Greek ambassador at Council of Europe delivers his credentials

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Greece's new Ambassador to the Council of Europe Athanassios Theodorakopoulos delivered his credentials on Wednesday to the Council's Secretary General Walter Swimer.

    Theodorakopoulos stressed the great importance Greece attributes to the Council of Europe and stressed the country's adherence to respect for human rights and democratic institutions, which are sectors in which the Council of Europe plays a leading role.

    [14] Greek stocks rebound on selective buying

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Equity prices rebounded on Wednesday after a three-day decline, which pushed the market 4.44 percent lower.

    Traders said selective buying for large and medium-sized capitalization stocks, particularly in the Industrials sector, was the main source of energy in the market. A positive climate in international markets and a sharp drop in long-term yields on Tuesday also encouraged sentiment.

    The general index ended 1.22 percent higher at 5,063.45 points, off the day's highs of 5,090.74 points.

    Turnover was a low 167.33 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.03 percent to 2,802.28 points, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.64 percent higher at 787.84 points.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 9,574.27 +0.32% Leasing: 1,089.70 +0.75% Insurance: 3,226.23 +0.36% Investment: 2,460.94 +0.34% Construction: 2,601.12 -0.58% Industrials: 3,012.19 +3.25% Miscellaneous: 6,242.79 +1.21% Holding:

    5,281.56 +0.18%

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks ended at 1,106.98 points, up 0.29 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 220 to 117 with another seven issues unchanged.

    Intersat, Vis (c), Athens Water, Korasides Telecom, Crete Building, Vis (p), Agrinio, Doudos and Eskimo ended at the day's 10.0 percent limit up, while Lanacam (p), Lambropoulos (c), Piraeus Invest, Daring and Korfil (c) suffered the heaviest percentage losses. Hellenic Telecoms, Athens Water and ETBAbank were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Leading shares' closing prices (in Drs): Alpha Credit: 25,010 National Bank: 23,300 Commercial Bank: 22,980 Ergobank: 9,325 Eurobank: 12,265 Heracles Cement: 9,450 Hellenic Petroleum: 4,430 Intracom: 16,510 Minoan Lines: 7,850 Hellenic Telecoms: 10,410Panafon: 5,770 Titan Cement: 16,500

    Equity futures rise in slim trade: Equity futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished higher on Wednesday in line with the stock indices on which they are based.

    On the Athens bourse, the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 1.03 percent up; and the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 for medium capitalization stocks closed 0.60 percent higher.

    Turnover from futures fell to 5.6 billion drachmas from 7.41 billion drachmas a day earlier and 10.1 billion drachmas on Monday.

    A total of 702 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20, showing turnover of 4.0 billion drachmas.

    The contracts ended as follows: expiring March at 2,846.75; expiring April at 2,870; expiring May at 2,898; and expiring June at 2,878.

    Futures traded on the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 numbered 490, posting turnover of 1.6 billion drachmas.

    Contracts closed as follows: expiring March at 815; and expiring April at 832.

    Bonds pick up steam on ECB rate cut hopes: Bonds in the domestic secondary market traded briskly in higher turnover on Wednesday, partly fuelled by expectations of a rate hike by the European Central Bank, traders said.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.37 percent from 6.43 percent in the last two trading days and 6.42 percent on Friday.

    The paper's yield spread over German bunds fluctuated between 91 and 92 basis points against 96 basis points in the two previous sessions and 98 basis points on Friday.

    Trade through the central bank's electronic system totalled 86 billion drachmas from 40 billion drachmas a day earlier. Buy orders accounted for the whole of turnover.

    Traders are expecting a Greek central bank rate cut of 75-100 basis points in March, which they say will have little impact on the market, unless it is deeper.

    Drachma up vs. euro, down vs. dollar: The drachma gained on the euro but fell against the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market on Wednesday.

    At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 333.700 drachmas from 333.930 drachmas a day earlier and 334.040 drachmas on Monday.

    Also at the fixing, the US dollar was set at 344.150 drachmas against 342.380 drachmas in the previous session and 344.760 drachmas on Monday.

    [15] Report by PASOK Eurodeputy on course of EU economy to be discussed on Wednesday

    BRUSSELS, 02/03/2000 (ANA - C. Haralambopoulos)

    A report prepared by the head of the ruling PASOK party's Eurodeputies George Katiforis on behalf of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee, questions the economic policy applied by the European Union in the framework of the Stability and Development Pact's implementation.

    Katiforis' report, focusing on the European Commission's annual report on the course of Europe's economy, will be discussed on Wednesday and ratified on Thursday by the European Parliament.

    [16] Greece to participate in Hannover EXPO 2000 fair

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Greece will participate in the international fair EXPO 2000, one of the biggest of its kind in past decades, due to take place in Hanover, Germany, from June 1 to October 31, 2000 with the participation of 190 countries.

    Greece will have its own pavilion in the eastern sector and its presence will be related to the topic of the World Fair titled "Man-Nature-Technology."

    [17] Industrial production up 4.5 pct in December

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Greece's composite industrial production index, including mining, manufacturing, electricity and natural gas, increased 4.5 percent in December 1999 from the same month the previous year.

    The composite index rose 3.7 percent in the period January-December 1999 compared with the previous year.

    Sector indices moved as follows:

    The mining production index soared 35.8 percent reflecting a sharp rise in bauxite, building material, oil and natural gas production - due to the reopening of the Thassos oil fields.

    The manufacturing index rose 1.7 percent, reflecting rises in clothing and footwear, wood and packaging machines.

    The electricity-natural gas production index increased 6.7 percent in December.

    [18] Greek shipping register rebounds in February

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The Greek shipping register rebounded in February raising its fleet tonnage by 171,147 tons, Merchant Marine Ministry's figures showed on Wednesday.

    A ministry report said that 10 new ships hoisted the Greek flag in February with a total tonnage of 349,236 tons, while another nine ships were deleted, of 178,089 tons.

    The average age of the newly registered ships was five years while the average age for the deleted ones was 24 years.

    Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis expressed his optimism that the new - and biggest - Greek-owned cruise ship "Olympic Voyager" (part of Royal Olympic Cruises' fleet, a member of Louis Group) would be listed on the Greek shipping register.

    [19] Subsidized loans for returning Greeks

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The government announced Wednesday it had earmarked 10 billion dr. over the next three years in the public investments program for subsidizing home loans to returning Greeks.

    The funds will go to subsidize interest on loans extended to returning Greeks for the acquisition of a home.

    Returning Greeks who take up residence in the border regions of Macedonia and Epirus will receive a subsidy of 80 percent of the interest on loans taken out to build or purchase a home.

    Returning Greeks taking up resident in the major urban centers -- Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras and Iraklion (Crete) -- will receive a 40 percent subsidy on the interest of their home loans, while the subsidy for those taking up residence in the rest of the country is set at 60 percent.

    The loans will have a repayment period of 15 years, and will carry an interest rate equal to that of interest-bearing treasury bills increased by 2.2 percent.

    [20] British Parliament committee to examine the Parthenon

    LONDON, 02/03/2000 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    A British Parliament committee decided to visit Athens in order to examine from close up the Parthenon and assess conditions regarding the marble relief statues ripped away and taken to London by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century.

    According to a report in the British daily "Guardian", sources in the British culture ministry said that the committee, examining the source of foreign archaeological treasures in Britain, will visit the Parthenon and expressed their disappointment over the development, as "it will sent the wrong message and will re-open the issue of the Parthenon Marbles' return" to Greece.

    [21] Ceremony in Turkey commemorates 100-year anniversary since poet George Seferis' birth

    ISTANBUL, 02/03/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    A ceremony commemorating the 100-year anniversary since the birth of Nobel laureate George Seferis was held this week in his native district of Vourla, in modern-day Izmir.

    "We're proud that this municipality of Izmir is the birthplace of such a great Greek poet," Izmir prefect Kemal Nehrozoglu said in an address.

    A representative from the Greek embassy in Ankara also attended the event and read out a message by the Greek culture minister, as Athens has declared the year 2000 as the "Year of George Seferis". In addition, the Greek government is also organizing an international conference in the western Asia Minor port city on the topic of "George Seferis: Between East and West". Flowers were later laid outside Seferis' ancestral home, now located on a street that two years ago was renamed in honor of the poet.

    [22] Road accident statistics

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    A total of 174 people were killed in road accidents in December 1999 throughout the country, up 0.7 percent from 161 deaths in December 1998, according to figures released Wednesday by the national statistics service of Greece ESYE.

    According to the figures, 164 people were killed, 345 were seriously injured, and 2,146 suffered lighter injuries in December, against 161 deaths, 352 serious injuries and 2,073 light injuries in December 1998.

    ESYE said that in the past three years, an overall 6,556 persons were killed in traffic accidents: 2,131 in 1999, 2,226 in 1998, and 2,199 in 1997.

    [23] Athens seminar on int'l human rights law this month

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    Panteion University in Athens' Institute of International Relations will organize a special four-day seminar this month on the issue of international human rights law.

    The seminar is scheduled to occur between March 14 to 17 at the institute's Plaka hall. For more information, call 33.12.325-7.

    [24] Italian Navy transport vessel arrives in Piraeus for visit

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The Italian Navy troop carrier and landing vessel "San Marco" arrives in Piraeus on Thursday for a four-day visit, part of a training voyage.

    The vessel, carrying 180 first-year naval NCO cadets, began its voyage on Feb. 21. Capt. Nicola Heusch skippers the 8,000-tonne vessel.

    Admission to the public is available from March 3 to 5 between 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    [25] Transport ministry unveils Internet site of intercity bus schedules

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The Ministry of Communications and Transport unveiled a new Internet service both in Greek and English for those who want to travel in Greece, using public transportation.

    The ministry's Internet page (www.yme.gr) now includes all intercity bus schedules for 19 of the 52 prefectures of Greece, while soon the rest will also be included.

    An e-mail access system through the page allows users of the service to ask specific questions, realizing an interactive information network.

    [26] 2004 Olympics committee seeks French investments

    Athens, 02/03/2000 (ANA)

    The committee managing the 2004 Olympic Games to be hosted by Athens on Wednesday outlined investment opportunities to a group of visiting French executives.

    Addressing the delegation of 120 executives representing a wide range of French products and services were the committee's chairman, Panayotis Thomopoulos, and its managing director, Kostas Bakouris.

    In the French group's third visit to the Greek capital, Bakouris laid emphasis on investments needed in the sectors of hospitality, transport, medical services, security, foodstuffs, sports equipment and advertising.

    [27] De Soto begins contacts

    NICOSIA, 02/03/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto began here Wednesday his first working day with a meeting at UNFICYP headquarters, to be briefed by UN personnel about the force and its work on site.

    De Soto, who arrived here Tuesday night on a familiarization visit, spent most of the day at Nicosia International Airport where UNFICYP has its headquarters.

    The top UN envoy on Cyprus is scheduled to visit the Turkish occupied Karpass peninsula on Thursday and will continue his visits until his departure on Wednesday next week.

    Meanwhile, announcing the visit the spokesman of the Secretary General Fred Eckhard said the main purpose is "familiarization with Cyprus and the UN mission's work on the island and not to further the process of the proximity talks, although he will be meeting with Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash towards the end of his stay."

    "Proximity talks are due to resume, subject to confirmation, on 23 May in New York," the spokesman said.

    De Soto chaired proximity talks in New York and Geneva where the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides outlined their positions on the four core issues of the Cyprus question.

    Eckhard said the Peruvian diplomat would go to Ankara and Athens after Nicosia for meetings with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem.

    [28] Hannay in Cyprus on March 13

    NICOSIA, 02/03/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    Britain's special representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay arrives here for a two-day visit on Monday 13 March during which he will have talks with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    Hannay, who has been in the wings of the UN-led proximity talks in New York in December and Geneva in February, will start his contacts with a working breakfast with President Glafcos Clerides on the 13th.

    He will then cross into the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia to have a working meal with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and meet party leaders.

    On Tuesday, Hannay is scheduled to see leaders of the Greek Cypriot parties and Cyprus' chief EU negotiator George Vassiliou.

    He is likely to hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon before he leaves the island.


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