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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-10-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


ATHENS, Greece, 16/10/1996 (ANA)


  • Athens lodges demarche over murdered Greek Cypriot
  • U.N. Security Council expresses ' profound sorrow'
  • Russia, Greece look at defence cooperation issues
  • Lesbos denounces operation of petrochemical factory on Asia Minor coast
  • Greece expresses reservations on fast change of E.U. quality standards for fuels
  • Greece set to ratify Schengen agreement by new year
  • Greek firms invited to 'group visit' programme to major U.S. trade fairs
  • Quake hits Argolida


    Athens yesteday lodged a demarche with the 13 members of the U.N. Security Council which are diplomatically represented in Athens over the cold-blooded murder of 58-year-old Greek Cypriot Petros Kakoullis by Turkish armed forces in the occupied parts of Cyprus on Sunday.

    The demarche was lodged with the ambassadors of the 13 Security Council member-states to Athens.

    Head of the Greek-Turkish relations department at the foreign ministry, Ilias Klis, lodged the demarche to the ambassadors.

    Reffering to the conditions surrounding Kakoullis's murder, the demarche points to a policy of murder and violence by the Turkish occupation forces which aims at showing that the two communities cannot live together and eliminate hope for a just and via ble solution to the problem.

    In the demarche Athens is calling on all Security Council member-states to condemn this latest killing.

    Murdered Greek Cypriot laid to rest

    Cypriot and Greek government officials, party leaders and representatives, as well as hundreds of people, attended the funeral of 58-year-old Greek Cypriot refugee Petros Kakoullis, murdered in cold blood by Turkish occupation forces last Sunday.

    In an obituary at the funeral, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said "the message Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash wish to send the world, by brutally murdering Kakoullis and Tassos Isaac and Solomos Solomou last August, is that there is tension in Cyprus and that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together."

    Regret over the murder was also expressed in a message sent by the mayor of the Polish town of Auschwitz, who, noting the recent signing of the Acropolis Charter in the hope of peace, democracy and freedom for all peoples, expressed the hope its provisi ons will be respected.

    Greek Minister to the Aegean Elizabeth Papazoi said that Greece and Cyprus should react together with the international community in handling the situation prevailing on the island.

    Ms. Papazoi arrived in Cyprus yesterday to attend the funeral of Petros Kakoullis, who was brutally murdered by Turkish occupation forces on Sunday morning.

    She said that with fascist groups organised by the occupation regime, as well as with armed settlers, the Turkish side is trying to prove that there is no future for unified Cyprus.

    President of the Social Democratic Movement (DHKKI),Dimitris Tsovolas, who arrived in Cyprus yesterday to attend the funeral of Petros Kakoullis, told reporters that the situation in Cyprus constituted an offence to the international legal order and the human rights of the Greek citizens on the island.

    The UN Security Council convened in camera last night following a proposal by the UN Secretary-General's senior adviser for political affairs Sinmagia Carecan and in the light of the latest cold-blooded murder of an unarmed Greek Cypriot by Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus.

    Before receiving a letter of protest from Cyprus' representative Nicos Agathocleous, the Council's presiding official made the following statement:

    The Security Council expresses its profound sorrow over the serious incident in Cyprus, which resulted in the death of an unarmed Cypriot citizen. The Council denounces this unwarranted act in the strongest way, which only contributes to an increase in tension on the island.

    US urges 'all the sides in Cyprus' to avoid force

    The US yesterday condemned the murder of unarmed Greek Cypriot Petros Kakoullis by Turkish Cypriot forces.

    State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns termed the murder "unjustified and unnecessary use of deadly force" and expressed the sorrow of the US over the incident.

    "A Greek Cypriot was killed by Turkish Cypriot soldiers in the region controlled by the Turkish Cypriots when he passed the 1974 ceasefire line. The US expresses its profound sorrow and condemns the use of deadly force in this incident," Mr. Burns said.

    Mr. Burns reiterated the US position over the need for a peaceful solution to differences, saying that "the US urges all the sides in Cyprus to avoid force and work closely with the UN forces on the island to create mechanisms for a peaceful handling of events along the buffer zone."

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is starting a tour of capitals in the former Yugoslavia today. He is due in Sarajevo today, Belgrade on Thursday, and Zagreb on Friday.
    Turkish Ambassador to Athens Umit Pamir held talks with the two Moslem deputies Galip Galip and Akifoglou Birol, and representatives of the minority in Thrace, at the Komotini consulate yesterday.

    Emerging from the consulate, the two Moslem deputies were called on to comment on Mr. Pamir's statement on Monday about the presence of "Turks" in Thrace.

    Mr. Galip said "we are Greek citizens, we have Greek nationality and we live in Greece." Mr. Birol said "whatever problems exist should be resolved in the Greek Parliament."

    Rodopi Prefect Stergios Stavropoulos, who met Mr. Pamir on Monday, said "the conclusion from the meeting with the Turkish ambassador is that the minority in Thrace can become a bridge of friendship between Greece and Turkey and not the bone of contention between the two countries."

    The Union of Lesbos Municipalities and Communities has called on corresponding local government unions in the northern Aegean for joint action against the operation of a petrochemical factory by the Retkin company on the coast of Asia Minor, opposite Mytilene.

    The Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of Lesbos said in an announcement "given that environmental problems know no boundaries and expressing our strong concern through local government, as well as that of the entire po pulation of our islands, we hope for the timely taking of measures to restrict pollution or the relocation, in the best of cases, of such pollutant activities." In parallel, it requests the intervention of the government and calls on it to denounce Turkey at international organisations.

    The ecological organisation Greenpeace had recently denounced the operation of the petrochemical factory, located in the Ali Aga region, after an analysis was made of the unit's sewage and made ominous predictions over the future of the wider sea environment in the Aegean.

    The European Union`s environment ministers` council yesterday held a general orientation discussion on the Commission proposals for cleaner fuels and a new generation of cars with catalytic converters.

    Environment Undersecretary Theodoros Koliopanos, who represented Greece, stressed the application of strict standards for the control of vehicle exhaust emmissions, but expressed reservations regarding the fast change of quality standards for fuels, str essing the need to give refineries the possibility of turning to the production of better fuels with more realistic time-schedules and stable investment conditions.

    He provided a reminder that Greece has already planned a $100 million investment for the reduction of sulphur in diesel fuel, and that any proposals for further reductions must be documented and based on a balanced relation between cost and effectivenes s.

    Finally, he asked for an extention of the proposed exemption from the use of lead-free petrol, for the application of a realistic timetable for the withdrawal of cars, 65 per cent of which today are still based on conventional technology.

    Greece-Schengen Agreement

    Greek Foreign Ministry European Affairs Secretary General Stelios Perrakis, who left today for Luxembourg in order to take part in the meeting of the Schengen Agreement Executive Committee, said that Greece will "open its borders to Europe as of 1 January 1997."

    Perrakis said the Greek Parliament is expected to ratify, by the end of the year, a law on protecting private life and individual liberties before endorsing the Schengen Agreement.

    Greece is one of the very few members of the European Union who has yet to ratify the agreement, despite stated political will for participation.

    In the event that the relevant law is not ratified in Parliament by the end of December, Greece runs the risk of being deprived the right to membership. In this case, Greece will be granted the status of observer.

    The National Bank's interest rate for overdue debts will result from the anticipated conventional interest rate, increased by two and a half percentage points, plus possible special contributions for third parties, according to an announcement issued by the bank yesterday.

    The National Bank decided that the interest rate for overdue debts applied by banks for amounts due for loans in drachmas or exchange to be concluded or renewed as of August 1, 1996, onwards will not exceed the interest rate anticipated by the relevant contract by more than two and a half percentage points.

    This decision will also apply to overdue debts concerning loan contracts or credits.

    An international conference entitled "Greek-Romanian economic relations," is due to take place in Athens on January 20-22.

    The conference, organised by the International Economic Relations Institute and the Greek-Romanian Business Association, aims at attracting more investment activity to Romania.

    The conference will take place with the participation of Romanian government officials, scientists and businessmen.

    The commercial section of the US Embassy in Athens has invited Greek businessmen and organisations from the private and public sector to take part in a series of trade missions to major trade expositions in the United States over the next two months designed to help boost commercial relations between the two countries.

    According to Patrick Santillo, commercial counsellor at the embassy, US exports to Greece, including defence sales, were approximately $1.5 billion in 1995, while Greek exports to the US were about $400 million.

    "The commercial section sees its primary role as assisting in increase the trade volume on both sides. It is devoted to the active promotion of US companies wishing to expand their activities abroad, and also to support Greek companies by providing information to enable them come into direct contact with US suppliers," Mr. Santillo said Tuesday at a presentation of the programme of group visits.

    By inviting Greek companies to international trade fairs in the US in group visits set up by the commercial section, the specialists accompanying them will be instrumental in bringing them in touch with US companies interested in exporting to Europe an d to Greece in particular.

    Under the International Buyers Programme (IBP) the commercial section is organising five group visits to six major trade expositions in the US in November and December.

    The first such group visit is November 4-11 to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week-96 (AAIW) to be held November 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada and the International Autobody Congress and exposition (NACE) running November 7-10 in Orlando, Florida.

    These two major international exhibitions on the automobile sector cover the latest achievements in American and world technology (AAIW) and the newest in car parts and accessories as well as car repair materials (NACE).

    The second group visit is from November 12-19 to Medtrade 1996, to be held November 13-16 in Atlanta, Georgia. Considered the biggest exhibition in medical products in the world, Medtrade will have more than 1,200 exhibitors from all over the world representing 2,500 manufacturers and exhibiting 250,000 products. It also includes 300 seminars covering a wide variety of branch issues.

    A group visit will take place November 16-23 to Pack Expo 96 in Chicago, Illinois, which will take place November 17-21. Pack Expo is the largest international trade exhibition in the packaging sector, and will have 1,500 exhibitors from all over the wo rld presenting the latest developments in all areas of industrial packaging, as well as related international seminars.

    The next scheduled group visit will be to Comdex '96 to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada November 18-22, which will have 3,000 exhibitors covering computer hardware and peripherals, software, multimedia and CAD CAM products, and the Internet. Considered the world's premiere information technology marketplace for resellers and corporate decision makers, COMDEX presents the most modern solutions to imformatics problems, with special emphasis on communications, multimedia, on-line services, OEM sources, and inf ormation highways (Internet), with more than 500 exhibitors in the information highways field alone.

    Finally, a group visit will take place December 3-8 to Power Gen. 96 in Orlando Florida from November 4-6. The largest international exhibition and conference on electricity production, Power Gen. will have 937 exhibitors from all over the world present ing their achievements and the most modern solutions that have been successfully applied in the field of electricity generation from all sources of energy, machinery, equipment, material and new technology systems, as well as products and services geared to environmental protection. In addition, 350 seminars will cover a wide range of related themes.

    A sector specialist from the commercial section will accompany each group visit to help facilitate visitor contact with the organisers and exhibitors.


    An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale shook earlier today the prefecture of Argolida but police reported no casualties or damages.

    The epicentre of the quake was located near the city of Nafplion.


    Fair and sunny weather in most parts of the country with temperatures ranging in Athens from 16-23C and in Thessaloniki from 13-21C.


    U.S. dlr 237.812 Can. dlr.175.782, Australian dlr. 188.133, Pound sterling 374.432, Irish punt 382.218, Cyprus pd 510.880, French franc 45.882, Swiss franc 189.522 Belgian franc 7.538, German mark 155.332 Finnish mark 52.044, Dutch guilder 138.483 Danish Kr. 40.515, Swedish Kr. 36.039, Norwegian Kr. 36.561, Austrian Sh. 22.075, Italian lira (100) 15.622 Yen (100) 212.794 Spanish Peseta 1.847, Portuguese Escudo 1.536.


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