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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-10-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 18/10/1996 (ANA)


  • Pangalos concludes Belgrade visit,foreign ministry cooperation protocol signed
  • New framework for investement and financial services presented
  • Australian state labour party invite Simitis to visit
  • Greek market viewed attractive for French industrialists
  • Greece's telecom to purchase 385,000 digital phones


    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic signed a protocol on cooperation between their ministries here yesterday.

    Earlier in the day, Mr. Pangalos, who is on a three-day tour of countries of former Yugoslavia, held successive meetings with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Federal Prime Minister Radoye Kodic.

    According to the Serbian president's press office, the Greek foreign minister's meeting with Mr. Milosevic underlined that Greece and Yugoslavia are "successfully advancing their cooperation in all sectors, based on their traditional friendly relations and common interests especially in the economic field."

    "The cooperation protocol will contribute to a more regular exchange of views between the two ministries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest," Mr. Milutinovic told reporters after the meeting.

    Stressing that the meeting was held in "a friendly atmosphere of mutual understanding and coincidence or rapprochement of views," Mr. Milutinovic said that consultations will begin immediately between the two ministries aiming at the signing of inter-state agreements creating the conditions for Greek investment activity in Yugoslavia.

    The Greek foreign minister said that Yugoslavia concluded its obligations stemming from the Dayton peace accord and the inter-Balkan cooperation and therefore deserved to be fully integrated into the international community.

    According to the Greek foreign minister, Greece will raise the issue of an equal treatment of Yugoslavia when the Council of Ministers meets at the close of this month.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis is due to visit Yugoslavia within the next three months, Mr. Pangalos said, adding that prospects were now being shaped regarding greater freedom of movement of people, goods and capital between the two countries.

    At the meeting, Mr. Pangalos agreed to "a future unhindered movement of Yugoslav citizens to Greece within the framework of Community policies."

    Yugoslavia has asked for the abolition of visas due to friendly relations between the two countries. The meeting agreed to a simplification of procedures for granting Greek visas to Yugoslav citizens.

    Economic cooperation

    The meeting between the two foreign ministers also centred on development of economic cooperation emphasising the creation of strong economic ties with northern Greece.

    It was agreed that in the framework of such efforts economic officials and businessmen from both countries should meet in March in Thessaloniki.

    The meeting also focused on strategically important projects in the fields of railway and transport. Transport ministries in both countries discussed in the past the issue of Greece's request for more transit permits.

    Mr. Milutinovic said consultations would accelerate between experts from both countries regarding the Thessaloniki port issue.

    Mr. Pangalos stressed the need to modernise the highway, in cooperation with the European Union, linking Greece to Hungary and Slovenia through Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Pangalos said the highway constituted a "vital artery for Greek exports, " also proposing the construction of a railway linking Thessaloniki to Munich in eight hours by high-speed trains.

    Mr. Pangalos, who on Wednesday held talks in Sarajevo, was due to depart last night for Zagreb, last stop of his tour.

    Chairman of the Capital Market Commission professor Stavros Thomadakis yesterday presented the new institutional framework for investment and financial services, updated with three new administrative regulations, which will come into force on November 1.

    The new provisions set the conditions for the granting of licences to Investment Services Companies (EPEY) with minimum own funds of 200 million and 1 billion drachmas, and institutes certificates, or deeds of representation, for foreign securities traded in the Greek stock market. It is considered that these certificates will provide a new substantial tool for attracting securities and stocks from other Balkan countries as well as other foreign investment funds for their purchase.

    It is worth noting that the new institutional framework also provides for the setting up of EPEYs with minimum own capital of 30 million drachmas, to replace today's "producers" of stock market transactions, who will now have to alter their legal statu s into societes anonymes in order to be able to continue operating. It is considered that this measure will eliminate many problems facing investors, especially outside Athens.

    Mr. Thomadakis said the new provisions will institute more order in the Greek stock market, which is necessary for its further development. Under persistent questioning by reporters he admitted, however, that the Capital Market Commission does not,for the time being, possess the technical possibilities to exercise an effective supervisory role, nor can it exercise control in each individual case, as the Bank of Greece does in the banking sector. He said that the Commission will carry out weekly sample checks in the sector until more specialised staff is hired.

    He added that another two regulations will be issued soon, concerning a code of ethics for EPEYs and the adequacy of their capital base respectively.

    Finally, he announced that commercial law professor Mihalis Minoudis will soon replace Nikos Bertsos in the post of Commission deputy chairman.

    Reliable sources said yesterday that negotiations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) under the auspices of UN mediator Cyrus Vance will be resumed in the next fortnight, and the process will be sped up, with more frequent or longer sessions.

    Turkish threat highlighted in Tsohatzopoulos speech

    Speaking at the Armed Forces Officers Club at an official dinner by the 'Young President's Organisation' last night, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos focused on the threat facing Greece from Turkey which keeps occupation forces on territory of the Republic of Cyprus and nurses specific claims in the Aegean.

    Mr.Tsohatzopoulos said that Greece, the sole European Union, NATO and West European Union member-state in the region, constitutes a stabilising factor against Turkey through the preservation of a responsible position capable of averting actions and fai t accomplis overturning fragile balances in this geopolitical subsystem.

    He said it also constitutes a force of friendship, peace and economic cooperation in the Balkans, a crucial factor in shaping conditions of security in the wider geopolitical area and supporting the enlargement of the European Union, with top priority b eing given to the accession of Cyprus and Malta.

    In a draft resolution submitted to the plenum of the European Parliament, and already approved by the Socialist group, PASOK Eurodeputies are asking for a condemnation of e terrorist bomb attack against St. George`s in the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul on September 30.

    The draft resolution is also asking for the immediate adoption of measures in cooperation with Turkish authorities for protection of the Patriarchate and the restoration of the damages.

    It is also pointed out that so far the Turkish government has issued no official condemnation of the attack.

    The leader of the South Australian opposition Labor Party Mike Wran and the deputy leader of the Victorian opposition Labor Party Dimitris Dollis have invited Prime Minister Costas Simitis to visit Australia.

    Mr. Wran said he hoped the Greek prime minister would accept the invitation to visit "so as to strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries".

    Mr. Wran is heading the campaign to reopen Australian consulate general in Thessaloniki.

    Australian unions support Cyprus

    The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) yesterday pledged to undertake initiatives to support efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and to protect human rights on the island, assistant ACTU secretary Bill Mencil said after a meeting with members of the Coordinating Committee for the Cyprus Struggle.

    Mr. Mencil said the ACTU would make protests to the Turkish government and international organisations and call for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces, the respect for human rights and a resolution of the problem.

    Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who recently told the UN General Assembly that Canberra was preparing an international initiative on the Cyprus issue to be activated after the US presidential elections in November, is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Cypriot community early next year.

    European Commission representation in Greece acquires own INTERNET space

    The European Commission's representation in Greece has acquired its own space in the INTERNET network, enabling Greek users of the network to have access to useful information in Greek concerning the European Union.

    Maria Savvaidou-Polyzou, director of the representation, told a press conference yesterday that relevant information will be provided on the EU's historic framework, institutional bodies, their role and function, the European Commission, the European Co mmission's representation in Greece, the EU's policies, official documents, various publications, etc.

    The Athens Municipality will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dimitris Mitropoulos' birth in November with a photographic exhibition, concerts and the unveiling of a bust of the celebrated maestro, created by sculptor Thanassis Apartis.

    The bust was donated to the Athens Municipality's Cultural Centre by Apartis' widow and will be placed in the square in front of the Athens conservatory which Mitropoulos had attended as a student and had taught at afterwards.

    A great personality of our century, Mitropoulos played a role in creating a permanent Symphonic Orchestra in Athens, later known as KOA, and directed orchestras even in suburban squares in the capital and inspired the holding of concerts in ancient Greek theatres.

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the President of the National Council of French Employers Mr. J. Gandois referred to issues concerning French investments in Greece, the role played by Greece in the Balkans and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Mr. Gandois termed the Greek market "attractive" for French industrialists and noted the sectors of trade, industry and telecommunications as being the most interesting for future cooperation between the two countries.

    He said Greece is the most developed country in the region and could play an important role in creating joint businesses with the French, adding that the problem in the Balkan region, regarding the development of economic activity, is that "one should n either make haste nor delay."

    Mr. Gandois also focused on the future signing of a protocol with the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) on developing trade between the two countries, increasing French industrial investments in Greece and the participation of French businesses in ma jor projects taking place in the country.

    The board of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation convened yesterday and decided to purchase 385,000 digital telephones from the Intracom and Siemens companies to help meet OTE's needs by the end of 1996 and in the first half of 1997.

    According to members of the board, if the decision to procure the telephones was not taken yesterday, OTE ran the risk of losing revenues running into billions of drachmas, immobilising part of its staff and losing revenues from the European Union.

    The board also decided to hire a group of advisers from the Belicor, Telecom Italia and Prire Waterhouse companies to advise OTE on the planning and development of the network, the restructuring of the procurements system and processes to procure 2,000, 000 digital telephones as anticipated by its operational programme.


    Heavy rainfalls and occasiobnal rainstorms throughout the country with an improvement later on in the day. Temperatures will range in Athens from 16- 21C and in Thessaloniki from 14-18C.


    Ancient games see a revival

    The Isthmia games of antiquity are getting a new lease of life, this time on the other side of the world, in the Hume Muncipality in the state of Victoria.

    The city's decision to revive the games is based on drawing tourists from around Australia and abroad, especially in the year 2000 when Sydney hosts the Olympics.

    The games - including chariot racing, track and field events, a pentathlon, Greco-Roman wrestling and other events - begin today and will end on Sunday.

    2004 Olympics bid

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday chaired a ministerial meeting to discuss Greece's candidacy for hosting the 2004 Olympics in view of the visit, on 24 October, of the International Olympic Committee.

    The meeting took place with the participation of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Public Order Minister George Romeos, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pachtas, Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras and President of the organising committee for the Olympics, Yanna Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou.

    Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Mr. Papandreou said that "if we work in the right direction we have great chances of winning."


    U.S. dlr 239.003 Can. dlr.176.278, Australian dlr. 189.085, Pound sterling 379.043, Irish punt 384.102, Cyprus pd 511.078, French franc 45.846, Swiss franc 188.321 Belgian franc 7.529, German mark 155.154 Finnish mark 51.985, Dutch guilder 138.265 Danish Kr. 40.493, Swedish Kr. 36.089, Norwegian Kr. 36.575, Austrian Sh. 22.062, Italian lira (100) 15.591 Yen (100) 212.953 Spanish Peseta 1.845, Portuguese Escudo 1.538.


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