Visit our archive of Documents on Greece & the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 13 April 2024
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

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)


  • Greece plans elite rapid deployment force
  • Kazakhstan seeks stronger ties with Greece
  • Pangalos concludes Belgrade visit, foreign ministry cooperation protocol signed
  • New framework for investment and financial services presented
  • Defence minister highlights Turkish threat
  • Australian state politicians invite Simitis to visit
  • Greek market attractive for French industrialists
  • Greece's telecom to purchase 385,000 digital phones
  • Humanitarian aid for Palestinians
  • Four Bulgarian teachers killed in crash
  • Prosecutor examines British film 'Trainspotting'


    Greece plans elite rapid deployment force, defence minister says

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said today that one of government's priorities was the establishment of an elite rapid deployment force in the Greek armed forces.

    "The establishment of a strong rapid intervention force, made up of well- trained men, and with fully-equipped firepower is the priority in the national defence ministry's planning," Tsohatzopoulos said in an interview with the Athens afternoon daily 'Ta Nea'.

    He said that the men in the 1,000-3,000-strong force would be volunteers on a five-year tour of duty but would also include conscripts after a planned restructuring of the armed forces, aimed at making better use of manpower.

    Additional needs would be covered by veterans of multi-national forces outside Greece, he said.

    Other defence ministry plans include the increase the operational effectiveness and pre-emptive capability of the armed forces, the completion of the second phase of the Greece-Cyprus joint defence doctrine ensuring fully coordinated weapon system planning, and the establishment of two peacekeeping units made up of between 100-200 men to take part in European Union and United Nations missions.

    Referring to the five-year (1996-2000) weapons system programme, Tsohatzopoulos said the programme introducing new technologies and weapons systems would exceed the three trillion drachma mark.

    He said the country's military defence diplomacy would be strengthened not only within the framework of NATO and the Western European Union (WEU) but through bilateral defence agreements.

    Tsohatzopoulos said that Greece's national strategy "is exclusively of a defensive nature".

    Kazakhstan seeks stronger ties with Greece

    Kazakhstan's deputy culture minister said today that he hoped to promote stronger culture ties with Greece during his week-long visit here.

    Vladimir Koutovoi, who is visiting Greece at the invitation of MTI, one of a consortium of Greek companies organising the national lottery of Kazakhstan, said he expected his visit to be an opportunity for further cultural contacts between the two countries.

    "There is a Greek community and a Greek Cultural Centre in Alma Ata, the capital of Kazakhstan and its members are very active," he said.

    "Now, with the cultural fund that will be financed by the lottery the consortium of Greek companies has organised, we will proceed to carry out several cultural projects including excavations, restoration of antiquities and expansion of our cultural relations with other countries," he added.

    Kazakhstan, one of the largest republics of the former Soviet Union, is siutated north of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Although there are no ancient Greek cities in the area, Koutovoi said, the archaeological museum has many ancient Greek vases.

    "We don't know how they came, but it seems that our relations with Greece go very far back," Koutovoi said.

    Koutovoi, who is scheduled to return to Kazakhstan next week, expects to meet and discuss promotion of Greek-Kazakhstani relations with Greek officials.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the President of the National Council of French Employers Mr. J. 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."

    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.

    Humanitarian aid to Palestinians

    The foreign ministry said today that it was sending medical supplies worth 9.5 million drachmas to the Palestinian self-rule areas.

    The supplies were gathered by the health ministry following a decision by minister Costas Geitonas in response to a Palestinian appeal.

    4 Bulgarian teachers killed in crash

    Four Bulgarian tourists were killed last night when their car plunged 150 metres off while travelling on the Trikala-Ioannina national road.

    Police identified the four as: Martin Perzian, 35; Elila Krumova Luntenova, 24; Stefka Angonelova Christova, 52; and Radoslava Ivanova Radeva, 23.

    A fifth passenger, Christina Ktereva Constantinova, 24, was pulled seriously injured from the wreck of the car.

    All five were teachers and visiting Greece to take part in a training programme for teachers of Modern Greek studies on the island of Lefkada.

    Police said the accident occured at the 112th km, near Ioannina, when the vehicle rounded a corner at excessive speed, hit the rear of another vehicle and spun out of control, breaking through the protective barrier and plunging off the cliff.

    'Trainspotting'investigation ordered

    An Athens prosecutor today ordered a preliminary investigation into claims by an Athens daily earlier this week that the film "Trainspotting" glorified drug use.

    Prosecutor George Koliokostas said the film would be watched by an expert panel which would decide if it glamourised the use of narcotics and, if so, banned.

    "Trainspotting", one of British cinema's biggest-ever box office hits, graphically tells the story of a group of Scottish drug addicts.

    The film is due to premiere in Athens cinemas tonight. Cinemas screening the film would be considered to be breaking Greek drug laws and could face arrest if the panel finds the film to be in favour of drug use.


    Heavy rainfalls and occasional 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.


    U.S. dlr 239.032 Can. dlr.176.417, Australian dlr. 189.204, Pound sterling 379.519, Irish punt 383.011, Cyprus pd 510.880, French franc 45.884, Swiss franc 188.480 Belgian franc 7.535, German mark 155.238 Finnish mark 52.022, Dutch guilder 138.354 Danish Kr. 40.517, Swedish Kr. 36.018, Norwegian Kr. 36.605, Austrian Sh. 22.062, Italian lira (100) 15.591 Yen (100) 212.982 Spanish Peseta 1.844, Portuguese Escudo 1.539.


    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
  • Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    apeen2html v1.00 run on Friday, 18 October 1996 - 13:28:55