Shipping exchange revenues increase in first-half '96
NEWS IN DETAIL
Alternate Foreign Minister welcomes Clinton re-election
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou today predicted that the US
would undertake ''a new vigorous initiative'' on the Cyprus problem by
February at the earliest, following the re-election of President Bill
Papandreou said that Clinton's statements on adherence to international
rules, international law and UN resolutions concerning the region ''has
indicated a turn in US policy in recent months, particularly following the
Greece and Turkey nearly went to war earlier this year when Ankara openly
disputed Greek sovereignty of the uninhabited Aegean islet of Imia.
Papandreou said that the thrust of US interest in the Cyprus problem and
Greek-Turkish relations should be directed ''in the form of pressure'' to
the Turkish side ''which bears all the responsibility for the Cyprus
problem and its unacceptable claims in the Aegean''.
''We shall see however to what extent the US has the will to exert pressure
on Turkey and to what extent there will be a substantial response from
Ankara,'' Papandreou said, stressing that at the present time ''Turkey's
foreign policy is represented by many faces and it is difficult for one to
diagnose its true direction''.
Reppas comments on EU economic report
''Positive steps have been made in the sector of the economy and the effort
being made by the government, which will be reflected in the new budget, is
to attain the targets set,'' government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said
The spokesman was commenting on the European Commission's twice-yearly
review of economic conditions in the EU published today.
According to the Commission, only Greece, Italy and Britain will fail to
meet the deficit criteria laid down in the Maastricht Treaty as part of the
prerequisites set for countries wishing to join a single currency in
''Greece's interest is not focused exclusively on its presence in the
process of European integration, but also on its overall effort to upgrade
its role and presence in the EU,'' Reppas said.
Stressing that the government was making every effort to attain the
economic convergence targets set, Reppas categorically denied that it was
considering a devaluation of the drachma.
October inflation falls to 8.3 per cent
Inflation fell in October to 8.3 per cent from 8.5 per cent in September,
according to figures released today by the National Statistics Service
The figure is the same as for October 1995 and resulted from a 0.9 per cent
increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) compared to a 1.1. per cent
increase in the same month last year.
The rise in the October CPI was mainly due to price increases of winter
clothing and footwear, pork, lamb, goat meat, fruit, vegetables, furniture
and household consumer goods.
In addition there were price increases of gasoline, bus fares in the
provinces and rents.
These increases were offset by reductions in the prices of fresh fish,
potatoes and heating oil.
The NSS estimated that if the present good weather keeps up and there are
no ''unexpected'' developments, inflation will mark a further drop in
Greenpeace blockade at refinery broken up
The captain of the Greenpeace vessel "Arctic Sunrise" and 17 activists of
the international environmental organisation were arrested early Wedensday
at the Motor Oil refinery installations at Aghioi Theodoroi, Corinth,
charged with breaking the law by disrupting sea navigation.
Greenpeace activists had chained themselves since Tuesday to mooring buoys
and loading cranes, while the Arctic Sunrise blocked access to the
refinery's port demanding stricter safety measures.
The 17 activists were arested early in the morning on order of the Corinth
Public Prosecutor, who had warned the protestors that they were breaking
the law by obstructing marine navigation.
The Arctic Sunrise's captain, David Enever, was arrested later after
refusing to move the ship out of the area.
Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis later told reporters that he had
asked the Greenpeace activists to leave the Motor Oil installations
''Unfortunately, on the instructions of the public prosecutor of Corinth,
14 persons, the captain and the person in charge of the ecology operation,
Nikos Charalambidis, were arrested. Since yesterday morning, I personally
had tried to persuade the protesters, underlining our sensitivity on
environmental issues,'' Soumakis said.
Expressing regret over the outcome of the operation, Soumakis added that in
addition to his own efforts, the chief of the coastguard sent a fax to the
(Corinth) Isthmus Coastguard Heaquarters informing that a group of officers
were considering taking ''new security measures''.
Soumakis said that the Isthmus coastguard chief forwarded the fax to the
protesters who, however, were not persuaded.
''Excesses do not help, but the decision was taken by the public prosecutor,
'' the minister added.
Commenting on the arrests, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated
that the government showed sensitivity regarding ecological issues and
underlined that the motives of the persons arrested ''are certainly not
Distancing the government from this morning's arrests, Reppas stressed that
the entire procedure had been carried out on the orders of the public
Reppas said that the government had already set up a 17-member committee to
deal with issues related to the protection of the marine environment and
called on Greenpeace to cooperate with the committee.
Simitis to visit Rome, Lisbon
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will visit Rome on November 20 and take part
in the CSCE summit in Lisbon on December 2, according to his schedule for
the next month announced today by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
On December 12 Simitis will pay a working visit to the Hague before flying
the following day to Dublin to attend the European Union summit.
Reppas said that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma would visit Greece on
November 12-13, followed by Irish Premier John Bruton on November
Congratulating US President Bill Clinton on his re-election, Reppas said
that with regard to his policy on Greece's national issues ''we shall judge
The spokesman said that Simitis would be sending a congratulatory
telegramme to Clinton later today.
Kyprianou fears 'blackmail' over Cyprus' accession to EU
Cyprus Parliament President Spyros Kyprianou today expressed concern that
pressure would be exerted ''for Dayton-type meetings'' within the framework
of initiatives being undertaken for a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Saying that he hoped he would be proved wrong, Kyprianou also expressed
fear that ''there will be blackmail connected even with Cyprus' accession
to the European Union''.
Kyprianou was speaking at a joint press conference with his Greek
counterpart, Apostolos Kaklamanis, following talks between the two
Commenting on recent developments regarding the Cyprus problem, Kyprianou
predicted that the British iniative for a settlement would eventually
become one with an anticipated US initiative.
''Alertness and awareness is necessary on the part of all Greeks in order
to confront initiatives which distort the physiognomy of Cyprus and fail to
secure broad guarantees from the permanent members of the United Nations
Security Council,'' Kyprianou said.
Kyprianou stressed that Turkey did not invade Cyprus only to subsequently
leave voluntarily, but to establish itself permanently ''and everyone knows
this but no one is prepared to acknowledge reality''.
''The Cyprus problem must once again become a world problem,'' he said,
adding that it was in this direction that the Greek and Cyprus parliaments
Foreign Undersecretary concludes high-level contacts in Cyprus
Foreign Undersecretary Christos Rozakis completed his visit to Cyprus
with a new round of talks yesterday with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos
Michaelides on the Cyprus issue and the course of the island republic's
accession t o the European Union.
Speaking to reporters at the end of talks, Mr. Michaelides said they
examined many sectors in depth, adding that "we hope and expect intense
consultations on the Cyprus issue to start soon."
Stressing that a great deal of ground has been covered in connection with
Cyprus' accession course, Mr. Michaelides went on to say that "just as in
the past, future success is based on very close cooperation between Greece
Mr. Rozakis referred to the possibility of Greece's contribution to issues
concerning support for Cyprus during the run-up to accession.
Asked to comment on the initiative by the United States, Mr. Rozakis said
so far, Athens has no specific information from an authoritative source on
the kind of initiative Washington plans to undertake after the US
Referring to the same issue, Mr. Michaelides said what the Cypriot side is
aware of are official statements by US President Bill Clinton on the
assumption of substantive initiatives and actions for a solution to the
According to press reports, common strategy moves set out by Athens and
Nicosia include issues concerning disinvolvement and military dialogue, as
well as counter-proposals on confidence-building measures in the event they
are raised in intercommunal ta lks.
The reports said long-term planning includes a strong diplomatic campaign
based on seeking a wide agreement framework with backing by the US and the
European Union on the accession of Cyprus to the EU, and an end to Turkish
aggression in the Aegean.
In exchange for Turkey's compliance, Greece will offer its consent for a
further rapprochement between Turkey and the EU.
Nicosia and Athens agree that Turkey's stance is the key to lifting the
deadlock and, more specifically, to what extent the disposition on a
positive approach formulated by the diplomatic establishment in Ankara will
be finalised as its official policy without backtracking.
Mr. Rozakis is due back in Athens this morning.
Spokesman: Latest Turkish violation of Cyprus' sovereignty again unveils Ankara's intentions
The violation of Cypriot airspace by Turkish warplanes which subsequently
landed in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island republic proves
that there is no friendly disposition on the part of Ankara for rapprochement
between Greece and Turkey, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said
yesterday. "There is no honest stance on the other side for finding a
solution to the Cyprus problem, since Ankara persists in its tactic of
creating tension," Mr. Reppas added.
Turkish warplanes violating Athens FIR intercepted on 15 occasions
Turkish warplanes yesterday violated Athens Flight Information Region
(FIR) regulations and infringed on Greek national airspace on at least 15
occasions in various parts of the Aegean, sources said.
Greek fighters intercepted the intruders in all instances, some of which
developed into close engagements.
Referring to the incidents, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos described
them as "common", in view of an on-going Turkish military exercise.
President Stephanopoulos expresses regret over sinking of gunboat
President Kostis Stephanopoulos said today that it was unacceptable to draw
any hasty conclusions ''and create impressions in general'' regarding the
sinking of a Hellenic Navy missile boat which was rammed by a passenger
ferry on Monday night.
Stephanopoulos was speaking on Samos where, together with National Defence
Minister Akis Tsohadzopoulos, he watched the final phase of the ''Parmenion''
The missile boat ''Kostakos'' was taking part in the all-service exercise
when it was rammed by the ferry boat ''Samaina'' about 500 metres off
A special navy committee chaired by a high-ranking officer is investigating
the cause of the accident, as is a permanent admiralty court.
Stephanopoulos expressed his deep regret over the ''tragic accident'' since
which four crew members have remained missing.
The president underlined that the country's armed forces enjoyed the full
confidence of the entire Greek people and himself and congratulated all
those who participated in Parmenion.
Greek-Jordanian maritime accord signed
Greece and Jordan signed a maritime cooperation agreement following talks
which Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis had in Amman, his ministry
The agreement provides for the unrestricted access of the two countries'
vessels to the ports of each nation as well as provision of all possible
facilities to the vessels while in port.
Shipping exchange revenues increase in first-half '96
Shipping exchange inflows increased by 4.6 per cent in the first half of
1996 to total $1.1 billion, compared to $1.05 billion in the corresponding
six-month period of 1995. According to figures released yesterday by the
Bank of Greece, shipping exchange inflows amounted to $192 million in June
this year, against $197.5 dollars in the same month of 1995, marking a drop
of 2.8 per cent.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 236.334 Can. dlr.176.675, Australian dlr. 185.901 Pound sterling
390.610, Irish punt 390.650, Cyprus pd 513.638, French franc 46.178, Swiss
franc 186.000 Belgian franc 7.583, German mark 156.220 Finnish mark 51.991,
Dutch guilder 139.336 Danish Kr. 40.662, Swedish Kr. 35.738, Norwegian Kr.
37.170, Austrian Sh. 22.201, Italian lira (100) 15.553 Yen (100) 207.526
Spanish Peseta 1.857, Portuguese Escudo 1.546.