October inflation falls to 83 per cent
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece determined to join EMU, Commission calls for further measures
Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday Greece was steadfastly
dedicated to equal participation in the European Union, the same day a
European Commission report called on Greece to adopt further measures in
the effort to reduce its public deficit.
In Brussels, Commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies, expressed confidence that
Greece can effectively reduce its deficit.
"Greece can meet the target of reducing public deficit below 7.6 per cent
of GDP for 1996, as stated in the convergence programme of the Greek
economy, but on the condition that the Greek government proceeds immediately
to the adoption of the necessary corrective measures," she said.
EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Yves Thibault de Silguy made statements to
the same effect, stressing that no country could be excluded from the final
phase of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), stressing, however, the need
for Greece to make increased efforts towards monetary stabilisation.
The European Commission's twice-yearly review of economic conditions in the
EU was published yesterday.
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
Greek leadership sends Clinton congratulations on his re-election
The nation's top political leadership extended its congratulations
yesterday on the re-election of Bill Clinton to the US presidency.
In a message of congratulations, President of the Republic Kostis
Stephanopoulos wished Mr. Clinton, who defeated Republican challenger Bob
Dole, "success in his great and demanding mission."
President Stephanopoulos also expressed his conviction that close ties
between Greece and the United States "will continue to be developed and
strengthened continuously for the mutual benefit of both our countries and
for the promotion of the purposes of peace, security and progress
throughout the world."
In his message, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said: "On the occasion of
your re-election as president of the United States, I would like to address
my warmest congratulations to you and my sincere wishes for every success
in your important mission".
"I am convinced that during the course of your term in office, the friendly
and constructive relations between the United States and Greece will
continue to develop, not only to the benefit of their people, but also to
the benefit of peace and prosperit y in the sensitive regions of the
Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean," Mr. Simitis added.
On his part, main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert also sent
Mr. Clinton a congratulatory telegram, expressing his certainty that the
"longterm and historical ties" between Greece and the United States will
become even stronger during his next four-year tenure.
In addition, the government yesterday officially welcomed Mr. Clinton's re-
election victory, adding that it would judge the Clinton Administration's
policy on Greece by actions and not words.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that with regard to Mr. Clinton's
policy on Greece's national issues "we shall judge his deeds".
Meanwhile, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday predicted
that Washington would undertake "a new vigorous initiative" on the Cyprus
problem and Greek-Turkish relations by February at the earliest, following
the re-election of Mr. Clint on.
Mr. Papandreou said Mr. 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
Imia problem". Greece and Turkey nearly went to war earlier this year when
Ankara openly disputed Greek sovereignty of the uninhabited eastern Aegean
islet of Imia.
Mr. Papandreou said that the thrust of US interest over the Cyprus problem
and Greek-Turkish relations should be directed "in the form of pressure" to
Ankara, "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," Mr. Papandreu 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."
10 violations of Greek airspace by Turkish warplanes reported
Greek national airspace and Athens FIR regulations were violated on 10
separate occasions by Turkish warplanes yesterday, with seven of the
violations being perpetrated by Turkish F-16 fighters and three with F-4
"Phantom" aircraft between the islands of Samos and Hios, sources
In all 10 instances, Hellenic Air Force aircraft intercepted the violators
and escorted them out of Greek airspace.
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 yesterday by government spokesman Dimitris
On December 12, Mr. Simitis will pay a working visit to the Hague before
flying the following day to Dublin to attend the European Union summit.
Mr. Reppas said that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma would visit Greece
on November 12-13, followed by Irish Premier John Bruton on November
New FPA board announced
The new board of the Foreign Press Association of Greece following the
organisation's Oct. 30 election are as follows: President: Evangelos
Antonaros (Die Welt) Vice-President: Costas Paris (Reuter)
Secretary General: Patrick Quinn (Associated Press) Treasurer: Nawab Khan
(IRNA) Special Secretary: Vera Koridi (Cypriot Press)
Advisors: Costas Tsatsaronis (Deutsche Welle)
Rea Sourmeli (Agence France Presse) Takis Berberakis (Milliyet)
Alternates: Nikos Papazoglou (Associated Press) Sameh Abdallah (Al
European, Arab youth organisations to confer in Athens
Representatives of several European and Arab youth organisations are to
attend the third preliminary meeting being organised in Athens by the Greek
youth general secretariat, in cooperation with the Council of Europe.
The meeting aims to prepare the conference on "Euro-Arab Youth Dialogue for
Mutual Understanding and Cooperation", which is to be held in Budapest this
Representatives of roughly 100 European and Arab youth and international
organisations are to attend the conference.
Greenpeace blockade of Motor Oil refinery broken up
The captain of the Greenpeace vessel "Arctic Sunrise" and 15 activists of
the international environmental organisation were arrested early yesterday
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 16 activists were arrested early in the morning on order of the Corinth
Public Prosecutor, who had warned the protesters 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.
Late last night, the 16 activists were set free, after a Corinth public
prosecutor referred them for trial on February 6 on charges of disturbing
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," Mr. Soumakis said.
Expressing regret over the outcome of the operation, Mr. Soumakis added
that in addition to his own efforts, the chief of the coastguard sent a fax
to the (Corinth) Isthmus Coastguard Headquarters informing that a group of
officers were considering taking "new security measures."
Mr. 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 yesterday's arrests, Mr. Reppas stressed
that the entire procedure had been carried out on the orders of the public
Mr. 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.
Greek firms to present wares at Belgrade trade fair
A number of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace based companies will participate in
an international foodstuffs and beverages exhibition to be held in Belgrade
on December 11-14, in an attempt to enter the Yugoslav market.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, which is held with the participation of
the largest Yugoslav companies in the sector of foodstuffs production as
well as with the largest importers and distributors of foodstuffs from
Balkan and European countries, th e Greek businessmen are expected to meet
and discuss cooperation with their Yugoslav colleagues and other businessmen
from the Balkans.
Prospects in the food sector of the Yugoslav market look promising but a
wave of Western European companies which has appeared in the market is
causing increasing competition.
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 yesterday 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 ESYE estimated that if the present good weather keeps up and there are
no "unexpected" developments, inflation will mark a further drop in
Greeks preparing giant sand sculpture in Egypt
Three Greeks are creating what they say will be the largest current land
art project in the world - a set of perfect cones made of sand and arranged
in spirals over 10 hectares (25 acres) of Egyptian desert.
Bulldozers started work at the site on the Red Sea coast in September and
the work of art, known as Desert Breath, will be ready for inauguration in
ceremonies between November 29 and December 1, one of the organisers said
Once the work is complete, they will document its decay over six months as
the wind wears the cones away, said Wail Khalil, a marketing executive with
sponsoring company Orascom.
The project is the brainchild of Alexandra Stratou, Danae Stratou and
Stella Constantinides, known as the D.A.S.T. Art Team, a statement from the
Khalid said the centre of the work would be an artificial lake 30 metres
(100 feet) in diameter. Two spirals, one of sand cones and one of conical
depressions cut into the floor of the desert, would circle outwards in the
shape of a nautilus shell.
The 178 cones start small, at about 50 cm (20 inches) high, rising at the
outside to almost four metres (13 feet).
"The climax, when everything is geometricaly perfect, will be at sunset and
we'll light it with torches. Then we will follow the sand as it moves and
the work decays," said Khalid.
"By creating conical volumes as precise geometrical forms, the passage of
time can be measured through their slow disintegration," the statement
"At this instant in time, which signals the simultaneous completion of all
the cones, the ritual of inauguration will take place to make time zero
before the work begins its gradual transformation," it added.
The site of the work is a flat expanse of sand between the Red Sea and
mountains at El Gouna, 21 km (13 miles) north of the southeastern tourist
resort of Hurghada.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 237.267 Can. dlr.178.024, Australian dlr. 187.781 Pound sterling
390.054, Irish punt 389.757, Cyprus pd 512.864, French franc 46.191, Swiss
franc 185.886 Belgian franc 7.579, German mark 156.091 Finnish mark 51.967,
Dutch guilder 139.207 Danish Kr. 40.652, Swedish Kr. 35.845, Norwegian Kr.
37.031, Austrian Sh. 22.191, Italian lira (100) 15.558 Yen (100) 208.300
Spanish Peseta 1.857, Portuguese Escudo 1.548.