Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-04-11
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 11/04/1997 (ANA)
- Greece considering request to recall envoy from Iran
- No Simitis-Erbakan meeting scheduled
- ND leader Karamanlis attacks government policies
- Foreigner dies of heroin overdose
- Dutch presidency proposals on Greek-Turkish problems
- Premier's official visit to Austria next weekend
- Preparations underway for Greek force to Albania
- Athens-Skopje relations vital for FYROM's stabilisation
- Kavala residents demand closure of Bulgarian nuclear plant
- People's Republic of China official in Athens
- Re-opening of Greece-Novorossyisk shipping route discussed
- Drachma depreciates against EU currencies
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece considering request to recall envoy from Iran
The Greek government said today that it was considering recalling its
ambassador from Teheran following an EU suggestion that member states
should do so after a German court accused Iran's leaders of ordering the
killing of exiled Kurdish dissidents in Berlin.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas clarified however that the Greek
ambassador at present remained at his post, adding that Athens had
expressed certain reservations over the recall suggestion.
No Simitis-Erbakan meeting scheduled
The government said today that no meeting between Prime Minister Costas
Simitis and his Turkish counterpart, Necmettin Erbakan, had been scheduled
on the sidelines of the NATO summit in June.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas added however that the two leaders
''may exchange greetings or even views, but this does not constitute a
meeting with a planned agenda''.
ND leader Karamanlis attacks government policies
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis today launched
an attack on the government's policies in a number of sectors while
addressing the party's Central Committee which is meeting to elect a new
Karamanlis said ND was the party which believed in ''social dialogue''
which, he added, must be sincere and substantial ''not spasmodic''.
Accusing the government of following policies aimed at serving petty party
interests, of being responsible for ''waves of retirements'' and ''waste
which has inflated the problem'', Karamanlis urged ''innovations which are
however not at the expense of low salary earners and those receiving low
If the country does not enter ''an orbit of development'', Karamanlis said,
the government would have to tackle the problem of unemployment by
resorting to ''subterfuges''.
Karamanlis expressed the view that due to the shortfall in state revenue in
March, the budget either risked being ''overturned'' or there would be ''a
new tax offensive and new fiscal measures will be announced''.
Turning to Greek-Turkish relations, Karamanlis asked the government to
clarify its position, speaking of ''rumours'' that Athens had already
entered into a dialogue with Ankara.
Karamanlis stressed that ND was not opposed to dialogue with Turkey in
principle, but on the condition that Ankara respected international
treaties and international law.
Foreigner dies of heroin overdose
Police today discovered the body of an unidentified foreigner in a basement
flat in the Athens district of Thission -- the thirteenth victim of a
heroin overdose in the last two weeks.
Neighbours in the apartment building alerted the police due to a strong
smell coming from the flat of the man who is believed to be about 30 years
The police coroner said his death was due to a heroin overdose.
Dutch Presidency proposals on Greek-Turkish problems
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday that a Dutch EU
Presidency proposal for the formation of a committee of experts to deal
with Greek-Turkish disputes, was "an element of policy within the framework
of broadening ways of resolving problems in Greek-Turkish relations".
Mr. Reppas said that talks between Alternate Foreign Minister George
Papandreou, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and the EU
presidency delegation was "within the framework of the effort to resolve
the problems in relations" between Greece and Turkey.
Referring to the conditions set by Greece as prerequisites for any
improvement in relations with neighbouring Turkey, Mr. Reppas reiterated
that these were refraining from using force, Ankara's retraction of its war
threats, respect by Turkey for intern ational law and recourse to the
International Court at the Hague for resolving differences of a legal
The spokesman also stressed that normalisation of Greek-Turkish relations
also presupposed a "positive response" from Ankara to Greece's proposals.
Meanwhile, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and US ambassador
to Athens Thomas Niles yesterday discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the
EU Dutch presidency's relevant initiatives on the issue.
Premier's official visit to Austria next weekend
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to pay an official visit to Austria
between April 20 and 23, it was announced yesterday.
Talks are expected to deal with a broad range of issues, including the
situation in the Balkans - particularly centring on Albania and the former
Yugoslavia - as well as on future EU and NATO expansion.
Discussions are also expected to focus on the Cypr us issue, with which
Austria has a special relationship, being the country with the longest-
serving contingent in the UN peacekeeping force on the island (since
The last visit of a Greek prime minister to Vienna was that of the late
Andreas Papandreou in May 1983. Former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky
paid a brief visit to Athens during Athens' assumption of the rotating EU
presidency in January 1994, whic h oversaw the successful negotiations for
Austria's EU accession.
Mr. Simitis will head to Bonn for an official visit after Vienna.
Preparations underway for Greek force to Albania
The Greek force to be sent to Albania as part of a multinational force to
be deployed is in its final stage of preparation. The force will probably
leave the port of Igoumenitsa with Hellenic Navy vessels.
Athens-Skopje relations vital for FYROM's stabilisation
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Branko
Crvenkovski said here yesterday that normalisation of relations between
Skopje and Athens is important for his country's stabilisation and a factor
assisting in the effort to attract German investment.
Mr. Crvenkovski, who is paying an official visit to Bonn as of Wednesday,
was scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl yesterday
The FYROM official expressed satisfaction over the development of relations
between his country and Greece in an interview with "Deutsche Welle",
stressing the fact that Greece is emerging as the landlocked former
Yugoslav republic's largest trade partn er.
The main target of Mr. Crvenkovski's visit to Germany is the economic side
of bilateral relations and an effort to persuade German banks and
businessmen to invest in FYROM.
Kavala residents demand closure of Bulgarian nuclear plant
Several residents of the Kavala prefecture have voiced concern with the
continuing operation of Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear plant.
The issue was discussed in a prefectural council meeting yesterday. The
council approved a resolution demanding that the plant shut down and call
on the Greek government to use its status as a member of the European Union
in order to exert pressure to t he neighbouring country to close the Soviet-
People's Republic of China official in Athens
The minister and general auditor of the People's Republic of China Guo
Zuengyan will arrive in Athens tomorrow at the invitation of the State
Audit Council President Apostolos Botsos.
The Chinese official will meet senior judicial officials of the Council and
will be briefed on its organisation and functions and on the way fiscal
management is conducted.
Re-opening of the Greece-Novorossyisk shipping route discussed
Secretary general of overseas Greeks, Stavros Lambrianidis, held a meeting
yesterday with the mayor and representatives of the local parliament in
Novorossyisk, focusing on the re-opening of the Greece-Novorossyisk
shipping route and the teaching of Greek in this Russian Black Sea
Visiting the city within the framework of the "Greek Cultural Month in
Northern Russia," Mr. Lambrianidis elaborated on the positive consequences
a re-opening of the shipping route would have on Greek-Russian trade
The president of the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) Ioannis Tzen, who
is also visiting Russia as part of the Greek delegation, held talks with
Greek-Russian and several Russian entrepreneurs concerning the prospect of
establishing a Greek- Russian chamber in the region.
Novorossyisk, the largest Russian port on the Black Sea, is home to some
120,000 ethnic Greeks.
Drachma depreciates against EU currencies
The value of the drachma fell against almost all European Union member-
state currencies in March, compared to February, according to the monthly
bulletin of foreign currency parities compiled by the Exports Research and
Studies Centre (KEEM).
A total of eleven EU member-state currencies appreciated against the
drachma by between 0.005 per cent (Finnish mark) and 0.60 per cent (pound
The Italian lira and the Swedish krona depreciated against the drachma by
0.54 per cent.
The following foreign currencies appreciated against the drachma in March
(compared to the previous month):
US dollar (1.68 per cent), Swiss franc (0.99 per cent), Canadian dollar
(0.38 per cent), Australian dollar (4.4 per cent), Japanese yen (1.86 per
cent) and the Cyprus pound (0.54 per cent).
In the same month, the value of the Norwegian krona dropped by 0.65 per
cent against the drachma.
Sunny weather with some local cloudiness is forecast for most parts of
Greece today. Winds will be variable, weak to moderate with a slight rise
in temperatures. Athens will be mostly sunny with temperatures between 4-
16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where temperatures will range from 1-
Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 267.751
Pound sterling 434.198 Cyprus pd 524.768
French franc 46.295 Swiss franc 181.814
German mark 155.838 Italian lira (100) 15.783
Yen (100) 212.238 Canadian dlr. 192.210
Australian dlr. 208.117 Irish Punt 415.053
Belgian franc 7.554 Finnish mark 52.189
Dutch guilder 138.577 Danish kr. 40.904
Swedish kr. 34.791 Norwegian kr. 38.507
Austrian sch. 22.146 Spanish peseta 1.846
Portuguese escudo 1.555