Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-04-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/04/1997 (ANA)
- Greek peacekeeping battalion ready to leave for Albania
- Orthodox Archbishop's visit to Gjirokaster
- Theodorakis concert in Skopje warmly received
- New Cyprus FM Cassoulides due in Athens Friday
- Vasso Papandreou on SMEs' development
- Thessaloniki roundtable discussion on civilisation
- Olympiakos wins Greek basketball cup
- Greek soccer results
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek peacekeeping battalion ready to leave for Albania
The largest peacekeeping contingent ever sent abroad by Greece departs for
strife-torn Albania tomorrow or on Wednesday, depending on weather
The bulk of the Greek force, roughly 720 troops, set out from the Nea Santa,
Kilkis army base yesterday to participate in the UN-mandated multinational
operation, code-named "Alba" (dawn).
Greece's mission officially began with an inspection yesterday by the chief
of the Hellenic Army General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis, of the
71st infantry brigade headquarters at Nea Sanda, where the battalion headed
for Albania was stationed .
Mr. Paragioudakis was initially briefed by the commander of the 71st
brigade, Brigadier Gen. Athanasios Galinos, and then inspected the troops
composing the Greek peacekeeping battalion, together with the battalion's
commander, infantry Lt.-Col. Constantinos Katsikoyiannis.
"Today is a special day. We feel proud of you who compose the largest
peacekeeping force which has ever left Greece for abroad. As in Bosnia,
where we had no accident, I hope we will not face any problems in Albania
as well. Greece is basing its international image on you," the army general
staff chief told the troops.
Gen. Paragioudakis also referred to the dangers the Greek battalion may be
faced with and provided them with a pamphlet containing basic instructions
on details of the mission and the method of defence in various dangerous
situations, as well as the leg al status governing military presence in a
Approximately 600 officers and NCOs will be stationed in Tirana, while the
remaining 120 in Vlore. Another 80 officers and NCOs are in full readiness
at the Nea Sanda base.
The Greek battalion will stay in Albania for three months until elections
are held in that country. On the other hand, if the situation is not
normalised its stay will be extended for another three months. The troops
will be decorated immediately after the end of the peacekeeping mission.
Orthodox Archbishop's Gjirokaster visit
Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios visited Gjirokaster
yesterday and referred to the work done by the Autocephalus Orthodox Church
of Albania at a crucial time experienced by Albania, the Orthodox community
and ethnic Greeks living in Albania.
He said that "we are offering resistance to the wave of fear, flight and
desperation and we are continuing...with faith, love and hope."
Anastasios laid the foundation stone of a new cathedral in the ethnic Greek
village of Kakavia in the Pano Dropoli region on Saturday.
Theodorakis concert in Skopje warmly received
World famous composer Mikis Theodorakis received an enthusiastic ovation at
the Popular Theatre in Skopje on Saturday night, repeating two parts from
his symphony "Zorba the Greek" after prolonged applause from the audience.
The concert was attended by Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
President Kiro Gligorov, top members of Skopje's government, representatives
of the diplomatic corps and 200 guests from Greece.
The concert, broadcast live by FYROM's state radio and state television
network, as well as by Greek state radio, included participation by the
Philharmonic Orchestra of Skopje, the Popular Theatre's Orchestra, a choir,
mezzosoprano Sofia Mihailidou and bouzouki player Grigoris Tsistoudis.
Before the concert began, addresses were made by FYROM writer Meto
Jovanovski, president of a friendship society between the two countries,
and by Paraskevas Paraskevopoulos, a state deputy from the ruling PASOK
party, who termed the event "an evening of friendship, peace and mutual
"We must start from common points uniting us, a climate of confidence and
mutual understanding must be created and the governments must find
solutions which are mutually beneficial for both peoples," he said.
New Cyprus FM Cassoulides due in Athens on Friday
New Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides will visit Athens on
Friday at the invitation of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos for talks
with the Greek government.
Greek Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis extended the invitation
during a meeting on Saturday with the Cypriot foreign minister, during
which they discussed Cyprus' prospects for accession to the European Union
and the ongoing UN-sponsore d proximity talks.
Mr. Kranidiotis told the press after the meeting, that the next two to
three years will be crucial to the Cyprus problem in relation to the
island's EU accession course, reiterating that this course is progressing
"We don't foresee an easy road, there will be difficulties, but I believe
that there will also be opportunities," Mr. Kranidiotis said, stressing
that those opportunities must be taken advantage of through a long-term
Mr. Kranidiotis also said a Cyprus solution must be based on the 1977 and
1979 High Level Agreements the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides have signed,
and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, adding that ideas discussed
in the past affect discussion s for a solution.
The High Level Agreements provide for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in
Mr. Kranidiotis said the Greek Cypriot side was right to reject the "set of
ideas" on the Cyprus problem, proposed by former UN secretary-general
Boutros Boutros-Ghali in their entirety, because they do not serve its
Mr. Kranidiotis added, however, that this does not mean there are no
positive aspects to the "set of ideas", and that the ideas could not affect
"This, however, does not mean we are throwing them in the waste basket. We
need to modify them to allow the state to function and ensure they are in
line with Cyprus' EU accession course," he said.
Mr. Cassoulides also noted that these ideas should not create any problems
during a transitional period in relation to the international recognition
of the Republic of Cyprus.
As far as common ground on the views of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides
is concerned, Mr. Kranidiotis said both Greece and Cyprus will assess
whether there is any when the proximity talks conclude, adding that it is
too early at this stage to make t hat assessment.
Mr. Kranidiotis denied press speculation that he would announce his
candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections in Cyprus early next
year. Mr. Kranidiotis is of Cypriot origin.
In fresh statements yesterday at Larnaca Airport before departing for
Athens , Mr. Kranidiotis said no duplicity exists over the Cyprus issue
between Athens and Nicosia. He said the policy on Cyprus is unified between
Greece and Cyprus, close cooperation exists and targets and visions are
Vasso Papandreou on SMEs' development
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou said "the field of small-and medium-
sized enterprises is particularly sensitive, many of them close down and
She added: "There is great mobility in this sector. All must be aware that
we need enterprises which will not have a circumstantial nature, they must
not be antiquated and above all they must not expect to be supported and
operate solely with subsidies. "
Ms Papandreou said that in no way can SMEs base their survival on the
state. She said we must support SMEs but the state can never play the role
of the father who takes care of and protects his "invalid" children.
Thessaloniki roundtable discussion on civilisation
Speaking at a roundtable discussion at the Byzantine Museum in Thessaloniki
on Saturday on the sidelines of a meeting of intellectuals from around the
world entitled "Civilisation on the Threshold of the Third Millenium",
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed the need for the principle of
cultural equality among European Union countries to be included in Article
128 of the Maastricht Treaty.
Speaking during another discussion, the former president of the European
Parliament, Simone Veil, expressed the conviction that cultural unification
can be achieved in Europe.
Former UN secretary-general Javier Perez de Cuellar said culture is of
particular importance for the development of peoples.
He said cooperation at an inter-state and local level is an imperative need
for the development of the "culture of peace", adding that one cannot speak
of development in regions where wars are underway.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, the president of the
University of Europe Eleni Ahrweiler-Glykatzi, who directs the event, said
"civilisation is not a question of borders but an issue of equality",
adding that "the last word of ci vilisation in Europe is a dialogue with
goodwill, namely that you must not only listen to what you say but also to
what the person next to you says."
The meeting was ended yesterday with the adoption of the "Charter of
Thessaloniki", which will contain 10 basic points.
Cloudiness with sunny spells, occasional rainfall and snowfalls in the
mountainous regions are expected for most parts of Greece today. Some
improvement is expected later in the day. Winds will be northerly moderate
to strong, reaching gale force in the Aegean. Athens will be overcast with
rain and local thunderstorms but the weather will soon improve. The
temperatures will range from 5 to 13C. Similar conditions for Thessaloniki
with temperatures between 0-10C.
Olympiakos wins Greek basketball cup
Olympiakos of Piraeus yesterday won the Greek basketball cup by beating
Apollon of Patras 80-78. Half-time score 42-37.
Greek soccer results
AEK-Panathinaikos 3-0 Olympiakos-Veria 2-0
Panahaiki-OFI 2-0 Paniliakos-PAOK 0-2
Aris-Kavala 1-3 Xanthi-Ionikos 3-0
Athinaikos-Iraklis 2-0 Apollon and Kalamata play today
Standings: Olympiakos 71
AEK 65 OFI 56
Panathinaikos 54 PAOK 53
Friday's closing rates - buying
US dlr. 268.673 Pound sterling 436.817
Cyprus pd 526.192 French franc 46.394
Swiss franc 183.123 German mark 156.042
Italian lira (100) 15.820 Yen (100) 213.240
Canadian dlr. 192.746 Australian dlr. 211.787
Irish Punt 416.144 Belgian franc 7.565
Finnish mark 52.247 Dutch guilder 138.835
Danish kr. 40.978 Swedish kr. 35.002
Norwegian kr. 38.589 Austrian sch. 22.190
Spanish peseta 1.854 Portuguese escudo 1.561