Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-04-18
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 18/04/1997 (ANA)
- Pangalos: Turkey must make certain moves to improve relations
- Pangalos says ready to meet with Ciller
- G. Papandreou: "we have not entered into negotiations"
- Greek-Israeli cooperation in energy and tourism
- Crete airport operational for military duties
- Top contenders for post of new US ambassador to Greece
- Premier's working visit to Austria on Sunday
- Estonian FM's talks in Athens
- Greek embassy in Bonn unveils Internet sites
- Herma column found near Parliament
- Marathon race in Rhodes
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Pangalos: Turkey must make certain moves to improve relations
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos reiterated last night that for a
substantive improvement to be achieved in Greek-Turkish relations it is
necessary for Turkey to find some way to state that it abandons its threat
of war against Greece and to further state that it recognises and accepts
the institutional framework governing relations between the two countries.
Mr. Pangalos was speaking after two-hour talks chaired by Prime Minister
Costas Simitis last night. The meeting was attended by the foreign
ministry's entire leadership and focused primarily on developments in Greek-
Reports from Malta on Wednesday said that during consecutive meetings
between Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his
Turkish counterpart Onur Oymen, important steps towards finding processes
for resolving problems in Greek-Turkish relations were taken.
The meetings were held on the sidelines of the Euro-Mediterranean
Mr. Pangalos reminded that this framework is composed of international and
bilateral agreements and is supplemented by international law and the
international law of the sea.
"We must state that we accept this and from then on, we can discuss issues
concerning its implementation and interpretation," he added.
Referring to the process "from then on", Mr. Pangalos reminded that Greece
has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague.
Mr. Pangalos referred in turn to process issues which are not linked to the
two previous ones and reminded that the European Union Dutch presidency has
made a proposal on the creation of what is called a "committee of wisemen",
which Greece has not accepted because Athens believes it has no prospects
He said that the contacts Alternate Foreign Minister Papandreou had in
Malta concerned precisely these issues, which are still being processed and
will be completed in the next few days, while Greece will give its reply to
the Dutch presidency.
Mr. Pangalos reiterated that Greece was in favour of contacts of all kinds
with the Turkish government but what it does not accept was negotiating.
Mr. Pangalos said that the EU Association Council with Turkey will be held
according to schedule and that Greece had its views on the common position
of the 15 EU member-states and that Greece does not consent to the lifting
the veto on financial protocol, which it linked to the two general
conditions and which it sets as an improvement in Greek-Turkish relations.
Pangalos says ready to meet with Ciller
He said that if Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller requests a meeting
with him on the sidelines of the session for Black Sea Cooperation Pact
Foreign Ministers, due to be held in Istanbul on April 30, he will accept
the meeting which, he said, will be a very good opportunity for an exchange
Mr. Pangalos said that both he and Mr. Papandreou will participate in the
General Affairs Council and Turkey's Association Council in Luxembourg on
Replying to a question on a statement by Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van
Mierlo on Wednesday and reported by Reuters on the lifting of the deadlock
on the islets issue, Alternate Foreign Minister Papandreou categorically
denied that this issue was raised in the discussions and that such a
statement was made on the part of the Dutch Foreign Minister.
Papandreou: "we have not entered into negotiations"
In statements earlier on his his talks with Mr. Oymen, Mr. Papandreou
clarified that "we have not entered into negotiations with the other side
and in particular we are not negotiating sovereign rights".
"However," Mr. Papandreou continued, "a dialogue helps towards a better
understanding by both sides and enables one to focus on the dimensions of
Mr. Papandreou said that both sides appeared to accept "at least as a
basis" the formation of a committee of experts, adding that his contacts in
Malta with Mr. Oymen were simply a first step.
He reiterated that his talks with Mr. Oymen had not gone into the
"substance" of issues, while asked whether he had discerned a different
disposition on the part of the Turkish official towards Greece, Mr.
"I hope so. There is, however, a final conclusion to this initiative and I
want to be optimistic but at the same time cautious".
Replying to other questions, Mr. Papandreou said it would be premature for
one to forecast the next moves in the process.
Greek-Israeli cooperation in energy and tourism
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou commented here yesterday on what she
called the great potential for developing economic relations with Israel,
particularly in the energy and tourism sectors.
She made the statements after talks with the Israeli minister of Infrastructure,
Ariel Sharon, and Tourism Minister Moshe Katzan.
"We particularly discussed the prospects for cooperation in the energy
sector, as the Israeli government wishes to be supplied with natural gas
from Greece. Israel is a country which can play an important role in the
development of the region, and we ho pe that the stabilisation of peace
will be achieved, so that this aim may be realised," she said after an
initial meeting with Mr. Sharon.
The Israeli minister also noted his country's interest in expanding
economic relations with Greece.
Talks with Mr. Katzan centred on cooperation in attracting tourists from
countries of the Far East and the Americas.
Ms Papandreou said Greece intends to participate in the group set up by
eight Middle East countries for cooperation in the tourism sector. She also
invited Israeli businessmen to invest in Greece by participating in the
tenders for the sale of land by the Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT).
It was agreed in the two meetings to speed up procedures for the signing of
accords for the mutual protection of investments and the prevention of
Ms Papandreou is expected to meet today with the Orthodox Patriarch of
Jerusalem Diodoros, and tomorrow with Palestinian Authority President
Crete airport operational for military duties
The strengthening and widening of the unified defence doctrine between
Greece and Cyprus will be achieved with the resumption of the operation of
the Kasteli military airbase in Crete , National Defence Minister Akis
Tsohatzopoulos said on Wednesday.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was on hand for the commencement of the airport's
operation as the 133rd combat squadron.
The airport is expected to cover air defence needs for air space region
between Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus.
The minister said almost every type of modern warplane can use this airport,
which reduces the distance to Cyprus by 150 miles.
"The reduction in the distance by more than 300 km provides new possibilities
in time utilisation for Greek aircraft flights..." he said.
Top contenders for post of new US ambassador to Greece
Carey Cavanaugh, the director of Southern European affairs at the State
Department, and John Negreponte, a career diplomat of Greek descent, are
front-runners for the position of US ambassador to Athens, sources said
Current US envoy Thomas Niles is due to leave the post in the summer, on
completion of his three-year term.
US State Department sources told the ANA that there had been no decisions
made as yet but that both Mr. Cavanaugh and Mr. Negreponte were favourites.
Mr. Cavanaugh is best known in Greece for his recent shuttle trips between
Nicosia, Ankara and Athens in aid of the US initiative on the Aegean and
Cyprus while Mr. Negreponte has served as US ambassador to the Philippines,
Mexico and Honduras and was U S consul general in Thessaloniki from 1975 to
1977. He also served as assistant national security adviser under the
Premier's working visit to Austria on Sunday
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to pay a working visit to Austria between
April 20 and 23 for discussion concerning the further development of
bilateral economic cooperation.
According to the Greece's commercial attache in the Austrian capital,
Alexandros Mitrogogos, beyond the traditional trade exchanges, the sectors
of construction and subcontracting in third countries also presents
considerble interest for cooperation.
He also referred to similar possibilities in the fields of banking and
small- and medium-size enterprises for the application of new technologies.
Mr. Mitrogogos said he considers that the further development of bilateral
economic and trade relations can be based on certain existing positive
elements which each of the two countries possess, such as the particularly
strong Austrian banking presence in central and eastern Europe, and the
just as energetic Greek business activity in the Balkans and the Black Sea
region in recent years.
He also stressed that the relatively high number of Austrian tourists in
Greece (about 400,000 annually) creates a large potential market for Greek
Estonian FM's talks in Athens
Estonian Foreign Minister Toomas Ilves, currently on an official visit to
Greece, had separate meetings yesterday with Prime Minister Costas Simitis
and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.
After talks with Mr. Pangalos, Mr. Ilves described his contacts in Athens
as "particularly important," underlining that the views of the two
governments on the enlargement of NATO and the European Union were "very
Mr. Ilves, the first Estonian foreign minister to visit Greece, said his
country's foreign policy was focused on efforts for accession to the
Noting that Greece had never recognised Estonia's annexation by the former
Soviet Union, Mr. Pangalos said Estonia was the first Baltic country to
open an embassy in Athens.
Greece would in turn open an embassy in Estonia, he added.
During the talks at the foreign ministry, attended also by National Economy
Undersecretary Alekos Baltas, two agreements were signed - one relating to
reciprocal investments and the second to marine transport.
Mr. Pangalos said Greece would support Estonia's bid to join NATO, adding
that his talks with Mr. Ilves had covered the issue of the alliance's
enlargement and the possible problems this might create for Russia.
On Estonia's efforts to join the EU, Mr. Pangalos said the Baltic nation
satisfied all the prerequisites for membership.
Greek embassy in Bonn unveils Internet sites
The Greek embassy in the German capital has inaugurated German-language
electronic sites on the Internet, at the address: www.griechische-
Its E-mail address is: - firstname.lastname@example.org
The sites aim to provide information on Greek government positions
concerning current affairs. So far, the webs have been provided with briefs
on developments in the Balkans and the Greek positions on
Albania, while archival material will be added soon.
The development follows the inauguration, a month ago, by the Greek
Press and Information Bureau in Hamburg of a pilot programme at the address
http://www.griechenlandinformation.de with more general information on
Herma column found near Parliament
Archaeological excavations adjacent to Parliament in central Athens
yesterday unearthed an inscripted Herma column complete with a bust of
Chrysippos, one of the most important stoic philosophers.
The most common monument to the Olympian god Hermes - the god of commerce
and messenger of the other Olympians - a Herma was a stone pillar which
usually had a carved bust on top and was placed on the side of roadways.
The column, 1.31 metres in height and made of Penteli marble, was found in
Chrysippos lived in the third century BC.
Higher temperatures and weather improvement is forecast for most parts of
Greece today. Local cloudiness with possibile drizzle in eastern Macedonia,
Thrace, the eastern Aegean islands and the Dodecanese. Winds will be
northerly, weak to moderate. Athens will be sunny to partly cloudy with
temperatures between 6-17C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures
Marathon race in Rhodes
Athletes from more than 25 countries will participate in the first
international marathon race to be held on Rhodes this Sunday, while various
cultural events will take place in the framework of the race, beginning
Countries declaring particiption so far are Poland, Russia, Ukraine,
Hungary, the Czech Republic, Israel, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa,
Tanzania, Sudan, Egypt, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Sri Lanka, the
Philippines and Palestinian self-rule areas.
The race will start at 9:30 a.m. in ancient Kameiros.
Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 269.507
Pound sterling 438.861 Cyprus pd 526.157
French franc 46.368 Swiss franc 183.138
German mark 155.952 Italian lira (100) 15.834
Yen (100) 213.945 Canadian dlr. 192.329
Australian dlr. 208.290 Irish Punt 415.747
Belgian franc 7.560 Finnish mark 52.048
Dutch guilder 138.806 Danish kr. 40.952
Swedish kr. 34.922 Norwegian kr. 38.134
Austrian sch. 22.164 Spanish peseta 1.851
Portuguese escudo 1.556