Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-04-18
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 18/04/1997 (ANA)
- PM Simitis to visit Bonn for talks
- Santer to visit Athens
- Greek troops to land in Durres
- FM Pangalos briefs president
- Opposition concerned over developments in Greek-Turkish relations
- 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
- Estonian FM's talks in Athens
- Herma column found near Parliament
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
PM Simitis to visit Bonn for talks
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will visit Bonn on 24 April at the invitation
of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, according to ANA despatch from the German
Quoting German government spokesman Peter Hausmann, the despatch said
Simitis and Kohl would have an approximately two-hour meeting which would
focus on ''issues of European and security policy in view of the serious
decisions pending for the European Union and NATO''.
Hausmann however did not rule out other issues also being discussed, since
the agenda would be open.
Later the same day, after his talks with Kohl, Simitis will meet with the
leader of Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) Oskar Lafontaine.
The following day, 25 April, Simitis will be awarded an honorary doctorate
by the University of Marburg in the state of Hesse for his contribution to
Simitis graduated with distinction from Marburg University in 1959. His
thesis was on the subject ''Good morals and public life''. Simitis later
lectured in Commercial and Civil Law at Giessen University from 1971 to the
fall of the military junta in Greece in 1974.
On 28 April, during his visit to Hesse, Simitis will have talks with the
state's Social Democrat premier Hans Eichel. The rest of the premier's
visit to Germany will be of a private/family nature.
Santer to visit Athens
European Commission President Jacques Santer will visit Greece in May to
attend, for the first time, events celebrating ''European Day'' on 9 May
Santer will visit Athens from 8-11 May and during his stay have talks with
government and other officials.
''European Day'' marks the 9 May, 1950 decree issued by then French Foreign
Minister Robert Schumann which began the process that led to the creation
of the European Union.
Greek troops to land in Durres
The Greek tank landing craft Samos has been redirected by the multinational
force's Italian command to dock at the Albanian port of Durres, instead of
Vlore as originally scheduled, the ANA correspondent in Tirana reports.
The decision was made due to the fact that the security operations in Vlore
have not yet been completed. The Greek ship is expected to arrive in Durres
at 13.00 and the troops will be transported by road to Vlore.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis today chaired a meeting of the Government
Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) which focused on the
government's handling of the crisis in neighbouring Albania.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Foreign Minister Theodoros
Pangalos and National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had briefed
KYSEA on the political and diplomatic steps taken so far and the despatch
of the Greek contingent to Albania as part of the multinational protection
Reppas said Athens' position had been confirmed that in a subsequent stage,
Greek troops would be sent to the border posts of Kakavia and Krystallopigi
as well as southern Albania in order to secure the distribution of
According to sources, Tsohatzopoulos told KYSEA that Greece could propose
the formation of committee made up of representatives from Greece, Italy
and France to assist OSCE envoy for Albania Franz Vranitzky in his
FM Pangalos briefs president
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos today briefed President Kostis
Stephanopoulos on recent developments in Greek-Turkish relations, the Greek
contingent in the multinational protection force in Albania and his recent
talks with his Bulgarian and Cyprus counterparts.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pangalos said he had also briefed
Stephanopoulos on Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou's talks with
his Turkish counterpart Onur Oymen in Malta ''and the known discussion with
the Dutch presidency on clarifying procedural prerequisites for a judicial
settlement of certain Greek-Turkish differences''.
Replying to questions, Pangalos said there had been no ''reaction'' from
Ankara concerning the proposed ''committee of experts'', adding he did not
know of any letter from Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller to the Dutch
EU presidency on the same issue.
Pangalos may meet with Ciller within the framework of the Black Sea
Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation meeting in Istanbul on 28-30
He underlined today however that the subject of the Istanbul meeting was
not Greek-Turkish matters but rather economic and technological cooperation.
''Ms. Ciller will host the meeting and I will accept any informal contact
with her,'' Pangalos said.
Commenting on concern expressed by the main opposition New Democracy (ND)
party that the proposed committee of experts would develop into an informal
political dialogue, Pangalos said that this would not happen since the
committee would be of a specific nature.
Announcing a meeting with ND leader Costas Karamanlis next week, Pangalos
said he would try to reassure the main opposition party.
Opposition concerned over developments in Greek-Turkish relations
The main opposition New Democracy party today criticised the government
over its handling of Greek-Turkish relations, saying that the formation of
a committee of experts to study bilateral problems gave rise to "concern
and fears", according to a party announcement.
"There is an obvious danger that the committee will become the agent of an
unconditional dialogue without any specific legal framework. Then the
government will be faced with the dilemma of whether to make inacceptable
concessions or to break off the dialogue, inevitable result in a deterioration
of Greek-Turkish relations," said the announcement.
It added that the government was being led into a dialogue with Turkey
without even knowing its exact content or prospects, and referred to what
it called conditions of secrecy, as well as dissent within the government.
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-
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
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.
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
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