Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-04-20
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 20/04/1997 (ANA)
- Rest of Greek troops off to Albania
- Cyprus, Aegean two separate issues, Pangalos says
- Commission report on EU economies to cite progress in Greece
- Domestic tourism programme by EOT
- ND concerned over government plans for "experts" committee
- Simitis to visit Bonn
- Medecins sans Frontiers 'refugee camp' in Thessaloniki
- Papantoniou concludes official part of US tour
- Santer to visit Greece in early May
- Second will found
- False shortages plaguing Greek market
- Greek department store in Pristina
- Civil aviation work stoppages cancelled
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Rest of Greek troops off to Albania
The second part of the Greek contingent of the multinational force that
will oversee the distribution of humanitarian aid in Albania is due to
The 520 men will board two Hellenic Navy vessels at the port of Thessaloniki,
and will land at either Vlore or Durres, depending on the security
The first part of the Greek force, meanwhile, remains at Fieri, awaiting
the green light from the Italian command to move to Vlore. Defence Minister
Akis Tsohatzopoulos will visit the Greek contingent on April 28.
Cyprus, Aegean two separate issues, Pangalos says
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Friday denied any knowledge of a US
initiative for a "package deal" regarding the Aegean and Cyprus, saying any
such approach on two separate issues, which concerns two different
countries, was unacceptable.
He was replying to reporters' questions after a meeting at the foreign
ministry on the Cyprus issue, also attended by Alternate Foreign Minister
George Papandreou, Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, and a delegation of
Cypriot officials headed by newly appointed Foreign Minister Yiannakis
Mr. Cassoulides confirmed that there have been absolutely no contacts with
Washington connecting the two issues. He said he had briefed his Greek
counterpart on the current UN-led proximity talks in Cyprus for the finding
of common ground, and the goodw ill gestures that might be made during
substantive negotiations. He also reiterated that the Cypriot government
intends to avoid during this period of consultations any actions that might
upset the climate of tranquillity.
Referring to the idea of a moratorium of military flights over Cyprus, Mr.
Cassoulides said his government had rejected the proposal because such any
such moratorium equated illegal Turkish overflights with legally sanctioned
flights by Greek planes, but noted that Nicosia was prepared not to act on
the basis of "unilateral decisions".
Finally, Mr. Cassoulides said it was not yet clear whether the current
proximity talks on the finding of common ground would yield any results.
"This will become apparent in three weeks time," he said.
Commission report on EU economies to cite progress in Greece
BRUSSELS (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) The European Commission on Wednesday will
release its annual report on the guidelines of economic policy for EU
According to a copy obtained by the ANA, regarding the Greek economy the
Commission acknowledges that "steps of progress have been made in recent
years," particularly in reducing inflation, but stresses that "reinforced
efforts are needed in order to bring inflation to the official targets of
4.5 per cent at the end of 1997 and to below 3 per cent by the end of
With respect to public finances, the report states that "sustained efforts
on a wide range of fronts are required, including reinforced efforts to
widen the tax base, to increase the efficiency of tax administration and of
the tax collection system, to curb government spending and to pursue and
extend privatisation plans."
Domestic tourism programme by EOT
The Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) on Friday presented its
"April 1997-March 1998" domestic tourism programme, offering Greeks and
expatriate Greeks the possibility of low-cost vacations within Greece.
The programme, according to EOT Secretary General Nikos Skoulas, is aimed
at bringing the people closer to the "(natural) beauties of their homeland,
" as well as keeping Greek tourists in Greece and extending the tourist
ND concerned over government plans for 'experts' committee
The main opposition New Democracy party on Friday 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
"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 unacceptable
concessions or to break off the di alogue, inevitablyresulting in a
deterioration of Greek-Turkish relations," said an 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.
Simitis to visit Bonn for talks
BONN (ANA - P. Stangos) Prime Minister Costas Simitis will visit Bonn on
April 24 at the invitation of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. German
government spokesman Peter Hausmann said Mr. Simitis and Mr. 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".
Mr. 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 Mr. Kohl, Mr. Simitis will meet
with the leader of Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) Oskar
The following day, April 25, Mr. Simitis will be awarded an honorary
doctorate by the University of Marburg in the state of Hesse for his
contribution to jurisprudence.
Medecins sans Frontieres 'refugee camp' in Thessaloniki
The international Medecins sans Frontieres organisation is to set up a mock
refugee camp in downtown Thessaloniki from April 23 to May 4, in order to
display the daily life of millions of refugees worldwide who have found
sanctuary in the organisation's c amps.
The same exhibition will then go to Irakleio, Crete (May 8-11), Ioannina
(May 15-18) and Patra (May 21-25).
Papantoniou concludes official part of US tour
NEW YORK (ANA) National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou concluded the
official portion of his US trip Friday with an address before a group of
businessmen and personalities of New York's financial and social community.
The event was organised by the Harvard Business School of the wider New
York area at the Plaza hotel and was sponsored by the Commercial Bank of
Mr. Papantoniou promoted Greece's role as a pole of stability and its
investment environment as well as joint Greek-US business initiatives in
the Balkans and Black Sea region.
Speaking to reporters after the address, he referred to the significance of
his contacts with officials of major stock market firms, such as Salomon
Brothers and Morgan Stanley, as well as representatives of institutional
investors, all of whom expresse d interest in the Greek initiative for the
reconstruction of the Balkans.
Papantoniou's visit to Washington to promote Greece as a catalyst for
development in the Balkans and the Black Sea region, according to a comment
in the daily "Washington Post" yesterday.
"These are economies where there can be substantial growth if we work on
financing, investment and infrastructure with private capital, government
assistance and international monetary institutions," the newspaper quoted
Mr. Papantoniou as saying.
"It is a no lose-situation, it would be better than doing nothing," Mr.
The Greek minister said Turkey could contribute to this large collective
effort, adding that "we could agree under elementary political conditions,
such as Turkey's dropping territorial claims and finding a solution to
Santer to visit Greece in early May
European Commission President Jacques Santer will visit Greece in May to
attend, for the first time, events celebrating "European Day" on May
Mr. Santer will visit Athens from May 8-11 and during his stay have talks
with government and other officials.
"European Day" marked the May 9, 1950 decree issued by then French foreign
minister Robert Schumann which began the process that led to the creation
of the European Union.
Second will found
A second will written by Sophia Mineiko, mother of the late PASOK founder
Andreas Papandreou, has been presented to and was declared as valid by an
Athens court. The will, written in 1964, predates another handwritten by
Mineiko in 1968 and also concerns Mineiko's home in Paleo Psychico.
The will, found a few days ago by Mineiko's niece Elli Papazachariou,
leaves the house to Mineiko's granddaughter Sophia Papandreou-Katsaneva.
The other will found earlier, but which predates the above, leaves the
house to the four grandchildren, includ ing Sophia.
Ms Papazachariou, who is also the godmother of Sophia Katsaneva, said she
found the will pinned to the back of a photograph of the late George
Papandreou, father of Andreas. She also said she had witnessed the writing
of the will, which leaves Andreas t he proceeds from the sale of an
apartment in Athens as well as 100 gold sovereigns.
False shortages plaguing Greek market
The Consumers Institute (INKA) denounced what it called false product
shortages in order to force consumers to turn to other products, as well as
huge differences in the prices of similar products from one region to
Research conducted by INKA ascertained that differences in prices reached
53 per cent in stores in the same area and 114 per cent between shops in
According to the results of a nationwide price survey conducted by INKA and
presented in Thessaloniki yesterday, the phenomenon of fake shortages in
specific products is now greater than in any other past time, abolishing
consumers' right to choose.
According to the survey, first place on the consumers' disappointment list
is held by public administration followed by the Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation (OTE), television, political parties, health services,
education, the Public Power Corp.
(DEH) and taxi drivers.
On the other hand, Greek consumers have a very good opinion of the fire
brigade, radio stations and inter-city bus services.
Greek department store in Pristina
BELGRADE (ANA - M. Mouratidis) P A Greek department store will open in
Pristina in May, according to reports in Yugoslavia's press Friday.
The store would be the only centre for the distribution of Greek products
in the Yugoslav market.
In a related development, the Bank of Vojvodina has undertaken to
restructure the bankrupt Grimia enterprise in Pristina, and will turn the
firm's commercial store (8,000 square metres) into a Greece-based
One of the store's three floors will be used for wholesale sales, while a
restaurant and confectionery will also operate.
Civil Aviation work stoppages cancelled
The unions of Civil Aviation Authority employees have cancelled their
planned work stoppages for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after a meeting
with Transport and Communications Minister Haris Kastanidis.
The minister assured union representatives that employees will soon receive
past holiday pay that is overdue, and, discounting speculation, that there
are no plans for privatising of part or all of any of the country's
Monday's weather will be cloudy, with possible rain in the northwest
towards evening. Winds in the west will be moderate southerlies, strengthening
towards the Ionian Sea. Temperatures will rise, and will range from 7-18C
in the north, 8-22C in the Ionain and mainland and 11-21 over the Aegean.
Athens temperatures will range from 12-21C and in Thessaloniki from 9-
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 269.011
Pound sterling 438.682 Cyprus pd 527.744
French franc 46.459 Swiss franc 183.961
German mark 156.458 Italian lira (100) 15.792
Yen (100) 213.558 Canadian dlr. 191.793
Australian dlr. 207.869 Irish Punt 416.342
Belgian franc 7.585 Finnish mark 51.792
Dutch guilder 139.262 Danish kr. 41.134
Swedish kr. 35.045 Norwegian kr. 37.861
Austrian sch. 22.242 Spanish peseta 1.855
Portuguese escudo 1.569