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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-04-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 30/04/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece maintains veto on EU funds to Turkey
  • Common position by the EU '15'
  • Composers Theodorakis, Livanelli honoured by Kinkel
  • Greek-Italian military coordination in Albania discussed
  • Larger Greek economic presence in Black Sea region urged
  • Public transport fares, mobile phone dues to increase
  • Complaint forms for restaurants, bars
  • EU Commission to grant OTE transition period in free market
  • Water reserves exceed one billion cubic metres
  • Eurostat service for media professionals
  • 'Medecins sans Frontieres' set up model refugee camp
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece maintains veto on EU funds to Turkey

Greece yesterday maintained its veto on a European Union aid package to Turkey, continuing to block aid worth Ecu375 million until Ankara stopped threatening Greek sovereignty in the Aegean.

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said Turkey had not taken the necessary steps allowing Greece to change its stance.

"Greece is facing a bilateral relations problem with Turkey, which is based on the fact that Turkey does not withdraw its threat of war, which the Turkish National Assembly has unanimously endorsed, in the event that Greece extends its territorial wate rs to 12 (nautical) miles in the Aegean, " Mr. Pangalos said.

"Turkey does not have the right to threaten," he noted, adding that "Turkey should realise that the problems it may have in relation to the Aegean must be resolved on the basis of the existing international law and international treaties, such as the Lausanne Treaty, the Italy-Turkey 1932 Agreement, the Italy-Greece 1947 Agreement and the Law of the Sea."

Mr. Pangalos said the Greek positions had not been accepted by the Turkish side, "mainly because Turkey is not capable of sorting out its domestic problems in relation to the course that it must follow."

"Certain circles," Mr. Pangalos said, "think that Turkey can exercise a hegemonic policy at Greece's expense" and continue to maintain an "imperial perception of their country's destiny."

The Greek foreign minister said he accepted a Dutch EU presidency proposal for the creation of two experts committees, a Greek and a Turkish one, which until June will communicate with each other via the Dutch presidency and after that through the Luxembourg presidency.

The committees will form the framework for talks on Greek-Turkish differences.

Common position by the EU '15'

The Council's common text, which was presented last night to Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller, contains many references to Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

Specifically, it is mentioned that the strengthening of relations between the European Union and Turkey depends primarily on three factors:

Firstly, an improvement in relations between Greece and Turkey through the settlement of issues concerning them on the basis of international law, including mechanisms such as the International Court at The Hague, as well as through relations of good neighbourliness and the rejection of the threat or use of force. Secondly, an improvement in the situation of human rights in Turkey and, thirdly, respect for human rights and the finding of a political solution to the Kurdish problem.

On the Cyprus issue, the common position of the "15" said:

"On the question of Cyprus, the European Union's Council took a decision on March 6, 1995, on the start to accession negotiations with Cyprus in the framework of wider discussions also concerning Turkey. The Council decided that the negotiations with Cyprus will start six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference in accordance with its outcome. The Council stressed that the accession of Cyprus should be beneficial for all the communities on the island and will contribute to intercommunal peace and reconciliation.

" The Union is convinced that a solution to the Cyprus problem is urgent on this basis to delete the cause of continuous tension in Cyprus and the region. The lack of progress will be to the detriment of Turkey, the EU and relations between them.

"The Union urges Turkey to participate in the effort to find a solution together with the other countries through negotiations with direct talks between the sides this summer."

Speaking to German reporters, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said the accession of Turkey to the EU is not predictable in the near future for four reasons, namely, tension in Greek-Turkish relations; its economic problems; problems faced by the Kurds and problems in Turkey's human rights situation.

Composers Theodorakis, Livanelli honoured by Kinkel

German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel yesterday held a reception and dinner in the Petersburg State House in honour of composers Mikis Theodorakis and Zulfi Livanelli.

The two composers, who have both been active in the goal of Greek-Turkish friendship, are to conduct a joint tour of Germany in May.

Mr. Kinkel's initiative has been seen as a symbolic gesture to support efforts in improving Greek-Turkish relations and bringing Greeks and Turks together."

The political part of their visit to Germany is being supported financially by the Nauman Foundation. Some of the concerts to be held have been placed under the auspices of Social Democratic and Environmental party politicians.

Greek-Italian military coordination in Albania discussed

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday discussed cooperation and coordination in efforts between Greece and Italy in Albania with his Italian counterpart, Beniamino Andreata.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday's meeting provided the opportunity for the terms of a successful cooperation to be discussed regarding the effectiveness of the multinational force in Albania and, in parallel, confirmation of the good cooperation between the military forces of Greece and Italy in the common effort in Albania.

"We ascertained the need for closer cooperation to enable us to contribute to the success of the targets of the European Union and the OSCE, concerning the successful holding of elections in Albania," he said.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos briefed his Italian counterpart on meetings he held in Albania on Monday with that country's prime minister and defence minister so that the needs of the current national reconciliation government in Tirana can be taken into consideration in an effort for a successful military mission aimed to protect humanitarian aid.

Mr. Andreata expressed satisfaction over his meeting with Mr. Tsohatzopoulos with whom, as he said, there was extensive communication from the start, more than was ascertained with other defence ministers from participating countries.

"The certainty of having Greece as a partner was an important factor for us to decide to assume our responsibilities," he said.

Mr. Andreata said that in the event the need appeared, and provided the Security Council permitted, Italy and Greece would not refuse to extend their mission beyond the period anticipated.

Larger Greek economic presence in Black Sea region urged

Greek businessmen said yesterday that Greece's role as an important economy and EU-member country is being proved during the course of the Black Sea Pact Cooperation (BSEC) meeting, which opened here on Monday.

The Greece-based businessmen underlined their belief that there was room for a greater Greek presence in the BSEC group. The meeting, which focused on energy, transport and telecommunication issues as well as protection of the environment, aims to accelerate cooperation between the 11 member- countries and to attract investments to the wider Black Sea region.

The president of the Federation of Northern Greece Industries, Nikolaos Efthimiadis, noted that Greece had much to gain from its active presence and participation in the organisation's activities.

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is expected to attend the meeting today.

Public transport fares, mobile phone dues to increase

Taxi fares, mobile telephone and postage dues, railway and bus tickets will increase over the next two months.

Specifically, increases of up to 50 per cent (in summoning radio taxis) will take effect for taxi fares as of May 1. The single tariff will increase to 62 drachmas from 58 and the double tariff to 200 from 113. The largest increase will concern calls for radio taxis, with an ordinary call increasing to 300 drachmas from 200, while a pre-arranged appointment rises to 400 drachmas from 300.

The starting price (200 drachmas), the chronometrical cost (2,000) and fares from airports and ports (300) remain unchanged.

Additionally, a fare from bus and railway stations will decrease to 150 drachmas from 160 as well as the cost for carrying luggage exceeding 10kg to 50 drachmas from 55.

As of tomorrow, mobile telephony dues (the average increase will be about 4 per cent) for the mobile telephony supplier Telestet will also increase.

Similar increases will also apply for the mobile telephony dues of the Panafon firm, as of May 12.

Lastly, at peak hours for the "City" package, local calls will be charged 84 drachmas per minute (from 80); national calls 250 drachmas per minute; from one mobile phone to a mobile phone 117 drachmas per minute (from 112) and for non-peak hours 84 drachmas (from 80) per minute.

As of July 1 increases of up to 25 per cent will be implemented for postal dues, 15 per cent for railway fares and 35 per cent for urban bus tickets (100 drachmas from 75).

Complaint forms for restaurants, bars

All shops serving food and drinks, such as restaurants, tavernas, bars and conditories will from now on be obliged to keep a special container at the shop's the exit with printed forms to enable customers to list their complaints.

The forms will be in triplicate and according to a clause announced by the development ministry, proprietors are obliged to keep an adequate number of forms available for customers throughout the entire time the shops will be open.

According to the same clause, the shops are obliged to write in capital letters on their price lists the following announcement in Greek, English, French and German:

"The shop is obliged to have printed forms in a special container next to the exit for the making of whatever complaint," according to a ministry announcement.

EU Commission to grant OTE transition period in free market

The European Commission intends to grant the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) an adequate transition period next month to adapt to free competition regulations, following yesterday's meeting between EU Competition Commiss ionerKarel van Miert and Transport and Communications Mi-nister Haris Kastanidis.

Free market regulations must apply for telecommunications in the European Union as of Jan. 1, 1998.

Ireland and Portugal have been granted a transitional period for conventional telephony until 1999 and until June 1, 1997.

Greece broached the issue of a transitional period following certain regulations agreed upon between Mr. Kastanidis and Mr. van Miert. These concern satellite communications, mobile telephony, cable television and the Telecommunications Committee.

The Commission agreed that Greece had made great efforts in the telecommunications sector compared to the past, and had managed to change the negative climate of Greek cooperation with relevant Commission services.

Water reserves exceed one billion cubic metres

Water reserves of the Athens Water and Sewerage Co. (EYDAP), used for supplying the greater Athens area, now exceed one billion cubic metres for the first time since 1987, EYDAP general director Georgios Ioannidis announced yesterday.

The increased reserves, however, do not rule out the possibility of price increases. EYDAP's administration is proposing increases particularly for large consumption.

Eurostat service for media professionals

The European Commission has created a statistical information service through Eurostat, aimed to assist journalists and the media.

The information service will be provided free of charge after an application, with an Ecu200 limit per application. It will provide information on issues concerning general statistical data, economic and financial matters, population and social conditions, energy and industry, commerce, services and transport, the environment, research and development.

Professionals interested in obtaining such Eurostat statistics can receive more information at: Eurostat Media Support, Ana Maria Martinez, Tel+ (352) 43.01.33.408, Fax + (352) 43.01.32.649, e-mail: ana.martinez&eurostat.cec.be

Additional information can be obtained through the internet at: http: //europa.eu.int/en/comm/eurostat/press/index.htm

'Medecins sans Frontieres' set up model refugee camp

The Greek branch of the international aid organisation Medecins sans Frontieres has set up a model refugee camp with six tents in central Thessaloniki in order to inform the public of its work and the needs of the roughly 50 million refugees in such camps around the world.

The model camp is due to tour Irakleio, Patra and Ioannina over the next few days.

According to the organisation's statistics, 100 drachmas per day is all that is needed to save a malnourished child. Saving the life of a person in danger of dying from cholera costs only 1,500 drachmas, while a vaccine costs 200 drachmas. With 190,000 drachmas, the organisation's doctors can perform 25 operations on critically ill patients.

There are roughly 150 Greek members of Medecins Sans Frontieres, many of whom are currently in Kenya, Armenia, Iran, other parts of the Middle East, Mozambique, Guiana and Tanzania.

Other members are working in the organisation's centre in Athens, set up a few months ago, in order to treat Albanian, Russian and Kurdish refugees among others.

WEATHER

Local Cloudiness, scattered showers and rainstorms are forecast for most parts of Greece today including the northern Aegean and Ionian Seas. Winds will be southerly, weak to moderate. Athens will be rainy with a possible storm in the afternoon with temperatures between 10-17C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 8-14C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 272.205 Pound sterling 441.579 Cyprus pd 528.042 French franc 46.632 Swiss franc 184.834 German mark 157.158 Italian lira (100) 15.856 Yen (100) 214.877 Canadian dlr. 194.134 Australian dlr. 212.000 Irish Punt 419.318 Belgian franc 7.618 Finnish mark 52.175 Dutch guilder 139.798 Danish kr. 41.297 Swedish kr. 34.649 Norwegian kr. 38.440 Austrian sch. 22.330 Spanish peseta 1.867 Port. Escudo 1.569

(C.E.)


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