Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-09-17
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 17/09/1997 (ANA)
- Greek, Turkish FMs to meet in New York next week
- Central bank: Inflation will make end-1998 target
- Greece to borrow 300 bln for 2004 Olympics
- Regional journalism conference to be held
- Georgian president arrives in Thessaloniki
- Shevardnadze calls for Greek investments in Georgia
- Greece and Georgia sign transport, communications accord
- Russian Air Force planes arrive for joint flights
- Eurodeputies on status of Mt Athos
- EOT gears up for 2004 Olympics, tourist seasons
- Greek teams win UEFA cup matches
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek, Turkish FMs to meet in New York next week
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is to meet with his Turkish counterpart
Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New
York next week, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced today.
Informed sources ruled out, however, a tripartite meeting with the
participation of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright or any other US
The two ministers are to discuss bilateral relations including economic
cooperation, on which Cem has said Turkey has prepared a package of
proposals. Mr. Reppas said proposals on economic issues had also been put
forward by individuals in the private sector. He added that the Greek
government had formulated an opinion as to how these relations could be
Asked to comment on Cem's accusations that Greece was responsible for the
fact that the Madrid communique had not been adhered to, Reppas said:
"These statements by Mr. Cem are to be expected. Turkish officials have
destroyed the climate in Greek-Turkish relations with their thoughtless and
"Greece," he added, "is pleased when countries, including Turkey, respect
international law. If Turkish foreign policy indicates respect for
international law and order, then this will be a step forward. However,
that remains to be seen."
Meanwhile, with regard to predictions by British envoy on the Cyprus issue
Sir David Hannay that the Cyprus issue would be resolved within two years,
Reppas said the government both wished and hoped that Sir David would
contribute to such an outcome.
However, he advised the British envoy to evaluate the views of the Turkish
Foreign Minister who has maintained that two years would not be long
Central bank: Inflation will make end-1998 target
Greek consumer price inflation is likely to slip by the end of the year
from August's 5.6 percent, helping the socialist government to achieve its
target of three percent by end-1998, central bank governor Lucas Papademos
The decline in inflation, which would begin in September, meant that the
target for 1998 was feasible but monetary authorities were seeking ways to
accelerate the fall, Papademos told reporters.
He was speaking after a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis
also attended by the premier's economic adviser, Tassos Yannitsis, and the
Bank of Greece's two deputy governors, Panayotis Thomopoulos and Nikos
Cutting inflation is central to the government's policy of aligning the
country's economy with other European Union partners and joining economic
and monetary union.
Replying to questions, Papademos said no concrete economic measures were
brought up at the meeting, which aimed to forge monetary and economic
Greece to borrow 300 bln for 2004 Olympics
Greece, which is to host the 2004 Olympics, will need to borrow 300 billion
drachmas in order to help finance the event, Bank of Greece governor Lucas
Replying to a reporter's question, Papademos said the estimate stemmed from
offsetting revenue and expenditure, also accounting for a time lag between
outlays and receipts.
Papademos was speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis
on forging monetary and economic policy guidelines.
The International Olympic Committee early in September voted Athens as host
city for the Games. Around 80 percent of infrastructure needed is already
in place or being built.
Regional journalism conference to be held
More than 40 journalists from the Mediterranean, Balkan and European Union
countries will take part in a conference organised by the Association of
European Journalists in collaboration with the Greek Press Ministry and
mass media, to be held Monday and Tuesday at the Zappeion Hall.
The theme of the conference is "The role of journalists in light of the
Mediterranean's importance in the process of European integration".
Main speakers include Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas, Alternate
Foreign Minister George Papandreou, European Parliament vice-president
Paraskevas Avgerinos, Athens News Agency general director Andreas
Christodoulides, Foreign Press Association of Greece president Evangelos
Antonaros, Association of European Journalists international president
Athanassios Papandropoulos, ANA director Nikoas Voulelis, director of the
European Commission's representation in Athens Marios Kamhis, and a number
of Greek and foreign journalists.
Georgian president arrives in Thessaloniki
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said in Thessaloniki today that his
visit to Greece had been "extremely fruitful".
"In these meetings we have created a very good institutional basis which
will enable us to renew the ancient relations between Greece and Georgia,"
said Shevardnadze of his contacts in Athens and those of the delegation
members accompanying him.
He was welcomed at Thessaloniki airport this afternoon by Minister for
Macedonia and Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, the city's mayor Constantine
Kosmopoulos and Prefect Kostas Papadopoulos, in a short visit before flying
by helicopter to visit Mount Athos.
Petsalnikos thanked the Georgian president for the strong interest he has
shown in maintaining Greek culture in Georgia and for making the Greek
language one of the official languages taught in Georgian schools.
The minister announced that five scholarships would be awarded to Georgian
graduates who wish to study Greek culture at universities in Macedonia.
Earlier today, Shevardnadze was made an honorary member of the board of
directors of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation. The presentation was made
by Foreign Undersecretary George Papandreou, son of the late statesman.
The Andreas Papandreou Foundation was set up in memory of the former Greek
prime minister and founder of the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement
(PASOK), who died last year, for the purpose of conducting studies on
educational issues, awarding scholarships for studies in international law
on conflict-solving issues, and promoting relations between the academic
community and those active in politics.
Shevardnadze is expected back in Thessaloniki from Mount Athnos late this
afternoon for a meeting with Kosmopoulos and a visit to the Archaeological
Shevardnadze calls for Greek investments in Georgia
Shevardnadze yesterday called for investments by Greek firms in his country,
where he said steps are being taken to ensure economic stability and peace
in the broader region.
Addressing members of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr.
Shevardnadze stressed the importance of further developing bilateral
economic and trade relations.
"The advantageous geographic positions of both Georgia and Greece,
similarities in certain sectors of the economy, as well as the historic
links between the two states create favourable conditions for the
development of those relations," said Mr. Shevar dnadze, who is also
president of Georgia's foreign investments council.
The sectors that lend themselves to investments, he noted, include
infrastructure projects, telecommunications, heavy industry, mining and
The Georgian president said he looked forward to the opening of the Black
Sea Commerce and Development Bank in Thessaloniki, given its potentially
positive benefits for the countries of the region.
According to the Athens Chamber, trade between Greece and Georgia has
increased significantly over the past two years. The volume of trade since
1994 has more than doubled, exports to Georgia have tripled although
imports from Georgia have stayed at relat ively stable levels.
In 1996, imports from Georgia came to US$7.4 million while Greek exports to
the country totalled US$18.84 million.
Greece mainly exports fuel, farm products and industrial products to
Greece and Georgia sign transport, communications accord
Greece and Georgia yesterday signed a transport and communications
The accord signed between Transport and Communications Minister Tassos
Mantelis and his Georgian counterparts, Transport Minister Herab Anteisvili,
and Communications and Post Offices Minister Pridon Injia provides for a
post office link in Thessaloniki which is considered the centre between the
two countries. It was also agreed that cooperation between the two
countries in the wider transport and telecommunications sector will be
Mr. Mantelis discussed the expansion of cooperation to railroad commercial
transport with the operation of a sea link, the operation of a bus route
between Athens-Thessaloniki-Tbilisi, with a frequency of four times a week
and an air link between Tbilisi and Athens and Thessaloniki through
Georgian Airlines on a weekly basis.
It was also agreed to promote cooperation in the telecommunications sector
where an agreement to construct a telecomms cable some 600 km long was
recently implemented. The project is being funded by the Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and is being implemented by its
Russian Air Force planes arrive for joint flights
Five Russian Air Force planes arrived in Greece yesterday within the
framework of exchanges between the two countries.
Two Sukhoi 27s, two Sukhoi 30s and an Ilyushin military transport plane
landed at Tanagra airbase shortly after 4 p.m.
During their stay, Greek and Russian pilots will have the opportunity to
carry out flights as co-pilots in the two-seater Sukhoi 30s and the
Hellenic Air Force's Mirage 2000s.
The Russian aircraft will depart from Greece on Sept. 19, while Greek
Mirage 2000 aircraft are expected to visit Russia in the spring of
Eurodeputies on status of Mt Athos
Thirty-five Eurodeputies from all 15 member states of the European Union
have called on the EU Council of Foreign Ministers to make a joint
declaration ensuring that the special status of the monastic community of
Mount Athos, northern Greece, is maintained.
Coalition of the Left Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos proposed that the
declaration be included in the Amsterdam treaties and that it take into
consideration the special status of Mount Athos, which "is a particular
expression of a common cultural heritage".
EOT gears up for 2004 Olympics, tourist seasons
Athens has a great opportunity in hosting the Olympic Games of 2004 that
should be taken advantage of, without leading to unchecked building
activity, National Tourism Organisation (EOT) secretary general Nikos
Skoulas warned yesterday.
Mr. Skoulas said that it might be necessary to lift a ban on building more
hotels in central Athens in order to provide more five-star accomodations
for visitors attending the Olympics.
"We must not, however, do excessive things, nor be led into building rooms
for three weeks only that will then become mausoleums," he added.
He proposed that a convention centre be built so that Athens could stage
more conferences, conventions and exhibitions.
According to tourism figures, there were indications that 1997 would post a
10 per cent increase in tourist arrivals compared to 1996. However, he said
revenues from foreign exchange did not follow suit.
In terms of recent Olympic Airways strikes and delays, Mr. Skoulas said the
government was holding "intensive negotiations" on creating one or more
multi-share charter carriers, based on the successful Turkish model, that
would be privately run but with government support as well.
Among other innovations, regions would be encouraged to take over their own
tourism promotion, similar to a programme pioneered in Greece by Crete,
while the ministry of foreign affairs was soon expected to sign an
agreement creating a slot for tourism attaches in embassies overseas.
Other plans the government has, he said, were to sell or lease on long-term
basis the majority of EOT's assets in real estate, such as the Xenia Hotel
in Lagonissi, off the Athens to Sounion highway, and the leasing of the
Greek teams win UEFA cup matches
PAOK of Thessaloniki posted an unexpected victory against Britain's
powerhouse Arsenal last night, beating the London team 1-0 in the first leg
of their UEFA cup matchup.
Costas Fratzeskos scored for PAOK in the 61st minute. The match was
attended by 40,000 fans. The second game will be played in London in two
weeks. In a second UEFA matche OFI of Irakleio beat Hungary's Ferencvaros 3-
0. The second game will be played in Hungary in two weeks.
Partly cloudy weather with spells of sunshine will prevail throughout the
country today with scattered showers in the Ionian Sea, mainland Greece and
the northern Aegean Sea. Winds, northerly, moderate to strong, turning gale
force in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be partly cloudy and windy with
temperatures between 18-28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 16-
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 277.591
Pound sterling 442.968 Cyprus pd 528.776
French franc 46.622 Swiss franc 190.836
German mark 156.612 Italian lira (100) 16.063
Yen (100) 230.342 Canadian dlr. 199.392
Australian dlr. 198.926 Irish Punt 414.378
Belgian franc 7.590 Finnish mark 52.312
Dutch guilder 139.083 Danish kr. 41.132
Swedish kr. 36.206 Norwegian kr. 37.819
Austrian sch. 22.246 Spanish peseta 1.856
Port. Escudo 1.541