Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-12
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 12/01/1998 (ANA)
- Greece reiterates: national airspace extends to 10 miles
- Stephanopoulos leaves for week-long official visit to India
- Athens terms Turkish claims on WWII history 'miserable insults'
- Greece's Jewry rejects Turkish accusations
- Preconditions for Turkish-cypriot involvement in EU talks
- Greece and 12 other states to sign European ban on human cloning
- Bomb blasts target tax offices
- More illegal immigrants arrested
- Fishermen protest tax measures by blockading Kalymnos, Leros
- 15-day trial period for ban on traffic inside commercial triangle
- Greek First Division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece reiterates: national airspace extends to 10 miles
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Saturday reiterated that
Greece's airspace extends to a 10-mile limit rejecting comments by US
ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns on the issue. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said
the "sole criterion for a country's behaviour is that imposed by national
Mr. Burns on Friday reiterated Washington's stance that the limits of each
country's airspace should correspond to those of its territorial waters,
meaning that the US recognises a six-mile limit for Greek airspace.
"No one's view is a criterion for the behaviour of a country," the defence
minister said, emphasising that Greece's airspace, as clearly set out in a
1931 presidential decree and valid for decades, stood at the 10-mile
"If some people, for their own purpose and using their own criteria, want
some other limit for Greece, that is their opinion," he said.
The defence minister was speaking after briefing Greek Eurodeputies on the
ministry's defence programmes and on initiatives being taken to promote
security and stability in the region, as well as specific issues involving
Stephanopoulos leaves for week-long official visit to India
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos leaves for India today in
an official visit aimed at boosting political and economic ties between the
Accompanying Mr. Stephanopoulos, who is the guest of Indian President K.R.
Narayanan, are Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Finance Undersecretary
Alekos Baltas and a delegation of leading Greek business representatives.
It is the first such visit by a Greek head of state to India.
Tomorrow, Mr. Stepanopoulos will have talks in New Delhi with Mr. Narayanan,
and India's prime minister and parliament speaker.
He is scheduled to make two speeches on Wednesday outlining economic ties
between the two countries and Greece's policies on international issues,
while he will also lay the foundation stone of a new building to house the
Greek embassy in the Indian cap ital.
On Thursday, President Stephanopoulos is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal
in Agra. He will travel to Bombay on Friday and to Calcutta on Saturday,
leaving for Athens on Sunday.
Greek and Indian business leaders who met in 1994 had cited healthy
prospects for cooperation in tourism, food processing, shipbuilding,
construction machinery and education.
The Indian side was eager to see cooperation in the fields of informatics
and telecoms, and among small- to medium-sized enterprises.
Business leaders accompanying Mr. Stephanopoulos are expected to propose
that Greek engineering contractors, many of whom are listed on the Athens
bourse, could undertake design and construction of several projects in
Athens terms Turkish claims on WWII history 'miserable insults'
A Turkish foreign ministry statement characterising Greek Foreign Minister
Theodoros Pangalos a "descendant of Greek fascism" was sharply rejected by
Athens on Saturday as containing "miserable insults and unjustified
In a written statement, the Turkish foreign ministry attacked Mr. Pangalos
for his statement the previous day, which called on European Union member-
states to take a firm stand on what he called the "Kurdish genocide" being
carried out by Turkey.
Replying to Mr. Pangalos' statements, the Turkish foreign ministry claimed
that "Greek fascists under the leadership of the likes of Pangalos sent
thousands of Greek Jews to death camps".
In a response, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated:
"The only thing Turkey is achieving with such miserable insults and
unjustified provocations is to worsen its own position. The sooner it
realises this, the better it will be for itself.
"As far as its historically unfounded claims and slander against Greeks are
concerned, we refer it (Turkey) to yesterday's (Friday's) statement by the
Central Jewish Council (of Greece)," Mr. Reppas added.
Greece's Jewry rejects Turkish accusations
The Central Jewish Council issued a statement on Friday after a meeting
with Mr. Pangalos, stressing that the organisation had "repeatedly
expressed its gratitude to the Greek people and the Greek Orthodox Church
for their contribution in saving Greek Jews".
The Central Jewish Council statement was made in response to yet more
claims by the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday, namely, that during
World War II Greek authorities had "willingly handed over Jews" to Nazi
"Greeks offered as much help as possible to Jews persecuted (during the
Nazi occupation), often endangering their own lives," the Jewish Council's
In addition, Jewish groups of Greece again on Saturday rejected the
accusations made by the Turkish foreign ministry.
Thessaloniki Jewish community president Andreas Sefiha told ANA that Greek
Jews were grateful to their fellow citizens for the assistance against Nazi
persecution, citing resistance by government officials as well as the help
of ordinary citizens.
The northern Greece Jewish leader cited his own personal experience during
WWII, in which his whole family was saved by the intervention of Greek
Christians, while he declared surprise at the Turkish statement, saying
that it was "at best, inaccurate".
Thessaloniki was a major Sephardic metropolis since the very early 16th
century, boasting a more than 50,000-strong community prior to Nazi
The main opposition New Democracy party on Saturday reacted sharply to the
Turkish ministry's claims, saying Turkey "has already gone beyond the
limits even we expect and that the present situation is pitiful".
Differences between ND and the PASOK government over the handling of
national issues, the ND statement read, "do not mean that we do not all
stand united against Turkish provocations".
Preconditions for Turkish Cypriot involvement in EU talks
Greek Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, in an interview with the
Cypriot daily "Simerini", said that any Turkish Cypriot involvement in
Cyprus' EU accession talks must not contravene UN resolutions and lend any
legality to the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state or Turkish occupation.
Mr. Kranidiotis set two preconditions for the Turkish-Cypriot involvement
in accession talks:
First, that they accept Cyprus' European Union orientation and prospects.
Secondly, that they accept to be part of the official Cypriot delegation.
He added that further proposals to the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue
would be prepared.
The Greek undersecretary added that the Nicosia and Athens governments must
work together on both the political and the technical aspects to accession
Mr. Kranidiotis said that there will be two parts to accession talks,
namely, an EU Council of Ministers decision on the Commission's recommendation,
followed by negotiations of the 15 EU member-states with Cyprus.
Cyprus is one of six counties to begin accession talks with the EU on March
Greece and 12 other states to sign European ban on human cloning
Thirteen countries will sign today the first binding international ban on
human cloning as controversy over such experiments heats up.
The 13 countries are among the 40 members of the Council of Europe which
says another seven member states are considering endorsing the ban which
will bind signatories as soon as it has been ratified in five states.
The text, which is an addition to the European Convention on Human Rights
and Biomedicine, slaps a total ban on human cloning although it allows the
cloning of cells for research purposes.
The signing ceremony will take place at the French Foreign Ministry in
Paris after President Jacques Chirac opens a conference of Europe's
national ethics committees.
The signatories are Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg,
Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
Fears about the dangers of genetic engineering are rising as human cloning,
the exact reproduction of a human being, appears to be at hand.
President Bill Clinton has called for a five-year ban on human cloning
experiments. U.S. physicist Richard Seed stirred up renewed debate by
saying he was ready to clone a human and could do so within 18 months if he
raised enough money.
Britain has been at the forefront of the cloning debate after scientists in
Scotland made worldwide headlines by cloning Dolly the sheep.
Bomb blasts target tax offices
Two separate bomb explosions in Athens yesterday evening rocked the finance
ministry's data processing centre (KEPYO) and the 7th tax bureau office in
the Kallithea district.
Unidentified callers warned the "Eleftherotypia" daily and the "Star"
television station of the pending bomb attacks, allowing police to evacuate
both buildings and block traffic in the areas.
According to reports, both time bombs caused powerful blasts, with the
first at KEPYO recorded at 8:04 p.m. and the second 14 minutes later at the
Authorities said the explosions may be related to several false bomb
threats received on Friday by the national economy minister's office.
No injuries were reported in either blast.
More illegal immigrants arrested
Samos police detained 13 Iraqi illegal immigrants on Saturday on the
eastern Aegean island's Prasos peninsula.
The eight men, two women and three children had been left on the island's
shores by a Turkish smuggler early Saturday morning, according to
The 13 were taken to a local detention centre for illegal immigrants.
Fishermen protest tax measures by blockading Kalymnos, Leros
Vehicle ferries were prevented from docking in Kalymnos and Leros yesterday
after local fishermen and sponge divers blockaded the two Dodecanese
islands' ports to protest against new tax government measures.
Some 60 fishermen launched a blockade on Leros Sunday in the wake of the
mobilisation on Kalymnos, which continued despite talks on Saturday to try
to resolve the dispute.
The ferries denied access were the Ialysos, Rodanthi, Leros and Dimitroula,
which sail the Piraeus-Dodecanese routes.
The blockades followed talks in Athens with Finance Undersecretary George
Drys over the tax measures, the Kalymnos' fishermen and sponge divers began
their action despite an agreement to resume talks at the end of the
The fishermen and sponge divers want to be reinstated in the farming sector
in order to avoid keeping credit and debit balances. According to the mayor
of Kalymnos, Mr. Drys told protesters' representatives that the shift in
status was banned und er a European Union directive.
15-day trial period for ban on traffic inside commercial triangle
A pilot programme barring the entrance of unauthorised vehicles in most of
central Athens' commercial and historical triangle is set to begin tomorrow
for a 15-day trial period, according to the environment, town planning and
public works ministry.
The triangle, which will be sealed off by an electronic card entrance
system, borders Stadiou Avenue, Athenas Avenue, Syntagma Square and
Ministry officials will provide information to citizens, as 323 special
entry cards have already been given to residents within the triangle.
Access will be open to all vehicles on Evripidou, Sophocleous and Aristidou
streets, while taxis will be allowed on Karagiorgis Servias, Lekka,
Praxitelous, Chrysospiliotissas and Vissis streets.
Greek First Division soccer results
Olympiakos-Veria 4-1 Pyrgos-Panathinaikos 0-0
PAOK-Athinaikos 1-0 Kalamata-OFI 1-0
Apollon-Heraklis 0-0 Proodeftiki-Ethnikos 2-3
Panahaiki-Kavala 2-0 Panionios-Ionikos 2-2
Xanthi-AEK play today Standings-points:
AEK, Olympiakos 43, Panathinaikos 40, PAOK 37,
Ionikos 33, Heraklis 28, OFI, Apollon 24, Xanthi 23,
Panionios, Pyrgos 20
Fair weather with some cloudiness in most parts of Greece including the
Cyclades and Dodecanese islands and Crete. Sleet in the northern parts of
the country in the morning. Winds light to moderate. Athens mostly sunny
with a few clouds and temperatures between 5-14C. Same in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 5-12C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.436
Pound sterling 461.459 Cyprus pd 534.192
French franc 46.810 Swiss franc 193.346
German mark 156.706 Italian lira (100) 15.946
Yen (100) 216.653 Canadian dlr. 198.698
Australian dlr. 183.193 Irish Punt 390.848
Belgian franc 7.598 Finnish mark 51.763
Dutch guilder 139.068 Danish kr. 41.158
Swedish kr. 35.654 Norwegian kr. 38.202
Austrian sch. 22.276 Spanish peseta 1.849
Port. Escudo 1.534