Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/01/1998 (ANA)
- Terrorist suspect to be charged today
- Information centre opens for migrants
- Greece protests to Turkey over attacks
- Athens not ready to accept air space violations
- More air space violations
- Turkey 'provocative and aggressive' - Athens
- Gov't comments on US position
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Terrorist suspect to be charged today
Police said today that they had proof that Nikos Maziotis, arrested on
Tuesday on suspicion of involvement in bomb attacks, had written a note
warning of a bomb placed at the development ministry last year.
The note was read out to Athens daily Eleftherotypia by telephone by an as
yet unidentified person.
Maziotis is expected to be charged later today with possession of weapons,
explosive material and seditious printed material.
Police said ballistic tests would be carried out on a .38 pistol also found
at Maziotis's residence to determine whether it had been used in any
Maziotis was arrested along with 17 other people in dawn raids by police
early on Tuesday morning. Police found a significant quantity of explosive
material in the raids, including 9.5 kilos of explosive material at
Maziotis's Kamatero home.
Police released all but two of the group after questioning. The two men
detained are to be charged with offences that are unrelated to terrorist
Maziotis is thought to be the ringleader of urban guerrilla Militant
Guerrilla Formation, which has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb
attacks since its appearance in 1996.
Documents found at Maziotis's home, including a 120-page diary and 15
computer diskettes, will also be examined by experts in the hope of
shedding more light on his possible links with other organisations.
Information centre opens for migrants
An information centre for economic migrants was opened in central Athens
today, designed to provide information on Greece's attempts to legalise
thousands of illegal workers and migrants.
The centre's main tasks will be to forward applications by migrants for
legal status (the White Card) and to liaise between migrants and labour
Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou urged all
employers and unions to support the process of registering and legalising
The centre, situated at Ipirou 8 and 3rd September Sts, will offer
information in nine languages - Polish, Russian, Arabic, Albanian, Serbian,
Bulgarian, Romanian, English and French.
Opening the centre, General Confederation of Greek Unions (GSEE) president
Christos Polyzogopoulos said the legalisation process for immigrants would
strike a blow at racist attitudes as well as lead to a healthier labour
Greece protests to Turkey over attacks
Greece yesterday lodged a written protest with the Istanbul prefectural
authorities over attacks against Greek institutions and Orthodox churches
and Turkish officials' refusal to see the Greek Consul General.
The demarche was sent by the Greek Consul General to the Istanbul
Prefecture after Consul General Photis Xidas was "unable to come into
contact with the Prefect of Istanbul" last night, foreign ministry sources
In the demarche the Greek authorities stressed their "concern over the
repeated incidents against foundations of the Greeks of Turkey and the
refusal of the Turkish authorities to receive the Consul General or the
Consul of Greece".
In the latest incident, an ethnic Greek sexton at the Aghios Therapontas
Church in Istanbul was found dead yesterday in a church well after an
unexplained fire at the church. He was found with a cracked skull after the
fire was extinguished.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday expressed the
government's condemnation over the fire as well as other such incidents in
Turkey against Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate staff and property, whose
causes have continuously remained unexplained. He also accused Turkish
authorities of inefficiency.
The Orthodox churches in Istanbul, and particularly churches in areas
without a large Greek community, have been the target of systematic attacks
by a gang that steals icons and other ecclesiastical objects, the sources
Athens not ready to accept air space violations
Greece will not tolerate any violation of its sovereign rights, National
Defence Undersecratary Dimitris Apostolakis reiterated today with regard to
yesterday's violations of Greek air space by Turkish air force jets.
"Turkey is trying to overstep the limits. Our reaction will be very
forceful," he said after addressing air force academy cadets in Tatoi.
He added that there was still a danger of conflict (in the Aegean) and that
the Greek armed forces were always prepared to deal with any provocation on
the part of Turkey.
More air space violations
The Turkish air force infringed the Athens FIR today in two instances.
Greek radar picked up two Turkish air craft south of Rhodes and one
southeast of Limnos.
Defence Ministry sources said a total of 12 Turkish aircraft entered Athens
FIR without submitting flight plans and were intercepted by Greek air force
Later today it was announced that Greek air force fighters had taken off to
intercept a second group of Turkish air force planes that were infringing
Athens' FIR and violating Greek air space.
Between 11.30 and 14.00, six Turkish F-16, six F-4 and two RF-4 (aerial
photography) entered the Athens FIR without warning and carried out 16
violations of Greece's national air space between Limnos and Hios and
between Rhodes and Kos. All were intercepted by 10 Greek Mirage 2000 and F-
16, while in two cases the interceptions developed into mock dogfights.
Turkey 'provocative and aggressive' - Athens
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas condemned Turkey's behaviour as
"provocative and aggressive", noting that the Greek government had taken
all the necessary diplomatic action.
The government, said Reppas, had protested to the European Union, accusing
Turkey of using its armed forces to exercise foreign policy.
Meanwhile, referring to an incident yesterday in which Turkish fighters
flew above a helicopter carrying Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos,
Reppas said this behaviour was not honourable, nor was it in keeping with
the behaviour of a civilised nation.
"Greece is not worried, but is ready to face any eventuality," he said,
accusing Turkey of trying to maintain tension in bilateral relations.
He also stressed that Greece was taking steps to de-escalate the tension,
something which Turkey was not doing.
Asked what the outcome of Greece's protests regarding Turkey's behaviour
had been, the spokesman said that these results were reflected in relations
between the European Union and Turkey, since a good climate between Greece
and Turkey was considered by the EU to be sine qua non.
Gov't comments on US position
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stressed that Greece would not change
its positions regarding its territorial limits and its sovereign rights
just because a third party had a different opinion.
Reppas was commenting on statements yesterday by US Ambassador in Athens
Nicholas Burns. He was asked whether these statements were a reversal of
the US position.
Burns yesterday denied he had linked the question of Greek sovereignty in
the Aegean with the country's air space limits, as had been reported in the
press last weekend.
Fair weather is forecast throughout Greece today with some local clouds in
the west and north and local fog in the morning. Winds southwesterly, light
to moderate. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 6-17C. Good
weather also in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 2-13C.
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.764
Pound sterling 465.228 Cyprus pd 534.688
French franc 46.737 Swiss franc 192.795
German mark 156.478 Italian lira (100) 15.919
Yen (100) 216.018 Canadian dlr. 198.440
Australian dlr. 183.530 Irish Punt 389.658
Belgian franc 7.586 Finnish mark 51.693
Dutch guilder 138.885 Danish kr. 41.099
Swedish kr. 35.456 Norwegian kr. 37.825
Austrian sch. 22.243 Spanish peseta 1.847
Port. Escudo 1.530