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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 19/01/1998 (ANA)


  • Head of 2004 Olympics organising c'tee announced
  • No Olympic Airways flights on Thursday
  • Farmers in Crete protest
  • Ruling PASOK backs Damanaki for Athens mayor
  • Yakovlev crash body still unidentified
  • Three die in road crash
  • Tsohatzopoulos: Aegean status absolutely indisputable
  • Greece, US to sign two new trade agreements
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Head of 2004 Olympics organising c'tee announced

Prime Minister Costas Simitis today announced the establishment of two committees to organise and supervise the Olympic Games to be staged by Greece in the year 2004.

Simitis announced the decision after a meeting with President Costis Stephanopoulos, under the aegis of whom a National Olympics Committee will operate, chaired by Simitis with wide representation of the political parties and social groups. This committee will monitor preparation and evaluate the work carried out.

The main responsibility for organisation and execution of the works will be undertaken by the "Athens 2004" organising committee, which will operate as a societe anonyme, to be headed by lawyer Stratis Stratigis, a former New Democracy and Democratic Renewal parliamentarian. The other members of this committee will be announced later this week.

Simitis said Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who headed Greece's Olympics 2004 bid committee, would be a member of the National Committee, after her "personal request not to participate in the organisational committee for personal reasons".

"It is the government's desire to set up an efficient and flexible scheme which will guarantee the preparation and execution of the Games under a regime of absolute transparancy and control," Simitis said, adding that "this set-up meets that aspiration, as Greece's goal is to prove that it is capable of successfully completing the task it has undertaken".

During the one-hour meeting with Stephanopoulos, the President briefed Simitis on his one-week official visit to India which he described as "very useful".

The new president of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games committee Stratis Stratigis is 64 years of age and was born in Athens.

A lawyer by profession, Stratigis holds a doctorate in economics and maritime law.

He is married to Eleni Theodorakopoulou, the daughter of the late philosophy professor and member of the Athens Academy, Ioannis Theodorakopoulos. The couple have one daughter.

Stratigis speaks German, English and French.

He began practising law in Athens in 1960 and left the next year to study maritime law and economics at the London School of Economics.

He was appointed secretary general of the merchant marine ministry in 1974 by the national unity government.

In 1975, he was appointed a member of New Democracy's First Organising Committee and in May 1979 was elected a member of the First Congress. In 1978 he was appointed president of the Piraeus Port Authority. In 1981 he was elected to the party's Executive Committee.

Under the George Rallis government of 1980, he was appointed secretary general of the now-defunct coordination ministry.

In June 1985, he was elected to Parliament as a New Democracy deputy of state but left the party in September of the same year to join Kostis Stephanopoulos in founding the Democratic Renewal party (DHANA). Stratigis subsequently left the party and rejoined New Democracy.

In April 1995, he became a member of the board of the Athens Bar Association.

No Olympic Airways flights on Thursday

All Olympic Airways flights on Thursday have been cancelled due to the participation of the national carrier's employees in the 24-hour strike called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE).

The OA workers are protesting the abolition of collective agreements and employment regulations and have threatened further labour action which would result in the cancellation of many flights.

Meanwhile, labour unions representing employees of public corporations and enterprises (DEKO) begin efforts to force the government to withdraw a provision of the draft tax law with a four-hour work stoppage in public transport tomorrow.

The provision in question allows amendments to be made to labour relations affecting DEKO workers.

The work stoppage will begin at 11 am.

Farmers in Crete protest

Hundreds of farmers in the Cretan prefecture of Hania held a rally today to demand protection measures for oil and citrus fruit, two of their chief products.

The rally in the town of Hania, followed by a march to prefectural headquarters, was organised by the local federation of farmers' associations and the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives.

During the rally, a demonstrator sustained minor burns when his jacket caught fire as a group of farmers were trying to set fire to some tyres.

Ruling PASOK backs Damanaki for Athens mayor

The Executive Bureau of the ruling PASOK party today approved the Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus candidates for municipal elections to be held in October.

The PASOK candidates for the three municipalities will be Maria Damanaki, Thrasyvoulos Lazaridis and Christos Fotiou respectively.

Yakovlev crash body still unidentified

One of the 74 bodies found in the wreckage of a Ukrainian Yakovlev-42 aircraft that crashed in the mountains of Pieria on last December 17 has still not been identified, coroner Dimitris Psaroulis told the ANA today.

The list of passengers and crew provided by the airline contained only 70 names, although the Ukrainian authorities and passengers' relatives identified 33 bodies, while relatives of Greek passengers identified another 40.

Psaroulis and the head of the Greek experts' committee Akrivos Tsolakis visited the site of the crash yesterday to gather more information. The site is being guarded by soldiers until the final report is completed.

Three die in road crash

Three female students died in a road accident today close to the Thessaloniki Technical College near Sindos when a truck crashed into their car.

Two of the victims were 23 years old and the third 22 years of age.

Tsohatzopoulos: Aegean status absolutely indisputable

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday that Turkey was attempting to pass a false image through mass media that a problem existed in the Aegean, since the status in the Aegean "is obvious, absolutely indisputable, clear and legally and institutionally consolidated by international law".

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was commenting on a "non-paper" issued by the Turkish embassy in Athens, which attempted to blame Greece for tension in Greek- Turkish relations.

"The effort to dispute the status of the Aegean constitutes a potential threat not only against Greece but also against international law and the clauses which have been in effect for decades," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, calling on Turkey to realise that it is futile to continue this attitude.

Replying to a question on the statement by the National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis regarding a reaction by Greece in the event Turkey's armed forces commit a major provocation, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the country's strategy was clear and a given fact.

The defence ministry yesterday also accused Ankara of attempting to shift blame on Athens for non-observance of several Greek-Turkish agreements as well as of ignoring international laws and regulations.

"Turkey, according to its known tactic, is attempting to blame Greece for the non-observance of agreements concluded between Greece and Turkey in 1988 and of international laws and regulations, distorting actual events and presenting its national pursuits as Greece's obligation to follow them, " defence ministry sources said in regard to the Turkish allegations contained in the "non-paper".

"Turkey is violating the agreements by not submitting flight plans, failure to refer to the relevant Air Traffic Control Service and, what is worst and most provocative, with violations of national airspace even above (Greek) islands in many cases," the same sources said.

The sources added that "it is noted indicatively that over a two-month period between July-August 1997 when Turkey claimed that it did not conduct any exercises and that its aircraft were unarmed, Turkish aircraft violated Greek national airspace 41 times, once above a Greek island, while 19 formations were armed. In 1997 Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace on 849 occasions, 144 of which were above Greek islands."

In addition, the sources stressed that many pages would be necessary to register the violations of international regulations and agreements of 1988 by Turkish aircraft and Turkish ships.

Greece, US to sign two new trade agreements

National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and visiting US Secretary of Commerce William Daley over weekend agreed to promote two agreements between Athens and Washington.

The two ministers met in Athens on Saturday and agreed to sign the two agreements on further promoting and widening economic and commercial cooperation, as well as for cooperation on technological issues in the Balkans and southeastern Europe.

A special advisory committee will be created by virtue of the first agreement and will discuss joint business activities, widening commercial ties, promoting cooperation in the sciences and technology, developing cooperation and joint business relations in the Balkans, widening bilateral economic and business relations and promoting a new transatlantic dialogue, as well as other matters of mutual and international concern.

The committee will convene at least once a year, alternately in the two capitals, and will be chaired respectively by the international economic relations' secretary-general of the natioanal economy ministry and the US overseas trade undersecretary.

The second agreement, constituting a continuation of the Clinton-Simitis initiative, concerns cooperation for developing and promoting joint technological goals in the wider Balkan region and southeastern Europe.

Mr. Daley had earlier held talks with Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, who said afterwards that prospects were discussed of developing cooperation between Greece and the US in various sectors, such as energy, research, technology and tourism.

"More specifically, in connection with our relations in the tourist sector we expect an increase in the number of American citizens visiting Greece," she said.

Mr. Daley said he was visiting Greece as the representative of US President Bill Clinton with the purpose of developing commercial relations between the two countries. He added that what was being examined at present was in what way the interest of Greek and US businesspeople would be intensified since there was ground for cooperation and investments in the sectors of energy, tourism, research and technology and that many Americans are interested in cooperation of such a kind.

"Greece is very important for us. It is the most beautiful country in the world and many US citizens visit the country as either as tourists or for work. I believe that there will be many more in the future also, in light of the 2004 Olympic Games," Mr. Daley said.


Local cloud and rain in the southern Greece today, with occasional showers in Crete and the Dodecanese islands. The weather will improve in the course of the day. Scattered cloud is forecast for the west, with rain expected in the afternoon. Winds northerly moderate to light turning to northwesterly moderate to strong and very strong in the evening. Athens will be mostly cloudy with temperatures from 6-15C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 4-9C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 285.855 Pound sterling 465.982 Cyprus pd 534.688 French franc 46.693 Swiss franc 191.377 German mark 156.438 Italian lira (100) 15.888 Yen (100) 222.268 Canadian dlr. 199.531 Australian dlr. 188.753 Irish Punt 394.102 Belgian franc 7.582 Finnish mark 51.673 Dutch guilder 138.830 Danish kr. 41.073 Swedish kr. 35.660 Norwegian kr. 37.884 Austrian sch. 22.235 Spanish peseta 1.846 Port. Escudo 1.530


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