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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-26

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, 26/01/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Pangalos: differences with Turkey should be solved legally
  • Government, trade unions clash continues
  • Greek-Albanian relations on good footing
  • US to abolish military loans to Greece and Turkey
  • Tsohatzopoulos proposes plan against negative phenomena
  • Greek-Italian conference supports volunteering
  • Tensions will multiply this year, party leader says
  • New TV broadcasting centre in Mytilene
  • Greeks start learning Bulgarian language
  • Red wine is the secret of longevity
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

@ Pangalos: differences with Turkey should be solved legally

Turkey can take issues on which it cannot agree with Greece to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said yesterday.

Mr. Pangalos, speaking to the Turkish daily Milliyet, was cited as saying that "differences should be solved in a legal manner" and that "this could occur by seeking recourse to international legal organisations, such as the International Court at The Hague".

"Various issues, from the (delineation of the Aegean) continental shelf to national air space, can be solved," Mr. Pangalos said. He cited the continental shelf issue, national air space, territorial waters and armaments on Greek islands. On the continental shelf issue, Mr. Pangalos said "there could be bilateral talks on the continental shelf and if there is no agreement we can seek recourse to the International Court".

On the issue of Greece's air space limit in particular, Mr. Pangalos said that Turkey could have recourse at The Hague, adding that the issue "gave rise to risks," but he said he did not believe that "this would lead to a clash".

The issue of the extent of territorial waters, likewise, Mr. Pangalos said, can be resolved "with the assistance of a third party and not with threats".

"Maybe some day we could have serious talks" on the issue of the arming of the Greek islands, he added.

"On this issue, the lack of trust plays a major role...Why does Turkey have 400 landing vessels? What is the aim? On the other hand, nobody can claim that we are planning a landing in Anatolia," he said.

"This is another issue that Turkey can take to The Hague."

Turning to Turkey's relations with the European Union, Mr. Pangalos said it was "ridiculous" for Turkey to blame Greece for being behind every decision that went against it, referring to the EU's refusal to consider Turkey as a candidate for membership at the present time.

On Cyprus, he reiterated that Greece was not about to accept Turkey's position of two independent states on the divided island.

Government, trade unions clash continues

The confrontation between the government and trade unions over the status of labour relations in public enterprises and utilities, known collectively as DEKOs, is expected to continue this week.

The General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) has already called a second nationwide 24-hour strike in DEKOs and banks in two weeks time for tomorrow.

The problem will be even more acute in the public transport sector. Employees of the OASA urban transport organisation will participate in the 24-hour strike and have announced their own programme of strikes for this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, starting from the beginning of the morning shift to 9 a.m. and from 10 p.m. until the end of the night shift.

The President of the bus employees Andreas Kolas has warned of an open-end strike and that unless the amendment is withdrawn the responsibility will lie with the government.

Greek-Albanian relations on good footing

Addressing a special press conference on Saturday, Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano expressed satisfaction over the successful development of relations with neighbouring countries.

Mr. Nano noted his country's pursuit of developing bilateral relations and targets with Italy, enriching the positive experience emanating from the trigon of peace Tirana-Athens-Skopje and traditionally friendly relations with Turkey.

"The Albanian government would desire an atmosphere of understanding and dialogue with Belgrade as well and exactly for this reason took the step in Crete as well," he said.

Referring to Belgrade, he said relations between the two countries cannot develop from the moment that the situation in Kosovo is being burdened even more. He condemned the use of force against Albanian-speaking people in Kosovo, saying that "for this purpose we have started efforts to organise a Balkan Conference in Tirana."

Commenting on the Greek initiative, he pointed out that "every such move encouraging dialogue is welcome. However, I have to recognise a classification in these international initiatives".

US to abolish military loans to Greece and Turkey

The United States has decided to abolish military loans to Turkey and Greece as of 1999 in the framework of measures aimed at reducing budget expenditures, well-informed diplomatic sources disclosed in Ankara yesterday.

"Ankara and Athens were recently informed on the decision of the US to end the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, a diplomatic source told the French News Agency (AFP).

The decision puts an end to decades of US military aid to the two NATO member-states which started in the Cold War era. The two countries use the loans to obtain weapons from the US.

In 1998 Turkey and Greece will respectively receive military loans amounting to 150 and 105 million dollars.

The US, Turkey and Greece made no official announcement on the issue, but military experts believe that the decision taken by the US will have a very small impact on Ankara's weapons purchasing programme.

Turkey, which has the arithmetically most important military in NATO after that of the US, plans to spend about 31 billion dollars in military expenditures over the next 10 years.

Tsohatzopoulos proposes plan against negative phenomena

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos proposed the processing of a National Overall and Collective Course Plan aimed at combatting negative phenomena already appearing in other European countries in their effort to approach criteria set by the Maastricht Treaty.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, who was speaking in Thessaloniki on Saturday night, made his proposal while addressing the ruling PASOK party's Regional Conference of Central Macedonia on the issue of the 35-hour working week, salaries,employment and development in the presence of party Secretary Costas Skandalidis.

He said the purpose of the plan must be the simultaneous and parallel tackling of the negative consequences emanating from the convergence policy on the triptych state-employees-enterprises.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said social dialogue must be utilised and clarified that he is not questioning positive results achieved so far by the government's economic policy and predicted that this policy will meet with the same success over the next two years .

However, he said the European experience must be assessed since "the European Union has been trapped in a recycling process of stabilisation and recession from the policy being followed and aimed at the Maastricht criteria."

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that in Greece the policy of nominal convergence is approaching its limits, society is before crucial restructuring and the issue of the survival of large sections of popular classes has to be faced.

He said the enlargement of the production base is stagnant and new investments are not being made in the private sector except for the inflow of capital from the 3rd Community Support Framework.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said a new type of development model must be applied with emphasis being placed on regional development and the tackling of unemployment and at this point he proposed consideration for the proposal on the 35-hour working week.

Lastly, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos reiterated his position that Greece's participation in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will primarily be determined by political and not economic criteria.

Greek-Italian conference supports volunteering

The issue of "Enterprises supporting volunteering" was the focal point of yesterday's 3rd Greek-Italian conference being held in Athens at the initiative of the Italian Chamber of Commerce.

The need was stressed for a multifaceted and coordinated development and support for volunteering in the direction of a substantive social solidarity and protection of the "weak" marginalised citizen.

PASOK Executive Bureau member and coordinator of the discussion Stephanos Manikas said that "volunteering today is not an act of charity but the philosophy of a social function and development aimed at man and the improvement of his quality of life."

Mr. Manikas said volunteering is the primary care of the government's social policy and called on citizens to rally.

The President of the foundation for the child and the family Marianna Vardinoyianni sent a message stressing that "volunteering contribution has constituted the base for the biggest humanitarian achievements of man."

The Secretary-General of the Health and Welfare Ministry Mr. P. Aposkitis announced the initiation of a National Council for the Promotion of Volunteering.

Tensions will multiply this year, party leader says

Addressing his party's Central Committee on Saturday, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos predicted that tensions in all sectors of the country's political, economic and social life will multiply in 1998.

His address focused on the government's policy which he criticised, claiming that the government is below expectations it had created and is distancing itself more and more from society and the citizen.

Referring to foreign policy problems, Mr. Constantopoulos said confusion prevails in the government and nobody is aware what exactly we are doing in the country and for what reason we are doing it at a time when packages of proposals and developments ha ve been set out.

The Central Committee was due to come to a close yesterday with the ratification of a resolution concerning the party's activities and initiatives until the municipal elections in October.

New TV broadcasting centre in Mytilene

Press and Mass Media Minister Dimitris Reppas inaugurated the new TV broadcasting centre in Mytilene on Saturday to operate as a studio for the ET-3 TV network. The event was attended by the director of the Prime Minister's quality of life political burea u Antonis Angelidis, the President of ERT S.A. Panayiotis Panayiotou, the Secretary-General of the Ministry to the Aegean Yiannis Machairidis and the general director of the Greek Tourist Organisation (EOT) Costas Katsiyiannis. Also present was Mihalos Al exandridis, general director of the ET-3 TV network.

Mr. Reppas termed the new TV broadcasting centre a small "miracle achieved due to insistence and persistence on an idea."

Greeks start learning Bulgarian language

Eighty-six young people from the Kato Nevrokopi region in the Drama prefecture are learning the Bulgarian language and will be able to be used in opportune positions when the Greek-Bulgarian border (Exohis customs office) opens in 1998.

Nevrokopi Regional Governor Yiannis Xanthopoulos said "training is of a six- month duration and the programme is being funded by OLEL" following an understanding reached with its commander Costas Efstratoglou.

Mr. Xanthopoulos added that "the Bulgarian language is necessary because transactions with the neighbouring country are being scheduled."

Red wine is the secret to longevity

Doctors around the world may be searching for a cure to eternal youth but Giorgis Mandalis, who died in Kavala on Saturday at the age of 105, found the secret to his long and full life in red wine.

Mandalis, his relatives told the ANA, always maintained that his good health was due to red wine in moderation, no cigarettes, small and frequent meals, little to no meat and a healthy skepticism of doctors.

"Medicines do not always cure the problem", Mandalis used to say. "Red wine in moderation is a natural cure."

Mandalis was born on the island of Imvros, leaving in 1923 when it was ceded to Turkey. He lived on the northern Aegean island of Thassos with his wife, Angeliki, who died at the age of 85. The couple had two children, five grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.

Greek First Division soccer results

Apollon-Panathinaikos 2-5 Kalamata-Xanthi 1-2 Panionios-Paniliakos 3-1 PAOK-OFI 1-0 Proodeftiki-AEK 3-2 Panahaiki-Ionikos 0-1 Olympiakos-Athinaikos 4-0 Veria-Iraklis 0-1 Kavala-Ethnikos 2-1 STANDINGS-POINTS: Olympiakos 49, AEK 47, Panathinaikos 46, PAOK 40, Ionikos 37, Iraklis 34, OFI 27, Xanthi 27, Apollon 25, Panionios 23, Paniliakos 21, Panaxaiki 19, Proodeftiki 19, Veria 17, Ethnikos 16,

WEATHER

Overcast with local rain in the east parts of Greece with possible storms in the south. Light snow in the north and low-lying areas. Winds easterly strong to very strong with local gales in the east and south. Temperatures will range in the north from -3-5C, in the west from 1-13C and in the remaining regions from 3-12C. Light rain is expected in Athens with light snow on Mt. Parnes and temperatures from 4-9C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with light snow in the surrounding mountain ranges. Temperatures will range from 2-4C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.026 Pound sterling 466.974 Cyprus pd 535.997 French franc 46.977 Swiss franc 192.641 German mark 157.301 Italian lira (100) 15.966 Yen (100) 223.547 Canadian dlr. 194.432 Australian dlr. 186.198 Irish Punt 394.518 Belgian franc 7.626 Finnish mark 51.961 Dutch guilder 139.634 Danish kr. 41.293 Swedish kr. 35.583 Norwegian kr. 37.894 Austrian sch. 22.350 Spanish peseta 1.857 Port. Escudo 1.540

(C.E.)


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