Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-05-19
NEWS IN ENGLISH
ATHENS, GREECE, 19/05/1998 (ANA)
- Clinton backs comprehensive approach for Greek-Turkish relations
- Balkan situation dominates Tsohatzopoulos talks in Sweden
- Greek-Romanian defence talks in Athens
- Cypriot defence minister tours ELBO facility
- 'Integrated world strategy' urged to counter capitalism
- Pontians request monument for 1914-1923 genocide
- Bayer to hold homage to aspirin on Kos on its 100th birthday
- FPA honours Tsatsaronis
- Eurostat report on Union's most inexpensive markets
- OTEnet-Ericsson cooperation
- V. Papandreou announces billions for development on Crete
- Greece vows to push for EMU entry backed by electorate
- Greek business leaders want more privatisations
- Greek 15-year-old bond sells well, paves way for 20-year paper
- Greece presents economy to lure Japanese investors
- Greek stocks gain ground on medium-cap stocks
- Ecuador last country to book for Posidonia
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Clinton backs comprehensive approach for Greek-Turkish relations
Both the US president and Britain's Prime Minister stated yesterday that
problems relating to Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus and Ankara's European
aspirations have to be tackled in a comprehensive manner and not in
Britain's leadership also backed the idea that Turkey should be given "a
very clear signal" about the EU's "true intentions" and expressed "deep
concern" about the situation in Cyprus. London is the current holder of the
European Union's rotating presidency.
"I do not think we can solve one problem in isolation from the other. I
think we must move forward on all these problems - Cyprus, the Aegean,
jurisdiction on disputes and the role of Turkey on Europe's future," US
President Bill Clinton told a press conference yesterday. He was in Britain
for the G7 plus Russia summit over the weekend and the subsequent meeting
of the six-nation Contact Group.
Asked if EU-Turkey ties were discussed at yesterday's talks between the EU
and the US, Mr. Clinton reiterated his administration's position that
"there ought to be efforts for Turkey to move closer to the EU".
"The US believes that there should be an honorable settlement to the Cyprus
impasse", Mr. Clinton said.
Balkan situation dominates Tsohatzopoulos talks in Sweden
The situation in the Balkans, Turkish intransigence and the fact that
neighbouring countries are neither members of NATO nor the EU make it
necessary for Athens to study the formation of "collective security
institutions" on Europe's perimetre, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos
said in Stockholm yesterday.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos arrived in Sweden late on Sunday night for a two-day
official visit and talks with his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow and
Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen.
In talks yesterday morning with Mr. von Sydow, the emphasis was on the
establishment of "institutions of regional cooperation and security" within
the framework of Partnership for Peace programmes.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said there were many
common points in the way Greece and Sweden viewed and dealt with critical
situations, while stressing that the situation in southeast Europe and the
Aegean was completely different to that in northwest Europe and the
Greek-Romanian defence talks in Athens
National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis held talks yesterday
with Romanian chief of general staff, General Constantin Degeratu, focusing
on bilateral relations and the enlargement of NATO with the accession of
Mr. Degeratu is currently on an official visit to Greece at the invitation
of his counterpart, chief of the national defence general staff, Wing
Commander Athanasios Tzoganis.
Expressing satisfaction with the good level of bilateral relations, Mr.
Apostolakis reiterated Greece's support for Bucharest's bid to join
international and European organisations, beginning with NATO, since
Romania's accession would strengthen securit y and stability in the
Cypriot defence minister tours ELBO facility
Cypriot Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou visited the Hellenic Vehicles
Industry (ELBO) outside Thessaloniki yesterday and met with the state-run
company's president, Lykourgos Sakellaris.
Mr. Sakellaris informed the Cypriot minister of ELBO's programmes,
including the timetable for delivery of 188 multi-purpose vehicles the
island republic has ordered.
`Integrated world strategy` urged to counter capitalism
Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis proposed that an "integrated
world strategy" should be socialists' answer to what he referred to as
He was addressing the Socialist International meeting here yesterday. The
main topic of discussion at the Oslo meeting concerns "interna-tional
According to Mr. Kranidiotis and other speakers as well, the current system
tends to produce more conflicts, poverty, corruption and misery instead of
stability, peace, democracy and prosperity.
The Greek minister named three main targets of an alternative strategy that
socialists should follow: - strengthening of democracy and defending human
rights - measures to prevent conflicts and promote peace - eradication of
poverty and human misery
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the Greek foreign undersecretary said the
recent Northern Ireland agreement and the effort to establish peace in the
Middle East could be used as examples in resolving the long-running
He further called on Turkey to cooperate for a viable solution of the
problem, expressing the view that Cyprus' European prospects would assist
in a political solution.
Pontians request monument for 1914-1923 genocide
Black Sea region Greek (Pontians) residents of the Thessaloniki area are
requesting a monument in the city to commemorate the 1914-1923 genocide of
the Pontians by the young Turk movement and Kemalist forces, a date
The request includes the placement of a monument in an area close to the
Meanwhile, Pontians are organising a rally and a symbolic take-over of the
Finally, a conference entitled "The Turkish Government and Ethinc
Cleansing" is being organised in New York between June 6 to 8, by the Greek
Federation of Pontic Societies and the World Council for Hellenes Abroad
Bayer to hold homage to aspirin on Kos on its 100th birthday
One hundred years after Dr. Felix Hoffmann, a chemist at Bayer's labs,
synthesised acetylsalicylic acid for the first time in a solid and pure
form, Bayer is hosting an international workshop on the island of Kos
marking the centennial of what has come to be known the world over as
The use of acetylsalicylic acid, the active substance in aspirin, can be
traced back to Kos, the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern
medicine, who was the first to discover the pain-killing and fever-reducing
properties of the sap from the bark of the willow tree.
The potion he prescribed made from the willow bark was a natural, non-
chemically treated form of aspirin.
After Dr. Hoffmann's discovery, aspirin became, in 1904, the first basic
medication to be sold in tablet form.
FPA honours Tsatsaronis
The Foreign Press Association's (FPA) board of directors yesterday
unanimously decided to award the title of honourary president to long-time
foreign correspondent Kostas Tsatsaronis.
The title was bestowed to the veteran journalist during a ceremony
organised in view of Mr. Tsatsaronis' retirement. He will now focus his
time at directing the Athens-based, German-language publication "Athener
Mr. Tsatsaronis played an instrumental role in the establishment of a
health care and retirement fund for foreign press correspondents.
Eurostat report on Union's most inexpensive markets
A Eurostat report on the EU's most inexpensive markets points to Portugal
as the cheapest destination in the Union for food and accommodations.
According to the EU's statistical bureau, Britain has the inexpensive
clothes and furniture market and Spain is the cheapest in tobacco
Further, Eurostat's survey found Greece is the most inexpensive country
regarding public transports, while more importantly, Luxembourg features
the lowest prices for vehicles.
The most expensive food market was found in Denmark, compared with Greece
where fruit, vegetables and meat were the lowest in the EU.
In addition to public transports, Greece was also cheapest in terms of
medical care and medicines.
A new system introduced in Greece by OTEnet in cooperation with the
multinational Ericsson will allow private Internet users to have a free
telephone line in order to receive normal calls while connected to the
world wide web. The "phone doubler" system is being successfully used
abroad and is now being imported to Greece by an OTE subsidiary.
V. Papandreou announces billions for development on Crete
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou yesterday announced several large
outlays during a tour of Crete. Specifically, she said 13 billion drachmas
would go for tourist infrastructure investment, 11 billion drachmas in
manufacturing infrastructure and 1.2 billion drachmas for the support of
small and medium-size businesses on Crete.
She said 13 billion drachmas will be allocated for the tourist infrastructure,
7 billion drachmas will be used for hotel modernisations, while another 4
billion drachmas will be allocated for the construction of sports
facilities and marinas.
Ms. Papandreou also noted the issue of the four new golf courses planned by
the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) in efforts to achieve a 12-
month tourist season on the island.
Speaking about the energy sector, she said that wind parks in eastern Crete
will supplement the island's power grid, while the problem will be solved
by the two new Public Power Corp. (DEH) plants.
Greece vows to push for EMU entry backed by electorate
Greece will maintain its drive to gain entry into the European Union's
economic and monetary union, acting on a mandate from the electorate,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.
The government, which aims to take the country into EMU by January 1, 2001,
committed itself to spending cuts and privatisation when the drachma joined
the EU's exchange rate mechanism on March 14 to ease entry into EMU.
The policies have triggered a wave of strikes, including an indefinite
stoppage by workers of Ionian Bank who oppose its privatisation. Mr. Reppas
told his daily news briefing that the belt-tightening policies also enjoyed
backing from the overwhelmi ng majority of the ruling PASOK party's central
Greek business leaders want more privatisations
The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday called on the
government to extend privatisation, take measures to boost monetary and
fiscal stability, and improve productivity and competiti-veness. The
chamber said the steps were necessary to ens ure Greece's participation in
the European Union's economic and monetary union by 2001.
In a letter to National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou,
the chamber's chairman, Yiannis Papathanassiou, stressed that Greece should
adopt further structural measures if it wished to exploit opportunities and
sidestep the dangers of EMU participation.
The chamber proposed a bold privatisation plan in electricity, telecommunications,
air and land transport, banking, petroleum and tourism.
Greek 15-year-old bond sells well, paves way for 20-year paper
Greece successfully auctioned its first ever 15-year state bond yesterday,
a move paving the way for a new series of long-term bonds with a 20-year
duration. The market's primary dealers submitted bids totalling 232.6
billion drachmas, more than double the target of 100 billion drachmas
sought by the finance ministry.
The authorities finally accepted bids totalling 108.3 billion drachmas.
The issue's interest rate fell to an average weighed 7.70 percent, a
development welcomed by the finance ministry.
Greece presents economy to lure Japanese investors
A forum to present business and investment opportunities in Greece to
Japanese companies will be held in Athens on Thursday attended by chief
executive officers from both countries.
Guests at the forum, which is timed to coincide with a visit by officials
of the Japanese Federation of Economic Organisations, are Development
Minister Vasso Papandreou and National Economy Undersecretary Alekos
The meeting includes presentations of business and investment opportunities
in Greece by representatives of industry, banking, exports, tourism and the
Athens Stock Exchange.
Another venue for investment to be outlined is Athens as host city for the
2004 Olympic Games.
It also includes an outline of investment opportunities in southeastern
Europe to be delivered by the general manager of the Hellenic Centre for
Greek stocks gain ground on medium-cap stocks
Greek equities yesterday started the week with gains reflecting strong
investor interest in medium capitalisation shares and two blue-chips,
National Bank of Greece and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation.
The general index ended 1.24 percent higher at 2,500.44 points.
Most sector indices scored gains. Banks rose 0.88 percent, Insurance ended
3.74 percent up, Investment fell 1.86 percent, Leasing increased 1.42
percent, Industrials rose 1.28 percent, Construction was 0.21 percent off,
Miscellaneous jumped 3.37 percent and Holding rose 3.18 percent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies rose 2.53 percent.
Trading was light to moderate by last month's standards with turnover at
53.9 billion drachmas.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 149 to 85 with another 23 issues
Hellenic Sugar, Giannousis, Sysware, Fourlis, Strintzis Lines, Xiosbank,
Keranis, Alco and Intrasoft scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the
day's 8.0 percent limit up.
Bank of Athens, Viokarpet, Balkan Export, Hadzioannou, Mouriades, Ridenco,
Aspis Invest and Gnomon suffered the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 49,750 drachmas, Ergobank at 26,800, Alpha
Credit Bank at 31,900, Delta Dairy at 4,750, Titan Cement at 24,00,
Intracom at 20,000 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 8,
Ecuador last country to book for Posidonia
Ecuador, which confirmed its participation in Greece's Poseidonia shipping
trade fair yesterday, was the last country to book for the international
event, which is taking place in the first week of June.
A total of 72 countries will participate in this year's event, housed in
the Piraeus Port Authority's waterfront exhibition hall.
More than 1,450 Greek and foreign companies are to take part in the
Unstable weather continues throughout Greece today with local showers and
possible storms. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Possibility of showers
in Athens with temperatures between 15-23C. Rain in Thessaloniki with
temperartures from 14-19C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 306.826
British pound 498.163 Japanese yen(100) 226.097
French franc 51.173 German mark 171.646
Italian lira (100) 17.404 Irish Punt 432.373
Belgian franc 8.317 Finnish mark 56.477
Dutch guilder 152.287 Danish kr. 45.055
Austrian sch. 24.387 Spanish peseta 2.020
Swedish kr. 39.442 Norwegian kr. 40.839
Swiss franc 205.647 Port. Escudo 1.674
Aus. dollar 190.801 Can. dollar 210.840
Cyprus pound 582.324