Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-18
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 18/07/1998 (ANA)
- President marks 'black anniversary' for Cyprus
- Parliamentary immunity discussed
- EOT reports increase of profits
- Spurned suitor gets revenge
- Noted poet Karelli buried
- IOC chief confers with culture minister
- Flynn, Simitis discuss job training programmes
- Gov't to issue low-cost bonds for small investors
- Kranidiotis details Greece's initiatives on Mideast problem
- Pangalos talks with Albania's leadership next week
- Measures against police corruption discussed
- Medical students volunteer programme
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
President marks 'black anniversary' for Cyprus
President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday reaffirmed Greece's support for
Cyprus in efforts to find a just, viable and feasible solution to the
problems which continue to cause great hardship for the Cypriot people and
undermine international legality. In a message on the 24th "black
anniversary" since the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of one-
third of Cyprus, Stephanopoulos said the Turkish occupation forces must at
long last leave so that all Cypriots, irrespective of ethnic origin or
religion, could "march together down the road of conciliation and creation"
within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Parliamentary immunity discussed
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday met with Coalition of
the Left (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos for talks on the issue
of Parliament deputies' immunity, following recent improprieties by two
The two men agreed that Parliament regulations must change to allow for
open voting on the lifting of immunity. The current regulation prescribes
that such voting is conducted through secret ballot.
Mr. Kaklamanis noted the responsibility of voters who vote for individuals
according to "how many times they appear in the media."
He also noted the responsibilities of parties, which must discuss issues of
behaviour so as to protect Parliament. Furthermore, Mr. Kaklamanis said
that he has opted for open voting on such instances.
However, he added that before any such vote there must be an indepth
investigation of every charge brought against a deputy.
On his part, Mr. Constantopoulos requested a meeting of the national
political leadership on the issue, presided over by Mr. Kaklamanis.
In a related development, former New Democracy premier Constantine
Mitsotakis, during a radio interview, said he will promote an initiative of
50 main opposition ND deputies to propose that the Constitution be amended
with regard to deputies' immunity.
On his part, ND deputy Ioannis Varvitsiotis said that such a proposal could
not come to Parliament since the present body has voted against it when ND
proposed the change earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that in the event that
Parliamentary immunity is lifted, it will lead to a "dark ages" of nuisance
lawsuits against deputies.
Mr. Reppas also said that it is up to the Greek people to judge the
deputies' actions so as not to be let down by their choice of representatives.
In a related development, a Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday requested the
lifting of deputy Varsamos Yiovanoudas' immunity in order to investigate
the lawsuit filed by a 25-year-old woman, his ex-girlfriend, who claims
that she was beaten by the deput y.
The woman is currently hospitalised in a Thessaloniki clinic.
Deputy Gerasimos Yiakoumatos is accused of threatening to kill Public Order
Minister George Romeos, after the former's home was burglarised, as well as
carrying an automatic handgun into Parliament.
EOT reports increase of profits
The Greek Tourism Organisation's (EOT) results showed an improvement in the
first half of the year, according to the state-run agency's figures.
EOT's profits during the above period amounted to 1.8 billion drachmas,
compared to profits of one billion drachmas in 1997.
Commenting on increased profits, EOT Secretary General Nikos Skoulas said
the results refute critics' allegations regarding the organisation's
It is reminded that many of EOT's staff, as well as opposition parties,
have often painted a gloomy picture of EOT's financial state.
Mr. Skoulas also said that economic results over the first half of the year
are visibly better compared to last year at EOT's marinas and beaches.
Spurned suitor gets revenge
A 57-year-old man tossed two hand-grenades into a couple's home yesterday
because they refused to allow him to marry their 35-year-old daughter.
Police said they arrested Vassilis Zachopoulos after the dawn attack, in
which Evgenia and Efthymios Lytras, 52 and 29 respectively, the mother and
brother of 35-year-old Theodora, were seriously injured.
Noted poet Karelli buried
Poet Zoe Karelli, who died on Thursday at the age of 96, was buried
yesterday in Thessaloniki. The woman who called herself "I, the Human"
using the female article for the masculine noun 'man' (anthropos)
introduced a feminist voice to early 20th century Greek literature at a
time when the feminist movement in Greece was almost unknown.
IOC chief confers with culture minister
Visiting International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio
Samaranch met yesterday with culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, who is
also chairman of the inter-ministerial committee for the 2004 Olympics. The
talks dealt with a general review of preparations so far for the Athens
2004 Games in view of the first meeting -- in Athens on September 2-4 -- of
the IOC coordinating committee which supervises preparations for the Games.
Samaranch arrived in Athens yesterday for the opening ceremony of the
International Olympic Academy's annual session on Pnyx Hill. The meeting,
which runs through July 30, brings together a record 202 delegates from
Flynn, Simitis discuss job training programmes
Prime Minister Costas Simitis met last night with visiting European
Commissioner Padraig Flynn and discussed ways to improve Greece's absoption
rate of EU structural funds regarding job training programmes. Mr. Flynn,
who is on an visit to Greece, also discussed with Mr. Simitis issues
related to the rest of the structural funds' absorption rates, which he
called satisfactory. According to reports, a selection procedure began to
choose which programmes will be given a priority status, while those
considered ineffective will be cut.
Gov't to issue low-cost bonds for small investors
The state will begin issuing low-cost, tax-free bonds in September in order
to entice small investors into the debt market, Finance Undersecretary
Nikos Christodoulakis said Thursday. The new bonds, priced at 50,000-100,
000 drachmas, will be tax-free if buyers retain them until maturity. The
bonds, which have a duration of three, five and 10 years, are not
negotiable on the secondary market, Mr. Christodoulakis said.
Kranidiotis details Greece's initiatives on Mideast problem
Greece fully supports peace and stability in the Middle East, and
undertakes initiatives with a view to rekindling the peace process, while
it also contributes decisively to the formulation of European policy in the
region and believes that Europe must undertake a more active role in the
Mideast problem, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis said in an
exclusive interview with ANA. "Greece has every interest in the promotion
of peace and stability in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. It seeks,
therefore, to assist in the rekindling of the Middle East process, which
has been deadlocked for the last year-and-a-half. Kranidiotis, who
represented Athens at a recent conference of prominent Israeli and
Palestinian personalities and journalists, said it was decided on
Rhodes that the conferences for dialogue should continue on a permanent
Pangalos talks with Albania's leadership next week
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will discuss the entire spectrum of
bilateral relations as well as issues concerning the situation in the
Balkans - especially Kosovo - when he meets the Albanian leadership in
Tirana on July 20-21, the foreign ministry announced yesterday. Mr.
Pangalos, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will meet
Albanian President Rexhep Mejdani, PM Fatos Nano, FM Paskal Milo, Tirana's
public order minister, the parliament president, and the president of the
Albanian parliament's constit utional revision committee. The agenda of
discussions will also include cross-border and economic cooperation as well
as a bilateral educational agreement, to be signed during Education
Minister Gerasimos Arsenis' forthcoming visit to Tirana.
Measures against police corruption discussed
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday met with Public Order Minister
George Romeos to focus on measures against corruption in the police force.
After the meeting, Mr. Romeos stated that the government will introduce a
bill in Parliament in August for the creation of an internal affairs
division, which will be overseen by a prosecutor. He added that he
personally approved 2,300 residence permits for foreigners out of a total
of 70,000 applications in Attica and 400,000 around the country over the
past five months, as was prescibed by law.
Medical students volunteer programme
The Society of Greek Medical Students (EFIE) will organise a volunteer
programme to staff medical clinics on various Greek islands during the
summer. The programme is financed by the New Generetion general secretariat
and includes 95 medical students from seven medical schools in Greece as
well as other countries. Room and board costs will be met be local
governments on the islands. Greek students will volunteer their services in
Istanbul, Ankara and Anatolia hospitals, while their Turkish counterparts
will volunteer on the islands of Lesvos, Hios and Kos.
The forecast for today is fine and sunny. Temperatures will range from 17-
34 on the mainland and 20-30 on the islands. Athens will be fine, with
temperatures of 21-33. Thessaloniki will be the same with temperatures of
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.743
British pound 482.945 Japanese yen (100) 210/949
French franc 49.118 German mark 164.771
Italian lira (100) 16.699 Irish Punt 414.160
Belgian franc 7.984 Finnish mark 54.191
Dutch guilder 146.057 Danish kr. 43.221
Austrian sch. 23.416 Spanish peseta 1.939
Swedish kr. 37.133 Norwegian kr. 39.035
Swiss franc 195.037 Port. Escudo 1.609
Aus. dollar 184.854 Can. dollar 198.737
Cyprus pound 561.968