Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-26
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 26/07/1998 (ANA)
- Pangalos on Moslem minority
- New Democracy criticises Pangalos, US crossfire
- Privatisations this week
- Bank profits up 14.7 pct
- Earthquake jolts southern Crete
- Italian killed in crash
- T-bill auction
- Ethnic Fair in Mytilene
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Pangalos on Moslem minority
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos hinted that Turkey was pursuing a
policy of creating and exploiting tensions between Christians and Moslems
in Greece's northeastern border region of Thrace.
"There are voices that wish to refer elsewhere the issues of the (Moslem)
minority. Voices which look to the past, which dispute the basic national
identity of the Moslem minority, and which will try to utilise tensions and
artificial crises to further their own cheap interests and personal
ambitions," he said while on a tour of mountainous Moslem Pomak villages
"These voices we must battle calmly and persuasively, and forge ahead
united, Christians and Moslems," he added.
He stressed that the government viewed the place of Greek Moslems in
society as no different from that of the rest.
"The foreign ministry oversees the implementation of the Treaty of Lausanne
which governs the status of the minority in the three Thracian prefectures.
Greek Moslems are citizens of an open society, they are citizens of Europe.
They must continue to develop their personality, particularly youth that we
are working for, so that they may have the same opportunities as other
young Greeks, in the framework of a democratic, open, balanced and rational
development, in an open, European-type society," he said.
He announced the opening of three new nurseries in as many villages in the
autumn, and the creation of a modern sports ground in the village of
Earlier, Pangalos met with the Mufti of Xanthi Emin Sinikoglou, and visited
the old town, which is undergoing an extensive restoration programme with
New Democracy criticises Pangalos, US crossfire
The main opposition New Democracy party criticised both US officials and
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos for their recent sharp exchanges over
the American role in the Cyprus issue.
"The statements of American officials not only lack in historical basis and
are unfair, but also stoke Turkish intransigence and provocations. Everyone
must know that before such intransigence and provoctiveness all Greeks are
united and resolved to enter the battle and win it," party spokesman Aris
Spiliotopoulos said on Saturday.
His statement was in apparent reference to a remark by White House
spokesman Michael McCurry Thursday that the "right definition" for the
Cyprus problem was one of "conflict" between the two communities on the
island, rather than one of "invasion" and occupation of its northern half
by the Turkish army 24 years ago.
Spiliotopoulos said further that Greece should respond to such phenomena
neither with aggressive posturing nor insults, a reference to Pangalos'
claim that President Clinton had told a "grand lie" when promising to
resolve the Cyprus issue in his pre-election campaign.
"It is the policy of concessions and passivity that has brought us to this
point of either disorderly retreat or humiliation. We must develop
strategic options to secure the prospects the country needs," he urged.
Privatisations this week
The government is slated to announce tender results on Monday for the sale
of an 80-percent share package in Hellenic Duty Free Shops.
The results of another tender for a 51 percent stake in the Bank of Central
Greece is due to be announced on Friday.
Bank profits up 14.7 pct
Greek bank profits rose 14.7 percent to 121.14 billion dr. on aggregate
last year against 1996, according to an ICAP survey.
Alpha Credit Bank topped the list with 72.87 billion dr., followed by
Ergobank with 55.05 billion dr. and the National Bank of Greece with 35.7
Earthquake jolts southern Crete
An earthquake registering 4.7 on the Richter scale jolted southern Crete on
Saturday, but no injuries or damages were reported. The epicentre of the
quake was 370 kilometres south-east of Athens on the southeastern coast of
Crete, east of Ierapetra.
Italian killed in crash
An Italian woman was killed in a road accident in Crete Sunday when the
motorcycle she was riding collided with a car.
Maria Gracia Monaco, 45, from Lecce, was fatally wounded on the Hania-
Rethymno national highway on the island of Crete when the motorcylce she
was riding, driven by Migele di Palo, 54, from Bari, collided with a car
driven by 78-year-old Theodoros Leventakis from Hania.
The two drivers suffered minor injuries.
The finance ministry on Monday will tender 180 billion dr. of 12-month
treasury bills in electronic form, with July 29 as the issue and settlement
date in the competitive price auction for primary dealers.
Non-competitive bids will also be accepted by primary and regular dealers
for up to 20 percent of the issue.
Ethnic Fair in Mytilene
Citizens of 15 different countries living and working on the island of
Mytilene will be treating visitors to a taste of their homelands' culture
during a two-day ethnic festival that opens Monday at Aghia Irini
Foreign residents in Mytilene from England, France, Serbia, Romania, Russia,
Ukraine, Albania, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Scandinavia and
Latin America will be setting up pavilions containing aspects of their
countries' culture and serving traditional food, while they will also treat
visitors to performances of traditional music, songs and dances.
Immigrants from England, Latin America and Turkey will play traditional
music from their countries on Monday, while children from Serbia will
perform traditional dances. On Tuesday, the festival will close with a
concert by the Florina Band.
The festival is organised by the local citizens' group "Co-existence and
Communication in the Aegean".
Fair weather is forecast throughout the country Monday, with moderate to
strong northerly winds in the east and locally in the Aegean which will
subside in the evening. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 24-
38 C. Same for Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 22-37 C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.247
British pound 486.239 Japanese yen (100) 209.401
French franc 49.237 German mark 165.079
Italian lira (100) 16.7360 Irish Punt 415.0530
Belgian franc 8.040 Finnish mark 54.314
Dutch guilder 146.419 Danish kr. 43.396
Austrian sch. 23.471 Spanish peseta 1.945
Swedish kr. 37.138 Norwegian kr. 38.968
Swiss franc 196.108 Port. Escudo 1.614
Aus. dollar 183.222 Can. dollar 196.892
Cyprus pound 563.456