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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


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
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


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 Saturday.

"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 Echinos.

Earlier, Pangalos met with the Mufti of Xanthi Emin Sinikoglou, and visited the old town, which is undergoing an extensive restoration programme with EU funding.

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 billion dr.

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.

T-bill auction

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 park.

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


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