Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-05
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 05/09/1998 (ANA)
- Prime Minister inaugurates Thessaloniki International Fair
- Tsohatzopoulos speaks on PASOK's anniversay
- Burns says US wants a federation in Cyprus
- Gov't on Yilmaz statements
- Kurd arrested on Kos
- Kranidiotis optimistic over Greek UN Security Council seat
- Greece briefed on Kozloduy nuclear plant security
- Swissair officials express condolences over crash victims
- Consumer price inflation slips to 5.0 pct in August yr/yr
- Greek stocks slide again in wake of global turmoil
- National Bank of Greece opens new branch in Channel Islands
- US embassy to hold two international conferences in Greece
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Prime Minister inaugurates Thessaloniki International Fair
Prime Minister Costas Simitis pledged Friday night that his government will
place particular emphasis on combatting unemployment.
Inaugurating the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), he said that
this would be achieved through the funding of subsidised employment and
self-employment programmes of the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED),
the implementation of vocational training programmes and through subsidising
employment experience programmes.
Mr. Simitis said that the guidelines of this policy are the steadfast
continuation of modernising initiatives and the structural changes the
government is carrying out in the economy, as well as the systematic
development of the new social state with the creation of a new social
insurance system for those who are actually in need.
Mr. Simitis also sent a message of confidence on the country's national
issues, saying that we "are stepping firmly with our political arguments,
with our alliances and with boosting our defences", adding that "we have
nothing to fear if we rally together and if we plan tomorrow and our
strategy soberly, defending peace and stability."
Tsohatzopoulos speaks on PASOK's anniversary
Speaking in Thessaloniki on Friday on the occasion of the ruling socialist
PASOK party's 24th anniversary, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos
said that the main elements of its success was its binding with the people
and its identification with the needs and visions of Greece. "PASOK must
offer a modern course to the Greek people based on the principles of
democratic socialism, while Greece must be in a position to contest things
and determine developments," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said in referring to the
The PASOK party was founded by the late Andreas Papandreou on September 3,
Burns says US wants a federation in Cyprus
US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns said that his government believes
that the thorny Cyprus problem could be resolved by a unified, bi-zonal, bi-
communal federation to enable the Cypriot people to live, work and trade
In an exclusive interview with Mr. Gerassimos Zarkadis, Director of
"HERMES", a monthly English-language magazine published by the Athens News
Agency (ANA), Mr. Burns said:
"We believe that the resolution should be one Cyprus, united on a bi-zonal,
bi-communal and federal basis, and that the people of Cyprus ought to be
able to live together and work together, trade together, so that everyone
But he said that such a "dream will not occur unless there is political
courage and commitment on both sides, and unless the leaders concentrate on
politics and not military means".
Questioned on the deployment of the Soviet made S-300 missiles in Cyprus,
Mr. Burns said that Cyprus "has a right to self-defence, and no one in my
government has questioned whether or not Cyprus has a right to defend
itself and to prepare itself to, as all countries do, secure its proper
He said: "We do not believe that introducing the S-300 missile system in
Cyprus will advance or improve Cypriot security. It would require the
introduction of an expansive missile system to actually improve Cypriot air
defence capabilities, and the purcahase (of these missiles) does not do
The American ambassador however stressed that "even if the missile system
would be introduced, and we're hoping it will not, certainly Turkey would
not then have the right to strike against it. We have said that many times,
publicly as well as privately , that we don't believe in the use of force
or that the threat of the use of force is warranted in this".
Gov't on Yilmaz statements
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday called on the international
community "to reach final conclusions" from Turkish Prime Minister Mesut
Yilmaz's recent statements threatening that Turkey would annex the northern
part of the Republic of Cyprus which it occupies since the 1974 invasion.
Turkey's forces illegally occupy more than one-third of the island republic
since the invasion.
Kurd arrested on Kos
Police are investigating the activities of a Turkish national of Kurdish
origin who was arrested on the eastern Aegean island of Kos on Thursday
while he was preparing to transport two Turks with his inflatable boat.
Temel Sehmuz and his compatriots Isami l Toprak, 23 and Suat Sefer 26, were
found in possession of forged passports.
Sehmuz came to Greece four years ago and requested political asylum
claiming to be a political refugee. Police investigation revealed that
Sehmuz used the forged passport during several trips from Greece to
Kranidiotis optimistic over Greek UN Security Council seat
Greek Deputy Foreing Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, who is currently here
attending the 12th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, has expressed his
satisfaction over his contacts on the sidelines of the conference with
regard to promoting Greece's bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN
Security Council, as well as the promotion of Greek positions on foreign
During his stay here, Mr. Kranidiotis had more than thirty meetings with
heads of state and foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement member-
states, incuding Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Palestinian Authority leader
Regarding Greece's bid for the Security Council seat, Mr. Kranidiotis told
the press "it was a strenuous effort to which we are responding in dignity",
adding that the chance was given to Greece to win a place in the world and
boost its bilateral relati ons with all the countries.
Greece briefed on Kozloduy nuclear plant security
Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov said Bulgaria's obligation to brief
Greece regularly on the security situation at the Kozloduy nuclear plant
results from relevant intergovernmental agreements between the two
Mr. Kostov was replying to a question by an opposition deputy in Parliament
yesterday concerning the briefing of Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on
security issues at Kozloduy during Mr. Kostov's recent visit to Athens.
Swissair officials express condolences over crash victims
Two Greek nationals and 12 other persons of Greek origin were among the
dead on the ill-fated Swissair aircraft that crashed off the coast of
Canada early on Thursday, it was reported yesterday. A Greek-American
researcher at the University of Chicago was among the victims.
Swissair officials in Athens expressed their deepest condolences yesterday
to the relatives of the victims of the crash as the company released the
list of names.
Consumer price inflation slips to 5.0 pct in August yr/yr
Consumer price inflation in August edged down to 5.0 percent year-on-year
from 5.1 percent the previous month, the Greek National Statistics Service
(GNSS) said yesterday.
According to GNSS estimates last month, inflation was expected to fall
below 5.0 percent in August.
August's inflation figure resulted from a price decline in foodstuffs
despite an increase in vegetables; and from rises in electricity rates,
rents and entertainment products.
Greek stocks slide again in wake of global turmoil
Equities remained under pressure in jittery trade to lose more ground on
the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, still hit by turbulence in international
The Athens general index ended 0.98 percent lower at 2,096.38 points to
show a net loss of 3.39 percent in the week. Trade was light, shrinking to
34.3 billion drachmas.
The week's turnover totalled 277.306 billion drachmas to post a daily
average of 55.5 billion, down from 59.8 billion the previous week.
The index has gained 41.68 percent since the beginning of the year, but
lost 25.81 percent from its historic high this year of 2,825.52 points.
The general index was volatile throughout the week, reflecting the market's
Traders said the market would remain under the spell of uncertainty over
the impact of Russian and Asian crises on the global economy.
The Greek market had largely ignored favourable economic fundamentals in
the throes of the global crisis, including an average 30 percent increase
in first-half profits by the majority of companies listed on the Athens
bourse, analysts said.
Foreign institutional investors have been dumping Greek stock in the crisis
in order to recoup losses from other markets.
National Bank of Greece opens new branch in Channel Islands
National Bank of Greece, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, has set up a new
branch on Guernsey, one of the UK's Channel Islands, as part of its
strategy of expanding abroad.
The branch will handle all offshore banking transactions and work closely
with National Bank of Greece in London.
The Channel Islands, which have their own economic and tax system, do not
belong to the European Union.
US embassy to hold two international conferences in Greece
The US embassy is to hold international conferences in Greece next year on
infrastructure for tourism and for the 2004 Olympics to be hosted by Athens,
commercial attache Patrick Santillo said yesterday.
Mr. Santillo was addressing a news conference in Thessaloniki before the
inauguration of the city's annual international trade fair later the same
Major US companies will take part in the conference on Olympics infrastructure,
which the embassy is to organise along with the Hellenic-American Chamber,
based in Athens. The conference on tourism is to be held in April next year,
The conferences form part of a US strategy in Greece next year aimed at
tightening business links between the two countries.
Devised by US Ambassador in Athens, Nicholas Burns, the strategy also
involves encouraging US firms to come to Greece and make contact with
domestic firms, in order to aid forge business links and boost trade.
Mr. Santillo said the sectors of interest to US firms, which wish to
compete in Europe for procurements deals, were energy, telecommunications,
environmental protection, medical equipment and infrastructure projects.
On Sunday, scattered clouds in western, central and northern Greece and
possible rainfall in the north. Fair weather in the rest of the country.
Athens partly cloudy with temperatures between 20-30C. Thessaloniki cloudy
and possible rainfall in the afternoon with temperatures between 18-
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 298.493
British pound 498.678 Japanese yen (100) 220.274
French franc 51.171 German mark 171.542
Italian lira (100) 17.373 Irish Punt 430.528
Belgian franc 8.273 Finnish mark 56.385
Dutch guilder 152.024 Danish kr. 45.039
Austrian sch. 24.373 Spanish peseta 2.021
Swedish kr. 37.400 Norwegian kr. 38.559
Swiss franc 208.241 Port. Escudo 1.674
Aus. dollar 176.209 Can. dollar 192.296
Cyprus pound 579.328