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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 05/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • 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
  • Weather
  • 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 party's future.

The PASOK party was founded by the late Andreas Papandreou on September 3, 1974.

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 together.

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 prospers".

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 defences".

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 that".

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 Turkey.

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 policy issues.

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 Yasser Arafat.

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 countries.

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 markets.

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 vulnerability.

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 day.

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, he said.

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.

WEATHER

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- 27C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(M.S.)


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