Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-09-09
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 09/09/1998 (ANA)
- Greece opposed to formation of alliances in the region
- Tsohatzopoulos, Papandreou slam Turkish-Israeli cooperation
- National Mortgage Bank chief to head Greek state telecom
- Greek stocks jump in thin trade lifted by markets abroad
- Bonds auction of 10-year duration
- Pangalos calls on Turkey to respect European values
- Greece, Iran, Armenia sign new memorandum of understanding
- Papandreou, Burns discuss prospects of US investments in Greece
- Greece, Bulgaria, Romania sign protocol to fight cross-border crime
- Greece ratifies CoE protocol abolishing capital punishment
- Greece, Albania sign cooperation protocol
- Commandos to travel to Cyprus on mission of solidarity
- Couple charged with child abuse
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece opposed to formation of alliances in the region
Greece yesterday reiterated that it was opposed to the formation of
alliances and axes in the region and called for multilateral cooperation.
Referring to Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's official visit to Israel,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Athens welcomed assurances from
Tel Aviv and Ankara that their bilateral cooperation was not directed at
any third party.
But Mr. Reppas said that "Greece maintains its reservations until this is
proved in practice". Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai denied a
report on Monday that visiting Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was
seeking Israeli support if hostilities erupted with Greece over the
stationing of missiles in Cyprus.
Mr. Reppas said that the dangers of a destabilisation in the eastern
Mediterranean region were real as long as the present situation of division
and occupation remains on the island of Cyprus. He was responding to
statements in Israel by Mr. Yilmaz that the deployment of Russian S-300
missiles by Nicosia on the island could bring about wider regional
"It is the right and duty of the Cypriot government to defend Cyprus," Mr.
He added that violations of Athens airspace yesterday by Turkish warplanes
was "the sort of activity which indicates that Turkey does not want to
contribute to defusing the situation but in fact provokes and attacks."
Tsohatzopoulos, Papandreou slam Turkish-Israeli cooperation
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday that the
Turkish-Israeli cooperation in the form of an axis provoked reactions from
all other countries of the region.
The creation of the axis "is confirmed from the moment Turkey uses high
Israeli technology to support its own unilateral claims against many
nations in the region. This creates a problem, is a source of instability
provoking a crisis and dangers for the region." Alternate Foreign Minister
George Papandreou said that the Turkish-Israeli cooperation should cause
concern not only for the Israelis but for the international community since
Turkey exploits the cooperation to promote its own ends in an unacceptable
National Mortgage Bank chief to head Greek state telecom
The governor of state National Mortgage Bank of Greece, Vassilis Rapanos,
is expected to become the new chairman of Hellenic Telecommunications
Mr. Rapanos, an associate professor at Athens Economics University, told
reporters after meeting Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday that he had
accepted the appointment. His predecessor, Dimitris Papoulias, has
Greek stocks jump in thin trade lifted by markets abroad
Greek equities ended sharply higher on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday
reflecting an improved performance in international markets, but trade was
thin. Traders said buying was focused on industrial blue chips, and that
foreign institutional investors were seen returning into the market.
The general index ended 2.51 percent higher at 2,180.35 points in turnover
of 30.5 billion drachmas.
Sector indices scored gains. Banks rose 1.88 percent, Insurance soared 3.89
pct, Investment was 1.57 pct higher, Leasing increased 2.78 pct, Industrials
jumped 3.78 pct, Construction rose 0.50 pct, Miscellaneous ended 2.12 pct
up and Holding rose 2.16 p ct.
The parallel market index for small cap companies rose 2.12 percent, and
the FTSE/ASE 20 blue-chip index ended 2.20 percent higher at 1,327.87.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 163 to 64 with another 21 issues
Aspis Bank, which made its trading debut, leapt 99 percent. The eight
percent volatility limit does not apply to new listings.
Papoutsanis, Bank of Athens, Hellenic Bottling, Aspis Invest, Keranis,
Elmec Sport, Etma and Strintzis Lines scored the biggest percentage gains
hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit up.
National Bank of Greece ended at 41,200 drachmas, Ergobank at 25,100, Alpha
Credit Bank at 23,200, Ionian Bank at 10,500, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,850,
Delta Dairy at 3,325, Intracom at 10,785, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,710 and
Titan Cement at 19,000.
In the domestic foreign exchange market, the drachma was firmer against key
foreign currencies, especially against the DMark and Ecu.
Bonds auction of 10-year duration
The Finance Ministry successfully carried out a bonds auction of a 10-year
duration with the re-opening of the March 26, 1998 issue having a stable
interest rate and amounting to 100 billion drachmas.
Strong interest was shown from abroad which covered the amount issued 3.6
times, since bids amounting to 364.8 billion drachmas were submitted and of
which bids totalling 115.3 billion drachmas were accepted.
The average interest rate for the issue reached 8.26 per cent, while the
average price for the bonds was 102.05, showing an upward trend.
Pangalos calls on Turkey to respect European values
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday accused Turkey of being
interested only in the economic aspect of its relations with the European
Union and called on it to respect European values.
"Turkey claims that it is a European nation, it wants to enter the European
Union, but is interested only in the economic and funding aspects," Mr.
Pangalos said during a joint press conference with Iranian and Armenian
Foreign Ministers Kamal Kharrazi and Vartan Oskanian.
He said that anyone who was "interested joining such families as that of
the EU must learn to respect the values and responsibilities, which all the
European countries have".
Any such nation must respect human rights as well as the rights of
minorities and to apply the rules of International Law, he added.
Mr. Pangalos reiterated that Greece supports the immediate resumption of
talks for the resolution of the Cyprus problem and the application of all
relevant United Nations decisions and resolutions.
He added that "Turkey refuses dialogue and refuses to apply the resolutions
of the UN, aspiring to keep the island divided and to retain its military
Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Pangalos said that "when one
creates a problem, one must show the way to its solution" while he stressed
that Turkey has a "package" of territorial claims against Greece.
Mr. Pangalos said that Turkish President Suleyman Demirel "recently claimed
that Turkey inherited from the Ottoman Empire all islands, islets and rock-
islets which it had under its sovereignty and were not named in treaties."
Greece, Iran, Armenia sign new memorandum of understanding
The second meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Iran and Armenia -
Theodoros Pangalos, Kamal Kharrazi and Vartan Oskanian respectively - came
to a close in Tehran yesterday with the signing of a new memorandum of
unders tanding which constitutes a continuation of the one signed during
the first tripartite ministerial meeting in Athens on December 22,
Addressing a joint press conference afterwards, the three foreign ministers
expressed satisfaction over progress achieved in all sectors of tripartite
cooperation and over considerable work achieved by the four committees
created after the first ministerial meeting in Athens and which are the
communications, tourist cooperation, industry and technology and economy
and energy committees.
The foreign ministers of Greece, Iran and Armenia agreed yesterday to
extend their cooperation to other sectors and to create one more committee
to preoccupy itself with environmental protection, health and the handling
of industrial accidents and natur al disasters with the cooperation of
corresponding national organisations from each country.
Issues discussed included relations between Iran and Afghanistan (following
the abduction of Iranian diplomats and a journalist from the Iranian
consulate in Kabul), military cooperation between Israel and Turkey, the
situation in Bosnia, the Kosovo crisis and combatting terrorism.
All three foreign ministers expressed strong reservations over military
cooperation between Israel and Turkey. Mr. Kharrazi, who will meet Turkish
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem in Tehran on Saturday, said that the main topic
in talks concerns the worsening of relations with Afghanistan and the
effort to locate and free the Iranians who have been abducted by the
"This does not mean that we do not have serious differences with Turkey,"
Mr. Kharrazi said, referring in particular to military cooperation between
Israel and Turkey.
Papandreou, Burns discuss prospects of US investments in Greece
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and US Ambassador to Athens
Nicholas Burns discussed relations between Greece and the US, the situation
in the Balkans and the investment climate prevailing in Greece at the
Foreign Ministry yesterday.
Mr. Papandreou said afterwards that he and Mr. Burns discussed issues
concerning the prospects of American investments in Greece and the wider
Balkan region, as well as joint investments in this region by Greece and
the US. They also discussed issues regarding the Thessaloniki International
On his part, Mr. Burns said that he briefed Mr. Papandreou on the
participation of American companies in the TIF.
Mr. Burns said that "for a long time American companies abstained (from
investments in Greece), but the Greek economy is being enlarged, restructured
and modernised and therefore it is a very good place for Americans to
Greece, Bulgaria, Romania sign protocol to fight cross-border crime
A protocol of close cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime in
the region of the Balkans was signed yesterday by the public order minister
of Greece, George Romeos, and the interior ministers of Bulgaria, Bogmil
Bonev and of Romania, Gavril Dezeu.
"The citizens of all the countries regard security as an ultimate good. It
is our obligation to provide it to them", Mr. Romeos said during a press
conference after the signing.
Expressing his satisfaction at the signing of the cooperation protocol, the
Greek minister said that the course to be followed from now on will prove
the three governments will to fight organised crime.
The protocol envisages the implementation of a system and exchange of
information to prevent and investigate into different forms of organised
crime, terrorism, as well as production and trafficking of illicit drugs,
an announcement of the Bulgarian interior ministry said.
It added that the protocol also provided for cooperation between the three
countries in the fight against arms smuggling, money laundering and illegal
financial operations and theft of cultural property.
Greece ratifies CoE protocol abolishing capital punishment
Greece ratified yesterday a protocol of the Council of Europe (CoE) Treaty
on Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms, which abolishes capital
The protocol, to become effective on Oct. 1, means the formalisation of
what has been approved of long ago. The abolition of the death penalty had
been ratified by the Greek parliament in 1993 and the last execution in
Greece took place in 1973.
Greece, Albania sign cooperation protocol
Greece and Albania yesterday signed a protocol of cooperation aimed at
providing Greek support to Albania in its efforts to join European and
Atlantic organisations. The protocol, the first ever concluded by the
Albanian government with a European Union country, was signed in Athens by
Greek Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Albanian
counterpart, Ilir Meta.
Mr. Meta told reporters later that the situation in Kosovo had been on the
agenda of his talks with Mr. Papandreou.
"Our thoughts are that there must be greater activity from the international
community for a political and peaceful resolution in the region," he
Regional cooperation has great significance for progress, Mr. Papandreou
said, adding that Greece and Albania were working closely in the framework
of this cooperation for regional stability.
Commandos to travel to Cyprus on mission of solidarity
Eight rubber dinghies carrying 40 reserves commandos will travel to Cyprus
for the second consecutive year, crossing the Aegean and the eastern
Mediterranean, on a mission of solidarity to the people of Cyprus. The
message they will convey is that "Cyprus is near and freedom is not
The mission, called "Kimon '98" leaves the Floisvos area at 1 p.m. tomorrow
after a ceremony is held for the delivery of the sacred flame from the
Marathon Memorial to be taken to Cyprus.
They will pass from rocky islets and the islands of Naxos, Rhodes,
Castellorizo and Samos before arriving in Cyprus.
The whole undertaking will be under the aegis of the Municipality of Athens
and has the support of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos,
the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrisostomos and the defence ministries of Greece
Couple charged with child abuse
A Greek couple were charged with child abuse and illegal detention
yesterday after police found their three children living in "horrific
Alerted by neighbours, police raided what they described as "a shack" in
the Athens suburb of Petroupolis.
They found two boys, aged 16 and 14, and a girl, aged 10, weak from hunger,
unwashed and bearing signs of physical abuse. They were immediately
transferred to the Children's Hospital for treatment.
Police said the three children had been forced to lie on their beds for
extremely long periods of time, even when they needed to relieve themselves.
The children were virtual prisoners in the shack, police said, with
padlocks having been placed on windows and doors.
The children's parents, Panayiotis Yiannakoudis, 41, and his wife Christina,
36, were unable to adequately explain their actions when they were brought
before the prosecutor.
Sources said the couple who suffer from severe mental problems will face
court on Friday, after they asked for and received three days to prepare
Scattered clouds in western, northern and central Greece, turning to rain
or storms. Otherwise, fair weather will prevail in most parts of the
country with a small drop in temperatures. Athens partly cloudy with
possible rain in the afternoon and temperatures between 20-31C. Thick cloud
in Thessaloniki with possible rain in the evening and temperatures from 19-
Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.0490
British pound 487.489 Japanese yen (100) 221.295
French franc 50.687 German mark 169.930
Italian lira (100) 17.211 Irish Punt 425.548
Belgian franc 8.240 Finnish mark 55.927
Dutch guilder 150.591 Danish kr. 44.608
Austrian sch. 24.154 Spanish peseta 2.003
Swedish kr. 36.766 Norwegian kr. 37.962
Swiss franc 207.764 Port. Escudo 1.660
Aus. dollar 173.997 Can. dollar 192.547
Cyprus pound 573.951