Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-09-23
NEWS IN ENGLISH
ATHENS, GREECE, 23/09/1998 (ANA)
- Simitis warns of two difficult years ahead
- G. Papandreou voices concern over human rights in Turkey
- First phase of 'Parmenion '98' concludes
- Gov't cites Luxembourg, Cardiff summits in relation to Cyprus
- Margarita Papandreou commends Hillary Clinton
- Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece represented at Commission
- European conference on topic of 'Women-Athletics Cooperation'
- V. Papandreou says economic borders replaced by qualitative ones
- In't Energy Organisation recommendations for Greece
- Greek shipowners focus on problems faced in the sector
- Greek stocks jump in slim trade led by banks
- Finance ministry calls information technology tender
- Gov't determined to keep up barrage of tax checks
- Romanian trade delegation to visit Athens
- Advertising in the Daily ANA Bulletin
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis warns of two difficult years ahead
Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed the next two years will be difficult
for Greece because, as the international environment is unstable and
demanding and because there are specific targets which must be achieved.
Speaking at a party rally organised by his ruling PASOK party at Davaki
Square in Kallithea yesterday evening on the occasion of the anniversary of
the party's election victory in September 1996, Mr. Simitis said the rally
sends a message of certainty a nd success, that the "people want and PASOK
He said that the party is capable and guarantees the country's course in
the 21st century since, as he said, toils and sacrifices are producing
results because Greece is no longer a small country. It has a voice,
prestige and a presence and influences d ecisions, he added.
Mr. Simitis reminded that when the drachma joined the Exchange Rate
Mechanism last March, the opposition criticised this decision unwisely,
inconsiderately and off-handedly, while now the international crisis was
handled with success.
He said that PASOK had requested the popular mandate in 1996, having the
country's accession to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as a cornerstone
and today the overwhelming majority of the people side with this option.
Mr. Simitis refuted the argument that the government's policy allows
markets to decide, saying that it is doing exactly the opposite since it
calls for societies to decide, having given its reply to neo-liberalism.
G. Papandreou voices concern over human rights in Turkey
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou expressed serious concern over
human rigths in Turkey, during yesterday's ceremony in Strasbourg for the
awarding of the European Human Rights Prize 1998.
The prizes were awarded to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and to the
Committee on the Administration of Justice of Northern Ireland, and
presented by Mr. Papandreou in his capacity as the current president of the
Council of Europe (CoE).
Speaking before the presentation of the awards, Mr. Papandreou said that
the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey was operating in a particularly
difficult environment, providing support to those in need.
"The situation of human rights in Turkey has often been a matter of
international concern", Mr. Papandreou added.
The president of the foundation, Yavuz Onen, revealed that since the
organisation's establishment in 1990, 14 members have been murdered.
Mr. Onen said he was in favour of a peaceful solution of the Kurdish
problem, the main source of human rights violations.
First phase of 'Parmenion '98' concludes
The first phase of the joint military exercise "Parmenion '98" was
successfully concluded yesterday in Evros' Lavara region, with the
participation of officers and conscripts, as well as armoured vehicles,
helicopters and jetfighters.
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos attended the first final
stage of the excercise, which ends today on the island of Hios.
Gov't cites Luxembourg, Cardiff summits in relation to Cyprus
The framework for the accession of Cyprus and other countries to the
European Union has been defined by the decisions of the Luxembourg and
Cardiff summits and any change to this should be brought to the competent
EU bodies, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.
Mr. Reppas was responding to reporters regarding France, Italy and Spain's
reported objections to Cyprus' accession to the EU.
He said he believed there would not be any change to the EU's decisions,
adding that Greece and Cyprus were "unprepared" to pay the price of the
stand-off over finding a solution to the division of Cyprus, due to
Margarita Papandreou commends Hillary Clinton
In a letter distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and reprinted in
several newspapers, the former wife of PASOK founder and three-time prime
minister Andreas Papandreou, Margarita Papandreou, has voiced her support
for US First Lady Hillary Clinton.
"As a former first lady who confronted a similar situation in my life, I
feel immensely close to you. I know the ache, the tears, the sleepless
nights, the disbelief".
The women involved have some responsibility, but only to their own
conscience and sense of morals. The men in power have a responsibility to
their families, friends and co-workers, to the voters, to their office.
From the time they decided to get into p ublic life, their private lives
were open to scrutiny.
Here is where both of them made a mistake, not realising and remembering
that they lived in glass houses. They failed to respect their offices and
the people who elected them.
What I want to say, Hillary, is that you have your head on straight. You
not only carry yourself with decorum and dignity, which is a tribute to
womanhood everywhere, but you know what is important and what is unimportant.
In a world where poverty affec ts over two-thirds of the population, in a
world where and men kill women out of suspicion of "immoral" behavior, in a
world full of regional wars, in a world where our precious children are out
on the street, neglected, we cannot spend time worrying abo ut something
that did not even fall into the category of sexual harassment.
Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece represented at Commission
The Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece has been included in a list of
religious denominations represented at the European Commission as of last
Monday, according to an announcement. The announcement followed Monday's
visit by the director of the Church's delegation at the European Union,
Nikos Savvopoulos, to the European Commission's adviser on religious issues,
The announcement said the Orthodox Church of Greece's interest was stressed
for its active participation in European events, which led to the creation
of its delegation in Brussels.
Mr. Jansen listened with interest to the European prospects of the Church
of Greece and agreed to its inclusion in the list of religious denominations
represented at the European Commission.
European conference on topic of 'Women-Athletics Cooperation'
A number of ministers for sports from various countries and Olympic Games
medallists will be in Athens on Friday to attend the third European
conference on "Women-Athletics-Cooperation", organised by the sports
general secretariat and the women's athletic s association "Kallipateira".
Juan Antonio Samaranch, the president of the International Olympics
Committee, will declare open the conference at a ceremony at the Athens
The four-day conference will draw some 200 participants from 40 countries.
Of that number, at least 89 of the participants will be women.
V. Papandreou says economic borders replaced by qualitative ones
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou said the country must hurry if it
desires to overcome obstacles at a time when economic borders have been
replaced by qualitative ones.
Ms Papandreou was speaking yesterday at a European conference on "Tourism-
Quality-Education" at the Asteras Hotel in Vouliagmeni.
She said that it is necessary for the country to proceed with faster rates
with the completion of quality infrastructures, upgrading the country's
tourist product and services provided.
"Many important projects are underway in Greece at airports, ports, road
axes, etc, which have improved the qualitative standard of our tourism,"
However, she conceded that despite positive steps in many sectors
considerable qualitative interventions in tourism must still take
In't Energy Organisation recommendations for Greece
The government's energy policy is moving in the right direction and must be
continued, but efforts must be strengthened for development of a suitable
legislative framework as well as a policy framework that is necessary to
encourage competitiveness, the I nternational Energy Organisation (IEO)
stressed during the presentation yesterday of a study on Greece's energy
The recommendations were presented by IEO representative Jean Boyrder and
the development ministry's energy secretary general.
The recommendations, which are not binding for the government, include the
continuation, strengthening and speedup of efforts for the development of a
suitable legislative framework, as well as a policy framework, which is
necessary to encourage competi tiveness.
In addition, the strengthening by the ministry of its cadre potential which
will formulate energy policy, will support this separation and will satisfy
increasing demands for new policies to be shaped and implemented.
Furthermore, encouragement of a more commercial character in relations
between state corporations, the study and creation of a permanent and
independent administrative authority to secure fair access to energy
markets, both for private and state corpora tions, and the creation of a
longterm privatisation policy in the energy sector, including a timetable
for denationalisations and targets for the final level of state control and
Greek shipowners focus on problems faced in the sector
Issues preoccupying Greek shipping as well as problems emanating from the
prolonged crisis in shipping and the world's economy were examined
yesterday in Piraeus during the second meeting this year between the Union
of Greek Shipowners (UGS) and the Greek
Committee for Shipping Cooperation of London.
After recommendations were made by the presidents of the two groups,
Yiannis Lyras and I. Hatzipateras, respectively, a discussion followed on
all isues contained in the agenda and a series of conclusions were
It was ascertained that the commercial fleet under Greek control continues
to hold first place in the world despite daily difficulties faced in the
operation of the shipping industry in the world.
However, the crisis in the world economy, together with the subsequent
crisis in the freight market, create grave concern for the future.
A considerable number of Greek-owned ships have already been withdrawn from
service and a big part of dry cargo ships is moving at a marginal level and
as a result economic deadlock is being created for many companies.
According to data provided by the unions, the Greek-flagged fleet does not
exceed 890 ships at present, while in 1990 it numbered 1,871 and in 1995 1,
863. More specifically, since January 1996 the Greek-flagged fleet of ocean-
going ships has shrunk by a bout 22 per cent, namely, it has lost about a
fourth of its strength, and as a result it now ranks fourth in the world
The shipowners said that the main reason for this situation is the lack of
Greek ships' competitiveness which the state refused to bolster in time
with measures similar to those taken by the merchant marines of other EU
partners and in accordance with t he persistent indications on the part of
shipowners, and of course, the crisis in the freight market which showed
the national register's vulnerability.
Greek stocks jump in slim trade led by banks
A rebound in international markets helped the Athens Stock Exchange to
recover more than half of its losses in light trade yesterday following a
plunge in the previous session. Leading the rally was the heavily weighted
The general index ended 2.80 percent higher at 2,140.28 points with
turnover at 35.1 billion drachmas. Sector indices scored gains. Banks
soared 3.54 percent, Insurance ended 0.37 percent up, Investment rose 2.33
percent, Leasing ended 2.55 percent higher, Industrials increased 2.68
percent, Construction ended 2.43 percent up, Miscellaneous rose 1.91 perce
nt and Holding increased 2.79 percent.
The parallel market index ended 0.97 percent higher, and the FTSE/ASE 20
blue-chip index rose 2.93 percent to 1,293.07 points.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 194 to 42 with another 12 issues
Bitros, Eltrak, Sigalas, Remek, Kyriakoulis, Technodomiki, Nafpaktos Mills,
Alcatel, St. George Mills and Hellenic Spin Mills scored the biggest
Elfico, Desmos, Boutaris, Britannia, Daring, Xylemporia, Ideal and Galis
suffered the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 39,790 drachmas, Ergobank at 23,800, Alpha
Credit Bank at 21,900, Ionian Bank at 10,340, Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation at 6,600, Delta Dairy at 3,175, Intracom at 11,370, Hellenic
Petroleum at 2,565 and Titan Cement at 18,150 drachmas.
Finance ministry calls information technology tender
The finance ministry yesterday authorised an open tender for the supply of
information technology including equipment, applications, and data entry
systems in a project to computerise national heritage data.
Finance Undersecretary George Drys said the project was budgeted at 170
Gov't determined to keep up barrage of tax checks
Finance Undersecretary George Drys yesterday reaffirmed the government's
intention to step up tax inspections, saying the move was key to improving
efficiency and promoting confidence between taxpayers and the state.
Commenting on recent press reports, Mr. Drys said that the finance ministry
was not considering the re-introduction of automatic checks for outstanding
tax cases, but would order inspections on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. Drys said that the measure, introduced last June, had proved efficient
and there was no need for change.
Romanian trade delegation to visit Athens
A Romanian business delegation begins a three-day visit to Athens today at
the invitation of the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Athens. The Romanian
delegation, headed by George Cojocaru, chairman of Romania's Commerce and
Industry Chamber, will hol d a bilateral forum with Greek businessmen this
Trade between Greece and Romania exceeds 370 million US dollars annually.
Greek investments in the Balkan country total around 80 million US dollars,
according to Romanian figures.
The two countries enjoy traditionally good political and economic
Romania is the biggest market in the Balkans, and the government has
undertaken an effort to promote its privatisation programme abroad.
Advertising in the Daily ANA Bulletin
The ANA will from now on welcome professional half-page or full-page
advertisements in its daily English and French Bulletin.
Advertisements will be accepted from embassies, banks, commercial and
maritime companies, chambers of commerce, advertising companies, airlines,
organisations, professional associations, educational and research
institutions in Greece and abroad as well as international bodies.
Also, for a small fee, the above groups may channel their Press Releases
(PRs), announcements or photographs - in Greek, English or French - to the
ANA's more than 100 media subscribers throughout Greece and Cyprus via the
recently introduced ANA on-line
For details on and arrangements for the advertising and/or PRs on-line
service, please contact the ANA Marketing Department, tel: 6400580, fax:
6400024 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Cloud and scattered showers will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds
northerly, northwesterly, moderate. Athens will be partly cloudy with
temperatures between 15-26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 15-
Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 288.801
British pound 483.521 Japanese yen (100) 213.498
French franc 50.915 German mark 170.698
Italian lira (100) 17.277 Irish Punt 427.254
Belgian franc 8.275 Finnish mark 56.064
Dutch guilder 151.374 Danish kr. 44.832
Austrian sch. 24.259 Spanish peseta 2.010
Swedish kr. 36.317 Norwegian kr. 38.400
Swiss franc 207.154 Port. Escudo 1.665
Aus. dollar 168.139 Can. dollar 188.361
Cyprus pound 574.368