Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-10-05
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 05/10/1998 (ANA)
- Delphi summit appeals for negotiated Kosovo settlement
- Need for EU unified response to international crises
- Tsohatzopoulos calls for immediate dialogue on Kosovo
- Priority of EMU entry target date decisive, PM says
- Karamanlis tours Eastern Macedonia, Thrace
- Papandreou to attend ESP meeting on Europe's future
- Positive developments for green card holders
- Kavala hosts manufacture exhibition
- Greek First Division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Delphi summit appeals for negotiated Kosovo settlement
Greece, Bulgaria and Romania yesterday called for a ceasefire in Kosovo in
order to pave the way for a political solution and avert intervention by
NATO in the strife-torn Yugoslav province.
"The (countries') three leaders make an urgent and dramatic appeal to all
sides involved, and in particular the Yugoslav authorities, to work for a
negotiated settlement of the conflict in Kosovo...namely a ceasefire should
be put immediately into effec t," a joint statement by the three countries
The declaration was released after talks in Delphi, central Greece, at the
weekend between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Bulgarian President
Petar Stoyanov and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu.
"Parties should come to the negotiating table without preconditions, aiming
at achieving a peaceful solution for a large autonomy for Kosovo within the
internationally recognised borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
and respecting the rights and freedoms of all the inhabitants of Kosovo, so
that another course of action be avoided," said the statement.
The three leaders said a failure to find a solution to the rift between
Yugoslav authorities and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo could hurt the entire
"Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, immediate neighbours of Yugoslavia, are
deeply concerned that the escalation of the conflict in Kosovo has reached
a crucial point; further negative developments could have serious
consequences for the three countries and the region as a whole," the
Turning to Albania, the three leaders called on the country's government
and political parties to use political dialogue and create a state of law,
enabling democratic institutions to operate.
They also expressed support for initiatives by the international community.
In addition, the leaders welcomed the start of the enlargement process for
the European Union, in which Bulgaria and Romania are candidate countries.
Already an EU member, Greece has repeatedly worked on behalf of their
applications to the 15-nation bloc.
The three leaders also praised NATO's "open door policy", hoping that an
upcoming summit in Washington would take concrete steps to develop the
approach in order to enhance the Alliance's decisive role in consolidating
peace and stability in southeastern Europe and the continent as a
They said they supported an agreement signed recently to establish a
multinational peace force in southeastern Europe.
"The three leaders, whose countries share a common European destiny,
reaffirmed their commitment to principles of international law, on peace,
security and good-neighbourly relations, respect for sovereignty, integrity
and inviolability of external bord ers, as well as the recourse to the
International Court of Justice to settle territorial differences, which are
enunciated in the European Union Presidency Conclusions of the Luxembourg
Council of December 1997 and in the 'Agenda 2000'," the statement also
Trilateral cooperation : Finally, the three leaders agreed at the weekend
meeting to step up their trilateral cooperation, which was launched in
Ioannina, north-western Greece, in 1995.
During the Delphi Summit, "it was stressed that this cooperation has
contributed importantly to the promotion of security, stability and
cooperation in Europe as a whole, within the perspective of growing
integration of the continent," the statement said.
Contacts on a bilateral, trilateral and multilateral level involving other
countries in southeastern Europe should also receive practical encouragement,
the statement said. Key fields to be promoted are infrastructure networks,
transport, energy and eco nomic and trade relations.
Countries in the region should work together to combat organised crime,
terrorism, financial crime and money-laundering; and the trafficking of
drugs, weapons, and nuclear materials.
The three leaders "further agreed that their Ministers of Interior/Public
Order and Justice should convene on a regular basis in joint meetings. They
expressed support for the establishment in Bucharest of the SECI Regional
Centre for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption and the initiative of
Bulgaria to host the Regional Coordinating Centre for Combating Illicit
Drug Trafficking," the statement said.
The three countries agreed to hold regular summits, with the next session
due in Bulgaria in 1999.
Meetings of their ministers and experts also will continue to take
Need for EU unified response to international crises
Development Undersecretary Anna Diamantopoulou, who represented Greece in
the informal meeting of EU industry ministers and the parallel Second Euro-
Mediterranean Industry Ministers council, yesterday, told the ANA that
there was an increasing need for a European unified response to international
This was the main focus of the informal meeting of industry ministers,
taking place in Austria, currently holding the EU's rotating presidency.
According to Ms. Diamantopoulou, discussion also touched upon the likely
formation of an EU competitiveness council, similar to the ECOFIN.
Addressing the meeting, the development undersecretary expounded on
Greece's positions on cooperation in Europe and with regard to small- and
medium-sized enterprises at the transitional process of accepting new
members from central and eastern Europe.
One of the points she stressed was Greek businesses' preparation to meet
new market conditions in unified Europe, as well as in the Balkans.
Speaking during a session of the Euro-Mediterranean council, Ms. Diamantopoulou
underlined the need to place more emphasis on networking, quality and new
programmes for young entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Cyprus was chosen to host the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Industry
Ministers Council in 1999, after a proposal by Cypriot Industry Minister
Nikos Rolandis, who also attended the meeting.
Portugal and Morocco have asked to host the industry ministers council in
Participants in this year's council included the Union's 15 industry
ministers and their counterparts from 12 Mediterranean nations.
Tsohatzopoulos calls for immediate dialogue on Kosovo
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday called on
Yugoslavia and Albanians in Kosovo to begin talks in order to avert a
military intervention by NATO in Kosovo.
Calling on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Kosovo Albanian leader
Ibrahim Rugova to begin talks, he said: "They should proceed immediately
with the start of dialogue to allow broad autonomy in Kosovo within the
framework of Yugoslavia's existing borders."
"I am optimistic that the logic of dialogue will prevail and that there
will be a political solution," said Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, speaking in
Priority of EMU entry target date decisive, PM says
Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday that the government's primary
aim remained attaining entry into the European Union's economic and
monetary union by the target date of January 1, 2001.
He was commenting on allegations by several Sunday newspapers that economic
policy was a hostage to election politics as Greece still had leeway of one
year to meet the five economic criteria needed for EMU entry, when asked by
reporters in Delphi on the sidelines of a tripartite summit between Greece,
Bulgaria and Romania. "The priority of EMU entry is decisive in any
decisions taken," Mr. Simitis said. Joining the euro, the EU's future
single currency, would help to ensure economic stability and contribute to
attaining greater social justice, he said.
Karamanlis tours Eastern Macedonia, Thrace
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis launched
an attack on the goverment during a speech in Kavala, Saturday, criticising
its policies on health, education, the economy, investments and tourism,
Mr. Karamanlis was speaking during a pre-electoral meeting, where he
presented the political programme of his party's candidate for the post of
Kavala prefect, Theodoros Kallionzis.
His criticism of the government also touched upon the Athens Stock Exchange
and the compulsory mergers in the first level of local government, saying
when his party would come in office, it will allow citizens themselves to
decide on the future of the regions they live in.
According to the opposition leader, the state deprived the youth of the
means to achieve a competitive future.
Earlier, in Komotini, Mr. Karamanlis addressed a rally organised by the
'Kalimera Thraki" coalition, running for the prefecture of Thrace.
He stressed the local elections of Oct. 11 were a "deeply political"
process, as the "entire electorate" was to vote to elect local leaders.
He added that "it was a unique chance to strengthen the local government."
Mr. Karamanlis referred to the problems of the region's farmers, pledging
that as a prime minister he would personally undertake the responsibility
"to negotiate on agricultural products with the European Union."
Further, he once again accused the government for delays in the completion
of major infrastructure projects, describing a new law on development as
"unacceptable", as it abolished investment incentives for the specific
Papandreou to attend ESP meeting on Europe's future
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou is scheduled to represent
ruling PASOK party president Costas Simitis at today's meeting of socialist
parties' leaders, affiliated with the European Socialist Party (ESP),
taking place in Vienna.
Discussions will focus on "Europe's future", with emphasis on employment,
subsidiarity, democratic legality, as well as issues in preparation of the
October 25 meeting of EU member-states' heads, also to be held in
On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Papandreou will have contacts with a
number of European socialist figures.
Positive developments for green card holders
Foreign workers who are in possession of the green work and residence card
may now enjoy the same labour and social insurance rights as their Greek
colleagues, officials of the Athens Labour Centre (EKA) told representatives
of immigrant organisations du ring a briefing Saturday.
Foreign workers legally employed in Greece now number 380,000, while the
process is underway for the granting of the green card to another 100,
The gross monthly minimum wage for domestic assistants is now set at 164,
000 drachmas, of which 10,000 drachmas is deducted for social security. The
employers' contribution is 18,000 drachmas.
Other provisions already in place stipulate the compulsory attendance of
primary school by immigrants' children, while those that are over age will
receive supplementary tuition in order to be placed in the appropriate
grade, the officials said.
Kavala hosts manufacture exhibition
National Economy Ministry Secretary Ilias Plaskovitis said Saturday from
Kavala that Greek businesses, especially those in northern Greece, have
made tremendous steps forward in the Balkan region.
Mr. Plaskovitis was speaking during an Industry-Handicraft-Manufucture
exhibition in Kavala, which he inaugurated.
"Interborder business, on both public and private levels, is constantly
developing" said the official.
The commercial show, with 75 exhibitors and many visitors from private and
state bodies from Greece and the Balkans, presented products mainly
produced by Kavala-based businesses.
Greek First Division soccer results
PAOK-Iraklis 2-1 Apollon-OFI 1-0
Ionikos-Ethnikos 5-0 AEK-Paniliakos 3-1
Olympiakos-Proodeftiki 6-1 Ethnikos Asteras-Xanthi 0-1
Panelefsiniakos-Veria 2-0 Kavala-Panionios play Monday
Aris-Panathinaikos play Monday Standings/points: AEK 16, Olympiakos,
Ionikos, Xanthi 13, Panathinaikos 12, Aris 10, Paniliakos 9, Iraklis, PAOK
Fair weather forecast throughout the country today with winds variable,
light to moderate. Athens will be sunny with few clouds and temperatures
ranging from 16-27C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 14-
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 281.827
British pound 481.318 Japanese yen (100) 210.125
French franc 51.463 German mark 172.509
Italian lira (100) 17.454 Irish Punt 431.123
Belgian franc 8.363 Finnish mark 56.701
Dutch guilder 153.011 Danish kr. 45.390
Austrian sch. 24.528 Spanish peseta 2.031
Swedish kr. 35.621 Norwegian kr. 37.781
Swiss franc 209.223 Port. Escudo 1.684
Aus. dollar 167.946 Can. dollar 181.953
Cyprus pound 580.320