Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-25
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 25/10/1998 (ANA)
- Church, state leaders attend Mt. Athos celebration
- Simitis presents Greek positions at EU summit
- Papantoniou calls for cut in indirect taxes
- Papandreou expresses regret over Serb student's murder
- Justice Minister comments on crime rise
- Industrial production up by 4.9%
- More Turkish FIR infgringements over "Toxotis-Nikiforos"
- Deadly robbery investigation stuck
- Father, son arrested with arms cache
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Church, state leaders attend Mt. Athos celebration
The leaders of Orthodoxy and the Greek state attended celebrations at the
Mt. Athos monastic community of northern Greece, for the millenium
anniversary of the famed Xenofontos Monastery.
Celebrations were attended by the Ecumemical Patriarch Vartholomeos,
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, President of the
Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and New Democracy main opposition leader
Costas Karamanlis, among other officials. Prime Minister Costas Simitis is
expected to arrive to Xenofontos Monastery on Monday.
Patriarch Vartholomeos in his address stressed the need for the unification
of Hellenism, stressing the many divisions it has suffered in the past. He
lauded the church's role in promoting Hellenism and Orthodoxy in Greek
diaspora communities around the world. The spiritual leader of Orthodoxy
planted a cypress tree in the monastery's ground, in a symbolic gesture.
Mr. Stephanopoulos said that Turkey would do well to claim some of the
kudos enjoyed by the Patriarchate worldwide, thus eliminating the need for
international treaties to secure its continued existence in Istanbul. He
too praised the Church and the monastic community of Mt. Athos for
promoting the spirit Orthodoxy in the world.
Simitis presents Greek positions at EU summit
Prime Minister Costas Simitis presented a memorandum to his counterparts
during an EU summit in Austria, including Greece's positions for the 15-
nation-group's future course.
Under the title "The Present and Future of Europe", the seven-point text
centres on the question "After EMU What?", attempting to provide answers to
developments after the adoption of the euro.
The document covers such issues as the the need for a common vision on the
future of the EU, the acceleration of the union's political unification and
the need to fight unemployment.
Other issues referred to were the need for the EU to come closer to
citizens, establishing an effective common foreign and security policy,
strengthening the society of citizens and responding to the changing
demands of European societies.
Finally Mr. Simitis pressed the necessity for the establishment of a true
social dimesion in Europe, viewing EMU as a means and not an end in
Before departing from Austria the premier called on Greek social partners
to join the government in its fight against inflation and contribute to the
goal of entering the European Monetary Union.
On the summit's sidelines the premier met new German Chancellor Gerhard
Shroeder, new Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat. In a press conference today Mr. Simitis called on Greece's
social partners to contribute in the fight against inflation and the goal
to enter European Monetary Union.
Papantoniou calls for cut in indirect taxes
A marathon inner cabinet meeting yesterday put the final touches to the
1999 budget, which includes a package of lower indirect taxes which will
cost state coffers 180 billion drachmas but aid in the fight against
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said after the
5.5 hour meeting that the government would speed up procedures to present
next year's budget in an effort to reassure foreign markets and Greek
society that the country was heading safely towards EMU despite turmoil in
Mr. Papantoniou confirmed that there would be no new taxes in 1999, nor a
new tax draft bill.
Final decisions on the exact cuts in indirect taxation will be taken at a
Cabinet meeting to be held shortly before the budget is tabled in
Parliament, in mid-November.
The cuts proposed include a 20 percent reduction on special consumer
charges on vehicles as of 1999 and a reduction in VAT on electricity bills
from 18 to 15 percent. An alternative proposal is for a reduction in VAT on
medicine and on water bills from 8 to 5.0 percent.
Papandreou expresses regret over Serb student's murder
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Saturday expressed the
government's deep regret over the death of Marko Bulatovic, the 18-year-old
technical college student shot dead by a policeman in the centre of
"For Greece, the tragedy is indeed serious. A young Serb, a student, lost
his life while on a college trip to Greece, at a time when the feelings in
Greece and Serbia are of deep friendship and affection. I should like to
stress that this grief is shared by all Greek citizens. This should be
clear not only to Bulatovic's family but to all Serbs," Papandreou
Bulatovic had been in Greece with fellow-students for little over a week.
The students had arrived in Thessaloniki at midday on Friday, following a
week in Corfu. Police officer Kyriakos Vandoulis, who shot Bulatovic, has
been suspended from duty following an order by Public Order Minister
Giorgos Romeos, and is scheduled to appear before a public prosecutor on
charges of murder with intent.
Eyewitnesses said that the youth and his companions had been standing
outside a clothing store on Thessaloniki's main shopping street, Egnatia,
when police arrived. The eyewitnesses said police attempted to arrest the
youths and Buratovic was shot in the head while trying to release
Thessaloniki Police Chief Athanasios Dalamangidis said that a Greek woman
had filed a complaint with the police that a "young Yugoslav" had stolen
her wallet. Later, police charged one of Bulatovic's classmates with the
theft, to appear in court at a later date.
Justice Minister comments on crime rise
There has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of criminal acts in
Greece over recent years and effectively dealing with this requires the
rallying of a number of different agencies simultaneously, Justice Minister
Evangelos Yiannopoulos said on Sunday.
Yiannopoulos was speaking during the official opening in Komotini of the
7th National Conference of the Greek Society of Criminal Law, which will
focus this year on organised crime.
Yiannopoulos said that what was needed were speedier procedures prevention
which, combined with technological advances, could restrict the opportunities
for organised crime to operate freely in the country.
Speaking to reporters, Yiannopoulos said calls from the press for the
resignation of Public Order Minister George Romeos, following the death of
a Serb student on holiday in Thessaloniki on Friday, were "unfair".
A minister, he said, could not be held politically responsible for such an
incident and could not submit his resignation because the press called for
it. "The attack against him is unfair, and it would also be unfair if he
submitted his resignation," Yiannopoulos said.
Industrial production up by 4.9%
Industrial production increased by 4.9 percent in the first eight months of
the year compared with the corresponding period in 1997, Greece's National
Statistics Service said. Industrial production rose 3.3 percent in
More Turkish FIR infgringements over "Toxotis-Nikiforos"
Turkey's Air Force was out in numbers again today over the area between
Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus, in another effort to interfere with Greek
participation in the Greek-Cypriot joint military exercises "Toxotis-
Eleven Turkish formations infringed Athens and Lefkosia Flight Information
Regions' (FIR) regulations, before being indentified and intercepted by an
equal number of Greek fighters. In many instances interceptions escalated
into virtual dog fights, without actual use of weapons.
Turkish Air Force activity in the area was relatively low compared to
previous days' massive deployment, designed to hamper Greek air operations
in "Toxotis-Nikiforos". On every occassion the Turkish aircraft were
intercepted and the Greek Air Force went ahead to conduct several training
sorties over Cyprus.
Four Greek F-16 fighters participated in a Nikosia military parade for the
conclusion of "Nikoforos" exercise, attended by the president of Cyprus
Glafkos Klerides. Another four F-16s landed at the "Andreas Papandreou" air
base in Paphos to refuel, before flying back to Greece.
Deadly robbery investigation stuck
Thessaloniki police are struggling for leads on the armed robbery at the
Commercial Bank's Triandria branch on Thursday, which resulted in the
murder of 20-year-old student Vasiliki Katsiani.
Inspite of a 30 million drachma reward posted by the banks' union for any
information leading to the arrest of the two masked robbers, no credible
leads have been produced so far.
The bank's video suirvellance system failed to capture the robbery, while
finger prints recovered from the bank, could not be matched against police
Father, son arrested with arms cache
Police in the town of Drama arrested a father and son after finding an
extensive hoard of arms in their residence. Police said a search of the
home in the village of Kavalari found a 9mm pistol, two rifles, four single-
barrelled guns, a double-barrelled shotgun, an air-rifle and two wireless
radios similar to those used by police. The two men, Savvas Tsapanidis, 64,
and his son Yiannis, 29, will be charged later on Friday.
Cloud, rain and local thunderstorms are forecast for Monday for western and
mainland Greece. The rest of the country can expect scattered cloud and the
possibility of rain in the easter part of the Aegean. West-southwesterly
winds will turn from a northern direction overnight in northern Greece.
Scattered cloud expected in Athens, with a chance of an afternoon shower
and the temperature ranging from 15 to 23 degrees centigrade. Thessaloniki
will be overcast with showers and the temperature between 14 and 19
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.248
British pound 472.192 Japanese yen (100) 235.640
French franc 50.640 German mark 169.627
Italian lira (100) 17.155 Irish Punt 423.584
Belgian franc 8.227 Finnish mark 55.838
Dutch guilder 150.506 Danish kr. 44.626
Austrian sch. 24.121 Spanish peseta 1.997
Swedish kr. 36.069 Norwegian kr. 37.803
Swiss franc 207.194 Port. Escudo 1.653
Aus. dollar 174.790 Can. dollar 180.802
Cyprus pound 573.396