Read the Bulletin of New Terminology for the Greek Language (by the Academy of Athens) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Wednesday, 29 January 2020
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 02/11/1998 (ANA)


  • PM pledges continuation of gov't policy ahead of confidence vote
  • Opposition comments at the debate
  • State telecom third flotation
  • Tsohatzopoulos says from London confidence vote valid
  • Tsohatzopoulos may seek PASOK leadership
  • Finance ministry issues two-year bonds
  • PASOK members' offices bombed in Athens
  • Turkish gunboat opens fire on Greek fishing boat
  • Gov't to examine asylum request by Kurds in Crete
  • Archbishop Christodoulos meets FYROM church delegation
  • Greek soccer match called off after violence
  • Teenager kills two Albanian burglars
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


PM pledges continuation of gov't policy ahead of confidence vote

Prime Mimister Costas Simitis yesterday evening pledged his government would continue its work without setbacks and called on the ruling PASOK deputies to back him.

"The government will continue firmly and without setbacks, hesitations or experimentations its work and this decision must be supported by PASOK in its entrirety," Mr. Simitis told Parliament at the opening of a debate which will culminate in a confiden ce vote on his government tomorrow at midnight. Mr. Simitis asked for a confidence vote last Thursday after proceeding to a minor cabinet reshuffle following a PASOK setback in local elections last month.

He said the government and the ruling PASOK party should send a message that "the current situation of the country does not allow for games or manoeuvres".

Explaining the reasons why he called for a confidence vote, Mr. Simitis said:

"First to give an answer to all those who dispute the government's political legitimacy, that is, vested interests, certain unionist groups and the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party; secondly, to give a reply to populism and thirdly, to confirm with the confidence vote PASOK's conceptions for the country's prospects".

Mr. Simitis also expressed certainty over Greece's entry into the European Economic Monetary Union (EMU) by the year 2000.

Mr. Simitis said that the government "is not going to toy, not even for a moment, with the interests of the people and the country and is not willing to waste the sacrifices and efforts of the Greek people, so as to become pleasant and benefit PASOK".

Accusing ND party of "opportunism", the premier addressed vested interests, which, as he said, attempt to stop the course of the country to the EMU. He added that these interests have the same aims with ND.

Mr. Simitis addressing the issue of the EMU said that the country's accession is not a goal in itself. "The goal of the government is the continually increasing prosperity of the Greek citizens," he said.

The premier also said that the government has achieved the safeguarding of social expenditure, unlike other European countries, thus proving that its social concern is real and not theoretical.

He accused ND of aiming to curtail the social sector and assign it to the forces of the free market. He also accused the main opposition of aiming at curtailing the state and social solidarity in contrast to the government, which is fighting for an effe ctive state able to plan policies, which will regulate and confront the effects of the market.

Opposition comments at the debate

Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis in his address to the Parliament said the PASOK government and the prime minister were "weaker than ever".

"The government is weaker than ever and more so the prime minister is weaker than ever and with spasmodic moves he is asking for a confidence vote under pressure from his party's internal opposition," Mr. Karamanlis said in a frontal attack against the government.

Accusing the government for what he termed the country's current "weakness", Mr. Karamanlis referred to a "dissolution of the state", of a state "which instead of being a friend to the citizen has become its enemy".

"The dissolution of the state is the greatest proof of the government's failure," Mr. Karamanlis said reffering to recent criminal incidents involving police and the increased crime all over the country.

He also accused the government of not accelerating privatisations, an increase in unemployment and of not "containig public expenditure".

Mr. Karamanlis termed Greece's failure to enter the EMU in 1999 as a "national demotion", adding that his party insisted on the nation's European orientation.

Referring to foreign policy issues, he said his party's fears were "confirmed" that "the policies of appeasement has led to Turkey's audacity and increased provocations".

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said that the prime minister raised the issue of the confidence vote "in order to reassure the Greek and European plutocracy that the popular protest, which was expressed clearly by the municipal and prefectural elections, will not lead the government to evasions, which might relax the rythms of the wild neo- liberal policy, which it follows with consistency."

Ms. Papariga added that the people are not willing to make more sacrifices for the European Union and the " fake aim of the EMU."

The Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that "the prime minster, instead of studying the messages of the municipal elections, is requesting by blackmail, of its deputies to ignore the message of the popular decision and give cover with their vote to his incomprehensible persistence on the same policy."

Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas said that the prime minster called for the confidence vote to "settle interparty (PASOK) accounts".

State telecom third flotation

The price of shares for sale at home and abroad in the latest flotation for Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) was set at 6,100 drachmas on the recommendation of underwriters, National Bank of Greece said on Saturday.

The third flotation for the state telecom, which was roughly twice oversubscribed, will bring the government around 302 billion drachmas, the bank said in a statement. The offer's coordinators and main underwriters were National Bank of Greece, Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney.

National Bank said that the offer was the first successful secondary issue to take place in Europe since a financial crisis erupted this year that battered stock markets around the continent.

Around 30 percent of OTE's shares will be sold in Greece with around nine million shares available to retail investors, covering 63 percent of demand. Priority will given to purchases of up to 100 shares.

Domestic institutional investors will soak up around six million shares, representing an average 73 percent of demand.

Total sales to investors abroad will account for about 92 billion drachmas of funds tapped from the market.

Stock sold on New York's bourse totalled 122 billion drachmas, with remaining funds coming from investors in Europe. Around 75 percent of stock sold abroad was in the form of Athens bourse depository receipts and 25 percent as American Depository Receipts.

Tsohatzopoulos says from London confidence vote valid

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday said that the vote of confidence, the government requested of Parliament, was valid and correct but not a venue to solve ideological issues.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, who is in London for an event in honour of CyprusY EDEK socialist party leader Vassos Lyssaridis, said "the Parliamentary procedure is valid and complete and at the same time an effective tactical move".

He added, however, that this procedure can not and should not resolve other issues of political and ideological issues concering ruling PASOK party.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also said that "after the results and the messages for PASOK, of the last municipal and prefectural elections, by in-party interventions and within the framework of its internal operations, the party must give the feeling to public opinion that it is aware of the sensitivities and reactions of citizens."

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that the citizens expect the government of PASOK to "give them a new prospect and benefits from the accession to the European Union Economic Monetary Union (EMU), for unemployment, development, the environment and quality of life ."

Tsohatzopoulos may seek PASOK leadership

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday did not rule out making a bid for leadership of the ruling PASOK party at an unspecified time in the future.

Asked by the Sunday Vima newspaper if he would again seek the party's leadership, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said he was not interested in discussing the matter at present, but that there was no leadership issue in the party today.

The minister also denied that PASOK was split, but acknowledged that unity and cohesion were issues.

Asked whether a cabinet reshuffle last week was a fit response to the message from October's local elections in which the ruling party's performance was weak, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said cryptically:

"The government appears to be pursuing its course."

Finance ministry issues two-year bonds

The finance ministry is issuing two-year bonds in electronic form today and tomorrow, at a fixed annual rate of 10.75 per cent.

The bonds are freely transferrable, and tax-free if retained until maturity.

An auction of 150 billion drachmas worth of five-year bonds through primary dealers, at a fixed annual rate of 8.9 percent, is also scheduled for tomorrow. The ministry may also accept non-competitive bids totalling 30 billion drachmas.

Sources say the government is now considering a return to issuing long-term securities, as the money market appears to be back on the way to normalisation.

Meanwhile, according to the Bank of Greece, the economy's total liquidity, as measured by the benchmark M3 indicator, increased by 1.3 per cent in September, down from 2.8 per cent in August.

PASOK members' offices bombed in Athens

An explosive device went off on Saturday at the Athens political offices of ruling PASOK party ministers and deputies, according to police. Minor damage was caused to the offices located on 15 Patission St.

According to reports, the office building was rented by PASOK to be used as office space by party deputies elected in the provinces outside Athens.

Newly appointed Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos' Athens office occupied one of the offices on the third floor of the building where the explosion took place.

Fire fighters extinguished the blaze in time to avert further damages.

Turkish gunboat opens fire on Greek fishing boat

A Turkish coast guard gunboat yesterday attempted to stop and board a Greek fishing boat, 11.5 miles off the northeastern Greek port of Alexandroupolis and well outside the Turkish territorial waters, according to reports.

In their efforts, the crew of the Turkish gunboat fired warning shots against the Greek boat and used the firefighting hoses to douse it with hot water, according to Yiannis Kolosendas, the captain of the Greek boat.

The captain of the Greek fishing boat notified via VHF radio other boats in the area as well as the Alexandroupolis port authority of the Turkish actions,authorities said.

The Trukish gunboat gave up its pursuit when Greek gunboats left port to confront it. Immediately afterwards the fishing boat reached Alexandroupolis where the captain reported the incident.

The Alexandroupolis Fishing Cooperative requested that the Greek government assign a gunboat similar to the Trukish one at the port city, thus increasing the sentiment of security among the fishermen in the area.

Gov't to examine asylum request by Kurds in Crete

Health and Welfare Deputy Minister Theodoros Kotsonis yesterday said that the government will examine through proper channels the asylum request of 263 illegal immigrants of Kurdish origin, that reached Hania, Crete by boat last Wednesday.

The deputy minister, who is visiting the immigrants at Hania, said that the applications will be processed and those considered political refugees will be granted residence permits.

The immigrants are housed at the state owned Xenia Hotel of Hania.

A Hania court on Friday acquitted two Syrian nationals charged with transporting illegal immigrants to Greece, accepting their defence that they had in fact rescued the illegals at sea, but ordered their deportation.

On Wednesday, the coastguard detained the immigrants who were found crammed into the hold of a Lebanese-flagged wooden fishing boat.

Archbishop Christodoulos meets FYROM church delegation

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Saturday met with a delegation of the breakaway Orthodox Church of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) at the border crossing post of Niki, Florina prefecture.

According to a FYROM church spokesman, Archbishop Christodoulos reassured the delegation that he was willing to mediate between the breakaway church and the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in efforts to re-unify them.

Greek soccer match called off after violence

Fifteen people were injured in incidents during Saturday's first division footbal match between PAOK Thessaloniki and champion- ship holders Olympiakos Piraeus,which the referee called off in the 83rd minute.

The incidents started when the guest team took a 2-1 lead with a penalty kick in 79th minute, and acquired explosive dimensions when the hosts were disallowed a goal a minute later. Fans invaded the pitch and caused extensive damage to the stands.

About 3,000 Olympiakos fans had to be escorted out of the city under strong police protection several hours later.

Sixteen fans from both teams were arrested and will appear before a Thessaloniki court today on charges of damaging private property,and for possession of weapons and drugs.

Teenager kills two Albanian burglars

Eighteen-year old Ioannis Mariannis took the law into his own hands and fatally shot two Albanian immigrants who had burgled his family home in the Asprokampos village, Corinth district, early Saturday morning.

The two burglars, Dede Tushaj, 48, and Artan Geta, 23, were returning to collect from a nearby spot a booty of mainly food and clothes, which they had siphoned off late Friday night and was found in their stolen truck, along with two barrels of petrol, a shotgun and an axe.

Mariannis gave himself up to police several hours later and is to appear before a public prosecutor today.


Overcast weather with sunny spells is forecast throughout the country today with rain expected in northern, western and central Greece. Winds southwesterly, moderate, turning strong at sea. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging from 16-23C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9-17C.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.762 British pound 467.827 Japanese yen (100) 238.516 French franc 50.346 German mark 168.724 Italian lira (100) 17.061 Irish Punt 420.013 Belgian franc 8.182 Finnish mark 55.473 Dutch guilder 149.608 Danish kr. 44.410 Austrian sch. 24.017 Spanish peseta 1.985 Swedish kr. 36.006 Norwegian kr. 37.904 Swiss franc 206.753 Port. Escudo 1.646 Aus. dollar 173.526 Can. dollar 179.552 Cyprus pound 569.507


Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
Back to Top
Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
apeen2html v2.00 run on Monday, 2 November 1998 - 9:05:10 UTC