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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 09/11/1998 (ANA)


  • Simitis calls for party `strategy' to win the general elections
  • Greek telecom bids successfully in Romania
  • No decision on deployment of S-300s in Crete
  • Greek Air Force honours patron saints
  • Patriarch of Alexandria arrives in Aigina to attend events
  • President visits remote villages in Kalambaka region
  • Netherlands army chief begins visit to Greece
  • Venizelos visits Greek Consulate in Melbourne
  • Archbishop Christodoulos: "Christianity must enter schools"
  • Patriarch lashes out against state of human rights in Turkey
  • AIDS centre to open in Thessaloniki today
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Simitis calls for party `strategy' to win the general elections

Prime Minister Costas Simitis told the ruling party PASOK Central Committee on Saturday that the party needed a ``strategy for victory`` in the lead-up to general elections and to get the country into economic and monetary union.

The Central Committee session ended on Saturday night, with the majority voting through the prime minister's proposals. Sixteen members voted against.

Summing up two days of debate by the party`s supreme decision-making body, Mr. Simitis said the party needing a winning strategy to face off opposition in the next electoral contest -European Parliament elections in June 1999- in the wake of disappointing results for the ruling party in recent local government elections.

Mr. Simitis called for unity among party ranks. Earlier, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that the local elections result had damaged the party's unity.

Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and member of PASOK's Central Committee on Saturday said that this was the moment of common responsibility for PASOK, so as to confront its ``bad self``.

She added that it was for all to speak honestly between them, since the luxury of continuing as in the past does not exist, ``if this is not achieved the responsibilities of all will be huge``.

The development minister said that it is not enough for the party bodies to just convene, they should be transformed to bodies of codecision and co- responsibility, since this is the only way for the dividing lines to fall.

Ms. Papandreou also said that the one-way street to the Economic and Monetary Union, should not create an attitude of destabilisation, since the aim is the modernising of the country with a humane face.

PASOK Central Committee member Paraskevas Avgerinos expressed the opinion that their was an increase of bland or ivalid votes, at the October municipal and prefectural elections, many of which casted by PASOK voters in protest.

In his address to ruling PASOK party's Central Committee two-day session, which began on Friday, Mr. Avgerinos requested that initiatives to unify the party must be undertaken, otherwise he added the same results will appear in every (election) confrontation.

Yiannis Daskalakis noted that the new PASOK can not be built on blackmail, ultimatums, segregations and persecutions.

Greek telecom bids successfully in Romania

The Romanian government has announced that Greek telecoms organisation OTE is the successful bidder in the sale of a 35 percent stake in the Romanian state telecoms company, Romtelecom, an ANA dispatch reported from Bucharest.

OTE will also take over management of the company. OTE bid 675 million dollars for the 35 percent stake and voting rights for an extra 16 percent in Romtelecom's share capital.

Analysts said the development was a major success for OTE, giving it access to a market of over 20 million consumers whith good prospects for development, as well as a boost for Greek investment in the Balkans.

OTE also holds a 20 percent stake in Serbia's Srbija Telecom.

No decision on deployment of S-300s in Crete

Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis on Saturday said that there is no decision for the deployment of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system on the Greek island of Crete.

Answering to relevant questions, the deputy minister said that the decision in force was the one taken by the National council of Cyprus.

He added that ``the Greek and Cypriot governments are in constant contact and cooperation, and all possibilities and alternatives both in the diplomatic and military sectors are examined``.

Greek Air Force honours patron saints

The Greek Air Force honoured its patron saints Michael and Gabriel at a ceremony held at the Dekeleia airbase yesterday in the presence of civil and military leaders of the Nationsl Defence Ministry.

In his order of the day, Air Force General Staff chief George Antonetsis referred, among others, to the sacrifice of the pilot Nikolaos Parousis, who was killed last week when his Mirage-2000 warplane crashed, saying that he placed the salvation of our fellow man above his life and his aircraft. He said that Greek pilots will continue their indefatigable efforts to defend national interests and the country's territorial integrity.

Asked to comment after the ceremony on scenaria according to which the Russian-built S-300 surface-to-air missiles ordered by Cyprus will be deployed in Crete and not Cyprus, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that they ``are recurring scenaria``. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that the issue of the defence of Cyprus is the exclusive task of the Republic of Cyprus.

Patriarch of Alexandria arrives in Aigina to attend events

The Patriarch of Alexandria Petros arrived on the island of Aigina on a Greek warship yesterday morning to attend today's events commorating Saint Nektarios. He was welcomed at the port of Aigina by local authorities, clergymen, the Metropolitan of Ydra, Spetses and Aigina Ierotheos and enthusiastic residents.

At 5.30 p.m. the helicopter carrying Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodouls from Serres to Aigina landed in the yard of the Agios Nektarios Cathedral. Archbishop Christodoulos, who will also attend the events, was met by hundreds of enthusiastic people who flocked to welcome him.

The Patriarch of Alexandria later told reporters that the purpose of his visit is to convey to the monastery, to the place where Saint Nektarios waw buried in 1920, a decision by the Patriarchate's Synod seeking a pardon from Saint Nektarios posthumously for persecution and inconvenience he had experienced during his life when he was the Bishop of Pentapolis.

President visits remote villages in Kalambaka region

President Kostis Stephanopoulos concluded a two-day tour of the mountainous area of Kalambaka yesterday during which he waw proclaimed an honorary citizen of all 10 villages which he visited.

President Stephanopoulos, who was given a wrm welcome by local citizens, praised the patriotic spirit of the Vlachs and referred to such issues as unanimity, unemployement and environmental protection.

He visited the villages of Kalomoir, Matoneri and Ambelohori yesterday and once again expressed his appreciation for the cultural tradition of the Vlachs.

``Pindus is the backbone of Greece and its people constitute the backbone of Hellenism``, he said.

President Stephanopoulos also visited Meteora and the monasteries of Agios Stephanos and Metamorphosis where a church service was held in the presence of the priors of all the monasteries in the region.

Netherlands army chief begins visit to Greece

The Army General Staff Chief of the Netherlands Lieutenant General Maarten Suten started an official four-day visit to Greece yesterday, at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Lieutenant General Paragioudakis for talks on issues of mutual concern. Mr. Suten will be received by the National Defence Ministry's leadership and will visit formations, army training centres and archaeological sites.

Venizelos visits Greek Consulate in Melbourne

Visiting Culture Minister Evangelos Venigelos yesterday visited the new Greek Consulate building in Melbourne for his first contact with the Greek community in Australia, saying that Greecewould be a cripple without expatriate Hellenism.

Mr. Venizelos called on expatriate Greeks living in Australia to promote in the country modern Greece's progress, creativity and development.

Mr. Venizelos, who was in Melbourne to attend the inauguration of the Greek Antiquities Museum, yesterday attended a reception given in his honour by the Prime Minister of Victoria State Jeff Kennet.

Archbishop Christodoulos: "Christianity must enter schools"

Popular Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos concluded a two- day visit to Serres, northern Greece, yesterday at the invitation of the Metropolitan of Serres and Nigrita Maximos on the occasion of celebrations commemorating the patron saints of the city Michael and Gabriel.

The Archbishop was welcomed in the city by local authorities and citizens in front of the Town hall where Mayor Yiannis Vlachos proclaimed him an honorary citizen of Serres and gave him the golden key to the city.

Archbishop Christodoulos said that ``Christianity must enter schools again``, ading that what was ecnouraging is tha fact that young people are returning to traditions and are close to Christ, the motherland and the family.

Patriarch lashes out against state of human rights in Turkey

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos lashed out yesterday against the state of human rights and religious freedoms in Turkey, interpreting the indignation of the small Greek community in Istanbul over the high-handed abolition of the Halki Academy of Theology's supervisory committee.

Addressing the Megalou Revmatos community on the Bosphorus after mass, the Patriarch spoke of the ``indignation` gripping expatriates and himself and raised the question publicly to what degree equality of rights, justice and religious freedom referred to in the Turkish constitution ``is only valid on paper``.

``I have a duty and obligation to report that our rights are not being respected``, he said and referred to reactions which have already started in the US and Europe in this respect.

AIDS centre to open in Thessaloniki today

A centre set up to provide support to HIV-positive patients in Thessaloniki which has been at the centre of a row between local residents and the health ministry will finally open today.

The health ministry-sponsored centre int he Cyrokrini district of Ambelokipi municipality, western Thessaloniki, was set up to provide information and temporary shelter to individuals who have contracted the HIV virus. Scheduled to open last month, it remained closed following an initiative by Ambelokipi Mayor Alexandros Stamatoulakis, and protests from local residents who did not want the centre in their neighbourhood.

The opposition of locals was focused on the planned use of the centre also as a hostel to provide temporary shelter to HIV carriers who are visiting Thessaloniki for treatment at specialised clinics in the city.

The centre itself will not be providing medical treatment.

The decision to allow the centre to open was taken at a meeting on Friday night after a compromise was reached which will mean that the centre's operation will be restricted initially to providing information, rather than also providing accommodation.

Greek First Division soccer results

Ethnikos Asteras-Apollon 5-1 Iraklis-Kavala 2-2 Paniliakos-Veria 0-0 Proodeftiki-Panelefsiniakos 0-1 Xanthi-Aris 2-0 PAOK-AEK 2-1 Ethnikos-Panathinaikos 0-0 Mondays's matches: Panionios-OFI, Olympiakos- Ionikos Standings, points after 9 rounds: Panathinaikos 22, AEK 20, Xanthi 19, PAOK 17 Olympiakos, Paniliakos 16.


Mild weather is forecast for western Greece, eastern Macedonia and Thrace and the northern Aegean today. Local clouds in the rest of the country with possible rain. Athens will be cloudy with chances of rain in the northern suburbs and temperatures between 11-17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6-13C.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.105 British pound 460.566 Japanese yen (100) 234.410 French franc 49.788 German mark 167.028 Italian lira (100) 16.884 Irish Punt 415.152 Belgian franc 8.092 Finnish mark 54.957 Dutch guilder 148.071 Danish kr. 43.926 Austrian sch. 23.744 Spanish peseta 1.964 Swedish kr. 35.730 Norwegian kr. 37.672 Swiss franc 202.730 Port. Escudo 1.628 Aus. dollar 174.443 Can. dollar 180.980 Cyprus pound 563.734


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