Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-09
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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
The Central Committee session ended on Saturday night, with the majority
voting through the prime minister's proposals. Sixteen members voted
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
``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
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
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
``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