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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 23/11/1998 (ANA)


  • ESP manifesto points to revision of EU economic policy amid EMU
  • Britain's Prince Charles arrives in Athens
  • Tudjman in Athens today
  • Christodoulos continues tour of Egypt, officiates at church service
  • Pangalos visit, talks in Ethiopia
  • Stephanopoulos: EMU entry requires better public administration
  • Inclement weather expected to blanket nation
  • Forum entitled All Different-All Equal' ends
  • Nea Smyrni belfry inaugurated, memorial for Onassis family held
  • Japanese film takes top honours at Thessaloniki Film Festival
  • Angelopoulos' film to vie for Academy Award
  • Book on Greek-Australians
  • Greek First division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


ESP manifesto points to revision of EU economic policy amid EMU

The European Socialists Party (ESP) officially presented a manifesto in Brussels yesterday on revising EU member-states' economic policy with the framework of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

The European socialists' meeting came to a close last night with a working dinner for the socialist finance and monetary affairs ministers. National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou represented Greece.

In a statement before his arrival at the dinner, Mr. Papantoniou said the socialists' manifesto was of "historical importance", adding that at present there is a large socialist majority at the EU's Council and, as a result, the socialist parties of Europe are in a position to determine the EU's economic policy.

Mr. Papantoniou said the manifesto constitutes a text of principles and directions which promotes an increase in employment, the creation of strong economic development rates and,in parallel,the achievement of social justice, as the main target of the member-states' economic policy.

He also said that fiscal discipline was and is a basic factor in EU member- states' economic policies.

Mr. Papantoniou expressed satisfaction over the fact that many Greek positions have been included in the socialist manifesto. He further said that extensive references existing on the need for the achievement of economic and social cohesion in the EU, particularly in light of enlargement, contain many of the positions set out by the Greek side.

At this point, Mr. Papantoniou stressed the need of maintaining the EU's Cohesion Fund, adding however, that tough negotiations will take place for this issue at EU level.

Mr. Papantoniou mentioned lastly that the socialist manifesto will constitute the basis for the victory of the European socialists in the elections for European Parliament members and in the overall framework of exercising economic policy in the EU.

Mr. Papantoniou will be participating in the EU's Council of Finance and Monetary Affairs Ministers today with the main issue being economic policy and the fiscal framework in light of EU enlargement and, specifically, proposals existing in the 'Agenda 2000'.

Britain's Prince Charles arrives in Athens

Britain's Prince Charles arrived in Athens yesterday evening for a three- day visit within the framework of a Greece-Britain festival. The Prince of Wales, whose visit aims to support the British Archaeological School in Athens, will meet with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos today and visit the Acropolis. He is also scheduled to be honoured at the Athens Town Hall before visiting the "12 for 2000" exhibition at the municipal exhibition centre, in addition to inaugurating the British Council's new education information centre.

Tomorrow he will tour the Knossos site in Crete before leaving Greece. Last night he attended a concert by the St. Martin in the Fields Symphony Orchestra at the Athens Concert Hall.

During an interval of the concert, the heir to the British throne met with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, former premier and honorary ND president Constantine Mitsotakis and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos also attended the concert.

Tudjman in Athens today

Croatian President Franjo Tudjman today begins his first official visit to Greece since the former Yugoslav republic's independence was recognised. He has been invited by President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

Mr. Tudjman will have a private meeting with Mr. Stephanopoulos and will also be meeting Prime Minister Costas Simitis who will also host a dinner for the Croatian president at the Maximos Mansion.

President Tudjman will also be meeting party leaders and party representatives, as well as Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

Representatives from 14 major Croatian companies will be in Athens tomorrow to attend the "Hellenic-Croatian Business Round Table", to be held at the Hellenic Trade Promotion Board's (HEPO) headquarters.

The visit is organised within the framework of the state visit to Greece by President Tudjman.

A similar round table will take place in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.

Christodoulos continues tour of Egypt, officiates at church service

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and Patriarch of Alexandria Petros jointly officiated at a church service yesterday at the Evangelismos Cathedral here.

Visibly moved, Archbishop Christodoulos told the congregation "I will always be with you spiritually. You might be a few but you kept yourselves here in the land of Egypt, thanks to your insistence and faith."

In the afternoon, the Archbishop and the Patriarch inaugurated the monk's cell of Agios Nektarios at a special ceremony in Cairo, where remains were brought from the island of Aigina to turn the cell into a shrine. Agios Nektarios lived in this cell when he lived in Egypt as the Bishop of Pentapolis, staying there until he was ousted and fled to Aigina.

The Archbishop visited the Commander of Alexandria and proposed an exchange of the three Greek merchant seamen who are serving a life sentence in Egyptian prisons for drug trafficking with three Egyptians imprisoned in Greek jails. According to reports, the Egyptian Commander gave no reply to the request.

Later, the Archbishop visited the Greco-Roman Museum and the home of the poet Constantine Cavafis, which has been turned into a museum in downtown Alexandria.

The Archbishop stressed the significance of the Byzantine civilisation, saying that "our religious, political and national roots are in the Byzantium."

Archbishop Christodoulos will visit the Pyramids today and will also hold private talks with Coptic Patriarch Senuda.

Pangalos visit, talks in Ethiopia

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos held talks with the head of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) Salim Ahmed Salim in Addis Ababa on Saturday on ways of improving relations between the European Union and OAU.

Both men also had talks on ways of improving existing cooperation between Africa and the EU.

Mr. Pangalos had arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Friday for a two-day visit and had several contacts with government officials, including Prime Minister Meles Zenaui, on issues concerning cooperation between the two countries. He also signed several bilateral agreements with his Ethiopian counterpart Seyum Mesfin on issues of tourism, economic and technological cooperation.

Stephanopoulos: EMU entry requires better public administration

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said Greece's effort for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) accession necessitates an improvement in public administration.

He was speaking at an event twinning the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council ADEDY and the Cypriot civil servants organisation PASYDY.

The event was also held to honour the 70th anniversary of ADEDY's establishment and coincides with the start of the confederation's 30th congress today.

Mr. Stephanopoulos reiterated that the country is determined to stand by and, if necessary, jointly rally with Cyprus, while he expressed optimism over the future of civil servants in both Greece and Cyprus.

Inclement weather expected to blanket nation

Greece braced for another wave of inclement weather after storms throughout the country on Friday caused flash flooding and power cuts, leaving dozens of villages snowed in.

Torrential rains, thunder storms, snowfall in the mountains and gale force winds hit western Greece, with the cold front slowly expected to cover the entire country by evening.

Government spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said on Saturday the weather conditions were "unprecedented" for Greece, with 94 millimetres of rain recorded at the Athens airport on Friday, compared to an annual record for the region of 400 millimetres.

The fire department reported 450 calls for assistance on Friday as dozens of basement apartments flooded.

Mr. Athanassakis said the government was satisfied at the level of preparedness and coordination between ministries and that the anti-flooding programme had markedly improved the situation.

Ferry boat services from Piraeus and Rafina to the Aegean islands, Crete and the Dodecanese resumed on Saturday morning after an improvement in weather conditions lifted a temporary ban.

Sailings were prohibited on Friday with gale force winds prevailing in the Aegean as bad weather swept across Greece, causing floods and transportation havoc in many parts of the country.

In the prefectures of Grevena and Kozani, 37 villages were still cut off by snow, while conditions on roads throughout the region were hazardous and snow chains were essential.

The weather conditions continued to keep the Rio-Antirrio crossing closed yesterday. Also closed were the Lyxourio-Argostoli and Preveza-Aktio crossings.

Forum entitled All Different-All Equal' ends

A two-day general assembly of a youth organisations' forum on human rights, entitled "All Different-All Equal" ended at the Goulandris-Horn Foundation in Plaka last night.

Yesterday's session focused on the processing of organisational issues regarding the forum's operation and infrastructure as well as on the development of working groups' conclusions.

The general assembly was attended by representatives of gypsy groups, Albanian workers, refugees, the SOS-Racism organisation and other organisations against discrimination.

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou attended an opening ceremony on Saturday and assured delegates of the government's undivided support.

Mr. Papandreou stressed Greece's primary pursuit of becoming a model in the region for the protection of human rights. He said that at present Greece was taking considerable steps towards modernising and reshaping its own legal framework and the adoption of more democratic international treaties on human rights, such as Article 19 which is a treaty on the protection of minorities, multicultural education and support for the Moslem minority in its access to higher education.

"What is necessary is for us to take new steps, to create the necessary legal framework to enable refugees, immigrants and minorities in our country to join wider society smoothly," he said.

The forum "All Different-All Equal" was established on July 13, 1997 by 53 non-governmental organisations and with support by the state-run New Generation General Secretariat. Organisations that are members of the forum have already reached 67, while various organisations, agencies and mass media are continuously showing their interest in its activities.

The organisations have been showing their solidarity for socially excluded groups. From Cuba to Finland and from Halkida to Komotini, organisations have shown their presence in trials, festivals, conferences and manifestations.

As it was stressed at the assembly that "the forum insists on being a 'discordant voice' in the wave of xenophobia being cultivated by a section of the mass media. With conferences, visits to refugee and gypsy camps, with press releases and proclamation s we celebrate, welcome and defend diversity."

Nea Smyrni belfry inaugurated, memorial for Onassis family held

Metropolitan of Nea Smyrni Agathangelos officiated at a memorial service yesterday in memory of Aristotle, Alexandros and Christina Onassis at the Agia Foteini Cathedral in the Nea Smyrni district.

Onassis Foundation President Stelios Papadimitriou referred to a day "of sadness, circumspection and promises", adding that he was satisfied that Athena Onassis Roussel, the daughter of Christina Onassis, travelled to the private island of Skorpios to visit her mother's grave.

After the service, an inauguration ceremony took place for the new 39-metre high belfry of the church, built with a donation by the Onassis Foundation.

The belfry is replica of an original belltower built in Smyrna in 1858 and destroyed by the Turks in 1922. One of the seven bells in the new belfry weighs 1,400 kilograms, while the remaining six weigh about two tonnes.

Japanese film takes top honours at Thessaloniki Film Festival

The Japanese film 'Fishes in August' by Yoichiro Takahashi yesterday won the "Golden Alexander Award" for the best film at the 39th Thessaloniki Film Festival - international section.

The special award "Silver Alexander" was shared by the Korean-Tajikistani film 'The flight of the Bee' from directors Jamshed Usmanov and Byoung Hun Min, and 'The Unbuttoning' by Petr Zelenka from the Czech Republic.

The best director award went to Greek Constantine Giannaris for his 'From the Edge of the City'. Petr Zelenka also won the best script award for 'The Unbuttoning' Best Actress award went to French actress Jeanne Balibar for her role in Br uno Podalydes' 'Only God Watches Me', while the best actor award went to Mehmet Kurtulus for his performance in Fatih Akin's 'Fatal Strike' (Germany).

The best artistic achievement award was bestowed on Korean Kwangmo Lee's 'My Homeland in Spring'.

Angelopoulos' film to vie for Academy Award

Cannes Film Festival winner ''Eternity and a Day'' by Greek director Theo Angelopoulos will represent Greece at this year's Academy Awards as a nominee in the best foreign film category.

Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said he made the decision instead of a committee of state awards, so as to meet a Nov. 2 deadline set by the US academy.

"Eternity and a Day" won the "Palme d'Or" award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Book on Greek-Australians

A book on Greek-Australians was published in Melbourne recently. The book, entitled "In their Own Image, Greek-Australians" by Efi Alexaki and Leonard Janisevski,been characterised by many reviewers as the best collection of photographical and biographical material by both known and unknown Greek- Australians.

The book focuses on a brief history of Greeks in Australia, together with rare photographs dating back to the first years of immigration.

The authors searched archives in Australia and gathered material on the life and work of Greeks living in Australia.

Greek First division soccer results

AEK-Ionikos 2-1 Apollon-PAOK 1-4 Veria-Proodeftiki 3-1 Ethnikos-Panionios 0-4 Kavala-Xanthi 1-1 OFI-Paniliakos 3-1 Panelefsiniakos-Ethnikos Asteras 1-2 Saturday's matches Aris-Olympiakos 1-0 Panathinaikos-Iraklis 3-2 Standings, points after 10 rounds: Panathinaikos 25, AEK 23, Xanthi 20, Olympiakos 19 (9 matches), PAOK 17 (9 matches), Aris 17.


Rain and storms are forecast today in most parts of the country, while snow is expected in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds easterly southeasterly moderate to strong, expected to abate later in the day. Rainstorm in Athens with temperatures from 9-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5-10C.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.538 British pound 466.716 Japanese yen (100) 233.120 French franc 49.650 German mark 166.458 Italian lira (100) 16.815 Irish Punt 414.061 Belgian franc 8.070 Finnish mark 54.788 Dutch guilder 147.664 Danish kr. 43.795 Austrian sch. 23.657 Spanish peseta 1.958 Swedish kr. 34.772 Norwegian kr. 37.527 Swiss franc 202.279 Port. Escudo 1.623 Aus. dollar 180.544 Can. dollar 181.338 Cyprus pound 562.345


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