Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-08
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 08/02/1999 (ANA)
- Greece will participate in Kosovo mission if Rambouillet succeeds
- President Stephanopoulos to represent Greece at Hussein's funeral
- Karamanlis elected as EPP vice-president
- Pangalos arrives in Sarajevo to begin 4-day tour of region
- Gov't replies to latest press comments by Ocalan
- Pangalos: National elections in Oct. 2000
- Avramopoulos to officially visit Tirana today
- Bulgarian PM Kostov calls for 2 ND Euro-MPs to visit Kozloduy
- Greek first division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece will participate in Kosovo mission if Rambouillet succeeds
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos has stressed the importance
of enhancing and promoting the European Union's "defence identity" in order
to strengthen the European pylon's role in NATO.
Addressing a conference on European security on Saturday in Munich, he also
said this orientation does not constitute a competitive manifestation
towards the US.
Referring to Kosovo in statements to Greek reporters, he made it clear that
if an agreement is reached at Rambouillet on the Contact Group's draft
interim solution, Greece will certainly participate in the guarantee for
its implementation with allied military forces.
"However, it must be clear that our mission and role must not be the
shaping of an international protectorate or the dissolution of existing
borders and the infringement of the sovereign rights of an independent
country, such as Yugoslavia," he said.
On the question of the legitimate basis of the alliance's actions, Mr.
Tsohatzopoulos expressed support for observation of the rule that there
should be a mandate by the UN Security Council, adding that exceptions
"trap the future."
Referring to a possible strike against Serbian targets in the event of
failure at Rambouillet, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that a decision by the
Security Council is necessary.
"If there is no decision by the UN, we (Greece) will not participate and we
have stated this," he stressed.
The new duties of "new NATO" must go together, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said,
with the assumption of new duties on the part of the Europeans. He said the
content of the alliance's new strategy, to be decided at NATO's summit in
Washington in April, primarily regards European security which includes,
apart from western countries, the countries of eastern Europe and central
This context includes the promotion of regional security institutions,
which Greece supports, not only for the Balkan region but for the Baltic or
the Black Sea as well.
Replying to questions by Greek reporters, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos expressed
regret over the decision taken for no further wave of NATO enlargement to
take place for the time being, apart from the Czech Republic, Poland and
Hungary, who will become members at the Washington summit.
"Greece insists on the view that priority must not have been given to
central but to southeastern Europe where flashpoints are found," he said,
adding that "the next step must certainly include Bulgaria, Romania and
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that the "yes" to NATO's new strategy which widens
the alliance's character from "purely defensive" to "partially interventional"
with the possibility of intervention "outside the limits of jurisdiction",
if there is the question of preventing or averting flashpoints from flaring
up, is linked to intervention at the Security Conference with the political
framework raised and which is: the pursuit of peaceful solutions, respect
for the principles of international legality and the inviolability
of borders and the non-adoption of a practice of the inconsiderate
use of military force as a policy means.
A point on which Mr. Tsohatzopoulos placed particular emphasis was the need
to promote cooperation between Europeans in the sector of the defensive
"The European defence identity of the Europeans will remain an unfulfilled
dream, probably for decades, if there is no progress in the sector of
unifying the European defence industry," he said.
In Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' view, upgrading the West European Union (WEU) to a
military arm of the EU and a European pylon of NATO constitutes for the EU
the logical consequence of undertaking its responsibilities.
Speaking to Greek reporters, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos sided with the proposal
made by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer for the post of "Mr. KEPPA" (the EU's representative in the
common foreign policy and securit y policy sector enacted by the Amsterdam
Treaty, to be concentrated in one person and the post of WEU Secretary-
President Stephanopoulos to represent Greece at Hussein's funeral
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will represent Greece at
the funeral of long-time Jordanian monarch Hussein. Mr. Stephanopoulos
leaves today for Amman. The funeral is also scheduled for today.
Yesterday, the Greek president expressed the "sincere condolences" of the
Greek people towards King Hussein's family and the Jordanian people, adding
that "King Hussein succeeded under adverse conditions to make his country a
factor of stability in the region and to contribute to the promotion of the
Prime Minister Costas Simitis said King Hussein's death was the loss of a
"Humanity mourns for the loss of a historic personality. King Hussein
played an important role in the Middle East and achieved with his policy,
during his long reign, to secure the viability of the state of Jordan in a
particularly sensitive and unstable region," the Greek PM said in a written
"He was a champion of a peaceful settlement of the Mideast problem and he
became a protagonist in efforts for peace and stability in the Middle East.
He ruled his country with prudence and was a leader of international
stature...The Greek people stand by the Jordanian people in this difficult
hour. In the name of the Greek people, the government and myself, I
personally express towards the new King of Jordan Abdullah our deep
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos also lauded the late Jordanian monarch,
while he expressed his hope that the new King Abdullah continues the peace
initiatives of his father.
Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said Hussein's death
is "a major loss, especially at such a crucial point in the Mideast peace
Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) president Dimitris Tsovolas and
Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras also lauded Hussein's role in the
peace efforts for the Middle East.
According to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia, Cyprus President Glafcos
Clerides departs today for Amman to represent the island republic in
King Hussein died early yesterday in Amman after a long bout with
Karamanlis elected as EPP vice-president
Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis was elected vice-
president of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) political grouping for the
next two years, during EPP's 13th congress on Saturday in Brussels.
Mr. Karamanlis was elected with 177 votes out of a total of 251. Former
Belgian PM Wilfried Martens was re-elected EPP President as expected. He
has been EPP's president since May 1990. Six other political leaders were
also elected as vice-presidents.
EPP's action programme for June's Euroelections was also ratified during
Pangalos arrives in Sarajevo to begin 4-day tour of region
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos arrived in Sarajevo late yesterday
afternoon on the first stop in his four-day tour of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Croatia and Yugoslavia.
Mr. Pangalos was due to visit the Greek force in Bosnia's (ELDYB) army base
at Visoko last night. He will be meeting the FM of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
Federation Jadranko Prlic this morning and at 10:30 the member of the
Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency, A. Delavic.
Later, he will meet former Bosnian president and current member of the
collective presidency Alia Izetbegovic before departing for Banja
During his stay in Sarajevo, Mr. Pangalos is expected to discuss the issue
of signing a bilateral economic cooperation agreement, such as an agreement
on avoiding double taxation and an agreement on the protection of
investments between Greece and the Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation.
Gov't replies to latest press comments by Ocalan
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated yesterday that Athens'
position on the Kurdish issue is steadfast and clear.
He was referring to a report in the Sunday newspaper "To Vima", including a
statement by Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan calling on Greece to mediate
for a solution to the Kurdish issue.
"We have stated our positions in detail and with clarity. The truth and
national interest were the exclusive criteria for whatever choice of ours
so far. This will also continue in the future. Greece is a country which
has played a leading part in the case of the recognition of the human
rights of the struggling Kurds by the international community. It is
entitled, therefore, to have such a position - A position of responsibility,
a position of truth which helps the Kurds without flattering all those who
are unable to see faraway.
"Whichever different involvement in this case by Greece harms the struggle
of the Kurds and restricts it as an issue of friction in Greek-Turkish
relations, a thing which is also against the struggle of the Kurdish
people. We will continue to observe the position which we have observed
until now because we believe that it corresponds to our country's interests
and favours the development of the Kurds' effort for the recognition of
their rights," he said.
Fugitive Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan lashed out yesterday at European
countries, which he said were afraid of accepting him and had turned their
backs on what he called the "genocide" of his people.
Mr. Ocalan, sought by Turkey for leading a separatist campaign in which 29,
000 people have died, has been on the run since he left Rome on Jan. 16
after failing to gain political asylum. His present whereabouts are
unknown. Rome's refusal to extradite h im to Ankara shook Turkish-Italian
According to the Athens weekly paper, Mr. Ocalan also called for an
international peace conference for the Kurdish issue, suggesting one along
the lines of the current Rambouillet meeting called to force a peace
settlement in the southern Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
Pangalos: National elections in Oct. 2000
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos emphasised Saturday from Corfu , where
he attended a PASOK event, that national elections will take place in
He said that the only thing that can change this will be developments in
the process of electing a president of the republic. He expressed
satisfaction over recent statements by Prime Minister Costas Simitis
regarding President Kostis Stephanopoulos, sa ying that in his view the
incumbent president of the republic is impeccable in fulfilling his
Mr. Pangalos used tough language in criticising main opposition New
Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and farmers in Thessaly who are gearing
for mobilisations, while speaking at a banquet of ruling PASOK's prefectural
committee in Corfu on Saturday night.
Avramopoulos to officially visit Tirana today
Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos is due to begin a brief official visit
to Tirana today.
During his short stay, Mr. Avramopoulos will meet with Albanian President
Rexhep Mejdani, Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, Deputy Prime Minister Ilir
Meta and FM Paskal Milo.
A meeting with Tirana's mayor is also planned in order to examine the
possible undertaking of an initiative by Balkan mayors for a peaceful
solution to the Kosovo issue.
The Athens mayor will also be received by Orthodox Archbishop of Tirana and
All Albania Anastasios.
Bulgarian PM Kostov calls for 2 ND Euro-MPs to visit Kozloduy
Bulgarian PM Ivan Kostov said on Saturday in Sofia that he will invite two
New Democracy Euro-MPs who recently tabled a draft resolution in the
Europarliament calling for the closure of Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear plant
to visit the faci lity.
Mr. Kostov made the statement to state-run Bulgarian television, saying he
will address the invitation to main opposition New Democracy leader Costas
The resolution was ratified.
"We want them to see with their eyes and be convinced how strong and safe
the station's security system is," Mr. Kostov said in Brussels, where he
attended a European Peoples' Party congress.
The European Commission insists that Bulgaria close down its four
antiquated nuclear reactors at Kozloduy based on a timetable anticipated by
Sofia's agreement with the European Restructuring and Development Bank
(ERDB), Mr. Kostov announced, after meeting with EU Commissioner Hans van
According to the agreement concluded six years ago, a coalition government
headed at the time by PM Luben Berov had undertaken the commitment to
gradually close down the four reactors over the 1998-1999 period.
Greek first division soccer results
Results of Greek first division soccer matches (Round 18) played over the
weekend: Ethnikos Asteras-Aris 0-1
Xanthi-Panelefsiniakos 0-0 Proodeftiki-Kavala 1-0
Ethnikos-OFI 1-3 Panileiakos-Panathinaikos 1-2
PAOK Ionikos 0-0 Iraklis-Veria 2-0
Monday's matches: Olympiakos-Apollon AEK-Panionios
Standings, points after 18 rounds: Panathinaikos, Olympiakos (17 matches)
40, AEK (17 matches), PAOK 36, Xanthi 32.
Clouds and rain are forecast Monday for western Greece, turning to local
storms later in the day and gradually spreading throughout the rest of the
country, with snow in the central and northern mountainous regions. Athens
will be overcast, turning possibly to rain at night and temperatures
ranging from 4-15 C. The same for Thessaoniki, with possibility of rain in
the afternoon and temperatures from -1 to 10 C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.343
Pound sterling 463.581 Japanese yen (100) 250.202
French franc 48.712 German mark 163.374
Italian lira (100) 16.503 Irish Punt 405.723
Belgian franc 7.921 Finnish mark 53.742
Dutch guilder 144.998 Danish kr. 42.967
Austrian sch. 23.222 Spanish peseta 1.921
Swedish kr. 35.984 Norwegian kr. 36.704
Swiss franc 199.779 Port. Escudo 1.594
Aus. dollar 183.465 Can. dollar 189.968
Cyprus pound 550.560