|Sunday, 3 December 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-05
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
Today's ERA News OnlineFriday, March 6th, 1999
 US urges Greece and Turkey to show moderationIn a mediating effort aimed at reducing tension between Greece and Turkey--in the wake of the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkish authorities after he left the Greek embassy in Kenya--the US last night conveyed a message to both Athens and Ankara to moderate their tone.
An American embassy official in Athens conveyed the message to the Greek foreign ministry general secretary Pavlos Apostolidis last night. A similar demarche was made in Ankara.
In a related development, Turkish jet fighters yesterday violated Greece's air-space in the Aegean, while according to sources Turkish fighter jets photographed regions on Crete where the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is to be installed.
Commenting on the report, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said it had not yet been confirmed whether the Turkish jets took aerial photos of regions on Crete, adding that Greece had already gone ahead with diplomatic action over the incident.
 Foreign minister pleased with contacts with political leadersGreek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou appears satisfied with the climate of unanimity he ascertained during his contacts with political party leaders.
Mr Papandreou met yesterday with the main opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, and Political Spring party leader, Antonis Samaras, to brief them on developments in the Ocalan affair.
After the meetings, Mr Papandreou said that Greece had started a diplomatic campaign, so that Turkey would realize that its European prospects depended on its stand on human rights issues.
Mr Papandreou will meet on Monday with the secretary general of the Greek Communist party, Aleka Papariga, thus completing the round of his contacts with political party leaders.
Opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis has urged the setting up of a national foreign policy council.
Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras claimed that if his party's proposal to set up a national security council had been accepted, the country would not be in this situation now.
Meanwhile, the European Human Rights court in Strasbourg yesterday called on Turkey to secure a fair trial for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, as well as free access to his defence lawyers, including his foreign lawyers.
Dutch lawyer Britta Boeler had attempted to visit Ocalan immediately after he was captured in Kenya, but the Turkish authorities at Constantinople airport had refused her entry into the country and she was forced to return to Holland.
 New chief of National Intelligence ServiceFollowing a proposal by interior minister Vasso Papandreou, the government council for foreign affairs and defence has decided to appoint diplomat Pavlos Apostolidis chief of the National Intelligence Service. Mr Apostolidis held the post of general secretary of the foreign ministry and was also heading the Greek delegation sent to Nairobi to escort the three aides of the Kurdish leader to Greece.
 Pre-agenda debate in parliament on foreign policyA pre-agenda debate on foreign policy will be held at party leaders level in parliament today at the request of New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis.
A debate on the proposal submitted by 116 deputies of the ruling PASOK party to set up an inquiry committee into the Ocalan affair will be held on Friday.
 Prime minister confident over economic prospectsSpeaking at the inauguration of the Institute for Health and Safety at Work yesterday, prime minister Kostas Simitis claimed that the Greek economy was withstanding pressure and that foreign investments were flowing in at an even faster rate, which meant that the government was winning the wager for Greece's entry into European economic and monetary union. He added that the inflation rate was under control and interest rates were dropping.
The prime minister said the government was planning a new social course for the working people and ordinary citizens to enable them to enjoy the fruits of economic prosperity.
Meanwhile the governor of the Bank of Greece, Loukas Papadimos, who is taking part in the meeting in Frankfurt of the European Central Bank, has predicted that inflation will have dropped to as low as 2% by June.
 Opposition leader visits USAMain opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis is leaving for the United States tomorrow on a 10-day scheduled visit, the first in his capacity as opposition leader. While there, he will have contacts in Washington, New York and Boston with senior government officials, representatives of Greek Americans and members of the academic community.
 Church of Greece to help large familiesThe Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has decided to grant financial aid to people with large families in a bid to help deal with Greece's serious demographic problem. A spokesman for the Holy Synod said measures would start in border regions, mainly Thrace.
 National Real Estate Registration resumedReal estate registration with the National Cadastre for about one and half million Greek citizens in 276 municipalities, 24 of them in Attica, will begin on April 5.
Greek citizens living in Greece will have three months to submit their documents, while for those Greek citizens residing outside Greece, the period in which to lodge their forms will be six months. Appeals will be examined by a three-member committee.
 Participation forms for general exams submitted in MarchCandidates for this year's general exams for admission to higher educational institutions will have to fill out their participation forms from 16 to 26 March. 43 new departments are included in the new forms. The general secretary of the Greek education ministry said this year 10% more students will be admitted to higher educational institutions. The general exams will be held in late June and the exams for the second class of the Lyceum after the Euro-elections.