|Monday, 11 December 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 WARM WELCOME IN TURKEY FOR GREEK FOREIGN MINISTERGreece's foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, was given a warm reception when he arrived in Ankara yesterday evening. He is the first Greek foreign minister to visit the Turkish capital since 1962. The visit is considered to be of historic importance, while the participation of Turkish troops in Nato exercises in Greece is seen as an indication of the climate now prevailing in relations between the two countries.
On his arrival in Ankara, Mr Papandreou was welcomed by his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem. They both said in statements that they hoped the visit would contribute to a further upgrading of bilateral relations and underlined the important role played by what has been dubbed "earthquake diplomacy" in bringing about a rapprochement between the two countries.
The two foreign ministers will this afternoon sign four agreements related to the so-called "low-policy" talks between the two sides, after which they will give a joint press conference. The other four agreements reached by the committees of experts from the two countries' foreign ministries are expected to be signed in Athens at a later date.
In addition to having talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Papandreou is also scheduled to be received by the Turkish president, Suleyman Demirel, and prime minister Bulent Ecevit.
 FOREIGN MINISTRY TALKS ON EU EXPANSION, CYPRUSBefore leaving for Ankara, Mr Papandreou and the deputy foreign minister, Christos Rokofyllos, had separate meetings with the visiting British foreign undersecretary, at which EU expansion at the extraordinary EU summit in March, unemployment and other European concerns were discussed.
Meanwhile Mr Rokofyllos also had a meeting with the Portuguese EU presidency's special envoy for Cyprus, Leonardo Mathias, who is visit Athens, Ankara and Nicosia. The Greek official briefed the Cyprus envoy on the Greek stands regarding the course of Cyprus' accession to the EU, and asked for a more active involvement of the 15 member states in the process of resolving the Cyprus dispute. He underlined that a solution could be based only on UN Security Council resolutions for the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the island, with a single sovereignty.
 CYPRUS PAYS TRIBUTE TO ARCHBISHOP MAKARIOSIn Cyprus the church and the state paid tribute to the memory of the Cypriot leader, Archbishop Makarios, yesterday, his name day. A memorial service was held in the Cathedral of Aghios Ioannis, at which Archbishop Chrysostomos officiated. The service was attended by the Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis, and other officials. Wreaths were laid at the statue to Archbishop Makarios. Archbishop Chrysostomos then presented the Greek singer, Giorgos Dalaras, with a medal in recognition of his great contribution to the Cypriot cause. He said the human rights of the Cypriot people would be restored only with the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and settlers and with the return of the refugees to their homes.
In reply, Mr Dalaras said he would continue to work for the Cypriot cause and added that he had personally derived much more from his involvement in the Cyprus struggle than he had offered.
 COUNTER-INFLATIONARY EFFECTS OF REVALUATION UNDERLINEDThe prime minister, Kostas Simitis told Parliament yesterday that revaluation of the drachma would contribute to bringing down inflation. He added that the drachma's new central parity would have a positive impact on investments and the competitiveness of the Greek economy.
 STOCK EXCHANGE REPORTOn the Athens Stock Exchange, the general share price index plunged again yesterday, closing 3.26% down at 5,067.31 points. In the parities the US dollar was fixed at 327.11 drachmas, the German mark at 169.115 drachma and the euro at 330.76 drachmas.
 GREEK TRANSPORT MINISTER VISITS ISRAELThe Greek transport and communications minister, Tasos Mandelis, wound up a two-day official visit to Israel yesterday, during which he had meetings with the Israeli transport minister, Yitzak Mordecai, and communications minister, Ben Eliyezer. The two sides discussed a broad range of issues including prospects for cooperation between the two countries at bilateral and regional level. The Greek delegation also met with Israeli businessmen in the transport and communications sector.
 GREECE IN GRIP OF COLD WEATHERThe cold weather which hit most of Greece yesterday is expected to abate from today. The worst problems have been encountered in Western Macedonia and the mountains of Thrace. Attica, too, has been affected by snow, while vehicles travelling between Lamia and Karpenissi, Chalkida and Edipsos and in Florina require ant-skid chains.