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BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN (08/01/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@uranus.eng.auth.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN NEWS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, January 8, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

  • [01] PROPOSAL FOR NON-CONFIDENCE VOTE BEGAN TODAY IN PARLIAMENT

  • [02] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER'S CONDITION IS UNCHANGED

  • [03] GREEK CONDOLENCES FOR THE DEATH OF FRANCOIS MITTERAND

  • [04] GREEK-SKOPJAN TALKS ON THE ISSUE OF THE NAME BEGIN IN NEW YORK

  • [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SOCIALISTS MEET WITH CYPRIOT SOCIALIST PARTY

  • [06] CYPRUS EU COORDINATOR: ITALIAN FORMER PREMIER IS STRONG CANDIDATE

  • [07] ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WILL VISIT ATHENS ON JANUARY 11

  • [08] EXPLOSION IN A GREEK ARMY AMMUNITIONS DUMP KILLS TWO CIVILIANS

  • [09] GREEK EXPORTS INCREASED BY 10% IN 1994 COMPARED TO 1993

  • [10] GREEK SOLIDARITY CARAVAN OFFERS ECONOMIC AID TO BOSNIAN ORPHANS

  • [11] CULTURAL EVENTS IN PARIS ORGANIZED BY THE GREEK CULTURE MINISTRY


  • NEWS IN ENGLISH

    [01] PROPOSAL FOR NON-CONFIDENCE VOTE BEGAN TODAY IN PARLIAMENT

    The proposal for a vote of non-confidence in the governing party, initiated by the main opposition party leader mr. Miltiades Evert, was presented to greek parliament this evening, thus embarking the parliament on the three-day procedure.

    New Democracy President Mr. Evert asked the parliament not to utilize the two-day period it has at its disposal before beginning the voting process, a request that was accepted by the Minister of Interior Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who is standing in for the hospitalized Premier, Andreas Papandreou.

    Opening the procedure, opposition party parliament member ms. Dora Bacoyianni stated that the time period for the replacement of the prime minister has been extended to 20 days more than what the constitution calls for and, as such, there is currently a vacancy of leadership.

    "This leads the country to turmoil," ms. Bacoyianni said and added that "although there is agreement among all parties that there is indeed a political crisis, the situation could worsen if mr. Papandreou does not resign or if he requests additional recovery time in order to participate in the election of his successor."

    Lastly, ms. Bacoyianni asked PASOK to consider January 20 as a target date for the replacement of the premier, and not as a date for the beginning of long- winded procedures.

    Also representing New Democracy, parliament member mr. Kostas karamanlis reiterated that the country is in a deep political crisis and suffers from a lack of leadership while the greek people "passively watch the shallow embellishments PASOK attempts."

    PASOK's Minister of Justice, mr. Yiannis Pottakis, rebutted that any challenge of the governing body's legality must be supported in a politically correct and judiciously unrefutable manner, otherwise should be avoided.

    "The Constitution and its laws determine when and how the premier will be replaced," said mr. Pottakis.

    The justice minister said that the government has continued to function successfully and emphasized that the constitutional terms for the replacement of the premier have not yet been met and added that the problem will be addressed from PASOK's forces keeping above all the best interests of the greek people.

    Mr. Pottakis accused New Democracy of exercising institutional opposition and, noting that opposition party leader mr. Evert has sought the solution from constitutionalists, physicians and now, from parliament members, concluded that "the opposition party will remain in the waiting room and will soon see the exit door." Political Spring parliament member mr. Konstantinos Hatzidimitriou has called "unprecedented" the New Democracy's statement that its proposal for vote of non-confidence is not aimed at seizing the power from PASOK.

    Mr. Hatzidimitriou ascribed rensponsibilities to both PASOK and New Democracy by saying that the two parties share common interests in the economic policies they follow, and questioned the role of the president of the republic whom he asked to put forth his supreme powers in case PASOK does not proceed to elect a prime minister.

    The Communist Party representative, mr. Stratis Korakas, accused the government of illicitly benefiting from the premier's illness, as shown from the power struggles within the socialist party, and said that mr. Evert is pushing the government to take additional "unpopular" decisions, such as tax increases and unemployment increases.

    Mr. Korakas added that there is not a lack of government and supported that the governments of European Union member-countries strictly follow the orders of the Brussels administration.

    Transport and Communication Minister, mr. Evaggelos Venizelos, pointed out that there are five contradicting issues in New Democracy's proposal of the non-confidence vote. First, mr. Venizelos said, ms. Bacoyanni made mention of ample time for the premier's replacement, while mr. Karamanlis stated that the time has ran out. Second, the opposition party has accused the government of indeciveness, while simultaneously criticised it for its decision-making. Third, was there a vacancy of power for the last two years PASOK was in power, or was it brought about by the premier's illness? Fourth, the elective body had knowledge of the premier's state of health in 1993. And fifth, New Democracy is asking from the majority it questions to take intiative something that will lead the majority into instability. In order for the proposal of the non-confidence vote to pass, it must amass at least 151 ayes. PASOK party members who hold parliamentary seats amount to 169, whereas opposition parties members amount to 130. Parliament will cast its open votes at midnight on Wednesday.

    [02] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER'S CONDITION IS UNCHANGED

    The condition of greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's health remains stable.

    According to the medical bulletin issued today by the Onassion Cardiology Center, the patient's condition was unchanged in the past 24 hours. He underwent dialysis treatment while his respiratory function is periodically supported by respirator. The kinesiotherapy and physiotherapy continue.

    The Prime Minister's attendant doctors maintain that the patient's overall clinical picture is especially good today while the laboratory tests show no trace of a new infection or any other complication.

    [03] GREEK CONDOLENCES FOR THE DEATH OF FRANCOIS MITTERAND

    The President of the Greek Republic, mr. kostis Stefanopoulos, expressed his deepest sorrow for the death of french president Francois Mitterand, in his message today.

    "Francois Mitterand was a friend of Greece who, from his position as President of the French Republic for 14 years, held a strong presence not only in the french political arena but in the international as well.

    "Europe's course during the years of mr. Mitterand's presidency was greatly affected from his wise and prudent leadership," mr. Stefanopoulos said.

    The condolences of the greek government expressed the Press Minister, mr. Tylemachos Hytiris, who called mr. Mitterand as one of the greatest political figures of modern times, a friend of Greece and a personal friend of greek premier Andreas Papandreou.

    In turn, mr. Miltiades Evert, the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy referred to mr. Mitterand as one of this era's greatest men, in his telegraph to the french politician's family.

    "Mr.Mitterand," mr. Evert wrote, "had marked for years the state and foreign affairs of France. He left his mark throughout the world and especially to the European Union while he was a great friend of our country."

    In Cyprus, a moment of silence was observed in memory of the french leader during the joint meeting of the European Parliament Socialist Group held in Nicosia today.

    "President Mitterand was an outstanding figure in our political family," said ms. Pauline Green, president of the euro-parliament socialists.

    Ms. Green said that they will never forget the french leader's motto "nationalism equals war."

    The euro-parliament's socialist vice-president, Nichol Perry, tearfully said that Francois Mitterand was devoted to human rights and social justice. "We will miss him."

    [04] GREEK-SKOPJAN TALKS ON THE ISSUE OF THE NAME BEGIN IN NEW YORK

    Counsellor mr. Alexandros Mallios, who will be in charge of the Liaison Office in FYROM leaves tomorrow for Skopje, while a few days ago Counsellor Theodoros Lassas and Embassy Secretary Natalia Karagiorgou had arrived. Regarding the opening of the skopjan Liaison Office in Athens there has been a delay as it has not been decided yet who will be in charge.

    Meanwhile, the greek-skopjan talks on the issue of the name that will be used by FYROM will begin in New York on January 11th under the auspices of the United Nations and with Cyrus Vance as mediator. In the talks will participate greek ambassador in the UN mr. Christos Zaharakis and his skopjan counterpart mr. Ivan Tosefski.

    According to diplomatic circles in Athens, there is a climate of optimism based on the fact that Skopje accepted for the first time to enter negotiations for the discussion of the issue of the name and also because a good and productive climate has began to develop between the two countries.

    [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SOCIALISTS MEET WITH CYPRIOT SOCIALIST PARTY

    The Cyprus problem and the course of Cyprus' accession into the European Union were the topics discussed today in the joint meeting of the European Parliament Socialist Group Presiding Board and the Cypriot Socialist Party leadership.

    The meeting was adressed by cypriot Foreign Minister Alekos Michailidis and by EU ambassador to Cyprus. In the meeting were discussed the continuous turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and ways for joint action of the European Socialists within the framework of EU institutions.

    EU Socialist Group President Pauline Green and Cypriot Socialist leader Vasos Lysaridis were scheduled to give a joint press conference this afternoon. The European Socialists were also received by Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrisostomos who underlined the need for the respect of the human rights of all cypriots and mrs.Pauline Green promised that the european Socialists will support those efforts.

    [06] CYPRUS EU COORDINATOR: ITALIAN FORMER PREMIER IS STRONG CANDIDATE

    Italian former Prime Minister Juliano Amato is regarded as the most likely candidate to get the position of the European Union coordinator in Cyprus.

    The decision for the appointment of the EU coordinator will be made by the EU Council of Ministers that will meet before the end of January after a recommendation by Italy, currently holding the rotating EU Presidency.

    Based on press information, the appointment of a coordinator is promoted by EU Commissioner responsible for External Relations mr.Hans Van Den Broek who sees as necessary the EU's involvement in the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The position of the coordinator had been offered and to former german Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Gensher who rejected the proposal.

    [07] ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WILL VISIT ATHENS ON JANUARY 11

    The priorities of the italian EU Presidency will be presented by the country's Foreign Minister Suzanna Agnielli on Thursday, January 11th during her visit to Athens. The italian Foreign Minister will visit Athens within the framework of her tour to European Union capital cities and will meet with alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Romeos.

    The italian Foreign Minister's basic goal is to update the greek side on the program and the priorities of Italy's EU Presidency. Also, is expected to be dicussed and the issue of the Inter-Governmental Conference which is scheduled to start before the end of March.

    According to diplomatic sources, is also expected that mrs.Agnielli will update the greek side on the results of italian Foreign Affairs Undersecretary mr.Scamaka visit to Ankara. The visit was held within the framework of an exploratory initiative in Nicosia, Athens and Ankara that was undertaken by the italian EU Presidency in order to have a clear picture of the situation in Cyprus.

    [08] EXPLOSION IN A GREEK ARMY AMMUNITIONS DUMP KILLS TWO CIVILIANS

    Two civilian employees, Lambros Souliotis, 41 years old, and Vasilis Dimitroulas age 42, were killed from an explosion in an ammunitions dump of the greek army at the region of Kehries in Corinth, southern Greece. The explosion that occured this morning also injured 33-year-old army officer, Nikolaos Yiannakopoulos.

    According to information, the explosion occured under unknown circumstances at an ammunitions testing site and an official investigation was ordered aimed at determining the causes of the explosion.

    [09] GREEK EXPORTS INCREASED BY 10% IN 1994 COMPARED TO 1993

    The greek exports increased (in terms of value) about 10% in 1994 compared to 1993, based on statistical data provided by the Exporters Association in Northern Greece.

    In the same period the imports dropped by 3,82% and as a result the trade balance improved by 12,2%. Specifically, the value of the greek exports was 7,9 billion ECU while the imports reached 18,08 billion ECU.

    The most important market for the greek products is the European Union countries. The value of the greek exports to the EU was 4,28 billion ECU in 1994, an amount representing 54,21% of the total greek exports.

    Another important market is the countries of the Middle East and North Africa where the imports from Greece reached 1,08 billion ECU in 1994, an increase of 16,96% compared to 1993.

    The greek exports presented an overall increase with the exception of the Central and South African countries. Also, the greek exports to Eastern Europe showed a significant increase of 34,4%.

    Germany holds the first place among the countries importing greek products as it absorbed 1/5 of the greek exports, with a value of 1,67 billion ECU (21,14% of the total greek exports). Italy holds the second place and in 1994 imported 13,85% of the greek exports, followed by Britain, France and the United States while the largest increase of the greek exports was observed in Albania with 66,49%.

    [10] GREEK SOLIDARITY CARAVAN OFFERS ECONOMIC AID TO BOSNIAN ORPHANS

    The first part of the economic assistance offered by thousands of greeks will be delivered to the orphans in Bosnia by a delegation of the Greek Caravan of Solidarity that will arrive in the region on January 15th.

    This "economic adoption" programme is promoted by the Greek Caravan of Solidarity aiming both at the economic support of families that lost the father in the war and at creating personal relationships between the greek donator and the family of the orphan child.

    [11] CULTURAL EVENTS IN PARIS ORGANIZED BY THE GREEK CULTURE MINISTRY

    A one-day conference under the title "The Museums of Athens" will be held on January 10th in the Museum of Louvre in Paris organized by the Institute of Greek Civilization in cooperation with the Institute's branch in the french capital and the Museum of Louvre.

    In the conference will be made presentations of the Benaki, Cycladic Art and Ancient Greek Art, Byzantine Art and Folk Music Instruments Museums in Greece. Also, a discussion will be held under the title "The price that has to be paid and the difficulties in preserving the archaeological heritage in a modern city".

    Meanwhile, the Institute of Greek Civilization in cooperation with the Greek National Art Gallery is organising an exhibition in London with the title "Eleven teachers of greek etching". In the exhibition which will be opened on January 12th will be presented 45 works of greek artists who have won prizes in Bienalle cultural exhibitions held in Venice, Paris, Prague and Leipzig.

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