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BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN (30/01/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

January 30, 1996

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • [01] GREEK PREMIER: GOVERNMENT HANDLING IMIA ISSUE WITH DETERMINATION

  • [02] UNITY ANNOUNCED IN UNISOM DURING TODAY'S PARLIAMENT SESSION

  • [03] GREECE WANTS GOOD NEIGHBOURLY CONDITIONS WITH TURKEY

  • [04] GREEK EURO-DEPUTY CALLS FOR HOISTING OF EU FLAG ON ISLET OF IMIA

  • [05] TURK JOURNALISTS DENOUNCE "HURRIYET"'S ACTS ON IMIA

  • [06] TURKEY ANONYMOUSLY CONTRADICTS GREECE

  • [07] NATO WATCHING CLOSELY THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GREEK-TURKISH CRISIS

  • [08] THE US STATE DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS SELF-CONTROL AND DIALOGUE

  • [09] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER THE IMIA ISSUE

  • [10] FOREIGN PRESS REPORTS ON THE IMIA ISSUE

  • [11] THE STRENGTH AND THE CAPACITY OF THE GREEK NAVY

  • [12] THE STENGTH AND THE CAPACITY OF THE TURKISH NAVY

  • [13] PASOK LEADER'S HEALTH CONDITION IS STABLE

  • [14] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN ENGLISH

    [01] GREEK PREMIER: GOVERNMENT HANDLING IMIA ISSUE WITH DETERMINATION

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis assured the Parliament members that the government is handling the Imia issue decisively.

    According to Mr. Simitis, there is no need to worry, as the greek government is addressing the Imia issue with caution and determination.

    In a limited intervention he made during today's parliamentary session, the Prime Minister stated that the government is following the Imia-related developments closely and characterized Turkey's stance as a "provocative" one, which, as the Premier said. , "aims at forcing us to negotiate a non-existing issue."

    Mr. Simitis reiterated that the islet disputed by Turkey is greek, and added that he has informed accordingly the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

    He concluded by saying that the greek military forces will not be withdrawn from the area for as long as there is turkish military presence in the area.

    [02] UNITY ANNOUNCED IN UNISOM DURING TODAY'S PARLIAMENT SESSION

    Unity was exemplified during tonight's parliamentary session where the greek Prime minister Kostas Simitis was given loud applause following his statements regarding the turkish provocations in Imia and his persistence that the greek flag will remain on the small islet.

    Miltiades Evert, the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy, stated that "we all stand united" and suggested the convention of a political leaders council, headed by the President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos.

    [03] GREECE WANTS GOOD NEIGHBOURLY CONDITIONS WITH TURKEY

    The necessity of smooth handling, self-control and responsibility was underlined by Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis in statements he made after the meeting that was presided over by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. In the meeting during which was discussed the issue of the rocky islet of Imia in south-eastern Aegean participated Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Chief of the National Defense General Staff Admiral Christos Limberis.

    Referring to the situation around the islet of Imia, Mr.Arsenis said that there is an increased presence of the turkish fleet and of course there is also increased presence of the greek navy in the region. This morning a turkish warship violated the greek territorial waters and while it received a warning to leave the region it did not comply with it. Also, a turkish helicopter violated the greek air space and flew over islet Imia.

    The Defense Minister said that the turkish naval forces in the region are made up of one frigate, two missile-crafts, two patrol ships and another frigate sailing at a distance while Greece's presence is more increased.

    Mr.Arsenis underlined that Greece does not escalate the crisis and that it increases its presence in the region only when the other side increases its presence too. He said that Imia islet is greek and the greek forces have a duty to defend it in case it is threatened, adding that there is full readiness in order to face any threat.

    Greece's firm position that there is no question of a dialogue on issues concerning its sovereign rights and the integrity of its territories, was reiterated by greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in a joint press conference with Defence Minister Arsenis after the meeting that was presided over by the greek Prime Minister.

    He said that Greece is certain of its right and its views are based on the international treaties while the greek government is doing its best in order to avert the escalation of the crisis. Mr.Pangalos pointed out that based on the turkish claims, the protocol between Italy and Turkey does not stand because it had not been registered in the United Nations. According to this protocol, the borders of the two countries lay in the middle of the distance between the greek islet of Imia and the turkish islet of Kato.

    Mr.Pangalos characterized the turkish argument as "unworthy of denial" and "rediculous" underlining that the turks can not be unaware of the League of Nations charter which provides that only the main agreements are being registered and not the additional protocols, national documents, maps, etc.

    Referring to the second turkish claim that Turkey does not recognize agreements in which its Foreign Minister had not participated, mr.Pangalos said that based on the international practice followed the countries do not recognize just the agreements in which they have participated and dispute all those in which they haven't.

    Mr.Pangalos also presented a copy of the annual report on the ships' movement in Turkey's straits which had been published by the turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara in January of 1954. In the map included in this report, Imia islet can not be found but next to the region of the island of Kalymnos the border line is placed even closer to the turkish line, compared to the greek maps, and following the line accepted by Greece.

    [04] GREEK EURO-DEPUTY CALLS FOR HOISTING OF EU FLAG ON ISLET OF IMIA

    Greek Euro-Deputy mr.Alekos Alavanos in a letter to Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis calls for the hoisting of the European Union flag next to the greek flag on the islet of Imia.

    Mr.Alavanos stated that it is a political initiative with a strong symbolism which does not escalate the tension militarily but it gives to it political dimensions totally different from those aimed at but Turkey. The greek Euro-deputy added that the hoisting of the European Union flag will force the governments of the 15 EU member-states to wake up from their lethargy.

    [05] TURK JOURNALISTS DENOUNCE "HURRIYET"'S ACTS ON IMIA

    The turkish Association of Modern Journalists denounced today the turkish newspaper's recent act on Imia, where a crew of the paper's journalists traveled to the barren islet in the eastern Aegean, removed the greek flag and replaced it with te turkish one.

    With a published statement, the turkish journalists' association said that Imia episode showed that the behavior of certain mass media members is contrary to journalistic ethics and aims, and as such, has escalated the tension between the two neighboring countries.

    The Association assesses that such crises become inflammed due to the zeal some members of the mass media display, aiming at the increase of their viewing and listening audiences.

    "We denounce such inflammatory actions that are performed under the cloak of journalism," the turkish journalists' association stated.

    [06] TURKEY ANONYMOUSLY CONTRADICTS GREECE

    Ankara, represented by an anontymous turk official, denied today that it has violated Greece's territorial waters and air space in the Imia islet in the eastern Aegean Sea..

    According to the anonymous high-ranking turk official, a vilolation has not taken place, as the turkish military ship and helicopter were near "Kardak", as the turks call Imia, thereby insisting on their claim that Imia is turkish.

    [07] NATO WATCHING CLOSELY THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GREEK-TURKISH CRISIS

    NATO is watching closely the developments in the crisis of the greek-turkish relations. Already, the greek government has informed NATO Secretary General Javie Solana who characterized the issue as serious and is watching closely the developments. Mr.Solana said that when he finds it necessary he will make suggestions to the involved parties.

    According to a NATO source in Brussels, the Alliance's Political Committee hasn't dealt with the recent greek-turkish dispute during its meeting this morning while the same source mentioned that the greek government is in contact with the governments of the NATO member-states and updates them on the developments.

    Greek diplomatic sources in Brussels expained that Athens, based on the results of the updating of the allied governments, will give the necessary instructions to Greece's permanent representative in NATO, mr.Zaphiropoulos in order to raise the issue of the Imia islet in tomorrow's weekly meeting of NATO's Permanent Representatives Committee. Mr.Zaphiropoulos is expected to receive those instructions later this afternoon.

    Meanwhile, the greek Defence Ministry denied the information that there was a contact between NATO's Southern Wing Supreme Commander Admiral Smith and greek Defence Minister mr.Arsenis for the solution of the Imia islet issue.

    [08] THE US STATE DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS SELF-CONTROL AND DIALOGUE

    Self-control and dialogue are openly recommended by the US State Department for the settlement of the turkish provocation over the islet of Imia which is in progress.

    A US State Department official said that the United States have urged both sides, Greece and Turkey, to show self-control and to resolve the issues concerning the Aegean Sea through negotiations and dialogue.

    Meanwhile, according to information, US government officials regard the new greek-turkish tension as much more serious today than it was yesterday, they are very concerned and insist on the use of diplomatic rather than dynamic means for the settlement of the crisis. Also, US officials are examining the question on why Ankara raised this issue in this particular period.

    [09] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER THE IMIA ISSUE

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigori Karasin in a statement issued on the crisis in the greek-turkish relations mentions that Russia is concerned especially when there is a crisis in a sensitive and explosive region, like the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Also, in the statement is mentioned that the escalation of the crisis must be avoided, the two sides must show self-restraint and they should resolve their differencies through peaceful means, based on the UN principles and the International Law in order to safeguard peace, security and stability in the region.

    [10] FOREIGN PRESS REPORTS ON THE IMIA ISSUE

    The foreign press has granted its share of attention to the issue that has arisen regarding the barren islet Imia.

    The media conglomerate CNN analytically reported the statements of the greek Minister of National Defense, Gerasimos Arsenis. CNN reported that Mr. Arsenis said: "We do not want escalation of the crisis. If the other side is sincere and also wants de-escalation, it should remove its (military) presence fromthe area, from our waters, from our airspace."

    According to CNN, "this crisis between the two NATO allies appears to be their worst since 1987 when they nearly went to war after Turkey tried to send an oil-drilling ship into disputed waters in the Aegean."

    The international news agency Reuters, has reported in-depth the escalating tenmsions surrounding Imia.

    "Each side has ripped down the other's flag and planted its own," Reuters reported, adding that "the greek flag now flies over the islet.

    In Spain, the newspaper "El Mundo" reported today that "On Saturday, January 27, turkish journalists traveled to the deserted islet Imia - which Italy had ceded to Greece through the Paris Peace Accord of 1947- and raised the turkish flag, after removing the greek one."

    "El Mundo" also reported that the greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos, has informed the Ambassadors of U.S. and Russia.

    In Bulgaria, the media do not doubt Greece's sovereignty over Imia.

    According to the bulgarian state-owned radio, "the two sides exchanged sharp expressions, after the mandatory removal of the turkish fregate from the islet's surrounding waters, while a turkish helicopter violated the greek air space."

    The B.I.P. news agency in Sofia reported that there was an escalation in the territorial dispute between Athens and Ankara, and mentioned the greek Premier's meeting with greek high-ranking officials.

    [11] THE STRENGTH AND THE CAPACITY OF THE GREEK NAVY

    Strength			19,500(7.900 conscripts)
    Organization:			Fleet HQ
    3 Naval Districts:		Aegean, Ionian, Norhern Greece
    
    Naval Logistical Command, Naval Training Command
    
    

    Equipment:

    Subarines 8 Glavkos (4 Ge T-209/1100, 4 T-209/1200), with 533mm TT, 1x Harpoon USGW Surface Fleet: Destroyers: 6 4 Kimon (US Adams),whith 1x SM-1, 1x8 ASROC, 2x3 324m ASTT, 2x127mm guns, 6 Harpoon SSM 2 Thmistocles (US Gearing-FRAM 1, with 1x8 ASROC, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 4 Harpoon SSM, 2x2 127mm guns, 1x76mm gun Patrol and Coastal Craft: 42 Corvettes: 5 5 Niki (Ge-Thetis),with 1x4 ASW mortars, 2x2 324mm TT Missile craft: 18 14 Laskos (Fr La Combattante II/III); 8 with 4x MM-38 Exocet; 6 with 6 Penguin 2SSM; 10 with 2x76mm guns; all with 2x533mm TT, 2 I.Votsis (Fr la Combattante IIA), with 2x2 MM-38 Exocet 2 Stamou, with 4xSS-12 SSM Torpedo craft: 10 6 Herperos (Ge Jaguar), with 4x533mm TT 4 Now. "Nasty", with 4x533mmTT Patrol: 9 Coastal: 4 2 Armatolos(Dk Osprey), with 2 Harpoon SSM, 1x76mm gun 2 Pirpolitis Inshore: 5 2 Tolmi, with 4 Aerospatiale SS 12M, 1x76mm gun 3 PCI Mine warfare: 16 Minelayers: 2 Mine countermeasures: 14 Amphibious: 7 LST, 1 LSD, 2 LSM Plus about 65 craft: 2 LCT, 8 LCU, 13 LCM, some 42 LCVP

    [12] THE STENGTH AND THE CAPACITY OF THE TURKISH NAVY

    Strength			59.800 (including 4,00 Marines and 900
    				Naval Aviation)
    
    Conscripts:			37-40.000
    
    Reserver:			70.000 (other source: 84.000)
    
    Organization:			Fleet HQ, 3 Commands (Northern Region,
    				Southern Region, Naval Training)
    
    

    Equipment:

    Submarines: 15 6 Ariday(Ge Type 209/1200). with 533mm TT 2 Hizirreis(US Tang), with 533mm TT 5 Burakreis (US Guppy IIA), with 533mm TT (diving probably restricted to persicope depth) 2 Canakkale (US Guppy II), with 533mm TT (diving probably restricted to periscope depth) The 7 Guppy submarines will be replaced by new Type 209/1400 boats Surface fleet: Destroyers: 8 6 Yicetepe (US Gearing/FRAM I &II), with Harpoon SSM, 1x8 ASROC, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 2x2 127mm guns 2 Alcitepe (US Carpenter/FRAM-1), with 1x8 ASROC, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 2x2 127mm guns, 1x76mm gun Frigates: 17 1 Barbaros(MEKO 200T Track II A), with 2x4 Harpoon SSM, 1x8 Sea Sparrow SAM, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 1x127mm gun, 1AB 212 helicopter 4 Yavuz (MEKO 200T), with 2x4 Harpoon SSM, 1x8 Sea Sparrow SAM, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 1x127mm gun, 1 AB 212 helicopter 2 Gelibolu (FRG T-120 Koln), with 2 A/S mortars, 533mm ASTT, 2x100mm guns 2 Berk, with 2 A/S mortars, 2x3 324mm ASTT, 2x2 76mm guns 8 Tepe (US Knox), with 8 Harpoon SSM, 1x8 ASROC, 2x2 324mm ASST, 1x127mm gun, 1AB 212 helicopter Fast Boats: Missile craft: 16 8 Dogan( Ge Lursen-57), with 2x4 Harpoon SSM, 1x76, gun 8 Ge Kartal, with 2 or 4 Penguin Mk SSM, 2x533 TT Torpedo craft: 2 2 Turfan (Ge Jaguar), with 533mm TT Patrol craft: 29 1 Girne cass (fast attack craft) 1 ex-US Asheville (large patrol craft) 6 ex-US PC 1638 class (large patrol craft) 16 large patrol craft Mine Warfare: 39 Minelayers: 5 2 Mordogan (US Adjautant) 4 Trabzon ( Cdn Bay) 6 Sramursel (FRG Vegesack) 4 Foca (US Cape) MSI 8 minehunting tenders

    [13] PASOK LEADER'S HEALTH CONDITION IS STABLE

    The health conditon of PASOK party leader Andreas Papandreou is steadily improving, according to the latest medical bulletin issued today by the Onasion Cardiosurgery Center, where the former prime minister is being hospitalized.

    According to the medical report, during the past 24 hours Mr. Papandreou's respiratory function was not supported by artificial respirator. The patient's kinesiotherapy and physiotherapy treatments are being continued.

    [14] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY             FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU                303.4740 	302.5640    304.3840
    U.S. Dollar	   246.0000     245.2620    246.7380
    Deutsche Mark	   165.7420 	165.2450    166.1239
    UK Sterling	   371.3900 	370.2760    372.5040
    French Franc	    48.1420 	 47.9980     48.2860
    Swedish Crown	    35.3230 	 35.2170     35.4290
    Danish Kroner	    42.8250 	 42.6970     42.9530
    Norwegian Crown	    37.8090 	 37.6960     37.9220
    Italian Lira	    15.3825 	 15.3360     15.4290
    Swiss Franc	   203.3160 	202.7060    203.9260
    Spanish Peseta       1.9526	  1.9467      1.9585
    Finnish Mark	    54.1230 	 53.9610     54.2850
    Yen                231.5850     230.8900    232.2800
    
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