A.N.A. Bulletin, 24/05/95

From: Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada (grnewsca@sympatico.ca)


Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


  • [1] Gov't to limit state spending in 1996 budget

  • [2] Greece a favourite to host 1999 Special Olympics

  • [3] Commission grants aid to quake regions

  • [4] President to visit Kozani, Grevena

  • [5] Venizelos on confidential Cyprus talks: Athens informed

  • [6] Partnership for Peace exercise proceeding well

  • [7] Papoulias confers with Evert on US visit, movement needed on Skopje dispute, he says

  • [8] Venizelos on Nimetz statements

  • [9] Mitsotakis

  • [10] Valyrakis meets Iakovos in New York

  • [11] Arsenis in Thrace

  • [12] Athens court to hear Vardinoyannis inheritance dispute in October

  • [13] Turkish MPs to attend trial of pseudo-mufti

  • [14] Anglican Church delegation visits the Phanar

  • [15] Thessaloniki churches donate four million to Patriarchate

  • [16] New ambassador to Turkey meets publishers

  • [17] Rokofyllos to visit Cyprus

  • [18] Avramopoulos gets promise of aid for quake victims from UN

  • [1] Gov't to limit state spending in 1996 budget

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Finance Minister Alexandros Papadopoulos said yesterday the government aimed to curb state spending in its budget for next year. "Limiting state spending ... is the main goal of the budget being drafted for 1996," said Mr. Papadopoulos at a news conference.

    He said ministry spending would be maintained at 1995 levels and added that public organisations subsidised by the state by more than 100 million drachmas a year or with a budget exceeding 200 million drachmas a year would have to give detailed accounts on the management of the funds. These reports will be submitted to parliament, said Mr. Papadopoulos.

    He said state subsidies to organisations for 1996, "shall in no case exceed the levels of 1995". He said that the dissolution of certain organisations might be considered for 1996 in the framework of limiting state spending. Ministries will submit their budget proposals to the Finance Ministry by mid-July when officials will begin drafting the 1996 state budget, he said.

    [2] Greece a favourite to host 1999 Special Olympics

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    The president of the Special Olympics organisation said yesterday that Greece was a hot favourite to host the Special Olympics Olympiad in 1999. Sargent Shriver, president of Special Olympics International, said yesterday he did not expect any members of the organisation to oppose Greece's request to host the 1999 Olympiad.

    "The request is an honour and I believe all members of the committee will accept it with great pleasure," said Mr. Shriver. He said the states of Washington and North Carolina had expressed interest in hosting the event, but conceded that Greece's request "stood above all".

    Mr. Shriver is in Athens to attend an Olympic flame-lighting ceremony on Athens' Pnyx Hill tomorrow. The flame will travel to New Haven, Connecticut for the IX Special Olympics on June 26. The Olympic torch will be lit by Special Olympics athletes dressed as ancient Greek priestesses at the ceremony. The torch will be carried by long-distance runners across Athens to the US embassy where it will be handed to Ambassador Thomas Niles and Timothy Kennedy Shriver, organising committee chairman for the IX Special Olympics.

    The flame will then be entrusted to the captain of the "Argonaut" for the voyage to the Statue of Liberty in New York and on to New Haven where US President Bill Clinton will open the Olympiad. Over 7,000 athletes from 143 countries will compete in the international event. Greece is sending a team of 91 athletes to compete in 10 sporting events. The Special Olympics were established in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to provide handicapped children and adults the opportunity to participate in Olympic games.

    [3] Commission grants aid to quake regions

    Brussels, 24/05/1995 (ANA/F. Stangos):

    The European Commission yesterday decided to grant one million Ecu in aid to the earthquake victims of western Macedonia. The grant is described as of a symbolic and humanitarian nature, designed to meet the immediate needs of the victims, and will be disbursed through the Greek Red Cross.

    A Commission spokeswoman said the Greek authorities had requested the drawing up of a special programme for the reconstruction of the stricken area. This would have to meet two conditions, she said: firstly, that funds would have to be drawn from those already envisaged for Greece under the Community Support Framework; and secondly, that there would be "a strict application of selectivity criteria", meaning that funds would have to be devoted to the reconstruction of infrastructure, and not to private investment or housing.

    Meanwhile, Greek Commissioner Christos Papoutsis has asked the Commission's competent departments to carry out a seismological study of the area in order to ascertain the likelihood of new earthquakes.

    [4] President to visit Kozani, Grevena

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will visit the earthquake-stricken regions of Kozani and Grevena on Sunday, according to an announcement yesterday.

    [5] Venizelos on confidential Cyprus talks: Athens informed

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    The participation of the Greek-Cypriot side in confidential consultations in London was decided by the Cyprus government which informed Athens accordingly, government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday.

    The spokesman was replying to questions on the consultations currently underway with the participation of representatives from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides as well as British and American officials, who initiated the talks.

    Replying to other questions, Mr. Venizelos said that the issue of the talks was not discussed during the recent visit of the Cyprus National Council to Greece. He added that co-operation between Athens and Nicosia was "excellent" and "better than at any other time". Mr. Venizelos declined to make any comment on the actual talks.

    [6] Partnership for Peace exercise proceeding well

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    The organisers of a military exercise in the southern Peloponnese in which troops from four Balkan nations and the United States have participated for the first time yesterday expressed complete satisfaction over the results of the first day.

    The five-day exercise, code-named "New Spirit '95" and bringing together military forces from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and the US, is part of Nato's Partnership for Peace initiative aimed at bringing former communist states closer to membership in the Western defence union. The combined land, sea and air exercise which got underway yesterday is being staged near the city of Kalamata.

    According to the scenario of the exercise, a devastating earthquake hits Kalamata and the task of providing humanitarian aid and rescuing the injured is undertaken by Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the US who send troops to the region. It is the first time Albanian soldiers are taking part in an operation outside the country.

    [7] Papoulias confers with Evert on US visit, movement needed on Skopje dispute, he says

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias said yesterday that ways must be found to resolve the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and that Skopje President Kiro Gligorov "must come to the negotiating table". Mr. Papoulias was replying to reporters' questions after a 30-minute meeting with main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert who briefed the foreign minister on the results of his recent visit to the US.

    "Ways must be found to disentangle ourselves from a problem which has been plaguing Greek foreign policy for a number of years now, without, of course, betraying our fundamental principles," Mr. Papoulias said.

    Asked if he thought there would soon be developments on the Skopje issue, Mr. Papoulias replied that "this does not depend on the Greek side which has clearly stated its positions. Kiro Gligorov must come to the negotiating table." Mr. Papoulias described Mr. Evert's US visit as "a good appearance as a supporter of our national issues", stressing that national issues were free of party labels.

    Replying to another question on the handling of the Skopje issue, Mr. Papoulias said both he and Mr. Evert agreed that the problem between Athens and Skopje had to be resolved "so that Greece can fully exploit all the possibilities which it has not only in the Balkans but also in the greater region".

    Mr. Papoulias also expressed cautious optimism about a settlement of the Bosnian problem. "All the efforts being made by the Greek and other governments are aimed at finding a solution. We might be close," he said. "One must be cautious," he added, "because even the most optimistic forecasts on this major problem can be dashed at the last moment."

    [8] Venizelos on Nimetz statements

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    The framework in which the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is being handled is that which has been set by the United Nations, government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday. Mr. Venizelos was replying to questions on statements by US presidential envoy on Skopje Matthew Nimetz, who reportedly said that the Skopje issue was a Balkan problem.

    The spokesman said that he was unaware of the exact content of Mr. Nimetz' statements, adding that the Skopje issue was also a Balkan problem.

    [9] Mitsotakis

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Mr. Evert also met yesterday with honorary New Democracy president and former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Mitsotakis said that the meetings held by Mr. Evert in the US were good and that the discussion was held in a cordial climate. He added that internal party issues were not discussed.

    Referring to the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Mitsotakis said that Greece should insist on the so-called "large package" of issues for negotiation. "We should not do (Skopje President Kiro) Gligorov any favours," he said, adding that the issue of the name should not be isolated, which would mean "we have lost". Such an outcome, he added, would mean a national defeat, instability and friction in t he Balkans, which is not in the interests either of Greece or the US.

    [10] Valyrakis meets Iakovos in New York

    New York, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Public Order Minister Sifis Valyrakis yesterday met with Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos. Mr. Valyrakis, who is the United States at the invitation of the US-Cretan Associations to take part in celebrations marking the Battle of Crete, discussed developments in national issues as well as Greek-American issues with the archbishop. Mr. Valyrakis described his meeting as "important".

    The minister met with US government officials in Washington later yesterday and discussed issues related to combating terrorism and the drugs trade.

    The archbishop also received Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday.

    [11] Arsenis in Thrace

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis yesterday began a two-day tour of the region of Thrace. He was briefed by the leadership of the Fourth Army Corps in Xanthi and later gave a speech at the Officers Club.

    Today Mr. Arsenis is scheduled to tour surrounding villages of the town of Xanthi and will arrive in Komotini at noon for meetings with officers. He will return to Athens tonight.

    [12] Athens court to hear Vardinoyannis inheritance dispute in October

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    An Athens first instance court yesterday set the date for the hearing of civil actions brought by the son and daughter of the founder of the Vardinoyannis Group against their two uncles who administer the group. The court set the hearing for October 5. The actions were lodged yesterday by Pyrros and Ioanna Vardinoyannis, the son and daughter of Nikolaos I. Vardinoyannis who founded the powerful group.

    The plaintiffs, residents of London and Washington respectively, are requesting that a court official be appointed to record all the assets to which they are entitled under their father's will and the way in which they have been used up to now. In the actions, against Vardis and Theodore Vardinoyannis, the plaintiffs claim that upon the death of their father, on July 2, 1973, due to the fact that they were minors at the time, the administration of the property and assets which they inherited was assigned to their two uncles.

    Since then, they maintain, their uncles have never informed them about the assets, even after they came of age and despite repeated written and verbal protests. Last April, Pyrros and Ioanna Vardinoyannis notified their uncles that they were taking over the administration of the assets and asked to be informed about them. The plaintiffs state in their actions that they were forced to have recourse to justice when their uncles failed to respond to this request.

    [13] Turkish MPs to attend trial of pseudo-mufti

    Istanbul, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    A delegation of Turkish MPs was due to arrive in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, last night to attend today's hearing of the self-styled "mufti" of Komotini, Ibrahim Sherif. According to an Anatolian news agency report from Komotini, the delegation is composed of the President of the Turkish National Assembly's Human Rights Committee, Republican Populist Party (CHP) deputy Sabri Yavuz, True Path Party (DYP) deputy Mehmet Ozkan and Motherland Party deputy Bulent Akarcali.

    The Anatolian news agency also reported that members of the Moslem minority in Western Thrace were due in Thessaloniki yesterday to attend the hearing. Sherif has been charged with unlawfully assuming the title of mufti of Komotini in 1991 for a brief period.

    [14] Anglican Church delegation visits the Phanar

    Istanbul, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    A delegation of the Anglican Church yesterday paid an official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to discuss Church issues, according to an announcement.

    [15] Thessaloniki churches donate four million to Patriarchate

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    A representation of the Thessaloniki Metropolis, headed by Metropolitan Panteleimon, has left for Istanbul to deliver four million drachmas to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos as economic aid for the Patriarchate. The amount was collected from churches in Thessaloniki. The members of the representation will then tour the cities of Bursa and Izmir.

    [16] New ambassador to Turkey meets publishers

    Istanbul, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Greece's new ambassador to Turkey Dimitris Nezeritis yesterday had an acquaintance meeting with a group of Turkish newspaper publishers and managing editors. Also present at the meeting was the Greek Embassy's press adviser Stavros Stathoulopoulos. The ambassador was quoted as saying that "we are in favour of Turkey's stability". Before the meeting, Mr. Nezeritis and his wife visited the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    [17] Rokofyllos to visit Cyprus

    Athens, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    Alternate Industry Minister Christos Rokofyllos will pay an official visit to Cyprus June 7-9, at the invitation of Cypriot Industry Minister Kyriakos Christophis. During his stay, Mr. Rokofyllos will meet with government officials to discuss issues of industrial co-operation and will also attend a one-day conference entitled "The role of ensuring quality for the boosting of competitiveness".

    Mr. Rokofyllos will also meet with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Parliament Deputy Speaker Nikos Galanos and Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    [18] Avramopoulos gets promise of aid for quake victims from UN

    United Nations, 24/05/1995 (ANA):

    The UN is ready to assist the Greek government to confront the repercussions of the series of earthquakes which have struck northwest Greece recently, according to an announcement issued by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's office on Monday afternoon, after the UN chief met with visiting Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    "The UN Secretary-General expressed his profound regret over human pain and destruction caused by the major earthquakes which have struck northern Greece recently. He reassured the Athens Mayor that the UN is ready to assist the Greek government to confront the repercussions of the earthquakes, the more than 8,000 homeless and damage to buildings and infrastructure works amounting to 456 million dollars," the announcement said.

    Mr. Avramopoulos told a press conference he requested moral and material support from the organisation in his capacity as President of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE), adding that the Secretary-General's response was "moving". He said he informed Dr. Boutros-Ghali of the Athens Municipality's decision to honour him with a decoration of distinction when he came to Athens to receive the Onassis Award.

    Mr. Avramopoulos said he exchanged views with the Secretary-General on the Cyprus question and the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) without going into details. "We have confidence in Dr. Boutros-Ghali's initiatives and handling. He is doing very good work," he added.

    Mr. Avramopoulos disclosed that Athens had undertaken an initiative to help in the process of resolving national issues. He said he had organised a meeting in October of mayors from all capitals of countries in south-eastern Europe, including the Mayor of Skopje.

    End of English language section.

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