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A.N.A. Bulletin, 04/10/95

From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No. 706), October 4, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Athens relieved Gligorov survives assassination attempt, bilateral talks continue

  • [2] Opposition ND ready to govern, Evert tells deputies

  • [3] 21 years of New Democracy

  • [4] Premier confers with Skandalidis on party matters

  • [5] Gov't to broach war reparations issue with Bonn

  • [6] Kaklamanis meets with Chilean deputy House speaker

  • [7] Prominent Greek expatriates expected at World Council of Overseas Hellenism

  • [8] Greek aid to Turkish quake victims arrives in Ankara, Alavanos calls on EU to send assistance

  • [9] Greece cooperating with European countries in fight against terrorism

  • [10] No decision on Skaramangas expected from Brussels today

  • [11] Tourist firms object to exclusion from talks on advertising funding

  • [12] CoE Social Development Fund highlights activities in Greece

  • [13] Environmental technology exhibition to be held November


  • [1] Athens relieved Gligorov survives assassination attempt, bilateral talks continue

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia President Kiro Gligorov appeared to be out of danger late last night after surgery for serious injuries sustained in a car bomb attack in central Skopje that left his driver dead and five others injured.

    In Athens, where the news of the assassination attempt briefly interrupted the first official contacts between the two countries, the government expressed its relief at the failed attempt on Mr. Gligorov's life and wished him a speedy recovery.

    The attempt was immediately condemned by Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and opposition leaders. A C-130 military transport plane left Thessaloniki for Skopje at 6:10pm last night, carrying a team of specialists and surgical equipment to assist doctors treating Mr. Gligorov. The team - composed of George Foroglou, Antonis Antoniadis, Panayiotis Silviaridis, Efthymios Sofianos and Stefanos Triaridis - was put together by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Dinos Triaridis.

    "Aid was requested by the Skopjan government and at the order of the Greek government I prepared the group of doctors to offer the aid we were under moral obligation to offer," Mr. Triaridis said.

    Two hours after the attempt on Mr. Gligorov's life, all traffic into and from FYROM was closed at the Evzonoi border post. In the afternoon, FYROM customs officials started to gradually allow vehicles into their country but did not permit vehicles and passengers from Skopje to enter Greece. Press reports said there was increased security on the border, a normal occurrence under the circumstances. The border between Greece and FYROM continued to be closed until late last night.

    In a message to Mr. Gligorov, Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou expressed his "great regret" at the attempt on the FYROM leader's life. "On behalf of the Greek government and myself personally, I wish to express our sympathy and best wishes for a speedy recovery," he said. "I am convinced that you share my view, Mr. President, that acts of terrorism should not obstruct the continuation of efforts for the strengthening of stability in our region," he added.

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said the government "expressed its satisfaction and relief that Mr. Gligorov has survived the attack." He said Athens had expressed its "abhorrence over the attack and grief for the victims, and wishes the FYROM president a speedy recovery."

    The first contacts between Athens and Skopje in the framework of the two nations' interim accord to normalize bilateral relations were interrupted yesterday morning when news of the assassination attempt reached the foreign ministry but talks resumed in the afternoon. The meetings are being held in order to work out the technical details ahead of the official implementation of the accord, such as travel documents and the establishment of a FYROM liaison office in Athens.

    Mr. Hytiris said the talks "are continuing normally," adding that he did not believe the attempt would "create problems in the implementation of the interim agreement." Mr. Hytiris refused to comment when asked who would benefit if Mr. Gligorov was out of the way, but said "Greece favors peace in the region, which should not be disrupted in any way."

    The Greek delegation is headed by Ambassador Dimitrios Kypraios, director of the Balkan Issues Directorate at the Foreign Ministry. The eight-member FYROM delegation, which arrived in Thessaloniki on Monday, is headed by Lupco Arsorski, a senior foreign ministry official.

    All opposition leaders expressed their outrage at the attempt on Mr. Gligorov's life and their relief at its failure.

    The main opposition New Democracy party and leader Miltiades Evert both issued statements condemning the attempt. "We are against any form of violence from wherever it may emanate, especially violence intended as a possible destabilization (effort) in the Balkans. We wish Mr. Gligorov a speedy recovery," Mr. Evert said.

    "Fortunately, Mr. Gligorov was saved, otherwise we would have complications and new problems," ND deputy president Ioannis Varvitsiotis said. In another statement, ND honorary president and former premier Constantine Mitsotakis also expressed his satisfaction that the attempt had failed, saying "destabilization in this neighboring republic is the last thing that Greece would wish."

    Political Spring spokesman Notis Martakis said his party condemned the attack against Mr. Gligorov "because we believe that terrorism, as all acts of violence, does not provide solutions. On the contrary, it complicates matters which, in particularly unstable regions, can take on uncontrollable dimensions."

    "The attempt against (Mr.) Gligorov confirms that there are forces and interests which do not want an abatement but an exacerbation of differences and a policy of divide and rule," the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said.

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress stressed that "the plans of those behind this criminal act must not be allowed to succeed... the path of open dialogue with the neighboring state must remain open and be widened".

    [2] Opposition ND ready to govern, Evert tells deputies

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert said yesterday the country was "at a critical turning point, both in internal and foreign affairs".

    Speaking at a meeting of the ND Parliamentary Group, Mr. Evert accused the government of incompetence and committing continuous gaffes, as in the cases of the partial privatization of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and the Skaramangas shipyards. He said the opposition party's programme, envisaging modernization, development, social justice, and decentralization was ready, and predicted that whenever elections were held, ND would win.

    Regarding the recently-signed interim accord with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where Greece was referred to as the 'First Party', he said it was the first time that the country became a signatory to a treaty without being mentioned by its name. He reiterated the party positions on the so-called 'large packet' of issues for negotiation, which would have included that of the name for FYROM, with the exclusion of the term 'Macedonia' and any of its derivatives. He added that if any European country recognized the neighboring state under the name "Macedonia" alone, New Democracy would table a censure motion.

    Concerning Greek-Albanian relations, he accused the government of "superficiality", saying that prospects of progress appeared good before the recent Athens meeting "but the Athens meeting belied expectations, and the issues of visas, of schools for the ethnic Greek minority and the Church in Albania are now going backwards".

    Mr. Evert also criticized the government for its handling of issue of Turkey's customs union with the European Union, specifying that his party was in favor of dialogue with Turkey on the conditions of good faith, thorough preparation on the part of Greece, and the setting of an agenda. He added that Turkey was trying to create the impression that it desired dialogue. He said the government was responsible for an atmosphere of "opulence and mediaeval decadence".

    Deputy president Ioannis Varvitsiotis said the country was absent from developments in the Balkans and in Europe, and attacked the government for "giving in to pressures" on foreign affairs. He added that the prospect of a Greek-Turkish dialogue under t he present government "frightened" him. He claimed that opinion polls gave the lead to New Democracy, but this was not sufficient because there were many undecided voters, and asked the party to intensify efforts to appeal to the broader population.

    [3] 21 years of New Democracy

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    A resolution was read to the meeting on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the founding of the party today, saying that its great historical options had been vindicated, and that it guaranteed the continuity of normalcy and democratic life. It added that the party would "forge ahead in unity, faith, self-sacrifice, and consistency".

    When Mr. Evert asked that the resolution be approved by a show of hands, deputy for Pieria Nikos Kakkalos objected to the term 'self-sacrifice' but was refused permission to speak, and in a verbal exchange with the party leader later, he reminded Mr. Evert he was "the first among equals".

    Deputy Michalis Liapis asked that decisions on prominent issues be adopted by party organs on the majority principle, and referred to the existence of a "communication vacuum", saying that "we cannot get messages across, because we have a murky policy". He added that the party had avoided confronting vested interests when in power.

    Commenting on Mr. Evert's speech, Press Minister and government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said the New Democracy leader was being "alarmist and irresponsible and dreaming of victories, as usual".

    [4] Premier confers with Skandalidis on party matters

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou held talks with PASOK Executive Bureau member Costas Skandalidis yesterday on forthcoming changes in the ruling PASOK party in light of the Central Committee meeting expected in mid-October, during which a new party secretary will be elected and reorganization or elections will be held for the Executive Committee.

    According to reports, Mr. Skandalidis will be the leading candidate for the post of secretary. He has made no comment, however, saying the Central Committee was the paramount agency. Mr. Skandalidis disagreed with the view expressed by PASOK Eurodeputy and PASOK Executive Bureau member Paraskevas Avgerinos at the Executive Committee meeting on Monday in which he called for an extraordinary congress, saying PASOK had no need of a congress to be convened since it had the capability to regroup its forces and win the next elections.

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris yesterday confirmed that Mr. Avgerinos raised the issue of the party's leadership at Monday's meeting. He specified that the relevant proposal was not seconded by anyone else and rejected, and added that it would have no disciplinary implications for Mr. Avgerinos.

    Meanwhile, Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, who left for the NATO defence ministers meeting in Williamsburg, USA, yesterday morning, said he would undertake initiatives for the formation of a unifying Executive Bureau upon his return.

    [5] Gov't to broach war reparations issue with Bonn

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    The government announced yesterday that it would raise the question of German war reparations with Bonn, but did not elaborate further. Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said the issue had not been raised with German Defence Minister Volker Ruehe during his recent visit to Greece, "nor will it be raised at this (ministerial) level." He did not clarify when or how the issue would be raised.

    [6] Kaklamanis meets with Chilean deputy House speaker

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday briefed Chilean Parliament Vice President Theodoro Ribera Newman on Greece's national issues and the Balkan situation. Mr. Kaklamanis stressed the need for a new perspective of Balkan states' relations in order to "establish peace and stability in the Balkans." Mr. Newman, who is on an official visit to Greece, has conveyed to Mr. Kaklamanis an invitation by his Chilean counter-part to visit San Diego as head of an inter-party parliamentary delegation.

    [7] Prominent Greek expatriates expected at World Council of Overseas Hellenism

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    Prominent Greeks from all over the world have been invited to attend the founding conference of the World Council of Overseas Hellenism, to be held in Thessaloniki from November 29 to December 8. The personalities include archbishops, government ministers, senators and congressmen as well as distinguished scientists, artists and literary figures.

    The conference will be officially opened on December 3 by President Kostis Stephanopoulos during a ceremony to be attended by Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and opposition party leaders. A total of 260 delegates will attend the conference, representing the 3,000 organizations of the approximately seven million expatriate Greeks.

    At the end of the conference, the first World Council of Overseas Greeks will be elected. The council will convene once a year in Thessaloniki, its seat.

    [8] Greek aid to Turkish quake victims arrives in Ankara, Alavanos calls on EU to send assistance

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    Greece sent a specialist medical team, an ambulance and equipment to Ankara on Monday to help efforts to save victims of the devastating earthquake which struck southeast Turkey on Sunday.

    In Brussels meanwhile, Greek Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos tabled a motion at the European Parliament calling for the European Union's prompt and substantive intervention for victims of the Turkish quake. "Substantive political differences between the EU and the Turkish government on human rights should not constitute an obstacle to the EU's humanitarian action, which can soothe the pain of the tragic victims of the major natural disaster which took place in Turkey's Dinar region," a draft resolution said.

    The draft resolution calls on the Commission to activate the ECHO programme (a Community humanitarian organization) for aid in foodstuffs, medicine and tents and requests Community contribution to compensation for earthquake victims and co-operation between EU and Turkish seismological centers.

    [9] Greece cooperating with European countries in fight against terrorism

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    Public Order Minister Sifis Valyrakis said yesterday that Greece was cooperating with four European countries in an effort to obtain information about terrorist acts in Greece, particularly those involving groups led by the infamous terrorist Carlos.

    Mr. Valyrakis said Greek police officers were due to interrogate Johanes Weinrich, currently being held in prison in Germany, on October 17. According to files of the notorious former East German state security police Stasi, which have been examined by the Greek authorities, Weinrich participated in an assassination attempt on the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Greece in 1983. The same files implicate Weinrich as a member of the Greek terrorist group Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA).

    Meanwhile, France is expected to provide Greece with new information obtained from the interrogation of Carlos. Mr. Valyrakis said that although France had up to now adopted a negative stance on the issue, Paris had indicated that Greece should submit a new application to obtain information about terrorism.

    At the same time, Mr. Valyrakis said, Greece was again in contact with Germany, Hungary, Romania and France to obtain information about terrorist acts in Greece, particularly those involving groups led by Carlos.

    The public order minister said that the Greek police was reorganizing the service which provides protection to high-risk "targets." A committee has already been set up, he added, to re-examine which persons should be considered possible targets of terrorist attacks and decide on security measures to be taken. Thousands of police officers are currently assigned to guard duties.

    [10] No decision on Skaramangas expected from Brussels today

    Brussels, 04/10/1995 (ANA/P. Pantelis):

    The European Commission's decision on the Greek government's proposal to salvage the Skaramangas Shipyards is expected to be delayed another week. The decision was due to be announced at the European Commission's weekly meeting today but is expected to be delayed. The Commission recently received supplementary clarifications from relevant services on its queries on the Greek proposal but has not yet completed its study of the Greek reply.

    According to Community sources, Commissioner Karel Van Miert will brief today's meeting on the Greek proposal but will request a few days' extension to give him time to prepare his proposal. The issue is ultimately expected to be discussed by the Commission on October 11.

    [11] Tourist firms object to exclusion from talks on advertising funding

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Federation of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) expressed dissatisfaction over the exclusion of its members (including six presidents of tourist vocational agencies) from recent discussions in Athens with foreign tour operators invited to Greece.

    In an announcement yesterday, SETE alluded to "an effort at one-sided exploitation of state funds for advertising" and "non-transparency" during talks on joint funding for an advertising campaign abroad.

    SETE, which represents the biggest tourist enterprises in the country, complained that "selective telephone invitations were made which inaugurated a new protocol of behavior" for participation in the dinner following talks and, consequently, its members refused to attend. SETE said methodisation "proved the effort to keep the overwhelming majority of business organizations away from the tour operators, establishing a new mode of 'co-operation' between the Tourism Ministry and firms."

    [12] CoE Social Development Fund highlights activities in Greece

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Council of Europe's (CoE) Social Development Fund, the international agency responsible for the most loans to Greece, highlighted its activities during an Athens press conference yesterday. Present at the event were the Italian president of the fund's board of directors, Romeo dalla Chiesa, French director Raphael Alomar and the fund's Greek vice-president Konstantinos Vgenopoulos.

    The CoE fund has in the last decade approved loans worth 849 million ECU to Greece - or 10.5 per cent of its total of seven billion ECU. The fund has allocated some 250 million ECU for damages stemming from the 1986 earthquake in Kalamata and 100 million ECU to tackle damage from last year's flooding.

    Another 751 million ECU has been approved for future construction, including a 300 million ECU loan for the quake-stricken areas of Aigion, Kozani and Grevena. The loan will be disbursed after the National Economy Ministry submits an estimate of damages or a programme for repairs, expected by the end of the month.

    The CoE fund's leadership also met yesterday with Health and Welfare Minister Dimitrios Kremastinos. The meeting dealt with possible financing of a proposed hospital in the Haidari district of Athens and a new network of regional hospitals and health clinics.

    Credits totaling 2.6 billion drachmas were announced yesterday for the completion of roadwork on the Athens-Yliki highway, north of the capital.

    [13] Environmental technology exhibition to be held November

    Athens, 04/10/1995 (ANA):

    A Heleco '95 exhibition entitled "Environmental Technology for the Mediterranean Basin", slated for November 9-12, was announced yesterday by the Greek Technical Chamber of Commerce. The exhibition will include a conference, and is being held under the aegis of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    Among the officials scheduled to speak at the exhibition and conference are environment ministers from Mediterranean nations and the Balkans as well as Russia and the Ukraine. OECD officials and representatives from the European Union's environmental agency are also scheduled to speak.

    Solid waste, industrial accidents, anti-pollution technology for automobiles, recycling and energy issues are the main focus of the exhibition.

    The Heleco exhibition marks the largest international environmental technology event in the Mediterranean, held every two years.

    Greek and foreign companies, universities, research centers, environmental organizations and others will participate.

    For more information, contact Horizon Ltd., Nikis 14, Athens 105 57, tel.: 725-7693-5, fax: 725-7532.

    Greenpeace's ship "Altair" will arrive in Piraeus tomorrow, continuing its anti-nuclear briefing campaign. The "Altair" has already visited the ports of Thessaloniki and Volos. The ship will be open to the public from 6pm to 10pm tomorrow afternoon. It will be anchored at the docks in front of Ayios Spyridon.

    End of English language section.

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