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A.N.A. Bulletin, 05/10/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No. 707), October 5, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] 'Constructive' Athens-Skopje talks end with 'mutual goodwill', new round on Tuesday in FYROM

  • [2] UN 'concerned but encouraged'

  • [3] PASOK MPs propose name

  • [4] Inflation running at 8.4 per cent - Papantoniou says economic policy will not change

  • [5] Political Spring

  • [6] Greek 'peace train' of aid to Bosnian Serbs to leave on October 26

  • [7] SE European mayors meet in Athens to lay groundwork for better relations

  • [8] Bulgaria asks for re-opening of Exohi border post

  • [9] President marks Germany's National Day

  • [10] Clinton wants dialogue on Aegean waters

  • [11] Hytiris lashes out at 'irresponsible' Evert comments

  • [12] PASOK officials say personal ambitions fuel so-called leadership issue

  • [13] Merchant fleet gains five new vessels

  • [14] OLP to spend 13 billion on upgrading facilities

  • [15] Peponis says partial privatization of DEP in the offing

  • [16] ETBA denies it will be taking back sinking Nafsi shipyards

  • [17] Tax rebates for fuel for farmers announced

  • [18] Greece bestows Greek nationality on esteemed French scholar


  • [1] 'Constructive' Athens-Skopje talks end with 'mutual goodwill', new round on Tuesday in FYROM

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    The first round of talks between Athens and Skopje over the details of the recently-signed interim accord ended last night with both sides agreeing the talks had been conducted in a constructive atmosphere. The two-day talks were held in "climate of mutual goodwill and in a constructive atmosphere", Foreign Ministry spokesman Costas Bikas said. The talks will resume on Tuesday in Skopje.

    Agreeing with Mr. Bikas on the climate of the talks, the head of the FYROM delegation, Assistant Foreign Minister Lupco Arsorski said the atmosphere was "absolutely cooperative" and that many issues had been discussed.

    The Greek delegation is led by the Foreign Ministry's director of Balkan Affairs Ambassador Dimitris Kypraios, who concurred with his interlocutor that the prevailing atmosphere was constructive. The talks examined the issues of movement of people and goods as well as practical details on the establishment of liaison offices. Talks yesterday began at 9pm, rather than 6pm as initially scheduled, after a "breathing space" agreed upon by both sides to codify their proposals after the morning session.

    The bilateral talks on normalization of relations between the two countries were briefly interrupted Tuesday when news of the assassination attempt against FYROM President Kiro Gligorov reached Athens, but they resumed in the afternoon.

    "Certainly the talks will continue," said Mr. Arsorski yesterday, after a brief meeting with Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias, which was also attended by Mr. Kypraios. During the meeting, Mr. Papoulias again expressed the government's best wishes for the speedy recovery of Mr. Gligorov. Mr. Arsorski thanked the Greek side for its interest and for sending a Greek medical team to Skopje.

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said Greece's concern over the health of Mr. Gligorov continued "unabated". Mr. Hytiris said that Athens considered "the good course of Mr. Gligorov's health to be very important for the maintenance of stability in the region."

    Replying to press questions, Mr. Hytiris said that Greece had no particular information concerning the situation of Mr. Gligorov's health. The spokesman said he did not know if the Greek authorities had been asked to assist in the investigation of the assassination attempt.

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos sent a message to Mr. Gligorov yesterday, wishing him a speedy recovery.

    Communist Party of Greece honorary president Harilaos Florakis also sent a message to Mr. Gligorov condemning the attack and wishing him a quick recovery.

    [2] UN 'concerned but encouraged'

    United Nations, 05/10/1995 (ANA/M. Georgiadou):

    UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is concerned over possible repercussions of the assassination attempt on Mr. Gligorov on the implementation of an interim accord between Greece and FYROM and new talks scheduled between the two countries under UN sponsorship, Mr. Boutros-Ghali's spokesman Joe Sills said yesterday.

    Mr. Sills praised the Greek government's gesture in sending two neurosurgeons to FYROM. "Certainly, the Secretary-General is concerned. But we are particularly encouraged by the fact that talks are continuing in Athens and are continuing today... We should feel concerned but prospects are good because talks are continuing," Mr. Sills said. Mr. Sills said the UN had been told by FYROM that Mr. Gligorov's life was not in danger.

    Meanwhile, in his address to the 50th UN General Assembly, FYROM Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski said the interim accord "settled many aspects of the relations between the two countries and lays the foundations for co-operation and good neighborly relations". "We believe that this accord will contribute to greater stability in the Balkans and will have a positive effect on future developments in the region," he said.

    [3] PASOK MPs propose name

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Eleven deputies of the ruling PASOK party yesterday submitted a letter to Parliament proposing that FYROM be named "Republic of the Central Balkans." According to Parliament sources, the MPs said in their letter that if their proposal was accepted, the Greek government should immediately set in motion the procedures for the accession of FYROM into the European Union.

    The proposal is signed by MPs Christos Kypouros, Antonis Drossoyannis (a former minister), Ilias Vlahopoulos, Manolis Papastefanakis, Christos Magoufis, Anestis Saatsoglou, Pantelis Tsertikidis, Leonidas Tzannis, Dimitris Tsentines and Paraskevas Foundas.

    "Considering that it is the only serious (name) proposal to have been submitted, 11 deputies have undertaken an initiative to advance it to the government via the Greek Parliament," Mr. Kypouros said.

    [4] Inflation running at 8.4 per cent - Papantoniou says economic policy will not change

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday that the Greek economy was pulling out of its recession and that the coming year would be one of growth and social justice. Speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, Mr. Papantoniou said the "tough and insistent" policies of the past two years had led to lower inflation and interest rates, thus laying the basis for growth and social justice.

    Figures released yesterday showed inflation running at 8.4 per cent. Mr. Papantoniou added that with recovery already underway, 1996 would be the year of growth, provided that the government remained steadfast on the principles of its economic policy.

    The National Statistics Service said that inflation was running at 8.4 per cent at the end of September compared to 11.9 and 12.8 per cent in September 1994 and 1993. The Consumer Price Index rose three per cent in September over August figures, due primarily to an 8.2 per cent rise in the clothing-footwear index, an 11.3 per cent increase in the education-training-entertainment index, and a 7.4 per cent increase in the durable goods and household consumer item index. There were slighter increases in the foodstuffs, housing and transport-communications indices.

    [5] Political Spring

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Political Spring party spokesman Notis Martakis, however, dismissed Mr. Papantoniou's comments. "The government prides itself of its economic policy at a time when thousands of businesses are closing down, unemployment has surpassed all precedents, the core of inflation remains unchanged, and workers' and pensioners' income is being withered away by price hikes," he said.

    [6] Greek 'peace train' of aid to Bosnian Serbs to leave on October 26

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    A train carrying humanitarian aid to the Bosnian Serb refugees is scheduled to leave Greece for Bosnia on October 26, it was announced yesterday. The aid, consisting of 10,000 tonnes of clothing, pharmaceuticals and foodstuff, has been organized within the framework of efforts by the "Macedonian-Thrace Coordination Committee for Aid to the Orthodox Serbs of Bosnia."

    Committee representatives told a press conference yesterday, that they hoped the "peace train" would be constantly carrying aid to the Serbian refugees. The committee has been established at the initiative of the Balkan Strategy Development Institute and the Greek-Serbian Association. Its members include prefectures, northern Greek cities, local municipalities, chambers and public and private enterprises.

    [7] SE European mayors meet in Athens to lay groundwork for better relations

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    The first meeting of mayors of the capitals of southeast Europe is being held at the Athens Zappeion Hall today and tomorrow, on the initiative of Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos. "The creation of this authentic organ for regional co-operation will contribute to the consolidation of relations between the peoples of the countries of southeast Europe, but also to the stability of this much troubled corner of Europe," Mr. Avramopoulos told a press conference yesterday.

    "The aim of the initiative is not simply the holding of a 'one-off' gathering, but the creation of a permanent conference of the mayors of the countries of southeast Europe... (not only) with the aim of securing the implementation of co-operation agreements, but also the continuous communication and co-operation between cities," Mr. Avramopoulos said. He said he hoped the conference would take place on an annual basis in different capitals, with a coordinating bureau.

    Taking part are the mayors of Belgrade, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Zagreb, Kiev, Nicosia, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, and Tirana. Commenting on the absence of the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul, Mr. Avramopoulos said: "It means nothing. I am sure they will soon ask to participate. The door is open". Under-secretary to the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Ministry George Daskalakis will greet participants on behalf of the prime minister.

    [8] Bulgaria asks for re-opening of Exohi border post

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Blagovest Sendov said yesterday that the opening of the Exohi customs post on the Greek-Bulgarian border would contribute to the further development of economic relations between the two Balkan neighbors. Mr. Sendov made the statement during a meeting on Bulgarian soil with a Greek delegation, headed by Drama Prefect Socrates Dimitriadis. The meeting was held at the initiative of Mr. Sendov and took place after the Greek National Defence Ministry had been notified. Mr. Sendov was accompanied by ruling party deputies, prefects, mayors and technical advisers.

    During the meeting, Mr. Sendov and the deputies of Bulgaria's ruling party spoke at length about the possibilities for trans-border co-operation with Greece an d proposed the immediate opening of the Exohi customs post in Drama. The Bulgarian side indirectly linked the opening of the post with the forthcoming Greek-Bulgarian agreement on the management of the waters of the Nestos River.

    Mr. Dimitriadis replied that the issue would be settled following bilateral contacts at a high government level and a bilateral agreement between the two states. Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of setting up Greek-Bulgarian joint ventures.

    [9] President marks Germany's National Day

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday sent a message of congratulations to his German counterpart Roman Hertzog on the occasion of Germany's national day. "On behalf of the Greek people and myself, I would like to convey my sincere wishes for the progress and welfare of the German people," Mr. Stephanopoulos' message read.

    "I am convinced, Mr. President, that the excellent relations of friendship and co-operation between our two countries will continue to develop in the future, on both a bilateral and European Union level, to the benefit of both our peoples and Europe, the stability and progress of which, I am certain, constitute our common goals."

    [10] Clinton wants dialogue on Aegean waters

    Washington, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    US President Bill Clinton strongly desires a dialogue and compromise between Greece and Turkey on the issue of territorial waters in the Aegean Sea. This was stressed in a letter of reply President Clinton addressed to Congress Foreign Relations Committee President Benjamin Gilman on the issue.

    Saying he shared Mr. Gilman's concern, President Clinton stressed that tension in relations between Greece and Turkey could have disastrous results for US interests. President Clinton assured Mr. Gilman that the US would continue to closely watch developments in the Aegean and would exert its influence to persuade the two governments to resolve their differences peacefully.

    Greece has sent a significant amount of aid to victims of the quake in the Turkish city of Dinar in the southeast, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said yesterday. Two planeloads of supplies as well as a rescue team, seven doctors, nurses and two geological engineers have been sent so far, with an offer for more aid if necessary.

    Chief of the Austrian National Defence General Staff, Carl Manhen, is due to arrive in Athens for a visit on October 10-12 at the official invitation of his Greek counterpart, Admiral Christos Lymberis. During his visit, the Austrian army chief will have talks with Greek National Defence Under-secretary Nikos Kouris and Admiral Lymberis.

    The Chief of Jordan's Air Force is due to visit Athens on Sunday at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, Brigadier General (Air) Athanasios Tzoganis. During his visit, the Jordanian official will visit military units and archaeological sites.

    [11] Hytiris lashes out at 'irresponsible' Evert comments

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Press and Media Minister Telemachos Hytiris yesterday said main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert's comments at a meeting of the ND Parliamentary Group on Monday were "thoughtless". Mr. Hytiris said the ND leader behaved in a "sensationally irresponsible" manner when he vowed to renegotiate Athens' recent agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Mr. Evert, he said, does not understand the issue as he should and was creating confusion among ND's supporters and officials with his constant shifts on the Skopje issue, which the press minister said he estimates at 18 so far.

    Concerning Mr. Evert's criticism of the state of the economy, the government spokesman again characterized the ND president as irresponsible, saying his remarks "do not help, but hinder the economy's positive direction".

    In response, New Democracy's press spokesman Vassilis Manginas asked the prime minister to bring the Greece-FYROM agreement to a vote in parliament "if he dares." Mr. Manginas said Mr. Hytiris' strategy stems from "the well-known politics of Mr. (Andreas) Papandreou, which aims to bind (PASOK) party cadres through acrimony and tension." The ND spokesman added that the Greek people "know that the PASOK government's direction leads from one tragic mistake to another, from one gaffe to another and from one impasse to another."

    [12] PASOK officials say personal ambitions fuel so-called leadership issue

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Prominent government officials yesterday played down the significance of former industry minister Costas Simitis' call Tuesday night for Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou to initiate procedures to name a successor. Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris refused to comment, saying this was standard practice concerning deputies' statements and views, adding there was no issue of referring Mr. Simitis to the party's disciplinary organs.

    He said the government was not concerned at the fact that several members had raised the issue of succession, and referred questioners to the prime minister's statement after the recent meeting of the ruling parliamentary party that he was vexed when members' activities and statements harmed PASOK.

    Interior, Public Administration, and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said it was every member's right to have ambitions for the leadership, but they were obliged to bring them forward at the party's next conference, scheduled for the spring of 1997, instead of airing them on the media. Interior Under-secretary George Daskalakis said there was no leadership issue, "simply an issue of personal ambitions projected through the creation of non-existent controversies".

    Meanwhile, seven members of the PASOK Evros Prefectural Regional Committee said they had submitted their resignations to the ruling party's central office. They said they had resigned because they were dissatisfied at the course of the movement.

    [13] Merchant fleet gains five new vessels

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    The size of the Greek merchant fleet increased by 48,498 GRT in September, according to figures released by the Merchant Marine Ministry. The figures showed that five merchant vessels with a total capacity of 126,250 GRT joined the Greek Shipping Register in September, while six vessels with a total capacity of 77,752 GRT left the register.

    Meanwhile, Merchant Marine Minister George Katsifaras said the implementation of the ministry's programme for 1995, as announced in January, was proceeding satisfactorily in all sectors. Reviewing the May-August period, Mr. Katsifaras said issues discussed and promoted included an agreement extending marine protection against pollution, maritime training and employment, seamen's welfare and insurance, protection of the marine environment, shipping safety, port infrastructure, marine communications, port police and security and organization and administration care.

    [14] OLP to spend 13 billion on upgrading facilities

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) will make investments in port projects and modern technological equipment totaling 13.250 billion drachmas in 1996, the OLP's board decided yesterday. OLP President Mr. Prasianakis said the investment programme was aimed at enabling Piraeus to play its upgraded role in the European Union to the full for the benefit of the country's economy.

    The investment programme anticipates new port projects costing 7.750 billion drachmas, the purchase of equipment costing 5.050 billion drachmas, expropriations and extensions 250 million drachmas as well as 200 million drachmas for studies and research. The biggest part of the programme will be subject to financing by European programmes and, primarily, the Cohesion Fund.

    [15] Peponis says partial privatization of DEP in the offing

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Industry Minister Anastasios Peponis told the 3rd Conference on Energy and Oil Policy yesterday that the government would decide and proceed to the partial privatization of either the Public Oil Company (DEP), or, at an initial stage, of its EKO subsidiary y. He called on businessmen to respect the rules of free competition and spoke against the speculative ethic.

    "When we are trying to make ailing enterprises viable, to secure as many jobs, to integrate new technologies in production, at the same time, we waste funds in casinos. We thus give emphasis to the message that the creative pursuit of profit may be a naivete, while the world of speculative enrichment is bright," he said.

    During a separate meeting with the board of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), Mr. Peponis said private enterprise had the right to aim at profits, but also had to undertake business risks.

    The 9th INFOSYSTEM - HI TECH international exhibition opened its gates at the HELEXPO installations in Thessaloniki yesterday, featuring various conferences and events. The UNESCO Regional Conference on the strategy for infomatics and telecommunications in the countries of the northern Mediterranean, which opens today, is one of the events taking place within the framework of the exhibition, while a conference on the application of infomatics and communications in the public sector is due to begin tomorrow.

    The exhibition has drawn 408 exhibitors from Greece and 16 other countries. The 170 foreign exhibitors come from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Japan, Ireland, Spain, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the UK, Singapore, Sweden, and the Far East Trading Centre.

    Greece will participate in the Cairo International Trade Fair, one of the Middle East's largest, from March 9-22. Greece's pavilion is 434 square meters, while its organization is being handled by the Hellenic Overseas Trade Board (HEPO). In addition, Greek producers will participate in an international wine and spirits fair in D0sseldorf from March 10-12.

    Another event is scheduled for October 25 by the Federation of Northern Greek Exporters (EBEA) on the presentation of the EU programme "Europartenariat Portugal 1995" slated for November 24-25 in Lisbon. Interested parties should contact HEPO for more information.

    Greek telecoms leader Intracom is participating in one of the world's top telecommunications and information trade exhibitions, "Telecom '95," currently underway in Geneva. The latest Intracom products are on display at the exhibition, which is held every four years by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in the Swiss city through October 11. This year's central theme is networking. The Greek company is displaying a wide range of products at the event that includes the world's largest private and public telecoms firms.

    [16] ETBA denies it will be taking back sinking Nafsi shipyards

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETBA) said yesterday it would not be taking over the recently-closed Nafsi Shipyards. The owners of the yards, the company I. Kalogeridis, Tuesday announced the closure of Nafsi in a letter to the Industry Ministry. The same company recently failed in a bid to buy Skaramangas Shipyards. In the letter, the company said that it was unable to continue operations and that the procedure had already been commenced for its return to ETBA.

    ETBA said in an announcement that it had sold NAFSI to I. Kalogeridis for the sum of 351,400,000 drachmas in cash. Citing the contract of sale, the bank said that the buyer had undertaken to guarantee 168 jobs and keep the yards operational for ten years. The bank added that there was no provision in the contract for a reversal of the sale.

    Speaking after a meeting with Nafsi workers' representatives, Industry Under-secretary Dinos Vrettos supported ETBA's position. "ETBA has no obligation to take over the Nafsi firm. The specific firm is private and, as a result, the sole responsibility of the owner," Mr. Vrettos said. He underlined that the contract of sale contained no clause enabling the reverting of the sale nor reference to any particular obligation of ETBA towards Nafsi.

    Meanwhile, Labor and Social Security Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said that if the closure was confirmed by the Labor Inspectorate, workers at the yards would be entitled to 12 months unemployment benefit and special allowances for those over the age of 55. Mr. Tzoumakas added that I. Kalogeridis owed the Social Security Foundation (IKA) approximately one billion drachmas.

    Meanwhile, both the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party and Political Spring criticized the government over the closure. ND deputy Vyron Polydoras said that the government had no policy on the shipbuilding and ship-repair sector and warned that thousands of workers faced the threat of unemployment. "This is due to the absence and incompetence of the government," he said.

    Political Spring spokesman Notis Martakis described the Nafsi closure as "a new blow to the shipbuilding and ship-repair sector, the tragic consequence of the abandonment of this strategic sector by the governments of the last 15 years." Mr. Martakis said the closure "ridiculed" the government's policy "if one considers that the company in question recently appeared as a would-be savior for Skaramangas Shipyards."

    [17] Tax rebates for fuel for farmers announced

    Athens, 05/10/1995 (ANA):

    Farmers will be entitled to cheaper fuel retroactively as of September 1, Agriculture Minister Theodoros Stathis and Finance Under-secretary Dimitris Georgakopoulos announced at a press conference yesterday.

    The special consumption tax will decrease by 30 per cent, meaning farmers will be able to purchase 22-25 drachmas per litre less. The cheaper fuel will be available to farmers through the form of tax rebates.

    [18] Greece bestows Greek nationality on esteemed French scholar

    Paris, 05/10/1995 (ANA/AFP):

    The Greek government has decided to grant Greek nationality to classicist Jacqueline de Romilly, a member of the French Academy since 1988, the Greek embassy here announced yesterday. The Greek government "wishes to honor the dedication and insistence with which (Ms de Romilly) has served the teaching and research of ancient Greek and the Greek history of thought both in France and abroad, but also for her contribution to modern thought," the announcement said.

    Greek Ambassador to Paris Dimitrios Makris will confer Greek nationality on Ms de Romilly at a special ceremony at the Greek embassy tomorrow. During the same ceremony he will award the highest Distinction of the Order of Phoenix to composer Ioannis Xenakis and director Costas Gavras, who are both of Greek origin.

    End of English language section.

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