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A.N.A. Bulletin, 07/10/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No. 709), October 7, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Smaller nations have equal, special role to play in EU, Romeos tells IGC conference in Athens

  • [2] Holbrooke hopes bomb attack on Gligorov will not derail 'historic' interim accord

  • [3] Greece welcomes Bosnian cease-fire agreement

  • [4] SE European mayors condemn nuclear tests, agree to form organization

  • [5] European socialists to confer on IGC again, Tsohatzopoulos says

  • [6] Romeos says German war reparations issue 'difficult' but still open

  • [7] Turkish intransigence continues to block NATO HQ issue

  • [8] Athens, Skopje to begin name negotiations at month's end

  • [9] 3,000 expatriate Greeks expected to attend first World Council of Overseas Hellenism

  • [10] French AIDS researcher says effective therapy for AIDS on the horizon

  • [11] Macedonian artifacts draws crowds in Marseilles

  • [12] Vasso Papandreou calls for 'group of leaders' to lead party, gov't

  • [13] Hytiris slams Mitsotakis comments on Skopje

  • [14] Church organizes rally for Greek Macedonia


  • [1] Smaller nations have equal, special role to play in EU, Romeos tells IGC conference in Athens

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos said yesterday overcoming dividing lines in Europe should not lead to the creation of new divisions within the European Union between "powerful or not, small or big or populous or not countries". Mr. Romeos was addressing a conference of the Hellenic Centre of European Studies and Research (EKEM) last night on the 1996 intergovernmental conference (IGC) and the role played by small countries.

    "It is evident that in the institutional framework of the EU there can be no discriminations between big and small member-state countries. The unifying process is not a simple addition of the one or the other size, such as population and economic power, but co-operation of state units of different quality, where each one has a separate contribution to the history and present day of Europe," he said.

    Mr. Romeos said the Commission could be restricted in the sense that every member-state should have one member, adding that every solution for the Commission aiming at separating the duties or the weight of commissioners according to their state of origin means an unacceptable evaluation and the creation of conditions of inequality in the rights of member-states.

    Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said an equal rapprochement between Community partners appeared to be experiencing the first serious disputes in the prospect of enlargement. "The equality of member-states, at least as it operated to date, is presented by many as being incompatible with the situation which will result from a possible future enlargement of the EU," he said.

    Mr. Papoutsis said the strengthening of the trend towards re-nationalization of policies and development of inter-governmental co-operation at the expense of the Community institutional operation would have serious negative consequences, particularly in connection with the participation of smaller and weaker member-states.

    European Parliament Vice-President and main opposition New Democracy party Eurodeputy George Anastasopoulos said that in discussions on the IGC the pace was set by the representatives of the biggest member-states who expressed fears that the small countries had become too numerous and would soon constitute the majority, jeopardizing the interests of the big powers. Judging from the course of negotiations for the IGC, he ascertained stagnation and difficulty in achieving unanimity.

    PASOK deputy Theodoros Pangalos pondered whether one indeed wanted a supranational development in the EU in the direction of gradual transformation towards the form of a European federation or not. "Of course if we do want this, then supranational solutions will also cover the problems created by the feeling that one people is big and another people is smaller.

    If we do not want this then every abandonment of national sovereignty in the framework of a Europe of national states is absolutely unacceptable and I believe that there will be no people, regardless of how small and weak it might feel, that will abandon its national sovereignty and grant it to other national states merely because they have a more numerous population or are more powerful militarily," Mr. Pangalos said.

    [2] Holbrooke hopes bomb attack on Gligorov will not derail 'historic' interim accord

    Rome, 07/10/1995 (ANA/L. Hatzikyriakos):

    US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke yesterday expressed concern and hope that the assassination attempt against Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) President Kiro Gligorov would not have negative effects on the "historic Athens-Skopje" agreement. "We are very concerned with what has happened," Mr. Holbrooke told a press conference here. Mr. Gligorov survived an abortive attempt on his life when a car bomb exploded as his limousine drove through central Skopje on Tuesday.

    "There is no doubt," Mr. Holbrooke said, "that (Greek Prime Minister Andreas) Papandreou and Mr. Gligorov achieved an important agreement. "We are in contact with both sides, but we hope and believe that this historic agreement will not be influenced by the latest developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," he said.

    Mr. Holbrooke is visiting Rome to participate in the Contact Group convened by Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agneli.

    [3] Greece welcomes Bosnian cease-fire agreement

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Greece yesterday welcomed the cease-fire agreed to by Bosnia's warring sides. Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said that Greece's position had always been that the Bosnian crisis must be resolved by peaceful means.

    [4] SE European mayors condemn nuclear tests, agree to form organization

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Mayors from 15 southeastern European capitals condemned nuclear testing at the end of their two-day conference in Athens yesterday. The resolution was adopted at the instigation of the Greenpeace organization who submitted it to the mayors as they boarded a cruise ship carrying them on a day trip to the island of Hydra.

    Partaking in the conference were the mayors of Athens, Vienna, Belgrade, Budapest, Nicosia, Chisinau, Kiev, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Skopje, Sofia, Budapest, and Tirana. The 15 mayors also accepted a proposal by their Athens counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos for the evolution of the conference into a SE European Capitals Organization, which will have a secretariat permanently based in Athens and meet annually in a different capital.

    In presenting the results of the conference, Mr. Avramopoulos said participants expressed the wish that the cities of Sarajevo and Nicosia would soon be able to co-exist in peace, irrespective of ethnic origins or religious persuasion, in a course towards reconstruction and development.

    The next two conferences have been planned to take place in Vienna and Bucharest.

    [5] European socialists to confer on IGC again, Tsohatzopoulos says

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    European Union socialist leaders and the presidium of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament will hold a new closed meeting on the 1996 intergovernmental conference, Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told reporters in Thessaloniki yesterday.

    "There is great concern about developments in Europe, regarding workers' income, unemployment, security and peace," he said in reference to the results of the Eurosocialist meeting in Brussels Thursday, which he attended. He expressed the hope that at the end of the first quarter of 1996, everything will be ready for the holding of a Balkan Socialist conference in Thessaloniki to discuss terms of co-operation with the European Union, and the attainment of peace and security in the peninsula.

    [6] Romeos says German war reparations issue 'difficult' but still open

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    "The question of German war reparations to Greece remains open," Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos told Parliament yesterday, responding to a question tabled by deputies from the ruling PASOK party and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).

    Mr. Romeos said that the government "has conveyed its reaction on the recent statements of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl." "The London agreement cannot apply to the reparations issue following the reunification of Germany," Mr. Romeos said. He added that no statute limitations were applicable to the issue.

    Mr. Romeos described the handling of the issue as "difficult" because of "Germany's strong refusal." But he said there recently seemed to be "some possibility of a rapprochement" between the two sides.

    PASOK MP Evripides Kafantaris, one of the two deputies who tabled the question, said that Greece "has so far confronted the reparations issue with leniency," while Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP Stratis Korakas said the Germans were "deceiving us."

    Mr. Romeos said the Foreign Ministry had lodged an official reaction to the Kohl statement that there was no issue of reparations, based on the London agreement. Mr. Romeos said that the German war reparations were not, as Mr. Kohl claimed, compensated for by Germany's contribution to the EU Cohesion Fund and, via that, the funds received by Greece.

    KKE Secretary-General Aleka Papariga held talks with Athens Prefect Dimitris Efstathiadis yesterday and called on the government "to stop showing inertia and apathy" on the issue of German reparations. Ms. Papariga said her party had no objection to signing a joint declaration with the other parties on claiming German reparations, adding that if the issue was discussed in Parliament, all political forces could state their case there as well as parties not represented in Parliament.

    [7] Turkish intransigence continues to block NATO HQ issue

    Williamsburg, United States, 07/10/1995 (ANA/L. Papantoniou):

    There has been no progress on the issue of the Turkish objections to the establishment of NATO headquarters in Greece, due to continuing Turkish intransigence, Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis noted yesterday. The Greek defence minister made the statement while attending the informal NATO defence ministers meeting here.

    When asked if there were any developments during consultations, Mr. Arsenis said Greece is in no way interested in allowing for the change of the status quo in the Aegean. "Indeed, we did not have progress at this NATO council because Turkey continues to show a distinct intransigence, while the efforts of the NATO secretary-general also did not produce results. Everyone understands this impasse, which is to NATO's disadvantage, stems from Turkish intransigence," Mr. Arsenis said.

    "However, what we are now expecting from the other NATO members is to pressure Turkey to behave in such a way that it does not harm NATO. "As regards Greece, we have stated and restated that we want the NATO headquarters in Greece ... but we are not ready to make compromises that will indirectly change the Aegean's status quo," he said.

    [8] Athens, Skopje to begin name negotiations at month's end

    United Nations, 07/10/1995 (ANA/M. Georgiadou):

    Diplomatic sources yesterday forecast that Cyrus Vance, the UN mediator on the differences between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), will invite the two sides to negotiations on the outstanding issue of the name for FYROM on October 28-30.

    Although the same sources referred to assurances by FYROM officials that the recent assassination attempt against President Kiro Gligorov will not affect deliberations concerning the implementation of the interim accord recently signed, they warned that negotiations on the issue of the name will not be easy, and that Skopje will exhibit the same intransigence as in the past.

    [9] 3,000 expatriate Greeks expected to attend first World Council of Overseas Hellenism

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Three thousand expatriate Greek organizations representing some seven million Greeks of the Diaspora will send delegates to Thessaloniki for the inaugural conference of the World Council of Overseas Hellenism, scheduled from November 29 through December 8 . Foreign Ministry Under-secretary Grigoris Niotis spoke yesterday on the subject after the end of a meeting by the Council's organizational committee secretariat.

    Mr. Niotis, who is responsible for issues related to expatriate Greeks, expressed satisfaction over what he said was support by every sector of the city for the successful holding of the event, saying: "Thessaloniki has embraced the institution." He also highlighted the choice of Thessaloniki, the largest city in northern Greece, as the permanent seat for the Council.

    [10] French AIDS researcher says effective therapy for AIDS on the horizon

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Effective therapy for HIV-infected individuals and AIDS patients is on the horizon thanks to a series of advanced drugs being tested in laboratories around the world, according to the researcher who first clinically isolated the deadly virus in 1984.

    In speaking to the 14th Pan-European Pathology Conference, held yesterday in Athens, Dr. Luke Montagnier said "hope rests in neutralizing carriers of the AIDS-HIV virus so that they don't ever become ill. This can be accomplished if the density of the A IDS viruses are drastically decreased in the carriers bodies". "It's in this direction that we're working, and we hope that in a few months we'll have results," he added.

    The noted French scientist, who held a joint press conference with Dr. S. Raptis, a professor of pathology at the University of Athens, said research for an effective vaccine against AIDS is difficult because of the fact that the virus constantly mutates and multiplies.

    "The first weeks after an infection are the most important. That's why anyone informed they are a carrier of this disease should immediately begin therapy with anti-virus medications," he said. He said discovery and production of a vaccine lay in the distant future.

    [11] Macedonian artifacts draws crowds in Marseilles

    Marseilles, 07/10/1995 (ANA/AFP):

    A display of ancient artifacts discovered between 1950 and 1980 in Thessaly and Halkidiki is drawing large crowds to Marseilles' Archeological Museum. According to press reports, the display relives the "history of the Macedonians, this Greek race which lived in the Pindus range and Mount Olympus from the third millennium B.C. until the end of the Hellenistic Age."

    The display, which records the Macedonians' rise to power and their civilization's zenith with the ascension of Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great, on through the fall of the Macedonian kingdom and Greece to the Romans in 146 B.C., is divided into four halls, each in chronological order and according to the location of the finds: Agia Paraskevi, Sindos, Akanthos, Alexander's birthplace of Pella, Derveni and Vergina.

    [12] Vasso Papandreou calls for 'group of leaders' to lead party, gov't

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Ruling PASOK party deputy and former EU commissioner Vasso Papandreou yesterday proposed the formation of a "group of leaders" to undertake the political direction of the party and the government, and blamed the "close circle" round Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou for the "tragic and bad image" of the party and government.

    "A web of power has been woven round the prime minister which operates outside the institutions in the name of the premier and has a paralytic effect," Ms. Papandreou told a press conference. She stressed however that the prime minister and PASOK cadres were ultimately responsible for the situation, since they accepted such phenomena.

    Ms. Papandreou proposed the formation of a "group of leaders" to undertake the political direction of the party and the government and called on Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos to convene a meeting of the party's leading figures, before the Central Committee meeting, to elect a new Executive Bureau.

    The first woman to be appointed European Commissioner said that Mr. Papandreou had a personal obligation to ensure that his departure from the political scene would not mean the end of PASOK. Stressing that the premier's role should be "cohesive and limited," Ms. Papandreou said that it was "the last chance for a rallying" for the unity of the party.

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said in an announcement later in the day that "there is no leadership issue in PASOK." He said that "teams of leaders" were not formed through party leadership discussions but "are established in deed through an effective and acceptable political intervention and operation."

    Labor and Social Security Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said that in order to attain future unity in PASOK "there should be a convergence of PASOK founding members in a new Executive Bureau." Mr. Tzoumakas said that the party's founding members should comprise "a new leading team to direct the party policy and contribute to the politicizing of developments in the government."

    Declining to comment on Ms. Papandreou's statements, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said that he did not comment on the proposals and statements of deputies and that each person had his or her own views.

    [13] Hytiris slams Mitsotakis comments on Skopje

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris yesterday lashed out at former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, accusing him of making him "dangerous statements" and calling on him to apologize for his government's handling of the Skopje issue and Greek-Turkish relations.

    Earlier yesterday, the former prime minister and honorary president of main opposition New Democracy said it was the duty of every political figure to tell the truth. "I have done and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, "he told the press on his arrival in Hania, Crete, yesterday.

    Mr. Mitsotakis' statement followed and interview published in a weekly financial magazine which quoted him saying that the interim accord signed recently between Skopje and Athens was " the worst solution" and that he did not know whether any hope still existed with respect to the question of the name.

    Commenting on Mr. Mitsotakis's interview," Mr. Hytiris said the former premier had said "very serious, but at the same time, dangerous, things," adding that the ND policy on Greece's foreign policy issues was not clear. "The differing positions of (ND leader Miltiades )Evert and Mr. Mitsotakis are causing confusion, "Mr. Hytiris said, adding that " there is no opposition (in Greece) and this harms the country ."

    [14] Church organizes rally for Greek Macedonia

    Athens, 07/10/1995 (ANA):

    A rally in "defence of a Greece Macedonia" is being organized for October " by the Thessaloniki Metropolitan in the church of St. Demetrios, the city's patron saint.

    Thessaloniki Metropolitan Panteleimon will speak at the rally, according to diocese spokesman Ioannis Tasias. Mr. Tasias said he did not believe the rally constituted any sort of challenge to the government's policy of commencing negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Asked if government approval was sought, the ecclesiastical spokesman said the church is independent and has every right to organize rallies.

    End of English language section.

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