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

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 711), October 10, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] No question of challenge to Papandreou's leadership or party unity, Tsohatzopoulos says

  • [2] National Housing Bank latest to drop rates on housing loans

  • [3] Constantopoulos briefs Kaklamanis on Coalition proposals

  • [4] New study for local, regional development announced

  • [5] Skopje approves bilateral interim accord

  • [6] Hytiris on Turkish developments

  • [7] Jordan, Greece discuss possibility of reciprocal air force training

  • [8] Tsohatzopoulos meets with Niles

  • [9] Arsenis optimistic about peace in Bosnia

  • [10] Jerusalem Patriarchate hails Rabin, Peres' efforts for peace

  • [11] Draft bill on Meteora passes

  • [12] Turkish defense ministry hampering tourist growth

  • [13] Van Miert proposal for three-month postponement of Skaramangas decisions likely

  • [14] Anglo-Greek study on tourism career orientation presented

  • [15] Government to accelerate major projects in eastern Macedonia-Thrace

  • [16] Italian industrialists to speak in Athens on Friday

  • [17] Papandreou, Papadopoulos meet on budget

  • [18] News in Brief


  • [1] No question of challenge to Papandreou's leadership or party unity, Tsohatzopoulos says

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Deliberations continued yesterday within the ruling PASOK party, with the Executive Bureau meeting to discuss matters relating to the election of a new Central Committee secretary and executive on Wednesday.

    Before the meeting, current central committee secretary Akis Tsohatzopoulos dismissed suggestions that the ruling party's unity and leader Andreas Papandreou's position were likely to be challenged.

    "There is no one inside PASOK who is willing to cast doubt on our unity, and, even more so, of course, on the founder and leader of the movement, Andreas Papandreou," he said.

    He added that no other party member could at present better guarantee the unity of the movement.

    He did not rule out that the composition of the new Executive Bureau following Wednesday's meeting would have a new 'unifying' profile, and expressed certainty that the party would win the next election. There would be a new extraordinary Central Commit tee meeting within a month, he said, to discuss the whole framework of planning and initiatives on the basis of decisions adopted at the last party conference.

    It was reported that Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, Environment Minister Costas Laliotis and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis would pursue efforts to form a 'unifying' new Executive Bureau.

    Meanwhile, deputy and former EU commissioner Vasso Papandreou issued a statement reiterating the value of her proposals last week for the activation of an Executive Bureau Political Secretariat assigning a "unifying, rather than hegemonic, role to the party leader", and charging they had been deliberately distorted.

    According to sources, Ms Papandreou's statement did not bode well for her inclusion in a unifying scheme, with Eurodeputy Paraskevas Avgerinos, one of the group of four prominent 'modernizing' dissidents which includes Ms Papandreou and former ministers

    Theodoros Pangalos and Costas Simitis, adopting a certain distance from her statements, and saying one person's statements could not be considered binding on everybody.

    In fact, it was estimated that the participation of Mr. Avgerinos and Mr. Simitis - who have also raised a leadership issue - in a new executive bureau is not likely to meet serious obstacles.

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris, commenting on Ms Papandreou's statements, said that other party members had also drawn attention to the fact that they were not in line with the party's charter, and said there would be an adequate answer from the Central Committee and the prime minister himself on Wednesday. He reiterated that elections would take place at the end of the government's four-year term.

    Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis, who canceled planned engagements in the United States, and returned to Athens in view of impending developments, described the situation inside the party as "critical", and said it was everyone's duty to safeguard it s unity and fighting capability. He added that initiatives he recently announced he would undertake inside the party had been superseded by events.

    Labor and Social Security Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas dismissed suggestions for a 'directorate', attributed to Ms Papandreou. "We have fought for 20 years so that there may be functioning organs and internal democracy in parties, including PASOK. Today we need a collective leadership, able to govern, and then we can elect a leader," he said.

    He explained that present leader Andreas Papandreou ought to propose a 'unifying list' of 'historical' cadres for the new Executive Bureau, so that a new leading group, capable of leading PASOK to a new start, may be formed.

    [2] National Housing Bank latest to drop rates on housing loans

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    The National Housing Bank yesterday became the fourth bank in a week to offer consumers new and more competitive terms and rates for housing loans.

    Following the lead set by the Alpha Credit Bank last week, the bank announced two new loans effective as of October 16.

    Its first new housing loan is of a 15-year duration with a fixed interest rate of 13.50 per cent for the first three years for amounts of at least five million drachmas. The loan may be paid off in full after five years at no extra charge.

    The second product is a revival of the "low start" loan programme previously run by the bank and offers the lowest rate on the market to date: a fixed interest rate of 9.0 per cent for the first three years.

    Both loans are an alternative for those failing to fulfill conditions to receive housing loans from the National Housing Bank at its subsidized interest rates, which range from 9.75 per cent to 14 per cent according to the customer's marital status.

    Citibank also announced interest rate reductions yesterday. The main savings bank interest rate will be 12 per cent (from 13 per cent), personal loans 23 per cent (from 25 per cent), housing loans 18 per cent (from 19 per cent), home improvement loans 22 per cent (from 23 per cent) and automobile loans 22 per cent (from 23 per cent).

    [3] Constantopoulos briefs Kaklamanis on Coalition proposals

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos briefed Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday on the Coalition's proposals for transparency and control of party finances and the democratization of the political system.

    Mr. Constantopoulos requested the immediate promotion of a proportional electoral system, a law on transparency and control of party finances, completion of the institution of prefectural local administration and the promotion of the institution of inter-party supervision in managing the second Community Support Framework.

    On his part, Mr. Kaklamanis set out his views on points not constituting an object of confrontation between the government and parties and referred to the need for a legislative framework for opinion polls.

    [4] New study for local, regional development announced

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Alternate Minister George Daskalakis yesterday announced the beginning of a special programme to create a support network for regional and local development.

    Mr. Daskalakis said decentralization was one of the government's priorities.

    The "Creation of a Support System of the Regional and Local Developmental Planning" programme is estimated at 1.5 billion drachmas and will be implemented within the framework of the "Klisthenis" programme for modernization of the public sector.

    "Our ministry has provided for the necessary modern technological infrastructure which will help classify the needs and potential of the Greek countryside," he added.

    [5] Skopje approves bilateral interim accord

    Skopje, 10/10/1995 (ANA - M. Vihou):

    The Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) yesterday overwhelmingly ratified the interim accord recently signed between Athens and Skopje to normalize relations between the two states. The vote was passed by 102 votes to one, with two abstentions.

    FYROM Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski called the interim accord with Athens "one piece of a complex mosaic" designed to restore peace and stability in the turbulent region. "With this agreement the Hellenic Republic recognizes the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia," Mr. Crvenkovski told Parliament. "We can say one of the most difficult periods for our people is behind us," he said.

    Meanwhile, consultations between Greece and FYROM focusing on the technical aspects of the implementation of the interim accord are due to resume today in Skopje.

    The Greek delegation, headed by Ambassador Dimitris Kypraios, arrived in Skopje last night. Mr. Kypraios told reporters at Skopje airport: "I hope our talks will continue in the same spirit of goodwill and constructiveness".

    The Athens consultations last week focused on the issue of visas and traveling documents for the free movement of goods and people from FYROM to Greece, as well as establishment of liaison offices in both capitals.

    The first bilateral contacts between the two sides on Tuesday were briefly interrupted by the abortive assassination attempt on FYROM President Kiro Gligorov, but resumed shortly afterwards.

    "We would like to condemn once again the terrorist act against President Gligorov and we want to repeat the Greek government's statement that this act is against stability in the Balkan region," Mr. Kypraios said.

    In Athens, US Ambassador Thomas Niles said that the abortive attempt on the life of Mr. Gligorov last week did not appear to have affected Athens-Skopje relations. Mr. Niles was speaking to reporters after meeting Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    [6] Hytiris on Turkish developments

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris yesterday declined to comment on the formation of a minority government in neighboring Turkey, which is to seek a vote of confidence in the Turkish Parliament on October 15.

    "It is a Turkish domestic issue, and the only thing of interest to Greece is the course towards democratization of this neighbor," Mr. Hytiris said in reply to a press question.

    [7] Jordan, Greece discuss possibility of reciprocal air force training

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Training and technology transfer, among other topics, were discussed yesterday by the chiefs of staff of the Hellenic Air Force and Royal Jordanian Air Force, Lt. Gen. Athanassios Tzoganis and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Khair Ababneh.

    Jordan's air force chief was subsequently received by Defense Undersecretary Nikos Kouris, while he later toured the Acropolis.

    Today, the high-ranking military official will visit Tatoi Air Base.

    [8] Tsohatzopoulos meets with Niles

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met with US Ambassador Thomas Niles at the Ministry to the Prime Minister's office yesterday.

    "We had a meeting of common interest in this formal visit. Developments in the general Balkans region was the topic of our discussion. And certainly, Greek-American relations and the ability to promote them," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

    [9] Arsenis optimistic about peace in Bosnia

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis yesterday expressed "reserved optimism" for a speedy peace agreement in Bosnia.

    Mr. Arsenis said that NATO and the UN were "already discussing programmes to support such an agreement," adding that "when the time is right" he would outline Greece's participation in the programmes.

    [10] Jerusalem Patriarchate hails Rabin, Peres' efforts for peace

    Jerusalem, 10/10/1995 (ANA/AFP):

    The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem will bestow peace awards on Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, a Patriarchate release stated yesterday.

    The Holy See's Synod said the honor, "the highest given by the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem," commends the signing of an agreement for expanded Palestinian rule on the West Bank.

    The decorations honor "the efforts Mr. Rabin and Mr. Peres made, dramatically allowing for the promotion of procedures leading to peace," the Synod's statement reads.

    "The Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher" will be bestowed on the Israeli leaders by Patriarch Diodoros I in a special ceremony October 17.

    The Greek Orthodox community of Palestinians in Jerusalem numbers around 40,000 faithful, comprising the most significant and ancient Christian community in the Holy Lands.

    [11] Draft bill on Meteora passes

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    The government and the opposition New Democracy and Political Spring parties yesterday agreed on the approval of a draft bill declaring the monastic community of Meteora, central Greece, a sacred area.

    Environment Minister Costas Laliotis said Meteora was "an ark of unique cultural value", and the bill covered a vacuum that was long overdue.

    Five ruling party deputies and the Communist party dissented with approval of the bill, saying that the monasteries wished to exercise secular power, and that there would be conflict with the local community.

    [12] Turkish defense ministry hampering tourist growth

    Nicosia, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    According to the Turkish press, the Turkish military leadership has managed to have large parts of the Aegean coastline declared military zones, despite efforts by tourist authorities to increase the number of visitors.

    According to the reports, the Turkish government recently approved a relevant request by the military, on the grounds of national security. The measure means that any foreigner wishing to rent or buy property within any of these zones, which were not specified, will have to obtain prior permission from the Turkish Defense Ministry.

    Turkish earnings from tourism this year have so far shown a 20.6 per cent increase over last year's numbers.

    [13] Van Miert proposal for three-month postponement of Skaramangas decisions likely

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

    The European Commission is likely to agree to a three-month postponement of a decision on the Skaramangas Shipyards proposed by Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert, according to reports following yesterday's briefing of commissioners' office directors.

    Sources said there were no objections to Mr. Van Miert's proposal. According to reports, it was confirmed that Mr. Van Miert will request a three month suspension at least of the decision taken by the European Commission last June for the Skaramangas Shipyards that the Greek government request the return of loans granted the shipyards, totaling some 80 billion drachmas.

    As a result of suspension proposed by Mr. Van Miert, the loans will not be returned yet and the implementation of the Greek proposal for the 49-51 per cent division for the shipyards' operation between workers and the Hellenic Industrial Development Ban k will be examined.

    Mr. Van Miert's representative at the directors' meeting said that relevant 4th General Directorate services concerning competition have been satisfied by Greek explanations they had requested on the Greek proposal and believe the development could be positive.

    Mr. Van Miert hopes that after the extension of the suspension, which could be longer than three months, the Commission will ultimately voice a positive opinion on the continuation of the shipyards' operation in accordance with the Greek proposal.

    Following the agreement reached by the Commissioners' directors, the European Commission will accept Mr. Van Miert's proposal at it weekly meeting in Strasbourg tomorrow.

    [14] Anglo-Greek study on tourism career orientation presented

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    The results of a study entitled "The familiarization of young people in Greece with careers in the tourist sector, an Anglo-Greek comparison" were presented at the Grande Bretagne Hotel yesterday.

    The study, planned and prepared by the Greek adviser company EMI and the British Nottingham Trent University, included three senior high schools in the Attica prefecture and in Nottingham and showed differences in vocational orientation and professional training systems in the tourist sector between the two countries.

    It is a political study aimed at conveying relevant know-how and experience from Britain to Greece to benefit the local tourist circuit, attracting and training high-grade human potential to tourist occupations.

    The event was attended by representatives from the Education Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT), professional tourism agencies, as well as professors, parents and pupils of senior high schools participating in the programme.

    [15] Government to accelerate major projects in eastern Macedonia-Thrace

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis has asked for an acceleration of work on major projects in the greater eastern Macedonian-Thrace region.

    Mr. Laliotis, who will visit the area some time late next week, is expected to convey the government's concern for the area.

    The government has ordered a complete upgrading in the region in order for it to function as a "gateway to the Balkans and eastern Europe" as of 1997.

    Several major construction projects of national and regional importance are currently underway in the Kavala Prefecture as part of the large-scale EU and government-financed development programme.

    Kavala and Alexandroupolis have received most of the government's attention so far, amassing the lion's share of funding of 60 billion drachmas.

    Major work projects include expansion of port facilities in Alexandroupolis and Kavala; completion of the Greek portion of a natural gas pipeline stretching from Russia's gas fields to Lavrion; construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline; continued work on the Egnatia Highway; modernization of Kavala's airport; additional railway connections, as well as the building of hospitals and upgrading of customs border posts.

    Promotion of tourism for the region is also budgeted.

    [16] Italian industrialists to speak in Athens on Friday

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Italian Industrialist Federation (Sonfinpuftriea) President Luigi Abete will address a conference on "The Italian economy as part of the new European Policy in the Mediterranean" at the Hilton Hotel on Friday.

    Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Jason Stratos will also make an address on the role played by the private sector in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean policy.

    The event, including the signing of a cooperation protocol between the two federations, will take place on the occasion of the arrival in Athens of Italian industrialists' representatives with the aim of promoting bilateral relations between the two countries in the sectors of trade and industry. The event will be sponsored by SEB and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Athens.

    [17] Papandreou, Papadopoulos meet on budget

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou held a meeting yesterday with Finance Minister Alekos Papadopoulos who briefed him on the drafting of the 1996 budget.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said the budget would be drafted according to the "demanding" goals of the Convergence Programme.

    [18] News in Brief

    Athens, 10/10/1995 (ANA):

    - A Hellenic Air Force helicopter made a forced landing yesterday near Pylos while on a training flight. Co-pilot First Lieut. Leonidas Talaros was injured in the incident. An experts' committee was investigating the causes of the emergency landing.

    - Former justice minister and current Industry Minister Anastasios Peponis spoke at the official dedication yesterday evening of a judicial school for judges in Thessaloniki, already operating at the Centre for International and European Law.

    - Latest developments point to encouraging efforts by medical researchers in decreasing triglycerides and cholesterol in heart patients. Greek cardiologists heard the encouraging news from their Italian colleague Dr. R. Ferrari via a satellite linkup, during the 16th Panhellenic Cardiological Conference yesterday in Athens. Dr. Ferrari also said a natural substance found in the body, L carnitine, helps in the metabolism of fat in the heart and other organs, reducing cholesterol in the process.

    - Universities throughout the country will be given additional subsidies totaling 1.432 billion drachmas, it was announced yesterday. The amount will be shared among the universities to help them face operational costs, housing expenses for students and expenses concerning the procurement and distribution of books.

    End of English language section.

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