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A.N.A. Bulletin, 16/10/95

From: tzarros@ccs.carleton.ca (Theodore Zarros)

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 716), October 16, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] NATO denies press reports of plan for Thrace

  • [2] Tributes pour in for veteran journalist, publisher Eleni Vlachou

  • [3] Biography

  • [4] Border opens as Greek-FYROM interim accord comes into effect

  • [5] Evert unveils development programme for Dodecaneese

  • [6] Papoulias arrives in China for bilateral talks

  • [7] Mikroutsikos announces new office aimed at upgrading cultural ties with Cyprus

  • [8] PASOK-backed faction increases strength in elections for Athens Labor Centre

  • [9] Papantoniou continues US visit

  • [10] Arsenis speaks on future of European Union at Athens seminar

  • [11] Relations between the Phanar and Iakovos better


  • [1] NATO denies press reports of plan for Thrace

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis yesterday said NATO had assured Greece that press reports that it had developed a plan providing for the partial autonomy of the Greek province of Thrace were false.

    "NATO's military leadership is investigating the matter in the improbable case non authorized low-ranking officers have proceeded to such an action," Mr. Arsenis added. "NATO's political and military leadership will meet tomorrow to examine the matter and we hope by tomorrow evening the issue will be clarified," he said.

    Responding to an article in the Sunday newspaper To Vima, the National Defense Ministry said yesterday that NATO's military command had denied the existence of such a plan.

    The statement said NATO denied a map exercise had been carried out regarding Thrace, and had promised to investigate the issue.

    According to To Vima, a map exercise was carried out last July without the participation of Greek officers.

    The exercise included NATO intervention to settle a supposed crisis in Thrace, an exchange of populations in order to create homogenous zones and a peace plan which would include "partial autonomy for Thrace".

    Asked to comment on the newspaper's report, main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert at first declined comment, but stated that, if such a plan in fact existed, he would only be concerned in the event that the Greek people were not united.

    Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras said the newspaper report only confirmed his party's warning some months previously that there was a US plan for all of Greece's national issues, aimed at promoting US strategic and economic interests in the Balkans.

    Communist Party of Greece leader Aleka Papariga commented that whether or not the report was true, it was "a known fact that NATO plans exist that endanger Greece, whether directly or indirectly".

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress party called on the government to immediately and "responsibly" inform the people of the "real dimensions of the problem" and of the actions it has taken at NATO.

    [2] Tributes pour in for veteran journalist, publisher Eleni Vlachou

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    Tributes to veteran journalist and publisher Eleni Vlachou, who died on Saturday at the age of 84, continued to pour in over the weekend.

    The one-time publisher of the respected Athens daily Kathimerini since 1951, Ms Vlachou gained widespread respect for her principled stand against the 1967-74 military dictatorship in Greece, closing down her newspapers rather than allowing them to be censored by the colonels.

    She fled Greece in December 1967 after the junta detained her, using London as a base for her campaign against the colonels.

    On her return to Greece in 1974, she was appointed a state deputy in the first post-dictatorship parliament under Constantine Karamanlis' national unity government.

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou said Ms Vlachou was a "truly great figure in Greek journalism". "She was unwavering in her principles and her beliefs ... her immediate reaction to the coup of April 21, 1967, with the cessation of publication of 'Kathimerini' and her other publications, is a crowning moment of resistance in the field of journalism and the press," he said.

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said Ms Vlachou "struggled with characteristic courage for democracy and freedom".

    Telemahos Hytiris, the government spokesman and press minister, said Ms Vlachou always supported "freedom of expression and fiercely resisted the dictatorship". "Eleni Vlachou, with her publications, introduced to Greece a European spirit in writing, presentation and commentary," he said.

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert said Greece and journalism had lost "a great figure". "People like Eleni Vlachou should not be mourned ... we must remember them, read them and follow their example," he said

    Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras said Ms Vlachou "was a great woman of Greek journalism whose presence left its mark on an entire era. "She was defined by ethics, moderation and dignity," he said.

    Tributes and condolences were also sent by former president Constantine Karamanlis, former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, ruling party PASOK, main opposition New Democracy party and Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos .

    Ms Vlachou's funeral will be held today at 2:15pm at the Athens First Cemetery.

    [3] Biography

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    Eleni Vlachou, the daughter of journalist and founder of 'Kathimerini' George Vlachou, was born on December 18, 1911.

    She started as a reporter for her father's newspaper in 1935, taking over as publisher on his death in 1951. She wrote a regular column for the paper until she sold it in 1987. She also published the now-defunct evening daily Messimvrini (1961) and the weekly magazine Ikones (1955).

    In 1967 she suspended publication of Kathimerini until the fall of the dictatorship in 1974.

    While in exile in London, she fought for the return of democracy to Greece, making speeches, giving interviews, publishing the English-language "Hellenic Review" and writing her book "Under House Arrest" about the junta. She received a golden medallion for her services to freedom of the press from the British Institute of Journalists.

    She served as president of the Union of Publishers of Athens Daily Newspapers and also served as Vice-President of the National Broadcasting Foundation (EIR) and chairman of the Union of Film Critics.

    Ms Vlachou is survived by her husband, Constantine Loundras.

    [4] Border opens as Greek-FYROM interim accord comes into effect

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    About thirty people had passed through the newly-opened Evzones border checkpoint into Greece from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by mid-afternoon yesterday, following the implementation of the interim accord signed between Athens and Skopje in New York last month.

    Late on Friday, the government announced the lifting of all restrictions on movement of goods to and from FYROM as of midnight Friday.

    The move came hours after the signing of a memorandum between the two states in Skopje, settling practical issues related to the implementation of the interim accord. The government announcement said that the movement of goods would be effected according to the terms of the practical measures agreed in Skopje on Friday.

    The Greek border authorities are issuing travel documents to all visitors from FYROM, since passports of that country are not recognized by Greece, while vehicles are being issued with a document to be affixed inside their cars' windscreens.

    The transport of goods to FYROM from the Greek port of Thessaloniki is expected to begin today.

    Further talks between the two sides are scheduled for this week in Athens to hammer out details on the establishment of liaison offices in the two capitals.

    Opposition Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert on Saturday called on Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou to bring the interim accord to the Greek Parliament for discussion and approval. Mr. Evert made the statement at Rhodes airport.

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress party on Saturday hailed the signing of the memorandum in Skopje on Friday.

    "The positive outcome of the bilateral talks, of which a crucial phase ended in Skopje yesterday, is a further step towards the normalization of relations between the two neighboring countries," a Coalition statement said.

    "It is now imperative that the implementation of the New York accord be accelerated. This accord, even incomplete, paves the way for the political and economic cooperation between the two countries.

    "The lifting of the embargo and the practical measures for the free movement of persons and goods is the beginning of such cooperation. A completion of the New York accord should be sought with the resolution of the (former Yugoslav republic's) name issue and the search of a mutually acceptable composite name," the statement added.

    [5] Evert unveils development programme for Dodecaneese

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert unveiled his party's development programme for the Dodecaneese islands in the southeastern Aegean in a speech at a Rhodes hotel on Saturday.

    In his speech, the ND president said his party would soon assume the reins of government and promised a revision of the constitution. Mr. Evert said ND would institute a "uniform and fair tax system" before scuttling the current "objective criteria" tax code.

    Several ND deputies along with local officials and party supporters attended the event.

    Mr. Evert emphasized tourism in his development programme with particular attention given to improvement of service. He announced that a Tuesday meeting is scheduled in Athens of tourism sector executives and officials to discuss issues related to the nation's tourism industry.

    [6] Papoulias arrives in China for bilateral talks

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    A Greek delegation arrived in Beijing late Saturday for talks with the Chinese leadership aimed at further developing bilateral political and economic ties.

    The delegation is headed by Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias, who will meet his Chinese counterpart Qian Qichen this morning, and by Merchant Marine Minister George Katsifaras, who is to sign a bilateral shipping accord today.

    China is particularly interested in bulk transport of its products by sea.

    Also participating in the delegation are National Economy Undersecretary Ioannis Anthopoulos, Commercial Bank governor Panayiotis Poulis and officials of other Greek banks and businesses, who will be meeting with representatives of the Chinese Foreign Trade Promotion Council, both in Beijing and Shanghai.

    The delegation is due to return to Athens on Thursday.

    [7] Mikroutsikos announces new office aimed at upgrading cultural ties with Cyprus

    Nicosia, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    Culture Minister Thanos Mikroutsikos on Saturday announced the establishment, as of next month, of a special "Cyprus Cultural Affairs Office" within his ministry.

    Mr. Mikroutsikos, who is on an official visit to Cyprus, said the creation of the office aimed at bringing to an institutional level the cooperation between Greece's Culture Ministry and Cyprus' Education and Culture Ministry.

    Speaking to the press after meeting Cyprus' Education and Culture Minister Claire Angelidou, Mr. Mikroutsikos also announced the annual organization of a Greek book exhibition in Cyprus. The first exhibition will be held next year.

    Mr. Mikroutsikos also met with Cyprus' Archbishop Chrysostomos and Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demitriades.

    He was due to address last night a special ceremony marking the end of the European Cultural Month organized this year in Nicosia.

    [8] PASOK-backed faction increases strength in elections for Athens Labor Centre

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    The PASOK-backed PASKE faction increased its strength on the Athens Labor Center's (EKA) council after the organization's election yesterday.

    Specifically, out of 1,738 representative/voters, PASKE gained 704 votes (40.5 per cent) for 13 seats, up from 12 and 37.6 per cent it earned in 1992.

    The DAS faction, which leans toward the Communist Party of Greece (KKE)-backed ESAK, won second place with 453 votes (26.1 per cent) for eight seats, the number it gained in 1992. New Democracy-backed DAKE earned 408 (23.46 per cent) for seven seats, down one from 1992.

    The "Aftonomi Paremvasi" (Independent Intervention) faction retained its three seats as well.

    Outgoing EKA president Ch. Polyzogopoulos said that "within the political landscape's critical conditions, it was proved that a policy of responsibility and decisiveness we promote in the labor movement meets with the trust of a majority of workers".

    [9] Papantoniou continues US visit

    New York, 16/10/1995 (ANA - M. Georgiadou):

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou continued his official US visit Sunday, speaking at a US-Greek Business Council luncheon given in his honor and a dinner organized by a federation of greater New York City Hellenic organizations.

    During the luncheon he touched on the government's stabilization programme, which he said has "won the confidence of international economic circles."

    Mr. Papantoniou also commented on a "dynamic development of the Greek economy" and the nation's preeminent position to facilitate business and investment openings, especially in eastern Europe and the Balkans.

    He told the gathering of business executives that historical and geographical factors gave Greece the ability to play an important role in the political and economic stability of the region, a role he said Greece is determined to play.

    Addressing a large crowd of expatriates in the New York district of Astoria, Mr. Papantoniou conveyed Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's greetings to Greek-Americans.

    Commenting on national issues during the event, he characterized the Cyprus problem as an "international dissonance" preserved by major powers' unwillingness to pressure Turkey.

    Mr. Papantoniou also noted the effectiveness of the trade sanctions placed by Athens on Skopje, which he said was the key to achieving Greece's goals, namely a change of the one-time Yugoslav republic's flag and constitution.

    [10] Arsenis speaks on future of European Union at Athens seminar

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    A one-day seminar entitled "New Directions and European Union Prospects" was organized by the Hellenic Centre for Promotion of European Integration (EKEPEO) Saturday in Athens with Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis as one of the main speakers.

    "The completion of the vision and future of the EU will depend on four factors related to issues not preoccupying the (1996) intergovernmental conference as only secondary problems, not primary European problems, will be discussed there," Mr. Arsenis said.

    The Greek Defense minister said the future of the Union depends on:

    - Whether a balance of powers will be achieved within the EU and whether it will homogenize the Union.

    - The way the EU deals with developments in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Middle East as well as the issue of proposed pipeline routes transporting Caspian Sea oil.

    - How the future EU-Russia relationship develops and what institutional connections Europe develops with Russia.

    - What role the United States will play in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Russia.

    [11] Relations between the Phanar and Iakovos better

    Athens, 16/10/1995 (ANA):

    Recent friction between the top echelons of the Greek Orthodox church eased substantially over the weekend as the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos agreed the latter would continue in his position until June 1996.

    Iakovos announced last August that he was stepping down, a resignation Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos immediately accepted.

    However, the influential Greek-American ecclesiastical leader reportedly came under intense pressure to postpone his retirement and announced he had had a change of heart after a return to New York following an official visit to Greece over the summer.

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou is reported to have called on the 84-year-old Imvros native to remain at his post, while main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert is said to have requested from Vartholomeos to also extend Iakovos' tenure. M r. Evert met with the Patriarch in Patmos last month.

    Both Athens and Greek-American circles consider Iakovos' presence pivotal to Greece's national interests in view of next year's US presidential elections.

    However, the Patriarchate disputed the notion and declared its intention to hold Iakovos' stated resignation as binding.

    Following a meeting last week with high-ranking archbishops comprising a Patriarchal Exarchate sent to Iakovos' New York headquarters, differences were smoothed over, thus leading to the extension.

    The June 1996 date will also effectively extend procedures for selection of a new archbishop past next year's US presidential elections.

    End of English language section.

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