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A.N.A. Bulletin, 21/10/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 721), October 21, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Athens, Skopje agree on establishment of liaison offices by year's end

  • [2] Stephanopoulos urges FYROM to drop claims to 'Macedonia'

  • [3] President congratulates UN chief

  • [4] Papoulias, Arsenis regret Claes departure from NATO

  • [5] Athens seminar analyses Greek image abroad

  • [6] Laliotis announces new radiation watchdog system as Bulgaria cranks up Kozloduy reactor again

  • [7] Medical team arrives in Crete to consider transport of injured French tourists

  • [8] Venizelos meets with premier

  • [9] Mikroutsikos asks for more support of EU cultural programme

  • [10] Deaths outnumber births in Macedonia, Thrace, press conference told

  • [11] Romeos hails UN's contribution to peace efforts

  • [12] Papantoniou to attend Monday's ECOFIN

  • [13] Romeos due in Strasbourg Monday for meetings with Greek Eurodeputies

  • [14] Spaniards moving ahead promptly on Cyprus-EU accession, Romeos says

  • [15] Banks deny 'hidden charges' in new cheaper housing loans

  • [16] Universities call off protests, business as usual on Monday

  • [17] News in Brief

  • [18] Memorandum related to the interim accord of New York of September 13,1995 on the mutual establishment of liaison offices


  • [1] Athens, Skopje agree on establishment of liaison offices by year's end

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Greek and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) delegations signed a memorandum on the establishment, by the end of the year, of liaison offices in Athens and Skopje yesterday.

    The memorandum was signed after the conclusion of three-day-long consultations between the two delegations.

    A government announcement said the climate prevailing in talks between the delegations was "constructive."

    The memorandum was signed by Greek Ambassador Dimitris Kypraios and FYROM Assistant Foreign Minister Ljupco Arsovski.

    Meanwhile, it was announced that the first shipments destined for FYROM will leave the northern port city of Thessaloniki for Skopje next week.

    The first vessel that docked at the port with cargo for FYROM was the Cypriot-flagged container "Atalanti 1," carrying zinc headed to the FYROM city of Tito-Veles.

    [2] Stephanopoulos urges FYROM to drop claims to 'Macedonia'

    Boston, 21/10/1995 (ANA- L. Papantoniou):

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday urged the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to abandon its claims to the name "Macedonia".

    Speaking yesterday at Harvard University on the topic of Greek foreign policy, Mr. Stephanopoulos said "Greece claims nothing at the expense of Skopje," and called on the state to "abandon its expansionist and aggressive policy. He said this would be achieved by abandoning its claims to the name Macedonia, "a name associating FYROM with this policy."

    This position, he added, "is reflected in the interim accord", signed recently between the two states in New York to normalize relations. "I hope that it has become understood that the name 'Macedonia' is the essence of a policy pursued by Skopje against my country," Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

    "It is easy for anybody to realize that if the Skopje government abandoned (its claims to) the name Macedonia, it would also abandon the idea of incorporating the Greek province of Macedonia into its borders."

    Referring to Cyprus, the president said it remained the only country in Europe with a dividing line that was imposed by military force and in violation of international law. Mr. Stephanopoulos said Turkey was the only country in the region with which, "from time to time, there appear dangerous tensions in relations with Greece".

    "If (Turkey) continues its present policy it will constitute a threat to the stability of the entire region," Mr. Stephanopoulos said, adding that Turkey refused to comply with UN resolutions on the Cyprus problem and made unilateral demands on the Aegean.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said Turkey's allegation that members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) were trained in Greece was "absolutely false," adding that Greece had never taken any hostile actions against Turkey.

    "Greece wishes to live in peace with all its neighbors," the president said. "It will not diverge from this course, nor create problems." "But (Greece) is not willing to accept insults and threats or succumb to unfair and irrational demands," he said, adding that the only thing the Greek government expected was "respect for international law and international treaties."

    Turning to Greek-Albanian relations, Mr. Stephanopoulos said there were some serious problems pending "due to the reluctance of the Albanian side to allow full implementation of the internationally recognized rights of ethnic minorities."

    Referring to the ethnic Greeks of southern Albania, Mr. Stephanopoulos said the most basic of minority rights included the right to learn the Greek language and exercise religious freedom. The president said Greece was deeply worried by developments in the Yugoslav issue, blaming the West for allowing the break-up of Yugoslavia before certain problems were resolved.

    "Greece," Mr. Stephanopoulos said, "does not support the Serbs at the expense of the Croats or the Moslems." All parties were responsible for the conflict, Mr. Stephanopoulos said. "Greece refuses to accept that only one party is solely responsible for conflict or war crimes."

    Turning to other issues, Mr. Stephanopoulos said Greece's relations with Bulgaria and Romania were "absolutely harmonious," and that "we have developed close co-operation in many fields."

    [3] President congratulates UN chief

    New York, 21/10/95

    Mr. Stephanopoulos yesterday sent a congratulatory message to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on the occasion of the United Nations' 50th anniversary. The UN's mission "is constantly acquiring increasing value in the face of today's international conditions of instability and economic stagnation plaguing many parts of our planet," the president said.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stressed that Greece supported "your choices in the framework of preventive diplomacy and your initiatives related to the UN peacekeeping operations, to which it (Greece) contributes to the measure of its ability."

    The president also expressed appreciation of the UN's efforts aiming at a viable solution to the Cyprus issue "for the benefit of peace and stability in this sensitive region of the world."

    [4] Papoulias, Arsenis regret Claes departure from NATO

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    Greece's Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias yesterday expressed his regret at NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes' resignation. "During his tenure Mr. Claes showed leadership and political qualities, significantly contributing to the effort of redefining the Atlantic Alliance, in an especially critical period," an announcement from Mr. Papoulias' office said. National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis also expressed his regret at Mr. Claes' resignation.

    Arsenis said he appreciated Mr. Claes' contribution to efforts to reform NATO in an attempt to better respond to current conditions.

    Mr. Claes announced his resignation yesterday in Brussels after the Belgian Parliament lifted his parliamentary immunity. The one-time Flemish Socialist party member can now be tried in connection with the Augusta helicopter scandal.

    [5] Athens seminar analyses Greek image abroad

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    "Greece's bad image abroad is a mirror of the country's political and diplomatic isolation," said the head of Deutche Welle's Greek section, Ronald Melnardus, during a seminar in Athens yesterday on the role of the Greek sections of the BBC and Deutche Welle in the formation of Greece's image abroad.

    The discussion was also attended by the head of the BBC's Greek section Christos Pittas, and ANA's director general Andreas Christodoulides.

    Both journalists agreed that the potential of both services in improving the picture of Greece abroad was limited, given that they addressed Greek speakers. However, they may be able to influence local public opinion, as in the case of the BBC's Greek section, which succeeded in having the term FYROM, rather than 'Macedonia' adopted in all BBC transmissions.

    Mr. Melnardus noted that references to Greek events in the German media have been reduced because a large number of German correspondents have gone to Turkey.

    All participants, however, stressed that journalists do not undertake their countries' public relations, their duty being the exercise of criticism. Mr. Christodoulides said the source of many problems concerning the way in which journalists performed t heir job was to be found in the extensive changes in many important sectors of public life.

    "Those who control the mass media are those who decide on the news we shall watch or listen to. No matter how important an event is, it will not be widely disseminated if television does not present it," he said.

    [6] Laliotis announces new radiation watchdog system as Bulgaria cranks up Kozloduy reactor again

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    An advanced radiation measuring network allowing for the immediate transmission of radiation levels on a round-the-clock basis will soon be installed in northern Greece.

    The announcement by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis comes on the heels of Bulgaria's decision to restart the oldest reactor at its controversial Kozloduy nuclear plant. The reactor had been closed for seven months for upgrading and safety checks.

    Mr. Laliotis made the announcement in response to a Parliament question regarding the 21-year-old Soviet-era plant by PASOK deputy Thodoros Kokelidis.

    Mr. Laliotis said the reactor's operation was a "huge mistake" and said the European Union has adopted a proposal by the Greek ministry calling for Bulgaria to cease the reactor's operation, with domestic electricity demand covered by neighboring nations' grids. Mr. Laliotis said the EU has agreed to cover power transfer costs.

    The Soviet-built WWER-440 reactor is considered by western experts as outdated. It lacks a protective shell to prevent leakage, while its metal case was in an advanced state of deterioration.

    Meanwhile, the Romanian government yesterday said Bulgaria's decision to restart the reactor posed unacceptable risks to Romania, a Reuters report stated. Bucharest again voiced its criticism of the plant, which has also attracted vocal international condemnation.

    Romanian territory lies just across the Kozloduy plant on the opposite side of the Danube River separating the two countries.

    However, Bulgarian officials insist the plant is safe and claim the Balkan nation would face a severe energy shortage entering winter without the nuclear station. ANA

    [7] Medical team arrives in Crete to consider transport of injured French tourists

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    A team of French doctors arrived in Crete yesterday to determine if four French nationals critically injured in a two-vehicle collision Thursday can be flown to Lyon, France.

    The six-member medical team arrived in a special plane equipped to serve as an airborne medical unit.

    The accident occurred when a truck swerved and crashed into a coach carrying French tourists near the 130th kilometer of the island's Rethymno-Agios Nikolaos highway.

    Four French tourists died in the accident along with the Greek driver of the coach and the Greek driver of the truck.

    [8] Venizelos meets with premier

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    Transport and Communications Minister Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday he had a wide-ranging discussion on a number of issues with Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou in their meeting yesterday.

    Regarding the presence of a large number of ministers and ruling PASOK deputies at a speech by former minister Costas Simitis on Thursday at the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Venizelos said: "The instance proves that in PASOK we can listen to one an other's opinions and combine these opinions within a unified political and organizational vehicle, which is constantly judged - as are its members - with a basic criteria being the trustworthiness of our word and our politicians' choices."

    [9] Mikroutsikos asks for more support of EU cultural programme

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    Culture Minister Thanos Mikroutsikos requested a significant increase yesterday for the European Union-backed "Raphael Programme," currently funded at ECU 67 million, during an informal conference of EU culture ministers in Madrid.

    The programme is the first by the Union established to protect member-states' cultural heritage, of vital importance for European civilization and Greece in particular, Mr. Mikroutsikos said.

    In his address, the Greek culture minister said Europe's "heavy industry is culture," which separates it from other continents. The EU's Spanish Presidency authorized only Greece, Germany and Italy to address the conference. Mr. Mikroutsikos was the first minister to speak.

    [10] Deaths outnumber births in Macedonia, Thrace, press conference told

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    The demographic problem has taken on alarming proportions in Greece in past years, according to the Supreme Confederation of Large Families in Greece. At a press conference yesterday to mark Large Families Day tomorrow, it was revealed that births have declined by a third since 1950, and that for every 10 births there were nine deaths. In six of 16 prefectures in Macedonia and Thrace, deaths exceeded the number of births.

    Pensioners ac counted for 9.4 per cent of the population in 1971 but the percentage had climbed to 20.8 per cent by 1994.

    Moreover, children attending the first grade of primary school have decreased by 35,000 in a decade. Representatives of large families called on the state to provide stronger economic and moral incentives to facilitate an increase in the number of births.

    [11] Romeos hails UN's contribution to peace efforts

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    Respect for and implementation of UN resolutions is a basic demand of the overwhelming majority of member states, Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos said yesterday in a speech on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organization at the Athens Concert Hall.

    He said the contribution of the organization could be appreciated by considering that there had been 37 peacekeeping missions since its founding, including that on Cyprus.

    Its resolutions constituted the expression of the global desire for the prevalence of justice, and the consequent securing of peace, he added. "Greece will continue fighting towards this aim, confirming in the most unequivocal manner its adherence to its aims and principles," he concluded.

    [12] Papantoniou to attend Monday's ECOFIN

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will attend the Council of National Economy and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) in Luxembourg on October 23.

    The ECOFIN meeting will focus on Finland's convergence programme, progress concerning work on the carbon dioxide and energy tax as well as on the guarantee fund for the European Union's overseas activities.

    In parallel, the Committee will present a report on special consumption taxes. Progress achieved in the fiscal sector in central and eastern European countries will also be examined.

    [13] Romeos due in Strasbourg Monday for meetings with Greek Eurodeputies

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos will arrive in Strasbourg on Monday to meet with Greek Eurodeputies.

    Mr. Romeos said his meeting was taking place in the framework of his decision for closer contacts with Greek Eurodeputies.

    In reply to press questions on the EU-Turkey customs union, which is to be debated in the European Parliament, Mr. Romeos said: "The Greek position is clear. We don't intend nor do we regard any intervention with the European Parliament as institutionally correct."

    [14] Spaniards moving ahead promptly on Cyprus-EU accession, Romeos says

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    The Spanish European Union presidency has promoted processes concerning the preliminary accession dialogue between Cyprus and the EU satisfactorily and quickly and the timetable regarding a start to negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the EU is expected to be observed, Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos said yesterday.

    Mr. Romeos said this was reaffirmed by talks he had earlier in the week with Spanish European Affairs Minister Carlos Westendorp.

    Mr. Westendorp has visited Cyprus three times in the past 10 months.

    [15] Banks deny 'hidden charges' in new cheaper housing loans

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    There were reactions yesterday to National Bank of Greece Governor George Mirkos' warning to borrowers Wednesday that the spate of cheap housing loan rates recently announced by other banks may have hidden 'traps' as to the final total cost of the loans.

    Alpha Credit Bank denied in a statement that its loans bore any additional charges other than those it was obliged to impose by the state, which amounted to about 5 per cent.

    National Mortgage Bank Governor Anastasios Tzavelas stated that his bank granted loans in full transparency, with detailed tables of repayment installments, which included all additional charges.

    Reacting to Mr. Mirkos' statements, Trade Minister Nikos Akritidis said, after meeting his national economy counterpart Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday, that the ministry would ask all banks for clarifications regarding the new loans. He did not rule out the adoption of measures in case it was found that the consumer was not adequately protected.

    Commenting on the issue, government spokesman Nikos Athanassakis attributed the controversy to the competition between banks, saying such phenomena were normal whenever new lending policies were announced.

    He added that the prime minister had not been aware of the content of Mr. Mirkos' statements.

    [16] Universities call off protests, business as usual on Monday

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    University rectors decided to suspend their mobilizations following their meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and his pledge to satisfy their demands.

    Universities and other higher education institutions will open Monday as normal, following the closure of institutions this week which precipitated the meeting with the premier.

    Meanwhile, party leaders held an unprecedented meeting with rectors yesterday to examine problems facing the nation's higher education sector.

    Education Minister George Papandreou called the meeting a "historic step," and noted the need for stable planning.

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert reiterated his proposal that political parties exit universities' doors, beginning from the next student elections. He again cited ND's position that education receive an additional seven billion drachmas in funding as well as legislating a five per cent share of the annual budget for education.

    Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras requested a 20 per cent increase in yearly educational funding for at least five years.

    "We are not satisfied by yesterday's (Thursday) announcements by the prime minister, even as general promises," Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary- General Aleka Papariga said, adding that when the premier announces measures on December 10, the state budget will have already been tabled.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos proposed the signing of a joint declaration by all to "pave the way" for educational reform.

    [17] News in Brief

    Athens, 21/10/1995 (ANA):

    - President Kostis Stephanopoulos will visit Thessaloniki to attend anniversary celebrations scheduled for October 25-28 to commemorate the city's liberation from Ottoman rule. President Stephanopoulos will also visit the Kozani, Grevena and Halkidiki prefectures on October 27.

    - Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert left yesterday afternoon for Munich to participate in the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Christian Social Union. Former prime minister and ND honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis as well as ND deputy Dora Bakoyanni are also invited to the events.

    [18] Memorandum related to the interim accord of New York of September 13,1995 on the mutual establishment of liaison offices

    In the framework of the Interim accord signed in New York on September 13, 1995, delegations of the Party of the First Part and the Party of the second Part to the above-mentioned Accord met in Athens on October 18, 19 and 20, 1995, and in a spirit of goo d will and constructive atmosphere agreed on the following arrangements, without prejudice to their respective positions in regard to the name of the Party of the Second Part:

    The Liaison Offices shall be established in a coordinated manner in the capitals of the Parties of the two Parts by the end of the year.

    1. Establishment of the Liaison Office of the Party of the Second Part in Athens.

    a) In case the Liaison Office is established in an apartment: At the building's entrance, there will be placed an inscription bearing the provisional designation by which the Party of the second Part is referred to in the UN Security Council Resolution 817/93. At the bottom corner of the inscription there will be an indication that it was placed by a third party. In the building's entrance hall an inscription "LIAISON OFFICE" will be placed, displaying also the emblem and the flag of the Party of the Second Part and indicating the floor on which the office is accommodated. The entrance of the apartment, for security reasons and in order to facilitate the access to the Liaison Office, will be covered by a special plain unmarked protective glass construct ion with its door, as it is the practice with other diplomatic missions. On the front side of the main door inside or on the wall beside this door, there will be an inscription bearing a name which the Party of the First Part does not recognize. It is understood that the flag and the emblem will be displayed from the apartment.

    b) In case the Liaison Office is established in a private house (villa): Just beside the entrance of the garden fence there will be placed an inscription bearing the provisional designation by which the Party of the second Part is referred to in the UN Security Council Resolution 817/93. At the bottom corner of the inscription there will be an indication that it was placed by a third Party. On the garden fence there will be placed an inscription "LIAISON OFFICE", displaying also the emblem and the flag of the Party of the Second Part. The entrance of the house, for security reasons and in order to facilitate the access to the Liaison Office, will be covered by a special plain unmarked protective glass construction with its door, as it is the practice with other diplomatic missions. On the front side of the main door inside or on the wall beside this door, there will be an inscription bearing a name which the Party of the First Part does not recognize. It is understood that the flag and the emblem will b e displayed from the house.

    The above-mentioned shall also apply to the residence of the Head of the Liaison Office in Athens, as well as to all sections, departments or offices of the Liaison Office.

    2. Establishment of the Liaison Office of the Party of the First Part in Skopje.

    The Liaison Office will be established at the premises of the ex-Consulate General of the Party of the First Part in Skopje. The inscriptions bearing the name of the Party of the First Part, the emblems and the flags displayed will follow the existing practice.

    3. Title of the Head of Mission in Athens and in Skopje - personnel.

    Both Parties agreed that the Head of Mission will bear the title "HEAD OF THE LIAISON OFFICE". As far as the number of the personnel is concerned, it was agreed that it should be sufficient as to enable the two offices to carry out their duties. The number of the personnel will be determined in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

    4. Immunities and Privileges.

    Normal diplomatic immunities and privileges will be granted in accordance with International Law (the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on consular Relations) and customs, on the basis of reciprocity.

    5. Assistance to the Party of the Second Part.

    If so requested, the Party of the First Part shall assist the Party of the Second Part in the search for an appropriate location in Athens for the establishment of its Liaison Office.

    In case any difficulty arises over the practical implementation of the above articles, the Parties will deliberate with a view to reaching an appropriate solution.

    Done in Athens on October 20, 1995, in two original copies in English.

    Dimitrios Kypraios Ambassador Party of the First Part

    Ljupco Arsovski Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Party of the Second Part ANA

    End of English language section.

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