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A.N.A. Bulletin, 30/10/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 727), October 30, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Romeos: Turkish human rights record not up to EU standards

  • [2] Pol.An statement

  • [3] Greece celebrates "Ochi" Day

  • [4] Messages

  • [5] Grachev arrives in Athens for official meetings

  • [6] Greek, Yugoslavian military chiefs meet

  • [7] General staff chief departs for WEU gathering

  • [8] Aegean naval exercise scheduled

  • [9] Prime Minister sends congratulations for Turkish Republic's founding

  • [10] Papoulias says elections unlikely to change Turkey's "fixed" foreign policy

  • [11] President says Greece desires friendly relations but unwilling to tolerate injustices, irrational demands

  • [12] Publisher condemned for nude photo

  • [13] Backlash

  • [14] Kouris appears

  • [15] Papoulias: No names on the table for FYROM

  • [16] Skandalidis confident PASOK will win next elections

  • [17] Evert statement

  • [18] Tsohatzopoulos squashes rumor of public employment law's abolishment

  • [19] Papantoniou, ADEDY disagree on civil servants' wage hikes


  • [1] Romeos: Turkish human rights record not up to EU standards

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos said Friday that political dialogue between Turkey and the EU was being held within the framework of an association agreement, and bearing no relation to a "structured dialogue" foreseen for the accession of Cyprus and Malta. Replying to reporters' questions in light of the EU-Turkey Association Council meeting in Luxembourg today, after a week which saw Turkey's controversial human rights record again in the spotlight, Mr. Romeos said financing regulations within the framework of the EU-Turkey customs union had been shaped as foreseen and contained clauses on respect for human rights by Ankara.

    The agreement, he added, also contained an article which clearly states that the financing regulation will be activated following ratification of a customs union agreement by the Europarliament.

    The regulation provides for the granting of a total of ECU 375 million to Turkey over the next five years. A sum of Ecu 20 million has been allocated in the Community's budget as credit liabilities in expectation of ratification.

    Commenting on the human rights situation in the neighboring country, Mr. Romeos said it was clear that the slow steps being taken by Turkey toward democratization satisfied no one in the EU.

    Last week, a Turkish court upheld 15-year sentences for four jailed Kurdish deputies found guilty of "aiding Kurdish separatist guerrillas," while it released two others.

    The European Parliament is due to ratify Turkey's custom union with the EU in December, but prospects for a positive outcome appear bleak due to Turkey's poor human rights record.

    Mr. Romeos will attend the General Affairs Council meeting today and tomorrow in Luxembourg, which will focus on programmes for the reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia and progress to date on the issue of the Euro-Mediterranean Conference.

    [2] Pol.An statement

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    A Political Spring (Pol.An.) party spokesman yesterday called on the government to oppose with all means allowed by (EU) regulations the implementation of a EU-Turkey customs union.

    Spokesman Notis Martakis said Greece should make clear that at a time when Turkey violates human rights, threatens Greece with war and given Ankara's responsibility in keeping the Cyprus problem unsolved, it would be "beyond any logic for Greece to cooperate in financing works which concern Turkish interests."

    [3] Greece celebrates "Ochi" Day

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    National "Ochi (no) Day" celebrations culminated in Thessaloniki on Saturday with a large military parade in the presence of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos. The parade, marking the anniversary of the outbreak of war between Greece and Italy on Oct. 28, 1940, was attended by National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis, representing Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and the government, main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert, former president Christos Sartzetakis, Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras, representatives of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left and Progress, Transport and Communications Minister Evangelos Venizelos, several deputies, Thessaloniki Mayor Constantine Kosmopoulos, Prefect Costas Papadopoulos and the armed forces' leadership.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said afterwards Greeks felt national pride, stability and national impetus.

    National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said "when the Greek people are united and have preparedness to struggle we can achieve miracles, and we need the lesson of October 1940 today."

    He said Greeks would forge ahead to achieve targets of peace and should fear nothing.

    Mr. Evert said "the big 'No' should be replaced with a big 'Yes' in present-day society."

    He said "yes" to unanimity among the Greek people and to development and progress in Greece, adding that the country's international isolation should end.

    Mr. Samaras said Greeks were at peace with each other and had the vision of a strong Greece in a united Europe. He also paid tribute to those who, guided by their conscience, fought for the freedom of Greece.

    [4] Messages

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    In a message marking the anniversary of the outbreak of war between Greece and Italy in 1940, Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou stressed the need Friday for national unanimity and unity in defending national interests in the present.

    He said at a time of especially aggravated problems in this part of the world, Greece remained steadfast in its positions.

    Mr. Papandreou said that 50 years after the end of World War II, we again say no to new expressions of fascism and racism, phenomena lurking in today's societies as well.

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis said in his message that wounds remained unhealed to date and the consequences of the country's ravages remained unremedied, particularly from Germany's occupation. He said present-day Germany was refusing arrogantly to comply with international law and respond to its commitments emanating from binding international treaties.

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert said the country was faced with many dangers even today, dangers differing from those faced by a poorer Greece in 1940, but which are equally menacing.

    Mr. Evert said the country could emerge victorious from all these dangers, provided Greeks reacted decisively with unanimity and unity which are necessary more than ever today.

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras said that with vigilance in every corner of the earth, Hellenism was called on to reply to unified Europe's increased requirements, social and economic difficulties and instability in the Balkan region.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the issue of German war reparations was an appeal concerning all the people, and criticized the government for inertia over the issue. KKE said provocative statements were increasing both by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other German officials concerning the fulfillment of Germany's obligations toward Greece and its people, which suffered a great deal together with other nations from German occupation troops.

    KKE also criticized the government that with its foreign policy it was giving examinations of good conduct to the United States and NATO, and what it said are their plans in the region.

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress said Greece needed a new uplift to exit from a deep crisis and decline. It said the tackling of national issues necessitated a minimum national understanding through the creation of a national foreign policy council.

    It also said claiming war reparations and the return by Germany of a loan received during the occupation period was a problem with a huge moral, historical and political significance.

    In his order of the day, National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said the era of 1940 was a message remaining unchanged and topical for all enemies plotting against the country's national independence and territorial integrity.

    He said the Greek people, with their armed forces as their vigilant guards, were ready to fight and die for their freedom at any moment.

    [5] Grachev arrives in Athens for official meetings

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev arrived in Athens yesterday evening to begin an official visit today.

    Before a noon meeting with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Mr. Grachev will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Afterwards, the Russian defiance minister will have talks with his Greek counterpart Gerassimos Arsenis and defiance undersecretaries Nikos Kouris and Emmanuel Bentetiotis as well as top Greek military commanders.

    A joint press conference will follow a private meeting between the two defiance ministers.

    [6] Greek, Yugoslavian military chiefs meet

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Defense General Staff Chief Adm. Christos Lymberis met with his Yugoslavian counterpart Gen. Momsilo Perisc last week in Thessaloniki.

    An announcement by the National Defense Ministry Friday said talks focused on issues of mutual interest.

    [7] General staff chief departs for WEU gathering

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Defense General Staff Chief Adm. Christos Lymberis will leave for Madrid today to attend a meeting of general staff chiefs from West European Union (WEU) member-states. Adm. Lymberis will return to Athens Wednesday.

    [8] Aegean naval exercise scheduled

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    A medium-level naval exercise code-named "Iolkos 95" will be held in the Aegean Nov. 2-10 as part of the "Partnership for Peace" initiative, with the participation of Greek, Italian, Romanian and US forces. The purpose of the exercise is joint training for military forces in peacekeeping missions as well as search and rescue missions.

    [9] Prime Minister sends congratulations for Turkish Republic's founding

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou on Saturday congratulated Turkish Premier Tansu Ciller on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.

    In his message Mr. Papandreou stated: "On the occasion of the national anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, on behalf of the Greek government and me personally, I wish to address to you our warm congratulations and sincere wishes for the progress and prosperity of the Turkish people".

    [10] Papoulias says elections unlikely to change Turkey's "fixed" foreign policy

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias on Friday said he believes there would be no change in Ankara's "fixed" foreign policy, regardless of who eventually assumes Turkey' foreign minister's position.

    The neighboring country will hold elections later this year.

    "We are closely following developments in Turkey. What is important is which parties will gain a majority and which government will take office", Mr. Papoulias said.

    The Turkish National Assembly passed a bill Friday for early general elections set for Dec. 24.

    [11] President says Greece desires friendly relations but unwilling to tolerate injustices, irrational demands

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos stated that Greece wishes to live in peace with its neighbors and with all other nations, however, it demands avoidance of provocations and respect for rules of international justice.

    Addressing a dinner given in his honor Friday in Thessaloniki by the commander of the III Army Corps, Mr. Stephanopoulos warned that Greece was not prepared to tolerate injustices and irrational demands or threats, adding that its good intentions were proved with specific efforts to normalize relations with all countries.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said Greece's problems were limited mainly and substantially to relations with Turkey, whose policy creates dangers for regional stability and is blatantly contrary to international legitimacy and law.

    The Greek president recounted Turkey's refusal to comply with United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus, in addition to Ankara's irrational demand that the island republic not become a European Union member unless Turkey's own accession is first approved.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos again denounced, as he did last week during a UN General Assembly speech, Turkey's threat of war against Greece if the latter exercises its legal right to extend territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.

    Referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) issue, Mr. Stephanopoulos said relations between the two countries have improved, adding that Greece has no territorial claims against the one-time Yugoslav republic.

    "The only thing we want is that it (FYROM) abandon its expansionist and aggressive policy against us, and the safest way of doing this is by changing the name linking it to such a policy," he said.

    "I believe this need is expressed by an interim agreement signed in New York and the prediction of a continuation of negotiations for the name of that country," the Greek president added.

    On the question of relations with Albania, Mr. Stephanopoulos expressed regret because "this country appears unwilling to absolutely recognize for the Greek minority in northern Epirus the right and possibility of the Greek language being taught and learned, as well as the unimpeded functioning of the Albanian Orthodox Church."

    [12] Publisher condemned for nude photo

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    The publisher of an Athens daily was sentenced to 16 months in jail Saturday for splashing what the paper called a fake full-page photograph of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's wife in the nude with another woman.

    Makis Psomiades, the owner/publisher of the paper "To Onoma" was found guilty by a three-member court of misdemeanors of "wanton abuse through the press."

    Mr. Psomiades was allowed to buy out his sentence for 1,500 drachmas per day. However, he was denied the right to appeal the sentence and had to pay the fine before being set free.

    Earlier, the prosecutor motioned for a 20-month incarceration, saying that although Mr. Psomiades claimed he published the photo to prove it was a doctored fraud, his action "still harmed the honor and reputation of the persons in the picture."

    George Kouris, the publisher of the Athens afternoon daily "Avriani," and two senior editors, one from "To Onoma" and one from "Avriani" also faced the same charges. However, they remained at large both Friday and Saturday. Mr. Kouris published the same photo in "Avriani. "Both papers published the picture on Friday.

    [13] Backlash

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Meanwhile, in a statement, Mrs. Papandreou stated: "To the outrageous fabrication (of the picture), the culmination of a filthy campaign of political blackmail a woman is going through in our country, I can only answer with my deepest contempt.

    "I could ask: 'Today it's me. Tomorrow, who else?' I simply hope that I will be the last victim of such an unprecedented irresponsibility, which is being falsely labeled freedom of the press in order to serve unlawful interests," she said.

    Mrs. Papandreou concluded by saying she has "confidence in the judgment of the people to whom I hand over the underminers of every meaning of human rights."

    Publication of the highly controversial photograph was condemned by several government ministers, who described the photo a fake, as well as opposition political parties.

    Press and Media Minister Telemahos Hytiris described the publication of the explicit photograph as "a miserable campaign to degrade the country's public life with an aim of harming Andreas Papandreou and (the ruling) PASOK (party)."

    Mr. Hytiris said it was not necessary for a reader to be an expert to realize that the photo was a fake.

    Speaking in the northern Greek city of Ioannina, Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias described the publication of the photo as a "vulgarity," while Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said it was a case of "moral degradation which surpasses all limits of professional ethics."

    National Defiance Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said publication of such photographs "undermines the foundations of our form of government and democratic institutions."

    Political Spring (Pol.An) party spokesman Notis Martakis said "such phenomena do not promote the country's political life and divert political interest from people's real problems."

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in a statement that KKE condemned such phenomena now as it has in the past.

    "Those who have encouraged such phenomena in the past," the statement read in an obvious reference to PASOK's relations with "Avriani" in the past, "should have drawn in time their conclusions."

    For years "Avriani" was a fervent supporter of the ruling PASOK party.

    [14] Kouris appears

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Yesterday, "Avriani" publisher George Kouris appeared before the press after expiration of a 48-hour time limit to bring him to immediate trial passed.

    The "Avriani" publisher claimed he had more photographs of Mrs. Papandreou as well as documents allegedly proving her involvement in illegal activities.

    Mr. Kouris vowed to publish the photos and the documents unless Mrs. Papandreou ceased all purported political activity.

    Earlier this month, criminal proceedings were initiated against "Avriani" for violating obscenity laws by publishing photos of the premier's wife sunbathing during an island holiday 10 years ago. The proceedings, initiated by prosecutor Miltiades Andriotelis, were based on a complaint filed by the ruling PASOK party's youth organization.

    The arrest warrants issued on Friday for the persons legally responsible for publication of the photo named George Kouris and Constantine Kontopanos, the owner/publisher and general manager respectively of "Avriani" as well as Makis Psomiadis and Demetris Papadopoulos, publisher and editor respectively of "To Onoma."

    The four were not apprehended at their offices, leading four police teams to search for them at their homes and other locations. Mr. Psomiadis was later arrested outside the Athens Appeal Court building where he was being tried for fraud and forgery in a separate case involving the illegal importation of gold.

    The Greek section of the human rights organization Helsinki Watch and the Greek Group for Minority Rights condemned the "persecutions" of publishers and journalists, as they stated.

    [15] Papoulias: No names on the table for FYROM

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias said Friday there were no names for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the negotiating table at present, since "we're still at the stage of searching."

    Speaking to reporters in the northwestern city of Ioannina, Mr. Papoulias said that "we have entered the second phase of negotiations with Skopje the phase of the name, and (United Nations mediator for the Greek-FYROM issue) Cyrus Vance has already so unded out both the Greek and FYROM sides, while Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou has been briefed."

    The Greek foreign minister said the second phase of negotiations between Athens and Skopje, following the recent signing of an interim agreement aimed at normalizing relations between the two Balkan neighbors, would entail "difficult, tough negotiation s."

    He expressed a belief, however, that the outcome would be successful.

    [16] Skandalidis confident PASOK will win next elections

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    PASOK Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis assured a gathering on Rhodes yesterday that PASOK would be the most difficult party to break up, since its electoral base still held to its original values. In Rhodes to attend events commemorating the Oct. 28 national holiday, Mr. Skandalidis said the party should not worry about the next elections, as it had plenty of time to disprove opinion polls and show that there was no real alternative to a PASOK administration. He also denied that changes to the electoral law were planned.

    With regard to recent disputes within the party, he noted the need to maintain "equal distances" between party cadres. With reference to former PASOK deputy Dimitris Tsovolas, who resigned from PASOK recently, Mr. Skandalidis said that while Mr. Tsovolas' ideas were incomplete and outdated, he would always be welcomed back into the party fold.

    Asked to comment on nude photographs of the premier's wife, Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, which were published recently in the press, Mr. Skandalidis emphasized that "vulgarity had no place in politics."

    [17] Evert statement

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert, at a party gathering yesterday in Skydra, in the Pella Prefecture, maintained that elections were imminent and expressed the belief that his party would win with a clear majority.

    [18] Tsohatzopoulos squashes rumor of public employment law's abolishment

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Saturday reiterated the government's commitment to upholding Law 2190 regarding hiring procedures for public service employment.

    Referring to a press report that the law would be abolished, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said such "rumors were started by those who wished to change the legal procedures for hiring public servants," procedures in force for the last two years.

    The interior minister emphasized that the government would maintain the current system.

    [19] Papantoniou, ADEDY disagree on civil servants' wage hikes

    Athens, 30/10/1995 (ANA):

    General Secretary of the Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) Ilias Vretakos walked out of talks Friday between the union and National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    "In addition to a reduction of income, we now have the mockery and ridicule of the trade union movement," Mr. Vretakos told reporters after his meeting with the government's top economic minister on the 1996 state budget and incomes policy.

    Mr. Papantoniou acknowledged that civil servants suffered a considerable loss of income between 1990-93, but said the present PASOK government reversed the trend by giving a number of "small, but real" increases.

    Backing up his claim, Mr. Papantoniou said government appropriation for wages and salaries in the 1995 budget increased by 12.5 per cent.

    He added the government will continue its restrictive incomes policy and only within this framework would salary increases be approved.

    ADEDY President George Koutsoukos said there was a "distance" between ADEDY and Mr. Papantoniou's positions. The union official insisted on salary increases of 17 per cent, warning of labor action. ADEDY has already announced a four-hour work stoppage for Nov. 14 as well as the holding of a protest rally against state budget austerity. The rally is jointly organized with the General Confedera-tion of Workers of Greece (GSEE). Mr. Koutsoukos described Mr. Papantoniou's claim of increases o f 12.5 per cent in 1995 as "a provocation" for civil servants and warned that "scenarios" concerning pay increases of 2.5 plus 2.5 per cent would lead to further losses of real income.

    Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in an announcement that the government chose "the road of harsh austerity and mockery toward civil servants."

    End of English language section.

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