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A.N.A. Bulletin, 03/11/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 731), November 3, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Greece, Romania affirm close ties, prospects for better co-operation

  • [2] Iliescu hopes Stephanopoulos visit will mark new era in bilateral relations

  • [3] Mitsotakis urges composite name for FYROM to avert adoption of 'Republic of Macedonia'

  • [4] Mitsotakis on domestic developments

  • [5] Call for elections

  • [6] Vartholomeos gets promise to end nuclear testing 'soon' from Chirac

  • [7] US Senators protest Turkish war threats

  • [8] Premier confers with Skandalidis on contacts

  • [9] Arsenis insists military physicians will not be included in new health system

  • [10] Vasso Papandreou calls for emphasis on development

  • [11] Romeos attends ACP-EU meeting in Mauritius

  • [12] Valyrakis discusses law, order issues with Russian justice minister

  • [13] Russia, Greece to revise judicial agreement

  • [14] Romeos tells BSEC of Commission support

  • [15] Applications for pilot methadone programme begin today

  • [16] Premier's wife says target of Avriani campaign is Andreas

  • [17] Samaranch in Athens

  • [18] George Papandreou to address UNESCO meeting

  • [19] Logothetis attempts return of 'Lion of Piraeus' from Venice

  • [20] Greek participation in EMU 'permanent national aim', Papantoniou says

  • [21] Kassandra gold mines will bring major economic benefits, report says

  • [22] Bulgarian official notes significant Greek investment interest

  • [23] Sifounakis announces decisions on new casinos


  • [1] Greece, Romania affirm close ties, prospects for better co-operation

    Bucharest, 03/11/1995 (ANA - N. Megadoukas):

    The close friendly ties between Greece and Romania were affirmed yesterday, the first day of Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos' visit to the Romanian capital, his first official state visit.

    Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Mr. Stephanopoulos discussed the further development of political and economic relations between the two countries, problems in the Balkans and particularly the situation in former Yugoslavia.

    The two sides noted an identity of views on the Balkans situation.

    After private talks between Mr. Iliescu and Mr. Stephanopoulos, the two presidents presided over a meeting of the two countries' delegations, led by Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias and his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu. Particular emphasis was placed during the talks on the need to further develop bilateral trade and economic relations and the two sides expressed particular satisfaction over the educational and cultural accord agreed between Athens and Bucharest, which will be signed b y Mr. Papoulias and Mr. Melescanu today.

    "Our cultural traditions have met over the centuries and therefore must continue in the future," Mr. Stephanopoulos said, adding that his talks in Bucharest would enable the two countries to come closer on many issues.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos reiterated Athens' firm support for Romania's efforts to join the European Union and NATO.

    In his address to the Romanian Parliament later, Mr. Stephanopoulos assured Bucharest of Greece's support for its European orientation: "Europe is awaiting Romania and Greece is awaiting Romania in Europe," he said.

    The geopolitical position of Greece and Romania "seals their existence and makes their destiny common," he added. He underlined the strategic importance of the two countries for peace and security in the Balkans and Europe by extension.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stressed that both Athens and Bucharest were highly sensitive about the concepts of equality before the law and legality.

    "It is a fact that this sensitivity is still being tried... It is being tried when independent UN member states (Cyprus) are compelled to endure occupation by foreign troops on part of their territory as the follow-up to an illegal invasion. It is tried when threats replace international legal or diplomatic practice. It is tried when the decisions of the international community are ignored or misinterpreted, whenever the interests of major powers so demand," Mr. Stephanopoulos said. On the problem of former Yugoslavia, Mr. Stephanopoulos said that Greece and Romania approached the issue in a common manner.

    "The finding of a solution through negotiations, the avoidance of solutions by military means, the maintenance of channels of communication with all the warring sides, the avoidance of labeling the warring parties and their leaders as good and bad, was and continues to be for us the most appropriate way to act, the right approach to peace," he said.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said that both Greece and Romania supported the peace initiatives underway for a settlement of the crisis in former Yugoslavia.

    Speaking to reporters later, after meeting with the leaders of Romania's opposition parties, President Stephanopoulos said he was awaiting a solution to the dispute between Romania and Bulgaria on building the Danube bridge for a new corridor of communication to be created which, combined with the Egnatia Highway, would provide a new impetus for trade and economic development.

    Addressing President Stephanopoulos at an official dinner in Bucharest last night, President Iliescu praised traditional and historic ties between Greece and Romania and the high level of bilateral relations in all sectors. He stressed the mutual desire for closer co-operation between Athens and Bucharest with regular contacts at the highest possible level.

    President Stephanopoulos stressed the strategic character taken on by co-operation between Greece and Romania in a regional and European context, calling on the Romanian leadership to examine, together with the Greek side, "plans and ideas on developing trade in the Balkans and central Europe, from the Danube to the Aegean, the Mediterranean and the Near East."

    [2] Iliescu hopes Stephanopoulos visit will mark new era in bilateral relations

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    In an exclusive statement to the ANA yesterday, the Romanian president expressed the hope that Mr. Stephanopoulos' visit would mark an important moment in the development of bilateral relations "in which progress has recently been made in the political, economic and cultural sectors."

    "Romania and Greece are interested in broadening and developing these relations, particularly in the economic sector, in order to consolidate the traditional ties of friendship between the two peoples," Mr. Iliescu said.

    "You know that Romania places among the priorities of its foreign policy the stabilization of the situation in the region, the consolidation of peace in the Balkans and in Central and Eastern Europe in general, a geographical zone facing many problems characterized by sources of tension and conflict which naturally affects our country also," Mr. Iliescu said.

    The Romanian president said that he would be discussing these problems with Mr. Stephanopoulos.

    "Greece has acquired experience which is useful for us from many points of view, as we are a country that joined the European family not long ago, knowing the rigors of the process of integration and its advantages. These kind of problems will be tackled during the talks, especially since we co-operate well in international bodies, Romania relying on the support of Greece in charting its main foreign policy orientation - European and Euro-Atlantic integration," Mr. Iliescu said.

    [3] Mitsotakis urges composite name for FYROM to avert adoption of 'Republic of Macedonia'

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Former prime minister and main opposition New Democracy party honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis told foreign correspondents yesterday that it was a priority for the Greek government to settle the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) issue by accepting a composite name.

    "Otherwise, the name 'Republic of Macedonia' will prevail," Mr. Mitsotakis said addressing an official lunch in his honor by the Foreign Press Association.

    Asked to comment on his government's handling of the FYROM issue between 1990 and 1993, Mr. Mitsotakis said his policy "was dictated by a sense of national duty".

    Turning to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Mitsotakis said he would welcome a potential US initiative for rapprochement between the two countries, adding that Turkey and Greece should enter talks "even if chances for success are minimal."

    However, he added, this should focus on finding a viable and just solution to the Cyprus problem. "Above all else, it is the Cyprus problem that poisons Greek-Turkish relations," he said.

    Stressing that unless there is progress on the Cyprus problem there can be no progress in any other aspect of Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Mitsotakis said:

    "Turkey must realize that a solution to the Cyprus problem... will facilitate the country's participation in the European family and form the conditions for new relations with Greece."

    Mr. Mitsotakis said dialogue should be based on principles of international law as well as respect for territorial integrity and agreements signed by the two nations.

    "The dialogue should aim at arriving at an overall package agreement to include all our differences," Mr. Mitsotakis added.

    Referring to ratification by the European Parliament of the EU-Turkey customs union, Mr. Mitsotakis said that, considering Turkey's attitude on human rights, "it is difficult for someone to vote for the union."

    Turning to the issue of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, the former prime minister criticized the government for "complete indifference" and "inexplicable concessions threatening to achieve what centuries of repression couldn't, namely the elimination of the minority."

    Concluding, Mr. Mitsotakis urged a more aggressive Greek political, economic, and cultural policy in the Balkans, with the encouragement of large projects in neighboring countries, and the pursuit of a decisive role in the carving of a European Balkan policy.

    [4] Mitsotakis on domestic developments

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Turning to the domestic political situation, Mr. Mitsotakis stressed that Greece needed stable one-party governments that were able to apply a specific policy, and rejected claims that he aimed to lead a multi-party government.

    "New Democracy is on an upward course, but it must win an absolute majority... The political reality in Greece is not similar to Italy, there is fluidity, and a percentage of the Greek people is dissatisfied with the parties. But there is time for political leaders to change this climate, and the key lies in telling the truth. We are not convincing when we slide to populism and demagogy," he said.

    He accepted, however, that if no party gained an absolute majority, it might be preferable to form a coalition government rather than hold new elections.

    The former premier rejected speculation that he intended to form a new political party, and stressed it was natural for different views to be expressed within a party.

    "If there is no exchange of views and we do not opt for the right policy, the party will not move forward... Its aim is not simply to gain power, but to provide solutions," he said.

    Referring to his claim in the preface to a book presented Wednesday, that he had been denied support by former president Constantine Karamanlis, when as prime minister, he tried to promote a compromise solution in Greece's dispute with FYROM in January 1993, he insisted that the president should have heeded his request for a convening of the political leaders' council, and not submit to then opposition leader Andreas Papandreou's veto, who refused to participate.

    Asked to comment on the publication of controversial photographs of the prime minister's wife, he said he had steadfastly refused to involve her in political disputes, although she undoubtedly played a political role. He added that he himself had been t he victim of a defamation campaign by the same newspaper ten years ago, instigated by Mr. Papandreou himself, who had supplied an obviously fake photograph showing him in consort with German World War II occupation troops. "It is Mr. Papandreou who introduced such methods in political life," he said.

    [5] Call for elections

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Mr. Mitsotakis requested the urgent holding of elections, under the present electoral system, and on the understanding that the next Parliament will effect a major constitutional revision.

    "This is the only hope Greece has to follow the course of other European countries, to keep its place in a united Europe, and to make the new start it needs," he said.

    "The present phase must end. The lack of policy and of a prime minister cannot be tolerated any longer," he added.

    [6] Vartholomeos gets promise to end nuclear testing 'soon' from Chirac

    Paris, 03/11/1995 (ANA - G. Zitouniati/A. Kourkoulas):

    French President Jacques Chirac and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos discussed the spiritual dimension of the Orthodox Church's message, the role the Church could play in resolving international disputes, appeasing nationalist passions and contemporary ecological problems during extensive talks in Paris yesterday.

    During their 90-minute meeting, double the time initially scheduled, the Patriarch expressed his concern to Mr. Chirac over continuing French nuclear testing.

    "I received the President's reassurance that nuclear testing will come to an end in a few months' time and an effort will be made to have an agreement signed to put a final end to testing," the Patriarch said afterwards.

    Replying to questioners from the Turkish press, the Patriarch said Mr. Chirac supported the process of Turkey's rapprochement with the European Union, adding that he was of the same opinion.

    "Mr. Chirac was aware of the situation of the Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate's problems," the Patriarch said.

    Addressing Mr. Chirac, the Ecumenical Patriarch said France was the meeting point of the Christian East with the West in our century. The political vicissitudes of our century from the Russian revolution, the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, the seizure of power in Balkan countries by the communists and the Middle East drama led tens of thousands of Orthodox believers to France.

    Full military honors were bestowed on the Patriarch and his entourage by the Presidential Guard at the Champs Elysees and Mr. Chirac accompanied the Patriarch outside at the end of their talks.

    The Patriarch also exchanged views with French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette.

    A te deum service was held yesterday afternoon at St. Stephen Cathedral on the occasion of Vartholomeos' arrival in Paris.

    The service was attended by Education and Religious Affairs Minister George Papandreou who arrived in Paris yesterday to attend UNESCO's conference today.

    The Patriarch will address UNESCO's 28th General Conference session today after receiving a special invitation.

    [7] US Senators protest Turkish war threats

    Washington, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Fifteen key United States senators, representing just under 100 million Americans, yesterday sent a letter to President Bill Clinton regarding recent Turkish war threats against Greece.

    In their letter, the senators said that "America strongly opposes any Turkish military action against our ally Greece," and urged the president to "communicate to Turkey our concern about this matter," said Andrew Athens, national chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC).

    "These senators told the president that the Turkish National Assembly's June 8, 1995 resolution authorizing 'military steps against Greece' was 'inappropriate... (and) a dangerous overreaction' to Greece's ratification of the internationally accepted Law of the Sea Convention. In addition, the Turkish prime minister's statement soon thereafter, that she considers as 'casus belli' (a cause for war) Greece's extension of its territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles, was 'unnecessary and potentially dangerous'," said Mr. Athens.

    Philip Christopher, president of the Pancyprian Association and the International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) said the senators "asked the president to stress to Turkey that a 'significant percentage of Turkey's military equipment came to them as American foreign aid,' and that this equipment, as stated in American law, 'is intended solely for defensive purposes."

    [8] Premier confers with Skandalidis on contacts

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister and PASOK leader Andreas Papandreou met with PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis yesterday to discuss the latter's recent contacts with PASOK cadres and issues related to the ruling party's central committee meeting later this month.

    Mr. Skandalidis said the premier's decision is for PASOK to "turn a page" with consistency, seriousness and decisiveness.

    He said cadres' choices are personal, adding that all necessary means will be exhausted to achieve a unified direction for PASOK.

    Mr. Skandalidis added that he was not delivering any message from the premier in his contacts with leading PASOK members but simply his opinions. He also mentioned that he has not met with any disagreements.

    Mr. Skandalidis met with PASOK deputy Theodoros Pangalos yesterday.

    "My views on the political situation and the situation in PASOK are known," Mr. Pangalos told reporters afterwards. "I hope the discussion I had with Costas Skandalidis will prove useful."

    Mr. Skandalidis also met with a number of PASOK deputies.

    [9] Arsenis insists military physicians will not be included in new health system

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou had a three-hour meeting with National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis at his residence in Ekali yesterday.

    After the meeting, the defense minister commented on his opposition to military physicians being included in a proposed national health bill revamping the National Health System (ESY) that was unveiled this week by Health Minister Dimitris Kremastinos.

    He said military health personnel will support the ESY, but cannot legally be incorporated into such a scheme.

    Mr. Arsenis' statement against the military's inclusion in ESY has already drawn criticism from Social Security Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas.

    However, the defense chief said he met Wednesday with Mr. Kremastinos, who expressed no objections to his (Mr. Arsenis') positions on the issue.

    Meanwhile, an announcement said the premier would visit the defense ministry this month to meet with officers.

    [10] Vasso Papandreou calls for emphasis on development

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    PASOK deputy and former EU commissioner Vasso Papandreou yesterday called on the government, parties and all social bodies to adopt a new development-oriented mentality.

    "What is important is not who controls the fading values system, but who formulates the new rapid advancing era," Ms Papandreou told Greek shipowners at a luncheon held at the Piraeus Marine Club.

    "The question is whether this modernization will be violent and socially explosive, or whether it will bear a social and human face," she said.

    Ms Papandreou also spoke of the need for a new "social contract" between political forces and economic interests and the need to "keep intact social cohesion."

    But she criticized employees, saying that "each year they fight the battle for (the renewal) of contracts" in order to achieve greater increases.

    Ms Papandreou said quality of life and living standards could improve if the country's resources were put to better use.

    She further said that modernization was based on "the substantive transformation of institutions and political life".

    Ms Papandreou expressed concern over the fact that while Greece was on a course of convergence with the European Union, "it does not really adjust," adding that this was worrying because the government employed an economic policy that aimed only at stabilization and not at development.

    She called on the shipowners to transfer their money to Greek banks and invest in the country's ship-repair and shipbuilding industry.

    [11] Romeos attends ACP-EU meeting in Mauritius

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    An annual meeting of European Union member-states with representatives of 70 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations begin today in Mauritius.

    Greece will be represented by Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos at the three-day ministerial-level event.

    A revision of the second part of the LOME IV 10-year agreement will be signed Saturday after completion of a ministers' conference focusing on commercial and economic issues.

    The LOME Agreement defines the areas and rules of co-operation between ACP countries and the EU.

    On the sidelines of the conference, Mr. Romeos will finalize a bilateral economic agreement for commercial co-operation with Mauritius.

    [12] Valyrakis discusses law, order issues with Russian justice minister

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Public Order Minister Sifis Valyrakis held a meeting yesterday with Russian Justice Minister and head of the National Security Council Valentin Kovalev focusing on battling crime and terrorism, drug trafficking and smuggling of arms and nuclear material.

    The two ministers also discussed issues relating to illegal migration and stressed the need for the signing of a re-entrance agreement.

    Mr. Valyrakis invited his Russian counterpart to visit Greece.

    [13] Russia, Greece to revise judicial agreement

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Justice Minister Ioannis Pottakis and his Russian counterpart Valentin Kovalev yesterday met and discussed the issue of reviewing and updating the 14-year old judicial assistance agreement between the two countries, which has become necessary since the re -introduction of private property, a civil code, and market mechanisms in Russia.

    It was agreed to set up a joint committee of experts to study particular aspects of family and penal law, and inheritance provisions concerning individuals of dual citizenship.

    [14] Romeos tells BSEC of Commission support

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos represented Greece Wednesday at the sixth Ministerial Summit of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation, which was held in Moldova.

    The summit focused on the need for co-operation amongst member states and the formation of a new institutional and legal framework to facilitate economic co-operation.

    Co-operation will be facilitated by the International Black Sea Research Centre, the International Black Sea Trade and Development Bank as well as the Sofia-based Energy Centre.

    Mr. Romeos conveyed a message from the European Commission ensuring its support for the effort of the Black Sea Co-operation.

    The Commission has allocated 250,000 ECU to fund the Athens Research Centre and the Thessaloniki-based Trade and Development Bank's business plan.

    [15] Applications for pilot methadone programme begin today

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    As of today, intravenous drug users will be able to submit applications to participate in a pilot programme for the distribution of methadone in Athens and Thessaloniki, the first of its kind in Greece.

    Prerequisites for taking part in the programme, to begin in early December, are that the participant has been using heroin for a number of years, has no other health problems and is over the age of 22.

    The methadone will be distributed from two centers set up in the Exarchia district of Athens and from an annex of the Thessaloniki Psychiatric Hospital.

    Participants will take the methadone in liquid form and subsequently be monitored by psychiatrists and psychologists. They will be obliged to submit themselves to regular blood and urine sampling to ensure that they are not using any other substances.

    The programme will cost 420 million drachmas annually and, if successful, will be extended to other regions of Greece which has an estimated 50,000 heroin addicts.

    [16] Premier's wife says target of Avriani campaign is Andreas

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, the prime minister's wife, yesterday broke her silence over the continued publication of photographs in the Athens daily "Avriani".

    "A different version of the same scenario as 1989 has simply shifted the spotlight of publicity to myself. The goal is the same: Andreas. I won't comment on scenaria that are proven wrong on a daily basis," she told the Italian daily "Corriere della Sera" in an exclusive interview.

    Asked to comment on critics who say she governs Greece and that she has created a powerful personal circle, Ms Liani-Papandreou said:

    "Greece is governed by its people with the election of Andreas Papandreou as prime minister for a third time in 12 years, after efforts aimed at his (Mr. Papandreou) political and moral extinction failed miserably."

    Asked how she felt about the campaign against her she said: "I do not intend to defend myself because I'm 40 years old, because I'm a blonde, because I'm the wife of Andreas Papandreou."

    Asked if recent attacks and publication of the explicit photos are a political maneuver and who the target was, she answered:

    "They, the blackmailers themselves, clearly say that their target is Andreas Papandreou. In fact, they have the audacity to call these political methods."

    [17] Samaranch in Athens

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Events marking the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games begins November 10 with a general assembly by European Olympic Committees.

    International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch will be among the high-ranking officials from 49 European nations attending the two-day event.

    [18] George Papandreou to address UNESCO meeting

    Paris, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Education Minister George Papandreou arrived here yesterday to take part in events marking the 28th General Convention of the UNESCO.

    Mr. Papandreou, who is heading a Greek delegation, will address the convention of the great problems facing humanity as well as Greece's role and contribution to the promotion of the international organization's efforts.

    [19] Logothetis attempts return of 'Lion of Piraeus' from Venice

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Piraeus Mayor Stelios Logothetis, along with 400 residents of Greece's largest port city, will deliver a petition Monday to Venice municipal officials requesting the return of the "Lion of Piraeus."

    According to an AFP report yesterday, a committee established for the return of the imposing marble statue will be greeted by Venetian authorities.

    The committee has financed construction of a marble replica of the statue, which it hopes to give to Venice in return for the original.

    The ancient lion guarded the port's entrance for 2,000 years until it was taken by Venetian general Francisco Morozini in 1688, after an unsuccessful campaign against Ottoman forces in Attica.

    [20] Greek participation in EMU 'permanent national aim', Papantoniou says

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Speaking to a gathering of foreign businessmen and senior executives in Thessaloniki yesterday, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said the stabilization of the Greek economy, which had already made great strides, and its convergence with other European economies were of critical importance for the future of the country.

    "The stabilization of the Greek economy and its gradual convergence with the criteria of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) do not only constitute a condition for economic recovery and securing high growth rates. They constitute a political option par excellence. Staying outside, or delaying our participation in a union being in the process of enlargement, where participants are setting the rules of the game, we are in a danger of being left on the sidelines of European processes. Our participation in the third phase of EMU is a permanent national aim," he said.

    Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the realization of large projects, which, together with the full utilization of Second Support Framework (CSF) funds, and the speeding up of investments, will lead the Greek economy to faster growth rates and higher employment levels.

    "It is estimated that the realization of projects and programmes financed through the second CSF in the 1994-99 period will create an additional increase in GNP by 3.3 per cent, in private investment by 11.8 per cent, in the share of investment in the G NP by 5 per cent, and more than 50,000 new jobs," he said. Kassandra gold mines will bring major economic benefits, report says

    [21] Kassandra gold mines will bring major economic benefits, report says

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    The establishment of a gold mining industry at the Kassandra iron ore mines is a one-way road and its creation should get underway immediately.

    The proposal was made by the Institute of Geological and Metallurgical Research (IGME) Thessaloniki department manager Nikos Arvanitidis in a report released yesterday.

    Mr. Arvanitidis stressed that the establishment of the gold mining industry was of strategic importance since in this way Greece would be ranked among the world's gold-producing countries.

    The economic benefit would be great since 80 per cent of the industry's net revenues would remain in the country in the form of taxes (25-30 per cent), salaries (30-35 per cent), operational expenditures (15-20 per cent) and investments in research. Related local sectors of industry are expected to be utilized and strengthened.

    [22] Bulgarian official notes significant Greek investment interest

    Sofia, 03/11/1995 (ANA - N. Hios):

    Bulgarian Vice-President and Economic Development Minister Rumen Ghetchev yesterday stressed the massive Greek entrepreneurial interest in investments in Bulgaria.

    Mr. Ghetchev made the statements at a two-day economic conference in Athens focusing on investments in the Balkans.

    Mr. Ghetchev attributed the burgeoning Greek investment interest to the government's decision to participate in the construction of major energy, transport, and telecommunications works in the Balkans.

    According to Mr. Ghetchev, negotiations for the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines were in the final stages and were expected to commence in 1996.

    He added that a meeting between Greece, Bulgaria and Russia was scheduled to take place in December to discuss the extent of Greek and Bulgarian involvement in the construction of the Alexandroupolis-Bourgas oil pipeline.

    Mr. Ghetchev said he anticipated a tough struggle in formulating the percentages "since these represent profits of millions of dollars."

    Meanwhile, in Sofia, the Transport Committee of the permanent Greek-Bulgaria inter-ministerial committee was convening to discuss issues of similar context.

    [23] Sifounakis announces decisions on new casinos

    Athens, 03/11/1995 (ANA):

    Tourism Minister Nikos Sifounakis yesterday announced the decisions of the government's Economic Policy Committee concerning the opening of new casinos.

    Four new licenses were approved, for the Rhodes Casino Consortium, the Greek-American Theros consortium for a concern in the Achaia prefecture, one for the Syros municipality - Almo Olympic consortium, and one for the Casino Magic-Tottis consortium in Florina.

    Mr. Sifounakis also announced that Anavyssos, southern Attica, has been designated a priority location for the Athens casino, originally planned for Flisvos, in the suburb of Paleo Faliro, which will now host a conference centre, and possibly a marina.

    He explained that the Anavyssos option may possibly be revised.

    End of English language section.

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