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A.N.A. Bulletin, 13/11/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 739), November 13, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Important PASOK Parliamentary Group meeting scheduled today

  • [2] Modernizers' position

  • [3] Centrists' agenda

  • [4] Kaklamanis, Pangalos remarks

  • [5] Renewable sources of energy conference concludes

  • [6] PASOK seminar addresses EU developments

  • [7] Evert winds up tour of Aitoloacarnania

  • [8] Samaras reiterates opposition to any use of 'Macedonia' for FYROM's name

  • [9] Ethiopian hijacker ordered jailed, Australian court had ordered halt to deportation

  • [10] Australian ruling

  • [11] Greece: War reparations issue not closed

  • [12] Patriarch arrived in Chania, on last leg of Cretan tour

  • [13] 'Quality' as a concept examined at conference

  • [14] Kastoria's liberation from Ottoman rule commemorated


  • [1] Important PASOK Parliamentary Group meeting scheduled today

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou will chair a meeting of his ruling socialist PASOK party's Parliamentary Group today, an event political observers consider important but not crucial.

    On the other hand, a meeting of PASOK's central committee at the end of the month might prove pivotal.

    Mr. Papandreou had set out the agenda of today's Parliamentary Group meeting at its previous sitting, namely the government's social policy and PASOK's social image.

    However, following recent developments in the ruling party it is uncertain whether deputies will confine themselves only to this topic.

    According to reports, PASOK's "modernizers" and "centrists" are expected to raise all contemporary political issues, particularly those concerning application of government policy and the party's image.

    PASOK's leadership, Mr. Papandreou and the executive committee apparently have no intention of restricting discussions to the issue for which the Parliamentary Group is being convened.

    Typical of this attitude is a statement by Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis who, when asked to comment on the issue, said "let all the flowers flourish."

    Mr. Papandreou is expected to focus on political developments and propose specific changes in the way the Parliamentary Group should operate in order to upgrade its role.

    The issue of the Parliamentary Group's operation was raised in a written proposal to Parliamentary Group Secretary Dimitris Beis by 40 PASOK deputies on Friday.

    Among others, they propose a restriction of certain duties Mr. Papandreou as PASOK president exercises on the Parliamentary Group.

    Political analysts state that the need to change the way the Parliamentary Group operates is a necessity for an overwhelming majority of PASOK deputies and that the issue is expected to be resolved.

    Currently, the Parliamentary Group essentially operates without a charter pending final ratification.

    [2] Modernizers' position

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    According to reports, "modernizers" are expected to raise the issue of what they believe is the government's poor image, although members of this faction believe the government is producing work and will support it for this reason.

    They will also claim the government's poor image is not due to its efforts but to factors outside the government and institutions. In this indirect way they will raise an issue related to the presence of Mr. Papandreou's wife in his private office and its operation in general.

    The "modernists" appear to be implementing new tactics and are expected to increase interventions in the near future, which are projected to escalate at the next central committee meeting where, according to reports, the "group of four" will table a joint text containing their positions on all important issues.

    The four top members of the "modernizers" faction are former EU Commissioner Vasso Papandreou (no relation), former industry minister Costas Simitis, former deputy foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos and EU deputy Paraskevas Avgerinos.

    The central theme in their proposal is expected to be their view on establishing a course leading to PASOK's victory in the next general elections and rebutting critics, who claim the four's tactics are leading PASOK to defeat.

    [3] Centrists' agenda

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    "Centrists" are also not expected to limit themselves to references to the Parliamentary Group's function, although they will primarily insist on discussing the issue for which the Parliamentary Group was convened, while at the same time making many additions to its dimensions.

    More specifically, they are expected to link the issue of social policy to economic policy applied, for which they have serious objections and might request its amendment.

    Mr. Papandreou's associates let it be understood that his address to the Parliamentary Group will have a unifying theme.

    Speaking in Chania on Saturday, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said he felt certain the Parliamentary Group would be productive in all its work and that it had a very important issue to examine, namely the government's social policy.

    He also said that apart from Mr. Papandreou, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou would address the meeting.

    [4] Kaklamanis, Pangalos remarks

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    In another development Saturday, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis termed the proposal by 40 PASOK deputies calling for changes on the way the Parliamentary Group operates a "big mistake" at a time when Parliament's podium was available and which is being used less and less.

    In an interview with the newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia," Mr. Pangalos said "if PASOK goes to the polls with Andreas Papandreou as its leader it will not win a majority."

    He expressed the view that "even if PASOK wins first place it will not be able to form a majority government. Consequently, Mr. Papandreou's historic role has come to an end. PASOK must adjust itself and find the form of leadership allowing it to function in the new conditions which will be created."

    Mr. Pangalos insisted on his proposal for a special conference where Mr. Papandreou would not submit his candidacy, adding that "it is a proposal "supporting his historic role."

    Replying to questions on whether PASOK would appear united in elections, former minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos said in Alexandroupolis yesterday: "I fear that I cannot see us going to elections united."

    [5] Renewable sources of energy conference concludes

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    A two-day conference on renewable sources of energy (RSE) wound up sessions here on Saturday with findings included in an official document entitled the "Athens Agreement," in the hope it will be implemented at the forthcoming Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona.

    The document was handed to EU Commissioner for Energy Christos Papoutsis, who plans to submit conference findings to a ministerial conference in Barcelona at the end of the month for political endorsement.

    "Top priority must be given to the fact that RSEs constitute energy sources of vital importance, capable of playing an important part in economic enlargement and employment as well as in the safety and longevity of current and future energy requirements in the Mediterranean basin, while at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment and prosperity for future generations," language the Athens Agreement stated.

    According to data presented at the conference, a projected demographic "explosion" and planned creation of a free trade zone in the Mediterranean by the year 2010 will lead to rapid economic development in the wider region and a doubling of energy needs with possible environmental repercussions.

    In light of these developments, RSEs are considered a possible solution, from an economic and environmental standpoint.

    The Athens conference was organized by the Greek Centre for Renewable Sources of Energy (KAPE) in collaboration with the European Energy Foundation (EEF), the European Forum for Renewable Sources of Energy (EUFORES), the European Union for Solar Energy (EUROSOLAR) and with the participation of delegates from several international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Investment Bank.

    [6] PASOK seminar addresses EU developments

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Addressing a PASOK seminar in Chania yesterday on the 1996 European Union Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis called the Maastricht Treaty a "victory of conservatives and a great defeat for progressive forces."

    Mr. Arsenis felt that only small steps could be made at the IGC - toward changing the political face of Europe - warning against restricting discussions to technocratic issues and stressing the need for socialists to remain true to their original positions.

    The defense minister linked the question of common foreign policy with the choice between a future European federation or confederation. He predicted that the latter option would consist of a "community of nations with separate foreign policies, where efforts would be made to merge those policies."

    Mr. Arsenis said Greece should work toward respect for human rights both within Europe and elsewhere, as well as solidarity within the EU regarding the defense of its borders. The latter, he added, presupposed the existence of a common defense force, requiring a broader role for the Western European Union (WEU). He also warned against excluding Balkan nations from an expanded EU.

    Yesterday's sessions were also addressed by Public Order Minister Sifis Valyrakis, who echoed Mr. Arsenis' views, referring to "ruthless" conditions for economic convergence set out in the Maastricht Treaty. He said Greece should ratify the Schengen Treaty in order to support a joint defense policy and ensure the defense of Europe's borders.

    Mr. Valyrakis also called for legislation protecting individual rights of Greek citizens.

    Papoutsis address - Saturday's sessions were addressed by EU Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis and Press Minister and government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris.

    Mr. Papoutsis warned against "myths and illusions" cultivated with regard to the EU for various reasons that had more to do with political expediency and demagoguery. He defended PASOK's change of heart regarding Europe, saying the party's positions had developed along with developments in Europe itself.

    The EU Commissioner emphasized the cost of continual partisan bickering, which he said only undermined the country's credibility abroad.

    Mr. Hytiris attacked the poor image the media, chiefly television, was projecting of politics. Entertainment value was the main factor in politics these days, he commented, all because of television channels, which he accused of attacking politics and politicians.

    [7] Evert winds up tour of Aitoloacarnania

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert toured the Aitoloacarnania Prefecture over the weekend, beginning with a visit to Mesolongi on Saturday morning, followed by stops at Fyteia, Katouna Xiromerou and Amfylohia.

    Addressing a gathering in Agrinio Saturday evening, Mr. Evert called for unity on all fronts, urging ND cadres in particular to pull together for the benefit of all Greeks. Referring to the country's political problems, he drew attention to what he said was the "debility" of Prime Minster Andreas Papandreou.

    One of the consequences of the PASOK administration, he added, has been the country's isolation on the international front.

    Mr. Evert described his own opposition tactics as aimed at avoiding divisiveness. He called for dialogue, transparency and a responsible management of state funds, saying citizens have lost their faith in government.

    The ND leader also referred to his party's plan for a support framework for western Greece's development, including a proposal for special compensatory tax to reimburse Aitoloacarnania for its contribution to other areas.

    During a visit on Sunday to the village of Gavalos, Mr. Evert appealed to all politicians to look at the countryside's situation, stating that the abandonment of rural areas was certain to lead to a breakup of Greek society as we know it, he said.

    The ND leader concluded his tour of the prefecture with a visit to the small coastal city of Nafpaktos before returning to Athens last night.

    [8] Samaras reiterates opposition to any use of 'Macedonia' for FYROM's name

    New York, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Political Spring (Pol.An) leader Antonis Samaras gave a press conference on Saturday in New York, where he is currently holding meetings with the Greek-American community.

    With regard to upcoming talks in New York between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the issue of the latter country's name, Mr. Samaras reiterated his party's strong opposition to acceptance by Greece of any name that contains the word "Macedonia," adding that upcoming bilateral talks were unacceptable. He voiced his party's request for a referendum on the issue or at least a meeting of party leaders with the President of the Republic. "One of the reasons we would not accept a composite name, such as 'New Macedonia', is because we know that within a week, a month, six months, the 'New' will have disappeared, and plain 'Macedonia' will be used," he said. Turning to the Cyprus issue, Mr. Samaras called for a joint summit (between Greek and Cypriot political leaders) on the issue, something which he said had been promised during former President Constantine Karamanlis' tenure.

    He expressed a concern that once the dispute with FYROM is solved, the governing PASOK party and main opposition New Democracy party would join forces to find an "easy way out" on the Cyprus issue. He also denied rumors that he was not welcome in Washington, saying he himself decided not to visit the US capital.

    "It is certain that I am one of those who never hesitate to reveal the errors of US foreign policy... Pol.An is the only political force in Greece which has the courage to present in a concrete way the problems Greece faces due to certain US positions," Mr. Samaras said.

    [9] Ethiopian hijacker ordered jailed, Australian court had ordered halt to deportation

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    A 34-year-old Ethiopian man who held an Olympic Airways flight attendant at knife-point last week was ordered jailed Saturday by the investigating magistrate and public prosecutor assigned to the case.

    Melaku Mekebebe took the female flight attendant hostage as the Boeing 747 airliner was preparing to land in Athens on Thursday. Mekebebe, who was being deported from Australia, was overpowered after the plane's landing by anti-terrorist police posing a s journalists. Previously, the Ethiopian national demanded to speak to the press to protest government policy in his home country, saying he was a journalist.

    He has been charged with using violence on an aircraft in flight, unlawful detention and illegal possession and use of a weapon.

    Speaking to reporters shortly before giving testimony to the investigating magistrate, Mekebebe thanked all those who had given him support since being arrested on Thursday.

    The Union of Athens Journalists (ESHEA) in an announcement expressed support for Mekebebe and assigned two legal advisers to act as defense counsel when he appeared before the magistrate.

    Representatives of the Democratic Forum for the Unity of Ethiopia, who were present outside the investigating magistrate's office, also expressed solidarity with him.

    [10] Australian ruling

    Melbourne, 13/11/1995 (ANA-S. Hatzimanolis):

    The Australian Federal Court had issued a provisional ruling against Mekebebe's deportation from Australia shortly before the OA flight had taken off from Sydney. The Australian Department of Immigration defended its decision to deport the Ethiopian journalist, saying the court ruling had come too late to prevent his departure.

    A department official stated that Mekebebe had served six months in an Ethiopian prison last year for writing anti-government articles.

    He had since traveled to various countries using false passports. The Australian official added that Mekebebe appeared to have been more concerned about the fate of other journalists in Ethiopia than about the decision to deport him from the country.

    [11] Greece: War reparations issue not closed

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Government spokesman Nikos Athanassakis referred on Saturday to previous government statements on the issue of German war reparations when asked to comment on a report in the newspaper "Ependytis", which maintained that the government was preparing a diplomatic note for the German government.

    "The government has given a reply on the issue through the government spokesman and the foreign ministry spokesman," government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said recently.

    "We repeat for the umpteenth time that the issue in its entirety remains open for our country. Greece has its own strong arguments. It will claim what it is historically entitled to, with responsibility and seriousness and always in accordance with the principles of international law," he added.

    Referring to the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Constantine Bikas said "we have stated repeatedly that the issue of the occupation 'loan' and German reparations is of particular importance to the Greek people and the Greek government," adding that Germany was a friendly and allied country and a partner in the European Union, with which we were linked with traditional bonds at many levels.

    Mr. Bikas said that on the question of the occupation loan and reparations, the Greek government was acting with seriousness and responsibility on the basis of its proclaimed principles regarding the legality of its claims.

    He said there was nothing specific to announce and that one should wait and see, while offering assurances on the seriousness of the Greek government's intentions.

    [12] Patriarch arrived in Chania, on last leg of Cretan tour

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos arrived at Chania airport last night after celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of the construction of St. Minas Cathedral in Iraklion.

    Events culminated Saturday with a te deum service at the cathedral officiated by Vartholomeos and Patriarch of Alexandria Parthenios.

    Thousands of residents thronged the streets of the Cretan capital in the morning to cheer the Patriarch and attend festivities in honor of the city's patron saint.

    Addressing the crowds, the Patriarch expressed satisfaction at being on Crete for the second time in three years and referred to existing problems on the planet and to the war in Bosnia in particular.

    The Patriarch of Alexandria headed a procession following the icon of St. Minas at noon. Also present were Education Minister George Papandreou, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and many faithful, who rained flowers on the icon.

    Vartholomeos did not attend the litany after feeling slightly ill.

    The Patriarch was met at Chania airport by Public Order Minister Sifis Valyrakis, Health Under-secretary Manolis Skoulakis, main opposition New Democracy party honorary leader Constantine Mitsotakis, ministers, local officials, clergy and hundreds of people.

    He was flown by helicopter to Maleme and then driven to the Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari to inaugurate a convention centre. Mr. Papandreou welcomed him at Maleme Airport and accompanied him to the academy.

    Vartholomeos is due to leave for Istanbul this morning at the end of his three-day visit to Crete.

    [13] 'Quality' as a concept examined at conference

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    A conference on "Pursuing quality" was held at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, aimed at the multiform adoption of quality as a concept and process by social partners and the state as well as sensitization of public opinion in general. The conference was part of wider events by European Quality Week (Nov. 6-12), organized by the European Commission to disseminate the concept of quality in Europe with a view to supporting European industry's international competitiveness. Addressing the event, Industry Under-secretary Dinos Vrettos said the integrated quality policy in both private and public sectors should constitute a strategic choice for every European government.

    He conceded that Greece trailed other Community member-states in the quality sector, but expressed optimism that the distance would be lessened through gradual absorption of funds contained in the second Community Support Framework. He also said the government was considering creation of a unified national quality agency.

    [14] Kastoria's liberation from Ottoman rule commemorated

    Athens, 13/11/1995 (ANA):

    The 83rd anniversary of Kastoria's liberation from Ottoman rule was celebrated Saturday in the presence of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and government officials.

    President Stephanopoulos attended a morning church service at the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin, officiated by Kastoria Metropolitan Grigorios, Didimotiho and Orestiada Metropolitan Nikiforos and Monemvasia and Sparta Metropolitan Efstathios.

    Macedonia and Thrace Minister Constantine Triarides, Alternate Education Minister Filippos Petsalnikos and Sports Under-secretary George Lianis were also present.

    A service was also held at the city' memorial monument, where Mr. Stephanopoulos laid a wreath. The President then took the salute at a parade of civil and military units, students as well as descendants of local liberation fighters.

    In speaking to reporters, President Stephanopoulos expressed his satisfaction of the events, terming them "very important" for Kastoria, western Macedonia and all of Greece.

    He said the liberation of western Macedonia was a historic moment which defined the course of the nation from that moment onwards.

    Antiquities unearthed in Thrace - A team of archaeologists has unearthed various monuments and ancient artifacts in Thrace following lengthy excavations in the Nipsa area of the Evros Prefecture.

    The finds include outdoor worship areas with temples dating to the 10th and 8th century B.C. as well as chiseled structures, wash-basins, altars and chiseled depictions on stones.

    The archaeological dig, under the direction of University of Thessaloniki doctoral candidate Thanassis Kogolos, also uncovered pieces of ancient earthenware and Roman pottery, a stone pillar from a temple of the early-Christian period, a bronze Byzantine coin bearing the head of Justinian (527-565 A.D.) and a copper coin depicting a galloping horseman.

    The discoveries, mainly monolithic temples and grave structures, found in the area of Nipsa have been dated to a period between 1050-650 B.C.

    End of English language section.

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