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A.N.A. Bulletin, 25/11/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No. 750), November 25, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Premier off respirator, progress 'encouraging', Hytiris says

  • [2] Skandalidis, Vasso Papandreou meeting 'goes well'

  • [3] Varvitsiotis calls for action on Kozloduy plant

  • [4] Stephanopoulos congratulates new Polish president

  • [5] Evert begins tour of Evros

  • [6] Simitis criticizes ND economic programmes

  • [7] Greece ready to join Bosnian peace force

  • [8] Greece awaits Vance go-ahead for talks on FYROM name

  • [9] Balkan consular delegates examine further co-operation at Thessaloniki meeting

  • [10] Hytiris comments on Ellemann-Jensen candidacy

  • [11] News in Brief

  • [12] EMI president says Maastricht criteria must determine accession to EMU

  • [13] News in Brief

  • [14] 'Unyielding anti-corruption magistrate' Di Pietro receives honorary doctorate

  • [15] ND comments on meeting with Baykal

  • [16] All measures taken in event of quake, Tsaklidis says

  • [17] Pottakis responds to opposition criticism of Korydallos riot handling

  • [18] Polytechnic, ministry officials to meet on avoiding future violence

  • [19] Papantoniou defends economy's performance

  • [20] Clothing exports bring in over 400 billion drachmas


  • [1] Premier off respirator, progress 'encouraging', Hytiris says

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    A medical communique issued by the Onassion Cardiology Centre at 8:10pm last night said Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, being treated for a lung infection since Monday, had been taken off the respirator at 6pm, and was breathing normally.

    Onassion deputy director Grigorios Skalkeas, who read the communique, said the patient was under constant observation and there were indications of a further improvement in his condition, giving rise to considerable hopes he might be able to enter the recuperation phase in hospital next week.

    Questioned about possible complications, Mr. Skalkeas said that the clinical and laboratory data available since the disconnection of the respirator provided increasing ground for optimism, with a reconnection not being ruled out, but unlikely.

    He added that the prime minister was in very good spirits.

    An earlier communique, issued at midday, said the premier had slept for the second time last night without the aid of "mild narcosis".

    Although the lung infection which has affected Mr. Papandreou since last Friday has receded considerably, his physicians said that antibiotics were still being administered.

    When asked by reporters, Mr. Skalkeas said that the antibiotics also protected the premier from infections which he might contract while in the hospital's intensive care unit.

    The communique was signed by 16 physicians, including, for the first time, British anesthesiologist George Wright of Harefield Hospital, London, an associate of renowned heart surgeon Magdi Yacoub.

    Mr. Skalkeas said that Mr. Wright had examined the premier and had expressed optimism concerning the progress of his health.

    Replying to reporters on possible 'succession scenarios' in the ruling party as a result of the prime minister's illness, Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis said he did not think "any such discussions were taking, or should be taking place inside PASOK at the present time".

    Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris told reporters that the premier's progress was "very encouraging".

    He described statements by some members and the leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy, alleging a power vacuum as "irresponsible".

    He added that PASOK was united as was the government, which was continuing its work normally in all sectors.

    Later, New Democracy party spokesman Vassilis Manginas said it was obvious Mr. Hytiris' statements were meant for the members of PASOK who were "meeting, discussing, and clashing at this hour".

    New Democracy Eurodeputy Giorgos Anastasopoulos charged, meanwhile, that the Greek government had ceased to function, and that Greek ministers, apparently thoroughly absorbed in behind-the-scenes deliberations for the succession to Andreas Papandreou, h ad not taken part in European ministerial councils this week.

    "Are they so absorbed that they must not exercise their duties and create the impression in the European Union that Greece no longer possesses a government?" he asked.

    [2] Skandalidis, Vasso Papandreou meeting 'goes well'

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Ruling socialist PASOK party Secretary Costas Skandalidis held talks on safeguarding the unity and prospects of the party "in a positive climate" with Vasso Papandreou, former EU commissioner and a leading PASOK dissident.

    Ms. Papandreou said after the meeting that "it is natural and necessary that PASOK cadres should hold talks with each other at this difficult hour."

    She said the tackling of difficult problems was discussed to safeguard political stability in the country.

    Ms. Papandreou said the cries of the opposition for elections were irresponsible, adding that there was a government which could and should exhaust its four-year term in office.

    She said the party's unity was indissoluble and safeguarded by its cadres and rank and file.

    Mr. Skandalidis made no statement except that meetings between cadres were continuing and that the meeting with Ms Papandreou went well.

    [3] Varvitsiotis calls for action on Kozloduy plant

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party Vice President Ioannis Varvitsiotis has asked the European People's Party (EPP) to undertake an initiative concerning the danger created by the resumed operation of Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant. In a letter to the EPP president and secretary general, Wilfred Martens and Klaus Welle respectively, Mr. Varvitsiotis stresses that "the necessary conversion work to prove safety at the Kozloduy reactor has not been carried out".

    He also warns that an accident at the nuclear power plant "will turn the Mediterranean into a dead sea" since Kozloduy is located on Bulgaria's River Danube border with Romania.

    Underlining that the reaction of the European Union and the seven most developed nations had not been adequate, Mr. Varvitsiotis says in the letter that "the problem of the reliability of the nuclear reactors in former Eastern Europe is one of the most important problems which Europe is called upon to tackle".

    A US Energy Department report recently branded the Kozloduy nuclear reactor as "an accident waiting to happen", saying that it was among four East European reactors which raised the "specter of another accident akin to Chernobyl".

    [4] Stephanopoulos congratulates new Polish president

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday sent a telegram to his newly-elected Polish counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski, congratulating him on his recent election victory.

    "I am convinced that during your term in office, the existing relations of friendship and co-operation between Greece and Poland will continue to be strengthened and develop to the mutual interest of both our peoples," Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

    Greece and Poland on Tuesday agreed to sign a peace and friendship accord during a visit to Athens by Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Stefan Miller.

    [5] Evert begins tour of Evros

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert arrived in the northwestern Greek city of Alexandroupolis yesterday afternoon, to begin a three-day tour of the Evros border region.

    At a speech at the Alexandroupolis Chamber of Commerce last night, Mr. Evert said he was sure that "Thrace will become the centre of development in the Balkans as new opportunities are arising for this area's future."

    He added that it was essential for the necessary infrastructure to be created, such as the Egnatia Highway, and stressed the need for tourism development and the possibility of the creation of a free zone in Alexandroupolis' port.

    [6] Simitis criticizes ND economic programmes

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    In a statement yesterday, PASOK deputy Costas Simitis said the main opposition New Democracy party's stands on the economy, as expounded by its leader Miltiades Evert at the Athens Chamber of Commerce a few days ago, did not constitute a serious and modern proposal, and could not conceal the content of conservative policy espoused by his party.

    Mr. Simitis, a former national economy minister, said they constituted a repetition of well-known generalizations, and typified a policy which would lead to the continuation and intensification of the present counterproductive climate and the widespread social disillusionment.

    [7] Greece ready to join Bosnian peace force

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    National Defence Minister Arsenis said yesterday that Greece intended to participate in the peacekeeping force to be deployed in Bosnia to implement the peace agreement recently reached in Dayton, Ohio.

    "The government intends to declare the participation of Greece in the peacekeeping force to be formed in order to implement the peace agreement in Bosnia, providing the said agreement is signed, there is a UN resolution and other countries, not only NATO members, will participate in the peacekeeping force," the minister said.

    Commenting on Mr. Arsenis' statement, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed its complete opposition to the dispatch of any military force to Bosnia, from any country, and described the statement as yet another tangible example of the government's political submission to the US and NATO.

    [8] Greece awaits Vance go-ahead for talks on FYROM name

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Greece is ready to begin negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the name issue as soon as UN special mediator Cyrus Vance gives the green light, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said yesterday.

    He said the "relevant contacts" with Mr. Vance had been completed and described as "encouraging" FYROM President Kiro Gligorov's recovery from injuries suffered in a recent assassination attempt.

    The spokesman said that Mr. Gligorov's recovery could help the commencement of negotiations between Athens and Skopje.

    [9] Balkan consular delegates examine further co-operation at Thessaloniki meeting

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Consular delegations from Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Cyprus met in Thessaloniki yesterday within the framework of further inter-Balkan co-operation.

    The meeting was held through an initiative of the Macedonia-Thrace ministry.

    In an address to delegates, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Constantine Triaridis said inter-Balkan institutions and centers, some already established in Thessaloniki, have the ability to solve several issues related to nations in the peninsula.

    Satisfaction with the present situation was expressed by Yugoslav Consul-General Raiko Ristits, Romanian Consul Andrei Mirtsea and the vice-consuls of Bulgaria and Cyprus, Evelyn Stoyianov and Panayiotis Georgiades, respectively.

    Representatives from local industry, exporters groups, chambers of commerce, banks and trade exhibitions were on hand during the meetings.

    [10] Hytiris comments on Ellemann-Jensen candidacy

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Greece's objections to the candidacy of former Danish foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen for the position of NATO Secretary-General are based on views he has expressed in the past on issues concerning Greece, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said yesterday.

    The spokesman declined to elaborate further but it is known that Mr. Ellemann-Jensen in the past expressed views contrary to Greece's positions on the problem of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Mr. Hytiris said Thursday that Greece had expressed its opposition to Ellemann-Jensen's candidacy "through the appropriate channels".

    [11] News in Brief

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    National issues, and specifically the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), were discussed by Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and the presidium of the Panmacedonian Union of the US and Canada, headed by the president Athanassios Voulgaropoulos.

    Mr. Voulgaropoulos briefed Mr. Kaklamanis on the organization's views on the issue as well as on initiatives it has assumed to promote Greek positions in the US and Canada.

    On his part, Mr. Kaklamanis congratulated the organization and expatriate Greeks for their efforts to promote national issues and outlined steadfast Greek positions on the FYROM issue as set out by the government and political parties and during the recent debate in Parliament.

    [12] EMI president says Maastricht criteria must determine accession to EMU

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    European Monetary Institute (EMI) President Baron Lamfalusi has backed the strict implementation of Maastricht Treaty criteria when the time comes to select countries fulfilling conditions for accession to the Economic and Monetary Union's (EMU) third stage.

    Mr. Lamfalusi, who was addressing Greek bankers at the Bank of Greece yesterday while paying a visit to Governor Lucas Papademos, said it was very likely that the start to the EMU's third stage would take place according to the Maastricht timetable, namely January 1, 1999, since the convergence of European economies was on a good course and the citizens of Europe had realized the need to control state deficits, paving the way for the EMU.

    He declined any comment on which countries, in his view, would participate in the initial nucleus and did not rule out the possibility of "many things happening until then and both good and bad surprises." He conceded that a "political decision" would b e ultimately taken on the issue, while the EMI "will not give opportunities to politicians" on grounds that they are prone to "unpredictable compromises" capable of adulterating Maastricht criteria.

    Mr. Lamfalusi expressed his "personal views" that countries remaining "outside" should make every effort to join the EMU, adding that this would be a transitional phase which could not last. He also said exchange parities between the countries "inside" and those "outside" should be settled in an appropriate way so as not to endanger the unified market through a depreciation war.

    He said dangers capable of delaying the EMU 1999 deadline were linked to possible monetary crises, particularly before January 1, 1999.

    Mr. Lamfalusi said he supported the "stability accord" proposed by Germany, aimed at a stricter observation of the condition concerning restriction of fiscal deficits and the "undisciplined" being subject to a penalty system.

    Referring to the European Central Bank, he predicted that it will be established in 1998 (and the EMI will abolish itself). He also predicted that the single currency will be initiated on January 1, 2002 and will only coexist for six months with national currencies which will be abolished as of July 1, 2002.

    [13] News in Brief

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    -------- The 15 European Union member states and 13 other Mediterranean countries are participating in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona on Monday and Tuesday.

    The conference, based on the idea of Euro-Mediterranean co-operation promoted by the Greek presidency of the EU at the Corfu summit, signifies the Union's increased interest in the Mediterranean basin, and is expected to issue a joint communique on future co-operation and strengthening of relations.

    -------- A two-day event on the European Union's development is being organized by the Iraklion Peripheral Section of New European Federalists on November 25 and 26.

    Participants will examine development in common external politics and Europe's security policies, as well as the "democratic deficit".

    Speakers will include New Democracy Eurodeputy Panayiotis Lambrias and PASOK Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    [14] 'Unyielding anti-corruption magistrate' Di Pietro receives honorary doctorate

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Antonio Di Pietro, the former magistrate who headed the "Clean Hands" campaign against graft in Italy, has been presented with an honorary doctorate by the Democritos University of Thrace.

    At a ceremony last night, rector Ioannis Panoussis paid tribute to the man and unyielding judge, and the battle he waged to stamp out corruption in his country.

    Mr. Di Pietro led Milan's "Mani Pulite" (clean hands) team of prosecutors in a string of graft probes that brought some of Italy's high-profile politicians and businessmen in for interrogation. The campaign was instrumental in ousting Italy's old political guard.

    Since his resignation as magistrate in April, he has worked as a newspaper columnist, university lecturer and member of a parliamentary commission on domestic terrorism.

    After the presentation, Mr. Di Pietro addressed a gathering of university professors, local authorities, judges and journalists on "International co-operation in the fight against corruption".

    [15] ND comments on meeting with Baykal

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Vassilis Maginas said yesterday that a meeting of five EU foreign ministers with the Turkish foreign minister earlier this week "once again ignores Greek politics and leaves us out of developments directly concerning us."

    Mr. Maginas added that "Greece's now dangerous international absence and the government's delayed reaction severely undermine the country's already diminished power."

    [16] All measures taken in event of quake, Tsaklidis says

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Under-secretary Ioannis Tsaklidis said yesterday the government had taken and was taking all necessary precautionary measures in the event of an earthquake in all regions but was particularly vigilant in regions recently struck by earthquakes such as Aigion, Kozani and Grevena.

    He was referring to an announcement by VAN earthquake prediction experts that an earthquake of up to 5.0 on the Richter scale was expected.

    Seismology professor Akis Tselentis, however, calmed fears yesterday, saying that the quake might not appear or could be subsumed within other minor tremors.

    The experts could not pinpoint when or where the quake would hit, nor its magnitude, he stressed.

    [17] Pottakis responds to opposition criticism of Korydallos riot handling

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Justice Minister Ioannis Pottakis indirectly shifted blame to the main opposition New Democracy yesterday, in answering Parliament questions over the recent inmates' uprising at Korydallos Prison.

    One ND deputy criticized the justice minister for being absent from negotiations to defuse the situation, while subsequently personally negotiating with long-term convicts.

    "We negotiated with long-term convicts inside Korydallos, and you (ND) negotiated inside your offices," Mr. Pottakis said in reply.

    In answering criticism over the government's overall handling of the Korydallos takeover, Mr. Pottakis said fatalities would have occurred if riot police had entered the correctional facility, as ND had suggested.

    In addition, Mr. Pottakis said the prison complex's problems lie in overcrowding, which he said his ministry plans to tackle with several measures, including a proposal to eliminate pre-trial incarceration for some forms of misdemeanor charges.

    [18] Polytechnic, ministry officials to meet on avoiding future violence

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    Athens Polytechnic officials and the public order and education ministries' secretary-generals were due to meet last night to examine ways of preventing a repetition of violence at the university.

    At a press conference yesterday, Polytechnic authorities again placed the blame for recent riots and damage to the premises on the state.

    The Polytechnic Senate is examining the possibility of removing the fence around the building, so ending the forecourt's asylum status. Certain members have opposed the proposal, claiming the fence is part of the historic building, whose character cannot be changed.

    [19] Papantoniou defends economy's performance

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou disputed contentions yesterday that there had been a shortage of results in Greece's economic development.

    In reference to recent statements by National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, who claimed there was a lack of economic development results, Mr. Papantoniou said he does not place a colleague either on the left or the right of the political spectrum when such criticism arises, saying "we are all at the centre of the government."

    The national economy minister referred to results of the government's stabilization policy, saying that while a convergence programme target calls for 1 per cent GDP growth in 1995, the actual figure will more likely be near 2 per cent.

    In addition, Mr. Papantoniou said a Commission estimate for 1996 points to 1.7 per cent growth, while the government forecasts 2.7 per cent.

    "Economic development is double than what we forecast," he said.

    The minister made the statements after a session of the government's economic policy committee.

    Additionally, he said the Greek government led the European Union in terms of economic policy effectiveness and achieving its goals.

    [20] Clothing exports bring in over 400 billion drachmas

    Athens, 25/11/1995 (ANA):

    The Greek clothing industry continues to be one of the most dynamic for the country's economy with exports amounting to over 400 billion drachmas last year.

    Germany continued to be Greece's best customer in ready-to-wear exports, absorbing 58 per cent of exports. France came second with a 9.2 per cent share of the market, followed by Britain with 5.8 per cent.

    The figures were released yesterday, a day ahead of the SERVITEX trade fair, the first specialized professional exhibition for subcontractors in the clothing industry, which is due to open its doors today and remain open until November 27.

    --- Approximately 5.5 billion drachmas in partial interest rate subsidies will be provided to small-and-medium-sized businesses, according to an industry ministry announcement yesterday.

    Specifically, the decision calls interest rate subsidies on several categories of loans, including:

    - Purchase of new data processing equipment.

    - Medium-term working capital (longer than one year) for export-oriented businesses.

    Interest rate subsidies will apply to loans arranged before December 31, 1996, and to borrowers that are not subsidized by other sources.

    Interest rate subsidies call for a 20 per cent write-off and involve the first two years of a loan's issuance.

    End of English language section.

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