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A.N.A. Bulletin, 27/11/95

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No. 751), November 27, 1995

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Papandreou's health 'improved'

  • [2] Evert remarks on development, Turkey during Evros tour

  • [3] Tsohatzopoulos criticizes 'vested media interests'

  • [4] Papoulias departs for Euro-Mediterranean Conference

  • [5] FYROM premier says no changes in 'name'

  • [6] Public administration training centre established in Komotini

  • [7] KEDKE resolutions call for better funding of local governments

  • [8] More funding, sanctuary dominate university rectors' meeting

  • [9] Constantopoulos: Internal PASOK problems cannot postpone solutions

  • [10] GSEE factions unanimously back wage increases


  • [1] Papandreou's health 'improved'

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's health was developing normally, a medical bulletin said last night, adding that three visiting specialists yesterday agreed with all diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures carried out so far.

    The medical bulletin issued at 8:05 last evening by cardiologist Thymios Livanis indicated that Drs. Marini, Schuter and Wright (the latter an anesthesiologist from Harefield Hospital in Britain), following consultations with the Onassion Hospital team in charge of the prime minister's therapy, signed the statement reading that after examining Mr. Papandreou, they agreed with all diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures carried thus far.

    The statement by the three specialists said that the premier's satisfactory progress indicated that correct procedures are being followed.

    Earlier, government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris told reporters that at the request of Mr. Papandreou's family, two prominent pulmonary specialists arrived in Greece yesterday to examine the prime minister. American doctor John Marini and Peter Schuter from Switzerland were called in to examine the premier.

    Mr. Papandreou, recovering from a lung infection at the Onassion Cardiology Centre, showed a slight improvement, according to an earlier bulletin read out by the center's deputy director Grigorios Skalkeas. After being taken off a respirator Friday, Mr. Papandreou's condition had deteriorated slightly on Saturday, due to liquid retention in his lung, a problem which had been overcome, according to Dr. Skalkeas, who added that at present, there was no plan to reconnect the premier to a respirator.

    "I can't say that the danger is over, but I can definitely say that a large part of the danger has passed," commented Dr. Skalkeas. A medical communique issued on Saturday at noon said that the general condition of Mr. Papandreou's health continued to be stable after he was being taken off a respirator Friday.

    "The adjustment of Mr. Papandreou's breathing function following the disconnection of the respirator is following the usual course," according to the communique read by Dr. Skalkeas.

    Dr. Skalkeas also confirmed that Mr. Papandreou was undergoing physiotherapy and that results of "certain laboratory tests" showed a clear improvement.

    Replying to questions, Dr. Skalkeas said the premier must remain under continuous observation for the next 24 hours "as is the case with all patients in this condition."

    Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias told the press yesterday before leaving for Barcelona to attend a two-day Euro-Mediterranean Conference, that "all was going well" with the premier's health.

    Mr. Papoulias rejected all rumors concerning succession or replacement of Mr. Papandreou, saying "we should wish his speedy recovery."

    [2] Evert remarks on development, Turkey during Evros tour

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert told a party gathering in Alexandroupolis on Saturday that if ND won the next election it would increase education's share of GDP to 5 per cent and transfer military academies from the Athens area to Thrace.

    The ND president also promised to move agriculture ministry agencies to cities around the country, as well as introducing other measures to support the country's agricultural base.

    Mr. Evert stressed that while he did not wish to exploit Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's illness by criticizing the government at this time, he expressed a view that the PASOK administration had failed with regard to privatizations and foreign policy.

    The main opposition leader also promised stricter legislation regarding the legal liability of government ministers and checks on Parliament deputies' income sources.

    Addressing another meeting yesterday, Mr. Evert referred to economic possibilities for Thrace, in view of the ongoing construction of the ambitious west to east Egnatia Highway and planned vertical motorway axes connecting the Balkans with the rest of Europe. He also cited growth prospects for the port of Alexandroupolis which, he said, could become the third largest in Greece.

    In referring to Turkey, Mr. Evert said the neighboring nation continued to be the "danger from east" as Ankara faced serious internal problems such as the Kurdish issue and Islamic fundamentalism in addition to economic problems.

    "The danger is a real one since Turkey is trying to divert these problems to the outside world," Mr. Evert said.

    He reiterated ND's proposal for the signing of a pact on the inviolability of borders between Balkan states.

    "Turkey will be forced to sign such a pact, otherwise it will be isolated," Mr. Evert concluded.

    [3] Tsohatzopoulos criticizes 'vested media interests'

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos charged that vested economic interests controlling certain sections of the press are trying to weaken centers of political power.

    Addressing a gathering of PASOK's Thessaloniki prefectural association, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos accused sectors of the media of trying to convince people of the existence of a power vacuum.

    In reply to a question regarding a possible successor to Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, the interior minister referred to the PASOK charter and the nation's Constitution, saying the issue had not yet arisen, and that any effort to assert the contrary was out of place.

    [4] Papoulias departs for Euro-Mediterranean Conference

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias left yesterday for Barcelona to attend the two-day Euro-Mediterranean Conference which begins today.

    Speaking to reporters at the airport, Mr. Papoulias said Mediterranean countries' "demands are legitimate" and the conference "inaugurates a very important and substantial chapter of co-operation between these countries and Europe."

    "Greece, being a Mediterranean country, always supported these demands and is in the centre of this effort," Mr. Papoulias added.

    Taking part in the conference, in addition to the 15 European Union member-states, are 12 non-EU countries in the Mediterranean - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.

    The conference is being held within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean initiative, which constitutes the continuation of an initiative undertaken by the Greek EU presidency in 1994.

    [5] FYROM premier says no changes in 'name'

    Skopje, 27/11/1995 (ANA) :

    The prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Branco Crvenkovski said there was no question of negotiations to change FYROM's name, but merely "talks on the difference around the name."

    In an interview with the "Nova Makedonia" newspaper Saturday, Mr. Crvenkovski said his country accepted the view that Greece could have a different position on the name issue, without this affecting bilateral relations, however.

    The FYROM prime minister said what could not be accepted were "negotiations for a change to our constitutional name or on some of its versions."

    Mr. Crvenkovski expressed support for plans to build the "Para-Egnatia" highway, claiming it was the only way for the landlocked one-time Yugoslav republic to safeguard its geographical position and become a crossroads for two important routes in the Balkans.

    [6] Public administration training centre established in Komotini

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    An institute for the Permanent Training of the Public Administration National Centre will be created in the Thracian city of Komotini, with allocation totaling 540 million drachmas already included through the Community-funded "Kleisthenes" programme.

    Four hundred public administration cadres will be trained at the institute, where the standard of training is expected to be advanced.

    Meanwhile, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Regional Governor Haris Tsiokas recently addressed a letter to National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, raising the issue of accelerating delivery procedures for a building at the "Iliopoulou" army base in Komotini, as well as 16,200 square meters of land around the building to house the academy for the training of public administration cadres.

    [7] KEDKE resolutions call for better funding of local governments

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    A number of resolutions concerning the funding of the country's municipalities and communities were taken Saturday, the third day of a Central Union of Greek Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE) general assembly meeting in Rhodes.

    Resolutions mostly dealt with proposals for income from taxes, and debts owed to KEDKE members.

    Meanwhile, Culture Ministry Under-secretary Stavros Benos announced the creation of municipal cinemas and art workshops, as well as more open procedures for funding clubs and other local organizations.

    In turn, Konitsa Mayor Prodromos Hatziefraimidis criticized subsidies awarded by the culture ministry, which he said are given without first consulting a municipality, particularly regarding preservation of traditional buildings.

    In addition, the programme "Healthy Cities" was presented at the assembly.

    The programme, an initiative by the World Health Organization, aims at promoting health and improving the urban environment. The chairman of the Greek network, which involves 31 cities, is Patras Mayor Andreas Karavolas.

    The Mayor of Sikea, in the Thessaloniki Prefecture, called for the dissolution of the National Welfare Organization and transfer of its property to municipalities, saying the reasons for which the organization was created no longer exist.

    Piraeus Mayor Stelios Logothetis concentrated on ways to solve municipalities' funding difficulties, while Athens' Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is also KEDKE's president, closed the session by emphasizing the broader role being assumed by local government.

    [8] More funding, sanctuary dominate university rectors' meeting

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    A conference of university rectors was held for a second day yesterday at the Zographou campus in Athens with the participation of Education Minister George Papandreou and representatives of opposition parties.

    University officials said Mr. Papandreou promised education funding totaling 4.7 billion drachmas by the end of the year as well as creation of 3,000 teaching and research positions over the next three years.

    Meanwhile, the question of university sanctuary was also discussed, particularly in the light of the recent occupation of the Athens Polytechnic by self-styled anarchist youths.

    Rectors expressed their support for the actions of the Polytechnic faculty senate during the occupation, and called for more effective methods to protect campuses. They also called upon the state to assume responsibility for preventing situations that could lead to violation of the sanctuary right.

    The high-ranking officials of the nation's top schools said the public university system was subject to attack from "various forces and interests" by means of false accusations which aim to undermine higher education institutions in the public's eyes. They said recent events have been "another nail in the coffin."

    Rectors stated that while the university community was fully aware of possible collective responsibilities on its part, it considers all-out attacks on individuals as unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, several university campuses still remain under occupation, while students have planned a rally for next Tuesday in Athens to demand increased funding as well as ensuring that higher education remain only within the public domain.

    [9] Constantopoulos: Internal PASOK problems cannot postpone solutions

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said the crucial period experienced by the country and accumulation of problems left no margin for an extension of uncertainty and insecurity produced at present by the ruling PASOK party's policy and status.

    In a statement on the sidelines of his party's central committee meeting yesterday, Mr. Constantopoulos said the political climate was becoming constantly heavier due to the prime minister's illness as well.

    Mr. Constantopoulos said he understood the prime minister's health problems and what he called PASOK's intra-party difficulties, adding it was PASOK's right to resolve its problems in any way and whenever it wanted to do so.

    However, he said PASOK was in power and had exclusive responsibility for political initiatives. For this reason answers to the country's problems could not be postponed for intra-party reasons.

    The Synaspismos president said it was obvious that an exit would be made from the present transitional period through elections whenever they would place, adding that what was important was how elections would take place to allow for conditions enabling productive and positive solutions. Synaspismos says conditions of co-operation with PASOK do not exist at present The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) said pre-conditions and terms of co-operation with the ruling socialist PASOK party do not exist at present.

    The party's central committee issued a text containing its positions at the close of a conference yesterday, stressing that Synaspismos was struggling to acquire political strength on the basis of its own programme, in order to obtain the largest possible Parliamentary representation and achieve a change in the correlation of progressive forces.

    However, the text leaves every possibility open since it points out that if conditions created in the future are such, necessitating a discussion on the issue of relations with PASOK, then it will be examined.

    Closing the conference, Synaspismos President Nikos Constantopoulos said there was no reason for his party to commit itself since at present there were no preconditions for co-operation.

    He said if these pre-conditions existed after elections, then Synaspismos would move on the basis of its programme and will exercise a programme of political opposition.

    [10] GSEE factions unanimously back wage increases

    Athens, 27/11/1995 (ANA):

    The pressing need to rescind the current General Collective Labor Agreement and begin negotiations with employers on wage increases for 1996 was unanimously agreed to Saturday by trade union factions belonging to the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE). Prior to Saturday's meeting of GSEE's administrative plenary, various factions affiliated to the major political parties had been at odds over the size of wage increases the confederation will seek for 1996.

    PASKE, the faction affiliated to the ruling PASOK party, insisted on 10 per cent, while DAKE, the faction affiliated to the main opposition New Democracy party proposed 13 per cent, while ESAK, the Communist Party of Greece affiliate pushed for 22 per cent.

    During the meeting, GSEE decided unanimously to seek protection of workers' incomes with inflation-adjusted increases together with "real increases."

    Following the decision, GSEE will invite employers' associations to immediately enter into dialogue on a new 1996 Collective Labor Agreement.

    End of English language section.

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