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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 96-12-03

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1056), December 3, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address:


  • [01] Farmers' blockades continue throughout nation
  • [02] Opposition
  • [03] Pangalos, Chinese counterpart Ping discuss economic, political relations
  • [04] Japan visit
  • [05] Gov't comments on Niles interview
  • [06] Noted Turkish personality receives Greek ambassador
  • [07] Athens: Full investigation into claims of forest torching by Turks necessary
  • [08] G. Papandreou rejects notion of 'traditional hostility' between Greece, Turkey
  • [09] Tzoganis meets with Bulgarian defense minister, general staff chief
  • [10] Air force chief on official Moscow visit
  • [11] Evert criticizes Gov't of applying 'untrustworthy austerity policy'
  • [12] Simitis holds talks with several European leaders in Lisbon
  • [13] Other meetings
  • [14] Situation in ND remains unsettled
  • [15] Storms still plague northwestern Greece, Gov't issues measures
  • [16] Former PASOK MP Calliope Bourdara dies
  • [17] 1998 congress of TV channels to be held in Thessaloniki
  • [18] ADEDY calls another strike for December 17
  • [19] Gov't says foreign accountants auditing 12 ASE stock brokerage firms
  • [20] Gov't outlines goals of 'industrial transformation bureaus'
  • [21] Patriarch to officially visit Austria in June

  • [01] Farmers' blockades continue throughout nation

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Serious problems in intrastate traffic and the distribution of goods throughout the country emerged yesterday as a result of farmers' blockades of national highways and railway lines in several locations.

    Farmers placed roadblocks at a number of points on the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway, while others in the northern prefectures of Thessaloniki, Imathia, Pella and Pieria cut off western Macedonia from the city of Thessaloniki yesterday as part of their ongoing protests for cheaper fuel and increased crop subsidies.

    Meanwhile, transportation to northern Greece came at a standstill as national bus company lines (KTEL) were prevented from going through blockades, while farmers also blocked the railway line at Larisa. The tracks from Athens to Larisa, however, remained open. Farmers in Aigio, in the northern Peloponnese, blocked both the new and old highways, as well as the railway line in the city, while there were reports that they were planning to block the Patras-Pyrgos roadway.

    In addition, there were concerns about the continuing supply of dairy and fresh food produce.

    Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas, after chairing a meeting with representatives of agricultural cooperatives, announced a number of measures for cotton farmers, including a 40-drachma-increase per kilo, favorable terms for settlement of outstanding debts and a freezing of current debts. He also promised to ask the European Commission for increased subsidies for stockbreeders. He added that demands put forward by the Farmers' Coordinating Committee represented a cost of one trillion drachmas, be sides amounting to an overturn of the government's Common Agricultural Policy.

    "Only two of the demands, regarding fuel and subsidies per acre cost 130-150 billion drachmas. There is simply no such money," Mr. Tzoumakas said.

    As the protest went into its fourth day, Mr. Tzoumakas called representatives of farmers in Thessaly to another meeting later in the day, but farmers in the region rejected the offer, calling on Mr. Tzoumakas to travel instead to Larisa for talks.

    In Athens, acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou expressed the government's understanding for farmers' problems, calling on them, however, to show the same good faith and willingness for dialogue as the government, adding that the recently tabled 1997 state budget would resolve many of their problems.

    Replying to other questions, he stressed that the government could solve those problems that the economy could sustain and those emerging in the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy.

    "The government cannot solve in a few days, problems created over many years nor can it solve certain problems which directly imply a change in European agricultural strategy," he added.

    "The government and the Greek people are not and do not feel that they are being held hostage to such mobilizations," he said, clarifying that this was in no way a threat to the protesting farmers.

    Furthermore, the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SEBE) said yesterday that export firms were facing inestimable losses due to the continuing blockade of roads by farmers.

    "Many members are facing serious difficulties in meeting deliveries and the danger of the cancellation of orders from abroad if the blockade of the country's major roads continues," an announcement stated.

    Exporters of fresh produce were expected to face enormous problems in the next few days, it added.

    SEBE said it understood the problems facing the farmers but that protests of this kind "damaged the national economy" and called on farmers' representatives and the agriculture ministry "to find a mutually acceptable solution as soon as possible".

    [02] Opposition

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos yesterday urged the government to "answer to farmers' demands with deeds, not words."

    Mr. Constantopoulos said farmers' protests resulted from their feeling of being abandoned and deceived, and that it brought to the surface "the large and long-standing problems of Greek agricultural."

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas expressed support to the farmers' protests and called on all farmers' organizations to participate in the protests.

    According to Mr. Tsovolas, farmers' protests aimed at creating the conditions for "our country's real development."

    There were reports that the blockades would continue today, and at least until the return of Prime Minister Costas Simitis from Lisbon.

    [03] Pangalos, Chinese counterpart Ping discuss economic, political relations

    Beijing, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos held a meeting here yesterday with Chinese Alternate Foreign Minister Zao Ping, focusing on an assessment of economic and political relations between the two countries.

    Beijing's minister elaborated on his country's foreign policy in relation to the United Nations' operation, and in relation to the United States, Japan and the European Union.

    He also briefed the Greek delegation on the operation and prospects of the "Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation."

    On his part, Mr. Pangalos elaborated on Athens' policy in the Balkans and presented the government's positions in Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    He also held a meeting with the first Vice-President of the People's Republic of China, Le Lan Ching, who expressed the government's interest in greater imports of Greek products as well as establishing a framework for Greek investment and business activity in the emerging Chinese market.

    He further expressed interest on Greek-Chinese business co-operation in the Balkans and Central Asia.

    Mr. Le also expressed his country's opposition against violations of international legality by the use of violence or threat of force, reiterating China's support for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Japan visit

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Before landing in China, Mr. Pangalos held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yukihiko Ikeda during his official visit to Japan.

    At a meeting, both sides reaffirmed the very positive climate prevailing in bilateral relations, while Mr. Ikeda expressed his government's intention to open a Japanese consulate in Thessaloniki.

    Mr. Pangalos briefed his Japanese counterpart on Greece's intention to submit in 1999 an application for the position of a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council.

    He also said Greece would support Japan in the event of a future change in the composition of the Security Council.

    Mr. Ikeda and Mr. Pangalos also discussed economic relations between Greece and Japan with an emphasis on increasing Greek imports to Japan, increasing the number of Japanese tourists visiting Greece and attracting Japanese investment to Greece.

    The Greek minister briefed Mr. Ikeda on the situation in the Balkans, developments in the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations.

    Mr. Ikeda said Tokyo would support the Cyprus' cause in its capacity as non-permanent member to the Security Council which goes into effect as of Jan. 1, 1997.

    He further accepted an invitation by the Greek minister to visit Greece.

    Mr. Pangalos also conveyed an invitation by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to the emperor and empress of Japan to visit Greece.

    [05] Gov't comments on Niles interview

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Many of the opinions of the US ambassador to Greece, Thomas Niles, outlined in an interview with the Sunday "Kathimerini" newspaper, coincide with those of the government, acting spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said yesterday.

    Mr. Nikolaou pointed to Mr. Niles' position on the treaties of Lausanne and Paris as an example. On Mr. Niles' comments on Greek-Turkish dialogue, the spokesman confined himself to saying that Athens' position was steadfast and a given.

    Mr. Nikolaou also refrained from commenting on the reported position of the US Pentagon on not recognizing a 10-nautical-mile limit for Greece's national airspace, saying again that Greece's positions on the issue were steadfast.

    [06] Noted Turkish personality receives Greek ambassador

    Istanbul, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Fetoulah Giulen, a leading personality in Turkish society, received a visit on Sunday from Athens' ambassador to Ankara, Dimitris Nezeritis.

    "All we have lived through during the passage of history will have to remain in the past," Giulen told the ambassador.

    Humanity will have to find ways of survival in the new world order, he told Mr. Nezeritis, noting that "the disagreements which exist today will be of no importance in the future.

    Mr. Nezeritis said relations between Greece and Turkey are not currently at the desired level, and stressed that non-governmental organizations can assume important roles for diffusion of tension.

    [07] Athens: Full investigation into claims of forest torching by Turks necessary

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Ankara must do all it can to investigate allegations that Turkish saboteurs were involved in the torching of Greek forests on eastern Aegean islands, acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said yesterday.

    "This matter must be responded to," Mr. Nikolaou said, adding that the issue was not political and that the charges are extremely serious.

    Turkish True Path Party (DYP) deputy Sedat Bucak in a recent television interview alleged Turkish involvement in the burning of Greek forests.

    Bucak was the only survivor of a fatal traffic accident earlier this month near the village of Susurluk in eastern Turkey, in which three people died and which exposed connections between the underworld and the Turkish state.

    In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Under-secretary Onur Oymen on Saturday, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou raised the issue of the allegations.

    Mr. Oymen reportedly denied any involvement of the Turkish state and said he would soon make an announcement on the issue.

    Mr. Papandreou, however, said a simple statement was not enough and that Ankara should begin an in-depth investigation.

    A statement released by the Turkish foreign ministry yesterday claimed that the charges were "groundless."

    [08] G. Papandreou rejects notion of 'traditional hostility' between Greece, Turkey

    Istanbul, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    In an interview with the Turkish daily "Cumhurriyet", Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said there is no traditional hostility between Greece and Turkey, adding "that friendly relations exist traditionally."

    In the interview, given during his two-day stay in Istanbul, Mr. Papandreou said "pending issues exist" and, referring to the Imia islet incident last January, he said "Turkey showed an aggressive behavior."

    "If you think some border difference exists there are legal ways of resolving it," he said. "If suddenly one day a certain country claimed territory belonging traditionally to Turkey what would the feelings of the Turkish people be?" he asked.

    In addition, Mr. Papandreou said the mass media played an important role in creating a climate of hysteria over the Imia crisis, adding that all parties should be particularly careful so as not to incite an atmosphere of war.

    Mr. Papandreou said if Greek-Turkish issues are resolved at some time, "Greece will become Turkey's biggest supporter and ally in the European Union."

    In another interview with the newspaper "Yeni Yuzgil", Mr. Papandreou said "it is not true that we are blocking relations (between Turkey) with the EU", and stressed that criticism of Turkey is increasing by the day, while on the Imia issue EU member-states took the side of Greece.

    "We can co-operate in the sectors of tourism and trade as well as in tackling problems such as illegal immigration, drug trafficking and terrorism. Moreover, we can co-operate for peace and stability in the region and we can co-operate in our region, just as Europe did," he said.

    In an interview with the newspaper "Hurriyet" and referring to the Cyprus issue, Mr. Papandreou said: "I would prefer to see a solution before accession," adding: "In this way the Turkish community could participate in accession negotiations together with the Greek Cypriots if the Turkish Cypriot community becomes a part of the EU it will constitute a bridge between the EU and Turkey."

    [09] Tzoganis meets with Bulgarian defense minister, general staff chief

    Sofia, 03/12/1996 (ANA - N. Hios)

    Chief of the National Defense General Staff Gen. Athanasios Tzoganis met with Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitar Pavlov and his Bulgarian counterpart Tsvetan Bladenov Totomirov yesterday during his official visit to the neighboring country. The two armed forces' chiefs are due to sign a bilateral military co-operation agreement for 1997, something Gen. Tzoganis has described as being "realistic", adding it will contribute to improvement of contacts between the two countries' armed forces and to stability in the region.

    On his part, Mr. Pavlov said that "only through mutual understanding can there be stability in the Balkan region and a consolidation of bilateral military relations."

    Gen. Tzoganis and Mr. Pavlov discussed the ability of Bulgaria to participate in new peacekeeping forces for support of the Dayton peace agreement in Bosnia.

    In addition, the Greek military leader also expressed Athens' support for the convening of a Balkan defense ministers' meeting in Sofia next year.

    He also met with the president of the Bulgarian parliament's national security council, L. Petrov, who was the former Bulgarian chief of general staff, and will meet with members of that parliament's national security commission as well as visit military installations. He is also scheduled to meet with outgoing Bulgarian President Zeleu Zelev.

    [10] Air force chief on official Moscow visit

    Moscow, 03/12/1996 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Hellenic Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Antonetsis flew in a Russian-made "Sukhoi 27" warplane at a base southeast of Moscow recently as part of his official visit to Russia.

    Lt. Gen. Antonetsis headed a Hellenic Air Force delegation, which visited Russia from Nov. 27 until yesterday, at the invitation of the chief of the Russian air defense forces, Gen. Prudikov, and returning a visit the latter made to Greece. The exchange was part of the military co-operation agreement signed two years ago by the two countries' defense ministers at the time, Gerassimos Arsenis and Pavel Grachev, and according to military observers in Moscow, reflect the warm climate also prevailing now in military relations between Greece and Russia.

    In addition Gen. Antonetsis visited Russian military bases and the S300 anti-aircraft missile unit protecting the Russian capital. Cyprus has also shown interest in the S300 missile system, considered the Russian counterpart of the US Patriot missile.

    [11] Evert criticizes Gov't of applying 'untrustworthy austerity policy'

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert yesterday accused the government of following an "untrustworthy austerity policy without philosophy and direction, which is inevitably going to fail because it is not being accepted by the people."

    Mr. Evert was speaking during a press conference last night in Zappeion Hall on the subject of the economy and the 1997 budget.

    He also attacked Prime Minister Costas Simitis for what he called "unlimited pre-election lies" that no new taxes would be imposed.

    Mr. Evert said that although he does not approve of the stance being held by the farmers at present, who have blockaded national roads and by-passes for days, effectively cutting the country in two, he recognized that "farmers have no other manner of re action," adding that the prime minister should already have sent them a message.

    "For as long as their demands are just, we will be at their side," Mr. Evert said, calling on urban residents to "remember their agricultural background."

    He also described farmers' problem as an important national issue, accusing the government of a "criminal" agricultural policy over the past decade.

    The ND leader described the government's prediction of inflation falling to 4.5 per cent by 1997 as being "unrealistic", and criticized the abolition of tax exemptions of a social nature, such as those for mothers with more than three children, and an excessive increase in living expenses.

    [12] Simitis holds talks with several European leaders in Lisbon

    Lisbon, 03/12/1996 (ANA - S. Liarellis)

    A Greek delegation headed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis arrived in the Portuguese capital on Sunday evening to attend a summit conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which opened in Lisbon yesterday.

    Mr. Simitis is due to address the summit today, whose agenda includes European security issues as well as the OSCE's relations with Russia.

    The premier is accompanied on his trip by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    Yesterday morning, the Greek premier had separate meetings with Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, Albanian President Sali Berisha and the secretary general of the West European Union (WEU) Jose Cutilheiro, on the sidelines of the conference.

    He also held short meetings with the Italian, Norwegian and Irish prime ministers, NATO's secretary general Javier Solana and EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek.

    Later, Mr. Simitis also met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on the sidelines of the OSCE conference.

    According to Greek government sources, talks focused on issues concerning bilateral relations as well as European Union matters and the Intergovernmental Conference, in light of the EU Dublin summit.

    Mr. Simitis stressed to his counterparts that Athens insists on the issue of safeguarding the EU's external borders.

    According to government sources, Mr. Guterres and Mr. Aznar showed understanding for Athens' positions.

    [13] Other meetings

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, Mr. Reppas said it had not been decided yet whether the Greek premier would meet with either Turkish President Suleyman Demirel or with the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Kiro Gligorov, although informal social meetings were not ruled out.

    Earlier, Mr. Simitis and Mr. Berisha discussed bilateral relations and Balkan issues. After the meeting, Mr. Simitis said both countries "have so far developed their relations and this meeting contributed to a further improvement."

    Speaking to Greek reporters, Mr. Papandreou, who also attended the meeting, said the prevailing atmosphere was very positive and elaborated on the progress which has been noted in bilateral relations between the two countries.

    He said such issues as the legalization of Albanian workers in Greece and the operation of Greek-language schools in Albania were brought up in the meeting, noting the positive course prevailing on the latter issue.

    At a meeting with Mr. Cutilheiro, Mr. Simitis stressed that all WEU members should commit themselves not to bring any changes to the current state of affairs between the Union's members and its associate members.

    Mr. Papandreou said the WEU secretary general did not disagree in principle.

    The Greek minister also met with Cypriot Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and the Alternate Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Bucova. With the latter he discussed bilateral relations and Interbalkan Co-operation issues.

    Meanwhile, US Vice-President Al Gore is representing US President Bill Clinton to the summit, which is due to examine the varying approaches to the prospects and future role of the Organization. The United States, Russia and the European Union hold different views regarding the future role of the OSCE.

    In his address yesterday, Mr. Gore stressed the need to enlarge NATO to the east.

    Russia has held the position that OSCE should be the prevailing security body in Europe and that NATO should not expand to the east.

    [14] Situation in ND remains unsettled

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    The situation in the main opposition New Democracy party remains fluid, despite the fact that alternative solutions have been put forth so the party runs a smooth course toward its congress next year.

    Reliable sources said ND leader Miltiades Evert is rejecting a proposal for election of additional delegates to the congress by the party's grass roots, invoking relevant provisions in the charter, and claiming that if this happens, "the division at the top will be transferred to the members."

    However, sources close to leadership contender George Souflias said they will ask for the party's Parliamentary group to decide on the matter, threatening that otherwise, "they will go on holiday at the time of the congress".

    ND Vice-President Ioannis Varvitsiotis, who has undertaken the task of forwarding compromise proposals, is not ruling out the election of additional delegates, but is reluctant to be more committed, according to reports.

    Yesterday, 20 party deputies issued a statement of support for Mr. Souflias, saying that "Mr. Evert's presence in the leadership implies a continuous shrinking of the party and its exclusion from power."

    [15] Storms still plague northwestern Greece, Gov't issues measures

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Storms continued to devastate large areas of Xanthi prefecture yesterday, while a 58-year-old farmer was killed in Trikala, central Greece, bringing the total number of deaths from flood-related damage to four.

    According to reports, extensive damages have been caused to residences, businesses, infrastructure and cultivated land in Xanthi prefecture, while storms have also affected the prefecture of Drama and the wider region of western Greece, where the Kalamas, Acherontas, Arahthos and Louros rivers overflowed.

    In a related development, a government delegation headed by Environment Minister Costas Laliotis visited Xanthi yesterday and was scheduled to visit other areas affected, while the distribution of the emergency benefit of 200,000 drachmas for each family affected has already begun.

    Mr. Laliotis ordered the recording of all damages to be completed within 10 days, after which he will announce measures for those affected by the flooding, which are expected to be similar to those applied in Karditsa.

    Most of the expenses for the repair of damage caused by the storms are expected to met by the EU's "Urban" program.

    A symbolic amount of two million drachmas is to be donated to each of the families whose relatives were killed by the floods.

    Meanwhile, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos is already in the region to coordinate relief efforts after what is believed to be the worst flooding in the last 50 years.

    Residents of the villages of Genisia and Pygadia who lost their homes in the weekend flooding are being housed in hotels and daycare centers in the city of Xanthi.

    Initial reports say the floods have destroyed some 10,000 stremmata of cotton, corn and clover crops.

    [16] Former PASOK MP Calliope Bourdara dies

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Calliope Bourdara, former MP of the ruling PASOK party, died Sunday morning after a long illness.

    Born in 1935 in Athens, she was the daughter of Evritania MP George Bourdaras. She studied law, sociology and psychology in Greece and the United States, and was a member of the Pahnellenic Liberation Movement (PAK) - the precursor to today's PASOK - during the seven-year colonels' dictatorship. She was also a member of PASOK since 1975 and a founding member of the Union of Women of Greece (EGE), of which she served as president in 1980-82.

    She was first elected to Parliament in 1985 on the PASOK ticket for the Athens A' electoral district, and represented Greece at numerous international conferences and at the Council of Europe.

    Calliope Bourdara was an activist in numerous organizations for women's rights, equality of the sexes and foreign policy issues.

    Her funeral will be today at 4:00 p.m. at the Athens First Cemetery.

    [17] 1998 congress of TV channels to be held in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    The 1998 congress of television channels which are members of CIRCOM (the EU Television Channels of Europe association) is to be held in Thessaloniki, following a decision by the CIRCOM administrative council, which met in Thessaloniki.

    CIRCOM's administrative council met for the first time outside Strasbourg, where it is based, following a proposal submitted by the Greek state-held channel ERT-3 and on the occasion of Thessaloniki being Cultural Capital of Europe in 1997.

    Roughly 360 channels from 36 countries are to participate in the meeting, which is to be held in May 1998.

    CIRCOM Secretary General Boris Bergant from Slovakia, asked for all CIRCOM members to refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as FYROM in order to conform to the United Nation's decision. This Greek request had not been met for the past two y ears.

    Mr. Bergant's proposal was accepted by all members of the administrative council and national representatives at CIRCOM.

    In an unrelated event, Thessaloniki has also won the hosting of "Euromusica", a series of open musical and theatrical events, in 1998. The productions are held in squares around the city, in co-operation with municipalities and communities, and the final day of the event is broadcast live on television around Europe.

    [18] ADEDY calls another strike for December 17

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Civil servants will stage another 24-hour strike on Dec. 17 following a decision taken by the Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) yesterday.

    The union is demanding implementation of a new pay scale to protect and improve the incomes of civil servants, price indexation of the tax scale and extension of the non-taxable limit.

    Meanwhile, the executive committee of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) will convene on Thursday in order to decide on actions to be taken by private sector employees.

    On the same day, Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to meet the presidium of the two unions in an attempt to avoid further strike actions.

    [19] Gov't says foreign accountants auditing 12 ASE stock brokerage firms

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign chartered accounting firms are carrying out audits in 12 stock brokerage firms implicated in last month's default of Delta Securities, National Economy Under-secretary Alexandros Baltas told Parliament yesterday.

    "The findings will be released as soon audits are completed," he added.

    He said the government was doing everything possible in respect to legal provisions for the restoration of confidence in the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE).

    Main opposition New Democracy party deputies criticized the government of failing to adopt measures to prevent the scandal, which cost small investors 2.5 billion drachmas.

    Mr. Baltas retorted that the scandal came to light after an auditing by the national economy ministry.

    [20] Gov't outlines goals of 'industrial transformation bureaus'

    Athens, 03/12/1996 (ANA)

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou yesterday set out the goals and responsibilities of the newly established "industrial transformation bureaus" during a meeting with the 22 prefects of prefectures described as declining regions.

    The bureaus will manned by specialized staff providing information and advice, particularly to small- and medium-sized businesses, regarding available investment opportunities.

    The 22 prefectures in question are: Achaia, Viotia, Drama, Evros, Evia, Imathia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Kozani, Cyclades, Kavala, Larisa, Lesvos, Magnisia, Messinia, Xanthi, Pella, Rodopi, Samos, Florina, Halkidiki and Hios.

    [21] Patriarch to officially visit Austria in June

    Vienna, 03/12/1996 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    A visit by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos to Austria will take place next June, the Metropolitan of Austria and Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe Michail announced yesterday.

    The Patriarch's visit had originally been scheduled for last October and was postponed until January 1997, while the date has now been finalized for June 1997.

    The delays had been necessary due to the ill-health of Austrian President Thomas Klestil, who reports say will need a few more months until he is able to again resume his official duties.

    During his visit to Austria, the Patriarch is to meet with President Klestil and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, while he is expected to be declared honorary professor of Vienna University's law school.

    He is also scheduled to travel to Graz, where he will participate in the "Second European Ecumenical Conference" being organized by the World Council of Churches.

    Patriarch Vartholomeos toured Austria during an unofficial 15-day visit in March 1994.

    End of English language section.

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