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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 96-12-14

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 1066), December 14, 1996

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


  • [01] EU Stability, Development Pact compromise satisfactory for Greece
  • [02] Pangalos 'sold out veto', ND says
  • [03] Farmers open northern border post
  • [04] EU needs effective foreign, defense policy, Pangalos tells Irish Times
  • [05] Diplomats recommend FYROM recognize Greek past of Macedonia, paper reports
  • [06] President's agenda
  • [07] Gov't to lodge demarche over US official's statement over national airspace
  • [08] Head of 2004 Olympics committee in Australia
  • [09] CoM ratify resolution favorable to Greek shipping
  • [10] ANA correspondent re-elected President of Vienna Foreign Press Association
  • [11] Venizelos meets Danish, Swedish counterpart
  • [12] Finance ministry admits mistake
  • [13] SEBE says customs officials strike 'untimely'
  • [14] ALICO wins 'Business of the Year Award'
  • [15] Greece hopes to join second wave of EMU
  • [16] Xanthi flood victims get 500 million drachmas
  • [17] Heroin hidden in Christmas presents
  • [18] Papadellis returns to Parliament
  • [19] Greece sends humanitarian aid to Armenia
  • [20] ERRATUM

  • [01] EU Stability, Development Pact compromise satisfactory for Greece

    Dublin, 14/12/1996 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou expressed satisfaction in Dublin last night over the finding of a compromise over the issue of the Stability and Development Pact at the session of the EU's Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN).

    ECOFIN accepted Greece's proposal for sanctions not to be imposed when the swelling of the fiscal deficit is due to unforeseen factors, such as natural disasters or a sudden need to increase defense expenditure, and the proposal was a part of the final compromise.

    The possibility of an unforeseen factor and the serious economic recession constitute the two main exceptions to the rule of imposing sanctions against fiscally deviating member-states belonging to the "Euro" zone.

    Mr. Papantoniou also expressed satisfaction over the fact that on "Euro" banknotes, the name "Euro" will be written both in Greek and in Latin characters.

    Mr. Papantoniou said the main characteristic of the compromise achieved at the Council yesterday is a substantive weakening of arithmetical references in relation to the imposition of sanctions.

    The Greek representative, Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranindiotis, presented a brief account of discussions to date on the Intergovernmental conference.

    He said the 15 leaders had an open exchange of views based on the revision of the Maastricht Treaty presented this week by the Irish EU presidency and on the letter by French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Khol.

    Mr. Kranindiotis said he considered some of the ideas in the Chirac-Khol letter to be positive, such as the issue of the solidarity clause and the relations between the EU and the WEU.

    However, he added the Greek side disagrees with certain sections, such as the reduction in the number of commissioners and the abolition of unanimity in procedures for the taking of Community decisions.

    [02] Pangalos 'sold out veto', ND says

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party said yesterday that after the decision taken by the European Parliament on Thursday regarding funding Turkey through the MEDA program, "Mr. Pangalos, selling out the veto on July 15 1996, allowed all hell to break loose regarding European funding for Turkey."

    According to the announcement, "when Mr. Pangalos accepted the lifting of the Greek veto on MEDA, and indeed stating 'that the Council is supreme and can take whatever decision whenever it so wishes and it can also overturn whatever decision it has previously taken', he was aware that Greece was selling out a strong negotiating weapon and was finally losing control over developments in funding Turkey."

    [03] Farmers open northern border post

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    Movement to and from Bulgaria through the Promachonas border station in northern Greece was restored yesterday after a roadblock set up 12 kilometers from the border was dismantled by farmers, who entered their 16th day of nationwide blockades of highways and rail links.

    A huge convoy of stranded lorries began crossing the border to and from Bulgaria.

    The dismantling of the border blockade in effect opened up a channel of communication between thousands of Greek enterprises in Bulgaria and Romania with Greece, from where they procure merchandise and raw materials.

    A meeting between Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas and farmers' representatives in Thessaloniki yesterday ended in full disagreement between the two sides.

    Farmers began setting up roadblocks with their tractors throughout the country on November 28, demanding cheaper fertilizers and fuel for agricultural use, higher produce prices, increased subsidies and favorable debt settlements.

    Farmers and stockbreeders in the northern prefecture of Rodopi on Thursday decided to suspend their protest action and lift the blockade of two roads at Phanari and Polyanthos. Traffic on the national road between Komotini and Xanthi is now moving normally.

    In contrast, farmers' coordinating committees in northern Evros decided to maintain roadblocks at four points in the prefecture which borders Turkey.

    Farmers blocking the national road linking Alexandroupolis with the Greek-Turkish border and the Alexandroupolis-Orestiada highway also decided to continue their protests.

    The customs posts at Ormenio and Kastanies on the Greek-Bulgarian border and at Kipi on the Greek-Turkish border were also closed to traffic because of farmers' blockades, resulting in queues of approximately 200 international transport trucks.

    Yesterday afternoon, farmers parked their trucks across the Athens-Thessaloniki railway, thus blockading the only route to Northern Greece which had remained open. However, the rail line to Larissa and Volos remained open.

    Meanwhile, acting government spokesman Nikos Athanasakis yesterday lashed out anew against main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert, accusing him of having "cheapened" his position as leader of the opposition by visiting the farmers' blockades, while his proposal for a political leaders' meeting had failed.

    Stressing that Mr. Evert's proposal for an agenda Parliamentary debate to tackle the issue was "sensation-seeking", Mr. Athanasakis said the issue had been raised at the Parliamentary debate on the Intergovernmental Conference and could also be put forward for discussion during the Budget debate next week.

    The acting government spokesman also lashed out against the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), terming as "unacceptable" statements made by KKE on Thursday, accusing the government of "uncontrolled terrorism," and of "terminating dialogue."

    Meanwhile, President of the Judges and Prosecutors Union Constantine Lyberopoulos expressed reservations after a meeting with Mr. Evert, over the possibility of using legal measures to confront the problem caused by protesting farmers.

    "Prosecutors must react with caution regarding such decisions because you cannot punish an entire social group or arrest people," he said.

    He said however that "this situation must at some point come to an end."

    "No matter how right the farmers may be they must end their protests because the country cannot be disorganized and dissolved in order to satisfy the demands of a single group," he said.

    In another development, President of the Athens Merchants Union said after a meeting with Mr. Evert that "if the farmers continue protesting then the Greek economy will be ruined."

    Mr. Evert accused the government of "trying to turn one social group against the other," and adding that the government should have entered talks with the farmers to prevent protests.

    Meanwhile, President of the Political Spring party Antonis Samaras asked the government yesterday, "to terminate immediately the heavy atmosphere of social conflict damaging the prestige of our country and its economy, through an honorable peace agreement with the farmers."

    [04] EU needs effective foreign, defense policy, Pangalos tells Irish Times

    Dublin, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The Irish Times ran an interview with Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday in which the minister said the European Union needs "an effective common foreign and defense policy, capable of ensuring the external borders, the independence and the safety of the Union."

    The Union's institutions should be focused on "institutional equality and unity without discriminations or diversifications," Mr. Pangalos was quoted as telling the newspaper.

    Branding the Cyprus-EU accession as "the primary issue of Greek foreign policy," he went on to say that "it should be made clear" to Ankara that Turkey does not have the right to veto a Cyprus accession to the Union.

    "The European Union and Cyprus should not be made hostage to Turkey," he added.

    "Greece wants to have good relations with its neighbor, Turkey," Mr. Pangalos said, accusing it of "endangering stability and safety in the region."

    The foreign minister said Turkey continued to violate the terms of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and to dispute Greece's territorial integrity at Imia and "in an unlimited number of isles and islets in the Aegean."

    According to the Irish Times, Mr. Pangalos called upon the EU partners for a "new architecture of safety" for the European continent, saying that European unification should "be built along the lines of democracy, solidarity, cohesion and social justice."

    Mr. Pangalos said Athens did not wish to prevent Turkey's relations with the European Union in any way, providing Turkey conforms to the principles of international law and respect of human rights.

    "It is inconceivable to me that the Europeans could have a different view," he was quoted as telling the Irish Times.

    [05] Diplomats recommend FYROM recognize Greek past of Macedonia, paper reports

    Skopje, 14/12/1996 (ANA-M. Vichou)

    Western diplomats are recommending that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) adopt a proclamation with which it will recognize the historic Greek past of Macedonia, as well as Greece's right to use the name "Macedonia", the weekly newspaper "Pouls" reported yesterday.

    The paper added that the proposal has already been discussed in Athens and Skopje.

    The report said that according to the same diplomats, Cyrus Vance might resign after the new round of talks on December 17 and will propose the name "Republic of Macedonia (capital Skopje)" to the Security Council.

    Referring to this name, "Pouls" said that its use will be limited in the framework of the UN and that as far as the rest is concerned the country's international name remains "Republic of Macedonia."

    However, it assesses that a name such as "Republic of Macedonia (capital Skopje)" will not be accepted by Greece.

    [06] President's agenda

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Labor Minister Miltiades Papaioannou attended events in Kalavrita yesterday marking the 53rd anniversary of the Kalavrita massacre, when 1300 men, the town's whole male population over the age of 16,

    were executed by the Nazis.

    President of the Republic Constantine Stephanopoulos is to hold the annual reception for the representatives of the media this evening at the Presidential Palace.

    [07] Gov't to lodge demarche over US official's statement over national airspace

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The Greek government is to lodge a demarche with the US State Department over a statement made almost a month ago by a Pentagon official disputing the 10-mile limit of Greek airspace, Foreign Under-secretary Christos Rozakis told Parliament yesterday.

    Replying to a question tabled by main opposition New Democracy (ND) party Vice President Yiannis Varvitsiotis, Mr. Rozakis said Greece may not yet have extended its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, "but the 10 nautical miles which it uses are satisfactorily covered by the more general potential which the country has to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles."

    Mr. Rozakis added that Greece "insists on its argument concerning the 10 nautical miles, on the basis also of the fact that common law and conventional law provisions exist which enable us to extend our territorial waters to 12 miles."

    Replying to a question from Mr. Varvitsiotis on what he called the role of mediator assumed by the US in Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Rozakis said that any intervention by the US "is evaluated on the basis of our national interests."

    He added that the Greek government was not "prey" to the will of third parties.

    "The government will listen to their views and either accept them or reject them in accordance with Greek interests," Mr. Rozakis said.

    [08] Head of 2004 Olympics committee in Australia

    Melbourne, 14/12/1996 (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    The head of the committee formed to handle Athens' bid for the 2004 Olympic Games, Yianna Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou, yesterday stressed the important role which expatriate Greeks can play in assisting Greece's efforts to host the Games.

    Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou is in Sydney on a private visit, but took the opportunity to give a series of interviews to ABS, Australia's state-run television station, the Australian News Agency and the Greek program of SBS, the state-run broadcasting corporation.

    Speaking to the media, Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou elaborated on Athens' advantages for hosting the Olympics, citing political stability, sports and infrastructure projects currently under construction, Greece's experience in the organization of big sporting events and the will of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people to host the 2004 Olympics.

    Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou arrived in Sydney on Wednesday from Thailand, where she addressed the 10th conference of the Asian Olympic Committees.

    In Sydney she met with Rod Magiok, Head of the committee formed for Sydney's bid to host the 2000 Olympics, as well as a member of the Games organization committee.

    Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulou said she had friendly relations with her Australian counterpart as well as other officials at the Australian Olympics Committee, adding that she will pay an official visit to Australia next year for talks with Australian officials and leading members of the Greek community.

    [09] CoM ratify resolution favorable to Greek shipping

    Brussels, 14/12/1996 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    The Council of Ministers responsible for sea transport ratified a resolution yesterday on strengthening the competitiveness of EU shipping, which is particularly favorable for Greek shipping, following an announcement by the European Commission on the European Union's shipping strategy.

    The resolution recognizes the need to take suitable measures to improve the competitiveness of member-states' fleets and the training of seamen. The importance of international norms on issues concerning the quality and safety of ships was also stressed.

    In his address, Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis said EU strategy on shipping should focus on the EU flag to strengthen the attraction of ships to EU shipping registers and be combined with the most complete training for seamen.

    Mr. Soumakis said state subsidies for shipping usually lead to the distortion of competition, adding that while they are allowed, they should be in accordance with the treaty and should not exceed a ceiling which must be set.

    [10] ANA correspondent re-elected President of Vienna Foreign Press Association

    Vienna, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The 51st General Assembly of the Foreign Press Association yesterday re-elected journalist and Athens News Agency correspondent to Vienna, Dimitris Dimitrakoudis as President of the Union for the 12th consecutive year.

    The Vienna Foreign Press Association has 369 members and is considered to be one of the most important press associations in Europe.

    In a message to the General Assembly, Chancellor Franz Vranitsky stressed his excellent co-operation with the Union's Board and its Greek President.

    [11] Venizelos meets Danish, Swedish counterpart

    Copenhagen, 14/12/1006 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos met his Danish counterpart Ms. Hilden in Copenhagen yesterday for talks on Copenhagen's experience as cultural capital of Europe 1996.

    They also discussed Mr. Venizelos' proposal on the explicit inclusion of cultural equality among member-states in the Maastricht Treaty and the possibility of creating a cultural co-operation network between medium-sized and small EU countries.

    Mr. Venizelos was to attend the official closing ceremony for marking the events of "Copenhagen Cultural Capital of Europe 1966" which were to take place in the presence of Queen Margaret and the Danish government.

    On Saturday an open discussion will be held in Copenhagen focusing on the institution of the Culture Capital. Copenhagen has been the European Cultural Capital for 1996.

    After his visit to Denmark, Mr. Venizelos traveled to Sweden yesterday afternoon, where he was to meet with his Swedish counterpart.

    At the meeting, Mr. Venizelos was to put forward for discussion a package of proposals for cultural issues, including an EU Cultural Ministers meeting in Thessaloniki within the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference focusing on the principle of cultural equality of EU member-states.

    [12] Finance ministry admits mistake

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The finance ministry admitted yesterday that the name of Greece's most successful basketball coach had been mistakenly put on a list of major tax evaders, released to the public on Thursday.

    Ministry Secretary-General Christos Alavanos said a cross-check of evidence had revealed that there had been a mistake and that Ioannis Ioannidis had properly declared his income for 1995 and was not a tax evader.

    Mr. Alavanos made the statement after meeting with Mr. Ioannidis, who had come to the ministry armed with proof that he had lawfully declared his income.

    The list had claimed that the coach of the AEK team had not issued receipts for services amounting to 95 million drachmas.

    On entering the finance ministry, Mr. Ioannidis said that it was "a disgrace that a citizen who is a dutiful taxpayer should be so maligned."

    [13] SEBE says customs officials strike 'untimely'

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The Federation of Exporters of Northern Greece (SEBE) has said the three-day strike called by customs officials from December 17-19 is untimely.

    In an open letter to the finance ministry and the Federation of Customs Employees, SEBE said the strike "will give the coup de grace to export enterprises which have sustained incalculable losses due to the farmers' mobilizations."

    The Federation appealed for an immediate solution to be found to avert a worsening of the situation.

    [14] ALICO wins 'Business of the Year Award'

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The US Embassy in Athens today announced the names of four Greek companies that have won US business awards for the promotion of American products and services in Greece.

    The "Business of the Year Award" for achieving "the best overall performance for American products and services" has gone to ALICO (American Life Insurance Company), which has been active 32 years in Greece and holds 14 per cent of the Greek insurance market.

    The "New Product/Service Award" for "successfully introducing a new American product or service to the Greek market in 1995" has gone to Pouliadis Associates S.A., one of the primary information technology companies in Greece, which represents such American companies as Autodesk, Conner, COMPAQ, Microcom, Netscape, Sun, Metrologic and Diamond. Pouliadis S.A. has also been awarded COMPAQ Greece's prize for "Best and Loyal Distributor of the Year for 1995".

    The "Social Awareness Award" for "promoting a positive public image for an American company in Greece" has gone to Pharmaserve Lilly S.A. for its exemplary employee-centered focus, research grants for selected projects by the universities of Athens, Crete, Ioannina, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis and Patras, grants to the Greek Association of Gastroenterology for the purchase of a major diagnostic device, a grant of post-graduate scholarships for young physicians in the field of gastroenterology and pediatrics, and donations of pharmaceuticals to the "Medecins sans Frontiers" NGO aid organization and to the Hellenic Red Cross (destined for Albania), Christmas party and distribution of presents for children suffering from cancer at the Aghia Sophia Hospital in Athens, a special educational program for patients suffering from diabetes, and the donation of a special vaccine for pediatric use to the Social Security Foundation (IKA) and private physicians.

    The company is also cooperating with the Municipality of Kifissia on a program concerning organized and large-scale paper and aluminum container recycling.

    The "Emerging Company Award" for "demonstrating, as a new company, exemplary dynamism, growth and profitability in promoting American products" has gone to the Felous Fashion Group (FFG S.A.), which was formed in 1993, and represents Calvin Klein jeans, underwear and hosiery, and also DKNY.

    [15] Greece hopes to join second wave of EMU

    Athens, 14/12/1996

    Greece is the only European Union state which has not so far met a single Maastricht criterion, but there is political consensus that signing up to the single currency is crucial to the country's future.

    The government acknowledges that Greece has little chance of joining European economic and monetary union (EMU) at the January 1, 1999 launch date but is pinning its hopes on being among the second wave of entrants shortly afterwards.

    "We must succeed to be inside this nucleus if we want to play a role in matters that concern us. This is our future," Prime Minister Costas Simitis said recently.

    "Our economic policy aims to create the conditions so we participate in EMU with the second group of countries in 2000 or 2001."

    Under Simitis, the socialist party won national elections in September 1996 on an austerity platform that stressed the need for Greece to join the headlong rush towards monetary union.

    But austerity policies introduced in the country's 1997 budget have generated a wave of protests and discontent, forcing a public debate on EMU for the first time.

    The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), labor's biggest umbrella organization, was joined by the civil servants union in staging a one-day strike in November to protest against the 1997 budget, and they have promised more to come.

    To make up for years of lost time in meeting tough EMU debt and deficit criteria, the 1997 budget eliminates a host of tax breaks and introduces revenues from new taxes. This has angered many who face a drop in their real disposable income.

    The budget aims to slash the official deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP in 1997 from the 7.6 percent forecast for 1996, and lower it to a projected 2.4 percent in 1998. EMU entrants must reduce their public deficits to three percent of GDP or less.

    But Greece is much farther away from achieving the 60 percent debt to GDP ratio also required by the Maastricht treaty. This was forecast at 110.8 percent in 1996 after touching 11.7 percent in 1995.

    Economists say assumptions of a freeze in real spending and a 14.9 percent rise in budget revenues - key to the forecast 3.3 rate of Gross Domestic Product growth in 1997 - are also overly optimistic. The economy is expected to expand by 2.6 percent in 1996.

    Farmers - who have reaped most of the benefits from EU policies to date and enjoy preferential tax status - have led the most recent wave of protests against EMU, blocking major roads and rail links for days at a stretch.

    Like many in Greece, the farmers seem torn between retaining past privileges and accepting the necessity of EMU, saying that they want the government to negotiate harder for their rights in Brussels.

    The main political parties have staunchly backed joining EMU for the past five years, although with some differences over approach. Only the hard-line Communist Party and the splinter socialist DIKKI party reject EMU membership.

    The conservative New Democracy party, which is the main opposition party, suggests that Greece should revise its 1994-98 EU convergence plan to spread the pain of adjustment over a longer period of time.

    Financial markets and associations of employers have always been pro-EMU. Even labor unions have avoided criticizing EMU directly, despite slamming restrictive incomes policies generated by the runup to the single currency.

    Despite the pervasive belief that EMU is essential, Greece has done little until very recently to meet the goals required to get there. Aside from the tough debt and deficit criteria, the government has yet to pass legislation to make the Bank of Greece independent - another prerequisite for EMU.

    The government is expected to grant independence to the bank in 1997. Some officials attribute the delay to legal issues and vagueness surrounding the definition of central bank independence in the Maastricht Treaty.

    In compliance with other EMU criteria, the Bank of Greece has stopped financing the state's budget deficit through methods not acceptable to Brussels, and has removed most capital flow restrictions.

    "We have decided to do away with the very few remaining (capital flow) restrictions by the end of 1997," a high-level central bank official told Reuters. These include allowing residents to open foreign currency accounts at local banks.

    Another central bank official said the bank was working on technical aspects of the anticipated form of money market operations of the European central bank.

    "We have formed task forces, workshops to deal with anticipated developments," he said.

    Like the Bundesbank, the Bank of Greece favors use of reserve requirements and repurchase agreements to conduct a Europe-wide monetary policy.

    The central bank imposes a 12 percent reserve requirement on all liabilities of local banks to control liquidity enhanced by high-interest rates and the government's strong drachma policy. Half of the reserves are non-interest bearing.

    The hard drachma aims to combat inflation and shadow currencies within the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

    "The drachma shadows the ERM and would have had no problem fluctuating within the broad 15 percent band," said one central bank official. "We will address the issue of joining ERM at the proper time".

    Asked whether the drachma would be subject to a nominal depreciation before joining the ERM, the official said there was no precedent to justify such a decision.

    Mike Paparis, treasurer at Midland Bank in Athens, said the drachma would join the ERM at prevailing market rates at the time of entry.

    "I have no doubt that Greece will make it to the EMU and sooner than many pundits think," he said. (Reuters)

    [16] Xanthi flood victims get 500 million drachmas

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    The environment, town planning and public works ministry has allocated 500 million drachmas to victims of floods in the northeastern prefecture of Xanthi.

    Each family affected by the floods will receive 200,000 drachmas to cover basic needs.

    According to the local committee evaluating the damage wrought on the region two weeks ago, 1,500 homes are unsuitable for habitation until waters subside and a further 70 are completely destroyed.

    Home owners who lost their houses will receive low interest housing loans to restore their homes.

    Meanwhile, another 150-200 factories and industries and 250-300 farm storage facilities have also been destroyed or damaged by flood waters.

    Damage to farm production is enormous and will be evaluated when waters subside from the 40-50,000 stremmata of arable land in the prefecture.

    [17] Heroin hidden in Christmas presents

    Two Cretans were arrested at Hania airport yesterday after a quarter of a kilo of heroin was discovered hidden in a package of Christmas presents they attempted to collect.

    The two men from Rethymno were apprehended after they arrived at the airport with a receipt from a transport company to collect a delivery. Police on the island, who had placed the two under surveillance for some time, said it would have been the largest quantity of heroin which dealers had tried to sell in Rethymno.

    [18] Papadellis returns to Parliament

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    Former health under-secretary Franklinos Papadellis was sworn-in as a deputy for ruling party PASOK yesterday at an emotional ceremony at the Parliament building.

    Mr. Papadellis was overwhelmingly re-elected to Parliament in the September 22 elections earlier this year, shortly after suffering a debilitating stroke while campaigning on the island of Limnos.

    He made an astounding recovery from his stroke and subsequent surgery to remove internal bleeding from the cranial cavity.

    Yesterday's ceremony was attended by deputies from all political parties as well as friends and family. After the ceremony, Mr. Papadellis thanked all those who had given him moral support.

    [19] Greece sends humanitarian aid to Armenia

    Athens, 14/12/1996 (ANA)

    Substantial quantities of humanitarian aid, including food and household items, have been sent to ethnic Greek communities in Armenia by the National Institute for the Reception and Resettlement of Expatriate and Repatriate Greeks.

    The aid, worth $64,000, is part of efforts to support ethnic Greeks living in regions of the former Soviet Union. The aid was distributed, for the third successive year, among ethnic Greeks living in the capital Erevan and other areas of Armenia.

    The Greek Embassy in Erevan supervised the distribution of the 5,000 packages which each weigh 14 kilos, in co-operation with the chairman of the institute's board of directors, George Iakovou who visited Armenia for three days.

    [20] ERRATUM

    Yesterday's lead to our front-page report entitled "Simitis, Kok find common ground on Turkey-EU relations" should read: - "Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Dutch counterpart Wim Kok have stressed the need for Turkey to state whether it accepts a statement by the European Union Council on July 15, calling on it to build relations of co-operation with Greece and EU countries". We apologize for the error.

    End of English language section.

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