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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-02-23

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

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

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1423), February 23, 1998

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Pangalos says willing to meet but not negotiate with Turkey's Cem
  • [02] Socialist women call for peaceful solution to Gulf crisis
  • [03] Kranidiotis voices optimism on course of Greek-Turkish relations
  • [04] 'Alexander the Great' university to be founded in Alexandria
  • [05] US gov't 'more pro-Greek than ever', SAE president tells Clerides
  • [06] Stricter measures urged for protection of private enterprises in Bulgaria
  • [07] Stephanopoulos attends Ioannina liberation festivities
  • [08] NATO exercises get underway in the Mediterranean
  • [09] 15th INFACOMA exhibition
  • [10] Prof. Tsatsos winds up visit to Tirana
  • [11] Greek trade delegation visits Tirana
  • [12] PASOK youth congress ends
  • [13] Construction of Florina power plant to go ahead
  • [14] KKE holds debate on formation of anti-imperialist front

  • [01] Pangalos says willing to meet but not negotiate with Turkey's Cem

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said he was willing to meet with Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem but that negotiations were out of the question.

    "I say to Mr. Cem that I am ready to meet with him, not however, to negotiate. I see our next opportunity (to meet) as being the forthcoming meeting in Rhodes of foreign ministers of Western European Union member and associated states. It will be an opp ortunity for us to sit down and talk," Mr. Pangalos said in an interview published in the Sunday newspaper "To Vima", given last Thursday.

    Mr. Pangalos defined the possible content of such talks as being an "open discussion in which each minister, as is natural, can say whatever he wants and will not be restricted by agendas, by colleagues or by the press,but will be able to speak as he wishes".

    He ruled out however, the idea of negotiations.

    "The Turks want political negotiations on what they see as problems in the Aegean, which in reality are Turkish claims against Greece," said Mr. Pangalos.

    He reiterated Greece's position that the only bilateral issue requiring resolution was that of the continental shelf, adding that Turkey was free to refer any other claims it might have to the International Court of Justice. Asked whether Greece's rejection of a five-point proposal by Turkey on bilateral relations meant that these rel ations would be frozen in the immediate future, Mr. Pangalos replied:

    "First of all I wouldn't use the term 'rejection' so easily. In reality we gave a response characterised by a different view of Greek-Turkish relations, more in line with what we have often maintained and also in line with international practice. I did not reject the idea of a meeting with Mr. Cem."

    The foreign minister emphasised the terms of a declaration signed in Madrid last July between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel as being a "condemnation of the thre-ats of war made on various occasions by Turkey agains t Greece".

    "Before the Madrid declaration, our position, at least, was that we could not meet with the Turks while the threats and the threat of use of violence still held," he said. Mr. Pangalos also criticised dissidence within the ruling PASOK party's yout h group, saying the party should ignore internal opposition and concentrate on broadening PASOK's electoral base.

    He said that a complete absence of discord only existed in an "arti-ficial paradise".

    Emphasising that his relations with Prime Minister Costas Simitis were and had always been "excellent", he described it as natural for relations within a government to include "an expansion of views" and "questioning" of issues. Anything else, he said, happened only in an "artificial paradise", such as that which existed during the leadership of the party's late founder, Andreas Papandreou.

    "Andreas Papandreou had a charisma that proved to be fatal for a great number of the nation's problems. He could make you forget what was unpleasant ... and to feel happy simply by the fact that you were close to him."

    It was these personal attributes of Papandreou, he said, which had condemned him to an "indescri-bable loneliness", particularly during the latter part of his life.

    "(Simitis) and I ... are not like that... There is a new type of politician, oriented towards the open society that will develop within the 21st century, although not without opposition from Greek society because we are not used to democracy,we are only now learning about it," he concluded.

    Calling the dissent within the leadership of PASOK's youth "an unpleasant and disappointing phenomenon", he dismissed what he said were the "antics" of youth leader Tonia Antoniou as being of little concern to citizens.

    [02] Socialist women call for peaceful solution to Gulf crisis

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    The regional conference of women from socialist parties of southeastern Europe was concluded in Athens on Saturday with the ratification of a proclamation focusing on the mobilisation of women and the strengthening of their role in implementing a new policy in the Balkans and a message by the Socialist International of Women to the women of Iraq and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a peaceful solution to the Gulf crisis.

    The conference was organised by the Socialist International of Wo-men in cooperation with the ruling PASOK party's Women's Department and was presided over by Socialist International of Women President and Canadian Deputy Audrey McLaughlin. The main speaker was Development Minister Vasso Papandreou.

    Referring to multiple upheavals being experienced in countries of southeastern Europe and the quest for new strategies and policies, Ms. Papandreou said these developments affect the wider region either directly or indirectly. She said that for this rea son dialogue is important and cooperation is necessary for joint action.

    Ms. Papandreou announced that a meeting will take place in Athens in autumn at government level to promote favourable strategies more effectively for an equal representation of women in decision-making centres.

    Addressing the conference, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis congratulated the organisers of the conference, saying it corresponded to the initiative taken by Prime Minister Costas Simitis for the Crete summit and referred to the country's geop olitical coordinates and sensitivity it is showing on issues concerning social protection and peace.

    [03] Kranidiotis voices optimism on course of Greek-Turkish relations

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis expressed optimism that issues concerning Greek-Turki-sh relations will enter a course which will normalise relations between the two countries. Mr. Kranidiotis was speaking in Tripolis on Saturday where he arrived to address an event organised by PASOK's Prefectural Committee.

    Mr. Kranidiotis reiterated that Greece has made proposals with which issues must be tackled on the basis of international law and international agreements. Greece has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague and calls on Turkey to do likewise.

    Referring to the crisis in the Persian Gulf, he said a possible showdown in Iraq will be a negative development for the entire region, adding that Greece's position is that all diplomatic possibilities must be exhausted for peace to prevail in the region.

    [04] 'Alexander the Great' university to be founded in Alexandria

    Alexandria, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    A protocol on utilising the schools of the Greek community in Alexandria for the establishment of the "Alexander the Great" university was signed in Alexandria yesterday between the Greek Foreign Ministry and the city's Greek community.

    The signing ceremony was held in the "Ioulia Salvagou" hall located in the Satby region of Alexandria. On the part of the Foreign Ministry, the protocol was signed by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and on the part of the Greek community by its Presi dent and Regional President of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) of Asia and Africa Stephanos Tamvakis.

    The Greek community schools in Alexandria will be used to house the "Alexander the Great" university which the Greek government is planning to establish in this Egyptian city.

    Mr. Pangalos inaugurated a photography exhibition and cultural events organised on the occasion of his official visit to Egypt. He also visited the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Petros.

    [05] US gov't 'more pro-Greek than ever', SAE president tells Clerides

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens addressed a letter to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides congratulating him on his re-election to the Presidency.

    "The situation on the Cyprus issue is not ideal but the American government is more pro-Greek than ever today," Mr. Athens said in his letter, further adding that "Greece and Cyprus must be in a position to fully exploit such opportunities."

    Mr. Athens referred at length to what has taken place over the past 23 years following the invasion and occupation by Turkey of 40 per cent of the island. He said that in most of these years the attitude of the U.S. government was flagrantly anti-Greek in the worst of cases and in the best it was as if it was prepared to be as pro-Greek as it was pro-Turkish and not to criticise Turkish threats against Greece and Cyprus.

    According to Mr. Athens, a change has been observed following the involvement of Richard Holbrooke. He said the change has been sporadically positive in past years and more stable in past months.

    [06] Stricter measures urged for protection of private enterprises in Bulgaria

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Members of the board of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) called on Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Aleksandr Boskov, who concluded a two-day visit to Thessaloniki yesterday,to have stricter measures to be taken for the protection and security of private enterprises and businessmen exercising business activities in Bulgaria.

    Mr. Boskov arrived in Thessaloniki on Saturday accompanied by Alternate Industry Minister Vladimir Kisiov, the manageress of the International Investments Department Olga Stoyianova and 20 representatives from enterprises which are active in the communi cations, tourism, textiles and foodstuffs sectors.

    On their part, the Bulgarian officials spoke of the course of the privatisation programme and of the new law governing investments in force in their country.

    [07] Stephanopoulos attends Ioannina liberation festivities

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Festivities marking the 85th anniversary of Ioannina's liberation from Turkish rule culminated in the city on Saturday with an impressive parade of pupils, students, boy scouts, invalids of war and units of the armed forces and security services in the presence of President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The government was represented by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Also present were Democratic Social Movement party (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Undersecretary Theodoros Koliopanos, deputies, senior officers of the armed forces and security services and foreign diplomats.

    In a brief address, President Stephanopoulos congratulated officers for the armed forces' performance in the parade, stressing that the higher the spirit of the armed forces the more safe the Greek people feel both in wartime and peacetime.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said there is nothing to negotiate in the Aegean and neither are there any "grey' nor any zones of a different kind.

    "These are illusions and fantasies of the Turkish side," he said.

    Former foreign minister Karolos Papoulias said that "Turkish provocations will continue and will intensify because they also reflect Turkey's domestic problems."

    Mr. Tsovolas attributed Turkish provocations to the government's submissiveness which, as he said, must stop this policy and must primarily revise its position on resorting to the International Court at The Hague.

    [08] NATO exercises get underway in the Mediterranean

    Rome, 23/02/1998 (ANA/New China)

    Joint military NATO exercises got underway in the Mediterranean on Friday and will last for two weeks. A representative of the NATO alliance said they were routine exercises.

    The exercises, codenamed "Dog Fish 98", include units from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Britain and the United States equipped with submarines, warships, helicopters and warplanes.

    The purpose of the exercises is to improve cooperation and coordination between the military in the above countries.

    [09] 15th INFACOMA exhibition

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    The German Koemmerling company intends to set up a synthetic door and window frame plant in Greece.

    This was revealed in Thessaloniki on Saturday by the company's general manager Zeigfried Prais (phonetic spelling), who visited the 15th INFACOMA exhibition, and expressed his satisfaction with Koemmerling's collaboration with its Greek representatives going back 10 years.

    Koemmerling currently holds a 60 per cent share in the Greek market, representing a turnover of 7.5 million DM annually.

    [10] Prof. Tsatsos winds up visit to Tirana

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    "Europe is closer to Albania, but Albania, too, is one step closer to Europe," Europarliamentarian and Greek constitutional expert Dimitris Tsatsos told a press conference in Tirana yesterday.

    Mr. Tsatsos, a constitutional law professor and member of the European Parliament's committee on institutional reforms, also praised the members of the Albanian parliamentary commission drafting the country's new constitution after the overthrow of the communist regime.

    He said the commission's work so far had been "exemplary", and its members' manner of operation "praiseworthy", adding that "the democratic nature of the constitution is a condition for the country's accession to the European Union".

    Mr. Tsatsos yesterday concluded his Tirana visit, in an advisory capacity, that also included talks with President Rexhep Meidani, Mr. Nano, the Albanian parliament's foreign affairs committee president, the reforms minister, the minister of State, the parliament president, and representatives of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    Prof. Tsatsos is due to visit Tirana again in mid-April.

    [11] Greek trade delegation visits Tirana

    TIRANA, 23/02/1998 (ANA - P. Haritos)

    An inter-ministerial committee headed by National Economy Undersecretary Alexandros Baltas left for Tirana yesterday for talks with the Albanian government and to attend the 6th meeting of the Greek-Albanian joint inter-ministe rial committee on economic cooperation.

    The 30-member Greek delegation is due to meet with Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano and several ministers during its visit, which is to run through Wednesday.

    The meeting aims at upgrading and developing trade relations between the two countries, while the details of a pending Greek loan to Albania and its management will also be examined.

    Greece has pledged 18 billion drachmas in loans to Albania to aid in the implementation of public works projects.

    Last September, it also allocated two billion drachmas (7 million dollars) to Albania in urgent financial aid.

    Mr. Baltas will further meet with Archbishop Anastasios of Albania while in Tirana.

    [12] PASOK youth congress ends

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    The 3rd Congress of the ruling socialist PASOK party's youth wing was due to come to a close late last night with the creation of its new Central Council.

    Addresses were concluded during yesterday's last day of the congress, a series of changes to the charter were endorsed, as well as a series of resolutions, and the political resolution of the congress was ratified.

    In her last speech, outgoing PASOK Youth Organisation Secretary Tonia Antoniou appealed to the group of "modernisers", who abstained from the congress, to return to the PASOK youth's active service by the side of its new leadership.

    Lastly, the congress decided to establish an Institute of Studies and Political Communication of Young Socialists in which the PASOK Youth Organisation's Central Council will participate.

    According to sources, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his close associates termed the situation as disagreeable and recognised that a problem was created for the cohesion image of both the government and the party, regardless of whether the policy of moderate tones was selected on Friday.

    Nearly all leading PASOK personalities, including Secretary Costas Skandalidis, declined to attend the congress.

    Addressing the congress on Saturday, PASOK Deputy Anastasios Peponis congratulated the party's Youth Organisation members "for their strength and their position since they refused submission and false dilemmas."

    "We are in the European Union and it is a mistake if we are outside of its framework. However, the issue is how we realise it. We desire the union of peoples and nations and we refuse the idea of a faceless and levelled population. Greece must be in Eur ope but it must not constitute one of its regions. Even those who through our lines speak of the demise of the state-nation must tell us which is the other unit which will replace it," Mr. Peponis said.

    [13] Construction of Florina power plant to go ahead

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas has dismissed claims of improprieties in the procedures followed in approving the construction of a Public Power Corporation (DEH) plant in Greece's northwestern town of Florina.

    "The government ensured terms of transparency and objectivity by promoting the selection, through international tender, of an independent assessor in order to check whether the price agreed by DEH was reasonable and competitive. The independent assessor concluded that the price was 5-6 per cent lower than the internationally acceptable level, and therefore competitive"," the spokesman said on Saturday.

    The spokesman stressed the importance of the investment, part of a Russian-Greek agreement, both to the development of a border area and the tapping of domestic energy sources.

    "Critics also ignore the political importance of respecting the agreement with Russia," he added.

    [14] KKE holds debate on formation of anti-imperialist front

    Athens, 23/02/1998 (ANA)

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) held its first public debate on the formation of an "Anti-imperialist Anti-monopolistic Democratic Front" on Saturday, with guests political figures and mainly trade unionists who belong to other political camps,or are former KKE members, or are no longer active in politics.

    Sources said KKE aims to form alliances in particular strata of the country's public life, which would be open to participation to anyone provided they agreed on the need for coordinated action against the policies of the government, the EU and NATO.

    The party recently approved a policy of selective support for candidates in the municipal elections later in the year that do not necessarily belong to it.

    Disagreements were acceptable, but in due course it is expected that the need for a minimum of common position will be understood, the party sources said.

    Politburo member Dimitris Koutsoubas said that "the formation of the front is not based on an agreement on socialism".

    "Activity in trade unions, local organisations, and all sorts of movements is necessary for the formation of this front, and would include issues of foreign policy, NATO and the EU, and, of course, the fields of education, privatisations, the fight agai nst drugs, and local government," said Mr. Koutsoubas.

    PASOK Central Committee member and former health minister Dimitris Kremastinos, who was among the attendants, said the debate was timely, and that a serious effort should be undertaken for a better and more efficient welfare state.

    End of English language section.


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