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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-02-25

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 1425), February 25, 1998

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece replies to Turkish FM's five-point proposal
  • [02] Karamanlis says gov't jeopardasing Greece's sovereign rights
  • [03] Internal party affairs
  • [04] Gov't response
  • [05] Greek view of Kosovo initiative
  • [06] Pangalos visit to Belgrade
  • [07] Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, public order ministers to meet
  • [08] Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need for military's modernisation
  • [09] Anti-aircraft missile test firing
  • [10] Greece opposes Blair's proposals for Cyprus
  • [11] Kranidiotis call on Turkish Cypriots to join accession talks
  • [12] Athens in contact with Nicosia over mass grave allegations
  • [13] Foreign ministry hails UN-Iraq deal
  • [14] Simitis hosts luncheon for PASOK Parliamentary group's presidium
  • [15] Bakoyianni against recent expulsion of ND deputies
  • [16] Burns speech to Propeller Club
  • [17] CoE protocols ratified by Parliament
  • [18] Rescue vessel donated to Georgian Navy
  • [19] Lack of funds cited for Corridor 8 plans
  • [20] Greek lawyers strike over Yiannopoulos' remarks
  • [21] Onassis Foundation sues Roussel lawyer
  • [22] Serapheim hospitalised again
  • [23] Additional law enforcement measures unveiled
  • [24] UN report on illegal narcotics
  • [25] KKE cadre Kaloudis dies
  • [26] Italian driver arrested over contraband cigarettes
  • [27] Greek stocks rebound, aided by stable money market
  • [28] Greece to tender new T-bills tomorrow
  • [29] Greece begins plan to restructure the economy by 2001
  • [30] Greece again to tender Cretabank, bids due June 12
  • [31] Greece to tender relocation of OA to new Athens airport
  • [32] Yugoslavia, Greece sign economic cooperation deal
  • [33] HELEXPO exhibition in Plovdiv
  • [34] One-day event in NY on trade, investments in Greece
  • [35] Hilton Europe president contacts in Greece
  • [36] Ceremony in honour of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Germany
  • [37] Earthquake

  • [01] Greece replies to Turkish FM's five-point proposal

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Athens response to a five-point proposal by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on the improvement of bilateral relations was submitted to Ankara by Greece's ambassador, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday. The response, said Mr. Reppas, includes Greece's long-established positions, as put forward by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    The spokesman said the cornerstone of any improvement in bilateral relations would be recognition by Turkey of the International Court of Justice at The Hague's jurisdiction.

    The question of the continental shelf, he said, could be dealt with in a step-by-step approach, with recourse to the International Court. He reiterated Greece's position regarding the Imia islets, namely, that Turkey could, if it wished, to take rec ourse to the Court unilaterally.

    Mr. Reppas also suggested that a climate of trust between the two countries could emerge from procedures such as talks within a NATO framework on confidence-building measures.

    On his part, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday invited the ambassadors of European Union member-states and the US to brief them on the details of Greece's response to the five-point plan.

    In an announcement later, the foreign ministry called on Turkey to accept Greece's proposals as "sincere and well-intentioned", as they were the "only way to bring about a steady and substantial improvement in Greek-Turkish relations".

    Athens's response to Ankara's proposals, the announcement stated, pointed to international law as the means to resolve bilateral problems.

    In reply to Mr. Cem's five-point plan, the foreign ministry noted Greece's repeated suggestions to refer the issue of the continental shelf to the International Court of Justice.

    The announcement also stresses the importance of the Madrid communique, signed last July by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, as a political commitment by both countries to respect the principles of international law and good-neighbourly relations.

    Nevertheless, the statement adds, the Madrid communique could not be interpreted in order to restrict rights governed by international law. This particular reference is an apparent reminder to Ankara that its position regarding the 12-nautical mile limi t for territorial waters in the Aegean has no foundation in international law. Therefore, it adds, Turkey cannot attempt to block rights accorded to Greece under international law.

    Additionally, Athens replied that the Greek government was working closely with NATO's general secretary for the creation of a framework for confidence-building measures in the Aegean, an issue also covered by Mr. Cem's proposal, therefore, no other pro cedure is necessary.

    The Greek government, it adds, supports the EU-brokered committee of experts on Greek-Turkish relations, although Turkey had unilaterally distanced itself from this process, aiming for these talks to be held solely at a bilateral level.

    This development, notes the foreign ministry, occurred following the European Union's Luxembourg summit last December, when Ankara decided to halt talks concerning Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue within the EU framework, but to continue to discuss these issues with EU member states on a bilateral level.

    It also mentions Mr. Pangalos' invitation to his Turkish counterpart to meet on the sidelines of a Western European Union meeting in Rhodes this May.

    The announcement urges Turkey to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Court and reiterates Greece's desire for progress in its relations with Turkey.

    [02] Karamanlis says gov't jeopardasing Greece's sovereign rights

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The govenrment is slipping from permanent Greek positions on Greek-Turkish relations, jeopardasing the country's sovereign rights, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis charged during a press conference yesterday.

    Mr. Karamanlis said Greece had slided from a "step-by-step" approach in resolving differences with Turkey to referring all disputes to the International Court at The Hague,without a change of behaviour on the part of Ankara or securing anything in exchange.

    "The International Court at The Hague can resolve issues of a legal nature, such as the (Aegean) continental shelf, but not issues related to the country's sovereign rights," he said, reminding that Greece has retained reservations regarding the jurisd iction of the Court on security issues.

    Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Athens, he stressed that New Democracy's unshakeable belief was that ways of normalising Greek-Turkish relations should be found, but Ankara had to respect Greece's territor ial integrity and sovereign rights, international law and treaties, as well as avoid actions that escalated tension.

    "Ankara's behaviour does not meet any of the three preconditions," he said.

    Mr. Karamanlis added that he preferred Turkey to be integrated into European processes and that Greece should encourage this course, but stressed that Turkey had to decide and win this bet itself.

    He also said he supported the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the planned negotiations for Cyprus' entry into the EU, as proposed by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.

    Referring to the economy, Mr. Karamanlis charged that the government lacked boldness and that its policy led to merely nominal convergence with other European economies.

    "The country is on a course of divergence from the EUÉprecious time and opportunities have been lost, and it is now called upon to prove whether it can respond to the European challenges or it will be left on a course of marginalisation," he said.

    The central problem is the role, extent, performance and functions of the state, he stressed.

    "For this picture to be turned round, we need a bold policy of privatisations, reform of the civil service, cutbacks in public waste, and a stable, simplified, and low-rate taxation system," he said.

    "It is amiss to busy ourselves with yesterday and the interpretation of any historical events, because what is important is to stand by all citizens and support them," he said in reference to a question on the problem of discrimination and anti-Semitism .

    [03] Internal party affairs

    Mr. Karamanlis ruled out a return of the six recently expelled prominent party members, noting that his aim to make ND "a party of wide appeal, with a high degree of quality and efficiency which depends on persuasive, clear and united positions and strate gy".

    He did not rule out the possibility of further expulsions, saying he did not intend to allow the reappearance of the phenomenon of introversion, which is responsible for the party's repeated defeats.

    Asked if there would be disciplinary action against members expressing extreme right-wing views, he said: "I don't know and it doesn't depend on me. My own intention is to avoid such measures".

    Regarding the exclusion of former premier Constantine Mitsotakis from procedural party matters, he said the veteran politician stood above the narrow meaning of the term "party member", that he enjoyed differential treatment due to his long presence in political life, and that he had set limits to his relations with the party to avoid misunderstandings.

    "On major issues, I do not even think of dictating to him what to say," he said, adding that the former premier had adopted himself the practice of participating only in party meetings where such issues were discussed.

    "He is an asset to the party, and who wouldn't want to utilize such assets," he said in response to a question whether Mr. Mitsotakis would be allowed to stand as candidate in elections again.

    [04] Gov't response

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Mr. Karamanlis convinced the government of ND's inability to set out an explicit policy statement as well as of the dangerousness of the opposition it is exercising.

    Mr. Reppas was referring to Mr. Karamanlis' press conference.

    Referring to national issues, Mr. Reppas said Mr. Karamanlis criticised the government, while at the same time with the positions he formulated he proved that in essence he agrees with the government's foreign policy.

    On the question of the economy, Mr. Reppas said while Mr. Karamanlis stressed the need for state enterprises to be restructured at the same time he criticises the government for the initiatives it is undertaking in this direction on the basis of specific planning.

    [05] Greek view of Kosovo initiative

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Greece wants all countries in the region and European Union member states to take part in any initiative to help resolve the crisis in Kosovo, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday. He was referring to a reply by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to a proposal by his Bulgarian counterpart, Nadezhda Mihailova, for an initiative by Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey on the Kosovo crisis. In his reply, Mr. Pangalos noted the need for a broader involvement in any initiative regarding Kosov o since according to all indications, it appeared that the initiative proposed by Bulgaria was inspired by the US, added Reppas.

    [06] Pangalos visit to Belgrade

    Belgrade, 25/02/1998 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will pay an official visit to the Yugoslav capital on March 6, a statement by the Yugoslav foreign ministry said yesterday.

    Mr. Pangalos will have talks with his counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic on bilateral relations and on international issues of common interest, the statement added.

    [07] Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, public order ministers to meet

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The public order ministers of Greece, Romania and Bulgaria will hold a three-day meeting in Thessaloniki beginning March 6 aiming at strengthening friendship among the three countries and strengthening cooperation, it was announced yesterday. Greece's public order minister George Romaios and counterparts Gavril Dejeu of Romania and Bogomil Bonev of Bulgaria plan to "lay the foundations for intensified cooperation and the development of coordinated and efficient measures in combatting orga-nised crime, terrorism, drug and we-apons trafficking, money laundering and illegal migration", the announcement said.

    [08] Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need for military's modernisation

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos stressed the need for the modernisation of the country's armed forces with the procurement of several modern weaponry systems. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking at a working luncheon given by the commander of the Crete firing range, Army Gen. Papadomanolakis at noon yesterday. Addressing officers and guests, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos termed the firing range a model unit. He further stressed the country's need to possess modern weaponry and in this direction the procure ment of anti-aircraft systems is necessary. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said Turkish provocations and designs oblige Greece to arm itself.

    [09] Anti-aircraft missile test firing

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also observed the test firing of the the OSA anti-aircraft missile system. Four missiles were fired against two moving targets, both successful. After the test, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the anti-aircra ft system was already in use by the military in the Evros region, while other units around the country will soon be equipped with it.

    [10] Greece opposes Blair's proposals for Cyprus

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek government opposes proposals recently put forward by British Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding the equal participation of Turkish Cypriots in accession talks between Cyprus and the European Union, spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.

    Mr. Blair's proposals were contained in a letter to newly re-elected Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides. Mr. Reppas also expressed the Greek government's negative view of Mr. Blair's contention that Russian S-300 missiles should not be installed in Cyprus.

    Mr. Reppas said that Greece desired the participation of Turkish Cypriots (in the negotiations with the EU) on condition that this did not lead to recognition of the pseudo-state (unilaterally declared after the invasion of the northern part of Cyprus in 1974 by Turkish troops) and that their participation did not create obstacles to Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    No one, he said, can prevent Cyprus from joining the EU. He added that the government had the means to deal with any eventuality.

    Regarding the Russian missiles, Mr. Reppas reiterated that it was the inalienable right of the Cypriot Republic to armitself in order to defend its sovereignty.

    [11] Kranidiotis call on Turkish Cypriots to join accession talks

    Nicosia, 25/02/1998 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis has sent a message to the Turkish Cypriot community stating that the island republic's EU accession could be beneficial to both communities on the island.

    "Cyprus' accession to the EU could be beneficial for the entire Cypriot people, Greeks and Turks. The prospect of membership and solution will strengthen stability, peace and cooperation in Cyprus, improve the relations between Greece and Turkey, and help Turkey's European prospects," he said upon arrival here yesterday.

    "We must all work methodically, in good faith, but also with vision. The international factor must help and turn its attention and influence to the Turkish side for it to cooperate in this effort," he said.

    Mr. Kranidiotis will hold talks on coordinating actions in view of the opening of negotiations for the island republic's accesion to the EU next month.

    [12] Athens in contact with Nicosia over mass grave allegations

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Athens is in constant contact with authorities on Cyprus following the startling information given by a Kurd exile last month about a mass grave of executed Greek Cypriots in Turkish-occupied territory, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said yesterday.

    Mr. Pangalos was replying to a relevant question by PASOK deputy and Parliament vice-president Panayiotis Kritikos.

    According to the information disclosed last month in Germany by Mustafa Ongan, the Greek Cypriots were murdered by Turkish troops during the invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    The foreign minister said Athens was informed on the report by the Kurdish exile before publication, adding that authorities in Nicosia have taken all steps to collect information in order to go ahead with further moves. Mr. Pangalos said that if the in formation proved to be correct, then the Greek government will lend its assistance to the Cypriot government, both bilaterally and in the context of international bodies.

    [13] Foreign ministry hails UN-Iraq deal

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Two days after an agreement between the United Nations and Iraq on weapons inspections and its tentative approval by Washington, which helped avert US strikes on Iraqi military targets, the foreign ministry yesterday described the development as positive.

    The foreign ministry reminded that Greece had repeatedly expressed its position on the need to respect and fully comply with all resolutions by the United Nations on the part of Iraq.

    The foreign ministry expressed a hope that the full observance of terms for the UN-Iraq agreement, together with a desicion relating to the doubling of Iraqi oil exports in order to purchase more foodstuffs, expected to be adopted by the Security Council.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said this latest development proved the effective outcome that can be achieved through intervention by the UN and its secretary general.

    [14] Simitis hosts luncheon for PASOK Parliamentary group's presidium

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis hosted a luncheon at the Maximos Mansion yesterday for the presidium of the PASOK party's Parliamentary group and the party's Parliamentary representatives.

    The luncheon was part of contacts started by the premier with PASOK cadres and was attended by Undersecretary of the Prime Minister's Office George Paschalidis, the liaisons with the executive bureau Stefanos Manikas and Yiannis Souladakis and ministeri al council secretary S. Kosmidis.

    According to reports, no reference was made during the luncheon to the latest developments in PASOK's youth organisation and the largest part of discussion concerned issues focusing on the operation, coordination and problems of the Parliamentary group. Mr. Simitis, according to the reports, said after the luncheon that the government must proceed with courage, optimism and boldness in implementing its programme and in completing the government's work, stressing that decisions have been taken by the collective bodies for all aspects of government policy. He said it was legitimate for different views to exist provided that there is no bad faith or systematic denial.

    [15] Bakoyianni against recent expulsion of ND deputies

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy deputy and senior member Dora Bakoyianni yesterday placed herself against recent disciplinary action that led to the expulsion of six deputies. She also came out in favour of the existence of multifaceted political trends in the major parties. Ms Bakoyianni was addressing an event of the ND-affiliated student organisation at the Athens University's Law School.

    In her speech, she stressed that the current period was governed by a "representation crisis", which was due to a "total lack of political speech and democratic processes' credibility", as well as to be disappointment of a major part of society towards political parties and political leadership. She proposed a constitutional arrangement for a more democratic organisation of political parties through the next constitutional reform.

    "We will not earn our credibility through populist moves, not through manipulation," Ms Bakoyianni said.

    [16] Burns speech to Propeller Club

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns yesterday spoke to the Propeller Club in Piraeus, stressing six challenges for Greek-American relations.

    Mr. Burns said the first challenge will be to build relations through a series of contacts between high-ranking officials, such as the planned visit to Greece by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright later this year.

    He said a second challenge is to strengthen and maintain the essence of military ties between the two countries.

    Mr. Burns said the third challenge is for Greece to look northward and not always eastward, since Washington believes Athens should be a leader in the southern Balkan region.

    Terrorism, Mr. Burns noted, was the fourth challenge - a difficult one, since both countries have faced the results of homegrown terrorism.

    Mr. Burns said the fifth challenge is the Cyprus issue, where Greece and the US must work closely together on this very important issue, towards a unified Cyrpus.

    Finally, Mr. Burns noted what he called his most important challenge, namely, efforts to elevate, strengthen and diversify the economic relationship between the two countries.

    [17] CoE protocols ratified by Parliament

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Two protocols by the Council of Europe (CoE) aimed at improving the European Social Charter were ratified last night by a majority of Parliament's committee for defence and foreign affairs.

    Presenting the protocols to the committee, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou underlined the role of the Council of Europe in the consolidation of social institutions and protection of individual and social rights.

    The minister also referred to Greece's chance to promote those principles and directions during its rotating presidency of the CoE in the second half on 1998.

    The protocols' texts contain provisions which should govern national policy on social matters, especially in safeguarding equality of employment opportunities, employees' access to business information of direct concern to them, employees' participation in improving working conditions and the right of the elderly to social protection.

    The protocols were approval by the rapporteurs of all parties, except the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which said the government should ratify relevant international labour agreements.

    [18] Rescue vessel donated to Georgian Navy

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Two Greek naval vessels leave Thessaloniki tomorrow for Georgia bearing military aid under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed last year in Tbilisi by Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    The 30-metre patrol boat "Lindos", a gift from the Greek Defence Ministry to the Georgian navy, was built at the Skaramanga shipyards in the early 1980s. To be renamed "Iberia", it will be used to patrol Georgia's coasts.

    Accompanying it is the tank landing craft "Samos" which is to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia's ethnic Greeks as well as equipment for Georgia's armed forces.

    Greek navy frogmen travelling on the "Samos" are to assist the Georgians in trying to salvage ships sunk during the 1993 civil war between Georgians and Abkhazians.

    [19] Lack of funds cited for Corridor 8 plans

    Sofia, 25/02/1998 (ANA - B. Borisov)

    The lack of funds remains the 'Achilles' Heel' of the ambitious Corridor 8 plan for linking the Adriatic and the Black Sea, it emerged during yesterday's press conference of the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Italy, Ivan Kostov and Romano Prodi, respectively.

    Replying to questions on whether Italy would be prepared to fund such a project, Mr. Prodi described it as "a classic case where Europe's financial mechanisms must be activated," as it is of interest not only to the countries of the European Union,such as Italy, but also to countries such as Romania and Bulgaria".

    "Greece has also expressed interest in this direction, so there are preconditions in place for implementation of the project," he said, stressing the need for countries in the region to work for the creation of "a nucleus of common interests" in upgrading infrastructure, with a view to attracting investment from Europe's north.

    Mr. Prodi stresed that Italy insisted that negotiations for the accession of Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania and the countries of the Baltic should take place simultaneously with those of the first six candidate-nations, and that for Rome there were no obs tables to Sofia's future participation in NATO.

    [20] Greek lawyers strike over Yiannopoulos' remarks

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Greek lawyers,offended by an insult from Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos this past week, are going on strike to press for an apology.

    The Athens Bar Association has called a 48-hour strike beginning today, after a heated row between its executive committee and the outspoken minister.

    Lawyers want Mr. Yiannopoulos to apologise for comments to the Bar Association president during a riotous meeting at the ministry last week.

    Mr. Yiannopoulos has refused to apologise, saying that Athens Bar Association President Antonis Roupakiotis deserved what he got, and that the row had been blown out of proportion.

    [21] Onassis Foundation sues Roussel lawyer

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation is suing a Greek lawyer representing French businessman Thierry Roussel for slander and defamation in court proceedings that resumed in Athens yesterday. Prof. Nestor Kourakis, Mr. Roussel's Athens-based lawyer, is facing a counter-suit by the Foundation over charges filed a year ago on behalf of Roussel, alleging mismanagement and embezzlement of the Foundation's assets by its board of directors.

    The Foundation board members were acquitted of the charges and found by the court hearing the Roussel suit to have profitably managed the late Aristotle Onassis' estate.

    An Athens tribunal on Monday began hearing the Foundation's countersuit, accusing Kourakis of defamation through dissemination to the press of 'false' accusations against the board.

    Roussel is the former husband of the late Christina Onassis, Aristotle's daugher. The couple divorced a year before her death in 1988. Their 13-year-old daughter, Athina, is the sole surviving heir to the vast Onassis fortune.

    Foundation president Stelios Papadimitriou and vice-president Paul Ioannidis, testified before the court yesterday that Kourakis had disseminated false claims to the media between August 20-23, 1996 "that were particularly slanderous and defamatory to t he Foundation".

    They accuse Kourakis of "acting not only as Roussel's lawyer, but also as an individual harbouring malicious sentiments".

    A separate Foundation lawsuit against Roussel opens next Tuesday in an Athens court.

    [22] Serapheim hospitalised again

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Serapheim was admitted yesterday to the "Laiko" hospital in Athens with a high fever apparently caused by a viral infection.

    Ioannina Metropolitan Theoklitos said the Archbishop is in a weakened condition due to his kidney dialysis treatment.

    [23] Additional law enforcement measures unveiled

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Public Order Minister George Romeos yesterday announced several immediate measures to stem what he called the rising crime rate in Greece over the past few years.

    According to the ministry's data the rise of criminal behaviour is due in a large part to the activities of illegal immigrants, and especially Albanian gangs, not only in Athens but throughout Greece.

    Murders rose by 37.67 per cent to 251 in 1997, compared to figures from 1996, while the percentage of unsolved crimes rose by 45.51 per cent during the same period.

    Measures to combat crime include:

    - Assignment of an additional 1,500 police officers in regions lacking adequate law enforcement personnel.

    - A three-year plan for upgrading equipment, due to be approved next week.

    - Acquisition of several new patrol cars and motorcycles.

    - A grant of 65 motorcycles and 250 patrol cars by banks.

    - Modernisation of an emergency control centre.

    The ministry's long-term plans include creation of a police unit to combat organised crime and more control of police productivity around the country.

    [24] UN report on illegal narcotics

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The UN's annual report on illegal narcotics, released yesterday in Athens, notes what it claims is the role of the media and Internet vis-a-vis the increased tolerance towards the use of such substances.

    The report states: "The culture that tolerates the use of narcotics for recreational purposes undermines prevention efforts."

    The report also stated that "as a result, governments are facing the problem of devising strategies and methods of substance use prevention, which can be successful in an environment, where the abundance of messages of some politicians, pop-idols and ot hers express not only tolerance towards use as a means of recreation, but they also promote it as a benign and 'elegant' custom."

    UN press and programmes representative in Athens Mirka Gontika said the report also mentioned the positive developments in the war against illegal narcotics use.

    The report also noted that governments have become more active on the issue of narcotics control.

    [25] KKE cadre Kaloudis dies

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) yesterday announced the death of veteran cadre Nikos Kaloudis, who died at the age of 81.

    Mr. Kaloudis joined the seamen's trade union movement at an early age, while during World War II he worked for the Allies resupply network.

    He fought in 1943 with the Allied forces at Anzio, Italy, and in 1947 was elected secretary of the Federation of the Greek Seamen's Unions.

    While in the United States he joined the US Communist Party, was arrested and jailed for his trade union activities and was deported in 1952 to eastern Europe.

    In 1961 he was elected to the KKE central committee and in 1968 to the KKE Politbureau, while in 1977, 1981 and 1989 he was elected to Parliament.

    [26] Italian driver arrested over contraband cigarettes

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Security police yesterday confiscated two trucks and arrested an Italian driver on charges of smuggling cigarettes into Greece.

    A police spokesman told the ANA that a contraband cigarette smuggling ring was operating between Italy and the central Greek port city of Patras.

    The spokesman said that about 1,200 cases of cigarettes were hidden under paintings and table lamps in the trucks.

    The driver, Gennaro Bonetti, 39, from Naples, was being questioned by police and would appear before a public prosecutor.

    He said the arrest took place after a two-month surveillance operation by Greek security and financial police.

    The contraband haul represented about one billion dr. in unpaid customs duties, the spokesman said.

    [27] Greek stocks rebound, aided by stable money market

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities recovered all of Monday's losses on the Athens Stock Exchange, helped by a return of stability to domestic money markets yesterday.

    The general index ended 2.49 percent higher at 1,428.21 points with all sector indices scoring gains.

    Banks rose 2.90 percent, Insurance increased 1.37 percent, Leasing was stable, Investment ended 1.90 percent up, Construction jumped 2.88 percent, Industrials rose 1.74 percent, Miscellaneous ended 2.11 percent higher and Holding increased 1.65 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies soared 3.65 percent. The FTSE/ASE blue chip index ended 2.90 percent up at 789.45 points.

    Trading was moderate with turnover at 16 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 181 to 32 with another 18 issues unchanged.

    Metrolife, Keranis, Elfico, Singular, Rocas, Sysware and Sea Farm Ionian scored the biggest percentage gains at the daily 8.0 percent upper volatility limit, while Ippotour, Balkan Export, Endysi and Nafpaktos Mills suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 20,600 drachmas, Ergobank at 14,200, Alpha Credit Bank at 15,350, Delta Dairy at 2,900, Titan Cement at 13,185, Intracom at 14,900 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 5,595.

    In the domestic interbank market interest rates dropped by 1-1/2 percentage points. Bankers reported capital inflows totalling 140 million US dollars. The drachma rebounded spectacularly against the US dollar and it was slightly higher against the deuts chmark and the Ecu.

    [28] Greece to tender new T-bills tomorrow

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's finance ministry will auction a new issue of T-bills tomorrow.

    The tender will be held with the participation of a newly created group of primary dealers from domestic banks. The finance ministry aims to collect 220 billion drachmas from the tender.

    [29] Greece begins plan to restructure the economy by 2001

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's government plans to phase in 10 moves to help restructure the economy in the next three years to ensure the country's participation in European economic and monetary union by 2001, Finance Undersecretary George Drys said yesterday.

    Mr. Drys also reiterated that the government would not change its hard drachma policy.

    "The government will keep the drachma's parity steady against the Ecu and later against the euro until Jan. 1, 2001, the date for Greece's entry into EMU," Mr. Drys told a seminar organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in Athens.

    The 10 restructuring moves planned by the government include: - implementation of a decision to merge or abolish 1,750 state agencies

    - flotation and restructuring of 10 public utilities

    - a gradual liberalisation of telecommunications, energy and transport

    - upgrading of development legislation

    - granting autonomy to the Bank of Greece, or central bank

    - improving operation of the banking and insurance systems

    - ensuring greater access of private capital to major public projects, and to the country's financial system.

    Mr. Drys predicted that in 1998 the economy would fulfill the criteria for public deficits set by the Maastricht Treaty. Criteria for inflat ion and interest rates would be met in 1999, he said.

    Mr. Drys also predicted that inflation would drop to 4.2 percent in February from 4.4 percent the previous month.

    [30] Greece again to tender Cretabank, bids due June 12

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    The government will hold a second international tender for the sale of Cretabank with bids due by June 12.

    The decision was reached after a meeting yesterday between National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos on the terms of the tender.

    Bids will be accepted until June 12 while the international call for tender will be completed by the end of March.

    The evaluation of bids is scheduled by mid-July.

    Deloitte & Touche, an international auditing firm, will hold a thorough auditing of Cretabank's balance sheet using internationally accepted standards.

    The government has decided not to impose a minimum bid - a condition which led to the failure of a previous attempt to sell the bank.

    [31] Greece to tender relocation of OA to new Athens airport

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Relocation of Olympic Airways, the state-run national carrier, to a new airport being built for Athens at Spata will be tendered in order to ensure transparency, Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis told reporters yesterday.

    Mr. Laliotis was speaking after a meeting of the government's ministerial major works commission chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    "(A tender will be called) so there is no confusion," said Mr. Laliotis, who heads the commission.

    Relocation of the airline would be defined as an extension of the existing contract for construction the airport, which is to replace the facility at Hellenikon.

    Talks on relocation between OA and Athens International Airport, which is supervising construction, would begin on March 15, Mr. Laliotis said.

    Also taking part in the meeting were National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis, Public Works Undersecretary Christos Verelis and National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas.

    A consortium led by Hochtief of Germany is building the new airport at Spata, east of Athens.

    The new international airport being built for Athens will be launched on March 1, 2001, Mr. Laliotis also told reporters.

    Works on the site in Spata, east of Athens, were proceeding at a brisk pace, said Mr. Laliotis.

    [32] Yugoslavia, Greece sign economic cooperation deal

    Belgrade, 25/02/1998 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    Yugoslav and Greek trade authorities signed an economic partnership agreement on Monday in order to extend cooperation in joint ventures, technology transfer and information exchanges on trade and the economy.

    The agreement was signed by the president of the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO), Ioannis Tzen, and the chairman of Yugoslavia's Economic Chamber, Mihailo Milojevic.

    Mr. Tzen said that the pact would facilitate the promotion of business deals between the two countries. His organisation was interested in investing in Yugoslav industrial concerns that remained closed due to a lack of finance, in order to aid moderni sation.

    He said that 160 Greek-Yugoslav joint enterprises existed along with another 88 Greek private businesses, worth 654 million deutschmarks.

    According to Mr. Milojevic, bilateral trade relations totalled 296 million US dollars last year of which Yugoslav exports accounted for 116 million.

    [33] HELEXPO exhibition in Plovdiv

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, is the next stop in HELEXPO's tour of the Balkans, which started last December in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    The 1st exhibition of Greek enterprises in Plovdiv will be organised on May 4-9 and constitutes the implementation of a cooperation agreement for attracting exhibitors and the mutual granting of space between HELEXPO and the International Exhibition Org anisation in this major Bulgarian city.

    Cooperation started with the signing of the first agreement in September 1993 and reached the phase of implementation following the signing of the relevant agreement on Aug. 29 last year. It was agreed that the start will be made with HELEXPO organising an exhibition of Greek enterprises during the major spring exhibition of consumer products in Plovdiv.

    The international exhibition of Plovdiv was founded in 1892 and is Bulgaria's only exhibition body.

    [34] One-day event in NY on trade, investments in Greece

    New YOrk, 25/02/1998 (ANA- M.Georgiadou)

    The US Commerce Department in association with the New York City's municipal council, the Hellenic-American Chamber and the Greek consulate's trade bureau are organising a one-day conference tomorrow on the subject of "Trad e and Investment in Greece: the Growing Business Center in Southeastern Europe."

    The Hellenic-American Bankers' Association (HABA) is also organising an event on March 5. HABA awards an annual prize to prominent Greek- Americans in public and business life.

    [35] Hilton Europe president contacts in Greece

    Athens, 25/02/1998 (ANA)

    According to press reports, the president of Hilton Europe, G. Fisher, during his recent visit to Greece discussed possibilities for cooperation with Ioniki Hotels, the company which owns the Athens Hilton, and with Astir Hotels president and National Bank of Greece deputy governor Mr. Pantalakis.

    [36] Ceremony in honour of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Germany

    Bonn, 25/02/1998 (ANA-P.Stangos)

    The Orthodox Metropolitan of Germany,Augustinos,will celebrate his 25-year anniversary tomorrow at the post and his 60th birthday at a special religious ceremony. The president of the German Republic, Roman Herzog, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's representative Norbert Bluehm, Bonn Mayor Baerbel Dieckmann the leader of the country's Roman Catholic Church,Karl Lehmann, and the Evagelical Clurch,Manfred Forck, will also be present. Greece and Cyprus will be represented by their ambassadors and the government by Education and Religious Affairs Undersecretary Ioannis Anthopoulos.

    [37] Earthquake

    An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale was recorded yesterday at 5:12 p.m.,with an epicentre some 30 kilometres west Rhodes. No damages were reported.

    End of English language section.


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