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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-03-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis reiterates that participation in European Conference necessitates preconditions
  • [02] ... Other issues
  • [03] ... Kosovo
  • [04] ... Meeting with Bulgaria's Kostov
  • [05] EU British presidency welcomes Clerides accession talks proposal
  • [06] Gov't spokesman says all tension in Aegean created by Ankara
  • [07] Clerides issues 'honest,solemn' invitation towards Turkish Cypriots
  • [08] Miller on Ankara visit
  • [09] State Dept. denial
  • [10] Clinton signs declaration on Greek Independence Day
  • [11] Washington pleased with five Balkan nations' declaration on Kosovo crisis
  • [12] US ambassador views test flights of two F-15Es
  • [13] KKE reaction
  • [14] Samaranch meets with Venizelos,Nikolaou in Lausanne
  • [15] Kaklamanis receives Finnish, Jordanian ambassadors
  • [16] Tsohatzopoulos calls for political collaboration during municipal elections
  • [17] Karamanlis tendon repaired
  • [18] GSEE national congress begins in Kavala
  • [19] Greek exports to Balkans,Black Sea region continue to rise
  • [20] Poland's Kwasniewski to attend bilateral business conference in Athens
  • [21] EU to examine violations in Thessaloniki metro project
  • [22] Greek industrial output rises 0.9 pct in 1997
  • [23] Greek, Ukrainian banks sign cooperation agreement
  • [24] Greek stocks rise on money market sentiment
  • [25] Medical Centre Group launches roadshow to US, UK
  • [26] Greek minister blasts critics of new power plant
  • [27] Preliminary inquiry on Florina plant
  • [28] Car dealerships the target of bomb attacks
  • [29] Greece convicted for failing to respect financial rights of non-Greek EU civil servants
  • [30] Physics professor details discovery of new 'cosmic force'

  • [01] Simitis reiterates that participation in European Conference necessitates preconditions

    LONDON 13/03/1998 (ANA - S. Liarellis)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday said a precondition for the participation of a country in the European Conference must be the acceptance of certain basic principles governing the European Union, and expressed at the Luxembourg summit.

    Speaking at a press conference at the end of the European Conference here, Mr. Simitis expressed regret over the absence of Turkey but, as he added, he felt even more regret because Turkey refused to accept what is self-evident - international law, inte rnational accords, acceptance of the jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague and Europe's acquis communautaire.

    He said quite a few leaders expressed regret over Turkey's absence (such as France and Italy), but no special reference is made in the joint communique and it is merely noted that the European Conference is open to all countries.

    On the question of the Turkish Cypriots' participation in negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Mr. Simitis said that proposals by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides correspond to the spirit of decisions taken in Luxembourg and now it is up to the Turkish Cypriots to state their position.

    He said the government of Cyprus represents all of Cyprus and invited the Turkish Cypriots. The presidency and the Commission must tend to what will happen next. Mr. Simitis went on to say that if the Turkish Cypriots remain silent and refuse this will mean that they do not want to participate and accession negotiations will go ahead.

    Mr. Simitis said that in talks he had with his British counterpart he ascertained that British PM Tony Blair has a positive approach to the prospect of Cyprus' accession, adding that no pressures were exerted by the French side.

    He further said that the decisions taken in Luxembourg still hold (clear reference is made in the communique), stressing that continuous steps are being made and the way is being paved for the new Europe regardless of whether the path is still long. There is a spectacular event in that a new reality is being created in Europe, he said.

    [02] ... Other issues

    Mr. Simitis said the need to combat crime was discussed at the European Conference, as was the issue of drugs and of environmental protection. He said it is self-evident that each country by itself cannot tackle these issues and consequently better coordi nation is necessary, along with harmonisation of legislation and common policies.

    On the issue of organised crime, it was agreed that experts should be appointed to review the situation and submit a report in a year's time on what must be done.

    Lastly, it was decided that the issues of foreign policy and security, regional development and competitiveness will be discussed at the next European Conference (a year later).

    [03] ... Kosovo

    LONDON (ANA - A. Podimata)

    In a joint statement on Kosovo, the 26 heads of state and governments at the European Conference, as well as the presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament, used stern language against authorities in B elgrade, warning that "there is no prospect of relations being developed between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the EU in any sector, including economic exchanges, unless Belgrade changes its position towards the crisis in Kosovo" and places emphasis on dialogue and a political solution.

    The statement said that "the EU member-states are determined to take part in international efforts to resolve the crisis. Such a solution must be based on maintaining the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and be in agreement wi th specifications set by the OSCE, the principles of Helsinki and the UN Charter. It must also take into consideration the rights of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and of all those who live in Kosovo. The EU supports 'an enhanced status' for Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."

    Referring to this issue, Mr. Simitis said during the press conference that Greece favours the maintenance of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia but, additionally, requests protection for the rights of the Albanians and the implementation of agreeme nts on Kosovo.

    Mr. Simitis added that Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told Yugoslav authorities during his recent visit to Belgrade that there must be some kind of a move on their part such as the implementation of the educational accord concluded in 1996 and a se rious effort for dialogue.

    "These moves have not taken place so far," he said, adding that "of course, this leads to ever-increasing pressure on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by the international community. We hope (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic realises this and ma kes some kind of a move."

    [04] ... Meeting with Bulgaria's Kostov

    In another development, Mr. Simitis had a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov on the sidelines of the European Conference. Mr. Simitis said that they discussed preparations for his visit to Sofia in mid-April (possibly on April 12).

    [05] EU British presidency welcomes Clerides accession talks proposal

    LONDON 13/03/1998 (ANA- L. Tsirigotakis/ A. Podimata/ M. Spinthourakis)

    Britain yesterday praised a proposal put forward by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, inviting Turkish Cypriots to participate as members of the Cypriot team which will negotiate the country's accession terms with the European Union.

    "The proposal-invitation of President Clerides to the Turkish Cypriots is a courageous move and I congratulate him.

    Of course, we desire the delegation to be mixed, given that the island's membership of the EU will benefit both communities, and much more so the Turkish Cypriots, who have a much lower standard of living," Mr. Cook said during a British EU presidency news briefing.

    EU Commission President Jacques Santer, who was present at the briefing, stressed that procedures already approved should be sticked to.

    "We must remain steadfast on the decisions we adopted during the Luxembourg summit regarding Cyprus' accession course. These decisions must in no case be overturned," he said when questioned what would happen if the Turkish Cypriots did not ultimately join the delegation.

    Cypriot diplomatic sources told ANA that at a meeting at the Foreign Office yesterday between Messrs. Cook and Clerides, the British side expressed embarrassment and regret over Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's refusal to meet Mr. Cook.

    The British side raised again the issue of the deployment of S-300 Russian-made anti-aircraft missile systems on the island, the same sources said. Mr. Clerides reiterated the position that the issue is linked either with a demilitarisation of the isla nd or significant progress on the Cyprus issue.

    The two men also discussed the forthcoming visit to the island of the UN Secretary General's special advisor for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez.

    A Foreign Office spokesman, quoted yesterday by the Cyprus News Agency, welcomed President Clerides' proposal.

    "We welcome the proposal put forward by President Clerides regarding the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the delegation which will negotiate the accession," the Foreign Office spokesman said.

    Describing Mr. Clerides' proposal as a "positive offer", the spokesman said that Britain attaches "special importance to the specific proposal which says that Turkish Cypriots will nominate representatives as full members of the delegation".

    He noted th at the first thing the EU Council President will do now is to submit the proposal at the Foreign Ministers meeting in Edinburgh over the weekend and "then if there is an agreement there, they will hand it to the Turkish Cypriots".

    Meanwhile, French President Jac-ques Chirac and his Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine stated during a news briefing after the end of the London Conference that France did not believe that commencement of accession negotiations with Cyprus should be blocked , but considered that membership cannot become a reality before the island's political problem is solved.

    "The European Union expressed the wish at the Luxembourg summit that the Turkish Cypriots also participate in the accession negotiations. Now it is up to the British presidency to find how these negotiations will evolve. France will then express its views," Mr. Vedrine said.

    [06] Gov't spokesman says all tension in Aegean created by Ankara

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    It would appear that Turkey is unable to see the road which leads to the restoration of tranquility in the region, government spokesman Nikos Athanasakis said yesterday, attributing all tension created in the Aegean entirely to Ankara. The spokesman was replying to questions on Turkish proposals for unconditional dialogue with Greece on all outstanding bilateral issues. The proposals were handed to the Greek ambassador in Ankara on Wednesday and contained an invitation to Foreign Minister Theodoros Panga los to visit Ankara. In effect, they constitute a reiteration of proposals already put forward by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Prime Minister Costas Simitis later rejected the proposals, saying they were insubstantive and simply aimed at creating impressions. "

    These proposals, as others in the past, aim at creating impressions rather than dealing with the substance of issues," Mr. Simitis said. Mr. Athanasakis' reference to tension in the Aegean was prompted by the fact that the Turkish proposals were accompa nied by a threat to the effect that any tension which ensued would be the fault of Greece.

    [07] Clerides issues 'honest,solemn' invitation towards Turkish Cypriots

    LONDON 13/03/1998 (ANA/CNA)

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has made an "honest and solemn" invitation towards Turkish Cypriots to participate as full members of a Cypriot delegation set to negotiate the country's accession terms with the European Union.

    Mr. Clerides also assured the Turkish Cypriots that their views will be discussed "freely, seriously and in good faith," and expressed the hope they will accept the invitation.

    The British EU presidency has described Mr. Clerides' proposal as "very constructive".

    In a written statement read to the press after a 45-minute meeting with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook here yesterday, President Clerides said he repeated his "wish that the Turkish Cypriot community nominate representatives to be included as full members of the Cypriot team which will conduct the negotiations".

    He said his position on Turkish Cypriot participation in accession talks was outlined, and took into account the conclusions of the Luxembourg EU summit in December, which stipulated that "the accession of Cyprus should benefit all communities and help bring about civil peace and reconciliation".

    The Cypriot president stressed to Mr. Cook that regarding the participation of the Turkish Cypriot community in the delegation, "I was making an honest and solemn invitation to my Turkish Cypriot compatriots to participate, for I firmly believe that they should take an active part and make their contribution to the negotiating process for acceding to the EU".

    In directly addressing the Turkish Cypriot community, the president said: "...should the Turkish Cypriot community respond favourably to the proposal, they may rest assured that their points of view and the opinions of their representatives will be discus sed freely, seriously and in good faith".

    He also assured them that the conclusions reached will constitute "an important element in formulating the negotiating positions of the Cypriot team".

    "I hope that the response of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community will be positive", Mr. Clerides added.

    Noting the historic challenge at hand, the president said "there is no doubt in my mind that the forthcoming enlargement of the EU will certainly shape the future of Europe".

    He said entry of the republic into the Union "will most certainly benefit both communities enormously ".

    Replying to questions, Mr. Clerides said Mr. Cook considers the statement by the govenrment of Cyprus as "very constructive".

    Asked if he made a statement to Mr. Cook or submitted a proposal, the president said "this is the proposal we are making to the Turkish Cypriots".

    Invited to specify the terms of the proposal, he said "we do not have the terms, first they would respond that they accept and then we shall discuss".

    He said the proposal will be submitted to the Turkish Cypriot side by Britain as the current EU rotating presidency.

    No details on the matter were touched upon, the Cypriot president added.

    Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for full EU membership in July 1997.

    [08] Miller on Ankara visit

    ISTANBUL 13/03/1998 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Special US State Department coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller yesterday met Turkish minister without portfolio Surku Gurel in Ankara, although he failed to a secure a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz or Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    Speaking to the press, Mr. Miller said he is searching for possibilities of progress on the Cyprus issue. He added that a great distance separates positions of the two sides on the Cyprus issue.

    Additionally, Mr. Miller announced that he will meet with US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke next week. He added that the possibility of a visit by Mr. Holbrooke to the region depends on progress made on reducing the difference between the two sides.

    [09] State Dept. denial

    WASHINGTON 13/03/1998 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    In a related development,US State Department spokesman James Rubin yesterday denied reports that Turkish officials avoided meeting special US State Department coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller.

    Mr. Rubin announced said that "Ambassador Miller had constructive and substantive talks with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash in Nicosia on March 9 and 10. He met with Mr. Clerides again in Athens on March 10 to continue their talks."

    He added that "Ambassador Miller had extensive talks with Turkish Foreign Minister (Ismael) Cem, Gen. Bir and Minister

    Gurel...Ambassador Miller was warmly accepted in Ankara as he is always."

    Mr. Rubin said a meeting with Premier Yilmaz was not requested, whereas a meeting with the Mr. Ecevit was requested, but but could not be scheduled.

    [10] Clinton signs declaration on Greek Independence Day

    WASHINGTON 13/03/1998 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    US President Bill Clinton yesterday signed a declaration at the White House for Greek Independence Day.

    Archbishop of America Spyridon, European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, Athens' ambassador to Washigton Loukas Tsilas and leaders of the Greek-American community were present at this annual 15-minute ceremony.

    Spyridon, after the meeting, said that "we are very satisfied over the meeting with the president of the United States. The discussion was cordial and during (this meeting) we were able to discuss many issues regarding our expatriates in America, but al so of Hellenism in general."

    He added that "we talked, of course, about the recent visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the problems regarding the Patriarchate."

    Mr. Papoutsis expressed his personal satisfaction over the meeting.

    The EU Commissioner is visiting the US for a series of meetings with US officials on issues regarding energy, small and medium businesses and tourism.

    Mr. Papoutsis was due to meet later in the day with US Energy Secretary Frederico Pena to discuss the deregulation of the EU energy market.

    He will also meet with Federal Reserve board member Lawrence Meyer, US Assistant Secretary of State on financial affairs Stuart Eizenstat and Mr. Clinton's adviser on EU matters, as well as Greek-American Senator Paul Sarbanes.

    [11] Washington pleased with five Balkan nations' declaration on Kosovo crisis

    WASHINGTON 13/03/1998 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The US expressed its satisfaction yesterday over this week's joint declaration by Bulgaria, Romania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece regarding the Kosovo crisis.

    "They expressed their concern and made it clear that the Kosovo problem is not an internal problem for the Serbs, but an issue that could affect international peace and security in the region, and by extension the world's," US State Department spokesman James Rubin said.

    He said Washington is in contact with Greece and Turkey over developments in Kosovo, while he emphasised that the US is promoting an extension of a peacekeeping force's stay in FYROM, as well as an increase in its numbers in order to preclude possible " unpleasant developments in the region", as he said.

    Meanwhile, a State Department official said that transformation of the force from under the United Nations' auspices into a NATO force also cannot be ruled out, if conditions warrant.

    [12] US ambassador views test flights of two F-15Es

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns yesterday visited the headquarters of the 111th Hellenic Air Force fighter wing in Volos in order to observe test flights of two US-made F-15E fighters, currently being evaluated by Greek pilots.

    The US ambassador was briefed by the base's commander and a Boeing representative on the operational capabilities of the

    third-generation fighter.

    Greece is currently considering the purchase of F-15Es and additional F-16s, a display of which the US ambassador viewed in February.

    Mr. Burns later visited the town of Lamia, where he met with local government officials.

    [13] KKE reaction

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) reacted strongly to Mr. Burns' visit to Lamia, also criticising the government for allowing, as it claimed, what it called Mr. Burns' "provocative" tours and contacts around the country.

    "Equally provocative is the government's stand, which allows Mr. Burns to inspect police forces and the operation of state enterprises, and to hold direct contacts on economic issues," KKE said in a statement.

    "Diplomats' moves are subject to certain limits," a KKE announcement read.

    [14] Samaranch meets with Venizelos,Nikolaou in Lausanne

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch received Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Greek Olympic Committee president and IOC delegate Lambis Nikolaou yesterday in Lausanne.

    After an hour-long discussion, Mr. Venizelos said "it was an especially friendly and useful meeting. I informed Mr. Samaranch of the law approved by Parliament...with which the national committee and the 'Athens 2004' SA were organised."

    He added that they discussed the issue of the charter of the Greek Olympic Games committee, which will become law as soon as it is approved by the committee and the (IOC).

    The minister noted that Mr. Samaranch accepted an invitation to become a member of the international advisory committee of the "cultural olympics", which was approved by UNESCO's general conference.

    [15] Kaklamanis receives Finnish, Jordanian ambassadors

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday received the ambassador of Finland to Athens, Arto Ensio Tanner, who presented Helsinki's views on negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, which are identical with Greek positions.

    Talks also included details of the official visit to be paid to Greece by the president of Finland's parliament.

    Mr. Kaklamanis also received Jordanian ambassador to Athens Ahmed S. Al-Hassan, discussing the upcoming trip to Greece by the Jordanian heir and premier. The Jordanian ambassador also conveyed an invitation to Mr. Kaklamanis by his Jordanian counterpart to pay an official visit to Amman.

    [16] Tsohatzopoulos calls for political collaboration during municipal elections

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday addressed a call to all parties, except main opposition New Democracy, for collaboration in municipal elections later in the year.

    He also said that "PASOK must march united to this battle, because it will judge not only the government's policy, but also the policies of the party".

    Meanwhile, PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis, who attended sessions of the 29th GSEE congress in Kavala yesterday, said the party had finalised selection of candidates for prefectural races and will now proceed to the country's largest municipalities.

    "Everything is going very well and certain difficulties will be overcome," he said.

    He added that the party would place emphasis on the broadest possible collaborations with other political forces.

    [17] Karamanlis tendon repaired

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right leg suffered in a soccer match between parliamentary teams on Wednesday, hospital sources said.

    An Athens Medical Centre spokesman told the ANA that the torn tendon had been "successfully repaired" in a nearly two-and-a-half hour operation performed by orthopedic surgeons.

    He said Mr. Karamanlis would remain in hospital for observation for a few more days, and was expected to be released on Monday.

    Mr. Karamanlis will rest at home for a week, and will be on crutches for a month afterwards, the spokesman added.

    [18] GSEE national congress begins in Kavala

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos inaugurated GSEE's 29th national congress in Kavala yesterday, calling on workers to a "collective effort and individual mobilisation."

    Mr. Polyzogopoulos said trade unions will battle to prevent unfavourable changes in labour relations, will campaign for better incomes and to achieve a better pension insurance system as well as a just taxation system.

    Labour and Social Insurances Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said the government will insist on a social dialogue policy and will pursue social peace parallel to social cohesion.

    He said he is preparing a bill on labour relations which will raise the issue of organising working time in its entirety, will encourage part-time employment in the private and wider public sector, will raise an overall settlement of working time at the same time with the abolition of overwork and the restriction of overtime work, will settle informal forms of employment and will initiate

    counter-incentives for the employment of pensioners, while local employment accords will be initiated.

    Mr. Papaioannou said he believes in the 35-hour work week but its implementation must not take place immediately.

    PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis distanced himself from the "pursuit" of EU convergence in a way that figures will thrive and people will suffer.

    On his part, main opposition New Democracy party representative Vassilis Mihaloliakos called on trade unions to break their ties with "the state of corruption."

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) representative Costas Paraskevas called on trade unions to abandon social dialogue and turn to a policy "of resistance and confrontation", focusing on income, labour relations and the prevention of privatisations and unem ployment.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos warned that the social fabric is showing dangerous cracks and denounced the government for what he called a policy of overtaxation.

    Finally, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas distanced himself from what he termed a combination of "leftist phraseology/rightist policy", and warned that "modernisation" is leading to the abolition of working people's rights and a new wave of privatisations.

    [19] Greek exports to Balkans,Black Sea region continue to rise

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    A one-day seminar on the trade activities of Greek businesses in the Balkans and Black Sea region yesterday noted that exports of Greek products towards these areas are steadily rising.

    According to results announced at the end of the conference, Greek exports to the Balkans rose by 31 per cent in 1996 compared to 1995, reaching US$1.6 billion.

    Exports to the Black Sea region rose to $1.4 billion in 1996, while in 1995 they did not exceed $337 million. Greek exports to Turkey rose from $86 million in 1986 to $354 million in 1996.

    Meanwhile, Turkish exports to Greece rose from $21 million to $231 million during the same time period.

    The press release also noted that about 30 Greek businesses are active in Turkey today.

    [20] Poland's Kwasniewski to attend bilateral business conference in Athens

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski will attend a Greek-Polish business conference on ways of expanding economic relations, scheduled in Athens between April 5 and 7.

    The conference is sponsored by the commercial section of the Polish embassy in Athens and the national economy ministry.

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his Polish counterpart Janus Steinhof will also attend.

    Discussions will focus on possible cooperation in the sectors of energy, telecommunications, defence, agriculture, foodstuffs and metals works.

    [21] EU to examine violations in Thessaloniki metro project

    STRASBOURG 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    The commencement date for construction work on Thessaloniki's metro now rests with a European Union committee session on March 18, at a meeting which will focus on violations of EU legislation during the relevant tendering for the contr oversial project.

    This was inferred from a reply by Commissioner Mario Monti to a question by New Democracy Eurodeputy Antonis Trakatellis at a European Parliament plenum.

    Mr. Trakatellis had requested information on the committee's position on tendering for the project to be awarded because of delay in a decision being taken has led a start to work from one postponement to another.

    He said the committee's decision is expected to disengage the situation and allow for the project to go ahead.

    EU funds for the construction of the metro have been sliced for the current year, since the committee believes that their absorption is impossible.

    [22] Greek industrial output rises 0.9 pct in 1997

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Greek industrial production rose by 0.9 percent in 1997 against the previous year, and mining, industrial and electricity output jointly rose by 1.3 percent in the same period, the National Statistics Service of Greece (ESYE) said yesterday.

    Industrial production in December 1997 rose by 7.8 percent and overall output, including mining and electricity, increased by 5.2 percent against December 1996.

    In addition, Greek construction in January-December 1997 rose by 5.7 percent against the same period in 1996. Construction in December 1997 jumped by 21.1 percent over the corresponding month a year earlier.

    ESYE also said the retail price index in January this year rose by 0.5 percent against a 0.7 percent increase in January 1997.

    [23] Greek, Ukrainian banks sign cooperation agreement

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    A letter of intent for cooperation between Greek and Ukrainian banks was signed yesterday by the secretary general of the Union of Greek Banks, Ioannis Manos, and the first vice-president of the Union of Ukrainian Banks, A. Palamarchuk.

    Cooperation will include advisory services to Ukraine as it develops its banking system, joint training programmes and conferences for bankers and businesses in both countries.

    The agreement was signed during a visit to Greece by a delegation led by the governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine, V. A. Yushckenko, Finance Undersecretary S.M Makatsaria and presidential adviser V. O. Lytvytsky.

    While in Athens, the delegation will meet ministers, the management of the Bank of Greece, the president of the Union of Greek Banks, Theodoros Karatzas, bankers and other officials.

    [24] Greek stocks rise on money market sentiment

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities extended their rally for the third consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Traders said market sentiment was boosted by favourable developments in the domestic money market and positive comments on the future of the drachma and the Greek bourse by international financial houses.

    The general index ended 0.81 percent up at 1,543.62 points although sector indices were mixed.

    Banks rose 0.71 percent, Insurance fell 0.20 percent, Leasing eased 0.45 percent, Investment ended 0.38 percent up, Construction dropped 2.29 percent, Industrials were 0.68 percent higher, Miscellaneous fell 0.42 percent and Holding was 0.11 percent off .

    The parallel market index for small cap companies remained unchanged. The FTSE/ASE index rose 1.13 percent to 872.66 points.

    Trading was heavy with turnover at 26.1 billion drachmas. Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's share price shot up 220 drachmas to 6,735 in a heavy volume of 1,200,000 issues after a buy recommendation and a prediction of a 8,000-drachma price by the end of the year by international investment bank JP Morgan.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 106 to 101 with another 32 issues unchanged.

    Maxim, Dane, Rilken and Chalyps Cement scored the biggest percentage gains at the day's 8.0 percent upper volatility limit, while Diekat, Mouriadis, Ekter, Sfakianakis and Katselis suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 22,800, Ergobank at 16,065, Alpha Credit Bank at 17,230, Delta Dairy at 3,200, Titan Cement at 14,930 and Intracom at 15,700.

    [25] Medical Centre Group launches roadshow to US, UK

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's Medical Centre Group,owned by George Apostolopoulos, is launching a roadshow to present its activities to institutional investors in the United States and Britain.

    The US presentation includes New York, Houston and Boston.

    The Athens Medical Centre has been traded on the Athens Stock Exchange since June 1991. Phaliro Medical Centre is listed in the parallel market for small cap stocks.

    [26] Greek minister blasts critics of new power plant

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou yesterday charged critics of a new power plant due to be built in the north with allegedly representing vested interests.

    The price for construction of the lignite-fuelled plant near Florina has sparked controversy, but an independent consultant appointed by the government endorsed the deal.

    The unit is to be built by a consortium led by Prometheus under the terms of an agreement between the Greek and Russian governments.

    "The (Greek) Public Power Corporation conducted tough negotiations with the consortium ordained by the law, and it secured competitive terms," Ms Papandreou said.

    She was speaking to local authorities and residents of Meliti, where the plant is due to be built.

    The government was determined to carry out the project, and would not bow to the representatives of vested interests, Ms Papandreou said.

    She said that the construction of the power plant will be completed in 55 months and will employ 4,500 workers, while she added that the plant's life expectancy is forecast at more than 40 years, with 2,000 full-time jobs created.

    During an open meeting Ms Papandreou chaired late yesterday, with the participation of area deputies, several local officials and business leaders, it was underlined that construction should begin as soon as possible.

    [27] Preliminary inquiry on Florina plant

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    An Athens prosecutor has ordered a preliminary inquiry, underway for about 20 days now, to ascertain the truth behind press reports claiming a major scandal over construction of a Public Power Corp. (DEH) power plant in Florina.

    The preliminary examination, ordered by Georgios Koliocostas, is being conducted by prosecutor Constantine Tzavelas, who is currently summoning and questioning witnesses.

    According to reports, ruling PASOK deputy and former DEH employee trade unionist Dimitris Pipergias has been summoned to testify on Monday.

    [28] Car dealerships the target of bomb attacks

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Two time-bombs exploded in as many car showrooms within two minutes of each other early yesterday in the Athens suburb of Ellinorosson and the Holargos district.

    The explosions causing extensive damages but no injuries, police said.

    Authorities said the first bomb went off at 12:05 a.m. at a Chrysler showroom on Katehaki Avenue, followed two minutes later by an explosion at an Opel dealership on Mesoghion Avenue.

    Deputy police chief Ioannis Georgakopoulos told ANA that the two devices were similar to those that exploded on Feb. 2 at two McDonald's fast food restaurants in Halandri and Vrilissia and at a General Motors showroom on Kifissias Avenue on Feb. 19.

    Police believe that the Chrysler and Opel dealership attacks were the work of the elusive "November 17" terrorist group, a police spokesman said.

    He said no warning calls preceded the explosions, nor had any group taken responsibility for the attacks.

    Later in the day, senior Greek police (EL.AS) officers linked the two bomb attacks to developments in Kosovo, saying the terrorist organisation wanted to demonstrate that its attacks have a political significance.

    [29] Greece convicted for failing to respect financial rights of non-Greek EU civil servants

    BRUSSELS 13/03/1998 (ANA - G. Daratos)

    The European Court has convicted Greece for failing to respect the financial rights of non-Greek European Union employees working in the Greek public sector.

    Such rights have been guaranteed since 1968 by EU regulations.

    According to the EU regulations - Article VII, Paragragh 1 - a citizen of a member-state must be accorded the same treatment in pay, work relations and conditions, severance pay and vocational rehabilitation or re-employment if he becomes unemployed.

    Greece was found in violation of EU regulations, since time-bonus and salary classifications for employees in the Greek public sector did not take into account years worked in the public sector of other member-states.

    [30] Physics professor details discovery of new 'cosmic force'

    Athens 13/03/1998 (ANA)

    Scientists hope that the discovery of a new cosmic force will provide the key to a theory on how the universe was created.

    Presenting the discovery at the Athens Academy last night, which he described as "dramatic", theoretical physics professor Dimitris Nanopoulos said it concerned the so-called 'cosmological constant', which US scientists at the University of California at Berkeley had found to be causing the expansion of the universe at an accelerated rate.

    He said the discovery annuls the view that after the "Big Bang" (15 billion years ago) the gravity of celestial objects slows down the expansion of the universe, as indicated by the hitherto four known forces of the universe - (weak, strong, electromagn etic and gravitational.

    The cosmological constant (0.7), the fifth force, tends towards 1, and is opposing gravity.

    Prof. Nanopoulos said Albert Einstein had made a passing reference to this force in 1916. He added that he and his aides made efforts to study it, after repeatedly encountering the phenomenon during research in 1994-95. However, they did not give the a ppropriate attention until commencement of research by their US colleagues, he added.


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