Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-25
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 25/01/1999 (ANA)
- Europe's socialists call for diplomatic solution to Kosovo problem
- ND leader voices conditional support for Turkey's EU prospects
- Greece should work harder to entice more US investments
- British paper calls for permanent holding of Olympics in Greece
- Seminar on sexual education at schools
- Police arrest Albanian wanted in Dutch shooting
- Arsenis to meet OLME leaders in bid to defuse crisis in education
- AHEPA reforestation initiative kicks off
- Labour minister welcomes Intracom decision for 35-hour working
- Greek first division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Europe's socialists call for diplomatic solution to Kosovo problem
Europe's socialists can only see a diplomatic solution to the problem of
Kosovo, while Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos called in his address to
the European Socialist Party's (ESP) conference in Thessaloniki on Saturday,
concluded later in the evening , for a differentiation by Europe from the
options of the US which, as he said, have been proved to be wrong on quite
a few occasions.
The conclusions of the two-day conference were presented by Defence
Minister and ESP Deputy President Akis Tsohatzopoulos. A proclamation
ratified by the participants said that "all the attending parties condemn
the continuing aggressiveness and infring ement of human rights and
international principles by (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic. They
stress that only a diplomatic solution obliging Milosevic to comply with
international agreements and will guarantee respect for all minorities
living in the region can constitute a longstanding and viable solution."
The proclamation also called on the Kosovar guerrillas' organisation (KLA)
to refrain from all aggressive actions and use of violence, saying that
"the international community cannot accept the continuous confrontation of
the two sides."
The European socialists called on the two sides to start immediate
negotiations in the framework of international rules of law and existing
Referring to the role played by the European Union, the European socialists
said "it must continue to assume its responsibilities towards the crisis
and constitute that international force which will guide the course towards
finding a solution to the crisis."
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Pangalos was critical of Washington's
position and of the policy applied by European socialist and social
Mr. Pangalos said that the "tail policy followed by Europe for Washington's
options" can bring about a worsening of the situation in the Balkans. He
said that the US have made "fundamental mistakes in the Balkans" since the
transatlantic policy followed by Washington created crises in the region,
while in certain cases Washington ignored the crisis created by its options,
such as in the case of former Albanian President Sali Berisha in Albania.
Commenting on the crisis in Kosovo, Mr. Pangalos also attributed responsibilities
to Albania and called on its government not to support irredentist claims
but efforts to develop the country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis told the conference that Greece
is prepared to play a role and contribute towards defusing the crisis in
Kosovo in the framework of diplomatic initiatives.
ND leader voices conditional support for Turkey's EU prospects
Speaking at the end of the European Democratic Union meeting here on
Saturday, main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis
expressed support for Turkey's European prospects, saying "we support a
Turkey w hich will meet and fulfill all European prospects and will be a
more compatible neighbour for Greece."
Mr. Karamanlis said this meant that on its part Turkey will also honour
absolutely and fulfill obligations and terms set by the European Union
concerning the need for the country's complete democratisation, respect for
human rights and minorities, the denunciation of force or the threat of the
use of force and will show absolute respect for international law and
On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Karamanlis met British Conservative
party leader William Hague who requested closer contact between the two
parties since, as he said, ND might form a government soon and can help the
Mr. Hague said that there is a tradition in relations not of the two
parties but primarily of the two peoples and invited Mr. Karamanlis to
visit Britain, while Mr. Karamanlis extended a similar invitation to his
Yesterday, Mr. Karamanlis held talks with former Swedish prime minister and
mediator for the Bosnia issue Carl Bildt with whom he discussed developments
in Kosovo and, according to reports, Mr. Bildt appeared extremely concerned
over the prevailing situation, expressing fears that tension will
Mr. Karamanlis completed his visit here yesterday with a meeting with
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.
Welcoming Mr. Karamanlis, the Ecumenical Patriarch said that "the fact that
we prayed all together as one family for the good of the church and the
people was also another pleasure for us in the visit of New Democracy's
Vartholomeos revealed that the Metropolitans of Serres and Veroia visited
him a few days ago and prepared with him the programme of his visit to
Athens on May 20. He said that according to protocol he will be received
with honours bestowed upon a head of state and, consequently, he will meet
the political leadership and the President of the Republic, adding that he
will visit certain cathedrals in northern Greece with Archbishop of Athens
and All Greece Christodoulos.
Greece should work harder to entice more US investments
Greece would welcome more investments by US companies, who say that red
tape and a rigid labour market are still a deterrent, Development Minister
Vasso Papandreou told a news conference late on Friday.
US investments in Greece total 1.2 billion dollars, which is much too low,
Ms. Papandreou said after talks with senior US government officials.
At the same time, Athens should work harder to entice Greek-American
capital into the country, she added.
According to the minister, several US companies have shown interest in
Greek natural gas and renewable energy projects.
Ms. Papandreou also said she had rejected US criticism of Greece for
seeking business links with Iran, saying the policy was pursued throughout
the European Union.
The EU believed that developing trade ties with Tehran was the best way to
aid reform within Iran, and a growing number of US companies agreed, she
Ms. Papandreou, whose ministry is to hold a politics and economy conference
in the US in November, left for New York on Friday, the second port of call
in her seven-day visit to the US.
British paper calls for permanent holding of Olympics in Greece
Peter Corrigan, a reporter and commentator of the newspaper Independent
referred yesterday to the scandal regarding bribes between members of the
International Olympics Committee (IOC) in an article titled "No place can
be compared with a permanent Olympic home" again raising and promoting the
idea of the Olympic Games being established in Greece permanently. He said
he has been supporting this view for years.
Mr. Corrigan refers in the same article to Athens as the venue for the 2004
Olympic Games, saying that "it was the most objective and fair process ever
made by the International Olympics Committee."
Seminar on sexual education at schools
Young people feel great stress over sex and prefer masturbation, while
their encounters are limited primarily to petting without completing sexual
intercourse and most of their knowledge about sex is incorrect.
This was noted at the second post-educational seminar on sexual education
at schools, organised over the weekend by the Greek Sexology Society and
the Patras University's Gynaecological and Obstetrics clinic.
Speakers said that the role played by advertising and ignorance of basic
facts have reversed roles and from being the "stronger" sex, men have
turned into the "weaker" one.
Women are also greatly to blame since they expect their partners to
resemble the new models portrayed in advertising. It also appears that they
prefer men who are quite older in age and who are financially well-
Research has shown that men aged between 25-30 have, up to 36 per cent,
sexual intercourse once a month. They do not prefer dynamic women since
they are unable to prove to them that they are "ladykillers."
Lastly, women do not lose their interest in sex as they grow older. On the
contrary, the older they are the fewer inhibitions they have.
Police arrest Albanian wanted in Dutch shooting
Police have arrested an Albanian national wanted by Dutch authorities in
connection with a street shooting in the centre of The Hague last year that
left two people dead and three injured.
Andrea Pata, 30, was arrested on Saturday evening while trying to enter
Greece from Albania at the Kakavia border post.
He was taken to a prosecutor in Ioannina yesterday amid tight security,
Dutch authorities had issued an international arrest warrant after the
attack on October 25 last year when a gang including Pata shot into the
Pata was reported to have driven away in the gang's car, evading arrest. He
was sighted in Albania several days later.
Dutch authorities are expected to seek his extradition through the justice
Pata, who claimed to be heading for Athens, has been remanded in custody at
Ioannina jail pending extradition proceedings.
Arsenis to meet OLME leaders in bid to defuse crisis in education
Education Minister Gerassimos Arsenis is to meet leaders of the secondary
school teachers union (OLME) today to seek ways of defusing a crisis
sparked by education reforms that has led to sit-ins by pupils and strikes
by teachers in the past two months.
"Tension in secondary education has created operational problems for
schools and harbours danger for pupils," Mr. Arsenis said in a letter to
the union yesterday, in which he requested the meeting.
"I believe you agree that these phenomena, which give a negative image of
state education and the country, must be averted," he said.
OLME responded positively to the minister's invitation.
Mr. Arsenis held talks with pupils' leaders on Saturday, which he later
described as constructive. Three out of 55 pupils' representatives walked
out of the meeting in protest.
He said that he and his associates will examine their proposals.
"Proposals were made on the part of the pupils concerning the upgrading of
education. I and my associates will be examining their proposals in the
evening, while I must point out that I have met and have held talks with
many pupils. I have replied to ma ny questions. My associates did the same,
" he said.
Mr. Arsenis expressed his dissatisfaction and his disappointment because
certain education ministry circulars did not reach schools, such as those
concerning supportive teaching.
Mr. Arsenis said that Saturday's meeting was of great interest and
reiterated that the discussion was held in a very good climate.
Today, state primary and secondary school teachers are staging a 24-hour
This afternoon, striking teachers are to rally outside the education
ministry, and the leaders of pupils occupying schools will meet in Galatsi
to debate their next move.
Schoolchildren have already announced a fresh rally in central Athens on
AHEPA reforestation initiative kicks off
U.S. ambassador to Athens Nicolas Burns and Agriculture Deputy Minister
Costas Vrettos kicked off on Saturday the American Hellenic Educational
Progressive Association's (AHEPA) reforestation initiative in Greece.
The initiative is supported by the US embassy.
AHEPA representatives, main opposition New Democracy deputy Fani Pali-
Petralia and locally elected officials participated in this first of a
series of tree-planting efforts on the 15 hectar AHEPA owned land at
Sounion, eastern Attica.
Mr. Burns said that Greece is the most beautiful country in Europe, and for
this reason the Greek people and the government should protect nature,
while he added that he became very sad over last summer's forest fires and
for that reason he supported the AHEPA initiative.
Labour minister welcomes Intracom decision for 35-hour working
Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou on Saturday welcomed a decision by
Intracom, an information technology and telecoms manufacturer, to launch a
35-hour working week on full pay.
"It is very positive that one of the biggest Greek firms is to apply the 35-
hour week with no pay cuts at a time when talks are starting on the issue
with social groups. I hope other firms move in the same direction," Mr.
Papaioannou told reporters.
Intracom's chairman,Socrates Kokkalis, said on Friday that the reduction in
working hours would come into effect in the first half of the year for the
firm's 1,807 employees.
The Federation of Greek Industry has not backed the 35-hour week being
debated in the European Union, and consultations so far have implied a pay
cut if the measure were to be introduced.
Opponents of the move have argued that the competitiveness of domestic
firms would drop against their rivals abroad.
Intracom is a blue chip on the Athens bourse whose customers include NATO,
the EU and the Greek armed forces.
The government has so far refused to legislate a 35-hour working week, but
has said it would welcome initiatives by individual companies.
Greek first division soccer results
Ethnikos Piraeus-Panelefsiniakos 2-2 Xanthi-AEK Athens 2-1
Olympiakos Piraeus- Panionios Athens 5-0 Ethnikos Astir Athens-PAOK
Thessaloniki 1-0 Proodeftiki Piraeus-Ionikos Piraeus 0-0
Iraklis Thessaloniki-Apollon Athens 2-0 Paniliakos Pyrgos-Aris Thessaloniki
3-1 OFI Heraklion-Kavala 4-0
Veria-Panathinaikos 0-1 Standings/points: Olympiakos 40, Panathinaikos 34,
AEK 33, PAOK 32, Xanthi 31, Aris 27, OFI 26, Iraklis, Ethnikos Astir 23,
Ionikos 22, Panionios 20.
Mostly fair weather is forecast throughout the country today. Winds north,
northweasterly in the west and east, light to strong, and very strong in
the southern Aegean, easing off towards evening. Athens will be mostly
sunny with scattered cloud and temperatures ranging from 2-13C. Same in
Thessaloniki with temperatures from -1C to 10C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 275.687
Pound sterling 456.161 Japanese yen (100) 242.028
French franc 48.814 German mark 163.715
Italian lira (100) 16.537 Irish Punt 406.567
Belgian franc 7.937 Finnish mark 53.853
Dutch guilder 145.299 Danish kr. 43.833
Austrian sch. 23.270 Spanish peseta 1.924
Swedish kr. 35.597 Norwegian kr. 37.091
Swiss franc 200.131 Port. Escudo 1.597
Aus. dollar 175.405 Can. dollar 182.151
Cyprus pound 550.421