|Thursday, 21 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-04
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
Today's ERA News OnlineThursday, March 4th, 1999
 Greek response to renewed Turkish threatsAnkara continues to increase the tension in Greek-Turkish relations and its threats regarding Cyprus and the Aegean.
The Greek president, Kostis Stefanopoulos, yesterday warned Turkey a second time to abandon its provocative tactics.
The honorary president of the New Democracy party and former prime minister, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, said after his meeting yesterday with the foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, that Greece's relations with Turkey were at their most dangerous point in the last few decades and recommended that political haranguing over the Ocalan affair, both inside and outside Greece, should be kept to a minimum.
The foreign minister is meeting today with the New Democracy party president, Kostas Karamanlis, and the Political Spring party leader, Antonis Samaras, to brief them on developments in the Ocalan affair, and on Monday he is due to meet with the general secretary of the Greek Communist party, Aleka Papariga.
Meanwhile Ankara is threatening serious developments in the Mediterranean and claims that the 17th November terrorist organisation is a party of the Greek state. The government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, described the allegations as ridiculous. He also said the statements made by Mr Mitsotakis were positive.
The New Democracy party's press spokesman, Aris
Spiliotopoulos, said the Turkish threats served to strengthen Greece's national resolve and that the government should count on this sense of unity and react decisively.
Referring to the Ocalan case, the Turkish defence minister said in Washington yesterday that Ankara expected Greece to behave in future as a country which did not support terrorism. He said Greece was party to anti- terrorism treaties and it was not in its interest to support a separatist movement in a neighbouring country; he added that the two countries should co-exist peacefully.
 Judicial inquiry into Ocalan affair continuesIn Athens, meanwhile, the judicial inquiry aimed at establishing whether non-political persons were responsible for the Ocalan affair continues.
Yesterday the national intelligence officer, Savvas Kalenderidis, who accompanied the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to Nairobi, was summoned to the office of the public prosecutor investigating the case to give further testimony.
Another intelligence officer, Iannis Bobos (who headed the second team which went to Kenya to handle the Ocalan issue), the director of former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos' political office, Vasilis Papaioannou, and an employee in the control tower at Athens international airport also testified yesterday.
 Relations between Greece and Uzbekistan boostedThree new agreements for the further development of relations between Greece and Uzbekistan were signed in Tashkent on Tuesday, after talks between the visiting Greek president, Kostis Stefanopoulos, and the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov. They concern a consular agreement, an agreement on road haulage and a cooperation agreement between the central banks of Greece and Uzbekistan.
The two presidents discussed the whole spectrum of international issues, including Greek-Turkish relations, and also expressed the wish to boost relations between Greece and Uzbekistan in all sectors, particularly the economic, cultural and trade sectors.
 New Democracy party leader to visit USAOpposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis is leaving for the USA on Saturday on a scheduled visit. He will stay there until March 16th for contacts with senior American officials, representatives of Greek Americans and academics in Washington, New York and Boston.
 NATO approves new structureNATO yesterday approved the Organisation's new structure which provides, among other things, for the activation of its headquarters in Larissa.
The new NATO command structure provides for four countries in the Alliance's southern wing, namely Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey, each to have headquarters which will become active simultaneously on September 1st.
Yesterday's ratification was a formal procedure aimed at closing the issue of NATO's institutional organs before the NATO summit in April.
 Greek government to settle farmers' debtsThe Greek government is to proceed immediately with the settlement of agricultural debts.
Replying to a question raised in parliament yesterday by the Coalition deputy, Vangelis Apostolou, the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, said the Agricultural Bank of Greece would be issuing a circular by next week on the settlement of farmers' debts.
 Price-pegging new development minister's priorityThe new development minister, Evangelos Venizelos, said yesterday that he would give priority to the policy of price-pegging aimed at holding down inflation.
Mr Venizelos, who met yesterday with representatives from industries and supermarkets, announced that an intervention would be made with banks aimed at reducing banking costs.
 EU funds for Olympic VillageThe sports undersecretary, Andreas Fouras, has disclosed at a meeting on the 2004 Olympic Games, organised in Athens by the Coalition of the Left, that the EU has already agreed to grant funds covering 25% of total expenditure for the construction of the Olympic Village in the region of Thrakomakedones, near Athens.
 Church of Greece to help large familiesThe Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has decided to help large families in a bid to face the serious demographic problem in Greece. A spokesman for the Holy Synod said measures would start in border regions, mainly Thrace.