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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-12

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>

Today's ERA News Online

Friday, 12th March, 1999


  • [01] Developments regarding the probe into the Ocalan affair
  • [02] Statements on PKK and terrorism
  • [03] American State Department Coordinator Th. Miller in Greece
  • [04] ND party leader in Washington
  • [05] Rumours about Ocalan's health
  • [06] Greek foreign minister in Belgrade
  • [07] Developments in the Cyprus issue
  • [08] Euroelections and the Greek government's program
  • [09] Developments in the revision of the EU's CAP
  • [10] Financial developments in Greece

  • [01] Developments regarding the probe into the Ocalan affair

    The public prosecutors' report on the Ocalan affair has been conveyed to the Greek parliament to verify alleged responsibilities of the politicians who handled the issue.

    Meanwhile, the proposal of 116 deputies of the ruling Pasok party to set up an inquiry committee on the issue will be debated today.

    According to the public prosecutors' report, 18 non-political figures will have to account for the role they played and their stand on the Ocalan affair. Five of them are facing felony charges.

    Captain Naxakis, writer Voula Damianakou and her daughter Eleni Vasilopoulou, the former head of the airport public relations office Stephanos Evangelatos and the now independent deputy Kostas Badouvas, are among the people facing charges. Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan himself, is also facing charges for illegal entry in the country.

    Finally, the parliament will decide whether the law on ministerial liability should be activated.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas has said that the responsibility of people who, motivated by their own initiatives and for their own reasons, organized Ocalan's entry in Greece and brought the country before accomplished facts is a most serious problem.

    [02] Statements on PKK and terrorism

    Greek foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou who is on an official visit to Belgrade yesterday stated that the Greek government had never received, either officially or unofficially, a demand by the American authorities to recognize the Kurdish Workers party, known as PKK, as a terrorist organization. Furthermore, Mr Papandreou denied that there was a list with the names of Greeks involved in terrorist organizations.

    [03] American State Department Coordinator Th. Miller in Greece

    Meanwhile, Greek-Turkish relations and the Ocalan case were the object of talks the visiting US State Department coordinator in the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller had in Athens last night with Greek deputy foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis.

    After the meeting, Mr. Kranidiotis stressed the need to maintain stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, pointing out that Greece was denouncing terrorism.

    Mr Miller said tension between Greece and Turkey should be eased off.

    [04] ND party leader in Washington

    The main opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, met yesterday with the American vice-president, Al Gore, thus completing his official contacts in Washington. Their talks focused on Greek Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and terrorism.

    Afterwards, the New Democracy party leader denounced Turkey's tactic of threatening Greece with the use of force, while during a press conference later he said that his impression from his contacts in the US was that American officials did fear about a possible hot incident between Greece and Turkey.

    [05] Rumours about Ocalan's health

    It is rumored that the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party Abdullah Ocalan is suffering from his heart. However, his Turkish lawyer who visited him in the prison on the island of Imrali yesterday said Ocalan's health was well and that he was in a good mental state.

    Meanwhile, Danielle Miterand yesterday appealed to the European governments to exert pressure to Turkey on the Ocalan affair.

    [06] Greek foreign minister in Belgrade

    Greek Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou who is visiting Belgrade within the framework of a peace initiative he has undertaken for the Kosovo crisis is scheduled to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic this morning.

    Yesterday, Mr Papandreou met with the American mediator Richard Holbrooke in Belgrade. According to reliable diplomatic sources, Mr Holbrooke requested Mr Papandreou to mediate and persuade Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept the deployment of a peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

    However, in an announcement the State Department issued last night fears are expressed that the chances for a peace agreement in Kosovo are slim.

    [07] Developments in the Cyprus issue

    The National Council of Cyprus, with the exception of EDEK party, has decided that it is not the right time for a recourse and discussion of the Cyprus dispute at the UN General Assembly, as certain given facts have changed.

    The Cypriot political parties maintain that at the present juncture internationally a discussion of the Cyprus issue at the General assembly is not favourable and it is perhaps now the best time to discuss the issue in the wake of certain initiatives after April's elections in Turkey.

    The EDEK party disagreed, stating that now was the right moment for a recourse since the climate was favorable now for Cyprus and pressure could be exerted on the Turkish side for a dialogue based on the UN resolutions.

    [08] Euroelections and the Greek government's program

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis has stated that the Euroelections are not a national public opinion poll as certain people wish, but a political race.

    Mr Simitis reiterated the government's decision to stay firm on its program.

    [09] Developments in the revision of the EU's CAP

    Agriculture minister Giorgos Anomeritis appeared especially satisfied with yesterday's compromise agreement on the revision of the EU common agricultural policy. The agricultural ministers' council reached the agreement following marathon talks.

    Greece, Mr. Anomeritis said, did not loose, but even won something more.

    The co-funding of the Common Agricultural Policy was ruled out as it would cost Greece 150 to 200 billion drachmas per year. Yearly agricultural expenses increased from 40.5 to 41.6 billion euro, which means that Greece has secured a fiscal improvement of about 150 euros.

    [10] Financial developments in Greece

    In an interview with yesterday's issue of a German weekly review, national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou stated that Greece did not need to window-dress its budget in order to participate in the European Monetary Union.

    Mr Papantoniou stated that by summer inflation would fall to 2% -- a development that will result in a yearly average inflation of 2.5% and a positive impact on interest rates.

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