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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 96-11-01

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 1029),

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis, Papantoniou agree on ways to cut state costs
  • [02] Gov't spokesman
  • [03] ADEDY
  • [04] ANA's new facilities officially inaugurated
  • [05] Simitis to confer with Tsohatzopoulos, Papantoniou
  • [06] Papandreou requests support from all sides in light of intergovernmental conference
  • [07] Greece rejects Turkish protest over UNESCO events
  • [08] Parmenion '96 military exercise begins
  • [09] Venizelos scheduled to meet French culture minister in Paris
  • [10] Tsohatzopoulos says peace in Bosnia won't be furthered by withdrawal of peace-keepers
  • [11] Reppas says draft law envisions overhaul of public sector mass media
  • [12] Tsohatzopoulos schedules Cyprus visit
  • [13] Evert, Souflias clash at ND Parliamentary group meeting
  • [14] Gov't reply
  • [15] Greenpeace 'commandos' scale power plant's smokestacks on Crete
  • [16] Bank of Greece governor calls for faster rate of income collection, less spending
  • [17] Greek-French business relations touched on by president of French Employers' Union
  • [18] '97 local self-administration funds to increase by 13 per cent
  • [19] EIB renews support for Greek natural gas system
  • [20] Vasso Papandreou announces change of EOT legal status
  • [21] Papadopoulos says local Gov't entities exempt from strict cap on hirings
  • [22] Two Turkish drivers given suspended sentence for illegal transport of shotgun shells

  • [01] Simitis, Papantoniou agree on ways to cut state costs

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday agreed on ways to save 150 billion drachmas by drastically cutting back on public expenditures at their meeting yesterday.

    Mr. Papantoniou briefed Mr. Simitis on the ministry's planned economic measures as well as on progress concerning the drafting of the 1997 budget and incomes policy. According to sources, a planned bill on public expenditures aims at drastically cutting back on subsidies and operating costs for ministries, such as overtime, miscellaneous expenses and office supplies. The bill also foresees mergers or abolition of services and organizations as well as a lid on appointments in the public sector, with one hiring made for every five departures.

    Another bill on the abolition of tax exemptions, Mr. Papantoniou told the prime minister, was nearing completion and would be tabled in Parliament soon.

    Methods to raise revenues for the state, including proposals for a real estate tax, taxation of foreign exchange deposit accounts, derivatives and other financial products as well as state titles, were also discussed by the two men at the meeting.

    Reports said taxation of large real estate holdings and of treasury bills had already been approved but details on how to collect the tax had not yet been worked out.

    Sources added, however, that the real estate tax will apply to property valued by finance ministry services at more than 200 million drachmas for a four-member family. Treasury bills will be burdened with a 10 per cent tax on interest which will be paid at time of purchase.

    On incomes policy, various options are still being examined, given the standing consideration - and pre-election pledge - that wage increases will be higher than forecast inflation.

    Inflation for 1997 is projected at 5-6 percent, which means that total increases will range between 8-10 percent, as both wage-earners and pensioners will receive a corrective amount of 2-3 per cent and approximately 1 per cent for "participation in growth".

    An inter-ministerial meeting on fiscal discipline and economic measures with the participation of the development, labor, health and social security ministers was also held at the national economy ministry.

    [02] Gov't spokesman

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    On his part, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters that he could not rule out the abolition of tax breaks for Parliamentary deputies.

    "Within the framework of the drafting of legislation on tax exemptions the government is examining everything," Mr. Reppas said in response to a question. He added that the government did not fear reactions from MPs "when its policy responded to its duties".

    The government's pre-election pledges and commitments still stand, Mr. Reppas noted, adding that the budget would be tabled by the latest possible date of Nov. 30, while a joint meeting of the ruling party PASOK central committee and Parliamentary group on economic policy would not discuss the budget.

    [03] ADEDY

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) said it does not accept the new draft salary scale for the public sector prepared by the finance ministry.

    Finance Under-secretary Nicos Christodoulakis presented the draft plan to the leadership of ADEDY last night, which disagreed with its content and announced mobilizations in the event the ministry fails to improve its proposal.

    According to the ministry, the proposed plan will lead to 10 to 15 per cent increases - together with the corrective amount - for civil servants.

    Dialogue will continue on Thursday, however, ADEDY warned that unless the plan is improved and the new salary scale is not applied as of Jan. 1, then strikes will be called.

    However, the ministry's plan primarily favors low salary-earners in the public sector, but increases are also anticipated for high salary-earners through family benefits.

    According to reports, it is certain that the new salary scale will be applied gradually.

    [04] ANA's new facilities officially inaugurated

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas inaugurated the new offices of the Athens News Agency (ANA) yesterday evening in the presence of ANA General Director Andreas Christodoulides, government, party officials, journalist unions' representatives, foreign embassy press attaches, foreign correspondents as well as ANA staff.

    After 100 years of work and active presence in the mass media sector, ANA finally acquired its own premises. Considerable assistance by the government and intensive efforts by the administrative council contributed to housing all of ANA's services in its own privately owned facilities on 36, Tsoha St.

    Father Georgios Metallinos officiated at a blessing of the premises, while Mr. Christodoulides in a short speech promised ANA subscribers that the administration and staff will do their best to continuously upgrade services and provide a comprehensive news briefing for the country's citizenry.

    "Completion of a telematics program with the operation of electronic regional centers in major cities in Greece, creation of the first electronic photographic archives linked with Athenian, regional, expatriate, Cypriot and foreign mass media, creation of a series of news services such as sports, a radio and television bulletin, audiotext and InterNet bulletins, a bulletin for briefing Balkan and Mediterranean countries, as well as the strengthening of our international relations with European, Balkan and Mediterranean national news agencies are but a few of the steps which helped and are helping the success and reliability of the ANA," Mr. Christodoulides said.

    In a brief address, Mr. Reppas stressed the need for the ANA's operation as an agency of conscience and culture, adding that the contribution and presence of Mr. Christodoulides had a national character.

    At the same time, Mr. Reppas referred to the ANA's response to modern-day challenges posed for the media through its data bank, the electronic photographic archives and an impending satellite link with its subscribers.

    Mr. Reppas also praised the agency's two new programs concerning the pages of Internet, through which news from Greece will reach the most distant parts of the earth, as well as the English-language magazine "Hermes," whose pages aim to promote the creative aspect of the country on the international scene.

    Among others, the inauguration ceremony was attended by former media minister and current PASOK deputy Telemachos Hytiris, Press Secretary-General Nikos Athanassakis, the president of the Greek Radio and TV Network S.A. (ERT) Panayiotis Panayiotou, the general director of the ET-2 television network, Ioannis Exarchos, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) spokesman Makis Kopsidis, the press attaches of the US and German embassies, several journalists and foreign correspondents.

    Mr. Christodoulides also thanked the Inter-Balkan Medical Center and the EPOM-ABEE construction firm as well as the companies Kelari, Kourtakis, Pepsico-HBH, Pigados Hotel, FAGE and Hatzimihalis group for their contribution towards successful holding of the ensuing reception.

    [05] Simitis to confer with Tsohatzopoulos, Papantoniou

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet this morning with National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou to discuss the recently announced armaments program for the Greek Armed Forces in view of the 1997 state budget to be tabled in Parliament next month.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said his first priority would be to ensure the ministry's annual sources.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said final decisions on the program would be taken in the near future.

    [06] Papandreou requests support from all sides in light of intergovernmental conference

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday requested the co-operation of all political parties' representatives for "Greece's best representation at negotiations for revision of the Maastricht Treaty."

    Mr. Papandreou came forth with the request during a meeting yesterday of the inter-party committee for the EU's intergovernmental conference.

    The meeting, which was held with the participation of the ministry's secretary general for EU Affairs, Stelios Perrakis, also focused on the nation's national positions.

    [07] Greece rejects Turkish protest over UNESCO events

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Athens has flatly dismissed a demarche by Ankara over UNESCO-organized cultural events last week near the uninhabited Greek isle of Imia, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced yesterday. Mr. Reppas said Greece rejected the verbal demarche conveyed to the Greek embassy in Turkey on Friday as "unacceptable in its entirety." "There were no margins for discussion as the events occurred in Greek sovereign territory," Mr. Reppas said.

    UNESCO's Dodecanese Group organized an international meeting on peace over the weekend, which included cruises around the islands of Kalymnos, Kalolymnos and Imia, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the organization.

    "The climate in relations between Greece and Turkey is not positive and this is due to Turkey's unwillingness to take any effort at rapprochement whatsoever," Mr. Reppas said.

    Referring to this week's incident in which a Turkish soldier fired a shot in the direction of a Greek observation post on the Greek-Turkish border, Mr. Reppas said the incident had been resolved and was considered closed.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Costas Bikas yesterday also referred to Athens' rejection of the Turkish demarche.

    In an unrelated matter, Mr. Bikas said that the Council of Europe Ministers' Summit will convene on Nov. 6 in Strasbourg, with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou representing Greece.

    Mr. Bikas added that foreign under-secretary Christos Rozakis, foreign ministry secretary general for European affairs Stelios Perrakis and Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis will travel to Cyprus for a working visit.

    [08] Parmenion '96 military exercise begins

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    A military exercise code-named "Parmenion '96" began in northern Greece yesterday with the participation of all three arms of the Hellenic armed forces, the defense ministry announced.

    The annual exercise, taking place in the Evros prefecture and the Aegean, will include landing craft operations with air force and naval back-up.

    The final phase of the exercise will be staged on the eastern Aegean island of Samos in early November.

    In addition, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos has expressed interest in attending the final stage.

    Informed sources said that the exercise's plan also includes the re-taking of an isle.

    In a related issue, when asked to comment on press reports in an Athens daily that Turkey had established a crisis management and operations center on the Turkish coast facing the Greek islet of Imia, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said i t was an issue of concern only for Turkey.

    "It does not concern us what our neighbors do but what we do," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

    He added that there was no particular concern over the fact that Turkey was conducting exercises in the Aegean at the same time as Greece.

    [09] Venizelos scheduled to meet French culture minister in Paris

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos will visit Paris on Monday for talks with his French counterpart as well as noted Greek and French scholars.

    During his visit, which is part of the ministry's international cultural activities, Mr. Venizelos will promote the issue of modern Greek studies in French universities.

    The culture minister told reporters that the ministry's culture policy also aimed at deepening ties between Greece and Italy as well as Greece and France in the cultural sector.

    Mr. Venizelos, who is currently visiting Italy, is due to visit Venice today to take part in the inauguration of the Modern Greek Studies' Department at Venice University.

    While in Italy, Mr. Venizelos will meet in Rome with the group of Italian architects who have been awarded the first prize in an international architectural contest to design the new Acropolis Museum. In Italy, Mr. Venizelos also signed an agreement for the loaning of exhibits which will go into the "Glory of Byzantium" exhibition, to be held in the New York Metropolitan Museum.

    [10] Tsohatzopoulos says peace in Bosnia won't be furthered by withdrawal of peace-keepers

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos assessed yesterday that at present, peace will not be safeguarded in Bosnia with the withdrawal of foreign troops, in light of the fact that the limit for a multinational peace force in Bosnia expires on Dec. 15.

    The issue will be examined at the European Union summit. Whether or not the Greek force will remain in Bosnia will depend on the position of the other states, he said, adding, "if they leave, we will leave."

    [11] Reppas says draft law envisions overhaul of public sector mass media

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday the restructuring of the Greek Radio and Television S.A. (ERT), overseeing of press and public relations offices as well as offices responsible for public sector-related advertising production are the ma in goals of a draft law being processed by the government and the press general secretariat in particular.

    Other issues include the strengthening the role of the National Radio and TV Council for greater transparency in the mass media.

    In addition, he said the Athens News Agency (ANA) has changed its legal standing, turning into ANA S.A. "so as not to constitute an extension of the government."

    Its modernization has also been promoted with the housing of all its services in its own new building.

    Mr. Reppas also referred to the Vellidis publishing group in Thessaloniki, saying that the government exercised its influence over creditors so that the group's assets will not be distributed, with tendering soon to be proclaimed.

    [12] Tsohatzopoulos schedules Cyprus visit

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will pay his first visit to Cyprus from Nov. 21-24, while talks with his Cypriot counterpart Costas Eliades will focus on issues concerning the widening of possibilities for strengthening the unified defense doctrine and common armaments within the framework of joint efforts between Greece and Cyprus.

    During his stay on the island republic, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos will have talks with the political leaders of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that in the first half of 1997 the political leadership of the national defense ministry will start visits abroad to promote existing agreements or sign new ones, with their first stops being the Balkans.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos will participate in the corresponding sessions of NATO and West European Union (WEU) national defense ministers in December.

    Referring to military dialogue in Cyprus, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said it was taking place through the UN, adding that the Cypriot government has accepted, adding however, that he was not aware whether results will be produced.

    [13] Evert, Souflias clash at ND Parliamentary group meeting

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert yesterday presented the main aspects of his economic and foreign policy to ND's Parliamentary group, once again reiterating what he called the party's European orientation.

    The meeting, however, was held in an increasingly tense atmosphere with Mr. Evert and ND deputy George Souflias embarking in verbal exchanges concerning the behind-the-scenes maneuvers prior to the recent re-election of Mr. Evert to ND's top spot.

    Mr. Souflias, who was Mr. Evert's only opponent in the recent party election, reiterated his view that the current ND leader should be reconfirmed at a party congress scheduled for June.

    Mr. Evert warned party rivals that no-one is entitled to violate the charter and to "lock the party in introversion on the altar of personal ambitions."

    He underlined that the appearance of party members on television channels expose ND with public conflict, adding that the party congress will be held in Athens at the beginning of June, without any deviation from the party charter.

    Replying to the party leader's comments on personal ambitions, Mr. Souflias said actions are more important than words. "The question is to determine what New Democracy we want," he said.

    "The party needs a new ideology with reflexes which have been desensitized, such as responsibility, seriousness and trustworthiness," he added.

    Mr. Souflias repeated his position regarding the transitional nature of the present ND president, who will have to be re-confirmed at the congress, which he said, will provide a permanent solution to the leadership issue.

    "This issue is a monologue," he said, adding that the party is in need of true unity, "and not the superficial unity some are referring to when it suits them."

    Mr. Souflias repeated his proposal for party elections to be held, and concluded by saying that "all births are painful."

    A disagreement with Mr. Evert ensued regarding the events which occurred before the election of the ND president.

    In other developments, regarding the party's positions on national issues, Mr. Evert said the PASOK government lacked "a specific national strategy."

    Stating that Prime Minister Costas Simitis was not briefing the president of the republic and opposition parties on developments on national issues, Mr. Evert accused the government of persisting in a policy of "secret diplomacy," a policy he claimed could lead to "unpredictable developments."

    "It is no coincidence that the president of the republic recently expressed concern on (the course of) the national issues," he said.

    Describing the government's step-by-step policy in Greek-Turkish relations as "dangerous" and "slip-pery," the ND leader warned of the possibility "that we may find ourselves before blackmailing dilemmas in the next months."

    Mr. Evert said the Cyprus problem was undergoing a critical phase, while expressing pessimism on the outcome of the Skopje name issue. Turning to the government's economic policy, Mr. Evert spoke of a "government's taxation assault" and warned of a "social explosion."

    He reiterated a pre-election pledge that ND will support salaried employees, workers, small-to-medium-sized businessmen, farmers and pensioners.

    On his part, ND deputy and former minister Stephanos Manos stressed to reporters last night the need for the main opposition to restructure "if we want this party to progress."

    He was speaking from Ioannina, which he visited in order to address an event organized by the local Rotary Club.

    Mr. Manos said that in view of the upcoming ND congress it should be made clear whether Mr. Evert will be a candidate for the party leadership.

    [14] Gov't reply

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    In reply to Mr. Evert's statements, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas dismissed the main opposition leader's accusations that the premier did not brief the president and opposition parties, while he described the government's step-by-step policy on Greek-Turkish relations as "the most benefiting policy for the nation."

    Mr. Reppas further dismissed Mr. Evert's statement on "secret diplomacy."

    [15] Greenpeace 'commandos' scale power plant's smokestacks on Crete

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Members of the Greek branch of the international environmental advocacy group Greenpeace climbed the smokestacks of a Public Power Corp. (DEH) plant in Linoperamata, Irakleio yesterday, raising a huge banner protesting the creation of another power plant on Crete.

    Protesters also accused DEH and the government of refusing to adopt positions advocating the use of alternative sources of energy to solve the large island's electricity problem.

    They called for Crete to become a model of environment-friendly sources of energy, saying that "clean solutions" must be adopted right away.

    All 15 Greenpeace members, who were still on the smokestacks at presstime, were expected to meet with DEH officials.

    [16] Bank of Greece governor calls for faster rate of income collection, less spending

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Governor of the Bank of Greece Loukas Papadimos yesterday issued a warning on the economy, stressing the need for measures to accelerate the rate of income collection, restriction of spending and the rationalization of the labor market, to which the central bank pays particular attention.

    Speaking at the Greek-British Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Papadimos stressed that exchange policy will remain anti-inflationary, but clarified that there will be greater flexibility in order to avoid profit-making moves by international investors.

    He stressed that the increased capital inflows appearing do not only have positive influence on the reduction of lending costs, but also hide dangers, which are mainly related to the short-term character of the influence.

    Mr. Papadimos stressed the need for changes in the labor market, which he said must take international developments into account, the relation of labor costs in Greece and abroad and the relationship between production and payment.

    Regarding the balance of payments, he said that persistent high inflation has led to a deterioration of the balance of payments.

    He concluded by stressing the need for Greece to participate in the European monetary union by 2001, saying this will be a defining development for the country.

    [17] Greek-French business relations touched on by president of French Employers' Union

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    The president of the French Employers' Union (CNPF), Jean Gandois, conducted an official visit to Greece on Oct. 17-18 following an invitation extended by the French Chamber of Commerce in Greece.

    Mr. Gandois was accompanied by a delegation from several large French enterprises.

    A dinner was held in Mr. Gandois' honor on Oct. 17, which was attended by Paris' ambassador to Athens, Bernard Kessedjian, and former Greek prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis as well as ministers and European deputies among others.

    During his speech, Mr. Gandois spoke of relations between Greece and France, French investments in Greece, the country's role in the Balkans and the need for Greece to participate in the European Monetary Union as soon as possible.

    [18] '97 local self-administration funds to increase by 13 per cent

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Local self-administration funds for 1997 are set to increase by 40 billion drachmas - 13 per cent - Interior Under-secretary Lambros Papadimas told representatives yesterday of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE).

    However, critics claim that in relation to what had been calculated, self-administration is set to lose at least 50 billion drachmas in income, which will be derived from the reduction of the percentage derived from road taxes, the ending of tax benefit s and taxation of profitable state enterprises.

    A meeting was held yesterday afternoon on the finances of local self-administration with the participation of Mr. Papadimas, Finance Undersecretaries George Drys and Nikos Christodoulakis and by KEDKE president, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Papadimas said that a useful discussion was held, with a briefing by the finance minister on the draft bill which has been drawn up regarding a restriction of spending.

    [19] EIB renews support for Greek natural gas system

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term lending institution, renewed its support for the construction and operation of a high pressure transmission and distribution system of natural gas in Greece by extending a new ECU 200 million (60.6 million drachmas) loan to the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) this week.

    The loan agreement was signed in Luxembourg on Tuesday for the EIB by Mr. P. Gennimatas, Vice-President, and for DEPA by Mr. S. Palaloyiannis, managing director.

    The loan forms part of a larger facility of up to ECU 300 million approved by the EIB. Financing will be phased over the project's construction period. Designed in the late 80s, the project started being constructed in 1990. The high pressure system is expected to be operational in its entirety by the year 1999.

    A first loan of ECU 7.3 million from the IEB was signed in February 1991. Slow initial construction, however, impeded the continuation of EIB financing, which has now been reactivated following the acceleration of construction.

    Works include a high-pressure pipeline running from Kula, at the Greek-Bulgarian border to Ayia Triada to the nearby island of Revithoussa, a receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the island, as well as high pressure branches, metering and operating stations and a remote control and communication system. Gas will be imported from Russia and Algeria, the latter in LNG form.

    The project is by far the largest energy investment ever undertaken in Greece. It represents the only significant possibility to diversify its energy supplies. It is also considered of importance to the development of the Union's energy network. It is supported jointly by the EIB, the Union's Structural Funds (ERDF) and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and is a key investment on the priority list of Trans-European Network projects approved by the Essen European Council in December 1994.

    Furthermore, the project offers important environmental benefits by replacing polluting energy sources such as lignite and heavy oil products by clean natural gas. The project will essentially serve power generation in combining cycle power plants and industrial units in the major Greek metropolitan areas of Athens and Thessaloniki contributing to significant air quality improvement.

    [20] Vasso Papandreou announces change of EOT legal status

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou has announced the conversion of the Greek Tourism Organization (EOT) into a Sociiti Anonyme (S.A.).

    Speaking in Thessaloniki during a news conference held at the start of the 12th "Philoxenia" exhibition, Ms Papandreou underlined the need for a radical restructuring of EOT, an organization which she said has to stop its entrepreneurial activities and focus more on policy-making in coordination with the ministry, and particularly in the fields of marketing and public relations.

    Ms Papandreou also said that the government, under its three-year program, will proceed with the exploitation and partial liquidation of EOT assets.

    [21] Papadopoulos says local Gov't entities exempt from strict cap on hirings

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Alekos Papadopoulos yesterday announced that local administration organizations would be exempt from the measure of "one hiring for every five departures" announced recently by the government for the public sector.

    Speaking at the opening session of the Union of Attica Municipalities and Communities' (TEDKNA) conference, Mr. Papadopoulos said the hiring of regular staff by local administration organizations will take place gradually as part of the modernization of municipalities and communities.

    He said the number of hirings will be decided by the government in a few days time. Municipalities and communities have requested the hiring of about 5,500 permanent employees.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said the problem of the state's retroactive commitments to local administration bodies concerning bonuses for 18,000 and 15,000 drachmas has been resolved.

    However, he said local administration bodies must make appropriate use of the potential provided by the existing institutional framework.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said the government wants transparency and proper management in the financial sector from local administration, ad-ding that municipalities should avoid the easy solution of resorting to loans.

    Addressing the conference, TEDKNA president and Keratea Mayor Antonis Antoniou said "municipa-lities and communities are in a financial deadlock and on the verge of bankruptcy since many of them are even unable to cover their elementary operational requirements."

    [22] Two Turkish drivers given suspended sentence for illegal transport of shotgun shells

    Athens, 01/11/1996 (ANA)

    Two Turkish drivers received a suspended one-year sentence and were ordered to pay a fine of one million drachmas yesterday for carrying a total of 900,000 shotgun shells in their trucks.

    The court also ordered the immediate deportation of the drivers, while their trucks and the shotgun shells were confiscated.

    Sevat Kara, 30, and Yiunal Pektas, 34, were stopped by Evros customs officials at the border and were charged with not having necessary documents for transporting their cargo through Greece.

    End of English language section.


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