|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-01-24
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM confident of EMU entry, addresses gathering of senior citizensATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis reiterated on Saturday that the Greek government would submit an application for Economic and Monetary Union entry in March, as the remaining Maastricht Treaty criterion for inclusion - inflation - will have been fulfilled.
Speaking at the first-ever national gathering of senior citizens, held at the Olympic Stadium in northern Athens, the Greek PM also referred to Greek-Turkish relations, noting that over the recent period a positive climate in bilateral relations has emerged. Additionally, he stressed that the governments standing view holds that peace in the region necessitates good-neighbourliness and cooperation between Turkey and Greece.
Greece has shown the road towards this direction, Helsinki verified this; Turkey must assume initiatives -- Initiatives whereby international law comprises the framework of reference for bilateral relations, he added.
Finally, in addressing issues related to senior citizens, Simitis said such issues provide a challenge and opportunity for Greek society.
Society can demonstrate its sensitivity, organise new networks of social solidarity and prove, using its imagination, that what some people consider a difficult problem can essentially be an opportunity, allowing for development and substantive social prosperity, he added.
The gathering was organised by the Greek Red Cross and under the auspices of the health and social insurances ministry.
 Greek gov't does not recognise "Turkish" minority in W. ThraceISTANBUL, 24/01/ 2000 (ANA)
The Greek government has never recognised and will not re-cognise a "Turkish" minority in Western Thrace, north-western Greece, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Saturday, here.
Responding to questions on relevant Turkish press reports, Pa-pandreou clarified that the definition of minorities in Greece is that of the Treaty of Lausanne and certainly it will not change.
He added, however, that the Greek government has signed and is expected to ratify the international agreement securing the right of individuals to self-determination.
The initial press report was printed in the English language newspaper "Turkish Daily News".
On its part, the Turkish Anadolu news agency, reported Papandreou saying, "we should consider (minorities) not as a threat, but as wealth".
"The best way to behave to minorities is to secure their feeling that they are at home," Papandreou said, according to the report, adding that in the past minorities were used as "leverage" for border changes.
The Western Thrace Muslim minority members are Greek citi-zens and have the same rights with all other Greek citizens and the same is true for the Greek minority in Istanbul, Turkey, Papandreou said, adding that he would want for the Greek minority in Istanbul to have the same treatment with the Muslim minority in Western Thrace.
 Greek-Turkish cooperation should be utilizedATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Greek-Turkish cooperation within the European Union is a possibility that should be utilized Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said, during an interview to a Turkish television station.
In his statements to Turkish MTV station, Papandreou said that based on developments in the Greek-Turkish relations, one can observe a speeding up in development on the Cyprus problem, adding that the Turkish-Cypriot side will have the ability to find itself along with the with the Greek-Cypriots under the same roof.
Papandreou also said that the government of Athens will respond via diplomatic channels to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's invitation for a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Papandreou paid a four-day official visit to Turkey last week during which he signed four cooperation agreements with his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem.
 Greek-Turkish agreements for rail transport servicesATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
The Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) and its Turkish counterpart on Sunday concluded three agreements on passenger and cargo transport between the two countries.
The general directors of the two organisations singed three agreements providing for the transport of passengers and cargo on specific schedules between the two countries.
The first of the three agreements provides for the rail connection of the northeastern Greek Cities of Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupoli with Istanbul, Turkey set to begin on May 28.
The second agreement provides for the rail-sea cargo transport of train cars and containers from and to the port of Volos, Greece and Ismir Turkey.
Finally, the third agreement provides for a "holiday-excursion" train servicing the Athens-Istanbul-Ismir line, using renovated "Orient Express" rail cars, and including a casino rail car.
 Greek and Turkish-American leaders hail efforts to improve Greek-Turkish relations
WASHINGTON, 24/01/2000 (ANA)Greek-American and Turkish-American leaders express strong support on recent efforts by Greece and Turkey to take steps forward to improve bilateral relations.
In a joint statement Greek-American and Turkish-American leaders express satisfaction that during Greek Foreign Mister George Papandreou's visit to Turkey last week "Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit invited his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis to visit Turkey".
Making special reference to the bilateral agreements signed during Papandreou's visit, the statement notes they were correctly referred to as "a successful beginning toward a new era in relations".
They also note that "as Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou stated during his visit, Greece and Turkey have been able to respond to the desires of Greek and Turkish peoples to live in peace and to build a common future together".
The joint statement stresses that "these and other such efforts are important contributions to peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean".
The statement was signed by Greek-American leaders Andrew Athens, World President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and Andrew Manatos, President of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) and Turkish-American leader Tolga Cubukcu, President of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA).
 Diamantopoulou calls for intensified efforts in light of expected Greek EMU entryATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Greek EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou on Saturday evening called for an intensification of efforts by Greece's business world over the next 12 months heading into the final stretch towards EMU accession.
Speaking during a speech in Thessaloniki at an event organised by the Federation of Northern Greece Industries, Diamanto-poulou - responsible for the Union's social policy and employment portfolio -- referred to new "challenges for employ-ment and social dialogue created through Economic and Mo-netary Union". She also cited the need for modernisation of EU economic and social systems as well as on the role social partners are called to perform vis-a-vis the issue of employment.
"It's a fact that while EMU offers a significant impetus for the development of a competitive and successful European economy and labour market, this goal can only be met if we do two things right:
"To learn from our mistakes in terms of employment, and the way we apply European strategy on employment; and, management of EMU itself must be done correctly, in a way that ensures that its benefits will be considered by companies, employees and citizens as positive contributions to their ambitions, themselves, their communities and their countries," she said.
 Royaumont initiative labour ministers meet in private in ThessalonikiATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Labour ministers from Greece, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Russia held a private meeting in Thessaloniki on Saturday to discuss issues related to the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe.
The private meeting part of the Royaumont Initiative's labour ministers' two-day meeting entitled "The society of citizens, democratisation, participation, and the Stability Pact for south-eastern Europe", organised by the European Economic and So-cial Committee (OKE) and the Royaumont Initiative agency. Greek European Union Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou also participated in the meeting
 Greek and Turkish labour ministers to visit eachother's countriesATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Greek Labour Minister Miltialdes Papaioannou and his Tur-kish counterpart Yiasar Uguyian on Saturday announced they will meet in both Athens and Ankara in efforts to extend the cooperation between their ministries.
The two men met in Thessaloniki at the sidelines of the "The society of citizens, democratisation, participation, and the Stability Pact for southeastern Europe", organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (OKE) and the Royaumont Initiative agency.
They also noted that they appointed their ministries directors as representatives of their respective ministries to identify and work on points of cooperation regarding their portfolios.
 New EU intra-governmental conference to begin in FebruaryThe new European Union intra-governmental conference is expected to begin work in February on what is expected to be the Union's most important institutional re-formulation, which will include defence and security issues.
The conference is expected to conclude its work by the end of the year, while the final decisions and approvals remain in the hands of the ministers' councils, which retain their legislative role.
 EU finance council of ministers to decide on Greek convergenceATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
The European Union Monetary Committee is scheduled to convene on Monday, to formulate its final proposal to the Union's Finance Ministers' Council regarding the convergence of the Greek economy.
The Council is expected to decide on the Greek convergence policy on Monday, Jan. 31.
 Cyprus FM: No change in Turkish policies expected following Papandreou visit to AnkaraNICOSIA 24-01-2000 (CNA/ANA)
Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said Saturday that the government did not expect a change in Turkish policies and rhetoric regarding the Cyprus problem as a result of his Greek counterpart's recent visit to Turkey, but said this detente in Greek-Turkish relations should be encouraged.
He pointed out, however, his full agreement with the position expressed by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou that the new momentum created after the European Union Helsinki summit and improved Greek-Turkish relations would be affected if there is no change in Turkish policies towards Cyprus.
Asked whether he expected the Cyprus problem to be discussed during the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to Greece, Kasoulides expressed the hope it would.
Kasoulides was speaking at a seminar of the youth section of ruling right-wing Democratic Rally party on the "Cyprus problem and the accession course in the new millennium".
In his speech the Foreign Minister said that through its political dialogue with Turkey the European Union now becomes more involved in efforts for a Cyprus settlement and pointed out that Turkish policy in regards to the Cyprus problem is incompatible with the country's European course.
 Greek Cypriot illegally detained in Turkish-occupied areasNICOSIA 24-01-2000 (CNA/ANA)
An illegal "court" in the Turkish-occupied areas has detained a Greek Cypriot, abducted Saturday morning by Turkish troops at the Derynia checkpoint near Famagusta.
Acting spokesman for the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Charles Gaulkin, told CNA the illegal "court" remanded Panayiotis Anastasi Economou for three days and that an UNFICYP civil affairs unit would be visiting him on Monday.
Meanwhile, Cyprus Police announced that Economou, from the Famagusta-area village of Frenaros, was missing since Friday evening. Economou's car was found locked near the checkpoint.
 Socialist International to undertake crusade against death penalty
LISBON, 24/01/2000 (ANA)The Socialist International decided to begin a crusade for the abolition of the death penalty, for the protection of the political, social and economic rights of individuals, for the protection of the environment and for the employment conditions of women around the globe.
These decisions came at the first meeting of the organisations new presidium, chaired by Portuguese Premier Antonio Guteres, in Lisbon, Portugal.
Socialist International Vice-President, PASOK President and Prime Minister Costas Simitis was represented by Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos.
In his address to the two-day meeting, Rokofyllos stressed the need for the securing of individuals' economic rights.
Among others Rokofyllos met with Turkish socialist leader Erdal Inonu and discussed recent progress in Greek-Turkish relations. He also met with Guteres, who sent a message of solidarity to Simitis.
 Tsohatzopoulos notes new concepts in defence and securityATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Changes in the global economy and technology pose the need for new bold steps in defence and security, Defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday.
"New concepts arise today due to the major changes in matters of security and economy at a global level. The European sub-system in which Greece actively participates must approach common forms of security in order to jointly attain its own terms of stability and operation... The globalization of the economy and the new geopolitical realities in our broader region dictate the development of new concepts in defence and security, as we witness the so-called revolution in defence affairs which implies integration of technologies, both in structure and in military dogma," he said in an address at a two-day conference on the subject of "Media - cyberspace - public opinion," organised by the defence ministry and the University of Aberdeen.
For Greece, the changes in structure aimed at increasing flexibility and efficiency without a loss in capability, while those in dogma meant the utilisation of new technologies and new conditions in training in combination with modern weapons systems, Tsohatzopoulos said.
He noted further that in the framework of the use of new technologies, Greece had to increase the numbers of professional soldiers to about 15,000 at an initial phase, but conscription would remain the basic option in staffing, he said. Greater efficiency also meant savings.
"The defence ministry has drawn a five-year armaments plan -to be followed by a new one - without further increasing the burden on the budget," he said.
 Venizelos criticises ND over constitutional reform proposalsATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Sunday constitutional reform proposals put forward by main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis last week betrayed a makeshift mentality, a disposition to demagogy and a complete lack of imagination.
"I wonder how it is possible to consider as a serious contribution to constitutional concerns a batch of measures which cannot be debated by the next Parliament, given that this is tied by decisions which the present Parliament has adopted regarding the revision of very specific provisions," he said.
Venizelos, who is a constitutional law professor, said the adoption of Karamanlis's proposal for the election of the president of the republic by popular suffrage could only spell trouble.
"Mr. Karamanlis proposes that we abandon the parliamentary system of government and go to a semi-presidential system which our constitution does not allow and which will create a permanent source of friction and problems," he said.
"He does not seem to be satisfied with the smooth and impeccable functioning of the political system we have achieved in the last 15 years, since the last revision of the constitution, he is not inspired by the model of a president of the republic which the incumbent, Costis Stephanopoulos, personifies," he added.
 Papariga calls for rallying of forces against "imperialism"ATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Protest voters must join forces with the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in order to thwart dangerous designs for a Center-Left or Centre-Right power-sharing after the next election, KKE Secretary-General Aleka Papariga told a rally in the Athens neighbhourhood of Peristeri on Sunday.
"Every vote that abandons PASOK and New Democracy must express a clear option for resistance, a disposition for a break with the policy that is to the interest of monopolies and imperialist organisations... The deepest the break, the better the positions from which the people will be able to fight after the elections," she said.
 Self-styled anarchist groups claim arson attacks in AthensATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Two separate self-styled anarchist organisations claimed responsibility for acts of arson, one on Saturday and the second on Sunday, via calls to an Athens television station and a daily newspaper.
Self-styled "Street Revolutionaries" anarchist group claimed responsibility for the arson attack against a bus of the Hellenic-German School in Athens, at about 8 p.m. on Saturday.
"Anarchist Faction", claimed responsibility for an arson attack against an Italian embassy car at about 2: 30 a.m. Sunday.
 Rescue efforts underway to locate missing sailboatATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Greek and Italian sea rescue operations began to locate the Turkish flagged "Deli Sarpa" sailboat, which sailed from Corfu and was expected but did not arrive at the port of Messina, Italy.
The boat sailed from Corfu last Monday with three Greeks and three Italians on board but has not yet reached its destination.
A C-130 transport plane of the Greek Airforce was assisting coast guard efforts to locate the vessel.
 Drug arrestsATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Two Athens men were arrested on drug smuggling charges Saturday evening in northern Corfu following a police chase.
Police said the two suspects were apprehended with some 124 kilos of hashish in their possession, allegedly dropped off on the Ionian island by Albanian drug runners on an isolated beach near the Sidari region. Authorities said the two had arrived on Corfu a day earlier and had rented a vehicle used to transport the hashish.
According to reports, Anargyros Athanasopoulos and Constan-tinos Karaindros, both 25, were charged in relation to the incident.
Thieves make away with 20 million drc worth of jewels
Unknown assailants stole 20 million drachmas worth of gold plates and jewelry from an Athens jewelry making shop at about 3 a.m. Sunday, police said.
According to police the alarm system of the shop did go off, but the assailants made away with their loot before the owner and police officers could come to the scene of the crime.
 Turkish police arrests 289 immigrants bound for EUANKARA, 24/01/2000 (มอม) (ANA)
Turkish police arrested 289 undocumented immigrants attempting to enter Greece over the past week, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.
According to the report the immigrants belonged to 12 different nationalities and their final destination was countries throughout the European Union.
 Kouyioumtzis donates 60 paintings to Drama prefectureATHENS, 24/01/2000 (มอม)
Internationally known painter Aggelos Kouyioumtzis donated 60 of his works to his home prefecture of Drama, northeastern Greece.
The paintings initiated the creation of a public Art Gallery in the rural eastern Macedonian city, funded by the local administra-tions and local cultural societies.
Kouyioumtzis was born in the village of Petrousa a few kilometers outside of Drama, but worked in Athens since 1974. His work gained international acclaim during the 1978-1986 period, when he participated in art exhibitions in Vienna, Paris, London and Copenhagen.
 Titles of Sunday editions of Athens newspapers:ADESMEFTOS TYPOS (Mitsis): I am changing everything! Costas Karamanlis is determined to radically change everything. Radical new programmes for education, health, economy.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS (Rizos): Sophocleous (ASE) is sick! From the joyrides of August to the misery of January.
AKROPOLIS: Thinking of the ballot boxes once again. The latest discussions in Maximou, for elections in April or May.
APOGEVMATINI: Private Universities. Greek legislation to be harmonised (with EU) in February
AVGHI: Metro: Hopes and mistakes. After decades of delays.
AVRIANI: Obstacle to wonton unlicensed building. A landmark decision of the Supreme Court, puts an end to the land usage changes.
ELEFTHERI ORA: They would gladly eat the tall guy (C. Mistotakis) and Dora (Bakoyianni) for stew. Mitsos and Costas In the next Dionysian meal
TYPOS: How will the 9,000 hires for the municipal police take place.
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: Elections with a double masterkey. March-April the ballot box months with EMU unlocked.
EPOHI: Ridicule for the ministry, the Kazazis report. Pre-election buttering up of students and parents. Refusal for in depth dialogue on Education.
ETHNOS: A new era for Athens. The Metro is changing lifestyles in the capital city.
KATHIMERINI: The weapons of Simitis and Karamanlis for the approaching elections. The two parties open their cards on the table, in light of the Spring confrontation.
LOGOS: (Social Security Minister) Papaioannou denied scenarios for pension benefit age limits, but there will be seven changes to the social security system by June.
NIKI: Intransigent warm attitudes by Ankara. Not one step back on important issues.
PARON: Elections in 60 days! They will be announced following the Presidential elections.
RIZOSPASTIS: The drachma assumed one tenth of its value over the past 20 years.
TO VIMA: Package of measures. Radical changes following the EMU entry.
VRADYNI: Lifejacket for the stock exchange party. All that will be changing over the next few days