|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-06-13
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Albright confirms US-Greek contacts on terrorism, Clinton satisfied with effort for cooperation
WASHINGTON, 13/06/2000 (ANA-T. Ellis)The United States is in contact with the Greek government regarding the murder of the British military attache to Athens last week, and has received assurances that everything is being done to find the culprits and stop terrorist attacks, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Monday.
"I spoke to Foreign Minister Papandreou earlier today and we discussed the terrible murder and how badly we both feel, as well as how important it is for Greece to act in the strongest possible way. He assured me that the Greek government is very concerned over the issue and feels from its point of view, not just that of foreigners there, that it is very important that the problem of November 17 (terrorist organization) is solved," she told reporters before leaving for Damascus to attend the funeral of Syrian president Assad.
Albright repeated that the US administration had rejected the proposal of the National Committee on Terrorism for the imposition of sanctions on Greece, and had distanced itself from the allegations of former CIA director James Woolsey that members of the Greek government had not acted on information that could lead to the arrest of terrorists.
"It is not in our intentions to impose sanctions on Greece. We wish to work together with the Greek government and we have their assurance that they are doing what they have to... I have no way of confirming what Mr. Woolsey says," she said.
The British military attache brigadier Stephen Saunders was killed last Thursday by the elusive November 17 terrorist group on a congested Athens highway.
Clinton: White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said on Monday "President Clinton is satisfied with the continuing effort for cooperation to combat terrorism", adding that the US president "does not believe that sanctions are justified" against Greece.
Replying to a relevant press question on James Woolsey's statements, Lockhart said that he didn't know the answer to that and that he was not aware whether President Bill Clinton is informed.
 Public order minister holds talks on terrorism with PM, FM
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis held talks on Monday, the contents of which were not disclosed.
It is believed that the talks focused on the memorandum of cooperation between Greece and the United States on terrorism and to the request Greece will make for US judicial contribution in order for the Greek police to be able to take official testimonies by former CIA chief James Woïlsey concerning terrorism.
It is also believed that Chrysohoidis briefed the Prime Minister on the investigations being made concerning the assassination of British military attache Brigadier Stephen Saunders in Athens last week.
Chrysohoidis met earlier at the public order ministry with Foreign Minister George Papandreou. The two men reportedly discussed widely anticipated reforms for Greece's central government-controlled anti-terrorist units and the amendment of judicial procedures.
In addition, Chrysohoidis Papandreou are to brief several western European governments over the deadly attack by the elusive "November 17" terrorist group against the British defense attache.
The two high-ranking ministers will also convey Athens' determination, as spelled out over the past few days by Simitis and other government officials, to upgrade its international cooperation in the anti-terrorism sector.
No results so far, 'Woolsey should testify if he has evidence': The government is unsatisfied with the results achieved so far in the investigation to uncover the terrorist group November 17, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday.
The search for the terrorist organization, which has eluded capture for nearly quarter of a century, intensified last week after the group shot and killed a British military attache, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, in Athens on Thursday.
Reppas denied that Greek authorities had a list of suspected members of November 17. He said that former justice minister Stelios Papathemelis had submitted evidence received from the New Democracy government of 1990-1993 to the Supreme Court prosecutor in charge of the case, but that the ensuing investigation had failed to yield any results.
In reference to the statements made last week by former CIA chief James Woolsey and the assistance requested by the Greek government in order to have him testify in Athens, the spokesman reiterated that if Woolsey had such evidence he had a duty to give testimony.
Reppas also underlined that Greece remains a safe country and that the situation here is much better than elsewhere in the EU. The scourge of terrorism, he added, had to be fought jointly by everyone, because its victims were Greece and society. He rejected all suggestions that Greek judges might be intimidated into not carrying out their duty with regard to the terrorists and said that the existing legal framework was adequate and that any changes would be marginal.
Asked about a meeting on Friday between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the leaders of the political parties, the spokesman said that the main subject of this meeting would be Greece's entry into EMU but that if one of the political leaders raised the issue of terrorism that would be discussed as well.
Defense minister signs condolences book for slain British attache: National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos visited the British Embassy in Athens on Monday and signed the condolences book opened for British military attache Stephen Saunders who was killed in Athens last week by the elusive 'November 17' terrorist group, and stressed Greece's obligation to promote all necessary measures to enable a response to the new phase in the attack against the country by international terrorism.
"We Greeks are deeply annoyed because international terrorism made our country a target once again. For this reason, we have a profound obligation to promote all measures which are necessary to enable a response during the new phase in the attack against our country by international terrorism," he said.
Replying to a press question on possible cooperation with the United States in this direction, Tsohatzopoulos clarified that international terrorism is handled in cooperation with all countries and the government is moving on this basis, as it has done in the past.
 FM Papandreou to represent Greece at Assad's funeral
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Foreign Minister George Papandreou will represent Greece at the funeral of Syrian President Haffez al-Assad, which will take place in Damascus on Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced on Monday.
Papandreou postponed his Monday trip to Brussels to participate in an EU General Affairs Council. Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi will replace him at the meeting.
 EBO begins production of 'Patriot' missile launchers
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Greece's state-run Hellenic Arms Industry (EBO) has begun production of launchers for the US-made "Patriot" anti-aircraft missiles, a joint effort in cooperation with the weapon system's manufacturer.
The production of the launchers by the Greek side, a deal worth around 4.5 billion drachmas, is part of an offsets agreement related to the sale of the defense system. The Greek military's whopping 200-million-dollar purchase also includes support systems, parts, technical support and personnel training programs for the anti-aircraft system.
The launchers will be produced at EBO's plant near Athens.
The Massachusetts-based Raytheon Corp manufactures the missile system.
During the approval phase by relevant US Congressional committees, the US Pentagon had stated that Greece needed this particular anti-aircraft system to upgrade its air defense, adding that the Hellenic armed forces would have no difficulty in absorbing the Patriot's cutting-edge technology.
One or more supplementary accords on offset benefits were envisioned, as well. (One US dollar is worth about 370 drachmas)
 Contract signed for two all weather Sikorsky helicopters for Greek Navy
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)A contract was signed on Monday for the procurement of two all weather Sikorsky S-70B-6 helicopters for the Greek Navy and the upgrading of eight existing helicopters with advanced electro-visual systems. The helicopters have an anti-submarine defense, search and observation capacity. The contract anticipates an option for the purchase of another two helicopters of the same type.
The General Armaments Department and the United Technologys Sikorsky company signed the agreement.
The total cost of the program amounts to 107 million dollars, while delivery of the helicopters will take place, according to reports, in 40 months from the contract's activation.
National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said with the specific contract the Greek Navy will strengthen its capacity to control security in the wider Aegean region and guarantee what the Greeks are expecting: its contribution to the country's security and defense.
 Talks between Greece, FYROM over name issue to resume
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Negotiations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will resume on Tuesday over the issue of the latter country's name.
Talks between the two Balkan countries' ambassadors to the United Nations are scheduled in New York under the mediation of US diplomat Matthew Nimetz.
The issue of FYROM's name is the only major obstacle remaining before an overall normalization of relations between the two neighbors.
 Simitis to brief Cabinet, President and political leaders on Greece's entry into EMU
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Tuesday morning to brief him on Greece's prospective entry into EMU, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday.
On Wednesday, Simitis will meet with the Cabinet to discuss the same topic, while on Friday he will brief the leaders of the political parties.
 Simitis leaves for EU summit on Sunday
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis flies to Portugal on Sunday to take part in a European Union summit on June 19-20 that is expected to approve Greece's entry into the euro zone in January, 2001.
As part of the summit in Feira, the EU's finance ministers will also meet on June 19, with National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou representing Greece.
 Deputy FM receives courtesy call by Turkish Ambassador to Athens
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Angeliki Laiou received a courtesy call by Turkish Ambassador to Athens Ali Tuygan on Monday.
She also had a meeting with the deputy rector of Ontario's Queens University Dr. Legget for talks on the establishment of a faculty for Modern Greek studies.
Laiou will leave for London on Tuesday to attend the Runciman award ceremony. The award, bearing the name of the famous Scottish philhellene and Byzantine studies expert, has been given by the Anglo-Hellenic Federation every year since 1983 to the British writer whose book is considered as having promoted the better understanding of an aspect of the life of Greece in Britain.
 Karamanlis and Bakoyianni on tense terms
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Relations between main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and prominent party member and former minister Dora Bakoyianni remain tense after their open clash at the weekend party congress, reports said on Monday.
According to the reports, the two avoided any contact during the funeral of a former deputy in Thessaloniki and their subsequent flight to Athens.
Party cadres close to the New Democracy leader are said to consider that Bakoyianni's attack on him at the congress made the vast majority of members rally round Karamanlis. Others go so far as to say that the gap between the two is too large to bridge and fear it will become even wider.
 Tsovolas makes overtures to Right
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)A left-wing political leader on Monday made overtures to traditional conservative forces opposed to Greece's unconditional integration in the European Union.
Alleging that the government had colluded with media and business interests to silence and slander all opposition, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas said the aim of this "alliance" was the country's unconditional integration in the acquis communautaire.
"Only two months after the elections, (the main opposition) New Democracy is coming under a devastating attack ... with the orchestrated support of the media," he said.
Tsovolas said that two poles had been formed on the Greek political scene, one of "modernization", and of those forces that considered that nations and their identities had not yet fulfilled their historic role.
"Such forces can be detected both in New Democracy and the Coalition of the Left, which houses political groupings that can distinguish between modernization and the flattening of all cultural values," he said.
 Cacoyiannis promotes issue of missing Greek Cypriots missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)World acclaimed film director Michael Cacoyiannis has undertaken to promote abroad an interview taken from Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in which he admitted for the first time that Greek Cypriot prisoners were delivered by the Turkish army to the Turkish Cypriot paramilitary organization TMT which killed them for revenge. Cypriot writer and composer Stavros Sideras took the interview.
"We have documentation since 1996 and we have done nothing so far," Cacoyiannis said. He said he is determined to make every effort not to allow the issue of the 1,619 missing Greek Cypriots since 1974 lapse and take the issue to the International court at The Hague, or any other international organization, "even risking my life if necessary."
Promotion of the issue and a discussion were held at the Hellenic American Union on Monday in the presence of Cacoyiannis, Sideras, the Ambassador of Cyprus to Greece Christodoulos Pasiardis and the managing director of the Hellenic American Union Leonidas-Foivos Koskos.
"Where are the mass graves? Why has a reply not yet been given to the families of the missing Greek Cypriots? What steps have been taken since 1996 when Denktash himself admitted that the missing Greek Cypriots were delivered by the Turkish army to TMT and were killed by the paramilitary organization which he himself had founded and led?" were some of the questions heard at the event.
 Karamanlis attends funeral of former ND minister and deputy
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis attended the funeral of former ND minister and deputy George Tzitzikostas on Monday. Tzitzikostas, who died last week, was buried in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.
Tzitzikostas was termed a noble of politics in eulogies made, while a message of condolences by Ex-King Constantine was also read at the funeral service. Minister of Macedonia and Thrace George Paschalidis represented the Prime Minister and the government.
 The government guarantees transparency, efficiency in privatization, Papantoniou says
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The Greek government guarantees transparency and efficiency in its privatization program, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference on the occasion of the sale of minority stake in Commercial Bank to Credit Agricole, worth 94 billion drachmas, Papantoniou hailed the positive outcome and said it would pave the way (due to its good terms) to other privatizations.
He admitted he was under pressure to "accelerate privatization procedures" and attacked criticism from former ND Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis on the ministry's handling of the case.
Papantoniou said there were to approaches to the privatization-flotation drive: one that was followed by Third World and Asian countries and another followed by European Union states.
He said the government was considering the following factors in its privatization decisions: high price, credible partners, terms, guarantees and operating plans and administration acceptance.
"This policy takes time, that's why we cannot be precise to any timetables. It took almost nine months to complete Commercial Bank's sale, I personally was under pressure to accelerate procedures, but if I did the terms of the sale would not have been favorable," he said.
Papantoniou said the government was determined to protect national interests.
He dismissed reports that has set a deadline for the sale of a company and said that "a large round of privatization" would end in summer 2001.
 Tourism to Greece expected to remain at 1999 levels
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The Federation of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) told a press conference on Monday tourism to Greece from abroad this year will remain at 1999 levels. SETE appears less optimistic than the Institute of Tourist Research and Predictions, which had recently, spoke of an increase of up to seven percent in this year's tourist movement.
SETE further noted the alarming fact that despite the increase in arrivals, overnight stays are decreasing. The average stay of an alien in Greece has currently dropped to 11 days.
SETE analyzed its positions on tourist policy and proposed, among others, that efforts should be made to link the 2004 Athens Olympic Games to Greek tourism, particularly at communication level, and that the government's effort to create new jobs should give priority to tourist investments which create jobs.
 Gov't preparing bill on e-commerce
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Deputy Development Minister Milena Apostolaki said on Monday that a legal committee had been established to process a bill on e-commerce that will comply with a European Union directive for the sector.
Apostolaki, whose portfolio includes e-commerce, said the committee's task would be accomplished in four months.
 Athens Medical inaugurates Interbalkan Medical Center in Thessaloniki
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The Athens Medical Group will inaugurate on Saturday a Interbalkan Medical Center in Thessaloniki, which combined with the group's diagnostics centers operating or expected to operate in neighboring countries, will push forward the group as a regional leader in healthcare services in the Balkans.
The inauguration will be made by former USSR president, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will offer a blessing during the ceremony, which will be attended by Albania's vice-president, the Montenegrin prime minister and more than eight health ministers from the wider Balkan region.
The new medical center of G. Apostolopoulos Group, will offer all medical specialties (general medical, maternity, pediatric, etc). It has a capacity of 450 beds and it is build on an area of 52,000 square meters.
Total investment of the project was 27 billion drachmas.
The new medical centers workforce, around 1,800 doctors, medical and administration staff, will be selected from the wider Thessaloniki region.
The Interbalkan Medical Center has merged with the listed Athens Medical Center Group.
The Group's vice-chairman, Vassilis Apostolopoulos, said that the company plans to build a new Medical Center in Athens ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and new diagnostics centers in Bulgaria, FYROM and Montenegro.
 Prospects for development of wind power upbeat
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The Hellenic Wind Energy Society on Monday called for the more energetic attention of the state and private enterprise to the development of wind energy and the implementation of a relevant EU directive envisaging a 22 contribution to total European energy production by 2010.
At a conference in Athens, including scientists, industrialists and political figures, members of the European Wind Energy Society presented the results of the European Altener program for the development of wind energy. It was stressed that the production of wind energy was now commercially feasible and environ-mentally friendly. A major drawback in Greece was that the Public Power Corporation was not technologically prepared to absorb the wind energy potential.
Nevertheless, the country is projected to increase the share of wind energy in total power production from 0.4 percent in 1997 to 14.5 percent in 1997.
 Greek stocks end lower in subdued trade
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)Equity prices ended Monday's session lower on the Athens Stock Exchange hit by persistent low turnover and lack of buying interest.
Dealers said investors largely ignored a positive outcome in talks to sell a minority stake in Commercial Bank of Greece to Credit Agricole.
The news had only temporarily encouraged sentiment in the market pushing the general index 0.95 percent higher to 4,478 points initially, but lack of follow-through buying paved the way to profit-taking.
Finally, the index ended at 4,379.32 points, off 1.29 percent. Turnover fell to 92 billion drachmas, below the 100 billion drachmas level for the first time in 26 sessions.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,422.21 points, off 1.36 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 1.37 percent to 638.86 points.
Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 8,220.48
-1.28% Leasing: 927.78 -0.28% Insurance: 2,893.76
+0.21% Investment: 1,768.14 -0.42% Construction:
2,411.51 -2.17% Industrials: 2,697.85 -1.21% Miscellaneous: 4,622.15 -1.04% Holding: 4,998.97
The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks ended at 894.92 points, off 3.80 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 277 to 61 with another 11 issues unchanged.
Iaso Maternity, ETBAbank, Commercial Bank and Evropharma were the most heavily traded stocks.
Leading shares' closing prices (in Drs): National Bank: 15,700 Alpha Credit: 14,375 Commercial Bank: 17,900 Ergobank: 6,925 Eurobank: 9,605 Heracles Cement: 8,730 Titan Cement (c): 14,005 Hellenic Telecoms: 8,850 Panafon: 4,425 Hellenic Petroleum: 4,135 Intracom: 14,600 Minoan Lines: 5,500 Hellenic Bottling: 5,840
Equity futures fall in line with indices: Equity futures finished lower on Monday, tracking the two indices on which they are based.
The FTSE/ASE 20 closed 1.35 percent down, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 1.36 percent lower.
Turnover was 8.9 billion drachmas from 9.9 billion drachmas a day earlier.
A total of 1,150 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index with turnover at 5.6 billion drachmas.
Changing hands on the FTSE/ASE 40 were 1,275 futures on turnover of 3.3 billion drachmas.
Bonds nose up in light trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Monday finished higher in light, buy-oriented trade.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.05 percent, the same as the previous session; and the yield on the equivalent German bund was 5.15 percent.
The Greek paper's yield spread over German bunds was 88-89 basis points from 90 basis points a day earlier.
Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 20 billion drachmas from 172 billion drachmas in the previous session.
Buy orders accounted for the whole of turnover.
Drachma up vs. euro, down vs. dollar: The drachma on Monday rose against the euro and dropped versus the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market.
At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 336.500 drachmas from 336.670 drachmas in the previous session.
Also at the fixing, the US dollar was set at 353.180 drachmas from 352.380 drachmas a day earlier.
The central bank intervened at the fix, selling around 60 million euros to meet demand, traders said.
 New aid program for Yugoslavia war orphans begins in Athens
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The Greek Solidarity Caravan on Monday announced a new program for "financially adopting" children orphaned or crippled as a result of NATO bombings in Kosovo and Yugoslavia.
The initiative will start with 972 children in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 21 crippled, 612 orphans, 304 with a crippled father and 35 whose father is missing.
The Greek Solidarity Caravan has had extensive experience in this form of aid, which it has so far used to assist 9,000 orphans in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Prospective donors select a specific child that they will help and with which they can communicate, in return for which they give 10,000 drachmas a month for a year or more.
To become a donor in this new program, one must get in touch with the Caravan's offices in Athens: Eleftherias Square 1, 10553 Athens (Tel: 01 331 4334).
 Local man arrested for speedboat at fatality off Mykonos
Athens, 13/06/2000 (ANA)The pilot of a speedboat alleged to have run-over a 22-year-old American tourist on the holiday island of Mykonos this week was arrested late Sunday evening on Cyclades isle.
The victim, Michael Thomas Martin, was swimming off Mykonos' Paradise beach when a speedboat hit him.
The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Kostas Aggelatakis, was due to appear before a local prosecutor after receiving a 48-hour extension to testify.
 Holger pays farewell visit to President Clerides
NICOSIA, 13/06/2000 (CNA/ANA)Outgoing UN Secretary General's acting special representative James Holger paid on Monday a farewell visit to President Glafcos Clerides and expressed the view that "efforts are on the way" to solve the Cyprus problem.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Holger said he was sad to leave the island, pointing out he has friends both in the government-controlled and the Turkish-occupied areas and stressed that "the people of Cyprus deserve a better future, not a situation of uncertainty".
Holger, who is leaving the island on Tuesday, told journalists "efforts are on the way to solve your problem, the problem of all Cypriots" and said he will definitely be here "not if but when an agreement will be signed". He expressed the view that the third round of proximity talks scheduled for to start on July 5 in Geneva will be very important "because substantive discussions are expected to begin, in other words negotiations as such".
Holger also paid farewell visits on Monday to House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou and Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot party leaders.
Holger's successor Zbigniew Wolosowicz arrives here on Thursday.
 FM Kasoulides to attend IGC meeting in Luxembourg
NICOSIA, 13/06/2000 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides leaves Tuesday for Luxembourg to participate in the Intergovernmental Conference of the European Union.
During his stay in Luxembourg the Cypriot minister will have a series of bilateral meetings with European counterparts, an official press release said.
Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990 and two years ago started substantive accession negotiations. So far it has closed provisionally more chapters of the acquis communautaire than any other candidate country. The minister returns home Friday.
 Russian envoy due in Cyprus
NICOSIA, 13/06/2000 (CNA/ANA)Russian Special Representative for Cyprus, Vladimir Brigin, was due to arrive here on Monday in view of the third round of UN-led proximity talks, scheduled to begin July 5 in Geneva.
Brigin will be received by President Glafcos Clerides on Tuesday and will also meet with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied the northern third of the island.
Proximity talks, separate meetings with the two sides, began in December 1999 in New York and a second round was held in February 2000 in Geneva, aiming at preparing the ground for substantive negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.