|Friday, 4 December 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-10-07
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Papandreou to meet Kostunica in Belgrade on Saturday
PARIS, 07/10/2000 (ANA/O. Tsipyra)Foreign Minister George Papandreou said he would visit Belgrade on Saturday morning in an effort to contribute to a smooth transitional period for Yugoslavia following the presidential elections there.
Addressing the press after a meeting with French counterpart Hubert Vedrine, Papandreou said he would meet with the new Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica. He added that he had no intention of meeting Slobodan Milosevic. A new era begins for Yugoslavia and our relations as well as for the entire region, Papandreou said.
He said he would convey the European Union French presidencys will to contribute towards Yugoslavias European course, to help the countrys reconstruction and include it in the stability pact.
Earlier in Athens, diplomatic sources said the Greek minister's visit aims to underline Greece's full support in Yugoslavia's efforts to join the European institutions as soon as possible, a first step being the gradual lifting of the sanctions against the country. A decision on the lifting of the sanctions is expected to be taken, following a Greek proposal, at a European Union General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.
Papandreou will fly to Belgrade from Paris: Earlier on Friday, Papandreou congratulated Kostunica for his presidential victory, during a telephone conversation with him, an ANA dispatch from Belgrade said. According to an announcement by his office, Kostunica expressed his thanks to the Greek government and to the Greek people "for aid given so far and the understanding shown to the Serb people over the years of difficult challenges which are now behind us."
Kostunica invited Papandreou to visit Yugoslavia as soon as possible. The invitation was accepted with satisfaction, Kostunica's office announced.
Simitis hails change in Yugoslavia, Greece to request lifting of sanctions: Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday said Greece's policy in Yugoslavia has been vindicated by the recent developments.
Simitis, speaking at his ruling party's central committee meeting in downtown Athens, said Athens' knowledge of the region and its "prudent policy" aimed at buttressing peace and security through the Balkans.
In other comments, the Greek PM hailed the Serbian people as "voting for a democratic change", while noting that coolheadedness and responsibility by all political forces in Yugoslavia is necessary.
"We will always be on their (people's) side, supporters of their rapprochement with the European community. The events in Yugoslavia are proof that peace, development and a democratic course are still the necessities for the region," Simitis said.
On her part, Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said the situation was "normal, beyond all expectations. Of course, there will be a fluid situation for some time..."
Papazoi noted that Greece would request the lifting of European Union sanctions - oil shipments, flights, investments and trade with Yugoslav companies -- against Belgrade during a Monday session of the General Affairs Council.
Finally, she said Athens would also call for the re-activation of a credit line eyeing the reconstruction of Yugoslavia.
Greece warns Milosevic, associates against seeking asylum: The Greek government on Friday warned deposed Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic and his close associates not to seek asylum in the country, as increased security was ordered at border crossings and airports throughout Greece.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas added that Athens has no information on Milosevic's whereabouts or of the rumored takeoff of three Russian-made jetliners from Belgrade with high-ranking Milosevic regime officials aboard.
"Greece will not welcome individuals (from the Milosevic regime) seeking political asylum ... we will act within the framework of European Union decisions," the spokesman said, before terming the prospect of Milosevic seeking asylum in Greece as an "undesirable development".
He also left open the possibility of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou traveling to Belgrade himself for talks with the new government of Vojislav Kostunica.
"Such a visit would ostensibly take place in consultation with Mr. Papandreou's counterparts and the new Yugoslav leadership.
Finally, Reppas said no Yugoslav flight had arrived or asked for permission to land at any Greek airport.
In echoing earlier statements by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the spokesman spoke of a "vindication of Greece's policy" regarding Yugoslavia and praised Kostunica as enjoying "the recognition of European leaders and the president; he's a reliable interlocutor on the international level and has the people's trust."
 Greek FM addresses European CollegeBRUGES, 07/10/2000 (ANA - G. Zitouniati): Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Friday addressed an event at the European College here, a post graduate studies institution focusing on European unification issues and funded by the Union.
During his address, Papandreou said that the Union's embargo against Yugoslavia was a policy that reached its limits and can not continue, adding that the sanctions could not topple Milosevic nor could they force democratic changes in that country.
Papandreou insisted that the Union should not only lift sanctions, but it should also provide economic and humanitarian aid to the Serbs, adding "the people should not be punished for Milosevic's policies".
He also said that Milosevic would not remain in power or in a state of coexistence with the Yugoslav President elect Vojislav Kostunica.
Political leaders hail historic changes in Yugoslavia - Communists reserved: Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis on Friday hailed the "historic changes taking place in Yugoslavia in the direction of democratization", while Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos urged the backing of democratic forces and the stabilization of the situation in Yugoslavia. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) however voiced great reservations.
"We hail the historic changes taking place on Yugoslavia's political scene in the direction of democratization. The will of the Serb people should be respected immediately by all. There is no ground for the violent overthrow of the will expressed now for a change in the course of this country of great suffering," Karamanlis said.
He said the "traditional friend of Greece in the Balkans" should retake the position it deserves on the European scene, adding that now is the time for the European Union to prove in practice that it wants and can help in the difficult path Yugoslavia has before it.
On its part, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in an announcement that Thursday night's developments in neighboring Yugoslavia constitute another step in the western powers' "crude and overt intervention" in Yugoslavia's domestic affairs.
"The new dramatic developments in Yugoslavia will not lead to the path of normalcy for the benefit of the people, as it is being claimed by various sides, and will have wider repercussions since Yugoslavia's sinking into the imperialist system will be a negative event in the entire Balkan region. Talk of triumphs on the so-called promotion of democracy is made to cover up the crime being perpetrated against the Yugoslav people," KKE said.
KKE accused the Greek government of proving once again that "it is an accomplice in the crime being carried out in the Balkans".
Proposing the backing of democratic forces and the stabilization of the situation in Yugoslavia, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said the embargo should be lifted immediately, movements capable of causing dissension should be avoided, as well as movements leading to a change in borders, compensation should be paid for the bombings and the stability pact should be changed to include Yugoslavia.
Constantopoulos, making an assessment of the new situation, said that after the political change the problems of Yugoslavia and the region remain, "since many of them are due to the intervention by the US and the European Union which have contributed to destabilization in the region with bombings, the embargo and the promotion of nationalistic and secessionist plans".
He called on the Greek government and all European countries to work towards shaping a pacifist European policy that will treat Yugoslavia as an equal European country and will include the Balkan countries in a unified Europe.
 Simitis addresses PASOK Committee on foreign and domestic policy issues
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis addressed Greek-Turkish affairs, the judicial inquiry into the "Express Samina" shipwreck and other domestic issues while speaking at the ruling PASOK Central Committee on Friday.
Despite the improving climate in Greek-Turkish relations, Simitis said, "Ankara hesitates to adopt self-evident steps toward its European orientation. Turkey seems to be indecisive; she wavers according to its internal problems. Its maturity is late in coming. We are stable in the directions that were adopted in Helsinki, and which is the European course of Turkey".
As for Cyprus, the Greek premier said "we stand by Cyprus with the clear target of a bi-zonal, bi-communal under one sovereign Cyprus Republic, for achieving a just and viable solution, according to the United Nations' resolutions."
With regard to the "Express Samina" shipwreck off the island of Paros, he reiterated that he wanted "plenty of light" to be shed on the causes of the tragedy, that claimed the lives of 79 people.
"We are requesting the speeding up of the judicial investigation and we will achieve it with the special amendment we submitted (in Parliament). There are no limits in investigating for those responsible, whether in regards to persons, or shipping companies and state employees. There is no one in the party (PASOK) that does not want plenty of light to be shed," Simitis said.
He denounced those in the ruling party that would choose to defend the shipping company, saying "our behavior sends a message, let's not forget that".
The premier also addressed the government's success in leading Greece to the European Monetary Union (EMU), adding, "our strategic aim is to promote the real convergence in all sectors, to lift the standard of living and improve living conditions."
Simitis also said that the government's goal for the next four-year term was to combat unemployment, while he accused main opposition New Democracy of undermining faith in the political system by constantly stirring up the issue of graft and vested interests in public life.
 'Out of context' charge aired in relation to Burns interview regarding terrorism, 2004
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The government on Friday said the US envoy to Athens maintains that statements from an interview he granted to a major US television network regarding terrorism in Greece and security for the 2004 Games were broadcast "out of context" and not aired in their entirety.
According to government spokesman and press minister Dimitris Reppas, US ambassador Nicholas Burns contacted the Greek public order minister, the prime minister's office, and Reppas himself over the particularly critical media report.
Reppas said the US envoy noted that his taped interview with an ABC correspondent, on the whole, painted a positive picture of Greece and was optimistic vis-a-vis preparations and security for the 2004 Athens Olympiad.
"Many of the things he (Burns) said were not aired by the network in question," Reppas said, before referring to a similar statement by the US State Department.
 Representatives of EU Intergovernmental Committee visit Simitis, Papandreou, Kaklamanis
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)European Parliament Intergovernmental Committee representatives Elmer Brock and Dimitris Tsatsos on Friday met with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.
During a press conference, the representatives said that the positions of the Greek government were very close to those of the Europarliament regarding institutional changes in the Union.
They added that the Intergovernmental Committee delayed in completing its work, due mainly to the differences between larger and smaller member-states of the Union.
"We hope that the extraordinary Summit in Biarritz, France, next week, the 15 leaders of the EU will force forward these issues and especially their political aspect," Tsatsos said.
"Only if the smaller countries secure an equal standing in the EU architecture, will substantial progress be achieved," Brock said.
 Stathopoulos defends amendment for faster justice in cases that 'disrupt society'
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos on Friday rejected press reports on a proposed amendment for speeding up the judicial process for certain kinds of cases, saying that the sobriquet "express trials" was inaccurate and denigrated the quality of justice given.
He said the amendment was aimed at the sort of cases that greatly disrupted the life of society as a whole, creating insecurity and shaking people's faith in justice and law and order. As examples, he mentioned the pending court cases for the collapse of the Ricomex factory and another 26 buildings in Athens during last year's earthquake, the crash of a state aircraft that killed alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, the collapse of a bridge in Paiania, the Ocalan affair and other highly-publicized cases.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference on "Biotechnology and Civil Law," Stathopoulos was quick to point out that the measure would not concern the process of holding preliminary hearings or the trial but the judge's leeway for setting a trial date.
At the moment, he said, prosecutors and judges had very limited freedom to set the time a case would go to trial, and that it was not easy for a judge or prosecutor to make such a decision without the express provision of the law.
Regarding the various reactions in Parliament, he said these were nothing out of the ordinary, while he did not rule out "certain improvements with respect to certain meanings" provided the essence of the amendment remained unchanged.
Reppas says government stands firm on decision to table 'speed trial' amendment: Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas rejected criticism of a proposed amendment for speeding up trials in certain cases on Friday, saying that the government would stand by its decision.
The amendment aims to speed up the rate at which cases "of particular importance to society" are brought to trial.
Commenting, Reppas said that the criticism leveled against the government's proposal was completely unfair.
"The speed at which justice is dispensed is an important issue for our country, we stand firm on this position," he said.
 Greek stocks rebound at the end of the week
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Equity prices rebounded strongly at the end of the week on Athens Stock Exchange, reversing a three-day decline, which pushed the general index 5.32 percent lower.
Buying interest focused on shares in the construction sector reflecting investors' optimism ahead of the presentation of a draft bill by the government over a restructuring of the sector.
Traders said the market moved strongly upward in the last 45 minutes of trade after a wave of buying orders for Alpha Bank's shares.
The Greek market shrugged off developments in Yugoslavia (analysts said that the market might have reacted positively to news from the Balkan state) and the publication of a report on the fair value of the Athens bourse by Morgan Stanley.
The general index ended at 4,027.09 points, up 1.73 percent, with turnover an improved 201 billion drachmas, reflecting the block transfer of CosmOTE's shares, worth 123.4 billion drachmas, to the underwriters of its initial public offering.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.29 percent higher at 2,272.23 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 1.59 percent to 504.29 points.
Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 8,255.79
+1.62% Leasing: 650.55 +0.66% Insurance: 2,186.01 +0.28% Investment: 1,581.59 +0.51% Construction: 1,997.41 +8.67% Industrials: 2,363.87
+1.74% Miscellaneous: 3,986.97 Holding: 4,566.47
The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks ended at 561.08 points, up 3.02 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 226 to 110 with another 19 issues unchanged.
Hellenic Telecoms, Alpha Bank, Forthnet, Panafon and National Bank were the most heavily traded stocks.
Leading shares' closing prices (in Drs): National Bank: 15,005 Titan Cement (c): 14,100 Alpha Bank: 14,600 Hellenic Telecoms: 7,195 Commercial Bank: 18,650 Panafon: 3,690 Hellenic Petroleum: 3,950 Eurobank: 11,000 Attica Enterprises: 3,140 Piraeus Bank: 6,570 Intracom: 12,000 Lambrakis Press: 8,700 Minoan Lines: 2,430 Heracles Cement: 6,155
Hellenic Bottling: 5,150
Equity futures rise, tracking Athens bourse: Equity futures traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished higher on Friday, in line with the indices on which they are based.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index closed 1.29 percent up, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 1.59 percent higher.
Turnover was 25.9 billion drachmas.
A total of 4,763 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 with turnover at 21.7 billion drachmas.
On the FTSE/ASE 40 index, 2,066 contracts changed hands on turnover of 4.1 billion drachmas.
Bond prices drop in sell-off: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Friday finished lower in light, sell-oriented trade.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.002 percent from 6.08 percent in the last session.
The Greek paper's yield spread over German bunds was 73 basis points, the same as in the previous trading day.
Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 54 billion drachmas from 68 billion drachmas in the session before.
Of the total, sell orders accounted for 50 billion drachmas of trade.
Drachma up vs. euro, dollar: The drachma on Friday ended higher against the euro and the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market.
At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 339.340 drachmas from 339.380 drachmas in the previous session.
Also at the fix, the dollar was set at 388.350 drachmas from 388.990 drachmas a trading day earlier.
Inflation noses up to 3.1 pct yr/yr in September: Consumer price inflation accelerated slightly to 3.1 percent year on year from 3.0 percent in August, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said on Friday.
The increase was due mostly to a rise in world oil prices, but was lower than expected, the NSS said in a statement.
The remaining impact of the rise in international fuel prices is likely to show more clearly in October, analysts said.
 Money supply growth rise 9.5 pct in June-August, yr/yr
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The Greek repos market's value rose by more than one trillion drachmas in August to a total of 5.7 trillion drachmas, reflecting the inflow of capital fleeing the stock market and the mutual funds market, Bank of Greece figures showed on Friday.
The central bank's report noted that several investors and companies that have completed share capital increase plans, preferred to move their capital in the domestic repos market, which yield a tax-free annual average of 5-6 percent.
The report also said that credit expansion growth remained at very high levels, maintaining a higher-than-predicted growth in money supply. The average 12-month growth rate of the M4N index was 9.5 percent in the period June-August, up from a 5-7 percent target set by the Bank of Greece.
Total credit expansion growth was 14.9 percent in July, down from 15.7 percent in June, reflecting slower credits to the public and the private sectors (11.8 percent and 21.6 percent respectively).
The central bank said that credit expansion figures were also affected by foreign currency fluctuations, and in particularly a sharp rise in the yen and the US dollar parities.
Private deposits both in drachmas and in foreign currency fell by 557 billion drachmas.
Consumer and mortgage and trade credits continued rising at very high levels.
Credit expansion growth in the manufacturing sector slowed to 5.4 percent in the January-July period, from 5.9 percent in the same period last year, while credit growth in the trade sector soared to 26 percent in July, sharply up from a 6.5 percent rate at the end of 1999.
Mortgage credit growth fell to 24.8 percent in January-July from 26.9 percent in December 1999. Consumer credit growth slowed to 22.6 percent in July, on a year-on-year basis, from 31 percent in December last year.
 Greek alternate FM announces EU grants for Bulgaria
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The European Union will grant 300 million euro to Bulgaria within 2000, including 27 million, which will be for the deactivation the nuclear reactors 1 and 2 of Kozlodui, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said on Friday.
The nuclear plant has 6 operating reactors.
Papazoi made the announcement in light of the meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday of the European Union's association councils Union with Bulgaria and Poland.
 Spending on media ads up 22.9 pct yr/yr in September
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Spending on media advertising rose to 35.7 billion drachmas in September, up 22.9 percent on the same month of last year, Media Services said in a statement on Friday.
The lion's share of spending went on television commercials to total 14 billion drachmas.
Next came magazines at 10.6 billion drachmas, newspapers at 9.3 billion, and radio at 1.7 billion.
The Mega TV station came top, receiving 4.3 billion drachmas of revenue, followed by Antenna with 3.4 billion drachmas.
The heaviest spender on advertising was mobile phone operator Cosmote, followed by Bodyline beauty salons and Bank of Piraeus.
 Development Minister says Greek businesses must upgrade their technology
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis stressed the need for Greek businesses to upgrade themselves technologically to create better conditions of competitiveness and new jobs, addressing the Technology and Research Foundation's (ITE) international conference on the issue of "Investing in human potential for research in Europe" in Irakleio, Crete, on Friday. European Union Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin was also present at the conference.
Christodoulakis said specialized human potential should be activated, adding that "Greece has a rich scientific and research potential, proof of which is the conference taking place with the participation of new European Union researchers and Commissioner Busquin. This is recognition of the great progress achieved."
 Development Minister stresses potential for development of renewable energy sources
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis stressed on Friday the great possibilities of development presented in the country, and Crete in particular, for renewable energy sources.
Christodoulakis, who was speaking during the inauguration ceremony for three new wind parks in the Cretan town of Siteia, said this was so for reasons not only related to difficulties experienced by the country due to the oil crisis, but also to the reflection of the European Union's deeper faith in utilizing as much energy as possible without harming the environment.
Christodoulakis said Crete's way of utilizing renewable energy sources was a paramount example, adding that the ministry is handling Crete's energy prospects with all the responsibility required by the issue.
 Compaq chairman visits Greece
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Michael Capellas, chairman of Compaq Computer Corporation, is visiting Greece as part of the multinational company's growing operation in the country.
At a news conference given by Capellas on Thursday, Compaq Hellas presented a new online service aimed mainly at small and medium-sized Greek enterprises.
Named CompaqPlus, the service will be launched on October 15. Its internet site is www.CompaqPlus.gr
It will help customers choose products best tailored to their needs.
In addition Compaq, working with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, is funding postgraduate studies in information technology.
The program, which begins in the 2001-2002 academic year, will allow five Greek students annually to continue their studies in recognized US universities.
On Friday, the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner in honor of Capellas, who is of Greek origin.
 Passenger ship captains abandon their threat to "immobilize" ships
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Passenger ship captains have not carried out their threat to "immobilize" passenger ships on Friday and deliver their seamen's documents, after Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis had expressed his views on issues concerning them.
However, in another development concerning the sinking of the ferry "Express Samina" off the island of Paros last week in which 79 people lost their lives, a Piraeus prosecutor indicted the vessel's captain Vassilis Yiannakis for forgery and falsifying documents.
Prosecution was carried out because, after the recent strike, the captain went to the central harbor authority and registered the vessel's logbook, while afterwards, according to the prosecutor, he added that during the strike the engineer Apostolos Sorokos, who had made revelations concerning the fateful ferry, was absent from it while he should have been present. According to the prosecutor, the engineer was on board.
 Trial of air-traffic controllers accused of causing Ukrainian airliner's crash begins
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The trial of two air-traffic controllers accused of having caused the 1997 crash of a Ukrainian commercial airliner, in which 73 people lost their lives, began on Friday in a Thessaloniki Misdemeanors Court.
The Ukrainian airliner had crashed into the Pieria mountain range on the night of December 17, 1997, after going off course during its descent onto Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport.
Yiannis Yiannakopoulos and Adamantios Frangoulis, who were on duty at the airport's control tower on the night of the accident, are accused of manslaughter through negligence and disrupting flight safety through negligence.
Testifying against them are some eighty witnesses, most of them relatives of the victims, while three colleagues are testifying in their defense.
At the time of the accident, many press reports had blamed the disaster on the fact that a new radar system acquired by the airport had not been installed and put into operation because of the objections of local residents. Then transport minister Tassos Mantelis, in fact, had admitted that the system might have helped avert the disaster:
"The assessment is that if the airport had the special LRS radar system to facilitate approach, we would have had an additional tool at our disposal. No one can say for sure but it is possible that it would have helped to avert (the accident)," he had said a few days afterward.
According to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority, the Ukrainian plane was using the ILS system to land and had already made one failed attempt before the accident. At some point during its second attempt, the pilot had requested assistance from the control tower but this had no way of ascertaining the plane's position. Radio contact was lost a few minutes later.
Mr. Mantelis had said that it was highly likely that the pilot became disorientated and from some point onwards was incorrectly reporting his position.
The Thessaloniki airport has since installed the ILS2 radar approach system, which was due to go online by April 2000.
 Minoan Lines offices firebombed
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)A makeshift firebomb exploded early Friday morning outside the Piraeus offices of the parent company tied to the "Express Samina" passenger ferry, which sank off Paros last week, killing almost 80 people.
The bomb, consisting of a plastic can filled with four liters of gasoline and a more intricate detonating device than the ones normally recovered from such attacks, was placed outside the ticketing offices of Minoan Lines, whose subsidiary -- Minoan Flying Dolphin -- operated the sunken ferry.
Minor damages but no injuries were reported, police said.
According to reports, an anonymous caller to the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia" claimed the attack on behalf of the previously unknown group "social liberation movement".
 Second conference of Greek and Turkish journalists opens
ANKARA, 07/10/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)The role played by the mass media in shaping foreign policy in Greece and Turkey and improving relations between the two countries will be examined during the 2nd conference of journalists and mass media officials from Greece and Turkey, due to open in Istanbul on Saturday. The conference is being organized by the Turkish Press Council in cooperation with the permanent contact group between Greek and Turkish journalists.
The conference will be addressed by the journalists Nicholas Voulelis, Pavlos Tzimas and Yiannis Tzanetakos, on the part of Greece, and by former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen and journalists Mithat Bereket, Semih Indiz and Ali Sirmen on behalf of Turkey.
The conference, to be attended by journalists from Greece and Turkey, will be concluded on October 8.
 Greece, Cyprus to sign cultural cooperation protocol
NICOSIA, 07/10/2000 (ANA-G. Leonidas)Greece's culture minister Theodoros Pangalos is due in Nicosia Monday for a two-day visit at the invitation of Cyprus education and culture minister Ouranios Ioannides.
While in Cyprus, Pangalos, a former foreign minister, will be received by Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides and speaker of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou.
Pangalos and Ioannides are expected to sign a bilateral cultural cooperation protocol covering the years 2001-2003.
On Monday afternoon, Pangalos and the mayor of Nicosia will rename local Mykali street as "Kranidiotis street" in memory of the Cyprus-born late Greek alternate foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis.
Kranidiotis, his son and five other people were killed in a freak air accident in September 1999 when a government Falcon jet taking them to Bucharest went into a nosedive before its pilot managed to regain control of the aircraft.
Pangalos will also address a memorial event for Kranidiotis at a central Cyprus hotel.
 Greek National Theatre group stages Oedipus Rex in New York
NEW YORK, 07/10/2000 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)The Greek National Theatre group staged Sophocles' ancient tragedy Oedipus Rex at the City Center Theater of Manhattan, following its success in Rome's Colosseum in July, getting rave reviews.
Even the difficult critic Ben Brantley, of the New York Times, described the work of the group with the most positive epithets, urging US presidential candidates Al Gore and George Bush Jr. to see the play, noting that "leaders should be very careful when they promise too much to their people".
His also gave rave reviews of the individual performances of actors in the ancient play.
 US embassy organizes three-day events on US-Greek relations
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The United States will host a series of events next week highlighting the history of US-Greece relationship and to examine the future relations between the two countries, a US embassy press release noted on Friday.
The three-day events include a joint press conference by US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns and American Hellenic Progressive Educational Association (AHEPA) President Johnny Economy, a conference on Greek language and culture, historical items' exhibitions.
The focal point of the events, however, will be the unveiling of the George C. Marshall statue in the US Embassy grounds, commemorating the efforts of the American statesman to aid Greece and heal its wound, following the World War II and the three-year Nazi occupation that left the country in shambles. A great part of the funds for the statue were donated by AHEPA, as the project was initiated by the Greek-American non-governmental organization.
 Fulbright holds US university information fair in Athens
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)Representatives of 40 United States colleges and universities will participate in an information fare on Monday at the Athens Holiday Inn, to provide information for Greek students interested in studying in the US, a press release by the US embassy noted on Friday.
The event will take begin at 2 p.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. and is organized by the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, which offers limited scholarships annually for Greeks who want to study in the US.
 Subsidiary center of Onassion Foundation to be inaugurated in New York
NEW YORK, 07/10/2000 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)The Onassion Foundation's subsidiary center here, to be inaugurated on October 24, will start its ambitious activities with an exhibition of the Parthenon sculptures' moulds and will be housed at the Olympic Tower in Manhattan. Until recently, the moulds were being used by students of the City University's sculpture department.
A painting exhibition by 20th century Greek artists will also be hosted on the Foundation's premises and will be carried out in cooperation with the National Gallery and under its supervision.
The promotion of Greek culture in the city, which is the crossroads of peoples from all over the globe and the entire American continent, is the main target of the Onassion Foundation in New York, whose executive director is Ambassador Loukas Tsilas.
 Federation aims at minimizing environmental repercussions from Olympiad projects
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)The strengthening of a "green policy" to achieve a viable development and minimize environmental repercussions for Athens due to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games constitute the target of contacts being held with officials by the Council of the European Green Parties Federation (EOPK), which is convening in Athens on Friday and Saturday.
Members of the EOPK's presidium gave a press conference on Friday, saying they will brief the European Parliament and the relevant commissioner later on the repercussions of specific Olympic installations for the environment to enable certain pressure to curb ecological harm.
 President, Archbishop receive Greek Olympic athletes
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos received at the Presidential Mansion on Friday the entire Greek Olympic team, which took part in the Sydney Olympic Games.
The president congratulated all the athletes for their efforts, regardless of whether they won medals or not. Participation is what counts, he noted.
"Greece will hold the Olympic Games in the best way in 2004. Of course we will succeed in bringing the new awareness to the Games," Stephanopoulos said, adding that "we will give the real meaning of the Games."
Archbishop Christodoulos also received separately on Friday the Greek medallists at the Games.
 Athens 2004 president remains at her post, government spokesman says
Athens, 07/10/2000 (ANA)"Athens 2004" Olympic Games Organizing Committee President Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki will remain at her post as she did not resign, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Friday.
He added that Daskalaki had a very constructive conversation with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday on all issues.
"The undertaking of the Olympic Games is a national case and all should help, all this should not be used as a basis for criticism," Reppas said.
 Cyprus regards Kostunica as legal President of Yugoslavia
NICOSIA, 07/10/2000 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus regards Vojislav Kostunica as the legal President of Yugoslavia and will seek to convey this to him, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou announced here on Friday.
The Cyprus government also announced that, until legality is restored in Yugoslavia, the Central Bank of Cyprus has taken all necessary measures to protect capital belonging to the state of Yugoslavia and its people, stressing this is a purely precautionary step.
Russian foreign minister to pay official visit to Cyprus next week NICOSIA, 07/10/2000 CNA/ANA)
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, heading an eleven-member delegation, will pay a three-day official visit to Cyprus next week during which he will sign an agreement endorsing the validity of previous agreements the Republic of Cyprus had signed with the former Soviet Union.
Ivanov, who arrives on Monday lunchtime, will be received by President Glafcos Clerides on Wednesday morning and will have official talks with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides on Tuesday afternoon.
The Russian FM will have separate meetings with House President Spyros Kyprianou and the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos.
He will also attend an official dinner hosted by Kasoulides on Tuesday night and be present at a reception at the Russian embassy to mark 40 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
During his visit, Ivanov is scheduled to visit Kykko Monastery, lay a wreath at the tomb of the late Archbishop Makarios, the Republic's first President, and go on an excursion on board a yacht.
He leaves Wednesday morning after his working breakfast with President Clerides.