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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-10-30

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece celebrates 60th anniversary of Ochi Day
  • [02] Papantoniou meets Cyprus president, discusses island's EU accession, Cyprus problem
  • [03] Greek and Cyprus leaders to meet after proximity talks in Geneva in November
  • [04] Papantoniou comments on Turkey's EU prospects at event discussing Cyprus EU accession, Greece in euro-zone
  • [05] Turkish president on bilateral relations with Athens
  • [06] 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee joins Olympic Truce movement SALT LAKE
  • [07] Pangalos says replacement for Cacoyiannis will be in place by week's end
  • [08] Politicians comment on case of Albanian student barred from being flag bearer
  • [09] Catholics celebrate Golden Jubilee at Areios Pagos Hill
  • [10] New state budget to be tabled in Parliament November 1
  • [11] Greek stocks end week slightly lower
  • [12] Gov't focuses on horse track concession, related 2004 projects
  • [13] Passenger shipping advisory body to decide on fare increases on Monday
  • [14] Interpol annual general assembly starting in Rhodes on Monday
  • [15] Conference to be held in Thessaloniki on the coexistence of different cultures
  • [16] New electronic opinion poll apparatus presented in Greece
  • [17] Thassos islanders six-day protest successfully prevents radar installation on the island
  • [18] President Clinton disappointed over the non-solution of Cyprus problem during his office
  • [19] Ambassador says US working for a settlement within UN resolutions

  • [01] Greece celebrates 60th anniversary of Ochi Day

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Greece celebrated the 60th anniversary of "Ochi Day on Saturday with the customary military parade in Thessaloniki and numerous other parades by schools, law enforcement services and troops throughout the country. The October 28 national holiday commemorates the historic day on which the country rejected Italy's ultimatum and joined the fight against Fascism in World War II.

    After inspecting the Thessaloniki parade for the sixth year in a row, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said that the country's epic struggle against Mussolini and the Axis forces in 1940-41 marked the high point in the nation's struggles, in which heroism, self-sacrifice and patriotism reached their peak.

    Before the parade, the president had laid a wreath at the monument of the 3rd Army Corps and then made his way to the official's stand, where he watched the parade.

    In Athens, meanwhile, celebrations began with a Te Deum led by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, followed by the laying of a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a parade of school children inspected by Education Minister Petros Efthymiou.

    The events began with 21 cannon shots on Lycabettus hill, followed by a performance by marching bands, led by the Athens municipality band.

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who was representing Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Thessaloniki, said that young people in Greece had shown on this day that they shared the same values as their predecessors in 1940; the determination to fight against fascism and for peace, security and cooperation with all the nations of the region.

    "In this modern age," the minister continued, "we see that our young people can stand alongside those of other peoples in the region and - on the basis of a national strategy - face the need to coexist with European peoples in a new course for peace and security, and also to justify the position of Greeks with prosperity, progress and hope for a new age.

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, meanwhile, referred to foreign policy problems that should alert all, and made a call for a strong and united Greece that would defend a common foreign policy and raise a strong and clear voice to defend national interests.

    The message of strength was likewise stressed by Macedonia-Thrace minister George Paschalidis, who said the message was of the day was patriotism. "It is everything that makes Greece strong: in other words, strong defense, strong economy, strong society."

    Political leaders' messages: In an Ochi Day message, prime minister Costas Simitis said that the Greeks, honoring the national anniversary and because "they have knowledge and preserve memories", were "rallying to the common and painful course for a modern, strong, safe, optimistic and decisive Greece, a Greece of tranquil strength and immense effort".

    He said the generation of the 1940, "perhaps the best generation in modern Greek history in the 20th century", waged tough battles for values, principles and ideals and actively taught what national independence, territorial integrity, the inviolability of borders, unity, unanimity and self-confidence meant.

    "Sixty years later, the Greece of 2000 is called on to utilize the teachings and legacies left to us by the generation of '40. The historic memory serves as a springboard for elevating and consolidating those values that will lead us and inspire us to have our own voice, repute and presence as a country, as a society and as citizens in today's world. Values and principles from which we gather strength to fight for our vision", which is "a Strong Greece with a strong society, a competitive economy, with social cohesion and solidarity, a strong and secure Greece with battle worthy and reliable Armed Forces," the premier said.

    "Today, having made significant steps forward in all sectors, particularly in recent years, and having made rich and creative achievements, we are traversing a difficult path, meeting up with obstacles and difficulties due to the transitional stage that characterizes the contemporary world: a Europe that is evolving, an economy that is becoming globalized, a society that is diversifying, an international environment that has no relationship whatsoever with the bipolar system of just a decade ago, and our region which is gradually beginning to adopt perceptions and attitudes that are inalienably linked to democracy, parliamentarianism, the free economy, human and minority rights, and respect of International Law," Simitis said.

    He said this difficult path had been "consciously selected by us as a country, a society and citizens" because "we aspire to always being in the front line and among the strong core of European nations".

    That, he added, was why "we must not forget today that patriotism means whatever renders Greece modern and strong".

    "This Greece, an oasis of peace, security and stability in our sensitive region, is the Greece we want to put forward. This Greece of democracy, development, friendship, understanding and cooperation with all the peoples is the Greece we wish to project in our inter-state relations, in the international organizations and the supranational bodies in which we participate. We want to promote the Greece that respects international law, the international treaties and accords, and international lawful order," the premier said.

    In his own message on Ochi Day, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said that today, "when the attitudes of our neighbors cause us concern and our democracy is threatened by interests that want to adulterate the popular sovereignty, the Greek People comprise an unbroken front shouting 'No' to concessions, corruption, arrogance, decadence and misery".

    "This historic day, the symbol of national dignity, offers us the opportunity to remind and be reminded that when peoples, no matter how small, are determined to defend their national independence, there is no power that can abolish their freedom," Karamanlis said.

    He said the Ochi Day anniversary sends "crystal-clear messages to allies and non-allies that the Greek people are not daunted, are not defeated, do not negotiate their just national rights".

    "The Greek men and women in no instance consent to ostensible policies that lead, step by step, to betrayal of the country's sovereign rights," he said.

    In another message, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the modern-day OCHI was expressed in the popular rally and struggle against the selections of NATO and the EU, for the creation of a anti-imperialistic, anti-monopolistic, democratic front for popular power.

    Sixty years later, the KKE said, the historic popular OCHI still sends the message that the Greek people are in a position to win when they fight united, and have solidarity among themselves and solidarity with other peoples, a message that was still timely today.

    "The enemies of our people, the imperialistic organizations, still today have designs against our national sovereignty, intensify their aggressiveness against the rights and living standard of the working class and popular strata in Greece and internationally. What is happening in Palestine, Cyprus, Yugoslavia, what is happening in the Aegean with the guidance and encouragement of the US-NATO, comprise unreliable witnesses. Sixty years later, the people find themselves up against the imperialistic 'new order', the plutocracy and the parties they serve," the KKE said.

    [02] Papantoniou meets Cyprus president, discusses island's EU accession, Cyprus problem

    NICOSIA, 30/10/2000 (ANA-G. Leonidas)

    As Cyprus' course to EU accession progresses, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will hold increasingly powerful cards in negotiations for the Cyprus issue, visiting Greek National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Friday after a meeting with the Cyprus president in Nicosia.

    The two men discussed the Cyprus issue, Cyprus' EU accession course, and promoting economic cooperation between Greece and Cyprus.

    With regard to the economic aspects of Cyprus' accession, Papantoniou urged the Cypriot authorities to proceed decisively with reforms, stressing that there was no reason to hesitate because the changes would be beneficial for the Cypriot people and strengthen Cyprus' economy.

    After an earlier meeting with Cyprus' Parliament Speaker and political party leaders, the Greek economy minister had said that Athens was concerned about developments regarding the Cyprus problem at this time.

    Asked about Turkey's actions in the Aegean and Cyprus in relation to the EU's Helsinki resolution, Papantoniou said that Greece would insist on the process agreed by the EU in Helsinki for Turkey's accession, which he said would also help in a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Finally, the minister said that Greece would continue its dialogue with Turkey without conceding any of its sovereign rights.

    [03] Greek and Cyprus leaders to meet after proximity talks in Geneva in November

    NICOSIA, 30/10/2000 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Cyprus Parliament speaker Spyros Kyprianou in mid November, it was announced here on Saturday.

    The meetings will be held immediately after the end of the fifth round of Cyprus proximity talks in Geneva, to assess the results of the talks and decide a joint strategy in view of the EU summit in Nice in December, which Clerides will also attend, and the UN resolution on whether to renew the term of the UN peace-keeping force UNFICYP on Cyprus.

    The meeting between Simitis and Kyprianou is scheduled for November 13, while the next day there will be a meeting at Simitis' office with Clerides, who will stop over in Athens on his return from Geneva.

    The talks will also be attended by close associates of Simitis and Clerides.

    [04] Papantoniou comments on Turkey's EU prospects at event discussing Cyprus EU accession, Greece in euro-zone

    NICOSIA, 30/10/2000 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    The problems that arose in "Destined Glory" were commented on by visiting Greek National Economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who said they demonstrated that Turkey would have difficulty in adapting to Europe.

    Speaking Friday evening at an event focusing on the role of Greece and Cyprus in the EU, Papantoniou said that "it would be unrealistic for a country to expect to join the EU without displaying respect for international law and the legal world order, as well as for human and political rights."

    Cyprus' accession to the EU, Papantoniou added, created the best conditions for reuniting the divided island republic in a fair and acceptable way: with the withdrawal of occupation forces, the return of refugees to their homes and by setting up a bizonal, bi-communal federation in accordance with UN resolutions.

    Papantoniou also referred to the benefits that might follow if Turkey could "give up the aggressive habits of the past and adopt strictly European criteria for human rights and political freedoms."

    Regarding Greece's entry into the euro-zone, Papantoniou said that this had brought huge benefits at minimal cost and that most of these benefits were political.

    As the EU moved closer to its integration, he added, it was reaffirming its identity on the international scene, especially in establishing joint foreign and security policies.

    He also commented on economic cooperation between Greece and Cyprus, saying that economic developments in the two countries opened the way for closer cooperation, while he welcomed the listing of the Bank of Cyprus on the Athens Stock Exchange as a "positive development".

    He concluded by saying that there were significant opportunities for cooperation between Greek and Cypriot businesses in the Balkans, Black Sea, the Middle East and North Africa.

    Consolidating Cyprus' EU prospects, he added, did not mean that efforts could be relaxed, while he stressed that Greece and Cyprus had a common European course.

    [05] Turkish president on bilateral relations with Athens

    ANKARA, 30/10/2000 (ANA - A. Abatzis)

    Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer added his input this week on the state of Greek-Turkish relations, following the first signs of friction in a burgeoning rapprochement between the two neighbors over the past year.

    "Both sides should find ways to solve the differences they have based on dialogue and creativity," Sezer was quoted as saying by a spokesman for the Turkish presidency.

    Athens last week demanded that NATO cancel a Turkey-based military exercise following Ankara's unprecedented demand that participating Greek jets not fly over two strategically placed islands in the eastern Aegean during the course of the maneuvers.

    On his part, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday conveyed Athens' annoyance with the outcome of the exercise during a brief discussion in Skopje with his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit. Simitis spoke with his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a Balkan leaders' summit, held in the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    He told Ecevit that Turkey's stance during NATO's "Destined Glory 2000" military exercise was "absolutely negative".

    On his part, Ecevit said such matters should be discussed within the framework of bilateral dialogue, whereas the Greek PM replied that Athens has already tabled its proposals over how to deal with such differences.

    Greek and Turkish delegations meet in Komotini to discuss cross-border cooperation programs: Greek and Turkish delegations met in Komotini, the base for the East Macedonia-Thrace Regional Authority, on Saturday to discuss the Inderrec 3 program.

    The meeting was attended by a 9-member Turkish delegation from the ministries of foreign affairs, agriculture, environment and public works. Greece was representing by East Macedonia-Thrace authority general secretary Aris Papadopoulos and the prefects of Evros and Rodopi, foreign ministry officials, national economy ministry officials and regional authority staff.

    The Greeks briefed the Turkish delegation on technical aspects of cross-border cooperation and both sides agreed on the axis and priority measures of the program.

    [06] 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee joins Olympic Truce movement SALT LAKE

    CITY, 30/10/2000 (ANA-I. Afendouli)

    The organizers of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City have joined the Olympic Truce movement, backing Greece's campaign for a worldwide halt to hostilities during Olympic Games, after talks with visiting Greek foreign minister George Papandreou late Thursday.

    Over 180 nations have already signed the Greek proposal, spearheaded by Papandreou, for a truce during Olympic Games, modeled in the tradition of the "Ekecheiria" during the original Games in ancient Greece.

    The ancient Greek "Ekecheiria" was established in the 9th century BC when three kings signed a peace treaty that led to the widely recognized immunity of the sanctuary at Olympia, where the Games originated, and was meant to allow athletes and pilgrims to travel to the Games in ancient Olympia and back home safely.

    Greece, which is to host the 2004 Olympics in Athens, envisions the modern Truce as an effort and opportunity to resolve international conflicts.

    The 2002 Winter Olympics organizing committee's decision was announced by the committee's vice-president T. Bullock in Salt Lake City on Thursday after talks with Papandreou and Honorary ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, a former secretary general for Overseas Greeks and head of the International Olympic Truce Center recently inaugurated in Athens.

    Bullock said after the meeting that the Olympic Truce idea would be promoted much more effectively if the organizing cities of the next two Olympic Games -- Salt Lake City (2002 Winter Olympics and Athens (2004 summer Games) -- coordinated their efforts.

    The target is to achieve a cease-fire throughout the planet for the duration of the Salt Lake and Athens Games.

    Papandreou said the Olympic Truce cause was given a major boost by the fact that it was concluded in the Declaration adopted by the UN on the new millennium and the world conference held in New York in September.

    Papandreou is vice-president of the Olympic Truce Committee, which is chaired by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan-Antonio Samaranch.

    Presenting the goals of the Olympic Truce, ambassador Lambrinidis said that a variety of events around the world would take place, with the focal point being Ancient Olympia, where a special center would be established, aiming at a ceasefire during Olympiads.

    Also, mediation efforts would be undertaken to resolve conflicts throughout the world, with the participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    Priority would also be placed on introducing the Truce idea in the education sector through the production and distribution of related material.

    Asked by journalists if he was concerned that Athens would not be able to organize the 2004 Games in time, Papandreou said he was certain that the organization of the 2004 Games would be excellent.

    Earlier, Bullock briefed the Greek delegation that Salt Lake was already prepared for the 2002 Winter Games with respect to infrastructure, and was now dealing solely with the Games' projection and sideline functions.

    [07] Pangalos says replacement for Cacoyiannis will be in place by week's end

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, speaking to reporters at the opening of the recently renovated Elefsina Museum on Saturday, said that a new chairman for the cultural Olympiad organization will have been appointed by the end of next week to replace film director Michalis Cacoyiannis who resigned.

    Pangalos said he would be meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis to discuss the issue, while pointing out that there was no previous experience to work from since this was the first cultural Olympiad ever attempted.

    [08] Politicians comment on case of Albanian student barred from being flag bearer

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    The controversy that arose in a Thessaloniki school when a 15-year-old Albanian national was chosen as flag-bearer in the October 28 school parade continued even into Saturday, while many politicians commented on the affair.

    Traditionally, the honor of bearing the Greek flag in the parade is reserved for the student that has the best marks in the school. When Albanian-born ace student Odysseas Cenai topped his class in the Nea Mechaniona high school in Thessaloniki, however, the parents' association refused to let him be flag-bearer because he was not a Greek national.

    On Friday evening, the 15-year-old chose to put an end to the dispute himself, by saying he would concede the right to carry the flag.

    During Saturday's parade, there were incidents of violence when two young students raised a banner protesting the decision, which bore a saying by ancient Greek Isocrates that "Greeks are all those who are part of Greek education."

    The affair was also commented on by numerous Greek politicians, including President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, who also cited Isocrates in response to reporters' questions.

    Education Minister Petros Efthymiou, meanwhile, also supported the right of the Albanian student to carry the flag and said that his ministry was considering a formal decision on this issue, since the case was not unique.

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Paschalidis, in statements immediately after the parade in Thessaloniki, stressed that "today's societies are multi-cultural" and that "the first should carry the flag," while Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that new world conditions demanded the protection of rights, tolerance in multi-cultural societies and fighting against all the phenomena that replace the fascism and racism against which humanity fought in World War II.

    Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, meanwhile, speaking at the opening of the Elefsina Museum, said that "the angry voices raised against the Albanian student Odysseas Cenai in Nea Mechaniona" shamed Greece.

    Statements on this issue were also made on Friday by National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who said that such phenomena of discrimination based on race were incompatible with Greek culture.

    [09] Catholics celebrate Golden Jubilee at Areios Pagos Hill

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Greek Catholics celebrated the Golden Jubilee of 2000 at the Areios Pagos Hill at the Acropolis on Sunday evening in the presence of President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Greece Nicholaos officiated at a service and later gave President Stephanopoulos the Jubilee's memento, a golden disk.

    The Areios Pagos Hill is the place where Saint Paul first preached the Christian faith in Athens.

    Referring to the modern world in an address to the faithful, the Archbishop said that through many problems "it is often seeking God on a mistaken path" and without the responsibility of the Christian world being negligible.

    Giving an example, he referred to "the idols of the consumer society" which one sees in shop windows and advertisements. Terming the modern-day environment as "neoidolatric", he stressed the need for unity and for consistency between words and actions by all.

    [10] New state budget to be tabled in Parliament November 1

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    The new state budget for 2001 due to be tabled in Parliament on November 1, will be examined by the inner cabinet on Tuesday and a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, both chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, an announcement by Simitis' press office said on Sunday.

    The announcement also said that the budget's main characteristic would be its social aspect, combined with overall economic policy.

    Another issue linked to the government's economic policy is that of labor relations, due to be handled with "innovative reforms of their traditional status" with the purpose of combatting unemployment, the announcement added.

    The flexibility of labor relations as related to the challenges of the new era will be examined at a ruling PASOK party's Theme Conference taking place at the Peace and Friendship stadium on November 3-4.

    Simitis, who will inaugurate the conference, is expected to announce his government intentions aimed at combatting unemployment.

    The budget's development character will also be projected by the prime minister during a visit to Ioannina, northern Greece, on Saturday.

    [11] Greek stocks end week slightly lower

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended the last trading session of a subdued week lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, undermined by extremely low liquidity and lack of buying interest for blue chip stocks.

    The general index ended 0.26 percent lower at 3,762.97 points, off the day's highs of 3,808.18 points, with turnover a low 46.912 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.18 percent lower at 2,195.79 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index ended at 431.11 points, up 0.29 percent.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 8,026.48 -0.53% Leasing: 524.31 -1.51% Insurance: 1,880.45 -0.43% Investment: 1,281.75 -1.60% Construction: 1,544.85 +0.62% Industrials: 2,183.51 -0.37% Miscellaneous: 3,218.22 -0.66% Holding: 4,183.30 +2.29%

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks rose 0.04 percent to end at 400.44 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 178 to 154 with another 23 issues unchanged.

    Hellenic Telecoms, Alpha Bank, Hellenic Bottling, Commercial Bank and Lambrakis Press were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Leading shares' closing prices (in Drs): Alpha Bank: 14,615 Eurobank: 10,480 Panafon: 3,380 Lambrakis Press: 6,690 National Bank: 14,800 Hellenic Petroleum: 3,795 Commercial Bank: 18,180 Attica Enterprises: 2,880 Heracles Cement: 4,940 Intracom:10,100 Minoan Lines: 2,100 Hellenic Telecoms: 7,345 Piraeus Bank: 6,100 Titan Cement (c): 14,250 Hellenic Bottling: 5,450

    Greek bourse transforms into a two-tier market: The week under review on the Athens Stock Exchange clearly showed that the Greek bourse was steadily transforming into a two-tier market with a gap between the market's 10-15 blue chip stocks and smaller capitalization stocks growing worryingly.

    Analysts said the market was showing a "virtual reality", with the general index supported at the 3,700-3,750 level, due to a limited buying interest for blue chip stocks, but the vast majority of stock shares were suffering losses on a daily basis.

    Traders said a total of 90-100 shares were suffering losses in each session, falling to their lowest levels since early 1999, reflecting a fall in the general index to the 3,000 level.

    The general index, is now 250 points higher since late August, but several stock shares have lost 40 percent of their value over that period.

    Analysts said a rally in the US dollar's rate in international foreign exchange markets would benefit Greek stocks by making their prices extremely attractive.

    The Greek bourse's capitalization has fallen by 35 percent since the start of the year.

    The general index ended the week 24.47 points, or 0.64 percent, lower. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended the week 0.40 percent higher, while the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell by 5.45 percent.

    The week's turnover totalled 278.2 billion drachmas for a daily average of 55.64 billion, down from 63.82 billion the previous week.

    Equity futures end up, tracking Athens bourse: Equity futures traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished higher on Friday, in line with the bourse indices on which they are based.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index closed 0.18 percent down, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 0.29 percent higher.

    Turnover was 12.6 billion drachmas.

    A total of 2,176 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 with turnover at 9.6 billion drachmas.

    On the FTSE/ASE 40 index, 1,665 contracts changed hands on turnover of 2.9 billion drachmas.

    Bonds mostly flat in thin trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Friday finished mostly flat in light trade.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.94 percent from 5.977 percent a day earlier.

    The Greek paper's yield spread over German bunds was 73-74 basis points from 74 basis points in the previous session.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 62 billion drachmas from 86 billion drachmas in the trading day before.

    Drachma down vs. euro, up vs. dollar: The drachma on Friday ended lower against the euro and higher versus the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market.

    At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 339.560 drachmas from 339.480 drachmas in the previous session.

    Also at the fix, the dollar was set at 408.090 drachmas from 408.190 drachmas trading day earlier.

    The drachma has lost 24.25 percent against the US currency since the start of the year.

    [12] Gov't focuses on horse track concession, related 2004 projects

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Olympic 2004 projects and tenders were again atop the government's agenda on Friday as organizers and ministers prepare for a crucial visit by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation late next month.

    One of the most pending issues discussed was that of a tender to relocate the current horse race track from a choice seaside tract of land and the accompanying lucrative pari-mutuel gaming concession.

    In statements to reporters afterwards, Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos reiterated that whoever wins the horse track concession is obliged to fulfill all the conditions set out in the tender, namely, construction of an Olympic equestrian facility in northern Athens and a five-venue, multipurpose sports complex on the current racetrack site, called the Faliro Delta site.

    Pangalos, in charge of the ministry under which ATHOC falls under administratively, said the government has already considered other options should relevant offers be deemed "unsatisfactory" on Nov. 15. One of those options gives the state-affiliated General Sports Secretariat the go-ahead to build the complex and the equestrian center.

    The high-ranking government meeting was presided over by Greek PM Costas Simitis.

    [13] Passenger shipping advisory body to decide on fare increases on Monday

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    A demand by the Passenger Ship Owners' Union to increase ferry fares on ships plying local routes is to be examined on Monday by the Coastal Shipping Transport Advisory Committee. The last increase in ferry fares took place two years ago, while ship owners had demanded an emergency increase of 10 per cent last June to offset rising dollar prices and doubled fuel costs.

    The merchant marine ministry, however, had avoided granting the request during the summer months in order to avoid passing the costs on to consumers at the height of the holiday season and to help keep down inflation.

    Ship owners argue that the costs of running the passenger ferries have risen by twice the fare increases they have asked for.

    During its meeting on Monday, the advisory committee will also consider penalties for ships that failed to promptly comply with EU fire-safety regulations, as well as four new applications by NEL, Attica Businesses and Strintzis Lines for permits to bring new ferries into operation.

    [14] Interpol annual general assembly starting in Rhodes on Monday

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Interpol's annual general assembly begins on the island of Rhodes on Monday and will focus primarily on combatting organized crime. Six major issues, which will also be examined, are funding for the struggle against terrorism, crimes in the Internet, drug trafficking, economic crimes, money laundering and illegal immigration.

    [15] Conference to be held in Thessaloniki on the coexistence of different cultures

    MONTREAL, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    A conference on "Multiculture: A developing dialogue. The Greek and Canadian example" will be held in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on November 8-10.

    The conference, due to highlight the issue of coexistence between different cultures in the two countries, will be attended by Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Thessaloniki Deputy Mayor Nikos Makrantonakis and the Canadian Ambassador to Greece David Hatton. It is organized by the Canadian embassy and the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki and is placed under the auspices of the Culture Ministry.

    [16] New electronic opinion poll apparatus presented in Greece

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    The VIVARTO electronic apparatus for registering public opinion, a new revolutionary informatics system beginning to attract people's attention, was presented in Greece last Friday.

    The presentation was made by the man who inspired the system, Swedish psychiatrist Michael Nordford, who is an active member of the Direct Democratic Movement in Sweden, and lawyer George Kokkas, a representative for Greece and member of the 12-member coordinating committee of the World Direct Democracy Movement promoting it.

    The two men said political parties, trade unions, professional bodies, local administration organizations and social bodies can benefit from the new apparatus and upgrade the quality and quantity of their work and pursuits.

    [17] Thassos islanders six-day protest successfully prevents radar installation on the island

    Athens, 30/10/2000 (ANA)

    Residents on the northern Aegean island of Thassos continued their efforts to prevent the installation of two civil aviation authority radar units on their island on Sunday.

    Islanders have taken over the site where the radar is to be installed for six days now and have forced the authorities to remove a crane and digging machinery, taken down sections of the antenna that had already been set up and disposed of tools and other equipment.

    Meanwhile, the Italian technicians that were working on the pylons for the radar have departed for Italy, while residents of Kallirachi on Thassos and islanders from other areas prevented the unloading of supplies for the radar from a ship that sailed into Kallirachi, forcing the captain to set sail.

    According to the protestors, scientific studies show that such radar installations emit large quantities of electromagnetic radiation that are harmful to human and other life and will have a negative effect on the ecological balance, quality of life, historic and cultural traditions, as well as the aesthetic appeal of the island.

    They also note that Mount Ypsarios, where the radar is to be installed, has been listed by the Greek state as a protected ecosystem and important natural habitat that is near a pine forest of exceptional natural beauty.

    Islanders insist that despite the measures promised by the CAA, emissions will affect the health of Thassos residents and damage the environment and tourism, on which many islanders now depend.

    Similar objections by residents of a Thessaloniki suburb had prevented the installation of radar for Thessaloniki's Macedonia airport. The lack of radar was partly blamed for the 1997 airline disaster involving a Ukrainian passenger jet, whose pilot went off course while trying to land at Thessaloniki airport and crashed into the Pieria mountain range, killing everyone on board.

    [18] President Clinton disappointed over the non-solution of Cyprus problem during his office

    WASHINGTON, 30/10/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    US President Bill Clinton on Friday expressed disappointment for not being able to make more progress in the direction of solving the Cyprus question during his term in office.

    Speaking at a press conference at the White House, Clinton said he had always felt that Turkey should be integrated into Europe and added that "Turkey and Greece should be natural allies because they are allies in NATO".

    Replying to questions, he said "one of the relatively small number of real disappointments I have, after eight years of working in the foreign policy field, is that I have not made more progress in helping to resolve the Cyprus issue, because I have always felt that Turkey should be integrated into Europe".

    He also spoke of "entrenched and unmovable positions in Cyprus, in what really ought to be a fairly straightforward problem to solve", said it keeps Turkey more at arm's length from Europe and pointed out that "it's a price not worth paying".

    Clinton noted that "there is actually some chance we can make a little progress before I leave office" and expressed willingness to keep working for progress even after he leaves the White House.

    In a statement, the leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) welcomed Clinton's remarks on Cyprus.

    "We also welcome his personal commitment to stay involved in Cyprus settlement efforts after leaving office", they added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied the northern third of the island. UN-led talks resume on November 1, aiming at preparing the ground for substantive negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.

    [19] Ambassador says US working for a settlement within UN resolutions

    NICOSIA, 30/10/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    The US and Cyprus have a lot in common, share the same values and both are bound to benefit from increasingly close ties, US Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler believes, having lived and worked here for just over a year after he presented his credentials to President Glafcos Clerides.

    In an interview with CNA, Washington's top man on the island has said the US is working towards a settlement within the parameters foreseen over the years by the UN Security Council resolutions, a settlement that will bring more security, democracy and prosperity to all Cypriots and allow the parties not to compromise on fundamental principles.

    Noting that nobody in negotiations gets everything they demand, Ambassador Bandler invited the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to put forward ideas to help "craft the shape of a future settlement", adding that US influence on Ankara has helped launch the latest peace process.

    He expressed the view that the outcome of the US elections would not change American commitment to the Cyprus peace process and said cooperation with Cyprus on bilateral and transnational issues, such as combatting crime and money laundering, must be an ongoing effort to stay ahead of those who misuse the system.

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