Shipping exchange inflows up
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis in Cyprus today for independence day celebrations
Prime Minister Costas Simitis arrived in Nicosia today for talks with the
Cyprus government and to attend events marking the 36th anniversary of the
island republic's independence, according to an ANA despatch from
Greeting Simitis, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides noted that it was the
first time a Greek premier has visited the island on the occasion of the
Simitis said the fact that his first visit outside Greece had been to
Cyprus underlined the importance attached by the Greek government to the
Cyprus problem which, he added, remained the top priority for Greek foreign
The Greek premier stressed that his presence at the independence celebrations
symbolized ''in the most categorical manner, the determination of Hellenism
to struggle using all means in order to restore the territorial integrity
and sovereignty'' of the divided island.
Simitis reiterated that the Cyprus problem was one of invasion and
occupation, adding that the objective was to find a peaceful solution
through diplomatic efforts.
''International experience has shown however that dialogue does not usually
bring satisfactory results when conducted between unequal sides,'' Simitis
said, adding that ''this is the reason why the governments of Greece and
Cyprus are promoting the bolstering of Cyprus' defences within the
framework of the joint defence doctrine''.
In his talks with Clerides, the Cyprus government, political party leaders
and Archbishop Chrysostomos, Simitis said, he would be discussing not only
developments in the Cyprus problem but also issues pertaining to cooperation
in all sectors, the progress in Cyprus' accession to the European Union, as
well as matters relating to persons missing and trapped in enclaves in the
Turkish-occupied northern part of the island.
Simitis said that memories were still fresh from the recent murders of two
unarmed Greek Cypriot protesters by Turks and Turkish Cypriots. The premier
stressed that their sacrifice would not be forgotten nor be in vain.
''Already, international public opinion senses that the illegal (Turkish)
occupation of Cyprus cannot be allowed to go on forever,'' Simitis said,
citing the recent resolution of the European Parliament condemning Turkey
for its human rights record and behaviour towards Greece.
Simitis and Clerides later attended an impressive military parade as part
of independence celebrations in Nicosia.
Speaking after the parade, Simitis said that a deterrent force existed
which could cause severe blows to the enemy ''which must think very
carefully before attempting any designs''.
The parade, he said, illustrated the fighting capability of Cyprus' armed
forces and their high morale in the face of Turkish aggression.
''The joint defence doctrine constitutes a fixed principle for us,''
Simitis said, adding that ''Cyprus' defence is Greece's defence, it is the
defence of all Hellenism and we shall continue on this path.''
Expressing his satisfaction with the parade, Clerides said ''it showed that
people can sleep soundly''.
Greece will proceed via diplomatic channels to express its displeasure
over the latest terrorist incident at the Ecumenical Patriar-chate of
Constantinople as well as to request a full inquiry, government spokesman
Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.
A strong explosion went off shortly before midnight Sunday night in the
grounds of the Patriarchate's buildings in the Phanar district of Istanbul.
Although nobody was hurt, the Agios Georgios Church was seriously
Mr. Reppas said the terrorist attack was an attempt to undermine rapprochement
between the two countries, stressing that it had also been condemned by
Turkish circles as an attempt to destabilise rapprochement efforts with
He characterised the organisation as an Islamist extreme right-wing
nationalist organisation, motivated by anti-Greek sentiment.
Turkish police still silent on attack
According to reports, there had still not been any official announcement
from Turkish police on the attack by late yesterday.
An unidentified caller to the "Hurriyet" newspaper early yesterday said an
organisation calling itself Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front (IBDA-C)
had been planning the attack for some time.
In 1994, the same organisation had placed a bomb in the northern part of
the Patriarch's residence and had threatened to kill Ecumenical Patriarch
The organisation is suspected of involvement in a number of bomb attacks on
liberal and progressive figures in Turkey and has organised demonstrations
in support of the Moslems of Bosnia, including one in which demonstrators
broke into the courtyard of the US Embassy in Ankara.
Greek Eurodeputy calls for EU intervention
Meanwhile, PASOK Eurodeputy and vice-president of the Socialist Group,
Yiannis Roubatis, has called for the immediate intervention by the Council
of Ministers and the European Commission following the terrorist attack
against the Ecumeni cal Patriarchate.
Mr. Roubatis asked to be informed whether the two EU bodies intend to issue
strong protests to the Turkish authorities regarding the bomb attack and
whether they intend to call for an increase in security measures for the
Patriarchate, whose status is p rotected by international treaties.
He has also asked the two EU bodies whether they consider the attack to be
coincidental, as it follows the killings of two Greek-Cypriots and 12 Kurds
in Diyarbakir Prison in southeastern Turkey, and how concerned they are
over "Turkey's apparent reluctance to act according to the basic principles
of human rights, which form the foundation of European civilisation."
Mr. Roubatis stressed it is the second time that an apparent Islamist
organisation has committed a terrorist act against the centre of Orthodoxy,
and stressed the "obvious indifference of the Turkish authorities for
taking necessary security measures for the protection of the Patriarchate."
The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Kiro
Gligorov yesterday announced that talks in New York for the normalisation
of relations with Athens, interrupted because of the recent elections in
Greece, would continue at the end of October.
Returning from New York, where he attended sessions of the UN General
Assembly, Mr. Gligorov told reporters that he did not expect a "speedy
resolution of outstanding differences" between the two countries.
"'Macedonia' and Greece are closely connected neighbours, with common
economic interests. The majority of 'Macedonians' have the same religion
with the inhabitants of Greece," he pointed out in reference to the
landlocked, one-time Yugoslav republic's residents, the majority of which
are Slavic-speaking Orthodox believers, with a large minority of ethnic
Three members of the environmental organisation ''Greenpeace'' today
suspended themselves from the seventh floor of the headquarters of the
Public Power Corporation (DEH) to protest the non-operation of two large-
scale wind-energy parks on Crete and Euboea.
The three protesters tied themselves with ropes on the outside of the
building in central Athens and unfurled a banner which read ''clean
Greenpeace accuses DEH of being principally responsible for causing
environmental pollution in Greece, claiming that the corporation accounts
for 50 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions.
The organisation maintains that 1.5 billion drachmas are being lost as a
result of the non-operation of the two wind park.
Rio-Antirrio bridge prelim works begin
The preliminary stage of works on the Rio-Antirrio bridge project linking
the Peloponnese with northwestern Greece formally commences today.
A delegation from the GEFYRA S.A. consortium, which has undertaken the
project following international tendering initiated as far back as the
1980s, submitted the timetable of works, as well as applications for the
necessary permits, to Patras central port chief Vassilis Kantas. The
contract between the Greek State and the consortium was signed early
Under the timetable, geophysical and underwater studies will be conducted --
by foreign research vessels and specialised technicians from abroad --
through mid-December this year, as well as drillings in the Rio-Antirrio
Italian specialised technicians will be conducting studies in the sea
region in early October, while a specially-designed floating platform
arrives Thursday in the port of Patras, where it will be assembled before
it is towed to Ri, to begin underwater research on October 6. A ship
equipped for underwater research also arrives between October 5-7, while
the Norwegian drilling vessel ''Norskalo'' arrives between October 6-8, to
conduct research and drilllings until mid December.
The Rio-Antirrio link, budgeted at 210 billion dr., comprises a cable
bridge supported on four blocks with a total span (length) of 2.5
kilometres and width of 25 metres. It will have two traffic lanes in each
direction plus one emergency lane.
Construction will funded on a co-financing basis, with the Greek State
footing 65 billion dr. of the 210 billion dr. budget, the contracting
consortium 15 billion dr., and the remainder to be raised by a loan from
the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is due to be approved sometime
The GEFYRA (Bridge) consortium comprises the French firms GTM International,
GTM Batiments et Travaux Publics (BTP) and Dyckerhoff und Widmann, the
Greek firms Volos Technical Company (TEB), Elliniki Technodomiki,
Proodeftiki, I. Sarantopoulos, Athina, and the Cypriot firm Joannou &
Traffic presently crosses from the Peloponnese to northwestern Greece by
ferry, which service is interruped in adverse weather conditions. The
bridge will not only eliminate the disruptions, but will also reduce the
crossing time from the prsent 45 minutes to a mere 5 minutes.
More than 2 million vehicles cross the Rio-Antirrio strait each year
Greek exports to Spain increased by 74.7 per cent over the January to May
period this year, compared to the corresponding period last year, according
to data provided by the Spanish Statistical Organisation.
Greek exports to Spain over the period in '96 amounted to 84.15 billion
Pesetas as against 48.14 billion Pesetas over the same period last
The Spanish economy has a wide margin allowing for a further increase in
the import of products from other European Union countries, while most of
its sectors have not been saturated, as is the case more and more with its
remaining partners in the EU, a ccording to reports.
European chambers of commerce to meet in Greece this month
The president of the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EBE) A.
Kyriazis and the president of the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
G. Kasimatis, addressed a press conference yesterday on the importance and
the issues to be examined at th e fourth conference of European chambers at
Vouliagmeni from Oct. 8-9.
The conference will focus on "Enterprise in the 21st century: technical
assistance and support by the EBEs" and is aimed at setting out necessary
pre-conditions for the success of enterprises, as well as to determine
technical aid and support, which the chambers of commerce and industry can
provide for them.
Referring to the significance of the conference, Mr. Kasimatis said it
constitutes one of the most important economic events in Europe, since
representatives from more than 140 chambers from 28 European Union and
central European countries will particip ate, as well as many well-known
Mr. Kyriazis focused on the important agreement, which will be signed
during the conference and concerns cooperation between the Union of
Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Union of European
Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Inflows of shipping exchange continued to increase this year, totalling 909
million dollars in the first five months of 1996, compared to 855.7 million
dollars in the same period last year, marking an increase of 6.2 per
According to figures released today by the Bank of Greece, inflows of
shipping exchange totalled 193 million dollars in May, against 188.9
million dollars in the same month of 1995, marking an increase of 2.2 per
Partly cloudy in most parts of the country with a further drop in
temperatures ranging from 15-22C in Athens and from 13-2OC in Thessaloniki
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 240.576, Can. dlr.176.369, Australian dlr. 190.517, Pound sterling
375.769, Irish punt 384.942, Cyprus pd 515.250, French franc 46.520, Swiss
franc 191.394 Belgian franc 7.647, German mark 157.426, Finnish mark 52.556,
Dutch guilder 140.368 Danish Kr. 40.991, Swedish Kr. 36.281, Norwegian Kr.
36.929, Austrian Sh. 22.379, Italian lira (100) 15.757 Yen (100) 215.681,
Spanish Peseta 1.872, Portuguese Escudo 1.548.