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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-10-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.forthnet.gr/ape>


NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 17/10/1996 (ANA)

MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece expresses willingness to play more active role in Dayton peace accord
  • E.U. strongly condemns murder of Greek Cypriot
  • Burns remarks on Cyprus murder draws Athens displeasure
  • Chirac expresses desire to visit Greece
  • 200 drachma note in November
  • New gasoline price increase
  • Merger approval gives rise to Europe's biggest metal mining company
  • HELEXPO makes inroads into promising Russian market

    NEWS IN DETAIL

    Greece wishes to become more active in the implementation of the Dayton peace accord in Bosnia, with an increase in the number of its military contigent, and take part in efforts to reconstruct the country, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos was quoted by the state Bosnian B-H PRESS news agency as saying at a press conference in Sarajevo yesterday, after talks with the Bosnian leadership, including President Alija Izetbegovic and Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic.

    "Greece wishes to increase the number of its peace force in Bosnia, if this is asked by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and if the other countries participating in NATO's peace force agree," Mr. Pangalos was quoted as saying, adding that Greece was willing to contribute $7 million to the reconstruction effort. Sarajevo was Mr. Pangalos' first stop on a tour of capitals in the former Yugoslavia, which began yesterday.

    The Greek foreign minister also announced that Greece would open an embassy in the Bosnian capital later this month, adding that he had received assurances that the Bosnian side would reciprocate as soon as possible.

    International news agencies reported Mr. Pangalos as saying that President Izetbegovic in person, and Bosnian Croat member of the collective presidium, Krezimir Zubak by telephone, had confirmed to him that they would be meeting with their Bosnian Serb counterpart Momcilo Krajisnik in Sarajevo next week.

    Mr. Pangalos' Bosnian counterpart, Jadranko Pirlic expressed satisfaction at the strengthening of relations with Greece, and stressed that he had received an assurance from his guest that Greece would help Bosnia become a member of the Council of Europe.

    He also met with international mediator Carl Bildt.

    Pangalos is due in Zagreb tomorrow.

    Politika interview

    Greece wishes the Balkans to become an area of peace and cooperation, and in this context, the basic goal of its policy is to develop such cooperation as much as possible at all levels, Mr. Pangalos says in an interview to the 'Politika' newspaper , published today.

    "Greece desires the strengthening of both inter-Balkan and bilateral cooperation, and is seeking the broadest possible cooperation of Balkan countries with the European Union," he says.

    Regarding bilateral relations with Yugoslavia, Mr. Pangalos emphasises that the two countries are connected with traditional links of friendship and cooperation, tested under difficult conditions, and holding scope for further broadening.

    "We are at the beginning of a new historical era, and it is in our hand for this period to be sealed in peace and progress," he adds.

    Referring to recent dramatic events in Cyprus, Mr. Pangalos stresses that the continuation of the island's division and occupation of its northern part by Turkey constituted a major issue of violation of the most basic rules of international law to wh ich the international communtiy ought to have paid more attention.

    "The latest criminal actions of occupation forces show that this situation cannot be continued," he says.

    Regarding the situation in the Aegean, the foreign minister stresses that Turkey must respect international law and treaties.


    The European Union yesterday strongly condemned the killing by Turkish occupation forces of an unarmed Greek Cypriot civilian, Petros Kakoullis, on Sunday.

    A declaration by the EU Irish Presidency said the EU "strongly condemns the killing by the forces on the north of Cyprus." It also said that the EU "deplores this latest tragic death, as it does all the violent deaths which have occurred recently in Cyprus."

    "The European Union fully endorses the principle stated by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) that deadly force must not be used by either side against persons who cross the respective ceasefire lines, or enter the UN buffer zone. The Europea n Union calls on both sides to look urgently at measures aimed at removing live ammunition from front line posts and increasing the area of demanning as called for in UN Security Council resolutions," the declaration said.

    Burns remarks on Cyprus murder draws Athens reaction

    Athens expressed displeasure yesterday at the statements of US State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns on Tuesday regarding the murder of an unarmed Greek Cypriot by Turkish armed forces in Cyprus.

    Mr. Burns said political violence had taken place by both sides in Cyprus and let it be understood that the Greek side had responsibilities over the killing of a Turkish Cypriot soldier.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas criticised the US government of keeping equal distances towards both the victimiser and the victim.

    "It is wrong that the victimiser and the victim are kept on equal distances, " Mr. Reppas said.

    "Here we are dealing with a murderous act against an unarmed citizen who had no intention to cause tension or an act of violence in the region where he was killed," he added. for fresh international initiatives on Cyprus.

    Speaking to reporters in Washington, Mr. Burns said that "political violence has taken place by both sides."

    "Another young Greek Cypriot was killed recently and a Turkish soldier was killed. We think that the killings must stop on both sides. And we urged both sides to try to find the killer of the Turkish soldier. And this is the responsibility of the authorities in Cyprus," he added.


    French President Jacques Chirac looks forward to a new future meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, saying that he will gladly pay an official visit to Greece in response to a previous Greek presidential visit to Paris.

    During a reception at the Presidential Mansion at the end of the Euro-Asian forum, which attracted the most important businessmen from Europe and Asia, President Chirac had a long and cordial conversation with the Foreign Ministry's European Affairs Secretary-General Stelios Perakis, the head of the Greek representation, in the presence of the Greek Ambassador to Paris Haralambos Korakas.

    During their meeting, President Chirac praised the constructive working meeting he had with the Greek prime minister in Dublin, as well as excellent Franco-Greek cooperation during the recent visit paid to Athens by French Prime Minister Alain Juppe.


    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Niles.

    The meeting, which took place at the request of Mr. Niles, centred on a wide range of issues of mutual interest.

    Diplomatic sources said there was no agenda and that the two men exchanged views on various issues ranging from developments in Greek-Turkish relations to Greek initiatives in the Balkans on the occasion of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos' tou r to the countries of former Yugoslavia.

    Patriot missile tested

    A Patriot missile was fired at the firing range in Hania,Crete, yesterday in the framework of testing and training, according to an announcement by the firing range's administration.

    The announcement said the firing process lasted for about an hour, adding that no plans have been made to fire another Patriot missile.

    Greek Studies Institute set up in Sweden

    A Greek Studies Institute has been set up in Sweden, aiming at the planning and carrying out of research in issues of common interest to the two countries, immigration, Greek language and culture, according to its provisi onal governing board.

    The Institute has been set up at the initiative of the Hellenic Culture Foundation and the 'Greek Library and Archive of Sweden' foundation.

    President of the provisional governing board is Upsala University hellenist Professor Sture Liner, who has written many books on Greece and its culture.


    Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papadimos yesterday presented the new 200 drachma note that will come into circulation on November 4.

    The new note bears on one side the figure of Rigas Feraios, an 18th century Greek champion of a Balkan federation, independent of Ottoman rule.

    Mr. Papadimas said this will be one of the last Greek notes to be printed.

    "Our aim is for the country to join EMU by the year 2000 or 2001, when notes will be printed in Euro denominations thereafter," he said.

    'Kassandra Mines' investment to be honoured, minister says

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou said yesterday the implementation of the investment at the "Kassandra Mines" constitutes a government commitment which will be fully honoured. She said it is a contract which has been ratified by Greek Parliament almost in its entirety.

    Ms. Papandreou was referring to an announcement by the HELLAS S.A. company, announcing the suspension of work at the plant due to its illegal disruption by residents over the past 10 months.

    The gold processing plant in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, has been prevented from starting work for the past 10 months by residents fearing the plant will harm the area's tourism business and the environment.


    The retail sales prices of gasoline increased three drachmas per litre as of last night and for a week, while the prices of diesel decreased by 2.2 drachmas per litre.

    According to an announcement by the Development Ministry, the new prices resulted from an increase in the international prices of gasoline and the new parities between the dollar and the drachma.

    Meanwhile, owners of conventional cars in Greece are sceptical over the possibility of super gasoline being abolished by the year 2002, in accordance with European community directives.

    PERPA scientists stress that the adjustment of cars and motorcycles is feasible. According to automobiles repairs shop owners, the conversion of a conventional car into a catalytic one will cost about 200,000 drachmas if it has been made after 1980, whi le for past technology cars the cost will amount to 500,000 drachmas.

    The Greek government, through Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Undersecretary Mr. Theodoros Koliopanos, requested at Tuesday's EU Council of Ministers' session an exemption of Greece from the measure until at least 2005.


    The AEE Argyromettalevmaton and Varytinis (AEEAV) has become the biggest metal mining company in Europe, following the agreement yesterday for the acquisition of AEM Parnassos Bauxite company.

    Both companies belong to the Iliopoulos - Kyriakopoulos group, and their merger was approved by both companiesY general assemblies yesterday, along with a decision to increase AEEAVYs equity capital by 1.7 billion drachmas with the floatation of 2,660 ,650 new shares.

    Parnassos, founded in 1933, is today the biggest bauxite producer in Europe, with exploitable reserves of 120 million tonnes estimated to last about 100 years, and it exports more than 60 per cent of its production. AEEAV, founded in 1934, has mines on the island of Milos, and is the biggest exporter of perlite and betonite in the world.

    The merger is expected to allow the two companies to expand to new products, through resulting economies of scale. Their joint sales are estimated at 19 billion drachmas in 1996 and profits at 3.7 billion, with projected corresponding figures for 199 7, 25 and 4.5 billion drachmas.


    HELEXPO-Thessaloniki International Fair S.A. is taking important steps in the promising Russian market with consecutive missions made by its cadres to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    The latest such one, the 5th since last August, took place between September 28 and October 7 on the occasion of the participation of PHILOXENIA, the international tourist exhibition organised by HELEXPO-TIF, in the INWETEX international tourist exhibit ion organised by the Russian RESTEC in St. Petersburg.

    The mission's general targets were to promote the 12th PHILOXENIA, organised by HELEXPO between October 31 and November 3, in Thessaloniki and carry out contacts, at the highest possible level, to promote events organised by the Greek national exhibition agency at exhibition and convention level and conclude agreements such as the one already signed with INWETEX.

    The mission was a success since meetings took place with Russian Tourism Minister Sergei Shilko, the deputy mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg Boris Averianov and Liodmila Botkina, Archimandrite Theophanis, Deputy President of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Russian Church, and with directors of exhibition organisations.

    Talks were also held with other economic officials and new forms of alternate tourism offered by Greece were promoted.

    Schindler to establish subsidiary in Athens

    The Swiss-based multinational company Schindler announced at a press conference yesterday that it will establish a subsidiary in Athens, Schindler Hellas S.A.

    Its President Alfred N. Schindler outlined the activities of the company, which is the biggest manufacturer of mobile staircases in the world, the second in size in manufacturing elevators and the biggest producer of train wagons in Switzerland.

    The Schindler company has 60 subsidiaries in the world, employs 44,000 people and has an annual turnover amounting to five billion Swiss francs.

    Schindler aims at participating in all major projects in Greece (Athens Metro, Spata airport), attributing importance to the Greek market.

    WEATHER

    Partly cloudy in most parts of the country with rainfalls expected later on in the day.Temperatures will range in Athens from 16-23C and in Thessaloniki from 13-21C.

    SPORTS

    World Athletics Championship to take place in Athens next year as

    scheduled

    Undersecretary for Sports Andreas Fouras yesterday provided assurances that the World Athletics Championship will take place in Athens next year as scheduled.

    He made the statement after the Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS), which had signed the contract with the International Athletics Federation to run the championships, yesterday withdrew from the games organising committee, saying it had been marginali sed by the state.

    He specified that the organising committee of 'Athens 97' will have the responsibility for all administrative decisions, while the technical committee will be responsible for the games side of the event.

    Mr. Fouras said expected revenue from ticket sales was expected to be in the region of 2.5 to 3 billion drachmas.

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)

    U.S. dlr 239.003 Can. dlr.176.278, Australian dlr. 189.085, Pound sterling 379.043, Irish punt 384.102, Cyprus pd 511.078, French franc 45.846, Swiss franc 188.321 Belgian franc 7.529, German mark 155.154 Finnish mark 51.985, Dutch guilder 138.265 Danish Kr. 40.493, Swedish Kr. 36.089, Norwegian Kr. 36.575, Austrian Sh. 22.062, Italian lira (100) 15.591 Yen (100) 212.953 Spanish Peseta 1.845, Portuguese Escudo 1.538.

    (C.E.)


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