Athens formally receives IOC evaluation commission
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis cautions against hasty BSEC enlargement
Athens believes that the Black Sea Economic Cooperation countries should
strive towards greater economic cooperation before taking steps towards
enlargement of the organisation, Prime Minister Costas Simitis told a BSEC
summit held in Moscow yesterday.
Mr. Simitis said the BSEC member-countries should be very cautious
regarding taking in new members since a broad enlargement could weaken the
ability of its members to take decisions.
Stressing Greece's "historic interest in forging closer relations with the
countries of the Black Sea," the Prime Minister pointed to the development
of further cooperation among BSEC countries in the economic sector.
Mr. Simitis also raised the issue of the Thessaloniki-based Black Sea Trade
and Development Bank, expressing hope that it will start its operation in
the next few months.
The operation of the bank has been delayed due to the inability of BSEC's
smaller member-states to submit their contribution to the bank's share
capital, and the refusal of the national parliaments of Bulgaria, The
Ukraine and Georgia to ratify the founding agreement.
Chernomyrdin expected in Athens soon
Mr. Simitis kicked off the second day of his visit to Moscow with a meeting
yesterday morning with his Russian counterpart Viktor Chernomyrdin. The
meeting, also attended by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos,
focused on bilateral issues with special emphasis on economic cooperation.
The talks, which Mr. Simitis described as "substantial," also covered
foreign policy issues including Greek-Turkish relations, the situation in
the Balkans and NATO's enlargement.
On enlargement of the North Atlantic Alliance, Mr. Simitis said plans for
accepting new members in NATO should first be agreed with Russia, "in order
to avoid opposition." Hoping that "the good atmosphere" in Greek-Russian
consultations will continue in the future, Mr. Simitis said his Russian
counterpart was now expected to visit Athens soon, in order "to discuss
Welcoming Mr. Simitis, the Russian prime minister stressed the "traditionally
good relations" between the two countries, expressing conviction that this
"desire and tradition will extend in the future." The meeting was also
attended by a Greek government delegation headed by Mr. Pangalos and a
Russian delegation headed by Foreign Undersecretary Nikolay Athanasievski.
Commenting on the meeting with Mr. Chernomyrdin, later in the day, Mr.
Simitis expressed satisfaction at the fact that the Russian side was not
willing to confine the issue of the Burgas-Alexandroupo-lis oil pipeline in
purely financial terms but appear ed eager to also attribute a political
dimension to it.
"It is a purely political issue," Mr. Simitis said pointing to the fact
that future oil production in the region will call for alternative means of
transport to the West.
Premier in Budapest for European Socialist Party summit
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to participate in a two-day European
Socialist Party summit due to open in Budapest today.
During the meeting, Mr Simitis is expected to present PASOK's positions on
employment and development, economic and social cohesion and peace and
security for European citizens.
This is the first time that a meeting of the European Socialist Party is to
be held in a non-member country.
Expatriates - October 28 anniversary
President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens
addressed a message to Greece today on the occasion of celebrations for the
anniversary of 'Ohi (No) Day', when on October 28, 1940, Greece rejected an
ultimatum from Italy to surrender or be invaded.
"In 1940, Greece told the Axis powers 'No! You can not violate our
territorial integrity.' World Hellenism today says to the Turks and to all
those who have similar plans 'NO! You can not violate even a small part of
Greek land'," Athens said in his message.
President of SAE's American branch Christos Tomaras, stressed the role
played by American Greeks in the mobilising of public opinion and in
informing governments regarding Turkish violations on Greek islands and in
Athens formally receives IOC evaluation commission
Athens yesterday formally received the International Olympic Committee's
evaluation commission at the Zappeion Mansion.
Athens formally receives IOC evaluation commission. The event was attended
by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Sports Undersecretary
Andreas Fouras, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, the presidium of the
Greek Olympic Committee and the members of the Athens 2004 committee.
At a press conference later, president of the evaluation commission Thomas
Bach outlined the procedure for the evaluation of candidate cities but gave
no hint of the commission's first impressions of Athens.
'Moscow Declaration' on BSEC's principles
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) summit ended yesterday with the
release of the 'Moscow Declaration', a text which recapitulates BSEC's
In the joint communique, BSEC member-states committed themselves to
accelerating procedures for the operation of the Black Sea Commercial and
Development Bank in Thessaloniki in early 1997.
A conference of scientists representing member-states is to be held in
Greece at the end of this year, aiming to promote scientific and technological
cooperation, the joint communique said.
It also reconfirmed that a Black Sea International Research Centre is to be
founded in Greece, most probably in Athens.
The Moscow Declaration stressed the need to convert the Black Sea area into
a "zone of peace, stability and economic prosperity". Special note was
taken of the need to reinforce relations between Mediterranean and Black
Sea countries, and called on the European Union to develop closer relations
with the region.
The declaration said common plans for the future include regional and trans-
regional optic fibre networks in the telecommunications sector, and the
creation of free trade zones in BSEC countries during 1997.
BSEC - Bank
The Greek delegation participating in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
(BSEC) summit, which ended yesterday with the signing of the Moscow
Declaration, has expressed its satisfaction over the declaration's call for
those member-states lagging behind to complete their obligations for the
Black Sea Commericial and Development Bank to operate in Thessaloniki at
the beginning of next year, an ANA dispatch from Moscow reports.
The Greek government has decided to provide loans as a form of economic
assistance for the weaker countries, such as Armenia and Moldova, which
have asked for Greece's help.
Only three countries, Albania, Greece and Romania, have said they can meet
their financial obligations at present.
Dimension of illegal immigration discussed with visiting Commissioner
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou held talks with Annita Gradin,
the Commissioner responsible for issues related to illegal immigration and
combating fraud against the European Union budget, at the Zappeion Mansion
Ms. Gradin said cooperation is necessary to confront illegal immigration
which has taken on big dimensions in past years. Referring to fraud, she
said every European Union member-state must consider it a national issue
and impose sanctions.
According to reports, she also said organised economic crime has taken on
dimensions, adding that it was a myth that only countries in southern
Europe had more cases of fraud.
The issue of child prostitution was examined and the EU Commission has
already taken initiatives in this direction. ANA
'Parmenion '96' exercise to commence next week
The scheduled annual military exercise "Parmenion '96" is to be held from
October 31 to November 11 in the regions of Evros, the Aegean and in Greek
The exercise aims to train the navy, army and airforce general staffs and
units in carrying out joint operations, so as to maintain and improve the
armed forces' fighting abilities, a Pentagon announcement said.
President in Thessaloniki for national celebrations
Three-day celebrations begin in Thessaloniki today on the occasion of the
feast day of Saint Dimitrios and to commemorate the city's liberation from
Turkish occupation and of the anniversary of 'Ohi (No) Day' on October 28,
when then Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum to
surrender or be invaded.
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos arrived in the city
yesterday evening in order to attend the celebrations.
President refers to FYROM name issue and Cyprus problem
President Stephanopoulos said the Greek nature of the name of Macedonia can
never be lost since names and national characteristics are never acquired
by conquest but are awarded by history.
Arriving in Thessaloniki yesterday, President Stephanopoulos referred to
the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in reply to
an address by Thessaloniki Mayor Constantine Kosmopoulos who said the issue
of Macedonia is pending and its prospects are ominous.
"History has awarded this name many thousands of years ago to those who are
really entitled to bear it," President Stephanopoulos said, adding that
"this name covers periods of Greek history, it covers Greek territory and
Greek populations who will rema in the genuine and unique Macedonians
whatever may happen."
Commenting on references made by Mr. Kosmopoulos to Turkish barbarism in
Cyprus, Mr. Stephanopoulos said "our thoughts are continuously directed and
we are looking with anxiety at all the murderous events taking place."
UNESCO weekend meeting on peace in the Aegean
UNESCO's Dodecanese Group will organise an international meeting on peace
in the Aegean today and tomorrow with the cooperation of the Kalymnos
The meeting is taking place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the
organisation's operation and in the hope of contributing towards "building
a civilisation of peace in the Aegean and the Mediterranean."
Fifteen messages of peace have already been sent by Nobel Prize winners,
while at the height of the meeting, participants will sail to Greek
territorial waters between the islands of Kalymnos, Kalolymnos amd Imia on
scores of boats from Kalymnos.
Cowpox appears to recede in Evros
The cowpox disease affecting sheep in the Evros prefecture appears to have
receded in the past fortnight. As a result, the Evros prefecture has
decided to lift a ban on the import of firewood from Bulgaria, in effect
since early October, in an effort to m inimise the possibility of new cases
of cowpox being contracted from the neighbouring country.
In parallel, groups of veterinarians are continuing examinations at
stockbreeding units in the Evros region and are killing all sheep
considered to be affected by the disease.
Angelos Boglou, Director of the Evros Veterinary Service, said that cases
of cowpox are isolated and under complete control. Referring to foot and
mouth disease, he said stringent measures to combat the disease have
produced results, since about 30 days have passed without any new case