E.O.T. begins spa tourism promotion for Russian market
NEWS IN DETAIL
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that there is
no possibility of the EU-Turkey Association Council being convened next
month, adding that Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller's letter to EU
foreign ministers last week "shows Turkey's dissatisfaction regarding the
European Parliament resolution."
He added, however, that Greece has no reason to oppose the convening of the
Association Council, if both the Council of Ministers and Ankara agree with
a proposal put forth by certain countries, mainly Scandinavian, that the
sole issue of discussion be the human rights situation in Turkey.
Mr. Papandreou stressed that Ms Ciller's letter cannot be considered an
answer expected by the European Union, based on the Council's July 15
It is almost certain that EU-Turkish relations will be discussed during the
next EU General Affairs Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 25 in Brussels.
The 15 EU foreign ministers are to discuss the report that will be prepared
by ambassadors comprising the EU's political committee.
The alternate foreign minister concluded that during the meeting in
Luxembourg, funding to Turkey through the MEDA programme was not particularly
discussed. European Commissioner Hans van den Broek briefly informed the 15
EU ministers on relevant decisi ons taken by Europarliament last week
within the framework of the first phase of an examination of the Union's
Meanwhile, PASOK Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis, who is representing Greece
in the preparation committee for the Intergovernmental Conference, said Ms
Ciller cannot mislead the EU, as Turkish policies concerning respect of
human rights, the Aegean and Cyprus are well-known.
National carrier Olympic Airways yesterday announced it was reducing
prices in an effort to compete with other European and international
An OA official said the state-run company's "aggressive sales policy" had
increased sales by 8 per cent for international flights and 4 per cent for
OA also announced it was inaugurating two new routes this year: to Belgrade,
Bucharest, and to Johannesburg next year, as well as pursuing cooperation
with other airlines.
Among others, tickets for one-way flights to New York from all Greek
airports servicing the route will cost 129,000 drachmas. Similar decreases
were announced on most international routes.
EIB loan granted to DEPA
European Investment Bank (EIB) Deputy President P. Yennimatas has signed a
new loan for Ecu200 million (60.6 billion drachmas) for the Public Gas Co.
The loan will be used to build a network for transporting and distributing
natural gas through high pressure pipelines.
On the part of DEPA, the agreement document was signed by its general
director S. Paleoyiannis. Construction of the new natural gas distribution
network is expected to be completed by 1999.
Road taxes hiked
Automobile and motorcycle owners are to pay an extra 13 billion drachmas in
1997 road taxes - increased by up to 33 per cent - a report by the state
general accounting office stated.
The report accompanied a draft bill on customs offices, which includes the
decision for an increase in road tax.
The draft bill submitted to Parliament yesterday included clauses on the
regulation of debts to the state and submission of income tax statements.
Replying to questions yesterday, US State Department spokesman Nicholas
Burns said Washington agreed with Greece and Turkey that the status of Imia
must be resolved peacefully between the two countries.
"If one looks at the past eight, nine months they will see that in
connection with the issue of the disputed islets, the US has a stable
position which it has not changed. It is the correct position and it is
known to the governments of Greece and Turke y. We agree with Greece and
Turkey that the status of Imia/Kardak must be resolved peacefully between
Greece and Turkey," he said.
"I don't think it helps if one isolates specific words and attaches a wider
diplomatic significance to them," he added.
Meanwhile, prosecution has been initiated against four Turkish reporters
who disembarked on the Greek isle last February.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday described Prime Minister
Costas Simitis's recent trips to Russia and Hungary as "absolutely
Mr. Reppas noted that during the prime minister's visit to Moscow to attend
the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Summit, Mr. Simitis had a series of
meetings with heads of national representations during which the basis of a
long-term cooperation was form ed.
The spokesman also drew attention to Mr. Simitis's meeting with his Russian
counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin, focusing on political and economic
cooperation between the two countries.
Regarding Mr. Simitis's trip to Budapest, Mr. Reppas noted "a coincidence
of views" between the two countries on certain issues, including Cyprus-EU
Crucial ND meeting scheduled for tomorrow
All sides in the crisis-riddled main opposition New Democracy party are
observing a wait-and-see policy in light of tomorrow's crucial Parliamentary
Party leader Miltiades Evert is not expected to refer to intra-party
conflicts, but his close associates say that if the issue is raised he will
state that "if you want to dispute me, the relevant bodies exist. But I
will not have the party fail to exer cise its constitutional role.
Otherwise, you will have to keep silent until the (party) congress."
Leading ND members and one-time contenders for the top ND post, George
Souflias, Stephanos Manos and Dora Bakoyianni, met yesterday afternoon to
define their tactics at the meeting. According to reports, they will insist
on their claim for "an honest an d fair congress with intra-party elections
and creation of a mutually acceptable congress organising committee."
Mr. Manos, reports state, will repeat his proposal for a series of talks
between leading members to have problems resolved, while Ms Bakoyianni does
not intend to take the floor since, according to her close associates, she
shouldered the burden of intr a-party opposition at last week's central
committee meeting. However, if provoked she will respond accordingly,
Top officers charged in ferry boat accident
The captain, sublieutenant and first engineer of a ferry boat that slammed
into an islet off Cape Sounion on Saturday, injuring 71 of 450 passengers
on board, appeared in a Pireaus court yesterday.
The three officers of the "Pegasus" ferry boat stand accused of causing a
shipwreck and of causing multiple injuries to passengers. After their
hearing, all three were all released on a bail of five million drachmas
each, while they have been barred fro m leaving the country.
According to reports, each officer denied being responsible for the
Conference told desertification a problem on Crete, Spain
A conference on desertification in the Mediterranean basin which opened in
Crete yesterday, was told that the phenomenon is most pronounced in Crete
The southeastern part of the island is particularly prone to desertifiacation,
due to overcultivation and irrigation using brackish water, which destroys
In order to combat this problem, a proposal was put forth for the European
Union to reinforce cultivation, irrespective of if the areas are large or
The conference also stated that continuous ploughing on sloped fields has
negative consequences on productivity.
Greek actress Amalia Moutoussi won an award for her performance in the
film "A Drop in the Ocean," at the 41st movie festival in Valladolid, Spain,
"A Drop in the Ocean," was directed by Eleni Alexandraki.
The movie has been screened at 11 international festivals, including the
Montreal and Berlin film festivals. It has been awarded three international
prizes as well as the Greek state award for quality.
KKE condemns arrest of Chilean communist
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has condemned the arrest of the leader
of Chile's communist party, Gladys Marin, on slander charges.
"Her arrest constitutes an insult of the anti-dictatorship struggle of the
Chilean people and an open attack against the free activities of the
Communist Party of Chile," the KKE's statement read.
"The KKE expresses its support and solidarity towards the communists of
Chile and demands the immediate freeing of comrade Gladys Marin," it
According to a Reuters dispatch, Ms Marin was taken to a detention centre
by plainclothes police yesterday, after she called former military ruler
Augusto Pinochet "a blackmailer and a psychopath, who came to power through
deceit, treason and murder."
Social security minister presents gov't social budget to Kaklamanis
Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou delivered the
social budget for 1996 to Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis
Mr. Papaioannou told Mr. Kaklamanis that as of next year an effort will be
made to have the social budget tabled in the first half of the year and
called on him to have an off the agenda debate in Parliament on the social
budget every year as of 1997.
The revenues contained in the social budget amount to 5.99 trillion
drachmas and expenditures to 5.76 trillion drachmas. Social insurance will
account for 5.185 trillion drachmas of the social budget's revenues, health
for 568 billion and welfare 245 bi llion.
Participation of the regular state budget and social resources in the
social budget's expenditures for 1996 will amount to 962 billion drachmas,
compared to 827.4 billion drachmas in 1995.
Reduction in number of seasonal workers in public sector decided
A decision to reduce the number of seasonal workers appointed to the public
sector in 1997 by 30 per cent was taken during a meeting yesterday between
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Interior
Minister Alekos Papadopoulos.
According to official statistics, 42,000 seasonal workers were employed
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Papantoniou said the hiring of seasonal
workers will be limited to only the bare essential.
The government has decided to drastically reduce appointments to the public
sector, with only one employee being hired for every five leaving.
The Greek Tourist Organisation (EOT) has announced plans to commence a
promotional campaign aimed at the Russian market for spa and therapeutical
tourism in Greece.
For this purpose, EOT has invited the deputy president of Moscow's Medical
University, S. Morozova, and spa expert M. Gavrilova to visit the most well-
known spas and hydrotherapy centres in Greece.
Moscow University has already started a subsidised programme for spa
tourism, while interest on the part of Russian tourists for spa tourism in
Greece is reported as significant, given that there are many sources of
hydrotherapy around the Black Sea, ma ny of which are forced to close due
to a lack of maintenance.
EOT wants to cover this gap in Russian demand for organised spa tourism
packages and by promoting the comparative advantages of Greek sources of
hydrotherapy as part of a general effort to promote alternate forms of
tourism and to extend the tourism period.
Sunny in most parts of the country with rising temperatures to range from
10-22C in Athens and from 8-18C in Thessaloniki.
Fourteen-year-old Athinodoros Panayiotidis has won a silver medal in the
Fourth Balkan Informatics Olympiad held in Cyprus. Medical student Petros
Tsantoulis won the bronze medal.
It is the first time Greece won honours in the international informatics
games. This year's Olympiad included 28 young people from six Balkan
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