50,000 new jobs in 1997
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek and Turkish businessmen yesterday engaged in earnest discussion on
how to overcome the often seemingly inexorable political obstacles to the
development of trade and economic relations between the two countries, at
the two-day conference of the Greek-Turkish Business Cooperation Council
opened by President of the Association of Young Businessmen of Greece
The Council's sessions are being attended by the one of the largest
delegations of Turkish businessmen ever to travel abroad.
Describing the meeting as "historic", Mr. Lavidas, who is also President of
the Greek-American Business Council, said closer ties must gradually be
forged between the businessmen of the two countries.
The President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry,Yiannis
Papathanasiou, said it was important for Greece and Turkey to improve their
economic relations and called in both countries to be realists and to
refrain from adding new problems to existing ones," he added.
Mr. Papathanasiou expressed support for a "step-by-step" rapprochement in
the economic sector underlining the importance, for Greek companies, of the
vast Turkish market which could easily absorb Greek products.
Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Iason Stratos noted that
there was great potential for Greek-Turkish cooperation through commerce or
joint ventures, particularly in the tourism sector.
The President of the Panhellenic Association of Exporters, Christina
Sakellaridi said the business world was forced to act within the framework
set by the politicians.
" The politicians cannot ignore us if our economic relations become
stronger," said Rahmi Koc, president of Turkey's biggest business
conglomerate, who is also President of the Turkish-Greek Business Council
and heads the 60-member Turkish delegation at the meeting.
Hussamedin Kavi, President of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, appealed
for "mutual understanding and good will among businessmen."
"No more defence spending, with the focus on productive investments. Our
children will accuse us if we do not build a new future," he added. The
President of the powerful Association of Turkish Industrialists and
Businessmen, Halis Komili, said war between the two countries would be "an
act of madness."
Stressing that the two countries were joined by a common destiny, Mr.
Komili said that current differences could be resolved. "Let us not allow
history to punish us. Businessmen can prevent this," he said.
Farmers' protests continue as cabinet meets
The Cabinet meets today to discuss the prospect of serious disruption in
traffic and distribution of goods arising from almost two weeks of farmers'
roadblocks throughout the country, as both sides refused to budge from
their stated positions yesterday.
The government, through its spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, reiterated its
readiness to enter into structured dialogue after the farmers removed the
Other ministers, and most prominently National Economy and Finance Minister
Yiannos Papantoniou, stressed that the government would not yield to
blackmail, and it was inconceivable that the hard-won efforts for a drop in
inflation would go wasted due to a group of farmers.
Farmers are demanding higher crop prices, increased subsidies, cheaper fuel
for agricultural use, the favourable settlement of outstanding debts and
lower fertiliser prices.
President Kostis Stephanopoulos and main opposition New Democracy (ND)
party leader Miltiades Evert expressed concern over the continuing
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said later that the government was
ready for "an institutional dialogue of a national nature" on the problems
of Greek agriculture, but only on the condition that the farmers lift their
blockades of the country's roads and rail links.
Mr. Reppas said that the Cabinet would meet today, chaired by Prime
Minister Costas Simitis, to discuss the new uniform pay scale for civil
servants. He clarified that the issue of the farmers' protests would also
be examined at the meeting.
EU unification affected by `considerable` problems
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday spoke of "considerable" differences
in views and aims between European Union member-states, speaking at a pre-
agenda debate in Parliament on Greece's aims concerning the Intergovernmental
Mr. Simitis again referred to major problems facing the course towards
European unification, focusing in particular on Turkey's destabilising role
in the region and on the threat against Greek sovereign rights.
Mr. Simitis said that the EU did not succeed so far in developing a common
foreign policy (Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue, Yugoslavia and
the Middle East), stressing that Greece supported the need for a policy
which will consolidate the inviolability of the EU's territorial integrity
and borders, the principles of peacefully resolving differences, respect
for international law and solidarity between member-states.
Cyprus overflights moratorium
Commenting on a US-proposed suspension of military flights over Cyprus,
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday that nothing
had changed regarding the issue, adding that Cyprus President Glafcos
Clerides had clarified the matter .
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said the government's positions on this
issue had already been made clear. "The issue has been solved, judged and
stated to the appropriate bodies," the minister said.
New wave of strikes begins this week
A new wave of strikes and protests began yesterday against the government's
economic policy and its tough new state budget, with small manufacturers
and professionals holding protest rallies in Athens and other major
Pensioners are due to hold rallies around the country today, while teachers
in both the public and private sectors embark on a three-day strike
Doctors and hospital workers have also announced a strike for tomorrow,
while doctors of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) will begin their
strike today until Friday, calling for productivity bonuses to be payed. If
their demands are not met, they have said they may extend the strike until
Construction workers are to strike on Thursday and dockers on Friday.
Teachers and kindergarten staff have announced a 48-hour strike beginning
on December 16, while tax officers and finance ministry employees follow
suite on December 17-18. Customs off icials will hold their own three-day
strike on December 17-19.
Civil aviation unions are to hold four-hour work stoppages at airports
begining at noon every day from December 12 to 14, demanding payment of
remuneration due in October and November, overtime work and work done on
Sundays and holidays.
A nationwide 24-hour civil servants strike has been called for December 17
by the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY).
Kaklamanis in Georgia for Black Sea meeting
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis leaves today for Tbilisi to
attend the 8th plenary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea
Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation which will be held from December
Mr. Kaklamanis will address the assembly and take over the rotating
presidency which will be held by Greece for the first half of 1997.
During his stay in Tbilisi, Mr. Kaklamanis will have the opportunity for
talks with Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze, Foreign Minister
Irakliy Menagarishvili and his own parliamentary counterpart. He will also
visit Patriarch Ilias II and attend a special event organised by the ethnic
Greek community in Tbilisi.
Greece is the only EU country among the BSCE's 11 member-states. The other
countries are Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova,
Ukraine, Romania, Russia and Turkey.
Turkey's policy is "continuous shame for international community" Evert says
"Turkey`s policy is a continuous shame for the international community,
with the flagrant violation of human rights, both in Cyprus and domestically,
" New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert said in a message yesterday on
the occasion of World Day for Human Rights today.
"Respect and protection of human rights is a basic obligation of all
states. It is not sufficient that states merely recognise human rights, "
the ND leader said.
"Especially for us Greeks, the problem of human rights violation is not a
distant one, as we are witnesses of one of its most characteristic cases
from neighbouring Turkey," he added.
Greek Homeopath wins Award
George Vythoulkas, a homeopathic practitioner yesterday won the Right
Livelihood Award for alternative medicine "for his unique contribution to
the development of knowledge regarding homeopathic practice..."
Swedish Parliament President Brigitta Dal awarded the prize to Mr.
Vythoulkas yesterday at a special ceremony held in the Parliament.
Mr. Vythoulkas said the uncontrolled use of chemical pharmaceuticals and
the diseases of the future will influence brain operations and lead to a
"society of pshychopaths," adding that "homeopathic practice constitutes
hope for renewal and prospect for better health standards."
50,000 new jobs in 1997
Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou yesterday
forecast the creation of 50,000 new jobs in 1997 through the linking of
vocational training programmes with employment, significant employment
incentives for many businesses and help from the European Social Fund.
Speaking at the Thessaloniki Labour Centre, he also announced additional
measures for 300 workers recently laid off by the Goodyear tyre factory in
the city, including financial support with re-training supplements, or
trial employment by businesses for varying lengths of time.
Overcast with rainfalls in most parts of Greece and rainstorms in the west.
Same weather in the Ionian and northern Aegean sea and the mainland with
backed by strong winds. Athens will be overcast with rainfall later in the
day and temperatures ranging from 11-15C. Same in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 6-12C.
Results of three Greek First Division soccer matches played Monday:Paniliakos
- Kalamata 4-0, Athinaikos - OFI 0-0 and Edessaikos - Kavala 0-0.
(Closing rates -buying) U.S. dlr 242.484, Can. dlr.178.282, Australian dlr.
193.619, Pound sterling 398.387, Irish punt 399.677, Cyprus pd 517.626,
French franc 46.235, Swiss franc 183.421 Belgian franc 7.577, German
mark 156.190, Finnish mark 52.231, Dutch guilder 139.297, Danish Kr.
40.811, Swedish Kr. 35.543, Norwegian Kr. 37.398, Austrian Sh. 22.197,
Italian lira (100) 15.851, Yen (100) 214.113, Spanish Peseta 1.856,
Portuguese Escudo 1.547.