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Athens News Agency: News in English, 97-02-15

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, 15/02/1997 (ANA)

MAIN HEADLINES

  • Defence Minister cautions Turkey against incidents
  • Eurosocialists urged to suport Balkan security
  • Opposition to social security fund amendment
  • Foreigners arrested passing counterfeit notes
  • Historic Cretan town to get facelift
  • Illegal immigrants arrested
  • Road accident deaths

    NEWS IN DETAIL

    Defence Minister cautions Turkey against incidents

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos issued an indirect warning to Turkey that if it caused any further ''incidents'', Greece would exercise its right to extend its territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles.

    ''In the event that Turkey causes a new incident, the Greek response, apart from a military one... will also be political. A response which will maximise the cost for Ankara, be proportionate to the seriousness of the provocation and will be in the framework of implementing international agreements,'' Tsohatzopoulos said in a speech last night at a Thessaloniki Bar Association event on the subject of national defence policy.

    Under the recently ratified international law of the sea, Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles. Athens has repeatedly said that it will do so at an opportune time.

    Tsohatzopoulos described Turkey as the ''number one threat to Greece'', saying Ankara would stop at nothing to use force to create the status quo in the Aegean which it wants.

    Commenting on the possibility of Greek-Turkish differences being resolved by recourse to the International Court at the Hague, Tsohatzopoulos said:

    ''I don't think there's much point in referring (the differences) to the Hague, because Ankara's logic is devoid of any perspective for a lawful settlement of the issue. Its logic is to impose its views on Athens.''

    On Turkey's claims against Greece in the Aegean, Tsohatzopoulos reiterated that Greece would never discuss so-called ''grey zones'' and islets over which it has sovereignty.

    Tsohatzopoulos strongly defended the joint Greece-Cyprus defence doctrine saying that for the first time, international organisations and the major powers ''feel the need to intervene in a different way in order to create prospects for a final solution of the Cyprus problem''.

    Eurosocialists urged to support Balkan security

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and ruling PASOK party Secretary Costas Skandalides today called for the ''active support'' of the European Union for the countries of the Balkans and the creation of conditions of security for the region.

    They were addressing a two-day meeting of the European socialist parties which comprise the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and their respective policy-making institutes.

    ''Europe needs a strong Greece. We shall remain dedicated to the international rules of peaceful cooperation for a Europe stretching from the Urals to the Atlantic,'' Skandalides said.

    He also called for ''a social Europe of equal nations and sovereign peoples'' to stand up against ''the omnipotence of bank and stock exchange capital''.

    Such a Europe, he added, should combine financial integration with a common foreign policy, decentralisation and the safeguarding of each country's sovereign rights.

    Tsohatzopoulos urged the promotion of ''democratic socialist solutions'' in the countries of central and eastern Europe, describing as ''inadequate'' the programmes to date providing for cooperation between these countries and the more advanced states of the European Union.

    He also spoke of a ''security vacuum'' in the Balkans, caused by the collapse of communism and the EU's inability to put together a common foreign policy.

    Papandreou appealed for immediate financial assistance for Albania and Bulgaria ''which are in the throes of a deep economic crisis'' and the charting of a long-term EU policy for the Balkans.

    This policy, he added, should aim at ensuring respect for borders and minorities, economic and technical assistance, regional cooperation and the protection of human rights, along the lines of the Scandinavian countries.

    Opposition to social security fund amendment

    An amendment to the law on social security funds tabled by the National Economy Ministry is likely to cause problems between the government and the country's trade unions. The amendment requires the funds to deposit their reserve capital with the Bank of Greece.

    According to today's edition of the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia", the capital could amount to more than one trillion drachmas.

    General Confederation of Trade Unions (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos said the amendment was unacceptable and asked for it to be withdrawn. He also stressed that GSEE would in no way accept an increase in the age of retirement or a drop in pensions.

    Bank unions' federation (OTOE) President Dimitris Kouselas characterised the issue as extremely serious. The banks' social security funds have particularly large reserves. Kouselas also called for the withdrawal of the amendment, emphasising that the funds were claiming free movement of reserves.

    Foreigners arrested passing counterfeit notes

    Four Ukrainians and a Moldavian have been arrested for passing counterfeit 10,000 drachma notes on the market. Oleg Andriasko, 27, was arrested trying to shop with one of the notes in Athens' Varvakeio market. The shopkeeper realised the note was counterfeit and called police, who arrested Andriasko after finding another ten counterfeit notes in his possession.

    After a search of his home, where he lived with Luba Anoupreia, 37, Igor and Maria Fostich, both 32, and Eugeni Savraduze, 36, all illegal immigrants, all five were arrested after another 71 counterfeit notes were found there.

    Andriasko claimed to have bought over one million dr. worth of counterfeit 10,000 dr. notes for the sum of $30, from a Bulgarian named Anton a week ago in Omonia Square.

    In a separate incident, an Iranian, Mehran Sadik, 20, was arrested after trying to buy a ring from a jewellery shop in Syntagma Square with a counterfeit $100 bill. Sadik ran off with the ring when one of the salesman went next door to change the bill, but was apprehended by a nearby policeman.

    Historic Cretan town to get facelift

    The old sector of the Cretan town of Rethymno is to receive a 8.6 billion dr. facelift, Environment Minister Kostas Laliotis announced at the official opening of the new public works programme there today.

    Lalitios said the plan includes preserving the cultural heritage and architectural character of all historic periods represented in the old city, while promoting tourism in the surrounding prefecture as well as in the city itself.

    Illegal immigrants arrested

    Two brothers from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) were arrested early today in Kilkis, northern Greece the moment 37 illegal immigrants from Romania were boarding the truck they were driving.

    The Romanians entered Greece yesterday and were met by Zoran and Igor Kritzefski, 25 and 19 respectively, who had driven from Skopje to pick them up and take them to various parts of Greece to look for work.

    Meanwhile, police in Kavala said today that 85 illegal immigrants, 68 of whom were from Albania, had been arrested in the prefecture during the last few days and deported.

    Road accident deaths

    Four people died and three were injured in two road accidents shortly after midnight last night in the Athens area.

    Two males and a female aged between 17 and 19 were killed and two others injured in one accident in Kamateros.

    At about the same time, a 21-year-old man was killed and an 18-year-old seriously injured in another accident in Nea Liosia.

    In both cases, police said, the drivers did not have a licence and the accidents were due to excessive speed.

    Meanwhile, another two people were killed late last night in two separate road accidents in Pieria, northern Greece.

    WEATHER

    Cloudy weather and rain later this evening in mainland areas. For Sunday, weather will be cloudy and wet with local downpours, particularly in the west, later extending to the rest of the country. Snow is expected in moutainous regions to the north. Strong southerly winds, increasing to gale force over sea areas. Temperatures in Athens will range between 11-15C, in Thessaloniki between 8-13C.

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE

    Closing rates - buying US dlr. 260.598 Pound sterling 424.636 Cyprus pd 519.411 French franc 45.872 Swiss franc 180.083 German mark 154.891 Italian lira (100) 15.757 Yen (100) 209.987 Canadian dlr. 192.488 Australian dlr. 200.543 Irish Punt 413.466 Belgian franc 7.508 Finnish mark 52.524 Dutch guilder 138.057 Danish kr. 40.648 Swedish kr. 35.365 Norwegian kr. 39.269 Austrian sch. 22.001 Spanish peseta 1.828 Portuguese escudo 1.540

    (Y.B.)


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