Greek-Armenian agreement in agricultural sector
NEWS IN DETAIL
Karamanlis calls for unity and an end to ND's 'introversion'
Costas Karamanlis, the newly elected president of the main opposition New
Democracy party, has called for an end to what he called the "phenomena of
introversion and discriminations in the party".
"An important step has been made in order to put aside all those things
that harmed us in the past. If we simply elected a leader only to begin the
same things anew, then we shall have lost a unique opportunity," Mr.
Karamanlis said in obvious reference to recurrent internal party feuding.
The 41-year-old nephew of ND party founder, former prime minister and
president of the republic by the same name, was elected late Friday night -
the first day of the party's fourth congress - during a second round of
balloting. He won an overwhelming majority (69.10 per cent) of the vote,
while his opponent, ND deputy from Larisa and former minister George
Souflias, received only 30.84 per cent of the votes cast by party delegates
and party deputies.
Mr. Karamanlis' election to ND's leadership has apparently put an end to
more than six months of internal party turmoil, following last September's
New central committee
Among the deputies elected to ND's new central committee were Dora
Bakoyianni, Stavros Dimas, Achilleas Karamanlis (an uncle of the newly
elected leader) Yiannis Kefaloyiannis and Fanni Palli-Petralia.
There were also reports that Mr. Mitsotakis was vexed over the fact that
the party's new charter, approved by the congress, did not contain clear
provisions for the participation of former party leaders and prime
ministers in the central and executive committees.
Other political parties react
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday sent congratulations to Mr.
Karamanlis, wishing him success in his new post.
"...I wish you all success in your mission, which is so important for the
country," the message read.
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga told
reporters that it was of "no concern to her party whom a party's delegates
decide to elect as their leader."
Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos
also congratulated Mr. Karamanlis on his election, and said the change in
the leadership of a party is a significant event, but not always sufficient,
as there were also the im portant factors of political programme, profile
Democratic Social Movement leader (DHKKI) Dimitris Tsovolas stated that it
was progressive policies and not changes in persons that could provide
solutions to the problems faced by the Greek people today.
Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras sent his "warm and sincere
congratulations" to Mr. Karamanlis on his election, wishing him success on
his "difficult task".
Greece ready to participate in multinational mission in Albania
Greece is ready to participate in a multinational action in Albania aimed
at safeguarding the safe arrival of humanitarian aid in the crisis-ridden
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that Greece
will support an Italian proposal for specific action in Albania, to be
submitted today to the European Union Foreign Ministers' Council in
"Italy and Greece desire the immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid to
Albania, in view of the danger of a wave of refugees from that country to
Italy, as has already happened, but is also very likely to happen to Greece,
" he said.
Mr. Papandreou, who chaired a meeting on the issue in Ioannina yesterday,
in the presence of the UN High Commission for Refugees representative
Hoffman, said "the transportation of humanitarian aid to Albania is
especially difficult under existing condi tions today, while the foreign
ministry is in contact with the Tirana government and international
organisations so that the mission is carried out safely and the distribution
"Greek interest is not focused only on these immediate relief measures, but
a plan is being prepared for the provision of further substantive support
to Albania regarding democratisation and economic development," he
Meanwhile, Greece's military attache in Rome was called to the Italian
defence ministry on Friday night and handed a request for participation in
the multinational force that would accompany and guarantee the safety of
the proposed aid mission to Albania.
The Italian proposal envisages a framework of activities for the distribution,
mainly of humanitarian aid, but also for the economic and administrative
reconstruction of the country.
Details were discussed at a meeting yesterday at the Italian foreign
ministry with the participation of military attaches from Greece, France,
Portugal, and Spain, while a new meeting is scheduled today to clarify each
country's contribution to the miss ion.
Kranidiotis holds talks with Albanian socialist leader Fatos Nano
Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and recently released Albanian
Socialist leader Fatos Nano met yesterday in Thessaloniki.
No statements were made after the talks.
Specifically, Mr. Kranidiotis told reporters that he did not wish to
elaborate on the content of his talks with Mr. Nano, adding that the
Albanian politician's visit to Thessaloniki was of a private nature. The
meeting, which lasted more than an hour, focused on developments in Albania,
according to sources.
Mr. Nano also met with National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on
Saturday, as well as with Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos
on Friday evening. No statements were made after those meetings, as
Mr. Nano entered Greece on Friday in order to visit his two children, who
are attending educational institutions in Thessaloniki.
He first escaped from an Albanian prison during the ongoing political
turmoil in the neighbouring country, and was later pardoned by Albanian
President Sali Berisha.
He is expected to leave Greece early Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos yesterday
announced the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the neighbouring country,
where it will be delivered to a hospital and orphanage in the town of
The supplies were purchased with ministry funds and sent to Albania through
the Krystallopygi border post. The aid was met by representatives from the
hospital, the orphanage and Korce's municipal government. The Macedonia-
Thrace ministry received the request for humanitarian aid on Friday during
a visit by a Korce delegation and members of the Epirot Society.
Mr. Petsalnikos added that a donation of medical supplies gathered by all
Thessaloniki-area hospitals will be distributed to health care facilities
Stephanopoulos on Independence Day
The buttressing of our national independence from external threats has
priority in Greece's goals, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos
stated in a message to expatriate Greeks on the occasion of the country's
national day tomorrow, March 25.
The day marks the 176th anniversary of the declaration of the Greek War of
Independence against Ottoman rule.
"The threat is real and the provocations well known," he notes.
The provocations rally the Greeks together and strengthen national
consensus, he adds, noting that "Greece, with a steady European orientation,
is carving a course demanding of everyone willing contributions, which will
give it the potential of consoli dating its position internationally."
EU General Affairs Council to discuss Turkey, Albania
The EU General Affairs Council will discuss relations with Turkey and
Albania as well as hold structured dialogue with the countries of eastern
and central Europe during a meeting in Brussels today.
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that Greece had
no objection to the convening of the Association Council with Turkey,
scheduled for April 29, but disagreed with the financial protocol with
"We expect a move of goodwill and political will from the Turkish side in
order to free the financial protocol," he said.
Regarding the structured dialogue with propective new members, Mr.
Papandreou pointed out that a common position among member-states had not
been stipulated as a precondition, unlike COREPER's decision concerning
He stressed that double standards were impermissible, and that Greece
insisted on the equal treatment of all prospective members.
Greek products exhibition in Odessa
Ninety Greek enterprises, public bodies and chambers are participating in
the second exhibition of Greek-made products in Odessa, organised by the
HELEXPO Thessaloniki International Trade Fair Organisation in cooperation
with the Greek-Ukrainian Association.
The Greek government is represented by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros
Soumakis and Cabinet secretary Socrates Kosmidis. The exhibition ends
Meanwhile, the crew of the Hellenic Navy frigate "Ydra", which arrived in
the Black Sea port city as part of a NATO squadron yesterday, is to
participate in events marking Greek Independence Day tomorrow.
Odessa is the birthplace of the "Society of Friends", a secret organisation
that promoted the idea of a revolution against Ottoman rule in the early
Greek-Armenian agreement in agriculture sector
Greece and Armenia signed a cooperation agreement in the agriculture sector,
it was announced yesterday.
The agreement was signed between Agriculture Undersecretary Vassilis
Geranidis and his Armenian counterpart during a visit late last week to
The agreement provides for a cooperation between the two countries with
exchange of technical know-how, organisation of seminars in the sectors of
manufacturing, packaging and marketing of agricultural products as well as
encouragement of joint ventures between businesses in both countries.
While in Armenia, Mr. Geranidis met with representatives of the Greek
Communities Federation in that country.
Kaklamanis on Greek-Armenian friendship
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis stressed the long-standing ties
between the Greek and the Armenian people in an address at an event
organised by the Armenian Boy Scouts of Greece.
"The Greek and Armenian nations have centuries-old fraternal bonds, bonds
of common culture, but also rivers of blood and tears.
"Armenians living in Greece, but also the entire Armenian nation knows that
Greek areas: the Aegean, Thrace and Cyprus, constitute a bastion of
civilisation and democracy against Turkish expansionism and the aggressiveness
characterising the leadership of the neighbouring country," he said.
Local cloudiness, rain and snowfall in the mountainous regions are forecast
for today in most parts of Greece, especially in the west. The weather is
expected to improve during the day. Winds will be northernly, moderate to
strong in the Ionian and Aegean Sea. Athens will be sunny to partly cloudy
and cold with temperatures between 3-10C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki
with temperatures between 0-7C.
Aris Thessaloniki-Olympiakos 0-0 Panathinaikos-Veria 1-0
OFI Crete-Kalamata 2-0 Ionikos-PAOK Thessaloniki 2-1
Kavala-Athinaikos 1-1 Heraklis-Pyrgos 3-0
Xanthi-Panahaiki 4-3 Kastoria-Apollon 0-0
Edessa-AEK Athens match today
Standings-points: Olympiakos 62
AEK 55 Panathinaikos 54
OFI Crete 52 PAOK 44
Kavala 44 Pyrgos 38
Ionikos 36 Veria 34
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 264.328
Pound sterling 421.739 Cyprus pd 522.486
French franc 46.328 Swiss franc 181.189
German mark 156.290 Italian lira (100) 15.625
Yen (100) 214.123 Canadian dlr. 191.853
Australian dlr. 207.353 Irish Punt 414.160
Belgian franc 7.575 Finnish mark 52.358
Dutch guilder 138.875 Danish kr. 40.995
Swedish kr. 34.569 Norwegian kr. 39.261
Austrian sch. 22.207 Spanish peseta 1.841
Portuguese escudo 1.554