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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 02/05/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Pangalos: Greece, Turkey will manage to improve relations
  • NATO satisfied with Greek-Turkish accord on joint committees
  • Turkish trade unionist calls for Greek workers' support
  • Theodorakis-Livanelli concerts to begin Sunday
  • Greek-Austrian talks focus on Albanian crisis
  • Santer to visit Athens, Mount Athos next week
  • IOC members in Athens
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Pangalos: Greece, Turkey will manage to improve relations

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday said he believes that Greece and Turkey would be able to improve relations, one day after telling an EU ministers meeting in Luxembourg that Athens would maintain its veto on EU aid to Turkey until Ankara stopped threatening Greek sovereignty in the Aegean.

"We believe that the two countries will find the way to peaceful relations and cooperation, which will be to the benefit of both peoples," Mr. Pangalos said after talks with his Turkish counterpart Tansu Ciller in Istanbul on the sidelines of a Black Sea economic forum.

Expressing her satisfaction over the meeting, Ms Ciller said that "we are making efforts to expand relations between the two countries". She also underlined the warm welcome given for Mr. Pangalos in Istanbul.

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting was attended by foreign ministers or senior ministry officials from the organisation's 11 member- states, namely Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia and Greece.

Mr. Pangalos added that discussions did not result in any progress towards satisfying conditions set by Greece for progress in Greek-Turkish relations. But added: "While there is life there is hope," in regards with future prospects for talks with Turkey.

Ms. Ciller said there was still some leeway for a step by step improvement in Greek-Turkish relations.

NATO satisfied with Greek-Turkish accord on joint committees

NATO Secretary General Xavier Solana on Wednesday expressed his satisfaction over "the agreement reached between Greece and Turkey, whereby each country will appoint at least two personalities who will jointly study the positions and documents...to be submitted by the two governments."

Mr. Solana said he believed the agreement will facilitate the examination of certain problems in bilateral relations, aiming to result in the drawing up of non-binding proposals, regarding procedures which must be followed for problems to be solved.

The NATO secretary general expressed satisfaction over the role to be played by the EU's Dutch presidency in this procedure.

Turkish trade unionist calls for Greek workers' support

The leader of the Turkish trade union "TURK-IS", Mustafa Kadakci, yesterday called on Greek workers to support what he called the struggling Turkish working class.

Mr. Kadakci made the statement while attending May Day events on the eastern Aegean island of Hios, where he also called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus.

"Greek and Turkish workers have nothing to separate them," he said, adding that in Turkey "we say we have a democracy, but we are significantly far from gaining rights which in Greece are a given."

Mr Kadakci also referred to the recent visit to Izmir by members of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and announced a joint cultural event to be held on an island this summer by GSEE and TURK- IS.

Theodorakis-Livanelli concerts to begin Sunday

An official dinner held on Tuesday in honour of Greek and Turkish composers Mikis Theodorakis and Zulfi Livanelli, respectively, by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel was seen by political observers as "a significant political gesture".

The two composers are to begin a joint European tour on Sunday.

Mr. Kinkel underlined his wish "to become involved and to help so that what was started by Theodorakis and Livanelli can become a broad movement which will bring Greeks and Turks together."

During a joint press conference in Bonn, Mr. Theodorakis and Mr. Livanelli noted the new, positive climate which is developing between Greece and Turkey. They added that the effort they undertook in 1987 with the creation of the Greek-Turkish friendship group has begun to bear fruit.

"This is independent of what is happening at the summit of politics and of what arms dealers, who are draining the blood of the two peoples, are doing, " Mr. Theodorakis said, and accused the major European countries and the United States of hypocrisy.

"Politicians of both countries are stirring nationalism and then become its hostages, and when at some time they want peace, it is too late because they are under the pressure of the media and the public opinion they themselves created," Mr. Livanelli said.

Greek-Austrian talks focus on Albanian crisis

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met on Wednesday in Vienna with the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) special envoy for Albania, Franz Vranitzky.

The meeting centred on the Albanian crisis in relation to pending elections in the neighbouring country.

"The sooner the elections are held the more we will be able to say that we have fulfilled our duties efficiently," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

The date for elections in Albania is expected to be set in the following 10 days.

Santer to visit Athens, Mount Athos next week

European Commission President Jacques Santer will pay an official visit to Greece between May 8-11 and is expected to discuss current European developments, all major issues concerning the European Union and issues of particular Greek interest with the na tion's leadership.

Mr. Santer will meet President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis.

He will participate for the first time in events to be organised in Greece on the occasion of "Europe Day" on May 9. He will also address the message of the day to the citizens of Europe from Athens in the framework of a special ceremony to be held at t he Herod Atticus Theatre.

On Friday morning, Mr. Santer and Mr. Simitis will address a special event at the Old Parliament building on the future of the EU in the light of developments at the Intergovernmental Conference.

Mr. Kaklamanis and the European Parliament's vice president, George Anastasopoulos, will declare the opening of public dialogue on Europe.

Mr. Santer will leave for Thessaloniki on the evening of May 9 to address the business community in northern Greece on economic issues in the framework of the Federation of Northern Greece's Industries annual general assembly.

The European Commission president will also visit the monastic community of Mount Athos at the end of next week.

There are currently three EU-funded programmes in progress in Mount Athos for the maintenance and repair of several historic monasteries. An unofficial itinerary for Mr. Santer's visit includes a meeting with members of the monastic community and a tour of the Megisti Lavra and Vatopedio Monasteries.

IOC members in Athens

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Flor Isava of Venezuela is currently visiting Athens, one of the five candidate cities for the 2004 Olympic Games.

Also on an official visit is Juan Angel Caldazo, from Spain, the president of the World Field Hockey Federation.

Ms Isava is the third IOC member to visit Athens since the Greek capital was declared one of the five finalists cities.

She arrived in Athens on Tuesday and visited the National Archaeological Museum, the Panathenian Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, and was briefed by Athens' 2004 candidacy committee.

Mr. Calzado attended the opening yesterday of the first field hockey championships of southeastern Europe at Vari, near Attica's south coast.

WEATHER

Unstable weather will continue today in most parts of Greece today with local cloudiness and scattered downpours, but gradually improving in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Winds will be north to northeasterly, moderate to strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be cloudy with possible rain and temperatures between 11-21C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 10-17C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday' closing rates - buying US dlr. 272.403 Pound sterling 443.761 Cyprus pd 530.720 French franc 46.767 Swiss franc 185.335 German mark 157.629 Italian lira (100) 15.904 Yen (100) 215.125 Canadian dlr. 194.789 Australian dlr. 212.754 Irish Punt 407.117 Belgian franc 7.643 Finnish mark 52.391 Dutch guilder 140.140 Danish kr. 41.412 Swedish kr. 34.819 Norwegian kr. 38.361 Austrian sch. 22.399 Spanish peseta 1.871 Port. Escudo 1.568

(C.E.)


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