Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-15
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 15/05/1997 (ANA)
- Greece cautious over latest Turkish 'friendship offensive'
- ANA hosts meeting of national news agencies
- Bank account to support Hellenes abroad
- Private infrastructure programme in northern Greece
- Kaklamanis greets large delegation of expatriate Greeks
- Minister announces rescue chopper tender
- Greek-Albanian border post reopens
- Benefits of olive oil focus of Thessaloniki meeting
- Petrol prices increase
- First outlet by Greek supermarket chain opens in Skopje
- Fur producers urged to help stamp out protection rackets
- Greek investors show interest in Cypriot capital market
- Greek firms receive gold medals at Bulgarian trade fair
- 14th DETROP food and drinks fair opens in Thessaloniki today
- IOC delegate: Athens as host city would promote Olympic spirit
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece cautious over latest Turkish 'friendship offensive'
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday advised caution
over what he called "Ankara's love and friendship offensive" towards
Speaking at a meeting at Thessaloniki University, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos
attributed the apparent change in Turkey's stance to "the climate of the
times" which, he said, was influenced by domestic developments in Turkey.
Although Turkish aggressiveness may have ups and downs, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos
said, it remained "an inherent feature of the Turkish socio-economic make-
"Turkish expansionism constitutes the number one threat, and confrontation
of this threat is a top national priority," he stressed.
Commenting on the conditions Greece would set for any political dialogue
with Turkey, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the objective, framework and prospects
of such a dialogue would first have to be clarified.
Turning to what he referred to as "third parties", Mr. Tsohatzopoulos
underlined that Greece would not be drawn into a political dialogue if the
conditions it set were not satisfied.
"A greater danger for Athens is to be drawn into a dialogue, the outcome of
which is prejudicial to Greece," he said.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos described Turkey as a destabilising factor in the region,
stressing that "irrespective of Turkey's European course, Greece will alone
face the brunt of Turkish aggression and shoulder responsibility for
stability in the region". Greece is in an advantageous position, he added,"
because it believes that the political and legal status in the Aegean
constitutes the basis for peaceful co-existence and rejects the escalation
of tension and threats of force."
ANA hosts meeting of national news agencies
The Athens News Agency is holding a seminar entitled "National news
agencies in the new era of communications" on May 31 and June 1, within the
framework of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies.
The seminar will be attended by executives and other senior staff of of
national news agencies from Mediterranean nations - Mauritania, Morocco,
Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Italy, Spain,
Portugal and France, as well as Greece.
To be held at the Divani Caravel Hotel, it will also be attended by
representatives of the Athens Journalists' Union, the Athens' Newspaper
Publishers' Union and ten students from Athens' University's Communications
The seminar is to be sponsored by the Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation (OTE) and its subsidiary OTEnet.
Andreas Christodoulides, general director of the ANA, will introduce the
seminar while Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas will officially
inaugurate the meeting.
Bank account to support Hellenes abroad
The Macedonia and Thrace Bank has opened an account in support of targets
pursued by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).
As has already been announced, the bank has provided space covering 540
square metres at its new administration building in Thessaloniki for SAE
offices to be established. The account number is 107001210353179-1.
Private infrastructure Programme in northern Greece
A contract on granting overall subsidisation for the management of the
Private Infrastructures Programme in Northern Greece was signed in
Thessaloniki last night by representatives of the European Commission's XVI
General Department and the company for Developing Private Infrastructures
of Northern Greece.
Development Undersecretary Anna Diamantopoulou who attended the signing of
the agreement said the programme's planning started three years ago.
She said the Programme's target was to activate private initiative in the
sector of developing and creating industrial infrastructures which will
cover the needs of the business world of Macedonia and Thrace.
The programme has a pilot character, it concerns the 1997-2001 period and
the total amount to be provided amounts to Ecu30 million, about nine
She called on the representatives of the company to show in turn confidence
to the private sector, which will take this effort in their hands in
Kaklamanis greets large delegation of expatriate Greeks
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday briefed 170 expatriate
Greeks on Greek national issues. The expatriates are being hosted in Greece
by the Expatriate Hellenism Secretariat.
Mr. Kaklamanis called on the overseas Greeks, who visited Parliament
yesterday, to intensify their efforts to inform public opinion in the
countries in which they live, in order to aid the better understanding of
He stressed that Greece is currently in "an extremely priviliged position
in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean" and can be a force for peace
and security in the region, as well as within the Black Sea Cooperation
Minister announces rescue chopper tender
Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis yesterday announced that a tender
for the purchase by the ministry of six all-weather search and rescue
helicopters would take place on June 10.
Mr. Soumakis said the procedures for the purchase were proceeding with
''complete openness'' and the unanimous agreement of all the members of the
The only criterion for awarding the contract, Soumakis said, would be the
selection of that offer which is in the best interests of the state. The
estimated cost of the helicopters is 18 billion drachmas, 75 per cent of
which will be paid from Euro pean Union funds.
The helicopters to be purchased must have a capacity for 12 passengers, a
range of 360 miles and be able to fly in winds of 45 knots.
Greek-Albanian border post reopens
The Kakavia customs post on the border with Albania re-opened yesterday
Greek authorities were forced to close the border post after a shootout
between two rival gangs occurred at a close distance on the Albanian side
of the border. The reasons for the shootout, which resulted to the injury
of one Albanian policeman, are un known.
Greek police and customs officials warned that they would close down the
customs post if gunfire was recorded.
Benefits of olive oil focus of Thessaloniki meeting
A survey of the beneficial effects of olive oil will be the focus of a
symposium in Thessaloniki tomorrow to be addressed by the director of the
G. Papanikolaou Hospital's Cardiology Clinic, Dr. Panayotis Spyrou.
The survey was held in the prefecture of Messinia in the framework of the
programme "Europe against cancer in 200". The results will be presented at
the symposium by its director, Ms. Antonia Trihopoulou, professor of
nutrition and food sciences at Athe ns' University's School of Public
Petrol prices increase
The retail sales prices of gasoline will increase for at least one week by
0.50 drachmas per litre, while the price of diesel will decrease by 1.20
drachmas per litre.
In the Attica region and the Thessaloniki prefecture, super gasoline will
cost 222.80 drachmas per litre and unleaded gasoline 206.80 drachmas per
First outlet by Greek supermarket chain opens in Skopje
The first Greece-based supermarket opened in the Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia (FYROM) on Tuesday in the presence of the head of the Greece's
liaison office in FYROM, Alexandros Mallias, and the mayor of Skopje Risto
The supermarket is the 137th branch of the Veropoulos chain of supermarkets
and the company's first outside Greece.
Expenditure to date has amounted to 3.7 million deutschmarks, the largest
part of which was provided for the purchase of the building, with a
capacity of 2,000 square metres and parking space for 200 cars.
Forty per cent of products available in the supermarket are domestic and 60
per cent are imported from Greece. The staff is comprised of 65 employees,
of whom only three administrative employees are Greek nationals.
Fur producers urged to help stamp out protection rackets
Macedonia and Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos yesterday urged
northern Greek fur producers to make use of state export credit facilities
in order to help stamp out protection rackets that are damaging the
industry. "No (fur) producers in Kastoria have used the Insurance
Organisation for Export Credits, which safeguards businesses from such
problems," Mr. Petsalnikos told a news conference.
Speaking after the opening of a trade fair in Kastoria, a major fur
producing centre in northern Greece Mr. Petsalnikos said that middlemen,
who are believed to be linked to the Russian mafia, charge producers in
northern Greece around two billion drachmas for finding customers in CIS
According to police, producers who fail to comply with the demand are
threatened and sometimes attacked.
The government plans to aid fur producers by introducing informatics for
the sector, setting up a quality assurance mechanism, setting up workshops
for fashionwear and publicity, and building a livestock feed factory.
Greek investors show interest in Cypriot capital market
Greek companies, stockbroking firms and investors are showing great
interest in participating in the capital market of Cyprus, a Stock Market
Forum held in Athens for the presentation of the Cyprus stock market
Cypriot stockbrokers attending the forum had numerous contacts with their
Greek colleagues and discussed the prospects of future cooperation.
Participants in the forum said that during the next few months Greek
companies are expected to announce their expansion into the Cyprus market
through cooperation with stockbroking firms in the island and vice versa.
Greek companies also expressed interest in joining the Cyprus bourse.
Greek firms receive gold medals at Bulgarian trade fair
Two Greek companies were awarded gold medals during an international
exhibition of consumer products in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. The two
companies were "Yiotis Baby Foods" and "ELDONS-industrial oils". Fourteen
Greek companies took part in the exhibition, a number substantially smaller
in comparison with previous years. The lack of interest by both Greek and
foreign firms is attributed to the financial crisis facing Bulgaria and the
drastic fall in the living standard of Bulgarians.
14th DETROP food and drinks fair opens in Thessaloniki today
More than 1,000 Greek and foreign companies are participating in the annual
International Exhibition of Food and Drinks (DETROP) to be opened today in
Thessaloniki by Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas.
The total number of exhibitors is 1,031, up from last year's 632 exhibitors.
Greek exhibitors-producers increased by 38 per cent, while foreign
exhibitors from 30 different countries more than doubled from 199 in 1996
to 466 this year. The DETROP trade fair is also organising a series of
cultural events in the framework of Thessaloniki as the Cultural Capital of
Europe, with the aim of promoting health foods and foodstuffs particular to
the Mediterranean such as fruits, olive oil, beans, vegetables and
IOC delegate: Athens as host city would promote Olympic spirit
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Napoleon Munoz Pena, from the
Dominican Republic, yesterday concluded his visit to Athens and planted the
fourth olive tree at the Athens Olympic Park.
Each visiting IOC member plants an olive tree, the branches of which will
be used to make wreaths for the winners of the 2004 Olympic Games if Athens
hosts the event.
"I am deeply moved and I cannot hide it, because what you are doing here at
the Olympic Park upgrades the Olympic movement, and I believe that Greece,
through organising the Olymp ic Games, can bring it back to its roots," he
Sunny and hot weather is forecast throughout Greece today. Winds will be
northerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will
be sunny with moderate northerly winds and temperatures between 18-30C.
Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 15-29C.
Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 270.032
Pound sterling 442.432 Cyprus pd 532.109
French franc 46.995 Swiss franc 186.675
German mark 158.204 Italian lira (100) 16.058
Yen (100) 227.535 Canadian dlr. 194.432
Australian dlr. 210.091 Irish Punt 409.696
Belgian franc 7.666 Finnish mark 52.530
Dutch guilder 140.710 Danish kr. 41.569
Swedish kr. 35.279 Norwegian kr. 38.271
Austrian sch. 22.484 Spanish peseta 1.876
Port. Escudo 1.571