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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-15

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, 15/05/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • 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
  • Weather
  • 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 Athens.

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- up".

"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 School.

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 billion drachmas.

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 undertaking programmes.

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 Greek positions.

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 countries.

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 evaluation committee.

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 afternoon.

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 Health.

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 litre.

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 Penov.

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 countries.

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 concluded.

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 wine.

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 said.

WEATHER

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.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(C.E.)


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