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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-19

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, 19/05/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Premier's first confrontation with new opposition leader today
  • Kranidiotis, Prendergast discuss Cyprus problem
  • UN Chief's invitation to Clerides, Denktash
  • Greeks remember Turkish genocide of Black Sea Greeks
  • Tsohatzopoulos: 'nothing to negotiate with Turkey'
  • Athenians remember pacifist Lambrakis
  • Rate of development higher than expected
  • More parking lots for Thessaloniki
  • Eurobanking congress begins in Athens
  • DETROP exhibition draws world interest
  • Greek, Turkish pop idols to perform today amidst criticism
  • Weather
  • Greek first division soccer
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Premier's first confrontation with new opposition leader today

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will have his first confrontation today with the main opposition New Democracy party's new leader Costas Karamanlis in an off-the-agenda Parliamentary debate on the economy sought by Mr. Karamanlis.

According to reports from both sides, Mr. Karamanlis intends to strongly criticise the government's economic policy. Reports from Mr. Simitis's close associates say that the prime minister will avoid a confrontation, in the belief that the economy must not constitute a topic of party confrontation.

Mr. Simitis is reported to be preparing to focus on the fact that there must and can be a fertile and substantive dialogue between parties on major problems faced by the economy for participation in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Mr. Simitis will refer to the government's policy on all sectors of the economy and will stress that the policy being applied has already produced results. He will further say that the policy being applied is the sole one which can prepare the groundwork for Greece's participation in EMU.

Reports said that Mr. Karamanlis will accuse the government of "lacking the will and resolution" to restructure the state to facilitate a structured development policy.

Mr. Karamanlis, although being aware that the economy is presenting positive results in certain sectors, primarily in the figures sector, maintains that necessary policies have not been developed to enable convergence with European countries.

Kranidiotis, Prendergast discuss Cyprus problem

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and UN Secretary General special envoy Sir Kieran Prendergast met yesterday and discussed the possibility of success in talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash under UN auspices. Mr. Kranidiotis underlined the negative stance of the Turkish Cypriot leadership resulting in a discontinuation of proximity inter-communal talks, since it was not possible to find common ground for negotiations.

Under the circumstances, the holding and success of direct talks on the Cyprus issue is the exclusive responsibility of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is inviting President Clerides and Mr. Denktash to New York in early June.

Sir Kieran referred to efforts being made by Mr. Annan and the UN for negotiations to go ahead with the purpose of finding a solution.

Mr. Kranidiotis will meet Mr. Annan in New York on May 26 with whom he will primarily discuss the Cyprus issue, as well as Greece's candidacy for the Security Council after 1998.

UN Chief's invitation to Clerides, Denktash

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan reiterated his intention to invite Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash to "face-to-face" negotiations in New York next month.

Mr. Annan told the Athens News Agency (ANA) in Moscow on Saturday that both sides had already expressed their willingness to his envoy to come to these negotiations in New York and he estimates that the talks will be held in the second half of June.

Mr. Annan said that he had appointed Mr. Cordobes as coordinator in the Clerides-Denktash talks and praised his experience and the abilities he showed in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Greeks remember Turkish genocide of Black Sea Greeks

A memorial service was held in Athens yesterday for the estimated 353,000 Black Sea Greeks who perished in the course of a campaign launched in 1919 by the subsequent founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk.

May 19, today, has been designated as Memorial Day for the Genocide of Pontian Hellenism.

In a message on the anniversary, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis said "the memory is still alive. Turkey today is perpetuating the crime of invasion and occupation of Cyprus. It is continuing to threaten in the Aegean, with illegal, illogical, and historically groundless claims...

"Vis-a-vis this reality, we have the duty to maintain our resolute stand. No sovereign right of Greece is negotiable, and we are ready to support this decision of ours by every possible means...

"At the same time, we are not abandoning the effort for a peaceful rapprochement of the two peoples, which will blunt the very negative climate," he said.

In a message marking today's anniversary, main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis stressed the state's duty to stand by "our Black Sea brothers who are being repatriated as well as those who are still living in countries of the former Soviet Union".

Tsohatzopoulos: 'nothing to negotiate with Turkey'

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos reiterated in Thessaloniki yesterday that there was nothing to negotiate in Greek-Turkish relations.

Referring to reports on Greek-Turkish dialogue, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said:

"There is nothing to negotiate. Don't worry. We are ready to talk, but not (on) Greece's sovereign issues."

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said Greece has the strength to say "no" to Turkey over "air corridors" and "grey zones" and warned that "the Greek armed forces will give a 'flexible' reply to whoever makes aggressive actions which it will remember for decades."

Athenians remember pacifist Lambrakis

Athenians yesterday marched from Marathon to the city centre to mark the 34th anniversary of the assassination of leftist deputy and pacifist Grigoris Lambrakis.

The march ended wth a rally last night at the Pedion tou Areos park in downtown Athens, addressed by the daughter of Che Guevara, Aleida. A cultural festival followed.

Grigoris Lambrakis was murdered in Thessaloniki in 1963 by extreme rightist elements. His story later became the focus of the bestseller "Z" by Vassilis Vassilikos and later popularised in the film of the same name, directed by Costa-Gavras.

Rate of development higher than expected

Development Minister Vasso Papandreou said in Thessaloniki yesterday that results of the government's development policy are "very positive and in certain cases unexpected."

"We have development rates which are higher than those we had hoped for," Ms Papandreou said at a conference on economic development organised by local PASOK party officials.

Ms Papandreou said interrelated convergence and development programmes are being consistently implemented, adding that this was taking place for the first time in Greece. She further said that preparations have also started for the implementation of the

Third Convergence Programme.

More parking lots for Thessaloniki

Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said in Thessaloniki on Saturday his ministry would provide 1.5 billion drachmas for the construction of parking areas in the Thessaloniki municipality, adding that the creation of every new parking place would be subsidised with 600,000 drachmas.

Mr. Laliotis attended an extraordinary session of Thessaloniki's municipal council which focused on "the unified parking plan", which includes the research report and the proposals by experts from the Aristotelion University on tackling Thessaloniki's t raffic problem.

The plan's initial stage provides 3,000-4,000 parking spaces in the centre of the city with the creation of underground and surface parking lots. The municipal council expressed support for an immediate implementation of studies.

An appeal was also made to Mr. Laliotis during the municipal council's meeting to contribute to the resolution of two problems concerning the co- existence of parking space and archaeological sites in Dikastiriou Square.

Eurobanking congress begins in Athens

The 25th Eurobanking congress, organised by the National Bank of Greece from May 18-21, began yesterday at the Astir hotel in Vouliagmeni.

The congress of the European Working Group on Operational Research in Banking was addressed by Eurobanking's general secretary Frederick Ridgeway from the Bank of Ireland.

National Bank of Greece's deputy governor Andreas Vranas, referred to the trends and prospects of financial services in Greece, while Ioannis Manos, general secretary at the Union of Greek Banks spoke on economic and monetary union, the s ingle currency and financial services and timetable and preparation by member-states.

Mr. Ridgeway underlined the role of Eurobanking, a broad and dynamically evolving group of European bank officials specialised in banking and financial services research, that convenes annually to criticise and review techniques, experiences and methods of operations research, as well as other problems facing banking administration.

DETROP exhibition draws world interest

The 14th DETROP exhibition has drawn commercial visitors from all over the world, and the important economic agreements concluded so far have proved the important role the major exhibition is playing for the Greek economy and the foodstuffs and beverages sector.

HELEXPO has registered arrivals of commercial visitors from 33 countries, including countries from the Far East, the Arab world, North America and the European north.

Among the visitors is the foodstuffs market director of Israel's Supersol company, which is the biggest foodstuffs branch in the country, with a turnover of $672 million. Other companies such as Layam Co Ltd and Willy Food Ltd are also represented at DE TROP.

Greek, Turkish pop idols to perform today amidst criticism

There were mixed reactions in Cyprus and Greece over the weekend as preparations got under way for a joint Greek-Turkish pop concert to be held today on the Cyprus buffer zone separating the island's free areas and the Turkish occupied northern part.

The organisers of the concert by Greek pop idol Sakis Rouvas and his Turkish colleague Burat Cut expect to draw about 6,000 youths from both communities.

The event has received the endorsement of the United Nations as well as the Cypriot government.

However, some of the republic's political parties and at least one citizens' group have been critical of the initiative in the light of the occupation situation in northern Cyprus.

Similarly in Greece a number of cultural figures and Pontian organisations have expressed their opposition to the concert.

UN security is being stepped up around the area where the concert will be held in Cyprus' "no-man's-land", while the organisation's spokesman and UN peacekeeping force spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski denied recent press reports that the two communities in the audience will be separated, saying that "there would be no reason to have this concert if we kept Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots apart".

Meanwhile, the Athens secretariat of the Ipekci Award has decided to propose the two pop singers for its next "Special Peace and Friendship Award" in a statement expressing support for the concert.

WEATHER

Fine weather with light winds is forecast for today, with local cloudiness in central and northern Greece in the afternoon and rain and possible rainstorms in the mountainous regions of eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Athens will be sunny with some local clouds and temperatures between 17- 31C. Same in Thessaloniki with some local clouds and possible rain and temperatures between 16-29C.

GREEK FIRST DIVISION SOCCER

Xanthi-Olympiakos 3-5 Aris-Kalamata 0-0 Ionikos-Iraklis 2-0 Panahaiki-Athinaikos 3-0 Paniliakos-AEK 0-2 Kastoria-Veria 1-2 Edessaikos-Apollon 0-1 Panathinaikos-OFI 1-1 Kavala-PAOK 0-3

Standings: Olympiakos 81 points AEK 69 OFI 66 PAOK 63 Panathinaikos 61 Kavala 55 Paniliakos 44 Ionikos 44

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 269.130 Pound sterling 441.777 Cyprus pd 532.307 French franc 46.999 Swiss franc 187.796 German mark 158.219 Italian lira (100) 16.059 Yen (100) 232.981 Canadian dlr. 196.356 Australian dlr. 208.528 Irish Punt 410.053 Belgian franc 7.667 Finnish mark 52.407 Dutch guilder 140.715 Danish kr. 41.547 Swedish kr. 35.266 Norwegian kr. 37.988 Austrian sch. 22.475 Spanish peseta 1.874 Port. Escudo 1.568

(C.E.)


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