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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 22/01/1998 (ANA)


  • Pangalos tells Turkey to take airspace dispute to The Hague
  • Nationwide strike paralyses transport, public utilities
  • Closer Greek-Turkish trade ties discussed
  • Top US army official due here today
  • Gov't seeks ways of better informing overseas Greeks
  • G. Papandreou inaugurates 'Greece in Britain' events
  • Radio news bulletins in Albanian, Polish, Tagalog
  • US university to publish translation of Greek dramas
  • Prosecutor calls for Bianco's extradition
  • Israeli travel agents wind up annual conference in Athens
  • Greek stocks end flat, market awaits fresh incentives
  • Greek money market's climate improvesd
  • Merchant marine minister presents new harbour police regulations
  • HEPO promotion of Greek dairy products in Germany
  • Reconstructed Trikala mosque inaugurated
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Pangalos tells Turkey to take airspace dispute to The Hague

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos emphasised yesterday that Ankara should take recourse to the International Court at The Hague if it disputes Greece's 10-mile airspace limit.

Mr. Pangalos reiterated at a press conference that the limit of Greek airspace was determined by a presidential decree in 1931 and consolidated by international practice up until 1973, at which time Ankara began to dispute the 10-mile limit. Up to 1973, Mr. Pangalos said, Turkey itself recognised the extent of Greek national airspace as being 10 nautical miles.

"Nothing prevents Turkey from challenging the extent of Greek national airspace before the International Court at The Hague," Mr. Pangalos said, adding however, that Ankara would not do so because this would force it to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Court.

Regarding the extent of Greek territorial waters, Mr. Pangalos once again referred to Athens' right to extend them from the present six to 12 nautical miles, in accordance with provisions of the Law of the Sea convention.

He noted that Greece had not taken practical steps to implement this right but had repeatedly stated that "when we decide to do so, we shall do it in a responsible manner as a major sea power".

Nationwide strike paralyses transport, public utilities

The government and trade unions are on collision course as a 24-hour nationwide strike began today by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) bringoing to a halt transport, public utilities and state-run banks.

As of midnight yesterday, urban transportation and the Athens to Kifissia electric railway were scheduled to go on strike, while Olympic Airways will only carry out one flight to each domestic destination. In addition, major delays are expected for Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) schedules, since staff will only allow six trains to run.

The Public Power Corp. (DEH), the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), the ELTA postal service, the Athens Water and Sewerage Company (EYDAP), public banks and remaining utilities (DEKO) will also strike.

The cause for the strike is a clause in the taxation bill, amending the status of labour relations in public utilities.

Trade unions believe that a matter of principle is being created with state interference in collective negotiations and GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos said that legislative interventions create a problem of circumvention of international labour agreements, and even of the Constitution itself.

Staff will be provided to cover special trains which might have to run for military purposes or for perishable goods.

Closer Greek-Turkish trade ties discussed

Turkish ambassador in Athens Ali Tinaz Tuygan yesterday visited the president of the Association of Greek-Turkish Business Cooperation, Panayiotis Koutsikos.

The two men discussed the course of Greek-Turkish trade as well as the activities of businesses in the two countries, expressing their belief that the development of closer trade relations will aid efforts at normalisation of bilateral relations.

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, in commenting on the meeting, said that while Greece is not against such initiatives towards closer trade relations, only the political will of Turkey through the acceptance of international law can lead to no rmalisation of bilateral relations.

Top US army official due here today

The chief of the US Army General Staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer, begins an official visit to Greece today at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis.

During his four-day stay, the high-ranking US military official will hold talks with the national defence ministry's leadership, and will meet with Lt.-Gen. Paragioudakis on issues of mutual concern.

He will also visit military formations, army units, as well as archaeological sites.

Gov't seeks ways of better informing overseas Greeks

Problems with media broadcasts to overseas Greeks were discussed at a meeting of the relevant Parliamentary committee, where Press Minister Dimitris Reppas promised improvements with regard to both quality and quantity.

"(State radio station) ERA 5 is broadcasting programmes to 14 of the most important regions 24 hours a day, while television programmes are being sent via satellite to Europe, the US and Canada. This service will soon be extended to Australia, as well," Mr. Reppas said.

He also referred to initiatives by the General Secretariat for Information to invite journalists of Greek descent to visit Greece (40 have been invited this year) and to award prizes to overseas Greek radio and television programmes and journalists.

The minister also announced plans to create a unified satellite programme with the participation of all television broadcasters.

Existing problems, chiefly concerning copyright, were being ironed out, according to Nikos Sotiriadis, programme director for the satellite service. He added that the final form of the programme would soon be ready and that it would meet most of the cri teria that had been set.

Athens News Agency General Director Andreas Christodoulides referred to the ANA's "two-way" relationship with overseas Greeks, which he said was "very constructive", although he noted an unwillingness on the part of expatriate Greek media to pay for services, such as a special daily bulletin for overseas Greeks and Cypriots which contained 150 news items, as well as photographs.

Newspaper publishers present at the meeting referred to transport problems involved in sending newspapers abroad as well as a lack of information regarding the activities of overseas Greeks.

According to committee president Grigoris Niotis, there are 191 newspapers and magazines, 138 radio stations and 41 television stations directed at expatriate Greeks.

G. Papandreou inaugurates `Greece in Britain` events

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday inaugurated at the House of Commons the "Greece in Britain" programme of events, during the six-month tenure of the British EU presidency.

British Culture and Sports Secretaries Chris Smith and Tony Banks, respectively, former Tory party vice-Chairman Jeffrey Archer and 10 other deputies from all parties attended the inauguration.

Mr. Papandreou in his speech said Greece placed much hope in British leadership during its tenure.

"The challenges are many: Unemployment; the protection of the environment; promoting the respect for human rights; fighting crime and drug trafficking, supporting life long education; promoting peace; security and cooperation; starting the historic process of enlargement with countries only recently part of the communist block; and, of course, with Cyprus - while negotiating a solution so that the last Berlin Wall is torn down so that the two communities might live together in peace," he said.

Mr. Smith spoke with enthusiasm about the programme of events, which he described "as the large jewel on the crown" in the context of events that will take place in the first half of the year.

Radio news bulletins in Albanian, Polish, Tagalog

Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday announced that Athens' 9.84 municipal radio station will broadcast news bulletins in Albanian, Polish and Tagalog for Filipino nationals.

Mr. Avramopoulos said that this initiative is part of an effort to better inform such nationals in Athens.

US university to publish translation of Greek dramas

The first complete English translation of ancient Greek drama in more than 60 years will be available early next year from the University of Pennsylvania Press, officials said on Wednesday.

Twelve volumes of the new Penn Greek Drama Series will span 49 plays in all, including the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as the comedies of Aristophanes and Menander.

Forty translators were assembled to produce the work.

The last complete collection of ancient Greek drama to appear in English was published by Random House in 1938.

The University of Chicago re-translated the tragedies in the 1950s. Oxford University Press started publishing new translations of the tragedies in 1973 and has since produced 20 plays, each in a separate volume.

Five thousand copies each of the first three volumes in the Penn series appeared last month. They were: The Oresteia, with Agamemnon, the Libation Bearers and the Eumenides; Euripides One with Medea, Hecuba, Andromache and the Bacchae; and Euripides Two with Hippolytus, Suppliant Women, Helen, Electra and Cyclops.

Due out this spring is a third volume of Euripides, the first two volumes of Sophocles, and one volume of Menander. The target date for completing the series is the spring of 1999.

Prosecutor calls for Bianco's extradition

An appeals court prosecutor yesterday called for the extradition of Italian national Enrico Bianco, rejecting his claim that charges brought against him by Italian authorities concerned activities of a political nature rather then relating to criminal law.

He noted that Italian authorities had already acquitted him of political activities that might have been connected with the murder of former Italian premier Aldo Moro in 1977.

Mr. Bianco himself again rejected the charges relating to the committing of grand larceny, attempted robbery and illegal possesion of firearms, claiming that his activities were not related to terrorist organisations and that Italian authorities had asked for his arrest and extradition for reasons of expediency.

Israeli travel agents wind up annual conference in Athens

The annual conference of Israeli travel agents began on Tuesday and will be concluded at a downtown Athens hotel today with the participation of hundreds of Israeli tourism professionals.

The opening event was addressed by Greek National Tourist Organisation (EOT) Secretary-General Nikos Skoulas, the mayor of Veria Yiannis Hasiotis, the president of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Andreas Sefiha, as well as the president and managing director of the Union of Israeli Travel Agents, Mosik Brikman, and Yosi Fatael, respectively.

In the past four years, despite serious problems in airline linkage between the two countries, the annual increase tourist arrivals from Israel to Greece exceeded 25 per cent.

Mr. Skoulas made a detailed presentation of improvements in Greece's infrastructure through several major projects underway. He also made special reference to the close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries which can, as he said, constitute a binding link for cooperation in the Mediterranean.

In another development, the Israeli company Netafim will organise a conference on "Agricultural and bio-organic cultivations" on January 30-31 within the framework of the Agrotica exhibition.

Greek and Israeli experts will focus on issues concerning greenhouse technology, tree cultivation, open cultivations, flower growing and bio- organic cultivations. The event will take place at Helexpo's convention centre in Thessaloniki.

Greek stocks end flat, market awaits fresh incentives

Greek equities ended yesterday's session with minor changes reflecting lack of fresh incentives and direction in the market and reluctant trading due to an unstable domestic interbank market.

The general index closed 0.06 percent off at 1,439.30 points, ending a three-day advance.

Construction shares came under heavy pressure to end 3.0 percent lower. Other sector indices were mixed. Banks fell 0.15 percent, Insurance rose 0.07 percent, Leasing increased 1.06 percent, Investment ended 0.52 percent up, Industrials eased 0.21 perce nt, Miscellaneous rose 0.36 percent and Holding ended 1.10 percent higher.

The parallel index for small cap companies rose 0.75 percent,while the FTSE/ASE index ended 0.17 percent down to 790.21 points.

Trading was moderate with turnover at 14.9 billion drachmas.

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 125 to 87 with another 22 issues unchanged.

Macedonia-Thrace Bank, Eteva, Agrinio Metalplastics, Singular and Pairis scored the biggest percentage gains at the day's upper limit of 8.0 percent, while Macedonian Mills, Dane, Desmos and Alysida suffered the heaviest losses.

National Bank of Greece ended at 20,795 drachmas, Ergobank at 13,640, Alpha Credit Bank at 14,105, Delta Dairy at 2,800, Titan Cement at 13,400, Intracom at 14,970 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 5, 600.

Greek money market's climate improves

Greece's interbank interest rates moved lower yesterday after nervous trade despite a new intervention by the Bank of Greece.

Bankers said the central bank drained 150 billion drachmas in excess liquidity at 19 percent helping move interest rates lower.

The overnight rate fell to 10.5 percent, while short-term interest rates ranged around 14 to 17 percent for one and three months respectively.

The central bank also reported inflows totalling 50 million Ecus at the drachma's fixing.

The Greek currency rose 0.13 percent against the Ecu. It was 0.29 percent higher against the US dollar.

Bankers said however that the Greek derivatives bond market remained stagnant.

Merchant marine minister presents new harbour police regulations

Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis yesterday presented a draft bill on new harbour police regulations that incorporates provisions from the past.

Mr. Soumakis told a press conference that since the establishment of a harbour police in Greece in 1919, authorities had issued numerous laws regulating the force's operations resulting in serious problems in distinguishing existing legislation from older ones.

The new coded text includes legislation in ranking harbour police's staff, training and code of ethics and operation.

HEPO promotion of Greek dairy products in Germany

The Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) is taking actions to promote dairy products in Germany.

Specifically, HEPO will proceed with publishing an advertisement in the German trade sector magazine "Milch Marketing" with the purpose of briefing the buyers of Germany's main stores. The advertisement, which will have the form of an insert and will be included in the July 1998 edition, will contain informative texts on possibilities and developments in Greece's dairy products sector, as well as full-page presentations of Greek enterprises concerned.

Moreover, HEPO will send a brochure on Greek dairy products to Germany's "cheese club", which has 6,400 members.

For more information call HEPO at tel. 99.82.100 by Feb. 2.

Reconstructed Trikala mosque inaugurated

The reconstructed Osman-shah mosque in Trikala, central Greece, was inaugurated yesterday. The 16th century mosque, designed by the medieval Greek architect Sinan, will be used as an art gallery and for cultural events.

The municipality of Trikala will retain management, while the first event, a photo exhibition entitled "Byzantine Heritage-International Heritage" is already in progress. The exhibition is a photographic collection of buildings included in the UNESCO catalogue of international heritage monuments.


Local cloudiness and rain is forecast for northern Greece with snowfall in the mountains and the central highlands. Unsettled weather in the rest of the country with scattered showers, increasing over the eastern Aegean and Dodecanese islands. Periods of clear weather in the west and south. Winds, east to northeasterly, moderate to strong, particularly in the southern Aegean. Occasional showers and spells of sunshine in Athens with temperatures from 8-13C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy and wet with temperatures between 2- 9C.


Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 286.261 Pound sterling 465.030 Cyprus pd 532.704 French franc 46.670 Swiss franc 191.649 German mark 156.300 Italian lira (100) 15.905 Yen (100) 224.132 Canadian dlr. 198.618 Australian dlr. 190.365 Irish Punt 394.122 Belgian franc 7.577 Finnish mark 51.673 Dutch guilder 138.711 Danish kr. 41.039 Swedish kr. 35.529 Norwegian kr. 37.942 Austrian sch. 22.221 Spanish peseta 1.845 Port. Escudo 1.529


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