Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-09
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 09/02/1998 (ANA)
- Iacovou takes narrow lead in first round of Cyprus polls
- Cyprus Presidential election vote at 01.30 am. Monday
- Turkish policy on Cyprus, Aegean issues, a source of instability
- ND leader says he will not tolerate any more 'backstabbing'
- Elections held for PASOK's new Prefectural, Regional Committees
- Papantoniou stresses Greece's determination to join EMU
- Resolution calls for an end to 'sex racism' in employment
- Athens' Psyrri district being upgraded
- SAE to organise collection of funds for medical centres
- Greek First Division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Iacovou takes narrow lead in first round of Cyprus polls
Independent presidential candidate George Iacovou, backed by left-wing
party AKEL and centre-right Democratic Party, was late last night slightly
ahead of incumbent President Glafcos Clerides in yesterday's presidential
elections in Cyprus with 41.07 per cent out of 89.78 per cent of the vote
Seven candidates contested the election.
President Clerides, who is supported by the Democratic Rally party, came
second with 39.91 per cent. He will face Mr. Iacovou in the second round
Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides obtained 10.44 per cent and emerged
as the power broker for the second round.
Alexis Galanos, of the Democratic Party, standing in defiance of his party
decision, received 4.02 per cent, George Vassiliou, former Cyprus president,
2.92 per cent, Nicos Koutsou, of the New Horizons party 0.90 and Nicos
Rolandis, leader of the Liber al party, 0.74 per cent.
In a statement last night, Mr. Clerides said he will start efforts as of
today to create a national unity government because, as he said, this is
necessitated by the interests of the people of Cyprus. He expressed
satisfaction over the fact that the elections were carried out with
absolute order and calm.
Independent candidate George Iacovou said that 60 per cent of the people
have expressed disapproval of the Clerides administration, adding that he
extended a hand of cooperation to the Socialist EDEK party and George
Vassiliou. He added that he will start consultations today with all the
"bordering forces" with the purpose of having the second round of elections
"bring victory to the progressive democratic forces". Lastly, he said he
will also have consultations with independent candidate Alexis Galanos
Vassos Lyssarides expressed his warm thanks to the voters who "honoured him
with their vote", adding that he will "live up to their expectations with
consistency and integrity". Mr. Lyssarides said the voters gave EDEK an
important role which he will ex ercise with "full consciousness towards
Cypriot Hellenism and the entire nation".
Cyprus presidential election vote at 01.30 am. Monday
The following are results of the Cyprus presidential election as reported
at 01.30 am. Monday, with 96.7 percent of the vote counted:
GEORGE IAKOVOU (INDEPENDENT)................40.6 per cent
GLAFCOS CLERIDES (DEMOCRATIC RALLY).........40.1 "
VASSOS LYSSARIDES (SOCIALIST PARTY).........10.6 "
ALEXIS GALANOS (INDEPENDENT)................4.0 "
GEORGE VASSILIOU (UNITED DEMOCRATS)..........3.0 "
NICOS KOUTSOU (NEW HORIZONS)................0.9 "
NICOS ROLANDIS (LIBERAL PARTY)...............0.8
Turkish policy on Cyprus, Aegean issues, a source of instability
Turkish policy on the Cyprus issue and the Aegean is a source of instability
for Europe and NATO, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told the
"Conference on Security Policies", which ended in Munich yesterday.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that Cyprus' entry to the European Union would
reinforce security on the whole island as well as the wider region. He said
that this would be achieved even without Turkish Cypriot participation in
the accession talks, due to Ankara's and the Turkish Cypriot leadership's
The defence minister compared Cyprus' EU membership with the inclusion of
former Western Germany in the European Community and NATO where, as he said,
it served as a "security guarantee" for Eastern Germany in spite of the
country's division at the time .
"The Cyprus issue might be of special concern to us -- Greece -- but it is
also a problem concerning the collective security of Europe and NATO", said
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos. Referring to "Greek-Turkish problems", he stressed that
the use of the term in no way implies that Greece makes any claim towards
Turkey. He repeated the government's stated position that Turkey should
develop "a new European perspective" and pointed to comments made on
Saturday by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who said that Turkey should
comply with EU criteria and accept its values before the two sides can
develop closer ties.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also met his German counterpart Volker Ruehe on the
sidelines of the conference.
Issues of bilateral concern and the Western European Union were the focus
of the meeting. Greece currently holds the WEU rotating presidency, while
Germany was the immediate past president.
ND leader says he will not tolerate any more 'backstabbing'
The turmoil in the ranks of the main opposition New Democracy party
continued over the weekend with ND leader Costas Karamanlis laying down the
law yesterday and saying he would not tolerate any more "backstabbing".
Speaking to supporters in Egio yesterday, Mr. Karamanlis said that the
three leading New Democracy deputies expelled from the party last Tuesday
had "provided the government with alibis".
"Today, the time of big decisions has come, and this presupposes a clear
definition of the things we want to do, clear policy, unity and cohesion,"
Mr. Karamanlis told his audience.
"We are not dependent on vested interests and for this reason we will be
uncompromising... it is inconceivable and unacceptable to have people among
us who are providing with alibis and support a government which is
collapsing and does harm to the country," he added.
The three deputies were expelled from the party for failing to toe the
party line against a government provision changing relations between
workers and management at state-run public utilities.
Elections held for PASOK's new Prefectural, Regional Committees
Prime Minister and PASOK leader Costas Simitis yesterday praised the
democratic functioning in the party on completion of intraparty processes
for the election of new Prefectural and Regional Committees.
"The elections for the creation of new Prefectural and Regional Committees
of PASOK showed that the party has consolidated the rules of democratic
functioning. The differences in views and approaches are being overcome in
the common effort for a party with unified and modern functioning. Today's
elections showed that PASOK can and must be the party of active citizens, a
party open to society, new forces, ideas and approaches. It must be a party
capable of leading Greece to the 21st century," he said.
PASOK's intraparty elections involved about 170,000 members. The party's
Central Committee Secretary, Costas Skandalidis, said the elections were
carried out with absolute calm and no incident occurred dealing a blow at
the process in its entirety. He also hailed strict observance of democratic
processes by the party's members.
Papantoniou stresses Greece's determination to join EMU
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou stressed Greece's
steadfast European orientation and its determination to join Economic and
Monetary Union (EMU) in a speech at the Hellenic Centre in London on
"In southeastern Europe, a region with a long record of relative instability,
but of high potential at the same time, Greece remains the only country
with a developed market economy, adequate infrastructure, established
democratic rule and political stability. It is unnecessary to remind the
audience that Greece, alone in this region, is a founding member of the
OECD and NATO, and a member of the European Union. Our cultural ties and
trading links to the peoples of this region, combined with the country's
advantageous location at the crossroads of three continents, provide the
potential for Greece to become a gateway to the region's emerging markets,"
Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the considerable improvement in all of the
country's economic indicators, the decrease in the fiscal deficit, an
increase in the GDP and a decrease in the debt as a percentage of
"On present trends, Greece is set to achieve the Maastricht Treaty deficit
targets in 1998 and the inflation and interest rate targets in 1999, and
hence to participate in the third stage of the European Monetary Union from
the start of the year 2001," he added.
Mr. Papantoniou further underlined efforts being made to strengthen the
competitiveness of the Greek economy and its adjustment to the global
economy through the entire or partial privatisation of certain organisations
in the public sector and the intro duction of flexible forms and regulations
in the labour market.
Resolution calls for an end to 'sex racism' in employment
The 3rd Panhellenic Conference of Women Trade Unionists from the General
Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) came to a close on Saturday with
the ratification of a resolution focusing on full employment and full
The resolution includes specific actions on abolishing "sex racism" in
employment and remuneration.
Targets will concern a 35-hour working week without a decrease in wages.
Immigrant women workers will enjoy equal labour and social rights with
Greeks. In the health and insurance sector, protective measures should be
taken for pregnant women, while a legal framework will be created to
protect women from sexual harassment.
In the trade union sector, equal opportunities should be provided for women
in the trade union movement and at least one woman trade unionist should
participate in collective negotiations.
The national expert on the European employment network Ms. M. Karamesini
provided interesting data on unemployment among women in Europe. Over the
past two decades, a considerable increase in both women's employment and
unemployment was observed in all developed countries, including Greece. In
the European Union between the years 1975 and 1991 11.7 million new jobs
were created of which 11.4 million correspond to women's jobs.
Athens' Psyrri district being upgraded
The appearance of the wider region surrounding Psyrri Square in downtown
Athens is changing radically with projects being carried out by the
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry over the past two
years to promote the region. The projects are budgeted at 50 billion
"Everything has changed here," Environment, Town Planning and Public Works
Minister Costas Laliotis said after visiting Heroes' Square, Agioi
Anargyroi Square and other parts of the Psyrri district.
Local inhabitants and shopkeepers are also satisfied with the projects
aimed at upgrading the historic neighbourhood, since it will acquire
greater economic value. Rents are increasing, new shops are opening and the
region is gradually beginning to resemble Plaka. Reformation work also
includes pedestrian roads and other projects budgeted at two billion
The Psyrri area is an important neighbourhood in the historic centre of
Athens. However, it had been neglected in the infrastructures sector.
Moreover, it is gradually acquiring a tourist character and the role of a
"tourist path" to and from the archaeological park in Athens.
SAE to organise collection of funds for medical centres
The Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) will organise a world collection in
May to enable Greek expatriates to contribute with funds towards the
building of Greek medical centres in regions of the former Soviet Union
where Greeks live.
The first Greek clinic has already been established and is functioning in
Tbilisi, Georgia, with funds collected by SAE. The Council's target is to
establish a total of 11 clinics in Black Sea regions, Armenia, Ukraine, and
The collection will be conducted on May 23-24 in parts of the world where
Greeks live, with the contribution of local radio and TV stations. In one
hour alone a collection made by the Greek radio station in Chicago 27,000
dollars were collected.
The collection to build clinics is part of the new activities decided over
the weekend by SAE during the first regular meeting of its nine-member
presidium (following elections held last December) at its permanent
headquarters in Thessaloniki.
SAE's programme includes the creation of a kind of Orthodox Church
"network" throughout the world. Consequently, as a result of a proposal by
SAE, Orthodox Churches throughout the world will adopt an Orthodox Church
in former USSR republics, providing e conomic aid to enable services to be
held and the Greek language and civilisation to be taught.
Planning also got underway in the same meeting on actions aimed at
expatriate Greeks contributing towards the Athens 2004 Olympiad. Culture
Minister Evangelos Venizelos briefed the SAE presidium in this respect on
Organising the 2004 Olympiad, the Cultural Olympiad as a permanent and
continuous institution headquartered in Greece and the Young Expatriates'
Olympiad, a new permanent institution headquartered in Thessaloniki, were
examined at the joint meeting of SAE's presidium with Mr. Venizelos who is
president of the Interministerial Committee on issues related to the 2004
Mr. Venizelos said SAE will participate in the National Council for the
2004 Olympiad with a five-member committee headed by SAE President Andrew
Mr. Venizelos appealed to expatriate Greek businessmen and investors to
participate in preparation projects in Athens, and the country in general,
on the major sports event, stressing the need for the mobilisation of the
seven million Greek expatriates,whose participation alone will provide
absolute success for the event.
Referring to the Young Expatriates' Olympiad, Mr. Venizelos said the
government's aim is to make it a permanent institution headquartered in
Greek First Division soccer results
First Division soccer: Veria-Panathinaikos 0-3
Kalamata-PAOK 1-1 Apollon-Panionios 0-0
Proodeftiki-Xanthi 0-3 Panahaiki-Paniliakos 0-4
Olympiakos-OFI 1-0 Kavala-AEK 1-1
Ethnikos-Ionikos 0-1 Iraklis-Athinaikos 4-0
Standings-points: Olimpiakos, Panathinaikos 52, AEK 51, PAOK 42, Ionikos 41,
Iraklis 40, Xanthi 31, OFI 30, Paniliakos 27, Apollon 26, Panionios 24,
Panahaiki, Proodeftiki 19, Veria 18, Kalamata 17.
Cloud and scattered showers are forecast for most parts of Greece today,
with light snowfalls in mountainous regions. Northeasterly stong to very
strong winds will reach gale force in parts of the Aegean Sea. Athens
partly cloudy, with possible light rain and temperatures from 3-10C.
Thessaloniki will be overcast with temperatures between 1-6C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.164
Pound sterling 464.514 Cyprus pd 533.339
French franc 46.882 Swiss franc 194.635
German mark 157.113 Italian lira (100) 15.903
Yen (100) 227.158 Canadian dlr. 197.507
Australian dlr. 190.772 Irish Punt 393.665
Belgian franc 7.613 Finnish mark 51.802
Dutch guilder 139.386 Danish kr. 41.237
Swedish kr. 35.156 Norwegian kr. 37.706
Austrian sch. 22.333 Spanish peseta 1.853
Port. Escudo 1.535