Read about The Loizidou vs Turkey Case of the European Court of Human Rights (18 December, 1996) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-17

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, 17/02/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Russian Foreign Minister at Mt. Athos
  • Russian, Greek views on Iraqi crisis
  • Greek-Russian-French tripartite initiative
  • Farmers' protests over
  • Mantelis comments on talks regarding DEKO
  • Moves to reform postal services, railways
  • NATO chief proposes Aegean confidence-building measures
  • New traffic code bill
  • Albanians try to sell drugs, weapons to undercover agents
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Russian Foreign Minister at Mt. Athos

The chief administrator of Mount Athos, Kallinikos Iviritis, told Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov today that the all-male monastic community was praying for peace, adding that it was the wish of all that military conflict be averted in the crisis over weapons inspections in Iraq.

Father Kallinikos said that the monks of Mount Athos had asked the commander-in-chief of the US Sixth Fleet, who recently visited the community, to convey to Washington their desire for peace to prevail in the world.

Primakov, who yesterday began a three-day official visit to Greece, was accompanied by his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos, who referred to the joint efforts being made with the Russian foreign minister for a political solution to the Iraqi crisis.

Asked by reporters to comment on the position expressed by Father Kallinikos, Primakov said he would not like to make political statements while on Mount Athos.

Primakov said after talks in Athens yesterday with Pangalos that Greece and Russia did not consider the use of force to be expedient in the case of the Iraqi crisis, since this would have serious repercussions in the broader region.

He stressed however that both countries agreed that the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq must be neutralised.

Russian, Greek views on Iraqi crisis

Father Kallinikos' position, Pangalos said, was characteristic of the spirit prevailing in the holy community, adding that "we too share their desire for peace, so that human lives are not lost...".

Pangalos said he and Primakov were also making "specific efforts" for a political solution to the Iraqi crisis.

"From Thessaloniki airport we both communicated with (French Foreign Minister) Hubert Vedrine and we shall probably have contacts with other foreign ministers," he said.

"There is a considerable danger and let us hope that the UN Secretary- General is left to do his job without needless terms and conditions which will just make things more difficult. His final efforts could, with some understanding from the other side, bring some result," Pangalos said.

"Of course, the objective of all of us is for the chemical and nuclear weapons which Iraq may have to be abolished. No one supports the view that it should have such weapons. But there must be some understanding and there must be no show of strength and intransigence," he added.

Greek-Russian-French tripartite initiative

According to diplomatic sources, the views shared by Russia, Greece and France regarding the crisis in Iraq is assuming the form of a tripartite initiative aimed at averting a military conflict.

The initiative involves promoting a visit to the region by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to persuade the Iraqi authorities to eliminate their weapons of mass destruction and to permit the UN inspectors to continue with their work.

Farmers' protest over

Farmers' protests that brought traffic to a halt along stretches of the Athens-Thessaloniki highway for several days ended today as the farmers' took their tractors off the highways, claiming victory although none of their demands has yet been met by the government.

The protest was officially declared over at a rally in Tempe by Vangelis Boutas, member of the Thessaly farmers' coordinating committee.

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed the government's satisfaction at the farmers' decision. He said that in order for the many structural problems in Greek agriculture to be solved, cooperation and communication were required rather than wasting energy in tension and conflict.

Reppas also referred to efforts by Agriculture Minister Stefanos Tzoumakas within the European Union to defend the interests of Greek farmers.

Mantelis comments on talks regarding DEKO

Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis said today he was unaware of any discussion or contacts of strategic importance being conducted between the management of the national carrier Olympic Airways (OA) and representatives of companies.

Mantelis made the statement when asked by reporters about the talks he was due to have later today with National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

He said the talks would initially focus on OA, subsequently on the revitalisation of the Greek Post Offices (ELTA) and would resume tomorrow on the urban transport organisations of Athens (OASA) and in the afternoon, the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE).

Mantelis said the deadlines given by the government for management and workers to find solutions to the problems of public enterprises (DEKO) would be adhered to, namely two months for OA and six months for the other enterprises.

Before these deadlines, the managements must have submitted their programmes concerning work regulations, economic revitalisation and business plans.

Mantelis said he had instructed OA's management to seek and establish strategic alliances in the areas of fuel, aircraft maintenance and OA's relocation to Athens' new international airport being built at Spata.

Discussions about strategic alliances, he added, must be held with many parties so that the best may be chosen.

In the case of OA, Mantelis said, steps towards revitalisation must first be taken before any discussions are held.

"Nobody will be interested in participating in OA if it does not become competitive," he said.

A project manager must first be found, Mantelis continued, and the company is already in negotiations in order to safeguard its interests.

Turning to ELTA, Mantelis said management had already completed preliminary work for the organisation's revitalisation and a dialogue had begun with the workers which "has resulted in an initial agreement".

In contrast, he went on, the management of OSE was not yet ready. A relevant study was due to be completed by the end of the month and on the basis of the business plan to be submitted by management, a new law would be introduced concerning the organisation, Mantelis said.

On the reactions of workers in the various DEKO to efforts for their revitalisation, Mantelis said the knife was not at the throat of the workers, but at those of managements and the competent minister.

He clarified that today's meeting with Papantoniou would be purely of a briefing nature and no specific decisions would be taken.

In the case of OA, Mantelis said, steps towards revitalisation must first be taken before any discussions are held.

"Nobody will be interested in participating in OA if it does not become competitive," he said.

A project manager must first be found, Mantelis continued, and the company is already in negotiations in order to safeguard its interests.

Moves to reform postal services, railways

Turning to ELTA, Mantelis said management had already completed preliminary work for the organisation's revitalisation and a dialogue had begun with the workers which "has resulted in an initial agreement".

In contrast, he went on, the management of OSE was not yet ready. A relevant study was due to be completed by the end of the month and on the basis of the business plan to be submitted by management, a new law would be introduced concerning the organisation, Mantelis said.

On the reactions of workers in the various DEKO to efforts for their revitalisation, Mantelis said the knife was not at the throat of the workers, but at those of managements and the competent minister.

He clarified that today's meeting with Papantoniou would be purely of a briefing nature and no specific decisions would be taken.

NATO chief proposes Aegean confidence-building measures

Some of the points raised in a proposal by NATO Secretary General Javier Solana regarding confidence-building measures in the Aegean are viewed "positively" by Greece, said government spokesman Dimitris Reppas after a meeting today in Brussels between Solana and the ambassadors of Greece and Turkey to NATO.

Greece is open to dialogue, Reppas said, and wants solutions to be found within the framework of international law. He added that Greece's policies had opened up many opportunities for rapprochement with Turkey.

New traffic code bill

A bill aimed at ushering in a new era on Greece's roads is to be tabled in Parliament by tomorrow. Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis said the new traffic code, expected to be in force by summer, will attempt to create a new mentality based on respect for citizens' lives.

The new code includes a number of measures aimed at reducing accidents, with emphasis on the needs of children and the disabled.

The authorities are to be held responsible for the condition of the roads. The parking of all vehicles, including roadside stalls, is to be banned both on main highways and secondary roads.

Drivers are to be held jointly responsible for passengers not wearing seatbelts. Taxi drivers will not be required to wear them, but will be held responsible for passengers failing to do so.

Stiffer sanctions for violations are also provided for. Drivers who have temporarily lost their licences under the point system will have to undergo driver education courses and take another test.

The blood-alcohol limit for drivers who have been drinking is to be set at 0.5% (roughly equivalent to a bottle of beer or three glasses of wine). Drivers found with levels of 0.5% to 0.8% will be fined 50,000 drachmas. Those with levels of 0.8% to 1.10% will be fined 100,000 drachmas and will lose their licences for a period of three months. Those above that limit will be fined 200,000 drachmas, have their licences confiscated for six months, and also face a prison sentence of at least two months duration.

Albanians try to sell drugs, weapons to undercover agents

Two Albanians were arrested near Thessaloniki today while trying to sell six kilos of hashish, four Kalashnikov rifles and three hand grenades to undercover police.

Liman Hakorgia, 33 and Gezim Resi, 24, had entered Greece illegally from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The drugs and weapons were found in a storeroom where the two men had been staying in the district of Koufalia.

Police believe the two were involved in smuggling drugs from Albania into Greece via Kosovo and FYROM.

WEATHER

Cloudy weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today. Possibility of scattered showers in the north and the northern Aegean islands from the afternoon. Light snowfall in the mountainous regions. Winds light to moderate, turning strong in the north in the evening. Local clouds in Athens with temperatures between 8-19C. Possibility of rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6-14C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.803 Pound sterling 467.212 Cyprus pd 534.688 French franc 46.684 Swiss franc 194.759 German mark 156.478 Italian lira (100) 15.858 Yen (100) 225.928 Canadian dlr. 197.190 Australian dlr. 188.971 Irish Punt 390.411 Belgian franc 7.582 Finnish mark 51.647 Dutch guilder 138.825 Danish kr. 41.067 Swedish kr. 35.119 Norwegian kr. 37.597 Austrian sch. 22.237 Spanish peseta 1.847 Port. Escudo 1.526

(Y.B.)


Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
Back to Top
Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
apeen2html v2.00 run on Tuesday, 17 February 1998 - 17:06:24 UTC