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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-23

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, 23/02/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Pangalos willing to meet but not negotiate with Turkey's Cem
  • Socialist women call for peaceful solution to Gulf crisis
  • Kranidiotis voices optimism on course of Greek-Turkish relations
  • 'Alexander the Great' university to be founded in Alexandria
  • US gov't 'more pro-Greek than ever', SAE president tells Clerides
  • Stephanopoulos attends Ioannina liberation festivities
  • NATO exercises get underway in the Mediterranean
  • 15th INFACOMA exhibition
  • Prof. Tsatsos winds up visit in Albania
  • PASOK youth congress ends, new Central Council formed
  • Construction of Florina power plant to go ahead
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Pangalos willing to meet but not negotiate with Turkey's Cem

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said he was willing to meet with Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem but that negotiations were out of the question.

"I say to Mr. Cem that I am ready to meet with him, not however, to negotiate. I see our next opportunity (to meet) as being the forthcoming meeting in Rhodes of foreign ministers of Western European Union member and associated states. It will be an opp ortunity for us to sit down and talk," Mr. Pangalos said in an interview published in the Sunday newspaper "To Vima", given last Thursday.

Mr. Pangalos defined the possible content of such talks as being an "open discussion in which each minister, as is natural, can say whatever he wants and will not be restricted by agendas, by colleagues or by the press,but will be able to speak as he wishes".

He ruled out however, the idea of negotiations.

"The Turks want political negotiations on what they see as problems in the Aegean, which in reality are Turkish claims against Greece," said Mr. Pangalos.

He reiterated Greece's position that the only bilateral issue requiring resolution was that of the continental shelf, adding that Turkey was free to refer any other claims it might have to the International Court of Justice. Asked whether Greece's rejection of a five-point proposal by Turkey on bilateral relations meant that these rel ations would be frozen in the immediate future, Mr. Pangalos replied:

"First of all I wouldn't use the term 'rejection' so easily. In reality we gave a response characterised by a different view of Greek-Turkish relations, more in line with what we have often maintained and also in line with international practice. I did not reject the idea of a meeting with Mr. Cem."

The foreign minister emphasised the terms of a declaration signed in Madrid last July between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel as being a "condemnation of the threats of war made on various occasions by Turkey agains t Greece".

"Before the Madrid declaration, our position, at least, was that we could not meet with the Turks while the threats and the threat of use of violence still held," he said.

Socialist women call for peaceful solution to Gulf crisis

The regional conference of women from socialist parties of southeastern Europe was concluded in Athens on Saturday with the ratification of a proclamation focusing on the mobilisation of women and the strengthening of their role in implementing a new policy in the Balkans and a message by the Socialist International of Women to the women of Iraq and UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan for a peaceful solution to the Gulf crisis.

The conference was organised by the Socialist International of Wo-men in cooperation with the ruling PASOK party's Women's Department and was presided over by Socialist International of Women President and Canadian Deputy Audrey McLaughlin. The main speaker was Development Minister Vasso Papandreou.

Referring to multiple upheavals being experienced in countries of southeastern Europe and the quest for new strategies and policies, Ms. Papandreou said these developments affect the wider region either directly or indirectly. She said that for this rea son dialogue is important and cooperation is necessary for joint action.

Ms. Papandreou announced that a meeting will take place in Athens in autumn at government level to promote favourable strategies more effectively for an equal representation of women in decision-making centres.

Addressing the conference, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis congratulated the organisers of the conference, saying it corresponded to the initiative taken by Prime Minister Costas Simitis for the Crete summit and referred to the country's geop olitical coordinates and sensitivity it is showing on issues concerning social protection and peace.

Kranidiotis voices optimism on course of Greek-Turkish relations

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis expressed optimism that issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations will enter a course which will normalise relations between the two countries.

Addressing a PASOK Prefectural Committee meeting in Tripolis, in the Pelopopnnese, Mr. Kranidiotis reiterated that Greece has made proposals with which issues must be tackled on the basis of international law and international agreements. Greece has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague and calls on Turkey to do likewise.

Referring to the crisis in the Persian Gulf, he said a possible showdown in Iraq would have a negative development for the entire region, adding that Greece's position was that all diplomatic possibilities must be exhausted for peace to prevail in the region.

'Alexander the Great' university to be founded in Alexandria

A protocol on utilising the schools of the Greek community in Alexandria for the establishment of the "Alexander the Great" university was signed in Alexandria yesterday between the Greek Foreign Ministry and the city's Greek community.

The signing ceremony was held in the "Ioulia Salvagou" hall located in the Satby region of Alexandria. On the part of the Foreign Ministry, the protocol was signed by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and on the part of the Greek community by its Presi dent and Regional President of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) of Asia and Africa Stephanos Tamvakis.

The Greek community schools in Alexandria will be used to house the "Alexander the Great" university which the Greek government is planning to establish in this Egyptian city.

Mr. Pangalos inaugurated a photography exhibition and cultural events organised on the occasion of his official visit to Egypt. He also visited the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Petros.

US gov't 'more pro-Greek than ever', SAE president tells Clerides

Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens addressed a letter to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides congratulating him on his re-election to the Presidency.

"The situation on the Cyprus issue is not ideal but the American government is more pro-Greek than ever today," Mr. Athens said in his letter, further adding that "Greece and Cyprus must be in a position to fully exploit such opportunities."

Mr. Athens referred at length to what had taken place over the past 23 years following the invasion and occupation by Turkey of 40 per cent of the island. He said that in most of these years the attitude of the U.S. government was flagrantly anti-Greek in the worst of cases and in the best it was as if it was prepared to be as pro-Greek as it was pro-Turkish and not to criticise Turkish threats against Greece and Cyprus.

According to Mr. Athens, a change had been observed following the involvement of Richard Holbrooke. He said the change has been sporadically positive in past years and more stable in past months.

Stephanopoulos attends Ioannina liberation festivities

Festivities marking the 85th anniversary of Ioannina's liberation from Turkish rule culminated in the city on Saturday with an impressive parade of pupils, students, boy scouts, war invalids and units of the armed forces and security services in the presence of President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

The government was represented by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Also present were Democratic Social Movement party (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Undersecretary Theodoros Koliopanos, deputies, senior officers of the armed forces and security services and foreign diplomats.

In a brief address, President Stephanopoulos congratulated officers for the armed forces' performance in the parade, stressing that the higher the spirit of the armed forces the more safe the Greek people feel both in wartime and peacetime.

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said there is nothing to negotiate in the Aegean and neither are there any "grey' nor any zones of a different kind.

"These are illusions and fantasies of the Turkish side," he said.

Former foreign minister Karolos Papoulias said that "Turkish provocations will continue and will intensify because they also reflect Turkey's domestic problems."

Mr. Tsovolas attributed Turkish provocations to the government's submissiveness which, as he said, must stop this policy and must primarily revise its position on resorting to the International Court at The Hague.

NATO exercises get underway in the Mediterranean

Joint military NATO exercises got underway in the Mediterranean on Friday and will last for two weeks. A representative of the NATO alliance said they were routine exercises.

The exercises, codenamed "Dog Fish 98", include units from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Britain and the United States equipped with submarines, warships, helicopters and warplanes.

The purpose of the exercises is to improve cooperation and coordination between the military in the above countries.

15th INFACOMA exhibition

The German Koemmerling company intends to set up a synthetic door and window frame plant in Greece.

This was revealed in Thessaloniki on Saturday by the company's general manager Zeigfried Prais (phonetic spelling), who visited the 15th INFACOMA exhibition, and expressed his satisfaction with Koemmerling's collaboration with its Greek representatives going back 10 years.

Koemmerling currently holds a 60 per cent share in the Greek market, representing a turnover of 7.5 million DM annually.

Prof. Tsatsos winds up visit to Albania

"Europe is closer to Albania, but Albania, too, is one step closer to Europe," Europarliamentarian and Greek constitutional expert Dimitris Tsatsos told a press conference in Tirana yesterday.

Mr. Tsatsos, a constitutional law professor and member of the European Parliament's committee on institutional reforms, also praised the members of the Albanian parliamentary commission drafting the country's new constitution after the overthrow of the communist regime.

He said the commission's work so far had been "exemplary", and its members' manner of operation "praiseworthy", adding that "the democratic nature of the constitution is a condition for the country's accession to the European Union".

Mr. Tsatsos yesterday concluded his Tirana visit, in an advisory capacity, that also included talks with President Rexhep Meidani, Mr. Nano, the Albanian parliament's foreign affairs committee president, the reforms minister, the minister of State, the parliament president, and representatives of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Prof. Tsatsos is due to visit Tirana again in mid-April.

PASOK youth congress ends, new Central Council formed

The 3rd Congress of the ruling socialist PASOK party's youth wing was due to come to a close late last night with the creation of its new Central Council.

Addresses were concluded during yesterday's last day of the congress, a series of changes to the charter were endorsed, as well as a series of resolutions, and the political resolution of the congress was ratified.

In her last speech, outgoing PASOK Youth Organisation Secretary Tonia Antoniou appealed to the group of "modernisers", who abstained from the congress, to return to the PASOK youth's active service by the side of its new leadership.

Lastly, the congress decided to establish an Institute of Studies and Political Communication of Young Socialists in which the PASOK Youth Organisation's Central Council will participate.

According to sources, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his close associates termed the situation as disagreeable and recognised that a problem was created for the cohesion image of both the government and the party, regardless of whether the policy of moderate tones was selected on Friday.

Nearly all leading PASOK personalities, including Secretary Costas Skandalidis, declined to attend the congress.

Addressing the congress on Saturday, PASOK Deputy Anastasios Peponis congratulated the party's Youth Organisation members "for their strength and their position since they refused submission and false dilemmas."

"We are in the European Union and it is a mistake if we are outside of its framework. However, the issue is how we realise it. We desire the union of peoples and nations and we refuse the idea of a faceless and levelled population. Greece must be in Eur ope but it must not constitute one of its regions. Even those who through our lines speak of the demise of the state- nation must tell us which is the other unit which will replace it," Mr. Peponis said.

Construction of Florina power plant to go ahead

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas has dismissed claims of improprieties in the procedures followed in approving the construction of a Public Power Corporation (DEH) plant in Greece's northwestern town of Florina.

"The government ensured terms of transparency and objectivity by promoting the selection, through international tender, of an independent assessor in order to check whether the price agreed by DEH was reasonable and competitive. The independent assessor concluded that the price was 5-6 per cent lower than the internationally acceptable level, and therefore competitive"," the spokesman said on Saturday.

The spokesman stressed the importance of the investment, part of a Russian- Greek agreement, both to the development of a border area and the tapping of domestic energy sources.

"Critics also ignore the political importance of respecting the agreement with Russia," he added.

Greek First Division soccer results

Athinaikos-Panathinaikos 0-3 Kalamata-Proodeftiki 3-1 Panahaiki-Apollon 1-0 Olympiakos-PAOK 2-0 Veria-Panionios 4-0 Kavala-Xanthi 2-0 Ethnikos-Paniliakos 1-0 Iraklis-OFI 3-1 Monday: Ionikos-AEK 13.00 GMT STANDINGS-POINTS after 23 matches: Panathinaikos 58, Olympiakos 58, AEK (22 games) 52, PAOK 45, Ionikos (22) 44, Iraklis 44, OFI 33, Xanthi 23.

WEATHER

Spring-like weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today. Partly cloudy in the south of the country. Winds northerly, light to moderate in the Aegean Sea. Athens sunny with few clouds and temperatures between 5- 18C. Fine weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 3-17C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 285.021 Pound sterling 466.676 Cyprus pd 533.875 French franc 46.761 Swiss franc 194.298 German mark 156.761 Italian lira (100) 15.901 Yen (100) 224.093 Canadian dlr. 200.642 Australian dlr. 192.379 Irish Punt 389.261 Belgian franc 7.596 Finnish mark 51.677 Dutch guilder 139.088 Danish kr. 41.136 Swedish kr. 35.367 Norwegian kr. 37.625 Austrian sch. 22.280 Spanish peseta 1.851 Port. Escudo 1.531

(C.E.)


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