Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-25
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 25/02/1998 (ANA)
- Greece replies to Turkish FM's five-point proposal
- Karamanlis says gov't jeopardising Greece's sovereign rights
- Pangalos to visit Belgrade next week
- Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need for military's modernisation
- Athens in contact with Nicosia over mass grave allegations
- CoE protocols ratified by Parliament
- Rescue vessel donated to Georgian navy
- Additional law enforcement measures unveiled
- KKE cadre Kaloudis dies
- Greek stocks rebound, aided by stable money market
- Greece to tender new T-bills tomorrow
- Gov't again to tender Cretabank, bids due June 12
- Govt' to tender relocation of OA to new Athens airport
- Yugoslavia, Greece sign economic cooperation deal
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece replies to Turkish FM's five-point proposal
Athens response to a five-point proposal by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail
Cem on the improvement of bilateral relations was submitted to Ankara by
Greece's ambassador, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.
The response, said Mr. Reppas, includes Greece's long-established positions,
as put forward by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.
In an announcement later, the foreign ministry called on Turkey to accept
Greece's proposals as "sincere and well-intentioned", as they were the
"only way to bring about a steady and substantial improvement in Greek-
Athens's response to Ankara's proposals, the announcement stated, pointed
to international law as the means to resolve bilateral problems.
Replying to Mr. Cem's five-point plan, the foreign ministry noted Greece's
repeated suggestions to refer the issue of the continental shelf to the
International Court of Justice.
The announcement also stressed the importance of the Madrid communique,
signed last July by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President
Suleyman Demirel, as a political commitment by both countries to respect
the principles of international law and good-neighbourly relations.
Nevertheless, the statement added, the Madrid communique could not be
interpreted in order to restrict rights governed by international law. This
particular reference is an apparent reminder to Ankara that its position
regarding the 12-nautical mile limi t for territorial waters in the Aegean
has no foundation in international law.
Therefore, it adds, Turkey cannot attempt to block rights accorded to
Greece under international law.
Additionally, Athens replied that the Greek government was working closely
with NATO's general secretary for the creation of a framework for
confidence-building measures in the Aegean, an issue also covered by Mr.
Cem's proposal, therefore, no other procedure was necessary.
The Greek government, it added, supports the EU-brokered committee of
experts on Greek-Turkish relations, although Turkey had unilaterally
distanced itself from this process, aiming for these talks to be held
solely at a bilateral level.
It also mentioned Mr. Pangalos' invitation to his Turkish counterpart to
meet on the sidelines of a Western European Union meeting in Rhodes this
The announcement urged Turkey to recognise the jurisdiction of the
International Court and reiterates Greece's desire for progress in its
relations with Turkey.
Karamanlis says gov't jeopardising Greece's sovereign rights
The govenrment is slipping from permanent Greek positions on Greek-Turkish
relations, jeopardasing the country's sovereign rights, main opposition New
Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis charged during a press conference
Mr. Karamanlis said Greece had slided from a "step-by-step" approach in
resolving differences with Turkey to referring all disputes to the
International Court at The Hague, without a change of behaviour on the part
of Ankara or securing anything in exchange.
Speaking at a Foreign Press Association (FPA) luncheon, he stressed that
New Democracy's unshakeable belief was that ways of normalising Greek-
Turkish relations should be found, but Ankara had to respect Greece's
territorial integrity and sovereign rights, international law and treaties,
as well as avoid actions that escalated tension.
"Ankara's behaviour does not meet any of the three preconditions," he
Mr. Karamanlis added that he preferred Turkey to be integrated into
European processes and that Greece should encourage this course, but
stressed that Turkey had to decide and win this bet itself.
Referring to the economy, Mr. Karamanlis charged that the government lacked
boldness and that its policy led to merely nominal convergence with other
Mr. Karamanlis ruled out a return of the six recently expelled prominent
party members, noting that his aim to make ND "a party of wide appeal, with
a high degree of quality and efficiency which depends on persuasive, clear
and united positions and strate gy".
He did not rule out the possibility of further expulsions, saying he did
not intend to allow the reappearance of the phenomenon of introversion,
which is responsible for the party's repeated defeats.
Asked if there would be disciplinary action against members expressing
extreme right-wing views, he said: "I don't know and it doesn't depend on
me. My own intention is to avoid such measures".
Later government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Mr. Karamanlis criticised
the government, while at the same time with the positions he formulated he
proved that in essence that he agrees with the government's foreign
On the question of the economy, Mr. Reppas said while Mr. Karamanlis
stressed the need for state enterprises to be restructured at the same time
he criticises the government for the initiatives it is undertaking in this
direction on the basis of specific planning.
Pangalos to visit Belgrade next week
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will pay an official visit to the
Yugoslav capital on March 6, a statement by the Yugoslav foreign ministry
Mr. Pangalos will have talks with his counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic on
bilateral relations and on international issues of common interest, the
Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need for military's modernisation
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos stressed the need for the
modernisation of the country's armed forces with the procurement of several
modern weapons systems.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking at a working luncheon given by the
commander of the Crete firing range, Army Gen. Papadomanolakis at noon
yesterday. Addressing officers and guests, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos termed the
firing range a model unit. He further stressed the country's need to
possess modern weaponry and in this direction the procurement of anti-
aircraft systems is necessary. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said Turkish provocations
and designs obliged Greece to arm itself.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also observed the test firing of the the OSA anti-
aircraft missile system. Four missiles were fired against two moving
targets, both successful. After the test, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the anti-
aircraft system was already in use by the military in the Evros region,
while other units around the country will soon be equipped with it.
Athens in contact with Nicosia over mass grave allegations
Athens is in constant contact with the Cyprus authorities the startling
information given by a Kurd exile last month about a mass grave of executed
Greek Cypriots in Turkish-occupied territory, Foreign Minister Theodoros
Pangalos said yesterday.
Mr. Pangalos was replying to a relevant question by PASOK deputy and
Parliament vice-president Panayiotis Kritikos.
According to the information disclosed last month in Germany by Mustafa
Ongan, the Greek Cypriots were murdered by Turkish troops during the
invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
The foreign minister said Athens was informed on the report by the Kurdish
exile before publication, adding that authorities in Nicosia had taken all
steps to collect information in order to go ahead with further moves. Mr.
Pangalos said that if the in formation proved to be correct, then the Greek
government will lend its assistance to the Cypriot government, both
bilaterally and in the context of international bodies.
CoE protocols ratified by Parliament
Two protocols by the Council of Europe (CoE) aimed at improving the
European Social Charter were ratified last night by a majority of
Parliament's committee for defence and foreign affairs.
Presenting the protocols to the committee, Alternate Foreign Minister
George Papandreou underlined the role of the Council of Europe in the
consolidation of social institutions and protection of individual and
The minister also referred to Greece's chance to promote those principles
and directions during its rotating presidency of the CoE in the second half
The protocols' texts contain provisions which should govern national policy
on social matters, especially in safeguarding equality of employment
opportunities, employees' access to business information of direct concern
to them, employees' participation in improving working conditions and the
right of the elderly to social protection.
The protocols were approval by the rapporteurs of all parties, except the
Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which said the government should ratify
relevant international labour agreements.
Rescue vessel donated to Georgian Navy
Two Greek naval vessels leave Thessaloniki tomorrow for Georgia bearing
military aid under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed last year in
Tbilisi by Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
The 30-metre patrol boat "Lindos", a gift from the Greek Defence Ministry
to the Georgian navy, was built at the Skaramanga shipyards in the early
1980s. To be renamed "Iberia", it will be used to patrol Georgia's
Accompanying it is the tank landing craft "Samos" which is to deliver
humanitarian aid to Georgia's ethnic Greeks as well as equipment for
Georgia's armed forces.
Greek navy frogmen travelling on the "Samos" are to assist the Georgians in
trying to salvage ships sunk during the 1993 civil war between Georgians
Additional law enforcement measures unveiled
Public Order Minister George Romeos yesterday announced several immediate
measures to stem what he called the rising crime rate in Greece over the
past few years.
According to the ministry's data the rise of criminal behaviour is due in a
large part to the activities of illegal immigrants, and especially Albanian
gangs, not only in Athens but throughout Greece.
Murders rose by 37.67 per cent to 251 in 1997, compared to figures from
1996, while the percentage of unsolved crimes rose by 45.51 per cent during
the same period.
Measures to combat crime include: - Assignment of an additional 1,500
police officers in regions lacking adequate law enforcement personnel.
- A three-year plan for upgrading equipment, due to be approved next
Acquisition of several new patrol cars and motorcycles.
A grant of 65 motorcycles and 250 patrol cars by banks.
Modernisation of an emergency control centre. The ministry's long-term
plans include creation of a police unit to combat organised crime and more
control of police productivity around the country.
KKE cadre Kaloudis dies
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) yesterday announced the death of
veteran cadre Nikos Kaloudis, who died at the age of 81.
Mr. Kaloudis joined the seamen's trade union movement at an early age,
while during World War II he worked for the Allies resupply network.
He fought in 1943 with the Allied forces at Anzio, Italy, and in 1947 was
elected secretary of the Federation of the Greek Seamen's Unions. While in
the United States he joined the US Communist Party, was arrested and jailed
for his trade union activities and was deported in 1952 to eastern
Greek stocks rebound, aided by stable money market
Greek equities recovered all of Monday's losses on the Athens Stock
Exchange, helped by a return of stability to domestic money markets
The general index ended 2.49 percent higher at 1,428.21 points with all
sector indices scoring gains.
Banks rose 2.90 percent, Insurance increased 1.37 percent, Leasing was
stable, Investment ended 1.90 percent up, Construction jumped 2.88 percent,
Industrials rose 1.74 percent, Miscellaneous ended 2.11 percent higher and
Holding increased 1.65 percent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies soared 3.65 percent. The
FTSE/ASE blue chip index ended 2.90 percent up at 789.45 points.
Trading was moderate with turnover at 16 billion drachmas.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 181 to 32 with another 18 issues
Metrolife, Keranis, Elfico, Singular, Rocas, Sysware and Sea Farm Ionian
scored the biggest percentage gains at the daily 8.0 percent upper
volatility limit, while Ippotour, Balkan Export, Endysi and Nafpaktos Mills
suffered the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 20,600 drachmas, Ergobank at 14,200, Alpha
Credit Bank at 15,350, Delta Dairy at 2,900, Titan Cement at 13,185,
Intracom at 14,900 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 5,
In the domestic interbank market interest rates dropped by 1-1/2 percentage
points. Bankers reported capital inflows totalling 140 million US dollars.
The drachma rebounded spectacularly against the US dollar and it was
slightly higher against the deuts chmark and the Ecu.
Greece to tender new T-bills tomorrow
Greece's finance ministry will auction a new issue of T-bills tomorrow.
The tender will be held with the participation of a newly created group of
primary dealers from domestic banks. The finance ministry aims to collect
220 billion drachmas from the tender.
Gov't again to tender Cretabank, bids due June 12
The government will hold a second international tender for the sale of
Cretabank with bids due by June 12.
The decision was reached after a meeting yesterday between National Economy
and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Bank of Greece governor Lucas
Papademos on the terms of the tender.
Bids will be accepted until June 12 while the international call for tender
will be completed by the end of March.
The evaluation of bids is scheduled by mid-July.
Deloitte & Touche, an international auditing firm, will hold a thorough
auditing of Cretabank's balance sheet using internationally accepted
The government has decided not to impose a minimum bid - a condition which
led to the failure of a previous attempt to sell the bank.
Gov't to tender relocation of OA to new Athens airport
Relocation of Olympic Airways, the state-run national carrier, to a new
airport being built for Athens at Spata will be tendered in order to ensure
transparency, Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis told reporters
Mr. Laliotis was speaking after a meeting of the government's ministerial
major works commission chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
"(A tender will be called) so there is no confusion," said Mr. Laliotis,
who heads the commission.
Relocation of the airline would be defined as an extension of the existing
contract for construction the airport, which is to replace the facility at
Talks on relocation between OA and Athens International Airport, which is
supervising construction, would begin on March 15, Mr. Laliotis said.
A consortium led by Hochtief of Germany is building the new airport at
Spata, east of Athens, which will be launched on March 1, 2001, Mr.
Laliotis also told reporters. He said works were proceeding at a brisk
Yugoslavia, Greece sign economic cooperation deal
Yugoslav and Greek trade authorities signed an economic partnership
agreement on Monday in order to extend cooperation in joint ventures,
technology transfer and information exchanges on trade and the economy.
The agreement was signed by the president of the Hellenic Foreign Trade
Board (HEPO), Ioannis Tzen, and the chairman of Yugoslavia's Economic
Chamber, Mihailo Milojevic.
Mr. Tzen said that the pact would facilitate the promotion of business
deals between the two countries. His organisation was interested in
investing in Yugoslav industrial concerns that remained closed due to a
lack of finance, in order to aid moderni sation.
He said that 160 Greek-Yugoslav joint enterprises existed along with
another 88 Greek private businesses, worth 654 million deutschmarks.
According to Mr. Milojevic, bilateral trade relations totalled 296 million
US dollars last year of which Yugoslav exports accounted for 116 million.
Partly cloudy weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today with the
possibility of local rain in the west and north. Fog in some areas in the
morning. Winds light to moderate. Scattered clouds in Athens with
temperatures between 7-19C. Possibility of intermittent rain in Thessaloniki
with temperatures from 6-15C.
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.045
Pound sterling 464.415 Cyprus pd 535.581
French franc 46.789 Swiss franc 194.358
German mark 156.845 Italian lira (100) 15.894
Yen (100) 220.869 Canadian dlr. 197.924
Australian dlr. 188.048 Irish Punt 389.796
Belgian franc 7.600 Finnish mark 51.697
Dutch guilder 139.158 Danish kr. 41.148
Swedish kr. 35.214 Norwegian kr. 37.500
Austrian sch. 22.297 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.531