Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-12
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 12/04/1998 (ANA)
- Former President Karamanlis suffers heart attack
- Archbishop Serapheim's funeral Monday
- Greece, Romania, Bulgaria hold tripartite talks on Santorini
- National Defence Minister on Israel-Turkey cooperation
- Santer: Greek economic growth exceeds average of EU partners
- Treasury bills auction postponed
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Former President Karamanlis suffers heart attack
Former President of the Republic Constantine Karamanlis suffered a mild
heart attack early Sunday morning and was placed under intensive care at an
Athens private hospital.
The 91-year-old statesman, who was hospitalised on Tuesday with bronchial
pneumonia, went into heart seizure at 2.25 am., and doctors at YGEIA
hospital acted immediately to restore the heart's function, and 20 minutes
later moved him to the intensive care unit for better monitoring of his
The former head of state has a history of closely monitored heart problems,
mostly coronary disease. He suffered temporary heart failure due to severe
arrhythmia, and His condition was described by his personal physicians, E.
Vorides and E. Belonias, as "very serious".
Mr. Karamanlis' setback is attributed to a combination of factors,
including the respiratory infection and his advanced age. Asked if other
vital organs had been affected, the doctors said that his kidneyss function
was "very good", but expressed fears that the various complications could
render his condition irreversible at anytime.
A medical bulletin later Sunday said Karamanlis was in serious but slightly
Doctors were considering taking him off of life support machines as
prolonged use of them could have a detrimental effect on the patient's
condition, which was complicated by bronchial pneumonia.
The ailing former head of state was visited in the morning by his nephew
and namesake, leader of the New Democracy opposition party, Costas
Karamanlis. Visitors also included former Prime Minister Georgios Rallis,
former ND leader Miltiades Evert, Health Minister Costas Geitonas and
Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Archbishop Serapheim's funeral Monday
The funeral of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Serapheim who died on
Friday, will be held on Monday with honours of a head of state.
The Archbishop passed away on Friday at the age of 85 after leading the
Orthodox Church of Greece for 23 years. He died after 45 days in hospital
fighting a viral infection, complicated by chronic renal failure and kidney
The Archbishop's body has been lying in state at the Athens Cathedral,
known as the Metropolis since Friday. His funeral is scheduled for 10 am
Monday while the burial will take place at Athens A' Cemetery around
A four-day public mourning was declared by the Cabinet on Friday, and all
public services will remain closed Monday in deference to the late
Greece, Romania, Bulgaria hold tripartite talks on Santorini
Greece, Romania and Bulgaria yesterday stressed the need for security,
stability and cooperation in southeastern Europe.
In a joint declaration issued after two days of talks on the Greek island
of Santorini, foreign ministers Theodoros Pangalos of Greece, Nadezhda
Mihailova of Bulgaria and Andrei Plesu of Romania aalso proposed the
opening of negotiations between Belgrade and the Albanian community of
They further endorsed Romania's and Bulgaria's applications for European
Union and NATO membership, and agreed on further advancement of the
principles of good neighbourhood and respect of international law, as well
epxansion of economic, technical and police cooperation among their three
In the joint declaration, and also in statements, the three ministers
outlined the desire of the countries of southeastern Europe to upgrade
their position in the international scene, through:
Reaffirmation of Bulgria's and Romania's desire to join the EU and NATO
and speeding up the adaptation of their structures with the European
structures. In that context, Mihailova explained, Greece would continue to
provide training and specialisation in issues concerning the European Union
and its integration, at inter-state level.
Coordination of police services in the fight against crime, particularly
terrorism and trafficking in narcotics, arms, radioactive material and
human organs, and also against economic crime. They ministers expressed
support for Romania's initiative to host the corresponding division of SECI
(Southeast Europe Cooperation Initiative).
Coordination of the three countries' activities for successful
settlement of the Kosovo problem, including consultations with the EU
troika and all the sides concerned. On this issue, the declaration calls
for the opening of preliminary talks between the Belgrade government and
the Albanians of Kosovo. It also calls, in tandem, for full implementation
of the educational agreement and the Dayton accords, and expresses the
three countries' readiness to aid in the reconstruction of Bosnia-
The three countries also reaffirmed their dedication to the principles
of good neighbourhood which, as set out in the declaration, include the
inviolability of borders, non-intervention in the domestic affrairs of
another country, abandonment of the use of threat, and support for the
resolution of any problems through creative efforts including recourse to
the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Upgrading of infrastructures, particularly in the transports sector.
Pangalos, in fact, spoke of "African-type infrastructures" that hindered
the smooth movement of goods and people. The declaration notes the full
agreement of the three ministers for advancement of sections of the major
road artery that will run from St. Petersburg to Alexandropoulos which,
with simultaneous upgrading of the ports of Kavala and Thessaloniki, could
evolve into an attractive alternative to the Dardanelles Straits.
The establishment of a military rapid deployment deterrent force by the
SE European countries. This issue is slated for discussion among the
defence ministries of the countries involved in Bucharest on April 15.
Although a specific reference to this issue is not included in the
declaration, it was nevertheless discussed during the three ministers'
talks, according to Pangalos.
Upgrading of Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and the operation of the
Thessaloniki-based BSEC bank which opens at the end of the year or early
The Romanian and Bulgarian foreign ministers also invited Greek businessmen
to invest in their countries.
National Defence Minister on Israel-Turkey cooperation
Greece today criticised the creation of a Turkey-Israel military-economic
axis, considering that such reasoning led to the counter-rallying of the
other countries in the region, which did not contribute to security in the
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatsopoulos told a meeting of overseas
Greek youths in Thessaloniki that it was the inalienable right of every
country to engage in trade and negotiations with any country it desired.
"But," he warned, "in the critical region we are located, it would be wise
for one who looks at the economic interests alone to keep in mind that a
collaboration between two countries through which the ability is provided
for one to develop technologically advanced military armament -- such as
Turkey is attempting through its cooperation with Israel -- will create
problems with the other peoples".
Tsohatzopoulos said Greece fully accepted total freedom in commercial
But when those bilateral transactions eveolved into relations of miloitary
significance, "everyone must comprehend that the rationale of axis' in
today's strategies lead to the counter-rallying of all the others.
The security of Turkey or Israel cannot be strengthened except only in the
context of the collective security of the entire region, Tsohatzopoulos
The defence minister announced that after Orthodox Easter he would meet
with his Israeli counterpart to discuss the entire network of Greek-Israeli
relations, and would put this position forward at that meeting.
Santer: Greek economic growth exceeds average of EU partners
Visiting European Commission president Jacques Santer today expressed
satisfaction with Greece's developmental course, saying that the rate of
economic growth in Greece exceeded the average of the other European Union
Speaking in Hania after talks with the government in Athens and a tour of
Crete, Santer also said that the position of the European Commission and
himself was that all differences between Greece and Turkey should be
referred for difinitive solution to the International Court of Justice at
But, he added, Greece's volition for this did not suffice, it was necessary
that the Turkish side also desired it.
Santer said the EU was continuing accession negotiations with the Republic
of Cyprus and the dialogue with Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides.
The Commission president recalled that President Clerides had proposed the
participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the Cypriot delegation negotiating
the island republic's membership with the EU, adding: "I am very saddened
that Mr. (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash did not respond to that
"We are continuing the bilateral negotiations with the Repuyblic of Cyprus.
This position is clearcut," Santer said, adding that this position had been
reaffirmed at the EU summit in Luxembourg this past December.
Santer, accompanied by the Cretan-born former premier and honorary
president of the main opposition New Democracy party Constantine Mitsotakis,
national defence undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis and local officials,
visited the Vamos community, the Venizelos family graves at Akrotiri, the
Archaeological Museum, the old city of Hania and the Catholic church
He described his three-day visit to the island as "pleasant", adding that
the island was "moving decisively along the road of progress, taking the
best possible advantage of the EU funds".
Treasury bills auction postponed
Auctions of state securities scheduled for Monday have been postponed for a
day due to a four-day official mourning period for the passing away of
Archbishop Serapheim of Athens and All Greece, who died on Friday. The
auctions will be held on Tuesday, April 14.
Scattered cloud throughout the country and the possibility of rain in the
northwest is forecast for Monday. Moderate to strong winds in the east will
keep temperatures high for the season. Athens and Thessaloniki can expect
light cloud and maximum temps of 22 and 19 degrees respectively.
Friday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 315.258
British pound 527.982 Japanese Yen(100) 245.401
French franc 51.659 German mark 173.114
Italian lira (100) 17.535 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.393 Finnish mark 57.100
Dutch guilder 153.194 Danish kr. 45.442
Austrian sch. 24.611 Spanish peseta 2.046
Swedish kr. 40.144 Norwegian kr. 41.799
Swiss franc 208.474 Port. Escudo 1.671
AUS dollar 206.911 Can. dollar 221.573
Cyprus pound 593.811