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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 13/07/1998 (ANA)


  • Clerides: Turkish missiles in occupied sector illegal
  • Political leaders' vacation schedule
  • Attackers on bike shoot, injure Greek shipowner
  • Laliotis favours PASOK congress next spring
  • Ankara report: Increase in tourist flow from Turkey to Greece
  • Greek diplomat on Imvros
  • Canadian Justice official in Athens today
  • Constantopoulos says voters will disapprove of gov't policy
  • Royaumont-related meeting of NGOs in Thessaloniki
  • Police cite attempt on major scam targetting Ionian Bank
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Clerides: Turkish missiles in occupied sector illegal

Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides on Saturday stressed that Cyprus does not forget the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island or the occupation of 37 per cent of its territory.

Meanwhile, responding to threats from Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, that Ankara would bring missiles to the occupied areas if the Cyprus government went ahead with the deployment of the Russian-made S-300 anti- aircraft missiles, the Cypriot president said such a development "would constitute an illegal act".

Mr. Clerides was speaking prior to his departure for Russia, where at the invitation of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, he will be a guest of honour at the opening of the World Youth Games, to be held in the Russian capital.

Referring to his reply letter to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright concerning the S-300 missiles, Mr. Clerides said he proposed that "if talks on the Cyprus issue begin and there is substantive progress, we could delay their arrival because we do not want to be blamed for blowing up the negotiations".

Foreign governments, including the US administration, have raised opposition to the deployment of the Russian-made S-300s - ordered by Nicosia in January 1997. They are expected to be deployed later this year.

The Cyprus government confirmed this week that there was an exchange of letters between Mr. Clerides and Ms Albright on the issue. "If we see that there is progress towards a solution, then within the framework of Cyprus' demilitarisation we could discuss this (S-300) issue," Mr. Clerides said.

The president said Ms Albright did not dispute the Cyprus Republic's right to decide on its defences and added she reconfirmed the US would continue its efforts to settle the Cyprus question.

Referring to his four-day visit to Moscow, President Clerides described it as both "a courtesy visit and substantive".

He said he would hold talks with Russian President Boris Yeltsin today, focusing on issues "of common interest".

The Cypriot president added he would exchange views on the Cyprus problem, its current status and issues of interest to both countries with Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov on the same day.

Political leaders' vacation schedule

Most of Greece's political leaders will take vacations in the early part of August, according to reports. Specifically, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will vacation at his holiday home in Rio, Achaia prefecture.

PM Costas Simitis plans to take his holiday, as he has for the last 20 years, on the island of Sifnos. Main opposition ND leader Costas Karamanlis, who will wed this month, is scheduled to spend a few days in Ios during the first 15 days of August.

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga will reportedly head to Cephalonia, while Coalition of the Left and Progress president Nikos Constantopoulos expects to spend vacation time in Ileia prefecture and at his vacation home in the Schinia region district of Attica. DHKKI leader Dimitris Tsovolas will be spending time between Naxos and Aetoloarkanania prefecture.

ND honorary leader Costas Mitsotakis will be at his home district in Hania, Crete. Finally, Pol.An leader Antonis Samaras will vacation in his hometown of Pylos, Messinia prefecture.

Attackers on bike shoot, injure Greek shipowner

Greek shipowner Costas Agapitos was shot by unknown assailants as he was driving his car in the port of Piraeus late on Sunday and was recovering in hospital, police said.

They said two assailants riding a motorcycle approached his car from the passenger's side and shot him two or three times in the legs and shoulder before fleeing.

Agapitos, 40, whose family owns the Agapitos Lines passenger ferries, was rushed to the Tzaneio hospital in Pireaus where he was in stable condition after doctors removed a bullet from his shoulder.

Police would not say who they suspected was behind the attack but said Agapitos told them he thought it was competitors.

They said the attackers seemed to want only to injure him by shooting at his arms and legs. They were putting a bullet shell found in his car through ballistic tests.

Laliotis favours PASOK congress next spring

Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis reiterated his full support for the government's choices and Prime Minister Costas Simitis' re-election as the party's leader at the next PASOK congress.

In an interview with yesterday's "Sunday Elefterotypia",Mr. Laliotis placed himself in favour of a party congress taking place in spring next year, contrary to other projections, saying that it may be held by the end of the year.

To provide further backing to his own support for the prime minister, Mr. Laliotis said that both the ruling PASOK party and Mr. Simitis were judged in 1996, something that will be repeated in 2000.

"The party and Greece's future were not determined by internal party mechanisms, but by the people's mandate," he said.

Asked about the government's economic policy, he replied that latest developments have vindicated PASOK's policy as this is reflected in the party's theme: "Stability - Development - Social Protection".

Ankara report: Increase in tourist flow from Turkey to Greece

An article in yesterday's issue of the "Yeni Yuzyil" newspaper claimed that the drachma's devaluation as well as new measures by Athens in the tourism sector are behind an increase in the number of Turkish tourists visiting Greece.

According to figures quoted in the article, even though last year the number of Turkish holiday-makers visiting Greek islands totalled around 16, 000, in the first six months of 1998 alone, the number was up to 10,000 and is expected to reach 20,000 by the end of 1998.

The paper said if other types of travel, excluding organised tours, was to be taken into account, then the number could rise to 50,000.

Vacations on the Greek islands now cost less than in Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, while Greece is preferred "because it is close and offers high quality vacations," the Turkish paper claimed.

Greek diplomat on Imvros

Greece's Consul in Istanbul began a two-day visit to the northern Aegean island of Imvros on Saturday, for contacts with local Turkish authorities and members of the ethnic Greek community on the island.

While on the island, consul Fotios Xydas attended an inaugural session of a cultural association in the village of Agridion.

Imvros today has a population of only 300 ethnic Greeks. In 1922, the island had a predominately Greek population, while in 1927 the Greek community numbered around 6,700.

Canadian Justice official in Athens today

The parliamentary secretary of Canada's justice ministry, Eleni Bakopanos, arrives in Athens today for an official visit.

She is scheduled to sign a bilateral agreement providing for cooperation between judicial authorities of the two countries in criminal cases. Ms Bakopanos will hold talks with Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos, expected to focus on cooperation within the framework of efforts to combat international crime.

The purpose of the agreement to be signed is to facilitate the efforts of the two countries in investigating crimes and combatting crime in general. It also provides for cooperation between the police forces of the two countries and allows evidence origi nating in either country to be admitted in the other's courts.

During her stay, M. Bakopanos is also expected to have talks with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and Secretary General for Overseas Greeks, Stavros Lambrinidis.

Constantopoulos says voters will disapprove of gov't policy

Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos told a meeting of the party's central committee on Saturday that in the forthcoming municipal and prefectural elections voters should disapprove of the government's current policy.

He added that citizens, by their vote, should make it clear that government policies have neither social approval or political legitimacy.

The target set by Synaspismos, he further stressed, is to create the appropriate conditions for the government policy's defeat and promote a progressive alternative. The party's central political committee meeting wound up yesterday, after approving a draft political decision proposed by the political secretariat. According to this decision, due to be released today, the party will cooperate in the municipal elections with the "Greens" in Thessaloniki, with the party ticket headed by Michalis Tremopoulos.

Royaumont-related meeting of NGOs in Thessaloniki

A meeting of non-governmental bodies' (NGOs) representatives from Europe, the US, the Balkans and Russia within the Royaumont initiative for SE Europe wound up in Thessaloniki yesterday.

According to the initiative's coordinator, Panayiotis Roumeliotis, as many as 55 programmes for countries in SE Europe have been submitted and put into operation in the three years that Royaumont has been launched.

Participants approved a declaration of principles and an action plan, stressing the role of NGOs in southeastern Europe's security and cooperation. Royaumont was launched in 1995 to cover the states of the former Yugoslavia, in order to establish communication channels among warring factions. It was later extended to cover the entire region of southeastern Europe.

Police cite attempt at major scam targetting Ionian Bank

Authorities are investigating an alleged multi-billion-drachma fraud targetting Ionian Bank.

Police said a 65-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the case on charges of forgery and major fraud.

National Bank of Greece also filed a lawsuit against the same man, charging that he attempted to deposit a bogus check of US$4.5 million.

In addition, police charge that Gerasimos Theotokatos tried to credit an account held at an Ionian Bank branch in Kallithea, Halkidiki prefecture with 67 billion drachmas.

According to reports, he also produced documents issued by the Ionian branch as well as forged documents listing a New York and an Australian bank that would forward US$4.5 million.

Authorities are also examining the likelihood of involvement by the Ionian branch's personnel.

The issue was first uncovered by Attica Police's economic crime squad.


Mostly sunny weather is forecast throughout the country Monday. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 17C-34C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 16C to 32C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.278 British pound 489.036 Japanese yen (100) 212.774 French franc 49.169 German mark 164.722 Italian lira (100) 16.732 Irish Punt 414.656 Belgian franc 7.992 Finnish mark 54.276 Dutch guilder 146.092 Danish kr. 43.239 Austrian sch. 23.431 Spanish peseta 1.943 Swedish kr. 37.121 Norwegian kr. 38.867 Swiss franc 195.151 Port. Escudo 1.609 Aus. dollar 184.715 Can. dollar 203.796 Cyprus pound 562.960


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