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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 31/08/1998 (ANA)


  • Simitis interview to "Le Monde" covers all issues
  • Jospin in Athens today for one-day conference on Euro-left
  • Pangalos: Free movement zone on Greek-Albanian border next year
  • Lesvos business delegation in Izmir
  • Balkan writers/translators' conference in Alexandroupolis
  • EDEK's Lyssarides: No reasons exist to postpone S-300s delivery
  • Kranidiotis calls on UN, EU to intensify steps for Cyprus solution
  • Hiring of border patrol guards to begin in September
  • Physicist Stephen Hawking at Samos cosmology conference
  • Bullet-riddled body of Albanian policeman found in well
  • Samaranch in Athens for protocol on 'Cultural Olympics'
  • Football violence in Thessaloniki
  • First division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Simitis interview to "Le Monde" covers all issues

More than 70 per cent of the Greeks want their country to enter Economic Monetary Union (EMU) and are ready to make the necessary sacrifices, Prime Minister Costas Simitis told the Paris daily "Le Monde".

The Greek premier's interview, published by the paper in its Aug. 30-31 edition, comes in light of his French counterpart Lionel Jospin's visit to Athens today.

The two premiers will be the keynote speakers at an open discussion this evening on democratic socialism.

In the interview, Mr. Simitis noted that he is very close to Mr. Jospin's ideas on the process of discovering new venues in the fields of social justice, democracy and the role of the state.

Mr. Simitis admitted that there are reactions even within the ruling PASOK party regarding EMU, while he noted the possibility of voter losses to the left, stressing that there is no other choice. The Greek PM also said he believes that the majority of his party agrees with his policies.

Regarding Greek-French relations, Mr. Simitis said they are "good", although he indirectly stated his dissatisfaction over French President Jacques Chirac's stance on Cyprus' European Union accession at the recent Cardiff EU summit.

Mr. Simitis stressed that everyone knew that the island republic was divided by force when Cyprus entered a list of candidate-countries.

He added that it would be an inexcusable tactic for the problem to be set on a different basis, as it gives a veto right to the Turkish Cypriot community, while he reiterated that there should be a parallel procedure of accession talks and a search for a Cyprus solution.

Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Simitis said that he is waiting for elections in Turkey next year to clarify the political scene in the neighbouring country.

In terms of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, due to arrive on Cyprus later this year, the prime minister said that the deployment of the missiles "is not a purpose in itself, but aims at the security of Cyprus".

"Nicosia's objective is the demilitarisation of the island and a political solution. Neither of these objectives is possible without pressure exercised by the United States and the international community on Turkey," he added.

Mr. Simitis said that he expected Mr. Jospin's visit to Athens to contribute to the modernisation of the Greek political life, adding that the Greek left is willing to re-orient its policies and to direct the debate toward the future of socialism and the prospects of social- democracy.

Jospin in Athens today for one-day conference on Euro-left

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin arrives in Athens today where he and Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the keynote speakers at an open discussion later in the evening. The two premiers will speak on the subject of "Democratic Socialism: Prospects for the Left and the Role of the 'Society of Citizens' in the Europe of 2000".

The discussion will be held at a downtown Athens hotel.

The French and Greek prime ministers will also have a private meeting during the course of the day to discuss the recent international financial crisis and ways the European Union can deal with it.

Pangalos: Free movement zone on Greek-Albanian border next year

A border zone on the Greek-Albanian frontier will be introduced next year, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos announced yesterday during a visit to the southeastern Albanian town of Korce, where he inaugurated a new Greek consul ate.

Greeks and Albanians living within the zone - the depth of which will be decided later - will be allowed free movement on either side of the borders inside the zone, and will have a special common identification card, Mr.Pangalos explained.

The card, issued jointly by Greece and Albania, will enable residents inside the zone to live in one country and work across the border in the other country within the designated zone. Restrictions for the other parts of the country will remain in place.

Mr. Pangalos clarified that the issue is still under discussion "and that within the year its final form will be announced." He also stressed that "the border zone will be transformed from a zone of underdevelopment into a zone of development."

In addition, the minister said the Greek consulate in Korce and a new Albanian consulate in Thessaloniki "is a step forward so as to gain several steps backward we made in the past," while he reiterated that Athens will help Tirana with further cooperation on the sectors of tourism, economy and science.

The Greek consulate in Korce closed its doors in 1937, while the last consul was Nobel laureate poet Georgios Seferis.

The opening of the consulate in Korce and its Albanian counterpart in Thessaloniki is based on a 1996 bilateral agreement.

Lesvos business delegation in Izmir

A delegation of 40 members of Lesvos' chamber of commerce yesterday concluded a three-day visit to Izmir within the framework of that city's international exhibition.

The delegation met with the Izmir Chamber of Commerce's board-members during the sidelines of the exhibition and arrived at several trade agreements for both exports and imports between businesses in the eastern Aegean islands and the coastal cities of Asia Minor.

Lesvos Chamber President Panayiotis Mathiellis said "we believe that the trade exchanges can improve the climate between the two countries and naturally can give life to the economies of the islands in the eastern Aegean, which are in dire straits."

Greek and Turkish business people decided on a new meeting in November.

Balkan writers/translators' conference in Alexandroupolis

A week-long Balkan writers' and translators' conference began on Saturday in Alexandroupoli.

The conference, entitled "Balkan Writers' and Translators' Workshop" is organised by the National Book Centre in cooperation with the culture ministry and Evros prefecture.

Topics to be discussed include whether there is a common Balkan literature or if the term is a current invention, and the notion of "southeastern Europe" instead of the term "Balkans", which sometimes invokes memories of chaos and instability in much of the rest of Europe.

EDEK's Lyssarides: No reasons exist to postpone S-300s delivery

Cyprus Socialist (EDEK) leader Vassos Lyssarides yesterday noted that both Athens and Nicosia have decided that no reasons exist to postpone deployment of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. He said that should such reasons ari se - which may lead to a postponement - they must "first be tabled for discussion with the National Council."

The National Council is the top advisory body in the island republic for the Cyprus issue, and is comprised of all political leaders.

Mr. Lyssarides stressed that all those who are concerned "should take the correct stance, when and if the issue is discussed at the National Council."

Finally, Mr. Lyssarides confirmed his Sept. 10 meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Athens.

Kranidiotis calls on UN, EU to intensify steps for Cyprus solution

Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis on Saturday stressed the need for an international initiative to defuse tension, restart intercommunal dialogue and reduce armaments on Cyprus, during an address at the European Socialist Party's (ESP) "Summer University" in Halkidiki.

Mr. Kranidiotis noted that the European Union and the United Nations must work toward a solution of this international problem, which he said stems from the continued occupation of one third of the island republic.

"The Turkish invasion and continued occupation of one third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974 has transformed the island into a major area of instability and fact, the Turkish- occupied northern part of Cyprus has been tur ned into the most militarised zone of the world," Mr. Kranidiotis said.

He also stressed that the accession of Cyprus to the EU "can serve as a catalyst in the effort to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus question" as well as to reinforce a sense of security for the island's population, particularly the Turkish C ypriot community.

Regarding Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Kranidiotis said that "Greece has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to settle through peaceful means a number of complex issues affecting Greek-Turkish relations," but Turkey must approach its relations with Greece through a framework of international law and treaties, adding that Ankara should "test the validity of its claims by legal means available through international law."

Hiring of border patrol guards to begin in September

The government will begin procedures in September to hire some 1,300 new border guards for a special corps to patrol Greek borders, Public Order Minister George Romeos said on Saturday.

Speaking at the "Prespes '98" cultural festival near Florina, Mr. Romeos said the new units will be responsible for upgrading security on the borders and preventing the entry of illegal immigrants.

"Military, police and border officials will shortly have secured the borders, increasing as far as possible the security of residents in border regions," Mr. Romeos said.

The border corps jurisdiction will extend from Thesprotia prefecture to Florina.

In addition, a 10-metre speed boat will patrol Lake Prespa on a 24-hour basis.

According to statements by Mr. Romeos, the justice ministry will be in charge of the border corps.

Physicist Stephen Hawking at Samos cosmology conference

The second international conference on cosmology, geometry and physics is set to begin today on the eastern Aegean island of Samos.

The conference is expected to focus on efforts to analyse modern physics and mathematical theories regarding the study of the structure and development of the early universe.

World famous physicist Stephen Hawking will be among the more than 100 official participants at the conference, due to conclude on Friday.

Bullet-riddled body of Albanian policeman found in well

The bullet-riddled body of a missing Albanian policeman was found in a well near the village of Sayiada, Thesprotia prefecture, about 100 metres within the Greek border with Albania, authorities said yesterday.

A local police official told the ANA that the body of 30-year-old Vladimir Beito was located Saturday night by a Greek military patrol.

The man had disappeared about a week ago and Albanian police sought the assistance of Greek authorities, who began an investigation into his whereabouts.

The police official said the body had several bullet wounds in the chest, adding that authorities believe the Albanian policeman was murdered by Albanian organised crime members.

The body was taken to Ioannina for an autopsy.

Samaranch in Athens for protocol on 'Cultural Olympics'

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch and Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos are due to sign a protocol of cooperation this week creating a foundation for the "cultural olympics".

Speaking at the four-day "Prespes '98" cultural festival on Saturday, Mr. Venizelos said the cultural olympics would run in tandem with the Olympic Games.

The agreement is due to be signed in Athens on Wednesday, during Mr. Samaranch's visit to Greece.

Football violence in Thessaloniki

Ten people were injured - none seriously - during violence at Saturday night's football match in Thessaloniki between Aris and host team PAOK.

The unrest began before the start of the match, in the city's Toumba district, but reached a pinnacle when Aris scored its third goal at the 63rd minute.

Fans rushed the VIPs section and threw bottles, stones and chairs. Members of PAOK's management were escorted from the stands under police guard.

Twelve people involved in the violence were arrested and are expected to be charged.

Visiting Aris beat PAOK 4-1.

First division soccer results

Olympiakos-Elefsina 1-1 Proodeftiki-Panathinaikos 1-2 AEK-Apollon 3-1 PAOK-Aris 1-4 Ionikos-Panionios 4-3 E.Asteras-Kavala 3-2 Pyrgos-Ethnikos 2-0 Heraklis-OFI tonight Xanthi-Veria tonight Standings, points: AEK, Aris, Panathinaikos, Ionikos 6, Olympiakos 4, OFI, Heraklis, Kavala, Pyrgos, E.Asteras 3, Elefsina 2, Xanthi 1.


Mild weather is forecast for the entire country today, turning cloudy in the afternoon in central and northern Greece with chances of showers in the north. Mild in Athens, with temperatures between 21-31 C. Same in Thessaloniki, with local clouds in the afternoon and temperatures between 18-27 C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 308.710 British pound 510.582 Japanese yen (100) 215.700 French franc 51.463 German mark 172.509 Italian lira (100) 17.454 Irish Punt 433.504 Belgian franc 8.363 Finnish mark 56.609 Dutch guilder 152.867 Danish kr. 45.273 Austrian sch. 24.501 Spanish peseta 2.029 Swedish kr. 37.631 Norwegian kr. 38.023 Swiss franc 208.494 Port. Escudo 1.681 Aus. dollar 175.678 Can. dollar 195.999 Cyprus pound 588.256


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