Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-31
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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
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
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
"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,"
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-
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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 conflict...in 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
In addition, a 10-metre speed boat will patrol Lake Prespa on a 24-hour
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
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
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
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
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
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
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