Visit the American Hellenic Media Project (AHMP) Homepage Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 22 January 2022
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 25/02/1999 (ANA)


  • Gov't examines strategy in the wake of Ocalan affair
  • Stocks surge on assurance Greece still heading for EMU
  • Opportunities for domestic banks to extend business
  • Christodoulakis cites stability factor in Greek economy
  • Greek merchant fleet reported as world's largest
  • Kranidiotis regarding Ocalan's rights, int'l reaction
  • Turkish-Greek business council suspends joint activities
  • Amnesty International demands fair Ocalan trial, treatment
  • Yiannopoulos remarks about Greek agent spark reactions
  • Papantoniou warns against 'circles' attempting to undermine gov't
  • Ankara entangles Ocalan affair in Greek-Turkish relations
  • French, British forces land in Thessaloniki en route to FYROM
  • Documentary details efforts to save Greek Jewry during WWII
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Gov't examines strategy in the wake of Ocalan affair

Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired yesterday a meeting of the inner cabinet and ruling PASOK's political secretariat, convened to examine developments in the wake of the controversial Ocalan affair and the government's strategy.

The meeting focused on practical aspects - including the safe passage out of Kenya of Greek citizens and the three Ocalan companions still holed up at the Greek embassy in Nairobi - as well as government strategy both on dealing with the negative effects of the capture of the Kurdish rebel leader after his stay at the Greek embassy and other issues.

According to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, the PASOK government is proceeding with business as usual. This includes hol-ding PASOK's congress in March as scheduled, the holding of European Parliament elections in June and continuing to work towa rds the country's inclusion in Economic and Monetary Union in 2000.

The next national elections, he said, will be in 2000, as scheduled.

He said that talks were underway to ensure the safe and secure transport of the three female associates of Ocalan still in the Greek embassy in Kenya.

"The Greek government is in continuous contact with the Kenya government on this issue," he said.

The spokesman added that the prime minister will hold separate meetings with his European counterparts on the sidelines of the special European Union summit in Bonn tomorrow to inform them on the Ocalan affair.

In a related development, Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Pavlos Apostolidis left for Nairobi yesterday evening for talks with Kenyan officials.

He is scheduled to meet with the Kenyan foreign undersecretary this morning to discuss the safe passage of a Greek agent and two out of three Ocalan companions, to whom Greece has granted political asylum.

Stocks surge on assurance Greece still heading for EMU

Equity prices rebounded yesterday, recovering all of the previous session's losses after assurances given by the prime minister that the government was steadfast in its aim of entering EMU on January 1, 2001.

Traders said the premier's statements restored the market's confidence in domestic political stability.

Also helping sentiment were the avoidance so far of Western military action in Kosovo, gains in international markets and a further drop in domestic bond yields.

The general index ended 7.14 percent, or 218 points up at 3270.05 points, recovering more than half its 12 percent drop since the Ocalan affair broke out.

Turnover was 119.1 billion drachmas and volume 23,564,729 shares.

Sector indices scored gains. Banks soared 7.9 percent, Leasing rose 7.9 percent, Insurance ended 5.31 percent up, Investment surged 7.53 percent, Construction jumped 7.45 percent, Industrials ended 7.43 percent higher, Miscellaneous ended 7.21 percent up and Holding rose 4.53 percent.

The parallel market index for small cap companies rose 6.0 percent, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 7.01 percent up at 2,051.72.

National Bank of Greece ended at 19,980 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 32, 832, Ergobank at 22,970, Ionian Bank at 16,300, Titan Cement at 22,315, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,592, Intracom at 19,699, Minoan Lines at 7,641, Panafon at 9,530 and Hellenic Telecoms at 8,000. Electronic trade was 137 billion drachmas.

Opportunities for domestic banks to extend business

The deputy governor of National Bank of Greece, Nikos Karamouzis, said yesterday that domestic banks had great leeway to expand their business both at home and abroad, focused on the Balkans.

At the same time, a concrete long-term strategy was needed, said Mr. Karamouzis, addressing a finance conference held by the Hellenic British Chamber of Commerce and the British Embassy.

Mr. Karamouzis also underlined the importance of banking services stemming from the Internet, such as web banking.

Helping to organise the conference were the Union of Greek Banks and Athens Stock Exchange.

Christodoulakis cites stability factor in Greek economy

Deputy Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis stressed yesterday that over the past few years Greece has created a stable economy capable of withstanding international turmoil and crises.

He was addressing an economic conference organised by the Hellenic British Chamber of Commerce and the British embassy.

Mr. Christodoulakis said the Greek economy will not be affected by the recent political developments (Ocalan affair) in the country, on the contrary its position will be strengthened thanks to the PASOK government's insistence on a convergence policy.

He added that the finance ministry does not intend from now on to fund the public deficit with bond issues featuring a fluctuating interest rate. On the contrary, it will issue 20-year bonds for the first time by June.

Mr. Christodoulakis further said that the gradual enlargement of the domestic bonds market constitutes the ministry's policy and for this purpose contacts are already taking place with the administrations of insurance companies and insurance funds.

Greek merchant fleet reported as world's largest

Greece was proclaimed the largest shipping power in the world during 1998 with a transport capacity of 123.8 million tonnes.

Greece also holds a 17.6 per cent stake of the international total, according to the Journal of Commerce in a report from Geneva.

International sea trade increased by 2.2 per cent last year, 1.7 per cent less than in 1997, primarily due to the Asian crisis.

Kranidiotis regarding Ocalan's rights, int'l reaction

The internationalisation of the issue of the conditions of detention and the forthcoming trial of Abdullah Ocalan is a particularly important development, Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said yesterday, after reports of an announcement by the European Court of Human Rights.

"The top judicial organ of the Council of Europe, the new European Court of Human Rights, taking into account the seriousness of claims by Ocalan's lawyers, has decided to ask Turkish authorities clarifications related to the arrest and detention of the

Kurdish leader, as well as the speedy provision of information with regard to the possibility of communication with his lawyers," he said.

Mr. Kranidiotis added that other statements, by the EU Council of Ministers, the external affairs committee of the European Parliament, and the Special United Nations Rappporteur Against Torture, have reminded Turkey of the evident principles for a true democracy which it has to uphold in the specific case, such as a fair and open trial by an independent court, the right to chose one's lawyer, attendance of international observers, non- application of the death penalty, safeguards regarding the physical and psychological integrity of the Kurdish leader and respect for his human dignity.

"Greece will promote at an international level the need for Turkey to respect. Turkey's non-compliance with the requirements of the European legal order and worldwide recognised rules which establish the fundamental right of man and constitute non-negot iable conquests of our modern legal culture, isolates it from the international community," he said.

Turkish-Greek business council suspends joint activities

The Turkish-Greek business council board,headed by Turkish entrepreneur Rahim Koc, yesterday sided with Ankara's handling of the Kurdish issue.

During a press conference in Istanbul, Mr. Koc said the council cancelled all joint Greek-Turkish activities planned within the council's framework. "We expect of Greek business circles, the intelligentsia...who until this date succumbed without discussio n to the predisposed policy of their government, to act logically toward the interest of their country and distance themselves from the constant mistaken judgements," he added.

Amnesty International demands fair Ocalan trial, treatment

Amnesty International (AI) called on Turkey yesterday to abolish the death penalty by signing the relevant protocol of the EU convention, while it urged the Turkish national assembly to observe its moratorium on the capital punishment.

In a letter sent to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the international human rights advocacy organisation stressed that international standards of delivering justice must be observed in the trial of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

AI said that concerns over a fair trial for the Kurdish leader were levelled from the moment and the way in which Mr. Ocalan was arrested, and continue to exist during his questioning. It also expressed concerns for the fact that Mr. Ocalan was not allo wed to consult with his legal defence since he was handed over to the Turks.

AI further reminded the Turkish PM that the international community will judge the fairness of the PKK leader's trial under international human rights criteria.

Yiannopoulos remarks about Greek agent spark reactions

A justice ministry official yesterday claimed that Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos never "adopted the view" that Greek Intelligence Service (EYP) officer Savvas Kalenderidis is an agent for Israel's Mossad.

Mr. Kalenteridis was dispatched to the Greek embassy in Nairobi to provide protection to Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan during his stay. He has yet to return to Greece and is still holed up at the embassy along with three of Ocalan's companions.

Ministry special secretary Argyris Sideris made the statement in a letter of response to a stinging press release by the Federation of Pontian (Black Sea) Associations of Northern Greece, which protested a reference to that effect by Mr. Yiannopoulos du ring a televised interview on Tuesday night.

"The press release in question is unacceptably insulting and misleading. Mr. Yiannopoulos did not adopt the allegations of Kalenderidis' relations with Mossad, but repeated a view, a rumour of specific people, which was published in the daily press and has not been denied," he said.

The federation's press release stressed that "the minister's views constituted an insult to Greek officers, whose uniform Savvas Kalenderidis has honoured without a shadow of a doubt".

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas earlier yesterday said Mr. Yiannopoulos had only repeated a rumour and had not indicated that he believed this rumour.

Mr. Reppas added that all the issues related to this specific rumour would be examined within the context of an inquiry on the Ocalan affair, currently under way in the courts. Commenting on the same issue, main opposition New Democracy spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos called on the prime minister to immediately release all evidence proving "these untenable allegations, manufactured by people close to the government in EYP."

Papantoniou warns against 'circles' attempting to undermine gov't

National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou lashed out yesterday at what he called "circles attempting to harvest petty partisan gains by undermining the government."

Delivering a speech at a gathering in the western Athens municipality of Peristeri, Mr. Papantoniou referred to the controversial Ocalan affair and condemned what he called "irresponsible games being played on the back of national security."

"We are and we will be on the side of the Kurdish people, on the side of liberation movements," he said, adding that the PASOK government had "clear intentions" and wished to help.

However, he admitted that "the handling of the case was not effective, and that is why responsibilities have been undertaken," apparently referring to the dismissal of three key ministers last week.

Mr. Papantoniou also attacked the main opposition New Democracy party, accusing it of preparing to win the 2000 elections by appropriating for its own benefit the successes of PASOK's economic policy.

Ankara entangles Ocalan affair in Greek-Turkish relations

The Greek foreign ministry yesterday accused Turkey of making a coordinated attempt to entangle the Ocalan issue in Greek-Turkish relations.

"In the knowledge that it is accountable before the international community for the violation of basic human rights, not only of minorities, but also of those who disagree with its authoritarian policy, Ankara has launched a coordinated attempt to shi ft the issue, entangling it in Greek-Turkish relations," a statement said.

It further stressed that Greece would not follow the tactics of indiscriminate accusations used against it by Turkey.

"The Greek side cannot but fend off any attempt at converting an internal Turkish problem into a Greek-Turkish difference. At the same time, the Greek government, in the face of a barrage of of baseless and unsupportable accusatios against Greece, has no other option but to remind that the international community and the European Union have asked Turkey not to violate internatinoal law, not to violate international treaties and the rules determining relations of good neighbourliness and mutual respect, avoiding the threats of use of military force which it launches against its neighbours from time to time," the statement added.

"The position of the Greek government concering the problem of southeastern Turkey is most clear. It is fully expressed by the recent statement of the EU, which expects Turkey to comply with its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and resolve the problem through political means, with full respect for human rights and the principles of the rule of law which pertain to democratic societies," the statement read.

French, British forces land in Thessaloniki en route to FYROM

Six British C-130 transport planes landed at Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki yesterday carrying troops and 60 vehicles, all destined for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), where they will be stationed pending possible NATO orders to head for the strife-torn Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

Two French Airbuses carrying 10 vehicles and 140 personnel and an American Tri-Star carrying 225 British troops also landed at the airport yesterday.

Meanwhile, the French vessel "Foudre" arrived at the port of Thessaloniki in the afternoon carrying 130 vehicles and 500 troops, also destined for FYROM.

At the same time, Greek armed forces at Litohoro were preparing to receive three US vessels carrying marines for the projected NATO force in Kosovo.

Documentary details efforts to save Greek Jewry during WWII

The Greek embassy in Washington yesterday organised a joint event with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for the screening of a documentary entitled "It was nothing, It was everything."

The documentary recounts the heroic efforts of several Greeks during World War II to save Greek Jews from Nazi occupiers.

The event was attended by several members of the US administration, special US State Department coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller, and the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ben Gilman, as well as about 70 AJC members.

Actress Irene Papas is featured as the main narrator of the documentary.

Greek ambassador Alexandros Filon, in his address, referred to Greece's struggle and sacrifices against the Axis powers during WWII.


Cloudy weather and local rain will prevail in most parts of Greece today. Snowfall in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds westerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Athens will be sunny with possibility of rain in the evening and temperatures between 6-15C. Scattered showers in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 3-9C.


Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 290.458 Pound sterling 465.208 Japanese yen (100) 239.489 French franc 48.757 German mark 163.522 Italian lira (100) 16.518 Irish Punt 406.089 Belgian franc 7.928 Luxembourg franc 7.928 Finnish mark 53.790 Dutch guilder 145.129 Danish kr. 43.019 Austrian sch. 23.243 Spanish peseta 1.922 Swedish kr. 35.867 Norwegian kr. 36.980 Swiss franc 200.766 Port. Escudo 1.595 Aus. dollar 183.222 Can. dollar 193.182 Cyprus pound 550.560 Euro 319.821


Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
Back to Top
Copyright © 1995-2022 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
apeen2html v2.00 run on Thursday, 25 February 1999 - 9:05:53 UTC