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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 20/06/1999 (ANA)


  • G8 leaders call for Cyprus talks under U.N. chief
  • US says has no proof of PKK training in Greece
  • Tsohatzopoulos says Kosovars' disarming of paramount importance
  • Kranidiotis calls for long-term strategy for Balkans
  • Cook terms Greece's role in the Balkans 'valuable'
  • Scottish officer takes 'the low road' to Pristina
  • Equity prices end week with moderate gains
  • Seven-year bond issue
  • Drys to visit UK
  • Cosmote signs supply deal with Intracom
  • Gov't promotes Greek-produced meat as safe alternative
  • Mismanagement, lack of employees blamed for OA's condition
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


    • G8 leaders call for Cyprus talks under U.N. chief Leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations and Russia on Sunday called on the U.N. chief to bring both sides in Cyprus to the negotiating table in the autumn in order to resolve the island nation's division.

      "The members of the G8 ... urge the UN Secretary-General in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999," the G8 leaders said in a communique released after a summit in Cologne.

      "They call upon the two leaders to give their full support to such a comprehensive negotiation, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General," the statement said.

      The G8 leaders also said that in accepting an invitation for talks from U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan, the two "parties/leaders" should commit themselves to four principles.

      The principles stated in the communique were to set no pre-conditions for talks, put all issues on the negotiating table, make a commitment in good faith to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached, and give full consideration to relevant UN resolutions and treaties.

      "The Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long. Resolution of this problem would not only benefit all the people of Cyprus, but would also have a positive impact on peace and stability in the region," the G8 leaders said.

      "Both parties to the dispute have legitimate concerns that can and must be addressed. The members of the G8 are convinced that only comprehensive negotiations covering all relevant issues can do this," the statement added.

      Finally, it said that the G8 leaders undertook to give their full and sustained backing to the negotiating process and hoped that it would prove possible for its outcome to be reported to a summit of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe due to be held in November.

      Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

    • US says has no proof of PKK training in Greece A US State Department official on Friday told the ANA in Washington that the US "have no proof that at this period Greece offers operational assistance or trainining facilities" to the Kurdish separatist movement PKK.

      The official reiterated that the US administration had knowledge "of reports of PKK terrorists training in Greece a few years ago". He also said Washington and Athens were in close cooperation in combatting terrorism.

    • Tsohatzopoulos says Kosovars' disarming of paramount importance National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos underlined in Brussels on Friday that the disarming of the so-called "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA) is of paramount importance in implementing the Kosovo peace agreement.

      The Greek minister spoke at NATO's joint foreign affairs and national defence ministers meeting, which concluded here late last night. Greece was also represented by Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

      He made the statement in reference to the content of talks at the NATO session.

      Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the expected signing of an agreement between the KLA, or UCK as it is also known, and the leadership of the KFOR peacekeeping contingent constitutes the last step in the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions, ad ding that measures should be taken to end the takeover of state institutions and sites by Kosovo Albanian rebels.

      On his part, Mr. Papandreou noted that due to the absence of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, he did not have the opportunity of meeting her as he had expected. He also underlined the role Greece will play in providing humanitarian aid to Serbi a and Kosovo, and further said that restrictions must be lifted soon on oil supplies for Serbia. He also stressed that if this does not happen this year's farm production will be lost, while major problems will be created in food supplies in the winter.

      Mr. Papandreou went on to say that KFOR must ensure that as many as possible of the 50,000 Serbian refugees who left Kosovo in past days return and underlined the very positive role played by the Serbian Orthodox Church and that the protection of religi ous monuments should be one of KFOR's main tasks.

      Mr. Papandreou said he met briefly with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem and discussed what the latter mentioned in a recent letter, adding that Athens will reply in detail to Ankara in the next few days.

    • Kranidiotis calls for long-term strategy for Balkans Alternate foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis today urged a long-term strategy that would tackle the practical problems in the Balkans, noting that the war in Yugoslavia may have ended, but the crisis in the wider region of the western Balkans had not. He also called for the Balkan countries' membership in the European Union. In an exclusive interview with ANA, Kranidiotis said the European Parliament elections had ended, and so had the war, but the crisis in the wider region of the western Balkans had not. "The war was simply a phenomenon of this ongoing crisis. The true causes of the crisis must be sought chiefly in (the region's) economic underdevelopment and lack of institutions and democratic operation, and also in the lack of prospects for the future of the countries of the Balkans," he said. "For this reason," he added, "Greece believed -- even before the war and throughout the war -- and continues to believe today that the crisis cannot be tackled through patchwork or corrective moves, but rather a long-term strategy is necessary which will give answers to the practical problems."

    • Cook terms Greece's role in the Balkans 'valuable' Greece's special role as the only Balkan country which is a member of the EU and NATO has been particularly valuable in reaching the peace agreement on Kosovo and will continue to be so in the involvement of the two organisations in promoting a stability pact in the peninsula, British Foreign Minister Robin Cook said on Thursday. "I would like to officially express my admiration for the positive contribution of Greece and (foreign minister) Mr. (George) Papandreou in the diplomatic efforts during the crisis in Kosovo. I recognise Greece's special position as a member of NATO and the European Union, and as the only EU member state in the Balkans, which provided it with special knowledge about the area and, of course, gave it the potential to have a significant contribution to the diplomatic efforts," he said after two hours of talks with his Greek counterpart here.

    • Scottish officer takes 'the low road' to Pristina A Scottish officer of the British army heading for the bombed-out Kosovo capital of Pristina from the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki lost his direction and ended up last night outside the Rendis central produce market near Piraeus, where his jeep ran out of gas, police said on Friday. Sergeant Gordon Easton, 40, set out from Thessaloniki on Thursday in a jeep to join the NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo. But he apparently lost his way after joining the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway and began driving in the opposite direction, eventually running out of gas outside the entrance to the produce market at midnight last night. He flashed the jeep's headlights at an approaching police patrol car, and told the officers "I'm on my way to Pristina and ran out of petrol". After checking the sergeant's documents, the surprised police officers notified the nearby Moschato police precinct, which in turn notiified the British Embassy in Athens. At the request of an Embassy official, Easton spent the night at the precinct and departed for Pristina at dawn on Friday.

    • Equity prices end week with moderate gains Equity prices ended the week with moderate gains reversing a six-day decline on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index, however, was unable to surpass the 4,000 level ending 0.35 percent higher at 3,968.04 points, off the the day's highs. Turnover was 155.292 billion drachmas with 33,406,382 shares changing hands. The Leasing and Banks sectors outperformed the market ending 2.28 and 1.15 percent higher respectively. Other sector indices ended as follows: Insurance (+0.11 pct), Investment (-0.23 pct), Construction (-1.40 pct), Industrials (-0.57 pct), Miscellaneous (-0.23 pct) and Holding (-0.32 pct). The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.47 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavy traded stocks and blue chips rose 0.72 percent to 2,360 points. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 150 to 130 with another 17 issues unchanged.

    • Seven-year bond issue The finance ministry will auction a seven-year bond issue, worth 120 billion drachmas, in paperless form next Tuesday, June 22. The issue will pay a 6.0 percent annual coupon. The ministry will not pay a premium to primary dealers.

    • Drys to visit UK Deputy Finance Minister George Drys will visit Britain June 21-24 for talks with British government ministers focused on the country's tax system. Drys wants to be informed on the operation of the British tax settlement system which enables taxpayers to calculate their taxes by themselves and pay the first installment simultaneously with the submission of tax statements. He aims to adopt a similar system in Greece. Drys will meet with UK's Treasury Undersecretary on tax issues Mrs Barbara Roche, with Treasury Undersecretary Dawn Rimarolo also chairman of the EU's tax committee, with Undersecretary for public sector's reform P. Kilfoyle and other government officials.

    • Cosmote signs supply deal with Intracom Cosmote yesterday signed a mobile telephone equipment supply contract worth 15 billion drachmas with a consortium comprising Intracom, Ericsson and Intracom Construction. The four-year turnkey deal is for the supply of base stations and other equipment, and also includes maintenance, Cosmote said in a statement. Selection of the consortium was made through an international tender.

    • Gov't promotes Greek-produced meat as safe alternative Representatives of several veterinary organisations yesterday reassured the public that Greek meat is safe, cautioning consumers to avoid fat, where dioxin accumulates. However, veterinarians complained that checks taking place in the country are inadequate. On his part, Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis said all the quantities of confiscated Belgian meat will be destroyed. In another interview, Mr. Anomeritis said fresh milk on sale in the Greek market is unadulterated and locally produced. He said fresh milk is not imported, while all other products are checked as imported goods, adding that a further 200 tonnes of fresh products (meat, mayonnaise and poultry) have already been destroyed. Mr. Anomeritis said stringent checks have taken place and are continuing to take place at the source of dioxin infection, which is fodder crops for animals.

    • Mismanagement, lack of employees blamed for OA's condition Lack of management and failure to satisfy employees' wage demands are the causes of yet more problems at debt-ridden Olympic Airways (OA), a unionist said yesterday. An official of the stewards' union, Vassilis Yiannakopoulos, said OA's subsidiary "Macedonian Airlines" and pesonnel shortages were the main causes for the state-run carrier's problems. He also claimed that Macedonian siphons off up to 16 per cent of OA 's regular flights.


      Cloud, scattered showers and storms are forecast for western Greece on Monday. Sunny spells are expected in the rest of the country, turning to showers and storms in mainland Greece and the northern Aegean during the day, and then easing off. Winds southwesterly, light to moderate. Mostly sunny weather in Athens, turning to scattered cloud, and maybe rain, in the evening. Temperatures ranging from 22C to 34C. Cloudy spells in Thessaloniki turning to rainy or stormy weather in the evening. Temperatures between 20C and 28C.


      Monday's rates (buying)
      U.S. dollar          310.863
      Pound sterling       495.663
      Japanese yen (100)   260.856
      French franc          48.997
      German mark          164.328
      Italian lira (100)    16.599
      Irish Punt           408.091
      Belgian franc          7.967
      Luxembourg franc       7.967
      Finnish mark          54.055
      Dutch guilder        145.844
      Danish kr.            43.233
      Austrian sch.         23.357
      Spanish peseta         1.931
      Swedish kr.           36.744
      Norwegian kr.         39.511
      Swiss franc          201.450
      Port. Escudo           1.603
      Can. dollar          212.189
      Aus. dollar          203.231
      Cyprus pound         557.008
      Euro                 321.398
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