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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 21/06/1999 (ANA)


  • Athens and Nicosia welcome G8 decision on Cyprus
  • Papantoniou reaffirms no change in economic policy
  • US official due on Limnos
  • Turk arrested for alleged rape of German boy
  • Anomeritis calls for a European central system of food controls
  • Tsohatzopoulos says period ahead difficult for Kosovo
  • Skandalidis says PASOK must adopt new approach
  • Memorial service held for PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou
  • Patriarch, Archbishop appeal for regional peace
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


    • Athens and Nicosia welcome G8 decision on Cyprus Greece and Cyprus on Monday welcomed a G8 decision that a democratic solution to the Cyprus problem should be founded on the UN security council's decisions and the rules of international law.

      National defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and visiting Cypriot counterpart Yannakis Chryssostomis said after talks here that the decision taken in Cologne by the leaders of the world's seven most industrialised nations plus Russia (G8) was "positive".

      Tsohatzopoulos also expressed hope that the G8 decision would make action the same principle applied on Kosovo, adding that "for the past 25 years, two sets of standards have applied in the case of Cyprus".

    • Papantoniou reaffirms no change in economic policy National economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou reaffirmed on Monday that there would be no changes made to the government's economic policy, which he called "PASOK's trump card, now and for the future".

      Speaking in Thessaloniki on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Papantoniou said in reply to press questions that there was no prospect of changes to economic policy, which he said "has completely attained its targets" and implementation of which "will continue absolutely normally".

      Questioned on press speculation of a change in taxation policy, Papantoniou said "there will be no deviation, neither towards one side or the other', from the policy line drafted by the government after dialogue with the sides concerned, adding that the new package of measures would enter into effect as of January 1, 2000.

    • US official due on Limnos US assistant secretary of defence Franklin Kramer arrives on the island of Limnos on Tuesday for the opening of a two-day High-Level Consultative Committee (HLCC) meeting.

      Kramer will be leading the US delegation to the HLCC, an annual conference that addresses US-Greek defence cooperation and regional security issues, a US embassy announcement said.

      US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns "welcomes the visit as a manifestation of the excellent military relations between the United States and Greece," the announcement said.

    • Turk arrested for alleged rape of German boy A Turkish truck driver was remanded in custody on Monday charged with raping a 14-year-old German boy on a ferry en route from the Italian port of Ancona to the western Greek port of Patras, police said.

      Yildiz Aygun, 33, was arrested on board the "Superfast 4" ferry early on Sunday after the boy, identified only as H.A., told ship's officers of the incident.

      The boy said Aygun had dragged him into his cabin and, with the threat of physical violence, forced him to perform "indecent acts" and then sodomised him repeatedly over a period of three hours.

      The boy managed to escape from the cabin when Aygun fell asleep and he returned to his parents, who went to the ferry's bridge together with the boy and informed the officers on duty of the incident.

      The ferry's captain was immediately alerted, and the captain, with a group of ship's officers, isolated Aygun in his cabin and turned him over to port authorities when the ferry docked in Patras.

      The boy, who was travelling from Ancona to Patras with his parents for a holiday, was examined by a doctor, who confirmed he had been sodomised.

      Aygun, who claims he does not remember anything because he was drunk, was taken before the Patras public prosecutor today and charged with raping a minor.

      Aygun was remanded in custody and given to Wednesday to prepare his defence before the examining magistrate.

    • Anomeritis calls for a European central system of food controls Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis yesterday called for the creation of a central system of food controls in Europe to protect consumers after a spate of contamination scandals.

      At the same time, Mr. Anomeritis expressed confidence in the operation of the Greek foodstuffs industry.

      "There are actually many problems in the food chain. I must say, however, as I am familiar with the Greek (foods) industry, that its laboratories and methods and its scientific staff are aiming for the best in terms of the final product," he added.

      Mr. Anomeritis was speaking in Serres, northern Greece, where he was asked to comment on contamination scares in Belgium and the Netherlands.

      On Saturday, the veterinary department of Thessaloniki's Aristotelian University said that Greek meat, milk, eggs and fish were free of the cancer-producing dioxin found in Belgium and metabolic problems discovered in some Dutch cows.

      Domestic products were also free of the substances often used illegally abroad to fatten animals, including anabolic steroids and synthetic oestrogen.

      The university's veterinary department called on the agriculture ministry to upgrade its own veterinary division and use other sector resources in order to conduct more frequent and efficient controls, from livestock rearing through to the meal on the consumer's plate.

    • Tsohatzopoulos says period ahead difficult for Kosovo National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Saturday said the period ahead will be difficult for Kosovo and fraught with dangers. However, he added that he was optimistic that security and peace will be re-established.

      Speaking during a one-day visit to Komotini, Rodopi prefecture, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said developments in Kosovo vindicate "90 per cent of the Greek people, who from the first moment stood against the war, as they were made sensitive to such issues by their historical experience and knowledge."

      He added that "Greeks are vindicated, because the government managed to keep Greece and the Greek people distant from the crisis...Greece has its own strategy which showcases it as an element of security, peace and stability in the region.

      "(Greece) is the only European Union member-state in the region, thus we guarantee that the decisions of the Union taken in Cologne, regarding the stability pact and the Balkans restructuring programme will be implemented, " he added.

      The defence minister also said that Greeks in the north and especially those of Thrace "are called to realise the new environment in which we have to act."

      Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said "good neighbourly relations with all Balkan peoples create inroads for intervention on the economic, social, cultural and military levels based on equality and friendship."

    • Skandalidis says PASOK must adopt new approach The ruling PASOK party, whose performance in the Euroelections was a warning from voters, needs to change the way it operates - but retain its strategy - in order to win national elections in 2000, the party's Secretary, Kostas Skandalidis, said yesterday.

      "This particular PASOK cannot go for national elections. It cannot win," Mr. Skandalidis told the Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper in an interview. At the same time, PASOK's strategy should remain intact in any overhaul, as "the country is achieving its targets and the other (parties) have failed to articulate an alternative," Mr. Skandalidis said.

      But the opposition New Democracy party's three percentage point lead over PASOK in the June 13 Euro-poll was both a final warning from voters to the party in government, and to cadres within it, he said.

      "It (PASOK) needs to be re-invented on a zero basis through initiatives on all fronts, with genuine members registering in the party in person and playing an active role, the ones who want to contribute their services to a joint endeavour," Mr. Skandalidis said.

      A change in the electoral law would be "an acknowledgement of impending death", he said. The solution to PASOK's dilemma was a root restructuring of the party and the dissolution of "petty empires" operating within it, he added.

    • Memorial service held for PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday was present along with political leaders and PASOK cadres at the third annual memorial service for PASOK founder and party president Andreas Papandreou.

      Following the memorial services held at the Athens Cathedral, Mr. Simitis said Andreas Papandreou "is at our side for a strong, socially just Greece. His work demands of us to be protagonists of renewal and modernisation".

      Also attending the memorial service were Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Political Spring (POL.AN) leader Antonis Samaras, the sons of the late leader Foreign Minister George, Nikos and Andreas Papandreou, his widow Dimitra Liani, members of the government and other PASOK members.

    • Patriarch, Archbishop appeal for regional peace Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Saturday made an urgent appeal for the peaceful coexistence of the region's peoples.

      Vartholomeos also spoke of the need for peace and cooperation, adding that "the long historical period of cooperation between peoples were upset from time to time by the clouds of ethnic and religious conflict.

      "The time has come for the beginning of a new period of cooperation in the framework of peaceful international relations, which we hope will prevail in this troubled region," he added.

      Vartholomeos also said that "experience has shown that conflict does not benefit anyone, that confrontations have only defeated and victims, while noble competition in the peaceful endeavors have only victors."


      Cloud, scattered showers and storms are forecast for western Greece today. 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 in Athens with temperatures ranging from 22C-34C. Cloudy spells in Thessaloniki turning to rainy weather in the evening and temperatures from 20-28C.


      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
      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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