|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 PAPANDREOU VISITS ANKARAIn view of Greek Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou's visit to Ankara today, the Turkish newspapers consider it as a historic one.
The Turkish newspaper "Milliet" states "Papandreou's visit of historic importance", adding that "it is the first official visit of a Greek Foreign minister to Turkey since 1962 and that Mr. Papandreou's visit will become more important with the developments that are expected to take place in Greek- Turkish relations during his visit".
"Milliet" also reports that in addition to bilateral agreements on the issues of terrorism, drug smuggling, illegal immigration, tourism, investments and environment, the two sides will discuss the establishment of the two countries' diplomatic missions.
 KASSOULIDES EXEMPLIFIES CYPRUS' POSITIONSThe Cypriot Foreign minister Ioannis Kassouldis, following consultations with Athens will send letters to his European Union coutnerparts in a bid to make clear Cyprus' positions as regards the European Union's contacts with the Turkish- Cypriots. In his letter Mr. Kassoulidis points out that in accordance with the Luxembourg summit decision the admission negotations with the European Union are being carried out by the Cypriot representative while the European Union just informs the Turkish-Cypriots about the benefits from the admission. Mr Kassoulidis also reiterates President Kleridis' proposal for the participation of the Turkish-Cypriots in the Cypriot negotiating team.
In his letter the Foreign minister will also inform his counterparts about the promotion of measures aimed at a rapprochement with the Turkish-Cypriots, such as the setting up of a joint office of Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots in Brussels. The funds for the establishment of this office have already been approved by the European Commisison.
 CYPRIOT SPOKESMAN M. PAPAPETROU SPEAKS OF ARMAMEMENTSThe Cypriot sposkeman Michalis Papapetrou stated yesterday that Turkey would not proceed to a unilateral decrease of armaments, stressing that whoever believes so, then his is politically romantic.
Called on to comment on Turkey's armaments, Mr. Papapetrou said that the purchase of armaments from Greece and Turkey had not eased off, adding that even after the Helsinki summit, the two countries' armament programme continues.
At the same time, he expressed the hope that the climate created in Helsinki, would lead to such changes in Greek- Turkish relations and mainly to Turkey's policy against Cyprus, that soon a decrease of armaments would be feasible.
 DENKTASH'S PSEUDO-STATE CARRIES OUT ILLEGAL EXCAVATIONSThe European Union is not aware that the illegal Turkish- Cypriot University of the Eastern Meditteranean is carrying out excavations in the archaeological site of Salamis in Cyprus, since after December 1997 it has had no access to the northern part of Cyprus.
This was the answer of the European Council to New Democracy deputy Yiannis Marinos' question, who had asked to be informed about illegal excavations and the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied part of Cyprus.
The European Council avoids in taking a position on the provocative stance of the pseudo-state of the Turkish forces and simply expresses the wish as always that the two communties resume talks betweem them under the auspices of the United Nations.
 ADOPTION OF GREEK CONVERGENCE PROGRAMME ALLOWS FOR OPTIMISMThe Greek convergence programme for 1999-2000 was adopted yesterday in Strasbourg by the European Commission. Following the Commission, the greek convergence programme is expected to receive the final approval by the council of Finance ministers, which will meet on January 31.
The report of the European Council points out that Athens' economic policy is in correspondence with its goal for its entry to the European Monetary Union. Additionally, the report advices for a restrained salary policy on behalf of the governemnt and believes that the recent revaluation of the drachma against the EURO will help in the de-escalation of inflation.
Besides, Commissioner Pedro Solbes described the Greek convergence programme as reliable, expressing his optimism that Greece's entry to the European Monetary Union will be ratified during the European Union summit meeting in Portugal in June. At the same time, the European Press continues its positive comments on the convergence course of the Greek economy.
 OPTIMISM FOR THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE"Wall Street Journal" has reported that the Athens Stock Exchange will bear new profits in the near future, adding that Greek shares are cheaper in comparison to Italian and Spanish ones before Italy and Spain entered the European Monetary Union.
 VIM COK OPTIMISTIC ABOUT GREEK ECONOMYThe Dutch Prime minister Vim Cok, who is on an official visit in Greece, spoke well of the Greek economy yesterday. Mr. Cok met with the President Costis Stephanopoulos and then had discussions with the Prime minister Costas Simitis. After his meetings, Mr. Cok stated that Greece would very soon participate in the Economic and European Monetary Union.
 ATHENS MAYOR DOES NOT OPEN HIS CARDS Following his meeting with New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avrampoulos did not point out if he wished to participate in the coming Parliamentary elections.From his side Mr. Karamanlis described the meeting as friendly and fruiful, while Mr. Avramopoulos desribed his meeing with Mr. Karamanlis as especially friendly and pleasant.
 SPATA AIRPORT TO OPERATE ON 1ST MARCH 2001Environment and Public Works minister Costas Laliotis yesterday said that the new airport at Spata would go on a five month trial operation in nine months time while its regular operation will start on March the 1st 2001. Mr. Laiotis who visited the airport at Spata said he was satisfied at the progress of the works under way .
 FUNERALS OF "PHANTOM" PILOTSThe wreckage of a Phantom II Greek airforce figher jet, which disappeared from radar screens on Monday, was sighted yesterday by a search-and-rescue helicopter in the area of Xerovounio, near the Parnasos mountain region.
The funerals of the two pilots, Flight lieutenant Efstratios Golias and flying officer Nikos Nezis will take place today at 3.30pm.