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A.N.A. Bulletin, 28/12/95
From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Athens News Agency Directory
ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 774), December 28, 1995
Greek Press & Information Office
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
 Inner Cabinet to examine major projects, Rio-Antirrio contract today
 Premier's health stable, no substitution issue, Hytiris says
 Skandalidis remarks
 Premier's condition stable
 ND to file censure motion in New Year
 Hytiris: Turkish elections a Turkish issue
 Ankara bound by European Court rulings on exports from occupied regions, Bikas says
 Search continues for kidnappers
 Inner Cabinet to examine major projects, Rio-Antirrio contract todayAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
The inner cabinet meets today under the chairmanship of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos to examine the course of major projects.
The main topics to be raised at the meeting will be the Rio-Antirrio bridge and the Stavros-Elefsina highway.
The purpose of the Rio-Antirrio project is to provide a permanent link to a sea passage to secure continuity for road networks in the Peloponnese and northwestern and central Greece.
This link is currently provided by car ferries, which are dependent on weather conditions.
The average crossing time at present is 45 minutes, but construction of the bridge will reduce time to about five minutes.
About two million vehicles a year cross the straits, 25 per cent of which are trucks and buses carrying six million passengers. The sea lane is currently used by more than 6,000 ships.
The Rio-Antirrio bridge is one of the most difficult projects, combining deep waters, seismic activity in the region and bad terrain. Tendering for the project has been called three times so far.
The first international tender was called in 1980, which did not go further than the first stage concerning the showing of interest and making general proposals.
A series of research operations were conducted during the 1986-1987 period to note conditions in the region of the project to facilitate a process for the second tendering.
International tendering was called in 1987 for the project's study, construction and funding and the parallel offer of offsetting benefits.
Five joint ventures participated in tendering in March 1988, but two of them were excluded before bids were opened due to blatant violation of tendering terms.
Bids made by the remaining joint ventures contained considerable technical problems which could not be ultimately overcome and so the cancellation of the second round of tendering was decided in December 1990.
After this cancellation, the environment, town planning and public works ministry started the process for present tendering with a bid system containing study, construction, funding and exploitation.
According to the proclamation for new tendering, only solutions concerning a high stable bridge (either suspended or with cables) and a floating bridge were acceptable.
Bid tenders by candidates were submitted December 1, 1993. From the six bidders, two were chosen as finalists, with the Gefyra consortium (comprised of the companies GTM International, GTM-BMP, TEB, Elliniki Technodomiki, Proodeftiki, Ioannou and Paraskevaidis, Athina and Sarandopoulos) beating out the Rio-Antirrio consortium.
Evaluation of the Gefyra bid began in January 1994 by a special committee for evaluating the bids. Another government committee for assigning the project unanimously called for the Gefyra bid to be accepted by the state in October 1994.
 Premier's health stable, no substitution issue, Hytiris saysAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
Press and Media Minister Telemahos Hytiris said today that the government was standing firm on the issue of the substitution of ailing Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou by Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, saying "there is no other solution."
Asked whether the premier's substitution would continue until he recovers, Mr. Hytiris said that is what the constitution prescribes, adding there is no other solution, while he has not heard alternative proposals that would be in accordance with the laws and constitution.
The government spokesman stated there is general agreement that Mr. Papandreou's health is improving. He added this improvement gives the prime minister an opportunity to hold short discussions with political associates and with his wife, Dimitra.
Mr. Hytiris said the subjects discussed between Mr. Papandreou and his associates were broached by the premier. No subject was brought up by associates.
Answering another press question on whether government or PASOK party members will speak to 76-year-old Mr. Papandreou on the political dilemma created by his more than month-long illness, Mr. Hytiris said if the prime minister called on such people and asked them about such issues, it would be natural for them to state their views.
However, Mr. Hytiris said the premier is not in a position to be informed on political developments or take decisions, which is why he is being substituted. The government spokesman said that the length of time for which Mr. Papandreou will be substituted for depends on the prime minister and his state of health, adding that if he recovers and returns home, he will no longer be substituted.
 Skandalidis remarksAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
PASOK party secretary Costas Skandalidis said yesterday Andreas Papandreou's substitution was not an issue, in comments he made yesterday from the island of Kos.
"Andreas Papandreou's substitution without his input and while he is still alive means the fall of the government," he said, adding that no other procedure was available.
The PASOK party secretary said some ruling PASOK deputies were, in essence, giving support to main opposition New Democracy to file a censure motion in Parliament. Mr. Skandalidis said that any PASOK deputies wishing for the premier to be substituted without his consent - something which he said is unheard of any beyond any procedure - should vote for ND's threatened motion of censure.
Asked about a previous statement he made concerning the beginning of procedures to find a successor in January, Mr. Skandalidis said it was definitely related to the premier's health and called for patience until mid-January.
Meanwhile, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who is deputizing for Mr. Papandreou, said reports in the Athens daily "Ethnos" yesterday assigned him responsibilities and roles which he "have never played and intentions I never had."
The Ethnos article stated that Mr. Tsohatzopoulos and Health Minister Dimitris Kremastinos had undertaken to carry out the views of the premier's wife on the issue of succession.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said his primary duty today is the substantive and effective promotion of the government's work.
The succession issue and the latest developments are expected to be discussed in a PASOK executive bureau meeting this afternoon.
Viotia deputy George Katsibaras asked that Mr. Kremastinos, who is also the premier's private physician, appear at the meeting to brief the executive committee members on Mr. Papandreou's health.
 Premier's condition stableAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
According to a medical bulletin issued early yesterday evening, Mr. Papandreou's health during the previous six-hour period remained unchanged.
The premier's breathing was periodically supported by a respirator, while kidney dialysis was not performed yesterday, the Onassion Hospital bulletin stated.
His cardiac function was also described as unchanged.
In a morning bulletin, doctors treating the premier said they could not yet speak of an improvement in his health, as the danger of new infections was always present. Five infections have plagued Mr. Papandreou since he was rushed to the Onassion Hospital with pneumonia.
However, physicians added that they have succeeded in significantly reducing chances of an infection caused by the premier's environment by moving him into a sterile room Tuesday on the hospital's sixth floor.
Doctors said the room change also appears to have benefited Mr. Papandreou psychologically, as he was in a particularly good mood yesterday morning. According to the bulletin, he spent a quiet night, while his breathing was supported by a respirator that was disconnected yesterday morning.
In response to press questions after the announcement of the evening medical bulletin, cardiologist Efthymios Livanis said a daily kidney dialysis was not judged necessary by the medical council meeting to discuss Mr. Papandreou's health condition. He s aid a respirator will be used when the patient's condition calls for support of his breathing.
In addition, he said the premier's blood pressure was stable, just as in the previous days, while his white blood cell count is at normal levels.
Finally, Dr. Livanis said the prime minister is communicating with medical staff and associates without any problems.
Doctors are continuing to conduct tests, which so far show no signs of a deterioration in the premier's general clinical condition, they stated.
Now that his condition appears to have stabilized, Onassion physicians have returned to their original goal of stabilizing vital organ functions and improving his general health, in order to strengthen him against possible future infections.
 ND to file censure motion in New YearAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party is to proceed with a censure motion against the government immediately after the Christmas break, if the governing party does not take necessary initiatives to solve problems created by the extended illness of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.
The decision was taken yesterday after ND party leader Miltiades Evert met with his close associates and discussed the present situation and the pros and cons of taking such an action.
According to sources, despite certain ND members' views that a censure motion would unite PASOK and politically damage ND, Mr. Evert stressed the majority's weakness to assume political initiatives must be revealed, as should the fact that PASOK party members are also responsible for the situation that has been created.
However, leading ND party members appear to be either cautious about the censure motion, or to disagree with it because they believe the benefits for New Democracy and for the general problem will be negligible. The matter is expected to be re-examined during the next few days.
 Hytiris: Turkish elections a Turkish issueAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
Greece said yesterday the results of recent elections in Turkey constituted a domestic issue for Turkey.
Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said what was important was the formation of a government.
He said that as far as Greece was concerned, what had priority was the observation of international law and democratic values and safeguarding human rights, which the government hoped would be honored absolutely.
 Ankara bound by European Court rulings on exports from occupied regions, Bikas saysAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
Greece's foreign ministry spokesman Costas Bikas said yesterday that Ankara will be obliged to abide by decisions taken by the European Court regarding exports from the Turkish-occupied regions in Cyprus to Turkey, as of January 1, 1996.
The statement was issued in response to claims by a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman that, as Turkey is not a full member of the EU, any decisions taken by the European Court concerning that country are not binding.
Mr. Bikas referred to statements by European Commission representative in Cyprus Gilles Anouil carried in the Turkish-Cypriot "Kibris" newspaper, in which Mr. Anouil states that Turkey is obliged to abide by European Court decisions according to Article 64 of the EU-Turkey customs union.
Turkey invaded Cypriot territory in 1974. Despite repeated calls from the United Nations and other international organizations, it continues to occupy 37 per cent of Cyprus.
Regarding statements made by the Turkish spokesman on Cyprus's entry to the EU, Mr. Bikas said the procedure is fully covered by the documents of March 6 and by constant decisions taken by EU summits.
 Search continues for kidnappersAthens, 28/12/1995 (ANA):
Authorities believe two men suspected of kidnapping a Thessaloniki food processing industrialist last week and making off with a 260-million-drachma ransom passed through a police road block yesterday near Lamia.
According to reports, a stolen Honda from Kalambaka was spotted burning yesterday morning by workers at a paper mill. Arson investigators later said the vehicle was intentionally set on fire. The area where the vehicle was abandoned lead police to suspect that escaped convicts Vassilis Palaiocostas and Pavlos Keremidis were behind the torching. Both men are wanted in connection with the abduction of Makedonikos Halvas co-owner Alekos Haitoglou.
Mr. Haitoglou was released by his captors upon payment of the ransom.
End of English language section.