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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-11-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Simitis contacts with European leaders at Socialist Int'l conference
  • [02] Premier confirms Greek support for Bulgaria's and Romania's EU course
  • [03] Arafat receives Tsohatzopoulos inn Palestianian self-rule areas
  • [04] Greek-language education in Australia discussed
  • [05] Karamanlis: Clinnton visit an opportunity to clearly express Greek positions
  • [06] Bomb blast outside Levi's headquarters
  • [07] Christodoulos inaugurates radio programme
  • [08] Expatriates briefed on land register
  • [09] Tsohatzopoulos addresses conference on suicide prevention
  • [10] Karamanlis tours western Greece, criticises gov't
  • [11] G. Papandreou-Moscovici visit in Paris
  • [12] 3 Albanian smugglers arrested, 253 kilos of hashish confiscated
  • [13] Shots fired at HAU building
  • [14] Greek-owned freighter sinks in Bosporus
  • [15] Romanian fatally stabs compatriot

  • [01] Simitis contacts with European leaders at Socialist Int'l conference

    PARIS, 08/11/1999 (ANA - G. Papachristou)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis began a series of contacts last night within the framework of the Socialist International's 21st conference, which kicked off here yesterday.

    Mr. Simitis met with Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and stated shortly afterwards that their discussion focused on European Union enlargement, expected to also be discussed at the upcoming EU Helsinki summit.

    He stressed that EU enlargement is of particular concern to Greece since the issue of Turkey's candidacy will be discussed.

    Mr. Simitis added in his brief statements afterwards that "we want to safeguard all the conditions of enlargement which will guarantee a peaceful course in the region. Our primary concern is always peace and cooperation in the Balkan region."

    The Socialist International's 21st conference began at noon with a dinner given by the presidium in honour of the conference participants. Presidium members, including Mr. Simitis in his capacity as a vice-president, were addressed by the French Socialist Party first secretary Francois Hollande and the Socialist International's outgoing president, Pierre Mauroy.

    Mr. Mauroy also met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, who will succeed him as president of the Socialist International.

    Mr. Simitis will address the Socialist International this morning and will present his proposal on a new socialist manifesto.

    He is expected to stress the need for Europe's socialists to determine a new agenda and the need for the social-democrat model to be renewed, including all the innovative elements of the 21st century.

    Mr. Simitis will mention that the socialists should readjust the role the state can play in the international system, the instruments and strategies for promoting the main targets in development and world social justice, the administration of the globalised international system and the significance of inter-regional cooperation.

    He will also stress that it is self-evident that to survive in the next century, the socialist movement should acquire a genuine supranational character in its organising structures, prospects, policies and strategy.

    Mr. Simitis will also say that the deepening of European unification, which includes political and defence unification, should constitute a main priority for the European socialists.

    Mr. Simitis received positive comments for his contribution to the new socialist manifesto, since he had submitted his proposal, as did Italian Premier Massimo D'Alema and Lionel Jospin, several days ago. Conversely, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and British PM Tony Blair have submitted a joint proposal on the third path of socialism.

    On the sidelines of yesterday's dinner, Mr. Simitis had brief meetings with Mr. Guterres, Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima, Mr. D'Alema, Mr. Jospin and Mr. Mauroy.

    The Greek premier was due to attend a dinner last night given for him and for another five socialist leaders by French PM Jospin. He will have a private meeting with Mr. Jospin probably tomorrow.

    Mr. Simitis will also be received by French President Jacques Chirac at the Presidential Palace at noon tomorrow.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Premier confirms Greek support for Bulgaria's and Romania's EU course

    SOFIA, 08/11/1999 (ANA - B. Borisov)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis referred to results of the recent summit with the presidents of Bulgaria and Romania Petar Stoyanov and Emil Constantinescu, respectively, at the mountain resort of Borovets in Bulgaria.

    "We confirmed common positions at Borovets on our relations with the other Balkan countries and on crucial developments in the Balkans. These positions and views push us towards increasing our efforts to consolidate peace and prosperity in our wider region," he said.

    "Our contacts so far give us the conviction that we are on a very good path. On this course, we will be able to resolve all problems from the small and insignificant to the big ones in our region," he added.

    Mr. Simitis confirmed Greece's steadfast support for the accession course of both Bulgaria and Romania towards the European Union.

    On his part, the Romanian president said that very encouraging developments occurred at the recent international meeting in Thessaloniki on accelerating the course of the Stability Pact for SE Europe.

    Mr. Constantinescu said he hailed Athens' initiative to promote implementation of specific development plans within the framework of the Stability Pact with economic support of US$500 million.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Arafat receives Tsohatzopoulos inn Palestianian self-rule areas

    RAMALLAH, 08/11/1999 (ANA - S. Tzimas)

    Developments in the Palestinian problem as well as the Mideast peace process were the focus of talks here between Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday.

    "We should thank the minister, the Greek government and the Greek people for their continuing support of the Palestinian people in all sectors, whether directly or indirectly through the European Union, we cannot ignore it," Mr. Arafat said following a meeting with Mr. Tsohatzopoulos.

    "We are proud and happy for this visit, as well as for the historical bonds between Greeks and Palestinians," he added.

    "We came here to meet with President Arafat and the political leadership of the country and to reassure them that the Greek people, in continuing the traditional friendship and cooperation with the Palestinian people, support the peace process in the Middle East. We are happy, since this process has entered a dynamic phase of development, as the last meeting in Oslo has indicated," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, responding to questions regarding the recent signing of a Greek-Israeli defence agreement.

    "We had the opportunity to brief the Palestinian authority on our initiatives and aims, so as to be able to promote peace, security, cooperation and stability among all peoples in the wider eastern Mediterranean region. We should overcome the rational of divisions and selective cooperation between some peoples," he added.

    "The Greek government does not need anyone's approval" to be active in the region, the Greek minister said, responding to a question on whether his visits to the region were approved by NATO or the EU.

    He also stressed that the government's initiatives are part of a Greek national strategy, but were also part of the general policies of the EU.

    "Let's not forget that Greece represents the policies of security, cooperation and stability for the European Union in the critical region of the eastern Mediterranean," he said.

    The meeting took place at the seat of the Palestinian self-rule areas in Ramallah. A few weeks ago Mr. Tsohatzopoulos had visited Israel.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Greek-language education in Australia discussed

    MELBOURNE, 08/11/1999 (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    The issue of Greek-language education was the issue examined by an educational conference organised in Sydney over the weekend by the Council of Hellenes Abroad organisation of Oceania.

    The conference was attended by professors from throughout Australia, although most hailed from New South Wales.

    Also present at the conference were New South Wales Education Minister John Aqualina, who recently visited Greece together with directors from Australian schools.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Karamanlis: Clinnton visit an opportunity to clearly express Greek positions

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis was quoted over the weekend as sayi ng that he considers US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece an "opportunity to bring to his (Clinton's) attention the dangers of existing borders being overturned and to express our conviction for consolidating stability and peace in the Balkans."

    In an interview with the Sunday "Apogevmatini" newspaper, Mr. Karamanlis said "we should set out frankly what link us to with the superpower, as well as what we disagree on", while he added that Greece's leadership should not "negotiate our sovereign rights".

    "We are not begging. We demand an end to continuing occupation in Cyprus," he said and assessed that Greek-Turkish issues and the problem of Cyprus "appears to be particularly cloudy."

    Referring to domestic issues, Mr. Karamanlis said his party's struggle against corruption will escalate and warned that he does not fear "the mercenaries of interrelation."

    KKE : Speaking from Irakleio on Saturday, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said Mr. Clinton's visit to Greece "will add yet another black page to the dossier of official Greek-American relations since 1947."

    "He...has nothing to do with dialogue, peace and the interests of peoples, while the (one who) will welcome him as a government and not as a person is not prepared to say a 'no' to the plans of the US," she said.

    Ms Papariga said the greatest victims of the visit are the Aegean, the borders, the Cyprus issue and the people of Yugoslavia.

    "The time of the visit is not by chance, since the 'planet leader' wants to close the deal for the delivery of the Aegean and to secure Greece's 'yes' to efforts to overthrow the new government of Yugoslavia," she said.

    Ms Papariga added that security measures for Mr. Clinton's visit were provocative.

    In a related development, Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos said Mr. Clinton's visit is a political event and thus the existence of protests is self-evident .

    "Clinton's visit is not a courtesy call nor a social affair, for which the government gives guidelines of good behaviour. It is a political event and all know that these expressions of protest are self-evident in a democratic country and will be totally peaceful," Mr. Constantopoulos stressed.

    On its part, the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) organised a conference at an Athens hotel on issues regarding the United States policies in the region, on the Cyprus issue and Mr. Clinton's visit to Athens next weekend.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Bomb blast outside Levi's headquarters

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    An explosive device went off outside the headquarters of the Levi Strauss Hellas offices in the Athens district of Halandri late yesterday evening.

    According to initial reports, the timebomb was placed on the ground floor level of the three-storey building on 11 Argonauton St., which was closed and unguarded at the time.

    Police said the blast, described as of medium force, damaged the storefront and broke windows in the building as well as adjacent buildings.

    No injuries were reported, while no group or individual claiming to represent a group had claimed responsibility for the attack at presstime.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Christodoulos inaugurates radio programme

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos spoke over the Church's radio station yesterday and replied to questions put to him by several individuals.

    He also announced the creation of the programme entitled "The Archbishop's Hour", with which he will communicate with listeners once a month to help.

    Questions put to him primarily concerned US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece, young people, aspects of secularisation in the Church, racism and other issues.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Expatriates briefed on land register

    MELBOURNE, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    A group of experts from the company Ktimatologio S.A. are currently in Australia to brief the ethnic Greek community on ways to prepare relevant applications to consolidate their real estate in the National Land Register.

    A special meeting will be held at the Greek consulate in Melbourne today in this context, while a similar briefing will take place in Sydney on Nov. 10.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Tsohatzopoulos addresses conference on suicide prevention

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Suicides are an important and mutli-faceted phenomenon that the state is obliged to confront, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday, addressing the 20th world conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Suicides.

    "The conditions of life of the young Greek citizen in the armed forces are different than those of his family environment," he said, adding that the armed forces were expending effort to confront this problem in the military, in efforts to avert the inc reasing tendencies of suicides internationally.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Karamanlis tours western Greece, criticises gov't

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Addressing a party conference in Patra on Saturday regarding development of western Greece, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis criticised PM Costas Simitis of living in a sham reality.

    The ND leader also claimed Mr. Simitis "cannot see what is going on around him and claims that everything is going well in the country."

    Mr. Karamanlis said ND does not "deal out promises", adding that he will set five major priorities for each region which he will carry out.

    He added that western Greece lies in an "orbit of divergence" from the national average in almost all sectors, while unemployment mainly plagues young people and women.

    The ND leader said the political volition and a renewed and adequate administrative apparatus are essential elements for a different policy to be applied.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] G. Papandreou-Moscovici visit in Paris

    PARIS, 08/11/1999 (ANA - A. Podimata)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos had a working luncheon with French European Affairs Minister Pierre Moscovici here yesterday.

    Talks held during the luncheon focused on issues concerning the Helsinki summit in the framework of the foreign ministry leadership's contacts with European capitals to promote Greek positions.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] 3 Albanian smugglers arrested, 253 kilos of hashish confiscated

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Police arrested three Albanians late Friday night at the Greek-Albanian border on drug smuggling charges.

    According to reports, authorities spotted 20 smugglers north of the town of Kastoria attempting to enter Greece.

    As soon as the suspects spotted the police officers they abandoned the sacks and attempted to escape, with all but three evading arrest.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Shots fired at HAU building

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    Two unknown assailants fired some six rounds at the Hellenic American Union's offices in downtown Athens yesterday afternoon before fleeing on a motorcycle, police said.

    No one claimed responsibility for the attack as of presstime. According to reports, several windows were broken at the building, which was empty at the time of the incident and was not guarded.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Greek-owned freighter sinks in Bosporus

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    A Greek-owned vessel collided with another ship yesterday in the Bosporus and sank shortly afterwards. All six Greek and 14 foreign merchant seamen were rescued following the collision between the Belize-flagged freighter "Semeli" and the Bulgarian-flagged vessel "Shipka".

    The crew of the Semeli was rescued by other ships in the region and taken to Istanbul, Greek authorities said.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Romanian fatally stabs compatriot

    Athens, 08/11/1999 (ANA)

    A Romanian was arrested early Sunday morning in central Athens after he allegedly stabbed to death his 23-year-old roommate and compatriot.

    According to police, Konstantin Kotuna, 24, was charged with homicide in the death of Petrika Bizeaga. Authorities said the suspect stabbed the victim following an argument, and after a birthday party for the former at a Kypseli apartment. A coach parked outside the Acropolis was destroyed in a firebomb attack at dawn yesterday.

    The vehicle was parked on Dionysiou Areopagitou street and was destroyed by four gas cannisters. No group has claimed responsibility for the arson attack so far. Police arrested two men on the Komotini-Xanthi motorway on charges of smuggling illegal immigrants. The two suspects were identified as Mihalis Botalakidis, 39, and Mihalis Karantaidis, 32. A search of a truck they were using revealed six Bulgarians who h ad entered the country illegally through the Greek-Bulgarian border and were headed to Thessaloniki.

    Athens News Agency

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