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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-11-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece on track for euro entry in early 2000, OECD says
  • [02] IPO for Hellenic Industrial Development Bank
  • [03] Hellenic Petroleum posts 67 pct profit jump
  • [04] Lavipharm in deal with US firm
  • [05] Stocks end lower, focus on small caps
  • [06] Drachma creeps down
  • [07] Three-year bond yield rises in tender
  • [08] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [09] Gov't: 'Open agenda' for talks between Simitis, Ecevit in Istanbul
  • [10] Protests banned in central Athens on Friday, Saturday
  • [11] Karamanlis: ND views Clinton visit as means to improving Greek-US cooperation
  • [12] Burns calls for more emphasis on talks during upcoming Clinton visit
  • [13] Greek-, Turkish-American joint statement
  • [14] Constantopoulos criticism on Simitis-Ecevit contacts
  • [15] Party messages for Polytechnic anniversary
  • [16] G. Papandreou-Verheugen meeting focuses on EU enlargement
  • [17] Parliament discussion on 2000 budget begins
  • [18] Human rights in the EU examined at Goethe Institut event
  • [19] Third Community Support Framework allocations by culture ministry
  • [20] Greek aid to Turkey
  • [21] Greek military chief in Kosovo
  • [22] 2 British sailors charged
  • [23] Woman's conviction upheld, sentence increased

  • [01] Greece on track for euro entry in early 2000, OECD says

    PARIS, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Greece is on the right track to meet the Maastricht criteria early next year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said yesterday.

    The Paris-based organisation's six-monthly country report said the growth rate in Greece was dynamic this year and was expected to accelerate in 2000 and 2001.

    Rising growth was the result of strong domestic demand combined with an increase in exports, while lower domestic spending had helped to drive down inflation, the report said.

    Easing indirect taxation had helped the country's effort to achieve the Maastricht inflation criterion, although a sudden short-term rise in consumer prices could not be ruled out due to higher demand, the OECD said.

    "If Greece's entry into the euro is decided on the current drachma parity, the resulting currency slide could lead to a sudden rise in inflation but at the same time boost exports," it said.

    The OECD urged the government to adopt more "ambitious" targets in the drive to lower inflation ahead of an anticipated easing of monetary policy to help interest rates converge with the euro zone.

    Further efforts to achieve fiscal restructuring would be needed in this direction, while tax cuts should be combined with a more austere incomes policy, the report said.

    The OECD noted a slight slowdown in economic activity in the first half of 1999 due to lower exports, but forecast that the country's gross domestic product would grow by 3.25 percent by the end of the year.

    Increasing demand for consumer credit was evidence of improving consumer confidence in the country.

    Tourism revenues remained at satisfactory levels despite a temporary slowdown due to the Kosovo crisis, the report said.

    Developments in the labour market, however, were less satisfactory with the unemployment rate rising to 11.0 percent in mid-1999, although the OECD predicted a fall to 10.0 percent of the country's labour force in the next two years.

    The OECD forecast that the country's GDP growth would exceed 4.0 percent in the year 2001 with the help of major investments in the private and public sectors and a significant rise in consumer demand.

    Inflation was likely to fall to 2.25 percent next year, meeting the Maastricht criterion for entry into the euro zone, the OECD said.

    Greece to see "Simitis packages" : The performance of the Greek economy shows that there will be "Simitis packages" accompanying future budgets, Deputy National Economy Minister Christos Pahtas said yesterday.

    Mr. Pahtas told the Athens News Agency in an interview that the outlook was good for Greece due to its forthcoming participation in European economic and monetary union.

    The budget for the year 2000 was aimed at improving the public's standard of living, at the same time effecting changes in the public sector, he said.

    The government has set a priority in coming years to reform and improve public administration in order to offer the public better services.

    "Next year's budget is directed towards EMU participation, growth, social equity and the distribution of wealth," Mr. Pahtas said.

    He said that the country's entry into the euro zone would be the culmination of an effort that started in 1993.

    Mr. Pahtas forecast that the country's gross domestic product would rise by 3.5 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2000, higher than the average EU growth rate. He said that growth rates would accelerate to four and five percent in the next few yea rs with the help of a "giant public investments programme".

    The "Simitis packages" in the future would be designed to support social cohesion.

    The current package was worth 470 billion drachmas, and the next one would be larger, Mr. Pahtas added.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] IPO for Hellenic Industrial Development Bank

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Industrial Development Bank is to hold an initial public offer (IPO) to join the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange on December 14- 17.

    The state-owned bank's planned entry into the bourse will be accompanied by a share capital increase, with proceeds expected to total 130 billion drachmas.

    On offer are 30,081,730 new shares and 10,528,000 existing ones that together will represent 30 percent of the bank's share capital.

    Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos told a shareholders' meeting that the bank would continue to be the main vehicle for industrial zones and for projects funded from the European Union's Third Community Support Framework.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Hellenic Petroleum posts 67 pct profit jump

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Petroleum, a heavily traded stock on the Athens bourse, yesterday reported a rise in January-September pre-tax profits to 43.6 billion drachmas from 25.2 billion drachmas in the same period of last year, up 66.7 percent.

    Consolidated profits before tax rose by 48.9 percent to 48.5 billion drachmas from 32.6 billion drachmas in January-September 1998, Hellenic Petroleum said in a statement.

    The company attributed the rise to corporate restructuring and the beneficial impact of the company's listing in the second quarter of 1998.

    Also aiding results were a rise in international oil prices, entry into the Hellenic Petroleum Group of the Mamidakis owned companies, and the acquisition of OKTA, a refinery in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Lavipharm in deal with US firm

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Lavipharm Laboratories, a US subsidiary of Greece's Lavipharm, yesterday signed an alliance with Endo Pharmaceuticals, an American firm in the same sector. Lavipharm said in a statement that the two firms would cooperate in devising and developing pain -killers based on trans-dermal technology and Lavipharm's "quick-dis" technology.

    Lavipharm is to manufacture the product, which will then be marketed and sold by Endo internationally.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Stocks end lower, focus on small caps

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended yesterday's session moderately lower with the market's focus shifting towards selected small and medium-sized capitalisation stocks.

    The general index ended 0.70 percent down at 5,683.06 points, off the day's low of 5.639 points. Turnover was a moderate 290.3 billion drachmas.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (+0.18 pct), Leasing (+2.77 pct), Insurance (-2.70 pct), Investment (-1.22 pct), Construction (-0.29 pct), Industrials (-2.29 pct), Miscellaneous (-1.04 pct) and Holding (+1.20 pct). The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks fell 1.39 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.40 percent lower at 2,792.61 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 194 to 102 with another 25 issues unchanged.

    A total of 14 shares ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, while Development Invest, DIAS and Viosol (common) ended at the day's limit down.

    NEL Lines, Keranis and Techniki Olympiaki were the most heavily traded stocks. National Bank of Greece ended at 21,450 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 25,000, Commercial Bank at 23,980, Titan Cement (common) at 38,400, Hellenic Petroleum at 4,745, Intracom at 13,895, Minoan Lines at 10,000, Panafon at 3,575 and Hellenic Telecoms at 6,400.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Drachma creeps down

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    The drachma lost ground in the foreign exchange market yesterday on demand for other currencies.

    The Bank of Greece sold around 80 million euros.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro rose against the drachma.

    The single European currency was set at 328.710 drachmas from 328.310 drachmas in the previous session and 328.320 drachmas on Friday.

    The dollar nosed down against the drachma in the wake of a steep rise on Monday.

    The US currency was set at 318.160 drachmas from 318.280 drachmas a day earlier and 316.800 drachmas on Friday.

    Bond trade thin awaiting US news : Trade was scant in the secondary bond market yesterday with buyers waiting for news of US rate changes.

    The benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.44 percent from 6.41 percent in the previous session and 6.38 on Friday.

    The yield spread over German bunds was steady at 154 basis points, the same as a day earlier, from 153 basis points to 155 basis points on Friday.

    Electronic trade was sharply down at 9.0 billion drachmas from 15 billion drachmas in the previous session and 48 billion drachmas on Friday. Buy orders accounted for 6.0 billion drachmas of turnover.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Three-year bond yield rises in tender

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Three-year bond yields rose slightly in yesterday's weekly auction of state securities by the finance ministry, without deviating from recent levels in international, mainly European, markets.

    The average weighed interest rate for the 150 billion drachmas of three- year bonds on auction rose to 7.61 percent from 7.32 pct in the previous auction on September 21.

    The paper carried a coupon of 7.6 percent.

    Bids submitted totalled 305 billion drachmas, double the amount sought, reflecting continuing demand for Greek securities.

    The auction, held through the market's primary dealers, was a reopening of the original issue of January 22, 1999.

    The average weighed price of the bond was 99.913 with a cut-off price of 99.860.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greese closing rates of: November 16, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             315.615 322.932
    Can.Dollar            215.204 220.194
    Australian Dlr        202.517 207.212
    Pound Sterling        511.773 523.638
    Irish Punt            414.037 423.637
    Pound Cyprus          565.242 578.347
    Pound Malta           735.410 766.052
    Turkish pound (100)     0.056   0.058
    French franc           49.711  50.864
    Swiss franc           203.300 208.014
    Belgian franc           8.083   8.271
    German Mark           166.722 170.588
    Finnish Mark           54.843  56.114
    Dutch Guilder         147.969 151.399
    Danish Kr.             43.846  44.863
    Swedish Kr.            37.746  38.621
    Norwegian Kr.          39.801  40.724
    Austrian Sh.           23.697  24.246
    Italian lira (100)     16.840  17.231
    Yen (100)             298.810 305.738
    Spanish Peseta          1.960   2.006
    Port. Escudo            1.627   1.665
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              315.615 322.932
    Montreal              215.204 220.194
    Sydney                202.517 207.212
    London                511.773 523.638
    Dublin                414.037 423.637
    Nicosia               565.242 578.347
    Paris                  49.711  50.864
    Zurich                203.300 208.014
    Brussels                8.083   8.271
    Frankfurt             166.722 170.588
    Helsinki               54.843  56.114
    Amsterdam             147.969 151.399
    Copenhagen             43.846  44.863
    Stockholm              37.746  38.621
    Oslo                   39.801  40.724
    Vienna                 23.697  24.246
    Milan                  16.840  17.231
    Tokyo                 298.810 305.738
    Madrid                  1.960   2.006
    Lisbon                  1.627   1.665
    Athens News Agency

    [09] Gov't: 'Open agenda' for talks between Simitis, Ecevit in Istanbul

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Athens reiterated yesterday that tomorrow's scheduled talks between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit, on the sidelines of an OSCE summit in Istanbul, will be conducted with an "open agenda".

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the agenda at the talks between the two prime ministers will be open, since discussions will be held on the sidelines of an official visit.

    Mr. Reppas said there had not been an issue of a joint communique to be issued by the two prime ministers, adding that the two leaders will probably make separate statements afterwards.

    Asked whether the Cyprus problem will be brought up at the Simitis-Ecevit talks, Mr. Reppas said "this issue is of vital importance to Greece and it will be definitely brought up at the talks".

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is departing on Wednesday for Istanbul to participate in the OSCE summit, is scheduled to hold separate meetings there with his counterparts from Russia, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Protests banned in central Athens on Friday, Saturday

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    All protests, rallies and marches have been banned in central Athens during the upcoming visit of US President Bill Clinton on orders of the Attica police chief, issued late yesterday.

    The orders stated that for "reasons of public safety" all outdoor assemblies or marches of organised groups throughout central Athens and from the airport to the centre of the Greek capital are banned Pbeginning on Friday at 3 p.m. and ending on Saturd ay at 5 p.m.

    The orders, issued by police chief Giorgos Skaltsas, noted that any attempt to violate the ban will be "opposed with all legal means, while participants in such protests will be prosecuted".

    Meanwhile, traffic police in Attica announced that several main boulevards and roads leading from the airport to the centre of the city via Piraeus will be closed to traffic at certain sections during the arrival and departure of the US president.

    All other traffic will be directed through detours.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Karamanlis: ND views Clinton visit as means to improving Greek-US cooperation

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis stressed yesterday that from the start his party considered US President Bill Clinton's visit to Greece as an event serving the development of bilateral relations and strengthening Athens' cooperation with Washington.

    Mr. Karamanlis, addressing a conference of the Hellenic American Institute at a downtown Athens hotel, said emotional and extreme reactions as well as protests are of no use, adding that no political party should encourage them.

    However, he criticised the government over its handling of the issue of the postponement of Mr. Clinton's visit, saying that in this way it created serious national harm because petty party expediencies preceded national interests.

    He said Mr. Clinton's visit should be utilised to have Greek positions heard, while the premier gave the impression he was backtracking and was unable to handle foreign issues of major significance.

    Mr. Karamanlis further said the period starting with Mr. Clinton's visit to both Greece and Turkey was very important because the OSCE summit in Istanbul was coming up and the European Union's Helsinki summit would follow where Turkey's fate in relation to the EU would be settled.

    He also said Washington, as the sole superpower, had particular responsibilities in maintaining global and regional security and stability, while adding that Turkey is undermining this common interest because it was aiming at overturning the status quo in the Aegean and continued to occupy the northern part of Cyprus unimpeded.

    Referring to the situation prevailing in the Balkans, Mr. Karamanlis expressed opposition to a change in borders and said the multinational character of Kosovo should be maintained. He further said particular emphasis should be placed at present to preventive diplomacy to avert a new crisis in the Balkans.

    Executive bureau : Meanwhile, Mr. Karamanlis also chaired a meeting of the party's executive bureau of MPs yesterday on the issue of Mr. Clinton's visit.

    The meeting was held in the presence of former PM Constantine Mitsotakis.

    Summing up the conclusions of the meeting, ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said the way with which the government handled Mr. Clinton's visit was "a fiasco with irreversible national damage". He also criticised Premier Costas Simitis of being unable to handle major national issues and crises.

    Outlining ND's positions, Mr. Spiliotopoulos said the party condemned extreme reactions and added that Mr. Clinton's visit was an opportunity to promote Greek positions with the aim of improving bilateral relations.

    Mr. Spiliotopoulos also said the policy of the west in the Balkans has failed because we have been led de facto to a change in borders, adding that there can be no solution without the participation of Yugoslavia.

    According to reports, Mr. Mitsotakis sharply criticised the government over its policy on national issues, saying that "we should all realise that we should prepare ourselves to inherit a very disagreeable situation."

    The reports added that Mr. Mitsotakis said that the government itself did not want Mr. Clinton to address Parliament.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Burns calls for more emphasis on talks during upcoming Clinton visit

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns said yesterday it was ironic that everyone seemed to be focusing on security measures surrounding US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Athens instead of on the talks' agenda.

    Addressing a conference on Greek-US relations organised by the Hellenic American Institute, Mr. Burns said he was impressed that "all this time the press coverage" of the Mr. Clinton visit "has focused on the atmosphere and security measures to be applied and not on the substance of the visit".

    Recalling that Mr. Clinton was the third US president to visit Greece - after Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959 during the height of the Cold War and George Bush in 1991 following the end of the Gulf War - he said it was a "great irony" that much of the conc ern was centred on security measures and not about the issues to be discussed between the Greek and US leaders.

    He said we were in a period when the two governments had collaborated "very closely, as never before", and "it is not good that the substance should be lost in the vortex of information on the behind-the-scenes of the visit".

    Mr. Burns said the Greek and US leaderships had been working for months on the substance of the visit and the talks, which he said would "toucn on some very sensitive areas and very important ones, such as trade relations, military cooperation, the Cyprus issue and the Aegean, which must be a sea that unites rather than separates peoples".

    The US envoy praised Greece's role in the Balkans and Europe, noting that it was the only European country, and NATO ally, that could "truly help the fragile democracies in the Balkans," since "Greece has a lot to teach as it is the oldest democracy in the world".

    Mr. Burns made special mention of what he called the "close cooperation" between US Defense Secretary William Cohen and national defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, "who have worked together on a new security architecture and have upgraded the militar y cooperation at bilateral level".

    On the Cyprus issue, Mr. Burns said he was saddened that the problem remained unsolved so long, adding that Mr. Clinton, who was currently in Ankara, yesterday welcomed the proposal for restarting UN-sponsored proximity talks between Cyprus president Gl afcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed at finding a viable solution to the problem.

    He further said Greek FM George Papandreou and US secretary of state Madeleine Albright were working closely and had direct contact, noting the important contributions of the ethnic Greek community in the US towards the good relations between the two co untries in their 170 years of diplomatic relations.

    Mr. Burns predicted the success of Mr. Clinton's talks in Athens in such areas as trade, tourism, and bilateral cooperation at all levels.

    Addressing himself to Greek citizens, he urged them not to see the American embassy as a fortress but rather as a "home in which you are always welcome."

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Greek-, Turkish-American joint statement

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Greek-American and Turkish-American leaders issued a first-ever joint statement complimenting the actions of their respective homelands to further bilateral relations.

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens and Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) President Tolga Cubukcu signed the statement.

    "We strongly endorse the language of Senate Resolution 198 which commends, encourages and supports recent efforts by Greece and Turkey to improve bilateral relations," the statement read.

    "It is our further hope that the goodwill produced by the actions of our respective motherlands following their respective earthquakes will carry forward and grow," it added.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Constantopoulos criticism on Simitis-Ecevit contacts

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos yesterday expressed his opposition to what he termed "secret diplomacy" between Greece and Turkey. We are opposed to "Greece's secret diplomacy, which lead to the scheduled meet ing between (Turkish Prime Minister Bulent) Ecevit and (Prime Minister Costas) Simitis," Mr. Constantopoulos said as he concluded his visit to the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos.

    "It is a meeting with an unknown, to the Greek political forces, agenda. A meeting that seems to lead to the acceptance of exceptions and discounts on the European acquis communautaire by the Greek side, aiming at Turkey's accession to the European Union," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Party messages for Polytechnic anniversary

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Greece's political parties and several organisations issued statements yesterday to mark today's anniversary of a students' uprising against the military junta on Nov. 17, 1973.

    A joint message by Prime Minister and PASOK leader Costas Simitis as well as the party's executive bureau said the greatest honour for the Polytechnic is "for us to refuse its sale to opportunistic banners and to place ourselves at the service of a nobler idea, namely, that of a democratic Greece."

    The message further said that "only national unity can make our country respected by friends and foes, only national understanding can lead us to a new era without defeats and losses, but with victories in a better future for us and our children."

    The Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) said the celebration "should be a source of inspiration and renewal of historical memory. With new struggles for peace, stability and multifaceted cooperation in the region, without the undesirable arbitrations and hegemony of US policy; for democratic and social rights, for a modern public education for all; for productive work...for a better quality of life."

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas said the mandates of the students' uprising are clear: "Resistance to the barbaric 'New World Order', no to subdued and subservient political leaderships, for national dignity, peace, social solidarity and justice", adding that "the arrival of the President of the US, at the head of the new barbarism, in our country these days constitutes a provocation to the Greek people and an affront to the Polytechnic's dead."

    Prosecutors to observe rally : Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that 25 prosecutors will supervise security measures in downtown Athens today for the rally culminating Polytechnic celebrations.

    The head of the prosecuting authority has appointed 14 prosecutors to be on permanent standby, two others who will be at police headquarters and nine others who will remain at their residences on a 24-hour basis to intervene when necessary to order arrests and other measures in the event of incidents.

    Regarding the premises of the Athens Polytechnic, an understanding was reached between the prosecuting authority and the faculty senate which, if it ascertains a violation of the university asylum code by non-student elements, will request the immediate intervention of the prosecuting authority.

    In another development, a press conference given at noon yesterday at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki's Polytechnic Faculty on the occasion of the anniversary ended abruptly when dozens of members of the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) stu dent group (PSK) entered the premises holding red flags and shouting slogans against US President Bill Clinton's visit to Greece and the government's policies.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] G. Papandreou-Verheugen meeting focuses on EU enlargement

    BRUSSELS, 17/11/1999 (ANA - G. Zitouniati)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday met in Brussels with Commissioner Gunther Verheugen, who has a key role in the European Commission's evaluation of candidacies of EU hopefuls, possibly even Turkey.

    Mr. Papandreou, in the Belgian capital for a meeting of the Council of EU foreign ministers, discussed with Mr. Verheugen the EU enlargement process and the parameters of enlargement of particular interest to Greece, chiefly with respect to Turkey, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria.

    In the sidelines meeting with Mr. Verheugen, Mr. Papandreou outlined the conditions he considers necessary so the course of EU entry or rapprochement with the EU of those countries would ensure and prove beneficial to stability and peace in the region and abide by the basic principles of human rights protection, peaceful settlement of differences and of the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    Mr. Papandreou set out the same Greek positions during a meeting with Commission President Romano Prodi yesterday.

    The Greek minister further stressed to Mr. Verheugen the need for Cyprus' unhindered course to EU accession and disengagement of its European course from a solution to the island republic's political problem.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Parliament discussion on 2000 budget begins

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Parliament's finance committee yesterday began discussions for 2000 budget with the initial addresses by party representatives.

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Deputy Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis were present during this first day of the debate.

    On their part, the smaller opposition parties declared they will vote down the new budget, including defence expenditures, while main opposition New Democracy reserved its statements on the issue of defence expenditures for a later date.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Human rights in the EU examined at Goethe Institut event

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Human rights as the moving force for a "Europe of the citizens of 2000" and the need for the explicit recognition of all fundamental, civil and social rights in the form of a European charter for human rights were raised at a conference held at the Goethe Institut on Monday.

    Both Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos attended the event.

    The meeting, at which an analysis was made of the entire course and the steps attempted on the issue from the period of the EEC until today in the European Union was attended by German Justice Minister Herta Daubler-Gmelin, among others.

    Ms Daubler-Gmelin focused on Germany's struggles on consolidating human rights in the EU and ascertained Athens' sensitivity on the issue.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Third Community Support Framework allocations by culture ministry

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    The culture ministry aims to absorb 450 billion drachmas from the Third Community Support Framework fund earmarked for Greece, Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said yesterday.

    She added that of the 450 billion, 195 regard national or regional programmes; 190 billion are for regional programmes; 25 billion are border programmes and 40 billion are for computer network programmes.

    Increases compared to the Second Communi ty Support Framework fund by region include 10 billion drachmas for eastern Macedonia and Thrace; 32 billion for central Macedonia; seven for western Macedonia; 12 billion for Epirus; seven billion for Thessaly; nine billion for the Ionian Islands; 19 bi llion for western Greece; 10 billion for south-central Greece; 28 billion for Attica; 16 billion for the Peloponnese; 14 billion for the islands of the northern Aegean; 16 billion for the islands of the southern Aegean and 10 billion for Crete.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Greek aid to Turkey

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Air Force (HAF) said yesterday that two C-130 transport planes flew humanitarian assistance to Turkey.

    The two aircraft carried three doctors, members of the Doctors of the World organisation, a mini-bus, 350 space heaters and 3,500 blankets to Topel, an airport in northern Turkey.

    The aid was part of Athens' efforts to alleviate the repercussions of the devastating earthquake that hit the neighbouring country on Nov. 12.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Greek military chief in Kosovo

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    National Defence General Staff Chief Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis will carry out a one-day official visit to Kosovo on Nov. 24. Among others, Gen. Paragioudakis will be visiting the Greek battalion at Urosevac.
    Athens News Agency

    [22] 2 British sailors charged

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    Police in Thessaloniki announced yesterday that two British navy sailors have been charged with vandalising three vehicles parked in the northern port city's centre.

    Authorities arrested Graham Barnes, 27, and Levon Sandercock, 19, both serving aboard the warship "HMS Edinburgh", for damaging two cars and one motorcycle. The vessel is currently anchored at the Thessaloniki port.

    Both men are scheduled to be brought before a public investigator.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Woman's conviction upheld, sentence increased

    Athens, 17/11/1999 (ANA)

    A Larissa woman's conviction was upheld while the relevant prison sentence was increased by an appeals court yesterday, in a case stemming from her complicity in the rape and assault against the wife of an ex-lover.

    The initial prison term was set at four years while the appeals court increased the sentence to nine years and 10 months, along with a three- million-drachma fine.

    Georgia Papaioannou was convicted of hiring two men to rape and assault the wife of her former married lover.

    Athens News Agency

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