Bertolucci to be honoured at Thessaloniki Film Festival
Contacts on Cyprus issue heat up prior to expected initiative
The government said yesterday that Foreign Undersecretary Christos
Rozakis' visit to Nicosia was indicative of Greece's "particular interest"
concerning the Cyprus problem.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that Mr. Rozakis, who arrived in
Cyprus on Sunday at the head of a delegation, will have talks with the
Nicosia government and opposition parties in order to gain a "comprehensive
view" of the problem.
The Greek government delegation will be discussing a common stance between
Athens and Nicosia regarding latest developments on the Cyprus problem in
view of a US initiative expected to be taken within the next few months.
"There is a new period before us in view of US elections and also because
the time is approaching for commencement of negotiations on Cyprus'
accession to the European Union. There is also talk of initiatives being
taken, and besides, there is increased movement (on the Cyprus problem),"
Mr. Reppas said.
"For this reason and in order that there be no surprises, and in order for
there to be better coordination, all these efforts are being made,
including the foreign undersecretary's visit to Nicosia," Mr. Reppas
On his part, Mr. Rozakis described as his meeting yesterday with Cyprus
President Glafcos Clerides as productive. The Greek official was briefed on
Nicosia's positions on the Cyprus problem, according to an ANA dispatch
from the island republic's capita l.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Rozakis said that the purpose
of the Greek delegation's contacts with the Cyprus government was "to
gather the material which is necessary in order to finalise positions in
view of the new phase into which the Cyprus problem is entering."
Mr. Rozakis said the delegation would have further contacts later yesterday
and today, "in order to gain a comprehensive picture and work out its views
when it returns to Athens".
Modern Greek chair at University of Venice
An agreement for the establishment of a university chair for modern Greek
at the University of Venice was signed yesterday by Culture Minister
Evangelos Venizelos and the rector of the university.
The agreement provides for a permanent instructor's position, which will be
paid for by the Greek culture ministry's budget over the next five
During the signing of the agreement, Mr. Venizelos spoke of the historical
and cultural ties connecting Greece and Venice, which for a significant
period was the centre of Greek language printing and literature.
Mr. Venizelos visited an exhibition on the subject of "Greeks in the West"
during his stay in Venice.
Numerous Turkish violations of Greek airspace reported
Turkish F-16 and F-4 "Phantom" fighters yesterday violated Athens Flight
Information Region (FIR) regulations and infringed on Greek national
airspace on at least 12 occasions between the eastern Aegean islands of
Hios and Lesvos and north of Rhodes, sour ces said.
According to reports, Hellenic Air Force F-16s and F-4s along with French-
made Mirage 2000 fighters intercepted the intruders in every instance.
Navy ship sinks after collision with ferry boat, 4 missing
Four crew members of a Hellenic Navy missile boat were reported missing
at presstime yesterday after the vessel collided with a passenger ship and
sank north of the eastern Aegean island of Samos at approximately 6:45
In addition, according to a merchant marine ministry announcement, no
injuries were reported aboard the Greek-flagged "Samaina" ferry boat.
No details were as yet available concerning the causes of the accident. The
warship had a crew of 38.
Commenting on the accident, Premier Costas Simitis expressed last night his
regret for the likely loss of human life and said he had given instructions
for "the examplary punishment of those who were criminally negligent of
Mount Athos monastery denies reports of Karadzic, Mladic asylum requests
The Hiliandariou monastery on Mount Athos yesterday denied reports that
it had received requests or "expressions of desire" from former Bosnian
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and military leader Gen. Ratko Mladic to be
allowed to join the monastic community .
The denial was made by a representative of the monastery, who categorically
denied that any such request had ever been made by anyone.
Premier to endorse package of economic measures
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is expected to approve today a package with
new taxes and other economic measures which will be applied next year.
These measures include taxes on large real estate holdings, interest on
treasury bills and government bonds, financial derivatives, abolition of
tax exemptions, an increase in taxation criteria for conspicuous consumption,
cutbacks in state expenses and a slashing of waste in the public sector.
The estimated fiduciary yield of the new measures has been included in the
new budget, which envisages an increase in revenue in the region of one
Yesterday, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, after
successive meetings with colleagues and top officials, put the final
touches on a package of measures which also includes proposals for incomes
In another development, Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said after
a meeting with the prime minister yesterday that he had submitted a four-
year programme with specific priorities for his ministry's sector and the
cost of its application.
The plan includes three draft bills tabled in Parliament in September,
which deal, among others, with the establishment of appropriate bodies for
the management of European Union subsidies and for quality control of
agricultural products, leasing in the agricultural sector and farmers'
Mr. Tzoumakas also mentioned that in a meeting with Mr. Papantoniou, it was
agreed that a tax added to general commercial activities and distribution
of agricultural products could be necessary to support an autonomous
pension fund for farmers. He added that the possibility of such funds being
sought from EU coffers and Structural Programmes would also be examined,
saying farmers' social insurance is a structural issue in Greece.
Referring to farmers' demands for budget subsidies on certain products, he
reiterated the prime minister's position that this was not possible.
After another meeting with the prime minister, Labour Minister Miltiades
Papaioannou said the government's final positions regarding farmers'
insurance and the supplementary social solidarity benefit for pensioners
would be made known a few days after t he release of the new budget.
Moody's to upgrade Greece's int'l credit rating
Moody's, the New York-based economic ratings firm, is examining an
upgrading of Greece credit rating for foreign investors.
According to a Reuters dispatch, Moody's sees an improvement of the Greek
economy in its basic figures, particularly a decline in inflation to single-
digit levels, and believes that the country poses fewer risks to foreign
investors, both in their short - and in their long-term investments.
Greece, Czech Republic agree on exports cooperation
The Export Promotion Organisation (OPE) has signed an agreement with the
International Economic Relations Centre in Prague for bilateral cooperation
in the sectors of commerce and information and the organisation of meetings
between Greek a nd Czech experts.
The agreement, signed in Prague, provides for the organisation of a
symposium in Greece, training of employees of the two organisations, a
visit by a Czech trade mission to Greece, and Greece's assistance regarding
promotion of Czech programmes through existing EU programmes.
OPE President John Gen said the new prospects for cooperation between the
two countries in the direction of developing trade relations looked
Unified strategy between Greece, Cyprus on earthquake response proposed by scientists
Scientists stressed the need for a unified doctrine between Greece and
Cyprus on earthquake preparedness and response, adding that seismic
substrata in both countries have a "stunning resemblance."
A scientific "scan" of the subsoils in Cyprus, undertaken after a strong
earthquake on the island recently, and its results, were presented at a
conference of seismologists and other officials in Cyprus last week.
It was shown that the island republic's seismic arc is surprisingly similar
to that of Greece, which begins from the islands in the Ionian and extends
"The rift in Cyprus is identical to the Greek seismic arc, with which it
has surprising resemblance, as research has shown," Prof. Vassilis
Papazahos of the Aristotelion University's geophysics laboratory told
"This means that it gives us the possibility to implement results of plans
and research, which we have on the Greek seismic area and on anti-seismic
protection of Cyprus, as well as to derive experiences," he added.
Athens Mayor, basketball federation discuss '98 World Basketball Championship in Athens
Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos held talks at city hall yesterday with
the presidium of the Greek Basketball Federation concerning the World
Basketball Championship, slated to be held in Athens in 1998.
"This tournament will certainly play a very important role in promoting
Greek basketball, as well as the city of Athens, in light of the Olympic
Games of 2004," Mr. Avramopoulos said after the meeting.
"Therefore, we must support the World Basketball Championship of 1998 from
now, we must encourage it and facilitate it in every way to secure its
success," he added.
Bertolucci to be honoured at Thessaloniki Film Festival
Internationally renowned Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci is due to
arrive in Thessaloniki on Saturday in order to attend events at the city's
annual film festival.
One hundred and thirty movies will be screened at this year's 37th
Thessaloniki Film Festival.
Fourteen of Mr. Bertolucci's movies will be screened at the festival in a
special tribute to the director.
The international part of the festival also includes seven French movies
and another seven films directed by Balkan directors.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 236.304 Can. dlr.177.171, Australian dlr. 186.188 Pound sterling
387.495, Irish punt 387.852, Cyprus pd 511.872, French franc 46.249, Swiss
franc 186.446 Belgian franc 7.590, German mark 156.270 Finnish mark 52.179,
Dutch guilder 139.465 Danish Kr. 40.692, Swedish Kr. 35.841, Norwegian Kr.
37.121, Austrian Sh. 22.211, Italian lira (100) 15.587 Yen (100) 209.252
Spanish Peseta 1.859, Portuguese Escudo 1.548.