Four Albanians arrested in drug bust
NEWS IN DETAIL
Stock exchange closed again today as brokers meet
The Athens Stock Exchange remained shut for the second day today, as
members of the Union of Stock Exchange Members (SMEXA) continued their
marathon meeting on whether to abstain from trading.
The SMEXA meeting was expected to end shortly with a vote on whether
trading would resume tomorrow.
Reports said that the majority of members appeared to be in favour of
keeping the bourse shut for the next few days.
The ASE suspended trading on Friday for the first time in its history when
SMEXA abstained following the inability of Delta Securities to cover cash
obligations to the titles depository, which is responsible for clearing
The brokers had called on the national economy ministry to ensure the
correct operation of the system of clearance of transactions, claiming that
the titles depository owed brokerage firms money.
National Economy Ministry Secretary-General Apostolos Fotiadis said that
the government's main concern is the resumption of trading on the ASE with
the full clearance of transactions.
Fotiadis added that all investors hit by Delta's inability to meet its
obligations would be reimbursed by the brokerage firms' joint-surety
Reports later said that the stock exchange would remain closed for another
two days to enable all transactions to be cleared and allow the bourse a
The reports added that a further eight brokerage firms were involved in the
Brokers and the ASE President Manolis Xanthakis are currently considering
three proposals tabled at the SMEX meeting this morning.
The proposals are: the full clearance of transactions in cash and shares by
Wednesday; the placing of inspectors in all brokerage firms; and for there
to be a balancing of all transactions conducted by the implicated firms
between October 30 and the present day.
Brokers are to meet again later in the evening to evaluate the results of
the meeting with Xanthakis.
Greece, Ukraine sign friendship, cooperation agreement
Greece and Ukraine today signed a friendship and cooperation agreement,
following talks between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and visiting Ukraine
President Leonid Kuchma.
Kuchma, who arrived in Athens today on an official two-day visit, said he
had received the fullest support from Greece on issues that had been
discussed, including the region's problems, Russo-Ukraine relations with
the European Union and the imminent enlargement of NATO. He said particular
emphasis was placed on economic cooperation and European security
Kuchma, who earlier met with President Kostis Stephanopoulos, extended an
invitation to Simitis to visit Ukraine.
"The multi-dimensional character of Greek foreign policy and multi-faceted
relations being developed with the countries of Eastern Europe was very
much in evidence in the talks with Kuchma," Simitis said.
The prime minister confirmed Greece's support for Ukraine's efforts to find
its place in the new world order and noted the ties of friendship binding
the two peoples and the long and dynamic presence of Hellenism in the
region of the Caucasus.
Simitis added that they had discussed Greek-Turkish relations and the
Cyprus problem and had agreed that differences between the states should be
resolved on the basis of the principles of international law and respect
for international treaties.
Kuchma is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos later
Foreign Minister: NATO must establish procedures for disputes between members
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday called for NATO to
establish procedures that would determine the alliance's course of action
when one member state laid claims against another.
Mr. Pangalos was speaking in Patras yesterday in response to a question
regarding a letter he sent recently to NATO Secretary-General Javier
Now that the alliance was expanding and changing direction, he explained,
Greece should demand such a procedure.
He drew attention to the fact that past governments (under Constantine
Karamanlis, George Rallis and Andreas Papandreou) had maintained that it
was not possible for NATO to concern itself with the problems of the world
and to be indifferent to its own m ember states' problems.
Mr. Pangalos also accused main opposition New Democracy party leader
Militades Evert of "igno-rance and bad faith" in statements he had made on
the issue both before and after last September's elections.
Meanwhile, with regard to a possible initiative by the United States on the
Cyprus issue, the minister said he felt this was unlikely before January,
given that the composition of the new adminstration in Washington had not
yet been finalised.
However, he drew attention to campaign promises made by US President Bill
Clinton on the issue, characterising the problem as an international one,
as well as the implementation of United Nations resolutions.
Mr. Pangalos is to visit the United States in late January or early
February, accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou,
responsible for expatriate Greek affairs.
Justice minister in Cyprus tomorrow
Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos will leave for Cyprus tomorrow to
attend events marking the continuing occupation of a third of the island-
republic by Turkish troops.
Yiannopoulos will be the main speaker at an event marking the anniversary
of the declaration of 'autonomy' of the pseudo-state in the occupied
The Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied territories is not recognised by
any country, other than Turkey.
This year's events are dedicated to the memory of Tassos Isaac and Solomos
Solomou, the two young Greek Cypriot men killed by Turkish occupation
forces earlier this year.
Yiannopoulos will be received by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and will
have meetings with president of the Cyprus Socialist Party Vassos
Lyssarides, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou,
as well as with Archbishop Chrysostomos.
Yiannopoulos is expected back in Athens on Thursday.
Crucial decisions on ND party congress to be taken this week
Main opposition New Democracy party deputy president Ioannis Varvitsiotis
will submit a proposal this week on holding the party's congress.
In an interview with the "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" newspaper, Mr.
Varvitsiotis said that ND leader Miltiades Evert and his main contender
George Souflias have a different conception of increasing the number of
delegates to the conference and explaine d that criteria for widening the
electoral base will be objective and fair.
"My responsibility is grave and I believe that all will consider the
crucial nature of the situation and will accept my proposal," he said.
Meanwhile, statements by party cadres disputing decisions taken by the
Political Council and the party's charter have met with reaction by Mr.
The Political Council will hold a special session at noon tomorrow. An
announcement issued by the party said "the situation created by the
attitude of certain deputies who question, either directly or indirectly
and in fact publicly, both the recent dec ision taken by the Political
Council on holding the congress and clauses contained in the party's
charter will be examined during this meeting."
The announcement said the Political Council meeting was considered
necessary because the attitude of these deputies "deals a blow at the unity
and effectiveness of ND as a main opposition party at a time when problems
faced by the Greek people have take n on explosive dimensions".
In recent days ND Deputies Petros Tatoulis and Dora Bakoyianni have
directly or indirectly requested that Mr. Evert should be replaced as party
In another development, Mr. Souflias stressed the view that there are no
dissenters in ND, shortly before returning to Athens yesterday afternoon
after visiting the Pieria prefecture, replying to an interview ND Deputy
Yiannis Kefaloyiannis gave to Kyri akatiki Eleftherotypia newspaper.
"There are no dissenters. There are deputies who express their views. We
should not speak of expulsions. Everyone has the right to express his view
with the sole difference being that views can be expressed with arguments,
without adjectival terms and i n a simple way which can help the party,"
Mr. Souflias said.
Replying to questions put to him by journalists at Macedonia airport on the
interview given by Ms Bakoyianni, Mr. Souflias said he had not read
newspapers and would not comment on statements by ND cadres.
Asked to comment on Mr. Evert, he said he did not want to repeat the same
things on whether or not he should resign.
On the question of whether ND should go to the congress with Mr. Evert as
its leader, Mr. Souflias said "what is necessary is that the congress
should be fair and representative."
Euro-Mediterranean Group accepts Kaklamanis proposal for expanded Mediterranean parliaments meeting
A proposal by Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis for an expanded
meeting of counterparts from Mediterranean nations' parliaments in Athens
next April has been accepted at an informal meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean
Parliaments in Palermo, Italy.
Apart from the five members of the Euro-Mediterranean group, invitations
will be extended to Parliament Speakers of the remaining 12 countries
around the Mediterranean, the European Parliament, an observer from the
European Commission and the President of the Maghreb (association of
nations on the north African coast).
The theme of the Athens meeting will be the balance between the European
Union's North and South, the contribution of European Parliaments to the
construction of the European edifice, as well as Mediterranean cooperation
in promoting peace, stability, d emocratic institutions and human
In his address to the Palermo meeting, Mr. Kaklamanis emphasised the need
for renewed interest in the region following the radical changes in eastern
Europe, the review of the European Union charter, as well as the expansion
of the EU within the frame work of the Intergovernmental Conference.
The idea of Mediterranean cooperation began at the EU summit on Corfu in
1994 and was further developed with the signing of the Barcelona Declaration
in November 1995.
Four Albanians arrested in drug bust
A policeman escaped injury today after being shot at during a drug bust
that netted 13 kilos of hashish and the arrest of four Albanian nationals.
Police said Dos Markos, 26, Markos Martin, 24, Thanassis Golemis, 32, and
Railos Markos, 21, were part of a larger ring running hashish into Greece
The four were arrested in the downtown area of Aharnon street, after
undercover police had agreed to buy 10 kilos of hashish for 2.8 million
Shots were fired when an unidentified member of the ring noticed that the
'buyer' was being followed by police. The attacker managed to get away but
police are continuing their investigations, saying they are certain there
are other members of the ring running drugs into Greece.
Soccer-Greece stay top after draw with Croatia
Greece surprisingly held Croatia 1-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Zagreb,
Croatia on Sunday to remain top of European group one.
The Greeks stunned the hosts by taking the lead in the ninth minute when
Demis Nikolaidis fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
Alen Boksic volleyed against a post but the Croats finally equalised just
before halftime when Davor Suker pounced on a loose ball and found a gap
between two Greek defenders and the goalkeeper.
Another Suker effort was disallowed for offside and Boksic's low left-
footer shaved a post minutes later.
Soccer-Greece beat Croatia 1-0 in Euro under-21 qualifier
Greece beat Croatia 1-0 (halftime 0-0) in a European under-21 soccer
championship group one qualifier played on Saturday in Karlovac, Croatia.
Scorer: Nicolaos Lymperopoulos 60
Mild and sunny throughout the country, with weather in Athens ranging from
11-21 C and in Thessaloniki from 6-17 C.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 236.602 Can. dlr.177.826, Australian dlr. 184.481 Pound sterling
389.995, Irish punt 390.650, Cyprus pd 514.154, French franc 46.368, Swiss
franc 185.876 Belgian franc 7.608, German mark 156.736 Finnish mark 51.965,
Dutch guilder 139.733 Danish Kr. 40.769, Swedish Kr. 35.742, Norwegian Kr.
37.349, Austrian Sh. 22.273, Italian lira (100) 15.562 Yen (100) 211.296
Spanish Peseta 1.861, Portuguese Escudo 1.550.