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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-11-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.forthnet.gr/ape>


NEWS IN ENGLISH

ATHENS, Greece, 11/11/1996 (ANA)

MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens Stock Exchange closed again today as brokers meet
  • Greece, Ukraine sign friendship, cooperation agreement
  • Foreign Minister: NATO must establish procedures for disputes between members
  • Justice minister in Cyprus tomorrow
  • Crucial decisions this week on main opposition ND party congress
  • Euro-Mediterranean Group accepts Kaklamanis proposal for expanded Mediterranean parliaments meeting
  • 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 transactions.

    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 fund.

    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 fresh start.

    The reports added that a further eight brokerage firms were involved in the 'Delta affair'.

    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 issues.

    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 today.

    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 Solana.

    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 territories.

    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. Evert.

    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 leader.

    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 rights.

    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 from Albania.

    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 drachmas.

    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.

    SPORTS

    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

    WEATHER

    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.

    (M.P.)


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