Large quantity of grain seed to be shipped to Albania
NEWS IN DETAIL
ASE resumes normal operation today after settlement reached
The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) is expected to resume operation today, as
the Association of Athens Stock Exchange Members (SMEHA) accepted a
national economy ministry proposal to solve a severe crisis plaguing the
bourse since last Friday.
A Delta Securities default of 2.6 billion drachmas will be covered by the
Joint-Surety Fund and the Titles Depository. Specifically, under a decision
by the Capital Market Committee, disputed transactions must be cleared by
Thursday by all brokerage firms, while all firms that do not fulfill their
obligations will be barred from bourse sessions.
On his part, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday
announced that international auditing firms would conduct special audits in
all ASE-affiliated brokerage firms, following the collapse of Delta
Securities - an incident that led to an unprecedented suspension of trading
on the Athens bourse on Friday and Monday.
He added that the measure aims to fully clear up responsibilities and to
draw conclusions, adding that the government intends to deal comprehensively
with the trading settlement, giving solutions to both the problem of
Delta's inability to meet obligations and to improvement of clearing
procedures and reducing market risks.
This would involve legislation, he said, according to which the Titles
Depository would immediately pay the National Bank of Greece the sum of
Delta's worthless checks, and would in turn demand the sum from Delta and
the Joint-Surety Fund.
He added that according to a decision of the Capital Market Commission, all
transactions entered up until Nov. 7 had to be cleared by tomorrow morning,
and any firms not complying would not be allowed to participate in the
Any arrears ascertained would be met in the same way as those of Delta's,
In a related development, it was announced that ASE president Manolis
Xanthakis had been summoned to appear before a Supreme Court prosecutor to
make a deposition in connection with conditions at the ASE and the Delta
Meanwhile, an Athens first instance prosecuting authority is already
carrying out an investigation into the affair.
Kuchma expresses satisfaction over contacts with Greek leadership
Visiting Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma yesterday expressed satisfaction
at the results of his official talks in Greece, stressing the "great
possibility for the development of economic relations between the two
Speaking during a meeting with Greek businessmen yesterday morning, the
Ukrainian president referred to the signing on Monday of a friendship and
cooperation agreement between the two countries, saying it formed the basis
for further cooperation.
In relation to the political and economic situation in his country, Mr.
Kuchma said the Ukraine's accession to the European Union was a "strategic
goal of national importance," adding that the former Soviet republic looked
forward to Greece's support to achieve this goal.
Elaborating on economic developments in the Ukraine, Mr. Kuchma drew
attention to the voting of a new constitution defining the principles for
the country's further development, downward trends in inflation, completion
of a privatisation process for sma ll-to-medium-sized enterprises and
initiation of privatisation procedures for larger companies.
The president of the Athens Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Yiannis
Papathanasiou, stressed that the two countries' "economies, which are
complementary, have a mutual interest in building closer ties of commercial,
industrial, tourism and technological cooperation."
"Mr. Kuchma's visit to our country will undoubtedly have positive results
in this direction," he added.
Mr. Kuchma also held a meeting yesterday with Parliament President
At the meeting both men expressed a will for further bilateral relations.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, both Mr. Kaklamanis and Mr. Kuchma
referred to the traditional Greek-Ukrainian relations.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Kuchma visited the Acropolis, accompanied by
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Afterwards, Mr. Venizelos briefed Mr. Kuchma on Greece's efforts to achieve
a return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum in London. Mr.
Kuchma supported Greece's demand.
Meanwhile, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday decorated the
Ukrainian president with the municipality's gold medal at a special
ceremony held at the Athens City Hall.
Following the ceremony, the Athens mayor and the Kiev mayor, Mr. Omelechenko,
signed a friendship and cooperation agreement between the two cities.
Mr. Avramopoulos said Athens and Kiev were linked with "strong ties,"
adding that cooperation between the two capitals "will continue and will
expand to the point of having a catalytic effect to further cooperation
between the two peoples..."
State Dept. says Cavanaugh visit not the beginning of US initiative on Cyprus
US State Department spokesman Glyn Davis said in Washington that a visit by
the State Department's southern European representative, Carey Cavanaugh,
to Athens, Ankara and Cyprus is a diplomatic mission on a working level and
does not constitute the start of a US initiative on the Cyprus problem.
He added that Mr. Cavanaugh will be informed on regional developments and
will exchange views with interested parties before returning to Washington,
where examination of the US approach to Cyprus will continue.
Replying to a question, Mr. Davis said that at this stage, the US mission
does not have any new ideas.
National issues dominate Greek,Cypriot training seminar
A training seminar for Greek and Cypriot senior government press officers,
which started in Athens on Monday, focused yesterday on developments over
national issues as well as promotion of Greece and Cyprus abroad.
Addressing the seminar, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos referred to the
basic axis of Greece's foreign policy.
The issues of "Turkey and its neighbours and (Greece's) national issues, as
these are perceived and approached by the International Community" were
addressed by National Foreign Undersecretary Christos Rozakis, university
professors, diplomats and journ alists.
The seminar, organised by the Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of
National Issues (SEPETH) will conclude today.
According to Cypriot government spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, the
seminar aimed at discussing cooperation between the press offices of the
Greek and Cypriot governments around the world for the promotion of
Speaking to the ANA, Mr. Cassoulides said all national issues were
The director of foreign services at the press ministry, Yiannis Petsilas,
said the two countries should "unite their efforts abroad and help each
The seminar also focused on modern communication methods, as well as
Greece's orientations, both recent and long-standing, in the Balkans, the
Black Sea Cooperation countries, the Mediterranean and Europe.
In statements conveyed Monday by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas,
Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed certainty that useful conclusions
will be derived from the seminar regarding "the exercise of an effective
strategic communication for Hellenism."
In addressing the seminar today, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos
is expected to elaborate on the issue of Greece's involvement in Cyprus's
His address will be followed by a discussion on the "Geo-strategic Position
of Cyprus," which will be held with the participation of Cypriot Foreign
Minister Alecos Michaelides.
Turkish helicopter crashes during NATO exercise
A Turkish military helicopter taking part in a NATO exercise crashed
early yesterday morning in international waters south of the eastern Aegean
island of Rhodes, the national defence ministry announced.
According to reports, the bodies of three crewmembers have been recovered
by a US helicopter also taking part in the manoeuvres. A fourth Turkish
crewmember is still missing, as search and rescue operations are continuing.
The helicopter had taken off from the Turkish frigate "Barbaros," with the
cause of the crash initially attributed to mechanical failure.
The helicopter crashed into the sea some 35 miles southeast of Rhodes at
3:15 a.m. local time. The vessel had set sail from Alexandria on Nov. 9
headed for Italy.
Immediately after the crash, a Hellenic Air Force C-130 aircraft flew over
the area and began sending off flares.
The Hellenic Navy frigate "Adrias," which was nearby, rushed to the site
together with air force helicopters from Rhodes.
According to the national defence ministry, the search and rescue operation
is being coordinated by the commander of the Adrias, who also heads the
Along with Greek vessels and aircraft, NATO ships taking part in the
exercise are also continuing search operations.
Greek professor appointed one of 34 UN law committee seats
Greek professor Constantine Economidis was voted into one of the 34
international law committee seats following elections held at Monday's
meeting in the UN headquarters in New York.
UN diplomatic circles stressed the importance of the UN's International Law
Committee, in which those participating represent cultural trends and legal
forms of the international community and guarantee their safeguarding.
Other countries of the Western European Group winning seats on the
Committee were Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Austria, as well as the
United States and Australia, which are included in the same group.
Human rights activist says Ankara waging war against Turkish people
The president of the Human Rights Union of Turkey, Akin Birdal, strongly
criticised Ankara during his speech yesterday at an event in Athens marking
Greek-Turkish friendship, organised by the union and covering political and
social rights in the neighbouring country.
Mr. Birdal spoke of "a war which is being waged for the past 14 years
against the people of Turkey, an unjust war which has cost 24,000 dead, 35,
000 crippled, three million homeless as well as 2,900 villages burnt and
He also expressed the concern of Turkish pacifists for the deterioration of
Greek-Turkish relations and the Imia crisis, suggesting an outlet be found
in the form of contacts between the two peoples on a self-administration
In the evening, a group of extremists gathered outside the stadium in which
the event was being held, shouting sloguns against peace between Greece and
EOT chief says emphasis to focus on infrastructure, airport and port improvements
In presenting the basis axis of Greece's tourism policy, Greek Tourism
Organisation (EOT) Secretary General Vassilis Kourtesis told a press
conference in London yesterday that special emphasis will be given to
modernisation of basic infrastructure works as well as improvements in
airports and ports.
The press conference was held within the framework of an international
tourism exhibition held with the participation of 152 countries.
"We are enforcing a new dynamic programme to enrich our country's tourism
product with new forms of tourism, such as conference tourism, incentives
tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism and sports tourism," Mr.
He added that despite the fact that overnight stays are expected to fall by
11.5 per cent by the end of the year, as opposed to 1994, tourism revenues
are expected to record a 6 per cent rise.
"This means that Greece was visited by higher income tourists," Mr.
European Monetary Institute rep ort on convergence of EU economies released
The national economy ministry yesterday released a European Monetary
Institute report on the progress recorded in the convergence of economies
in the European Union.
The report says that in 1996, inflation in most member-states is low and
stability of prices has been achieved, while in others it has slowed
By contrast, it notes that as regards fiscal rationalisation, progress has
been too slow, as most countries have not reached a situation likely to be
maintained in the long run.
Greece is one of the three countries exceeding the envisaged minimum of 3
per cent inflation as a criterion for participation in the third phase of
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on Jan. 1, 1999, the other two being
Italy with 4.7 per cent, and Spain , with 3.8 per cent.
The report also forecasts that Greece will record a slight fall in the
other criterion for EMU participation, that of public debt/GDP ratio, whose
minimum required is set at 60 per cent.
Large quantity of grain seed to be shipped to Albania
Following a request by two Albanian regional governors in the Dropolis
region and four in the Vourkos region to Greece's general consulate in
Gjirokaster, large quantities of grain seed have started to arrive in the
area fo r sowing in the Dropolis and Vourkos valleys.
Direct mediation by General Consul Nikolaos Kanellos with Athens facilitated
in the provision of such a large quantity of grain seed to ethnic Greek
farmers in the area for the first time in the past six years.
The quantity of grain amounts to 600 tons and is transported from Greece to
Gjirokaster and Sarande with trucks belonging to residents of Dropolis.
Mild with local clouds, with temperatures in Athens ranging from 11-22 C
and in Thessaloniki 9-18 C.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 234.806 Can. dlr.175.802, Australian dlr. 185.048 Pound sterling
387.455, Irish punt 388.765, Cyprus pd 514.253, French franc 46.392, Swiss
franc 186.794 Belgian franc 7.619, German mark 156.994 Finnish mark 51.955,
Dutch guilder 139.991 Danish Kr. 40.857, Swedish Kr. 35.623, Norwegian Kr.
37.375, Austrian Sh. 22.316, Italian lira (100) 15.543 Yen (100) 211.108
Spanish Peseta 1.864, Portuguese Escudo 1.551.