Athens competition commemorates centenary of birth of Dimitris
NEWS IN DETAIL
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday urged ruling party PASOK deputies
and the party's central committee to give their fullest support to the
government's economic policies and the 1997 budget.
Speaking at a joint meeting of the party's Parliamentary group and central
committee, which began yesterday morning, Mr. Simitis stressed that there
was no other path than the one the government was currently following.
Mr. Simitis stressed the dangers of marginalisation facing Greece if it
failed to meet Maastricht Treaty criteria, which would allow its participation
in the EU economic and monetary union (EMU), stressing that responsibility
lay with all the members of the party and that implementation of government
policy was not only an issue for the finance ministry but for all, warning
that "if it is not achieved, there will be wide-ranging repercussions".
The budget also foresees establishment of a new body to manage health
spending as well as new forms of social support for large families.
Jobs are projected to increase by 1.3 per cent in the new budget, while
spending on education, health and welfare will total 12 per cent.
Speaking after the prime minister, National Economy and Finance Minister
Yiannos Papantoniou said the budget was "austere, but fair" and that it
attempted to introduce structural changes, such as the establishment of a
wage scale for public servants.
Wage increases will be "restrained but above inflation", he said.
The government's aim in macro-economic terms, the minister added, was to
increase GDP to 4.5-5.0 per cent by the year 2000. He noted that PASOK's
past three years at the helm had brought GDP growth from -0.1 per cent to
3.3 per cent.
This achievement, Mr. Papantoniou said, is an indication in real terms that
Greece's economy is growing at a faster rate than the EU average.
Petsalnikos outlines Greece's Balkan role to Canadian audience
Macedonia-Thrace Minister, Philippos Petsalnikos yesterday presented the
Greek government's strategic options in becoming a source of stability in
the Balkans to the Greek community of Toronto.
Addressing an event on Sunday night, Mr. Petsalnikos, who began his visit
to Canada on Saturday, said the government's aims were directed at
empowering national defence and reinforcing development in the economic,
social and cultural fields.
Focusing on Turkey as the threat facing Greece, the minister said the
political, military and diplomatic establishment governing the neighbouring
country was likely to "continue creating problems for us."
Regarding Thrace, Mr. Petsalnikos said the government aimed at presenting
the Moslems in the region with "equal opportunities, equal rights and equal
participation in the productive and economic making".
Yesterday Mr. Petsalnikos inaugurated the Cultural Centre of the Ontario
Pan-Macedonian Union and announced that two awards will be established
within 1997 - the "Alexander the Great Award," for politicians and the
"Aristotelis Award" for scientists, be stowed, he said, on "Greece's
friends in Canada."
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Alternate Foreign
Minister George Papandreou yesterday attended the first session of a
ministerial summit of Western European Union (WEU) member-states.
After the session, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos expressed his satisfaction over the
fact that general orientations as well as terms and conditions for
establishment of a European Armaments Organisation, which is expected
tomorrow, will be determined by WEU member -states. The decision is
considered as the first step towards creating the European Armaments Agency,
which is envisaged by the Maastricht Treaty.
The organisation is essentially a continuation of the Armaments Group of
western Europe, where, besides the 10 members of the WEU, Denmark, Norway
and Turkey also participate.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos had the opportunity to meet with his counterparts from
Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, as well as with WEU Secretary General
Jose Cutilheiro. Today, he will meet with his counterparts from Spain,
Portugal and France.
On his part, Mr. Papandreou said Greece had already forwarded its positions
regarding the gradual integration of the WEU within the EU as a tool for
common defence policy.
Civil defence forces fire on Turkish illegal immigrant smugglers
Civil defence forces on Sunday fired on a Turkish fishing vessel fleeing
towards the Turkish coast after landing 10 illegal immigrants on the
eastern Aegean islet of Farmakonisi, according to sources in the foreign
and defence ministries.
The same sources expressed displeasure at the lack of adequate policing on
the Turkish coast, as well as the lack of guilty sentences for the few
illegal immigrant smugglers arrested in the neighbouring country.
On its part, the semi-official Anadolu agency reported that a Hellenic
coastguard vessel on Sunday fired on the Turkish boat, adding that one
crewmember had been killed and another injured.
Anadolu reported that the fishing boat had landed seven Iraqi illegal
immigrants on the Greek islet for US$300 each.
He was detained by Turkish authorities and questioned on charges of
violating the border and smuggling individuals out of Turkey, the same
the initiative of the central Macedonia chapter of the Technical Chamber of
During the visit, the Greek delegation is scheduled to discuss issues of
commercial, scientific and trade union interest.
The visit had originally been scheduled for Nov. 19-24, but was postponed
in order to allow a new government in Bucharest to take office following
the Nov. 3 elections.
Diamantopoulou refers to privatisations as tools of gov't's economic policy
Development Undersecretary Anna Diamantopoulou said yesterday that
"privatisations are one of the tools of our (government) economic policy.
The basic one is the 'Industry Business Programme' which, complemented by
privatisations, will contribute to the c rucial efforts of modernisation of
Ms Diamantopoulou was speaking during a conference organised by the
"Naftemboriki" financial daily, held within the framework of the "Money
Show '96" on the subject of "Privatisations - A Question of Survival and
The undersecretary noted that privatisation procedures have been accelerated,
and mentioned the organisation of the development ministry's special
privatisation secretariat and the establishment of a schedule for each
concern being privatised.
She added that procedures for the immediate privatisation of four companies
in the Organisation for the Rehabilitation of Ailing Enterprises have
already been scheduled.
Drys cites need to quickly implement 'TAXIS' programme
Speaking at a conference organised by the finance ministry's training
academy yesterday, Finance Undersecretary George Drys stressed the need for
accelerating procedures for implementation of the comprehensive data
processing system "TAXIS".
Mr. Drys said the main goals of the programme are modernising the
ministry's tax services, improving services rendered to taxpayers, widening
the tax base and combating tax evasion.
He also announced that 10,000 tax bureau employees will be given training
in light of the new informatics system's implementation.
A group of Chinese specialists on the raising of silkworms will pay a two-
day visit to Soufli, Evros from Nov. 27-28.
According to an announcement, the visit by the Chinese delegation will take
place within the framework of cooperation between the National Agricultural
Research Foundation (ETHIAGE) and the state-run Chinese Research and
The two foundations have signed an agreement on common research programmes
in the sector of silkworm cultivation being applied in Thrace on new
varieties of cotton and cultivation as well as production of mushrooms.
ETHIAGE is developing strong research activities with Bulgaria, Cyprus and
China. In this framework, a cooperation protocol is expected to be signed
soon with Bulgaria on developing three research programmes concerning
silkworm cultivation, cheese and cattle production.
The drachma appreciated against all foreign currencies in October,
according to weighted parity indicators followed by the Centre for Export
Studies and Research (KEEM).
Specifically, the weighted parity indicator for all foreign currencies fell
by 0.57 per cent, and that of European currencies by 0.56 per cent - on the
basis of the weightings of the countries total foreign trade (imports-
In relation to all other currencies, except the US dollar, the weighted
parity indicator fell by 1.45 per cent on the basis of their participation
in the country's external trade.
From developments in the first 10 months of 1996, it can be deduced that if
the change in the drachma's parity continues at the same average rate until
the end of the year, its cumulative appreciation will reach 2 per cent
against all currencies, and 1. 6 per cent in relation to European
Thessaloniki hosts business conference
A business conference, entitled "the strategic options of a company facing
the year 2000," is due to be held on Friday in Thessaloniki.
The conference, organised by the Thessaloniki Trade Association and the
Thessaloniki Economists Society, aims at elaborating on the dilemmas facing
companies on the threshold of the 21st century.
Professor and Director of Research at the Economics Department of the
University of Birmingham, Andrew Cox, will elaborate on the issues.
The conference will be held at the Thessaloniki Trade and Industry
A British film, Udayan Prasad's "Brothers in Trouble" won the first prize
at the 37th International Thessaloniki Film Festival's foreign film
category on Sunday night.
"Brothers" marked the Indian-born director's first film, and tells the
story of a Bengali illegal immigrant who settles in a deprived north London
Presided over by Belgian director Chantal Akerman, the international jury
awarded the silver prize to Spanish director Isabel Coixet for "Cosas que
nunca te dije" (All that I never told you), while actress Lilli Taylor won
the best actress award.
The best director award went to Taiwanese director Tso Chi Chang for his
film "Ah-Chung", while the best script award was divided between Americans
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for "Citizen Ruth" and by Frenchmen Lucas
Belvaux and Jean-Pierre Leaud fo r "Pour rire" (To laugh).
Cypriot director Andreas Pantzis' "The Slaughter of the Rooster" and Greek
director Nikos Grammatikos' "Absentees" shared the best film award in the
George Corraface and Valeria Golino were also awarded the best actor and
actress honours for their roles in "The Slaughter of the Rooster".
"Slaughter" took six years to film and is an international co-pro-duction
between Cyprus, Greece and Italy, as well as participation from Swedish,
German, Bulgarian and Syrian interests, not to mention support by the
Council of Europe's "Eurimages".
More than 35,000 film fans, compared to last year's total audience count of
20,000, visited the festival and watched the Greek films.
Another noteworthy film was Aliki Danezi-Knutsen's "Roads and Oranges",
which has received an offer to participate in the Brussels Film Festival.
Ms Danezi-Knutsen, a 23-year-old Greek Cypriot, describes in her film the
travels of two girls in Turkey on the trail of their father,missing during
the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
She told the ANA that "I have no idea of politics...I did not make a
"I made a road movie,where the issue of the missing is directly projected
without heroics or hate, without melodrama. The issue for me is the road of
self-knowledge, a journey with which the viewer can empathise," the
The first international competition dedicated to the memory of renowned
Greek conductor and composer Dimitris Mitropoulos opens in Athens next week,
marking the 100th anniversary since his birth.
The five-day competition, which is set to become an annual event, is open
to orchestra conductors of all nationalities up to the age of 40. The
competition, organised by the Orchestra of Colours in close collaboration
with the Athens Concert Hall, and under the aegis of the ministry of
culture, will take place November 24-28 before a jury comprising distinguished
musicians from the international world of music under the chairmanship of
conductor Claudio Scimone.
Out of approximately 300 entries, the jury has selected 32 candidates in a
preliminary round to take part in the finals in a November 28 concert at
the Athens Concert Hall that will be open to the public.
According to Traute Lutz, administrator of the competition, there has been
considerable interest from Britain in the competition, and a Briton was
among the finalists.
Three prizes will be awarded. The first prize is accompanied by an eight
million drachma (approx. $30,000) cash award, the second prize five million
drachmas ($18,000) and the third prize three million drachmas ($10,
Sunny to partly cloudy in most parts of the country with possible rainfall
in the afternoon. Temperatures ranging from 11-18C in Athens and from 7-14C
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