Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-01
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 01/07/1997 (ANA)
- Simitis, Clerides confer on imminent NY talks on Cyprus
- Greece welcomes conduct of Albanian elections
- Greek-US contacts on security issues
- International team works on ozone monitoring project
- New bourse index for ASE
- Kranidiotis meets with US official regarding SECI
- US: no evidence on Turkish claims of Greek help to Kurds
- Return of Parthenon marbles discussed
- Greek military chief on official visit to Poland
- Greek navy chief to visit Bulgaria
- Civil aviation authority work stoppages
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis, Clerides confer on imminent NY talks on Cyprus
Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides today
stressed the close cooperation between the governments of the two countries
after a two-hour meeting today.
Clerides is in Athens for consultations ahead of his scheduled UN-sponsored
talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York on July
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Simitis said the Clerides-Denktash
talks should serve as a starting point or even lead to a just and viable
solution of the Cyprus problem in accordance with UN resolutions and
decisions taken at Community summits in 1977 and 1989.
Simitis reiterated that the international community should realise that it
was the Turkish side which should conform with international legality and
remove the consequences of its invasion and occupation of one third of the
The premier welcomed the initiatives being undertaken aimed at finding a
settlement to the problem, provided they were within the framework set by
the UN Secretary General.
The prospect of Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Simitis stressed,
could act as a catalyst for developments in the Cyprus problem, ''which
means that the solutions being pursued must be compatible with European law
Summing up Greece's primary objectives with respect to Cyprus, Simitis said
they were ''independence, territorial integrity, security, sovereignty and
Cyprus' accession to the EU''.
Thanking Simitis and the Greek government for their support to date,
''without which it would not be possible now to hope for some success'',
Clerides said that in all his contacts with Athens, decisions had been
taken unanimously on the best way to handle the national issue.
Clerides said the Cyprus government would be entering into talks with
Denktash with ''good intentions'' but determined to protect the just causes
and interests of the island republic.
Both Clerides and Simitis noted that Nicosia had invited the Turkish
Cypriot side to participate in negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the EU,
through chambers of commerce or trade union organisations which express
Turkish Cypriot interests.
Clerides underlined however that there could be only one Cypriot delegation,
adding that the entire issue would be discussed with Denktash if it is
raised by the Turkish Cypriot leader at the New York talks.
Greece welcomes conduct of Albanian elections
The Greek government today expressed satisfaction at the way in which
general elections were held in Albania and the fact that all the political
forces in the neighbouring country had accepted the result.
''All this indicates that the situation is returning to normal,''
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, describing this as a positive
The further strengthening of relations between the two countries will help
protect the rights of the ethnic Greek community in Albania, Reppas
Greek-US contacts on security issues
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos today had talks with US
Senator Paul Sarbanes on issues related to Washington's overall policy on
peace, security and cooperation in Europe, developments in the Balkan
region and Greek-US relations.
Also present at the meeting, which comes shortly after talks between
Tsohatzopoulos and Sarbanes in Washington, was US Ambassador in Athens
Sarbanes described as ''very successful'' Tsohatzopoulos' visit to the US,
noting that the minister had presented a clear picture of the situation in
the region during his talks with US officials.
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou later had talks with Sarbanes,
again attended by Niles.
The meeting between Papandreou and Sarbanes was within the framework of
direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot
leader Rauf Denktash under UN auspices in New York on July 9.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sarbanes said the purpose of his
talks with Papandreou was ''for us to try and reduce tension in the
region'', expressing the hope that the US would contribute in this
Papandreou said he had exchanged views ''in depth'' with the US senator on
issues of interest to the two sides.
Asked by reporters about the ultimate aim of his visit, Sarbanes said he
did not have any special role and would remain in Greece for three
International team works on ozone monitoring project
An international experimental research programme on ozone levels in the
atmosphere will be carried out in Kalavryta from July 21 to August
The initiative for the programme belongs to professor of atmospheric
physics at Athens University, Costas Varotsos.
Under the programme, the World Meteorological Organisation and the National
Centre for Atmospheric Research of the United States have assigned to an
Athens University ozone and solar radiation research team the taking of
measurements in the area of Kalyvryta.
International environmental organisations have rated the area in question
in the Peloponnese as ideal for conducting atmosphere-related experiments.
As part of the same programme, research teams from the USA, Russia, Romania,
the Czech Republic, Egypt and Germany will be coming to Kalavryta with
their own experimental equipment.
The measuring instruments will be installed in a specially laid out area in
the Kalavryta ski centre, which is currently being prepared by the local
Measurements of ozone and solar ultra-violet radiation will be taken daily
from dawn to dusk in the clear atmosphere of Kalavryta which also has the
advantage of relatively high altitude.
The research findings will be published in a special volume to be presented
at an exhibition organised by the World Meteorological Organisation, Athens
New bourse index for ASE
Greece's bourse will acquire a new index on September 24 devised by FTSE
International and the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) in order to lure more
international investors into the market.
Running parallel to the bourse's existing general share index, the new
gauge is based on 20 of the the largest and most liquid stocks, officials
of the two companies told a news conference today.
"The new FTSE/ASE 20 index is an important step in developing the Athens
market," bourse chairman Manolis Xanthakis said.
FTSE International, which is jointly owned by the Financial Times and the
London Stock Exchange, was set up to manage and develop equity and bond
indices. Its best-known index is the UK's FTSE 100.
Due to be calculated and operated by the bourse, the Athens index has been
designed to support derivative trading when legislation allowing a
secondary market is passed. FTSE International will mirror calculation and
act as auditors.
The share composition of the FTSE/ASE 20 will accurately track the movement
of the bourse, the only emerging market in the European Union. The index is
likely to be used for performance measurement, benchmarking, and as a basis
for index tracking funds.
An independent advisory committee comprising representatives of ASE, the
Greek investment community, international fund managers, and FTSE
International has agreed the index's design, the ground rules for operation
and its initial constituents.
"It is particularly exciting to be able to work with the Athens Stock
Exchange. Throughout Europe a new equity investor culture is growing in
every country, while investors seek opportunities further and further
afield," FTSE International's managing director Mark Makepeace said.
FTSE International indices have published ground rules and are managed by
independent advisory committees in order to ensure independence and
Kranidiotis meets with US official regarding SECI
Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis held talks yesterday with US
ambassador Richard Shifter, President Bill Clinton's special adviser on the
Initiative for Cooperation in Southeastern Europe (SECI), which focuses on
improving and developing coopera tion between Balkan countries. An
extensive review was made of activities being developed in the framework of
the initiative, aimed at strengthening regional cooperation between
countries in southeastern Europe through the development of economic,
technic al and environmental cooperation.
Mr. Shifter stressed the importance of Greece's participation in the SECI
initiative, inter-border cooperation programmes aimed at rendering
technical assistance and improving infrastructure at border crossings of
member-states which are pa rt of this initiative.
Mr. Kranidiotis said Greece participates actively in all initiatives
strengthening cooperation in the Balkans and will offer all support
possible for activities developing in the framework of the initiative.
According to reports, the US attributes particular significance to Greece's
active participation in the success of the SECI initiative and assesses
that the leading role it can play in the region will help substantially in
consolidating peace, stability and development in the Balkans.
US: no evidence on Turkish claims of Greek help to Kurds
Acting US State Department spokesman John Dinger said yesterday that the
United States does not have any indications to confirm Turkish allegations
that a Greek military officer was training Kurdish separatists.
Replying to a Turkish reporter, who also quoted Turkish sources as saying
that the officer had been killed, Mr. Dinger referred to a recent statement
by the Greek government spokesman that these charges were "unfounded".
Return of Parthenon Marbles discussed
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos raised the issue of the Parthenon
Marbles' return to Greece from the British Musuem during a meeting with
British National Heritage Undersecretary for the Arts Mark Fisher, on the
sidelines of the EU culture ministers' summit here.
Mr. Venizelos, who told Mr. Fisher that Athens was willing to discuss the
issue on bilateral level, told reporters that the meeting was "especially
"The discussion has been clear and creative," he said. Mr. Venizelos handed
a text to Mr. Fisher containing Athens' positions on the issue.
"I told Mr. Fisher that we raise the issue not in the name of the Greek
government and history but in the name of the world's cultural heritage,
international cultural sensitivity and mainly in the name of the monument's
Greek military chief on official visit to Poland
The chief of the National Defence General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Athanasios
Tzoganis, will visit Poland at the invitation of his Polish counterpart,
The Greek official, who leaves tomorrow for Warsaw, is scheduled to meet
Poland's political and military leadership, as well as the Polish
parliament's defence committee.
During talks with Lt.-Gen. Tzoganis, Polish officials are likely to repeat
their proposals in relation to the purchase by Greece of Polish-made
transport helicopters, aircraft and AWACS-type radars.
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos was briefed on the Polish
proposals during a recent visit to Warsaw.
Talks are also expected to focus on NATO expansion and issues of mutual
Greek navy chief to visit Bulgaria
The Navy General Staff announced that Hellenic Navy chief Vice-Adm. L.
Paliogiorgos has accepted an invitation by his Bulgarian counterpart, Adm.
Kristov Kontrov, and will leave for Varna tomorrow to observe military
Officials from NATO have also been invited to observe aeronautical
exercises in the sea region of Varna.
Civil aviation authority work stoppages
Operations at the country's airports will face problems due to strike
actions called by employees at the Civil Aviation Authority (YPA).
The federation of employees announced yesterday that it will go ahead with
a series of work stoppages, starting tonight from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
The work stoppage will be repeated during the same hours on Thursday and
Friday nights, while on Saturday night employees will stop work at 10 p.m.
until 6 a.m. Monday morning.
However, the YPA employees decision was depending on last night's meeting
between the president of the YPA employees' unions and Transport Minister
The employees said they will go ahead with the work stoppages on demands of
unpaid overtime, night-time and holiday-time, in spite of the fact they had
been promised to receive backpay by June 1.
Fair weather will prevail in most parts of the country today. Locals clouds
in central and northern Greece with the possibility of intermittent storms
in the afternoon. Winds northerly light to moderate. Fair weather in Athens
with temperatures between 23-36C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 19-32C.
Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 273.018
Pound sterling 453.721 Cyprus pd 530.343
French franc 46.386 Swiss franc 186.952
German mark 156.424 Italian lira (100) 16.029
Yen (100) 238.437 Canadian dlr. 197.765
Australian dlr. 203.360 Irish Punt 411.938
Belgian franc 7.582 Finnish mark 52.477
Dutch guilder 138.999 Danish kr. 41.097
Swedish kr. 35.238 Norwegian kr. 37.224
Austrian sch. 22.237 Spanish peseta 1.852
Port. Escudo 1.550