Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-04
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 04/07/1997 (ANA)
- Premier defines centre-left objectives
- Greece to cooperate with Kazakh oil, gas industry
- US awaiting for decision on Aegean, State Dept. says
- Greek Eurodeputy rapporteur on IGC report committee
- Charter arrivals up, but problems remain, hoteliers say
- Olympic Airways raises prices on domestic routes
- Rhodes officials warn OA over air fares
- Greek industrial output up 3.1% in April
- Greek equities slip, finish below 1,500 points
- ECU 1.5 million for drinking water supply network in Greece
- Commission takes Greece to court for sex discrimination
- Greece joins UNESCO intellectual property rights group
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Premier defines centre-left objectives
The 21st century will witness the dilemma between socialism or social
anarchy, and the differences between them are major, Prime Minister Costas
Simitis noted yesterday.
He was addressing a conference by the Institute of Strategic and Development
Studies Andreas Papandreou (ISTAME) on the issue of "The Left in Europe of
the 21st Century" at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr. Simitis said that socialism stands for controlled development by man
for man and individual initiative containing social responsibility and
On the other hand, he said, social anarchy means development under
conditions of ruthless individualism and political crudeness, and
individual initiative without mutual respect, solidarity and social
Referring to Europe, Mr. Simitis said that the centre-left is a political
challenge that gives the opportunity for new power blocs to form and
guarantee development and social cohesion in Europe.
Referring to the differences between socialism and neo-conservatism, Mr.
Simitis said: "We are not all politically the same; we do not resemble in
any way the neo-conservative world of oppressive anarchy, freedom for the
few and bondage of the many". The Right, he said, resembled an apprentice
magician who had unleashed forces beyond his control.
Greece to cooperate with Kazakh oil, gas industry
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said on Thursday that Greece was
seeking closer economic cooperation with resource-rich Kazakhstan,
especially with its oil and gas industries.
"We are interested in productive cooperation which will be mutually
profitable," Mr. Pangalos told reporters after meeting Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbayev at the end of a two-day official visit to the Central
Kazakhstan - a country five times the size of France and with a population
of just 16.7 million people - is attractive because of its huge oil and gas
reserves, the minister said. "Greece is buying important volumes of gas
from Kazakhstan, and we shall also buy oil. We are planning a big pipeline
from Novorossiisk to (the Black Sea port of) Burgas in Bulgaria and then to
the Mediterranean," he said.
Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk is the destination of an oil
pipeline due to be built by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) from
Kazakhstan's huge Tengiz oil field, in line with an agreement signed in May
The CPC deal allows full project financing and construction on the $2
billion project to proceed. CPC will build a 1,500 km (940 mile) pipeline
from Tengiz to Novorossiisk to transport it later to international
The CPC pipeline - to be built by Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman and eight large
oil companies by the end of 1999 - will have an initial capacity of 28
million tonnes a year (560,000 barrels per day) and a peak of 67 million
tonnes a year (1.34 million barrels per day).
Mr. Pangalos did not specify the size of Greek investment in the project
aimed at extending the CPC pipeline, or when it would start and how much
oil his country would buy.
Both Kazakhstan and Greece are dissatisfied with the level of their
commercial relations, although foreign trade jumped last year to $16.5
million from $4.26 million in 1995.
US awaiting for decision on Aegean, State Dept. says
The United States said yesterday it could not promote any initiative in the
Aegean until Greece and Turkey reached an agreement to reduce tension in
US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said "we believe that any
measures to reduce tension that can be agreed and applied in the Aegean
must be implemented by both sides."
Mr. Burns added that confidence-building measures (CBMs) in the Aegean were
still being discussed under the aegis of NATO, while there was no
concluding agreement yet.
"We must await the completion of these talks," he said, adding that "Greece
must be given time to evaluate Turkey's public statements". He was
referring to Ankara's unilateral decision announced earlier this week to
limit its military activity in the Aegean between July 1 and Aug.
Athens responded with reservation to the announcement, insisting for a
three-month moratorium on military overflights in the Aegean.
Greek Eurodeputy rapporteur on IGC report committee
Greek PASOK Eurodeputy and European Socialist Party representative Dimitris
Tsatsos and European Peoples Party representative Mendez de Vigo have been
appointed rapporteurs by the Institutional Issues Committee for the IGC
report. The report, on the results of the Amsterdam Intergovernmental
Conference, will provide the basis for the European Parliament's avis
regarding the revised Treaty which was finalised during the Amsterdam
summit after long consultations. The report is due for appr oval by the
European Parliament on 19 November.
Charter arrivals up, but problems remain, hoteliers say
Tourist arrivals by charter flights are on the rise, the Panhellenic
Federation of Hoteliers announced yesterday.
Using figures from arrivals at airports throughout Greece for June, the
federation warned that the increases did not preclude a drop in prices
offered by tour operators.
According to their data, the largest increase in June was observed at the
airport of Irakleion, Crete, where arrivals rose 20 per cent in June,
compared to the same month last year.
At other destinations, tourist arrivals seemed to increase for Samos (up
7.5 per cent); decrease in Mytilini (down 0.9 per cent) while an increase
of 1 per cent was noted for Corfu.
May also posted increases compared to figures from the same month last year
in terms of charter arrivals. Specifically:Athens (9.8 per cent);
Thessaloniki (15.9 per cent), Irakleio (6.4 per cent), Corfu (1 per cent),
Rhodes (13 per cent), Zakynthos (8.7 per cent), Kos (16.7 per cent) and
Samos (1 per cent).
Despite the increases, however, the hoteliers' federation warned that long-
term infrastructure deficiencies in tourism policy had led to a drop in
prices and an increase in lower-income tourists, while calling on the
government to take measures immediately "before we are led to irreversible
Olympic Airways raises prices on domestic routes
Olympic Airways yesterday approved an average fare increase of about 7 per
cent on most domestic flights.
The state-owned and managed national carrier said it based its decision on
a number of trade and commercial factors, such as an increase in fuel costs,
which it said rose by 43 per cent, and competition from other forms of
On the other hand, the OA board also decided to apply a system of discounts
for certain categories of passengers. Among others, a 20 per cent discount
for children between 2-12 years of age, a 20 per cent discount for young
people between 12 and 24, a d iscount ranging between 25-40 per cent for
families with at least three persons and through fares with a discount
ranging between 21-47 per cent for each passenger using a combination of
domestic flights via Athens.
The new prices for some popular destinations are as follows:
Athens-Hania 16,900 drachmas; Athens-Irakleio 18,500; Athens-Thessaloniki24,
000 (business class); Athens-Thessaloniki 18,600 (economic class); Athens-
Kos 18,000; Athens-Rhodes 21,500; Athens-Corfu 17,300; Athens-Mykonos 15,
700 and Athens-Santorini 18,8 00 drachmas.
Rhodes officials warn OA over air fares
Officials in Rhodes warned yesterday that they would invite foreign
airlines to commence domestic flights to the Dodecanese if state-run
Olympic Airways again raises fares on flights to the island at a higher
rate than on routes to other Greek destination s.
The Rhodes Municipal Council unanimously took the decision after recent
announcements that OA will increase its domestic fares by 9.5 per cent,
while the increase for the Athens-Rhodes route would be 12.5 per cent.
Rhodes Mayor Georgios Yiannopoulos charged that "Olympic Airways is
continuing to perpetrate a blatant injustice against the island, which is
seriously harming the island's tourism and making the movement of residents
Mr. Yiannopoulos said the one-way air fare from Athens to Rhodes is
presently 20,000 drachmas, while the corresponding tickets for the Athens-
Corfu and Athens-Alexandroupolis routes, which take the same time, cost 16,
000 and 14,000 drachmas, respectively .
The municipal council also decided to place itself at the head of protest
actions and at the same time lodge appeals with the Council of State and,
if necessary, the European Union.
Greek industrial output up 3.1% in April
Greek industrial production rose 0.9 percent in the first four months of
1997, the National Statistics Service said yesterday.
Industrial output was 3.1 percent higher in April year-on-year against the
corresponding month last year.
Greek equities slip, finish below 1,500 points
Share prices remained under mild pressure to lose further ground on the
Athens Stock Exchange and finish below the 1,500-point psychological
The general index closed at 1,493.53 points, down 0.67 percent, in subdued
trading. Turnover was a thin 9.8 billion drachmas.
Most sector indices ended lower. Banks fell 1.45 percent, Leasing was 1.85
percent off, Insurance eased 1.14 percent, Investment ended 1.01 percent
down, Industrials rose 0.22 percent, Construction fell 1.57 percent,
Holding increased 0.86 percent and Miscellaneous dropped 0.95 percent.
Traders said the market would remain on a short-term downward correction on
worries over inflation and reports of new financial problems faced by a
number of brokerage firms.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 150 to 57 with another 20 issues
Remek, Chalyps Cement, Viohalco and Keranis scored the biggest gains, while
Lambropoulos, Doudos, Bank of Central Greece and Ergodata suffered the
heaviest losses of the day.
National Bank of Greece closed at 33,300 drachmas, Ergobank at 16,500,
Alpha Credit Bank at 18,010, Titan Cement at 13,885, Intracom at 11,650 and
OTE at 6,385.
ECU 1.5 million for drinking water supply network in Greece
The Commission has approved Cohesion Fund assistance amounting to ECU 1.5
million for a new project in the environment sector in Greece. The project
aims to complete work to replace and extend the drinking-water supply
network of the town of Veria at an overall cost of ECU 1.9 million.
The project to establish a drinking water supply system in Veria in the
Greek region of Central Macedonia involves in particular a network of pipes
stretching 48.8 km.
The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1997.
Commission takes Greece to Court for sex discrimination
Padraig Flynn, European Commissioner with responsibility for Employment and
Social Affairs, announced that the European Commission has decided to bring
a case before the European Court of Justice regarding Greek legislation
applicable to employees of the IKA (National Institute of Social Security)
and employees of DEH (Public Power Company).
This legislation conflicts with European Union law concerning social
security and equal pay. Female employees suffer discrimination compared to
their male colleagues with regard to the method of calculation of their
The infringement specifically concerns discrimination against women
employees of the IKA and their right to a marriage allowance from their
employer under collective agreements negotiated at both branch and national
Although this discrimination was abolished with effect from 1st January
1989, its effect continues to be felt. This is because the marriage
allowance is taken into account when calculating the pension payments of
IKA employees so that women who qualified for a pension before 1st January
1989 or who took advantage of early retirement before this date continue to
suffer discrimination compared to their male counterparts, as they did not
qualify for a marriage allowance before this date.
Female employees of DEH suffered the same problem concerning a family
allowance until the relevant legislation was amended following a Greek High
Court judgment. The discrimination was abolished with effect from 2nd
September 1983 but not with retrospective effect to 1st January 1981 as
required by Community law.
Greece joins UNESCO intellectual property rights group
Greece was accepted as a member of UNESCO's inter-governmental committee
for the protection of intellectual property rights.
The committee adopted a Greek proposal for a survey to be conducted on the
protection of intellectual rights, recognised by the Pact of Rome in
UNESCO's general director for intellectual property rights welcomed
Greece's interest in implementing international agreements on the
protection of artists' property rights.
Representing Greece at the meeting were the general director of the
Intellectual Property Rights Organisation, the country's permanent
representative at UNESCO, and a culture ministry adviser.
Sunny weather will prevail throughout the country today with a rise in
temperatures forecast in the Ionian Sea regions and mainland Greece. Winds
will be variable, moderate to strong. Athens will be sunny with temperatures
between 23-36C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 21-36C.
Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 274.169
Pound sterling 458.641 Cyprus pd 530.581
French franc 46.416 Swiss franc 186.546
German mark 156.443 Italian lira (100) 16.075
Yen (100) 239.796 Canadian dlr. 198.975
Australian dlr. 206.371 Irish Punt 417.731
Belgian franc 7.579 Finnish mark 52.511
Dutch guilder 138.974 Danish kr. 41.071
Swedish kr. 35.248 Norwegian kr. 37.398
Austrian sch. 22.231 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.550