Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-07
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 07/07/1997 (ANA)
- Premier leaves for important NATO summit in Madrid
- US seeks to impose its views for smaller NATO enlargement
- Harmonisation with EU imperative for DEH to face competition
- Solana does not see armed conflict between Greece and Turkey
- NATO headquarters issue to be discussed at December summit
- Sofia counting on Athens' support for EU, NATO accession
- V. Papandreou says tourism revenue still dropping
- Solar refrigerator inaugurated in Crete
- Wanted German suspect arrested in Halkidiki
- Greece 4th at Eurobasket
- IOC delegate from Peru satisfied with Olympiad facilities
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Premier leaves for important NATO summit in Madrid
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will leaves for Madrid today to attend the
Tuesday's NATO summit, accompanied by Press Minister Dimitris Reppas and
Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis.
The main issues on the agenda will be the alliance's enlargement and new
structure, but according to consultations held to date, it does not appear
possible that decisions will be taken on the new structure.
Ankara will be represented in Madrid by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel
and new Foreign Minister Ismail Jem. There is no scheduled meeting between
Mr. Simitis and Mr. Demirel. Diplomatic sources said that if there is a
meeting, it will have a social nature.
According to an ANA dispatch from Brussels, the leaders of NATO member-
states will make a last-ditch effort to find certain compromise solutions
to their differences, although being divided over NATO's future form,
methods of operation and military targets.
The idea of France returning to NATO's military structure is accompanied by
a second concerning the deep restructuring of NATO's functions. In short,
this means that European Union countries which are proceeding in an
irregular fashion but speedily towards their Economic and Monetary Union
(EMU) need an "internal" coordination of their defence and security.
However, the proposal for the creation of a European security pylon in NATO
does not meet with the understanding by the United States. The US views
with distrust France's claim that the Europeans must be able to decide and
execute action of a military nature by themselves in the framework of the
West European Union (WEU), but using NATO's logistics structure in such
US seeks to impose its views for smaller NATO enlargement
On the question of NATO's enlargement, the United States has sought to
impose its view of the new European security order decreeing that only
three former Warsaw Pact states - Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary -
may join NATO in the first wave.
Many European allies, among them France, Italy and Greece, want Romania and
Slovenia be added to that list, arguing that they qualify both as
democratic market economies and as states in need of security on the edge
of Black Sea and Balkan danger zones.
US President Bill Clinton, who spent the weekend relaxing with King Juan
Carlos on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca, made it clear before
leaving Washington he would not allow more than three entrants now.
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said on Saturday there was no
consensus yet on the number of states to be admitted, nor on any assurance
to be given to those who do not join in the first wave, probably in
To avoid being seen as giving his blessing to the enlargement, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin decided not to go to Madrid, where 28 east European
nations will join the 16 NATO leaders for the first meeting of a new Euro-
Atlantic Partnership Council on Wednesday.
Harmonisation with EU imperative for DEH to face competition
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou on Saturday underlined the urgent
need for Greece's national legislation on power production to be harmonised
with that of other European Union member-states. She spoke at the second
day of a three-day conference on the energy sector entitled "The European
trade union movement before the challenge posed by the deregulation of the
electric p ower market" that was organised by the Public Power Corp. (DEH)
Ms Papandreou said harmonisation was an absolute necessity if Greece was to
successfully face competition in the power production market after the year
"The government is determined at the earliest to pass a law defining the
framework for the overall operation of the electricity market, so that DEH
will not be unprepared for the...tough competition which will be completely
new for the utility," Ms Papandreou said.
She described as "a great success" the four-year grace period secured by
Greece from the EU, which means that the relevant Community directive on
the deregulation of the electrical power market will come into force in
Greece as of February 2001.
Ms Papandreou stressed that the public nature of DEH should be preserved,
adding however, that this would only be possible if the state-controlled
utility was competitive.
The minister predicted that following the enforcement of the Community
directive, only a small share of the domestic market would pass to the
private sector, due to the high investment cost entailed and the comparatively
small size of Greece's electrical power market.
Solana does not see armed conflict between Greece and Turkey
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said he does not believe a war will
break out between Greece and Turkey.
In an interview with the Sunday newspaper "To Vima", Mr. Solana said Greece
and Turkey are two faithful members of the alliance. Replying to a question
on a possible armed conflict between the nations, he said "to tell the
truth, I do not foresee a conf rontation between these two countries."
Replying to another question on whether he ruled out the possibility of an
incident, he said that "there might be tensions between the two countries,
but I do not see a confrontation."
NATO headquarters issue to be discussed at December summit
The issue of new NATO headquarters will be discussed after the Madrid
summit and at the next alliance summit in December, National Defence
Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said while in the Ukraine.
The Greek minister arrived in the city of Lviv to observe the exercise
"Cooperative Neighbour '97", which is part of the NATO-sponsored programme
"Partnership for Peace." Greek military forces also participated in the
Greece is responsible for coordinating the 13 countries participating in
the exercise, due to be concluded this week.
Sofia counting on Athens' support for EU, NATO accession
Bulgaria is counting on Greece's assistance for the promotion of Bulgarian
interests vis-a-vis the European Union and NATO, Bulgarian president Petar
Stoyanov said in a television interview here yesterday, following his
official visit to Greece.
Commenting on his visit to Athens, the first by a Bulgarian head of state
in eight years, Mr. Stoyanov said his talks were "parti-cularly effective"
and conducted "in a climate of good will". "Greek-Bulgarian relations are
defined not just in the c ontext of two neighbouring and friendly countries
but assume a new meaning and framework in the light of Bulgaria's strategic
objective for accession to the EU and NATO," Mr. Stoyanov said, stressing
that Athens clearly supports Sofia's bid for accession to the two
V. Papandreou says tourism revenue still dropping
The tourism sector was the focus of Development Minister Vasso Papandreou's
address to a ruling PASOK party meeting on Rhodes.
Ms Papandreou said that tourism in Greece was operating in a "vicious
circle". Although tourist arrivals have increased, income created by
tourism has actually dropped as hotels are offering greater discounts to
foreign operators, she said.
Presenting a national strategy for the sector, the minister said that the
current model of mass tourism needs to be replaced or added to with
additional forms of tourism, such as ecological, cultural, marine, rural,
She also stressed the need for the development of additional tourism
infrastructure, with facilities such as golf courses, thalassotherapy
centres, conference centers etc.
Ms Papandreou also underlined the need for more luxury hotel accommodations
to assist the growth of "high-end tourism", saying that first category and
luxury hotel beds accounted for only 27 per cent of the total.
Solar refrigerator inaugurated in Crete
A Renewable Energy Sources Centre and a solar refrigerator were inaugurated
in the Vatali Prasse region near Hania, Crete last night, which will be
used by communities in the region for the needs of refrigerating and
preserving farm and stockbreeding prod ucts.
The ceremony was attended by Agriculture Undersecretary Vassilis Geranidis,
the North Rhine Research Minister Mr. Brun, the Palestinian Higher
Education Minister Mr. Abrawi, the Palestinian Minister to the Presidency
Abu-Ada and the Jordanian Commerce Minister Mr. Malki.
Wanted German suspect arrested in Halkidiki
A German national wanted by Interpol for fraud and embezzlement in his
country involving millions of deutschmarks was arrested on Friday in
Polygyros, Halkidiki, police sources said here Saturday.
George-Ralf Planck (phonetic spelling), 50, had been staying in a rented
apartment near Vourvourou.
During his stay in Greece, Planck is alleged to have used forged documents,
including a false Belgian passport and a driver's licence in the name of
Police stopped him on Friday afternoon on the Nea Moudania-Sithonia highway
and after checking his fingerprints, ascertained that it was Planck.
The suspect was due to appear before a public prosecutor in Polygyros,
charged with using forged documents, while the procedures have already
begun for his extradition.
Greece 4th at Eurobasket
Greece's national men's basketball team came fourth at the European
Basketball Championship here after losing yesterday to Russia 97-77.
Yugoslavia beat Italy 61-49 retaining the championship.
On Saturday night Greece lost to Yugoslavia 88-80 in a semi-final match and
lost the opportunity to play in the final.
IOC delegate from Peru satisfied with Olympiad facilities
Peru's International Olympics Committee (IOC) delegate, Ivan Dibos,
yesterday said he was satisfied with a presentation of Athens' candidacy to
host the Olympic Games in 2004.
The presentation was made for him by candidacy committee president Yianna
Mr. Dibos was given a guided tour of sports installations at Peace and
Friendship Stadium and the Athens Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Immediately after a ceremony at the "Park for IOC members" on Friday where
he planted an olive tree bearing his name, Mr. Dibos said: "I have planted
many trees as mayor of Lima, but what I feel today I have never felt
before." Two more IOC members arrived in Athens on Saturday. They are
Vitaly Smirnov from Russia and Nat Intrapana from Thailand.
A two-day heatwave that gripped Greece over the weekend subsided yesterday
evening. Strong northerly winds in the west and north with few local clouds
and possible local showers and thunderstorms. Athens will be sunny with a
drop in temperatures ranging from 23-35C. Thessaloniki will be sunny to
partly cloudy with a possible thunderstorm at night in the mountainous
regions with temperatures between 20-32C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 273.296
Pound sterling 460.883 Cyprus pd 530.383
French franc 46.344 Swiss franc 186.436
German mark 156.166 Italian lira (100) 16.040
Yen (100) 241.125 Canadian dlr. 197.805
Australian dlr. 203.955 Irish Punt 416.243
Belgian franc 7.568 Finnish mark 52.493
Dutch guilder 138.746 Danish kr. 41.017
Swedish kr. 35.442 Norwegian kr. 37.508
Austrian sch. 22.181 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.548