Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/07/1997 (ANA)
- Premier briefs president, PASOK Executive Bureau, on communique
- Cyprus President: Direct talks at 'very preliminary stage'
- Youth forum on human rights founded in Athens
- Papoutsis calls for more Euro-Mediterranean cooperation
- Measures for stricter controls on Greek-Albanian border announced
- Greece's tourism model must change, EOT head says
- Taping of phone conversations legal, High Court rules
- Large drug haul on border, suspect arrested
- Council of State annuls awarding of road project to Italian firm
WEATHER FOREIGN EXCHANGE
NEWS IN DETAIL
Premier briefs president, PASOK Executive Bureau, on communique
Prime Minister Costas Simitis this morning briefed President of the
Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on last week's joint communique between
Greece and Turkey.
Later in the day, in his capacity as president of the ruling PASOK, Mr.
Simitis will chair a meeting of the party's Executive Bureau on the same
issue. The Executive Bureau is also expected to discuss the entire spectrum
of Greek-Turkish relations.
The joint communique was issued last Tuesday after talks between Mr.
Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on the sidelines of the NATO
summit in Madrid. The communique calls for respect for the sovereignty of
each country, international law and treaties as well as resolution of
disputes through peaceful means.
Yesterday, PASOK Secretary Kostas Skandalidis welcomed the joint communique,
adding however, that the possibility of creating a climate of security in
the Aegean depended on Ankara's future actions.
Speaking to reporters in Rhodes, Mr. Skandalidis said "the possibility to
restore a climate of security in the Aegean will be put to the test by
"The Madrid communique is merely a declaration of principles," Mr.
Skandalidis said, repeating statements made by Prime Minister Costas
Cyprus President: Direct talks at 'very preliminary stage'
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has confirmed that UN mediator Diego
Cordovez gave the government side "a second revised paper" and added that
UN-sponsored direct talks are at "a very preliminary stage."
Speaking in New York on Saturday afternoon at the end of a first round of
direct talks between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and
after briefing Cypriot party leaders, the president said "the two sides
submitted observations on the paper we were given and today (Saturday) we
were given a new revised paper."
"We shall discuss this paper in Cyprus at a National Council meeting (top
advisory body to the president on Cyprus), on July 24, and respond to it
before the next round of talks, in August," he said, stressing that the
paper which was submitted yesterda y "is not yet a proposal."
"This is a non-paper and will become a paper if and when there is agreement,
" President Clerides explained.
Asked if the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on Cyprus, Diego
Cordovez, set any conditions, the president replied he "did not set any
conditions, we are trying to prepare a paper and each side has made its
observations on the first draft and now there is a second draft on which we
have to make our observations before meeting in August," scheduled for Aug.
11 to 16, near Geneva.
Asked to say the extent to which Mr. Cordovez took into account the
suggestions of the Greek Cypriot side, President Clerides said "Cordovez
made some amendments we have requested."
Invited to assess the outcome of this first round of talks, the president
said "we are still at a very preliminary stage, we do not as yet have a
joint statement because we have not reached agreement on a paper."
Youth forum on human rights founded in Athens
Youth organisations met in Athens over the past two days to found a forum
to campaign for public awareness on human rights, racism and discrimination
The newly founded Human Rights Forum was coordinated and is supported by
Greece's General Secretariat of Youth, as part of a programme to promote
Meetings opened on Saturday and by yesterday, the groups had voted for a
board, presented their action plan and allocated work, under the motto "all
different, all equal".
The forum decided that in order to promote its goals, it will issue press
releases and provide information to the public on specific examples of
human rights violations, hold meetings, plan information campaigns on
educational, cultural and social issue s as well as decide on an action
plan aimed at state and non-state organisations.
The forum will also cooperate directly with non-governmental organisations
overseas, especially in the European Union.
One of its aims is to use the experience gained by its members during the
anti-racist campaign by the Council of Europe between 1994 and 1996, and
that of the four networks established by the Youth Secretariat. The
networks cover the issues of volunteer s for the environment, cultural
organisations, European unification and youth municipal councils.
Participants included: SOS-Racism, Society of Social Support for Youth,
Greek Homosexual Unity, Union of Solidarity for Ano Liosia Citizens, Youth
Against Racism, Student Movement for the Unification of Europe, Immigrants'
Forum, Organisations Against A IDS, party youth organisations for PASOK,
New Democracy, the Coalition of Left and Progress and Political Spring, the
Caravan of Solidarity, the Women's Lobby and the Research Centre for
Papoutsis calls for more Euro-Mediterranean cooperation
The European Union wants to promote more cooperation between the northern
and southern Mediterranean, envisioning a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade
zone by 2010, EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said in Jordan yesterday.
Mr. Papoutsis, a Greek commissioner responsible for energy, small- and
medium-sized enterprises and tourism, concluded an official two-day visit
to the Mideast country, which included attending the Medpartenariat
In his opening speech, the Commissioner said the EU "aims at promoting a
more balanced economic development between the north and south in the
Mediterranean area, and at creating a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade zone by
Conditions for investments and economic development are better today than
they used to be for a long time, Mr. Papoutsis said, expressing the belief
that this meeting would result in a large number of Euro-Mediterranean
The congress included 150 companies from Jordan and another 400 from EU
members and other European countries.
Measures for stricter controls on Greek-Albanian border announced
The government unveiled a series of measures on Saturday designed to better
protect the Greek-Albanian border from armed gangs and illegal immigrants
attempting to enter Greece from the neighbouring country.
Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos unveiled the measures after
a meeting in the border city of Kastoria, held at the initiative of
Kastoria Prefect Georgios Kapaftsis. The meeting follows an alarmingly high
number of raids in the region b y Albanian armed gangs over recent
The minister said measures included reinforced police patrols and the
establishment of permanent observation posts on the frontier.
Echoing the views of Greek police, Mr. Petsalnikos said that the recent
increase in the number of Albanian nationals illegally entering Greece was
due to a complete lack of border control by Albanian authorities.
Mr. Petsalnikos also touched on the establishment of a Special Border
A draft bill for the establishment of such a force is to be submitted in
Parliament by the public order ministry.
Albanian armed gangs began to raid and terrorise Greek border towns and
villages after the neighbouring country slid into chaos over the past few
months following the collapse of five pyramid investment schemes.
Greece's tourism model must change, EOT head says
The "Greek light, sun and sea" model of tourism is no longer adequate for
foreign tourists, Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) General
Secretary Nikos Skoulas said yesterday.
While inaugurating a new waterpark in Hania, Mr. Skoulas said that mass
holiday tourists now preferred activities and theme parks.
In northern Greece, tourist arrivals remain at the same levels as last year,
while accomodations show an occupancy rate around 50-65 per cent.
Tourism sector businessmen said that they expected an increase in arrivals
in the second half of July, up to September.
Thassos hoteliers president Alexis Doukas said that this year's accomodations
were booked mostly by Yugoslav, Czech, Polish and Russian tourists.
Arrivals of Germans and British tourists fell by 20 and 5 per cent,
respectively, compared to last year's figures, he said.
Taping of phone conversations legal, High Court rules
Taping telephone conversations without approval and the knowledge of the
party on the other end is not illegal, the Supreme Court decided yesterday.
The High Court said taping could be allowed when it concerned the
safeguarding of lawful or other justified and significant public interests,
such as revealing the perpetrators of a crime.
The court ruled that in such cases it was legal to use a recorded
conversation as proof, without this offending the accused person's right to
be defended in court, or annuling a case.
The ruling backed an Athens appeals court decision to use taped conversations
between relatives of suspects that were accused and later convicted in a
double murder and rape case.
Large drug haul on border, suspect arrested
An Albanian national was arrested after crossing the border into Greece on
Friday in possession of a large quantity of hashish, four Kalashnikov
assault rifles and a large number of rounds, police announced on Saturday.
Dashmir Ravia, 40, was arr ested as he approached the village of Argyrohori,
Ioannina, by police detachments from Thessaloniki and Ioannina.
Eight armed Albanians accompanying Ravia had turned back just after
crossing the border. According to reports, the suspect was transporting 225
kilograms of hashish in nine large sacks, which he said had been packed in
his home village of Lazarati for s ale in Greece along with the rifles.
Council of State annuls awarding of road project to Italian firm
The Council of State rescinded on Saturday a government decision to award a
5.5-billion-drachma stretch of the on-going Grevena-Kozani highway project
to the Italian firm Todini Costruzioni Generali SpA.
The decision follows an appeal by the Greece-based ALTE construction
company, which argued that the Italian company did not provide a certificate
verifying an unblemished criminal record, as the bid process required.
The court also judged that the public works ministry broke the law when it
accepted the Italian company's application in the tender process.
The Grevena-Kozani stretch is part of the Egnatia Highway project, which
will span the breadth of northern Greece from the Ionian port of Igoumenitsa
to the Greek-Turkish border when completed.
Fair weather is forecast in most parts of the country with sporadic cloud
in the afternoon. Northerly winds will be moderate. Athens will be mostly
fair, with temperatures ranging from 22-32C, while in Thessaloniki local
clouds are expected in the afternoon, with temperatures from 21-30C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 273.901
Pound sterling 464.931 Cyprus pd 529.093
French franc 46.138 Swiss franc 188.386
German mark 155.898 Italian lira (100) 15.985
Yen (100) 240.639 Canadian dlr. 199.392
Australian dlr. 204.253 Irish Punt 419.219
Belgian franc 7.549 Finnish mark 52.457
Dutch guilder 138.463 Danish kr. 40.918
Swedish kr. 35.460 Norwegian kr. 37.148
Austrian sch. 22.158 Spanish peseta 1.847
Port. Escudo 1.546