Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-29
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 29/07/1997 (ANA)
- Greece takes delivery of four new F-16 fighter jets
- Stringent security measures for World Athletics Championships
- Mirage jet crashes in sea, pilot missing
- Greece's new Ambassador to Italy presents credentials
- Greek envoy submits memorandum to US gov't on Turkish violations
- Chief of Staff addresses 'Athena '97 Crisis Handling' seminar
- Impressive `Athens 2004` Olympic Games candidacy presentation
- Balkan university network set up to promote friendship
- Olympics Windsurfing gold medallist in Aegean crossing tomorrow
- Dollar ends at Dr 288.4, sets fifth straight record
- Alexandroupolis meeting on creation of international trade centre
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece takes delivery of four new F-16 fighter jets
The first four F-16 fighter jets of a batch of 40 ordered by Greece in 1992
arrived at the 111 Fighter Wing at Nea Aghialos base yesterday, while the
government will tomorrow take the final decision awarding the tender for
the modernisation of 39 Hellenic Air Force Phantom F-4 jets.
The four F-16 Block 50 -- two twin-seater and two single-seater jets --
were flown to Greece by US pilots via Ramstein, Germany.
The new aircraft are equipped with improved radar systems, a more powerful
engine and an enhanced weapons platform as compared to the F-16s already in
service with the Hellenic Air Force.
Greek pilots had visited the US to receive training for the new aircraft
and they will in turn train colleagues here.
The official entry into service of the new aircraft will be marked by a
special ceremony in late September to be attended by National Defence
Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
The government said yesterday that the final decision awarding the tender
for the modernisation of 39 Hellenic Air Force Phantom F-4 jets would be
taken at tomorrow's meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs
and Defence (KYSEA).
On the basis of the tender terms, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said,
one of which is that the aircraft must be ready by the end of the year 2000,
it had been decided that the bid of the German company -- DASA -- was
superior to that of the US firm which participated in the tender.
Stringent security measures for World Athletics Championships
Over 9,000 policemen will be on duty equipped with the very latest
equipment when the IAAF World Athletics Championships open in Athens on
Friday, Attica police chief Ioannis Georgakopoulos said yesterday.
The giant security operation got under way last Friday and was immediately
apparent to Athenians unaccustomed to seeing so many policemen and cars
patrolling the capital.
Mr. Georgakopoulos said the operation would peak on Friday and continue
until the end of the championships on August 10.
Some 7,500 officers, supported by approximately 1,500 police cadets, will
be on duty during the games, while increased security measures will be
taken for the Marathon and long distance walking races.
Mr. Georgakopoulos said the police would be providing security from the
moment teams arrive at Athens international airport and are escorted to
Police officers will accompany the teams as they travel to and from the
Athens Olympic Sports Complex each day, while security at the hotels will
In particular during the games, Mr. Georgakopoulos said, the police will
carry out stringent checks of people entering the hotels at which athletes
will be staying.
Meanwhile it was announced that International Olympics Committee (IOC)
President Juan Antonio Samaranch will arrive in Athens on Thursday, eve of
the start of the IAAF Championships, while nother prominent IOC member,
Prince Albert of Monaco, is due on August 4.
Mirage jet crashes in sea, pilot missing
A Hellenic Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter plane crashed into the sea
northeast of the island of Skyros yesterday morning as it was carrying out
a training flight, and its pilot was missing, Airforce sources said.
Two helicopters and a C-130 plane joined nearby ships in a search operation
for Lt. Ioakeim Pantelakis, an experienced pilot with 420 flight hours on
Wreckage from the Mirage was spotted 25 nautical miles northeast of
The jet-fighter took off with another Mirage from Tanagra airforce base on
a routine training flight in interception and went crashing into the sea at
10:50, the sources said.
A committee of experts has been set up to investigate the causes of the
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that all Greeks were
grieved by the tragic accident. He said that the tough training by the
Greek Airforce to enable it to meet the responsibility it has to defend the
country, also had its costs.
Greece's new Ambassador to Italy presents credentials
Greece's new Ambassador to Italy Alexandros Sandis was received by Italian
President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro at the Quirinale Presidential Mansion
yesterday and presented his credentials to him.
Private talks held after the relevant ceremony focused on references to
close and traditional ties between the two countries, while Mr. Sandis also
took the opportunity to brief President Scalfaro on recent developments in
Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.
Greek envoy submits memorandum to US gov't on Turkish violations
Greece's Ambassador in Washington has submitted a memorandum to the US
government setting out in detail the latest spate of violations by Turkish
warplanes of Greek airspace over the Aegean, government spokesman Dimitris
Reppas said yesterday.
Confirming press reports of the memorandum, Mr. Reppas said it clearly
stated Greece's position that "such phenomena not only fail to help but
upset the climate which is being aspired to following the Madrid communique".
He was referring to the joint communique signed by Prime Minister Costas
Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel early this month on the
sidelines of the recent NATO summit in Madrid, defining the principles
which should govern Greek-Turkish rela tions.
"These phenomena (violations) may be sporadic but they must stop," Mr.
Reppas said, clarifying that similar memorandums had not been submitted to
Chief of Staff addresses 'Athena '97 Crisis Handling' seminar
Greece's military chief said yesterday that respect for internat- ional law,
treaties and human rights should serve as an important means of communication
and cooperation between countries.
"Dedication to the principles of consistency and respect for international
laws, agreements and treaties, respect for human rights and the preservation
and promotion of democratic ideals and values constitute the main means of
communication and cooperat ion between countries, and through this
cooperation we shall be able to help other countries either avoid a
possible crisis or, if they have already become embroiled, to revert to a
situation of peace," General (Air Force) Athanasios Tzoganis said in an
address to the seminar "Athena '97 Crisis Handling", organised by the
national defence general staff within the framework of the Joint Action
for Peace initiative.
Mr. Tzoganis noted that much progress had been made regarding the provision
of assistance to "hot spots" following the decisions of the competent
international organisations, citing in particular the cases of Bosnia and
more recently, Albania.
While remarking that crises and disputes had not been reduced world-wide
"either in number or in cruelty", Mr. Tzoganis said this should "encourage
us to join forces in order to de-escalate tension, resolve crises and even
put an end to wars".
The Athena '97 seminar is the first of its kind to be held in a NATO member
state. Taking part are politicians and military officials from Greece,
Britain, Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Holland, Poland,
Romania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and the United States.
Impressive `Athens 2004` Olympic Games candidacy presentation
Presentation of the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games candidacy was impressive in
Winnipeg where the 34th Panamerican Sports Session (PASO) was held on the
occasion of the Panamerican Games to be held in this city in 1999.
Representations from all five candidate cities for the 2004 Olympics
(Athens, Rome, Stockholm, Buenos Aires and Cape Town) arrived in the
Canadian city to present their candidacies during their last joint
appearance before September 5, when the members of the International
Olympics Committee will gather in Lausanne to select the city which will
host the 2004 Olympiad.
A message by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch was read during the
session and the presentations of the candidacies was made in the presence
of the Panamerican Games Executive Committee, chaired by Mario Vasquez
Rania from Mexico, while representativ es from all the countries of Latin,
Central and North America, as well as 10 IOC members, were also present.
The Greek representation was headed by "Athens 2004" candidacy committee
President Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki who presented plenty of audiovisual
material concerning the Greek capital's candidacy and drew favourable
comments from those present.
At the end of the presentation, sports officials from countries on the
American continent congratulated Ms Angelopoulou and spoke positively of
"the degree of Athens' readiness, both with regard to sports installations
and major infrastructure works."
Balkan university network set up to promote friendship
Twenty universities of the Balkans have set up the 'Haemos' University
Network to promote cooperation and friendship between countries facing
radical socioeconomic changes, the University of Thrace announced
Founding members include universities from Albania, Serbia, the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey,
the Ukraine and Russia.
Greek universities participating in the network besides the one in Thrace
include the universities of Ioannina, Thessaloniki, and Macedonia.
Membership to the network is open to universities from Europe in general as
associate members. The network also hopes to contribute to the work of the
Association of European Universities.
Olympics Windsurfing gold medallist in Aegean crossing tomorrow
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou will inaugurate the crossing of the
Aegean Sea by Greek Atlanta Olympics Windsurfing gold medallist Nikos
Kaklamanakis under the Temple of Zeus at Sounion at 11.30 tomorrow
Following close cooperation with the National Meteorological Service (EMY),
Kaklamanakis decided to start his effort tomorrow since the northerly winds
he hoped for are already blowing in the Aegean Sea.
The "Aegean Challenge '97" itinerary anticipates the coverage of 120
nautical miles from Sounion to Amoudi beach on the island of Santorini on
the first day. Kaklamanakis and the group following him, three mechanised
security boats and a Greek Navy ship, will stay in Santorini tomorrow night
as guests of the local authorities before setting out for Iraklion, Crete,
on Thursday morning. The termination will take place on the same day on
Ms Papandreou will welcome Kaklamanakis in Crete
The whole effort has received widespread international coverage, while the
effort will receive close coverage by all Greek TV crews as well as by many
foreign correspondents who are already arriving for the event.
Dollar ends at Dr 288.4, sets fifth straight record
The US dollar yesterday maintained its unbridled ascent on Greece's
domestic foreign exchange market in line with its jump on world markets,
setting an all- time high for the fifth straight day.
The US currency finished at 288.40 drachmas at the central bank's daily fix
from 286.60 on Friday, up 0.63 percent. Commercial banks will be selling
the greenback at 292.726 drachmas today.
The dollar has gained 2.27 percent, or 6.4 drachmas on the drachma since
last Tuesday when it began its frenzied rise, and 16.5 percent from the
beginning of 1997.
Alexandroupolis meeting on creation of international trade centre
A meeting was held in the municipality of Alexandroupolis on the creation
of an International Trade Centre at the initiative of National Economy
Secretary-General Apostolos Fotiadis.
Among others, the meeting was attended by the President of the Greek
Overseas Trade Organisation Yiannis Tzen, the Prefect of Evros Mr. Dolios,
the founder of the IMC of Cyprus (International Wholesale Trade Centre) Mr.
Kaisis, as well as by businessmen from Cyprus and the region.
Mr. Fotiadis made an analytical presentation of infrastructure works being
carried out in the region and stressed that the government's interest is
turned towards Thrace. Greek Overseas Trade Organisation President Mr. Tzen
said an international trade c entre, similar to that of Cyprus, can also be
created in Alexandroupolis, adding that activities can be developed there
in all the forms and parameters of international economic and trade
relations which focus, among others, on investments, joint enterpri ses,
services and tourism.
Mr. Kaisis made an analytical briefing on the way the IMC operated in
Cyprus, saying that he is ready to cooperate with all bodies to achieve the
target set. The total cost of the investment is estimated at 100 million
Sporadic showers over Macedonia and Thrace in the afternoon are expected
today. The rest of the country will have fair weather initially, but it may
rain locally over mainland regions later. Winds will be northerly
northeasterly, mostly moderate, but becoming very strong locally in the
Aegean in the afternoon. Athens will be mostly sunny with local clouding in
the afternoon and temperatures ranging from 22-33 C, while Thessaloniki
will be partly cloudy with chances of afternoon showers and temperatures of
Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 286.093
Pound sterling 474.549 Cyprus pd 530.700
French franc 45.971 Swiss franc 188.163
German mark 154.896 Italian lira (100) 15.943
Yen (100) 243.992 Canadian dlr. 205.939
Australian dlr. 210.165 Irish Punt 418.406
Belgian franc 7.504 Finnish mark 52.298
Dutch guilder 137.605 Danish kr. 40.712
Swedish kr. 36.109 Norwegian kr. 37.519
Austrian sch. 22.010 Spanish peseta 1.839
Port. Escudo 1.537