Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-06
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 06/08/1997 (ANA)
- Greece, Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security
- Excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb
- Greece asks clarifications over Yilmaz's statements on Aegean Sea
- Athens `97 world athletics championships
- Justice Minister comments on World Championships
- Record price of brent oil poses problems
- Greek mutual fund assets show 4.94 pct rise in July
- Olympic Airways to begin transfer to new airport in Oct '98
- Citibank again wins title of best foreign bank in Greece
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece, Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security
Greece and Albania yesterday signed a protocol of seasonal employment for
Albanian workers in Greece believed to provide a solution to the problem of
illegal immigration and avert a new wave of illegal workers from the
The protocol was signed by visiting Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros
Pangalos and his Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo after talks in Tirana as
a seven-member Greek government delegation, headed by Mr. Pangalos, paid a
one-day visit yesterday, the first foreign visit since a new Albanian
government was elected late June.
The relevant protocol will come into force four months after the signing of
a presidential decree by the President of the Republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos,
which provides for the recording of all illegal immigrants, and after its
completion, the granting of a 'green card', the equivalent of a work
permit. The duration of the permit has not been set yet, but nine months is
considered most likely, with the possibilities of six or 12 months also
Commenting on the issue, Mr. Pangalos said that until the recording is
completed, Albanian immigrants will be treated in the same way as all
Mr. Milo told reporters "this is the best news for Albania."
Mr. Pangalos also said that Greece will propose and support Albania's
customs union with the European Union at the foreign ministers' council in
Brussels on September 16. He added that Mr. Milo accepted an invitation to
attend the Balkan foreign ministe rs' conference on Crete in November.
The agenda of discussions also included the participation of Greek officers
in the reorganisation of the Albanian armed forces and police, in the
framework of a broader cooperation in security matters. A relevant protocol
signed by Greek National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis and
Albanian Defence Minister Sabit Broka envisages that five officers and a
100-member company of the Greek force currently in Albania with the
multinational protection force will remain on.
The protocol also provides for cooperation between the two countries' armed
The ministers of public order, George Romeos and Neritan Ceka agreed to
cooperate on the recording of illegal immigrants, and the reduction of
criminal activity in Greece's border area.
The agreement provides for the creation of an Albanian border police and
Greece to train this force aimed at combatting illegal immigration as well
Albania also agreed to provide information on all Albanian criminals who
have escaped from Albanian prisons during the insurrection, and return all
speed boats which have been seized mainly from Corfu in the last few
Well informed sources said it was also agreed that Greece will provide a
direct grant of two billion drachmas to Albania, and negotiations will
continue for the provision of an 18-billion drachma loan, under very
favourable terms after talks between Greek
National Economy Undersecratary Alexandros Baltas with Albanian officials.
Another agreement provides for cooperation on vocational training issues
and the modernisation of Albanian social security funds.
Mr. Pangalos also met with the country's president, Rexhep Mejdani,
Archbishop of Albania Anastasios, and main opposition leader Sali
The Greek delegation included Public Order Minister George Romeos, National
Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos
Kranidiotis, National Economy Undersecretary Alexandros Baltas, Public
Works Undersecretary Dimitris Verelis and Labour Undersecretary Christos
Excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb
A group tomb believed to belong to young Athenian soldiers who died in
battles during the classical era was discovered during salvage operations
close to the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos and the Hiera Odos area, it was
Findings related to what is believed to be one of the monumental tombs
erected by Athens for its dead soldiers include the lower sections of
porous limestone, preserved to a height of one metre. They also include
fine samples of ancient Greek pottery from the 5th century B.C. to the 3rd
century B.C., covering classical to hellenistic times. The finds are
associated with the series of group tombs that Athens erected for its
killed heroes along a special street by the area of Kerameikos, the ancient
The Central Archaeological Council will conduct an on-site examination. The
excavation was conducted between January 1 and July 4, following a request
by a theatre group for approval to build a theatre on the site.
Greece asks clarifications over Yilmaz's statements on Aegean Sea
Greece said yesterday it has requested clarifications from Turkey over the
accuracy of statements made by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to the effect
that the Aegean Sea is a special case in which international law is not
In statements to a private radio station, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos
Kranidiotis said that if Mr. Yilmaz was quoted accurately in the Sunday
edition of U.S. daily "Washington Post", then these statements undermine
the spirit of the Madrid Communique and support a claim that is entirely
illogical, to the effect that international law is not valid in the case of
the Aegean Sea.
Mr. Kranidiotis said the claim is illogical because "if this (international
law) is not valid, then what is valid -- the law of war?"
"Relations between Greece and Turkey," he said, "must be governed by
international law and international treaties. Mr. Yilmaz's statements do
not contribute to the efforts to improve Greek-Turkish relations".
Athens `97 world athletics championships
Yesterday's results in a stadium packed with an enthusiastic crowd, proved
to be more colourful than in other days, with the surprise elimination of
world and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny from the javelin throw, an
impressive run in the women's 10,000 met res that brought Kenya's Sally
Barsosio to a smooth and cool top position, and the first medal for host
Greece, with a bronze for javelin thrower Costas Gatzioudis. America's
Michael Johnson, expected to secure a top placement, clinched the gold in
the men's 400 metres.
American Michael Johnson won the world men's 400 metres gold medal in 44.12
seconds. Davis Kamoga of Uganda took the silver (44.37) and American Tyree
Washington the bronze (44.39).
South African Marius Corbett won javelin gold at the world championships
yesterday after favourite Jan Zelezny was eliminated from the final.
Corbett threw a best of 88.40 metres to emerge as the surprise winner.
Britain's Steve Backley took silver with 86.80 metres at his last attempt
while Costas Gatzioudis handed Greece their first medal in the competition
with a throw of 86.64 metres for bronze.
World and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic missed the cut
for the final eight who take the last three throws. The world record holder
failed to record a mark at his first two tries and recorded 82.06 metres
with his third attempt, finishing in ninth place.
Kenyan Sally Barsosio won the world women's 10,000 metres gold medal
yesterday, timed with 31:32.93. Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal took the
silver (31:39.15) and Japanese Masako Chiba the bronze (31:41.93).
Cuban Ivan Pedroso won the world men's long jump gold medal with 8.42
metres. Erick Walder of the United States took the silver (8.38) and
Russian Kiril Sosunov the bronze (8.18).
Portuguese Carla Sacramento won the world women's 1,500 metres title with
4:04.24. American Regina Jacobs took the silver (4:04.63) and Anita
Weyermann of Switzerland the bronze (4:04.70).
Medals table after the fourth day of competition at the World Athletics
United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 1 bronze
Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South
Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold Cuba: 1 gold Czech Republic: 1
gold France: 1 gold Kenya: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia:
1 silver, 2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver
Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Belarus: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze
Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze
Justice Minister comments on World Championships
Justice Minister Evangelos Yannopoulos said yesterday that Athens'
suitability as host city for the 2004 Olympic Games was being "tested" at
the 6th World Athletics Championship currently under way, and that if the
International Olympic Committee members awarded the 28th Olympiad to Athens,
they would be doing "their duty".
"However, if they think commercially, then they will not give the Olympic
Games to Greece," the Minister added, in an indirect response to criticism
by International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo
that Athens had not properly marketed the current 6th World Athletics
Championships, resulting in low attendance last Saturday, the first day of
events at Athens' Olympic Stadium.
Athens '97 director Vangelis Savramis also rebuffed the criticism on Monday,
saying that he preferred "a stadium full of sports fans rather than
soldiers", intimating at the practice adopted for boosting attendance at
the 2nd World Championships in Rome in 1987.
Mr. Nebiolo is honorary chairman of the Rome 2004 Olympic bid committee.
Rome and Athens were shortlisted in March for the 2004 Games, together with
Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Stockholm from among 11 candidate cities.
Mr. Savramis said he had proposed to Mr. Nebiolo a change in the August 1-
10 dates, as most people in the greater Athens area are away on holiday at
that time of the year, but Nebiolo had instead argued "for a promotion
campaign using loudspeakers".
President of the Greek Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolaou has also said that
nine days was "too lengthy" for an athletic competition, and that six days
would have been better for the World Championships.
The Justice Minister, who attended the track and field events yesterday,
said the organisation of the Championships was "impeccable in all
He also praised the performance of the Greek athletes, noting that "it is
no small accomplishment to be fourth or fifth in the world".
Record price of brent oil poses problems
The price of brent oil reached a six-week record on Monday, jumping again
to almost $20 per barrel and posing a problem for many governments,
The Greek government is closely monitoring developments in the oil market
since an increase coupled with the dollarYs unrestrained steep rise are
threatening a flair up of inflationary pressure.
The increase in the oil price was sudden, since the world was expecting a
stable price in view of the resumption of Iraqi exports. However, an
unexpected disruption by Colombian rebels of the export of 170,000
Colombian barrels per day at a time when demand is especially high, lead to
the current increase. It also caused a market panic in the United States,
which buys most of the Colombian oil, as demand for fuel in the holiday
period is very high.
Greek mutual fund assets show 4.94 pct rise in July
Total net assets of Greek mutual funds rose by 268.15 billion drachmas in
July, marking a 4.94 percent rise, Ionian Bank said in its monthly report,
Overall mutual fund assets on July 31 totalled 5,696.25 billion drachmas,
representing 32.92 percent of total drachma deposits by private individuals
on April 4, 1997.
Net assets of mutual fixed income funds increased by 4.79 percent,
totalling 5,339.1 billion drachmas on July 31, up 243.9 billion drachmas
against the previous month.
Net assets of international funds rose sharply by 8.04 percent and net
assets of growth funds also showed a healthy 6.95 percent rise.
Total net assets comprised 5,339 billion drachmas in fixed income funds,
105 billion drachmas in international funds, and 252 billion drachmas in
Olympic Airways to begin transfer to new airport in Oct '98
Olympic Airways, the Greek national carrier, is due to begin transferring
its operations in October 1998 to a new international airport being built
for Athens, a company statement said yesterday.
OA's board said the move to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, whose contractor
is Germany's Hochtief, would be completed in July 2000 before the new
facility's launch in 2001.
The cost of transferring OA to the new site in Spata, Attica, has an
initial budget of 118 billion drachmas with a 20 percent deviation either
The international airport currently in use at Ellinikon is slated for
closure when the new facility opens.
Olympic Airways posted a 16.3 rise in passengers in the first six months
against the same period last year, OA's board said yesterday.
The increase comprises rises of 17.6 for the parent company and 10.3
percent for Olympic Aviation, its subsidiary handling most domestic
The national carrier also reported rises of 5.3 percent in departures, 4.5
percent in travel hours, and 4.8 percent in flight kilometres, OA's board
Citibank again wins title of best foreign bank in Greece
For the third successive year, Citibank has won the title of best foreign
bank in Greece, on the basis of a study conducted by Euromoney magazine.
Specifically, the study says that Citibank is the most important bank is
the shipping sector, and has retained its leading position in the sectors
of currency transactions and financial derivatives. It has also maintained
its lead in the sector of spec ial innovative financial products.
Citibank has also acquired the title of best foreign bank in six other EU
countries, in three eastern European countries, and in three geographical
regions, namely, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. It is in second
position in Asia.
On a world level, the bank is considered top in the sectors of currency
exchange and loan underwriting, as well as in a new category, that of
Most of the country will be slightly overcast, with cloudiness in northern
Greece and possible thunderstorms in Macedonia and Epiros. Athens will be
mostly sunny, with temperatures ranging from 23 to 35 C. The same for
Thessaloniki, with local cloudiness in the afternoon and temperatures from
20 to 33 C.
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 292.171
Pound sterling 475.290 Cyprus pd 532.398
French franc 46.055 Swiss franc 190.582
German mark 155.402 Italian lira (100) 15.881
Yen (100) 246.887 Canadian dlr. 211.663
Australian dlr. 215.741 Irish Punt 421.571
Belgian franc 7.527 Finnish mark 52.153
Dutch guilder 137.985 Danish kr. 40.795
Swedish kr. 35.944 Norwegian kr. 37.685
Austrian sch. 22.081 Spanish peseta 1.839
Port. Escudo 1.535