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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 12/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland
  • Contract signed for modernisation of Phantoms
  • Feminist theologians to meet in Crete
  • Athens '97 director counters charges by IAAF president
  • Italian press praises Athens
  • Otters reappear in Larisa arfter 35-year absence
  • Alpha Credit Bank expects high profits
  • Greek stocks finish 0.48 per cent down on profit-taking
  • Completion of TVX Hellas investment called for
  • Information on SMEs provided through Internet
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland

The United Nations (UN) will not enter an immediate discussion of the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem at this round of talks, but instead suggests an incremental process with a discussion of a revised UN non-paper.

In statements prior to a working lunch that opened the second round of UN- sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the UN Secretary General's special advisor Diego Cordovez said he expects both leaders to cooperate for a settlement.

The Cyprus peace talks resumed yesterday with a working-lunch hosted by Mr. Cordovez at the Hotel Righi Vaudois, in the mountain resort Glion-sur-Mon- treux, Switzerland.

The first round was held in Troutbeck, New York, between July 9-12 and was opened by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Mr. Cordovez said the UN wants to change the procedure used in the talks so far. "We are trying to institute a process that is different", he said, noting that in the past the leaders came to the talks with the idea that they would solve all the problems.

He also clarified that the non-paper which he handed to the two leaders during the first round of discussions was not a settlement to the 23-year- old Cyprus problem.

"The paper I gave them is not the solution. These are simply some guidelines to be taken into account. The difference is we are having what I call an incremental process. That is to say, they will meet from time to time and each time take it from where they left it and proceed forward", the UN official said.

Mr. Cordovez further said that the leaders would be able to choose the aspects of the Cyprus problem they want to discuss each time they meet and "try to bridge the differences between them and go on to the next aspect".

He added that through this process the leaders of the two communities will not start their next meeting from zero, as in the past.

Asked what he would consider a success in this specific round of talks, Mr. Cordovez replied he expects all "to continue to work with a sense that we are involved in a process", noting "you cannot solve the Cyprus problem in four days".

Defending the UN directive on a news blackout during the first and second round of talks, he said the negotiations were a very "dynamic process", which premature publicity could threaten by making it "rigid".

Contract signed for modernisation of Phantoms

The contract relating to the modernisation of 39 Hellenic Airforce F-4 Phantom jets by the German company DASA, in cooperation with the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB), was signed yesterday between the General Air Force Staff, EAB, and the director of DASA's military department.

At the end of July, the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) had officially awarded the 87 billion drachma tender to the German DASA, whose bid was 8 billion drachmas lower than that of an American bidder.

EAB will undertake to modernise the Phantom jetsY skeleton at a cost of 5.5 billion drachmas, while DASA will upgrade their electronic components. The average cost of modernisation per aircraft is estimated at $8 million (compared with $11 million Turkey recentrly agreed).

In July, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had described the deal as very satisfactory, as it provided for a solution of a longstanding problem.

Feminist theologians to meet in Crete

Women theologians from all over Europe will meet in Crete next week for the 7th international conference of the European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR) to discuss new approaches in feminist theology.

An ESWTR spokeswoman said more than 200 women theologians from almost all European countries would be discussing the theme "Source and Resources of Feminist Theologies".

Observers from Palestine, India, Tunisia and the United States as well as 50 delegates from eastern Europe, 30 Greek Orthodox and three Moslem theologians would be attending the conference, to be held from August 17-21 at the Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari in Chania. One aspect of the conference, according to the spokeswoman, "addresses the issue of the text sources and traditions to which women theologians refer", while another aspect "refers to the source of spiritual strength from which women draw and which nourishes their commitment to a renewal in the way they speak of the Divine and their quest for a just world", the spokeswoman added.

Keynote speakers include Old Testament scholar Silvia Schroer (Switzerland), Kyriaki Karidojannis-Fitzgerald (Greece), Joan Martin (US), Letizia Tommassone (Italy), and Ulrike Bechmann (Germany).

The ESWTR was set up in 1985 by eminent women theologians to address the need for networking, support and international exchanges in women's theological studies.

Athens `97 director counters charges by IAAF president

The General Director of the 'Athens 97' World Athletics Championships, Vangelis Savramis, yesterday countered charges by International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Primo Nebiolo that the Championships were a success only because the IAAF had "lent a hand".

"We carried this wonderful championship to a successful end alone, and everyone who was involved in it one way or another knows this. The only thing Mr. Nebiolo did was to continuously create problems for the organisers. He created problems regarding th e seating, the protocol, who was going to sit where," he said.

The IAAF president, who is also honourary president of Rome's Candidacy Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games, for which Athens is also competing, made a stinging attack against the Greek organisers in the course of a television interview channel last night, describing them as "mediocrities".

Mr. Nebiolo, who was jeered by the crowd during the concluding ceremony of the championships on Sunday night on account of critical comments regarding low attendance on the opening day of the games, insinuated that the attitude of the crowd had been part of an organised plan.

Greek Olympic Committee Chairman Lambis Nikolaou said Mr. Nebiolo's attack against Greece would work in favour of the Athens 2004 candidacy given that he is disliked by many among the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Italian press praises Athens

The press in Italy yesterday carried articles praising Athens for the excellent work it had done in organising the Athens '97 6th World Athletics Championships, placing emphasis on the final day and on an account of the perfo rmance of the Italian team.

Italian newspapers focused on the champions, especially Sergei Bubka (pole vault gold medalist, winning his 6th gold in Athens).

"There could really be no better promotion of the Greek capitalYs candidacy for the 2004 Olympic Games than its organisation of the world championships, which had only very few faults that were fixed", said a journalist of "La Stampa" covering the champ ionhips in Athens.

IAAF president Primo Nebiolo in statements to the sports newspaper "La Gazzeta Dello Sport" also referred to the perfect organisation of the international meeting by Athens. "The organisation by Greece was of a very high level and a great spectacular ev ent in terms of athletics. The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) created a marvellous event which propagates the Olympic ideals to the world", said Mr. Nebiolo.

Otters reappear in Larissa after 35-year absence

Otters have reappeared in the vicinity of Larissa, Thessaly, after a 35- year absence, signalling a revival in the area's ecosystem and surprising biologists with a rare phenomenon.

The otters, water-going mammals, belong to a protected species in all European countries whose population had been obliterated due to environmental pollution and hunting for the use of their fur.

The otters disappeared from Thessaly following the draining of Lake Karla in 1962-3, but have been sighted again in canals, irrigation channels and reservoirs in the villages of Namata, Eleftheriou, Koumia, and Platykambos.

Their reappearance in the area shows that wetlands, where wild species nest, are becoming revived, while the otter's main staple of fish has seen an increase due to cleaner water and less pollution.

Alpha Credit Bank expects high profits

Alpha Credit Bank revenues are expected to climb to 60 billion drachmas for 1997, while turnover is expected to reach 203 billion drachmas, according to a Hoare Govett report yesterday.

Hoare Govett is a subsidiary of ABN Amro bank.

According to the report, the turnover for 1998 will reach 243.14 billion drachmas, while profits will come close to 74.27 billion drachmas.

The group's results are also expected to be very high for 1999, with turnover forecast at 278.31 billion drachmas and profits to 85.94 billion drachmas.

If the bank's management follows the same dividend policy, the report said, shareholders' should expect to collect a 956 drachmas dividend for 1998 and 1,107 drachmas for 1999.

Greek stocks finish 0.48 per cent down on profit-taking

Equity prices ended moderately lower on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, reversing a three-day rally. Investors preferred to cash in major gains from previous days, and the absence of follow-through orders helped in the reversal of the trend.

Trading was moderate and turnover was 13.2 billion drachmas.

The general index closed at 1,631.62 points, down 0.48 percent, with all sector indices losing ground.

Banks fell 0.52 percent, Leasing was 1.20 percent off, Insurance eased 1.27 percent, Investment fell 0.36 percent, Construction dropped 2.63 percent, Industrials were 0.36 percent off, Holding eased 0.59 percent and Miscellaneous plunged 3.27 percent.

The parallel market for smaller companies bucked the trend to end 0.20 percent higher. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 133 to 68 with another 28 issues unchanged. Inform Lykos, Heliofin, European Trust and Tria Alpha scored the bigger percentage g ains, while Halyps Cement, Keranis and Elfico suffered the heaviest losses. Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) shares rose 50 drachmas to end at 6,495. National Bank of Greece ended at 37,700 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,570, Alpha Credit Bank at 20,070, Titan at 15,000 and Intracom at 13,360.

The rampant US dollar eased against the drachma in the domestic foreign exchange market.

Completion of TVX Hellas investment called for

The Northern Greek Association of Industries (SBBE) called in a statement yesterday for the immediate intervention of the government for the completion of the investment by TVX Hellas, which has undertaken to exploit the gold deposits in Halkidiki. SBBE considers that the investment is "parti-cularly important for the development of Halkidiki and northern Greece, more generally," adding that "the observance by all sides of the commitments undertaken is a necessary condition for the unimpeded implementati on of the biggest investment of the last few years in our country".

It opposes the "unilateral and illegal actions which endanger the implementation of the investment."

"The two-year delay has resulted in significant losses for the company, besides the fact that our country acquires a bad reputation in the investment public abroad," the SBBE statement concludes.

Information on SMEs provided through Internet

Information on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and on the European Union's research and development policy is provided through the Internet, the latest issue of 'Eur-Op News' writes.

The addresses are as follows:

BC-Net (Network for finding possible clients): http://www2.echo.lu/echo/databases/en/bcnet.html

EudraNET (for the pharmaceuticals industry): http://www.eudra.org

Copdris (information about the European Union's research and development policy): http://www.cordis.lu

I'am Europe (acces to many databases regarding EU issues) : http://www2.echo.lu/

WEATHER

Local cloudiness in most parts of the country today, with possible showers and thurderstorms over the Ionian Sea, the mainland, and the northern Aegean Sea in the afternoon. Winds northerly, light to moderate, becoming strong in the southern Aegean. Athens will be partly cloudy with possible rainstorm and temperatures from 20-31C. Same in Thessaloniki with and temperatures between 19-28C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 289.908 Pound sterling 461.711 Cyprus pd 531.401 French franc 46.307 Swiss franc 190.542 German mark 155.946 Italian lira (100) 15.984 Yen (100) 250.058 Canadian dlr. 208.054 Australian dlr. 213.572 Irish Punt 418.441 Belgian franc 7.550 Finnish mark 52.191 Dutch guilder 138.433 Danish kr. 40.947 Swedish kr. 36.353 Norwegian kr. 37.886 Austrian sch. 22.157 Spanish peseta 1.849 Port. Escudo 1.541

(C.E.)


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