Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/08/1997 (ANA)
- Ecumenical Patriarch to visit US
- Milutinovic assesses visit to Athens
- Stephanopoulos to tour Peloponnese
- Cyprus talks continue despite Turkish Cypriot objections
- IOC members continue visits to Athens
- Augusta makers protest Merchant Marine ministry decision
- Messages marking Armed Forces Day
- Government aims to revitalise rural districts
- Work on Athens' new airport proceeds at fast pace
- Sariza mineral water withdrawn
- Olympiakos thrashes Mozyr 5-0
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Ecumenical Patriarch to visit US
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Vartholomeos I, spiritual leader of
the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, will visit the United States
for one-month in October, a Patriarchate spokesman told the ANA today.
A programme of his visit released to ANA said the Patriarch will begin the
tour, his first to the US, on October 19 and returning to his See on
He will be welcomed on arrival at Andrews Air Force Base by Archbishop
Spyridon of North and South America, Cabinet members, members of the
diplomatic corps, Orthodox hierarchs, ecumenical leaders, senators,
congressmen, clergy and laity throughout the U.S.
During his visit, the Patriarch will meet with Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish
and Moslem leaders, and hold talks with U.S. President Bill Clinton, UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
One of the highlights of the visit will be his meeting with Cardinal
William Keeler as part of efforts to cement relations between the Greek
Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches, which split in 1054.
He will also be the first Orthodox Patriarch to officiate at a service in a
Catholic church in the U.S., when he presides over a prayer service at the
Basilica of the national Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in
Baltimore, Maryland on October 23.
Other highlights will be a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy in New York's Madison
Square Garden and a prayer service at the Martin Luther King Centre for
Social Change in Atlanta.
On the first leg of his tour, in Washington D.C., the Patriarch will visit
the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and hold talks with Jewish leaders. He
will also address the first the First Orthodox-Muslim Dialogue in America
at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
Other cities on his itinerary are New Jersey, New York, Boston, Atlanta,
Chicago, Des Moines, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florence (Arizona)
Milutinovic assesses visit to Athens
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic characterised his talks in
Athens with Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos as "very constructive and
comprehensive", according to statements he made to a Serb television
station after returning from Greece this week.
Mr. Milutinovic believes the greatest progress in bilateral relations was
made in the economic and investment sector. He also stressed Greece's
support for the Yugoslav Federal Republic's return to the international
community, particularly the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Mention was also made in Athens, he said, of a Balkan summit to be held in
November on the island of Crete. Mr. Milutinovic's reference to the summit
was interpreted by the Yugoslav press as a declaration that Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic was planning to attend.
The Foreign Minister expressed the hope that bilateral trade would increase,
as great store is being set by commercial agreements expected to be
The Yugoslav press yesterday focussed on the announcement of a loan from
Greece for the construction of a national road network from Belgrade to
Skopje, capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The "Nasa Borba" newspaper quoted a US State Department spokesperson's
comment that it was up to Greece to make such decisions, which are not
governed by the sactions which the US continues to impose on Belgrade. The
US is demanding better cooperation from Yugoslavia with regard to the
implementation of the Dayton accord and respect for minority rights in
Stephanopoulos to tour Peloponnese
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to visit Messinia on 27
August, according to informed sources. He is also to visit the prefectures
of Laconia and Arcadia on 28 and 29 August, respectively.
Cyprus talks continue despite Turkish Cypriot objections
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday expressed his objections to
a new United Nations document submitted on Tuesday for discussion at talks
with Cyprus Republic President Glafcos Clerides near Montreux, Switzerland.
Talks continue today in the presence of Diego Cordovez, the UN secretary
general's special advisor on the Cyprus issue, as diplomatic observers have
stated that neither Mr. Denktash nor Turkey can afford a walk-out at this
point. The two leaders are meeting for the second time after July in direct
talks under UN auspices.
According to reports, the new document under discussion includes a draft
for a joint communique to be signed by both leaders, and a lengthier annex
named "Guidelines for drafts of legal documents which will contain a
settlement for the solution of the Cyprus issue".
Mr. Denktash criticized the contents of the document and the procedure to
be followed, and reiterated his opposition to the continuing process for
Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU).
According to sources, the document contains two changes that don't alter
the essence of an initial document that was submitted during the first
round of direct talks in Troutbeck, New York, from July 9 to 12. The
documents are drafted along the plan for a bizonal, bicommunal single
The same sources said one of the changes in the new document includes the
deletion of a reference on "sovereignty" emanating from the two communities.
It says instead that there should be one federalist state with single and
indivisible sovereignty. It retains all other references to political
equality between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
The other change concerns the addition of a paragraph calling for the
strict observation of all international treaties on human rights.
The document does not contain any reference to the need for the withdrawal
of foreign occupation forces and settlers (from the Turkish-occupied
northern part of Cyprus), nor to the island's demilitarisation, or the
deployment of multinational forces, something which the Greek Cypriot side
has called for.
Whatever powers are not vested in the federal government shall be handed
over to the federated states, each of which shall be responsible for its
own administration, security, law and order and justice, all of which
should be compatible with the federal constitution. This latter shall also
include provisions for solving differences, but the document does not
detail the method.
The last paragraph of the document mentions that the talks aiming for a
solution to the Cyprus problem are carried on with respect of one side for
the other, in an effort to establish a joint partnership based on a spirit
of friendship and cooperation. This means that both sides must pledge to
change policies that might possibly create problems in the effort to
establish the federal republic of Cyprus.
Diplomatic observers expressed fears that this particular point could be
interpreted by the Turkish Cypriot side as an argument either against
Cyprus' accession talks to the EU or against the deployment of the Russian-
made SS-300 missiles in the island republic.
The first section of the document, acting as a joint communique, consists
of five paragraphs, while the guidelines consist of 13 paragraphs.
The joint communique section includes the provision that talks to formulate
a constitution shall be held in parallel with talks on the rest of the
issues related to the bizonal and bicommunal unity.
IOC members continue visits to Athens
With only three weeks remaining for the crucial day of September 5 when the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to announce its decision over
the city that will host the Olympic Games in the year 2004, IOC members
continue their visits to the five candidate cities.
The six members of the IOC currenty in Athens are from Israel, Libya,
Norway, Australia, New Zealand and China.
The IOC life members yesterday planted olive trees with their names on them
in Athens' IOC Members Park. They were also shown around the Olympic
Stadium and were briefed on the Athens file to host the 2004 Olympics.
Augusta makers protest Merchant Marine ministry decision
Italian helicopter-makers Augusta company has appealed to the Council of
State to cancel a decision for the purchase of six search-and-rescue
helicopters by the Merchant Marine ministry.
Augusta argued that the tender and decision for the purchase excluded
middle-sized helicopters, made for 18 of the 24 existing types of
helicopters, violated Greek presidential decision 370/1995 on preventing
favoritism among suppliers and was too costly.
According to the company, the 18 billion drachmas allotted for the purchase
was enough only for three heavy-duty helicopters, while statistics on
rescue missions show that middle-sized helicopters which would cost less
were perfectly able to be used for rescue missions.
The helicopters will be used by the Port Authorities and according to the
tender specifications may hold up to 12 rescued people.
Messages marking Armed Forces Day
Political parties and leaders issued messages for Armed Forces Day
New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis said in his message that "the
armed forces provide a living guarantee of the independence, integrity and
the honour of the nation," and that the responsibility of political forces
is to formulate a single and long-term foreign and defence policy, which is
the only one effectively capable of securing the country against any
provocations and designs.
The Coalition of the Left stressed the importance of promoting a national
strategy of peace and security, but also the need for transparency and
control of armaments contracts and procurements.
Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas stressed that
the state must contribute to further strengthening the armed forces through
economic upgrading and meritocracy for officers, and the rational and
transparent utilisation of funds for defence.
Government aims to revitalise rural districts
Interior and Public Administration Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said
yesterday that reactions against government plans for the merging of the
multitude of the country's small municipalities into larger units have been
overplayed by a section of the press.
He said that many recommendations and observations had been taken into
account, but what could not be accepted as a factor in the mapping out of
the new municipalities was the personal strategies of local strongmen and
their parochial interests.
Finally, he reiterated that the endeavour aimed at revitalising rural
districts that were in a state of collapse.
Work on Athens' new airport proceeds at fast pace
Work for the new Athens airport at Spata are proceeding at a pace faster
than envisaged by the plan, it was reported yesterday.
One year after the laying of the founding stone, 60 per cent of earth
removing works has been completed, and construction of the main building of
the airport is proceeding normally.
Also, since August 1, work has started on the water supply and drainage
systems and the fire station.
Sariza mineral water withdrawn
The Health Ministry has ordered the withdrawal of "Sariza" bottled mineral
and soda water after lab tests found enterococcus and pseudomonad micro-
organisms in bottle samplings.
The infectious pseudomonad can resist even the strongest antibiotics. The
bottling plant on Andros island was also shut down pending disinfection.
The Ministry said the problem was pinpointed at the plant, while the famed
Sariza spring was given a clean bill of health.
Olympiakos thrashes Mozyr 5-0
Olympiakos last night beat Mozyr of Belarus 5-0 in the preliminary round of
the European Champions soccer League.
The held at the Athens Olympic Stadium was attended by 50,000 spectators
who saw an impressive Olympiakos score all five goals in the second half.
The return match will take place in Belarus on August 27.
Unsettled weather will continue in most parts of Greece today, with
possible showers and thurderstorms in the mainland and the islands of the
northern and eastern Aegean Sea. Winds northerly, light to moderate,
becoming strong in the southern Aegean. Athens will be partly cloudy with
possible showers in the afternoon and temperatures from 19-28C. Same in
Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18-28C.
Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 289.638
Pound sterling 455.569 Cyprus pd 532.199
French franc 46.430 Swiss franc 190.272
German mark 156.554 Italian lira (100) 15.997
Yen (100) 248.712 Canadian dlr. 207.655
Australian dlr. 214.928 Irish Punt 416.008
Belgian franc 7.581 Finnish mark 52.275
Dutch guilder 139.022 Danish kr. 41.100
Swedish kr. 36.277 Norwegian kr. 37.734
Austrian sch. 22.251 Spanish peseta 1.854
Port. Escudo 1.545