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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 19/08/1997 (ANA)


  • Greece says no to Turkish forces in NATO landing exercise
  • Greece calls for vigilance on Turkish intransigence
  • Turkey should be condemned, Greek Eurodeputy says
  • Ecumenical Patriarch comments on relations with Turkey
  • Feminist theologians' conference opens
  • Actor playing Judas found hanging on stage
  • Illegal immigrants from Iraq
  • Austrian embassy car bombed
  • US official missing from Souda base
  • World's seismologists meet in Thessaloniki
  • Greek stocks tumble in thin market
  • New rates for treasury bill issues
  • NBC poll says Athens best choice for the 2004 Olympics
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Greece says no to Turkish forces in NATO landing exercise

Greece's National Defence General Staff has refused a request from Ankara for the participation of a Turkish landing force in a NATO exercise, according to an article in today's edition of the Athens daily "Ta Nea".

The newspaper said Turkey had tried to include its forces in the NATO exercise "Dynamic Mix" which involves a landing on the coast of Messinia in the southern Peloponese.

Owing to the poor relations between the two countries, Greece refused the Turkish request. For the same reason, Athens does not send Greek troops to participate in similar Alliance exercises in Turkey.

The article said that Turkey had also requested an air corridor in the Aegean for use by its warplanes without submitting flight plans for the duration of the exercise.

This request was reportedly turned down by the Greek National Defence General Staff since the Alliance exercise does not involve any air activity in the northern Aegean.

Greece calls for vigilance on Turkish intransigence

The foreign ministry yesterday called for continuous vigilance and opposition to Turkish intransigence on the part of Greek and Cypriot political parties and of Greek communities around the world.

Greece will take diplomatic steps the United Nations Secretary General, with all members of the UN Security Council and the European Union a foreign ministry announcement said.

Athens has also begun a briefing campaign of governments and media around the world. These moves, the foreign ministry added, were aimed at having the international community adopt positions that would permit the good services of the UN Secretary General to bear results and to deal with Turkish intransigence "so that the two communities in the island republic may live in harmony within the framework of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, according to UN resolutions and the summit agreements of 1977 and 1979".

Turkey should be condemned, Greek Eurodeputy says

The European Union must condemn Turkish Cypriot intransigence, which led to the deadlock of UN-led direct talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Eurodeputy Vassilis Efremidis said yesterday.

In a question tabled in the European Parliament, Mr. Efremidis also called on the EU Council to take all necessary action and deflect threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkish officials regarding the annexation of the island's Turkish- occupied north.

Ecumenical Patriarch comments on relations with Turkey

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos concluded a three-day visit to the island of Chios today with a message of hope that relations between Greece and Turkey would be characterised by "peaceful coexistence in the Aegean, good neighbourly relations and creative cooperation".

"It is my heartfelt wish that the difficulties of the last few days will be overcome and that the spirit of Madrid will come to pervade relations between the two neighbouring and allied states and peoples of Greece and Turkey, until all pending problems are resolved," said the Patriarch.

The Patriarch was referring to the accord signed in Madrid last month between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleiman Demirel.

He also directed a special greeting to Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Serapheim.

Earlier yesterday, the Patriarch expressed the hope that relations between Orthodox Christianity and the Vatican would be soon restored.

Vartholomeos said he expected a delegation from the Vatican to visit the See of the Orthodox Church at its Phanar district headquarters in Istanbul on November 30 -- the day commemorating the founding of the Church of Constantinople by Apostle Andrew.

Feminist theologians' conference opens

"Orthodox Christian spirituality and feminist theology generally reflect two very broad and vastly different types of world view and thinking, but also contain common points of interest," an Orthodox theologian told the 7th international conference of the European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR), which opened here Sunday. "

Thinking and re-thinking relationships, experience and process are main concerns of both feminist theology and Orthodox spirituality even if they operate within different traditions of thinking," Orthodox theologian Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald said.

"It was a long journey for most of the 200 women theologians from 28 countries to come to Crete for the bigeest ESWTR conference ever," Michaela Moser, the conference spokeswoman, told the ANA.

The theme of the conference is "Sources and Resources of Feminist Theologies", and it focuses on the dialogue between Orthodox women theologians and Western feminist theologians with different religious backgrounds.

"The journey towards true encounter and dialogue of women coming from different backgrounds is long, difficult and often painful," Karidoyanes FitzGerald added.

Other keynote speakers at the conference, considered "the start of a difficult journey towards dialogue" between the East and West", and include Old Testament scholar Silvia Schroer from Switzerland, Joan Martin from the United States, Letizia Tomassone from Italy, and Ulrike Bechmann of Germany.

Actor playing Judas found hanging on stage

A British actor tragically hanged himself at a hotel complex in Halkidiki on Sunday while portraying Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar".

Tony Wheeler, 25, from Oxfordshire had belonged to the hotel's animation team which staged the show live for the hotel guests.

His role called for walking up to the noose, placing it around his neck and hanging himself as the spotlight was switched off him. A special hook would have allowed him to remain suspended while appearing to hang.

When he failed to turn up later, a search revealed that Wheeler had actually died on the theatrical noose. A doctor who performed an autopsy said, "There are indications of death by hanging", but could not say whether the death was accidental or not.

Illegal immigrants from Iraq

A Turk was sentenced to five years in jail and fined four million drachmas by a Lesvos court today, for illegally bringing into Greece seven Iraqi immigrants, court sources said.

Hussein Duman was sentenced by a three-member court on the island of Lesvos for clandestinely transporting the illegal immigrants in a boat on August 13.

A Samos court meanwhile sentenced a 29-year-old Turk to ten years' imprisonment and fined him 25 million drachmas after being found guilty of illegally transporting 50 illegal immigrants from Iraq.

Hayiati Sendir was arrested by coast guard officers last Friday while sailing between the islands of Samos and Agathonisi.

The Iraqis said that they had each paid 1,500 dollars to be taken to Greece. Sendir denied the charges, maintaining that he had not received any money and was seeking political asylum.

Austrian embassy car bombed

Unidentified persons threw a fire-bomb at a car belonging to the Austrian embassy shortly after midnight, causing damage but no injuries, police said.

The fire-bomb was thrown at the car, a red Mercedes, by two persons at 10 minutes after midnight. The car, which was parked on the corner of "3rd September" and "Averof" streets in Athens, had diplomatic plates.

The blast caused serious damage to the left side of the car. Police are investigating the incident.

US official missing from Souda base

The U.S. Embassy today declined immediate comment on the reported disappearance of an American satellite communications expert from the U.S. base in Souda on the island of Crete on August 12.

Am Embassy spokesman said they were "seeking further information on the case before making any statement".

Larry Gonzales, 32, disappeared after returning from work at the Souda base to his hotel at Kallathas in Akrotiri. Local press reports said 24 hours after he went missing he was declared AWOL and police and American secret services launched a search.

A US Embassy press officer later confirmed that "senior airman Larry Gonzales, based in Souda" had been missing since August 12.

The officer said he had no further information at the present time and declined to comment on the nature of Gonzales' duties at the US base in Souda.

Police found his car, a mini Cooper, abandoned a few yards from his hotel two days after his disappearance, which was removed to the Souda base, the reports said.

The same reports said that Gonzales had recently been keeping company with two British women he had met in a bar in Hania, one of whom he was staying with in her hotel room.

The reports added that FBI agents were due in Crete in the next few days to join the search and investigations.

Gonzales and two other people are responsible for analysing satellite messages.

World's seismologists meet in Thessaloniki

Greece belongs in the highest seismic zone in the world, comprising an area stretching from Gibraltar to China, University of Thessaloniki Professor Vassilis Papazachos told an international seismology congress yesterday.

During opening remarks at the 29th international congress on seismology and physics of the earth's interior at Thessaloniki, Mr. Papazachos also said that it was appropriate that Greece had been chosen as the venue for the congress, since its ground and especially the area of the Aegean comprised a natural geophysical laboratory.

President of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI), Claude Froidevaux, said that the sea level at the Aegean was lower 20,000 years ago and said that the Mediterranean was non-existent as a water-filled basin 20 million years ago.

He pointed out that Greece's high seismic activity was due to the African plate's moving north, due to pressure it received from surrounding oceans.

The congress aims at providing solutions in facing seismic phenomena and predicting them. The congress is organised by the University of Thessaloniki and scheduled to run for 10 days.

Greek stocks tumble in thin market

Equity prices came under strong pressure on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday to end sharply lower.

Market participants said the pressure was more of a technical nature and that price swings were exacerbated by a lack of supply as the market had not returned to normal after a three day holiday.

The general index closed 1.39 percent lower at 1,622.90 points. Sector indices lost ground. Banks fell 1.54 percent, Leasing eased 0.62 percent, Insurance declined 0.53 percent, Investment fell 1.98 percent, Industrials were 2.03 percent off, Constructi on eased 1.46 percent, Holding dropped 2.01 percent and Miscellaneous fell 1.76 percent. The parallel market for small cap companies index ended 1.21 percent lower. Trading was moderate and turnover was 7.8 billion drachmas.

Broadly, declining issues led advancing ones by 149 to 46 with another 14 unchanged.

Allatini, Alysida, Ideal and Balkan Export scored the biggest percentage gains, while Tzirakian Profil, Demetriades and Athinea suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) rose 60 drachmas to end at 6, 610. National Bank of Greece ended at 37,000, Ergobank at 17,835, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,790, Delta Dairy at 4,200, Titan Cement at 14,870 and Intracom at 12,900.

In the domestic foreign exchange market the dollar fell sharply against the drachma following a strong correction of the US currency in international markets.

New rates for treasury bill issues

The finance ministry has announced new rates for the next issues of treasury bills, as follows:

Three-month: 8.40 per cent

Six-month : 8.70 per cent

One-year : 9.50 per cent

The next issue of one-year bills is tomorrow, by public subscription.

An auction of fluctuating-rate bills, worth 100 billion, will take place on August 25.

NBC poll says Athens best choice for the 2004 Olympics

Athens was by far the top choice to host the 2004 Olympic Games, according to a phone poll conducted by the US national television network NBC.

The poll asked which of the five prospective cities - Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Rome or Stockholm - should host the 2004 Olympics.

The sample included 844 people, and was organised by NBC's media service department. Scores went as follows, in percentages: Athens 62, Cape Town 18, Buenos Aires 8, Stockholm 6 and Rome 5.


Mostly fine weather is forecast for most of the country today except for mainland Greece, the Ionian, and northern Aegean Sea, where cloudiness, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected. Light to moderate northerly winds will intensify in parts of the southern Aegean. Athens will be partly cloudy with possible showers, and temperatures ranging between 20- 31C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 19- 29C.


Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 283.186 Pound sterling 455.288 Cyprus pd 530.026 French franc 46.289 Swiss franc 188.182 German mark 155.937 Italian lira (100) 15.950 Yen (100) 240.639 Canadian dlr. 204.253 Australian dlr. 209.714 Irish Punt 416.243 Belgian franc 7.552 Finnish mark 52.120 Dutch guilder 138.488 Danish kr. 40.948 Swedish kr. 35.623 Norwegian kr. 37.408 Austrian sch. 22.159 Spanish peseta 1.845 Port. Escudo 1.538


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