Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-25
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 25/08/1997 (ANA)
- Talks on economy, 1998 budget and foreign policy resume today
- Concert against Turkish occupation held in Cyprus
- US congressmen pledge support for end to Cyprus occupation
- Turkish violations of Greek airspace reported
- Gov't spokesman proposes Maria Damanaki for Athens mayor
- Veteran Cypriot diplomat Nikos Kranidiotis dies
- Romanian telecoms to float 30 per cent of shares
- Nikas expanding into Balkans
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Talks on economy, 1998 budget and foreign policy resume today
Ruling PASOK's political secretariat today will resume its discussions,
which began on Friday, concentrating mostly on economic issues, and
especially the 1998 budget.
Friday's meeting opened with a report by Prime Minister and PASOK President
Costas Simitis on promoting the government's work and dealing with the
problems the nation is facing.
The main topics on the agenda today are the performance of the 1997 budget
and the drafting of the budget for next year, which National Economy
Minister Yiannos Papantoniou has called "crucial".
Discussions on the economy are expected to intensify this week, allowing
Mr. Simitis to present the government's overall positions at the annual
premier's speech on the economy during the Thessaloniki International Fair,
which opens on the first weekend of September.
The political secretariat meetings are being attended by Mr. Papantoniou,
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Alekos
Papadopoulos and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.
Mr. Pangalos is expected to discuss issues of foreign policy with the prime
minister and members of the secretariat at today's meeting, especially the
Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations.
Concert against Turkish occupation held in Cyprus
A concert opened at the Paralimni stadium yesterday to commemorate the
deaths of two anti-occupation demontrators, who were killed by a Turkish
mob and occupation forces last year during protests against the Turkish
occupation of one-third of the island republic.
The event was attended by Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, House Speaker
Spyros Kyprianou, party leaders, ministers and members of parliament.
The Greek government was represented by Greek ambassador in Nicosia
Kyriakos Rodoussakis. Also attending were main opposition New Democracy
party leader Costas Karamanlis, the president of the Democratic Social
Movement (DHKKI) Dimitris Tsovolas and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Before the concert began, Paralimni Mayor Nikos Vlittis received a flame
lit at the Acropolis of Athens and transported by reserve commado officers
by speedboats. Upon receiving the flame, Mr. Vlittis said this flame would
be placed on the tombs of thos e who had died, to remind eveyrone of the
duty towards the occupied part of their country.
The concert included noted Greek singers Giorgos Dalaras and Alkinoos
Ioannidis, Cypriot composer Marios Tokas and others.
US Congressmen pledge support for end to Cyprus occupation
Four US Congressmen, in Cyprus to attend the World Congress of Overseas
Cypriots, called for an end to the illegal Turkish occupation of the island
republic and said the US administration should make a constructive
contribution towards this goal.
Speaking on arrival at Larnaca airport, Robert Menendez described the
timing of their visit as "crucial and promising for Cyprus" and added "we
seek to get first hand knowledge and facts from policy makers in Cyprus and
do whatever we can to help in a cons tructive way to resolve this
"We believe the US Congress has a major foreign policy role to play and we
are very concerned about the continuing occupation in the north", he
Mr. Menendez expressed the hope that, as the European Union considers the
accession of Cyprus next year, "this would be a critical moment for a just
and lasting solution".
Congressman Maurice Hinchey described the Turkish occupation as "inappropriate
and illegal", and said "the people of Cyprus need to be given the
opportunity to determine their own future as soon as posible".
"The US administration has a constructive role to play to resolve the
situation as it has good relations with all parties involved," he
Robert Andrews said "we are here to call attention to the ongoing
abrogation of human rights by the occupiers in the north, here we have a
clear-cut unmistakable case of human rights violation".
He also said he believed "it is imperative for the US government to bring
to an end this occupation".
Congressman Alcee Hastings pledged to "try as best as we can to try and
assist in peace and stability in this region".
Asked to assess the involvement of US presidential emissary for Cyprus
Richard Holbrooke in efforts to bring a settlement, Mr. Menendez said the
Congressmen commended Mr. Holbrooke's appointment in a letter to US
President Bill Clinton and outlined thei r views on how best to try and
seek a resolution of the Cyrpus question.
"In the letter we said we hope to see emerge from negotiations a federated
state that derives its power from the federated constitution, that
guarantees all its citizens free passage throughout the country, one
country, one nation, one people, a country that guarantees basic human
rights and property rights", he said.
Turkish violations of Greek airspace reported
Ten pairs of Turkish F-16 warplanes infringed on Greek airspace on at least
10 occasions and violated Athens FIR regulations three times on Friday near
the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Hios and Symi, sources at the
national defence ministry said.
All Turkish violators were successfully intercepted, the same sources said,
while six engagements were also reported.
Gov't spokesman proposes Maria Damanaki for Athens mayor
Elections in large municipalities cannot be exploited by political parties
for political gain, but must remain independent of party politics,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas noted, as he proposed Maria Damanaki,
a former Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader could run
for Athens mayor.
In statements to the "Sunday Eleftherotypia", Mr. Reppas said that the
results in the three largest cities of Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki,
Piraeus) contained political messages, but that did not mean that municipal
elections should be seen as means of political gain by various parties.
"Municipal elections do not promote or bring down governments," he was
quoted as saying. "Local government is not a prelude or an extension of
politics. It has to find its own independent character."
A Synaspismos press spokesman responding to the interview on a private
radio station, saying that "if Maria Damanaki wants to become a candidate
for the mayorship of Athens, Synaspismos' support must be considered a
given and obvious fact".
He noted, however, that the possibility of PASOK and Synaspismos proposing
a joint candidate was slim, because "up to now we only have positive
statements from separate individuals in PASOK", instead of a specific
proposal. Municipal elections are scheduled for next year.
Veteran Cypriot diplomat Nikos Kranidiotis dies
Diplomat, poet and author Nikos Kranidiotis, the father of the current
Greek foreign undersecretary, died yesterday in Athens at the age of
Kranidiotis was born in Kyrenia and studied at the universities of Athens
and Harvard. He was a close associate of the then-president of Cyprus and
Archbishop Makarios and took an active part in Cyprus' struggle for
He became Cyprus' ambassador to Athens in 1959, following the establishment
of the Cyprus Republic, and ended his term with retirement in 1979.
His son, Yiannos Kranidiotis, current Greek foreign undersecretary, ended
an official visit to Cyprus and returned to Athens yesterday.
Romanian telecoms to float 30 per cent of shares
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) is considering a
possible participation in the partial privatisation of Rom Telecom, the
Romania state-owned telecommunications organisation.
Rom Telecom will float 30 per cent of its shares in the European market in
the near future, to a total expected to reach US$ four billion.
Ten of the top investment banks in the world are interested in managing the
flotation for Rom Telecom. These include Credit Suisse, First Boston,
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazards, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, ABN-AMRO
Bank jointly with NM Rothschild, and Lehman Brothers in association with
Nikas expanding into Balkans
Greek sausage-maker Nikas increased its sales so far this year by 15 per
cent, while its turnover for 1996 totalled 16.7 billion drachas, as against
14.9 billion drachmas for 1995, the company announced.
The company announced it would distribute a dividend of 135 drachmas per
share on its 1996 turnover.
It also announced an ambitious programme to open plants in three Balkan
countries where no such units currently exist.
In Skopje, Nikas will set up a new unit and retain 90 per cent control,
while the remaining 10 per cent will be owned by a local businessman who
will also be responsible for management.
In a joint venture with another businessman, Nikas plans to set up a joint
venture in Bulgaria, retaining 49 per cent ownership.
Nikas is also negotiating with Romanian businessmen the possibility of a
joint venture in that country.
A new unit is under construction in Cyprus jointly with Grigoriou SA, in
which Nikas owns a 36 per cent share. The unit will target the Lebanese
Mostly fine weather is forecast in most parts of Greece today with some
cloudiness in Macedonia, Thrace and the northern Aegean with scattered
showers or storms in the afternoon. Winds variable, light to strong,
turning to gale force in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be partly cloudy with
possible showers in the afternoon with temperatures between 19-30C. Same in
Thessaloniki with temperatures between 18-27C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.099
Pound sterling 453.780 Cyprus pd 530.026
French franc 46.283 Swiss franc 188.381
German mark 155.833 Italian lira (100) 15.979
Yen (100) 242.604 Canadian dlr. 203.162
Australian dlr. 212.080 Irish Punt 415.648
Belgian franc 7.549 Finnish mark 52.209
Dutch guilder 138.419 Danish kr. 40.916
Swedish kr. 35.752 Norwegian kr. 37.383
Austrian sch. 22.142 Spanish peseta 1.848
Port. Escudo 1.538