Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-09-03
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 03/09/1997 (ANA)
- Turkish stance no surprise to Greece
- Helicopter crash injuries not serious
- Defence minister satisfied with talks in London
- Final decrees on legalising illegal immigrants expected
- Greek couple on old Silk Road
- Greek equities on upward trend
- EU Commissioner keynote speaker in Thessaloniki
- Industrial production rises 0.1 pct in June yr/yr
- US dlr gains 2.82 pct vs drachma in August
- Greece records 10.3 pct unemployment in 1996
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Turkish stance no surprise to Greece
Greece today commented on recent statements by Turkish Foreign Minister
Ismail Cem saying that the stance he had adopted came as no surprise to
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas added that the European Union also
should not be surprised, but that Cem's stance should make Greece's
partners think seriously about the way in which Turkey views its relations
with the EU.
"The neighbouring country's outlook is not the same as that of the EU,"
Reppas said, noting that if the Union was unable to exert pressure on
Ankara, then it should at least make it clear to Turkey that its road to
the EU would be a very long one.
Replying to reporters' questions, Reppas again called on Turkey to
contribute to efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem "so that
automatically all the problems related to the continuation of the
outstanding issue can be tackled".
Commenting meanwhile on the checks being carried out by Turkey on vessels
passing through the Dardanelles, Reppas said the Treaty of Montreux should
be implemented, stressing that inspections were permitted only for sanitary
The spokesman clarified that the checks had not affected Greek-owned
vessels and consequently Athens did not intend to raise the issue
The matter, he said, should be raised by countries or shipowners who
believe that their interests have been prejudiced.
Helicopter crash injuries not serious
The two tank corps non-commissioned officers injured when the military
helicopter in which they were travelling crashed in northern Greece are
being treated in Thessaloniki for serious injuries which are however not
The helicopter crashed late last night near the community of Arseni,
The third person in the helicopter, the pilot, was discharged from hospital
last night after receiving first aid for minor injuries.
The two injured sergeant majors, Stratos Pipilios and Panagiotis Hatzaras,
are being treated at the 424 General Military Hospital in Thessaloniki.
The Vice-President of the hospital, Major Zacharias Apolonatos, told the
ANA that they would remain in hospital for at least 15 days.
Defence minister satisfied with talks in London
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday expressed his full
satisfaction with the results of his talks with his British counterpart
He stressed they had the opportunity to reach certain important agreements
regarding the two countries' cooperation on issues of security, armaments
"Our two countries cover two opposite geopolitical areas...under different
terms, of course, which creates the conditions for a substantial cooperation
on issues of security, stability and policy. Our common findings in today's
talks was that our views on these issues converge," he said.
Questioned whether his visit to British arms industries was related with a
direct Greek interest for purchase of defence material, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos
clarified that some weapon systems which are of interest to Greece are
produced in Britain, and that this was related to his visit.
He also said there was a common assessment with Mr. Robertson for the
creation of a new defence organisation which will emerge from NATO,
covering the broader geopolitical area of Europe and including eastern
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos is also due to meet with the British chief of staff and
visit defence industries. He will also meet with members of Britain's Greek
community and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Great Britain.
Final decrees on legalising illegal immigrants expected
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is due to announce during Friday's Cabinet
session the final drafts of presidential decrees that provide for the
registration and legalisation of illegal immigrants.
Sources said the provision will not exempt nationals from neighbouring
countries, particularly Albanians which form the largest group in the
Public order ministry data show that the problem of illegal immigration is
serious and its effective handling particularly difficult. Between 1991 and
1996 more than 1.11 million foreign nationals permanently residing in
Greece were located throughout the country, of which only 69,884 had
Other data indicate the seriousness of imported crime. In 1994-95, 22,085
foreign nationals were arrested and imprisoned.
According to the same sources, the government appears determined to provide
a permanent solution with the granting of a "green card" to illegal
Greek couple on old Silk Road
A Greek couple have just concluded a journey on the old Silk Road travelled
hundreds of years ago by Byzantine monks who went to China in order to
smuggle silk out of the country and bring it back to Byzantium.
Costas Mitsakis and Olga Papadoyianni set off on their journey on 4 July
from Beijing and returned to Greece on Monday having travelled 12,500 km.
on their motorcycle through landscapes ranging from the deserts of western
China to the steep mountains of Central Asia.
The couple, backed by the Thessaloniki '97 Cultural Capital Organisation,
retraced the route followed by merchants hundreds of years ago through
China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey.
In all the countries they visited, the two travellers conveyed messages
from the Thessaloniki 97 Cultural City Organisation and the Thessaloniki
The Greek couple, who got married just before they embarked on the journey,
have made other such journeys in the past.
In 1993 and 1994 they retraced the road travelled by Alexander the Great
and his Macedonian warriors, while two years ago they covered the Athens-
Sydney route. Last year they went around the world in 80 days.
Greek equities on upward trend
Greek equities remained on an upward trend for the second consecutive
session, led by bank and construction issues, reflecting the market's
renewed optimism ahead of a crucial vote on the host of the 2004 Olympic
Games on Friday.
The general index closed 1.38 percent higher at 1,565.14 points, with most
sector indices scoring gains.
Banks rose 1.51 percent, Leasing was 0.75 percent up, Insurance increased
0.97 percent, Investment rose 2.17 percent, Industrials were 1.48 percent
higher, Construction jumped 2.58 percent andHolding ended 0.82 percent up.
Miscellaneous bucked the trend to end 0.07 percent down.
The parallel market index for small cap companies eased 0.83 percent.
Trading was moderate and turnover was 13.1 billion drachmas.
Broadly, advancing issues led declining ones by 147 to 63 with another 22
Atemke, Thessaliki, Babyland and Parnassos scored the biggest percentage
gains, while Athinea, Kekrops, Ippotour and Ermis suffered the heaviest
losses of the day.
National Bank of Greece ended at 34,400 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,200, Alpha
Credit Bank at 19,090, Delta Dairy at 4,125, Titan Cement at 14,615,
Intracom at 12,495 and OTE at 6,425.
In the domestic foreign exchange market the US dollar was fractionally
higher against the drachma.
EU Commissioner keynote speaker in Thessaloniki
EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis will be the keynote speaker at a dinner
hosted by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki
on Monday on the occasion of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), to
be inaugurated by Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday evening.
Mr. Papoutsis, responsible for energy, tourism, small and medium-sized
enterprises will also chair a joint session of the federation and the board
of managers of the Stock Exchange Centre in the city.
This year the European Union celebrates the 40th anniversary of its
founding. It is also the 13th consecutive year of its presence at the fair.
Mr. Papoutsis will attend events marking the anniversary at the Thessaloniki
fair along with European Commission general director for information and
telecommunications Spyros Pappas.
Industrial production rises 0.1 pct in June yr/yr
Greece's year-on-year industrial production rose fractionally in June, the
National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday.
In its monthly release of the output index, NSS said that industrial
production rose by 0.1 percent in June from the corresponding month last
Industrial production was 0.1 percent higher in the first six months of the
year against the same period a year earlier.
US dlr gains 2.82 pct vs drachma in August
A sharp rise in the US dollar and a fall in most European currencies were
the main features in the domestic foreign exchange market in August.
The greenback rose by 2.82 percent against the drachma on a monthly basis.
The August fixing was 288.890 drachmas from 280.976 in July.
The US currency was 22.98 percent higher against the drachma compared to
its level a year ago.
On an annual basis the DMark fell by 0.11 percent against the Greek
currency while the French franc was stable. The British pound was 1.40
percent lower and the Italian lira fell by 0.44 percent against the
The European Currency Unit (Ecu) eased by 0.34 percent while the Japanese
yen rose by 0.33 percent.
Greece records 10.3 pct unemployment in 1996
Greece reported an increase both in employment and unemployment rates in
1996, a survey by the National Statistics Service said yesterday.
The survey showed that the country's total workforce was 4,318,302 at the
end of last year. The employed numbered 3,871,923, representing 89.7
percent of the workforce, and the jobless were 446,379, or 10.3 percent.
The total workforce was up 69,774 from 1995. The number of employed rose by
48,114 while the unemployed increased by 21,660.
Employment in agriculture, farming, fishing, forestry and mines fell to
20.3 percent in 1996 from 27 percent in 1987.
Employment also declined in industry and manufacturing, running at 22.9
percent from 23.2 percent in 1995.
However, employment in the public sector, banking, transport and communications
rose steadily from 45 percent of the workforce in 1987 to 51 percent in
1992, 54.5 pct in 1993, 55.5 pct in 1994, 56.4 pct in 1995 and 56.8 percent
The survey also showed that western Macedonia, Epirus and Attica marked the
highest unemployment rates among the country's 13 regions at 17.2, 12.5 and
12.5 percent respectively.
The lowest rates were reported in the Ionian islands, south Aegean and
Crete at 6.2, 5.4 and 3.8 percent respectively.
Unemployment among women rose to 62.6 percent of total unemployment in 1996
from 58.5 percent in 1995.
Partly cloudy skies throughout the country today with brief showers
expected in mainland Greece, Epirus, Macedonia and Thessaly. Winds
northerly, moderate to strong, turning gale force in the Aegean Sea. Athens
will be partly cloudy with temperatures from 20-29C. Same in Thessaloniki
with temperatures between 18-27C.
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.059
Pound sterling 453.523 Cyprus pd 529.728
French franc 46.352 Swiss franc 189.730
German mark 155.987 Italian lira (100) 16.000
Yen (100) 233.289 Canadian dlr. 204.828
Australian dlr. 206.038 Irish Punt 418.426
Belgian franc 7.556 Finnish mark 52.001
Dutch guilder 138.488 Danish kr. 40.978
Swedish kr. 35.984 Norwegian kr. 37.690
Austrian sch. 22.166 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.537