Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-20
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 20/09/1997 (ANA)
- Simitis calls for new PASOK profile
- US concerned over Turkish threats on Cyprus
- Eurosocialist Party resolution supports Cyprus EU accession talks
- Ankara: Turkish Cypriots cannot join island's EU accession talks
- Thessaloniki prepares for Ecumenical Patriarch's visit
- Turkey refuses reopening of Halki Theological school
- Greek stocks slip in wary market
- Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian bourses discuss cooperation
- Greece says Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to be built
- EU develops multimedia technology network in Greece
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis calls for new PASOK profile
Prime Minister and ruling socialist PASOK party president Costas Simitis
yesterday proposed the "re-establishment" of the party and set out a series
of positions on its nature and role today.
Addressing a two-day session of PASOK's central committee, Mr. Simitis said
the government was determined to continue to apply its policy, which he
said is aimed at the country's equal participation in the European Union
and creation of a modern and comp etitive economy.
He also attacked external and internal party opposition.
Despite the fact that a year had passed since the 1996 elections, Mr.
Simitis preferred not to make an account of the government's work but to
place emphasis on the party's operation and on the upcoming prefectural and
However, he referred to the government's policy successes both in the
economy and in implementing the second Community Support Framework, saying
that the government has achieved a new method of operation.
Mr. Simitis said that this year the government proved that it did not come
to manage power but to change its direction and content, not hesitating to
take appropriate decisions and ignoring the so-called political cost.
He said the first year after the 1996 elections was a year of familiarisation
with problems, adding that over the next three years the rates of
government work will be intensified and on the basis of the work accomplished,
PASOK will request a renewal of the popular mandate at the end of the four-
year period of office.
Mr. Simitis said PASOK is not pursuing simple electoral victories but wants
the activated society as its prolonged and stable ally. PASOK is not merely
a ruling party, but a party generating government prospects, which does not
fear ruptures, neither in society, nor with its own habits.
He formulated his positions on the party's new nature and role, saying that
its priorities include a radical change in certain aspects of the party's
traditional relation with society. The role of the party as a "protector"
is coming to an end at all le vels, he said, adding that the party as a
"mediator" must be replaced with the party which is a pioneer in society.
Mr. Simitis said that PASOK is the natural foreman for a powerful Greece,
but it is not alone on this path and for this reason it pursues open
channels of communication and cooperation with the forces constituting the
He ruled out the possibility of summit agreements being reached with other
parties or the creation of satellite political formations. He added that
dialogue taking place in the framework of the centre-left will acquire
particular dynamism in light of the municipal elections.
Mr. Simitis pointed to certain weaknesses in the party, saying that "we are
still very far from the operation of the party which we are pursuing" and
referred to the trade union mentalities of party cadres who are active in
Mr. Simitis made an early announcement of a big renewal in the persons
which will be selected for municipal and prefectural posts, saying that the
candidates who will be selected must be adequate, cadres having a modern
spirit on self-administration, social sensitivity and respect for the
US concerned over Turkish threats on Cyprus
The US State Department reacted unfavourably yesterday over warnings by
Turkey the same day that it was working on measures against deployment of
Russian-made S-300 missiles on the island republic.
State Department spokesman James Rubin issued a statement saying: "The
United States continues to believe that the decision of the Cyprus Republic
to acquire S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia is a step backward in
our efforts for a peaceful solut ion to the Cyprus issue. At the same time
we are firmly opposed to threats to address the missile question militarily.
"Therefore, we note with concern the statements of Turkish Prime Minister
Mesut Yilmaz earlier today (yesterday) regarding the missiles. We call on
all interested parties to avoid statements which exacerbate the tensions
over this issue," Mr. Rubin said .
Mr. Yilmaz yesterday announced that his government had asked the Turkish
military to take all appropriate measures to "deal with the issues created
by the deployment of the S-300 missiles on Cyprus".
The Cypriot government earlier this year announced plans to buy the
defensive S-30 0 surface-to-air missiles fro Russia for delivery by mid-
1998. Turkey maintains more than 30,000 troops in the occupied north of the
island, since invading in 1974.
Eurosocialist Party resolution supports Cyprus EU accession talks
The European Socialist Party's (ESP) presidium convened here yesterday,
unanimously adopting a resolution on the Cyprus issue supporting the
accession of the island republic to the European Union, as well as a start
to accession negotia tions six months after the end of the IGC.
The ruling PASOK party was represented by ESP Vice-President Akis
Tsohatzopoulos and ESP presidium member Yiannos Kranidiotis.
The European socialists expressed the hope that the dialogue which will
start on the security of Cyprus will lead to the demilitarisation of the
island as soon as possible, as well as to positive results to facilitate
efforts to find a just and viable sol ution to the Cyprus issue.
Ankara: Turkish Cypriots cannot join island's EU accession talks
Turkey has rejected the European Union's urging that the Turkish Cypriot
community be represented in Cyprus' EU accession talks, criticising the EU
Council of Ministers for what it called "ignoring the realities" on the
"It cannot be expected that the Turkish Cypriot community will participate
in the Greek Cypriot administration's delegation," a Turkish foreign
ministry announcement said.
Cyprus has proposed that Turkish Cypriot community representatives take
part in a Cypriot government delegation in the island's EU accession
Thessaloniki prepares for Ecumenical Patriarch's visit
Thessaloniki is organising an extensive welcome for Ecumenical Patriarch
Vartholomeos, who will pay an official visit from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 as the
head of a delegation from almost every Greek Orthodox and Orthodox
Vartholomeos will be welcomed by President of the Republic Costis
Stephanopoulos, and is also scheduled to meet with the ministers of
national defence, foreign affairs, culture, Macedonia-Thrace as well as
He will also make the first reforestation planting at the Seikh Sou Forest,
which was ravaged by fire over the summer, as part of the city's efforts to
promote environmental concerns.
The Ecumenical Patriarch's programme also includes a visit to Xanthi on
Oct. 2, where he will be presented with an honorary degree by the
University of Xanthi.
Back in Thessaloniki, he also expects to visit several historical sites,
including the Byzantine Museum, where the "Treasures of Mount Athos"
exhibition is being held, as well as the Turkish consulate.
Turkey refuses reopening of Halki Theological School
Ankara's refusal to allow the reopening of the Halki Orthodox Theological
School could lead to an embargo against Turkey by the United States,
several Turkish dailies wrote yesterday.
Press reports expressed concern over whether Ecumenical Patriarch
Vartholomeos would raise the issue with US President Bill Clinton during
the former's official visit to the White House on October 22.
The news of Vartholomeos's visit to the US and his meeting with Mr. Clinton
has already drawn fire in Turkey, with certain newspapers claiming the
visit contravened the Treaty of Lausanne.
The last visit by an Ecumenical patriarch to the US was in June 1990, when
Patriarch Dimitrios became the first-ever ecumenical patriarch to visit the
His visit too was greeted by objections in Turkey.
Greek stocks slip in wary market
Greek equities ended the last trading session of the week with minor losses,
reflecting the market's reluctance to open new long-term positions.
Traders said buying interest was focused in insurance issues, while
construction shares came under profit-taking.
The general index closed at 1,680.52 points, down 0.18 percent, to show a
1.56 percent gain in the week.
Sector indices ended mixed. Banks fell 0.29 percent, Leasing dropped 1.15
percent, Investment eased 0.22 percent, Industrials were 0.11 percent off,
Construction fell 1.42 percent, Holding dropped 1.55 percent, but Insurance
and Miscellaneous rose by 4. 11 and 0.12 percent respectively.
Insurance and Miscellaneous showed the biggest weekly gains at 7.82 and
6.26 percent respectively, followed by Construction at 5.69 percent.
Trading was moderate and turnover was 16.9 billion drachmas. The week's
total turnover was 112.32 billion drachmas, while the five-session average
was 22.5 billion down from 31.6 billion the previous week. Broadly,
advancing issues led declining ones by 121 to 99 with another 28 issues
Altec, Keranis, National Insurance and Sysware scored the biggest
percentage gains, while Ideal, Benroubi, Mesochoriti and Parnassos suffered
the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 33,690 drachmas, Ergobank at 18,250, Alpha
Credit Bank at 19,900, Delta Dairy at 4,335, Titan Cement at 16,300,
Intracom at 14,300 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 6,
In the domestic foreign exchange market the US dollar was substantially
higher against the drachma.
Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian bourses discuss cooperation
The prospects for cooperation between the Athens Stock Exchange and bourses
in Romania and Bulgaria were discussed at a meeting held yesterday at
Thessaloniki's stock market centre.
The agenda of the meeting, attended by officials from the three markets and
also by a senior executive of the Brussels Stock Exchange, included new
listings on the stock market, the use of compatible electronic trading
systems, and training by Athens bo urse authorities.
The officials agreed that the Thessaloniki stock exchange could develop
into a centre of regional cooperation in the Balkans. The Belgian official
outlined a cooperation deal linking stock markets in Brussels, Amsterdam
Greece says Alexandroupolis oil pipeline to be built
Greece said yesterday a slow-moving project to build a pipeline carrying
Caspian oil from the Bulgarian port of Bourgas to the northern port of
Alexandroupoli was still slated for construction, despite delays.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters negotiations on
the pipeline had begun some time ago and the project was underway, but no
progress had been made.
Stalling the project for years have been questions of funding and operation
involving the Greek, Bulgarian and Russian governments, exacerbated by
bouts of political uncertainty that delayed decisions.
Mr. Reppas was replying to a reporter's question on a statement from Sofia
on Thursday that a pipeline would be built to take the oil to the Adriatic
through Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and
Albania. The pipeline would bypass Greece.
Brushing off talk of a project that was still at the planning stage, Mr.
Reppas said a timescale for completion existed, which he did not name.
According to Bulgaria's BTA news agency, an international conference on
trans-Balkan oil and gas pipelines that began in Sofia on Thursday studied
the two separate projects to build pipelines through Bulgaria, one ending
Greece had said funding of the project was approved at a meeting with
Bulgaria and Russia in June 1997 but disagreements remained with Sofia on
the need to appoint international engineering consultants to carry out a
feasibility study, BTA quoted delegates at the conference as saying.
Greece and Bulgaria had agreed to go ahead with the project in 1994. The
experts did not rule out construction of both pipelines if the country's
economy would benefit, including revenue from transit fees, BTA said.
AMBO of the United Kingdom detailed a 560-mile long pipeline that could
transfer crude from the Caspian Sea through Bulgaria, FYROM and Albania to
Budgeted at 850 million dollars, it would have a capacity of up to 650,000
barrels daily or 400 million barrels annually.
The pipeline to Alexandroupolis would have a length of 242-285 kilometres
with an annual capacity of 30-40 million tons of crude, according to
initial estimates. The project is expected to cost 650-750 million
EU develops multimedia technology network in Greece
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has developed MIDAS-NET, a
network operating in Greece for the promotion and development of multimedia
technology and its use.
The Greek end of the network is addressed to small and medium-sized
enterprises, publishers, chambers of commerce, professors and academics
interested in using and developing information through multimedia
During a seminar held by the Greek National Documentation centre in Athens,
a body responsible for providing electronic information services on
research and technology, multimedia experts presented the latest research
in international multimedia markets .
Mostly fair weather throughout the country with some scattered cloud and
rain forecast in the north from late afternoon. Winds northerly, light to
moderate. Athens sunny with temperatures from 16-29C. Thessaloniki partly
cloudy with tempetratures from 14C to 26C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 279.179
Pound sterling 448.483 Cyprus pd 530.105
French franc 46.608 Swiss franc 190.117
German mark 156.548 Italian lira (100) 16.049
Yen (100) 229.281 Canadian dlr. 200.642
Australian dlr. 200.577 Irish Punt 414.220
Belgian franc 7.586 Finnish mark 52.582
Dutch guilder 139.029 Danish kr. 41.124
Swedish kr. 36.605 Norwegian kr. 38.521
Austrian sch. 22.246 Spanish peseta 1.857
Port. Escudo 1.542