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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 22/09/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Premier again warns Ankara on threats against Cyprus
  • Greece lodges demarche with Ankara
  • American library divided into two sections
  • Int'l conference on protection of Black Sea moves on to Batumi
  • Turkish extremists attack conference delegates
  • Direct foreign investments increase worldwide and in Greece
  • Clerides stresses importance of direct security talks
  • Holbrooke reiterates support for Cyprus' EU accession course
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Premier again warns Ankara on threats against Cyprus

Prime Minister Costas Simitis has sent a new warning to Turkey, saying Athens would back Cyprus in the event of any aggressive action by Ankara against the island republic.

Addressing a second-day meeting of the ruling PASOK party central committee on Saturday, Mr. Simitis, who is also the president of the ruling party, said "Greece will come to Cyprus' aid in the event of any aggressive action by Ankara".

Later in the evening, the central committee ended its session by giving its stamp of approval with an overwhelming majority to the party's executive programme on foreign policy issues.

Mr. Simitis stressed that Greek-Turkish relations "cannot be normalised without a just solution to the Cyprus problem", adding that Cyprus' European Union accession course was a top priority for Greece.

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos spoke on security and defence policy, which he said must supplement foreign policy.

He said it would be wrong to limit discussion to the Madrid communique, which "does not solve any issues, but was simply an initiative for a peaceful approach to some matters and a correct move on the part of Greece".

He noted that Turkey had made the same moves at a time of domestic crisis, when the then new government was facing serious problems.

Turning to the security issues in the region, he attributed them to "the aggressive policy of Turkey, which is attempting to alter the status quo", and which "today has placed the threat of use of violence on the table".

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos defended the government's foreign policy, adding that for the first time it had the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people.

Mr. Pangalos said the Madrid communique had changed the political climate, explaining that a country's territorial size was not the issue - underlining that Greece would not concede an inch of its territory.

He said Turkey's leadership had hastened to dispute the Madrid communique in action, but added the communique had not gone "bankrupt", but remained a success of Greek foreign policy and should be defended internationally, particularly against those in Turkey who wished to undermine and nullify it.

Regarding FYROM, he said the interim agreement had been a "bold and decisive step", although he criticised the manner in which it had been announced at the time.

Today, he said, a step forward must be taken, adding that Greece could not accept a name that would create confusion. He noted, however, that PASOK should, since 1993, have stated that it would seek a name acceptable to both countries.

Greece lodges demarche with Ankara

Foreign Minister Pangalos said in a newspaper interview yesterday that he had instructed Greece's ambassador in Ankara to lodge a demarche "at the highest level" over Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's comments on Friday regarding the deployment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on Cyprus.

Mr. Yilmaz said on Friday 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".

His comments also drew the displeasure of the US State Department, which issued a statement saying it was "firmly opposed to threats to address the missile question militarily."

American library divided into two sections

The US Information Service (USIS) HAS announced that the 52-year-old American Library has been divided into two sections, to better meet the needs of the Athens public.

The first section, the USIS-supported Information Resource Center (IRC), provides information on topics having to do with the US through the use of modern technology. The IRC staff has access to a large volume of information, much of it in electronic for mat, which will meet the needs of serious research. The second section of the library, the circulating collection, has been donated to and will function under the auspices of the Hellenic American Union.

HAU will notify the public when they are completed and the library reopen its doors.

Int'l conference on protection of Black Sea moves on to Batumi

An international religious and ecological conference on the protection of the Black Sea was continued in the Georgian port of Batumi yesterday.

The conference, organised under the auspices of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and European Commission President Jacques Santer, started in the Turkish city of Trabzon on Saturday and after Batumi will visit six more ports in the Black Sea before end ing up in Thessaloniki, the Cultural Capital of Europe 1997.

The Patriarch of Georgia Ilias boarded the vessel "Eleftherios Venizelos", on which the conference is taking place, and was received by Vartholomeos.

Both Patriarchs later officiated at a church service in Batumi. Georgian Parliament President Zourab Zhvania, the president of the ministerial council for the autonomous government of Abhazhia, Georgi Ilatse, and members of the Georgian church's Synod greeted the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Turkish extremists attack conference delegates

The international conference drew hostility from several Turkish nationalist organisations in Trabzon on Saturday, members of which stoned buses carrying delegates from the city's airport to the anchored ship.

About 50 people shouted slogans against Patriarch Vartholomeos and clerics participating in the conference, accusing them of "coming to Trabzon to make it Greek" and shouting "the Black Sea is Turkish."

The organising committee of the conference was forced to cancel a scheduled visit to the renown Panagia Soumela Monastery after local authorities refused to guarantee the safety of delegates. Most of them visited the monastery with their own means without any incident taking place.

The conference attended by 400 delegates, received a warm message from Turkish President Suleyman Demirel.

The ultra-nationalist and Islamist newspaper "Turkiye" termed the conference a "Dirty Game in the Black Sea", while the Islamist newspaper "Milli Gazete" headlined its report on the conference with "What audacity!"

Direct foreign investments increase worldwide and in Greece

Direct foreign investments carried out by bi-national companies are following an upward trend throughout the world, including Greece, resulting in an intensification of competition among all countries, primarily developing ones, to attract this capital with the prospect of strengthening their growth productively.

This trend was confirmed by this year's annual report on world investments of the UN Conference on Commerce and Development (UNCTAD), which was presented by the UN Bureau in Athens - a special analysis of its main points was made by Athens University prof essor Vassilis Droukopoulos.

The report, entitled "World Investment Report 1997: Transnational Corporations, Market Structure and Competition Policy", the seventh to date, constitutes one of the most authoritative reports in the world on the activities of multinational and bi-natio nal companies (the former are those belonging to shareholders from at least two different nationalities, while the latter those active in more than one countries).

According to assessments made in the report (there are no precise figures), one billion dollars flowed into the country in 1990 as foreign direct investments (1 per cent of total capital to the European Union) compared to inflows amounting to 1.05 billi on dollars in 1995, $981 million in 1994, $977 million in 1993, 1,14 billion in 1992 and 1.13 billion in 1991. On average, over the 1985-90 period investment capital of bi-national companies totalling 711 billion flowed into Greece.

Total foreign capital invested in Greece in 1996 was estimated at $20.3 billion as against $4.5 billion in 1980. These investments correspond to about 4.5 per cent of the total gross fixed capital invested in Greece and 17 per cent of GDP. At European U nion level, Greece appears third from bottom on the list of foreign capital absorption, above only Denmark and Portugal.

With regard to investment capital outflows, in 1996 Greece made productive investments outside its borders amounting to six million dollars, the lowest of any other EU country. In 1996, Greece appeared as having invested $26 million in other countries, as against only one million in 1990.

Clerides stresses importance of direct security talks

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said Sunday that the Greek Cypriot side will enter a dialogue on security issues with the Turkish Cypriot side with good will.

Referring to an agreement between the two sides announced last Monday by the US Secretary of State during a stopover in Cyprus, the president expressed hope the Turkish Cypriots will also show good will.

President Clerides described security as "one of the fundamental issues" of the Cyprus problem and said he expects an initiative for an overall settlement after the 1998 Cyprus presidential elections.

He reiterated that his "ultimate aim is the reunification of the island, removal of Turkish troops occupying 37 per cent of its territory since they invaded in 1974, the safeguarding of human rights and the peaceful co- existence of all communities."

President Clerides expressed optimism that a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem will be reached and said there is increased international interest for a solution.

He said this could be achieved with the help of Greece and a joint defence pact between the two countries decided in 1993, as well as the efforts of overseas Greeks as well as foreign countries and personalities.

Mr. Clerides added that his government's policy has brought the Cyprus question into the limelight and revealed Turkish intransigence in efforts for a settlement.

Holbrooke reiterates support for Cyprus' EU accession course

US special presidential emissary on the Cyprus problem Richard Holbrooke said on Saturday that Cyprus' accession course towards the European Union must proceed, without reactions interfering.

Mr. Holbrooke was speaking after meeting with Andrew Athens, the president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).

"The procedures to include Cyprus in the European Union are not going to stop. Cyprus will become a member of the European Community," Mr. Holbrooke was reported as telling the SAE president during their meeting.

Mr. Athens told Cyprus Radio that Mr. Holbrooke was pleased and optimistic by the "active daily interest" of US State Department special coordinator on the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller, and believes an agreement between the two sides to directly meet and discuss security issues was a step forward.

Greek First Division soccer results

Panahaiki-Panathinaikos 0-1 Ethnikos - Heraklis 0 - 1 Veria - Ionikos 0 - 1 Proodeftiki - OFI 2 - 2 Kavala - Athinaikos 1 - 0 Apollon - Pyrgos 2 - 0 Kalamata - Panionios 0 - 0 PAOK - Xanthi 1 - 1 Olympiakos-AEK play tonight Standings: Ionikos, Panathinaikos, Heraklis 9 points, Olympiakos 6 Xanthi 5 AEK 4 Proodeftiki 4 OFI 4 Panionios 4 Ethnikos 3 Pyrgos, Veria, Apollon, Kavala 3 PAOK, Kalamata 2, Panahaiki, Athinaikos 0.

WEATHER

Fair weather with some local cloudiness and a small drop in temperatures is forecast for most parts of Greece today. Winds northerly, light to moderate turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be partly cloudy with long spells of sunshine and temperatures from 17-26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 15-21C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(C.E.)


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