Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-24
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 24/09/1997 (ANA)
- Turkey insists on disputing Aegean status quo
- Ambassador-designate Burns lauds Greece's role in region
- Biden condemns Turkey over Cyprus occupation
- Greece-Cyprus defence cooperation examined
- NATO's 'Dynamic MIx '97' exercise begins with Greek participation
- Media conference focusing on the Mediterranean ends
- Alumil agreement with Egyptian firm
- Greek bourse launches stock index today
- Greek telecom mulls listing on NYSE
- Black Sea group urges creation of better business climate
- Greece to host Mediterranean business meeting
- Greek stocks take tentative step towards 1,700 pts
- Greece to hold trade fair in FYROM
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Turkey insists on disputing Aegean status quo
Turkey wants to insist on keeping open the issue of disputing the status
quo of the Aegean, something that Athens cannot discuss, Foreign Minister
Theodoros Pangalos said in New York yesterday after meeting with his
Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
"The Americans have been making some attempts at finding a formula that has
been sought in the past also, but the issue is not an issue of (finding) a
formula," Mr. Pangalos explained.
"The issue is an issue of political decision (by Turkey). Turkey wishes to
keep open the issue of doubting the present situation in the Aegean,
something that Greece could not even hold talks on," he added.
Asked what issues the two foreign ministers talked about, Mr. Pangalos
said: "The discussion focused exclusively on Imia and the specific issue of
Turkey's territorial demands against Greece, which I have set as a
prerequisite issue for any further discussion."
The foreign minister said that both sides repeated their stance, while at
Mr. Cem's request that both countries sit down at the discussion table, Mr.
Pangalos replied that "this is a refusal to dialogue, it is a non-starter,
and there is no use at all of holding any further discussion in this
direction. I gave him a few characteristic examples. To the extent that
logic may (be able to) influence someone, I remain hopeful".
Asked whether the United States could play a role in Greece's decision to
refuse discussion if Turkey does not lift its demands against Greece, Mr.
Pangalos replied: "Not even God could play an important role in Greece's
refusal to negotiate its sovereign rights. This is a message to all
directions. And at present, at least, God is above the United States".
Mr. Pangalos added that both would meet again on Crete in approximately a
month with the prime ministers of Greece and Turkey. He also added that
each of them planned to meet separately with US Secretary of State
Ambassador-designate Burns lauds Greece's role in region
The newly appointed US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns said yesterday
that Greece is a leader in the Balkans and a force for peace and stability
in the eastern Mediterranean.
Mr. Burns was expected to be confirmed by the US Senate Foreign Affairs
Committee, along with nominees for the posts in Ankara, Rome and the
Vatican. The committee yesterday told the four nominees that "they should
pack their bags."
Outlining Washington's targets in its relations with Greece during his
confirmation hearings by the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in the
framework of his confirmation hearing as US ambassador to Greece, Mr. Burns,
a former State Department spokesman, also said the relationship between
Washington and Athens is "very important" which, he noted, constitutes a
decisive element for NATO's success and the power of the alliance's
He said he will place emphasis on the need for a peaceful settlement of
Greek-Turkish differences as well as of a resolution of the Cyprus issue.
He reminded that the interest of the US in these two issues is increased
and is shown by both the active role undertaken by Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright and the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as a presidential
envoy on the Cyprus issue.
Biden condemns Turkey over Cyprus occupation
Newly appointed US ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris also testified before
the Foreign Affairs Committee together with Mr. Burns. The two US diplomats
stressed that their longstanding acquaintance and friendship will render
more effective the common effort they will be making to improve Greek-
Turkish relations and resolve the Cyprus issue.
The only note that marred the polite, cheerful atmosphere in the hearing
room was an angry denunciation by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Delaware), insisting
that Mr. Parris should tell the Turkish government that its sense of
isolation in the world is because it violated international law by invading
Cyprus in 1974 and continues to violate international law by keeping its
Mr. Parris answered diplomatically, which brought on another response by
He demanded that Mr. Parris tell Ankara that the United States is "even-
handed, which means to be fair...Our policy is that it (the Turkish
invasion and occupation) was illegal."
Mr. Parris did not directly respond.
Greece-Cyprus defence cooperation examined
Greece and Cyprus yesterday examined the course of defence cooperation
between the two countries, at a meeting between National Defence Minister
Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his Cypriot counterpart Costas Eliades.
The two men examined the progress towards meeting goals set out in the
framework of the joint defence doctrine between Athens and Nicosia, as well
as details of Cyprus' forthcoming "Nikiforos '97" exercise, to be held next
month. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos sai d Greece's armed forces would be participating
in the Nikiforos exercise, which will include, as it did last year,
military flights over Cyprus by Greek fighters.
He said he had accepted an invitation to visit Cyprus during the annual
Mr. Eliades said the planning and holding of the Nikiforos exercise was
independent of the course of planned security talks between Cypriot
President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on
NATO's 'Dynamic Mix '97' exercise begins with Greek participation
The NATO multinational exercise "Dynamic Mix '97" is taking place with
Greece's participation after a lengthy absence, while Turkey has announced
that it would not participate.
The exercise, coordinated by NATO's southern flank headquarters began
yesterday and will continue until Oct. 13.
Three regional exercises will take place on Greek territory, namely, in
Macedonia, Thessaly and the western Peloponnese.
"The exercise covers the entire national territory and meets our demands in
this current phase," the chief of the exercises coordination office at the
Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff said.
According to reports, with the holding of the military exercise NATO
indirectly favours the necessity of an alliance regional headquarters in
Larisa, as part of NATO's new structural changes.
"Dynamic Mix" is held with the participation of Belgium, Britain, Germany,
Denmark, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States.
Media conference focusing on the Mediterranean ends
A two-day conference entitled "The Role and Importance of the Mediterranean
in the Process of European Unification" ended yesterday at Zappeio Hall,
following extensive references to the "new reality" created by the spread
of mass media and technology.
The conference was organised by the Union of European Journalists.
Yesterday's speeches addressed two separate themes. The first was "News
Agencies and the Mass Media in the Mediterranean: Their Role and Function",
and "Europe, the Mediterranean, North America: A New Cultural Reality".
Press Ministry Secretary General Nikos Athanassakis pointed out that
cooperation between national news agencies would improve the effectiveness
of communications, beyond the power carried by large international news
agencies, he said, calling for the promotion of joint programmes in
Mr. Athanassakis also praised an initiative by the Athens News Agency (ANA)
to table a proposal with the European Union programme INTERREG II that
would link Greece with Cyprus and Lebanon.
ANA general director Andreas Christodoulides called for collaboration
between national agencies that would utilise local networks for information
and promote exchanges and joint projects.
"The only way to prevent the creation of two separate worlds in information
is to promote the set-up of professional groups of national agencies that
would utilise the local networks for further information, create regional
specialised bulletins, exchange photos and videos on issues of interest to
the area, planning joint investments and carrying out seminars," Mr.
The ANA's general director also announced an agreement underway between ANA
and the national news agencies of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and
Yugoslavia on English-language bulletins for economic and business
Alumil agreement with Egyptian firm
The Alumil aluminium company has signed an agreement with the Egypt-based
Honaffa company for the manufacturing of its products in Egypt and their
distribution in North Africa and the Middle East.
Given the region's needs in building materials, the economic benefits for
Alumil are expected to be high. The company recorded sales of 9.45 billion
drachmas and profits of 1.14 billion in 1996, while in the first half of
this year sales reached 5.5 bil lion drachmas.
Greek bourse launches stock index today
A new stock market index designed to facilitate operation of a future
derivatives market will be launched today on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Based on a basket of 20 blue-chip stocks listed on the Greek bourse, the
new FTSE/ASE-20 index will track the daily movement of key shares in the
It will be used as a basis for the operation of a derivatives market, due
to start next year.
The index was set up by the Athens Stock Exchange and FTSE International, a
company owned by the Financial Times Group and London Stock Exchange with
expertise in designing and developing stock and bond market indices.
Under an agreement signed by the two companies, the Athens bourse will
calculate the index on a daily basis and FTSE International is to review
the index every six months.
The Athens Stock Exchange hopes that the new index will offer international
investors a new standard of measurement for the Greek market.
The 20 companies comprising the index are: Alpha Credit Bank, Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation, National Bank of Greece, Ergobank,
Commercial Bank of Greece, Titan Cement, Hellenic Bottling, Heracles Cement,
Ionian Bank,Delta Dairy,Piraeus Bank,Papastratos, Michaniki, Macedonia-
Thrace Bank, Intracom, Greek Aluminium, Goody's, Mortgage Bank, AEGEK and
Greek telecom mulls listing on NYSE
Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) may seek listing on the New
York Stock Exchange, chairman Dimitris Papoulias told a news conference
Mr. Papoulias said that OTE's profits are expected to reach 304 billion
drachmas in 1997, fulfilling the market's expectations.
The Greek state telecom's managing director Petros Lambrou said that the
organisation will conclude its procurement agreements by the end of the
year with the aim of speeding up modernisation of the company. The two
executives also expressed their sat isfaction over initial operations by
the Cosmo-OTE mobile telephone subsidiary and reaffirmed that the official
launch of the network would take place by December covering the three major
cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras.
Commenting on OTE's participation in an international tender for the
purchase of a 90 percent stake in Armetel, Armenia's state-owned telecoms
company, Mr. Papoulias said that a final answer was expected by October
Black Sea group urges creation of better business climate
Black Sea and Balkan countries should create a better business climate and
tighten trade links by developing new strategies, officials of Black Sea
Economic Cooperation said.
The officials were speaking on the first day of a two-day meeting in Athens
of the group's parliamentary assembly. Represented are Armenia, Bulgaria,
Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
"Developing economic cooperation among the group's members needs a
structural leap, which cannot be attained through traditional bilateral
cooperation agreements," Maria Arseni, the parliamentary assembly's vice
"Radical and effective steps need to be taken," she said.
Greece to host Mediterranean business meeting
Greece will hold an international conference on Mediterranean cooperation
and development on September 26-29 in the northern town of Kozani.
"(The meeting) is an attempt to extend the horizon for creation of a new
economic area among Balkan,Mediterranean and Black Sea countries,"
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou told a news conference. Held
under the aegis of the foreign ministr y, the conference's organisers
include the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, Mediterranean Cooperation Institute,
Mediterranean Research Institute, Hellenic Exports Promotion Organisation,
and Thessaloniki international trade fair.
Development Undersecretary Anna Diamantopoulos, who heads the conference's
organisational committee, said the purpose of the meeting was to encourage
firms in the region to set up joint ventures and an information network.
Expected to take part are ministers, bank governors, corporate managers and
Greek stocks take tentative step towards 1,700 pts
Greek equities took another hesitant step towards the 1,700 level on the
Athens Stock Exchange helped by strong buying interest in construction and
The general index closed 0.57 percent higher at 1,693.87 points with most
sector indices scoring gains.
Banks rose 0.49 percent, Leasing was 0.05 percent up, Insurance increased
0.61 percent, Investment ended 0.29 percent higher, Industrials rose 0.85
percent, Construction jumped 1.33 percent, Miscellaneous rose 1.08 percent
but Holding eased 0.07 percent .
Trading was heavy and turnover was 21.8 billion drachmas.
Broadly, advancing issues led declining ones by 130 to 82 with another 32
Attica Aluminium, Ioniki Hotels, Vernikos Yachts, Terna, Hellenic Bottling
and General Bank scored the biggest percentage gains, while Heliofin,
Viosol, Greek Aluminium and Pairis suffered the heaviest losses. National
Bank of Greece ended at 33,595 dra chmas, Ergobank at 18,300, Alpha Credit
Bank at 19,900, Delta Dairy at 3,725, Titan Cement at 16,450, Intracom at
14,545 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 6,740.
In the domestic foreign exchange market the US dollar and the DMark rose
fractionally against the drachma.
Greece to hold trade fair in FYROM
Greece's state trade fair organiser will hold an exhibition in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on December 3-6 as part of a
strategy to expand its activities into the Balkans.
The trade fair, which comes in the wake of two exhibitions of Greek
products in Odessa and Ukraine, also forms part of the government's
economic policy of extending links to the Balkans.
HELEXPO-DETH, which is organiser of the annual Thessaloniki international
trade fair, plans to hold an exhibition in Belgrade. The date has yet to be
The move follows requests by exhibitors at the Thessaloniki event, who
requested trade fairs in Belgrade and Skopje, FYROM's capital.
Among major firms expected to take part are Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation, Public Power Corporation, Olympic Airways, Public Petroleum
Corporation, and Piraeus and Thessaloniki Port Authorities.
Cloudy weather is forecast throughout Greece today with scattered showers
in the west. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens
with temperatures between 15-26C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 280.538
Pound sterling 451.281 Cyprus pd 531.652
French franc 46.624 Swiss franc 190.816
German mark 156.672 Italian lira (100) 16.059
Yen (100) 230.134 Canadian dlr. 202.368
Australian dlr. 202.601 Irish Punt 409.855
Belgian franc 7.591 Finnish mark 52.503
Dutch guilder 139.163 Danish kr. 41.152
Swedish kr. 36.664 Norwegian kr. 38.656
Austrian sch. 22.257 Spanish peseta 1.857
Port. Escudo 1.542