Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-29
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 29/09/1997 (ANA)
- Patriarch Vartholomeos begins official visit to Greece
- Patriarch on Environmental Symposium
- Pangalos reiterates call for peaceful solution to Cyprus issue
- Reppas: Greece desires friendship with Turkey
- Clerides due in Athens next month
- Greece rejects allegations of terrorism in "Observer" report
- Government spokesman says allegations are fictitious
- Greek army chief in Italy
- Greek trade group expands contacts abroad
- Greece backs economic zone for Mediterranean
- Weekend Greek First Division soccer results
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Patriarch Vartholomeos begins official visit to Greece
The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos I of Constantinople arrived in
Thessaloniki yesterday on an official visit at the invitation of 'Thessaloniki
Cultural Capital of Europe'.
He was greeted by President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, members
of the government and opposition leaders, religious leaders from Greece and
abroad and thousands of residents.
The Patriarch arrived in the northern Greek port city after attending a
weeklong international symposium on religion and the environment held on
board a ship in the Black Sea.
Earlier arrivals were Patriarchs Maximos of Bulgaria, Theoktistos of
Romania, Pavle of Serbia, Elias of Georgia and Archbishop of Albania
Anastasios who also welcomed Vartholomeos.
Greeting the Patriarch, who was received with honours accorded to heads of
state, President Stephanopoulos expressed Greece's love and respect for his
The President also praised the Patriarch's contribution to efforts for
peace and friendship among nations in Europe and worldwide.
Vartholomeos later attended Mass at Aghios Dimitrios cathedral.
The Patriarch is to visit the northern prefecture of Xanthi before leaving
In a brief message to the Greek people, the leader of the Orthodox Church
spoke of the need for peace.
He urged all nations in the region to pursue progress and prosperity,
stressing that war failed to resolve problems.
During a luncheon hosted by Mr. Stephanopoulos, the Patriarch underlined
the need for unity in the Orthodox Church and welcomed political stability
Among guests at the luncheon were Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos,
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Alternate Foreign Minister George
Papandreou and Macedonia and Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
The Patriarch met last night at Thessaloniki's Government Building with the
leader of the main opposition New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis.
Patriarch on Environmental Symposium
Speaking at the closing session of the enviromental symposium, Partiarch
Vartholomeos said he was satisfied at the outcome of the meeting.
He said it was necessary to ensure the right conditions for natural
ecosystems, and also encourage human behaviour that would improve the
quality of life.
Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamos presented the symposium's conclusions
which outlined the principle that close cooperation between religion and
science was needed in order to deal with environmental problems.
Pangalos reiterates call for peaceful solution to Cyprus issue
Foreign Minister Theodors Pangalos repeated his unwavering support for
peaceful and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, stressing that the real
political question regarding Cyprus was whether Turkey even wanted a
"We are ready for a solution. (But) the Turkish leadership has to decide if
they want a solution at all," he told CNN in an interview.
Asked to comment on a statement by US mediator Richard Holbrooke that
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash
may be talking, but not about substance, Mr. Pangalos said:
"In the round of talks that is now underway, President Clerides wants to
discuss substantial issues such as demilitarisation of the island, a
proposal solving the problem of security for both communities," he
The two men have started last Friday face-to-face talks on security
"Denktash, however, greatly depending on the presence of 35,000 heavy-armed
Turkish troops on the island, wants to discuss issues such as disengagement
and ways to avoid incidents.
"These may be useful issues but cannot lead to a feeling of security for
both communities which will help establish a lasting functional solution,"
The minister said he fully supported efforts made by President Clerides and
the United Nations Secretary General to seek a lasting solution for
He also emphasised support for US initiatives linked to a meeting with Mr.
Holbrooke in which the two men had agreed on initiatives for the Cyprus
Citing Turkey's invasion of a sovereign country and occupation of one third
of the island, Mr. Pangalos said there were people in Ankara who believed
they could get away with it for ever.
"This is not a reasonable approach to reality," the Greek minister said,
calling on the international community and the United States "to make this
clear to the Turkish leadership."
Reppas: Greece desires friendship with Turkey
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Saturday that Greece, desiring
friendship with Turkey, has made great contributions in that direction.
"I believe Ankara should do the same," he said in Chania, Crete. The
spokesman was asked to comment on talks between the Greek and Turkish
foreign ministers in New York.
"We always desire friendship with Turkey. But we want this friendship to be
based on equality and governed by rules making it fruitful for both parties,
" he told reporters.
"These rules," he added, "are none other than the International Law and
"Greece has contributed to this effort and I believe that the other party
should do the same," he added.
Clerides due in Athens next month
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will visit Athens on October 13 for talks
with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, on his way back from New York where he
will address the UN General Assembly.
Greece rejects allegations of terrorism in "Observer" report
Greece categorically rejected allegations published yesterday in the
"Observer", a British Sunday newspaper, that guerrillas of Kurdistan's
Workers' Party (PKK) were trained in centres located in Greece. Asked to
comment on the report, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou told
reporters in Thessaloniki:
"It would be useful if anyone possessing specific information and specific
accusations contacted official state bodies so that an investigation can be
"I do not know how genuine the report is, or what its purpose is."
The allegations, as reported by the Observer, were made by Seydo Hazar, 31,
described as a "fugitive terrorist", who claimed that his PKK cell operated
from Greece and had links with other terrorist groups including Palestinian
Hamas, the Sri Lankan Tam il Tigers and German neo-Nazis.
According to the "Observer", Hazar, a Kurdish-born German resident, was now
on the run from the PKK and speaking from Greece.
He told the newspaper that PKK guerrillas were planning bomb attacks in
London and on European tourists in Turkey.
He also claimed that the terrorists had developed chemical bombs to attack
The man that the "Observer" described as "one of the world's most dangerous
bombers", offered to trade his information for sanctuary and a new
According to the report, his allegations were taken seriously by Western
Government spokesman says allegations are fictitious
Acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said the Greek government
strongly rejected the allegations contained in the "Observer" report as
untrue and ficticious.
"In what seems more than a mere coincidence, Hazar's allegations are
already published in a book titled 'The Terrorism Dossier & Greece' (Inaf,
1996) by Turkish author Cem Basar. The book was published in the self-
styled state in northern Turkish occ upied Cyprus," Mr. Nikolaou said in a
"There are even some phrases in the Observer report which are identical to
those in the book," he said.
The Greek government had investigated in depth similar allegations that had
been made in the past.
The areas in which Hazar claimed training centres operated such as a farm
in Triada and the Pefkakia Hotel area had been searched thoroughly, but no
evidence of such activities was ever found.
"Hazar's case recalls the well known instance of another Kurd, Altuin
Giyasettin, who had publicly confessed on May 27, 1994, in Istanbul, that
he had become a Turkish agent and had been used in order to make similar
accusations," Mr. Nikolaou said.
The spokesman said Greece, which was a stabilising factor in the region,
had openly condemned terrorism and was cooperating internationally in the
fight against the phenomenon.
"Greece is an open, democratic society, and anyone wishing to investigate
the validity of such 'accusations', are welcome to do so by coming to
Greece and conducting a search for themselves," Mr. Nikolaou said.
Greek army chief in Italy
Greek Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis today starts an
official visit to Italy at the invitation of his counterpart, Lt.Gen.
During his visit, which ends on October 2, Gen. Paragioudakis will visit
army formations and training centres.
He will also have talks with Mr. Cervoni on issues of bilateral military
Greek trade group expands contacts abroad
The Greek External Trade Organisation (OPE) concluded key agreements with
business groups in countries of the Mediterranean, Bal-kans and Black Sea
on the sidelines an international conference on development in the region
held in the northern town of Kozani.
Among agreements announced yesterday by OPE president Yiannis Tzen at the
close of the conference were the following:
An agreement with the Egyptian delegation for cooperation in trade
- Participation by OPE in meetings between TELECOM, a Greek company in
Azerbaijan, with the Azeri telecommunications undersecretary on providing
technical support to the firm
- The extension of schemes in Albania in which OPE is already taking part
including textiles and shoemaking. OPE will hold a Greek products week in
Albania early next year
A visit by a delegation of Armenian businessmen to Greece in November
An agreement for cooperation with the Kishnau chamber of trade in Moldova
to promote initiatives in external trade and investment
- Agreements with Jordan's chamber of trade for 10-day two-way exchange
visits by experts, and cooperation on organising information systems,
particularly for trade points
An agreement with the Palestinian delegation for OPE officials to train
business executives in Ramallah and Athens
An agreement with OPE's Turkish equivalent to set a date for signature of
a cooperation accord
- An agreement with the Ukrainian delegation to hold a one-day conference
at which the Greek side will submit proposals on undertaking public works
in collaboration with Greek engineering contractors active in Ukraine.
Greece backs economic zone for Mediterranean
Speaking at the conference's closing session, Development Minister Vaso
Papandreou said cooperation among emerging economies in the Mediterranean,
Balkans and Black Sea region would act as a base for peace and prosperity.
Greece, owing to its geographical position and history, had a special role
to play in setting up an economic zone in the region, Papandreou said.
According to delegates, the conference succeeded in its two basic targets:
the creation of joint ventures and an information exchange network among
Weekend Greek First Division soccer results
PAOK - Kalamata 4 - 0 OFI - Olympiakos 2 - 3
Athinaikos - Heraklis 0 - 0 Ionikos - Ethnikos 1 - 0
Panathinaikos - Veria 2 - 0 AEK - Kavala 1 - 0
Xanthi - Proodeftiki 4 - 0 Panionios - Apollon 1 - 3
Pyrgos - Panahaiki play today Standings:
Panathinaikos, Ionikos 12 points, AEK, Heraklis 10, Olympiakos 9,
Xanthi 8, Apollon 6, PAOK 5, Panionios, Proodeftiki, OFI 4
Fair weather will prevail over most of the country today, with light to
moderate northerly winds. Fine weather in Athens with temperatures between
15-26C. Light cloud in Thessaloniki in the afternoon with temperatures from
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 275.508
Pound sterling 443.126 Cyprus pd 529.629
French franc 46.783 Swiss franc 190.231
German mark 157.133 Italian lira (100) 16.077
Yen (100) 228.319 Canadian dlr. 198.975
Australian dlr. 199.566 Irish Punt 403.704
Belgian franc 7.614 Finnish mark 52.556
Dutch guilder 139.535 Danish kr. 41.269
Swedish kr. 36.764 Norwegian kr. 38.916
Austrian sch. 22.330 Spanish peseta 1.861
Port. Escudo 1.544