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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 30/09/1997 (ANA)


  • Tension between Greece, Turkey unwelcome, Athens says
  • US encourages Greece, Turkey to overcome differences
  • Ecumenical Patriarch visits Mount Athos exhibition
  • Playwright Harold Pinter condemns human rights in Turkey
  • Kurdish group denies any relation with Hazar
  • Liani-Papandreou book on life with Andreas Papandreou
  • EBEA event to focus on Latin America
  • Bulgarian deputy premier meets Greek industrialists
  • 3E, Molino merger announced
  • Greece nears completion of tight 1998 budget
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Tension between Greece, Turkey unwelcome, Athens says

Greece said today it could not rule out the possibility of an incident in the Aegean or on Cyprus following the outcome of talks between the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, Theodoros Pangalos and Ismail Cem in New York last week.

Replying to reporters' questions, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that as long as the crisis remains in Greek-Turkish relations, there was always a possibility of an "incident" which would best be avoided.

If there was an incident, he added, it would be due to the fact that Turkey maintains its expansionist designs against Greece which was ready to confront such an eventuality.

Asked whether Prime Minister Costas Simitis was annoyed with certain statements made by Pangalos in New York, Reppas said the premier had "constant collaboration" with Pangalos and this was also the case when the foreign minister was in New York.

Commenting on the discussion yesterday at the ruling PASOK party Political Secretariat, Reppas said Pangalos briefed the participants on his trip to New York "and with regard to Greek-Turkish relations there was unanimity on issues of policy".

US encourages Greece, Turkey to overcome differences

The US called on Greece and Turkey yesterday to try and resolve their differences in the Aegean and the Cyprus issue by peaceful means, "as befits two NATO allies".

Commenting on the failure of the US effort to mediate between the two countries in New York last week, White House spokesman Michael McCurry said US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright "had good meetings" with Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers Theod oros Pangalos and Ismail Cem, respectively.

"There were some statements from both sides, some rather unusual, that could have been misinterpreted in one capital or another," Mr. McCurry added.

"We heard both sides carefully. Both admit to having differences going beyond territorial differences in the Aegean - on Cyprus, for example - and we encourage them to continue active talks in the spirit of two NATO allies, " he added.

The White House spokesman reiterated that Washington was opposed to the deployment of the Russian-made S-300 missiles on Cyprus.

"In the present situation on Cyprus the introduction of such arms would seriously concern the US," he added.

Asked to comment on a report by the British daily "Observer" referring to alleged terrorism activity in Greece, Mr. McCurry said:

"We consider Greece a close ally, a country with which we have absolutely positive relations. There is no hint in the State Department's annual report on terrorism that would verify the claim that Greece is a state promoting terrorism."

Meanwhile, statements by US State Department coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller were published in a Turkish daily yesterday.

The US official is quoted as saying that US diplomacy has not lost hope for a restart in Greek-Turkish dialogue, despite last week's deadlock in New York, according to an ANA dispatch from Istanbul.

Ecumenical Patriarch visits Mount Athos exhibition

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos yesterday visited the exhibition of priceless artefacts from the autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos at the Byzantine Museum, saying the exhibition "wrote history, the history of the church and our nation."

He added that the artefacts were there for all, but particularly for women who do not have the ability to visit Mount Athos.

Vartholomeos met with Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos after his tour of the exhibition, who expressed the government's deep appreciation of Vartholomeos' visit, adding that his presence at the museum had given his "blessing" to the exhibition.

Vartholomeos proposed the introduction of scholarships for foreign students at the humanities faculty of the Aristotelion University. The Patriarch's proposal was unanimously approved by the city council.

Playwright Harold Pinter condemns human rights in Turkey

British playwright Harold Pinter harshly criticised Turkey for its human rights record as well as other countries for turning a blind eye to Ankara's practices.

Speaking to an audience at the National Theatre of Greece on Saturday, Mr. Pinter said: "The situation in Turkey is a great scandal in terms of human rights, which are now being violated more than when I had visited it in 1981 with Arthur Miller".

"The United States, Great Britain, Germany and somehow France, also, continue doing business (in Turkey), remaining silent before these atrocities."

Mr. Pinter was visiting Greece on the occasion of a film festival by the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia".

Kurdish group denies any relation with Hazar

The Balkan Representation of the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (NLFK) yesterday issued a press release in Athens describing Hazar as "this person with a serious criminal record, who had relations with various fascist organisations, has no relation whatsoever, as he claims, with our party".

According to various newspapers, the NLFK said, Hazar is mentally unstable.

The NLFK added that it was quite apparent from Hazar's contradictory statements to various newspapers that the whole affair was nothing more than "one of the plots frequently hatched by Turkey".

"For this reason, we also do not take such meaningless allegations seriously," the NLFK said.

"When one considers the attempts to drive Greece into a corner on the international scene, it becomes quite clear what these allegations really mean," it added.

Liani-Papandreou book on life with Andreas Papandreou

The book "Ten years and 54 days" by Dimitra Liani-Papandreou, which details her life with late prime minister Andreas Papandreou before his death last year, was excerpted in yesterday's edition of the Athens daily "Ta Nea".

The book will be released later this week by Livanis Publishing - Nea Synora.

According to Ms Liani-Papandreou, the book was "written solely from the heart, a deposition of the soul."

Papandreou's widow refers to several prominent members of the current political arena, who she said "tried to limit the authority and bring about the removal, resignation or annihilation of Andreas Papandreou after 1988", when he faced serious health pr oblems.

She says that her husband had refused before the elections of 1989, which he lost, to meet a prominent international Jewish lobbyist who, it had transpired, would propose the recognition of Israel by Athens in return for a moratorium in attacks against the PASOK founder by international media outlets controlled by Jewish interests.

"Andreas did not need to weigh it much. His friendship with the Arabs prevailed. 'I cannot sell them out, nor, of course, can I go back on my policy', was his answer," she writes.

In the same chapter, she says that "Andreas never forgot until the end of his life that he, who first broke his political isolation (at that period), was his great friend, Francois Mitterand, who in a great, courageous gesture, invited us to the Elysee Palace at a time when such a move, and indeed, by a president of the republic was not an easy thing".

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, asked to comment on the book's contents, said the government had not read the book as it had not yet been published, and therefore, had no comment to make.

Finally, the late PASOK leader's son, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, refused to comment, saying he was not aware of the content of the book, while his former legal adviser, Antonis Vgontzas, said that the content of the book was "correct" .

EBEA event to focus on Latin America

The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) is organising a two-day conference, entitled "Greek Businessmen discover Latin America" on Oct. 7 and 8.

Ministers and ambassadors from every Latin America country are expected to attend, while from the Greek side, speakers will include National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and EBEA President Yiannis Papathanasiou.

An exhibition will also be held in the same building - 7, Acadimias St.

Bulgarian deputy premier meets Greek industrialist

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Alexander Bozhkov and the former president of the Federation of Northern Greece Industries (SBBE), Nikos Efthymiadis, on Friday discussed the potential for Greek investors and companies to intensify business activity in Bulgaria.

According to Mr. Bozhkov, the Greek federation is an influential organization whose members want to invest in Bulgaria and have a keen interest in all industrial sectors.

Potential Greek investors would like to have easy access to information about the industry and privatization in Bulgaria, as well as about the effective legislation on the two.

Mr. Bozhkov was invited to visit Thessaloniki, meet major Greek investors and inform them about the amendments to the privatization law, as well as to the legislation on concessions and foreign investment.

3E, Molino merger announced

The long-awaited merger between 3E and Molino Beverages Holding S.A. has been announced, as the merger will be achieved with the buying off of the latter company's 70 per cent of shares by 3E.

Additionally, 3E will increase its share capital to cover the buying off price, issuing 40 million new shares in favour of Molino shares. These shares represent 28 per cent of the share capital after the increase.

3E has already called an extraordinary general assembly on Oct. 23 where the above initiatives will be approved. After the issue of the new shares and on the basis of 3E's closing price on Sept. 26, the group will have a bourse value of about one trilli on drachmas or US$3.6 billion.

3E will also distribute to its shareholders one anonymous share free of charge for each old share before the merger took place.

3E's six-monthly turnover amounted to 82.9 billion drachmas, producing an increase of 12.5 per cent compared to the first half of 1996, while profits increased by 35.9 per cent compared to last year, totalling 18.6 billion drachmas. The group's unified sales increased by 12.5 per cent and amounted to 83 billion drachmas.

Greece nears completion of tight 1998 budget

The Greek government is at the last stage of drafting the 1998 budget, which aims to drastically reduce spending and increase revenue.

National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou chaired a meeting on the budget yesterday attended by finance undersecretaries George Drys and Nikos Christodoulakis, and other senior ministry officials.

Discussed were plans for raising budgetary revenue.

Mr. Papantoniou was briefed on economic developments during his absence in Hong Kong attending a World Bank/International Monetary Fund meeting.


Fine weather in most parts of the country today with scattered clouds in the Ionian and mainland Greece. Winds northerly, light to moderate. Sunshine in Athens with temperatures between 15-26C. Thessaloniki will be partly cloudy with temperatures from 12-24C.


Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 276.411 Pound sterling 445.765 Cyprus pd 528.240 French franc 46.699 Swiss franc 189.879 German mark 156.855 Italian lira (100) 16.024 Yen (100) 228.378 Canadian dlr. 199.412 Australian dlr. 198.807 Irish Punt 404.339 Belgian franc 7.600 Finnish mark 52.455 Dutch guilder 139.257 Danish kr. 41.194 Swedish kr. 36.379 Norwegian kr. 38.876 Austrian sch. 22.290 Spanish peseta 1.858 Port. Escudo 1.541


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