Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-12-27
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 27/12/1997 (ANA)
- Greece says Turkey not sticking to agreements
- Turkey reiterates claim of Greek-PKK link
- Investigation into Ukrainian plane crash
- Minister seeks speeding up of radar installation
- Illegal immigrants picked up near Samos
- European Commission to take action on Greek hotels
- Companies to buy own shares at stock exchange
- OTE signs cables contracts
- Roman tomb discovered in Drama
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece says Turkey not sticking to agreements
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said Thursday that the
infringements of Greek air space and the violations of Athens Flight
Information Region (FIR) regulations by Turkish war planes on Christmas Day
are unprecedented and unacceptable, and test the limits of Greek patience.
At 12:15 12 Turkish F-16 war planes violated the Athens FIR and infringed
Greek air space over the Aegean islands, Chios, Psara, Lesvos and Skiros.
At 15:40 another 14 Turkish F16 repeated the earlier violations. Hellenic
Air Force F-16, Mirage 2000 an d F-4 war planes intercepted the Turkish war
planes on both occasions.
"Patience has its limits. We cannot tolerate the continuous upsetting of
calm and stability in the region," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.
Mr.Tsohatzopoulos said that these new violations are contrary to the
principles of the 1988 Papoulias-Yilmaz agreement which mandates that both
Greece and Turkey refrain from any tension building actions during national
or religious holidays of either of the two countries, betray an organised
plan by Turkey, and confirm Greece's position on the distance between
Turkey and Europe.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported from Ankara yesterday that Turkey denied that
its warplanes entered Greek airspace on Christmas Day or broke any
agreement barring military exercises on holidays.
"Greece's claims that the accord was broken are completely baseless. Turkey
has always complied with the agreement," the Turkish foreign ministry said
in a statement.
The Turkish statement said four Turkish F-16 planes on a training flight
were "seriously and dangerously harassed" by 10 Greek planes outside Greek
Tension rose earlier this week when Ankara expelled a Greek diplomat in
Istanbul on charges of spying and aiding Kurdish guerrillas and Athens
responded by expelling a Turkish diplomat based in Thessaloniki.
Turkey reiterates claim of Greek-PKK link
Referring to a report in the newspaper Milliyet and replying to questions
by the press on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Nezati Utkan
said "if the reports are true, this will be additional proof of Greece's
suppo rt for the Kurdistan People's Party (PKK)."
Mr. Utkan was referring to the report published in Milliyet concerning
Esref Kilitr, a former PKK member. Kilitr had claimed of coming to Greece
in 1996 where he was allegedly trained in explosives by Greek intelligence
for acts of sabotage in Turkey.
The Turkish spokesman said "the essence of the report is correct" but
clarified that "there are no details on the issue." Lastly, he called on
Greece "to condemn terrorism by the PKK."
Investigation into Ukrainian plane crash
Results of the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian Yakovlev-42
aircraft that crashed in northern Greece with the loss of all passengers
and crew will be released within the next 10-15 days, Civil Aviation
Service director Dionisis Kalofonos told the ANA today.
The aircraft, which had been leased to the Ukrainian-Israeli airline
AirSweet, crashed into a mountainside in Pieria west of its destination
Thessaloniki on December 17.
The plane's flight data recorders were sent to Germany to be analysed.
Greek experts left Thessaloniki for Hanover today to be briefed on the data
Kalofonos said Russian and Ukrainian experts are accompanying the Greek
team to Germany in accordance with international regulations, since the
aircraft was built in Russia and had been leased to a Ukrainian airline.
However, they will not be involved in compiling the report on the crash
although they have the right to submit recommendations on the findings.
The three teams will also visit the US, Ukraine and Russia.
According to civil aviation sources, initial findings indicate that the
accident was due to pilot error. However, instrument malfunction has not
been ruled out, according to YPA deputy director George Souladakis, who
said this would explain why the pilot reported he was flying north when in
fact the plane was flying west.
The final report will be presented simultaneously to the director of the
Civil Aviation Service and the Supreme Investigative Council for Airline
Accidents as well as to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Kalafonos said that immediately afterwards the report would be released to
the press, along with a reconstruction of the flight path taken by the
aircraft before it crashed. The recording of the conversation between the
pilot and the control tower would also be played, he added.
Minister seeks speeding up of radar installation
Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mandelis made an unscheduled
visit to the offices of the Civil Aviation Service on Tuesday and demanded
the requisitioning of expanses of land selected for the installation of
radars in Peraia, Thessa loniki and Irakleio.
Mr. Mantelis chaired a meeting with the Civil Aviation Service's deputy
governors (since the governor of the service is away in Thessaloniki) on
coordinating investigations being conducted to locate the causes of the
crash of the Ukrainian Aerosweet com pany's Yakovlev 42 airliner on the
In a related development, the municipal council of Peraia has decided to
resort to law courts to prevent the requisitioning of land for the
installation of a radar for Thessaloniki airport.
The decision, announced on Wednesday, stressed that the requisition of the
area was illegal due to the threat of serious harm to public health from
the radar's radiation."
Illegal immigrants picked up near Samos
Eleven illegal immigrants from Iraq were arrested early this morning on the
islet of Makronisi opposite the area of Nisi, Samos.
The nine men and two women told coastguard officers that they had each paid
2,000 dollars to a Turk to take them to the islet.
They said it was the same Turk who, with accomplices, had illegally
transported 64 illegal immigrants of Kurdish origin near to the island of
The 64 were abandoned in a small wooden boat about 2.5 nautical miles off
Lesbos by the Turks who returned to the Turkish coast in a speedboat.
The eleven Iraqis picked up today are being detained at the reception
centre for illegal immigrants which is housed in the old police station on
European Commission to take action on Greek hotels
The European Commission has decided to take recourse to the European Court
against Greece due to terms and preconditions set by its national
legislation on access to administrative positions in hotels.
Greek legislation, which does not recognise experience acquired in this
sector in any other European Union member-state, has not been adjusted, in
the Commission's view, to Directive 68/368.
The directive anticipates that access to certain professional activities,
including hotel professions, must be open to all persons able to justify
previous professional experience in this sector in another EU member-state
for two or three consecutive ye ars, either as self-employed professionals
or at the post of director of a business.
Companies to buy own shares at stock exchange
A number of companies registered at the Stock Exchange will proceed with
buying their own shares at the Stock Exchange following decisions taken
recently by boards and extraordinary assemblies.
The general assembly of the Papastratos AVES company has already approved
the purchase of 1,635,615 shares or a percentage of 10 per cent over the
next 12 months, with the highest price being 7,200 drachmas per share.
The Viohalko company will purchase 2,867,512 shares by September 1, 1998,
with the highest price being 6,350 drachmas. The company expects revenues
from participations amounting to 1,900 million drachmas in 1997.
ELVAL will purchase 2,766,127 shares by July 4, 1998 with the highest price
being 4,350 drachmas. During the first half of 1997, ELVAL had a turnover
totalling 38,815.3 million compared to 34,488.7 million last year. Net
profits amounted to 2,655 millio n drachmas.
ETEM completed the purchase of 324,775 shares. The company is investing 385
million drachmas for the production of small aluminium profiles and 500
million for the production of a series of aluminium products. The cost of
building ETEM's factory in Bulgaria will ultimately reach 1.5 billion
drachmas. It will have a total production capacity of 6,000 tonnes in
aluminium profile products.
OTE signs cables contracts
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, OTE, and the FULGOR, ALCATEL
and Siemens companies signed contracts on Wednesday concerning completion
of the Aegean's major submarine axes with optical fibre cables.
The axes are Volos-Skiathos-Skopelos-Skyros-Lesvos, Epidavros-Aigina-Voula
Roman tomb discovered in Drama
A Roman family tomb was discovered by chance in the community of Kallithea
Dramas and at the location of "Vrysi." Its dimensions are 2.5X3X1.2 metres.
The walls are made of white marble and have metal hooks at the sides.
Archaeologists found bones and art efacts inside the tomb.
Cloudy weather over most of the country with scattered showers and local
downpours, particularly in the west. Winds will be westerly to northwesterly,
moderate to strong. Temperatures will range from 3-12 in the north, 6-15 in
central areas and 11-17 in the Aegean. Athens will be cloudy and rain is
expected overnight with winds strengthening later tomorrow. Temperatures in
the capital will range from 8-15C. Thessaloniki will have similar weather
with temperatures ranging from 6-12C.
Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 277.929
Pound sterling 462.927 Cyprus pd 531.712
French franc 46.747 Swiss franc 193.564
German mark 156.428 Italian lira (100) 15.945
Yen (100) 214.740 Canadian dlr. 193.063
Australian dlr. 182.285 Irish Punt 404.438
Belgian franc 7.584 Finnish mark 51.693
Dutch guilder 138.860 Danish kr. 41.085
Swedish kr. 35.698 Norwegian kr. 38.172
Austrian sch. 22.242 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.533