Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-04-27
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 27/04/1998 (ANA)
- Tsohatzopoulos comments on the Balkan peacekeeping force
- Foreign Ministry to publish history of the Greek jews
- Costas Karamanlis elected EDU Deputy President
- Bulgarian army chief begins visit to Athens today
- Athens hosts Int'l meeting of female journalists
- British stage director Peter Hall visits Athens
- British Euro-MP to address conference on 'Byron against Elgin'
- Roman era tomb examined
- Conference examines fate of domestic tour operators
- Gov't says will not intervene in OA's operational plans
- Greek soccer matches called off in pools revenue protest
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Tsohatzopoulos comments on the Balkan peacekeeping force
Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday that a Balkan
peacekeeping force whose creation is being discussed by regional leaders
should have the right to act in any country facing a crisis, including its
own members. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking at a news conference in Ohrid
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after talks with his
counterpart Lazar Kitanovski.
FYROM believes that the multi-national force should not intervene to keep
the peace in countries that take part in the group.
The final decision on the peacekeeping force's sphere of activity will be
taken in September at a meeting in Skopje, FYROM's capital, the report
Turning to Kosovo, the two ministers agreed that borders in the Balkans
should remain intact, and that a solution to the crisis should be sought
through an immediate, unconditional start to talks between the two
The talks should aim to secure the greatest degree of autonomy feasible for
Kosovo within the framework of the Yugoslav Federation, they said.
Mr.Tsohatzopoulos, who said Athens was willing to contribute to guaranteeing
borders throughout the Balkans, stressed that inhabitants of the region had
every reason to fear the crisis in Kosovo, and its repercussions.
Although the dispute was an internal matter for Yugoslavia to resolve,
Balkan countries and the international community had the right to
contribute to a political solution to the crisis, he said.
Greece and FYROM both opposed any violence or terrorism as a solution, Mr.
Setting up a corridor for Albanians fleeing Kosovo was not discussed at the
talks as Greece and FYROM placed emphasis on initiatives to resolve the
crisis and therefore avoid an exodus, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.
Finally, the two countries agreed that bilateral cooperation should be
promoted, and the armed forces of the two countries could cooperate to
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said a positive outcome to the ongoing talks in New York
would contribute to closer cooperation between the two countries that had
already begun with the signing of an interim agreement, also in New
Greece opposes the use of the name Macedonia by the neighbouring country,
arguing that it conceals expansionist designs against its northern province
of the same name.
An interim accord aiming at normalising bilateral relations was signed in
New York in September 1995 by the two countries.
Foreign Ministry to publish history of the Greek Jews
The Foreign Ministry will publish in late June a bilingual (Greek, English)
history of the Greek Jews compiled from the ministry archives, Fotini
Konstantopoulou, director of the Foreign Ministry's Historical Archives,
announced yesterday during an event in Thessaloniki honouring the 50,000
Jews of Thessaloniki who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War
She said the various files from the archives concerning the rich cultural,
economic and political activities of the Greek Jews and the holocaust were
being used for the publication.
Ms. Konstantopoulou said that the "Nazi operation to annihilate the Jews of
Europe was a heinous crime, a murderous crime against humanity".
The memorial service and event, at Thessaloniki's Monastirioton Synagogue,
was attended by many of the surviving Greek Jews and Greeks who had helped
save their Jewish compatriots, the administration of the Jewish Community
of Thessaloniki headed by its president Andreas Sefiha, and representatives
of political parties, local administration and the Church.
Only 62 of the 1,600 Thessaloniki Jews who survived the Holocaust are alive
today. About 50,000 Thessaloniki Jews, the largest Jewish community in
Greece at the time, were transported in 19 operations by the Nazis to the
Auschwitz and Birkenau concentr ation camps between March and August 1943.
Only 1,600 of them or 4 percent of the Thessaloniki Jewish population,
Costas Karamanlis elected EDU Deputy President
The 18th Conference of European Democratic Union,EDU, Party Leaders opened
in Salzbourg on Friday at a time coinciding with the celebration of its
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis was elected
EDU Deputy President on Friday, while the Deputy Prime Minister of the
Finnish government and National Economy Minister Saouli Ninisto was elected
President. He succeeds Alois Mock who was EDU President for 19 years. Mesut
Yilmaz was also elected Deputy President.
The Conference is attended by Prime Ministers and party leaders from Europe
and all over the world. ND is participating with a delegation headed by
Deputy Marietta Yiannakou.
The issues on the agenda are the citizen's security and protection,
combatting organised crime and drug trafficking, the prospect of uniting
all centre-right parties in Europe into a wider European party, social
development and the employment policy.
Bulgarian army chief begins visit to Athens today
The chief of Bulgaria's army general staff, Lieutenant General Ginio Tonev,
today begins a three-day visit to Athens and talks with Greek counterpart
Lt.-Gen. Manoussos Parayoudakis.
Defence Ministry sources told the ANA the two men would discuss issues of
mutual interest focusing on bilateral relations and developments in the
Mr. Tonev would also visit formations, infantry units and archaeological
sites while in Greece.
Athens hosts int'l meeting of female journalists
The two-day work meeting between the European Network of Greek Women
Journalists and colleagues of theirs from other countries came to a close
in Athens on Saturday. The meeting was aimed at a briefing on issues of
their concern and the acquaintance of wo men journalists from various
The meeting was attended by women journalists from France, Albania, Israel,
Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Romania and
An exchange of views took place on European issues and ways and proposals
were set out on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and finding solutions to
problems faced by women journalists in southeastern Europe.
The President of the Institute of Audiovisual Means Olga Kleiamaki said
that a struggle should get underway for the equal participation of women in
the informatics system.
It was further stressed at the meeting that the globalisation of the
economy, and by extension of informatics and information, has created new
problems in the sector of journalism in which women are primarily called on
to play an assisting role.
British stage director Peter Hall visits Athens
British stage director Peter Hall paid a flash visit to Greece yesterday
with a scheduled meeting with Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the
National Theatre's artistic director Nikos Kourkoulos,
Peter Hall proposed cooperation between the Royal Shakespearean Theatre and
the National Theatre for the production and presentation of a spectacle of
great dimensions and a worldwide calibre in Sydney, Australia, during the
Cultural Olympiad in the year 2000.
Mr. Venizelos said afterwards that the Culture Ministry has the volition to
adopt and help in materialising the plan concerning the worldwide promotion
of the Greek theatrical performance.
The two sides did not announce details. However, it was disclosed that
Peter Hall will come to Greece again in July when details of the cooperation
will be discussed.
British Euro-MP to address conference on 'Byron against Elgin'
British Euro-MP and President of the Bertrand Russell Foundation for Peace
Ken Coates laid a wreath at Lord Byron's monument at the Zappeion at noon
yesterday. The event was part of a visit he is paying to Greece at the
invitation of the Committee for the
Protection of Lord Byron's Heritage and as part of events organised in
memory of the great poet and philhellene over the April 25-27 period.
In a brief address, Mr. Coates referred to Lord Byron's work, particularly
in contrast to Lord Elgin and the theft of the Parthenon Marbles. He
stressed Lord Byron's strong opposition to Elgin's action "which was also
noted in his poem Harold's Tour and to such a degree that its publisher was
led to censoring it." Mr. Coates also underlined Byron's unshakeable
opposition to oppression of any kind.
Wreaths were also laid at Byron's monument on the part of the Athens
Municipality by Deputy Mayor Mr. Yiatrakos, on the part of the Committee by
the journalist and its President Theodoros Karzis, on the part of the Greek
Byron Society by its head profes sor V. Laizis and the President of the
Mesolonghi branch Rodanthi Florou.
At 10 a.m. today, Mr. Coates will address a conference titled "Byron
against Elgin", organised by the Committee for the Protection of Lord
The Committee was established a few months ago by residents of Vyronas
(Byron) Municipality in eastern Athens to sensitise Greek public opinion on
the danger of destruction faced by the ancestral home of Lord Byron in
Newstead Abbey in Nottingham, England, as a result of subsidence caused by
coal mining in the region.
Roman era tomb examined
A tomb dating back to Roman times located to the north of the Spileou
Orestiadas community has been examined by the Antiquities Service of Thrace
in the framework of excavations being conducted in the northern Evros
The tomb has a diametre of 30 metres and a height of three metres. It was
made of several strata of earth having a different texture and covering
only one cremation dating back to the early 2nd century A.D. The cremation
was discovered at the southeastern sector of the tomb.
Clay and glass urns were found, a small copper urn, fragments of gold and a
part of a metal ring containing a stone.
Conference examines fate of domestic tour operators
Representatives of tourist agencies from Greece, Armenia, Malta, Turkey and
Cyprus on Saturday met to discuss how to deal with a growing trend in the
tourism industry that may leave domestic tour operators at the mercy of
larger northern European organisa tions.
Speakers at the Hellenic Association of Tourist and Travel Agencies (HATTA)
conference on "Expansion: development or threat?" said the travel industry -
the third largest sector in Europe - was being transformed by mergers and
buyouts by strong travel organisations primarily based in northern Europe,
such as Neckermann, TUI, LTU and Alltours.
Speakers said that these groups had the power to place demands on local
hoteliers and tourist agents who could comply or face extinction.
This trend was of immediate concern to the countries of southern Europe,
the main destination of package tours by holidaymakers from the north of
Gov't says will not intervene in OA's operational plans
The government will not intervene in the operational and commercial plans
of Olympic Airways, Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis
told a delegation of the airline's pilots who met him on Saturday to set
out their objections to the curtai lment of flight routes and their reasons
for refusing to work overtime.
The minister emphasised that the recently approved law on streamlining the
airline must be implemented, and that the changes introduced to the bill at
the last minute were made on the recommendation of the unions. He urged
pilots to sort out problems wi th management so that the carrier's
operation may return to normal. OA management yesterday did not rule out
the possibility of suspending operations if flight schedules do not return
The airline's flight attendants union, meanwhile, has reportedly withdrawn
its threat to start work stoppages on Monday.
Olympic Airways on Saturday urged its pilots to end an overtime ban that
has led to daily flight cancellations and delays, crippling the ailing
national carrier's finances.
OA's management said in a statement that it had no wish to formally reduce
the airline's operations, but continuing disruption meant that a new flight
schedule would have to be drawn up based on commercial and financial
The pilots' union has so far indicated it will stick to its original strike
plan and order one or more stoppages during the week, probably on Wednesday
Greek soccer matches called off in pools revenue protest
Greek first division soccer games were called off this weekend in protest
at the way pools revenue is distributed. Clubs are demanding a greater
share of soccer pools income from the Greek sports ministry which
distributes part of the money to the teams.
The Greek soccer association EPAE decided to call off this weekend's games -
- the 31st round -- as a protest and reschedule them for next weekend. The
Greek first division has four rounds left. Olympiakos Piraeus lead the
table and look set to win the title.
Overcast weather is forecast throughout the country today with local
showers in the eastern regions and the islands. Winds moderate to strong in
the Aegean Sea later today. Athens will be mostly sunny with temperatures
from 10-22C. Thessaloniki will be overcast with temperatures between 10-
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 310.794
British pound 517.784 Japanese yen(100) 239.528
French franc 51.584 German mark 172.920
Italian lira (100) 17.502 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.388 Finnish mark 56.990
Dutch guilder 153.700 Danish kr. 45.378
Austrian sch. 24.587 Spanish peseta 2.037
Swedish kr. 40.319 Norwegian kr. 41.614
Swiss franc 208.464 Port. Escudo 1.686
Aus. dollar 202.829 Can. dollar 217.228
Cyprus pound 591.351