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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-07
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 07/11/1999 (ANA)
NEWS IN DETAILGreek defence minister meets with Palestinian president
Developments in the Palestinian problem and the peace process in the Middle East were the focus of discussion between Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and President of the Palestinian Authority Yiasser Arafat on Saturday in Ramala, the Autonomous Palestinian Territories.
"We should thank the minister, the Greek government and the Greek people for their continuing support of the Palestinian people in all sectors, whether directly or indirectly through the European Union, we can not ignore it," Arafat said, following the meeting with Tsohatzopoulos.
"We are proud and happy for this visit, as well as for the historical bonds between Greeks and Palestinians," he added.
"We came here in Palestine to meet with President Arafat and the political leadership of the country and to reassure them that the Greek people, in continuing its traditional friendship and cooperation with the Palestinian people, supports with all means the peace process in the Middle East. We are glad, since this process has entered a dynamic phase of development, as the last meeting in Oslo has indicated," Tsohatzopoulos said, responding to questions regarding the signing of the Greek-Israeli defence agreement signed recently.
"We had the opportunity to brief the Palestinian Authority on our initiatives and aims, so as to be able to promote peace, security, cooperation and stability among all peoples in the wider eastern Mediterranean region. We should overcome the rational of divisions and selective cooperation between some peoples," he added.
"The Greek government does not need anyone's approval" to be active in the region, Tsohatzopoulos said, responding to a question on whether his visits in the region were approved by NATO or the EU.
He stressed that the government's initiatives are part of a Greek national strategy, but were also part of the general policies of the EU.
"Let's not forget that Greece represents the policies of security, cooperation and stability for the European Union in the critical region of the eastern Mediterranean," Tsohatzopoulos said.
The meeting took place at the seat of the Palestinian Authority in Ramala and is part of the Greek action for peace and regional cooperation in the southeastern Mediterranean region. Several weeks earlier, Tsohatzopoulos had visited Tel Aviv, Israel and had signed a military cooperation agreement with the leadership of the country.
G. Papandreou-Loss of int'l credibility with Yugoslavia bombings
BOSTON (ANA - G. Angelopoulos) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou presented Greece as a force of stability and development in Europe and the Balkans during an address at Harvard on Thursday.
He also outlined what he called a new vision for the Balkans which, as he noted, "we are building slowly but with certainty."
"The political aspects of globalisation are those which will pose the major challenges of the new millennium," he said, underlining that political globalisation requires consistency in the international community's action.
"In order to maintain universal credibility, the international community will need universal principles by which it can be gauged and assessed," he said, and mentioned as an example the assumption of action in the Balkans where "a community in Kosovo wa s expelled by force and crudely from its homes" and another country, Yugoslavia, was bombed, while in Eastern Timor, where systematic force also existed, "the international community watched nonplussed."
"In bombing Yugoslavia, the international community, or at least a considerable portion of it, adopted a bold stance on a moral dilemma - it stated that human pain cannot be subdued to state sovereignty," he said, adding that "this stance had the dynami sm to become a universal principle. However, we did not implement it in other regions."
Mr. Papandreou explained that in imposing sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the international community used human pain (that of the Yugoslav people who are suffering from these sanctions) to achieve a political target (to overthrow an "a uthoritarian political leader", Slobodan Milosevic).
"In this way the universal principle was revoked and in the same way a major part of the international community's credibility. East Timor and Cyprus constitute equally clear proof of inconsistency in proclaimed universal principles," he said.
"The need to democratise globalisation is universal and the European Union constitutes a regional effort to democratise globalisation," Mr. Papandreou added.
Simitis to address Socialist International conference in Paris
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will depart for Paris on Saturday to participate in the 11th Socialist International conference, while on the sidelines he is scheduled to meet with France's political leadership.
The conference, set to begin on Monday, will elect its new president and will consider approval of the "Declaration of Paris".
On Monday, Mr. Simitis will address the conference.
PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos will be among the Greek delegation to the conference.
Mr. Simitis is also scheduled to meet with French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday.
Commission's Barnier in Athens next week
European Union Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier will pay a short visit to Athens on Nov. 12.
The French EU Commissioner is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou to discuss issues pertaining to the inter-governmental conference and innovations in institutional affairs, in view of the European
He will also meet with National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou to discuss regional policy issues.
Mr. Barnier was in Athens last month to visit the areas hit by the Sept. 7 earthquake.
Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline discussed by Simitis, Kostov
SOFIA (ANA - V. Mourtis) Prime Minister Costas Simitis' meeting here with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov on Friday reportedly resulted in progress on the long-delayed construction of a Burgas-Alexan-droupoli oil pipeline.
The one-hour meeting shortened due to Mr. Simitis' scheduled meetings with Greek political leaders in Athens ahead of US President Bill Clinton's visit - with the Bulgarian premier apparently focused on the project, a marked change from Sofia's previo us stance. Sources said Mr. Kostov estimated that a pipeline to bring Caspian Sea oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan would probably not proceed.
Also playing a factor were reports of Turkey preparing to increase charges of passage through the Dardanelles Straits. The only difficulty at the moment appears to be related to the agency to be created to manage the project.
The Greek side has proposed the creation of an agency with Greek, Bulgarian and Russian participation which will undertake talks with producers. The Bulgarian side is reported to be warming to this proposal.
Stephanopoulos to visit Slovenia
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will conduct an official visit to Slovenia on Nov. 10-12 at the invitation of Slovenian President Milan Kucan.
Mr. Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis, a press release by the presidency said.
On Monday, Mr. Stephanopoulos will inaugurate an exhibition in Munich on Greek-Bavarian relations.
Papazoi will travel to Sydney
Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi will travel to Sydney on Monday for talks with the New South Wales government.
Ms Papazoi will have talks with New South Wales State Premier Bob Carr, Olympic Games Minister Michael Knight and other state officials.
Gov't meeting on security during Clinton visit
Security measures during US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Athens were discussed on Friday during a high-level government meeting chaired by PM Simitis.
Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and government spokesman Dimitris Reppas participated in the meeting.
Afterwards, Mr. Reppas said the itinerary of Mr. Clinton's visit to Athens will be ready on Wednesday, while he expressed his certainty that any planned protests will be peaceful, nor will anything emerge to hinder or create problems during the visit.
Earlier, the public order ministry hosted a meeting to brief FBI agents over Mr. Clinton's security during the visit.
Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos on Friday received US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns for talks on Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem, a press release stated.
In light of US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece, Mr. Rokofyllos briefed Mr. Burns on developments in Greek-Turkish relations focusing on talks between high-level officials of the two countries and Greece's position on issues at the Euro pean Union summit in Helsinki, according to the foreign ministry press release.
Kyprianou in Athens
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Friday received Cypriot House of Representatives Speaker Spyros Kyprianou for talks on developments in the Cyprus problem.
No statements were made afterwards. Mr. Kyprianou, who is in Athens to participate in a conference on the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus, had earlier met with his Greek counterpart, Apostolos Kaklamanis.
Onassis Foundation on Athens court decision
The Athens-based trustees of the Onassis fortune on Thursday said they would appeal an Oct. 21 Athens first instance court decision which awarded 80 million drachmas to Thierry Roussel and 20 million drachmas to each one of them.
"The injury for insulting the reputation of each one of the members of the Board of Directors is equal to one fourth of the injury suffered by RousselIThe reputation of Athina's father is protected in order to protect the psychological and physical deve lopment of his daughter. Injuries to the psychological and physical development of the children and the descendants of the four administrators were not taken into consideration," the release said.
The last surviving heir of the vast Onassis shipping fortune, 14-year-old Athina Roussel, will inherit an estimated 600 million US dollars on her 18th birthday.
The four Greek administrators and Mr. Roussel, who comprise the five-member Board of Directors of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, have long been at odds over the management of Athina's legacy.
Greek stocks end the week sharply higher
Equity prices ended the last trading session of a subdued week sharply higher pushing the market above the 5,600 level on the Athens Stock Exchange. Positive developments in the domestic bond market and renewed buying activity for smaller capitalisation stocks were the main reasons for the recovery of the market. The general index ended 1.57 percent higher at 5,617.65 points. Turnover was a moderate 317 billion drachmas. Holding (+0.29 pct).
Overcast weather and rain is forcast throughout the country on Monday Fog in the morning in mainland Greece and the Ionian Sea. Winds will be northerly, winds strong to gail force. Rainy in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 14C to 19C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 11C to 15C
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 313.591 Pound sterling 508.797 Japanese yen (100) 297.531 French franc 49.686 German mark 166.641 Italian lira (100) 16.832 Irish Punt 413.835 Belgian franc 8.079 Finnish mark 54.816 Dutch guilder 147.896 Danish kr. 43.848 Austrian sch. 23.686 Spanish peseta 1.959 Swedish kr. 37.551 Norwegian kr. 39.521 Swiss franc 201.897 Port. Escudo 1.626 Can. dollar 214.411 Aus. dollar 199.610 Cyprus pound 565.460 Euro 325.922
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