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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-07-29

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] GREEK-TURKISH DIALOGUE MOVES TO ATHENS
  • [02] CABINET MEETS TO DISCUSS TIGHTER IMMIGRATION POLICY
  • [03] SINGLE DEFENCE DOCTRINE TO BE RECONFIRMED
  • [04] UN ENVOY IN CYPRUS RESIGNS
  • [05] GREECE CONDEMNS CEMETERY DESECRATION
  • [06] HUMANITARIAN AID INITIATIVE MEETING IN VIENNA
  • [07] PIRAEUS BANK COMPLAINS ABOUT TENDER PROCEDURES

  • [01] GREEK-TURKISH DIALOGUE MOVES TO ATHENS

    The second phase of the Greek-Turkish dialogue which began in Ankara on Monday at the level of foreign ministry experts moves to Athens today. The meeting will focus on the issues concerning illegal immigration, crime and terrorism. The Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, will have a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, in Sarajevo tomorrow to assess the results of the initial contacts. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the international conference for reconstruction and stability in the Balkans. In statements he made yesterday on the island of Corfu, Mr Papandreou said the dialogue was a long and tortuous procedure, but added that the climate at the talks was constructive and positive. The Turkish prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, yesterday described the opening of the Greek-Turkish dialogue as a pleasant development and spoke about positive messages coming from Greece.

    [02] CABINET MEETS TO DISCUSS TIGHTER IMMIGRATION POLICY

    At its meeting yesterday, the cabinet decided that economic immigrants should be given a second chance to obtain a green card, through the local administration organisations. Speaking after the cabinet session, the government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, said the government was drawing up a draft bill on immigration which would provide for stricter entry controls at state borders, a register of all foreign nationals in Greece and the setting-up of employment agencies in neighbouring countries, through bilateral agreements. The entry of immigrants will be seasonal and temporary, while the possibility of immigrants acquiring Greek citizenship after working in this country for many years has not been ruled out. Mr Reppas noted that the crime rate and the immigration problem were interrelated but were not synonymous. He also said the prime minister had called on cabinet members not to raise expectations for appointments or pay rises, and he criticised the spate of amendments to draft bills. Mr Simitis made it clear that the government did not indulge in a policy of appointments and no mass hiring of personnel in the public sector should be expected. Meanwhile, the New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, has proposed the establishment of a special body to guard the border areas which would act in conjunction with the army. He also recommended a restructuring of the country's police force, tighter control over immigrant entry to Greece, greater transparency in the issuing of green cards and the reintroduction of the rural police or gendarmerie.

    [03] SINGLE DEFENCE DOCTRINE TO BE RECONFIRMED

    The Greek ambassador in Nicosia, Kyriakos Rodousakis, has said the single defence doctrine between Greece and Cyprus does not need amendment or restructuring in any way. He announced that the Greek national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, would be going to Cyprus in September to reconfirm the strategic cooperation between the two sides with his Cypriot counterpart.

    [04] UN ENVOY IN CYPRUS RESIGNS

    The UN special envoy in Cyprus, the New Zealander Ann Hercus, has resigned for personal reasons. The political advisor to the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, Peter Schmidt, delivered a letter from the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, to the Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis, yesterday informing him that Ms Hercus' resignation had been accepted and thanking her for her services.

    [05] GREECE CONDEMNS CEMETERY DESECRATION

    The Greek foreign ministry spokesman, Panagiotis Beglitis, yesterday expressed his abhorrence at the recent desecration of graves in the Greek community cemetery at Tatavla in Constantinople. He said the Turkish authorities should take effective measures.

    [06] HUMANITARIAN AID INITIATIVE MEETING IN VIENNA

    A delegation from the Greek foreign ministry took part in yesterday's meeting in Vienna to discuss the coordination of activities in the joint humanitarian initiative undertaken by Greece, Russia, Austria and Switzerland in Yugoslavia, code-named Focus. Through this initiative, 1,100 tons of humanitarian aid comprising foodstuffs, tents, medicines and building materials worth a total of 3.13 million euro have been sent to the victims of the war in Yugoslavia since the start of the Nato bombing in March.

    [07] PIRAEUS BANK COMPLAINS ABOUT TENDER PROCEDURES

    The Piraeus Bank has lodged a complaint with the Council of State against the finance minister and the board of the Athens Stock Exchange, claiming that the decision by the board of the Stock Exchange not to accept its improved tender for the purchase of 67% of the Ergobank was illegal.
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