|Friday, 24 May 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-07-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Papandreou gives cabinet full briefing on foreign policy issues
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Developments in Europe, particularly the current debate over Europe's future and the new European architecture, were the main topics discussed by the Cabinet on Friday, during a meeting focusing on foreign policy issues chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
The meeting began with a presentation of all aspects of foreign policy by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who stressed that Greece had to take an active role in the discussions regarding Europe's future in order to secure its place in the "fast lane" of EU nations having closer cooperation.
With regard to EU expansion, Papandreou said that Athens was in favour of completing the process of institutional reforms to the EU before new member-states began to join, "in order for expansion to have any meaning."
He also underlined that Greece was definitely in favour of a process of deeper EU integration, without being "anxious" to adopt a position on what the final form of such a course might be.
For Greece, the foreign minister explained, the dilemma presented by the choice between intergovernmental cooperation or a deeper integration process automatically resolved itself in favour of the latter, because this was demanded by Greece's interests.
Papandreou also spoke extensively about Greece's position on "enhanced cooperation" and the inter-governmental conference (IGC) on institutional reforms to the EU. Apart from presenting a detailed break-down of the issues being discussed by the IGC, he also referred extensively to the Charter of Fundamental Rights currently being worked on by a 62-member team from all EU nations, saying that Greece was in favour of this being binding when completed.
According to the minister, Greece took a positive view of enhanced cooperation in matters relating to the economy, internal security and law enforcement, in which it was not opposed to the idea of abolishing member-states' veto rights. With regard to security, defence and foreign policy issues, however, he said that Greece was not opposed to enhanced cooperation but absolutely rejected abolishing the veto.
Enhancing the process of EU integration, Papandreou also noted, was the best answer to those who took a phobic attitude to globalisation.
The foreign minister then moved on to Europe's defence and security identity, first briefing the cabinet on the decisions reached at Cologne and Helsinki summits regarding the development of the EU's military capability, and then on matters concerning relations between the EU and NATO and relations with third countries that are in NATO but not the EU.
Reinforcing Greece's role within the EU, he stressed, would allow the country to use its position in Europe to enhance bilateral relations with the countries in the region, particularly in the Balkans, for whom it could act as a conduit to the EU.
Moving on to relations with Turkey, Papandreou again focused on the European angle, while all the ministers present noted the importance of the relevant Helsinki summit decisions. Turkey, they said, needed to realise that the conditions it has been asked to meet are not just pretexts but required of all candidate-countries.
The foreign minister placed particular emphasis on policies regarding minorities and noted that constantly changing conditions demanded being alert to these issues and handling them carefully. He also reminded the cabinet that an agreement for ethnic minorities signed by Greece would soon be brought before Parliament for ratification.
In relation to the Cyprus problem and the third round of Cyprus proximity talks the cabinet expressed little optimism that there would be a breakthrough, but there were suggestions that the third or fourth round of talks might yield some more constructive proposals from the Turkish side.
With respect to the Balkans, the foreign minister then noted that Greece's positions in the Yugoslav crisis had been justified. Athens had from the start supported a political solution and pointed out that sanctions and Serbia's political isolation would be counter-productive.
Finally, he noted that the situation in Kosovo and a recent rise in Albanian "irredentism" were sources of instability. The ministers agreed that there should be an overview of all the actions and measures taken by Greece with respect to the Balkans, with the cooperation of all the ministries involved.
In this context, the ministers also discussed relations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), but said only that Greece was ready to proceed with a compromise solution regarding the issue of the republic's name when "it had matured".
 Gov't position on IDs issue unchanged
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The government said on Friday that it remained steadfast on its decision to abolish the reference to citizens' religious persuasion on identity cards.
"The government has expressed its position clearly and unequivocally. We remain on this political position," said government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. Referring to possible dialogue with the Church on the issue, he stated the government had "no reason to discuss anything in public." Responding to questions, Reppas said the government did not rule out dialogue with the Church in order to ease tensions, but not on the specific issue.
"The process of dialogue, which can lead to such a result, is viewed in a positive light ... (But) on the specific issue the government has expressed its final position," he said.
 Athens conference focuses on handling of int'l, regional conflicts
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)A crisis management conference for NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) members was concluded in Athens on Friday, with conclusions focusing directly on regional crises and instability.
The event was sponsored by Greece's Joint Chiefs of Staff command.
Among the conclusions that participants from 23 NATO member-states and PfP partners agreed to were that:
Four participating countries - Britain, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia - presented their national policy vis-a-vis managing crises. Representatives attending the conference hailed from Armenia, Belgium, Germany, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Hungary, Ukraine, FYROM, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
 Stephanopoulos to travel to Ireland on Monday
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will depart for an official trip to the Republic of Ireland on Monday for talks with that country's top leadership. He is also scheduled to address a joint Greek-Irish business forum during his three-day visit. Stephanopoulos will arrive in Ireland at the invitation of his counterpart, Mary McAleese.
Accompanying the Greek president will be Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos.
 Veteran leftist proposes meeting between PM Simitis and Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Veteran leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos on Friday proposed a meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos for an examination of conditions by which the foundations could be laid for cooperation between the ruling PASOK party and the Coalition.
Kyrkos, who was addressing the Coalition's ongoing congress, was replying to a proposal made on Thursday by PASOK's secretary Costas Skandalidis on cooperation between the parties.
Referring to Simitis, Kyrkos said if he meant the creation of a new and big coalition of progressive and democratic forces "we are ready for a summit meeting to examine together under which policy and other preconditions can this idea go ahead, which we have been supporting for years."
 Patriarch to receive Greek MPs, academics
ISTANBUL, 01/07/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will receive a delegation of Greek dignitaries and academics on Saturday, led by ruling PASOK's secretary.
Main opposition New Democracy deputy Giorgos Kalos and Patras University rector Stamatis Alahiotis, among others, will accompany PASOK's Costas Skandalidis. The delegation is also scheduled to attend a mass at the Patriarchate's main cathedral of Agios Georgios (St. George) in the Fanar district.
Skandalidis is in Istanbul to attend the second part of a programme entitled "Ecumenical Hellenism", which begins here on Saturday.
 Stephanopoulos receives widow of slain British officer, plea for information repeated
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The widow of Britain's slain defence attache on Friday repeated her plea that his assassins are brought to justice, during an emotion-laden meeting with Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
The notorious "November 17" urban terrorist group on a congested Athens highway gunned down Brig. Stephen Saunders, who served at the British embassy in the Greek capital, on the morning of June 8.
Stephanopoulos received Heather Saunders, accompanied by her two teenage daughters and British ambassador to Athens David Madden, shortly after noontime at the presidential mansion in downtown Athens. It was also announced on Friday that Prime Minister Costas Simitis would also meet with Saunders' widow and the British envoy on Tuesday at his office.
On his part, Stephanopoulos expressed his condolences towards the British officer's family, calling Saunders' killing a "horrendous crime".
Heather Saunders told reporters afterwards that she would remain in Athens in order to follow and encourage the investigation into her husband's assassination by the shadowy terrorist group.
"I have taken this opportunity to tell the president about the wonderful messages of support and offers of help that I have received from people everywhere in Greece, people I don't even know, at the same time they have expressed their condemnation," Heather Saunders said, adding:
"We came to Greece just over a year ago and I was under the impression Greece and Britain had always been allies. We fought side by side in the Second World War and many of our soldiers lie side by side in war graves throughout Greece.
Yet, there is someone living here in Athens who has murdered a British soldier and father in cold blood for no reason and with no remorse ... November 17 is condemned by the descent people of Greece and the world for the murder of my husband and others. Who is going to be next for the agenda?"
Finally, Mrs. Saunders again called on anyone with information about the slaying or the terrorist group to contact authorities, a plea echoed by Madden.
The British ambassador also expressed his appreciation for the wholesale condemnation by Greek society of the killing.
 Greece leads EU's exports' growth in 1st quarter 2000
BRUSSELS, 01/07/2000 (ANA- V. Demiris)Greece led the EU's exports' growth in the first quarter of 2000 with an increase of 30 percent in the period January-March compared with the same period last year, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday.
Eurostat said that Greek exports totalled 2.7 billion euros, up 600 million euros from the same period in 1999, for an increase of 30 percent, followed by Luxembourg (with a 26 pct rise), Spain and Finland (21 percent).
Denmark was the only EU member-state to record a fall in exports (-5.0 pct).
Greek imports totalled 6.3 billion euros in the first quarter of 2000, up one billion euros from the corresponding period last year, an increase of 19 percent.
Spain recorded the biggest growth in imports (27 pct), followed by Ireland (26 pct) and Germany (25 pct). Denmark recorded a 3.0 percent drop in imports.
Greece's trade deficit rose to 3.6 billion euros in the Jan-March period, up from 3.2 bln last year.
 Greek stocks remain under pressure, end lower
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Equity prices ended the last trading session of a negative week with moderate losses, remaining under pressure for the third consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday.
Traders said market sentiment was undermined by lack of fresh liquidity and reiterated that the market would find support at the 4,000-4,050 levels.
The general index ended at 4,054.41 points, off 0.42 percent, with turnover a low 97 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,235.52 points, off 0.72 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.06 percent to 580.22 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 752.01 points, off 1.20 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 185 to 139 with another 20 issues unchanged.
Hellenic Telecoms, Fanco, Axon, Bank of Piraeus and Naoussa Spinning were the most heavily traded stocks.
 Derivatives down in line with shares
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Equity futures traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower on Friday, roughly tracking the two indices on which they are based.
The FTSE/ASE 20 closed 0.72 percent down, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 0.06 percent higher.
Turnover was 11.2 billion drachmas from 10.9 billion drachmas a day earlier.
A total of 1,393 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index with turnover at 6.2 billion drachmas.
Changing hands on the FTSE/ASE 40 were 2,238 futures on turnover of 5.05 billion drachmas.
 Bonds sold in light trade
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Friday finished lower in light trade.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.087 percent for the second straight session; and the yield on the equivalent German bund was 5.208 percent.
The Greek paper's yield spread over German bunds was 88 basis points from 87 basis points a day earlier.
Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 52 billion drachmas from 56 billion drachmas in the previous session.
Sell orders accounted for about 46 billion drachmas of turnover.
 Drachma down vs. euro, up vs. dollar
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The drachma on Friday fell against the euro and rose versus the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market.
At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 336.800 drachmas from 336.760 drachmas in the previous session. Also at the fixing, the US dollar was set at 351.780 drachmas from 354.110 drachmas a day earlier.
 Hellenic Telecoms launches e-business company
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Hellenic Telecommunications Organization on Friday announced the creation of CosmoONE Hellas Marketsite SA to promote e-commerce applications for businesses.
Nikos Manasis, the organization's chief executive, told a press conference that it was the first attempt to promote e-business commerce in Greece.
He said the new company was the result of cooperation between Cosmote, Hellenic Telecom's mobile phone operator, and Commerce One Inc, a world leader in e-business integrated systems.
Manasis said he expected the Greek e-commerce market's value to total 100 billion drachmas in the next three years, based on a prediction that Internet penetration rates would exceed 30 percent by 2005 in Greece.
Hellenic Telecoms SA, Cosmote SA and Citibank NA will hold 80 percent of the new company's equity capital and Commerce One Inc, represented in Greece by Perpetual Information SA, will have a 20 percent stake.
Citibank will offer a wide range of financial services through its international partnership agreed last February between Commerce One and Citigroup.
The new company's initial capital will total 2.0 billion drachmas and will offer specific portals and marketplaces for business-to-business trade from September.
CosmoONE will offer Greek businesses direct access to Global Trade Web.
 Greece to auction 20-year bond next Tuesday
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Greece's Public Debt Management Organization will auction a 20-year bond issue, worth 220 billion drachmas, next Tuesday, July 4.
The issue pays an annual coupon of 6.5 percent.
 Marinopoulos, LVMH Group establish Sephora-Marinopoulos company
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The LVMH Group and the Marinopoulos Bros SA company announced the creation of a new company on Friday under the name of Sephora-Marinopoulos SA.
The LVMH Group, with its subsidiary Sephora, and Marinopoulos Bros will each have a 50 percent stake in the new company's share capital and will unite all their activities in Greece in the cosmetics sector.
The Marinopoulos Bros SA company has a network of 51 Beauty Shop retail outlets and expects turnover of 21 billion drachmas in 2000.
An announcement by the company said the agreement in question is aimed at the further development of Beauty Shops and the consolidation of Sephora outlets in the country.
The LVMH Group is active in the sectors of luxury goods, perfumes, cosmetics, wines and alcoholic beverages. It has also created a company specialising in watches and jewellery.
 1st Greek broker becomes member of bourse abroad
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)P&K Securities has become the first Greek brokerage to become a member of a stock exchange abroad.
The firm is now a member of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, allowing its customers online trading access to 3,500 shares of the biggest US and European companies.
 Microland to raise share capital by Dr 16.6 bln
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Shareholders of Microland, a member of the Altec Group, on Friday approved management's proposal for a 16.6 billion drachma share capital increase.
The company plans to use the proceeds to boost operating capital and fund its investment programme.
In 2000, management expects consolidated profits of 1.0 billion drachmas from 644 million drachmas a year earlier.
Consolidated sales should total more than 14.7 billion drachmas from 8.8 billion drachmas in 1999, company officials told shareholders.
 Lymberis forges alliance with US publisher
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Libecom SA, a member of the Lymberis Group, has signed a strategic alliance with publisher Ziff Davis of the US, the Greek firm said on Friday.
The first project between the two companies is to publish PC Magazine in Greek.
Ziff Davis specialises in publications on technology, including informatics.
Among them are E-Week, Interactive Week, Yahoo magazine, Internet Life and Smart Business.
Other forms of cooperation between the Greek and US firms will involve the Internet and creation of infotech laboratories.
 Summer sales period begins on July 3 and will end on August 31
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The summer sales period will start on Monday July 3 and will last until August 31. Relevant authorities will be conducting frequent checks both during and after the sales period to ascertain observance of rules and ministerial decisions concerning the institution.
The Development Ministry, shop-owners' associations and consumer groups have all advised consumers to check that the discounts given are real and the quality of products before making their purchases.
 Egnatia Bank joins pension payment system
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Egnatia Bank announced on Friday that it will join the state's system of pension payments through the Dias interbank link. Under the system, Social Security Foundation pensions are paid directly into pensioners' bank accounts. Egnatia enters the system in September.
 Health services on standby as heatwave expected next week
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The Health Ministry has alerted its services as a heatwave is expected next week, while a circular it addressed to all health services reminds of preventive measures which have to be taken to handle pathological cases resulting from high temperatures.
Preventive measures to avert heatstroke symptoms are avoidance of unnecessary travel, avoidance of exposure to the sun, choosing shady and cool places, avoidance of heavy duty work in outdoor places which are not protected from the sun, use of light-coloured clothes and sunglasses, consumption of fruit, vegetables and fluids in large quantities and avoidance of sweetmeats, refreshments containing sugar and alcoholic beverages, while frequent showers are also advised.
In the event someone feels unwell he should place a wet towel over his head or on his back, elderly people should not be left alone at home and babies should be dressed as lightly as possible, their hands and legs should be bare and they should be given fluids together with milk frequently.
 Pessimism over upcoming European Conference against Racism
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)Speakers at a two-day conference on "Immigrants, Racism and Xenophobia", concluded at the Foreign Ministry on Friday, expressed concern that an upcoming European Conference against Racism would get little media coverage and end up being just a forum for voicing the proper sentiments.
Dimitris Christopoulos, secretary of the Greek Union for the Rights of Man, spoke about political slogans inspired by the far right, adding that "sweep" operations carried out by the Greek state following bus hijackings by Albanian criminals "provide an alibi for racism."
"The response to the upsurge of the far right should not be anything else than an 'opening' of Europe's immigration policy," he said.
Nikos Frangakis, Deputy President of the National Committee for the Rights of Man, said changes in Europe on the issue of racism are not substantive and as a result the phenomenon is increasing.
 Former ND Deputy Constantine Karaminas sentenced to suspended two year and 11-month jail term for fatal traffic accident
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)A former deputy of main opposition New Democracy party, Constantine Karaminas, was sentenced to two years and 11 months in jail by an Athens court on Friday after being found guilty of manslaughter and violation of the traffic code. The sentence was for the death of a young woman riding in Karaminas' car, who was killed when he came off the road and crashed into trees on the side of the motorway. His jail term was suspended for three years and Karaminas was also fined 200,000 drachmas and his driving licence was revoked for four months.
The fatal traffic accident occurred in the early hours of June 1, 1998. Karaminas and a friend of his were at a cafeteria in the Athens district of Ilisia on the night that he met Elli Pylidi, 26, and a female friend of hers. At 3 a.m. he offered to give them a lift home but, speeding with his Mercedes car while in a state of drunkenness, he lost control of the car which crashed, killing Pylidi.
After the accident he refused to have a breathalyser test, invoking his parliamentary immunity. The case caused a sensation at the time and Karaminas was expelled from the ND party.
Speaking in court, Karaminas said he was devastated by the young woman's death and denied speeding and being in a state of drunkenness. He attributed the accident to bad luck.
 Greek student killed in Belgrade traffic accident
BELGRADE, 01/07/2000 (ANA)One Greek college student was killed and another seriously injured in a traffic accident that occurred early Friday morning in the Yugoslav capital.
The victim was identified as 24-year-old Stavros Smyrnakis, a dental school student from Crete.
According to reports, the students' vehicle collided with a truck in the early morning hours after weaving into the opposite lane. Smyrnakis was a passenger in the car.
 Macedonian tomb dating back to 4th century B.C. discovered near town of Zagliveri
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)A Macedonian tomb dating back to the end of the 4th century B.C. has been discovered in a plain near the village of Zagliveri in northern Greece. The tomb, 6X3X2 metres in size, had been desecrated in ancient times and probably belonged to an official from the ancient Macedonian city of Kalindoia.
The tomb was found by chance by a farmer who was digging in his field and was unearthed by archaeologists from the 16th department of prehistoric and classical antiquities.
Statues, urns, inscriptions and coins have also been found in the same region in past years and are being kept in the archaeological museum in Thessaloniki. It is believed that they too belonged to the ancient city of Kalindoia.
 Sports secretariat unveils programme for Olympic sports infrastructure outside Athens
Athens, 01/07/2000 (ANA)The Sports Secretariat on Friday unveiled its ambitious "HELLAS 2004" programme, through which it hopes to "decentralise" the country's sports infrastructure prior to the start of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Presenting the programme in Irakleion, Crete, Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Floridis said the Olympic Games were a "golden opportunity" to create sports facilities in regional areas, with every prefecture acquiring a comprehensive sports infrastructure. These facilities, he added, would attract young people and become the breeding grounds for new champions, as well as covering the needs of the general public and serving as places where "Olympic ideals" could be fostered.
The "HELLAS 2004" programme, he said, linked the organization of the Olympic Games with the balanced development of sports infrastructure in all regions in the country, while he noted that this would be the first time that local authorities would have a clear idea of what they were entitled to and what they could expect in the way of sports infrastructure over the next few years.
The total budget for the programme is 360 billion drachmas and, among other things, it covers supplementary infrastructure in four cities that will host the Olympic soccer matches, the building of network of Olympic training facilities throughout the country, an education programme on the Olympics for secondary school children and students, improvements in the archaeological site at Ancient Olympia (where the original Games were held in antiquity by the ancient Greeks) and improving tourist infrastructure and services outside Attica.
Also included in the programme are the Cultural Olympiad, one of the trademarks of the Athens bid for the Games, and the Olympic Youth Festival, which the government is touting as a chance to foster the original values and ideals of the Olympics in the highly commercialised world of modern sports.
Floridis said that the sum that would be spent on infrastructure used exclusively for the Games would not be greater than 700 billion drachmas.
He went on to say that local authorities would implement the "HELLAS 2004" programme.
"We have already processed the data, what each prefecture and municipality needs. The General Secretariat will only have a monitoring role. In every municipality in the country, we will create a nucleus, depending on the population, with greater emphasis on regional capitals. The Olympic Games are therefore an opportunity for the regions to participate equally in the development of sports infrastructure."
 Turkish Cypriot measures against UNFICYP not in line with UN decisions, Cyprus says
NICOSIA, 01/07/2000 (CNA/ANA)The Cyprus government on Friday expressed regret with the measures announced by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash against the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), underlining that they are not in line with UN decisions.
Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou called on the international community to question these measures, which the government is examining both in their political and legal context. The measures, announced by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Thursday, force UNFICYP soldiers to pass into the areas occupied by Turkey only through a single point, to insure their vehicles with Turkish Cypriot insurance companies and pay the illegal regime for the water and electricity they use in camps in the occupied north.
They come in retaliation to the non-inclusion of an addendum to the UN Secretary-General's latest report for the renewal of UNFICYP with a Turkish Cypriot demand for separate consultations with the Force.
"Denktash's decision is contrary to and undermines Security Council decisions on Cyprus," the spokesman said.
He called on the international community "to question these actions and come to the necessary conclusions." Replying to questions, Papapetrou expressed the view that Denktash is provoking "both the UN and our side, so that we will make some moves that will facilitate his effort to avoid a dialogue and negotiations."
The Turkish Cypriot leader announced the measures only a few days before a third round of proximity talks begins in Geneva, on July 5, to pave the way for substantive negotiations to reach a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.
The spokesman said "the Cyprus government will complain and make representations, as it already has, but at the same time it will not give Denktash the chance or an excuse to avoid a dialogue." He said the government is in contact with the UN to which it conveys its views, but refrained from elaborating.
Papapetrou said the Greek Cypriot side is going to Geneva to discuss the substance of the Cyprus question, in line with the UN Secretary-General's invitation.
 UNFICYP Protest
NICOSIA, 01/07/2000 (CNA/ANA)UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Chief of Mission Zbioniew Wlosovicz on Friday handed a letter to Denktash formally protesting the measures he imposed since Friday morning against the Force as they create obstacles in its smooth operation.
In his letter with which he registers a formal protest, Wlosovicz expresses "deep disappointment" with the measures and the hope Mr Denktash will "urgently reconsider" as they impede UNFICYP's "capacity to carry out its mandate".
UNFICYP spokeswoman Sarah Russell told CNA Denktash "accepted the letter. He explained why he had imposed these measures and then the meeting was closed. "Asked what UNFICYP's next move will be, she said "we are communicating with New York again and we will wait and see if Mr Denktash does reconsider his measures."
Invited to comment on the fact that the regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 has already started to impose the measures and on Friday did not allow UNFICYP cars that went to the Ledra Palace check point to enter the occupied areas, she said a daily insurance was acquired.
"Today, because we were waiting to see what would happen about the measures, rather than go and invest a lot of UN money in insurance policies etc. We decided to buy insurance by the day and see what the feedback from Mr Denktash was on the insurance issue, as our cars are insured," she said.
Asked what the most serious impediment caused to UNFICYP was, Russell said the really big issue is the closing of the crossing points which creates obstacles in accessing one observation post and one camp in the occupied north.
 US lawmakers urge Clinton to press Cyprus settlementWASHINGTON D.C. 01/072000 (Reuters/ANA)
Members of the U.S. Congress on Friday expressed strong support for U.N.-sponsored talks aimed at ending the 26-year-old division of Cyprus and urged President Bill Clinton step up his efforts to promote a settlement.
The call came five days before talks are due to take place between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed at reuniting the divided Mediterranean island.
"We believe that the current Cyprus settlement talks, having reached a critical stage, now call for your utmost attention and involvement," 81 U.S. senators and more than 225 members of the House of Representatives said in two separate but identical letters to Clinton.
"A Cyprus settlement, in accordance with long-established U.S. policy and United Nations resolutions, will benefit all the people of Cyprus...as well as serve the interests of America and our allies, Greece and Turkey," they said.
Both Republicans and Democrats signed the letter.
U.S. ambassador Al Moses, Clinton's special emissary in Cyprus, has been working with European and U.N. officials to try and bring about a breakthrough in the next round of proximity talks between Clerides and Denktash, due to be held in Geneva on July 5.