|Sunday, 18 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-08-17
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 17, 2002
 First Olympic test event ''Athens 2002 Regatta'' takes off
Athens, 17/08/2002 (ANA)With the participation of top athletes from 43 countries, (pictured above) the first pre-Olympic Test Event, the “Athens 2002 Regatta”, started on Friday at the Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Center, on southern coastal Attica.
Taking off at noon, the opening event included seven competitions in five classes, Europe, 470 (men’s and women’s), Laser, Yngling and Mistral (men’s and women’s).
Holland’s Carol Cronin and Lobke Berkhout finished first in 470 women’s, while European champions Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa placed third in the same race, in 470 men’s Australia’s Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page took first place, +Mistral men’s and women’s competition was won by New Zealand’s Jon-Paul Tobin and China’s Yin Jian, respectively, Europe by France’s Manon Borsi, Laser by Paul Goodison of Great Britain and Yngling by Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette and Purdy Melissa of USA.
 Alleged 'N17' leader requests stay in providing statement
Athens, 17/08/2002 (ANA)The alleged co-founder and leader of the notorious “November 17” terrorist on Friday requested and was granted a stay until Tuesday to provide a statement to a relevant prosecutor.
Alexandros Giotopoulos, 58, was scheduled to provide a customary pre-trial statement to special appellate court prosecutor Leonidas Zervobeakos on Friday. The former is being held in solitary confinement at a maximum-security cellblock in Korydallos prison since his arrest last month.
An attorney for Giotopoulos later told reporters on Friday that his client had previously requested a 30-day extension for providing the statement, something that was not granted by the prosecutor’s office.
The Paris-born Giotopoulos has denied from the onset all charges filed against him or involvement with terrorism, while stressing that he does not even know any of the suspects recently arrested in the high-profile “N17” investigation.
 Alpha Bank wholly acquires FYROM subsidiary
Athens, 17/02/2002 (ANA)Alpha Bank, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, said on Friday that it had wholly acquired Alpha Bank AD Skopje by upping an existing stake.
The parent bank said in a statement that it purchased the remaining 16.41 percent of share capital in its subsidiary, which is based in Skopje, capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
 Stocks rise across the board in slim trade
Athens, 17/08/2002 (ANA)The Athens bourse finished higher on Friday, with players trading across the board.
The general share index gained 0.54 percent to end at 2,160.27 points. Turnover was 57.3 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.88 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization paper 0.62 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.45 percent up.
Of 350 stocks traded, advances led declines at 224 to 52 with 52 issues remaining unchanged.
 Skydra-Florina railway section closed due to renovation
Athens, 17/08/2002 (ANA)The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) on Friday said that on Monday, 19 August, the Skydra-Kozani/Florina section of the Thessaloniki-Kozani/Florina, Northwestern Macedonia line will be temporarily closed for passenger transportation due to renovation works effected as part of an all-out railway-network renovation project that takes off on that date.
Effective 19 August and until work on that section is completed, all passenger trains on the Thessaloniki-Kozani/Florina line will travel between Thessaloniki and Skydra only, OSE said.
 Britain backs bizonal, bicommunal federation
LONDON, 17/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)British Undersecretary of State for Education Stephen Twigg has said London supports the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus.
He also said that if the current UN peace effort does not bear fruit, fresh attempts must be made among European Union members or in conjunction with the US.
''I think it is very important that anyone who is in a position of authority in the British government needs to make clear that the position of the government is absolutely behind a bizonal, bicommunal federation for Cyprus and not another solution,'' he told the London Turkish language paper Toplum Postasi.
That, he pointed out, is the long-standing position of both main parties in Britain as well as the UN.
His comments came in the wake of strong protests over statements of the Britain's Cyprus envoy Lord David Hannay had made. He talked about ''a new state'' in Cyprus and referred to the existence of ''two people'' on the island.
Replying to questions, Twigg said his many Cypriot constituents want Britain to do more on the Cyprus question and said there is scope for the British government to do more.
On press reports about solution plans London has in store, he said he was not aware of any master plan.
''I think we have played a positive role in encouraging Cyprus to be part of the EU and in making it clear that we would like that to be a united Cyprus with a bizonal, bicommunal constitution,'' he said.
Britain, he added, said there would not be a veto to prevent the current Republic of Cyprus from joining the EU if there is no political settlement.
Commenting on the UN-led talks, which resume on August 27, he said it would be right to hold back and give encouragement to these talks, which began in January this year between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
''Were that not to succeed, then I think that we would have to look again at what we can do with other EU countries on our own or indeed with the Americans,'' he said.
Clerides and Denktash are meeting the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in early September in Paris. Annan hopes to give the deadlocked talks a new lease of life and help the two sides, through his special adviser Alvaro do Soto, to crack the core issues (governance, security, territory and property).
Twigg was critical of Denktash's harsh policies against any voice of dissent among the Turkish Cypriot community and said the ''imprisonment'' of two prominent opposition journalists does not look good at a time when peace talks are underway.
 Defense Minister: We protested change in status quo
NICOSIA 17/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)Defense Minister Socratis Hasikos has confirmed that the Foreign Ministry has made representations to the UN with regard to the violation of the status quo in the village of Pyla, on the southeast.
The minister also said that a large number of the 6,800 Turkish soldiers who had arrived illegally in the northern occupied areas of the Republic have left the island.
Speaking to the Press, Hasikos said the Turkish occupation forces have made some changes to the wall surrounding a military observation post, something the government considers to be a violation of the existing status quo.
With regard to the departure from Cyprus of some of the additional occupation forces, he said "this does not indicate any disposition on the part of the Turkish forces not to create tension whenever and wherever they can."
Turkey maintains some 30,000 troops in the part of Cyprus it occupies since 1974. In the recent past, more troops were sent to the island as peace talks to settle the Cyprus question are underway. The government had protested this latest move by Ankara.
 Morphou people appeal to Europe, UN for help
NICOSIA, 17/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)Eight refugee organizations, led by Morphou municipality, have called on Europe and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to act more decisively in the direction of Turkey so that it works towards a just solution in Cyprus.
''The present situation is totally unacceptable, it is a disgrace to humanity,'' a resolution said, which asked for support in the quest for ''peace, justice and the unification of Cyprus.''
The resolution, handed to the embassies of these countries, said the people of Morphou believe that ''Europe and the governments of the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, as permanent members of the Security Council, can exert more pressure upon Turkey to change attitude and work towards a just solution to the Cyprus problem.''
Restoration of the fundamental human rights for all Cypriots, respect for international law and order, the ascertainment of the fate of missing persons and the withdrawal of Turkish troops must be part of a just and viable settlement, the resolution stressed.
It notes that despite world condemnation of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Ankara and its puppet regime in the occupied part of the island ''have not been pressed enough and have not shown the political will to negotiate on the core issues of the problem.''
''Turkish Cypriots who were moved by the Turkish troops to the occupied north are also denied by the Turkish army the right to return to their homes and property in the free part of Cyprus,'' the resolution pointed out.
The people of Morphou declared in the resolution their determination to continue efforts until they return home.
''We now expect action from the powerful nations of the world, we expect them to turn their words into deeds,'' Morphou mayor Charalambos Pittas said, after delivering the resolution.
He said the people of Morphou will not accept any solution, which does not allow each and every refugee to return to his home.
The resolution was also delivered to the President of the Republic and the President of the House of Representatives.
 Cyprus signs UN protocol against illicit trafficking in firearms
UNITED NATIONS, 17/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus has signed the protocol against the illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The protocol was signed this week by Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Sotos Zakhaios. UN Secretary-General's spokesperson Hua Jiang told the press that Cyprus was the 36th country that signed this protocol, which was opened for signature at UN Headquarters in June 2001. It will remain open for signatures until December 12, 2002. Zakhaios said the signing of the protocol constituted ''a proof of Cyprus' adherence to international efforts being made against international organized crime''.