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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-08-27

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

August 26, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens extends its Balkan reconstruction plan to Albania
  • [02] Olympics, EU presidency and education top PM's agenda this week
  • [03] Foreign Minister Papandreou meets with Archbishop of America Dimitrios
  • [04] ''N17'' suspect names ''first generation'' group member
  • [05] Albanian minister blames border queues on poor planning
  • [06] Foreign ministry: a pro-Europe stance in Turkey suits Greek interests
  • [07] Halkidiki eyed as location of Greek EU presidency's summit
  • [08] Athens' positions on 'Earth Summit' detailed
  • [09] Econ Minister urges joint effort to combat inflation
  • [10] Pella farmers begin new round of protests over cotton
  • [11] Gov’t to begin new round of talks on price control
  • [12] Tourism slump limited relative to other EU countries, gov't says
  • [13] Deputy development minister to discuss issue of high prices
  • [14] New general secretary for 'Information Society' program
  • [15] ASE approves share capital increase plans
  • [16] Greek stocks end slightly lower on Monday
  • [17] ATHOC announces new venue for Olympic boxing
  • [18] President Clerides urges international community to intervene
  • [19] Foreign minister briefs PSEKA-POMAK conference
  • [20] Greek minister addresses POMAK-PSEKA conference on Cyprus
  • [21] Greek ministers hold series of meetings in Nicosia
  • [22] Spokesman: we resume peace talks in a spirit of give and take

  • [01] Athens extends its Balkan reconstruction plan to Albania

    TIRANA, 27/08/2002 (ANA – M. Vihou)

    Athens extended the scope of its ambitious Balkan Reconstruction Plan to Albania on Monday, signing a bilateral agreement here with the neighboring state to the northwest worth 50 million euros between 2002 and 2006.

    The plan mostly envisions high-priority infrastructure projects in cash-strapped Albania, including improvements in the power supply network, but also funding for education, health and civil servant training programs, among others.

    “Greece, with this specific agreement proves, in practice, its affinity with the Albanian people. In terms of geography, we are two neighboring peoples that live together; it does not matter which of the two is more prosperous. What does matter is the consolidation of peace and friendship, security and stability, as well as the fight against terrorism,” Greek deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos stressed afterwards.

    The Greek minister emphasized the fight against terrorism and organized crime in his comments, saying it now ranks as a primary goal for the entire Balkan region.

    "...wherever there is organized crime in one Balkan country, there is a problem for the entire Balkans. That's the reason why we decided on the creation of a center for the prevention and eradication of organized crime," he said.

    On his part, Albanian Economy Minister Arben Malaj thanked Athens for its support, while expressing a hope that bilateral cooperation will continue to grow, a fact he said will have positive repercussions for the large number of Albanian nationals that crossed into Greece over the past decade in search of a better future.

    He also said the two countries' bilateral cooperation - a more-or-less model for SE Europe - should be better promoted by the mass media on both sides of the border.

    The high-profile agreement's signing came as several opposition party figures here and a portion of Albania's press vigorously criticized Athens for the mile-long lines of cars and coaches waiting to enter Greece from Albania at the only two borders posts between the two countries.

    Thousands of Albanian workers in Greece that were recently granted residence and work permits -- as well as many ethnic Greeks of southern Albania -- took advantage of the August holiday season to return to their homeland, causing an unprecedented bottleneck at the frontier.

    The Greek government, though, warned that as a signatory Schengen Pact nation all necessary border checks must and will be implemented, along with stepped up vigilance to prevent drug and weapons smugglers from taking advantage of the late summer traffic. Additional staff, however, has been dispatched to the border with order to accelerate procedures, reports state.

    Moreover, Athens and Tirana are in the final stages of opening another two customs posts on their mostly mountainous border.

    Albanian PM Nano holds talks with Greek Deputy FM Loverdos: Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano, during talks he had here on Monday with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos, referred to what he termed the mature relations between the two countries and governments as shown by the calm manner with which they handled the problem created at the Greek-Albanian border due to the great number of Albanian immigrants returning to Greece following their holidays in Albania.

    Nano also congratulated the Greek government for its successes in the struggle for the eradication of terrorism. He further referred to his country's European orientation and asked for Greece's help for the speeding up of the procedures for the signing of an Albania-European Union association agreement.

    [02] Olympics, EU presidency and education top PM's agenda this week

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair a meeting with Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis on Monday evening to discuss issues pertaining to the Greek EU presidency, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced.

    On Tuesday at 9:45 the prime minister will meet Greek European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, followed by a meeting with Education Minister Petros Efthymiou at 10:30 to prepare for Thursday's cabinet meeting.

    At noon on Tuesday, Simitis will meet the head of the Athens Olympics Organizing Committee (ATHOC) Gianna Angelopoulos and immediately afterward chair a ministerial committee meeting for the Olympic Games, while on Tuesday evening he will meet Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Miroljub Labus and Archbishop Dimitrios.

    On Wednesday morning, the prime minister will meet Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and deputy finance ministers George Floridis and Apostolos Fotiadis to discuss the planned tax cuts, while he is to meet Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis at 13:00.

    Thursday's cabinet meeting chaired by the premier will focus on education, while Simitis will meet PASOK Central Committee Secretary Costas Laliotis on Thursday evening, before heading a meeting of the government's communications team at 19:30.

    On Friday morning, Simitis will meet the presidency of the Industrialists Association of Northern Greece (SBBE), while at 11:30 he will meet the regional secretaries of northern Greece.

    [03] Foreign Minister Papandreou meets with Archbishop of America Dimitrios

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday said that his meeting with Archbishop of America Dimitrios was ''very warm and constructive'', focusing on US-Greek relations, upcoming 9/11 anniversary events in New York City for the one year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, as well as terrorism-related developments.

    Replying to journalists' questions, the Archbishop conveyed the satisfaction of US President George Bush over terrorism-related developments in Greece and the arrests made by the Greek authorities.

    Papandreou said that the Archbishop was honored by local and federal US authorities, as well as by President Bush with numerous invitations and this evidenced the important role that the Orthodox Church plays in America and in the US.

    ''I had the opportunity to discuss all these matters in detail and also the various events that will be held in view of September 11, one year after the tragic events in New York where also there, for many reasons, the Archbishop had assumed a leading role offering spiritual food and solace, if you like, to the members of the victims, not only members of the Orthodox Church, but even beyond that, also having the church of St. Nicholas as an important point of reference near the twin towers that collapsed'', Papandreou said.

    In his reply, Archbishop Dimitrios told the minister that also for him it was a great joy to meet with the ministry's local officials, as well as with those performing their duties in the US, ''who are indeed special, indeed collaborating with the Archbishopric in every step of the way, to ensure the best possible results''.

    [04] ''N17'' suspect names ''first generation'' group member

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    ''N17'' suspect Savvas Xiros in his testimony before a Special Examining Magistrate on 12 August named one more individual as a member of the so-called ''first generation'' of the notorious urban guerrilla group.

    Still hospitalized in an Athens hospital under guard for injuries he suffered during a botched bomb explosion in Piraeus late June, Xiros reaffirmed, before Magistrate Leonidas Zervombeakos, the allegations of his brother Christodoulos Xiros, also a ''N17'' suspect, that Yiannis Serifis, who in the 70's was charged with participation in the "Revolutionary Popular Struggle" (ELA) terrorist group and was later acquitted, had recruited him in the group.

    I met Yiannis Serifis once several years before I joined the group at some eatery that he had opened together with my uncle Argyris Tsakalias, Xiros told the magistrate.

    The only thing that Tsakalias told me about Serifis was that he had repeatedly abandoned his family and that he was running here and there. Five years ago, if I remember correctly, Christodoulos had told me that after some speech he had attended at some university hall, Yiannis Serifis had approached him and directly asked him if he wanted to join the group, Xiros said.

    After that incident, he said, the group panicked because Serifis had approached a stranger, my brother; as a matter of fact, at that time, Lambros (suspected group leader Alexandros Giotopoulos) protesting against his (Serifis) attitude had asked him ''why did you ask him to join? Do you know him?'', to which Serifis replied ''I know his uncle Tsakalias''.

    I had heard some members of the group saying that Yiannis Serifis had participated in the first ''N17'' activity against the CIA Station Chief Richard Welch in 1975, Xiros said.

    Shortly after Christodoulos' recruitment (1983), Serifis had a disagreement with the group and left it, Xiros said. I am sure that his departure was permanent because since that time nobody from the group had anything to do with him, or he with us, he added.

    About Giotopoulos, Xiros told the magistrate that Giotopoulos possibly exploited the group's members both ideologically and financially. ''At the time though'', Xiros added ''we trusted him blindly, although at times I wondered about the group's finances, because I felt that the money spent for the group's needs exceeded my estimates'', he said.

    According to Xiros, the organization took care of the members and associated expenses each time that they participated in any of the group's activities and when they were jobless. ''The group took care of the rent and the expenses of the members when we went to do assigned jobs'', he said, adding ''when a member was jobless, he would receive some money to cover basic expenses. Usually, the money would only cover rent and electricity. The group also covered the members' medical care, however, not their families''.

    About Sotiris Kondylis or ''Aris'', Xiros said that after the assassination of a Turkish diplomat in 1994, he had no further involvement in the group's activities. ''Nevertheless, we kept in touch with Aris until one month before I was injured'', Xiros said. ''We met to hear news from him, whether he was under surveillance, to see whether the group's security was at any risk'', he added.

    According to Xiros, magistrate Panagiotis Tarasouleas had been targeted in January 1989 because there was ''information that during the junta (1967-1974) he had sent a number of people to exile''.

    Xiros also told Zervombeakos that he had attempted to leave the group in 1995 and also later. He said that in 1995 he had rounded-up a group of artists with the intent to open up a culture center.

    On a related development, the authorities on Monday said that card-phones will be shortly installed in public areas near the maximum security cells where the 14 ''N17'' suspects are held at Korydallos prison, the largest correctional facility in Greece, located at a working-class neighborhood in west Attica.

    The telephone conversations of the 14 ''N17'' suspects will be monitored and some of them taped for use in court if considered suspicious, the authorities said.

    Third police officer testifies as witness in 'N17' case: Police officer Sokratis Kotsias on Monday testified for two hours as a witness in the 'November 17' case before special examining magistrate Leonidas Zervombeakos, the appeals court justice assigned to the N17 brief.

    Kotsias was the third member of the force called to testify regarding the shootout between police and "N17" in Sepolia in November 1991, in which he was injured.

    All three officers involved in the Sepolia shootout have filed a civil suit against the accused.

    [05] Albanian minister blames border queues on poor planning

    TIRANA, 27/08/2002 (ANA - M. Vihou)

    The Greek and Albanian governments had been caught napping and were responsible for the problems faced by holiday-makers returning to Greece via the Greek-Albanian borders, Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Luan Hajdaraga said in an exclusive interview with the ANA on Monday.

    ''Both governments were ill prepared to deal with the problem of the large number of Albanians that appeared at the borders of the two countries for the first time. Albanian emigrants for the first time felt safe because of the 'green card' they received in Greece and for this reason large numbers came to spend their holidays in their homeland. The problem was further complicated by the fact that most of them returned in cars that they had bought in Greece, so that border checks at their return naturally took longer,'' he said.

    He also reiterated that the present infrastructure was incapable of handling the volume of traffic and called for the creation of two more customs posts before the Christmas holidays, when a similar wave of holiday-makers from Greece to Albania might be expected.

    He said the Greek and Albanian governments should sit down and discuss the problem so that a suitable solution might be found, and to issue an apology for the inconvenience currently facing people at the borders.

    Hajdaraga denied the outbreak of an epidemic among old people and children trapped in queues at the border, as reported by sections of the Albanian press.

    Speaking in Athens, meanwhile, Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis criticized the Albanian press for their handling of the issue.

    He said the delays were caused by the large numbers but that the "practical problems" had been dealt with through the collaboration of the foreign and public order ministries.

    Too late for 63-year-old Greek-Albanian Anthoula Gika, however, who died of a heart attack while waiting in a bus to cross the border into Greece, according to the ANA correspondent in Gjirokaster.

    Gika had set off from Tirana on Sunday morning to join her children living in Greece.

    Reports from the Kakavia border post said that queues were still growing as the numbers arriving at the border were still greater than those that managed to get through. Authorities estimated that the situation would greatly improve over the next two to three days, however, when the last 20-30,000 Albanians from the 130,000 that returned to Albania for their holidays had been processed.

    [06] Foreign ministry: a pro-Europe stance in Turkey suits Greek interests

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    It is in Greece's interests for pro-European forces in Turkey to become stronger, as well as being in the interests of Turkey and security in the wider region, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said on Monday in response to reporters' questions.

    Greece would decide its final stance at the EU summit in Copenhagen in December within this framework, he added.

    The spokesman also noted that Cyprus accession to the EU had become linked with Turkey's European prospects and that this was now an established situation, which meant that Turkey had to contribute to a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He pointed out that Foreign Minister George Papandreou had repeatedly said that all scenarios and possibilities related to Turkey were being looked into, in view of Cyprus' EU accession.

    Regarding last week's cabinet meeting, the spokesman said that a strong defense was obviously a powerful negotiating tool in the hands of the Greek side.

    Regarding the negotiations for the Euroforce, Beglitis said that Greece was ready to continue the talks, for which there was no time frame.

    [07] Halkidiki eyed as location of Greek EU presidency's summit

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    The final summit by European leaders under the Greek EU presidency in June 2003 will probably take place in one of the three major hotel complexes in Halkidiki, according to the latest reports on Monday.

    It was originally envisaged that the European Council would take place in Thessaloniki at the city's exhibition center but this plan was scrapped after Thessaloniki University, which borders on the site, refused to limit access to its grounds on the two days of the meeting. The foreign ministry has therefore elected Halkidiki as a more secure location. The hotel chosen will also host the presidency's very large press office and the hundreds of journalists - that according to some estimates may number up to 2,000 - expected at the summit.

    A team of engineers and architects are now in Halkidiki inspecting all the facilities on offer in order to make their recommendations to the foreign ministry, which will make the final choice of location.

    Meanwhile, the foreign ministry has asked all the other ministries to submit detailed proposals for the final positions of the Greek EU presidency by October 15, so that they can be summed up and discussed by the cabinet and the prime minister.

    Emblem for Greek EU presidency to be unveiled in Nov.: The government is expected to officially unveil the emblem for Greece's rotating European Union presidency (first half of 2003) by November, it was announced on Monday.

    A committee headed by Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis has reportedly narrowed down the field of some 200 proposals down to four or five, while according to sources, the foreign ministry's leadership has already decided on one design, with only Prime Minister Costas Simitis' final approval pending.

    The selected emblem will figure on stationary and publications issued by the Greek EU presidency.

    [08] Athens' positions on 'Earth Summit' detailed

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Greece's positions at the Johannesburg "Earth Summit" on sustainable development, which began on Monday and lasts until Sept. 4, were the focus of a press conference at the foreign ministry here the same day.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who will lead the Greek delegation at the summit, as well as Public Works and Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou, outlined Athens' stance.

    The foreign minister noted that Greece, as a member of the current European troika, would make every effort to promote "environmental diplomacy" and a specific action plan along with commitments/deadlines for meeting environmental goals.

    [09] Econ Minister urges joint effort to combat inflation

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Mon-day called for all social agencies to join together in an effort to restrain rising inflation in the country.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Bank of Greece governor Nikos Garganas to discuss current economic developments, Mr. Christodoulakis urged for a joint effort to restrain prices in the domestic market.

    "It is necessary that every agency should help in restraining inflation, whose rise is partly justified by increased demand and economic growth although it also reflects price hikes due to introduction of the euro currency," Christodoulakis said.

    The Greek minister noted that every time domestic inflation surpassed the eurozone's average inflation "is like cutting off a slice in the country's competitiveness and employment."

    Referring to the new 2003 budget, Mr. Christodoulakis said it would aim at supporting economic competitiveness and maintaining fiscal stability. Drafting of next year's budget is expected to be completed by the end of September.

    "Some people took advantage of the introduction of the euro currency to raise their prices betting, probably, on the weakness of the Greek consumer to use a currency with subdivisions after many, many years," Christodoulakis told reporters.

    He said that the economy and finance ministry soon planned to launch an information campaign titled "The euro has power" and reiterated that Greece was the country with the highest growth rate in the European Union and predicted that these rates would be maintained next year also.

    [10] Pella farmers begin new round of protests over cotton

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Farmers in the northern Greek prefecture of Pella began a new round of protests on Monday by picketing and then taking over the Agricultural Directorate in Giannitsa, breaking through a police cordon that tried to prevent the 250-strong picket from entering.

    A short while before, representatives of the protesting farmers met with Pella Prefect Michalis Karamanis and handed him a resolution containing their demands.

    Among these were that the government pay the original amount announced for cotton subsidies (50 drachmas per kilo), that the entire crop be eligible for subsidies, the reversal of the rule for cotton and the return and redistribution of 1,700 hectares for cotton cultivation.

    Other demands include the payment of compensation to farmers who suffered frost damage to their crops, the formulation of a common agricultural policy and the payment of subsidies.

    The farming cooperatives federation for Thessaloniki prefecture, meanwhile, is planning a major protest rally outside the 67th Thessaloniki International Fair on September 6, when the trade fair is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    [11] Gov’t to begin new round of talks on price control

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    The Greek government is organizing a new round of talks with representatives from manufacturing unions to discuss price increases and to coordinate more closely in an effort to contain increases, government sources said on Monday.

    The new round of talks will be headed by Development Deputy Minister Christos Theodorou and the first round is expected to be completed by the end of August.

    At the same time, the Union of Food Industry underlined that there were no prices increases in packaged foods wholesale prices in the period from September 2001 to March 2002, while figures from the National Statistics Service showed that price increases in the sector were the lowest in the country's manufacturing sector.

    GSEBEE, the union of small- and medium-sized enterprises, noted that the sector was facing hard times and rejected reports showing that Greek SMEs were the leaders in unjustified price increases so far this year.

    [12] Tourism slump limited relative to other EU countries, gov't says

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    The reduction in tourist traffic in certain areas of Greece was much less than that in other Mediterranean countries within the EU, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said on Monday.

    Responding to questions, Protopapas said the drop in the numbers of tourists was a symptom of an overall reduction in tourism worldwide due to the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.

    [13] Deputy development minister to discuss issue of high prices

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Deputy Development Minister Christos Theodorou will meet on Tuesday with representatives of the food industry and with entrepreneurs of super markets and department stores in order to discuss ways of bringing down existing high prices.

    The General Confederation of Small Manufacturers and Professionals (GSEBEE) said in an announcement on Monday that small and medium-sized enterprises have been in a difficult position for some time now and rejects ''the witch hunt'' waged against them.

    [14] New general secretary for 'Information Society' program

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Yiannis Kalogirou, previously at the development ministry, was appointed the new general secretary for the 'Information Society' program on Monday.

    [15] ASE approves share capital increase plans

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    An Athens Stock Exchange regular board meeting on Monday approved share capital increase plans by Yalco and Neorion Shipyards .

    Yalco Socrates D. Constantinou and Son plans to raise its share capital following a merger deal with Vellifest SA, a household product firm, while Neorion New SA Syros Shipyards plans to raise its share capital because of a merger deal with Tiama Hellenic Investment AEBE.

    ASE board also approved the listing of 2,727,840 common nominal shares of "High Technology Consultants SA" on the New Stock Exchange (NEXA), the listing of 10,016,335 new common anonymous and 25,866 new preferential shares of Klonatex Group of Companies SA, following completion of a share capital increase plan, the listing of 3,770,290 new common nominal shares of "Grigoris Snack" following a successful stock split, the listing of 25,000,000 new common nominal shares, worth 1,38 euros per share, of P & K Securities, and the listing of 273,665 bonds issued by ETBAbank, with a nominal value of 100 euros, with a 12 month duration, offering a coupon of 3.80 percent.

    [16] Greek stocks end slightly lower on Monday

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended Monday's session slightly lower with the Athens Stock Exchange finding support at the 2,170 level.

    The general index fell 0.11 percent to end at 2,173,89 points, with turnover a low 67.2 million euros.

    The Holding, IT, Investment and Publication sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (1.63 percent, 1.53 percent, 1.35 percent and 1.34 percent, respectively), while the Retail, Banks and Cement sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (0.53 percent, 0.20 percent and 0.05 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.02 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.55 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 0.30 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 176 to 115 with another 60 issues unchanged.

    The most heavily traded stocks in value were Klostiria Naousis, Informatics, Coca Cola and Hellenic Telecoms.

    [17] ATHOC announces new venue for Olympic boxing

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    The Athens 2004 Olympic organizing committee (ATHOC) on Monday announced that the popular boxing competition will be hosted at a new venue planned for construction in a large west Athens municipality.

    ATHOC executives made the announcement after meeting with international amateur boxing federation officials in Lausanne, saying afterwards said the new 8,400-seat facility will be built in the Peristeri district on land adjacent to the main highway leading north out of the city, and relatively close to the Olympic Village.

    According to a press release by ATHOC, the tender for the facility is expected to be completed by October, whereas the first Olympic 'test event' for boxing is scheduled for May 2004 - less than three months before the next Games return to the city that hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896.

    [18] President Clerides urges international community to intervene

    NICOSIA, 27/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus expects the international community to intervene more substantially to find a Cyprus settlement before the island's accession to the European Union (EU), President Glafcos Clerides stated here Monday.

    Addressing the 19th conference of the Councils of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), Clerides assured that if the Turkish side remains intransigent, a non-solution to the Cyprus problem would not affect the island's accession course.

    The president said he anticipates the completion of the accession negotiations to take place within the set deadline.

    Referring to the ongoing UN-led direct talks for a Cyprus settlement, the Cypriot President said that no substantial progress has been so far achieved due to the insistence of the Turkish side for recognition of ''two sovereign states''.

    Clerides welcomed the First International Conference of Cyprus Youth Overseas, which is taking place at the same time with the Councils' Conference, adding that the government will provide unlimited support.

    He underlined that the overseas youth represents hope for overseas Cypriots and secures cooperation and succession for the generations to come.

    Furthermore the President thanked Cypriot Hellenism for its support to the just struggle for a peaceful solution and noted its contribution to the enlightenment campaign worldwide.

    President Clerides said the goal is a united Cyprus, with a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship noting, ''we

    are searching for a solution that will secure human rights and fundamental freedoms, will be in line with the acquis communautaire and the principles of international law and UN resolutions''.

    President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year with a view to negotiate until a comprehensive settlement is reached.

    However no progress has been achieved yet because of Denktash's insistence on the creation of two states in Cyprus, contrary to numerous UN resolutions calling for the establishment of a bicommunal bizonal federation.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    [19] Foreign minister briefs PSEKA-POMAK conference

    Athens, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Monday said a Cyprus settlement that would allow a lawful dissolution of the Cyprus Republic would be a ''nightmare'' and called for vigilance prior to the decision of the European Union Council meeting in Copenhagen, December 2002, which will determine Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    Briefing the POMAK-PSEKA conference and the First International Conference of Cyprus Youth Overseas which opened here on Monday, Kasoulides told delegates that from what it looks like, the Copenhagen decision on Cyprus will be positive and assured that efforts will continue to solve the Cyprus problem even after accession.

    The foreign minister explained that the EU will consider two issues at Copenhagen, the first being each side's (Greek Cypriot's and Turkish Cypriot's) attitude in efforts for a Cyprus settlement and the second being the Turkey-EU relations.

    At this point Kasoulides referred to the Security Council statement of last July which noted that the Turkish Cypriot side has been ''less constructive'' than the Greek Cypriot side in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and in this regard expressed its disappointment that progress remained slow and the June target date for agreement had not been met.

    He further said the dilemma that Cyprus will face would be to choose between continuation of the division of the island and non-accession to the EU, or continuation of the division and accession.

    ''Of course we elect the second choice'', the minister stressed. Referring to the September 6 meeting in Paris between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot Rauf Denktash at the presence of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Kasoulides expressed the view that Annan will try to lift the deadlock in the peace talks.

    The direct talks resume on Tuesday morning with a meeting between UN Secretary General's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto de Soto, Clerides and Denktash in the presence of their advisors. After seven months of talks, no substantive progress has been achieved towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem because of Denktash's insistence on two separate sovereign states.

    The Greek Cypriot side has made it clear it insists on one state with a single sovereignty.

    ''Cyprus will never accept any solution which will contain ingredients such as two sovereign ''states'' or the admission of the existence of two peoples, allowing the lawful dissolution and partition of the Cyprus Republic'', Kasoulides stressed.

    He further said the position of the Greek Cypriot side is that there should be satisfactory security for Turkish Cypriots but at the same time that should not cause problems to the Greek Cypriots''.

    Regarding threats unleashed by Turkey if Cyprus enters the EU, Kasoulides assured overseas Cypriots that the government is examining all scenarios as well as ways to react, noting that Turkey, that occupies Cyprus' northern third since 1974, should think twice before acting in a manner that might endanger its accession course.

    The EU summit in December is expected to invite Cyprus and other candidate countries to join the Union. Turkey, a candidate country, is eagerly seeking to secure a definite date for the start of its accession negotiations with the EU.

    [20] Greek minister addresses POMAK-PSEKA conference on Cyprus

    NICOSIA, 27/08/2002 (ANA)

    Cyprus would make the great step into Europe over the coming months, no matter what obstacles were raised in its path, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis said on Monday in his address to a conference organized by the Greek-Cypriot expatriate organizations POMAK and PSEKA.

    The minister expressed certainty that any efforts made by neighboring Turkey to prevent this outcome would yield no results, saying that Greece and Cyprus had worked systematically to secure a relative political and diplomatic advantage, as well as the required unity and the collective decisions of EU institutions.

    The POMAK-PSEKA conference was also addressed by the chairman of the Greek Parliament's Committee for expatriate Hellenes, Grigoris Niotis, who said that the Cyprus problem and the island republic's accession to the EU were the topmost priority for Greece.

    The conference was earlier addressed by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, who appealed to the international community to assist decisively in making progress on the Cyprus problem but made it clear that not achieving a solution would not prevent Cyprus' EU accession.

    [21] Greek ministers hold series of meetings in Nicosia

    NICOSIA, 27/08/2002 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Greece's Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos expressed his deep faith in Cyprus' accession to the European Union following a meeting he had here on Monday with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.

    During the meeting, Tsohatzopoulos briefed the president on issues being discussed between Greece's Development Ministry and Cyprus' Trade and Tourism Ministry within the framework of their cooperation.

    Tsohatzopoulos, who was accompanied by Cyprus' Trade and Tourism Minister Nikos Rolandis, said that he and Rolandis briefed President Clerides on bilateral cooperation in the implementation of technologies and in the sectors of energy, industry and tourism.

    Meanwhile, Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis concluded a four-day visit to Cyprus on Monday afternoon.

    In the morning Magriotis addressed a conference organized by the Greek-Cypriot expatriate organizations POMAK and PSEKA and assured the delegates that the Greek government and people will not tire in struggling for the rights of Cypriot Hellenism.

    The Greek deputy foreign minister later met with Parliament President Demetris Christofias and Education and Culture Minister Ouranios Ioannides.

    Following his meeting with Christofias, Magriotis told reporters that ''Greece and Cyprus are preparing for any eventuality and finally it is certain that they will achieve their objective which is the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union.''

    On his part, Christofias referred to the need for ''the Cypriot political leadership to complete the discussion on the possible scenarios, which may develop, and to discuss them with the Greek government.''

    [22] Spokesman: we resume peace talks in a spirit of give and take

    NICOSIA, 27/08/2002 (CNA/ ANA)

    The Greek Cypriot side returns to the negotiating table in a spirit of give and take and with a strong desire for compromise, on the basis of decisions the international community has taken with regard to the Cyprus solution, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here on Monday.

    Speaking only a day before the resumption of the UN-led direct talks, he said at Tuesday's meeting UN Secretary General's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto might put forward some suggestions on how to proceed with the talks he has been conducting for the past seven months.

    Papapetrou said he would welcome a new solution plan Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash might submit at Tuesday's meeting, provided it takes into serious consideration the positions that the Greek Cypriot side cannot possibly accept.

    The spokesman said that next week President Clerides will have a private meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Paris and then sit at a working lunch Annan is hosting for Clerides and Denktash.

    ''We are returning to the direct talks in a spirit of give and take and a strong desire for an honorable compromise which will be based on the decisions and the framework the international community has set out with regard to Cyprus,'' Papapetrou said.

    Noting that the months ahead will be crucial, he said the government is also determined to push for the completion of its accession course, in cooperation with the Greek government.

    Asked about Tuesday's meeting in the context of the direct talks, he said ''there is nothing specific which will be on tomorrow's agenda but I would say that there is a distinct possibility that de Soto might put forward some suggestions as to how we proceed with the talks.''

    He refrained from any further comment saying he did not wish to preempt anything.

    Invited to comment on the likelihood of fresh proposals for a solution by Denktash, the spokesman said that ''any new proposal by Denktash is welcomed provided it takes seriously into account those issues which, I am certain Denktash has understood that cannot be accepted by the Greek Cypriot side and provided he comes forward with such suggestions that are realistic and can lead to a compromise.''

    On the Paris meeting, he said the President is scheduled to fly to Paris on September 4 and return on the 7th. He will be accompanied by the Republic's new Ambassador to France Minas Hadjimichael, who leaves for the French capital later this week to assume his duties.

    Replying to questions on the prospects of the Paris meeting and the possibility of documents being presented to the two leaders by Annan, the spokesman stressed that the Greek Cypriot side ''seeks nothing more and nothing less than what the international community has spelt out with regard to the framework of a solution.''

    The spokesman said President Clerides will not be going to Athens after the Paris meeting, as it was suggested.

    The direct talks resume tomorrow morning with a meeting between de Soto, Clerides and Dentkash in the presence of their advisors. After seven months of talks, no substantive progress has been achieved towards a comprehensive settlement because of Denktash's insistence on two separate sovereign states.

    The Greek Cypriot side has made it clear it insists on one state with a single sovereignty.


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