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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-11-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 17/11/1996 (ANA)


  • Tsohatzopoulos says EU must deal with Turkeuy's destabilising force
  • Increased alert for fear of Polytecnic incidents
  • Athens 2004 Olympic candidacy looking good


    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said yesterday that Turkey's attempt to de facto annule the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne -providing the basis of the status quo between the two countries today-, through its policy in Cyprus and an aggressive stand in the Aegean, posed a problem not for Greece only, but for the whole of Europe, as it functioned as a destabilising force in the region.

    He made the statement during his address at a seminar organised by the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, and the Athens Bureau of the Friedrich Ebert Institute.

    According to the minister, the European Union's Mediterranean policy faces two serious problems, those of Palestine and Cyprus.

    Regarding the former, he said the delay noted in the last few months must not be allowed to carry on, otherwise a historical opportunity will be lost.

    Concerning Cyprus, Tsohatzopoulos reiterated that the problem was one of invasion and occupation by the Turkish army, and that the European Union had set the start to negotiations for the entry of Cyprus and Malta as members six months after the end of the Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC).

    Regarding Turkish entry, he referred to that country's well-documented problems in the domain of human rights which the EU had to deal with, also noting that there were many countries in Europe which did not want its entry.

    "The European Union must adopt a stand on this matter also, because Greece has been used as the naughty child too long," he said.

    Foreign Undersecretary Christos Rozakis, who addressed the seminar later, said there has never been an issue of Cyprus being admitted into the EU in half, but as a single entity whose part is under occupation.

    "The only problem is the implementation of arrangements, but this is mainly a technical, not a political problem," he said.

    Questioned whether Cyprus should wait until eastern European countries were ready to join, Rozakis said there was no decision by the EU for the creation of two-tiers in the accession process, and, expressing his personal opinion, said it was not a question of a race to join, noting that Cyprus already fulfilled the criteria set by the Maastricht Treaty.

    Regarding Turkish accession, he said the issue was not being discussed and had almost been ruled out.

    Five thousand policemen are on duty, and another 10,000 on stand-by to prevent a reoccurence of violent incidents which have marred events marking the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic student uprising of 1973 in past years.

    People of all ages have been flocking to the cite for the third consecutive day today to pay tribute to those killed resisting the military junta.

    The gates closed at 3:00 pm, and vigilante groups of students, academic staff and ordinary citizens undertook the task of guarding the premises until tomorrow morning.

    Shortly afterwards, police began gradually restricting access to the main avenues through which the traditional procession to the US embassy will pass.

    CANCUN, Mexico (ANA/AFP) -- Independent observers at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session have described the file of the Athens candidacy for the Olympic Games of 2004 as the best of all 11 eleven cities contesting the event, followed by those of Istanbul and Seville.

    The Lille candidacy was described as a pleasant surprise, as was that of Buenos Aires, while those of Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm as "without fault".

    By contrast, the showings of St. Petersburg, San Juan, and especially, Rome, which is considered one of the hot favourites, were viewed as rather disappointing, while that of Cape Town was thought to have excessively relied on the personality of South African President Nelson Mandela.

    It became known that the 11 cities will have a second chance to present their candidacies at the IOC hearing in Lausanne on March 5 and 6.

    Members of the 197 national delegations present here drew attention to the fact that the winner of the contest will be essentially chosen not by them, as they wield only one vote each, but by the so-called 'immortals', or permanent members of the IOC.



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