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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-06

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 06/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Kranidiotis' talks with Henderson focus on Cyprus problem
  • British minister praises organisation of IAAF championships
  • Inflation slightly down in July
  • Greenpeace urges radical change in Greece's environment policy
  • Greece, Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security
  • Excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb
  • Record price of brent oil poses problems
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Kranidiotis' talks with Henderson focus on Cyprus problem

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis had talks today with Britain's visiting European affairs minister, Doug Henderson, focusing on the Cyprus problem.

"I stressed that the decision taken for the commencement of negotiations (for EU accession) with the legitimate government of Cyprus six months after the IGC must be adhered to," Kranidiotis told reporters after the two- hour meeting.

He added however that this did not mean efforts should be made in the meantime for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in view of the fresh round of talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Geneva on August 11.

While restating the British government's support for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Henderson stressed that "the accession path" would be "much smoother" if the issue of the internal division of Cyprus had been resolved through a negotiated settlement.

Henderson meanwhile praised the Greek government's contribution to improving the situation in neighbouring Albania and expressed the hope that with the helop of the international community "and the Greek government in particular" Albania "will establish a firm constitutional position" which would enable the country to contribute to stability in the Balkans. (more)

Replying to reporters' questions on statements reportedly made by Turkish Premier Mesut Yilmaz to the effect that the Aegean Sea supposedly constitutes a "special case" to which international law is not applicable, Kranidiotis reiterated that Athens had requested clarifications from Turkey.

Kranidiotis said however that the statements, reportedly made by Yilmaz to the "Washington Post", did not contribute to the climate "which we have been trying to create following the Madrid joint communique".

The framework which must govern Greek-Turkish relations, he added, is that of international law, international treaties and international conventions.

On his part, Henderson said the two countries should try to resolve the matter themselves "and if they cannot, they will have to find a third party acceptable to both sides as an arbitrator".

In the absence of any other (arbitrator), Henderson said, "the Court of Justice at the Hague is a possible way of resolving that outstanding problem".

British minister praises organisation of IAAF championships

Britain's visiting European affairs minister, Doug Henderson, today praised the organisation of the ongoing 6th World Athletics Championships in Athens, following talks with Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis.

Henderson, himself a marathon runner, said the championships were "very well organised" with events beginning "precisely on time".

"Everyone has the opportunity to watch the events in a friendly, harmonious and very pleasant atmosphere," added Henderson, who was among the spectators at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Tuesday and planned to attend again this evening.

"I'm sorry about the javelin, but that's athletics," Henderson said, referring to his compatriot, Steve Backley, who on his last throw deprived Greek champion Costas Gatsioudis of the silver medal in yesterday's event.

Yesterday's results in a stadium packed with an enthusiastic crowd, proved to be more colourful than in other days, with the surprise elimination of world and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny from the javelin throw, an impressive run in the women's 10,000 met res that brought Kenya's Sally Barsosio to a smooth and cool top position, and the first medal for host Greece, with a bronze for javelin thrower Costas Gatzioudis. America's Michael Johnson, expected to secure a top placement, clinched the gold in the men's 400 metres.

American Michael Johnson won the world men's 400 metres gold medal in 44.12 seconds. Davis Kamoga of Uganda took the silver (44.37) and American Tyree Washington the bronze (44.39).

South African Marius Corbett won javelin gold at the world championships yesterday after favourite Jan Zelezny was eliminated from the final. Corbett threw a best of 88.40 metres to emerge as the surprise winner. Britain's Steve Backley took silver with 86.80 metres at his last attempt while Costas Gatzioudis handed Greece their first medal in the competition with a throw of 86.64 metres for bronze.

World and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic missed the cut for the final eight who take the last three throws. The world record holder failed to record a mark at his first two tries and recorded 82.06 metres with his third attempt, finishing in ninth place.

Kenyan Sally Barsosio won the world women's 10,000 metres gold medal yesterday, timed with 31:32.93. Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal took the silver (31:39.15) and Japanese Masako Chiba the bronze (31:41.93).

Cuban Ivan Pedroso won the world men's long jump gold medal with 8.42 metres. Erick Walder of the United States took the silver (8.38) and Russian Kiril Sosunov the bronze (8.18).

Portuguese Carla Sacramento won the world women's 1,500 metres title with 4:04.24. American Regina Jacobs took the silver (4:04.63) and Anita Weyermann of Switzerland the bronze (4:04.70).

Medals table after the fourth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:

United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 1 bronze Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold Cuba: 1 gold Czech Republic: 1 gold France: 1 gold Kenya: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Belarus: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze.

Inflation slightly down in July

Year-on-year inflation fell slightly to 5.4 per cent in July, from 5.5 per cent in June, the National Statistics Service (NSS) announced today.

The NSS said the Consumer Price Index had fallen 1.9 per cent in July, compared to a 1.7 per cent reduction in the same month last year.

According to the NSS, the drop in inflation was only slight mainly because vegetable prices did not fall as much this year as in 1995, when they dropped by 20 per cent.

Commenting on the recent surge in the value of the dollar, NSS General Director Nikos Karavitis said that the pressure exerted up to now on fuel prices in Greece has been "absorbed" by the respective cut in tax announced by the government last week and inflation had not been affected.

Greenpeace urges radical change in Greece's environment policy

The international environmental organisation "Greenpeace" on Wednesday urged a radical review of Greece's policy relating to climate change, accusing the government of trying to exercise environmental policy "on the backs of others".

The Greek branch of Greenpeace called a press conference today on the occasion of the meeting of officials from around the world in Bonn to formulate a plan for reducing greenhouse gases in view of a conference on climate change in Kyoto, Japan in December.

"While supporting the taking of measures and the signing of a binding protocol for confronting problems associated with climate change, Greece is not only refusing to reduce emissions of dangerous gases but on the contrary is planning to increase them by 30 per cent by the year 2010," Stelios Psomas, an official of Greenpeace's Greek branch charged.

The aim of the Kyoto conference will be the signing of a binding protocol which for the first time will reduce dangerous greenhouse gases threatening the earth's climate.

Greenpeace expressed concern about the outcome of the Kyoto conference, charging that major financial interests were blocking efforts to fight global warming.

"A strong lobby made up of oil, coal and natural gas companies, supported by many governments, is exerting pressure to prevent the crucial decisions from being taken," Psomas alleged, naming in particular the United States, Japan, Australia and the oil-producing countries.

Although the European Union is proposing a reduction in the emissions of certain gases by 7.5 per cent by the year 2005 and by 15 per cent by the year 2010, Greece will increase overall emissions by 30 per cent up to the year 2010 "with the excuse that the country has the right to develop", Psomas asserted.

Greece, Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security

Greece and Albania yesterday signed a protocol of seasonal employment for Albanian workers in Greece believed to provide a solution to the problem of illegal immigration and avert a new wave of illegal workers from the neighbouring country.

The protocol was signed by visiting Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo after talks in Tirana as a seven-member Greek government delegation, headed by Mr. Pangalos, paid a one-day visit yesterday, the first foreign visit since a new Albanian government was elected late June.

The relevant protocol will come into force four months after the signing of a presidential decree by the President of the Republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos, which provides for the recording of all illegal immigrants, and after its completion, the granting of a 'green card', the equivalent of a work permit. The duration of the permit has not been set yet, but nine months is considered most likely, with the possibilities of six or 12 months also being considered.

Mr. Milo told reporters "this is the best news for Albania."

Mr. Pangalos also said that Greece will propose and support Albania's customs union with the European Union at the foreign ministers' council in Brussels on September 16. He added that Mr. Milo accepted an invitation to attend the Balkan foreign ministe rs' conference on Crete in November.

The agenda of discussions also included the participation of Greek officers in the reorganisation of the Albanian armed forces and police, in the framework of a broader cooperation in security matters. A relevant protocol signed by Greek National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis and Albanian Defence Minister Sabit Broka envisages that five officers and a 100-member company of the Greek force currently in Albania with the multinational protection force will remain on.

Excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb

A group tomb believed to belong to young Athenian soldiers who died in battles during the classical era was discovered during salvage operations close to the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos and the Hiera Odos area, it was announced yesterday.

Findings related to what is believed to be one of the monumental tombs erected by Athens for its dead soldiers include the lower sections of porous limestone, preserved to a height of one metre. They also include fine samples of ancient Greek pottery from the 5th century B.C. to the 3rd century B.C., covering classical to hellenistic times. The finds are associated with the series of group tombs that Athens erected for its killed heroes along a special street by the area of Kerameikos, the ancient cemetery.

The Central Archaeological Council will conduct an on-site examination. The excavation was conducted between January 1 and July 4, following a request by a theatre group for approval to build a theatre on the site.

Record price of brent oil poses problems

The price of brent oil reached a six-week record on Monday, jumping again to almost $20 per barrel and posing a problem for many governments, including Greece's.

The Greek government is closely monitoring developments in the oil market since an increase coupled with the dollarYs unrestrained steep rise are threatening a flair up of inflationary pressure.

The increase in the oil price was sudden, since the world was expecting a stable price in view of the resumption of Iraqi exports. However, an unexpected disruption by Colombian rebels of the export of 170,000 Colombian barrels per day at a time when demand is especially high, lead to the current increase. It also caused a market panic in the United States, which buys most of the Colombian oil, as demand for fuel in the holiday period is very high.

WEATHER

Most of the country will be slightly overcast, with cloudiness in northern Greece and possible thunderstorms in Macedonia and Epiros. Athens will be mostly sunny, with temperatures ranging from 23 to 35 C. The same for Thessaloniki, with local cloudiness in the afternoon and temperatures from 20 to 33 C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 292.171 Pound sterling 475.290 Cyprus pd 532.398 French franc 46.055 Swiss franc 190.582 German mark 155.402 Italian lira (100) 15.881 Yen (100) 246.887 Canadian dlr. 211.663 Australian dlr. 215.741 Irish Punt 421.571 Belgian franc 7.527 Finnish mark 52.153 Dutch guilder 137.985 Danish kr. 40.795 Swedish kr. 35.944 Norwegian kr. 37.685 Austrian sch. 22.081 Spanish peseta 1.839 Port. Escudo 1.535

(S.S.)


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