Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-06
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 06/08/1997 (ANA)
- 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
- 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
"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-
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.
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
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
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
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
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
"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",
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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