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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 07/08/1997 (ANA)


  • Agreement between Turkey and Turkish Cypriot illegal regime slammed
  • Athens `97 world athletics championships
  • Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos
  • Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions policy
  • Greek consumer price inflation edges down to 5.4 pct yr/yr
  • Athens to get new waste recycling plant
  • EU approves funds for public works projects
  • Central bank intervenes in short-term interest rates
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Agreement between Turkey and Turkish Cypriot illegal regime slammed

Greece yesterday strongly condemned an agreement between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot illegal regime in the occupied part of Cyprus providing for their partial integration.

"Turkey with its action today simply institutionalises the full political and military control it has been exerting in the occupied parts for many years anyway, and reveals its true face," a foreign ministry statement said.

The agreement, signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a Turkish Cypriot regime "official" yesterday, calls for an association council to work towards the partial economic and defence integration of Turkey with the Turkish Cypriot regime in th e occupied northern part of the island.

This agreement towards partial integration comes just five days before the start of a second round of U.N.-sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to resolve the protracted Cyprus problem.

The Greek foreign ministry statement also said "the fact that Turkey chose this particular moment to sign such an agreement -- when efforts by the international community are made towards normalising Greek-Turkish relations on the basis of international law and conventions between civilised countries and when U.N.-sponsored talks have begun for a Cyprus settlement -- shows that despite its change in government it insists in maintaining an internationally unique behaviour towards the world, disregarding laws and rules which it signs only to transgress on them depending on its own interests".

"This behaviour as well as the fact that Turkey is far from being a state governed by justice and a western-type democracy, create, on the basis of the (EU) July 15 common position and its 'Agenda 2000' report, serious obstacles in its European orientat ion and in normal cooperation with it," the foreign ministry statement added.

"Greece will defend Cyprus' freedom in cooperation with the Cyprus government on the basis of U.N. resolutions and international law," the statement concluded.

Turkey has threatened it will unite with the occupied north of Cyprus if the island Republic begins membership talks with the European Union. The EU has invited Cyprus to begin accession talks early next year.

The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party also accused Turkey of "flexing its muscles", "intransigence", and "creating tension at every opportunity". iT further charged Turkey with "insisting on transgressing on every principle of international legality and on blackmailing the whole European Union".

In Nicosia, Cypriot government spokesman Manolis Christofides described the accord between Turkey and the pseudo-state a "provocation to the international community" and said it would be debated today with political party leaders.

"We are closely monitoring these developments which are being handled by the president... Such actions cause damage to the good climate which should exist and are a provocation to the international community, the United Nations and the European Union," he said.

Athens `97 world athletics championships

Yesterday's finals included some spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks, including an admirable win by Kenyans who took all three medals at the 3,000 steeplechase race. Cuban Jose Sotomayor reclaimed the world men's title despite repeated injuries that destroyed his chances in Atlanta last year, Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj came back to win the world 1,500 metres following a spill in last year's Olympics that cost him a gold, and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie, who had withdrawn from Atlanta's 5,000 metres with severe blisters, winning his third consecutive 10,000 metres world title. Czech Thomas Dvorak was another surprise, winning the gold in the decathlon despite his third place in the 1,500 metres, having a clear lead of 96 points over the silver winner. The Athens Olympic

Cuba's Javier Sotomayor bounced back after a dreadful 1996 yesterday to reclaim the world men's high jump title. Sotomayor took the title with a leap of 2.37 metres then, with the gold medal already confirmed, took one abortive attempt at 2.41. Poland's Arthur Partyka, second behind Sotomayor four years ago, finished with the silver again (2.35), followed by Australian Tim Forsyth (also 2.35). Greece's Lambros Papakostas, finished sixth with 2.32, after Norway's Steinar Hoen and Britain's Dalton Grant, who tied in fou rth/fifth place also with 2.32.

Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj confirmed his promise when he took the world 1, 500m crown from three times champion Noureddine Morceli with three minutes 35.83 seconds. Morceli, the Olympic champion and world record holder, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track titles, finished out of the medals in fourth place behind Spaniards Fermin Cacho and fast-finishing Reyes Estevez who overtook him just before the finish line. Cacho, the 1992 Olympic champion, clocked 3:36.63, Estevez 3:37.26 and Morceli 3:37.37, exactly 10 seconds outside his world record.

The race began at a pedestrian pace with the first two laps averaging 61 seconds.

Wilson Boit Kipketer won a dramatic sprint finish between three Kenyans to seal his first major title in the world 3,000 metres steeplechase final, upstaging world record holder Moses Kiptanuyi in the process. After defending champion Kiptanui had led from the start, the 23-year-old Kipketer burst past his compatriot down the home straight to win in eight minutes 05.84 seconds. Kiptanui, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track title, took silver in 8:06.04 with Bernard Barmasai completing a Kenyan clean sweep in exactly the same time.

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie won his third consecutive world 10,000 metres title with consummate ease. Gebrselassie took off with 600 metres remaining to win in 27 minutes 24.58 seconds ahead of Kenyan Paul Tergat, the 1995 bronze medallist, with former world record holder Salah Hissou of Morocco third in 27:28.67. The top three finished in exactly the same order in the Olympic final in Atlanta last year.

Czech Thomas Dvorak, a bronze medallist at last year's Atlanta Olympics, sealed his first world title with the third best decathlon performance of all time at the world championships. After going into the final event with a 96-point lead over Finland's Eduard Hamalainen, Dvorak came in third in the 1,500 metres to finish with a total of 8,837. The Czech was clearly unaware that he could make history, walking across the finish line. Hamalainen took silver with 8,730 with Germany's Frank Busemann, who produced a major surprise by coming from nowhere to take silver at Atlanta, winning the bronze with 8,652. Greece's entry, Prodromos Korkizoglou, came 16th out of 34, with 7,867 points.

Medals table after the fifth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday: United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 2 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold,1 silver, South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Spain: 1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Poland: 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

Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos

Archaeologists on a salvage excavation that uncovered what might be one of the monumental series of tombs erected to honour soldiers who died during the 5th century B.C., said that the finds may be associated with Athenians who fought in the Peloponnesian War.

"It is possible that the monument found on Salaminos Street (near Kerameikos) is related to those who died during the Peloponnesian War," one of the excavators, Ch. Stoupa, said following a general announcement of the finds on Tuesday.

Mrs. Stoupa said data pointing out to this conclusion included the monumental aspect of the tombs discovered in July, the dates determined from pottery found on the site and information gleaned from Thucydides' accounts on how the first dead of the Peloponnesian War were interred.

The war, pitting the city-state of Athens and its allies against rival Sparta, raged for most of the 5th century B.C. and brought about the collapse of classical Greece.

Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions 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 yesterday 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," Mr. 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", Mr. Psomas asserted.

Greek consumer price inflation edges down to 5.4 pct yr/yr

Greek consumer price inflation fell slightly to 5.4 per cent in July year- on-year from 5.5 per cent in June, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday.

NSS said the consumer price index fell 1.9 percent in July month-on-month from June against a 1.7 per cent reduction a year earlier.

The fall in inflation was marginal due to a smaller drop in vegetable prices this year against the same period of 1996, when they slumped 20 per cent.

Athens to get new waste recycling plant

Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday attended a signing ceremony for construction of a 13-billion drachma garbage recycling plant for Athens and Attica.

The unit, located in Ano Liossia, will form the lynchpin of a gargage disposal network for part of Attica and the capital.The deadline for construction is 18 months.

The plant will process 1,200 tonnes of garbage daily, representing more than a third of the total for Attica. It will also process 150 tonnes daily of material from a major waste treatment plant at Psyttalia, which handles waste from Athens and is currently being expanded. A further 50 tonnes a day will be processed at the plant consisting of greenery from pruning in Attica. The garbage disposal network at Ano Liossia is also to include new sites costing 4.5 billion drachmas and renovatio n of old tips budgeted at 7.8 billion drachmas.

EU approves funds for public works projects

The European Commission yesterday approved the disbursement of 130 million ECU through the Cohesion Fund in support for 13 public works projects in Greece.

Six of the projects concern parts of the Egnatia highway, planned to link the western port of Igoumenitsa with the Greek-Turkish border.

The largest of all 13 projects concerns increasing the capacity of the Mornos river reservoir, supplying Athens, budgeted at 36.4 million ECU, of which 26.4 will be disbursed by the Cohesion Fund.

Central bank intervenes in short-term interest rates

The Bank of Greece intervened yesterday over a strong rise in short-term interest rates in the banking sector by a liquidity offer.

As the overnight interest rate showed a strong upward trend, reaching 13.40 per cent, Greece's central bank reacted by offering 78.9 billion drachmas in seven-day revers repos to start on August 6 and end August 13, at an interest rate of 12.60 per cent .

Following this intervention, the overnight interest rate closed at 11.40- 11.90 per cent.

The one-month Athibor reached 12.13 per cent, a rise by 8.21 per cent against two days ago when it was fixed at 11.21 per cent.


Fair weather is expected over most of the country, except central and northern regions which are likely to experience rain and storms. Athens will be sunny, with northerly winds, turning cloudy in the afternoon with temperatures of 23 to 36 C, while Thessaloniki will be mostly cloudy and possible showers in the afternoon, with temperatures 22-31 C.


Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 294.165 Pound sterling 468.849 Cyprus pd 531.939 French franc 46.087 Swiss franc 191.125 German mark 155.547 Italian lira (100) 15.906 Yen (100) 246.119 Canadian dlr. 212.600 Australian dlr. 216.344 Irish Punt 417.583 Belgian franc 7.535 Finnish mark 52.317 Dutch guilder 138.154 Danish kr. 40.827 Swedish kr. 36.247 Norwegian kr. 37.846 Austrian sch. 22.121 Spanish peseta 1.842 Port. Escudo 1.537


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