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

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, 08/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • US, France displeased with Turkish partial integration agreement
  • Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey, EU reiterates
  • Good result for Johnson, bad news for Bagach at World Championships
  • Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999
  • Members of US Congress to visit Greece and Cyprus
  • Neolithic finds in Serres
  • Argolida orange processing plant misappropriates EU funds
  • Athens hotels more than able to handle large world events
  • Turkish town buys Greek salt from Lesvos
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

US, France displeased with Turkish partial integration agreement

The US State Department last night expressed its displeasure over the partial integration agreement between Turkey and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime.

New State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin termed the agreement as "unuseful" adding that the US "would not want to see steps obstructing the UN negotiating process or moving in the direction of the permanent partition of the island."

He said the US is aware of the content of the agreement and expressed Washington's displeasure.

"The US firmly supports the UN efforts for securing a settlement to the Cyprus problem," Mr. Rubin said.

The agreement, signed Wednesday in the occupied northern part of Cyprus by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a Turkish Cypriot "official", provides for an association council to work towards the partial economic and defence integration of Turkey w ith the Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied northern part of the island. It comes just five days before the start of a second round of UN-sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in Switzerland in August 11-16, aimed at resolving the protracted Cyprus problem.

Turkey has threatened it will unite the occupied north of Cyprus if the island republic begins membership talks with the European Union. The EU last month invited Cyprus to begin accession talks early next year along with five central European nations.

The French government yesterday also deplored the signing of the illegal agreement.

"We believe that the association agreement counters the efforts underway for the finding of a negotiated solution," a French foreign ministry statement said.

"France desires the reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation, according to the UN Security Council resolutions, " Yves Doutriaux, a ministry spokesman added.

Paris is asking the two sides to "contribute" to the success of the forthcoming negotiations in Montreux, and stresses that the Cyprus problem "must be resolved before the completion of membership negotiations" with the island republic.

Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey, EU reiterates

The European Union yesterday said accession talks with the Cyprus Republic would start in 1998 reiterating that Cyprus could not be held hostage by Turkey.

"Membership negotiations with Cyprus will begin within 1998, together with the five countries of central and eastern Europe," a European Commission spokesman told the ANA when asked to comment on the partial integration agreement.

The EU Commission spokesman clarified that the presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Commission had no knowledge of the text of the illegal agreement, and stressed that "the continuation of intercommunal talks and the finding of a just and viab le solution to the Cyprus problem is of the utmost priority for the European Commission". Concluding, the spokesman provided a reminder of External Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek's recent statement that "Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey" a nd that negotiations will begin as scheduled.

Good result for Johnson, bad news for Bagach at World Championships

Yesterday's results at the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships revolved around an expected good result for American Allen Johnson, who won his second successive world high hurdles title and came very close to breaking the world record, and an unexp ected stripping of a gold medal, nonetheless, from world shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach of the Ukraine, who was the first athlete to fail a drug test during this event.

Greece's hopeful George Panagiotopoulos managed to hold his own and pass into the finals of the men's 200 race, while France's Marie-Jose Perec was forced to withdraw after hurting herself in warm-ups.

World shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his gold medal yesterday and lost $60,000 prize money after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

The 30-year-old Ukrainian, who became on Saturday the first person to win a title at the sixth world championships, also became the first athlete to fail a drug test here.

American John Godina, competing here after he was granted a wild card as defending champion, is the new world shot put champion while German Oliver- Sven Buder has the silver. C.J. Hunter, fiancee of the new women's 100 metres champion Marion Jones, is elevated to the bronze medal position.

French men's 400 metres hurdler Pascal Maran and women's triple jumper Oxana Zelinskaya of Kazakhstan also tested positive for ephedrine. Their results were also cancelled.

All three are beneficiaries of the International Amateur Athletic Federation's (IAAF) decision to scrap bans for first offenders for minor drugs such as stimulants and replace them with a "public warning".

Bagach was suspended for two years after being found to have high levels of testosterone at the 1989 European Cup in Gateshead, England, while competing for the Soviet Union. Under the old rules, as a second-time offender Bagach would have been banned for life if he had tested positive for a more serious performance-enhancing drug such as steroids.

Beatrice Faumuina won New Zealand's first gold medal in the 14-year history of the world championships when she won the women's discus final yesterday.

The 22-year-old of Samoan descent unleashed her winning delivery of 66.82 metres in the third round after two fouled throws. That was good enough not only to win New Zealand's first world championship title, but also their first ever world medal.

Defending champion Ellina Zvereva of Belarus, who led the competition after two rounds with a heave of 65.90 metres, could not improve on that and had to settle for the silver. Natalya Sadova of Russia, the Olympic silver medallist, took the bronze with a throw of 65.14 metres.

Greece's finalist, Stella Tsikouna, came seventh out of 12, with a throw of 61.92.

Germany's Olympic champion Astrid Kumbernuss continued her dominance of the women's shot put by defending her world title with ease yesterday. A second- round throw of 20.71 metres clinched the gold for the 27-year-old Neubrandenburg athlete.

Vita Pavlysh took silver with 20.66 to bring some positive news to Ukraine on a day when their male shot put world champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his title for doping. Germany's Stephanie Storp took bronze with a first-round effort of 19.22.

Poland's Robert Korzeniowski added the world gold to his Olympic title yesterday when he took the 50 kilometres walk in three hours 44 minutes and 46 seconds. He had duelled for much of the race with Spain's Jesus Garcia, the 1997 World Cup winner, but managed to match Garcia's repeated attempts to pull away. Garcia stayed in close contact to finish second in 3:44.59. Mexico's Miguel Rodriguez took the bronze medal.

Greece's Christos Karagiorgos, 44, completed the walk 29th at 4:30:05. Karagiorgos, a veteran in track events, is the oldest athlete participating in this year's IAAF championships.

Italian Annarita Sidoti won the world women's 10 kms world title yesterday after defending champion Irina Stankina was disqualified.

Sidoti was in the lead with Russian Stankina on her heels when the latter received her third warning with 5-1/2 laps remaining.

Stankina, who had become the youngest ever world champion at 18 years 135 days two years ago in Gothenburg, collapsed by the side of the track, holding her head in her hands.

The 28-year-old Sidoti, whose best result previously in world championships was a ninth place in 1991 and 1993, went on to record a comfortable victory in 42 minutes 55.49 seconds.

It was the second major title for the diminutive Italian after her gold medal at the 1990 European championships.

Russian Olimpiada Ivanova came a distant second in 43:07.63 and Olga Kardopoltseva of Belarus was third in 43:30.20. Hungarian Maria Urbanik- Rosza, who came last, fell unconscious after crossing the line.

American Allen Johnson blazed to his second successive world high hurdles title yesterday in a time only two-hundredths of a second outside the world record. The Olympic champion brushed five barriers on his way to the finish but still won easily in 12.93 seconds from Briton Colin Jackson (13.05), who set the world record at the 1993 Stuttgard world championships. Igor Kovac of Slovakia took the bronze in 13.18 seconds.

Johnson's time was the quickest in the world this year and equalled the 12.93 clocked by former world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah in 1981.

George Panagiotopoulos became the first Greek athlete in history to qualify for the men's 200 metres final in a world championship, placing third in the first semifinals series yesterday with 20:43 seconds. He will be competing today along with silver medallist Frankie Fredericks from Namibia and bronze medallist Ato Boldon from Trinidad and Tobago.

Marie-Jose Perec's world championship campaign ended in tears on the training track yesterday when she pulled a leg muscle while warming up and was forced to pull out of the 200 metres semifinals.

The Olympic 200 and 400 metre champion from France, who originally did not want to compete in Athens because of her disappointing form this session, hurt a thigh muscle and left the warm-up arena in tears. Defending champion Merlene Ottey, who failed to win a medal in the 100 metres, looked sharp as she won her semifinal with metres to spare in 22.26 seconds.

Medals table after the sixth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday: United States: 5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze Germany: 3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Poland: 1 gold, 1 silver Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Mexico: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Italy: 1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Ukraine: 3 silver, 1 bronze Britain: 3 silver Russia: 2 silver, 3 bronze Spain: 2 silver, 1 bronze Belarus: 1 silver,2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze

Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999

Greece will host the Optimist European sailing championship in 1999, putting Greece on the map as a centre for international sailing events. In a vote to decide on the host for 1999, Greece got 16 "yes" votes and 4 "no" votes.

Members of US Congress to visit Greece and Cyprus

A number of leading members of the U.S. Congress are scheduled to visit Greece and Cyprus from August 20 to 28.

The American congressmen and congresswomen have key positions in various committees such as public relations, national security, banking organisations, sciences etc.

The tour, which will offer the American officials the opportunity to be briefed on major problems facing the region at the present crucial period, is being organised by the Cypriot Federation of America in cooperation with the World Committee for Justic e in Cyprus.

The delegation will have meetings with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and other government officials and ambassadors in both countries.

The delegation comprises members of the Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, Rob Andrews, Alcee Hastings, of the National Security Committee, Michael Pappas, and of the Banking Organisations Committee, Maurice Hinchey.

Neolithic finds in Serres

Excavations by archaeologists working in the ruins of a neolithic settlement near Promachonas, Serres in northern Greece have revealed parts of walls with wooden frames, ovens, pottery and benches dating back to 5000 BC.

The excavations are being conducted jointly by Greek and Bulgarian archaeologists, since the settlement spans the border between the two countries.

According to the director of the Kavala Department of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities, the find is particularly significant since it reveals a great deal about the cultural relations which developed between the Aegean and the Balkan region.

Argolida orange processing plant misappropriates EU funds

The Greek government has filed charges against the Argolida processing plant ABIK and associates, representatives of cooperatives and orange growers and employees with the Argolida Directorate of Agriculture for misappropriation of European Union subsidies for orange processing and exports.

Agriculture minister Stefanos Tzoumakas filed a law suit with a public prosecutor in Athens yesterday. The minister also ordered a systematic inspection of all orange processing plants in the region, as well as in other orange producing areas across the country.

In his law suit report, Mr. Tzoumakas said that though the EU subsidy amounted to 14.80 drachmas per kilo, the processing firm paid only 7.50 drachmas to orange growers.

Athens hotels more than able to handle large world events

The hotels of Athens can provide more than enough beds for any large sports event like the IAAF World Championships or the Olympic Games of 2004, if Greece wins the bid, the Union of Athens Hoteliers (UAH) said yesterday.

At a press conference, union president Gerasimos Fokas said that recent press reports that Athens faced a lack of rooms these days because of the championships were not true.

The hoteliers said they were likely to lose money since only 6,000 reservations were kept of the 10,000 initially made for athletes, journalists and officials attending the championships.

At present, there are about 7,000 free beds in the greater Attica area, or 10 per cent of the total potential of the prefecture.

If the 2004 Olympic Games were held in Athens, hoteliers pledged to reserve 75 per cent of their beds for those attending the event, and added that in terms of building new hotels, Athens is saturated. Many hotels in the city have closed in the last few years and there is no expectation of a lack of beds, they said.

Turkish town buys Greek salt from Lesvos

Businessmen in Pergamum, Turkey will buy 2,000 tons of salt from the Hellenic Saltworks SA at Polychnitos, on the island of Lesvos, the company's general manager, Dionyssis Xenos, said yesterday.

Mr. Xenos welcomed the businessmen on the island and said the only pending issue was the cost of transporting the salt to Dikeli, five miles from Lesvos, before the agreement was signed.

He said it was expected to be done by the end of August.

Late yesterday delegations from the chambers of trade from Dikeli and Lesvos met and discussed possibilities of further trade. They will also finalise their business exchanges during the reciprocated visit of Lesvos chamber representatives to Dikeli in September.

The Turkish side also expressed interest in know-how for mild sources of energy, and looked into Greek proposals for oil, containers to freeze fish, and insulating materials among others.

WEATHER

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 and clouds in the afternoon, and temperatures from 23 to 35 C, while Thessaloniki will be mostly cloudy and possible showers in the afternoon and temperatures of 21-32C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 292.968 Pound sterling 469.009 Cyprus pd 531.939 French franc 46.167 Swiss franc 191.235 German mark 155.736 Italian lira (100) 15.924 Yen (100) 246.787 Canadian dlr. 210.746 Australian dlr. 215.267 Irish Punt 420.275 Belgian franc 7.540 Finnish mark 52.243 Dutch guilder 138.244 Danish kr. 40.869 Swedish kr. 36.209 Norwegian kr. 37.884 Austrian sch. 22.133 Spanish peseta 1.844 Port. Escudo 1.538

(L.G.)


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