Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-08
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 08/08/1997 (ANA)
- 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
- 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
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
"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
"We believe that the association agreement counters the efforts underway
for the finding of a negotiated solution," a French foreign ministry
"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
"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
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
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
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
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:
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"
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,
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
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
The excavations are being conducted jointly by Greek and Bulgarian
archaeologists, since the settlement spans the border between the two
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
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.
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.
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