Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-09
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 09/08/1997 (ANA)
- Cyprus President to participate in UN talks `with an open mind`
- Athens `97 world athletics championships
- Greek Foreign Undersecretary cautions Turkey over recent acts
- White House criticises Turkish partial integration agreement
- Yugoslav FM in Athens on Monday
- Top athletes express support for Athens' 2004 Olympics bid
- Greece calls for energy proposals in Dr 73 bln programme
- OTE to launch mobile phone system in September
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Cyprus President to participate in UN talks `with an open mind`
Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides said despite the latest spate of Turkish
provocations, he would go to UN-sponsored talks in Switzerland "with an
open mind and desire to be constructive" with the aim of finding a solution
to the protracted Cyprus problem.
In an exclusive interview with the Athens News Agency, Mr. Clerides
stressed that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had for the last two
years insisted that he wanted to meet with him to discuss a Cyprus
settlement, knowing that the European Union would begin negotiations for
the accession of the island republic six months after the end of the inter-
The second round of UN-sponsored talks between Mr. Clerides and Mr.
Denktash begin in Montreux, Switzerland on Monday. They are scheduled to
continue until August 16.
Just five days before the talks were due to begin however, Turkey and the
Turkish-Cypriot illegal regime in the occupied north of the island --
recognised only by Turkey -- signed an agreement providing for their
partial integration. Both Nicosia and Athens have strongly attacked the
accord, as have the European Union and the United States. Mr. Clerides
described it as an attempt to provoke the Greek Cypriot side into not
attending the talks. Greece accused Turkey of undermining the peace talks,
thereby "revealing its true face".
"Mr. Denktash's reaction at the present time causes me some concern,
however. I hope it does not indicate an effort to find pretexts for
concealing his and Turkey's lack of political will for a settlement of the
Cyprus problem," the Cypriot President said.
Replying to questions on initiatives undertaken by Washington, Mr. Clerides
said the US, as the country which exercises the greatest influence on
Turkey, was expected to play "an extremely important role in persuading
Ankara to contribute to efforts to find a solution". Mr. Clerides added
that the UN Security Council, "in particular its five permanent members and
of course Russia" also had an important part to play.
"The same is true for the EU, since the Cyprus problem is already a
European one from the moment that Cyprus is a candidate for accession and
also given that EU member states such as Britain and Greece are directly
involved in the problem. In addition, Turkey has a customs union agreement
with the EU and is seeking to become a full member," Mr. Clerides told the
Greece, Turkey and Britain were the three guarantor powers of Cyprus'
independence under the 1960 treaty of establishment of the Cyprus
Mr. Clerides also said it was "premature" to consider procedures like the
one used at Dayton (to solve the Bosnian crisis) or Camp David (to restore
relations between Egypt and Israel), to solve the Cyprus problem. Asked
whether the upcoming talks would affect Cyprus' efforts to secure EU
membership, Mr. Clerides replied:
"First of all, we Cypriots want a settlement of the Cyprus problem, the
reunification of our country and reconciliation among all Cypriots, if
possible before our accession to the EU. We are well aware that a
successful outcome to efforts for a solution would facilitate our European
course. However, the issue of Cyprus' accession to the EU is independent of
a settlement to the Cyprus problem."
Athens `97 world athletics championships
The seventh day of the IAAF championships brought a new series of surprises,
topped by Nezhna Bidouane, an athlete little known outside Morocco, who won
the women's 400 metres hurdles by leaving Olympic champion Deon Hemmings
and defending champion Kim Batten behind. Jamaica's Merlene Ottey, a
veteran of world events, placed third in the women's 200 metres final,
while Denmark's Wilson Kipketer, once a member of Kenya's team, sweetened
last year's exclusion from the Atlanta games by winning a gold in the men's
800 metres, retaining his world title in the same event.
Trinidad's Ato Boldon sealed the first world title of his career yesterday
when he destroyed a high-class men's 200 metres field.
Boldon, who was disappointed at finishing fifth in the 100 metres after
complaining of muscle problems in his legs, came off the bend in front and
stretched his lead over the last 100 metres to win by some five metres. The
Olympic bronze medallist could afford the luxury of raising his arms up in
triumph as he crossed the line in 20.04 seconds.
Namibia's former world champion Frankie Fredericks, who finished second at
the last championships in 1995, took the silver again in 20.23 with
Brazilian Claudinei Da Silva third in 20.26.
Wilson Kipketer of Denmark missed out on a world record but still easily
retained his world 800 metres title with an assured victory in one minute
43.38 seconds. Norberto Tellez of Cuba took the silver in 1:44.00 with
American Rich Kenah running a lifetime best of 1:44.25 to take the bronze.
Norwegian Olympic champion Bebjoern Rodal was never in contention and
Kenyan-born Kipketer missed out on the Atlanta Olympics last year because
of a wrangle betwen the Kenyan federation and his adopted Denmark.
Cuban Yoelvis Quesada upstaged the Olympic and world champions yesterday by
winning the world men's triple jump title with a second round effort of
17.85 metres. The jump was the best performance in the world this year and
also a Cuban national record for Quesada, who turned 24 on Monday.
Britain's 1995 world champion Jonathan Edwards leaped 17.69 in the final
round to secure the silver medal but it was not enough to retain his title.
American Olympic champion Kenny Harrison never captured his best form and
finished in ninth place. Aliecer Urrutia, also from Cuba, won the bronze
medal with 17.64.
Greece's Christos Meletoglou ranked seventh, with a jump of 17.12, breaking
a 16-year-old Greek record. The old record of 17.04 was made by Dimitris
Michas during the Balkan Games of 1981 in Sarajevo.
Morocco's Nezha Bidouane pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the world
championships yesterday with a dramatic late run to win the women's 400
metres hurdles final. After hitting the home stretch several strides away
from Olympic champion Deon Hemmings of Jamaica and defending champion Kim
Batten of the U.S., the Moroccan produced a remarkable last 100 metres and
pipped Hemmings on the line with a late burst after the final hurdle.
Bidouane, who has never done anything of significance at a major championship
before, finished in 52.97 seconds with Hemmings second in 53.09. World
record holder Batten hung on for third in 53.52.
Zhanna Pintussevich ended Merlene Ottey's four-year's reign as world 200
metres champion yesterday then expressed astonishment that she had grabbed
the gold from the Jamaican's grasp.
"With 20 metres to go I started to realise I could win, and then thought,
'oh no, this is not possible'," said the 25-year-old Ukrainian who also won
silver in the 100.
What happened was that Ottey probably ran out of gas in the last few
strides after leading for most of the race and faded to third behind
Susanthika Jayasinghe who won Sri Lanka's first ever medal in a major
Despite that, Ottey won her 34th medal in a major championship and added to
her own record of 13 world championships medals. She has won at least one
medal at every world champinship since they began in 1983.
Ottey was first away and led the race around the bend, but gradually began
to tie up.
Pintussevich caught her with 10 metres to run and Jayasinghe came through
in the last few metres to steal second place. Pintussevich clocked 22.32,
Jayasinghe 22.39 and Ottey 22.40.
Greece's Nike Bakoyianni was eliminated during the heats yesterday for the
women's high jump final scheduled for tomorrow.
Bakoyianni had given an impressive performance during the Atlanta Olympic
Games last year, finishing in second place and giving Greece its first
Olympic medal in the high jump, placing second after Bulgaria's gold
medallist Stefka Konstantinova, who did not participate this year because
of an injury.
World championships races of people on wheelchairs also took place as part
of the events at the Olympic Stadium, in the women's 800 metres and in the
men's 1,500 metres.
In the women's 800 metres wheelchair, the gold went to Australia's Louise
Sauvage, with a time of 1 minute 52.11 seconds, the silver to Canada's
Chantal Peticlerc with 1:52.49 and the bronze to Britain's Tanni Grey, with
1:56.46. Of the eight entries, Greece's Irene Kourouvani completed the race
at 3:07.83, placing eighth.
The men, in the 1,500 metres wheelchair, also included eight entrants, of
whom Mexico's Saul Mendoza won the gold with 3 minutes 06.30 seconds,
Switzerland's Heinz Frei the silver with 3:06.42, and his compatriot Franz
Nietlispach won the bronze with 3: 06.43. Greece's entry, Tasos Vardaxoglou,
did not finish the race.
Medals table after the seventh day of competition at the World Athletics
Championships on Friday: United States: 5 gold, 2 silver, 7 bronze Germany:
3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Cuba: 3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Kenya: 2 gold,
2 silver, 1 bronze Morocco: 2 gold, 1 bronze Czech Republic: 2 gold
Ukraine: 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze 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 Denmark: 1 gold Ethiopia: 1 gold France:
1 gold Italy: 1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Trinidad: 1 gold Britain:
4 silver Russia: 2 silver, 3 bronze Jamaica: 2 silver, 1 bronze Spain:
2 silver, 1 bronze Belarus: 1 silver,2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1
silver Namibia: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Sri Lanka: 1 silver Uganda: 1
silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Brazil: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze
Lithuania: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze
Greek Foreign Undersecretary cautions Turkey over recent acts
Speaking to reporters in Athens yesterday, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos
Kranidiotis issued a strong warning to Turkey concerning the consequences
of its recent acts.
"Statements such as those recently made by Turkish Premier Mesut Yilmaz
(claiming that international law was not applicable in the Aegean) and the
signing of the association agreement between Ankara and the Turkish-Cypriot
pseudo-state do not contribute to improving the climate between Greece and
Turkey and do not help to resolve problems," Mr. Kranidiotis said.
"The Greek government condemns these actions and warns Turkey that such
moves block its path to Europe," he added.
Describing the Turkish actions as "blackmail", Mr.Kranidiotis stressed that
the policy on Cyprus' accession to the EU would continue without deviation
"because this course will help resolve the Cyprus problem".
Mr. Kranidiotis said Greece had protested Turkey's recent actions at the
United Nations as well as to the five permanent members of the UN Security
Council and the EU, adding that it would raise the issue within the
framework of the Community in the nex t few days.
"Turkey's behaviour is not in keeping with the spirit of the Madrid joint
communique, the principles of which Greece will continue to respect. The
question is: Is Turkey willing to be bound by its own signature?," Mr.
White House criticises Turkish partial integration agreement
The White House last night criticised the partial integration agreement
between Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot illegal regime in the occupied north
of the island, saying that this could "weaken the negotiating process,"
undertaken by the UN to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.
"We do not think that this is a useful measure," White House spokesman
Michael McCurry said, adding "because we do not want to see measures
weakening the UN negotiating process."
Yugoslav FM in Athens on Monday
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic will
pay a working visit to Athens on August 11 to 13. Mr. Milutinovic's visit
comes out after an invitation by his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.
Top athletes express support for Athens' 2004 Olympics bid
Three Olympic gold medalists -- Briton Roger Kingdom and Americans Evans
and Freeman -- on Saturday yesterday expressed support for Athens'
candidacy for the Olympic Games of 2004, after being briefed on the
Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who are in Athens,
have also been receiving briefings on the file of the candidacy.
Silver medallist in the women's triple jump Rodica Mateescu also told ANA
yesterday that she was impressed with Greece, its sports fans and the way
they supported each athlete.
"Every time the fans shouted for any athlete, I would get goose bumps," the
Romanian athlete said in an interview.
"If I had the right to vote in September at the International Olympic
Committee (for the host of the 2004 games), I would definitely vote for
Greece," she said, adding that "Greece is the most beautiful country I have
ever visited, while it's also the place the Olympic Games were born."
Mateescu told ANA that the organisation of the championships was excellent,
explaining she was especially impressed by the fact that all buses
transporting athletes to and from the Olympic Stadium are escorted by
police cars and motorcycles.
"This makes me feel that others respect me. It's a wonderful feeling, one I
have not come across ever before in any country in the world," she
Greece calls for energy proposals in Dr 73 bln programme
Greece yesterday invited proposals for projects in renewable energy and
energy conservation as part of a major investment programme budgeted at 73
The call for proposals by the development ministry allocates 50 billion
drachmas for energy saving project and 23 billion for renewable energy
including wind power, small hydroelectric works, solar and photovoltaic
Eligible to apply are private firms acting singly and not in consortiums.
The deadline for proposals is October 15, and the completion date for
projects December 31, 1999.
OTE to launch mobile phone system in September
OTE, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, will present its first
mobile phone network at the International Fair of Thessaloniki on September
5 and 6.
OTE will do a trial run of the new mobile phones by giving a selected
number to subscribers in the greater Thessaloniki area, from Michaniona to
The company also expects to give a trial run of its mobile phone network in
Athens, and to cover 60 per cent of Greece by the end of the year.
The network is being developed jointly with Norway's Telenor.
Fair weather expected over most of the country, with local cloud over
northern and central regions in the afternoon and possible sporadic showers
or storms over high ground. Winds will be northerly, moderate to strong,
becoming very strong in the southern Aegean. Athens and Thessaloniki will
be fair with northerly winds and some cloud in the afternoon.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 291.672
Pound sterling 457.085 Cyprus pd 531.501
French franc 46.273 Swiss franc 190.671
German mark 156.060 Italian lira (100) 15.991
Yen (100) 247.505 Canadian dlr. 210.068
Australian dlr. 213.318 Irish Punt 415.749
Belgian franc 7.557 Finnish mark 52.153
Dutch guilder 138.508 Danish kr. 40.947
Swedish kr. 36.269 Norwegian kr. 37.970
Austrian sch. 22.203 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.544