Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-12
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 12/08/1997 (ANA)
- Athens and Belgrade against any attempt to revise Dayton accord
- Nebiolo lambasted over statements
- Greek troops to remain in Albania
- UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland
- Otters reappear in Larisa arfter 35-year absence
- Information on SMEs provided through Internet
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Athens and Belgrade against any attempt to revise Dayton accord
Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia today expressed their
opposition to any attempt to revise the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia,
during talks between Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his visiting
Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic.
"We support the Dayton agreement as it stands," Milutinovic told reporters
after the talks, adding that all three sides in Bosnia were responsible for
"It is wrong to attribute responsibility to only one side," Milutinovic
said, implying the Bosnian Serbs.
Pangalos said Greece was in favour of Yugoslavia's "immediate incorporation
in international life and international organisations" and the immediate re-
examination of the country's European perspective.
"We unreservedly condemn the policy of discrimination against Yugoslavia,"
Panagalos said, expressing disagreement with the policy of imposing new
conditions on the neighbouring country "which postpone indefinitely its re-
entry to international life".
Milutinovic said Belgrade appreciated Greece's "dynamic" support for his
country's speedy return to international organisations "from which we were
so unjustly barred".
In order for there to be co-operation in the Balkans, he said, "we must be
Milutinovic handed an invitation to Pangalos for Prime Minister Costas
Simitis to visit Belgrade, which will most likely take place towards the
end of the year.
The Yugoslav minister, who began an official two-day visit to Greece
yesterday, said his talks with Pangalos had focused on issues of co-
operation and the promotion of bilateral relations, which Pangalos
described as "excellent".
The Greek side pledged to facilitate the movement of Yugoslav citizens to
Greece by establishing a consular office in Nis and the opening of credits
totalling 100 million dollars for the promotion of Greek investments in the
Pangalos said also that ministers of the two countries would exchange
visits and meetings would be held between the Greek and Yugoslav military
The two sides also discussed visa issues, with Pangalos saying that
although Athens' hands were tied following ratification of the Schengen
agreement, Greece was exploring the possibility of a special system
applying for Balkan countries and special treatment for frequent visitors
to Greece, such as scientists and businessmen.
Saying he was in favour of the abolition of visa requirements, Milutinovic
added that he understood the Schengen agreement but could not understand
the inequality with respect to the different countries of former Yugoslavia.
"The Schengen agreement provides for privileges for certain countries while
discriminating against others," he said.
Pangalos expressed Athens' interest in Greek engineering companies
participating in the construction of the Belgrade-Skopje road axis.
"Greek investments in Yugoslavia are considerable and we shall continue to
back them with all possible means," he said.
Milutinovic noted that "dynamic penetration" by Greek companies in the
economic sector had been absent in the past, stressing that "this
constitutes a basis for the development of our future relations".
Nebiolo lambasted over statements
International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo
came under heavy fire today from almost the entire Greek press following
his tirade against the "Athens '97" organisers and his claim that he had
"saved" the World Athletics Championships, which ended in Athens on
Nebiolo, who is also honourary chairman of the Rome bid committee for the
2004 Olympic Games, for which Athens is also a candidate, was widely
perceived by Greeks as waging an underhanded war against Athens' candidacy,
nit-picking for lack of any serious problems to criticise.
Nebiolo's allegations were outwardly rejected by Athens '97 general
director Vangelis Savramis, who said: "We carried out this wonderful
championship to a successful end, alone, and everyone who was involved in
it in one way or another knows this".
"The only thing Mr. Nebiolo did was to continuously create problems for the
organisers. He created problems over the seating, the protocol, who was
going to sit where...", Avramis said.
Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras expressed displeasure at Nebiolo's
stance, saying that the disapproval displayed by athletics fans at the
closing ceremony of the championships was "sincere, and only to be
expected", adding "the people's intuition is infallible".
"Primo Rufiano (the Italian word for pimp or schemer) insulted the Greeks
and engaged in dirty politics over the Cyprus and FYROM issues", wrote
afternoon daily Adesmeftos Typos in a banner front-page headline, referring
to Nebiolo's statement on Greek television that Greece had "economic and
political problems, problems with FYROM (which he called Macedonia), Cyprus,
the treaty of Maastricht and unemployment".
Apogevmatini, another afternoon daily, described Nebiolo's statements as a
"provocation" and indicative of "vehemence" against Greece, while Eleftheri
Ora wrote "New shameless attack by Primo Calligula, but he was 'castrated'
by the Athens Mayor".
Eleftherotypia headlined "Il Duce returns - Nebiolo wages new war on
Greece", while the daily Ethnos wrote "Nebiolo's mask fell, the 'mafioso'
of athletics linked 'Athens 2004' with the Cyprus issue, FYROM and
Athinaiki wrote "The Italians in panic as they see they are losing the
Olympiad", describing Nebiolo's statements as a "miserable outburst against
Greece", while Ta Nea headlined "Nebiolo delirium against Greece, he even
spoke about Cyprus, FYROM and Maastricht".
Estia, in its main headline, wrote "Unprecedented vilification of Greece by
Mr. Nebiolo", while Exousia wrote "The 'godfather' of international
athletics struck again", Elefteros Typos headlined "Nebiolo provocation",
and Eleftheros wrote "Primo Maskara (rogue)".
"Mr. Nebiolo should understand that sports officials are not entitled to
talk about politics," Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said later when
asked to comment on the IAAF chief's statements.
"Mr. Nebiolo committed a great impropriety. He violated a basic rule of all
sports officials and fans, which is not to mix politics with sport,"
The minister said the IAAF chief was "not well informed about Greece's
international relations. Greece has excellent relations with all its
neighbours, except Turkey".
Pangalos noted that Italy had problems with its neighbours, citing the
example of Slovenia, whose relations with the European Union were
obstructed by Rome.
On the level of crime in Greece, Pangalos said the situation had not
required the intervention of the army, "as happens frequently in Italy in
order to combat the Mafia, which the neighbouring country exports to the
rest of the world".
"Despite this," he continued, "I would never say that the main characteristic
of Italy is the Mafia and that Rome was not entitled to stage the Olympic
Games. Rome will not be picked to stage the 2004 Games, quite simply
because Athens is better."
Greek troops to remain in Albania
A company of Greek troops still in Albania after participating in the
multinational protection force will remain in the neighbouring country at
the request of Albanian Defence Minister Sabit Brokaj.
A Greek National Defence General Staff announcement today said that
Brokaj's request was within the framework of the bilateral co-operation
protocol signed during the visit of a government delegation to Tirana on
"The purpose of the reinforced Greek company remaining is to organise and
train the Albanian armed forces, in co-operation with Greek military
advisers," the announcement said, adding that the duration of the troops'
stay would be determined "in a subsequent agreement".
UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland
The United Nations (UN) will not enter an immediate discussion of the
fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem at this round of talks, but
instead suggests an incremental process with a discussion of a revised UN
In statements prior to a working lunch that opened the second round of UN-
sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish
Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the UN Secretary General's special advisor
Diego Cordovez said he expects both leaders to cooperate for a settlement.
The Cyprus peace talks resumed yesterday with a working-lunch hosted by Mr.
Cordovez at the Hotel Righi Vaudois, in the mountain resort Glion-sur-Mon-
The first round was held in Troutbeck, New York, between July 9-12 and was
opened by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Mr. Cordovez said the UN wants to change the procedure used in the talks so
far. "We are trying to institute a process that is different", he said,
noting that in the past the leaders came to the talks with the idea that
they would solve all the problems.
He also clarified that the non-paper which he handed to the two leaders
during the first round of discussions was not a settlement to the 23-year-
old Cyprus problem.
"The paper I gave them is not the solution. These are simply some
guidelines to be taken into account. The difference is we are having what I
call an incremental process. That is to say, they will meet from time to
time and each time take it from where they left it and proceed forward",
the UN official said.
Mr. Cordovez further said that the leaders would be able to choose the
aspects of the Cyprus problem they want to discuss each time they meet and
"try to bridge the differences between them and go on to the next
He added that through this process the leaders of the two communities will
not start their next meeting from zero, as in the past.
Asked what he would consider a success in this specific round of talks, Mr.
Cordovez replied he expects all "to continue to work with a sense that we
are involved in a process", noting "you cannot solve the Cyprus problem in
Defending the UN directive on a news blackout during the first and second
round of talks, he said the negotiations were a very "dynamic process",
which premature publicity could threaten by making it "rigid".
Otters reappear in Larissa after 35-year absence
Otters have reappeared in the vicinity of Larissa, Thessaly, after a 35-
year absence, signalling a revival in the area's ecosystem and surprising
biologists with a rare phenomenon.
The otters, water-going mammals, belong to a protected species in all
European countries whose population had been obliterated due to environmental
pollution and hunting for the use of their fur.
The otters disappeared from Thessaly following the draining of Lake Karla
in 1962-3, but have been sighted again in canals, irrigation channels and
reservoirs in the villages of Namata, Eleftheriou, Koumia, and Platykambos.
Their reappearance in the area shows that wetlands, where wild species nest,
are becoming revived, while the otter's main staple of fish has seen an
increase due to cleaner water and less pollution.
Information on SMEs provided through Internet
Information on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and on the European
Union's research and development policy is provided through the Internet,
the latest issue of 'Eur-Op News' writes.
The addresses are as follows:
Local cloudiness in most parts of the country today, with possible showers
and thurderstorms over the Ionian Sea, the mainland, and the northern
Aegean Sea in the afternoon. Winds northerly, light to moderate, becoming
strong in the southern Aegean. Athens will be partly cloudy with possible
rainstorm and temperatures from 20-31C. Same in Thessaloniki with and
temperatures between 19-28C.
Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 289.908
Pound sterling 461.711 Cyprus pd 531.401
French franc 46.307 Swiss franc 190.542
German mark 155.946 Italian lira (100) 15.984
Yen (100) 250.058 Canadian dlr. 208.054
Australian dlr. 213.572 Irish Punt 418.441
Belgian franc 7.550 Finnish mark 52.191
Dutch guilder 138.433 Danish kr. 40.947
Swedish kr. 36.353 Norwegian kr. 37.886
Austrian sch. 22.157 Spanish peseta 1.849
Port. Escudo 1.541