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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


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
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


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 its implementation.

"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 equal".

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 neighbouring country.

Pangalos said also that ministers of the two countries would exchange visits and meetings would be held between the Greek and Yugoslav military leaderships.

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 Sunday.

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 Maastricht".

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," Pangalos added.

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 August 5.

"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 non-paper.

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- treux, Switzerland.

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 aspect".

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 four days".

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


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