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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 16/08/1997 (ANA)


  • Second round of UN-LED Cyprus talks ends in deadlock
  • Assumption of the Virgin celebrated throughout Greece
  • US says EU must leave door open for Turkish membership
  • President, Defence Minister messages on Armed Forces' Day
  • Ecumenical Patriarch visits island of Chios
  • Britain's Princess Diana on private visit to Greece
  • Greek stocks rangebound in scant holiday trade
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


    Second round of UN-LED Cyprus talks ends in deadlock

    The second round of UN-sponsored Cyprus talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash ended in deadlock here yesterday.

    In an afternoon press conference, the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor for the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who chaired both rounds of talks between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, said "discussions were useful even when we faced difficulties here in Glion."

    He added however, that the Secretary General "intends to continue his good offices' mission on Cyprus" and said he does not entirely share the view that "we are back to where we started."

    Earlier, President Clerides had told a press conference "at the end of this week we are exactly where we were, when we came here".

    Also speaking at a press conference earlier, Mr. Denktash said the five-day talks, which took place at the Righi Vaudois hotel in Glion-sur-Montreux, ended in deadlock.

    Mr. Denktash accused the European Union of having thrown a "bomb" into the peace process by deciding to open accession negotiations next year with the internationally-recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Nevertheless, he said the talks were "useful", because "we now know where the two sides are".

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said talks on Cyprus' bid for EU membership must be cancelled for UN mediation to continue, and threatened that the division of Cyprus would become permanent if negotiations with the EU went ahead.

    He let it be implied that Cyprus can only join the European Union if Turkey joins as well.

    In his statements President Clerides rejected Mr. Denktash's conditions and said "not only do I have no intention of delaying the process (of EU negotiations) but if there is any interference in the process I will not be negotiating."

    For his part, Mr. Cordovez said he would submit his conclusions on this round of talks to the Security Council next Wednesday. A first round of direct talks (the first between the two leaders since October 1994), was held between July 9 and 12 at th e secluded Troutbeck rural retreat, north of New York.

    Before attending the Glion talks the two leaders had two meetings in Cyprus, at the residence of UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, situated in the UN-controlled Nicosia airport area, and discussed humanitarian issues.

    Assumption of the Virgin celebrated throughout Greece

    Greece yesterday celebrated the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin in the traditional Orthodox way. Thousands of pilgrims gathered on the Aegean island of Tinos, the centre of religious celebrations, where the government was represented by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos. The day also marks Armed Forces Day.

    US says EU must leave door open for Turkish membership

    The European Union must leave the door open for Turkish membership after the failure of the Clerides-Denktash talks in Glion-sur-Montreux, State Department spokesman James Rubin said yesterday.

    Although the official stressed that the decision for the admission of new members belongs to the Union itself, he said that "maintaining the hope of accession -for Cyprus and Turkey- is an encouragement that would improve the chances for settling the C yprus problem".

    Mr. Rubin described the talks in Switzerland as "useful", and expressed the view that the Cyprus problem will not be solved easily given "the passions and the strong emotions it generates".

    The American official added that further talks of the same type should not be expected before presidential elections in Cyprus in February.

    Questioned on the role of President Bill Clinton's emissary, Richard Holbrooke, Mr. Rubin said that Mr. Holbrooke was having deliberations with European officials and would go to Cyprus in autumn.

    President, Defence Minister messages on Armed Forces' Day

    The President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said in a message for the day that the armed forces are "guarantors of our country's security, stability and integrity in the crucial period of varied positive and negative challenges we are going throug h".

    "Greece, as an equal member of the European Union for a number of years, a country with respect for the principles of international law and international legality, and with a buttressed democratic system, constitutes a factor of stability, security and tranquillity in the broader geographical region".

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said in a message that the restructuring of the armed forces, the boosting of their operational potential, and the modernisation of the means required for the implementation of the country's defence policy are among the measures designed "to secure Greece's deterrent potential against any country that would dare dispute its territorial integrity".

    "The Greek people know the dedication of the armed forces to their task, and shoulder the big sacrifices required for their strengthening with modern equipment," he added.

    After attending celebrations on the island of Tinos yesterday, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos reiterated that "there is nothing for negotiation in the Aegean. There is peace and stability, and there is international law and treaties, which set the non-negotiable character of Greek rights in this region ... Our neighbours on the other side of the Aegean have the obligation to respect international law and treaties".

    Ecumenical Patriarch visits island of Chios

    Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos I, who is currently on a three- day-visit to the Aegean island of Chios today, is due to travel to the United States in October.

    The Patriarch, guest of the island's Gum Mastic Growers' Association, attended a service at the cathedral of Saints Minas, Victor and Vikentius. He will be offered locally-produced gum for the preparation of Holy Oil, used by the church in christenings and other consecrations. Chios island is famous for its unique aromatic gum, known as "masticha", which is the base for the production of chewing gum, sweets and other confections as well as a local aperitif by the same name.

    Meanwhile it was announced that the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, will visit the United States for one month, starting in October.

    According to a visit schedule obtained by the ANA, the Patriarch will begin the tour, his first of the US, on October 19 and return to his See on November 17.

    During his visit, the Patriarch will meet with Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish and Moslem leaders, and hold talks with US President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    Britain's Princess Diana on private visit to Greece

    Britain's Princess Diana arrived in Athens yesterday for a private visit, informed sources said.

    Princess Diana arrived at Athens International Airport at 17:45 on a private Gulfstream jet, but the purpose of her visit was not immediately known.

    Last September, the princess visited the village of Limni on the island of Evia to attend the funeral of a 27-year-old lawyer, Yannis Kalyviatis, who died of cystic fibrosis.

    The princess had been acquainted with Kalyviatis when he was being treated at a London hospital. Princess Diana visited Kalyviatis in the context of her worldwide humanitarian activities.

    Greek stocks rangebound in scant holiday trade

    Greek equities moved in a narrow range in the last trading session of a short week on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, with investors more interested in a three-day holiday which started yesterday.

    The general index closed 0.21 percent higher at 1,645.81 points, showing a 0.39 percent gain on the week. Sector indices were mixed. Banks fell 0.17 percent, Leasing eased 0.22 percent, Insurance rose 1.19 percent, Investment increased 0.36 percent, Ind ustrials rose 0.93 percent, Holding was 0.46 percent higher and Miscellaneous fell 0.47 percent.

    The parallel market for smaller companies ended 0.98 percent higher.

    Trading remained thin and turnover was 8.3 billion drachmas. On a weekly basis, average turnover was 9.6 billion down from 10.9 billion drachmas the previous week. Broadly, advancing issues led declining ones by 107 to 93 with another 35 issues unchan ged.

    Meanwhile, a Solomon Brothers report released yesterday says that the Greek bourse is likely to regain its ranking among the top ten emerging markets despite a summer lull. The Athens market has held its ground among emerging markets with a 40 percent yield in dollar terms, the international investment house said.

    It said the bourse's current P/E ratio of 12 was high. Low turnover expected in August was likely to rise in coming months, accompanied by a correction in prices.


    Mostly fine weather with mild northerly winds is expected for most of the country for the weekend. Northern mountainous regions will be cloudy and the possibility of rain and local thunderstorms is forecast for later in the day, on Saturday and Sunday. Athens and Thessaloniki can expect a mostly fine day on Sunday, with temperature ranges 19-32C and 18-30C respectively.

    Foreign Exchange

    Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 288.103 Pound sterling 455.529 Cyprus pd 531.999 French franc 46.478 Swiss franc 189.724 German mark 156.679 Italian lira (100) 16.015 Yen (100) 246.867 Canadian dlr. 206.299 Australian dlr. 213.592 Irish Punt 416.048 Belgian franc 7.588 Finnish mark 52.289 Dutch guilder 139.091 Danish kr. 41.146 Swedish kr. 35.892 Norwegian kr. 37.756 Austrian sch. 22.274 Spanish peseta 1.853 Port. Escudo 1.544


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