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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 18/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece and Cyprus accuse Turkish side of blackmailing EU
  • Clerides: Denktash exclusively at fault for talks' failure
  • Holbrooke will not visit Nicosia, Athens and Ankara in autumn
  • British emissary rejects Denktash's threat
  • Princess Diana eludes reporters
  • Mornos dam protesters demand percentage from exploitation
  • Albania's parliament president due in September
  • Eight companies show interest in Elefsis Bauxite
  • DIS applies for ASE listing
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece and Cyprus accuse Turkish side of blackmailing EU

Greece and Cyprus on Saturday blamed Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side for the deadlock in a five-day UN-led second round of direct talks in Switzerland, saying the Turkish side was "black-mailing the European Union".

In Athens, the Greek government described Ankara's and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's stand in the fruitless talks on Cyprus which ended in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland, on Friday, as "intransigent", and "blackmail".

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said Saturday at Larnaca airport, on his arrival from Montreux, that Mr. Denktash "did not go there to negotiate, but to try to impede our course towards Europe," adding that "this did not succeed."

Greece's Press Ministry secretary general Yiannis Nikolaou said on Saturday that Mr. Denktash, "guided by Ankara, not only refused to discuss substantial documents submitted by the United Nations, not only did he repeat his partitioning views on Cyprus, but attempted to intervene in a crude and flagrant way in the internal affairs of the European Union, trying to dictate his position on the course of Cyprus towards membership".

He added that the Greek government condemned Turkish intransigence, and expected the same reaction from the international community.

Finally, he stressed that Cyprus' course towards Europe "is irrevocably secured, and will continue on the basis of commitments undertaken by the European Union itself".

The main opposition New Democracy party said in a statement the "complete impasse" in the talks showed that the Turkish side "does not want a sincere dialogue leading to a just and viable solution but comes to the neogotiating table without changing its intransigence position".

The ND attributed Mr. Denktash's provocative stance to the Greek government "continuously backing down".

The Communist Party (KKE) in a statement said Mr. Denktash's intransigence and the failure of the talks presented "new dangers for the 'de-internationalisation' of the Cyprus problem, and its conversion into a bilateral issue".

"It undermines the solution of the problem in the framework of UN resolutions, and facilitates the involvement of US emissary Richard Holbrooke," it said.

The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) said in its statement "responsibility for the failure of the talks rested entirely on the Turkish side", stressing the need for Greek Cypriots "not to budge from their insistence on a bi-zonal, bi-com munal federation, which boosted their negotiating position.

The Democratic Social Movement(DIKKI) said in a stetement that Mr. Denktash's intransigence was the result of Greece's Madrid joint communique with Turkey.

Clerides: Denktash exclusively at fault for talks' failure

It is generally accepted by the UN and all those envoys on the wings of the Glion direct talks that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is exclusively at fault for the collapse of negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive solutio n of the Cyprus problem, President Clerides said.

In statements on his return to Cyprus on Saturday afternoon from Glion-sur- Montreux, Switzerland, where the UN-led five-day talks were held, President Clerides said Mr. Denktash's threats that Cyprus' partition would be finalised if the European Union ( EU) starts accession talks with the Cyprus government, early next year, have failed because the EU will not change its decisions.

"Denktash did not go there to negotiate, but to try to impede our course towards Europe," the President said, adding that "this did not succeed."

President Clerides stressed that Mr. Denktash's recalcitrant tactics at the talks have elicited "strong international reaction" and that the international community has come to the realisation that the Turkish side's decision- making centre does not rest in Cyprus, but in Ankara.

Mr. Clerides expressed the conviction that the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor for the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, will "call things by their true name" in his report to the UN Security Council on Wednesday and will apportion blame for the fa ilure of the talks where it is due.

He added that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will work to set up another face-to-face meeting between the two leaders, but the President reiterated he would not attend such a meeting if Mr. Denktash refuses to discuss substantial aspects of the Cyprus problem. "I have clearly stated that I do not intend to attend further talks, if Denktash will not discuss the substance of the Cyprus problem and goes on claiming he will not do so because of Cyprus' EU accession course," the President said.

He also left the door open for further meetings between himself and Mr. Denktash in Cyprus to discuss humanitarian issues, saying that they "may still be possible".

Holbrooke will not visit Nicosia, Athens and Ankara in autumn

American presidential emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, will not pay a visit to Cyprus this autumn, even though he believes the UN-led negotiations between the two sides managed to break the ice. According to a report yesterday in the Greek "Sunday Kathimerini" and Cypriot "Fileleftheros" newspapers, Mr. Holbrooke said he will not visit Athens, Ankara and Nicosia in September, as he was initially planning to do.

In a telephone conversation with "Kathimerini", Mr. Holbrooke said the new American Cyprus coordinator, Thomas Miller, will visit the region next month.

He noted that conditions for his efforts to break the deadlock in the 23- year-long Cyprus problem are not yet ripe.

Commenting on the deadlock in the five-day talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, which ended on Friday in Switzerland, the American emissary did not seem disappointed.

He said the UN Secretary General's special advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who carried out the talks, managed to break the ice and bring the two leaders in direct contact even if none of the problems were solved. Mr. Holbrooke, who brokered the Bosnian agreement, pointed out that President Clerides and Mr. Denktash are very difficult negotiators as they both fervently support their interests.

Joking with the "Kathimerini" correspondent, the American envoy said that, compared to Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash, he looks like a child lost in the forest.

He said one of the most difficult problems in solving the Cyprus question is the connection between Cyprus' European Union (EU) accession with an overall settlement, but refrained from elaborating on his views.

The Turkish side has stepped up its intransigence over Cyprus' EU bid after last month's reconfirmation, in a Union report named "Agenda 2000", that accession talks with Cyprus will begin next year, as scheduled.

British emissary rejects Denktash's threat

Britain's special emissary for the Cyprus issue Sir David Hannay has rejected Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's threat that he will not participate in further talks if the EU initiates membership negotiations with Cyprus.

"The Turkish side can say what it likes, but has no right to tell the European Union, of which it is not a member, what to do," he said.

The British official also categorically confirmed that the EU decision to begin negotiations with Cyprus will stand.

Princess Diana eludes reporters

Britain's Princess Diana has sent photographers and reporters scurrying for her whereabouts around the Aegean.

Unconfirmed reports yesterday said that the princess, who arrived on a private jet in Athens on Friday, was sighted on a yacht off the island of Kythira, south of the Peloponnese.

Other reports said she and her latest Egyptian companion, Dodi Al Fayed, are being entertained on a yacht belonging to Greek shipowner Panagiotis Laimos. Mr. Laimos, however, denied any knowledge of the princess's whereabouts.

Mornos dam protesters demand percentage from exploitation

About 3,000 people staged a demonstration at the Mornos dam in the prefecture of Fokida yesterday morning, demanding a percentage of profits from the Athens-Piraeus Water and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) in compensation for losses sustained by residents of vi llages around the dam.

They are demanding that 6 per cent of the company's profits from Mornos River water be allocated to the prefecture's coffers. The Mornos dam supplies water to the greater Athens area.

Fokida's prefect, Mr. Karahalios, said that villages around the dam had been all but deserted.

"We are asking for nothing more than what is given to the residents of Megalopolis and Ptolemaida, who receive 6 per cent of the lignite production profits from the local DEH (Public Power Corporation) power plants," he said.

Albania's parliament president due in September

Greece and Italy are Albania's gateways to Europe, Albanian Parliament President Skender Ginousi said yesterday while on a tour of the south of the country, which has a large ethnic Greek population.

"It is no coincidence that my first visit abroad will be to Athens (September 7-9)," he said.

Referring to the situation in his country after the recent elections, Mr. Ginousi said, "there are reasons for optimism, but we must be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the Berisha regime".

Eight companies show interest in Elefsis Bauxite

Eight companies, two of which are listed in the Athens Stock Exchange, and one of which belongs to the Vardinoyiannis Group, are reported to be showing interest in the acquisition of 'Elefsina Bauxite' (EB), which is administered by the government's Enter prise Restructuring Organisation (OAE).

Reliable business circles estimate EB's market value between 500 million and 1 billion drachmas.

OAE is hoping to write off EB's debts, amounting to about 2.1 billion drachmas, to facilitate the sale. However, the National Bank of Greece, EB's main creditor, is opposing such a move, arguing for a liquidation.

Among the interested companies are 'Argyromettalevmaton and Varytinis', 'Aluminium de Grece', 'Varmin SA', and 'Zaporozhye Aluminum Combinat of Ukraine'.

DIS applies for ASE listing

Date Information Systems (DIS) is the seventh company of the sector which has applied for listing in the Athens Stock Exchange.

DIS will issue 360,000 shares, hoping to raise 500 million drachmas.

The company, which is one of IBM's main trading partners, is aiming to expand into new markets and introduce new software products.

Turnover is projected to reach 1.2 billion drachmas, while pre-tax profits last year were 445 million.

WEATHER

Mostly fine weather is forecast for most of Greece except Eastern Macedonia and Thrace where cloudiness and rain are expected with possible local thunderstorms. Light to moderate northerly winds will intensify in parts of the Aegean Sea. Athens will be partly cloudy with possible showers and temperatures ranging between 20-33C. Similar weather for Thessaoliniki with temperatures from 19-32C.

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

(C.E.)


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