Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-18
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 18/08/1997 (ANA)
- Greek Foreign Undersecretary warns Turkey against blackmail
- Holbrooke will not visit Nicosia, Athens and Ankara in autumn
- British emissary rejects Denktash's threat
- Eleven injured in ferry accident
- 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
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek Foreign Undersecretary warns Turkey against blackmail
Foreign Undersecretary Yannos Kranidiotis warned Ankara today against
continuing its "policy of blackmail" on the Cyprus issue, a policy which he
said, along with its refusal to cooperate on that issue, would harm
Turkey's hopes of joining Europe.
In an interview in the Athens daily "Ta Nea", the Undersecretary contended
that the breakdown of direct talks in Switzerland last week between Cypriot
President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was due
not only to Denktash's stance but to the Turkish government.
"It's very unfortunate," he said, "that Denktash has found a sympathiser in
the Turkish goverment in the person of Bulent Ecevit. These two supporters
of pan-Turkish nationalism are not interested in seeking a just solution to
the Cyprus issue, but in fully incorporating occupied Cypriot territory
At the UN-sponsored talks near Montreux last week, the Turkish side's goal
had been to stall the process of Cyprus' accession to the European Union as
well as the installation of Russian S-300 missiles in Cyprus, according to
He stressed that the Cypriot government had come to the negotiating table
in a "constructive mood".
"I believe that both Cyprus and Greece, with their consistent stance, have
already made the right impression. The international community knows which
side has right on its side and which is acting unjustly. Therefore it is up
to (the international community) to attribute the blame for the deadlock to
the Turkish side and not to equate the victimizer with the victim,"
emphasised the Undersecretary.
Meanwhile, the Undersecretary said the text presented at the talks by UN
mediator Diego Cordovez contained several weak points, although it
nevertheless "confirmed the need for the unified and indivisible sovereignty
of the Cypriot Federation".
"This I believe is a positive and significant development in favour of our
positions and our policy," he added.
With regard to the role of US presidential envoy on the Cyprus issue
Richard Holbrooke, the Undersecretary noted:
"Mr. Holbrooke's role should be supplementary to that of the United
Nations. We expect Mr. Holbrooke to exercise his influence on the Turkish
side so that it cooperates in the international effort to solve the Cyprus
issue based on international principles."
Kranditiotis believes that the crucial period for the Cyprus issue will be
1998, following the presidential elections in Cyprus and the beginning of
negotiations for the island republic's accession to the European Union.
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
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
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
"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.
Eleven injured in ferry accident
Eleven persons -- nine passengers and two crew members -- all Greeks, were
injured this morning when the "Apostolos P." ferry rammed into the cement
dock at Souvala port on the island of Aegina south of Athens, the Merchant
Marine Ministry said.
Five of the injured passengers, according to Piraeus harbour authorities,
were women, two of whom were taken to Tzaneio hospital in Piraeus with head
injuries, while the others were taken to local health centres.
A Ministry spokesman said the incident occurred when the capitain of the
ferry, which set sail this morning from Aegina headed for Piraeus, tried to
tie up the ship at Souvala's cement dock. The ship rammed into the dock
with its stern.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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