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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 01/09/1997 (ANA)


  • Pangalos denounces Turkish post-Madrid policy
  • Greece expresses grief at Diana's tragic death
  • Athens can help Turkey's EU ambitions, Papandreou says
  • Turkey should support EU membership of Cyprus, Poos says
  • Tsohatzopoulos: Turkey's behaviour self-defeating
  • Karamanlis slams gov't economic policy
  • President: Turkish hesitation to go to court revealing
  • Skopje criticised for lack of willingness to find solution
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchgange


Pangalos denounces Turkish post-Madrid policy

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday called on the international community to take measures against Turkey in order to make it respect international legality, in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "To Vima".

Responding to recent declarations by Turkish officials on Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's treats of war if Cyprus becomes a European Union member, Mr. Pangalos said: "The international community, and the United States in the first place, should take measures against Turkey, show Turkey rules of conduct and if it does not respect them take economic measures and measures concerning armaments against it".

Mr. Pangalos criticised Turkey for its stance following the Madrid communique, stressing that there was now an issue of a political framework, and revealing that, for this reason, the scheduled meeting next month between the two countries' committees of experts would not take place.

"The Turkish government has to explain to us what its final position is in relation to claims raised on Imia, as well as a number of other islands in the Aegean under Greek sovereignty," stressed the minister.

Mr. Pangalos said he will raise "everything that followed Madrid" with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, at a meeting requested by the Turkish minister to take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and will ask him "how he perceives the continuation of contacts".

Mr. Pangalos will also seek a meeting with Richard Holbrooke, the US president's emissary on Cyprus, during his visit to the UN, in order to discuss with him "the entire range of issues".

Nevertheless, he clarified that the government had no reason to deviate from its policy, which he describes as "modest" and "constructive".

Statements by Turkish deputy prime minister Bulent Ecevit threatening to annex the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, Mr. Pangalos said, indicated that "Turkey is a problem to international order".

Commenting on the issue raised by statements last week by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini that there were "two governments" on Cyprus, Mr. Pangalos said he was aware of the fact that at the US State Department, as well as at "some European ministries", there is the perception that "no-one should do anything to displease Turkey".

However, he clarified that Greece is not willing to accept a suspension of Cyprus accession negotiations with the EU, stressing that if such an attempt is made, Greece "has the right to block all EU developments requiring unanimity".

According to Mr. Pangalos, EU accession negotiations will be completed with all countries at the same time and unanimously and admission will be approved for all countries unanimously. He said Greece accepted the idea that progress in the accession of Cyprus to the EU should be an instrument of pressure for the achievement of a solution of the Cyprus problem, but not vice-versa.

Greece expresses grief at Diana's tragic death

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday expressed his grief at the tragic death of Britain's Princess Diana.

Princess Diana and her companion Dodi Al Fayed were killed in a car crash in Paris early yesterday while the two were trying to evade photographers.

"The death of a celebrity always creates sorrow," Mr. Stephanopoulos said. "Diana was a philanthropist."

"We are expressing our grief for Diana because the death of a human being, especially in such tragic circumstances, is a most unpleasant event," Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas told the Athens News Agency.

"People's private lives must be safeguarded and must be respected by all," said Mr. Reppas, referring to the news that the crash occurred when the car in which Diana was travelling swerved to evade photographers on motorcycles.

Athens can help Turkey's EU ambitions, Papandreou says

Turkey's road to the European Union passes through good neighbourly relations with Greece, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday.

Speaking in Komotini, Mr. Papandreou said Greece desired good relations with its neighbour, relations that would be governed by principles and rules.

Greece's prerequisites for Turkey's accession to the European Union, he said, are respect for human rights, international and minority rights, the acceptance of international treaties, active political will to resolve the Cypriot problem and an end to expansionist designs on neighbouring countries, particularly Greece, a member of the EU.

He noted that "unfortunately, with recent statements, positions have appeared which are foreign to the spirit of the recent Madrid communique."

"If these statements are not chance statements, then Turkey is once again distancing itself from a European prospective, and Ankara must realise that Greece can help this prospect in Europe. If Turkey understands this, it will also realise that it is not in its interests to maintain instability and the shameful occupation of Cyprus, as well as designs in the Aegean," he said.

Turkey should support EU membership of Cyprus, Poos says

Turkey should give full support to Cyprus becoming a member of the European Union (EU), the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg and current EU Council President Jacques Poos said yesterday in Ankara.

The semi-official news agency Anadolu quoted Mr. Poos, on a one-day visit to Ankara, as saying that EU membership will facilitate a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

"Turkey should be the foremost country to ask for Cyprus' membership to the Union. Turkish Cypriots should of course be included in the deal," Mr. Poos said.

The minister was to meet later with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to discuss Turkey's bid to enter the EU and relations between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

In mid-July, the European Commission published a report including Cyprus among the six countries expected to be invited to take part in EU expansion talks next year.

The commission's decision drew strong criticism from both Turkey, which was also not on the list, and Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has recently threatened with war and not to attend the UN-sponsored intercommunal talks for a solution on the island if the EU initiates accession talks with Cyprus. Mr. Poos was in Athens on Friday, where he held talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

Tsohatzopoulos: Turkey`s behaviour self-defeating

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday that the sooner Turkey realised that its behaviour flouted international law, the easier it would be for it to converge with Europe and the free world.

Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day conference on narcotics abuse in Thessaloniki, Mr. Tsohatsopoulos told reporters that "all international organisations on security, stability and cooperation, to which Turkey belongs, cannot accept behaviour which is in essence a repetition of the annexation used by Hitler in the Second World War, when he annexed a part of Czechoslovakia".

The actions of Turkey "which now attempts to annex (occupied) northern Cyprus, cannot be accepted by the international community", he said.

"The sooner the Turkish side realises this, the easier it will be for it to be eased into a prospect of convergence with Europe, with the free world and with a prospect of inclusion in the procedures and practices of all those countries which today dem and security, stability and cooperation," he said.

Karamanlis slams gov`t economic policy

The government's economic policy is characterised by "admini-strative mediocrity", the leader of the opposition New Democracy party (ND) Costas Karamanlis said last night at a dinner in Corfu hosted by party members and supporters.

Mr. Karamanlis stressed that the country "deserved better luck" and that while Greece should not miss European economic and monetary unification, this could not be achieved under the current economic policy.

He accused the government of "partisan expediency" over the merger of smaller communities and municipalities into larger entities under the 'Kapodistrias' programme.

Speaking on tourism, the ND leader underlined that there was no room for "lack of seriousness", saying that the country was in need of major infrastructure projects and a different policy.

President: Turkish hesitation to go to court revealing

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said on Saturday that Turkey's reluctance to seek recourse to international courts over its claims in the Aegean were an indication of its realisation that its claims and demands were unfair.

Speaking in Sparti, during his tour of the Peloponnese, the president said that Turkey could not continue to refuse to seek recourse to the courts over its claims but hesitated to do so because it realised the unfairness of its claims.

"Greece's rights were recognised on the basis of international treaties," said the president, "while Turkey continued putting forward unacceptable claims in relation to the Aegean."

Commenting on the meeting of Greek and Turkish expert committees scheduled for next month, Mr. Stephanopoulos said he hoped the process of peacefully resolving differences between the two countries would succeed, but at the same time stressed he had ce rtain reservations.

Skopje criticised for lack of willingness to find solution

In an interview published in yesterday's edition of the Sunday newspaper "To Vima", Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos criticised Skopje for "grossly violating the New York interim agreement" signed between Athens and Skopje.

Commenting on recent statements by President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov, Mr. Pangalos accused the neighbouring state of having rejected all the proposals on a mutually-acceptable name put forth by the United Nations medi ator Cyrus Vance, at a time when Greece was willing to discuss the proposals.

He clarified that the final official name for Skopje should be mutually- acceptable and the name "Republic of Macedonia" could not be its official name. He added that the final name to be given to Skopje has to be approved by the Greek Parliament and the Greek people, not just the Greek government.

The foreign minister said he expected that the UN process under mediator Cyrus Vance will be completed by the end of the year. In the event that the talks fail, he saw two options: first, that the current name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia remains applicable; and second, Skopje calling itself the name it wishes, which Mr. Pangalos believes is unlikely.


Fine weather is forecast for most parts of the country today with local clouds in northern Greece especially in the afternoon. North winds moderate. Athens will be mostly sunny with temperatures ranging from 20C to 32C. Thessaloniki will be sunny with some local cloudiness and temperatures from 19-29C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 280.567 Pound sterling 454.991 Cyprus pd 530.323 French franc 46.380 Swiss franc 188.773 German mark 156.071 Italian lira (100) 15.939 Yen (100) 234.995 Canadian dlr. 202.110 Australian dlr. 206.098 Irish Punt 417.434 Belgian franc 7.559 Finnish mark 52.040 Dutch guilder 138.572 Danish kr. 40.997 Swedish kr. 35.865 Norwegian kr. 37.726 Austrian sch. 22.176 Spanish peseta 1.847 Port. Escudo 1.537


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