Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-26
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 26/09/1997 (ANA)
- Greek-Turkish relations still stalemated after New York contacts
- Ankara claim that Cyprus can't join EU unless Turkey does rejected
- Turkey to receive EU funds, but under certain conditions
- Greece,Albania sign defence cooperation pacts
- Pangalos sees prospects for cooperation with FYROM
- Parliament President leaves for Australian tour today
- Simitis sees Commissioner Fischler today
- President Stephanopoulos condemns Ankara as 'int'l troublemaker'
- AEK sold to Britain's ENIC
- Rhodes twinned with Catalonia's Rozes
- Greek-Australian cancer researcher in Athens
- Rare Byzantine artifacts on display in Moscow
- Greece to host EuroMed conference in October
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek-Turkish relations still stalemated after New York contacts
Athens sees a convergence of views with Ankara as "difficult to impossible"
following Tuesday's talks in New York, but is in favour of continuing talks,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday, commenting on meetings
between Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos with his Turkish counterpart
Ismail Cem and with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The fact that Greek-Turkish relations were in difficulties after New York
was Ankara's fault, Mr. Reppas said, adding that any potentially positive
developments in future would depend on a change in Turkey's political
stance. However, he said he did not rule out a change in Turkey's stance
before the Balkan summit in Crete scheduled for early December.
Meanwhile, he stressed that Greece would not agree to refer all "outstanding"
bilateral issues to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
"Turkey does not recognise (the court's) jurisdiction, nor has it expressed
the will to do so," Mr. Reppas observed, adding that the government was in
favour of holding bilateral meetings, such as at the upcoming NATO summit
on Oct. 10, on confidence-building measures.
"There is a desire for rapprochement and dialogue, but not at any cost,"
Mr. Reppas said, adding that statements on Wednesday by Mr. Pangalos
referred to the impossibility of communicating with someone who wanted a
commitment to make compromises in advance.
Mr. Pangalos said on Wednesday it was impossible to talk to "robbers,
murderers and rapists". "Mr. Pangalos was not talking about a specific
country or politicians but about those who have placed themselves in a
position of bad faith so that no communication is possible with them," the
"As for the specific words used by the foreign minister, the phrase 'the
rape of Cyprus' has repeatedly been used," he added.
Meanwhile, with regard to Mr. Pangalos' references to a section of the
"diplomatic and military establishment in Turkey that has come up with the
idea of questioning Greece's borders in the Aegean", the spokesman
"The Greek government does not make distinctions between Turkish officials,
but wants a reliable interlocutor to deal with issues raised by Greece and
the European Union, so that Turkey can overcome its isolation and join the
international community." H e referred to a past statement by Turkish
President Suleyman Demirel, who he said had admitted that Turkish officials
had made conflicting statements.
Ankara claim that Cyprus can't join EU unless Turkey does rejected
The Luxembourg president of the EU Council of Ministers, Jacques Poos,
yesterday dismissed Turkish claims that the 1960 agreements establishing
Cypriot independence precluded the island republic from joining any
international organisation where both Greece and Turkey are not members.
"The 1960 agreement provides for the non-union of Cyprus with another
country, and it is clear that this provision was included in the agreement
in order to stop the union of Cyprus with Greece, and respectively with
"But the 1960 agreement does not prohibit Cypriot membership of an
international organisation. The EU is an international organisation which
respects the sovereignty of its member-states and we do not understand why
Turkey, also a candidate for accession to the EU, which it desires
fervently, wishes to stop Cyprus from entering the Union.
"This stand is truly incomprehensible to us and we made it clear during our
recent visit to Ankara, which was very constructive and fruitful," Mr. Poos
told UN correspondents in a press conference.
He reiterated that the EU desired the accession of the whole island,
expressing the view that its poorest parts, which were in the Turkish-
occupied north, would reap the greatest benefits.
"We shall try to explain to the Turkish Cypriot side in the next few years
what these benefits are. I hope they understand that they are not going to
lose out. On the contrary, their cultural heritage will remain intact, as
in all EU member-states which retain their culture and their national
sovereignty," Mr. Poos concluded.
Turkey to receive EU funds, but under certain conditions
The Europarliament yesterday set four terms for Turkey before approving
Ecu35 million in funding.
Following a proposal by Greek Eurodeputy Katerina Daskalaki (New Democracy),
the Europarliament's Foreign Affairs Committee froze a "special support"
fund of Ecu3.5 billion and the "funding agreement" funds of Ecu35
Following this approval, the parliament committee passed by a narrow margin
(19 yes, 16 no) an amendment to this by Greek Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos
(KKE) setting terms for releasing the funds to Turkey.
The terms are as follows: Respect for international law and human rights,
recognition of the rights of the Kurds, contribution towards solving the
Cyprus issue on the basis of United Nations resolutions and respect for the
external borders of the Europe an Union and its member-states.
Greece,Albania sign defence cooperation pacts
Greece and Albania yesterday signed three protocols of cooperation in the
defence sector, providing for assistance from the Greek military in
reorganising Albania's armed forces, supplies from the Greek defence
industry and the training of Albanian army troops. The protocols, which are
a continuation of existing military agreements, were signed by National
Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his Albanian counterpart Sabit
Brokaj, who is currently visiting Greece .
Mr. Brokaj said his country recognised the contribution of Greek troops
towards the multinational effort to overcome the recent crisis in
The Greek minister referred to the historic bonds of friendship and
cooperation between the two countries, adding that he hoped the military
cooperation would strengthen Albania's democratic course.
The details of the accords, to be discussed today by senior officers from
both countries, provide for the legal status of Greek troops in Albania to
reorganise specific units as well as to offer assistance in setting up the
administration of security forces, the modernisation of airports and the
construction of infrastructure projects for naval bases. At yesterday's
meeting it was agreed to promote initiatives to secure peace and stability
in the region, and to hold regular meetings on all levels so that
agreements already signed would be carried out speedily.
Pangalos sees prospects for cooperation with FYROM
Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos met late on Wednesday in New York
with his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Mr. Pangalos said after the meeting that they had discussed bilateral
relations and FYROM's participation in the Balkan summit to be held on
Crete in early November.
There are many prospects for bilateral relations, he said, noting the
dramatic increase in trade and investments between the two countries.
"We have serious prospects for developing our relations," he said.
Replying to press questions, Mr. Pangalos said US Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright's "disappointment" at the lack of progress in Greek-
Turkish relations was due to Turkey's stance.
"In these contacts, the problem was the fact that Turkey insisted on its
position and subsequently with this position, any progress is impossible,"
Parliament President leaves for Australian tour today
Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis leaves on an official seven-day
visit to Australia today at the invitation of the Australian legislative
This is the first official visit by a Greek parliament speaker to
Australia. Mr. Kaklamanis will visit Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne for
talks with federal and state leaders and representatives of the Greek-
Australian Ambassador in Athens Dr. Robert Merrillees issued a statement
emphasising the two countries' common interests, which now included staging
the Olympic Games - Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004.
Simitis sees Commissioner Fischler today
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to meet with European Commissioner for
farm issues Franz Fischler today, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas
Mr. Reppas added that the agriculture ministry's bill will be the first to
be discussed with Parliament convenes on October 8.
He said that today's meeting of the Cabinet would examine the institutional
framework of state procurements and public works projects, as well as
public order ministry issues.
President Stephanopoulos condemns Ankara as 'int'l troublemaker'
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday characterised
Turkey as an "inter-national troublemaker", while he also criticised the
international community for what he said was their tolerance, saying it
encourages Ankara's behaviour.
During statements in Volos, Mr. Stephanopoulos also said the country's
future development is connected with Greece's ability to overcome
longstanding bilateral problems with Turkey.
The president was declared an honorary citizen of Volos.
AEK sold to Britain's ENIC
Controversial Athens-based Mihalis Trohanas announced yesterday that his
SoE investment group has sold its 79 per cent stake in the AEK Athens
professional soccer club to the English National Investment Co. (ENIC).
ENIC, partly owned by cigarette manufacturer Richmond, acquired AEK in a
four-billion-drachma deal signed at dawn yesterday, which gave SoE 2.7
billion for its majority share package and another 1.3 billion drachmas for
a complete payoff of the club's debts, taken over by ENIC under the sale
AEK is the first Greek soccer club to be sold to foreign concerns.
Rhodes twinned with Catalonia's Rozes
The town of Rhodes and the Spanish town of Rozes in Catalonia were twinned
during a ceremony on the eastern Aegean island yesterday.
"We are returning home after 3,000 years to find our brothers," the mayor
of the Spanish municipality, Carles Paramo, said in his address at the
Rozes was founded by colonists from Rhodes in the 8th century BC.
Events will last for three days and include concerts featuring groups from
the towns as well as lectures by Greek and Spanish archeologists.
Greek-Australian cancer researcher in Athens
Greek-Australian cancer researcher Dr.Vasso Apostolopoulos, who has been
acclaimed for her work in contributing to the development of a cancer
vaccine, told a press conference yesterday in Athens, where trials of the
vaccine are about to begin, of the positive results achieved so far in
Ms. Apostolopoulos is currently visiting Greece to set up the trials, in
conjunction with Melbourne University Professor Ian Mackenzie and Associate
Professor Stamatis Vasilaros of the breast cancer clinic at the "Prolipsis"
Centre in Athens.
Greece is the first country after Australia to participate in the programme,
beginning next month and scheduled to last five years. Around 100 Greek
women suffering from breast cancer will participate.
Ms. Apostolopoulos said that 60 women had already been given the vaccine in
Australia, and another 40 were scheduled to receive it, noting that none of
the women already vaccinated had presented any side effects, while their
immune systems appeared to have been activated and were reacting against
the cancer cells.
Ms. Apostolopoulos met yesterday morning with Health Minister Costas
Geitonas, and yesterday afternoon was received by President of the Republic
Kostis Stephanopoulos who bestowed upon her the honour of Commander of the
Order of the Phoenix.
Rare Byzantine artifacts on display in Moscow
Rare objects and art work showing medieval Russia's cultural exchanges with
the 1,000-year Byzantine Empire will go on display at the Church of
Annunciation in the Kremlin.
The exhibition is part of Moscow's celebrations for its 850th anniversary.
Artifacts are dated between the 11th and 17th centuries, and reflect the
gifts brought into the Principality of Moscovy in exchange for protection
of churches, monasteries and cities. They include pieces dated from
Constantinople, Mount Sinai, Patmos and Mount Athos.
The exhibition was an initiative by the Greek embassy in Moscow and the
Greece to host EuroMed conference in October
Greece will host a conference on industry in Europe and the Mediterranean
on October 6-7 to debate foreign investment, trade, tourism, energy and
infrastructure, government and industry officials told a news conference
The organisers of the conference, which is being held under the aegis of
Prime Minister Costas Simitis, are the Federation of Greek Industries, the
development ministry, the European Union's Commission, and UNICE, a
European UNICE employment organisatio n.
"Greece's location, proximity to south Mediterranean countries, traditional
cultural and trade ties, and the potential of many Greek firms to invest
mean the country can act as a catalyst in regional development as part of
EU policy," Development Minister Vasso Papandreou said.
In 1990 the EU upgraded its presence in Mediterranean countries by
launching what it called the New Mediterranean Policy, which involved
funding, bilateral cooperation protocols and tariff concessions in order to
aid the trade balance with EU member states.
The countries that agreed to the policy, which represent about 300 million
residents, were Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Malta,
Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Turkey and Tunisia.
EU summits after 1990 endorsed the policy and set up the Med programmes
that aim to boost cooperation.
Cloudy weather is forecast throughout Greece today with scattered showers
in the east and south. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning gale
force in the Aegean Sea. Temperatures in Athens will range between 15-22C,
while in Thessaloniki from 12-19C.
Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 278.147
Pound sterling 449.872 Cyprus pd 531.355
French franc 46.610 Swiss franc 190.161
German mark 156.627 Italian lira (100) 16.047
Yen (100) 230.075 Canadian dlr. 200.424
Australian dlr. 201.624 Irish Punt 408.605
Belgian franc 7.589 Finnish mark 52.548
Dutch guilder 139.083 Danish kr. 41.138
Swedish kr. 36.821 Norwegian kr. 38.815
Austrian sch. 22.251 Spanish peseta 1.857
Port. Escudo 1.540