Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-27
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 27/09/1997 (ANA)
- Pangalos comments on talks with Cem
- Greek, Turkish businessmen to meet in Izmir
- Pangalos-Annan meeting focuses on Cyprus
- Vartholomeos, Russia's Alexiy confirm intent to cooperate closely
- EU's Fischler hears Athen's position vis-a-vis EU enlargement
- Cabinet discusses framework for state procurements, public works
- Rock fans rush to Thessaloniki for U2 concert
- Alliance of European News Agencies held in Geneva
- Ecumenical Patriarch in Thessaloniki tomorrow
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Pangalos comments on talks with Cem
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said in New York last night that while
Greece was trying to achieve detente with Turkey, the latter was afraid of
stating all its claims since these were "clearly in contravention of
international law and international practice, and only serve to isolate
Turkey and bring it into conflict with the civilised world".
Speaking at a press conference following the conclusion of his contacts on
the fringes of the 52nd United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Pangalos said
Greece had exhausted all possibilities for a conciliatory approach.
"Of course, we don't want there to be tension in our relations, but at some
point we have to deal with the essence of the problem," he said, adding
that otherwise bilateral relations were poisoned and the resolution of
other problems made more difficult.
"We have opened up a way out of this difficult situation. We want solutions
and we want them now. That is why we have proposed, for a start, to deal
with the problem created by (Turkey's) claims and military moves around
Imia. This is a specific questioning of our territorial integrity, while at
various levels of the Turkish leadership there has been an attempt to cloud
the situation in the Aegean," he said, going on to refer to existing
international accords (in 1923, 1932 and 1947) determining the status quo
in the Aegean.
He noted that Greece had accepted the referral of the problem of the
continental shelf, which arose after the signing of these treaties, to the
International Court in the Hague, while it had also proposed that Turkey
refer the Imia issue to the same body.
He said that Turkey, "instead of making use of this way out, only raises
new issues, generalises and confuses various claims" at the same time
demanding that Greece discuss every Turkish claim or demand.
"That will never happen, as long as there are territorial claims,"
emphasised the foreign minister.
Meanwhile, in view of a Balkan summit in Crete in November, to be attended
by both the Turkish and Greek prime ministers, Mesut Yilmaz and Costas
Simitis, Pangalos said:
"I hope that the meeting between Simitis and Yilmaz, if it takes place,
will be less disappointing than my meeting with (Turkish Foreign Minister
Ismail) Cem, who simply repeated the Turkish Foreign Ministry's same old
Turning to the Cyprus issue, the minister said Turkey was being called upon
to face its first real challenge with regard to the issue.
"Turkey cannot enter the European Union while the Cyprus issue remains
unresolved. Cyprus will join the EU, whether or not the Turkish occupation
forces leave," he said, adding that a Turkish threat to annex occupied
northern Cyprus was "ridiculous", since that situation had already existed
since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island and brought in settlers from the
"Turkey cannot join the EU nor can it have a closer association with the EU
as long as the Cyprus issue drags on. Cyprus will join, whether or not the
issue is resolved, while Turkey will stay locked out... By ignoring the
Cyprus issue and its relations with Greece, Turkey is only burying its head
in the sand," he concluded.
Greek, Turkish businessmen to meet in Izmir
The first meeting of Greek and Turkish businesspeople active in the eastern
Aegean will be held in Izmir next month at the initiative of the Greek
Islands Development Group and the Union of Young Turkish Aegean businessmen.
Meanwhile, an event for Greek-T urkish friendship is being held on Saturday
on the island of Hios, at the initiative of the local prefecture and
municipality, featuring local dances and with participation of about 100
children from the Asia Minor town of Cesme.
Pangalos-Annan meeting focuses on Cyprus
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
yesterday discussed developments on the Cyprus problem, according to an ANA
dispatch from New York.
Mr. Annan's special representative on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, was also
present at the meeting.
Mr. Pangalos told reporters that he did not want to comment on a text by
Turkey's UN permanent representative on Cyprus on the issue of S-300
missiles being purchased by Nicosia.
The text, calling on UN chief to intervene in order to prevent the purchase
of the missiles, was circulated at the UN on Thursday.
"There is nothing new (in the report). It was circulated at the UN, along
with thousands other reports, circulated by various countries. I don't
think it is worth comments from me," he said.
Vartholomeos, Russia's Alexiy confirm intent to cooperate closely
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos met with Patriarch Alexiy of Moscow and
All Russia in Odessa recently and confirmed their intent to help the two
Orthodox churches cooperate more closely, according to an ANA dispatch from
In a joint announcement quoted by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, they said
"secessions and divisions in the church end up bringing great losses, and
we must do anything possible to heal these wounds on the body of the church
the soonest possible".
Vartholomeos met with Alexiy on the occasion of a Black Sea environmental
symposium entitled "Religion, Science and the Environment", that was
chaired by the former.
The meeting was significant in light of recent misunderstandings between
the two churches, which had led to a cancellation by Vartholomeos of an
official visit to Austria where both Orthodox leaders would also have met
with Pope John Paul II.
EU's Fischler hears Athens' position vis-a-vis EU enlargement
Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas stressed to visiting EU Commissioner
Franz Fischler yesterday that Greece would show a "constructive attitude"
towards EU enlargement if the Commission showed understanding regarding
vital Greek interests in the pr oposed Agenda 2000 reforms.
Agenda 2000 includes issues such as reduced prices, reduced supports, and a
lower level of protection - tariffs, taxes etc.
Mr. Fischler also met with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, main opposition
New Democracy party shadow agriculture minister Savvas Tsitouridis and
representatives of farmers, traders and industrialists at the beginning of
his briefing tour of all 15 EU ca pitals.
In all contacts, the Commissioner met with the uniform attitude that Greek
farmers could not pay the cost of enlargement, and that all products should
be treated as a package and on an equal basis for north and south.
Cabinet discusses framework for state procurements, public works
The Cabinet yesterday discussed the final form of an insititutional
framework for state procurements and public works.
A statement later said the government aimed to secure the greatest possible
degree of transparency and would never object to subjecting any case
causing controversy to auditing.
The new framework establishes full judicial protection in cases of
contraversion of rules in bidding procedures, compulsory auditing by the
State Audit Council for procurements worth more than 500 million and for
public projects worth more than one bill ion drachmas.
It also provides for harmonisation of national legislation with the EU and
extends its provision to certain types of procurements for the armed
The framework will be drafted within a month.
Rock fans rush to Thessaloniki for U2 concert
Thessaloniki's centre was jammed with traffic yesterday as thousands of
people converged on the city's port for last night's scheduled concert by
the Irish rock group U2.
Dozens of coaches had ferried in fans from all over the country and from
northern border points, where ticket-holders crossed into Greece on foot
after a customs officials' strike closed the borders to road traffic.
Around 400 people have come from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(FYROM), 500 from Turkey and another 150 from Belgrade. The customs strike
also delayed the arrival of trucks containing stage sets and equipment.
The members of U2 were expected to take the stage at around 10 p.m., flying
in about an hour earlier from Crete where they have been vacationing.
The group's fee for last night's performance, reportedly 650 million
drachmas, is being provided by the Cultural Capital of Europe Organisation,
the culture ministry, the General Secretariat for Youth and business
sponsors, apart from ticket sales.
Immediately after the concert, the stage set and equipment will be loaded
onto a ship for Tel Aviv, Israel, where U2 will hold their next performance.
Group members are expected to continue their mini holiday on Crete.
Alliance of European News Agencies held in Geneva
Newspapers, in their traditional but also their electronic form, as well as
reliable, analy tical and in-depth journalism will continue providing the
basic source of information for citizens in the cyber era, participants at
the 40th general assembly of the Alliance of European News Agencies were
According to an ANA despatch from Geneva, the assembly was attended by the
general directors of 26 of the 30 European news agencies.
The general director of the World Press Organisation (WAN - formerly FIEJ),
Timothy Bolding, referred to the increase in the sales of certain
newspapers noted in the last two years, underlined the return of the young
to traditional values, and stressed that "the newspaper of the future will
be that which will respond to the citizens' more specialised needs and will
be offered to him in all possible forms".
Reuters editor-in-chief Mark Wood referred to the huge prospects held by
digital technology and to the need for news agencies to utilise all
possible forms of communication. Bloomberg's founder, Michael Bloomberg,
stressed the role of news agencies in t he efforts of all media in
restricting their costs, referred to the prospect of 'personal television'
(TV per se), and described as positive the fact that the newspapers already
use the advantages of radio and television in their competition with
The general assembly was also briefed on the draft resolution for
strengthening the press, submitted to the Culture and Media Committee of
the Europarliament by Greek Euro-MP Katerina Daskalaki. The general
secretary of the alliance expressed satisfacti on with the fact that Ms
Daskalaki accepted the amendments proposed by the alliance, and stressed
that "such initiatives are worth the appreciation of all in the mediaI"
Finally, the General Assembly unanimously elected ANA general director
Andreas Christodoulides to the post of vice-president of the Alliance of
European News Agencies.
Ecumenical Patriarch in Thessaloniki tomorrow
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, due on an official visit to Thessaloniki,
is scheduled to meet here tomorrow with President of the Republic Kostis
Stephanopoulos. The Patriarch will be accorded head-of-state honours during
his arrival at the central Aristotelous Square at 10:00 a.m. His visit will
end on Oct. 2. At a press conference in Romania signalling the end of a
recent symposium focusing on the Black Sea region's environment, which the
Patriarch chaired, Vartholomeos said the Ecumenical Patriarch ate's
concern over the environment had begun during his predecessor's reign.
He said that ecological seminars were sponsored by the Patriarchate
every summer, while a congress would take place on the small island of
Mostly fair weather will prevail throughout Greece today with the
possibility of light rain in the east and south. Winds northerly, light to
strong, turning gale force in the Aegean Sea. Temperatures in Athens will
range between 14-22C, while in Thessaloniki from 10-19C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 275.508
Pound sterling 443.126 Cyprus pd 529.629
French franc 46.783 Swiss franc 190.231
German mark 157.133 Italian lira (100) 16.077
Yen (100) 228.319 Canadian dlr. 198.975
Australian dlr. 199.566 Irish Punt 403.704
Belgian franc 7.614 Finnish mark 52.556
Dutch guilder 139.535 Danish kr. 41.269
Swedish kr. 36.764 Norwegian kr. 38.916
Austrian sch. 22.330 Spanish peseta 1.861
Port. Escudo 1.544