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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Forest fires-Papandreou-Chrysohoidis
  • [02] Russia-Tsohatzopoulos-Cyprus
  • [03] Forest fires - Samos

  • [01] Forest fires-Papandreou-Chrysohoidis

    09/07/2000 20:18:16

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Vasso Papandreou held a joint emergency meeting with Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and the fire brigade's leadership on Sunday to examine ways of tackling forest fires raging throughout the country.

    Speaking afterwards, Papandreou said Greece is experiencing a difficult summer, there is a general mobilisation of the state apparatus and weather conditions are extreme, while the prediction for the next few days is a worsening of these conditions.

    "Despite the fact we have more aerial means than in previous years to extinguish fires and despite the fact we are among the top European countries in southern Europe in total capacity to extinguish fires, we will hire, due to the existing emergency, four additional medium and heavy duty firefighting helicopters to strengthen the existing force to enable the combatting of the biggest fire currently raging in the country, that on the island of Samos," she said.

    Chrysohoidis said another 20 fires were currently underway in the country which, however, were under complete control. He added that what was regrettable was the fact that new fires were constantly appearing.

    There has been a 70 per cent increase in fires this summer compared to the same period last year.

    [02] Russia-Tsohatzopoulos-Cyprus

    09/07/2000 19:22:11

    MOSCOW (ANA - V. Mourtis) - National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is insisting on the "freezing" of political dialogue between Greece and Turkey due to the Turkish army's advancement in the buffer zone in Cyprus.

    He clarified that Greece's support of Turkey's European vocation did not concern the solving of bilateral issues.

    Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Saturday, at the end of his three-day visit, Tsohatzopoulos said the agreement reached at the European Union Helsinki summit is limited to shaping a positive climate of coexistence and cooperation which could be utilised by Greece and Turkey in the long term to resolve whatever differences exist between them.

    Tsohatzopoulos said that for Greece resolving bilateral issues meant two things: the final cancellation of Turkey's illegal and one-sided claims against Greece to enable the issue of the continental shelf to remain the sole issue, for which Greece proposes the process of the International Court, and the definite withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces from Cyprus as the second basic precondition for one to be able to speak of solving Greek-Turkish problems.

    He said a just solution to the Cyprus issue clearly affects the development of Greek-Turkish relations.

    He also said Greece supported dynamically and with determination the cancellation of the illegal advancement of Turkish troops in Cyprus and that this position met with widespread support from UN member-states.

    [03] Forest fires - Samos

    09/07/2000 18:15:13

    A massive forest fire continued to ravage the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Sunday, with fire-fighters and volunteers now focusing their efforts at blocking the blazes path towards military supply depots and rural communities.

    More firefighting aircraft and personnel were transported to the smoke-covered island just across the shores of Asia Minor over the weekend, as the Pyrgos and Koutsi sites were identified as the focal points of the 15-kilometre-long blaze estimated to have turned some 1,200 hectares and 50 residences into ashes over the past few days. According to the interior ministry, another 20 blazes of varying intensity were also reported throughout Greece over the weekend, as a blistering heatwave did its part to worsen conditions.


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