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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister-US-Visit
  • [02] Anomeritis-Farming
  • [03] Exercises-Greece-Turkey-Cyprus
  • [04] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus (LEADALL-UPDATES REACTIONS)
  • [05] Migrants-Chios
  • [06] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus (LEADALL-UPDATES CYPRUS)
  • [07] Exercises-Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus
  • [08] Weather Forecast-Monday
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

  • [01] Foreign Minister-US-Visit

    22/10/2000 19:48:02

    CHICAGO (ANA/I.Afendouli) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who began a visit to the US this weekend, is to meet aides of presidential hopefuls Al Gore and George Bush this week.

    Papandreou, whose visit ends on Friday, will also hold meetings with the ethnic Greek community in the US.

    On Saturday, the minister addressed a 25th birthday celebration for the United Hellenic American Congress headed by Andrew Athens, president of the Thessaloniki-based World Council for Overseas Hellenes.

    He spoke of Greece's role in the Balkans, the symbol of which was Greece's contribution to a smooth transfer of power in Yugoslavia, and called on ethnic Greeks to back reconstruction and stability in the Balkans by investing there.

    Papandreou is also to visit Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

    The minister will ask ethnic Greeks in the US to support the Athens 2004 Olympics by promoting the event in the US and setting up volunteer groups.

    He will also seek backing for the government's idea of an Olympic Truce during the Games.

    [02] Anomeritis-Farming

    22/10/2000 19:30:40

    PARIS (ANA/M.Tsivyeli)- Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis on Sunday outlined his goals for domestic farming on the sidelines of Sial 2000, an international food and beverages trade fair in the French capital.

    The main priorities were an overhaul of the sector, an improvement of infrastructure and a focus on water resource management, Anomeritis told reporters.

    Funding for agriculture for the next six years totalled 11 trillion drachmas, of which 7.0 trillion would be used to subsidise products, the minister added.

    [03] Exercises-Greece-Turkey-Cyprus

    22/10/2000 19:28:08

    NICOSIA (ANA/G.Leonidas) - Greece on Sunday announced its withdrawal from a NATO exercise in the eastern Aegean, citing a ban imposed by Turkey on Greek warplanes and ships in its territory during the wargames.

    "Greece cannot accept the fact that a NATO country has exploited the exercise on its territory to pursue its claims in the Aegean",

    Tsohatzopoulos told a news conference in Cyprus.

    "Turkey tried to move in this direction, indirectly invalidating collective decisions in the NATO framework, so that the original air corridors for Greek aircraft were scrapped. Although the scheme failed, it went ahead illegally with an attempt to intercept Greek aircraft that were taking part in the Nikiforos-Toxotis manoeuvre (between Greece and Cyprus," the minister said in Paphos, western Cyprus.

    "Ankara then took the unprecedented step of a NATO country closing its airspace to NATO aircraft, claiming to act in order to avoid 'undesirable results'," he noted.

    [04] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus (LEADALL-UPDATES REACTIONS)

    22/10/2000 18:08:07

    Greece has asked NATO to halt a key exercise being conducted in the region after Turkey banned Greek warplanes and ships from its territory, government sources said on Sunday.

    The request was contained in a letter from National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos that was relayed to NATO chief George Robertson in Brussels late on Saturday by Greece's ambassador to NATO.

    Tsohatzopoulos, who is visiting Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint Greek military exercise with the island republic, told Robertson Greece strongly protested the illegal ban imposed by Turkey on Saturday.

    "Under existing conditions, continuation of the exercise impairs the opportunities for a smoothly-conducted military exercise for all NATO members - in the specific case of Greece - and, chiefly, hurts the effectivenesss and credibility of NATO itself," sources quoted the letter as saying.

    Tsohatzopoulos also accused Ankara of trying to gain political leverage from the exercise, codenamed Destined Glory, and forcing Greek compliance using military means, which meant the exercise could not be conducted normally, the letter said.

    Bypassing existing agreements, Ankara had called a ban on Greek warplanes and naval vessels in Turkish airspace and waters as part of the NATO manoevre, the Greek minister told reporters on Saturday.

    Greece charged that two of its A-7 Corsair bombers were escorted by Turkish jet fighters during a landing exercise in Turkey as part of the Turkish-based exercise, which is due to end on October 25.

    In his letter to Robertson, Tsohatzopoulos rapped Turkey for provocative behaviour in informing NATO's southern command that it had decided to close its airspace to Greek aircraft flying from Greece, blocking the country's participation in the manoevre.

    Later on Saturday, Ankara had made an unofficial protest to NATO, saying the Greek planes were viewed as hostile in Turkish airspace.

    The head of the alliance's southern command in Naples then postponed another flight by the two A-7 Corsairs scheduled for Saturday evening until the dispute was resolved, sources said.

    The head of Greek general staff, Manousos Parayoudakis, had also asked NATO to cut short the exercise, earlier on Saturday. He halted Greek activity in the exercise.

    Turkey sees "undesirable results"

    In Ankara, Turkey's general staff on Saturday issued a statement saying that "undesirable results" would follow if Greek warplanes taking part in Destined Glory "continued to violate NATO rules and flight safety rules."

    In parallel with its status as a NATO member, Turkey "takes all kinds of measures to protect its rights and interests that derive from international law," the statement said.

    Coalition of the Left raps Ankara

    In Athens, the Coalition of the Left and Progress said on Saturday that Turkey's move to ban Greek military craft was "a planned act of provocation of undesirable intensity."

    The party said that Turkey was exploiting the Destined Glory exercise to extend its territorial claims in the Aegean, tolerated by NATO.

    Communists attack new NATO structure

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday called for the country's disengagement from NATO's new structure, saying the move was essential to the country's security.

    "A halt in the NATO exercise or a withdrawal of Greek forces are not enough to defend the country's interests," the KKE said in a statement.

    The statement added that continual harassment of the Greek airforce by Turkish warplanes "confirms one more time how dangerous for the country's sovereign rights is the acceptance of NATO's new structure."

    Earlier disagreements

    In another brush with Turkey, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas had said on Friday that NATO's legal service had accepted Greece's position that air corridors over the strategically placed Aegean islands of Limnos and Ikaria should be employed during Destined Glory.

    Reppas also charged that Ankara had used a "baseless" term in speaking of "demilitarised airspace."

    Athens has severely criticised attempts by Ankara in past years to exclude Greek territory, airspace and waters from NATO planning, saying the moves aimed to undermine Greek sovereignty in the region.

    Fresh harassment in exercise with Cyprus

    Tsohatzopouls briefed President Glafcos Clerides on Destined Glory during a private meeting on the bridge of the Aegaeo frigate on Saturday, moored in the port of Larnaca.

    The minister is in Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint military exercise codenamed Nikiforos-Toxotis conducted by Greece and the island republic.

    Also on Saturday, Greece said that Greek and Turkish warplanes engaged in mock dogfights between Rhodes and Cyprus while Nikiforos-Toxotis was underway.

    Turkish jet fighters had harassed two Greek F16s and two A-7 Corsairs that were taking part in the joint exercise with Cyprus.

    Two Greek warplanes in the vicinity intercepted the Turkish planes, and the mock dogfights erupted. The Greek planes nevertheless completed their mission on time.

    The incident followed infringements on Friday by Turkish warplanes of the Athens and Nicosia Flight Information Region during the Nikiforos-Toxotis exercise. Harassment was also reported on Thursday, sources said.

    Greek aid to Cyprus

    In Cyprus late on Saturday, the island republic's president, Glafcos Clerides, awarded Tsohatzopoulos the country's highest honour - the Great Cross of the Order of Makarios III.

    Clerides told the ceremony that Greece had given Cyprus over 400 million Cyprus pounds' worth of free miliary aid over the last four years, with the sum covering materiel and training.

    He also said that Cyprus, which is seeking European Union membership, was ready to offer the 15-nation bloc human resources, materiel, the opportunity to benefit from the island's strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.

    "Cyprus attaches great importance to full participation in European security institutions," Clerides said.

    Tsohatzopoulos had made a personal contribution to upgrading military cooperation between the two countries, he added.

    The Greek minister told the ceremony that joint defence and security for Cyprus and Greece in the current period represented a firm base for the two countries' European Union orientation.

    "Participation by the Cypriot Republic in all European institutions for economic, security, foreign policy and defence cooperation is a reality," Tsohatzopoulos said.

    "We (Tsohatzopoulos and the Cypriot defence and foreign ministers) meet regularly at these meetings. We have made a start and this signals a new outlook for the Cypriot Republic," he added.

    On Sunday, Tsohatzopoulos met Archbishop Chrysostomos, who asked the minister and the Greek government not to forget Cyprus' Hellenism in a period that harboured the greatest danger in its long history.

    Tsohatzopoulos told the cleric that there were differences of opinion in tactics for the Cyprus issue, but the objective was a joint effort for the just and sovereign rights of Hellenism and Greece.

    [05] Migrants-Chios

    22/10/2000 17:49:26

    Five Turks are to appear before a public prosecutor to hear charges of migrant trafficking after a Turkish cargo ship carrying hundreds of illegal migrants, including children, was towed to the port of Mesta, on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, coastguard officials said on Sunday.

    The size of the trafficking operation - 655 migrants - is the largest ever recorded in Greece, the officials said.

    Also arrested and due to hear charges on Chios were the seven-member crew of the Turkish-flagged Funda whose members were from Ukraine, Turkey and Moldova. The vessel was seized.

    The migrants - 142 children, 59 women and 454 men - were given food and shelter in a local sports stadium, the officials said.

    According to the Funda's captain, the vessel had sailed from Canakkale in Turkey and was headed for Italy. The ship had anchored off the island of Chios, seeking shelter in a gale.

    The migrants had initially refused food and water offered by coastguard officials, throwing it overboard. They had also refused to be towed to a safe anchorage, insisting that Italy was their destination.

    When their agreement was secured late on Friday, the ship was towed to Chios and the migrants were led to the stadium in Pyrgi.

    Taken to a local hospital for check-ups were 13 childen, six women and five men.

    In revised figures of the total number of migrants, the merchant marine ministry said in a statement on Sunday that aboard were 126 Afghans, 84 Palestinians, 266 Iraqis, 47 Turks, 50 Turkish Kurds, 1 Burmese, 5 Bangladeshis, 10 Iranians, 60 Moroccans, 3 Sri Lankans and 3 Somalis.

    Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Friday asked Turkey to take back the migrants.

    Papoutsis said on Sunday that he had asked Turkish authorities to step up controls to stop trafficking ventures from the neighbouring country's shores to Greece and other European countries.

    Since the start of the year, Greek authorities have seized 36 ships carrying a total of 3,469 illegal migrants and taken 130 migrant traffickers to court.

    [06] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus (LEADALL-UPDATES CYPRUS)

    22/10/2000 16:47:12

    Greece has asked NATO to halt a key exercise being conducted in the region after Turkey banned Greek warplanes and ships from its territory, government sources said on Sunday.

    The request was contained in a letter from National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos that was relayed to NATO chief George Robertson in Brussels late on Saturday by Greece's ambassador to NATO.

    Tsohatzopoulos, who is visiting Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint Greek military exercise with the island republic, told Robertson Greece strongly protested the illegal ban imposed by Turkey on Saturday.

    "Under existing conditions, continuation of the exercise impairs the opportunities for a smoothly-conducted military exercise for all NATO members - in the specific case of Greece - and, chiefly, hurts the effectivenesss and credibility of NATO itself," sources quoted the letter as saying.

    Tsohatzopoulos also accused Ankara of trying to gain political leverage from the exercise, codenamed Destined Glory, and forcing Greek compliance using military means, which meant the exercise could not be conducted normally, the letter said.

    Bypassing existing agreements, Ankara had called a ban on Greek warplanes and naval vessels in Turkish airspace and waters as part of the NATO manoevre, the Greek minister told reporters on Saturday.

    Greece charged that two of its A-7 Corsair bombers were escorted by Turkish jet fighters during a landing exercise in Turkey as part of the Turkish-based exercise, which is due to end on October 25.

    In his letter to Robertson, Tsohatzopoulos rapped Turkey for provocative behaviour in informing NATO's southern command that it had decided to close its airspace to Greek aircraft flying from Greece, blocking the country's participation in the manoevre.

    Later on Saturday, Ankara had made an unofficial protest to NATO, saying the Greek planes were viewed as hostile in Turkish airspace.

    The head of the alliance's southern command in Naples then postponed another flight by the two A-7 Corsairs scheduled for Saturday evening until the dispute was resolved, sources said.

    The head of Greek general staff, Manousos Parayoudakis, had also asked NATO to cut short the exercise, earlier on Saturday. He halted Greek activity in the exercise.

    Turkey sees "undesirable results"

    In Ankara, Turkey's general staff on Saturday issued a statement saying that "undesirable results" would follow if Greek warplanes taking part in Destined Glory "continued to violate NATO rules and flight safety rules."

    In parallel with its status as a NATO member, Turkey "takes all kinds of measures to protect its rights and interests that derive from international law," the statement said.

    Coalition of the Left raps Ankara

    In Athens, the Coalition of the Left and Progress said on Saturday that Turkey's move to ban Greek military craft was "a planned act of provocation of undesirable intensity."

    The party said that Turkey was exploiting the Destined Glory exercise to extend its territorial claims in the Aegean, tolerated by NATO.

    Earlier disagreements

    In another brush with Turkey, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas had said on Friday that NATO's legal service had accepted Greece's position that air corridors over the strategically placed Aegean islands of Limnos and Ikaria should be employed during Destined Glory.

    Reppas also charged that Ankara had used a "baseless" term in speaking of "demilitarised airspace."

    Athens has severely criticised attempts by Ankara in past years to exclude Greek territory, airspace and waters from NATO planning, saying the moves aimed to undermine Greek sovereignty in the region.

    Fresh harassment in exercise with Cyprus

    Tsohatzopouls briefed President Glafcos Clerides on Destined Glory during a private meeting on the bridge of the Aegaeo frigate on Saturday, moored in the port of Larnaca.

    The minister is in Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint military exercise codenamed Nikiforos-Toxotis conducted by Greece and the island republic.

    Also on Saturday, Greece said that Greek and Turkish warplanes engaged in mock dogfights between Rhodes and Cyprus while Nikiforos-Toxotis was underway.

    Turkish jet fighters had harassed two Greek F16s and two A-7 Corsairs that were taking part in the joint exercise with Cyprus.

    Two Greek warplanes in the vicinity intercepted the Turkish planes, and the mock dogfights erupted. The Greek planes nevertheless completed their mission on time.

    The incident followed infringements on Friday by Turkish warplanes of the Athens and Nicosia Flight Information Region during the Nikiforos-Toxotis exercise. Harassment was also reported on Thursday, sources said.

    Greek aid to Cyprus

    In Cyprus late on Saturday, the island republic's president, Glafcos Clerides, awarded Tsohatzopoulos the country's highest honour - the Great Cross of the Order of Makarios III.

    Clerides told the ceremony that Greece had given Cyprus over 400 million Cyprus pounds' worth of free miliary aid over the last four years, with the sum covering materiel and training.

    He also said that Cyprus, which is seeking European Union membership, was ready to offer the 15-nation bloc human resources, materiel, the opportunity to benefit from the island's strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.

    "Cyprus attaches great importance to full participation in European security institutions," Clerides said.

    Tsohatzopoulos had made a personal contribution to upgrading military cooperation between the two countries, he added.

    The Greek minister told the ceremony that joint defence and security for Cyprus and Greece in the current period represented a firm base for the two countries' European Union orientation.

    "Participation by the Cypriot Republic in all European institutions for economic, security, foreign policy and defence cooperation is a reality," Tsohatzopoulos said.

    "We (Tsohatzopoulos and the Cypriot defence and foreign ministers) meet regularly at these meetings. We have made a start and this signals a new outlook for the Cypriot Republic," he added.

    On Sunday, Tsohatzopoulos met Archbishop Chrysostomos, who asked the minister and the Greek government not to forget Cyprus' Hellenism in a period that harboured the greatest danger in its long history.

    Tsohatzopoulos told the cleric that there were differences of opinion in tactics for the Cyprus issue, but the objective was a joint effort for the just and sovereign rights of Hellenism and Greece.

    [07] Exercises-Greece-Turkey-NATO-Cyprus

    22/10/2000 16:05:30

    Greece has asked NATO to order an immediate halt to a key exercise being conducted in the region after Turkey banned Greek warplanes and ships from its territory, government sources said on Sunday.

    The request was contained in a letter from National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos that was relayed to NATO chief George Robertson in Brussels late on Saturday by Greece's ambassador to NATO.

    Tsohatzopoulos, who is visiting Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint Greek military exercise with the island republic, told Robertson Greece strongly protested the illegal ban imposed by Turkey on Saturday.

    "Under existing conditions, continuation of the exercise impairs the opportunities for a smoothly-conducted military exercise for all NATO members - in the specific case of Greece - and, chiefly, hurts the effectivenesss and credibility of NATO itself," sources quoted the letter as saying.

    Tsohatzopoulos also accused Ankara of trying to gain political leverage from the exercise, codenamed Destined Glory, and forcing Greek compliance using military means, which meant the exercise could not be conducted normally, the letter said.

    Bypassing existing agreements, Ankara had called a ban on Greek warplanes and naval vessels in Turkish airspace and waters as part of the NATO manoevre, the Greek minister told reporters on Saturday.

    Greece charged that two of its A-7 Corsair bombers were escorted by Turkish jet fighters during a landing exercise in Turkey as part of the Turkish-based exercise, which is due to end on October 25.

    In his letter to Robertson, Tsohatzopoulos rapped Turkey for provocative behaviour in informing NATO's southern command that it had decided to close its airspace to Greek aircraft flying from Greece, blocking the country's participation in the manoevre.

    Later on Saturday, Ankara had made an unofficial protest to NATO, saying the Greek planes were viewed as hostile in Turkish airspace.

    The head of the alliance's southern command in Naples then postponed another flight by the two A-7 Corsairs scheduled for Saturday evening until the dispute was resolved, sources said.

    The head of Greek general staff, Manousos Parayoudakis, had also asked NATO to cut short the exercise, earlier on Saturday. He halted Greek activity in the exercise.

    Turkey sees "undesirable results"

    In Ankara, Turkey's general staff on Saturday issued a statement saying that "undesirable results" would follow if Greek warplanes taking part in Destined Glory "continued to violate NATO rules and flight safety rules."

    In parallel with its status as a NATO member, Turkey "takes all kinds of measures to protect its rights and interests that derive from international law," the statement said.

    Coalition of the Left raps Ankara

    In Athens, the Coalition of the Left and Progress said on Saturday that Turkey's move to ban Greek military craft was "a planned act of provocation of undesirable intensity."

    The party said that Turkey was exploiting the Destined Glory exercise to extend its territorial claims in the Aegean, tolerated by NATO.

    Earlier disagreements

    In another brush with Turkey, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas had said on Friday that NATO's legal service had accepted Greece's position that air corridors over the strategically placed Aegean islands of Limnos and Ikaria should be employed during Destined Glory.

    Reppas also charged that Ankara had used a "baseless" term in speaking of "demilitarised airspace."

    Athens has severely criticised attempts by Ankara in past years to exclude Greek territory, airspace and waters from NATO planning, saying the moves aimed to undermine Greek sovereignty in the region.

    Fresh harassment in exercise with Cyprus

    Tsohatzopouls briefed President Glafcos Clerides on Destined Glory during a private meeting on the bridge of the Aegaeo frigate on Saturday, moored in the port of Larnaca.

    The minister is in Cyprus to watch the final phase of a joint military exercise codenamed Nikiforos-Toxotis conducted by Greece and the island republic.

    Also on Saturday, Greece said that Greek and Turkish warplanes engaged in mock dogfights between Rhodes and Cyprus while Nikiforos-Toxotis was underway.

    Turkish jet fighters had harassed two Greek F16s and two A-7 Corsairs that were taking part in the joint exercise with Cyprus.

    Two Greek warplanes in the vicinity intercepted the Turkish planes, and the mock dogfights erupted. The Greek planes nevertheless completed their mission on time.

    The incident followed infringements on Friday by Turkish warplanes of the Athens and Nicosia Flight Information Region during the Nikiforos-Toxotis exercise. Harassment was also reported on Thursday, sources said.

    [08] Weather Forecast-Monday

    22/10/2000 15:15:48

    Sunny spells are forecast in many parts of the country on Monday. Cloudy weather in Macedonia, Thessaly, eastern central mainland Greece, Evia, the eastern Peloponnese, the Cyclades islands, the Dodecanese islands and Crete. Winds northerly, light to gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from 5C to 17C; in the Ionian and rest of the mainland from 9C to 20C; and in the Aegean islands from 12C to 18C. Scattered cloud in Athens, with temperatures between 11C and 17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 8C to 17C.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    22/10/2000 15:03:58

    Indicative rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Monday's rates (buying)

    Euro 336.784

    U.S. dollar 397.673

    German mark 172.195

    French franc 051.342

    Pound sterling 575.975

    Irish punt 427.627

    Belgian franc 008.349

    Luxembourg franc 008.349

    Dutch guilder 152.826

    Italian lira (100) 017.394

    Austrian schilling 024.475

    Danish kroner 045.241

    Swedish kroner 039.640

    Finnish mark 056.643

    Spanish peseta 002.024

    Portuguese escudo 001.679

    Japanese yen (100) 366.742

    Swiss franc 223.522

    Norwegian kroner 042.045

    Cyprus pound 587.720

    Canadian dollar 263.257

    Australian dollar 210.616


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