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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-11-23

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] GREEK-CYPRIOT TALKS WOUND UP IN ATHENS
  • [02] FRANCE BACKS GREEK VIEWS ON CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [03] MAJORITY OF GREEKS SATISFIED WITH OUTCOME OF CLINTON VISIT
  • [04] CHANGES IN INTEREST RATES TO BE EXAMINED IN MID-DECEMBER
  • [05] WESTERN EUROPEAN ARMAMENTS GROUP MEETS IN LUXEMBOURG
  • [06] PRESIDENT CLINTON IN BULGARIA

  • [01] GREEK-CYPRIOT TALKS WOUND UP IN ATHENS

    The latest developments in the Cyprus issue and the results of the diplomatic efforts undertaken by both Nicosia and Athens in view of the Cyprus proximity talks in New York and the EU summit in Helsinki were the focus of yesterday's talks in Athens between the Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis, and the Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis. A joint communique issued after their meeting underlined that the latest statements made by the American president, Bill Clinton, on the Cyprus dispute contained some very positive comments but they would be judged by their results. During his recent visit to Athens, Mr Clinton said the present status quo in Cyprus was unacceptable. The joint communique also said Mr Simitis had assured the Cypriot president of Greece's support in view of the forthcoming proximity talks in New York and emphasized Greece's position as a guarantor power and a country with a moral and national interest in the fate of Cypriot Hellenism. The two sides agreed that the New York talks should be based on the UN Security Council resolutions concerning Cyprus. On his return to Nicosia yesterday, President Kliridis pointed out that no substantial progress in the Cyprus issue was expected before the EU summit in Helsinki. He revealed that a second round of talks would take place after Christmas. Meanwhile the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, had a meeting in Ankara yesterday with the Turkish prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, and said he hoped for progress in the Cyprus dispute although he did not expect any results in December.

    [02] FRANCE BACKS GREEK VIEWS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    In an interview published in yesterday's edition of the Turkish newspaper, Milliyet, the French president, Jacques Chirac, said Greek-Turkish relations were the key to Turkey's relations with Europe. He added that Turkey would have to adopt a more constructive attitude in the Cyprus dispute. The French undersecretary with responsibility for European affairs, Pierre Moscovici, has also spoken favourably of the Cyprus issue. After his meeting yesterday with the Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, Mr Moscovici said a country that was a candidate for EU membership, as Turkey was, could not veto the entry of another country, Cyprus.

    [03] MAJORITY OF GREEKS SATISFIED WITH OUTCOME OF CLINTON VISIT

    The Greek government appears to be satisfied with the outcome of President Clinton's recent one-day visit to Athens. The American president's references to the Cyprus dispute and Greek-Turkish relations showed his views were close to Greek positions on these issues, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas has said. For their part, the opposition parties have been critical of the government's handling of the Clinton visit. The New Democracy party spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, said a major opportunity to promote Greek positions had been lost. However, the party's honorary president, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, considered President Clinton's remarks to be positive; he also condemned the violent incidents that took place in central Athens. The business world has also expressed its satisfaction at the Clinton visit which, according to the president of the Union of Greek Industries, was aimed at achieving an inflow of American capital into Greece.

    [04] CHANGES IN INTEREST RATES TO BE EXAMINED IN MID-DECEMBER

    Submitting his report on monetary policy to parliament, the governor of the Bank of Greece, Loukas Papadimos, said yesterday that the possibility of changes in interest rates would be examined in mid-December. He said the course of inflation, credit expansion and other external factors such as the price of oil on the international market would be taken into consideration in introducing any possible changes in interest rates. Mr Papadimas described Greece's prospects for meeting the convergence criteria for admission to European economic and monetary union as favourable. The national economy minister, Iannos Papantoniou, also said he was certain Greece would gain admission to EMU and said there was no question of a change in monetary policy.

    [05] WESTERN EUROPEAN ARMAMENTS GROUP MEETS IN LUXEMBOURG

    A meeting of the Western European Armaments Group was held in Luxembourg yesterday, under the chairmanship of Greece's national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos. The main topic for discussion was the role to be undertaken by the Group in view of the incorporation of the Western European Union in the European Union.

    [06] PRESIDENT CLINTON IN BULGARIA

    Continuing his tour of countries in south-eastern Europe, the American president, Bill Clinton, visited the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, yesterday, where he was given a warm reception. Sofia's central square was full of people eager to attend the welcoming ceremony. In his speech, president Clinton congratulated Bulgaria on its model of multi-ethnic harmonious co-existence and expressed Washington's will to back Sofia's efforts for a common course with a united, democratic and free Europe. Bulgaria's course towards admission to Nato and the EU, the stability pact in southeastern Europe, economic reforms and an increase in American investments in Bulgaria were at the focus of talks between President Clinton and his Bulgarian counterpart, Petar Stojanov.
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