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A.N.A. Bulletin, 10/08/96

From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 960), August 10, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Greece demands explanations from Ankara over claims on Aegean islands

  • [2] Turkish Gray Wolf militants threaten European bikers' rally in Cyprus

  • [3] UN says Vouliagmeni agreement 'step in the right direction' for lasting peace in the Balkans

  • [4] Family slayer says he killed 'to deliver'

  • [5] President briefed on damages in quake-stricken zone of Konitsa

  • [6] ND accuses Gov't of inability to exercise economic policy

  • [7] Athens Bar Association criticizes Turkey's stance

  • [8] Toll charges on national highways are increasing by an average of 24%

  • [9] Turks release detained Greek tourists


  • [1] Greece demands explanations from Ankara over claims on Aegean islands

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    The foreign ministry yesterday asked the Turkish charge d' affaires in Athens for explanations regarding his government's stance over a Turkish army report, published in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet Tuesday, disputing Greek sovereignty of more than 100 is lands and islets in the Aegean.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, who made the relevant announcement, said the Turkish official was summoned by Foreign Ministry Director Ilias Klis on the instructions of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Mr. Reppas stressed that the government was undertaking all necessary actions for defending Greece's interests.

    Opposition parties yesterday criticized the government for not responding more firmly to the Turkish military report, apparently drawn up after the Greek-Turkish stand-off in the Aegean over the Imia islets in late January.

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party said in an announcement that Mr. Pangalos should have summoned the Turkish ambassador in Athens to protest the report and should have raised the issue at international fora.

    ND also criticized the government for not taking any action "despite the fact that 48 hours have passed since the report became known and it has not yet been denounced by the Turkish government".

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras accused the government of "inertia and compliance" in the face of "continual Turkish provocations".

    Mr. Samaras also asked Prime Minister Costas Simitis to state whether he had undertaken a commitment towards the European Union and the United States for Greece to have recourse to the International Court at the Hague "regarding each new absurd Turkish claim such as this latest one".

    Speaking on the Turkish report, the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) party said international law and treaties reinforce Greece's position.

    The party's press office said Greece could use this advantage and activate all international organizations in order to drive Turkey's provocativeness into "political isolation".

    "Unfortunately, the government is not planning any initiatives and it appears ... dependent only on US initiatives or promises," the Synaspismos announcement said.

    The party repeated its proposal for convening the political leaders' council and for forming a foreign policy council.

    Replying to the criticism, Mr. Reppas said the opposition parties should exhibit greater responsibility and less petty party concern.

    "Our national issues do not offer themselves for such opposition. The country's foreign policy is not exercised through statements, nor is it used for reasons of creating impressions," he said.

    In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mr. Reppas asked the Turkish government to denounce the content of the report.

    [2] Turkish Gray Wolf militants threaten European bikers' rally in Cyprus

    Ankara, 10/08/1996 (ANA/Reuter)

    Turkish 'Gray Wolf' right-wing militants said yesterday they planned to counter a pan-European motorcycle rally tomorrow by up to 7,000 bikers who aim to demonstrate peacefully against the ongoing Turkish occupation of the northern third of the Republic of Cyprus.

    If the bikers "violate our territory, they will find ... the Gray Wolves facing them," Azmi Karamahmutoglu, leader of the far-right Idealist Fraternities group, told a news conference.

    He said his organization hoped to send around 2,500 Turkish bikers to the occupied territories ahead of tomorrow's rally. Some have already left Turkey for the island, he said.

    "The events that develop will determine our stance. At the moment we have no definite plan," said Mr. Karamahmutoglu, flanked by two assistants with pistols in their wastebands.

    The pan-European motorcyclists rally, which set off from Berlin last week, was scheduled to arrive at the Turkish-occupied northern Cypriot port of Kyrenia, but the organizers said that they would not enter the buffer zone separating the free areas from the occupied territories if it would result in incidents created by the Turkish occupied forces.

    The aim of the rally is to draw international attention to the division of the island since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The Gray Wolves, named after a legendary she-wolf said to have led the Turks out of Central Asia, played a major role in street fighting between right and left in Turkey in the late 1970s in which around 5,000 people died.

    Most Gray Wolves are affiliated to the Idealist Fraternities, a group with ties to an extreme-right party.

    [3] UN says Vouliagmeni agreement 'step in the right direction' for lasting peace in the Balkans

    New York, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    The United Nations yesterday hailed the Vouliagmeni agreement for mutual recognition between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia as being a "step in the right direction for the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the area".

    Replying to a question on "the Greek initiative of the Serb-Croat meeting in Athens, the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's representative, Sylvana Foa, said "the Secretary-General hails the agreement reached between President Milosevic of Serbia and President Tudjman of Croatia in Athens on August 7, which aims to normalize relations between their two countries. It constitutes a step in the right direction for the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the area."

    Following talks hosted by the Greek government on Wednesday, Serbian President Milosevic and Croatian President Tudjman concluded an agreement providing for mutual recognition and promoting solutions to a series of problems between Yugoslavia and Croatia.

    Sources had said the meeting between the two presidents was made possible after protracted diplomatic consultations which began 26 days ago involving Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and the ambassadors of Yugoslavia and Croatia in Athens.

    [4] Family slayer says he killed 'to deliver'

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    Municipal workers in Kavala yesterday spent 18 hours unsuccessfully digging up one point in the city's vast rubbish dump where 24-year-old law student Theofilos Sehidis said he threw the dismembered bodies of four members of his family three months ago.

    The gruesome task was undertaken after Sehidis confessed on Thursday night, following a long interrogation, to murdering his parents, sister, grandmother and an uncle with a shotgun on the island of Thasos, and then cutting up their bodies with a sharp knife.

    He said he transported four of the dismembered bodies to the Kavala dump in rubbish bags on a ferry boat and buried the fifth, that of his uncle, in different parts of the island.

    The decapitated body of his 57-year old uncle, a resident of Belgium, was found buried near the archaeological site at Limenas yesterday, about 700 meters from the house where the student said he annihilated his family.

    Sehidis, the worst self-confessed mass murderer in Greek criminal history, was picked up in Thessaloniki on Thursday, several days after his uncle's wife rather belatedly reported her husband's disappearance on August 1.

    Sehidis had reportedly told suspicious neighbors on Thasos that his family had been visiting Germany, where his father, a school teacher who apparently had a history of psychological problems and often took leave from his job, was receiving treatment. His sister was also reported to have had a history of psychiatric treatment.

    A police search of the family house subsequently revealed the passports of the five missing people, as well as blood stains on the floor.

    Sehidis had previously been arrested in Kavala on July 21 for possession of two sawed-off shotguns, ammunition and an 18-centimeter long knife, and had received a 20-day suspended sentence.

    After the re-enactment of the murders yesterday, Sehidis appeared cynical and unrepentant, with the occasional vague sarcastic smile, claiming at some point he had killed his family in order to "deliver" them because they were all sick.

    Asked by reporters how he could smile so shamelessly, he repeated a popular television slogan: "Smile, its catching!"

    Commenting on the case, Public Order Minister Costas Geitonas said the police had not been alerted by anyone regarding the murdered missing persons, and stressed the fight against crime requires the contribution and co-operation of society itself.

    [5] President briefed on damages in quake-stricken zone of Konitsa

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos visited the quake-stricken zone of Konitsa yesterday and toured the areas most affected by two earthquakes measuring 5.6 and 5.2 on the Richter scale which shook the region over the past two weeks.

    Speaking to journalists, Mr. Stephanopoulos expressed the hope that temporary homes for those affected by the quakes will be provided by the end of August. "From then on, the loans procedure will be followed and each person will gradually rebuild his home," Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

    "I have come here to express the nation's support for the people of the quake-stricken area," he added.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos was briefed in detail on the extent of damages caused by the quakes by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Under-secretary Emmanuel Loukakis, Ioannina Prefect M. Zorbalas and Konitsa Mayor M. Hatziefraimidis during a meeting in the Konitsa Town Hall.

    An incident occurred on the president's arrival at Konitsa, when a woman threw red paint at Mr. Stephanopoulos. The woman was identified as Eleni Galani-Soureli, 45, a teacher from Konitsa currently residing in Athens, and was arrested.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos requested that she be released without charges.

    [6] ND accuses Gov't of inability to exercise economic policy

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party issued a statement yesterday saying it was phenomenal that the government's "economic ministers claimed inability to exercise policy and, terrified, sought elections".

    The ND statement added there was a "tragic economic impasse, known much better than anyone else by those who tested the pockets of the Greek people".

    Replying to ND criticism, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the main opposition party knows that "for the first time, the budget is being consistently executed. This by itself proves the correctness of the government's economic policy and the positive results of the responsible ministries.

    [7] Athens Bar Association criticizes Turkey's stance

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    The Athens Bar Association (DSA) announced yesterday that it intended to raise the general issue of Turkey's disputing of Greece's territorial integrity and cultural heritage at international organizations, and demand the observance of international law.

    DSA expressed its opposition to the Turkish government's announced intention to turn the Byzantine church of Agia Sofia in Istanbul, now a museum, into a mosque, and said it "strongly protests because at the end of the 20th century, such positions are expressed without condemnation by governments and international organizations, especially by UNESCO."

    [8] Toll charges on national highways are increasing by an average of 24%

    Athens, 10/08/1996 (ANA)

    The extra revenue generated will be provided for the construction of the Egnatia highway across northern Greece and the highway from Patra to the Greek - Bulgarian border.

    [9] Turks release detained Greek tourists

    Nicosia, 10/08/1996 (ANA/CNA)

    The Turkish Cypriot occupation regime released here yesterday two Greek nationals, illegally held in Cyprus' occupied areas by the regime since 1 August.

    Athanasios Tsiklikas, 48, and Demetris Botsis, 35, both living in France, were handed to the Cyprus police by UN officers in the afternoon.

    The two men were captured by the Turkish occupation forces last week while sailing off Cyprus' north-western coast. On Wednesday they were given a "five-day jail sentence" for allegedly entering the self-styled Turkish Cypriot state in occupied Cyprus.

    End of English language section.

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