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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-14

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

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

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1263), August 14, 1997

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Denktash voices objections, but Cyprus talks continue
  • [02] Clerides takes into account all Cypriots' interests
  • [03] Samaranch congratulates president on success of championships
  • [04] IOC members continue visits to Athens
  • [05] Helicopter-maker Agusta protests Merchant Ministry decision
  • [06] ND leader to visit Nicosia
  • [07] Messages marking Armed Forces Day
  • [08] Meeting on crop damage compensation
  • [09] Increased devolution for Thessaly
  • [10] Gov't aims at revitalizing rural districts
  • [11] OA crash investigation
  • [12] Works for Athens' new airport proceed at fast pace
  • [13] Olympiakos thrashes Mozyr 5-0

  • [01] Denktash voices objections, but Cyprus talks continue

    Montreux, 14/08/1997 (ANA-D. Konstantakopoulos)

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday expressed his objections to a new United Nations (UN) document submitted on Tuesday for discussion at talks with Cyprus Republic President Glafcos Clerides near Montreux, Switzerland.

    Talks are continuing today in the presence of Diego Cordovez, the UN secretary general's special advisor on the Cyprus issue, as diplomatic observers have stated that neither Mr. Denktash nor Turkey can afford a walk-out at this point. The two leaders a re meeting for the second time after July in direct talks under the auspices of the UN.

    According to press reports, the new document under discussion includes a draft for a joint communiqui to be signed by both leaders, and a lengthier annex named "Guide-lines for drafts of legal documents which will contain a settlement for the solution o f the Cyprus issue".

    Mr. Denktash criticized the contents of the document and the procedure to be followed, and reiterated his opposition to the continuing process for Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU).

    According to sources, the document contains two changes that don't alter the essence of an initial document that was submitted during the first round of direct talks in Troutbeck, New York, from July 9 to 12. The documents are drafted along the plan for a bizonal, bicommunal single unity.

    The same sources said one of the changes in the new document includes the deletion of a reference on "sovereignty" emanating from the two communities. It says instead that there should be one federalist state with single and indivisible sovereignty. It retains all other references to political equality between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    The other change concerns the addition of a paragraph calling for the strict observation of all international treaties on human rights.

    The document does not contain any reference to the need for the withdrawal of foreign occupation forces and settlers (from the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus), nor to the island's demilitarization, or the deployment of multinational forces, something which the Greek Cypriot side has called for.

    Whatever powers are not vested in the federal government shall be handed over to the federated states, each of which shall be responsible for its own administration, security, law and order and justice, all of which should be compatible with the federal constitution. This latter shall also include provisions for solving differences, but the document does not detail the method.

    The last paragraph of the document mentions that the talks aiming for a solution to the Cyprus problem are carried on with respect of one side for the other, in an effort to establish a joint partnership based on a spirit of friendship and co-operation. This means that both sides must pledge to change policies that might possibly create problems in the effort to establish the federal republic of Cyprus.

    Diplomatic observers expressed fears that this particular point could be interpreted by the Turkish Cypriot side as an argument either against Cyprus' accession talks to the EU or against the deployment of the Russian-made SS-300 missiles in the island republic.

    The first section of the document, acting as a joint communiqui, consists of five paragraphs, while the guidelines consist of 13 paragraphs.

    The joint communiqui section includes the provision that talks to formulate a constitution shall be held in parallel with talks on the rest of the issues related to the bizonal and bicommunal unity.

    Negotiations on the constitution and other aspects will begin in March 1998, following the Cyprus Republic's presidential elections in February 1998.

    Drafts on all aspects of the issues involved in solving the Cyprus problem must be submitted by each side to the UN by December 31 of this year. This will give the UN secretary general enough time to prepare his own documents for submission to both side s, prior to the March 1998 negotiations.

    Diplomatic observers noted as positive the fact that the new Cordovez document calls on the two sides to discuss the finding of a solution on the basis of UN resolutions as well as the summit agreements of 1977 and 1979.

    The annex also rules out the integration of Cyprus or a section of it with another country. It also forbids the division of the island or the breaking away of sections. The document also foresees the existence of special relations of the federal state with Greece and Turkey that would be in line with the 1960 independence agreements, which would remain in effect and be supplemented accordingly. It also adds that proposals for guarantees and security arrangements should be submitted to the UN Security Council for approval.

    Further details were unavailable since a press black-out is still in effect until the end of the current negotiations at Montreux.

    The UN secretary general's spokeswoman in Geneva, Therese Gastaut, said the talks will continue until the weekend.

    [02] Clerides takes into account all Cypriots' interests

    Montreux, 14/08/1997 (ANA/CNA)

    Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides said President Clerides was due to outline yesterday his views on a UN document the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides were given Tuesday, taking into account the interests of the people of Cyprus.

    He also said it was too early to make any prediction about the outcome of this round of talks, noting that the Greek Cypriot side has not taken a decision either to sign or not a joint declaration.

    Speaking after his meetings with British representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, British High Commissioner and US Ambassador to Cyprus David Madden and Kenneth Brill, Mr. Kasoulides steadfastly refused to disclose anything about the content of the document except to describe it as "one entity".

    Asked by CNA if the document outlines views which could help the working of a joint declaration, he replied "President Clerides is outlining his views, taking into account the interests of Cyprus and its people and the views expressed by the political leadership at Tuesday's night meeting of the National Council" (the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem).

    Asked if the Greek Cypriot side is ready to sign a joint declaration, the minister said "our side has not taken a decision on whether to sign anything or not".

    Meanwhile Turkish sources have said that the Turkish Cypriot side does not even acknowledge the existence of the UN document.

    Invited to comment on reports that special advisor to the UN Secretary General Diego Cordovez has made a proposal to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to allay his fears about the European Union (EU) process, Mr. Kasoulides said he could not know what Mr. Cordovez has told Mr. Denktash and added, "I believe the President's position on the role which the UN can play in relation to accession negotiations is well known".

    Concerning the views expressed by Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Inal Batu, that the UN talks are conducted under the dark shadow of the EU, Mr. Kasoulides noted that "we continue to believe that the EU course will finally be a catalyst which will help efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and UN Security Council resolutions say so".

    Replying to questions, Mr. Kasoulides said progress in this round of talks would mean "not to find yourself at the point where you were when you started".

    [03] Samaranch congratulates president on success of championships

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch has sent a letter of congratulations to President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos for what he described as "the great success" of the 6th World Athletics Championships which were held in Athens 1-10 August.

    "I would like to congratulate you, on behalf of the IOC, on the great success of the 6th World Athletics Championships, and our appreciation for the honor of your constant presence at the stadium during the games," Mr. Samaranch said.

    He also extended an official invitation to Mr. Stephanopoulos to visit the IOC headquarters and the Olympic Museum there "at your convenience".

    Mr. Samaranch sent a similar letter Tuesday to Greek Olympic Committee (GOC) president Lambis Nikolaou praising "the excellent organization" of the championships, which were attended by a number of IOC members.

    Mr. Samaranch sent also a telegram to Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos congratulating him too on the success of the championships.

    "Your city can be proud for the excellent organization of the championship," Mr. Samaranch said.

    [04] IOC members continue visits to Athens

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    With only three weeks remaining for the crucial day of September 5 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to announce its decision over the city that will host the Olympic Games in the year 2004, IOC members continue their visits to the five candidate cities.

    The six members of the IOC currently in Athens are from Israel, Libya, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and China.

    The IOC life members yesterday planted olive trees with their names on them in Athens' IOC Members' Park. They were also shown around the Olympic Stadium and were briefed on Athens' file to host the 2004 Olympics.

    [05] Helicopter-maker Agusta protests Merchant Ministry decision

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Italian company Agusta appealed to the Council of State to cancel a decision for the purchase of six search-and-rescue helicopters by the Merchant Marine ministry.

    Agusta is arguing that the tender and decision for the purchase excluded middle-sized helicopters, which made for 18 of the 24 existing types of helicopters, violated Greek presidential decision 370/1995 on preventing favoritism among suppliers and was too costly.

    According to the company, the 18 billion drachmas allotted for the purchase is enough only for three heavy-duty helicopters, while statistics on rescue missions show that middle-sized helicopters which would cost less are perfectly able to be used for rescue missions.

    The helicopters will be used by the Port Authorities and according to the tender specifications may hold up to 12 rescued people.

    [06] ND leader to visit Nicosia

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis will visit Cyprus from August 25 to 27 at the invitation of Democratic Rally party leader Nikos Anastassiades, an ND spokesman told the ANA yesterday.

    While in Nicosia, Mr. Karamanlis will meet with President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, Speaker of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou, Archbishop Chrysostomos and the leaders of the political parties.

    Talks are expected to focus on latest developments in the Cyprus issue and the ongoing UN-sponsored direct talks between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Montreux, Switzerland, informed sources said.

    [07] Messages marking Armed Forces Day

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Political parties and leaders yesterday issued messages for Armed Forces Day tomorrow.

    New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis said in his message that "the armed forces provide a living guarantee of the independence, integrity and the honor of the nation," and that the responsibility of political forces is to formulate a single and long-term foreign and defense policy, which is the only one effectively capable of securing the country against any provocations and designs.

    The Coalition of the Left stressed the importance of promoting a national strategy of peace and security, but also the need for transparency and control of armaments contracts and procurements.

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas stressed that the state must contribute to further strengthening the armed forces through economic upgrading and meritocracy for officers, and the rational and transparent utilization of funds for defense.

    [08] Meeting on crop damage compensation

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Crop damages at farms in 23 Thessaly communities from last weekend's hailstorm range over 92 sq. km., according to an announcement at a meeting at Larissa's prefectural headquarters yesterday,

    The meeting was attended by Greek Agricultural Insurance Fund (ELGA) deputy director Costas Koundouriotis, PASOK deputy George Adamopoulos as well as regional municipal officials from Larissa, Farsala and Elassona, who demanded action from the authorities.

    Mr. Koundouriotis referred them to an Agriculture Ministry statement giving assurances of a political commitment to support those who suffered damages to their produce and said estimations of the damage would begin soon.

    The municipal representatives asked for extra agriculturalists to be added to the ELGA team, usually casual workers, who are undertaking the evaluations, due to take place within 12 days. Evaluations of damage to the cotton crops are to begin in September. ELGA officials have asked farmers not to touch their fields until these evaluations are complete.

    The Agriculture Ministry estimates the damages to be in the region of three billion drachmas; local authorities put the figure at four billion.

    [09] Increased devolution for Thessaly

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    A historic decision for the broader Thessaly region was signed Tuesday by the Regional Director of Thessaly Mr. P. Vasiliou, whereby as of September 1 the region will effectively acquire the powers of a ministry.

    The decision, based upon provisions of a recently passed bill, allows for the transfer of ten regional directorates under establishment to Thessaly. These, will employ about 1,200 employees, who are currently employed with regional services under the Ministry of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization.

    This development is essentially signaling the establishment of an autonomous decentralized administration in Thessaly.

    [10] Gov't aims at revitalizing rural districts

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Interior and Public Administration Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said yesterday that reactions against government plans for the merging of the multitude of the country's small municipalities into larger units have been overplayed by a section of the press.

    He said that many recommendations and observations had been taken into account, but what could not be accepted as a factor in the mapping out of the new municipalities was the personal strategies of local strongmen and their parochial interests.

    Finally, he reiterated that the endeavor aimed at revitalizing rural districts that were in a state of collapse.

    [11] OA crash investigation

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    An Olympic Airways Boeing 727 that crash-landed on Tuesday evening at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport was towed to a hangar yesterday morning for an inspection.

    None of the 26 passengers or the crew members were injured when the pilot, Stefanos Vasilikos, landed in torrential rain and was forced to make an abrupt turn off the end of the runway, causing one of the wings to break off.

    Expert have retrieved the flight recorder, which has been sent to Athens for examination.

    According to informed sources, attention is being given to the aircraft's landing, as its wheels appear to have touched down less than half-way to the end of the runway.

    The 26 passengers from Athens, along with the 113 who were to join the flight to Frankfurt in Thessaloniki, left on another OA aircraft, a Boeing 734, later the same evening.

    [12] Works for Athens' new airport proceed at fast pace

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    Works for the new Athens airport at Spata are proceeding at a pace faster than envisaged by the plan, it was reported yesterday.

    One year after the laying of the founding stone, 60 per cent of earth removing works has been completed, and construction of the main building of the airport is proceeding normally.

    Also, since August 1, work has started on the water supply and drainage systems and the fire station.

    [13] Olympiakos thrashes Mozyr 5-0

    Athens, 14/08/1997 (ANA)

    In the preliminary round of the European Champions League, Olympiakos last night beat Mozyr of Belarus 5-0.

    The soccer match at Athens' Olympic Stadium was attended by 50,000 spectators who saw an impressive Olympiakos score all five goals in the second half.


    The Daily News Bulletin will not appear tomorrow due to the Assumption of the Virgin holiday. The next issue will appear on Saturday, 16 August.

    End of English language section.


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