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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-11-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Albright expresses support for UN chief's effort in Cyprus talks, after meeting with Papandreou
  • [02] Karamanlis criticizes government domestic and foreign policy
  • [03] Greek, Spanish deputy defense ministers hold talks in Spain
  • [04] Greek defense minister's visit to Belgrade postponed sources
  • [05] Gorgopotamos anniversary celebrated
  • [06] Greece well prepared, IOC chief says in interview
  • [07] Ecumenical Patriarch receives Ukrainian President
  • [08] Athens Law School bestows honorary degree to President of the Republic
  • [09] Greek, Cypriot diplomatic missions to be briefed on Cyprus EU accession
  • [10] One in seven Thessaloniki residents invest in Athens Stock Exchange, survey shows
  • [11] New technologies create "multimedia journalist", ANA general director says
  • [12] Greek journalists' unions call for Turkish journalist to return to his job
  • [13] Cyprus calls on UN, EU, international community not to give in to fresh Turkish intimidation

  • [01] Albright expresses support for UN chief's effort in Cyprus talks, after meeting with Papandreou

    VIENNA, 27/11/2000 (ANA D. Dimirtakoudis)

    The full support of the United States to the United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan effort toward the resolution of the Cyprus problem was expressed on Sunday by US State Department Madeleine Albright to Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, during a 40-minute meeting here.

    Albright and Papandreou met at the sidelines of the 8th conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which begins on Monday.

    Albright also expressed her personal wish and that of the US for the continuation of UN efforts for the resolution of the Cyprus problem.

    Following the meeting, Papandreou said that Albright as all others he held talks with expressed the opinion that the UN-led Cyprus proximity talks should continue, as we have reached an important point, where everyone believes will benefit from the resolution of the Cyprus problem".

    Both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and of course the Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the European Union-Turkish relations (will benefit) and thus support the continuation of this effort, Papandreou said.

    Discussing the partnership agreement of Turkey with the EU, he said that the aspects of Turkeys course to the EU were decided in Helsinki and that "these aspects should be written down in the text of the partnership agreement".

    He added that he detailed those aspects to Albright, who wished for a successful conclusion of this effort.

    In regards to conditions in the Balkans, he said that there is great willingness by the EU and the international community to take advantage of a great opportunity that is given now to the Balkans, a great opportunity for its people to live peacefully, with cooperation, with economic development, with democratic institutions.

    Papandreou also said that Greece's "very important role in the European course of the Balkans is recognized as a guarantor - to a great degree - of the aforementioned values". He noted that he discussed this subject with Albright at length.

    Concluding his statements, Papandreou stressed that Greece always supported and continues to support the effort of common security in the region that is under the auspices of the OSCE.

    "The OSCE plays, at this time, a very important role in the effort to establish cooperation between countries that a decade ago were in opposing camps and expends effort to resolve specific regional conflicts, which stem either from nationalistic or border conflicts or by past problems and of course by a lack of democratic institutions or economic development that aggravate the situation," he said.

    State Department comments: In a related development, a US State Department official said "from our stand point, we can not see how such a decision (by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash) serves the rights of the Turkish Cypriots or Turkey's ... the US strongly support the United Nation's process," adding that Washington was in constant contact with all sides, aiming to confront the situation that was created.

    Denktash in Turkey on Friday said that he has reached the decision that the UN proximity talks are nothing but a waste of time as long as his parameters are not accepted. Turkish premier Bulent Ecevit said he supports Denktash's decision not to attend the meetings.

    [02] Karamanlis criticizes government domestic and foreign policy

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis on Saturday criticized the entire spectrum of the government's policies, in both domestic and foreign affairs, during an open speech in Agrinio, central-western Greece.

    "Conditions as they stand today have no precedent in a post election period ... the phenomena of irresponsibility are multiplying and the imposture of corruption is becoming ever larger," Karamanlis said.

    He accused the government of "supporting tendencies that lead to the nightmarish prospect of a society of two thirds (where those two thirds live in poverty). It subjugated the state to small and large interests of non-institutional masters".

    Karamanlis also criticized the government for its educational, economic and fiscal policies, which he called lackluster and dangerous, making special note of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) problems and that of the Olympic Airways which he said is "at the verge of collapse following expenditure of 800 billion drachmas in failed plans to save the airline".

    In closing his speech to the local audience, Karamanlis said that the government's handling of Greek-Turkish relations "cultivated conditions of non-clarity" regarding Greece's position and as a result the "extremists of Ankara" become more audacious.

    "The Cyprus problem is the key-issue of Greek-Turkish relations. At that point the real political will of Turkey is initially tested. Turkey cannot pretend to be a mediator, while it maintains 35,000 troops of occupation (on the island republic)", Karamanlis said.

    He concluded reiterating ND's request for the establishment of a national foreign policy council and the reconvening of the political party leaders' meeting on foreign policy under the auspices of the president of the republic.

    [03] Greek, Spanish deputy defense ministers hold talks in Spain

    TOLEDO, 27/11/2000 (ANA / D. Konstantakopoulos)

    Deputy Defense Minister Dimitris Apostolakis on Sunday concluded his visit to Spain, where he held talks with his Spanish counterpart Fernando Moreno regarding the development of cooperation between the two countries in the defense sector, conditions in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, as well as developments regarding the "euro army".

    Apostolakis was briefed by his Spanish counterpart on Spain's experience regarding the creation of a professional army and it was agreed that a Spanish delegation would visit Greece.

    Greek-Spanish cultural conference in Madrid: The Greek-Spanish Forum and the Embassy of Greece in Madrid organized an international conference entitled "Greece and Spain: the far ends of Europe" dealing with cultural issues of both the modern and ancient era.

    Queen of Spain Sofia honored the conference with her presence.

    [04] Greek defense minister's visit to Belgrade postponed sources

    BELGRADE, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' visit to Belgrade on Monday was postponed and will take place in late December, sources said, late Sunday night.

    Tsohatzopoulos was to hold talks with Yugoslav government officials regarding the development of cooperation between the two countries in the defense sector.

    Tsohatzopoulos was to meet with his Yugoslav counterpart Slobodan Krapovic and the Prime Minister of the Federal government of Yugoslavia Zoran Zizic, among others, according to a press release issued earlier on Sunday by the Yugoslav defense ministry.

    [05] Gorgopotamos anniversary celebrated

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    Hundreds of national resistance fighters on Sunday braved the cold and rain to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the blowing up of the Gorgopotamos Bridge by Greek resistance fighters and Allied saboteurs, disrupting the flow of supplies to Rommel's Afrika Korps in World War II.

    The November 26, 1942, demolition of the bridge, jointly planned and carried out by Greek and British soldiers, put this vital supply route for the Axis forces out of action for three months.

    Costas Karamanlis, the first leader of the main opposition New Democracy party (ND) to attend the commemoration at Gorgopotamos, said there was no such thing as "more or less Greek" or "more or less patriotic".

    "We reject all forms of dividing lines, trenches and partition," Karamanlis said, addressing resistance fighters and political party representatives at the event.

    "The era of partition and discord is past history, without prospects of repetition, because this is the conscious choice of all of us," Karamanlis said, and called on everyone to "overcome the prejudices of the past".

    "There are no Left-wingers and Right-wingers, nationalists and miasma. All those were the product of hate. There are only Greeks with the same expectations for a humane Greece that will give equal opportunities to its children," the ND leader added.

    Merchant marine minister Christos Papoutsis, representing the government at the commemoration, said in his greeting that this was not a day of celebration, but a day of "remembrance, honor and respect for the struggles of the Greeks".

    Greece, he said, "looks to the new century with optimism, places priorities and develops important initiatives".

    [06] Greece well prepared, IOC chief says in interview

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    Greece today was much better prepared to host the 2004 Athens Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Juan-Antonio Samaranch said in a newspaper interview appearing Sunday, and expressed satisfaction with the Greek government's efforts.

    "Greece is much better prepared than in 1996 to organize the Olympic Games," Samaranch said in an interview with TO VIMA newspaper appearing Sunday.

    He also said that he was confident for the Athens Games as "the Greek government is facing the issue very seriously and the prime minister has done many things, particularly in the sector of the economy".

    "The economic level of Greece is totally different to what it was a few years ago, and in this respect I consider that Athens is lucky it did not assume the 1996 Games," he said.

    The outgoing IOC president passed off as "foolish" rumors that Greece would "lose" the Games due to a slow pace in preparations.

    Attempting to cover for IOC member Dick Pound, a vocal critic of the Greek organizers, Samaranch said that Pound "supports Athens 100 percent in its organization of the Olympic Games".

    Samaranch further said he admired Athens Organizing Commit-tee (ATHOC) president Gianna Angelpoulos-Daskalaki, whom he said was intelligent and capable of doing anything she set her mind to.

    "She is a woman who could easily play the role of leader," Samaranch said.

    Asked how powerful he himself felt, as head of the IOC, Sama-ranch replied that he was "someone trying to do the best for athletics the world over".

    [07] Ecumenical Patriarch receives Ukrainian President

    ISTANBUL, 27/11/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Friday received Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, according to a Sunday press release by the Patriarchate.

    The Ukrainian president was in Istanbul for a Turkish-Ukrainian business council meeting and he was received by Vartholomeos at his request.

    [08] Athens Law School bestows honorary degree to President of the Republic

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Saturday evening was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Athens University Law School, in a ceremony at the auditorium of the school.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, visiting Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.

    [09] Greek, Cypriot diplomatic missions to be briefed on Cyprus EU accession

    NICOSIA, 27/11/2000 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    George Vassiliou, Cyprus' European Union accession talks delegation chief and former president of the island republic, will arrive in Athens on Monday to participate in the annual joint meeting of the press offices of Greece and Cyprus.

    He is expected to brief the diplomatic mission chiefs of the two countries on Cyprus' European Union accession course and discuss ways to further Cyprus' bid to join the Union.

    [10] One in seven Thessaloniki residents invest in Athens Stock Exchange, survey shows

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    One in seven Thessaloniki residents have invested money in the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), according to a survey by KAPPA Research appearing in Sunday's edition of the Thessaloniki-based newspaper "Makedonia".

    Out of a sampling of 6,000 people interviewed on behalf of BGM North, 14.3 percent said that they have invested money on the ASE. The sampling polled ranged in age from 13 to 70 so as to give a representative picture of the Thessaloniki population, putting the number of ASE investors at about 55,000.

    The purpose of the survey was to survey the profile of Thessaloniki investors and compare their lifestyles and consumer habits in order to reach conclusions useful for companies dealing in consumer goods.

    According to the survey, 47.9 percent of the investors do not go out frequently, 53.7 percent do not go to nightclubs, 43.7 percent do not go to bars, 42.4 percent do not go to cinemas, 79.0 percent do not go to gyms, and 78.2 percent do not go to soccer matches.

    The majority of the investors are married and have two children, most of whom are over 15 years of age, 70 percent own their own home and 70 percent have summer homes. Half of these are aged between 25 and 44, while 94 percent have finished secondary school or college.

    One in four are private employees and 90 percent are men.

    [11] New technologies create "multimedia journalist", ANA general director says

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    The "New technologies in the mass media for the development of Balkan cooperation" conference on Sunday focused on new technologies and their use by media organizations in service to the public.

    The conference, organized by the Macedonian News Agency (MNA) in Thessaloniki, begun on Friday with the participation of Directors and representatives of Balkan news agencies as well as representatives of Athens based mass media organizations.

    President of Balkan News Agencies' Association (ABNA) and Athens News Agency General Director Andreas Christodoulides addressed the changes taking place in journalism in this era of digital communications.

    These changes, Christodoulides said, with the passing of time are establishing new "rules" for the "multimedia journalist", who is being created.

    "Today, a news organization, or put it in better words a multimedia business - since this is the form that is being created - would be considered successful if it meets the criteria of the five 'A', as it is obliged to meet the demands of the interested users", Christodoulides said.

    He noted that those five "A" are: - any volume - any time - any body - anywhere - anything

    On his part, MNA General Director Spyros Kouzinopoulos reminded the participants of the contribution of ANA, Turkish news agency Anadolu and MNA to maintain low tones during the Imia crisis between Greece and Turkey, in contrast with several private media organizations and electronic media.

    Balkan journalists call for support in spreading the European Ideals and principles: Balkan journalists on Sunday called on the European Union and other international bodies to provide both material and moral support to the media in SE Europe to enable them to assist the cause of Balkan cooperation and spread the European Ideals and the principles of freedom and democracy in this sensitive region.

    The call was contained a resolution issued at the end of the 6th Balkan Journalistic Conference organized in Thessaloniki by the Macedonian New Agency (MNA).

    The resolution, called the "Thessaloniki Declaration", also called on the governments of the Balkan countries and the EU to help in the free movement of journalists and simplify visa procedures.

    Welcoming MNA's initiative to host the conference, the declaration further called on the mass media, state agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as the governments of the SE European nations, to intensify their efforts and assist in the development of Balkan Cooperation.

    It said boosting Balkan Cooperation would further improve the general climate of friendship, mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence and neutralize the nationalistic phenomena, chauvinism and suspicion that have caused so many troubles to the Balkans in recent years.

    The Declaration further warned that the over-concentration of media in the hands of a few businessmen should be averted in order to safeguard freedom of the press and polyphony.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and several ministers sent greetings to the conference. Directors, chief editors and senior staff members from tens of media organizations from all the Balkan countries attended the conference, including Athens News Agency (ANA) general director Andreas Christodoulides, who holds the rotating Association of Balkan News Agencies (ABNA) presidency.

    [12] Greek journalists' unions call for Turkish journalist to return to his job

    Athens, 27/11/2000 (ANA)

    Athens Journalists' Union (S) and the Macedonia-Thrace Journalists' Union (STH) on Saturday issued a message of solidarity to Turkish journalist Suleyman Gencel, who was fired from his post as editor in chief of the Turkish daily Yeni Asir.

    The representatives of the two unions issued the statement during a panel discussion of the "New technologies in the mass media for the development of intra-Balkan cooperation" conference, which began on Friday, and was organized by the Macedonian News Agency (MNA).

    Speaking during "The daily press and the digital age" panel discussion, Gencel said that he was sacked because of his efforts toward and support for the freedom of the press.

    He added that the sacking was also based on the fact that he is the president of the Turkish journalists' union.

    "No one should be persecuted for his views," ESHEA representative Sofia Voultepsi said, stressing that ESHEA would make every effort for Gencel to return to his job, as it will issue statements in his support to the Council of Europe and to Eurodeputies.

    ESHEMTH General Secretary Vassilis Papadimoulis also said that his union would support Gencel's effort to return to his post.

    [13] Cyprus calls on UN, EU, international community not to give in to fresh Turkish intimidation

    NICOSIA, 27/11/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    The government on Saturday called on the UN, the European Union and the international community not to give in to fresh Turkish intimidation, as this would create dangerous precedents that international law and the acquis communautaire can be subject to blackmailing tactics.

    Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to leave the UN-led proximity talks are targeting the UN and the EU to force them to change their stance on views they have expressed on the general principles of a Cyprus solution and on Turkey-EU partnership agreement.

    Papapetrou expressed the hope that Denktash will not implement his threats and warned that the international community should assume all political cost if it gives in to Denktash's threats.

    He called on the UN and the EU to apportion blame on Denktash, if he carries out his threats.

    His comments come in the wake of statements by Denktash in Turkey on Friday that he has reached the decision that the UN proximity talks are nothing but a waste of time as long as his parameters are not accepted. Turkish premier Bulent Ecevit said he supports Denktash's decision not to attend the meetings.

    "The government regrets Mr. Denktashs threats to interrupt the proximity talks and throw up in the air efforts for a solution," Papapetrou told a press briefing on Saturday, reading out a written statement, adding that "such a move disappoints both Greek and Turkish Cypriots who demand of the two sides to the talks to behave in a responsible manner and with a disposition to compromise and reach a negotiated settlement."

    The spokesman reiterated the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to work towards a solution, noting that the framework of the compromise exists and bears among others Denktash's signature and is expressed in UN resolutions.

    "Apparently what Denktash is trying to do is to blackmail developments, put aside a statement by the UN Secretary General on 8 November and moreover influence consultations between the EU and Turkey on its accession process," Papapetrou said.

    The government, he stressed, "protests these latest methods and even more so the mentality behind them".

    "The UN, the EU and the entire international community are taking on their shoulders a huge responsibility not to submit to this blackmail, because if they do, dangerous precedents will be set in the sense that Security Council decisions, principles of international law and the acquis communautaire are subject to blackmailing tactics," he added.

    Papapetrou warned that implementation of Denktash's threats would bring the UN before its responsibilities and added "the UN and the EU have an obligation to apportion blame on him".

    Referring to Ankara's role in Friday's developments in Turkey, the spokesman noted that "instead of leading Denktash towards compromise, Ankara is pushing him to extreme positions which ostracize the peace process".

    "Ankara unfortunately has proved once more that it does not help UN efforts towards a solution but on the contrary it torpedoes these attempts," the statement concluded.

    Asked whether Greece had tried to avert the decision, taken at a meeting in Ankara in the presence of Denktash, Papapetrou said the Turkish reaction is a result of Turkish diplomacy which has found itself before difficult dilemmas it had to confront, and this is the outcome of the correct policy Greece and Cyprus have adopted in the recent past.

    Asked what the government would do following Denktash's remarks, he said "my written statement provides the guidelines of our policy and the matter will be discussed on Monday in a specific manner by the Foreign Ministry".

    Commenting on the Turkish demand for recognition of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, Papapetrou said "the edifice Ankara has created is nothing more than a regime which oppresses Turkish Cypriots, forces them to leave the country and exercises a policy of ethnic cleansing and violates human rights".

    The UN has been conducting through its special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto proximity talks for the past year. Talks are due to resume in late January.

    UN reaction: The UN has expressed the hope that Denktash will attend the next round of UN-led proximity talks, scheduled for late January in Geneva.

    "Mr. Denktash has not been in direct contact with the UN and it would be inappropriate to comment on press reports," UN spokeswoman Sarah Russell told CNA in Nicosia on Saturday.

    Russell said, "the UN sincerely hopes that Mr. Denktash will attend the sixth round of talks".

    She also noted that UN Secretary General Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto will be on the island from 3 to 6 December and will be meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    De Soto has chaired five rounds of proximity talks in the past twelve months in New York and Geneva during which he presented the two sides with non papers on the core issues under discussion (constitution, security, territory, refugees-property).

    In the next round of talks, he expects to have the reaction of the sides to some oral remarks the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan gave the two sides in writing in early November, at their latest session of proximity talks.

    EU not a 'colonial empire' EU rapporteur Poos tells Denktash: Euro MP Jacques Poos, rapporteur for Cyprus' accession to the EU has called on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to understand that the EU is not a colonial empire but a union of democratic countries from which the Turkish Cypriots could draw great benefits.

    Poos, currently visiting the island republic, also said that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be in line with international law and the acquis communautaire.

    Speaking after separate meetings with party leaders, he said he wanted to send a message to Denktash that his own personal opinion is that the Turkish Cypriot leader does not understand how the EU works.

    "He sees the EU as something like the colonial empire which wants to dictate its rules to every member, but it is not like that," Poos said.

    The EU is a union of democratic countries which has rules based on some shared fundamental principles which benefit everybody and do not threaten the interests of any member state, he said.

    "I am convinced that the Turkish Cypriots will feel much better than they feel now if they are under the general shield of the EU and Mr. Denktash did not interpret the will of the Turkish Cypriots in the right way; he is making a big mistake," Poos added.

    Asked to say what the EU is doing to convince Denktash of these realities, he said the EU is in contact with Denktash and has often explained to him that he is not running any risk in joining the negotiations.

    "We renewed the offer that he can join the team of negotiators any time and he would be welcome," Poos said.

    Denktash has so far declined an invitation from Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to nominate his own representatives to the Cypriot negotiating team.

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