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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

November 12, 2002


  • [01] UN plan for Cyprus a ''starting point for further negotiations'', Simitis says
  • [02] President Clerides: UN expects reply to proposals in seven days
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot leader says of UN plan new page has opened
  • [04] President Stephanopoulos says Annan plan should lead to reunification of Cyprus
  • [05] ND leader says UN Cyprus plan an important development
  • [06] Coalition leader says rapid developments historic for Cyprus
  • [07] UN's De Soto delivers blueprint to Cyprus President Clerides and Denktash
  • [08] Gov't reassuring over rumors on draft Cyprus solution
  • [09] Flurry of consultations ahead of UN chief's release of draft Cyprus solution
  • [10] EU Commission official says Cyprus should have one voice
  • [11] Vice-president of Turkey's AKP party on possible Cyprus solution
  • [12] Consultations on budget, Warsaw trip on PM's agenda this week
  • [13] Greek parliament president inaugurates EU parliamentary conference
  • [14] Conference on fourth Greek EU presidency in Athens
  • [15] Greece lags in adapting to single market laws, EU says
  • [16] PM meets European industry group ahead of EU presidency
  • [17] Greek consumers suffer from increased cost of living
  • [18] Greek bond market reports record-high turnover in October
  • [19] Greek stocks end mixed to higher on Monday
  • [20] ATHOC president briefs premier on IOC's Oswald visit
  • [21] Deputy FM addresses Balkan judges conference
  • [22] We will study UN proposals in their entirety, says President Clerides
  • [23] British Foreign Secretary says now is best chance to solve Cyprus problem

  • [01] UN plan for Cyprus a ''starting point for further negotiations'', Simitis says

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    The United Nations blueprint for the resolution of the Cyprus problem is a ''starting point for further negotiations,'' Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Monday night, hours after he received the plan drafted by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    Simitis spoke of the establishment of a ''bizonal, bicommunal federation with one international representation, one sovereignty and one citizenship, that respects the human rights in conjunction with the (European Union) acquis communautaire''.

    He underlined that any final solution must adhere to the European Union acquis communautaire and allow for the ''implementation of the common (EU) policy and the acquis communautaire''.

    ''The accession process of Cyprus is a guarantee for the functionality of the solution, as well as strong leverage for the effective management of the problems,'' he said.

    Simitis also said that the Annan plan provisions include difficult points as well, noting that ''during this phase it is not expedient or correct to make piecemeal evaluations of every provision, since the complete balance of the solution that can be achieved is of importance''.

    An initial evaluation allows to say that the Annan plan "is a starting point, which in turn allows for intensive negotiations,'' the premier said in a televised speech, which did not have the form of a press conference, adding, however, that these negotiations are ''without the constraints of a deadline type of dilemmas''.

    ''This is an especially important day for the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots, the Greeks and Turks,'' Simitis said, reiterating Greece's position that this is a historic ''opportunity to arrive at a resolution''.

    ''For the first time in many years we received a comprehensive plan, which is the result of a long and coordinated effort for the entanglement of the international community and for the Cyprus issue to remain in the forefront of the international interest,'' he said, adding the significant role of the strategy ''of support for the European prospect of Cyprus''.

    He noted once more that the people of Cyprus endured the results of the invasion and occupation for many years, in ''a Europe, where the developments overturned the dividing lines,'' stressing that in Cyprus ''there is still in existence a historic anachronism''.

    He added that it is time for Cyprus to also overcome its political problem and move on for the benefit of itself and the region at large.

    He offered Greece's full support and solidarity toward Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides ''who has the political will to drive at a resolution of the Cyprus issue and also steadfast aims''.

    The premier closed his statement, announcing that he will meet with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on Saturday to discuss the plan in detail.

    Referring to Greece's domestic parties, he called for sobriety, wisdom, decisiveness and a sense of responsibility, while also calling for the overcoming of political party confrontations, stressing once again that Cyprus' accession to the European Union would be concluded irrespectively of the resolution process.

    [02] President Clerides: UN expects reply to proposals in seven days

    NICOSIA 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides confirmed on Monday night that he has received proposals from the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the solution of the Cyprus question.

    He said he had a telephone conversation with Annan who has asked him to say in seven days whether he considers the proposals as a text on which he can negotiate.

    The president said the negotiating process for a Cyprus settlement is entering its most sensitive and decisive stage and called for unity among the people and the political leadership of Cyprus, adding that the people will have the final say in approving or rejecting the proposal.

    President Clerides said the 135-page long proposal covers all the aspects of the Cyprus question and noted that some are not to the satisfaction of the Greek Cypriot side but stressed at the same time that the proposal should be studied carefully as a whole.

    The president said he intends to maintain cooperation with Greece and said he would be going to Athens on Saturday to meet Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot leader says of UN plan new page has opened

    ANKARA 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, commenting on Monday on the UN secretary general's blueprint for a solution to the Cyprus issue, said a new page has opened.

    In a telephone interview with the Turkish CNN Turk television channel, Denktash said he received the UN secretary general's blueprint but had not had time to examine it, adding that he had to examine it more extensively with his "government" in "Parliament" and discuss it with party leaders.

    Denktash said he had addressed a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, inquiring whether the blueprint is considered an ultimatum.

    According to Denktash, Annan's reply was negative and informed him that it is an effort to lift the deadlock reached on the issue of Cyprus.

    Denktash also made statements to the private television channel NTV, saying that ''we shall not accept tens of thousands of people to become refugees in the territory settlement and the equality of the Turkish Cypriots will not become a bargaining issue.''

    He said he will announce his position on the blueprint ''within the week.''

    [04] President Stephanopoulos says Annan plan should lead to reunification of Cyprus

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said on Monday that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan for a political settlement of the Cyprus problem should fulfill two terms, the reunification of the island and not reconfirm the partition of the island's regions and it should also be a viable proposal.

    Speaking from the northern Aegean island of Hios in the early afternoon at a luncheon hosted by local officials on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the liberation of the island and its union with Greece, Stephanopoulos noted however that what was first needed was for there to be understanding among the Greeks so that whatever plan proceeds before the holding of a referendum both by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, expressing the hope that ''this time national unity will be proven, which is so important.''

    The president said ''we must remember'' that it was the Greek side that wished for a settlement of the Cyprus issue, noting that ''the other side was saying these past 28 years that the problem was solved with the occupation of a large section of the island by Turkish troops and that there was no scope for another solution.''

    Concluding, Stephanopoulos said ''we wished and wish for a settlement of the Cyprus problem and for this reason we feel grateful to all those who intervened with a willingness for a just solution to be found.''

    [05] ND leader says UN Cyprus plan an important development

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis said on Monday the tabling of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's blueprint for a solution to the Cyprus issue is an important development with decisive consequences for the future of Cyprus.

    Karamanlis said responsibility and seriousness is required by all sides, adding that ''in this major issue there can be no place for beautification and at this historic moment there can be no place for painful compromises.''

    He called for a meeting of the council of party leaders under the chairmanship of the president of the republic and went on to say that now is the time for a paramount national deliberation and at this crucial turning point ND will support the struggle of the people of Cyprus with all its strength.

    Karamanlis also said final decisions on their future will be taken by the people of Cyprus and reiterated once again that a solution to the political problem does not form a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

    The ND leader further said a solution should be in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and with the acquis communautaire and it should safeguard human rights and freedoms, be viable and workable and, above all, be fair towards Hellenism and its history.

    Karamanlis did not conceal his displeasure over the fact opposition parties were not informed of the blueprint, saying ''we are waiting for the blueprint's immediate communication to all parties. New Democracy, after examining the text, will state it position, focusing on the interest of Hellenism as always.''

    Karamanlis will receive Foreign Minister George Papandreou at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, only to be given the blueprint. It will also be delivered to the other party leaders.

    At 8 p.m. on Monday Karamanlis had a telephone conversation with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides with whom he agreed to meet on Saturday during his visit to Athens, while President Clerides informed him that the Annan blueprint forms a basis for negotiating.

    [06] Coalition leader says rapid developments historic for Cyprus

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said on Monday rapid developments of a historic importance are taking place for the people of Cyprus, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

    Constantopoulos said the blueprint for Cyprus he will be given on Tuesday will be judged on its essence and in its entirety. He added that his party's positions are known, as well as its insistence for Cyprus' unimpeded accession to the European Union without a solution to the Cyprus issue being a test.

    The Coalition party leader further said a solution to the Cyprus issue based on a bizonal bicommunal federation should be just, viable and workable, a solution which should be able in practice to shape a state with one sovereignty, one international entity and one citizenship, one state which will safeguard human rights, as well as the principles of the UN and the acquis communautaire.

    [07] UN's De Soto delivers blueprint to Cyprus President Clerides and Denktash

    NICOSIA 12/11/2002 (ANA/G.Leonidas)

    The conclusions of the UN Secretary-General from his deliberations on the next steps in negotiations on the Cyprus problem, were delivered to Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Koffi Anan's Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto, said after meeting Clerides here on Monday evening.

    De Soto told reporters after his long-awaited meeting with Clerides at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia that the president, as well as Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, who was given exactly the same thing in New York, have enough pressure on them.

    The UN diplomat urged reporters not to talk about deadlines regarding a reply from Clerides and Denktash.

    De Soto said he ''delivered to Mr. Clerides the conclusions of the Secretary-General's deliberations on the next steps in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem'', adding that ''in a few hours there will be a formal statement that will be delivered in New York and here (Cyprus)''.

    To a question if it is a plan, De Soto avoided answering, saying he would ''wait until the statement has been issued'', only to repeat that he has ''delivered to him (Clerides) the conclusions of the Secretary-General's deliberations''.

    When asked if he gave the president a letter, De Soto said ''a letter and a few other things'' but did not elaborate.

    He replied positively when asked if he expects a reply from President Clerides, and to a question when, he said, ''we will talk about that later''.

    ''Exactly the same'' document was delivered to Denktash, said De Soto, through his chief aide, Ergun Olgun, by Sir Kieran Prendergast, the Undersecretary General for Political Affairs ''at exactly the same time at UN headquarters''.

    He said the same thing was expected from Denktash and when asked when the Turkish Cypriot will give his reply, De Soto said ''I don't want to put more pressure on them than there already is''.

    To a question what is the deadline, De Soto replied, ''let us not talk about deadlines''.

    According to an ANA dispatch from New York, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's advisor, Ergun Olgun, said the document which was presented to him by Sir Kieran Prendergast Monday was not a ''take it or leave it kind of document''.

    Olgun told reporters after meeting Prendergast at the UN headquarters that he was going to take the document to Rauf Denktash, recovering from open-heart surgery in a New York hotel, for his evaluation and he expected Denktash would make a statement later.

    ''I have taken delivery of the ideas, the suggestions, that the United Nations has produced to have the process move forward'', said Olgun.

    ''It's not a take it or leave it kind of document'', Olgun pointed out, adding that he will take it to the ''president'', as he called the Turkish Cypriot leader ''for his evaluation'' and that Denktash ''may make a statement later'' which could be written.

    When asked if he received one or two documents, Ergun said he was ''not in a position to discuss the document''.

    To a question if Denktash would be leaving New York on Friday to return to the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus or would remain in the US for more discussions, Olgun said ''after we see this (the document) we will make a decision''.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    UN official gives Cyprus blueprint to Greek representative: UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast met Greece's permanent representative Vasilakis on Monday and delivered to him the blueprint for a solution to the longstanding Cyprus issue.

    Vasilakis made no statement afterwards, saying only that he will convey it to the Greek foreign ministry.

    Asked whether it contained a map, he said he did not see it at all but does not think it contains a map.

    The British permanent representative also met Prendergast at 12 noon local time, while Prendergast is due to meet the Turkish permanent representative at 2.15 local time.

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's briefing of the Security Council on the Cyprus issue is expected to be brief since a meeting on Iraq has been scheduled later.

    [08] Gov't reassuring over rumors on draft Cyprus solution

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Athens regarded the draft Cyprus solution that would be presented by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan as a basis for negotiations, not as an ultimatum, government spokesman Christos Protopapas told reporters on Monday.

    "The Greek government desires a solution to the Cyprus problem that is viable, just, and absolutely compatible with the European model and UN resolutions," he stressed.

    In statements to reporters, Protopapas said that the final form of the proposed solution was not known to the Greek government, though Athens had received assurances that the draft solution was compatible with the European model.

    He also stressed that there had been a battery of meetings to prepare Greek positions on all major issues that made up the Cyprus problem - such as constitutional matters, territorial settlement, property and others - and that Greece would be able to present a united stance provided wisdom, composure and a responsible attitude prevailed.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister George Papandreou continued to meet politicians and state officials seeking to be reassured over rampant rumors about the contents of the UN Secretary-General's proposal.

    One of the staunchest supporters of the island republic's cause, Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, seemed optimistic about the Annan plan following a meeting with Papandreou on Monday.

    ''We have to remain optimistic. There is obviously a stage that will follow. We will not be asked to say either 'yea' or 'nay' as had initially been said and this is very important. It means that there will be negotiations, talks,'' Kaklamanis told reporters.

    He also noted that the decision and the first word belonged to the Cypriots and their government, which Athens had to support.

    On his part, Papandreou said the foreign ministry was counting on Kaklamanis' ''unmitigated support'' and the Greek Parliament's diplomacy to aid in its efforts.

    ''Coordinated action by Greeks is vital at this time in order to achieve the best results, in accordance with out interests and for peace in the wider region,'' he stressed.

    Similarly relieved was former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, who sought a meeting with Papandreou on Monday to find out the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

    In statements to reporters, Pangalos said he had been ''alarmed'' by speculation in the press but was no longer particularly concerned following the briefing by Papandreou. He advised caution, however, noting that the contents of the UN plan were not yet known.

    The foreign minister also received a visit from Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras over the draft Cyprus solution, while United States Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller paid a visit to the foreign ministry for talks with ministry officials, after which he said that the present conjuncture "was an excellent time for a solution to the Cyprus problem".

    [09] Flurry of consultations ahead of UN chief's release of draft Cyprus solution

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    ''What the Greek and Greek Cypriot side has always sought is negotiations of substance on the Cyprus issue. This is what we are also seeking now,'' Greece's foreign minister George Papandreou said Monday, hours before UN secretary general Kofi Annan was due to present his suggestions for a resolution of the Cyprus problem to the Cypriot government and the Turkish Cypriot community leaders.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting chaired by premier Costas Simitis that was also attended by press minister Christos Protopapas and other officials, Papandreou said that Simitis had earlier spoken with Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides for an extensive review of the Cyprus issue in view of the imminent presentation by Annan of a draft solution, slated for 5:00 p.m. local time.

    Papandreou himself had a discussion with Annan's special envoy on the Cyprus issue, Alvaro de Soto, during a stopover by the latter at Athens airport en route to Nicosia earlier in the day. The discussion, Papandreou said, had focused on procedural issues.

    Papandreou further spoke by phone Sunday night with representatives of the UN Security Council permanent members, namely Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov and US secretary of state Colin Powell, while he was due to speak later with the Chinese foreign minister as well.

    The foreign minister said that he had reiterated the Greek views during those discussions, and also stressed the historic significance of the moment for Cyprus' future.

    Greece, Britain and Ankara, the three guarantor powers for Cyprus, are due to receive copies of the Annan draft solution in the afternoon, immediately after the document was presented to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides. Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis was due to make a statement to the press shortly after 8:00 p.m. local time.

    Press minister and government spokesman Christos Protopapas said later that the draft would be handed to the two sides in Cyprus by de Soto, while the UN would forward the document to Athens, Ankara and London via their permanent representatives to the UN in New York.

    He reaffirmed the "full agreement of views" between the Greek and Cypriot governments, commenting on the Simitis-Clerides phone conversation earlier in the day, and said the two leaders would speak again immediately after the presentation of the Annan plan.

    Protopapas said that another meeting, with the same composition, would be held at the Maximos Mansions by the prime minister at 7:00 p.m. before the premier made his first statement to the Greek people on the issue.

    Sources said Clerides would make a similar statement in Cyprus.

    The spokesman further said that the Annan plan would be presented by Papandreou to the Greek political party leaders, and immediately afterwards a meeting between the premier and party leaders would be organized.

    Following that, the issue would be examined by the Cabinet, after it was first discussed by the Cyprus National Council, and prospectively Clerides would visit Athens to confer with the Greek government.

    Meanwhile, PASOK MP Sifis Valyrakis, in a letter to Karolos Papoulias, chairman of parliament's standing committee on national defense and foreign affairs, warned that "the plan appearing as 'goodwill' proposals by the UN secretary General 'aims at hastening a political solution to the Cyprus problem in order to pre-empt the implementation of the acquis communautaire'".

    Valyrakis, in his letter, calls for the convening of the parliamentary committee to discuss the Annan plan, and stresses that "what is necessary is the smooth settlement, via negotiations, of the problems of internal organization of the two communities - the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots - within a single sovereign state - the Republic of Cyprus - something that can develop after Cyprus' accession to the EU". Otherwise, he warned, "there will occur the paradox that a different state submitted an application to accede the European and different one will accede".

    [10] EU Commission official says Cyprus should have one voice

    BRUSSELS 12/11/2002 (ANA - V. Demiris)

    The European Commission's spokesman said on Monday, that Cyprus should function with one voice at the European Union's institutional bodies and the future state should be in a position to cope with its obligations as an EU member-state and fully implement the acquis communautaire.

    The spokesman, who was speaking during a regular press briefing, said that lately the European Commission has been ''in constant contact'' with the UN's secretary general on the tabling of the solution plan, but added that there has been no cooperation between the two sides on the document's preparation.

    ''We have been replying to questions put to us and for this reason we cannot state our position in advance as to whether the document is compatible with the acquis communautaire,'' he said.

    He further said the Commission has not received and, of course, it does not have the complete solution plan for the Cyprus issue at its disposal and explained that the agreement's institutional framework is determined on the basis of the UN's decisions and resolutions.

    Commission sources also clarified that, in relation to the implementation of the acquis communautaire, there is a precedent according to which certain transitional regulations had been anticipated in previous EU enlargements which limited, according to the case, certain fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of settlement and movement, as well as freedom to purchase real estate.

    [11] Vice-president of Turkey's AKP party on possible Cyprus solution

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    A single state with two parts and two sovereignties is the solution for the Cyprus issue desired by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) that emerged with a landslide victory from last week's general elections in Turkey, a high-ranking party official said.

    In an interview with the northern Greek newspaper ''Thessaloniki'' appearing on Monday, AKP Vice-President Abdullah Gul outlined his party's views on a possible solution while noting that the Cyprus issue was the most serious problem between Greece and Turkey and its solution would make all other disagreements much easier to resolve.

    Gul is tipped as a likely candidate for Turkey's next premier due to the ban that prevents AKP party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan from holding government office.

    ''Our intentions are the best and a resolution of the problems will benefit both peoples,'' Gul added.

    He also confirmed that the Cyprus issue would be among the issues discussed by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Erdogan when they met in Athens, but noted that Turkey was primarily interested in discussing its own EU accession prospects.

    He said that Erdogan would seek Athens' support for setting a date for the start of EU-Turkey accession negotiations at the EU summit in Copenhagen and revealed that his party considered 2010 as a realistic date for Turkey to join the Community.

    Annan believes his Cyprus plan can constitute basis for overall settlement UNITED NATIONS 12/11/2002 (M.Georgiadou)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday confirmed that he presented to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides a proposal for an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    After briefing the UN Security Council for more than an hour, Annan told journalists ''I confirm that I presented to the sides a proposal which I believe can constitute the basis for an overall settlement of the Cyprus issue, and I asked them to study it very carefully and to let me know their reactions within a week.''

    He said he briefed the UN Security Council on his initiative and that it expressed its broad support.

    Asked what the timeframe was for the sides to reply, Annan said ''I hope within a week, that is by November 18, I will have their reactions.''

    Asked whether the plan is based on the Belgian or Swiss model, he replied:''The sides know what the plan contains, they will study my proposal and examine the various issues and the possible choices. I have the conviction that my proposal is based on a stable basis and is exceptionally good.''

    He noted that ''I am aware that they will need to take a very difficult decision and must show courage, wisdom and maturity,'' adding that ''I am certain that they are in a position to take this decision.''

    Asked further whether they should accept the plan as it stands or choose another outlet, the UN chief replied:''After so many years of negotiations my role is to lead the sides to an overall agreement. My role is to help them in the speeding up of this overall agreement. I believe that they are aware that they have before them a limited period of opportunity for us to move forward.''

    Annan added that ''there is the unique timing for there to be a united Cyprus in the ranks of the European Union. I hope that they will benefit from this opportunity.''

    Asked what would happen if one of the sides does not accept the proposal, he said:''I cannot impose my proposal to the sides. I am not in the position to impose it on anyone. If one of the sides does not accept it, then there is a problem.''

    [12] Consultations on budget, Warsaw trip on PM's agenda this week

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be meeting Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Tuesday morning to discuss the budget for 2003, followed by a meeting with Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou at noon, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced on Monday.

    At 13:30 on Tuesday, meanwhile, Simitis is scheduled to have a meeting with Agriculture Minister George Drys.

    On Thursday the prime minister will depart for Warsaw to attend the Party of European Socialists (PES) Council being held in that city on Thursday and Friday. While in Poland, he will also take part in an open discussion between five socialist prime ministers of Europe and officials of European socialists parties before returning to Athens on Friday.

    [13] Greek parliament president inaugurates EU parliamentary conference

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis on Monday inaugurated a two-day conference of the European Union member-states' parliamentary defense committee presidents, which is also attended by the Europarliament's defense committee presidium.

    Kaklamanis stressed the importance of the national parliaments' role in the international developments underway, by the process of globalization.

    ''The parliamentary bodies of ours, can promote the necessity for the establishment of an autonomous defense capability of the European Union, so as its people may be able to raise their voice on all issues that are of interest to the Union, without the intervention of third parties,'' Kaklamanis said.

    [14] Conference on fourth Greek EU presidency in Athens

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    A conference on the fourth Greek European Union presidency, organized by the Greek European Studies and Research Centre in cooperation with the Inter-European Union of European Policy Studies and with support by the European Commission and under the auspices of the foreign ministry, will be held in Athens on November 14-15.

    The conference has taken place in the past as well (on each occasion before the country assumed the presidency), while this time it will be titled ''The fourth Greek Presidency of the EU. The building of a new Europe: stable foundations-new concepts.''

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is expected to address the conference on the Greek presidency's priorities and will be followed by Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis, Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos and other speakers.

    [15] Greece lags in adapting to single market laws, EU says

    BRUSSELS 12/11/2002 (ANA/B.Demiris)

    Greece is one of the European Union's two members having the greatest difficulty in adapting national legislation to the 15-nation bloc's single market laws.

    The EU's executive Commission said in data released on Monday that the other culprit was France.

    Greece has so far failed to harmonize 3.3 percent of EU directives on the single market against a Community average of 2.1 percent in November, up from 1.8 percent in May, and the first increase for 10 years.

    In addition, Greece had perpetrated 133 breaches of EU single market law, the data showed.

    Finally, 21 percent of Greek firms believed that the single market had ''very or fairly positive'' repercussions on the reduction of prices for goods and services against an EU average of 41 percent, the Commission said.

    [16] PM meets European industry group ahead of EU presidency

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday held talks with representatives of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) as part of exploratory talks before Greece's rotating presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2003.

    Among officials to talk with Simitis were ERT president Gerhard Cromme, chairman of the board of ThyssenKrupp; and Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the head of Delta Dairy and the only Greek to be a full member of the group.

    ERT's mission is to boost the competitiveness of European businesses and the EU economy on the world scene.

    [17] Greek consumers suffer from increased cost of living

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Around 50 percent of consumer complaints filed with INKA, Greece's largest consumer group, in the first 10 months of 2002 accounted for complaints over increased cost of living in the country, INKA said on Monday.

    The consumer group said that from a total of 107,567 complaints filed in the January-October period, 47,748 referred to increase cost of living conditions.

    In its report, however, INKA stressed that a feared ''third wave of price increases that would give the final blow to Greek consumers' purchasing power has been avoided'', although it warned over signs of a new round speculative price increases ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

    INKA said it would discuss new ways of mobilization in reaction to any such phenomena.

    A pan-hellenic survey conducted by INKA showed that the average price increase in food and other basic consumer products was 10.14 percent in the 12-month period from October 2001 to October 2002, while the average price increase in the period January-October 2002 was 5.91 percent.

    INKA said that 71 percent of consumer products showed price increases, while 58 percent of products showed increases exceeding the official consumer price index.

    The report also said that 91 percent of Greek consumer has none or minimum opportunities to save money, while a 21-28 percent of Greeks were fully unable to cope with their basic needs (housing-food) and another 65 percent of Greeks were living mainly on borrowed money.

    [18] Greek bond market reports record-high turnover in October

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market soared to a new record in October, totalling 69.30 billion euros from 66.40 billion euros in September and 30.83 billion euros in the same month last year, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in its monthly report on the domestic bond market, said that government security prices fell by 19 to 312 basis points in the month, although slower compared with a fall in German bond prices.

    The 20-year bond, maturing October 22, 2022, suffered the heaviest losses ending the month at 106.03 (yielding 5.40 percent) from 109.15 (5.16 percent) in September. The 10-year benchmark bond price ended the month at 103.14 (4.83 percent) from 104.56 (4.65 percent) a month earlier.

    The Greek 10-year bond fell 142 basis points in October while the German 10-year Bund fell 196 bps over the same period.

    A decision by Moody's Investors Service to upgrade the country's credit rating to A1 from A2, helped in reducing Greek bonds' losses and shrinking a yield spread between Greek and German state securities to 31 basis points in October from 34 bps the previous month.

    The domestic yield curve steepened in October with the 20-year bond yield spread rising to 191 bps in October from 171 bps in September.

    Investors' interest focused on short- and medium-term bonds reflecting increased expectations over a cut in European interest rates.

    [19] Greek stocks end mixed to higher on Monday

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended the first trading session of the week mixed to higher help by a wave of buying activity in the last hour of trading in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index, however, fell 0.23 percent to end at 1,832.13 points, reflecting weak bank share prices. Turnover was a low 63.2 million euros.

    The Insurance sector soared a spectacular 9.60 percent, while the Base Metals and Retail sectors followed with gains of 3.59 percent and 3.52 percent, respectively.

    The Bank and IT sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (1.38 percent and 0.26 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 0.83 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.84 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 1.38 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 216 to 95 with another 47 issues unchanged.

    The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Football Pools Organization, Egnatia Bank, Balafas, and National Bank of Greece.

    Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 67.8 mln euros Monday

    Equity Index Futures:

  • FTSE/ASE-20 (high cap): At discount

  • Underlying Index: -0.73 percent

  • FTSE/ASE-40 (medium cap): Close to fair value

  • Underlying Index: +0.84 percent

    Stock Futures:

  • Most Active Contract (volume): National Bank of Greece (131)

    Day's Market Turnover: 67.8 mln euros

    Bond Market Close: Sellers outstrip buyers on Monday

    Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond

  • Yield: 4.71 pct

  • Spread over German bund: 27 bps

  • Day's Market Turnover: 1.4 bln euros

  • Most Active Bond: 15-yr (180 mln euros)

    [20] ATHOC president briefs premier on IOC's Oswald visit

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki on Monday briefed Prime Minister Costas Simitis on the recent inspection carried out by IOC Coordinating Committee President Dennis Oswald.

    She told him that Oswald's impression was positive from the general picture of the Olympic preparations.

    According to reports, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki also briefed the premier on Oswald's thoughts on some construction projects related to the Games, as well as on problems that may occur from newly-elected mayors of the municipalities that will host the Games.

    Culture minister meets new British Museum director LONDON 12/11/2002 (ANA - M. Arvanitopoulou)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday held talks with the British Museum's new director Neal McGregor, in the presence of the Greek Ambassador to London and the president of the organization responsible for building the new Acropolis Museum.

    Venizelos is in London on the occasion of the presentation of the plans for the new Acropolis Museum by Swiss architect Bernard Cumi on Tuesday.

    The climate for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in the form of long-term loaning, as the Greek government is requesting from the British Museum anyway, is being shaped out positively.

    ''Prime Minister Costas Simitis discussed the issue with the British prime minister. This gives us a new prospect on the issue which we have stopped examining for some time in its formal legal form but we are requesting a substantive solution,'' Venizelos said after the meeting.

    Venizelos said the present day was very important and communication and political initiatives would follow and expressed his profound appreciation for British public opinion.

    He began a series of contacts in the British capital, focusing primarily on the way with which the Parthenon Marbles will return to Athens on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

    The Greek ambassador to London was due to hold a reception on Monday night during which three academic philhellenes will be decorated. Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will be present at the reception.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos calls for return of Parthenon Marbles

    LONDON 12/11/2002 (ANA - M. Apostolopoulou)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, speaking at a dinner hosted at the Greek ambassador's residence on Monday night, said ''an Acropolis Museum without the return of the Parthenon Marbles is not conceivable.''

    Vartholomeos said that in letters he has sent to Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and to heir to the throne Prince Charles, he calls for the return of the Parthenon Marbles in light of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch arrived in Great Britain after an official invitation from Queen Elizabeth, and on the occasion of the British monarch’s golden jubilee.

    Vartholomeos is expected to attend a dinner given by Queen Elizabeth for many of the world’s top religious leaders at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening. Earlier, the group of religious leaders are expected to meet with Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for discussions on environmental protection issues, as the latter served as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) president for many years.

    On Wednesday, the Patriarch will attend an event in London entitled “Our Place in Creation”.

    [21] Deputy FM addresses Balkan judges conference

    Athens, 12/11/2002 (ANA)

    The First Briefing Meeting of Southeast European judicial officials began in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Monday with an address delivered by Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos, who suggested that the next meeting be held in Sarajevo in May.

    The meeting was organized by the National School of Judges under the auspices of the Justice Ministry and was attended by 125 judges and legal experts from Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia and Slovenia. The meeting mainly dealt with the harmonization of laws and legal systems, noting that the trend was gradually spreading from the countries of the European Union to those of the Balkans.

    Among the speakers was Greek Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis, who heads the National School of Judges, who referred to the values of Europe's 'unified legal culture.

    [22] We will study UN proposals in their entirety, says President Clerides

    NICOSIA 12/11/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    President Glafcos Clerides stressed here on Monday night that the UN proposals on a Cyprus settlement, handed to him earlier on Monday, should be looked at in their entirety, noting that certain aspects of the UN ideas ''are not to our liking.''

    In an address to the nation after receiving the proposals, the president called on the island's political leadership and the people of Cyprus to act in concert, warning of difficult times.

    The president said the Greek Cypriot side has certain safety limits beyond which it cannot go and added that the solution of the Cyprus question should be based on the principles set out in UN resolutions, which express the objective judgment and the collective wisdom of the international community.

    President Clerides paid tribute to the important role Greece has played and continues to play in the peace effort and Cyprus' bid to join the European Union and pledged to maintain this relationship. He said on Saturday he will be in Athens for talks with Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    ''I call on the people of Cyprus, who will have the last word on any agreement that may be reached, to remain calm, cool and firm. Any move we make will be governed by nothing less than the interests of the country and its people,'' the president added.

    He said the UN proposals are to be negotiated and were not handed to him on the basis of ''take it or leave it.''

    ''The UN Secretary General called me after his special adviser Alvaro de Soto gave me the proposals and asked me, if possible, to give him my reply within seven days as to whether I consider them to be a text on which we can negotiate,'' the president said.

    He said the negotiating process is entering ''its most delicate and decisive phase'' and pointed out that moves in the coming weeks will determine the future of the country.

    The president said he would give the proposals to the members of the National Council at their meeting on Tuesday and looks forward to their assistance these difficult times.

    ''We will study the proposals we were given taking into consideration the interest of Cyprus and its people but also bearing in mind the firm position that there are safety limits beyond which the Greek Cypriot side cannot go both on moral and on legal grounds,'' the president stressed.

    ''The framework defined by UN resolutions forms the principles on which a Cyprus settlement should be based and these resolutions are not the objective and collective judgment of those involved in the Cyprus question but of the international community,'' he added.

    The president refrained from commenting on the details of the proposals, saying that he has not studied in depth the plan which needs to be studied very carefully.

    ''The plan we have covers all the aspects of the Cyprus question. It is obvious that it will include provisions that satisfy our positions but also provisions that are not to our liking and do not satisfy us,'' he said.

    However, he stressed that the plan should be judged as a whole to see if it serves the interests of the people of Cyprus and if indeed it can pave the way for breaking the deadlock and for finding a settlement.

    ''Sacrificing the forest for the sake of a tree goes beyond my vision,'' he added.

    Asked if there is enough time to reach a settlement before the European Union summit in mid December, he said this question cannot be answered because the solution also depends on the Turkish Cypriot side.

    [23] British Foreign Secretary says now is best chance to solve Cyprus problem

    LONDON 12/11/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said ''now is the best chance for solving the Cyprus problem in decades'' and pledged his country will be working with all those involved for a positive outcome.

    In a statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the British government received here Monday ''a copy of the UN Secretary-General's proposals for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem'' and would study them carefully.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the government ''will study these proposals carefully, particularly in so as far as they affect our responsibilities under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and will be responding to Kofi Annan in due course''.

    The government, the statement added, ''warmly welcomes the UN Secretary-General's decision to table his proposals for bridging the remaining gaps after the months of ne

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