|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-08-11
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 11, 2003
 Athens cites negative effects for Turkey's EU course due to T/C 'customs pact'
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)The Greek government on Saturday stressed that a framework pact on a "customs union" between Turkey and a Turkish-Cypriot pseudo-state illegally propped up on territory the Turkish military occupies on the island republic was illegal and a severe breach of international law.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Panayiotis Beglitis said the pact, which was signed on Friday between Ankara and the Turkish-Cypriot pseudo-state, was in breach of international law, the UN's Charter and UN Security Council resolutions, as well as principles and resolutions of the European Union.
The Greek spokesman said the pact was also in conflict with the institutional framework of EU relations vis-a-vis the Cyprus Republic, as well as with Turkey proper, a current EU candidate-country.
Beglitis noted that the pact was an illegal act that could have a negative impact on Turkey's EU course and on its candidacy assessment by the Union's competent bodies.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory. An illegal T/C state was declared in 1983 and is only recognized by Ankara.
 Denktash wants 'framework agreement for a customs union' with Greek Cypriots
NICOSIA 11/08/2003 (ANA - G. Leonidas)Athens, (ANA)
Following the signing on Friday between Turkey and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish-occupied Cyprus of a so-called ''framework agreement for a customs union'', T/C leader Rauf Denktash on Sunday called on the Greek Cypriot side to sign a similar agreement with his pseudo-state.
Denktash claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side ''wishes to create harmony in Cyprus.''
The two sides, he said, ''can make steps towards a viable and lasting peace, acting in good and accepting the existence of two states.''
Commenting on Denktash's proposal, Turkish Deputy PM Abdullah Sener said: ''it is a very significant opportunity for an achievement of a solution on the island.''
Meanwhile, Serdar Denktash, a so-called 'vice-president' of the T/C pseudo-state and head of the T/C Democratic Party, said his father's proposal to the Greek Cypriot side for the signing of a similar agreement "should be assessed carefully by all the interested parties."
 Gov't announces temporary visit permits for FYROM political refugees
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)The Greek government on Sunday announced that it will issue visit permits to political refugees hailing from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greece's immediate northern neighbor, as a ''humanitarian measure''.
The permits will ostensibly allow individuals previously pre-vented from entering EU and NATO member Greece to briefly visit the country.
A foreign ministry press release noted that the measure concerns the issuance of visit permits to political refugees from FYROM who had been excluded from travel to Greece under a 1982 law regarding the return of such political refugees.
The measure will remain in effect through the end of October. Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos said the provision went into effect on Sunday.
 Magriotis to visit Alexandroupolis on Monday
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis on Monday afternoon will travel to Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, for a two-day tour, where he will meet with local leadership and address a party meeting, a foreign ministry release said on Sunday.
Earlier on Monday, the deputy foreign minister will visit the camp at Kammena Vourla, middle Greece, which hosts 500 young campers coming from Greek communities in 40 countries, the release said.
 Oswald-Simicek: World Rowing Junior Champs concluded with success
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)The World Rowing Junior Championships, the first ''test event'' of 2003, were concluded on Saturday morning at the Schinias Olympic Rowing Centre, northeast of Athens, after tournament-wreaking high winds during the first two days of the four-day event.
World Rowing Federation (FISA) President Denis Oswald and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC)executive Marton Simicek at a joint press conference held immediately after the conclusion of the races and the medal ceremony that followed, said the event had been completed with success while teaching everyone the ''best lesson to be learnt'' in view of the 2004 Olympic Games.
''We have successfully completed the World Rowing Junior Championships and we have concluded that everything worked as it should, with the exception of the high winds'', the head of FISA told reporters.
''You have witnessed yourselves the high level of both concept and planning; I am convinced that the facilities will be even better next year when the surrounding area will be green and the final touches will have been completed. A ''test event'' is intended to educate organizers over the functionality of the venues and over ways to improve their work and shorten procedures. I would like to stress that the organizational part has been absolutely satisfactory'', Oswald said.
On his part, the ATHOC executive said that the heads of the national sports federations had praised the organization at the races, and expressed the conviction that the organizers would be in a position to successfully carry out all the events at the Olympic Games next year.
 Athens 2003 International Archery Tournament opens on Saturday in Athens
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)The Athens 2003 International Archery tournament opened Saturday morning at the Athens Panathinaiko Stadium with four targets set for the eliminations and the finals matches.
The tournament will be held from 8 to 15 August 2003 (ranking round on 8 August, eliminations and final rounds from 9 to 15).
The marble Panathinaiko Stadium, a venue for the Athens 2004 Olympic event, is located in the centre of the Greek capital on the same site where the ancient stadium was first built in 329 BC.
 Two dead in a bus-pick up truck collision near Serres
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)Two men were killed on Sunday when a pick-up truck collided with a public transportation bus on the Thessaloniki-Kavala route, at a curb near Nea Kerdylia in Serres, northern Greece.
The driver of the pick-up truck and his co-driver were killed when, according to early police finds, the pick-up driver lost control of his vehicle on the curb and collided with the bus that was traveling to Thessaloniki.
No injuries were reported among the 30 passengers aboard the bus.
A Thessaloniki traffic police told ANA that the curb where the accident took place was very dangerous and that seven people had lost their lives at that location within the past two months.
 Long queues at Kakavia customs post as Albanians return home for holidays
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)Long queues formed early on Saturday at the customs post in Kakavia as over 500 cars and buses carrying Albanians living and working in Greece waited in line to cross the border for holidays into Albania.
Customs officers at Kakavia said that the crossing was processing smoothly without any special problems, adding that the long lines were owed to the fact that the Albanian immigrants had chosen to travel en masse for holidays to their country.
Moreover, customs officers on both sides of the border said that since the end of July over 15,000 Albanian immigrants had crossed the border into Albania, a number comparatively smaller than last year.
 17 Turkish seamen rescued off SW Peloponnese
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)Coast guard official on Saturday said 17 Turkish crewmembers of a Malta-flagged cargo ship were picked up in the sea region some 70 nautical miles southwest off the town of Pylos, in the south-western Peloponnese.
The crewmembers fled the sinking cargo ship "Ogan" and were rescued by the freighter "Ocean Xenophon", after the vessel reached the scene in response to a distress call.
The 17 seamen were transported to Pylos, where they were reported in good health.
According to the "Ogan's" skipper, the vessel, which was carrying iron from the Ukraine to Tunisia, sunk after a fire in its engine room caused flooding.
 Two people killed by lightning in northern Greece
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)Two people were killed by lightning during storms that occurred in Thessaloniki and Halkidiki prefectures on Sunday afternoon.
A 29-year-old woman from the Czech Republic, Markela Novotna, was struck by lightning at the Stavros site in Thessaloniki while she was heading to hotel from the beach.
Meanwhile, an Athens resident was struck by lightning on the Thessaloniki-Neon Moudania highway as he was riding his motorbike.
 Cesna crashes in Xanthi, pilot and two passengers escape with bone fractures
Athens, 11/08/2003 (ANA)A single-engine Cesna crashed Saturday noon while attempting to land at the airport of the Flying Club in Xanthi, northern Greece, injuring the pilot and two passengers onboard.
The plane, which had earlier taken off from Thessaloniki, lost its wings when it hit the wire fence around the airport after circling the area twice in an attempt to land in windy conditions that prevailed at that time.
Pilot Paris Gerefis, 43, along with passengers Christos Christodoulou, 55, and Eleni Karananou have reportedly escaped danger and they are hospitalized with bone fractures at the regional hospital in Xanthi.
An investigation will be conducted by Air Force experts to identify the cause of the crash.
 Chrysostomides: so called 'customs union' a continuation of illegality
NICOSIA 11/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)A so-called ''framework agreement for a customs union'' between Turkey and the illegal regime of the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus is a continuation of Turkish illegality and a provocation to the European Union, Cyprus government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said here on Saturday.
''That is an effort of getting around the European customs and traditions,'' said Chrysostomides noting that the signing of the agreement will cause problems on Turkey's European aspirations.
Talking about the political and legal basement of the agreement, Chrysostomides said ''the illegal occupation is continuing and the administration of Denktash is nothing else but a subordinate
administration of the occupying force, that is an extension of the illegal power of Turkey in the occupied territories.''
Chrysostomides reminded journalists the UN Resolutions on Cyprus which condemn the declaration of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state as well as the Turkish invasion and occupation.
''In this framework of illegality,'' Chrysostomides said, ''Turkey -which is responsible for what is happening in the occupied part of Cyprus- has signed actually an agreement with itself.''
The framework agreement could also complicate Ankara's efforts to secure accession talks with the European Union next year, Chrysostomides said.
Commenting on the agreement the press spokesman of the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry Panayiotis Beglitis, said it is ''a flagrant
violation of the International Law principles, of the UN Chart and the Security Council Resolutions as well as of the EU decisions.''
''The signing of the agreement - framework for the customs union between Turkey and the illegal Turkish-Cypriot regime,'' Beglitis said, ''is contrary to the traditional framework of the relations between EU and the Republic of Cyprus and also with the accession candidate, Turkey itself.''
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey also keeps some 30,000 troops on the island.
 EU regrets so-called 'customs union' agreement
NICOSIA 11/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)The European Union has expressed regret over a so-called "framework agreement for a customs union" Turkey, a candidate country, signed Friday with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus.
''We believe that we should have been consulted before this agreement was signed,'' European Commission spokesman Eric Mamerhas told Reuters.
''We will clearly be checking it with regard to all the association and customs union agreements that we have with Turkey,'' he added.
Turkey already has a customs union agreement with the EU and is aspiring to begin accession negotiations in 2005.
Cyprus will join the Union as a full member in May next year.
Turkish Deputy prime minister Abdullah Sener claimed that the agreement would ensure the integration of the economy in occupied Cyprus with that of the EU and the international community.
Under the agreement, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots would reduce port and airport taxes to a bare minimum. Turkey would also raise credits to bolster infrastructure and foreign investment, Turkish state-run Anatolian news agency reported.
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has called for further economic integration with Turkey since U.N.-backed peace talks with Greek Cypriots collapsed in March after he refused to put a UN peace proposal to a referendum.