|Tuesday, 16 July 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-09-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>September 21, 2004
 Foreign ministry spokesman says agreement reached on EU's reply to Turkey's unilateral statement on July 29
NEW YORK, 21/9/2005 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Tuesday that "the European Union's counter-statement constitutes a kind of birth certificate of the 'de facto' recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey."
Koumoutsakos, who is accompanying Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on his contacts on the sidelines of the 60th UN General Assembly, was commenting on the EU counter-statement responding to the unilateral statement made by Turkey on July 29 that it does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
The foreign ministry spokesman believes that "this text renders Turkey's obligation to fully implement the Protocol on Customs Union towards the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member-state clear and imperative."
Koumoutsakos' full statement on the issue is the following:
"Following a long, complex and difficult, literally word-for-word, negotiation an agreement was reached today (Tuesday) which, unless something unexpected happens, is expected to be adopted formally by COREPER tomorrow, on the European Union's reply to the known unilateral Turkish statement on July 29.
"In parallel, intense consultations are continuing on the negotiating framework between Turkey and the EU. That is on the general, as well as binding framework of prerequisites and obligations which Turkey must fulfill during its long course towards accession to the EU. And this negotiation developed positively for our side.
"As regards the European counter-statement in particular, I wish to stress that it is a clear European reply to the unilateral Turkish statement in July. It is a text of particular significance which includes all the declared aims of Greece and Cyprus.
"This text renders Turkey's obligation to fully implement the Protocol on Customs Union towards the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member-state clear and imperative.
"The EU's counter-statement constitutes a kind of birth certificate of the 'de facto' recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey. At the same time, firm foundations have also been laid for its 'de jure' recognition as well.
"These are developments of evident importance which were inconceivable a few years ago. As a matter of fact, they also place the issue of Cyprus in a new and more favorable framework.
"This result came after the incessant efforts which were made at all levels with determination and a clear strategic direction.
"They are the result of daily consultation and cooperation mainly between Athens and Nicosia, and with our other partners as well, including the British Presidency, of course."
 EU agrees on reply to Turkey
BRUSSELS, 21/9/2005 (ANA/M.Spinthourakis)The European Union's counter-statement in response to Turkey's refusal to recognize EU member Cyprus will most likely be approved on Wednesday, Greek diplomatic sources here said.
The Union's response, negotiated during an emergency meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) held in Brussels on Tuesday, was described as "exceptionally satisfactory" by Greek diplomatic sources.
The key points in the statement which Greek diplomats cited as being satisfactory include the EU's rejection of Turkey's unilateral declaration that it does not recognize Cyprus; Turkey is clearly required to fully implement the extended customs union agreement with all 10, new member states, including Cyprus; and that Turkey's failure to fulfill its obligations in regards to the customs union agreement will negatively affect accession talks.
The complete text of the EU's response follows:
DECLARATION BY THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBER STATES
1. The European Community and its Member States acknowledge the signature by Turkey of the Additional Protocol to the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States on the one part and Turkey on the other, in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council of December 2004. They regret that Turkey felt it necessary to make a declaration regarding the Republic of Cyprus at the time of signature.
2. The European Community and its Member States make clear that this declaration by Turkey is unilateral, does not form part of the Protocol and has no legal effect on Turkey's obligations under the Protocol.
3. The European Community and its Member States expect full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol and the removal of all obstacles IN the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport. Turkey must apply this Protocol fully to all EU Member States. The EU will monitor this closely and evaluate full implementation in 2006. The European Community and its Member States stress that the opening of negotiations on the relevant chapters depends on Turkey's implementation of its contractual obligations to all Member States. Failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations.
4. The European Community and its Member States recall that the Republic of Cyprus became a Member State of the European Union on 1st May 2004. They underline that they recognize only the Republic of Cyprus as a subject of international law.
5. Recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process. Accordingly, the EU underlines the importance it attaches to the normalization of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible.
6. The Council will ensure a follow-up on the progress made on all these issues in 2006.
7. In the context of this declaration, the European Community and its Member States agree on the importance of supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary General to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem in line with relevant UNSCRs and the principles on which the EU is founded, and that a just and lasting settlement will contribute to peace, stability and harmonious relations in the region.
 Multilateral cooperation the only way to a better world, FM Molyviatis tells UN General AssemblyNEW YORK, 21/9/2005 (P. Panagiotou/ANA)
Multilateral cooperation was the only path for a better world, Greece's foreign minister Petros Molyviatis said late Monday (Greek time), addressing the 60th UN General Assembly in New York.
"It is only a matter of time before poverty, hunger and the catastrophic repercussions of epidemics lead to international clashes or civil conflicts," the minister warned, noting that "the international multi-lateral system must be strengthened and reinforced".
Greece, he said, "fully participates in the actions of the European Union and the various international organizations contributing to the economic development of all the areas of the world, and which aim at reducing the existing inequalities".
Before touching on a wide range of subjects that included terrorism, Kosovo, Cyprus, Turkey's European prospect, and the Middle East peace effort, Molyviatis expressed appreciation to UN secretary general Kofi Annan for his constant efforts to advance peace and security, and to safeguard the UN's moral prestige and outstanding role.
At the dawn of the 21st century, the world continued to face multiple threats and challenges, which undermined the fundamental values and principle's of the world's societies themselves and put to the test "our will and determination to fulfill our promises and commitments contained in the above values and principles".
"Only through a concerted collective action, dialogue and mutual understanding can we face the threats and challenges, and forge a course to a better, brighter future," he said.
Terrorism, Molyviatis continued, had become the most significant challenge of the times, creating an atmosphere of collective fear and intolerance and an unending cycle of violence.
"Historically, it has been proved that violence has never given a solution to our problems. Peace, stability and security can be achieved only through tolerance, acceptance and realization that our common interests supercede our differences. There is absolutely no justification for terrorism. The time has come for an urgent, collective effort in order to put a definitive end to this modern-day plague," Molyviatis stressed.
He said that natural disasters, such as the tsunami in SE Asia and the more recent Hurricane Katrina in the southern coast of the US, which had cost so many lives and caused indescribable destruction, adequately reflected the value of international cooperation and the urgent need for human solidarity.
Molyviatis said he fully comprehended the value of economic growth for substantial sections of the world. Security and viable development were parallel concepts. "It is only a matter of time before poverty, hunger and the catastrophic repercussions of epidemics lead to international clashes or civil conflicts. Our collective commitment and effort are necessary in order to remedy the inequalities and differences in the world," he said.
He noted that, at the focal point was Africa, "where the vicious cycle of poverty, conflicts and HIV/AIDS create an explosive combination that threatens the social fabric of the local societies, with unprecedented catastrophic consequences".
"Multilateral cooperation is the only path to a better world. The international multilateral system must be strengthened and reinforced. Greece fully participates in the actions of the European Union and the various international organizations that contribute to the economic development of all the areas of the world and aim at reducing the existing inequalities," the minister continued.
"We appreciate the value of multiculturalism in a world which, unfortunately, is so frequently divided by discrimination. We believe in dialogue among the cultures, among the peoples, among the societies. We fully support the peaceful resolution of all our problems, based on international law and the UN charter. We are deeply devoted to the United Nations and in what it represents, to effective international multi-lateralness, and to the supremacy of international law," he said.
Turning to Greece's "neighborhood, the Balkans, we realize that peace, stability and prosperity have not yet fully prevailed", Molyviatis said.
In Kosovo, he continued, "the wounds created by oppression in the past and the inter-ethnic violence have not yet healed. A settlement is necessary, in accordance with international legality, as expressed by the UN and the European criteria and values, which will strengthen the regional stability".
"It is our conviction that European integration is the only way for permanent solutions to the existing problems and challenges. At the same time, regional cooperation must be strengthened so that we may effectively tackle the problems of the region, Greece, which holds the presidency of the SE Europe Cooperation Process, is determined to reinforce the institutional network of this cooperation initiative and render it a real voice in the region," he said.
Molyviatis expressed deep regret that the Cyprus problem remains unresolved. In the 31 years of military occupation of one-third of the territory of Cyprus, Greece strongly supports every effort and initiative of the UN for achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, he said.
In light of last year's referenda, which should be fully respected, he said, every new effort should be carefully prepared so as to ensure real prospects of success. "On our side, we are prepared to work towards finding the necessary common ground that would render possible the resumption of substantive negotiations."
The end goal remains a solution that is the result of agreement between the two sides, Molyviatis said, adding that Greece remained firmly devoted to the achievement of a just and viable solution for the reunification of the island, following negotiations, on the basis of the UN secretary general's plans, the relevant UN Security council resolutions, and the principles governing the European Union and the acquis communautaire. "Greece will spare no effort" to this end, he said.
Moving on, Molyviatis said that the climate in Greece's bilateral relations with Turkey has been constantly improving in recent years. "We have made serious efforts to place our relations on a new, steady basis. Substantive progress has been achieved in various sectors of our bilateral cooperation. Turkey's European prospect will broaden and deepen the breadth of our relations."
Turning to the Middle East, Molyviatis said that the recent developments allowed for "contained optimism", noting that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and sections of the northern West Bank "is indeed an important landmark".
"We must take advantage of this as a unique opportunity to revive the Road Map and advance the process for achieving a must, viable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East," the Greek foreign minister said.
He said that the Road Map remained the framework for achieving a just and viable peace, and it was the duty of both sides to focus their efforts on fulfilling their relevant promises and commitments and refrain from each and every unilateral act that could pre-empt the outcome of the negotiations for a permanent status quo and undermine the confidence-building efforts.
"Our common goal remains the materialization of the solution of two states -- of Israel, and of a democratic, viable and territorially consistent Palestine -- that will coexist in a status of peace and security," Molyviatis continued.
With regard to Iraq, he said Greece underlined the importance of that country's territorial integrity and unity in the framework of a federal system. "We express, however, our particularly concern over the continued violence, which renders even more urgent the need for keeping to the timetable of the political process that will lead the country to normality, which is of vital importance for peace and stability in the entire region. We fully support Iraq in this difficult mission."
Moving on, Molyviatis stressed the deep historical ties between Greece and the African continent and its peoples. "It is with particular concern that we follow the conflicts that have plagued Africa for many years. We follow the developments in all the instances and try to contribute constructive to resolving the problems, such as in Sudan, the Congo, the countries of Western Africa, and the settlement of the differences between Ethiopia and Eritrea. We fully support and express our deep respect for the leading role played by the African Union in confronting the various crises in Africa," he said.
Molyviatis said that the UN, last Friday, adopted a historical Declaration, that comprised a new and significant step in the direction of strengthening collective security and reinforcing the UN's abilities to respond effectively to the challenges and threats faced by the modern-day societies.
"Our efforts must now focus implementation of the commitments we undertook, so that the coming generations may live in a better and safer world," the Greek foreign minister concluded.
 UN Security Council in need of reform, FM Molyviatis says
NEW YORK, 21/9/2005 (ANA/P.Panagiotou)The United Nations, and particularly the Security Council, is in need of reform considering that the Council hasn't changed over the past 60 years, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis told reporters here on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN's 60th General Assembly/world summit.
"Everything has changed since then, except for the Security Council. There is therefore an immediate need for reform. Unfortunately, reforms have not proceeded as much as we would like, but efforts continue," Molyviatis said.
The minister referred to the 60th session of the UN's General Assembly, saying that Greece had an important presence in this 'exceptional' meeting and that the country was in favor of the suggested UN reforms on all levels.
The minister is due to take part in a meeting of EU foreign ministers with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, followed by a dinner for EU and NATO foreign ministers with Rice.
Molyviatis will depart from New York around midnight Tuesday (Greek time).
 Deputy foreign minister continues contacts in NY
NEW YORK, 21/9/2005 (ANA/P/Panagiotou)Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis on Tuesday represented Greece as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in a special meeting of the body on the "Role of the society of citizens in the prevention of conflicts and the peaceful resolution of differences".
Valinakis also represented Greece in the ministerial meeting of the 'Community of Democracies', which promotes an initiative aiming at reinforcing democratic institutions and values on a national, regional and world level.
The deputy foreign minister also held meetings with many foreign counterparts.
 Deputy FM meets with Italy's minister for Italians Abroad Tremaglia
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis and Italy's Minister for Italians Abroad Mirko Tremaglia discussed ways of addressing and solving the problems facing expatriate Europeans during their meeting on Tuesday.
They also agreed to coordinate efforts between the two ministries in order to make it easier for expatriates to participate in their respective country's elections.
Tremaglia noted that it took two Constitutional changes and many years before Italians living abroad could vote in general elections at home.
Italy's minister arrived in Athens on Tuesday for a two-day visit.
Aside from meeting with Skandalakis, Tremaglia also met with representatives of major Italian companies active in Greece, and inaugurated the Greek chapter of the Confederation of Italian Entrepreneurs Worldwide (CIIM).
He also met with representatives of the Italian community in Greece at the premises of the Italian Archaeological School in Athens.
On Wednesday, Tremaglia will visit the Italian Consulate in Athens, where he will meet with members of the local Committee of Italian Residents Abroad (COM.IT.ES), followed by a visit to the Italian State School.
Tremaglia will be accompanied on his Athens visit by Italian ambassador to Greece Gian Paolo Cavarai, Italian Consul in Athens Fabrizio Lobasso, and Councilor of the General Council of Italians Abroad (CGIE) Massimo Romagnoli.
Envoy Cavarai's statement: Meanwhile, in a statement to the ANA, Ambassador Cavarai expressed satisfaction with the enthusiasm with which the Greek public greeted the spectacular appearance of the Italian Air Force's acrobatic team "Frecce Tricolori" (tricolor arrows) at Greece's first air show, Archangelos 2005, at Tanagra over the weekend. He also commended the expertise of the Italian air force pilots manning the planes.
Cavarai, who attended the air show with Italian Air Force chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Leonardo Tricarico, noted the displays put on by fourth-generation aircfaft, including the Eurofighter, which is the result of collaboration between the aerospace industries of Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.
Immediately following the flight of a prototype of the advanced Italian Aermacchi training craft M346, the Frecce Tricolori, with a 10-aircraft formation, painted the sky in the three colors of the Italian flag, from which the acrobatic team derives its name (tricolor arrows).
The air show, organized by the Hellenic Air Force to honor its patron saint, the Archangel Michael, was attended by more than 240,000 Greek and foreign spectators, including Greece's President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.
A total of 20 military air forces and 12 aerospace companies participated in the event.
 PM chairs meeting with top ministers, PPC president
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday chaired a meeting at his office with Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas as well as with the president of the bourse-listed Public Power Corp. (PPC), Yiannis Palaiokrassas.
Afterwards, Sioufas - whose portfolio includes state-run PPC - told reporters that the power utility's growth and expansion, both domestically and abroad, as well as recent friction observed in the operation of its top management councils were discussed.
Moreover, the minister dismissed that there was any issue of Palaiokrassas' resignation from the utility's top job. He also said both he himself and the PPC president promised the premier that any problems will be overcome.
Finally, Palaiokrassas said there was no issue of removing members of the current board of directors.
 Foreign ministry spokesman replies to request for National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Tuesday replied to a request by main opposition PASOK party Deputy Mihalis Chrysohoidis for a Parliamentary National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, saying that so many discussions and briefings over the past 18 months have never taken place in the past.
"Following the elections held in March 2004, the Foreign Ministry, turning into practice the political commitment on seeking the greatest possible consensus on foreign policy issues, has tangibly shaped a practice of continuous briefing and dialogue with the political parties. So many discussions and briefings of the political parties and of the Greek people have never taken place over such a short period of time in the past as they have over the past 18 months," Koumoutsakos said.
Chrysochoidis, referring to the government's refusal to embark on a Parliamentary dialogue in light of October 3 (the date on which accession negotiations between the European Union and Turkey will begin), said that "it appears that the government has adopted the tactic of a blackout and of inadequate informing on crucial issues concerning our national interests and specifically the latest important developments in relation to the upcoming beginning of accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey."
 Athens mayor on Turkey's EU aspirations, German elections
PARIS, 21/9/2005 (ANA/O.Tsipira)Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis shared her views with viewers of Paris-based Bloomberg Television on Tuesday on Turkey's European Union aspirations and German elections.
Asked to comment on the EU's expected reply to Turkey's refusal to recognize Cyprus, Bakoyannis said that it is difficult for a country to want to become a member of a club while at the same time refusing to recognize one of the existing members.
She added that Turkey will have to make a huge effort to join the EU, particularly in respect to its foreign policy and the way the state functions.
Asked whether Greece is in favor of full membership for Turkey, Bakoyannis replied that it all depends to what extent Turkey adopts European principles. However, she added that Turkey as part of the EU would be the best solution for the entire region.
On the issue of Germany's elections, the Athens mayor said that Christian Democratic Union candidate Angela Merkel's failure to win the majority cannot be attributed to the fact that she's a woman, but to the fact that while Germans want reforms they also want to hang on to a social state.
Bakoyannis also cited a poor pre-election campaign on the part of Merkel as well as Germans' strong opposition to Turkey joining the EU as factors that contributed to the election outcome.
 Patriarch winds up visit to western, central Macedonia
FLORINA, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos wound up an eight-day tour of western and central Macedonia on Tuesday with a service in the town of Florina, where he blessed several hundred local pupils.
Vartholomeos was accompanied throughout his tour by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.
He also presided over a meeting of local clerics and toured a rehabilitation centre.
Vartholomeos and his high-ranking Patriarchate entourage were scheduled to depart Florina for nearby Kozani, where he will board a plane for Athens.
 Education ministry to receive additional ¬ 50 million from budget
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The finance ministry on Tuesday approved an additional ¬ 50 million euros for the education ministry from the budget to cover increased spending needs in education.
The education ministry said that ¬ 35 million of this sum will be paid to universities and technical colleges (TEI) to cover the standing and operational costs, while the remainder will go toward the needs of education.
 Inner Cabinet approves 2 draft bills submitted by defense ministry
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The inner Cabinet on Tuesday considered and approved two draft bills submitted by the defense ministry, with the first envisioning the upgrading of military academies to the status of other higher education institutions in the country, and the other codifying and unifying conscription and military duty provisions currently contained in no less than 12 laws.
The draft bill's provision are also aimed at solving problems faced by Greeks abroad that have not fulfilled their military duty, while also slashing the conscription period from 12 to nine months for a child of a family with three children, among others.
 Parliamentary committee deepens probe in arms deals
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The Parliamentary Committee charged with investigating two arms procurement deals conducted by the former PASOK government, unanimously decided on Tuesday to deepen their probe into the bank account of the company brokering the deal for the purchase of the Russian TOR M1 missiles by enlisting the help of experts.
According to the committee, whose members accessed Drumilan International's bank transactions for November 2, 2000, the company's President Al Zayad Fouad transferred $300,000 on that day, while the Russian missile manufacturer Antey deposited $4 million for Drumilan in a Swiss bank account.
Both Yiannis Tragakis, head of the investigative committee and Christos Zois, representative of the ruling New Democracy party, said that "there are suspicious transactions involving large sums of money between Drumilan International and the Russian company Antey."
Main opposition PASOK representative Andreas Loverdos called the procedure "ridiculous", while representatives of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) said it was not possible to draw any "safe, political conclusions" from the bank accounts.
 State's readiness ahead of winter season discussed at civil defense headquarters
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The state's readiness to deal with repercussions from inclement weather during the coming winter season, especially snow and ice removal from highways, dominated a meeting on Tuesday chaired by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Civil Defense General Secretary Panayiotis Fourlas.
The meeting, attended by several other high-ranking agency heads, was held at the civil defense secretariat's offices.
 PASOK party leader chairs Coordinating Body's meeting
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou chaired a meeting of the Parliamentary Group's Coordinating Body on Tuesday and indicated that PASOK will proceed with the slogan "there is another path" in the near future and probably until the next elections (normally due in the spring of 2008).
Speaking during the meeting, Papandreou said we must promote and highlight the "other path" from the one followed by the ruling New Democracy party both in general policy and on individual issues.
The PASOK leader expressed satisfaction over the party's overall presence at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (TIF), saying that the outcome was the result of collective work.
Commenting on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' speech and his presence in Thessaloniki, Papandreou accused the prime minister of not setting rules in the business game for two reasons: firstly, so that he can have options based on the interests he wishes to serve and, secondly, so that he can hold businessmen hostage.
Papandreou also said that privatizations are not taking place according to a plan but "for the coffers to be filled" which are empty.
 Parliament president receives Jordanian ambassador
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki on Tuesday received Jordan's ambassador to Greece, Mohammad Daoudia.
According to reports, the Jordanian envoy invited the Greek Parliament president to officially visit his country.
 Marovic stresses need for democratic Kosovo solution in interview with ANA-MPA
BELGRADE, 21/9/2005 (ANA - N. Pelpas)In an exclusive interview with the ANA-MPA on Tuesday, Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic underlined the necessity of a democratic solution for Kosovo.
"The issue of Kosovo must be solved in a democratic way, through dialogue, without exclusions or unilateral actions, because this is the only way that a viable solution can be found. The stability and future of the entire area depend on how the Kosovo issue is solved," Marovic stressed.
He said that Serbia and Montenegro desired stability in Kosovo that would allow the return of those who had fled the province and an end of violence targeting the minority population.
Marovic, who is due to begin an official visit to Greece on Wednesday at the invitation of President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, also referred to relations with Greece and to Greece's potential role in solving the Kosovo problem as a temporary member of the UN Security Council and as a Balkan country "that understands about divisions and conflicts and the importance of avoiding actions that fuel tension and conflicts".
Serbia and Montenegro's president also stressed that his talks with Greece's leadership would come at a crucial time for Serbia and Montenegro, which is due to begin talks with the EU in October for an association and stability agreement.
"At this point in our European course we see Greece as an important ally and partner," Marovic said, while stressing that relations between the two countries were a "model of relations between friends and partners in a region where stability and economic growth had great importance for all of Europe".
Serbia and Montenegro's president also confirmed that he intended to ask Greece for its support in the country's European course, while noting that Athens had already done much to help the European prospects of the western Balkans.
Concerning economic relations, Marovic noted that Greece was second highest among foreign investors in Serbia and Montenegro, and that this could be increased even more.
He also pointed to a recent report by the World Bank that placed Serbia and Montenegro at the top of a list of countries with the greatest drive in implementing economic reforms and stressed that the legal framework protected foreign investments, while the country also offered tax incentives and specialized staff.
Asked how a referendum for independence by Montenegro in 2006 might affect the country, Marovic spoke in favor of dialogue in order to support the Serbia and Montenegro agreement and preserve the union as one of independent and internationally recognized states.
"This solution would be a compromise between the existing state entity and the holding of a referendum that would lead to the break-up of Serbia and Montenegro," he said.
 FinMin presents IMF report on economy
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The Greek government will not take any new initiatives to resolve the pension system during its current four-year term, but a dialogue on the issue will begin, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis clarified on Tuesday.
Presenting the report of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation on the Greek economy, Alogoskoufis noted that the IMF recommended that the government take immediate measures to resolve the pension problem and speed up reforms in the country. The Greek minister said the ministry did not favor "hard adjustment" polices and that a mild adjustment policy adopted by the government was a conscious choice.
The IMF cites problems in the Greek pension system after the year 2010 due to an ageing population, while reiterating that the government did not seek to make any new changes in the system during its four-year term.
The IMF report said the Greek labor market is currently in a phase of significant reforms, although the pace remained low, thus urging more deregulation in labor markets. Alogoskoufis said the government would not seek any changes in the labor market.
The International Monetary Fund welcomed the government's target to reduce its fiscal deficit below 3.0 percent by 2006 and urged changes in the operation of the public sector, with "deep reforms in the management of spending and tax administration".
On his part, Alogoskoufis again underlined that the government aimed to promote growth, employment and social cohesion in the country.
Commenting on draft legislation to be debated in a parliamentary committee over changes in drafting a company's "information bulletin" listing in the stock market through a public offering, the Greek minister said the new law's innovation was the fact that the bulletin would be recognized by other EU member-states as well and no additional approval would be needed for listing in any other EU stock market.
Finmin to IMF, World Bank meetings: Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis leaves for Washington on Wednesday to represent Greece at an annual general meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
On Thursday, the minister will meet senior officials of the US House of Representatives and Senate, and address a round-table discussion on opportunities in the eurozone and growth in southeastern Europe arranged by the European Institute.
On Friday, Alogoskoufis is to visit the American Hellenic Institute to meet ethnic Greeks; give an interview to CNN television; meet the general director of the World Bank, S Zhang; and hold talks with IMF officials.
On Saturday, the minister will address the IMF and World Bank meeting; and on Sunday meet IMF director for European affairs, M Doppler.
Finally, he will present the Greek economy to institutional investors in New York on Saturday, and speak on Bloomberg television.
 Main opposition says IMF report shows gov't policy a failure
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement said on Tuesday that an IMF report on Greece released earlier in the day showed that the government's economic policy was a failure.
Among points in the report were a major decline in investment, and an anticipated drop in growth for 2006, party economics spokeswoman, Vasso Papandreou, said in a statement.
The IMF also noted that any reduction in the fiscal deficit was due to "creative accounting" in securitization of outstanding debts; and it reported a drop in tax revenue, especially Value Added Tax, she stated.
Papandreou said the IMF findings confirmed PASOK's view that new, harsh economic measures were in store that would hit people on lower incomes.
 Labor union, Coalition party express concern over IMF's proposals
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party on Tuesday expressed concern over proposals made by the International Monetary Fund concerning the Greek economy.
An announcement by GSEE said that "what is alarming and new are not the IMF's proposals themselves, but the fact that they find recipients with government ears and because they are moving along the same political line", adding that it "categorically rejects these 'recipes' and policies because they go against the interests of society."
The Coalition party's Political Bureau member Panayiotis Lafazanis said "it is known that the IMF's recipes, in whatever countries they were applied, were paid for by the peoples with tears, poverty and impoverishment. The Greek people will pay a similar price as a result of the implementation of the government's recent so-called reforms which the IMF's report of conclusions welcomes with cries of enthusiasm."
 Olympic Investors interested in Olympic Airlines as one company, its founder says
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Olympic Investors continues to be interested in buying Olympic Airlines despite a huge fine imposed on the airline company by the European Commission, Costas Alexakis, the founder of Olympic Investors, told "GreekNews" a Greek newspaper published in New York.
Olympic Investors participates in an international tender for the sale of Olympic Airlines and has signed a non-binding agreement with the Greek state. Alexakis reiterated his company's interest in acquiring the Greek national carrier, although he expressed his concern over the huge fine imposed on the company, saying he hoped the government would act on that. He stressed that the EU decision was expected.
Alexakis said that Olympic Airlines should continue to operate as an integrated company and noted that his company was not interested in buying parts of Olympic Airlines. He said that York Capital has 6.5 billion US dollars, currently, in its coffers, which was more than enough to buy the Greek airline. He reassured that OA's workers would not lose their jobs and said that more staff would be hired after the beginning of a new line linking Athens with Baltimore, USA.
Meanwhile, Greek travel agents on Tuesday announced they would start a pan-Hellenic campaign aimed to save Olympic Airlines.
Yiannis Evangelou, HATTA's president, said its members would begin a communication campaign and collect money for this cause. HATTA has expressed interest in participating in Olympic Airlines' shareholders list again in the past.
Evangelou said if political parties and the Greek state returned money owed to the national carrier, then Olympic Airlines would not face any problems and stressed that OA carriers around 5-6 million passengers each year, of which 50 percent foreigners, evidence of its significance in incoming tourism.
HATTA urged the government to persuade the European Commission over the significance of the national airline in the country's economic and social life.
 Gov't on OA privatization
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The government spokesman on Tuesday reiterated that contacts by an international financial consultant overseeing the current privatization effort for Olympic Airways (OA) with potential buyers -- namely, if they are still interested in the purchase -- must first be exhausted before subsequent decisions are made.
Asked about the prospect of state participation in a future OA, spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos again cited a recent statement by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who clarified that Olympic cannot continue to operate in its present form.
 EU Council of Agriculture Ministers convenes in BrusselsBRUSSELS (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)
The European Union's Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers convened here on Monday, focusing primarily on the sector of sugar, while Greece was represented by Agricultural Development and Foodstuffs Minister Evangelos Basiakos.
Referring to reforms in the sugar sector, Basiakos had the opportunity once again of expressing to the Commissioner and the Council President his categorical disagreement with the Commission's proposals, particularly with regard to the decrease in prices, the time when the new status will be put into effect and the duration of the transitional period.
Basiakos also called for the immediate taking of measures to protect EU producers as a result of extensive imports and for the restoration of the market's healthy functioning in the sensitive sectors of fruit, vegetables and wine.
 Greece's largest business delegation ever to Russia Sept 27-30
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Greece is to send a business delegation to Russia on September 27-30, the largest it has ever sent to any country, Deputy Foreign Minister Euripides Stylianidis said on Tuesday.
"This demonstrates the importance we attach to economic diplomacy, also as a part of opening up towards new markets, which is the policy that Premier Costas Karamanlis announced," Stylianidis told members of the delegation at the Athens Chamber of Trade and Industry.
The purpose of the trip to Russia is to boost exports, spur the creation of joint ventures, attract Russian investors, and sign a political protocol to implement targets set by Karamanlis and Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent meetings.
A key issue for Athens is the avoidance of double taxation. If Moscow signs an agreement, it will pave the way for a pact on shipping, according to the head of economic ties between Greece and Russia, Ambassador Spyros Georgiles.
Other major sectors to be promoted are energy - especially natural gas - tourism, transport and agriculture, Georgiles noted.
Playing a key role in the delegation will be northern Greek company representatives, Stylianidis said recently after a meeting with the Association of Northern Greek Industry in Thessaloniki.
Stylianidis also noted that Hellenic Aid was the first organization to send aid to Beslan for reconstruction of its school, and to house child survivors.
 EU enlargement seen giving new impetus to tourism
BRUSSELS, 21/9/2005 (ANA/V Demiris)Enlargement of the European Union should bring a fresh impetus to travel, Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Tuesday.
Opening an exhibition on Greece, Europe and tourism towards growth and cooperation at the Europarliament, Avramopoulos said more tourism would spur growth and prosperity, also widening cooperation in economic, social and cultural activity.
"Tourism should be a tool to widen cooperation and bring contact with many countries, while evolving conditions for economic growth and prosperity for all citizens, without exception," he said.
The minister also called on Eurodeputies whose countries were tourist destinations to contribute to growth and promote sustainable development in the sector; and he noted Greece's leading role in advancing tourism diplomacy.
Arranging the exhibition, which was timed to coincide with World Tourism Day on September 27, was ruling New Democracy party eurodeputy Rodi Kratsa with the Greek National Tourism Organization.
 Gov't on flight of businesses abroad, creation of new jobs
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The government on Tuesday emphasized that recently published figures showing a flight of Greek businesses abroad -- especially to neighboring Balkan countries -- reveal the true picture of the Greek economy, "confirming that we spoke truthfully about a virtual situation".
Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos' statement referred to ruling New Democracy's sharp criticism of the previous government's economic performance.
Roussopoulos added that the government was constantly working on creating new jobs and facilitating the opening of new businesses, as he pointed to recent tax reforms and a new development law.
 Development minister meets visiting California senators
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Tuesday met with a six-member delegation of U.S. senators from California, as well as three representatives of the private sector.
During the meeting, Sioufas outlined the government's new economic and developmental policy and the favorable investment climate being created in Greece. He also analyzed the government's policy for energy and briefed the delegation on the activities of the development ministry.
The senators expressed interest in the steady progress made by Greece since the Olympic Games, particularly in energy policy and the new investment environment.
The six senators included Sheila A. Kuehl, Chair of the Standing Committee for Natural Resources and Water, Senate Republic leader Dick Ackerman, Elaine Alquist, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Christine Kehoe, Chair of the Standing Committee for Local Government, Bob Margett and Ezilda Samoville, head of the Senater Office of International Relations and board chairman of the California International Relations Foundation.
Also at the meeting were George Steffes, director of public relations at Foley & Lardener LLP, Cesar Vargas of Altria Corporate Affairs and Vera Janushkowsky of Corporate Affairs Inc. All three are also on the board of California's International Relations Foundation.
 Greek minister dismisses talk over privatization of Athens Water
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias on Tuesday dismissed talk over the privatization of Athens Water Company, saying "such talk did not reflect reality".
Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, the Greek minister said the government was not examining the privatization of Athens Water. "Our program clearly says that Athens Water will maintain its public character," Souflias stressed.
 Greek mobile phone rates among highest in EU
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Greek mobile phone rates are among the highest in the European Union, the bloc's information society commissioner, Viviane Reding, said in a statement.
The commissioner was replying to a question from a ruling New Democracy eurodeputy, Manolis Mavrommatis, on the level of transparency in European mobile phone services, especially roaming.
According to EU data, other countries ranking top in rates are the United Kingdom, Portugal and Denmark, Reding said.
Later this year, the EU plans to carry on its website samples of retail roaming rates in all member states. In 2006, the regulatory framework for the sector will be revised.
 Greek stocks end lower on Tuesday
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)Greek stocks continued falling for the second consecutive session at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, reflecting lack of fresh incentives in the market. Traders said investors liquidated positions in high- and small-capitalization stocks.
The composite index fell 0.24 percent to end at 3,243.59 points, with turnover a low 148.4 million euros.
Sector indices ended lower, with the Construction (1.80 pct), IT Solutions (1.17 pct), Retail (0.83 pct), Publications (0.71 pct) and Mineral-Cement (0.69 pct), suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day. The Insurance (0.35 pct), Textiles (0.34 pct), Investments (0.12 pct) and Industrials (0.07 pct), scored gains.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 0.32 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.11 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.53 percent down.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 154 to 111 with another 67 issues unchanged.
Equity Index Futures:
Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday
Reference buying rates per euro released
by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.225
 ANA journalist made honorary professor by Austrian president
VIENNA, 21/9/2005 (ANA/D. Dimitrakoudis)ANA correspondent in central Europe Dimitris Dimitrakoudis has been awarded the title of honorary professor by Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
The honorary doctorate was presented to Dimitrakoudis by Austrian Education Minister Elisabeth Gehrer during a ceremony at the Austrian education ministry on Monday night.
 Greek research team wins award for discovering new heart attack risk indicator
STOCKHOLM, 21/9/2005 (ANA)A Greek research team from the Alexandroupolis medical school has won a prize for discovering a new, previously unknown indicator of clinical risk for having an acute heart attack that was presented at the annual conference of the European Cardiological Society in Stockholm, it was announced on Tuesday.
The paper presented by the Cardiological Clinic of the Democretian University of Thrace was hailed as exceptionally important and won the prize for "Cardiological Research by young research cardiologists under 40" among another 9028 research papers presented.
According to the head of the team Dimitrios Hatseras, the findings will allow major breakthroughs in the diagnosis, prevention and cure of coronary heart disease and its complications, such as acute heart attacks and unstable angina.
The research paper has focused on cholesterol contents in red-blood cell membranes, finding a link with clinical instability and acute coronary syndromes.
It was selected among the six best papers submitted to the 26th Panhellenic Cardiological Conference that will be held on November 3-5 in Athens, while it has also been selected to be presented at the annual conference of the American Cardiological Society that will take place on November 13-16 in Dallas, Texas.
 'Days of Greco-Russian Friendship' event to be held on Limnos
LEMNOS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The "Days of Greco-Russian Friendship" event will be taking place on the Aegean island of Limnos between September 24-28 and for the second consecutive year. The event will take place at the initiative of the local authorities and with the support of the Russian embassy.
The manifestations are aimed at strengthening friendship between the two peoples and the restoration of the memory of the Russians who were taken to the island during the 1920-1921 period, according to a Russian embassy announcement.
Last year, when the event was held for the first time, a cross was erected in memory of the Russian Cossacks who died on Limnos during the 1920-1921 period. In November 1920, following the capture of the Crimea by the Red Army, the whiteguard Cossacks from the Kuban Corps (18,000 men) and the Don Corps (4,000 men) were taken to Limnos on board allied British and French ships, where they stayed for about a year.
As a result of illnesses, a typhoid epidemic and starvation 500 Cossacks died and were buried on an isolated beach near Portiano, where their camp had been created.
 University of Macedonia to receive EU's 'ecological seal'
THESSALONIKI, 21/9/2005 (ANA)The University of Macedonia is the only foundation in Greece and the only public agency to obtain the European Union's "ecological seal."
Through the development of a system of environmental management, which registers and limits the repercussions of the foundation's functioning on the environment (paper, ink, garbage, etc), the University of Macedonia has received the go-ahead to be certified in accordance with the European EMAS model of environmental management.
Speaking to the Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA), Environmental Management chief Eftychios Sartzetakis expressed the wish that this "will only be the beginning of new higher targets for its final promotion to a model of academic environmental excellence at European level as well."
 Appeals judges issue arrest warrant for former judge
ATHENS, 21/9/2005 (ANA)A warrant for the arrest of former first-instance court judge Constantina Bourboulia was issued on Tuesday by order of the Appeals Judges Council.
The warrant concerns criminal charges of abuse of authority and legalizing income from illegal activities.
The decision to issue an arrest warrant for Bourboulia had been referred to the Appeals Judges' Council after a disagreement between the public prosecutor and a special Appeals Court examining magistrate in charge of the case.
Bourboulia was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison about two months ago after a conviction on misdemeanor charges concerning her handling of the investigation of a stock market case in the period 1999-2001.
 Dep. Sports Minister Orfanos outlines success of 2004 volunteers to EU counterparts
LIVERPOOL, 21/9/2005 (ANA - G. Dimitroglou)Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos on Tuesday stressed the importance of volunteerism in the success of major sports events, speaking here on the second and last day of an informal meeting of European Union sports ministers.
In pointing to Greece's experience with last year's wildly successful Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games of Athens, Orfanos reiterated to his EU counterparts that the "costs and (massive) investment for major sports events force organizers to rely, to a great extent, on the services of volunteers. Otherwise, every event would face an insurmountable financial problem".
He also underlined that the Athens 2004 Games' success was directly linked to the excellent performance of volunteers.
To prove his point, Orfanos said more than 45,000 2004 Olympic volunteers worked in Athens alone, out of an initial pool of 140,000 applicants.
"Over roughly two years we trained our volunteers, conveying to them the message of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The work was not easy and many hours along with patience was invested by the Athens Organizing Committee's (ATHOC) staff," he noted.
Finally, he said most foreign volunteers hailed from the United States, Australia and Italy. "What's also amazing is the fact that we didn't lose one volunteer during the holding of the Games."
 Cyprus trying to avoid linking recognition with settlement
LARNACA, 21/9/2005 (CNA/ANA)Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Tuesday that the Republic of Cyprus is making efforts to avert linking its recognition by Turkey to the solution of the Cyprus problem in an EU counterstatement regarding Ankara's declaration that it does not recognize the Republic.
In statements at Larnaca Airport on arrival from the US, where he addressed the UN General Assembly, President Papadopoulos said it would also be a negative development if the issuing of the counterstatement were to be cancelled and Turkey began accession negotiations with the EU based on a negotiating framework agreed on by the other 24 member states and Cyprus being in the weak position to demand changes.
The president's statements were made few hours before an agreement was reached in Brussels Tuesday night, after deliberations between the Permanent Representatives of the United Kingdom and Cyprus, on the content of the EU counterstatement to the unilateral declaration of Turkey.
President Papadopoulos noted that on the counterstatement issue, despite the large support of Cypriot positions by a large number of EU member states, the British presidency right from the beginning did not fulfill its obligations as a presiding country but instead promoted its own positions, ignoring the wishes of the EU members.
President Papadopoulos said that it was not the meeting of Cypriot positions that was pending in the counterstatement but the British presidency's objections to the content of the text, noting that this objection had to do with the fact that Britain wanted to link the recognition of the Republic by Turkey to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
On July 29, Turkey signed the protocol extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, but at the same time issued a declaration saying that it did not recognize the Republic. The EU has been working on a counterstatement to Ankara's declaration.
President Papadopoulos said that the EU deemed the counterstatement unnecessary, however ''on our side it was considered to be very dangerous because it contained elements, provisions and statements concerning the existence of the Republic of Cyprus and the future relations of Turkey with Europe.''
''Turkey questioned the legitimacy and existence of the Republic of Cyprus, referred to the existence of the pseudostate in the occupied areas, stated that it would not apply aspects of the protocol concerning Cyprus and that there would be no recognition of Cyprus until the solution of the Cyprus problem, meaning when the current legal state of the Republic ceased to exist and was replaced by another,'' President Papadopoulos pointed out.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
The president said that three main aims of Cyprus concerning the counterstatement have been fulfilled, namely that it would be made clear that Turkey's declaration was unilateral and produced no legal result, that the implementation of the protocol could not be affected by Ankara's reservations, and that it was necessary to fully implement the protocol, which held a ''special interest'' for Cyprus, since it would mean opening Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.
''These three aims have been fully met,'' the president said, noting however that unanimity is required to approve the counterstatement.
He explained that ''despite the great support our positions have been met with by a large number of EU member states, the British presidency from the beginning, we believe, did not fulfill its obligations as a presiding country, but instead promoted its own positions, ignoring the wishes of all the member states.''
''We have no illusions that Turkey will proceed with the recognition any time soon, but the counterstatement includes a provision to reexamine the whole issue within the year 2006,'' he added.
The president pointed out that linking the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey to the solution of the Cyprus problem would be ''harmful for our side'' and noted that it was for this reason that ''we have been trying very-very hard to avoid this connection.''
Referring to Turkey's negotiating framework, the president said this contained the December 2004 European Council decisions and was mainly a series of general principles with which Turkey was obliged to comply.
He pointed out that ''our decisions will be taken with the conclusion of the working of the text.''
Replying to questions, President Papadopoulos said the negotiating framework was ''certainly a very serious text but you understand how weak our position becomes if it is accepted by all other member states and we are the only disagreeing country.''
On the Cyprus problem, President Papadopoulos said that in New York he met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who told him some thoughts of his regarding a new initiative for a settlement.
President Papadopoulos said the positions of the Greek Cypriot side were clear and well known, namely that the Cyprus problem remains under UN auspices and that the settlement should comply with UN resolutions, the acquis communautaire and the principles on which the EU exists and operates.
The president noted that during his meeting with Annan he reiterated that a fresh dialogue to solve the Cyprus problem should be well prepared and that the UN chief agreed with this position.
''How the Secretary General will continue his initiative and to what extent and with which intensity is at his discretion,'' the president said, noting that ''he has told me some thoughts, which however cannot be announced.''
He also told Annan that ''we wish for a more active involvement of the EU in the process without the EU replacing the UN in their role.''
He also said that he would be convening the National Council, top advisory body to the president on the handling of the Cyprus problem, on Friday to discuss the latest developments.
 Cyprus representations for destruction of archaeological site in occupied areas
NICOSIA, 21/9/2005 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus Antiquities Department has made, via Cyprus Foreign Ministry, representations to international organizations for the protection of monuments and for the destruction of an archaeological site at the north-eastern Apostolos Andreas cape, which the Turkish occupation army flattened in order to pave a road and erect two flag masts for the flags of Turkey and the pseudostate.
Invited to comment reports in the Turkish Cypriot newspaper ''Africa'', Director of the Antiquities Department Pavlos Flourentzos told CNA that representations were made a long time before the reports.
He said representations were addressed mainly to UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), noting that ''it is their responsibility now to take action.''