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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-05-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

May 15, 2006

CONTENTS

  • [01] FM Bakoyannis: History does not forgive missed opportunities
  • [02] President Papoulias, PM Karamanlis and party leaders issue messages regarding Pontian genocide
  • [03] President voices message against war and barbarity, in memorial event for victims of Nazi atrocities
  • [04] PASOK leader attacks gov't on farm, foreign policy
  • [05] PASOK party's regional conferences continuing over weekend
  • [06] Coalition party leader addresses Central Political Committee
  • [07] SYN leader says gov't is 'dissolving the social state'
  • [08] Poll shows dissatisfaction with PASOK's exercise of opposition
  • [09] Former PASOK party minister visits Xanthi
  • [10] Annual Marathon Peace march held
  • [11] Crete's peace movements demonstrate outside US base at Akrotiri
  • [12] Central bank governor appeals for more rapid structural changes
  • [13] Parliamentary deputies call for upgrading of Souda port
  • [14] Conference held in Patra on 'Western Railway Axis'
  • [15] Conference on social dimension of new technologies
  • [16] Athens municipality honors Mother's Day
  • [17] Studies: Low percentage of women in top local gov't positions
  • [18] Fatal traffic accidents decrease in Thessaloniki during first four months of year
  • [19] Police arrest two for trafficking child porn through Internet
  • [20] Two arrested on migrant-smuggling charges
  • [21] Olympiakos crowned champions; AEK in champions League qualifier
  • [22] Papadopoulos says Turkey does not intend to implement EU Protocol
  • [23] Cypriot, British ministers meet in Vienna

  • [01] FM Bakoyannis: History does not forgive missed opportunities

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was quoted in a newspaper interview over the weekend as stressing that "history does not forgive missed opportunities", although she noted that there was "new momentum on the Cyprus problem" following Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos' meeting in Paris with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in late February.

    In an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of the daily Ethnos, Bakoyannis said progress was already being made in the direction of setting up so-called "technical committees" that will discuss certain issues of common interest.

    She added that the volition of the Cyprus government was for the committees to also deal with political issues, "in other words, issues of substance", so that they could act in a preparatory way for a new initiative, which she stressed must be well-prepared.

    "With respect to the Cyprus issue, I have said a simple truth, which is understood by all my counterparts: A solution that is imposed, against the view of the people, cannot be a solution. For there to be a solution, it must be well-prepared and acceptable by both leadership and people," Bakoyannis continued. Turning to the outstanding matter of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' visit to Turkey, Bakoyannis reiterated that "at this time we are seeking a new date via the diplomatic channels". Asked whether this date could possibly be in 2006, she replied "of course".

    In reply to another question, the foreign minister reiterated Athens' standing position, namely, "in cases of search and rescue operations inside the Athens FIR (Flight Information Region), the authority and coordination belongs to Greece".

    Turning to the outstanding matter of prime minister Costas Karamanlis' visit to Turkey, Bakoyannis reiterated that "at this time we are seeking a new date via the diplomatic channels" and, asked whether this date could prospectively be in 2006, she replied "of course".

    To another question, the foreign minister reiterated the firm Greek position that "in cases of search and rescue operations inside the Athens FIR (Flight Information Region), the authority and coordination belongs to Greece".

    [02] President Papoulias, PM Karamanlis and party leaders issue messages regarding Pontian genocide

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis as well as party leaders addressed messages read out at an event organized on Sunday in remembrance of the WWI-era Pontian genocide in modern-day northeastern Turkey.

    The event was hosted at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Macedonia by the National Federation of Pontian (ethnic Greeks in the Black Sea area) Societies.

    Papoulias said noted that "the Black Sea Greeks, despite all adversities, have healed their wounds, are living on the land of the motherland, are contributing to the progress achieved in our country and preserve the roots and memory of lost motherlands."

    The prime minister, on his part, stressed that "respecting, in practice, the teachings of history, Greece today is a force of peace, democracy and development for the wider region. Being the only European Union member-state in southeastern Europe, we actively support the effort of all our neighbors to join the European family, provided, of course, that they fully respond to all obligations entailed by the option of this path."

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou said the history of Pontian Hellenism is well known, as is its contribution to the development of modern-day Greece, while adding that the international community must recognize the Pontian genocide.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alekos Alavanos said his party remains steadfastly in solidarity with the struggles of the Pontian communities.

    The leader of the out-of-Parliament Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, George Karatzaferis, called on Greeks never to forget the sacrifice of the Pontians.

    [03] President voices message against war and barbarity, in memorial event for victims of Nazi atrocities

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias issued a message against war against war and barbarity, addressing on Sunday an event in memory of the 318 victims of Nazi atrocities in 1944 in the village of Pyrgoi, in Vermio municipality, Kozani prefecture.

    Peace cannot be imposed by war, Papoulias told reporters at the event, adding that it was everyone's duty to resist barbarity and the school of thought that maintains that only through violence can there be progress and democracy.

    "It is a duty for me, as a man who lived 15 years in Germany and still cannot reply to the question: Why this barbarity, why this inhumanity? The new generation of Germans is, of course, consoling. The political class of Germans has come to overcome this heavy past. I believe it has overcome it," Papoulias said.

    Germany, he continued, "is a progressive, democratic country that is fighting for its future".

    "I believe, though, that we have the duty of resisting barbarity. Of resisting the thought, the school, that maintains that only with violence can there be progress and democracy," Papoulias said, adding: "Progress and democracy presuppose peace, and peace cannot be imposed by polemic means. We, all the peoples, must fight (for peace), on a global scale, and the political class must be at the forefront. The struggle for peace is the ultimate ideal of the land and, through peace, all the virtues of a humanitarian civilization will arise."

    At a lunch hosted later in his honor, the President called for vigilance against barbarity, stressing that knowledge of history was the safe way to political maturity.

    "The horrendous and callous crimes committed in the name of the Hitlerian principle of 'collective responsibility' comprise a dark page in the history of the 20th century, to which we have the duty to return in our effort to interpret that abhorrent phenomenon so that it may never be repeated," Papoulias said.

    Today, we express our respect to the victims of the Nazi barbarity who, on that morning of April 24, 1944, became martyrs in the struggle for freedom, the President continued.

    He said the collective experience of the Nazi occupation was another side of the collective duty: to never allow time to cover up these crimes and to be on a constant vigilance so that the world may not fall again into barbarity.

    "For me, personally, my presence in every corner of Greece that suffered under the occupation and vindictiveness of the occupiers is a great honor and duty. And for every generation of our country, the knowledge of history is, I believe, a safe path to political maturity," Papoulias continued.

    President Papoulias attended a Te Deum at the Archangellon (Archangels) Church, followed by a memorial service at the Momument of the Fallen, where he laid a wreath.

    Also attending the events were Macedonia-Thrace minister George Kalantzis, MPs, Vermio mayor Sophocles Sidiropoulos, and representatives of the local authorities.

    [04] PASOK leader attacks gov't on farm, foreign policy

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Sunday again sharply criticized the government over agricultural policy, as well as its policy on foreign affairs issues and the operation of the country's institutions, during an address in the central town of Lamia.

    Papandreou repeatedly accused the New Democracy (ND) government of 'secret agendas', and spoke of "hopes lost", adding that PASOK was the "third road".

    Regarding foreign policy, Papandreou said Greece was "absent" both in the Balkans and in Europe.

    "Everything is where we (the preceding PASOK governments) left them," he said, charging that the government was interested only in "dividing the citizens into green (PASOK-affiliated) and blue (ND-affiliated), and working out methods to establish the client-state and political favors".

    Additionally, he accused the government of "using an old right-wing recipe", adding that the measures it was taking and its public pronouncements provided only "crumbs", aimed at the elections. "The only thing they care about is the elections and how to get the vote of the ordinary citizen".

    Regarding the everyday problems faced by the citizens, Papandreou spoke of a "climate of high prices", accusing the government of not being able to control the market to the benefit of the consumers while, on the economy, he said that the steps taken for the dismissed workers of the Naousa textile mills were inadequate.

    He accused Karamanlis of choosing to cut back on funds to the provinces for infrastructure projects, saying that the premier "considers investment in the provinces wasteful spending", and also accused the government of abandoning the farm sector.

    Gov't spokesman: Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, commenting on an earlier address by main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou at a local party conference in Lamia, central Greece, said that "wooden language, demolishing everything and polarization are the last resort of Mr. Papandreou and his party."

    "It is the only thing they can respond with vis-à-vis the tangible results of the new governance, results which the citizens and all international organizations are aware of. Unfortunately, for them, they cannot convince anyone any more," Roussopoulos added.

    [05] PASOK party's regional conferences continuing over weekend

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The main opposition PASOK party's regional conferences will continue over the weekend in five regions in the country in light of the municipal and prefecture elections taking place in the country in October.

    The purpose of the initiative is to promote and discuss the party's positions on local administration, decentralization and public administration, as well as to examine issues concerning regional development and local societies.

    PASOK wants the regional conferences to become a wider venue for dialogue and consultation and discussions will include party cadres, deputies, Eurodeputies and municipal and prefecture candidates.

    Party leader George Papandreou will be addressing a regional conference in Lamia, central Greece, at the Labor Centre on Sunday morning. Three other regional conferences will be taking place in other cities on the same day.

    [06] Coalition party leader addresses Central Political Committee

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party leader Alekos Alavanos, addressing the party's Central Political Committee on Saturday on the issue of the constitutional amendment, said that he discerns election games and an effort to attack the social state in Greece. He also criticized the government in connection with the case of the Pakistanis.

    Alavanos said that the government has been exposed because it had provided assurances that no abductions had taken place.

    Referring at length to the dialogue on the social insurance issue, the Coalition party leader stressed that his party is utilizing every possibility at its disposal, particularly in Parliament, to promote its own proposals as well as its substantiated positions on the social insurance issue.

    On the question of the constitution's amendment, Alavanos said that before laws concerning the previous amendments in 1996 and 2001 were issued, meaning before these amendments were implemented, we are heading for a new constitutional amendment.

    Alavanos announced that next week the party will be promoting a series of positions regarding support for social rights and the social state, the widening of freedoms and of democracy and respect for the environment.

    Lastly, commenting on the work of the 4th European Social Forum that took place earlier this month, Alavanos expressed his absolute satisfaction.

    [07] SYN leader says gov't is 'dissolving the social state'

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Progress (SYN) leader Alekos Alavanos accused the New Democracy (ND) government of "dissolving the social state", in an interview with Eleftherotypia daily appearing in the newspaper's Sunday edition.

    ND, he said, was establishing a bankers' state, re-establishing the partisan state with its essential abolition of the ASEP (civil service hiring examinations board), and turning Greece over "to the international para-state of the US and British secret services".

    Alavanos also accused the main opposition PASOK party of being in line with the views of the government on central points, "from the lack of daring to reveal the US's role in the telephone tapings, to the retirement age".

    He said, however, that it was "a good thing" that PASOK, "which backed the institution of the (Kavala-Drama-Xanthi) supra-prefecture as a fortress against the rights of the minority citizens of Greece, is taking, after so many years, a step towards our perception", and called on the main opposition party to co-sign an amendment to be tabled by SYN calling for the abolition of the two supra-prefectures in northern Greece.

    [08] Poll shows dissatisfaction with PASOK's exercise of opposition

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A large proportion of 61.5 percent of respondents were unsatisfied with the manner in which main opposition PASOK was exercising opposition, according to a nationwide opinion poll conducted by Kappa Research, the results of which were published in the Sunday weekly newspaper Proto Thema.

    According to the results of the poll, conducted on May 10-11 by phone nationwide in a sampling of 1,359 households, 48.5 percent of the respondents said they were "not satisfied" and 13.0 percent replied they were "rather not satisfied", while 19.9 percent replied that they were "satisfied" and 16.8 percent said they were "rather satisfied". Another 1.9 percent were "not sure" or declined to reply.

    Respondents were more or less in agreement, however, on PASOK leader George Papandreou's decision to back Gul Karahasan, a woman member of the Moslem community and alternate secretary of PASOK's municipal organization in Miki in the Xanthi prefecture, as the PASOK-backed candidate for the Drama-Xanthi-Kavala supraprefecture.

    More specifically, 46.1 percent "agree", with the decision and 8.3 percent "rather agree", while 38.9 percent "disagree" and 5.3 percent "rather disagree", whereas 1.4 percent were not sure or declined to reply.

    The percentages varied somewhat among the 611 households polled in the Drama, Xanthi, Kavala region, where 44.2 percent "agree", 8.2 percent "rather agree", 43.9 percent "disagree" and 5.3 percent "rather disagree", while 0.7 percent were not sure or declined to reply.

    However, with respect to voters' intent in the households polled in the Drama-Kavala-Xanthi supra-prefecture, the ruling New Democracy (ND) party-backed candidate led with 41.9 percent over Karahasan, who was backed by 27.7 percent of the respondents, while 14.7 percent backed "other candidates" and 15.7 percent were not sure or declined to reply.

    [09] Former PASOK party minister visits Xanthi

    15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK party Deputy and former minister Vasso Papandreou, speaking over the weekend in Xanthi, northern Greece, said that "the people of Drama, Kavala and Xanthi will judge PASOK's prefecture candidates on the basis of their capabilities and character and not according to their religion."

    Papandreou was referring to the stir caused by the party's nomination of Gul Karahasan for the Drama-Kavala-Xanthi supraprefecture and to comments made by a section of the press that the main opposition party will lose the votes of the Christian population in Thrace.

    Addressing a press conference shortly before a scheduled meeting with local party cadres and candidates, she pointed out that PASOK chose a young and capable woman to run for the supraprefecture in the region to show that all citizens have the same rights and obligations and that there are competent and capable women who can and must provide for local administration.

    [10] Annual Marathon Peace march held

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The annual Marathon Peace march, organized by the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace, was again held this year, with participants walking from the eponymous tumulus in eastern Attica prefecture to Syntagma Square in downtown Athens, a day-long march.

    Anti-war, pacifist and pro-peace banners and slogans again dominated the march, begun by late peace activist and leftist MP Grigoris Lambrakis more than 45 years.

    [11] Crete's peace movements demonstrate outside US base at Akrotiri

    15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The four peace movements on the island of Crete staged a rally on Sunday outside the US base at Mouzoura, Akrotiri, marking the climax of three days of peace events organized in Hania prefecture.

    Demonstrators gathered outside the Hania municipal market at noon, from where a convoy of cars went to the US base -- where a strong police contingent was deployed -- chanting "Foreign bases off the island" and "Greece must remain out of the US plans for an intervention in Iran", as well as other anti-US, anti-NATO and anti-war slogans.

    [12] Central bank governor appeals for more rapid structural changes

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Bank of Greece Governor Nikos Garganas reiterated his appeal for stepped-up structural changes, in an interview with an Athens daily on Sunday, while adding that there was no other policy that needed to be applied, "we are an economy that is losing competitiveness".

    The central bank governor said he was concerned about ensuring conditions of stability and structural changes in the economy. He also stressed that lack of structural changes was responsible for poverty, and rejected criticism that he was counter-acting the interests of the salaried personnel.

    Garganas said he was also concerned over the plethora of commissions and other charges imposed by banks on customers, saying he has proposed to the government that it introduce legislation enabling the central bank to handle "issues regarding the protection of citizens in their transactions with the banks". One of those issues proposed, he continued, is the establishment of rules on determining which transactions the banks would be slapped with commissions or payment for expenses incurred.

    The Bank of Greece governor again warned citizens to avoid excessive borrowing, and for trade unions not to demand salary increases that generate inflation and consequently reduce the real incomes of wage-earners. He also politicians should not be drawn into a race of promises of benefits ahead of the next elections.

    Garganas said he was satisfied, however, by the agreement between the two mainstream parties -- ruling New Democracy (ND) party and main opposition PASOK -- to discuss the future of the social insurance system.

    He said it was only right that social and political consensus be ensured, but warned that lack of consensus must not become an alibi for avoiding necessary changes.

    His comments were carried in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini.

    [13] Parliamentary deputies call for upgrading of Souda port

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The upgrading of the port of Souda on the island of Crete, in accordance with laws that have been valid since 2002, has been called for by four Parliamentary deputies from the prefecture of Hania as well as by local agencies.

    The issue was discussed at the Hania Prefecture on Saturday in the presence of ruling New Democracy party Deputy Stelios Nikiforakis and main opposition PASOK party Deputies Manolis Skoulakis and Nikos Christodoulakis.

    The participants agreed to jointly pursue the demand for the creation of an agency titled "Souda Port SA" which will include all the ports in the prefecture. What will be sought will be the business and commercial upgrading of the port and of its infrastructures.

    [14] Conference held in Patra on 'Western Railway Axis'

    15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A conference was held on Saturday in Patra, western Greece, under the auspices of President Karolos Papoulias, titled "Western Railway Axis." The event was organized by the Prefecture of Achaia.

    The importance of the project was stressed during the conference since, as speakers pointed out, it directly concerns 1.5 million inhabitants and constitutes a basic precondition for the development of the country's western coast.

    Former transport and communications minister Christos Verelis said in his address that "the project will contribute to the improvement and development in general of infrastructures in nearby regions, contributing in principle and in this way to the economic development of Ipiros and Western Greece."

    [15] Conference on social dimension of new technologies

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Greece is lagging behind regarding the use of new technologies and the Internet since it holds 43rd and 50th place respectively between 115 countries, although the use of mobile telephony is widespread in our country and Greece holds 13th place in the world's classification.

    This was revealed during a conference held at the "Books Arcade" on the issue of "The social dimension of new technologies."

    Ruling New Democracy party Deputy and president of the Permanent Parliamentary National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Panayiotis Kammenos, said at the conference that Greece is far behind regarding Internet issues since we have the highest access cost to the Internet in our country. He added that in countries such as Bulgaria invoices are 50 percent cheaper compared to Greece.

    [16] Athens municipality honors Mother's Day

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Hundreds of children and their mothers gathered at the National Garden in downtown Athens on Sunday morning, where the daycare centers run by the Athens municipality organized a celebration on the occasion of Mother's Day.

    Children painted cards and gave flowers to their mothers, where the city's philharmonic orchestra played in the background.

    The event was attended by Athens Mayor Theodoros Bechrakis, deputy mayors and municipal councilors.

    [17] Studies: Low percentage of women in top local gov't positions

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The proportion of women in high-ranking local government posts, in relation to the percentage of women elected in local government elections, is relatively small, according to studies presented over the weekend at the 2nd National Conference of Women Office-holders, organized in Alexandroupolis by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) and the Union of the Prefectures of Greece (ENAE).

    According to two studies presented, only 56.86 percent of the women elected in municipal governments and 56.76 percent of women elected to prefecture governments believed that women held a satisfactory proportion of high-ranking administrative posts.

    [18] Fatal traffic accidents decrease in Thessaloniki during first four months of year

    15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The number of fatal traffic accidents in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, decreased by 112 percent during the first four months of the current year, according to data announced on Saturday by the Traffic Department.

    During this period 16 fatal accidents occurred compared to 34 in the previous year. A total of 20 people were killed, 74 were seriously injured and 669 were injured to a lesser degree.

    During the corresponding four-month period last year 38 people were killed, 107 were seriously injured and 763 slightly.

    The Traffic Department pointed out that "the most decisive factor is the conscientious compliance of motorists and pedestrians with road safety rules" and realizing the, very often, tragic hazards existing on roads.

    [19] Police arrest two for trafficking child porn through Internet

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Police have arrested two 40-year-olds in Athens and on the fashionable island of Mykonos for trafficking hardcore child porn through the Internet and for profiteering at the expense of users entering their website.

    According to police, the culprits, one of whom is a businessman in Mykonos, had created a website through which they used to refer Internet users to other websites abroad containing porn, mainly involving children.

    At the same time, whoever entered the website in question had his telephone diverted to telephone numbers abroad at a high cost.

    Two electronic computers and four hard discs were found in the homes of the offenders which, according to police, contained tens of thousands of digital archives with videos and photographs showing hardcore porn between children, adults and animals.

    [20] Two arrested on migrant-smuggling charges

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Two suspects who attempted to illegally transport three Albanian nationals into the country were arrested by border guards on Saturday.

    According to reports, each of the illegal immigrants had paid the suspects 500 euros to gain entrance into the country.

    [21] Olympiakos crowned champions; AEK in champions League qualifier

    ATHENS, 15/5/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Olympiakos Piraeus was held to a 0-0 draw on its home pitch by Ionikos Piraeus on Sunday in a more-or-less meaningless game, as the club had already won the championship for the second consecutive year, days after it also won with the Cup.

    AEK Athens, meanwhile, ended the season on a positive note by edging Panathinaikos Athens for second place to guarantee a Champions League playoff qualifying match in August. Both rivals ended with 67 points, with AEK going ahead in the head-to-head matches. AEK earned a scoreless tie with Xanthi at home on Sunday at the same time as Panathinaikos handily beat Larissa away 3-0.

    All matches played over the weekend for the Greek first division soccer championship had the following results:

    Iraklis Thessaloniki - Kallithea Athens 3-2

    OFI Crete - Levadiakos Livadia 2-0

    Olympiakos Piraeus - Ionikos Piraeus 0-0

    PAOK Thessaloniki - Apollon Kalamaria 1-2

    Egaleo Athens - Panionios Athens 0-3

    Akratitos Athens - Atromitos Athens 0-2

    Larissa - Panathinaikos Athens 0-3

    AEK Athens " Xanthi 0-0

    Final standings after 30 weeks of play:

    Olympiakos 70 (Champions League)

    AEK 67 (Champions League - 3rd qualifying round)

    Panathinaikos 67 (UEFA Cup)

    Iraklis 51 (UEFA Cup)

    Xanthi 47 (UEFA Cup)

    PAOK 46 (UEFA Cup)

    Atromitos 42 (Intertoto)

    Larissa 39

    Apollon Kalamaria 38

    Egaleo 33

    Ionikos 32

    Panionios 32

    OFI 31

    Levadiakos 31 (Relegated)

    Kallithea 20 (Relegated)

    Akratitos 18 (Relegated)

     Levadiakos, Kallithea and Akratitos were relegated to the second division, while Ergotelis Crete, Kerkyra (Corfu) and Aris Thessaloniki were promoted to the first division.

    [22] Papadopoulos says Turkey does not intend to implement EU Protocol

    LARNACA, 15/5/2006 (CNA/ANA)

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that Turkey not only has failed to implement the protocol extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, but at every opportunity declares that it has no intention of doing so. The President noted that the issue will be discussed at the European Commission and Council towards the end of the year.

    He also called on "those not led by malicious intent" to criticize the Turkish side and make clear that so far it has not consented to the operation of the technical committees that will deal with aspects of the Cyprus problem, or to the appointment of the third member of the Committee for Missing Persons.

    President Papadopoulos was speaking yesterday at Larnaca Airport on his return from Vienna, where he participated in the EU-Latin America and Caribbean summit.

    Replying to questions, President Papadopoulos said that in Paris, during his meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, "it was agreed that committees would be set up to prepare the ground for the discussion of the fundamental issues of the Cyprus problem, as well as other matters aiming at improving the climate and dealing with routine issues."

    "For both the agreement of both is necessary," he pointed out, adding that "instead of criticizing our side for the fact that the committees have not yet started work, those who are not led by malicious intent should criticize the Turkish side and make clear that so far it has not consented to the operation of the technical committees or to the appointment of the third member of the Committee for Missing Persons."

    Referring to the implementation of the Ankara Protocol, President Papadopoulos said that Turkey "not only has failed to comply so far, but provocatively at every opportunity declares on every level that it does not intend to."

    "This is an issue that will be examined, as already decided, by the Commission of the EU and later by the Council, in October or November this year," he added.

    Asked if any indications were given during his meeting in Vienna with Annan that the UN would exert pressure on Turkey towards the operation of the technical committees, President Papadopoulos said Annan asked "what was going on" and knew the answer.

    He added that Annan's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller has briefed the UN Secretary General on the current status.

    [23] Cypriot, British ministers meet in Vienna

    NICOSIA, 15/5/2006 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou and British Minister for European Geoff Hoon discussed bilateral issues here today on the sidelines of the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean summit.

    Hoon said he knows Cyprus quite well following his term in office at the European Parliament and through contacts with the Cypriot community in Britain.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair has asked his minister to list bilateral relations in his list of priorities of issues that he has to deal with, according to an official press release.

    The two ministers reaffirmed the sincere wish of their governments to improve relations, which have been somewhat strained in the recent past.


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