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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-06-13

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

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

Saturday, 13 June 2009 Issue No: 3219


  • [01] Gov't calls for dialogue on public order
  • [02] PM Karamanlis confers with tourism development minister
  • [03] PM meets with National Coordinating Committee against Smoking
  • [04] FM Bakoyannis hails successful holding of Lebanon Parliamentary elections
  • [05] Athens mayor on illegal migration issue, Turkey's inaction
  • [06] Roussopoulos not to run for re-election
  • [07] Siemens case prosecutor bans 21 from leaving country
  • [08] Naval exercise in Southern Aegean
  • [09] Greek islands very popular among Russian tourists
  • [10] Greek gov't debt totaled 282.071 bln euros in March
  • [11] Industrial import price index down 3.7 pct in April
  • [12] Alavanos visits Iraklio Chamber of Commerce
  • [13] Hellenic Petroleum to pay 0.45 euros per share dividend to shareholders
  • [14] Amendment on replacement of outdated household appliances
  • [15] Stocks end 0.61% up
  • [16] ADEX closing report
  • [17] Greek bond market closing report
  • [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday
  • [19] Greece steps up measures against swine flu
  • [20] Four new flu virrus A(H1N1) cases in Greece
  • [21] Greek archaeologist in Britain to establish Mediterranean research centre
  • [22] Six lightly injured in bus-car crash in Thessaloniki
  • [23] Special guards to stand trial for Dec. 6 shooting of teen in Exarchia
  • [24] Russian fire-fighting helicopter in Crete
  • [25] Teen boy charged for Parnitha fire
  • [26] Ammonia leak at Rendi manufacturing plant
  • [27] Fair on Saturday
  • [28] Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • [29] Cypriot Ambassador to UN replies to Turkey's allegations regarding Cyprus
  • [30] Spokesman:the issue of guarantees has not been discussed yet at Cyprus talks Politics

  • [01] Gov't calls for dialogue on public order

    The government on Friday announced that Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis has sent letters to all Parliament-represented political parties requesting that they appoint representatives for a meeting at the interior ministry next Wednesday focusing on public order issues, including illegal immigration.

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said the government steadfastly and consistently seeks to consult with opposition parties on issues of crucial importance for the country and citizens, charging however, that its efforts have faced a constant and permanent 'no' - primarily from main opposition PASOK.

    Antonaros said Markoyiannakis had sent a similar letter on May 5 but had received no reply from any of the political parties. He stressed that those who again refused would be "solely responsible" for their refusal to participate and that the government had done its duty.

    The spokesman pointed out, meanwhile, that the issue of illegal immigration will be discussed at the upcoming European Council next week as a result of the Greek government's diplomatic initiatives.

    "We are interested in tangible results and not the ephemeral and noisy drum-beating that others resort to in the hope that their voice will be heard," he added, contrasting the government's stance with "those who restrict themselves to general wish-lists or who present existing actions as their own initiatives".

    [02] PM Karamanlis confers with tourism development minister

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Friday with Tourism Development Minister Costas Markopoulos and discussed tourism sector policy.

    Markopoulos stated that the "pessimistic scenarios that prevailed earlier this year do not exist anymore," adding that "considering the global and European economic crisis, the situation is under control in the best possible way."

    He also stated that there is "no disaster scenario" and daily efforts are essential to reach the goals set.

    [03] PM meets with National Coordinating Committee against Smoking

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met Friday with the members of the National Coordinating Committee against Smoking in view of the new restrictions on smoking in public that are introduced by anti-smoking legislation that goes into force in Greece from July 1, 2009.

    Committee President Panagiotis Behrakis stated afterwards that "smoking is becoming a different habit from what we have known until now," adding that this breakthrough bears the prime minister's signature.

    On the concern expressed by professionals who fear that the smoking ban announced will hurt their business, Behrakis stated that "public health comes first," adding that the anti-smoking measures are not that tough. "Smoking habits in the country should be changed," he underlined.

    The law that goes into effect on July 1 requires that all offices, restaurants, cafes and other public places must designate areas for smokers. Business managers and clients that fail to respect the law will face fines.

    [04] FM Bakoyannis hails successful holding of Lebanon Parliamentary elections

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday hailed the smooth and successful holding of the Parliamentary elections in Lebanon on June 7, adding that the "peaceful way with which they were held and the high percentage of participation constitute considerable steps that are crucial for the country's stability."

    "We congratulate all the political forces and coalitions of Lebanon for their responsible stance and their will for dialogue and national consensus. These factors were decisive for the smooth and transparent outcome of the electoral process," she said.

    "The wish of all of us is for the dialogue and constructive attitude observed by the political forces during the election period to continue after the elections as well, so that the people of Lebanon can proceed along the path of peace, unity and stability," Bakoyannis added.

    [05] Athens mayor on illegal migration issue, Turkey's inaction

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Friday was the latest high-profile office-holder to comment on the surging problem of illegal immigration in Greece, especially since the largest municipality in the greater Athens-Piraeus area, the city of Athens, is experiencing the biggest problems from the congregation of groups of illegal migrants in specific urban districts.

    "A year ago, when I defined the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration to Greece, and particularly Athens, in its actual dimensions during my meetings with the prime minister, interior minister and all other political bodies, I was labeled by 'professional liberals' as an extreme right-winger.

    "The city of Athens constitutes a unique phenomenon in Europe, in terms of its policy for the integration of legal migrants, which involves a comprehensive social protection network. However, everyone must become aware of the fact that Athens has now exceeded its limits and cannot function as a 'reservoir of reception and residence' for hundreds of thousands of unfortunate fellow humans who are systematically forwarded by neighbouring countries, particularly Turkey.

    "The common European Immigration Policy and actions to remind Turkey that its European journey involves EU Authorities and Legislation are two imperative measures which, in combination with repatriation treaties, must be implemented," Kaklamanis, a former health minister, said, adding:

    The government's measures are initially a move in the right direction."

    [06] Roussopoulos not to run for re-election

    Former government spokesman and media minister Theodoros Roussopoulos on Friday sent a letter to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, informing the premier that he does not intend to run for re-election on ruling New Democracy's ticket during the next general elections.

    "I was interested in my participation, I do not hide this. I am no longer interested," Roussopoulos said, referring to conditions in politics that "do not allow me to defend myself from slander, whether this comes from opponents or, unfortunately, from friends".

    Roussopoulos, who was elected as a state deputy, said that he would remain a New Democracy MP until the next general elections.

    The former minister stressed that he was "departing in dignity" and that he felt "no bitterness toward specific people," but chose to leave rather than "negotiate by political survival at the expense of my integrity".

    "It has always been my conviction that citizens do not want politicians that are ready to do everything in order to survive in all situations but politicians that are ready to say 'no' and do the right thing when the time comes," he concluded.

    The formerly influential minister, who had dominated the government communications team in its first term, exited the government under a cloud of scandal after his name was linked with the Vatopedi Monastery land swaps that are currently the subject of a judicial investigation, with critics implying that he was one of the key movers behind the affair.

    [07] Siemens case prosecutor bans 21 from leaving country

    The public prosecutor in charge of a bribery and kickbacks investigation involving Siemens's Greek subsidiary on Friday issued orders forbidding 21 people from leaving the country. They are all linked to the part of the investigation concerning a contract signed between Siemens and the then state-controlled telephone utility Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) to digitalise its systems.

    Earlier on Friday, the examining magistrate in the case extended the deadline given to Siemens' former technical manager Dionysis Dendrinos, giving him until Sunday to present his defence. Dendrinos is currently being held in custody, following his arrest on a charge of complicity in defrauding the Greek State. The charges concern a contract for the supply and installation of the C4I security system.

    [08] Naval exercise in Southern Aegean

    National Defence General Staff chief Dimitris Grapsas, Navy General Staff chief George Karamalikis and Commander of the Fleet Ioannis Karaiskos attended the final phase of the "Kateghis '09" exercise from on board the frigate "Salamis" on Friday.

    Participating in the exercise, that took place in the Central and Southern Aegean, are all the units and services of the Fleet Headquarters that are in active service, as well as units of other sectors of the Armed Forces and the Harbour Corps. The exercise will come to an end on Saturday, June 13.

    The purpose of the exercise is to increase fighting capacity at operational and regular level, test and evaluate operational plans and tactics, boost cooperation between services and display a strong naval presence in the sea region of the Aegean.

    Financial News

    [09] Greek islands very popular among Russian tourists

    Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Santorini and Corfu are the most popular Greek islands for Russian tourists, Evgeni Polychuk, an executive in East Line -a Russian airline- told RATA-news on Friday.

    The Russian airline operates charter flights to Heraclio, Crete, since 2002 and currently operates eight flight per week. Polychuk said Kos and Corfu were also very popular travel destinations for Russian tourists, with Kalymnos, Patmos and other Dodecanese islands also among their favourites. He predicted that Russian tourism to Greek islands would undoubtebly rise in the coming years, despite an economic crisis.

    [10] Greek gov't debt totaled 282.071 bln euros in March

    The Greek central government's debt totaled 282.071 billion euros on March 31, 2009, sharply up from 262.07 billion euros a year earlier, the State Accounting Office said on Friday.

    In a statement, the accounting office said the central government's cash flow grew in March 2009 to 15.956 billion euros, from 2.230 billion euros on December 31, 2008.

    [11] Industrial import price index down 3.7 pct in April

    The import price index in the industrial sector fell 3.7 pct in April, compared with the corresponding month last year, the National Statistical Service said on Friday.

    The statistics agency, in a report, said the import price index was up 8.0 pct and 0.5 pct in the same months in 2008 and 2007, respectively. The index was up 1.0 pct in April from March 2009, after increases of 1.6 pct and 1.2 pct in the corresponding months in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

    [12] Alavanos visits Iraklio Chamber of Commerce

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group leader Alekos Alavanos visited the Chamber of Commerce in Iraklio, on the island of Crete, on Friday for a briefing on the course of business activity in the prefecture.

    Alavanos was informed of the repercussions of the international economic crisis on the local market and of efforts to plan industrial regions to enable business activity in the prefecture.

    He was also called on to assist in the implementation of measures supporting small and medium-size businesses that are being harmed by the economic crisis, while the need was also stressed for the government to adopt measures backing entrepreneurship in island regions.

    [13] Hellenic Petroleum to pay 0.45 euros per share dividend to shareholders

    An Hellenic Petroleum regular general shareholders' meeting on Friday approved a board plan to pay a 0.45 euros per share dividend to shareholders. The company has already paid a pre-dividend of 0.15 euros per share to shareholders. Dividend payment will begin on July 14, 2009.

    Exotic delicacies in food festival in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki

    The visitors of the 12th "Food for Good" Festival to be held in Thessaloniki's Kalamaria Municipality on Sunday will have the opportunity to taste delicacies from 42 countries around the world, such as Ivory Coast, Nigeria, India and Brazil, among others.

    The culinary festival is hosted by organizations and associations of foreigners living in Greece and all proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations and associations in Thessaloniki.

    [14] Amendment on replacement of outdated household appliances

    An amendment allowing the development ministry to announce actions concerning the replacement of household appliances has been included in a draft law to be tabled in Parliament. The actions in question will be financed by the Public Investment Programme and will concern the replacement of outdated and inefficient household appliances with newer and more energy-efficient units.

    The replacement of appliances will be conducted by certified agencies through an alternative management and recycling network.

    [15] Stocks end 0.61% up

    Greek stocks continued moving higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, pushing the composite index of the market above the 2,400 level again. The index rose 0.61 pct to end at 2,401.57 points, with turnover a moderate 186.7 million euros, of which 5.7 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Telecommunications (2.24 pct), Food/Beverage (1.90 pct) and Banks (1.27 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Health (1.54 pct), Raw Materials (1.32 pct) and Insurance (1.17 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.66 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.19 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.60 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 121 to 98 with another 47 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: -1.17%

    Industrials: -0.19%

    Commercial: +1.26%

    Construction: -0.47%

    Media: -0.50%

    Oil & Gas: -0.03%

    Personal & Household: +0.07%

    Raw Materials: -1.32%

    Travel & Leisure: -0.96%

    Technology: -0.45%

    Telecoms: +2.24%

    Banks: +1.27%

    Food & Beverages: +1.90%

    Health: -1.54%

    Utilities: +0.19%

    Chemicals: -0.12%

    Financial Services: -1.15%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, OTE and PPC.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 9.10

    ATEbank: 1.72

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.02

    HBC Coca Cola: 14.79

    Hellenic Petroleum: 7.70

    National Bank of Greece: 20.98

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 8.54

    Intralot: 5.02

    OPAP: 20.25

    OTE: 11.88

    Bank of Piraeus: 7.99

    Titan Cement Company: 21.54

    [16] ADEX closing report

    The June contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a premium of 0.27 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday, with turnover a low 64.771 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,266 contracts worth 44.458 million euros, with 25,781 open positions in the market.

    Volume on futures contracts on equities totaled 22,704 contracts worth 20.313 million euros, with investment interest focusing on Hellenic Telecoms' contracts (4,317), followed by MIG (710), PPC (867), Piraeus Bank (1,032), National Bank (2,222), Alpha Bank (1,040), Intracom (1,596), Marfin Popular Bank (1,461), Hellenic Postbank (1,968) and ATEbank (788).

    [17] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market remained at heavy 1.868 billion euros on Friday, with the yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds easing to 171 basis points. The Greek bond yielded 5.32 pct and the German Bund 3.61 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.65 pct, the six-month rate 1.47 pct, the three-month rate 1.26 pct and the one-month rate 0.96 pct.

    [18] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.411

    Pound sterling 0.860

    Danish kroner 7.505

    Swedish kroner 10.841

    Japanese yen 138.65

    Swiss franc 1.522

    Norwegian kroner 8.955

    Canadian dollar 1.583

    Australian dollar 1.739

    General News

    [19] Greece steps up measures against swine flu

    Greece will intensify measures for preventing the spread of the H1N1 Novel Influenza (formerly known as swine flu), Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced Friday, after a meeting at the National Centre for Health Services. The new measures were deemed necessary following the World Health Organization (WHO) decision to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6.

    "Greece is fully prepared," the minister stressed in statements to reporters, adding that the National Committee on the Influenza Pandemic will convene next Monday and that a vaccine is expected to be ready by October.

    The measures announced include: increasing supplies of anti-virus medicine; setting up an influenza pandemic contact center; a higher level of hospital alert; operation of a third diagnostic lab in Athens and continuing the "Artemis" emergency plan.

    Avramopoulos was reassuring and stated that the patients with novel influenza, except for the more serious cases, will be treated at home, with the precaution that family members wear surgical masks and observe strict hygiene rules. He also stressed that those running a fever should immediately contact their personal physician.

    A total of 12 confirmed swine flu cases have been recorded in Greece so far. The five latest are: a 37-year-old man from Canada, a 33-year-old Italian woman, who came from Kansas, USA, an 18-year-old American woman, a 46-year-old American man also from Kansas and a 15-year-old girl from Washington.

    At present, no incidents of swine flu spreading locally have been reported in Greece. All flu cases recorded among Greeks are individuals who have returned after travelling abroad, mainly from the UK and the United States.

    Greece has adopted all necessary measures indicated by WHO - namely, epidemiological monitoring and keeping the public constantly informed, diagnosis of the disease not necessarily through tests and shutting down schools if necessary.

    [20] Four new flu virrus A(H1N1) cases in Greece

    Four new cases of the new flu virus A(H1N1) were detected in Greece on Friday among foreign nationals arriving from the US.

    The cases concern a 33-year-old Italian woman, an 18-year-old American woman, a 46-year-old American man, all three of whom arrived in Greece from Kansas, and a 15-year-old American girl who arrived from Washington, a health ministry announcement said.

    All four patients were under medical observation.

    [21] Greek archaeologist in Britain to establish Mediterranean research centre

    Greek researcher, Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis, Lecturer in Classical and Archaeological Studies at the University of Kent in the UK has received 300,000 euros of a potential 4.2 million euros from the Los Angeles-based Cotsen Corporation to establish a Mediterranean conservation, research and education centre in Greece.

    Through the centre, Kyriakidis aims to set up a visiting scholars' programme, workshops and lectures on archaeological site management and planning in the Mediterranean region, as well as developing collaborations with relevant institutions in this field worldwide. He also intends that the initiative should become a benchmark institution, conducting and disseminating research on the general conservation, management and preservation of archaeological sites.

    The 300,000-euro award is the first part of a 600,000-euro commitment for the pilot phase of the project. If successful in achieving both the programmatic goals and financial matching requirements of the project, the Centre is eligible to receive a total of 4.2 million euros over the next eight years. International accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers are supporting the project by auditing the end-of-year accounts pro bono.

    Philanthropist Lloyd Cotsen for many years has promoted and supported education and culture, as well as research in disciplines such as archaeology. He is the President and CEO of Cotsen Institute and Cotsen Corporation, while he has also served as Neutrogena Corp. president. Among others, he is a partner of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. In 2002, the Institute of Archaeology of UCLA was named after him in recognition of his contribution.

    [22] Six lightly injured in bus-car crash in Thessaloniki

    Six people, including two chidren, sustained minor injuries on Friday morning in a road accident between an OASTH and a private car in the Kordelio district of Thessaloniki, northern Greece.

    Three bus passengers and the three passengers of the car were lightly injured in the crash.

    All six were taken to the Ippokratio Hospital for precautionary reasons.

    The Thessaloniki Traffic Police were investigating the circumstances of the accident.

    [23] Special guards to stand trial for Dec. 6 shooting of teen in Exarchia

    The two special guards accused of shooting and killing 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens' Exarchia district last December will be tried before a First Instance Criminal Court following a decision for their indictment issued by the Magistrates' Court Council on Friday.

    According to the decision, the special guard who shot the student is indicted on a charge of deliberate homicide, while his partner, who was present when the shooting took place, is facing complicity charges.

    The Magistrates' Court Council also ordered that the two men be detained on remand until the trial.

    The shooting death of the young highschool student on Dec. 6, 2008 had sparked an unprecedented month of urban rioting in Athens and in major cities across the country.

    [24] Russian fire-fighting helicopter in Crete

    Fire brigade forces in the prefectures of Hania and Rethymno, on Crete, have been supplied with a Russian-built "Mi 26" firefighting helicopter that will be stationed at Hania airport throughout the summer wildfire season. A second firefighting helicopter will be stationed at Iraklion Airport on the eastern part of the island.

    The "Mi 26" is a heavy transport helicopter for civilian and military use, billed as one of the biggest and most powerful heavy-lift choppers ever built.

    Meanwhile, volunteer firefighters will man five watch towers operated within the framework of stepped up wildfire prevention measures in the prefecture of Hania.

    [25] Teen boy charged for Parnitha fire

    A 14-year-old boy was arrested by fire brigade officers for setting off the fire on Mount Parnitha near Athens, which burnt 2.5 hectares of forest and grassland.

    The arrest was made on Thursday after the teenager confessed to causing the blaze when he threw a fire-cracker into dry grasses.

    He was charged in accordance with procedures for those caught while committing a crime and later set free by order of the juveniles public prosecutor.

    [26] Ammonia leak at Rendi manufacturing plant

    The fire brigade was called out on Friday to contain an ammonia leak at facilities owned by the firm "Psygia Attikis" (Attica Refrigerators) in the Athens district of Rendi.

    The leak was first noted at around 10:00 on Friday morning in two large tanks on the premises. The company is now using special vehicles, assisted by six fire-brigade vehicles and their crew, in order to transfer the ammonia to other tanks and take measures to ensure that it does not ignite.

    Weather Forecast

    [27] Fair on Saturday

    Fair weather, and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, with wind velocity reaching 4-7 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 14C and 33C. Fair in Athens, with northeasterly 5-7 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 22C to 31C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with possible local showers, with temperatures ranging from 21C to 29C.

    [28] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Illegal migration and the measures announced by the government, assessments of the European Parliament elections and optimism on economic recovery by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Friday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Drastic decisions on illegal migration - Finally, the proper measures have begun by the government".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Vise by 500 policemen in Athens' ghettos - Gigantic ELAS (Greek Police) operation at 8:30 p.m. (Thursday) in Omonoia Square, Aghios Panteleimonos and Metaxourgeio districts to clean up the capital's center of gangs of drug dealers and illegal migrants".

    AVGHI: "They're trying to drum up votes with security issues, picking up migrants".

    AVRIANI: "Lasting 'sweep' operation for illegal migrants, and fear of provocations that could trigger tension - The package of measures announced by government immediately put into effect".

    CHORA: "This is how the Turks are breaking up Greece - Now they're materialising the Ozal dogma", adding that the application of a plan by the Turkish establishment, based on the dogma of Turgut Ozal for population alteration of the country is apparent, perhaps, in the uncontrolled entry of illegal migrants into Greece via Turkey.

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Prepaid card cell phones with name - End to anonymity for owners of cell phones".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Clean up of illegal migrants - Sarkozy-style measures, under the pressure by LAOS, decided by government".

    ESTIA: "The conditions for a third electoral victory (in general elections - How Karamanlis can win (a third term in government)".

    ETHNOS: "Unshielded against the attack by people traffickers - Governmental fireworks to...throw dust in LAOS' eyes".

    KATHIMERINI: "Stricter measures for illegal migrants and people traffickers - Karamanlis letter to EU".

    LOGOS: "Sweep operations and readmission (to country from where they originated) of illegal migrants".

    NIKI: "Life raft with tough measures - Government making decisions under the pressure by LAOS".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Greeks, migrants together against the common enemy".

    TA NEA: "Show with...brooms in unfenced field - Government toeing LAOS line".

    TO VIMA: "Government changing, but also sinking, in the right of the Right - ND running behind LAOS".

    VRADYNI: "First measures on illegal migration problem - Government undertaking initiatives at home and in Europe".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [29] Cypriot Ambassador to UN replies to Turkey's allegations regarding Cyprus


    Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael has send a letter to the President of the UN Security Council, as a reply to the allegations made by the Turkish Permanent Representative, Ambassador Ilkin Bakin, with respect to the situation in Cyprus more generally, as well as in relation to the ongoing efforts to find a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Hadjimichael asks from the President to bring the letter, dated 5 June 2009, to the attention of the members of the Security Council and to circulate it as a document of the Security Council.

    "It is unfortunate that the Republic of Turkey chose to vote against the draft resolution that was adopted by the Council during its 6132nd meeting as resolution 1873 (2009). As a member of the Security Council, Turkey carries a responsibility towards the maintenance of international peace and security which supersedes any considerations that are guided by what that member may perceive as its national interest", Hadjimichael stressed.

    The Cypriot Ambassador pointed out that the content of the explanation of vote that followed the rejection of Security Council resolution 1873 (2009) by Turkey, is even more disconcerting, "as the historical revisionism outlined therein amounts to a denunciation of all Security Council decisions on Cyprus to date and of the nature of the settlement that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus are currently in the process of trying to achieve, having themselves agreed to the basis of the settlement, which has been repeatedly endorsed by the Security Council.

    "The Republic of Cyprus, which gained its independence in 1960 after centuries of colonization, was not a "partnership State", nor did it comprise more than one people. The two communities, along with the other religious groups, constitute the Cypriot people and are equal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, regardless of ethnic background or religious persuasion.

    The Government of the Republic of Cyprus remains the only legitimate Government of Cyprus, despite the choice of the Turkish Cypriots to opt out of the Institutions of the State in 1963 by relinquishing their functions.

    Their positions in all institutions of the Government have been vacant since then. Any centrifugal tendency that aims at partitioning Cyprus, including the use of force by Turkey in 1974, will not curb the resolve of the Cypriot people to live peacefully in a truly united State with one sovereignty, one international personality and one citizenship, and without any external interference", he stressed.

    Hadjimichael also expressed regret that the said statement of Turkey suggests that the result of its use of force against a sovereign Member State of the United Nations, - that is, the establishment of an illegitimate regime in the area of Cyprus that it still occupies - should be recognized in order to achieve a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    "The Security Council has been clear in condemning this purported secessionist entity as invalid, in its resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), and all Member States of the United Nations, and particularly those serving on the Security Council, should comply with them, as opposed to putting their violations thereof on display in the Security Council Chamber. The insistence of Turkey on, and its omnifarious contribution to, the partition of Cyprus as its preferred solution to the Cyprus problem, has created the untenable status quo in which we find ourselves", he added.

    "Unless Turkey's mentality shifts from one of a two-State solution to one of reunification under a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality as set out in Security Council resolutions, Turkey will continue to be the reason why this problem remains unresolved", he concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008 to reunite the island.

    [30] Spokesman:the issue of guarantees has not been discussed yet at Cyprus talks


    The issue of security and guarantees has not been discussed yet in the framework of the ongoing direct negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus, aimed at finding a viable and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    Invited here Friday to comment on the meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Dervis Eroglu, leader of the Turkish Cypriot's National Unity Party, during which the issue of Turkish guarantees was discussed, Stephanou noted that the issue has not yet been discussed at the negotiations. He added that the issue will be discussed in the future, as well as the issue of Turkish settlers.

    "Such kind of issues that comprise the most important aspects of the Cyprus problem, should be resolved within the framework of a comprehensive solution of the problem", he pointed out.

    The spokesman also said that President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will place their initial positions on the territorial issue during their next meeting, in the framework of the direct negotiations.

    Stephanou said that the two leaders will adopt a position, based on the documents the two sides submitted during the last meeting.

    "The framework of the Greek Cypriot side's position regarding the territorial issue, as well as the framework of the Turkish Cypriot side's positions, has been submitted", Stephanou said, adding that, however, the issue has not yet been discussed.

    Referring to Turkey's EU accession course, Stephanou said that its obligations towards Cyprus and EU, as derived from the Ankara Protocol, are given. According to the Protocol, "Turkey should open up its air and sea ports to the Republic of Cyprus", he added.

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.ana.gr * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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