|Sunday, 8 December 2019|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-07-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Wednesday, 21 July 2010 Issue No: 3546
 Greece reports current accounts surplus in MayGreece on Tuesday reported a surplus of 250 million euros in its current accounts balance in May, after a deficit of 1.932 billion euros in the same month last year. In a report, the Bank of Greece, attributed this development to a big rise in the current transfers surplus, reflecting the inflow of funds from a European Farm Guarantee Fund, while at the same period, the trade deficit widened along with the incomes deficit while the services surplus rose.
The trade deficit, excluding fuel and ships, fell by 276 million euros, while net payments for fuel and ships grew by 47 and 37 million euros, respectively. The services surplus grew by 92 million euros, reflecting higher net proceeds from transport services (198 million euros), while net revenues from travel services fell by 95 million euros compared with May 2009.
The incomes deficit shrank by 76 million euros, reflecting lower net payments on interest, dividends and earnings. The current transfers balance recorded a surplus of 2.04 billion euros, after a surplus of 218 million euros in May 2009.
In the five-month period from January to May, the country's current accounts deficit widened by 399 million euros, or 3.30 pct, compared with May 2009, to 12.6 billion euros, reflecting higher net payments on fuel imports.
The trade deficit widened by 181 million euros, reflecting an increase of 803 million euros in net payments on fuel imports. The services surplus shrank by 16 million euros reflecting lower net revenues from travel services (tourism revenues down 8.8 pct, while Greek citizens' travel spending abroad fell by 11.5 pct). Transport gross revenues (mainly merchant shipping) grew 11.9 pct in the January-May period, while the incomes deficit fell by 239 million euros on lower net payments for interest, dividends and earnings.
The current transfers balance recorded a surplus of 1.157 billion euros in the first five months of 2010, after a surplus of 1.598 billion euros in the corresponding period last year.
 Papandreou interview with 'Foreign Policy'Europe doesn't need austerity but more responsibility in governance, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou asserted in an interview appearing in the latest issue of the U.S.-based magazine "Foreign Policy".
In the interview with journalist Benjamin Pauker that came out on Monday, Papandreou referred to the troubled and turbulent times since his election last October, as Greece became caught up in a spiralling debt crisis and was forced to resort to the EU-IMF support package and a raft of harsh economic measures.
He appeared confident, however, the Greek people understood the necessity for the measures taken and supported his government's actions.
"...obviously there's pain, and people are unhappy. But I would say the wide majority of the people realize that we needed to make changes that were long overdue in our country -- to make governance much more responsible, and the running of the country much more transparent. We all have to live up to our own personal responsibilities to this country," he said.
According to Papandreou, Greece's problems were "a crisis born of bad management" and a system bedevilled by lack of transparency, corruption, patronage and clientelism.
Greece's premier also stressed the part that bad governance and lack of transparency had played in the global financial crisis, with a lack of regulation that allowed markets a free hand.
Explaining his decision to resort to the emergency EU-IMF support package rather than simply default and "punish" the institutional investors that had profited from the situation, Papandreou noted that default had been an option but one "with many negatives".
"Our banks would have been hit; not only ours, but also in Europe. This could also have been a self-fulfilling prophecy of a contagion to other countries. And that would be a much worse situation," he explained.
By resorting to the loan mechanism, Greece had bought time to make necessary reforms but also to try and control its large 'shadow' or 'underground' economy, created by tax evasion and corruption, Papandreou said.
Concerning markets and the general sense that governments and people were no longer "in control", Papandreou admitted that this was a problem and "a paradox we're all living through around the world" and one that led to mistrust in political institutions.
"Because these problems are global, because they're interconnected, because they're interdependent, people feel disempowered, and that's a problem around the world," he pointed out.
Dealing with this issue, making democratic institutions work on a global scale would be the main challenge ahead, according to Papandreou. "We need to find global governance and we need to find it based on some common values on which we can agree -- democratic values. And I think that's going to be a big challenge.
 PM: Wound of occupation in Cyprus must closePrime minister George Papandreou met on Tuesday with visiting Cyprus foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou, while on Wednesday he will have a brief discussion with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias at Larnaca Airport, where he will be in transit for a few hours en route to Israel and Palestine.
Papandreou said the situation in Cyprus must end and the wound of the unacceptable occupation must close, and called on Turkey to manifest the necessary political will for a just settlement of the Cyprus problem.
In a message on Monday marking the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the northern part of Cyprus, the premier reiterated Greece's active support for the efforts by President Christofias to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus problem at the negotiations table, adding that for Greece the Cyprus problem is a top national priority.
He also called on Turkey to manifest the necessary political will for a just settlement of the Cyprus issue, without which there can be no full normalisation in Greek-Turkish relations. "It's (Turkey's) role is crucial and decisive for a speedy solution to the problem," Papandreou added, in a message.
"The current situation in Cyprus is unacceptable and must be terminated," Papandreou said, and stressed the need for a just, viable and functional settlement based on the UN Security Council resolutions and EU decisions...a solution of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international entity and a single citizenship.
 President receives Cyprus FMPresident of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday received visiting Cyprus foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou.
Papoulias called the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the northern part of Cyprus a day of tribulation, upon greeting Kyprianou at the Presidential Mansion.
Kyprianou spoke of a black anniversary, noting that, 36 years later, "we are unfortunately still discussing the outcome and how we will face it and reverse it".
He said that the Cyprus problem remains open 36 years after the invasion, and at the top of the agenda thanks to the assistance of Greece, adding that without the support of the Greek government and people "we could hot have kept such an issue open for 36 years".
Papoulias stressed the importance of the Cypriot people's resistance because "if the people had succumbed and fatalistically accepted the faits accomplis, Greece today would not have had the ability to support you in the tough battle you are waging".
He further said that many Europeans do not understand the problem, adding that "no one is speaking of a military occupation".
 Droutsas addresses Int'l Conf. on Afghanistan in KabulKabul (ANA-MPA)
Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas on Tuesday attended an international conference on Afghanistan, chaired in Kabul by Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.
A follow-up to January's International Conference on Afghanistan in London, the Kabul Conference's purpose is to review progress made in the last six months aiming at the gradual transfer of the country's administration from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to the Afghan authorities, with the Afghanistan government submitting a program with specific plans for the country's growth and security.
Addressing the conference, Droutsas underlined the fact that this was the first such conference to be taking place in Afghanistan itself, in the country's capital Kabul, stressing that this was of particular importance because it sends out a clear message that "Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people".
He noted that Greece is among the countries that have contributed both with a military contingent and the provision of substantial humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in healthcare, education and reinforcement of the administrative institutions, stressing that Greece continues to live up to its obligations despite the difficult international fiscal conjuncture.
On the sidelines of the conference, Droutsas said that there was still a long way and much work ahead, and beyond the important issue of security, also of importance are the democratisation of the country, education of the Afghan citizens in all sectors, upgrading the role and rights of women, and it was in precisely those areas that Greece has focused the support it is providing "and it is in this direction that we will continue our efforts".
Droutsas is slated to have a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference, which is being attended by approximately 40 foreign ministers, while on Tuesday morning he met with Afghanistan foreign minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, who briefed him on the next steps planned by the Afghan government in the assumption of the administration of the country.
 ND leader on Cyprus invasion anniversaryMain opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, said today, the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and military occupation of the northern part of of Cyprus, was a sad anniversary that brings to the memories of all of Hellenism the dramatic hours of the biggest national tragedy in modern history.
It at the same time reminds the world of the true dimension of the Cyprus problem, which was rooted in the Turkish invasion and concerns the ongoing Turkish occupation and the ethnic cleansing that was carried out by the occupation troops, as well as the colonisation of the occupied territories.
He paid honor to those who fell in the unequal battle in 1974 and expressed support for the struggles of the Cypriot Hellenism for a democratic, viable and functional solution, in the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions and the EU acquis, an equal member of which the Republic of Cyprus is.
Samaras called for a solution that will put an end to the unacceptable situation and lead to a reunited Cyprus without occupation troops.
 ND leader to begin tour of EpirusMain opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras will begin a tour of cities throughout the country by visiting Ioannina in northwestern Greece on Wednesday.
During his tour, ND's leader expects to meet local citizens to discuss the state of the economy and also members of his party to begin planning for the local government elections in November. During his visit to Ioannina, party officials anticipate that he will announce the names of candidates for the Epirus region and the Ioannina municipality.
The main opposition leader is due to arrive at Ioannina airport at around midday, after which he will visit the prefecture headquarters and hold a press conference for local media. His central speech will take place at the hotel Grand Seria at 18:30, followed by a meeting with party officials.
He is due back in Athens on Thursday after a meeting with party members in local government and a meeting with Ioannina Mayor Nikos Gondas.
 Defence minister's message for Cyprus invasion anniversaryNational Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday released a statement to mark the 36th year since Turkey's invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus.
"Everyone must understand that the 36 years that passed are not able to reduce the power of international law and the European rules, in the framework of which there can and must be found a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, which is primarily a problem of military invasion and occupation of a large part of the territory of a member-state of the European Union," he stressed in the statement.
 Cyprus president receives delegation from Greek ParliamentCyprus President Demetris Christofias on Tuesday received a delegation of MPs from all five political parties in the Hellenic Parliament, who are visiting Cyprus for events commemorating the victims of the 1974 invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkey.
After the meeting, Parliament vice-president Rodoula Zisi said the delegation had come to express the "feelings of support of the Greek people, the Greek government and the Hellenic Parliament toward the people of Cyprus and the Cyprus government".
She expressed hope that the Cypriot people would be vindicated in their struggle to find a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue, noting Greece's support for the efforts of President Chrisofias to find a solution leading to a bizonal, bicommunal federation".
 Zorbas testifies in Parliamentary inquiry on structured bonds affairThe head of the independent authority against money-laundering George Zorbas on Tuesday testified before the Parliamentary committee investigating suspect structured bond transactions by Greek state insurance funds. In three damning reports on the affair, his authority claimed that those responsible had acted in bad faith and in ways damaging to the funds involved.
All three reports had been sent to the committee based on a request by judicial authorities.
The first report released on August 7, 2007 concerned a 280-million-euro structured bond deal by the civil servants supplementary pension fund TEADY. The second and third dealt with structured bond deals made by the main pension fund for Athens journalists and media personnel TSPEATH and the pension fund TEAYFE, which were released on December 14, 2007 and May 13, 2008, respectively.
In the first report on TEADY, Zorbas notes that "it was clear that finance ministry officials had knowledge of the bond's trading route abroad". At another point, the report stressed that the fund's chairmen at the time "were neither inexperienced nor ignorant" and that the bond "was known to many interested parties months before its issue".
The report concludes that "the acts of purchase and sale of bonds on behalf of TEADY appear damaging" and "the bonds resulted in damage to the assets of the insurance funds".
Concerning the transactions for the 130-million-euro bond deal by TEAYFE, the Zorbas report claimed evidence of "planning and scheming" and indications of the involvement of financial companies whose executives "had a wide circle of highly-placed acquaintances".
Among others, the report suggested that the actions of the fund chairman were "not unrelated" to the interest expressed by the employment ministry on the funds' investment activities and the personal ties between the fund's chairman Panagiotis Demestihas with TEAYFE secretaries and finance ministry general secretary George Kouris.
Regarding the second 130-million-euro structured bond acquired by TSPEATH, the Zorba report claims "sufficient indications of a breach of faith to criminal degree in its issue and sale transaction" as well as "clear signs of bribery and bribe-taking".
 Greece raises 1.95 billion euros from 13-week T-bills auctionGreece on Tuesday successfully auctioned a 13-week Treasury bills issue, raising 1.95 billion euros from the market. The interest rate on the issue was set at 4.05 pct, slightly higher compared with the previous auction of the same issue.
The Public Debt Management Organisation, in an announcement, said the issue was 3.85 times oversubscribed while the state raised 1.95 billion euros (1.5 billion from competitive bids and 450 million euros from non-competitive bids).
The interest rate was set at 4.05 pct from 3.65 pct in the previous auction in April 20.
The organization auctioned a 26-week Treasury bills issue, raising around 2.0 billion euros from the market with an interest rate of 4.65 pct.
 Greek budget deficit down 45.4 pct in H1Greece's budget deficit shrank 45.4 pct in the first half of 2010, surpassing an annual target for a decline of 39.5 pct, to 9.754 billion euros, from 17.866 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, official figures showed on Tuesday.
A report by the General Accounting Office attributed this positive development mainly to a drastic cut in public spending, while budget revenues lagged behind with a 7.2 pct growth rate in the January-June period, down from a budget target for an annual growth of 13.7 pct.
Regular budget spending fell 12.5 pct in the first six months of the year, up from a budget target of 5.5 pct, while primary spending fell 12.3 pct from a budget target of 5.8 pct, while spending on interest fell 13.3 pct from a budget target of 5.6 pct. Spending by the Public Investments Program dropped 39.8 pct in the first half, while revenues of the program were down 40 pct over the same period.
 Industrial new orders down 1.5pct in MayThe new orders index in the industrial sector (measuring both the domestic and external markets) fell 1.5 pct in May this year, compared with the same month last year, after a decline of 36.2 pct recorded in May 2009, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Tuesday.
The statistics service, in a report, attributed the 1.5 pct decline to a 16.2 pct drop in the domestic market orders and a 25 pct rise in the external market orders.
 Industrial turnover index up 13.6pct in MayThe turnover index in the industrial sector jumped 13.6 pct in May, compared with the same month last year, after a decline of 31.2 pct recorded in May 2009, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday.
The independent statistics agency, in a report, attributed this development to a 26 pct jump in turnover in the mining sector and a 13.4 pct rise in the manufacturing sector.
The domestic market turnover index, however, fell 1.3 pct in May, while the external market turnover index soared 58.2 pct in the month.
 Attica hotels' revenues down 3.6 pct in H1Attica hotels (three-, four- and five-star categories) suffered a 3.6 pct decline in revenues in the first six months of the year, with revenue per available room falling to 62.68 euros, while average occupancy eased 1.2 pct to 57.4 pct and the average room price was 109.14 euros, down 2.4 pct compared with the corresponding period last year, the Association of Athens-Attica Hoteliers said on Tuesday.
Attica hotels were the only ones to record a negative RevPAR, while the top 10 of European city destinations recorded positive RevPAR in the January-May period, recovering after a bad 2009.
The Posidonia Exhibition (June 4-11) supported six-month results by five-star hotels, suffering an 1.6 pct decline in revenue per available room, while four- and three-star hotels suffered a 9.2 pct decline in the same period.
The Association reiterated the need to promote a new strategy on conference tourism and urged the government to speed up procedures in lifting cabotage in Greek ports.
 Greek stocks end sharply lowerGreek stocks suffered heavy losses in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, as investors took profits after a six-day rally of the market. The composite index of the market dropped 2.92 pct to end at 1,579.14 points, with turnover at 113.322 million euros.
The Big Cap index dropped 3.47 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.24 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 1.21 pct. All sectors ended lower with the Raw Materials (4.59pct) and Banks (4.30 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 125 to 39 with another 50 issues unchanged. Loulis Mills (8.78 pct), Cardico (8.33 pct) and Elfico (8.0 pct) were top gainers, while Texapret (10 pct), Rilken (9.86 pct) and Athina (9.80 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.83%
Personal & Household: -1.58%
Raw Materials: -4.59%
Travel & Leisure: -3.03%
Food & Beverages: -1.74%
Financial Services: -1.23%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, Eurobank and OTE.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 4.91
Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.41
HBC Coca Cola: 18.00
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.11
National Bank of Greece: 10.65
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 5.12
Bank of Piraeus: 4.33
 Greek bond market closing reportTurnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market shrank to 31 million euros on Tuesday, of which 25 million were sell orders and the remaining 6.0 million euros were buy orders. The 10-year benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 10 million euros. The Greek bond yielded 10.49 pct, up from 10.43 pct on Monday.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate was 1.39 pct, the six-month rate 1.13 pct, the three-month 0.87 pct and the one-month rate 0.62 pct.
 Foreign Exchange rates - WednesdayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.294
Pound sterling 0.854
Danish kroner 7.511
Swedish kroner 9.576
Japanese yen 112.39
Swiss franc 1.364
Norwegian kroner 8.194
Canadian dollar 1.369
Australian dollar 1.483
 Scant clues in terror-linked murder of journalistCounter-terrorism detectives investigating the murder of journalist Sokratis Giolias reported scant progress in their investigation on Tuesday, one day after the 37-year-old father of one was gunned down outside his home in the Athens suburb of Ilioupolis.
The case had been transferred from homicide to the counter-terrorism squad on Monday, after ballistics tests showed the guns used in the attack had both been used in prior attacks by the terror group "Sect of Revolutionaries". Police have little other evidence to go on, however, since there were few people around to witness the dawn attack and it was too dark to properly identify the attackers.
Detectives are now waiting for the terror group to issue ia proclamation, which is expected to shed some light on why Giolias was chosen as a target and clarify details about the attack that have not yet been settled.
Police also hope to glean additional clues when Giolias' wife testifies on Wednesday. The woman is still in shock and unable to talk about the case but, from her initial statements to police, she may have seen at least one of the attackers from the security camera above the apartment building's entrance when he rang their bell and persuaded Giolias to come down, claiming that someone was trying to steal his car.
From the evidence so far, police believe that three people took part in the attack on the journalist, with two waiting for him in the entrance of the apartment building and a third in the street near the stolen car they used to get away.
The coroner's report said that Giolias was hit by 16 bullets, most of which entered from behind. This is seen to indicate that the journalist tried to escape his attackers and one of the terrorists continued shooting. The second attacker then fired the killing shot, aiming three bullets at the journalist's head.
Police are also looking into the possibility that a fourth person and a second car was involved, following behind the other three at a distance as a precautionary measure. They are also looking into witness reports that someone on a motorbike had been watching the journalist's home over the past 10 days.
Investigating officers are also engaged in an effort to find additional witnesses or material captured on surveillance cameras in the area where the torched getaway car was found, as well as possible witnesses at the site where the car was stolen in Alimos the previous Saturday. So far, however, nothing of interest has come up.
Giolias, 37, was general director of the private Thema 98.9 FM radio station and long-time former associate of investigative journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos.
According to a statement to police by Giolias' wife, an unknown man rang the doorbell of their second-floor apartment at about 5:20 a.m. and told Giolias that someone had attempted to steal his car and set off the alarm.
When Giolias descended to the building entrance, the gunmen were waiting in ambush and shot him several times as he came out of the elevator, killing him on the spot.
At around 7:00 a.m. a burned car was found approximately 1.5 kilometers from the murder scene, and police believe it was the killers' getaway car. The car had been stolen from nearby Alimos two days earlier (Saturday, July 7) and its theft had been reported by the owner to the local police station.
According to an eye-witness account, the perpetrators were at least three and were wearing uniforms, possibly of a security company or the municipal police.
Based on the method used and ferocity of the attack, police initially surmised that it was a contract killing, since the attack was well-organised.
Giolias' wife and the couple's 3-year-old child were in the apartment at the time of the killing.
 Man wanted for robbery/homicide caught by policePolice on Tuesday reported the arrest of a 25-year-old man accused of homicide and robbery, based on a warrant issued for his arrest.
The 25-year-old stands accused of shooting the 56-year-old owner of a petrol station in Evosmos during an armed robbery on May 27, 2009. Also wanted in connection with the incident is a 31-year-old foreign national that took part in the robbery and is still at large. The victim was shot in the abdomen and died of his injuries about a month after the robbery.
The two men are also accused of taking part in an armed robbery at the Menemeni post office on June 20, 2009.
Finally, on March 20 this year, the suspect and two other people currently being sought attempted but failed to rob a petrol station in Kalohori, Thessaloniki at gunpoint but managed to grab the purse and car of a 24-year-old woman that had stopped at the petrol station. They used the car to get away and then abandoned it shortly afterward in one of the streets in the city.
 Two arrested for robbery at knife-pointTwo Pakistani nationals in the western Greek prefecture of Preveza were arrested on Tuesday and led before a public prosecutor, accused of attacking and injuring a third Pakistani national with a knife in order to rob him of 500 euros.
 Burglars take 100,000 euros in jewelleryJewellery worth 100,000 euros and a further 300 euros in cash were stolen by unidentified burglars that broke into a jewellery workshop in Ioannina on Tuesday. An investigation has been launched by Ioannina security police.
 The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceThe shooting death of journalist Socrates Giolias and the counter-terrorism police's investigation, and the economy, were the main front-page items in Athens' dailies on Tuesday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Who murdered journalist Giolias and why? Ballistics examination points to 'Revolutionaries' Sect'."
APOGEVMATINI: "Terrorists strike against the press - Journalist Socrates Giolias dead from the 'Sect's' bullets".
AVGHI: "Semi-employed - Semi-unemployed".
AVRIANI: "Show of strength by the 'Revolutionaries' Sect'."
CHORA: "Blood and panic in the media world - The cold-blooded murder of Socrates Giolias".
ELEFTHERI ORA: "Socrates drank the conium of terrorism".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "At the mercy of the mafia of the neo-terrorists - The unbelievable crime shocked Greece".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Suspicious hit with 'known' weapons - Journalist Giolias dead with 16 bullets".
ESTIA: "Cowardly murder of journalist - The weapons pointed to terrorist organisation".
ETHNOS: Mafia-style execution by terrorists - With 16 bullets, the 'Sect' murdered Socrates Giolias".
IMERISSIA: "After the stress tests, the mergers test - Bankers say 'yes', under conditions, to deals".
KATHIMERINI: "Murder with many questions - 'Revolutionaries' Sect' weapons used in attack on Socrates Giolias".
LOGOS: "Mafia-style hit - Cold-blooded killing of Socrates Giolias".
NAFTEMPORIKI: "Open procedures in examination of proposals for banks".
NIKI: "Not for sale - Information: Salvation of 22 billion euros in deposits - Government quickly taking back the sell-off of ATEbank".
RIZOSPASTIS: "United Popular Movement with 'feet' in work places, farm fields, neighborhoods".
TA NEA: "Murder with rendezvous - They intimated at the hit 18 months earlier".
TO VIMA: "Murder on the doorstep - 'Sect' declares war on the mass media".
VRADYNI: "Sect of common killers - They killed journalist mafia-style".
 Foreign Minister: Eroglu's positions unacceptableLARNACA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said on Tuesday that it appears that, although Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was obliged to continue talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem, he has not abandoned his unacceptable positions, which are detrimental to the talks.
Speaking at Larnaca Airport on his return from Athens, Kyprianou noted that Eroglu's remarks on ''two states and two peoples'' in Cyprus were not constructive or helpful in a time when efforts were underway to reunify the island.
Kyprianou pointed out that these messages must be conveyed to Cyprus' European partners and the international community, adding that ''this is exactly what we are doing.''
''It is ironical, hypocritical, one could say, when the Turkish side, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots trumpet that they want and are desperate for a solution of the Cyprus problem the soonest possible, and promote such positions, which are not in line with that which has been agreed or with the position of the international community,'' he said.
Referring to his trip to Athens, Kyprianou said his meetings with the Prime Minister, the President and other officials were useful and constructive, because he had the opportunity to brief them on the course of the talks in Cyprus, the problems faced and developments after Eroglu took over the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community.
He added that the information he passed on would be useful for the Greek Prime Minister, who would be meeting President of the Republic of Cyprus on Wednesday. Kyprianou said they also discussed issues concerning the EU and Gaza.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
 Meeting on missing persons held at Presidential PalaceNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
The humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, was discussed at a broad meeting on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace, chaired by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.
Speaking after the meeting, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees Aristophanis Georgiou expressed satisfaction over the interest President Christofias was showing in issues concerning persons, listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the early 1960s when intercommunal fighting broke out.
Georgiou added that all aspects of the matter were discussed, including the promotion of the issue of missing persons in Cyprus, Europe and internationally, the speeding up of procedures concerning exhumations of remains, and Turkey's obligation to allow the investigation of the fate of each missing person and to provide information concerning their disappearance.
The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), a tripartite committee comprising representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities and a UN-appointed member, has carried out 274 exhumations as part of its programme to locate, unearth and return remains of missing persons to their next of kin.
The CMO has found remains believed to belong to 600 persons missing from both communities on the island. So far the remains of 179 Greek Cypriots and 52 Turkish Cypriots have been identified through the DNA method.
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