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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-10-25

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

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

Monday, 25 October 2010 Issue No: 3627

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: Effort to save and reform the country will be completed
  • [02] PM Papandreou: 45 billion euros in green investments until 2015
  • [03] Samaras: PM trying to put pseudo-dillemma
  • [04] Samaras tours Thessaly
  • [05] ND leader speaks in Messini
  • [06] Calls for televised interview of all party leaders ahead of local gov't elections
  • [07] Birbili on climate change initiatives
  • [08] Pamboukis at 13th Francophonie summit
  • [09] Education ministry special secretary Dragona said to have tendered her resignation
  • [10] Padoa-Schioppa: 'Measures are in the right direction'
  • [11] OSE rail strikes throughout the week
  • [12] Peach growers protest
  • [13] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [14] Historic Folk Museum opens in Oraiokastro
  • [15] 4.5R jolt Grevena
  • [16] Drug dealers arrested in Athens
  • [17] Illegal migrants and traffickers arrested
  • [18] Two injured in light aircraft forced landing, reported in good condition
  • [19] Juvenile, father arrested for mugging in Veria
  • [20] Migrant-smuggler arrested
  • [21] Greek soccer results
  • [22] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance
  • [23] Christofias proposes dates for a meeting with Ban and Eroglu in New York
  • [24] UNSG anticipates that frequency of meetings on Cyprus problem will increase

  • [01] PM: Effort to save and reform the country will be completed

    Prime minister George Papandreou affirmed that the effort to save and reform the country will be completed, speaking in Alexandroupolis on Sunday, adding that Greece was at a "crossroads" for "exiting from the economic crisis but also the wider crisis of institutions, a social, ethical and political crisis", adding that the support mechanism for the Greek economy serves as a "shield that is held up by our EU partners on the one side and by us on the other".

    He also called on the Greek people to send a message "inside and outside the country" by voting for the candidates that can serve the new concept of local administration and the Kallikratis program in the November 7 local government elections.

    Calling the EU support mechanism for the Greek economy a shield that his held up the country's EU partners on the one end and by Greece itself on the other, he stressed that the aim is for country to hold up the shield entirely on its own, without "lending powers", and exit the economic surveillance the soonest possible.

    The premier added, however, that the shield must not be put down too early, before the country is ready to face the global economy solely on its own power.

    This, he said, "means that the time is now for the major changes in our country» so that the effort will not go to waste.

    "Today, we are at the point where we will decide whether to continue forward, not only for the salvation but also the reform of our country, in other words to tackle the causes of the crisis, or to go backward to bankruptcy," Papandreou said, adding that "either we build on our course to date and complete it, or we let it go to waste together with the sacrifices of an entire people."

    The premier said that, with the support mechanism, Greece was given time -- "a short but precious time" -- to reform and shore up the economy and make it strong, competitive and dynamic. "This is the new patriotism, the new patriotic challenge, we are facing today," he added.

    Papandreou criticised "those who have called for the disapproval of the government policy to be manifested in the local administration elections", accusing them of rejecting "any change and any step of progress" and of setting up obstacles, seeking that "nothing changes despite the fact that we wish to be called progressive, Leftist". He also accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) of "not only abandoning the fight and letting, as they believed, the bomb explode in someone else's hands, in PASOK's hands" but also of "hiding and hypocrisy".

    On November 7, he continued, the citizens must give a clear indication of where the want the country to go. "Let us not allow anyone to put forward pseudo-dilemmas, for obvious petty party benefits or to cover-up powerful interests. We are talking here about the country and its future, and it is time for everyone to shoulder their responsibilities to the country."

    Papandreou said that some quarters want to "appropriate" the people's problems, and seek to "entrap" the Greek people, whereas PASOK has chosen to clash with the problems and open the way to growth, progress, the truth and transparency everywhere.

    He also recalled the "fear and insecurity experienced by the country" a few months earlier "when we are only a few days short of inability to pay salaries and pensions", the "disdain" with which Greece was faced abroad "the raging rumors of an imminent collapse of the banks", adding that his government has reversed all that with its efforts. "I will not, as long as I am prime minister, let this be repeated ever again."

    The crisis, he continued, was the result of the mistakes made over many years, culminating in the period from 2004 to 2009, when PASOK to over the governance and "undertook this great effort for the restructuring of the country".

    "We were headed full-steam towards absolute destruction. We reached the brink of the chasm, and many were sure that we would fall. But we didn't fall. Thanks to the efforts of all of us we stood tall and proud, and are continuing, with consistency, the effort to stand firmly on our own feet as a country, as a people and as an economy," Papandreou said, adding that the positive results will be forthcoming provided that the country remains consistent on that course.

    The premier said that the gradual improvement of the economy will prove to the benefit, first of all, of the social groups most hit by the crisis, the "more vulnerable" categories, the unemployed and the pensioners.

    Papandreou said that in the coming days the government will announce a "comprehensive program" that will provide healthcare coverage for all the unemployed, for as long as they are jobless.

    He put blame on the preceding ND government and its policy, adding that "even today Eurostat is finding blue (ND) skeletons in the deficit closet".

    "The arsonists of the Greek economy are now accusing us because we are extinguishing the fire. At the same time that we are putting out the fire that they started, they are shouting that the water we are using to save the country is too expensive," the premier said.

    In a reference to his meeting in Athens on Saturday with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative (MCCI) conference, he said that they agreed "to wage our battle, because it must be a European decision" to advance the simplification of visa procedures" and to take measures for the management of refugee and illegal migration issues, but also to take advantage of opportunities for more exchanges, exports, tourism and growth. Papandreou also praised Turkey for its economy, noting that eight years earlier it had received International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance but "today is one of the most dynamic economies".

    The time has finally come, he said, for the Balkan region to rid itself of the fear that minorities are a threat. "Quite the contrary, they must become bridges of cooperation among the peoples of the region," he stressed.

    Newspaper article

    In an article appearing in the Sunday issue of To Vima newspaper, Papandreou stressed the significance of the November 7 vote, saying that the local government elections "acquire an even deeper political content" in which the citizens will give a clear-cut indication of where they want the country to go.

    "We have already traversed a great distance from the brink of the cliff we had found ourselves, but the effort has not ended. The alert has not ended," he said.

    The citizens, he continued, are called on to affirm their determination for changes, their desire to back them and take part in them.

    Papandreou said that 2011 will be the "second critical half-time and the last year of recession", and assured that the Memorandum will be adhered to, but stressed that there will be no further burden placed on salary and pension earners, nor any new increase in tax rates.

    The target, he continued, is for Greece to have "positive rates of healthy growth", and for 2013 to be "the final year of implemen-tation of the Memorandum".

    Papandreou was also briefed on Saturday on the outcome of an Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Regional Conference held in Alexandroupolis with the participation of government and ruling PASOK officials and local agencies.

    [02] PM Papandreou: 45 billion euros in green investments until 2015

    Prime Minister George Papandreou addressing the 'Mediter-ranean Green Development Investors Forum' stressed that 45 billion euros green infrastructure investments are expected in Greece until 2015 characterising this prospect a "hope in a period of economic crisis particularly for our country".

    Papandreou noted that a year before we faced the possibility of bankruptcy and we succeeded to avoid it and save Greece that was at the edge of the cliff".

    "Despite the short term austerity measures that we had to impose we are also carrying out radical structural changes in order for the economy to become viable and competitive in the long term. We will not become competitive in the usual way of salary cuts but by investing in a different development model that will give value to our products and our services" he underlined.

    The prime minister noted that the economic crisis must not be considered an obstacle to the economic crisis but both must be faced with common solutions and this may be achieved through the green growth." In our country we have major unexploited renewable energy sources and we have accelerated the licensing procedures for green investments and infrastructures. We are deregulating the energy market in which the cooperation of the public and private sector will play a decisive role. In 2009 the investments in renewable energy sources were just 400 million euros and in 2011 are expected to reach 1.2 billion euros.

    [03] Samaras: PM trying to put pseudo-dillemma

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras accused prime minister George Papandreou of trying to put the "pseudo-dilemma" of "Papandreou or bankruptcy" to the people, speaking in Kyparissia on Sunday in the first stop of a two-day tour of Messinia prefecture ahead of the November 7 local administration elections.

    Samaras said the country is at a stage where "the messages are crystal clear".

    "Mr. Papandreou is trying to pass the message, the new pseudo-dilemma, of 'Papandreou or bankruptcy," Samaras said, accusing the premier of "forgetting that the bankruptcy of development, the annihilation of shops and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), the 'bleeding' of the low salary and wage earners has been brought on by himself with his Memorandum policy," the ND leader charged.

    "But the Greek people know," he stressed, adding that "the message will be crystal clear because, in elections, the people do not receive messages, they send messages."

    "And the message will be clear: change policy, enough is enough," he added.

    [04] Samaras tours Thessaly

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras who is currently visiting the region of Thessaly, addressing his party supporters in Trikala city, central Greece, on Saturday noted that "In times of a great and deep economic crisis, a serious government must invest in truth and not in lies. False dilemmas that Prime Minister George Papandreou will impose in the following days will fall flat".

    "People need to know what is happening, to know who brought us to this condition and to most of all to know who can get us out from this swamp" Samaras stressed and clarified that his party's plan is real and estimated and that they only have to encounter with the economic reality, which today, has made the Greek people to suffer.

    [05] ND leader speaks in Messini

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras called for "unity and a rallying" of all forces in light of the country's local government elections in November. He was addressing a rally of supporters in Messini, in the Peloponnese prefecture of Messinia, on Sunday evening.

    He also invited citizens to send a strong message to the government "because we must change policies".

    [06] Calls for televised interview of all party leaders ahead of local gov't elections

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday called for a debate among the parliamentary party leaders for the sake of pluralism, and expressed his opposition to prime minister George Papandreou's all-channel televised interview that has been scheduled for Monday, calling it a "monologue".

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) also reacted to the premier's planned interview, demanding such all-channel interviews be scheduled for all the party leaders. The KKE accused Papandreou of attempting, through the televised all-channel interview, to intervene so that the people's disgruntlement and rage will not be expressed with a condemnation of the government policy in the November 4 local administration elections.

    "The KKE demands that all the political leaders have the same opportunity," a KKE announcement said.

    [07] Birbili on climate change initiatives

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Saturday pointed at the urgency to take initiatives on the climate change, speaking atthe "Creation of a framework for green investments» panel, during the second day of the Mediterranean Climatic Change Initiative conference held at the Attica coastal city of Vouliagmeni.

    "The most important is not the economy to move towards green growth, but how this will be achieved" stressed Birbili. "Quality and the speed of transition is decisive. During the transition period and taking under consideration the recession we must pay particular attention to the quality parameter. Renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies, despite the financial profit also create new job positions of high quality" she concluded.

    [08] Pamboukis at 13th Francophonie summit

    Geneva (ANA-MPA/R. Dimakou)

    Minister of State Haris Pamboukis represented Greece at the 13th summit of the International Organisation of the Francophonie, which wound up on Sunday in Montreux, Switzerland.

    The summit was addressed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who presented France's aspiration, in light of its imminent assumption of the G8 and G20 chairmanships, to pursue substantial progress in solving fundamental problems faced by the international community, such as regulation of the international economic system, UN reform, and climate change.

    Pamboukis spoke on the global economic crisis and the role of the state, which he said is called on to tackle the symptoms of abuse in the international markets, such as speculation.

    He stressed the need for immediate decisions to be taken in order to formulate a new model of global economic governance, noting that the global problems require global solutions, and in that context expressed support for Sarkozy's proposals.

    The Greek minister also noted the need for coordinated action for protection of the environment and tackling the negative impact of climate change, a turn to green development which, he stressed, is a priority for the Greek government, and reinforcing the French language internationally.

    In one of its resolutions on crises resolution, the summit, for the first time, made reference to the Cyprus issue.

    The text adopted encouraged the "decisive efforts and volition" of the Cyprus government for finding a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem and express the hope that the direct talks between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will lead to reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in accordance with the UN resolutions.

    [09] Education ministry special secretary Dragona said to have tendered her resignation

    Rumors were rampant on Sunday that education ministry special secretary Thalia Dragona has submitted her resignation to minister Anna Diamantopoulou, who is to decide in the next two days on whether to accept the resignation.

    Dragona is said to have tendered her resignation to a difference of views with the minister, with Dragona having recommended that the history course be an elective in the new type of lyceum (high school) being planned.

    To a relevant question earlier in the week, Diamantopoulou said that she does not comment on 'leaks' and rumors, adding that she will announce the changes to be made to lyceum schooling sometime in November, while deputy ministers Yiannis Panaretos and Evi Christofilopoulou have also said on radio and in parliament, respectively, that there was no issue of history becoming an elective class.

    Financial News

    [10] Padoa-Schioppa: 'Measures are in the right direction'

    The measures taken by the Greek government are in the right direction for the country's exit from the crisis, the prime minister's adviser on economic issues Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa said in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday.

    Padoa-Schioppa, the Italian banker and economist who prime minister George Papandreou appointed in August to advise the Greek government on economic issues, also stressed that there is no issue of restructuring of the country's debt if the economic program is strictly implemented.

    In an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper, Padoa-Schioppa said that the "very difficult economic situation" that Greece found itself in is essentially the result of the political choices (institutions, attitudes) "of many years, perhaps even decades".

    He warned against "illusions that Greece will exit from the crisis in a few months", adding that "a few years will be required".

    Padoa-Schioppa further stressed that there is need of stability and growth.

    Padoa-Schioppa served as Italy's Economy and Finance Minister under the Prodi government between May 2006 and May 2008 and has held highly influential positions in a number international financial institutions.

    He is currently a member of the Washington-based financial advisory body, the "Group of Thirty" and president of the Paris-based think thank "Notre Europe", while from October 2007 until April 2008 he was chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the top policy steering committee of the IMF.

    He has also served as president of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in 1993-1997 and was a member of the European Central Bank's six-member executive board from its foundation in 1998 until the end of May 2005.

    [11] OSE rail strikes throughout the week

    Rail services will come a near standstill in Greece this week as Hellenic Railway (OSE) employees have called four 24-hour rolling strikes for Monday-Wednesday (October 25-27) and Friday (October 29).

    The strikes have already caused the cancellation of dozens of scheduled train routes also affecting the rest of the week, namely on Sunday, Thursday and Saturday (October 24, 28 and 30).

    The strike also affects Proastiakos suburban railway service from Doukissis Plakentias station to Athens International Airport, as the infrastructure of that section belongs to OSE.

    OSE employees are striking in protest over an infrastructure, transport and networks ministry bill on the reorganisation and development of OSE.

    On Oct. 25, 26, 27 and 29 access to Athens' International Airport via public transport will be possible only by bus.

    [12] Peach growers protest

    Peach growers from all over the country will stage a demonstration at the Agricultural Development and Foods ministry at noon on Tuesday, protesting that processing plants have not paid them for more than 300 million kilos of the fruit the farmers have delivered to them.

    Tassos Kyralidis, head of the peach farmers' coordinating committee, told ANA-MPA that the producers have not been paid for the fruit they delivered to the processing plants, with payment set at an average 20 cents per kilo.

    The peach producers are also demanding ministry intercession to raise the price to 23 cents per kilo, given that this year's sales to processing plants have exceeded all previous years, according to growers.

    Further, the peach growers are seeking a solution for the losses they suffered due to the extended strike by truck owners, which is estimated at 50 million kilos of the fruit, according to Kyralidis.

    [13] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.404

    Pound sterling 0.894

    Danish kroner 7.517

    Swedish kroner 9.330

    Japanese yen 114.09

    Swiss franc 1.364

    Norwegian kroner 8.208

    Canadian dollar 1.441

    Australian dollar 1.431

    General News

    [14] Historic Folk Museum opens in Oraiokastro

    Traditional costumes, embroideries, hand-woven goods, farming tools, home implements, old photographs and administrative documents are a few of the exhibits that will be on display at the Historic Folk Museum of the municipality of Oraiokastro, Halkidiki, in Thessaloniki prefecture, which was inaugurated on Sunday.

    The museum was created by local residents who, embracing an initiative of the municipality, donated hundreds of personal and family items.

    The aim of the effort, according to Oraiokastro mayor Nikolaos Batos, is to record, showcase and preserve the area's rich folk tradition and cultural heritage.

    [15] 4.5R jolt Grevena

    An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted on Saturday morning the city of Grevena, northwestern Greece.

    According to Geophysics lab of Thessaloniki Aristotle Univesity the quake's epicentre was located 20km south of Grevena.

    No damages were reported.

    [16] Drug dealers arrested in Athens

    Two Albanians 23 and 33 years old were arrested on Friday at the Athens districts of Paleo Faliro and Galatsi charged with drug dealing. Police officers who acted on a tip off found on the two suspects' possession 84 kilos and 655 grams of hashish, a precision scale, two cars and other evidence which were confiscated.

    At a separate incident in the Athens district of Nea Ionia, police arrested a 27- year old Albanian and a 30 year old Russian woman who attempted to transport drugs in a pram.

    The drugs were hidden under the baby's seat. Police found and confiscated 15 kilos and 278 grams of hashish, 190grams of cocaine, 6,100 euros in cash, a precision scale, three mobile phones and a car.

    All suspects were sent before a prosecutor.

    [17] Illegal migrants and traffickers arrested

    Two men 49 and 38 years old were arrested on Friday for human trafficking. According to police the two suspects picked up 14 illegal migrants, among them eight minors, from the Evros region (northeastern Greece) near the Turkish border and intended to transport them to Athens after a short stop in Thessaloniki.

    Authorities are investigating the possibility the two suspects to be members of an international human trafficking ring.

    [18] Two injured in light aircraft forced landing, reported in good condition

    Two people were injured early Sunday when a private light aircraft made a forced landing near Megara.

    The two-member crew were rushed by an Air Force super puma helicopter to a nearby military hospital, where they were reported later to be in good condition.

    One of the two men suffered facial wounds while the other was injured in the leg.

    [19] Juvenile, father arrested for mugging in Veria

    A 12-year-old boy was arrested on Sunday in Veria for mugging an 80-year-old woman after knocking her down.

    The boy, during questioning by police, admitted to knocking the elderly woman down and stealing her handbag, which contained 610 euros in cash and personal documents.

    The juvenile's 59-year-old father was also arrested later, charged with dereliction of his duty as legal guardian of a minor.

    The two detainees will appear before a local prosecutor.

    [20] Migrant-smuggler arrested

    A 36-year-old man was arrested at the port of Igoumenitsa on Sunday as he prepared to board a passenger ferry destined for Italy, after seven illegal migrants were found hidden in a secret compartment in his van.

    The detainee was due to appear before a local prosecutor.

    Sports

    [21] Greek soccer results

    Olympiacos Piraeus defeated Aris Thessaloniki 1-0 at home in games played for the Super League over the weekend, while AEK Athens beat Panathinaikos Athens 1-0 at home.

    In other action:

    Atromitos Athens-Xanthi 1-1

    Asteras Tripoli-Iraklis Thessaloniki 0-0

    Olympiacos Volos-Larissa 1-1

    Kavala-Ergotelis Crete 3-1

    Panseraikos Serres-Kerkyra 0-2

    PAOK Thessaloniki-Panionios Athens 3-1

    Standings after five weeks of play:

    1. Olympiacos P. 18 points

    2. Panathinaikos 14

    3. AEK 13

    4. Kerkyra 12

    5. Kavala 12

    6. Iraklis 10

    7. Asteras 10

    8. Ergotelis 9

    9. Aris 9

    10. Olympiacos V. 9

    11. PAOK 8

    12. Atromitos 7

    13. Xanthi 6

    14. Larissa 6

    15. Panionios 4

    16. Panseraikos 4

    [22] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The upcoming November 7 local administration elections and the planned new civil service salary scale were the main front-page items in Sunday's newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Gaffe with the early retirement of 100,000 mothers of minors".

    AVGHI: "Dynamite elections - Plunge in prime minister's, government's, and ruling PASOK-backed candidates' popularity ahead of local government elections".

    AVRIANI: "PASOK in state of chaos - The upcoming crushing electoral defeat has brought panic in the ruling party".

    CHORA: "Popular 'explosion' against the Memorandum".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New 'scissoring' of benefits of 610,000 civil servants as of January 2011".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Political system fears the 'party of the enraged'."

    ETHNOS: "Graft and 'visas' loot 400 million ears annually from the ESY (National Health System) - Caravans of patients from Balkan countries secure free healthcare in hospitals in northern Greece while well-to-do Greeks with fake 'poverty social security booklets' circumvent the social security funds".

    KATHIMERINI: "Papandreou's dilemmas - He is mulling immediate recourse to general elections ahead of the new austerity measures if the local government election result is negative".

    LOGOS: "Papandreou's tactic of 'dilemmas' boomerangs against him".

    NIKI: "IKA (state social security foundation) and OAEE (Self-Employed Professionals' social security fund) have run out of money".

    REAL NEWS "Papandreou puts 'loaded gun' on the table, raises dilemma of early general elections".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Vote for popular rally (KKE-backed tickets in the local government elections) - Say 'no' to PASOK and ND by backing a strong KKE".

    TO VIMA: "Government mulling changes in regulations on first home and other measures in order to boost construction activity".

    VRADYNI: "The new cutbacks in public sector salaries - Where the biggest cuts will be made".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [23] Christofias proposes dates for a meeting with Ban and Eroglu in New York

    NICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias on Saturday said that during the telephone conversation he had last Thursday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon he told UN Chief that it is an honour for him to meet him either privately or in the presence of the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Christofias also noted that Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN conveyed to UN Secretary General on Friday the dates that would suit the Cyprus President for a meeting with Ban and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, which are November 15-17.

    Christofias denied allegations that he rejected a proposal by Ban for a meeting between himself, Christofias and Eroglu, noting that he had a very friendly conversation with the UN Secretary General who exerted no pressure but just inquired whether there could be a meeting to which he himself responded positively.

    Christofias also said that the fact that meetings in the framework of direct negotiations for a Cyprus settlement are not frequent "something which even diplomats themselves reiterate" but "unfortunately are unfounded and wrong and sudden me very much."

    The president noted that Ban called him and asked him about the situation in the talks, something which Christofias elaborated on, underlining that regarding the issue of properties, the Turkish Cypriot is submitting positions which are not in line with the framework of UN resolutions and the basis on which the Cyprus problem must be solved.

    "We had a conversation for over ten minutes with the SG and he inquired whether it was possible to have a meeting with me and Mr. Eroglou in New York after the next fortnight. I told the SG that it is my pleasure and honour to meet the SG either the two of us or in the presence of the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, but asked him to allow me to check my programme and then give him my answer," Christofias noted.

    Christofias said that Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN conveyed to the UNSG the dates which Christofias proposes for this meeting, November 15-17.

    Invited to comment on what the UNSG says on Cyprus in his report to the 5th committee of the General Assembly on the estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council, Christofias said that "we have expressed our readiness for the implementation of new confidence building measures as the opening of new check points," and expressed satisfaction over Ban's references in his report.

    As regards meetings held in the framework of direct negotiations, Christofias said that it is not his fault that they are not taking place more frequently.

    He said that during the talks Eroglu visits countries abroad to promote the position of the Turkish side on the direct trade and the so called "state" in occupied Cyprus.

    He also noted that Eroglu will be visiting Germany next week. Meanwhile in statements at a local radio station, Christofias said that the UNSG is informed by certain people on the Cyprus problem and that he should have been informed that the Turkish Cypriot side is intransigent on the issue of properties.

    Christofias also expressed doubts on whether the SG will suggest to have an international conference, if there is an agreement on the issue of properties, as other aspects of the Cyprus problems are still pending and Eroglu denies to discuss them.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. UN-led direct talks aiming to solve the problem began in September 2008.

    [24] UNSG anticipates that frequency of meetings on Cyprus problem will increase

    UNITED NATIONS (CNA/ANA-MPA)

    UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon has said that it is anticipated that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou, and their representatives will increase the frequency of meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations.

    In a report on the estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council to the 5th committee of the General Assembly, Ban also noted that its Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer will engage regional and international stakeholders on substantive issues in support of the process.

    The question of Cyprus has been on the United Nations agenda for over four decades and remains unresolved despite numerous initiatives undertaken by the United Nations and the international community to support Cypriot efforts towards a comprehensive settlement, Ban noted.

    The UN Secretary General referred to developments on the Cyprus problem since the appointment of Downer in 2008 noting that ''in order to ensure the provision of coherent and effective support to the peace effort, there is a high level of synergy among the United Nations family.''

    ''All United Nations efforts are directed, through the Special Representative acting in the capacity of Deputy Special Adviser, to supporting the Secretary General's good offices and the final expected outcome of a mutually agreed comprehensive settlement, which will be put to separate and simultaneous referendums,'' he added.

    Referring to the ongoing negotiations between Christofias and Eroglou, Ban noted that ''all indications are that they will keep the momentum of the negotiations. In this regard, it is anticipated that the leaders and the representatives will increase the frequency of meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition, the Special Adviser will engage regional and international stakeholders on substantive issues in support of the process,'' he added.

    The estimated requirements in 2011 for the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus amount to $3,536,600 net ($3,984,400 gross) and provide for the continuation of the Special Adviser at the Under-Secretary-General level and 18 staff for a period of 12 month ($2,459,200), consultants ($226,100), travel of staff ($407,500) and other operating requirements ($443,800).

    As it is noted, the variance between the 2011 requirements and the 2010 appropriation is due mainly to the change in the standard salary costs applicable for 2011 and increased operating requirements related to the renovation of the offices affected by the flood during the rainy season.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Direct negotiations aiming to solve the problem started in September 2008.

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


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