|Friday, 23 March 2018|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 10-11-15
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 15 November 2010 Issue No: 3645
 PM: Citizens called for country's course to continuePrime Minister George Papandreou, commenting on Sunday night on the results of the second round of the local government elections, said that the citizens called for the country's course to continue and voted for political stability. He also appealed to the country's political and social forces to work all together to enable the major problems that the country is facing to be resolved.
The prime minister added that the ballot boxes have closed and "as of tomorrow we will all be called on to assume our responsibilities, without games, extremities and acts of irresponsibility."
As Papandreou said, the citizens "rejected the sirens of destabilisation and gave the government a clear three years of work to enable it to continue the effort for the country's salvation and recovery."
"We have three years to do what had not been done over the past decades," he said.
"Now, we can shake off the burdens of the past," he further said and added that he was determined to proceed with the changes that he has promised, without considering the political cost.
Underlining "the seriousness of the times," Papandreou said that on this path, the path of the country's salvation, all must join forces, pointing out that "a prime minister by himself, or a government by itself, cannot achieve this."
The prime minister spoke of the need for a great alliance of forces to create a country "for which we shall be all proud."
Papandreou also stressed that he is open to every proposal that will lead the country forward. He promised all who were elected and in the previous Sunday as well, regardless of party identity, that he and the government will be by their side in the considerable work that they have to carry out.
 Results of local government electionsWith 86.35 percent of the vote counted and a record abstention of 50.46 percent, in the second round of local government elections on Sunday the ruling PASOK party wins eight regions while the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party the remaining five.
PASOK wins the following regions: Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Attica, Northern Aegean, Western Greece, Crete, Southern Aegean, Peloponnese and Sterea Ellada.
ND wins Western Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Ionian Islands and Central Macedonia.
Six of the elected Regional Governors are currently and until January 1 2011 Prefects, when they will be assuming their new duties. They are Yiannis Sgouros, George Dakis, Alexandros Kachrimanis, Panayiotis Psomiadis, Yiannis Macheridis and Klearchos Pergantas.
As regards the number of municipalities won by each party, with 67.60 percent of the vote counted throughout the country, the PASOK party appears to be winning 74 municipalities at press time, in the 49 municipalities by itself and in the rest in cooperation with the Ecologists and the Democratic Left.
The New Democracy party appears to be winning 40 municipalities, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) one (Petroupoli), and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) also one in cooperation with the Ecologists and six with the Democratic Left.
The Ecologists Greens won one municipality in cooperation with SYRIZA, three with PASOK, two with the Democratic Left and eight in cooperation with PASOK and the Democratic Left.
Lastly, the Demcratic Left is winning six municipalities by itself, two with the Ecologists, six with SYRIZA, eight with PASOK and the Ecologists and 14 with PASOK.
George Kaminis, an independent candidate, supported by the Democratic Left party and the ruling PASOK party, won the Athens mayorship, independent candidate Ioannis Boutaris, supported by PASOK and the Democratic Left party won the Thessaloniki mayorship, while ND candidate Vassilis Michaloliakos won the Piraeus mayorship.
Interior minister on local government elections
Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis stated shortly after 9 on Sunday evening that "the election procedure developed in the best way this Sunday as well," thanking all who worked for the Regional and Municipal Elections.
Rangoussis stressed that the Ministry considers the 13 regional governors and 325 mayors as associates, "with whom we shall wage the struggle for the preparation and implementation of the great institutional change of Kallikratis with the serving of the citizens as the ultimate goal."
Opposition party leaders
 Samaras: 'ND emerging renewed, strong and responsible'Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, commenting on Sunday night on the outcome of the second round of the local government elections, said that "the second round confirmed the political conclusions of the first Sunday."
He congratulated those who won for their victory, as well as those who lost for their struggle and reassured that ND will stand by those elected.
"ND is emerging renewed, strong and responsible," Samaras said and explained that it is emerging strong because it won 33 prefectures as against six that it would have won with the percentages of 2009, renewed because it won five regions, responsible because in cases, such as in Attica, it dared to break establishments and propose new persons.
Samaras referred to the percentage of the first Sunday, saying that PASOK's lead fell from the 10.5 units of last year's elections to a difference of less than two.
The ND leader also spoke of the abstention, saying that public opinion showed that it rejects the deadlocks.
"We received the message," Samaras said, adding that "with our proposals and positions we want to give hopes to the people. And those who voted and those who did not vote, called for a change in course, because with its policy the government is leading economy to suffocation and society to desperation."
 KKE leader on outcome of local government electionsCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Sunday night called for the creation of a front, from downwards upwards, with the aim of having at least some of the new measures that the government will bring cancelled and which "a human mind cannot conceive," while commenting on the results of the second round of local government elections.
Papariga stressed that the message of the second round of the local government elections "is strong, like the message of the first round as well, since the indignation and dissatisfaction of the citizens towards the government and the (main opposition) New Democracy was expressed for the worsening of their position and the loss of achievements, due to the Memorandum, as well as with the Memorandum as a pretext."
She further said that KKE is sceptical over the large percentage of abstention because, as she said, for reasons of principle her party is in favour of the citizens' active participation.
Referring to those who voted for KKE's tickets in the first round, Papariga said that a large part of them went to the ballot box, in the second round, casting blank and invalid votes, that was also the party's position.
As regards scenarios on alliance governments, Papariga said that they were "not by chance" and noted that it was not improbable for developments to take place soon, underlining the need for a change in the correlation of forces.
 LAOS leader says people tell politicians 'get serious'Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, commenting on Sunday night on the outcome of the second round of the local government elections, assessed that the ballot box's message from the Greek people to the politicians was "get serious."
He focused on the great abstention and stressed that it is a warning shot that "cockerel fights and dogfights are not liked by the people, who say 'think and provide a solution'."
According to Karatzaferis, Prime Minister George Papandreou "appeared to have understood the message and left an opening," while terming a "fictitious reality" what the main opposition New Democracy (ND) was saying about its total return.
 SYRIZA leader comments on election resultsRadical Left Coalition (Syriza) parliamentary president Alexis Tsipras, commenting Sunday night on the results of the second round of local government elections, predicted that the country was entering "a prolonged transitional period with poilitical restructurings and with general elections at the end".
Tsipras said that in the first round of elections on Sunday November 7, citizens had sent with their vote "a clear message of condemnation of the memorandum and troika policies," adding that those who abstained from the vote sent also a clear message of protest "that concerns all of us".
He also accused the government and Prime Minister George Papandreou of "not listening to the messages of the vote and of abstention" since, as he said, all the past week, government officials were declaring, inside Greece and abroad, that "their policies were vindicated and that society supports their policy."
 Fotis Kouvelis on local government electionsDemocratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis expressed his satisfaction over the alliance policy of his party which, as he said, produced results.
Kouvelis said that the candidacies of George Kaminis in Athens, Ioannis Boutaris in Thesssaloniki, Ioannis Dimaras in Patra as well as in other cities, were proposals of the Democratic Left, and noted that convince, when the cooperations secure the solvency of persons and programmes.
Kouvelis also expressed concern over the "huge abstention", that occurred in the second round of the elections and added that messages exist and initiatives must be taken to avert the course of destruction of the relations of society with politics.
 Yiannis Sgouros elected Attica Regional GovernorNewly-elected Attica Regional Governor Yiannis Sgouros said in a statement on Sunday night that the first elected regional governor of Attica feels the weight of his responsibility and thanked the citizens of Attica who came forth to the ballot box.
He added that he respects the option of those who decided "consciously to abstain from this election process" and added that "tonight I do not feel a winner, I feel vindicated because I remained steadfast in my position in this process."
 Run-off local gov't elections - Statements by President, party leadersGreeks throughout the country were voting on Sunday in the second round of local government elections, as polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 7:00 p.m.
Eleven out of 13 regions will be decided in the run-off election, as well as 221 out of 325 municipalities, including the country's three largest cities -- Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus.
The rate of abstention in the first round last Sunday reached 39 percent.
Voting in his home town of Ioannina on Sunday morning, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias called on the citizens to not abstain from the elections process and the struggles being waged by the Greek people.
"I criticise those who believe that their rage can be expressed from their couches, by staying at home," he said.
"Democracy in Greece was won through tough struggles and with wide participation by the people," the President stressed, adding that "democracy requires struggles, and one cannot speak of struggles and the country's progress while sitting on his couch".
Prime minister George Papandreou stressed the local admi-nistration nature of the run-offs, stressing that the Kallikratis public administration reform plan is a fundamental basis for confronting the crisis the country is going through.
In a statement after casting his vote, Papandreou called on the citizens to choose capable people who will stand by the citizens and give impetus to the new institution.
He described the Kallikratis plan as the biggest change ever, a 'revolution' in local administration, one that can remedy problems and empower the citizens.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, voting in his hometown of Pylos, said that there are "two tickets in today's elections, that of the government for the Memorandum and the new measures it is preparing, and the ticket of hope, that opens roads and prospects for growth with social cohesion".
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, after casting her own vote, called on the citizens to vote against the "policy of the Memorandum" and "send a message to our lenders", while she also urged a strong turnout at a KKE-orga-nised protest rally in downtown Athens on Monday afternoon.
"The Troika is coming, and it must receive its reply. The reply must be that the Greek people should not be the ones to pay the price," she added.
Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis called on the people to go to the polls and "vote with responsi-bility".
"The citizens will not vote loosely and awkwardly but responsi-bly and intelligently," he said.
Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader and parliamentary spokesman of the SYN-led Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) Alexis Tsipras said that the Left must mobilise the local societies and citizens, "and that is what it will do".
In a statement after casting his vote, Tsipras warned that "the morning after" will be a difficult day both for society and for local administration.
Tsipras said that the main political conclusions had been reached in the first round, in which the "overwhelming majority of the citizens disapproved the policy of the Memorandum, the harsh measures and the Troika", and called on the citizens to vote for the Left-backed candidates.
 PM newspaper interview: Elections issue is closed, time now to elect capable and worthy local leadersThe issue of early general elections, with respect to the local administration polls, closed the previous Sunday, and in this Sunday's second round "we have the ability to elect, on the basis of local government criteria, the most capable, the most worthy, people to serve the citizen", prime minister George Papandreou stressed in an interview with the weekly PROTO THEMA newspaper appearing on Sunday.
Papandreou accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) of attempting to undermine and dispute, without assuming its share of the major responsibility.
He stressed that neither the government nor the country was incapable of reducing the deficit. "We can do it, despite the fact that Eurostat now tells us that the mess left behind by ND is even bigger than we had calculated".
The premier said that the immense effort for reducing the deficit will continue "without new taxes, pension and civil servants' salary cutbacks", but with "major structural changes in the state, the DEKO (public utilities and organisations), the business environment and the country's growth model".
"We are not discussing dismissals. What we want is to uproot the long-standing problems of the clientelistic administration, in the wider public sector. That's the crux, wasteful spending," Papandreou continued.
The premier further said that his government does not fear the country finding itself out of the eurozone "because that is unreal", and stressed: "In 2010 we succeeded in doing something that, for all those who were betting on Greece's bankruptcy, appeared to be impossible -- the biggest reduction in deficit ever made."
On the Memorandum, Papandreou said that "it formalises more than anything else the bankruptcy of a policy that was advanced to the fullest by the preceding government".
"The fact that today we can speak about renegotiation is because we (his PASOK government) proved our credibility. In that context, the matter of extending the repayment period of the support mechanism loan has been put on the table".
Asked to comment on speculation of collaboration governments in the future, Papandreou asked whether there are any in the political system who would want to share the political cost with the government. "If they wanted to help, they could and should have done it from the position that the people have placed them," he said.
 PM holds series of mini-Cabinet meetings on 2011 budget, ahead of troika inspectors' arrivalPrime minister George Papandreou chaired a series of mini Cabinet meetings throughout Saturday, with different compositions each time, with the focus on the 2011 general state budget and discussions that will commence on Monday when a team of inspectors of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' are due in Athens to draft their regular progress report for the disbursement of a 9 billion euros third tranche of the 110 billion euros EU-IMF support loan to Greece.
The new budget is due to be tabled in parliament on November 18, and will take into account an upward revision of the country's deficit for the period 2006-2009 expected to be released by Eurostat on Monday.
Also discussed at the meetings was the upcoming visit by Papandreou, who is also president of the Socialist International (SI), to Paris to chair a two-day meeting of the SI Council that opens in the French capital on Monday. Papandreou will also meet with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday during his visit to Paris, which takes place shortly after the G-20 summit in Seoul and amidst heightened developments in Europe.
Speaking during the first of three consecutive government meetings held at his office in Parliament on Saturday, Papandreou stressed: "We can succeed in targeting extravagance. No dismissals, no additional burden for wage earners and pensioners and no increase in tax rates, beyond what we have already committed ourselves to."
The meetings focused on the 2011 budget and the discussions that will begin with the troika on Monday, as well as the government's programming and initiatives for the immediate future.
Another issue in the meetings was European developments and discussions in the eurozone, in light of the meeting that the prime minister will be having in Paris on Monday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the meeting of the Socialist International.
"To the persistent danger-mongering, we reply with consistency and we are steadfastly continuing the struggle for the salvation and recovery of the country with big changes," Papandreou said.
The prime minister underlined that his government, just as it had achieved the biggest deficit decrease in a year in the country's history, will continue in this way "speaking to the citizens with sincerity," "looking at them in the eyes" and "waging with them the most important struggle, that for the salvation and the recovery of our country."
Papandreou also called on all to realize their responsibilities and to take an example from all that is currently taking place in the rest of Europe, stressing "how important it was and is to have as a shield today the support mechanism, which protects us from the attacks," and "how important it is for us to continue with steadfastness and consistency the big changes that guarantee the rule of law, social justice, a prospect for the economy and our growth prospect."
 Deputy Employment Minister Dalara in New YorkNEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)
Deputy Employment Minister Anna Dalara, who is responsible for immigration issues, is in New York and will be meeting UN officials for talks on the immigration question. She will then be going to Washington to represent Greece at an international conference.
On the occasion of her visit to New York, Dalara met with the Archbishop of America Demetrius on Friday night (Greek time).
Speaking after the meeting, Dalara said, among other things, that "I had the great honour and pleasure of being received by the Archbishop today. I am here for a series of contacts at the UN on the immigration issue, and then I will be meeting in Washington with immigration ministers of European countries, as well as of the US and Canada, in the framework of a special conference."
 Greek deputies at NATO Parliamentary Assembly Plenum on FYROM mapWARSAW (ANA-MPA)
Following coordinated action by Greek deputies participating in NATO's Parliamentary Assembly Plenum, the publication of a map in which the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was referred to as "Macedonia" has been thwarted.
The deputies, George Haralambopoulos (PASOK), Evangelos Antonaros (New Democracy) and Ioannis Korantis (Popular Orthodox Rally-LAOS), protested to the Plenum's secretariat, that is convening in Warsaw these days, and succeeded in having the map removed.
The map came to the attention of the Greek deputies in time, who reacted jointly and effectively, as was stressed in their joint statement.
 T-bill issue on TuesdayGreece will auction a three-month Treasury bills issue on Tuesday, Nov. 16, seeking to raise 300 million euros from the open markets.
The Public Debt Management Organisation, in an announcement, said settlement date for the issue will be Friday Nov. 19 (T+3), while the interest of the Treasury bills issue will be calculated with the time basis ACT/360. The auction will be held with competitive bids from the primary dealers of the Greek electronic secondary bond market. The organization will also accept non-competitive binds up to 30 pct of the issue.
No commission will be paid.
Greece successfully auctioned a six-month T-bills issue last Tuesday, raising 390 million euros from the market, although at a higher interest rate.
 Help desk for employees, employersThe Employment Inspection Corps is creating a telephone line to provide information and support for employeees and employers regarding their rights and obligations. The briefing of the public on employees' rights and the enacted obligations of enterprises will be taking place in parallel to receiving and registering reports and their channeling to relevant regional services. The help desk will be activated on line 15512.
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.382
Pound sterling 0.857
Danish kroner 7.513
Swedish kroner 9.433
Japanese yen 113.49
Swiss franc 1.346
Norwegian kroner 8.198
Canadian dollar 1.396
Australian dollar 1.394
 Man arrested for removing ballot sacks from election centreA resident of the town of Omalos Sintikis entered an elementary school in the region that is used as an election centre, at dawn on Sunday and removed sacks containing ballots.
He was noticed while entering the centre. On leaving with the sacks of ballots he was arrested by police of the Sidirokastro precinct and will be brought before a prosecutor in Serres. The perpetrator's motives were not yet known.
 Bomb hoax at Macedonia-Thrace General SecretariatA phone call announcing the existence of an explosive device at the General Secretariat of Macedonia-Thrace in Thessaloniki on Friday night proved to be a hoax. The phone call was made to police shortly before 10 at night and police immediately cordoned off the building and the surrounding streets, while bomb disposal experts moved in with sniffer dogs but the ensuing search of the premises revealed nothing and about an hour later the streets were reopened to traffic.
 Captain, owner of Gaza aid vessel to appear before examining magistrateThe captain and Greek owner of the Malta-flag ship Strofades IV will be led before an examining magistrate on Monday, charged with ex officio with abducting activists.
The Greek-owned ship broke its moorings at the Libyan port of Derna with activists of the London-based Gaza Road to Hope charity on board.
According to the Road to Hope organisation, the ship was meant to take aid to Gaza but set sail for Greece instead with at least 10 activists on board whom it said were being held against their will. The shipping company, however, said in an announcement that the activists boarded the vessel without a prior written agreement for loading and transport.
Six Britons, two Irish, one Nigerian and one Moroccan national, activists of the aid organisation, were on board the vessel when it arrived in Piraeus, as well as seven Libyan port officials and the 16-member crew comprised of 10 Ukrainians and six Egyptians.
The shipowner and captain were led before a public prosecutor on Saturday and are detained at the Piraeus port authority facility.
The shipping company, Ionian Bridge, has filed a lawsuit against the activists accusing them of destruction of foreign property, takeover of the vessel and slander via the media.
According to reports, the vessel broke mooring on Friday when a pay dispute broke out between the owner company and activists for the conveyance of trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to an Egyptian port.
An announcement by owners Ionian Bridge later on Friday claimed that the activists had boarded the vessel without having any written contract or charter-party. While 'Road for Hope' claimed to have paid for transporting the aid, no written contract or charter had been received, it said.
The shipping firm's announcement also reported a "tense atmosphere" aboard the vessel at Derna and said that Libyan authorities had not responded to a call for assistance. The captain, fearing for the safety of the ship and crew, then set sail for international waters while informing authorities in Malta, the operations room at the Greek Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries ministry and the Greek foreign ministry.
 Search resumed for missing French tourist on Mount OlympusA rescue operation to find a 37-year old French woman tourist missing on Mount Olympus since the end of September was resumed on Saturday morning with the participation of air and land forces.
According to the authorities' plan, the operation is focusing on inaccessible regions and gorges that have not yet been searched. The woman went missing on September 30 when she had planned to climb Mount Olympus, starting from the southern slope of the mountain.
 Greek-owned ship runs aground in MississippiThe Greek-owned ship "Captain Diamantis" with 25 crewmembers, 11 Greeks and 14 Filippinos, ran aground in shallow waters of the Mississippi River. The ship had left New Orleans for Indonesia, while the incident did not result in any injuries or pollution of the sea. The vessel broke free with its own means and headed for an anchorage for inspection.
 Detainee killed in escape attempt from police lock-up facilityA Polish national arrested by Athens police for was fatally injured while trying to escape from a police lock-up facility on Saturday evening.
According to police, the 21-year-old man was arrested on Thursday and was being held at the Aghios Panteleimonas police station, and fell off the 3rd floor while attempting to escape.
The man was rushed to hospital in critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.
An investigation is underway into the circumstances of the incident.
 Police arrest drug trafficker in KissamosPolice arrested a 36-year-old Albanian national in the town of Kissamos, on the island of Crete, on Friday afternoon for the possession and sale of drug substances.
He was found to be in the possession of 225 grams of heroin, 1,300 euros from the sale of drugs and two mobile phones that he used in negotiating drug deals.
 Two arrested for drug possession at railway stationTwo young men aged 18 and 27 were arrested at the railway station in Thessaloniki for possession of narcotic substances.
A police search after the two men boarded a train for Athens turned up 44 LSD fixes, 16 packets of MDMA (ecstasy) pills, and a minor quantity of hashish, which were seized.
 Robbers hijack truck filled with clothing after locking up driver in car trunkArmed robbers hijacked a truck full of merchandise in Thessaloniki after locking up the driver and co-driver in a car trunk.
The two robbers approached the truck, which was parked near a railway station, and at gunpoint forced the driver -- a foreign national -- and the co-driver to get out of the truck, and locked them in the trunk of a car, which they drove to a different spot and abandoned it.
The robbers escaped with the truck, which was filled with clothing, and are being sought by police.
 Overcast, rainy on MondayRainy weather is forecast for most of Greece on Monday, with local storms in the east and south of the country.
Overcast with spates of rainfall and prospect of brief storms in Athens, and temperatures ranging from 14 to 23 C. Overcast in Thessaloniki with temperatures of 10-21 C.
 Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glanceSunday's local government run-off elections, the economy and Monday's arrival of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika inspectors were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
AVGHI: "Elections (local government), recession, and.... (early general) elections on the horizon".
AVRIANI: "New 'massacre' of salary and pension earners decided by government at troika's suggestion".
CHORA: "Universal resistance - IMF's 'meat grinder' gets back to work tomorrow (Monday)".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Neo-dauphins in PASOK, with their weapons at ready".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "They're bargaining a new three-year Memorandum - Deliberations and exchanges of documents between Athens and troika".
EPOCHI: "With eyes turned to the troika - New, harsher measures as of tomorrow (Monday)".
ETHNOS: "Clear victory for the major wager of the economy - Papandreou 'votes' for acceleration of the changes from 'the morning after'."
KATHIMERINI: "Week of tough tests - Negotiations with the troika on additional measures and political scenarios".
LOGOS: "Now come the difficulties - The landscape in the economy after the elections".
NIKI: "And now, the two of us - Second round (run-offs) electoral showdown in regions and municipalities".
PARON: "Government with expiration date - Papandreou will be obliged to call general elections by March".
PROTO THEMA: "Papandreou interview with 'Proto Thema' - Heading towards renegotiation of the Memorandum".
REALNEWS: "Black Monday - Troika demands 24 new measures".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Everyone turn up for the KKE (Communist party of Greece) rally at 6:00pm at Syntagma Square".
TO ARTHRO: "The nightmare returns - Ireland collapsing, Europe fears domino effect".
TO VIMA: "George (Papandreou) calls on party leaders for consensus - Crisis in the economy worries government".
VRADYNI: "Secure your pension - Which women are 'saved', which are threatened (by the changes entering into effect as of the New Year)".
 President going to New York to pave way for solutionNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Saturday that he was going to New York to pave the way for a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The meeting in New York between UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is scheduled for November 18.
Replying to questions, President Christofias said he would be facing the traps set by the Turkish foreign policy.
''I am not going there to give. I am going there so we can pave the way for a solution of the Cyprus problem, a solution that will be acceptable by both communities and be based on fundamental principles,'' he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
 Agenda of New York meeting on Cyprus still openUNITED NATIONS (CNA/ANA-MPA)
The agenda of a meeting between UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, this week in New York, still remains open.
UN sources told CNA that the meeting would begin with a lunch hosted by the UN chief and his associates, followed by the main meeting, to be attended by three persons from each party.
The possibility of issuing a joint statement on the meeting seems to be fading, and the UN Secretary General is expected to make a statement, in agreement with the parties.
According to diplomatic sources, the UN chief's priority will be to hear the views of the leaders of the two communities on the continuation of the negotiating process in Cyprus for a settlement of the island's political problem, in order to give impetus.
Furthermore, Ban is expected to announce the issues on which convergences have been achieved.
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