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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-08-14

Antenna Radio News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <http://www.antenna.gr> - email: antenna@compulink.gr

News in English, 14/08/97


TITLES

  • Turkish-Cypriot leader Denktash refuses to sign the two documents drawn up by the UN concerning Cyprus
  • Juan Antonio Samaranch hails the World Athletics Championships as a tremendous success
  • A seriously wounded sea turtle finds its way home back to its natural habitat


CYPRUS

Talks on the reunification of Cyprus hit problems Wednesday with limited progress between the two sides being made.

The impasse is due to Turkish Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash concerned with the recent UN proposals drawn up by representative UN secretary general Diego Cordovez on the future of the divided island.

Denktash refused to sign the two documents unless they specifically ruled out the opening of Cyprus's entry negotiations with the EU early next year.

The UN proposals were generally welcomed by Greek Cypriot president Clafcos Clerides.

UN special envoy Diego Cordovez presented the two leaders Clerides and Denktash with the two documents at Tuesday's round of negotiations.

Sources say one of the documents is a revised version of the paper Cordovez presented to the two men at last month's meeting in upstate New York. The document outlines the main points of difference that have blocked a settlement since Cyprus was officially partitioned by the 1974 Turkish invasion. The problems include; how much territory each side would receive, the return of refugees, demilitarization and security guarantees and sovereignty.

The second document is an outline of the proposed UN procedure for a step by step tackling of the problems, leading to the eventual unification of the mediterranean island in a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

Sources close to the talks say that the UN sees as its goals; firstly, to create the necessary pre- conditions in the second round of direct talks, successfully ending with both sides promising to continue bilateral talks on the Cyprus issue. And secondly, for both sides to come up with a set of workable principles dealing with the three basic problems facing the two, that of security, territorial rights and basic issues of freedom.

Sources also say the UN is confident in achieving their first goal, believing that Turkey would not wish to risk withdrawing from the dialogues. Adding that the second goal proves to be much more difficult, especially after disagreements expressed by both sides Tuesday.

Because of the media blackout requested by Cordovez the two abstained from elaborating on the issues. The only comment made by Cypriot president Clerides after his meeting with Turkish leader Denktash Tuesday was, "These are difficult moments. It is a serious time we are going through."

Sources say however, that the Greek Cypriot side is is happy with the amended Cordovez document because the sovereignty of the proposed federation is indivisible. Greek Cypriots had objected to a previous reference that sovereignty emanated from each community, fearing it could open the way for secession by the Turkish breakaway state.

Comments by Denktash referred to the limited progress achieved at present. He spoke positively of his meetings with Clerides but ruled out the signing of a joint declaration at the end of the talks. He said, "The talks were very useful and helped us to understand each other's positions. Adding that, "Now, everything is being put on the table. A study which takes into account the views of both sides CAN be realized. We have told Cordovez that we will not sign a joint declaration."

Inal Batu, a senior official at the Turkish foreign ministry backed Denktash's refusal to sign the procedural documents by saying, "It is not a case of rejection because Mr. Denktash made it clear before coming to the talks that he's not signing any document unless there's a change on the European position on Cyprus."

Sources say the biggest Turkish Cypriot objections relate to the European Unions decision last month to include Cyprus in the EU. Ankara insists that Cyprus can not become an EU member before Turkey has been admitted. The Turkish Cypriots who are recognized by no one apart from Turkey, say Brussels has no right to negotiate just with the Greek government.

Turkey is seeking for more 'quote unquote' rights of freedom, as well as controlling more than 29 percent of the Cypriot territory it holds now. It also plans on keeping the Turkish troops on the island, rejecting the proposal for the formation of a multinational federation on Cyprus.

Sources also say that even though Denktash has no intention of signing the documents he will not withdraw from the present talks which are due to end on Saturday.

CRETE/ISAAC-SOLOMOU

In a special dedication in Rethymno, Crete, citizens honored the two Greek- Cypriots who were killed by Turkish in Cyprus's neutral zone one year ago.

Local officials and religious leaders awarded commemoration medals and plaques to the fathers of the two young men. Anthimos, the metropolitan bishop of Rethymno told them, "Your children will always be in the hearts of all Cretans. Of all Greeks".

Anastasia Isaac, the child who was born one month after her father's murder, was given a small Greek flag. With officials saying, "We offer her a small token of the symbolic gift her father gave Greece, that of his life".

Tassos Isaac was beaten to death by a Turkish mob during a peaceful protest against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. Three days later, his second cousin Solomos Solomou was shot to death by Turks in an effort to lower a Turkish flag just inside Turkish occupied territory.

SAMARANCH

Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the Internatinal Olympic Committee has hailed the 6th World Athletics Championships held in Athens as a tremendous success.

Samaranch sent letters of congratulations to Greek president Kostis Stefanopoulos and Lambis Niko-lAou, president of the Olympics Committee, on Wednesday.

In his letter sent to Athen's mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, Samaranch said, "The city of Athens can be proud of the excellent organization of the championships".

A similar letter of congratulation was also sent to NikolAou by Mario Pescante, president of the Italian Olympic Committee.

Pescante also expressed his satisfaction to Yianna Angelopoulou Daskalaki, president of the Athen's bid to host the 2004 Olympics committee by saying, "We breathed here the olympic spirit. Please accept my heartfelt congratulations for your creativeness concerning the organization of the games.

Samaranch extended an invitation for the Greek president to visit the IOC head offices in Switzerland as well as the olympic museum.

A world record of two hundred countries and one thousand nine hundred and 57 athletes took part in the ten day championships held in the Greek capitol.

The extravagant opening ceremony was watched by over 3 billion viewers in the comfort of their homes, while over 50 thousand people filled the stadium to cheer along with the athletes.

RAINFALL

After the scorching heat wave Athenians experienced for most of the summer. The Greek capitol was caught in a two hour torrential rainfall on Tuesday afternoon, turning several streets into virtual rivers.

According to reports filed by the police and fire department, problems were catagorized as minimal.

Traffic was normal due in part to mass exodus of Athenians who have already left for summer holidays. The first two weeks of August are peak holiday season in Greece.

Strong rainfall was also reported in the Peloponesian city of Argos, where some stores were recorded as being flooded.

Weather conditions are expected to return to normal by Friday.

EXODUS

With Greece's most popular holiday, August 15th coming up on Friday, many Athenian holiday makers are leaving the Greek capitol for the islands.

Special measures are being taken by Port authorities in Piraeus to ease the traffic conjestion expected during the week.

August 15th is the Feast of the Assumption, one of the biggest religious holidays in Greece.

It is also Armed Forces Day and the peak of the summer holiday season.

Ferry passenger flow in Piraeus was moderate Wednesday, with boats reporting 70 percent passenger capacity.

Authorities are expecting full capacity on Friday, being the peak travel day for holiday makers. Over one hundred boats are scheduled for departure on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio to the islands.

Traveller flow is expected to be quite heavy to the island of Tinos, which receives thousands of religious visitors each August. Paros is also a popular vacation spot.

Holiday makers are expected to make their returns beginning Monday and Tuesday.

ROUSSEL

The Athenian court of Appeal have charged Thierry Roussel, Athina Onassis's father with slander, perjury and false complaints against members of the Onassis Foundation.

Roussel had directly accused the Foundation's leading council of malpractice and embezzlement, saying that it burdened the Foundation with unduly large administration expenses.

If Roussel's accusations were proven to be true, it would have meant that the Foundation could also have been accused of bad management concerning the fortune of Athina.

On the death of Christina Onassis, her daughter Athina became the sole heir to the Onassis dynasty. In her last will and testament, Christina appointed a council of five people to manage the fortune.

Roussel, one of the five appointed is not a member of the Onassis Foundation.

In the will, 12 year old Athina is set to inherit the estimated 200 billion dollars left to her by her mother when she reaches the age of 18. The huge fortune was created by the late Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

Athina's father, Roussel, wasn't given any control over the Onassis foundation in Christina Onassis's will.

And Roussel now faces trial by the Athens Court of Appeal for defamation of character against Foundation members.

SPORTS

A very determined team of Greek athletes returned home from Spain Tuesday after participating in the Paneuropean Swimming Championships... for Athletes with special needs.

The greek team made their country proud by bringing back home five gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

Proud of their accomplishments and hard work the athletes took time out to speak with reporters.

Two time gold medalist Efi Gai-ta-nEE-dou said, "To tell you the truth, I didn't expect to get these medals, but I did it!".

Silver medalist Antonis Yia-poun-tzEEs said, "We worked hard to qualify for the games. There was a tremendous amount of stress. We did well".

Two time gold medal winner, Christos Ta-ba-tzEEs said, "We'll continue in our efforts for next year adding enthusiastically, "and we believe that we'll get even more medals".

Kostas Fikas, who won a gold and one bronze medal proudly exclaimed, "Next time they will be all gold medals, because we put our heart and soul in what we're doing".

The Greek team competed with fellow athletes from a total of 35 countries.

SEA TURTLE

One year later, a seriously wounded sea turtle who was successfully treated by the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Glyfada, has been set free to return to his natural habitat in the Aegean sea.

Ikarus, the name given to the sea turtle was found last July by swimmers in the area of KavOUri, near Athens. Having been wounded in the head by a propeller, he was transferred to the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in an effort to save his life.

Dimitris Dimopoulos, an official at the center recalls saying, "The wound was very deep, but hadn't damaged the brain. Adding that, "This is the first incident in which a sea turtle has spent almost a year at the center receiving medical care. In most cases, turtles remain for only a couple of months".

Fondly remembering Ikarus, DimO-poulos says, "In the beginning, we could only feed him with ground food.

After some time, he gradually managed to learn to eat on his own".

Apparently Ikarus made a lot of friends at the center during his stay. Anastasios Kotsoros, one of the volunteers says, "We are all very pleased and happy that Ikarus made it and has been released into his natural habitat. He will be sorely missed".

The Glyfada Sea Turtle Rescue Center operates as a hospital and information center. Sensitising the public to the plight of sea turtles encouraging their protection. It has been in existence for three years, treating well over sixty sea turtles.

Another four sea turtles are expected to be released withing the next couple of months, after receiving the proper medical care.

© ANT1 Radio 1997


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