Briton shot aboard his yacht on Corfu, police point finger at Albanians
NEWS IN DETAIL
The government wishes to resolve national issues but not by means of
pressure brought to bear, especially if it is exercised ''in an unorthodox
way'', government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.
Reppas was replying to questions on statements by US officials on Greek-
Turkish relations. He added that the positions of Greek foreign policy
Asked to comment on statements by former national defence minister
Gerassimos Arsenis yesterday, who expressed fears of ''a new Zurich'' (1960
agreement establishing Cypriot independence, used by Turkey as a pretext
for invading Cyprus), Reppas ruled out the possibility of any discussion
(with Ankara) which might lead to a similar agreement.
Replying to other questions, on statements by Turkish Foreign Minister
Tansu Ciller calling for a settlement of ''all Greek-Turkish differences'',
the spokesman said it was not possible for a country to have recourse to
international bodies concerning ''whatever issue it believes constitutes a
dispute with a neighbouring country''.
''What is important,'' Reppas added, ''is for the territorial claims raised
by Turkey against Greece to be confronted''
Asked where Turkey might have recourse to raise issues such as the
disarmament of the Greek islands, Reppas replied that in order for a party
to have recourse to the International Court at the Hague, it must first
have ''a good image, something which Turkey does not have, having occupied
a large part of the Cyprus Republic for the last 22 years''.
''Turkey has much to do before it can raise such issues before international
bodies,'' Reppas said.
Commenting meanwhile on the deaths of 11 Kurds in riots at Diyarbakir high-
security jail, Reppas stressed that the international community should not
remain indifferent to ''the policy of terror, annhilation and eradication
followed by Turkey on the Kurdish issue''.
''Turkey,'' he went on, ''must be confronted with reference not only to its
foreign policy but also on the basis of the policy implemented by Ankara
Prime Minister Costas Simitis' new 41-member government was sworn-in
yesterday, kicking off a fresh four-year mandate after winning last
Sunday's snap general elections.
"A new era begins today, which will be marked by an intense and systematic
effort for a strong Greece, a Greece of creativity and solidarity," Mr.
Simitis said shortly after chairing the first cabinet meeting.
This, Mr. Simitis added, was the message from Sunday's general elections
"and this is what the people are expecting from the government".
The government is not for the time being considering changing the
electoral law, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.
The spokesman was replying to questions on comments yesterday by Prime
Minister Costas Simitis on the centre-left.
''An effort will be made to find a common language and common course with
the forces of the centre-left,'' Simitis said yesterday, shortly after
chairing the first Cabinet meeting since Sunday's general elections.
Reppas said that it was not in the government's intentions to undertake now
some relevant initiative, clarifying that the issue of where such an
initiative would be directed ''when and if it is undertaken'' would first
have to be discussed.
Meanwhile, the spokesman declined to comment on developments in the main
opposition New Democracy party following the resignation late Sunday night
of its leader Miltiades Evert.
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said yesterday that Greece will not
negotiate its sovereign rights, referring to a statement US State
Department spokesman Nicholas Burns made on Tuesday that the United States
intends t o undertake an initiative "to resolve the many problems in the
Aegean" and to the allegation that Greece and Turkey agree to this
"I explained to Mr. (US Secretary of State Warren) Christopher the
difficulties we meet in our relations with Turkey. As you know, the United
States has taken initiatives towards the Turkish side in the past as well
to persuade it to accept the position we have proposed, which, if you wish,
is not a position in favour of Greece. It is an internationally acceptable
position. More specifically, for it (Turkey) to accept the last part of
this position P the first step, as we have described it, which is ref
erring its possible interpretations on the implementation of treaties to
the International Court at The Hague," Mr. Pangalos said.
"I suppose that the spokesman will mean this effort which indeed Mr.
Christopher told me that the US intends to continue," he added.
Replying to another press question on whether Mr. Christopher spoke to him
of any change in Turkey's position, Mr. Pangalos said no, and stressed
"We discussed the situation in Turkey and exchanged certain assessments."
Asked whether Greece requested US intervention on the name issue of the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Mr. Pangalos said "the issue
of Skopje (FYROM) is being discussed with intervention by the US because,
as you know, Mr. Vance is American. He is a representative of the UN
secretary general's on the one hand, but he is a distinguished US diplomat
Replying to a question on the possible linking of the Cyprus issue with
"the difficult issues of the Aegean", Mr. Pangalos added:
"The Cyprus issue has nothing to do with differences in the Aegean.
Differences in the Aegean are Greek-Turkish. The Cyprus issue is an
international problem involving an independent country, Cyprus and a
country which has attacked and occupies territory, a part of independent
Cyprus, namely Turkey."
Earlier the State Department told reporters that "Secretary Christopher
said he thought that it was important for the United States to help lead a
new effort to resolve some of the Aegean problems between Greece and
He said UN ambassador Madeleine Albright and Undersecretary of State for
Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff would be "closely involved" in the effort,
adding that no dates were discussed for any mission or meeting.
Mr. Burns said the two men discussed relations with Turkey and that the
issue was always raised every time Greek and US diplomatic officials
"On the question of the Aegean, the US Secretary of State spoke of our
country's desire to help in a new effort to resolve some of the Aegean
problems between Greece and Turkey," he added.
Mr. Burns said at this point that the US permanent representative at the UN
Madeleine Albright and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Peter
Tarnoff will undertake this mission.
He said that Mr. Christopher expressed concern over the resurgence of
violence in Cyprus and the murders of two Greek Cypriots and a Turkish
soldier, and added that Mr. Christopher will meet the special representative
on Cyprus, Richard Beattie, this we ek.
Mr. Burns said initiatives over the Aegean and the Cyprus issue will be
taken separately, reiterating that Ms Albright and Mr. Tarnoff will
undertake the mission on Aegean issues, while Ambassador Beattie is
responsible for the Cyprus issue.
The president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), Iason Stratos,
yesterday recommended acceleration of procedures that will ensure Greece's
timely convergence with other European countries, otherwise "we will not be
able to promote national issue s and to have a more active role in
international choices concerning our country."
A SEB announcement stressed that the federation has always avoided any
involvement in political conflicts, but added that it continues to claim
the right to act autonomously and to be able to judge and propose measures
for the country's progress and pro motion of economic and industrial
Former New Democracy minister George Souflias yesterday announced his
candidacy for the main opposition party's leadership, after the resignation
of Miltiades Evert following the election defeat last Sunday.
Mr. Souflias' candidacy follows those of former national economy minister
Stephanos Manos and former culture minister Dora Bakoyianni.
Announcing his intention to seek ND's presidency, Mr. Souflias said: "New
Democracy needs to reconquer the broad (electoral) base of the past." He
attributed what he referred to as a decrease of ND's appeal to the "lack of
unity among top cadres during the past 10 years."
Mr. Souflias called on both followers of Mr. Evert and former premier and
ND honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis to realise that "everything
has limits and enter into polarising actions and procedures that will
shrink the party and possibly lead t o a split up."
His candidacy, as Mr. Souflias said, "aims to restore the party's
traumaticed unity, to expand the party's horizons with incursions into
other (political) areas and for New Democracy to become a majority."
A 57-year-old Briton was shot and killed today when he tried to stop a
gang from stealing his rubber dinghy from the Gouvia marina, eastern
Police believe that the gang were marauding Albanians, suspected of
involvement in a number of boat thefts on the island.
Corfu harbour authorities identified the man as Keith Hendley but refused
to give further details until his relatives were notified.
Hendley was asleep on his yacht "Karenyann" early this morning when he was
woken by suspicious noises and went to investigate. When he saw the men
trying to release the yacht's dinghy, he fired a warning shot to scare them
away. One of the men shot back, fatally injuring Hendley and then
disappeared towards the nearby Albanian coast in their inflatable
Hendley was declared dead on arrival at the island's General Hospital.
Sunny to partly cloudy in most parts of the country with possible rain in
the afternoon. Temperatures will range from 18-30C in Athens and 15-23C in
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