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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-11-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 06/11/1996 (ANA)


  • Foreign Undersecretary concludes high-level contacts in Cyprus
  • Cyprus House Speaker continues talks with Greek leadership
  • Spokesman: Latest Turkish violation of Cyprus' sovereignty again unveils Ankara's intentions
  • Turkish waplanes violating Athens FIR intercepted on 15 occasions
  • New Secretary General for Expatriate Greeks assumes post
  • Kuchma to officially visit Greece early next week
  • Culture Minister discusses bilateral, European issues with French counterpart
  • EOT office to open in Belgrade
  • Greek-Jordanian maritime accord signed
  • Shipping exchange revenues increase in first-half '96
  • Increase in number of Finnnish tourists to Greece


    Foreign Undersecretary concludes high-level contacts in Cyprus

    Foreign Undersecretary Christos Rozakis completed his visit to Cyprus with a new round of talks yesterday with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides on the Cyprus issue and the course of the island republic's accession t o the European Union.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of talks, Mr. Michaelides said they examined many sectors in depth, adding that "we hope and expect intense consultations on the Cyprus issue to start soon."

    Stressing that a great deal of ground has been covered in connection with Cyprus' accession course, Mr. Michaelides went on to say that "just as in the past, future success is based on very close cooperation between Greece and Cyprus."

    Mr. Rozakis referred to the possibility of Greece's contribution to issues concerning support for Cyprus during the run-up to accession.

    Asked to comment on the initiative by the United States, Mr. Rozakis said so far, Athens has no specific information from an authoritative source on the kind of initiative Washington plans to undertake after the US presidential elections.

    Referring to the same issue, Mr. Michaelides said what the Cypriot side is aware of are official statements by US President Bill Clinton on the assumption of substantive initiatives and actions for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    According to press reports, common strategy moves set out by Athens and Nicosia include issues concerning disinvolvement and military dialogue, as well as counter-proposals on confidence-building measures in the event they are raised in intercommunal ta lks.

    The reports said long-term planning includes a strong diplomatic campaign based on seeking a wide agreement framework with backing by the US and the European Union on the accession of Cyprus to the EU, and an end to Turkish aggression in the Aegean.

    In exchange for Turkey's compliance, Greece will offer its consent for a further rapprochement between Turkey and the EU.

    Nicosia and Athens agree that Turkey's stance is the key to lifting the deadlock and, more specifically, to what extent the disposition on a positive approach formulated by the diplomatic establishment in Ankara will be finalised as its official policy without backtracking.

    Mr. Rozakis is due back in Athens this morning.

    Earlier yesterday, Mr. Rozakis had a series of contacts in Nicosia, including a meeting with the Archbishop of Cyprus' Autocephalus Church, Chrysostomos.

    Speaking to the press after his meeting with Chrysostomos, Mr. Rozakis said the Church's positions should be taken into consideration.

    He also met with General Attorney Alecos Markides, with whom he discussed the legal aspect of an initiation of dialogue regarding a Cyprus-EU accession.

    Cyprus House Speaker continues talks with Greek leadership

    Cyprus House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, who is visiting Greece for contacts with the country's political leadership, yesterday expressed apprehension that proposals submitted at present regarding the Cyprus problem would not be based on the "right principles."

    He made the statement after his successive meetings yesterday with the leaders of the main opposition New Democracy, Miltiades Evert, Coalition of the Left and Progress party, Nikos Constantopoulos, and Social Democratic Movement (DHKKI), Dimitris Tsovo las.

    Mr. Kyprianou referred to efforts which he said both the Greek Parliament and the Cyprus House of Representatives should make in the direction of briefing parliaments in countries which can pressure Turkey to take "logical" steps regarding settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Sources said Mr. Kyprianou and Mr. Evert agreed that the prospect for a Cyprus-EU accession is the most important prospect for the island and that negotiations for the island's accession to the Union will contribute to the finding and consolidation of a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    After his meeting with Mr. Kyprianou, Mr. Tsovolas said the Parliaments and political leadership of both countries must work for "a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    After his meeting with Mr. Kyprianou, Mr. Constantopoulos said the Greek government should work towards coordination of action between Athens and Nicosia as well as a commmon policy to deal with initiatives taking place at present regarding the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Kyprianou also met later with Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga in the presence of KKE Parliamentary representative Orestis Kolozov, saying afterwards he is concerned over the intentions of the British side "which is lin ked absolutely with the initiative that is going to be launched by the US" on the Cyprus issue.

    "I am concerned because the indications from talks I had are that they are considering a solution to the Cyprus issue which will be based approximately on faits accomplis achieved by the invasion, with some small differences and which is very close to Turkish positions," he said. Mr. Kyprianou said nobody exerts pressure on Turkey and the European Parliament's recent resolution "constituted an object of polemics both by the US, and indeed before th e elections, and certain European Union governments."

    On her part, Ms Papariga expressed the view that the initiative by the US comprises the Aegean, the Cyprus issue and the Balkans as a "package" and "comes to consolidate the supremacy of the US in the Aegean."

    Spokesman: Latest Turkish violation of Cyprus' sovereignty again unveils Ankara's intentions

    The violation of Cypriot airspace by Turkish warplanes which subsequently landed in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island republic proves that there is no friendly disposition on the part of Ankara for rapprochement between Greece and Turkey, g overnment spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday. "There is no honest stance on the other side for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, since Ankara persists in its tactic of creating tension," Mr. Reppas added.

    Turkish warplanes violating Athens FIR intercepted on 15 occasions

    Turkish warplanes yesterday violated Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) regulations and infringed on Greek national airspace on at least 15 occasions in various parts of the Aegean, sources said.

    Greek fighters intercepted the intruders in all instances, some of which developed into close engagements.

    Referring to the incidents, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos described them as "common", in view of an on-going Turkish military exercise.

    New Secretary General for expatriate Greeks assumes post

    International relations scholar and attorney Stavros Lambrinidis officially assumed yesterday the post of secretary general of the foreign ministry's secretariat for expatriate Greeks. Mr. Lambrinidis has served as director of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos' political office.

    Kuchma to officially visit Greece early next week

    Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma will pay an official visit to Greece on Nov. 11 and 12, the Ukrainian foreign minister said yesterday in Kiev.

    The main goal of the visit is "the deepening of political dialogue and expansion of economic collaboration," a foreign ministry announcement said.

    In addition, a friendship and collaboration treaty as well as other bilateral agreements are expected to be signed during the visit.

    Mr. Kuchma is scheduled to meet President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Commercial exchanges between the Ukraine and Greece have risen from US$113.3 million in 1995 to $116.2 million for the first eight months of 1996.

    The Ukraine could increase its exports of metallurgical and chemical products to Greece and collaborate in the sectors of maritime transport as well as construction and repair of merchant ships, a Ukrainian source underlined.

    According to reports, roughly 100,000 people of Greek descent currently live in the former Soviet republic.

    Culture Minister discusses bilateral, European issues with French counterpart

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos kicked off the first day of his three-day visit to Paris yesterday with a meeting with his French counterpart Philip Doust-Blanci in order to discuss bilateral and European issues.

    Mr. Venizelos is expected to brief Mr. Doust-Blanci on his initiative for a meeting of EU culture ministers to discuss the principle of culture equality between member-states for inclusion in the new Union Treaty which is expected to emerge from discuss ions falling in the framework of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    Mr. Venizelos proposed that an unofficial meeting of EU culture ministers be held in Thessaloniki on Jan. 29-30 to coincide with the inauguration of events to mark the city as Europe's Cultural Capital for 1997.

    The two ministers are also expected to discuss a French proposal for closer regional cooperation between the five Mediterranean countries of the EU with a Greco-Latin culture, with the aim of reinforcing the European cultural identity.

    The five culture ministers of the European South are expected to meet in Paris in December, following an invitation of the French minister.

    While in Paris, Mr. Venizelos will visit the Delacroix Museum and pay tribute in a special ceremony to French and European Philellenes.

    A show featuring the works of Delacroix and other European painters who had been inspired by Greece's independence struggle against Ottoman rule, entitled "Greece in Rebellion (1815-1848)" is currently exhibited at the museum.

    During his visit to the French capital, the culture minister will also visit the Institut de France.

    EOT office to open in Belgrade

    The National Tourism Organisation of Greece (EOT) is to open an office in Belgrade soon, possibly by the end of December, EOT President Ioannis Stefanidis told Yugoslav reporters visiting the "Filoxenia" exhibition in Thessaloniki last week.

    Mr. Stefanidis said the office will operate through the Greek embassy at first and will provide information on Greek tourism.

    In Thessaloniki, Yugoslav tourist agents brought up the subject of tourist visas to Greece and delays in their issuance to Yugoslav citizens by the Greek embassy in Belgrade, due to implementation of Schengen Accord procedures. Mr. Stefanidis said Devel opment Minister Vasso Papandreou had been informed of the problem and has promised to act during the next few days in order to provide a solution.

    In addition, agreements were signed in Thessaloniki between tourist agents for arrival of some 3,000 Greek tourists to ski resorts in Serbia over the Christmas break. An announcement issued from Belgrade said a Serbian Tourist Organisation office is to open in Athens in the near future.

    Greek-Jordanian maritime accord signed

    Greece and Jordan signed a maritime cooperation agreement following talks which Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis had in Amman, his ministry announced yesterday.

    The agreement provides for the unrestricted access of the two countries' vessels to the ports of each nation as well as provision of all possible facilities to the vessels while in port.

    In addition, it provides for facilities for the crews of the two countries' merchant vessels, reductions in port fees for environment-friendly tankers, assistance to vessels of either country in distress while in the territorial waters of either Greece or Jordan. The accord also establishes most- favoured-nation status on the basis of reciprocity with respect to harbour charges and dues concerning the loading and unloading of cargo as well as the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers.

    Shipping exchange revenues increase in first-half '96

    Shipping exchange inflows increased by 4.6 per cent in the first half of 1996 to total $1.1 billion, compared to $1.05 billion in the corresponding six-month period of 1995. According to figures released yesterday by the Bank of Greece, shipping exchange inflows amounted to $192 million in June this year, against $197.5 dollars in the same month of 1995, marking a drop of 2.8 per cent.

    Increase in number of Finnish tourists to Greece

    Finns seem to have renewed their confidence in Greece as a tourist destination over the past summer.

    According to data released by Finland's Union of Tourism Enterprises, the total number of arrivals from Finland in Greece in 1996 will reach 150,000 by the end of the year, while an increase of 18.8 per cent was noted during the summer season over the same period last year.

    Rhodes is the most popular Greek destination for Finnish nationals, showing an increase in arrivals of 30 per cent, and followed by Crete and Kos. In a related development, the Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT) is sponsoring a three-week-long promotional campaign featuring traditional Greek food, dances and live music until Nov. 24 aboard Viking Line passenger ferries, which sail between Finland and Sweden.


    Nebiolo to head IAAF delegation's visit to Athens

    The president of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Primo Nebiolo, is expected in Athens at the head of a large delegation today, with a view to discussing issues relating to the World Athletics Championships to be held in the Greek ca pital next year.

    During the three-day visit, Mr. Nebiolo will meet with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and officials of the Greek Olympic Committee as well as the Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS), which last month precipitated a mini-crisis by withdrawing from the committee organising the championship, due to differences with the sports under- secretariat.

    Mr. Nebiolo will give an official press conference at noon on Friday, at a central Athens hotel.

    Athens 2004 Olympics candidacy

    Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras said yesterday that Athens' candidacy for hosting the 2004 Olympics was on a very good course, and that the presentation of crucial issues to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) evaluation commission , during its recent visit, had gone "very well."

    He added that Athens ought to make a corrective addition in the file of its candidacy, regarding cooperation between first and second tier local government, in order to make it clear that there will not be disfunctional symptoms during the Olympics, similar to those observed during the Atlanta Games last summer.

    It also became known that if Athens succeeds in its bid, it will receive $840 million from the IOC in television rights.


    U.S. dlr 236.334 Can. dlr.176.675, Australian dlr. 185.901 Pound sterling 390.610, Irish punt 390.650, Cyprus pd 513.638, French franc 46.178, Swiss franc 186.000 Belgian franc 7.583, German mark 156.220 Finnish mark 51.991, Dutch guilder 139.336 Danish Kr. 40.662, Swedish Kr. 35.738, Norwegian Kr. 37.170, Austrian Sh. 22.201, Italian lira (100) 15.553 Yen (100) 207.526 Spanish Peseta 1.857, Portuguese Escudo 1.546.


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