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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 22/07/1997 (ANA)


  • Greece condemns Ecevit statements in Cyprus` occupied areas
  • Gov't to reinforce security along Greek-Albanian border
  • Madrid communique enables direct Greek-Turkish talks,Pangalos says
  • `Athens 2004` committee study on expected benefits from Olympics
  • FYROM prohibited from using name 'Macedonia' in Euro sports events
  • Another 27 killed in traffic accidents over weekend
  • EBEA establishes business data bank for Balkans
  • 10 more state enterprises to enter bourse in next 3 years


Greece condemns Ecevit statements in Cyprus` occupied areas

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday expressed regret at what he termed "inappropriate" remarks by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, during the latter's presence at events in Turkish-occupied Cyprus to mark Ankara's 1974 invasion.

During the weekend events, Mr. Ecevit, who as prime minister had ordered the 1974 invasion against the island republic, said the self-proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", recognised only by Ankara, would "live forever as an independent state. But its foreign policy and defence will be handled by Turkey".

Responding to a question following a meeting at the Maximos Mansion, Mr. Pangalos said that Mr. Ecevit considered it the "purpose of his life to make wrong moves in Turkish policy on the Cyprus issue, that's why he has returned to the scene of the crime ".

Athens will support the Cyprus issue by its policy, Mr. Pangalos said, criticising Mr. Ecevit for scoffing at international agreements and repeated United Nations resolutions.

Mr. Pangalos said that Mr. Ecevit's "unfortunate statements`` were made as a "fiesta for domestic political consumption".

The Greek government would not follow that method, he said, and ruled out the possibility that any Greek government officials would make statements for domestic consumption on the Cyprus issue.

He also expressed the hope that the Turkish policy on the Cyprus issue would one day cease to follow the logic of domestic political consumption.

Meanwhile, the government described Mr. Ecevit's statements as "completely inopportune, incompatible with efforts for a settlement of the Cyprus problem and inconsistent with Turkey's effort to approach the European Union".

"Such behaviour compromises Turkey and is seen by the international community as belonging in the past," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

In further comments, Mr. Ecevit had said the illegal TRNC regime's integration with Turkey was inevitable after the European Union gave the green light last week to the Cyprus Republic for accession negotiations, while excluding Turkey.

Mr. Reppas said the EU had fixed "in the most official and categorical manner" the timetable for accession negotiations with Cyprus.

Gov't to reinforce security along Greek-Albanian border

Public Order Minister George Romeos said new measures would be taken to strengthen border security in cooperation with the National Defence Ministry,after a two-hour top-level meeting on the problems being created by Albanian criminal gangs along the border.

Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired a meeting of ministers yesterday to also discuss problems associated with the presence of Albanian illegal immigrants in the country and the illegal activities of Albanian crime rings, particularly in northwest Gree ce near the border with Albania.

According to sources, the government intends to increase the number of joint army and police patrols on the border with Albania.

Mr. Romeos also said that policing measures would be increased inside Greece as well in order to combat the activities of foreign criminals.

Madrid communique enables direct Greek-Turkish talks,Pangalos says

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has described the recent Greek-Turkish joint communique signed in Madrid as a "major political development" that created a "new situation, qualitatively",while enabling direct talks on bilateral issues concerning the two countries without intermediaries.

Mr. Pangalos stressed, however, in an interview to the Athens daily 'TA NEA", published yesterday, that there could be no political rapprochement with Turkey or discussion on issues of cooperation before the matter of Ankara's claims on the Imia islets was settled through recourse by the latter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He added that at no time during the talks that preceded the Madrid communique was the issue of Greece's legal right, under the international Law of the Sea, to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles mentioned.

The six-point communique, issued on July 8 after talks by Premier Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid and subsequently described by the government as a "declaration of intentions", stated that the two countries would pursue efforts to promote bilateral relations based upon: "A mutual commitment to peace, security and the continuing development of good neighbourly relations"; "respect for each other's sovereignty"; "respect for the principl es of international law and international agreements"; "respect for each other's legitimate, vital interests and concerns in the Aegean which are of great importance for their security and national sovereignty"; "commitment to refrain from unilateral acts on the basis of mutual respect and willingness to avoid conflicts arising from misunderstanding" and finally, "commitment to settle disputes by peaceful means based on mutual consent and without use of force or threat of force".

Mr. Pangalos said the "declaration of intentions" issued in Madrid had eliminated the threat of war, and was made at the highest possible level, by the Turkish President himself, who also headed that country's national security council, which "makes it clear that Turkey accepts the international treaties as the basis for discussion".

Although this did not mean that Ankara would "...interpret or implement international law and the international treaties in the way it should or in the way they are implemented by the international community", there was nevertheless, a "new situation, qualitatively" in the context of which Greece could "directly discuss with Turkey without the mediation of a third power, such as the United States or the European Union, particularly on matters concerning the two countries".

"This does not mean that we will negotiate rights we consider non- negotiable or will accept a political discussion on matters that require legal handling," he said, adding: "There is no such commitment".

"What it does mean, is that representatives of two mature countries, the representatives that is of Turkey and Greece, will be able to meet and discuss all issues pertaining to the two countries'', he added.

Responding to criticism of the Madrid communique voiced in Greece, Mr. Pangalos said the idea that the Aegean was a "closed region" which belongs entirely to Greece and where no one else has the right to have interests ''is precisely the slander which the Turks use to manipulate their public opinion, (fomenting) aggression against Greece."

"But one coast of the Aegean belongs to Turkey. And this Turkish coast has a coastal zone and obviously some right with respect to the continental shelf. So why all this surprise that Turkey has vital interests in the Aegean, interests which exist de facto," Mr. Pangalos said.

Replying to other questions in the interview, the foreign minister clarified that the commitment to refrain from unilateral actions referred to actions of a military nature which could be taken by the other side as being aggressive and could lead to an escalation, as in the case of Imia.

He rejected the view that "unilateral actions" might be taken as meaning Greece abandoning its right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.

"The 12 mile issue is one which belongs to the framework of relations between Greece and the neighbouring countries; it is an international problem, not a Greek-Turkish problem, if indeed it turns out to be a problem," he said.

Mr. Pangalos underlined that the only real problem in relations between Greece and Turkey was that of the Aegean continental shelf.

"This is the heart of all problems with Turkey. If we could agree or disagree in a legally defined way, so that this dispute can be referred to and resolved by the International Court at The Hague (which Turkey has so far refused), then all the other problems will seem miniscule," he said.

He also urged Turkey to abandon its past behaviour and look to the future, stressing that Greece would follow such an effort with a "sincere desire" to help.

"The idea that Turkey can dominate Greece is one which belongs to the past, one which has no hope of success and which can only create problems in Turkey," Mr.Pangalos said.

`Athens 2004` committee study on expected benefits from Olympics

An Athens 2004 candidate committee-commissioned study states that if the Greek capital is chosen to stage the 2004 Games, some 130,000 permanent or temporary jobs will be created while an increase in tourism receipts and public revenue by more than one billion US dollars will be gained.

Meanwhile, the findings of the study were presented at a meeting yesterday on the financial aspects of staging the 2004 Games, organised by the "Athens 2004" bid committee and addressed by committee president Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki.

"The 2004 Olympic Games provide an opportunity for the development of new branches of the Greek economy and the attracting of major investments," Ms Angelopoulou-Daskalaki said.

The major advantage of the budget for Athens' bid, she claimed, is that it is not burdened with the cost of the major infrastructure, works since they are already in progress, plus the fact that 72 per cent of the sports installations are ready.

The total estimated cost of staging the Games, according to the study, will be US$1.35 billion, plus $215 million as provision for unforeseen expenditures.

According to the "Athens 2004" bid, income from staging the Games will exceed expenditures by $36.7 million.

Some 44 per cent of this income will come from the contracts already signed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) concerning television rights and international sponsorships.

Between 2001 and 2004, the report states, the total increase in the turnover of industry and Greek enterprises in general is expected to reach $550 million, due to increased demand for consumer products, building materials, furniture, sports and technical equipment.

The study also claims that Greek industry will benefit directly from the promotion of Greece's image internationally through the Games.

FYROM prohibited from using name 'Macedonia' in Euro sports events

The Union of European Olympic Games Committees issued a decision forbidding the use of the name "Macedonia" for any participants from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in sports events or events in Europe related to the organisation.

The union calls for the use of the name FYROM or the initials "MKD" as abbreviation, until a United Nation's final decision on the name.

Another 27 killed in traffic accidents over weekend

Twenty-seven people were killed and 368 injured, 57 of whom seriously, in 289 traffic accidents throughout the country since Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately, neither extraordinary police measures nor a ban on the circulation of trucks on national motorways on Friday and Sunday afternoon resulted in a decrease in the number of traffic accidents.

EBEA establishes business data bank for Balkans

The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) has established a data bank for the Balkans to provide information for Greek businesses.

The data bank will begin by providing information on the business sectors in Romania, Albania and Bulgaria. The countries it covers will be expanded to gradually include all of the Balkans and the Black Sea area.

It will also link up with similar data banks in Greece and beyond.

EBEA president Yiannis Papathanasiou said the information bank would start operating in the coming weeks and cover needs of businesses wishing to expand into southeastern Europe.

Some of the information it will provide on each country will include its economic profile, tenders called in the private and public sector, calls for joint ventures, customs duties and taxation data, investment opportunities, European Union programmes, trade facts and an explanation of its banking system.

10 more state enterprises to enter bourse in next 3 years

Another 10 state enterprises will join the bourse over the next three years, the government announced yesterday.

A small percentage of their share capital will be made available to the investing public, which will be based on the model of the partial privatisation of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE).

The list of 10 state enterprises will not include the Public Petroleum Corp. (DEP) and the Hellenic Duty Free shops, whose registration is already being promoted.

National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou issued an order at a meeting held at the ministry for an examination to ascertain which public utilities (DEKO) possess elements rendering their conversion into shares feasible and the registration of their shares on the bourse.

General and special issues concerning public utilities were also discussed at the meeting, as well as the issue of freezing tariffs in the effort to have inflation decrease even further.


Fair weather is forecast over most of the country tomorrow, with local afternoon and evening. Winds northerly, light to moderate, and later strong. Athens will be sunny with temperatures ranging from 22-35 C, and Thessaloniki should see some light cloud in the evening, with temperatures between 20 and 32 C.


Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 279.744 Pound sterling 468.601 Cyprus pd 530.323 French franc 46.078 Swiss franc 189.194 German mark 155.714 Italian lira (100) 15.998 Yen (100) 241.294 Canadian dlr. 203.618 Australian dlr. 207.373 Irish Punt 417.453 Belgian franc 7.542 Finnish mark 52.737 Dutch guilder 138.518 Danish kr. 40.886 Swedish kr. 36.010 Norwegian kr. 37.702 Austrian sch. 22.125 Spanish peseta 1.848 Port. Escudo 1.542


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