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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 07/08/1997 (ANA)


  • Tsohatzopoulos slams Ankara's "partial integration" agreement
  • Bagach stripped of gold medal after testing positive for ephedrine
  • Athens `97 world athletics championships
  • Greek train hits, kills Bulgarian soldier
  • Excavations reveal major finds on Greek-Bulgarian border
  • Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos
  • Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions policy
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Tsohatzopoulos slams Ankara's "partial integration" agreeement

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos today described the partial integration agreement between Turkey and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied part of Cyprus as "sheer blackmail by Ankara against the European Union".

Tsohatzopoulos said it was part of Turkey's efforts to impede the process for the accession of the Cyprus Republic to the EU.

"Accession however cannot be obstructed by such blackmail," he added.

The agreement, signed yesterday by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a Turkish Cypriot "official", provides for an association council to work towards the partial economic and defence integration of Turkey with the Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied northern part of the island.

It comes just five days before the start of a second round of UN-sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed at resolving the protracted Cyprus problem.

"This effort by Turkey illustrates its inability to adapt to the principles of international law and the values which govern the EU, which Ankara must accept if it wishes to come closer to Europe," Tsohatzopoulos said.

"The Greek government," he continued, "is calmly and steadfastly implementing its policy which is based on international law, international treaties and conventions and the decisions of international organisations which provide a hopeful and positive framework of prospects for the Cyprus issue."

"Greece will not lose from such pyrotechnics, the other side will lose," Tsohatzopoulos said, referring to the integration agreement.

The Greek foreign ministry said yesterday "the fact that Turkey chose this particular moment to sign such an agreement -- when efforts by the international community are made towards normalising Greek-Turkish relations on the basis of international law and conventions between civilised countries and when U.N.-sponsored talks have begun for a Cyprus settlement -- shows that despite its change in government it insists in maintaining an internationally unique behaviour towards the world, disregarding laws and rules which it signs only to transgress on them depending on its own interests".

"This behaviour as well as the fact that Turkey is far from being a state governed by justice and a western-type democracy, create, on the basis of the (EU) July 15 common position and its 'Agenda 2000' report, serious obstacles in its European orientation and in normal cooperation with it," the foreign ministry added.

Turkey has threatened it will unite with the occupied north of Cyprus if the island Republic begins membership talks with the European Union. The EU has invited Cyprus to begin accession talks early next year.

Bagach stripped of gold medal after testing positive for ephedrine

Aleksandr Bagach, the Ukrainian shot putter who took the gold Saturday in the World Athletics Championships currently taking place in Athens with a shot of 21.47 metres, has tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine and will be stripped of his medal and cash prize, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) announced today.

John Godina of the United States, the 1995 world champion and second place winner Saturday with 21.44 metres will now take the gold medal and the 60, 000 dollar prize purse, while third place winner with 21.24 metres, Oliver Sven Buder of Germany will get the silver medal and C.J. Hunter of the U.S., who placed fourth with 20.33 metres, will get the bronze.

Bagach, 30, was suspended for two years after being found to have high levels of the male hormone testosterone in 1989 when competing for the former Soviet Union.

Bagach narrowly escaped with a warning this time, following the IAAF's introduction of toned down rules passed at its Congress in Athens just before the Championships. Under previous rules, he would have been banned for three months. Bagach, as a second-time offender, would have faced a lifetime ban if he had tested positive for a more serious performance- enhancing drug such as steroids.

French 400-metres hurdle champion Paskal Maran also tested positive for ephedrine, IAAF officials said. Maran failed to pass the qualifyng round, finishing 6th in the firth heet with 50.82 minutes, as did Kazakhstan's triple jumper Oxana Zelinskaya, who also failed to reach the final after placing 15th in the Group B qualifying round with 13.39 metres.

Athens `97 world athletics championships

Yesterday's finals included some spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks, including an admirable win by Kenyans who took all three medals at the 3,000 steeplechase race. Cuban Jose Sotomayor reclaimed the world men's title despite repeated injuries that destroyed his chances in Atlanta last year, Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj came back to win the world 1,500 metres following a spill in last year's Olympics that cost him a gold, and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie, who had withdrawn from Atlanta's 5,000 metres with severe blisters, winning his third consecutive 10,000 metres world title. Czech Thomas Dvorak was another surprise, winning the gold in the decathlon despite his third place in the 1,500 metres, having a clear lead of 96 points over the silver winner. The Athens Olympic

Cuba's Javier Sotomayor bounced back after a dreadful 1996 yesterday to reclaim the world men's high jump title. Sotomayor took the title with a leap of 2.37 metres then, with the gold medal already confirmed, took one abortive attempt at 2.41. Poland's Arthur Partyka, second behind Sotomayor four years ago, finished with the silver again (2.35), followed by Australian Tim Forsyth (also 2.35). Greece's Lambros Papakostas, finished sixth with 2.32, after Norway's Steinar Hoen and Britain's Dalton Grant, who tied in fou rth/fifth place also with 2.32.

Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj confirmed his promise when he took the world 1, 500m crown from three times champion Noureddine Morceli with three minutes 35.83 seconds. Morceli, the Olympic champion and world record holder, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track titles, finished out of the medals in fourth place behind Spaniards Fermin Cacho and fast-finishing Reyes Estevez who overtook him just before the finish line. Cacho, the 1992 Olympic champion, clocked 3:36.63, Estevez 3:37.26 and Morceli 3:37.37, exactly 10 seconds outside his world record.

The race began at a pedestrian pace with the first two laps averaging 61 seconds.

Wilson Boit Kipketer won a dramatic sprint finish between three Kenyans to seal his first major title in the world 3,000 metres steeplechase final, upstaging world record holder Moses Kiptanuyi in the process. After defending champion Kiptanui had led from the start, the 23-year-old Kipketer burst past his compatriot down the home straight to win in eight minutes 05.84 seconds. Kiptanui, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track title, took silver in 8:06.04 with Bernard Barmasai completing a Kenyan clean sweep in exactly the same time.

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie won his third consecutive world 10,000 metres title with consummate ease. Gebrselassie took off with 600 metres remaining to win in 27 minutes 24.58 seconds ahead of Kenyan Paul Tergat, the 1995 bronze medallist, with former world record holder Salah Hissou of Morocco third in 27:28.67. The top three finished in exactly the same order in the Olympic final in Atlanta last year.

Czech Thomas Dvorak, a bronze medallist at last year's Atlanta Olympics, sealed his first world title with the third best decathlon performance of all time at the world championships. After going into the final event with a 96-point lead over Finland's Eduard Hamalainen, Dvorak came in third in the 1,500 metres to finish with a total of 8,837. The Czech was clearly unaware that he could make history, walking across the finish line. Hamalainen took silver with 8,730 with Germany's Frank Busemann, who produced a major surprise by coming from nowhere to take silver at Atlanta, winning the bronze with 8,652. Greece's entry, Prodromos Korkizoglou, came 16th out of 34, with 7,867 points.

Medals table after the fifth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday: United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 2 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold,1 silver, South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Spain: 1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Poland: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Belarus: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze

Greek train hits, kills Bulgarian soldier

A train of the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) today struck and killed a Bulgarian soldier near the town of Koulata close to the border with Greece.

According to initial reports, the soldier had been sleeping near the railway line. When the train passed, he woke up startled and fell on to the line.

OSE regional director for Macedonia-Thrace Pavlos Theodoridis told the ANA that the train had set out from the Strymonas station for Koulata, Bulgaria to bring back to Greece a number of goods waggons.

The two Greek drivers of the train are currently assisting the Bulgarian authorities in their investigation at Koulata.

Excavations reveal major finds on Greek-Bulgarian border

Excavations by archaeologists working in the ruins of a neolithic settlement near Promachonas, Serres in northern Greece have revealed parts of walls with wooden frames, ovens, pottery and benches dating back to 5000 BC.

The excavations are being conducted jointly by Greek and Bulgarian archaeologists, since the settlement spans the border between the two countries.

According to the director of the Kavala Department of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities, the find is particularly significant since it reveals a great deal about the cultural relations which developed between the Aegean and the Balkan region.

Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos

Archaeologists on a salvage excavation that uncovered what might be one of the monumental series of tombs erected to honour soldiers who died during the 5th century B.C., said that the finds may be associated with Athenians who fought in the Peloponnesian War.

"It is possible that the monument found on Salaminos Street (near Kerameikos) is related to those who died during the Peloponnesian War," one of the excavators, Ch. Stoupa, said following a general announcement of the finds on Tuesday.

Mrs. Stoupa said data pointing out to this conclusion included the monumental aspect of the tombs discovered in July, the dates determined from pottery found on the site and information gleaned from Thucydides' accounts on how the first dead of the Peloponnesian War were interred.

The war, pitting the city-state of Athens and its allies against rival Sparta, raged for most of the 5th century B.C. and brought about the collapse of classical Greece.

Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions policy

The international environmental organisation "Greenpeace" on Wednesday urged a radical review of Greece's policy relating to climate change, accusing the government of trying to exercise environmental policy "on the backs of others".

The Greek branch of Greenpeace called a press conference yesterday on the occasion of the meeting of officials from around the world in Bonn to formulate a plan for reducing greenhouse gases in view of a conference on climate change in Kyoto, Japan in December. "While supporting the taking of measures and the signing of a binding protocol for confronting problems associated with climate change, Greece is not only refusing to reduce emissions of dangerous gases but on the contrary is planning to increase them by 30 per cent by the year 2010," Stelios Psomas, an official of Greenpeace's Greek branch charged.

The aim of the Kyoto conference will be the signing of a binding protocol which for the first time will reduce dangerous greenhouse gases threatening the earth's climate.

Greenpeace expressed concern about the outcome of the Kyoto conference, charging that major financial interests were blocking efforts to fight global warming.

"A strong lobby made up of oil, coal and natural gas companies, supported by many governments, is exerting pressure to prevent the crucial decisions from being taken," Mr. Psomas alleged, naming in particular the United States, Japan, Australia and the oil-producing countries.

Although the European Union is proposing a reduction in the emissions of certain gases by 7.5 per cent by the year 2005 and by 15 per cent by the year 2010, Greece will increase overall emissions by 30 per cent up to the year 2010 "with the excuse that the country has the right to develop", Mr. Psomas asserted.


Fair weather is expected over most of the country, except central and northern regions which are likely to experience rain and storms. Athens will be sunny, with northerly winds, turning cloudy in the afternoon with temperatures of 23 to 36 C, while Thessaloniki will be mostly cloudy and possible showers in the afternoon, with temperatures 22-31 C.


Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 294.165 Pound sterling 468.849 Cyprus pd 531.939 French franc 46.087 Swiss franc 191.125 German mark 155.547 Italian lira (100) 15.906 Yen (100) 246.119 Canadian dlr. 212.600 Australian dlr. 216.344 Irish Punt 417.583 Belgian franc 7.535 Finnish mark 52.317 Dutch guilder 138.154 Danish kr. 40.827 Swedish kr. 36.247 Norwegian kr. 37.846 Austrian sch. 22.121 Spanish peseta 1.842 Port. Escudo 1.537


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