Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-27
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 27/07/1998 (ANA)
- Pangalos to Turkish consulate: stick to your 'well-meaning duties'
- Meeting with US State Dept.'s coordinator for Cyprus cancelled
- Weather service warns of heatwave
- Expatriate Greek deputies tour Evros
- Weekend traffic carnage repeated
- KKE calls on gov't to change positions towards NATO, US
- Ethnic festival on Lesvos
- FIBA meeting convenes in Athens
- More fires reported, others extinguished
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Pangalos to Turkish consulate: stick to your 'well-meaning duties'
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday warned personnel affiliated
with the Turkish consulate in Komotini to restrict themselves to their well-
meaning duties and not to create problems in the harmonious co-existence of
Christian and Moslem residents in Thrace.
Speaking during a visit to Komotini yesterday, Mr. Pangalos said that,
otherwise, the Turkish consulate will get an "exemplary lesson."
Mr. Pangalos added that there are some consulates of western countries in
Thessaloniki searching for human rights violations in the region and
"forgetting" the horrendous crimes taking place only a few kilometres
He said that the guarantors of human rights are the Greek people, the
people of Thrace and the state, adding that the Greek Moslems and
Christians are giving their reply.
Komotini was the second stop, after Xanthi, of his tour of Thrace.
Replying to an address by Metropolitan Damaskinos, he said "today, I am
here because the foreign ministry has the duty to supervise the implementation
of the Lausanne Treaty which sets out the way of life and the rights and
obligations of the Moslem minority living in our country. I ascertained in
Xanthi that our fellow Moslem countrymen are living freely, enjoy freedom
of religion, communicate with the representatives of the state without
problems and without any hesitation, express their claims freely, their
criticism and participate actively in our political life."
He added: "I am not speaking only of Turkey's consulate, which is
attempting to systemat ically separate the Moslems from the Christians here
and to create a problem and a crisis...and in this way it is working
against the interest of our country in a way that can be tolerated with
difficulty. And I wish to warn this consulate that it is an ins titution
with a very limited authority and that it would be good if it were to
restrict itself strictly to its well-meaning duties. Because, otherwise, it
will get an exemplary lesson."
Mr. Pangalos concluded his speech with a forceful warning, stressing that
"my tour so far, and I believe that this will continue in Komotini as well,
was a refutation, a slap for the disgraceful slanderers, for those who dare
not say openly that they are serving illicit economic interests and
dealings and appear as protectors of human rights in Thrace, forgetting the
great and hideous crimes which are taking place at this moment that we are
speaking, only a few kilometres away from here. To all of them, all the
Greeks together, Moslems and Christians, give their reply: Leave us alone
at last. We have had enough of your aid and friendship. Leave the Turkish
and Greek people at last. Leave the people in the region alone. Stop
working for our good. We have seen your good. Thank you very much. Enough
Meeting with US State Dept.'s coordinator for Cyprus cancelled
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos cancelled a scheduled meeting with US
State Department special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller,
originally set in Athens on Tuesday.
Mr. Pangalos made the announcement while touring Thrace on Saturday and
only hours after US White House spokesman Mike McCurry criticised
statements by the Greek foreign minister on Thursday. Specifically, Mr.
Pangalos said that US President Bill Clinton had told "a grand lie"
regarding a solution of the Cyprus problem in his pre-election promises.
Mr. Pangalos had also noted that Washington had in the past exercised
pressure on Ankara which proved fruitless, and had now switched this
pressure on Athens. On his part, Mr. McCurry said he hoped Mr. Pangalos
would "revise his intemperate, disa ppointing and undiplomatic remarks to
the president of the United States," which were "inconsistent with what are
otherwise close and warm bilateral relations we enjoy with the government
In response, Mr. Pangalos added that all US presidents had failed to act on
the Cyprus issue in accordance with UN resolutions, stressing that he had
strong indications that Greek-Americans were considering switching funds in
future US presidential elections.
"It has become a habit for US presidents to make promises and not keep
them. Mr. Bill Clinton had promised to solve the Cyprus problem. I suppose
he meant he would provide a solution based on UN resolutions. Are you aware
of any solution to date? Are you aware of American diplomacy supporting UN
resolutions or law on the issue? I am under a different impression,
The latest round of exchanges was sparked by Mr. McCurry's remark on
Tuesday that the "right definition" for the Cyprus problem was one of
"conflict" between the two communities on the island, and not one of
"invasion" and occupation of its northern half by the Turkish army 24 years
ago, as Greece and Cyprus strongly maintained.
Weather service warns of heatwave
A heatwave is expected to affect most of Greece today as temperatures will
reach or even exceed 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country,
according to the National Meteorological Service (EMY).
High temperatures are expected to continue until Thursday when a gradual
decrease will begin in the north of the country.
Expatriate Greek deputies tour Evros
A large delegation of expatriate Greek deputies who participated in the
second World Hellenic Interparliamentary Union, recently held in Athens,
began over the weekend a three-day tour along the axis "Thrace-Aegean-
The deputies are members of parliaments in Australia, Canada, the United
States, the Ukraine, Albania, Georgia, Russia, South Africa, Yugoslavia,
Sweden, Argentina, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
Their first stop was the Evros region, where they visited the cathedral of
Panagia tis Kosmosoteiras in the town of Ferres, as well as towns and
border communities in the area.
Earlier, the visit started with a briefing in Alexandroupoli by the prefect
of Evros Georgios Dolios and by deputies from the prefecture.
Meanwhile, the president of the group, Demetri Dollis, said, among others,
that the briefing was very interesting, adding that during the period of
their stay in Greece the expatriate deputies had an opportunity of knowing
even better all that united them with Greece.
On Saturday afternoon, the expatriate deputies visited the town of Sappes,
Rodopi prefecture. Afterwards they arrived in Alexandroupoli and then left
for their next stop, the eastern Aegean island of Hios.
Weekend traffic carnage repeated
Twenty-seven people were killed and 394 were seriously injured in 242
traffic accidents around the country over the weekend, according to traffic
KKE calls on gov't to change positions towards NATO, US
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) called on the government to change its
position vis-a-vis NATO and the United States regarding crucial issues such
as the Aegean, Cyprus, the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
KKE added that it considers the deployment of the Russian-made S-300 anti-
aircraft missiles on Cyprus a positive measure.
In an announcement on Saturday, KKE said that from the moment that the
government insists on the same tactic of consent with the plans of the
United States and NATO, it will become more and more subject to pressures
and will make even greater concessions.
Referring to Friday's meeting of the Government Council of Foreign Affairs
and Defence (KYSEA), KKE expressed support for the differentiation of the
country's sources of armaments, in the direction of ridding itself from
what the communist party called "imperialism."
Ethnic festival on Lesvos
Citizens of 15 different countries living and working on the island of
Lesvos will be treating locals to a taste of their homelands' culture
during a two-day ethnic festival that opens today at the Agia Irini
Foreign residents in Lesvos from England, France, Serbia, Romania, Russia,
Ukraine, Albania, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Scandinavia and
Latin America will be setting up pavilions containing various aspects of
their countries' culture and serving traditional foods, along with
performances of traditional music, songs and dances.
People from England, Latin America and Turkey will play traditional music
from their countries today, while children from Serbia will perform
traditional dances. On Tuesday, the festival will close with a concert by
the Florina Band.
FIBA meeting convenes in Athens
The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) will
announce decisions taken at the 26th World Council, during a press
conference at a downtown Athens hotel today.
The conference got underway yesterday and will be concluded today with the
assumption of the duties of a new president. Additionally, FIBA's new 23-
member central council will be elected, which is due to convene for the
first time tomorrow.
Last night's meeting was due to focus on the proposed amendment of
regulations and for which the new central council will reach final
decisions. FIBA's council will convene twice a year.
It is certain that a third time out in the second half of a game will be
approved and the stopping of time every time a basket is scored in the last
Meanwhile, the first national basketball teams participating in the 16-team
World Basketball Championship, starting on Wednesday and lasting until
August 9, started arriving in Athens yesterday. Tourists at Athens airport
were surprised to see reporters and TV crews mobbing basketball players for
Five national teams arrived at Athens airport in a few minutes' time. They
were the teams of Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Lithuania and Puerto Rico. All
of them arrived from New York where they had participated in the "Goodwill
More fires reported, others extinguished
A fire which broke out near the village of Trapeza in the northern
Peloponnese continued to rage out of control Saturday and began to destroy
the spectacular Vouraikos Gorge, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The blaze, which started Friday, spread towards the villages of Ano
Diakopto, Katholiko and Kernitsa, forcing authorities to suspend services
of the unique cog-wheel railway between Diakopto and Kalavryta. Police,
meanwhile, were investigating al legations by fire department officials in
Aegio that unknown persons were using the fire brigade's radio frequencies
and threatening to burn firefighters alive.
Fire department officials said the interference was causing a serious
communications problem. Fires were also in progress in the area of Podagora,
Amphilohia, Krania (Mount Olympus) and Kouvela, Messinia.
Blazes at Grammos (Kastoria), Aravonitsa (Aegio) and Kassandra (Halkidiki),
Koiliomeno (Zakynthos), Zagora (Pelion) and Mavrovouni (Larissa) were
largely brought under control.
Fine weather is forecast throughout the country Monday, with moderate to
strong northerly winds in the east and locally in the Aegean Sea which will
subside in the evening. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 24-
38C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 22-37C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.247
British pound 486.239 Japanese yen (100) 209.401
French franc 49.237 German mark 165.079
Italian lira (100) 16.7360 Irish Punt 415.0530
Belgian franc 8.040 Finnish mark 54.314
Dutch guilder 146.419 Danish kr. 43.396
Austrian sch. 23.471 Spanish peseta 1.945
Swedish kr. 37.138 Norwegian kr. 38.968
Swiss franc 196.108 Port. Escudo 1.614
Aus. dollar 183.222 Can. dollar 196.892
Cyprus pound 563.456