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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek president makes appeal to Greek Cypriots regarding April 24
  • [02] International fur exhibition in Kastoria comes to a successful close
  • [03] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Monday
  • [04] Poll shows overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots, Greeks against
  • [05] Greek and Turkish FMs describe Annan's final plan for Cyprus 'a
  • [06] Deputy FM, ND Secretary to visit Cyprus on Tuesday

  • [01] Greek president makes appeal to Greek Cypriots regarding April 24 referendum

    04/04/2004 22:29:12

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos on Sunday appealed to Greek Cypriots when they vote during the referendum on April 24 on whether they accept or not UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem, for their decision not to be influenced solely by sentiment.

    Speaking at an official luncheon given in his honour by Messolonghi Mayor George Prevezanos, on the occasion of celebrations marking the 178th anniversary of the heroic 'exodus' of Messolonghi, western Greece, one of the most symbolic episodes in the Greek War of Independence, Stephanopoulos said:''All those who take the relevant decision and assume the relevant responsibilities, will naturally use many criteria which they know better than us. Criteria which conclude in a negativeand criteria which conclude in a positive view and decision. I wish to request to them not to include among these criteria one and only, the sentimental, which very much burdens, in this case, but sentiment many times makes the correct decisions to deviate from the target. Without this meaning that by dismissing sentiment they must be attached to one or the other view, it will be good and usefull with calmness, determination and patriotism for them to decide on the future of Cyprus, the future of Greece.''

    The president added:''For the future of Greece, I wish to express my complete optimism which is based on the past and on facts of reality. Optimism which is based in Messolonghi, at the start of the Greek nation during our new modern era for us to reach a very high level today.''

    [02] International fur exhibition in Kastoria comes to a successful close

    04/04/2004 22:28:01

    The 29th International Fur Exhibition which came to a close in Kastoria, northern Greece, on Sunday was marked with great success given the major transactions which took place.

    ''We are pleased as the Federation of Kastoria Furriers, but also pleased are the exhibitors according to their own statements,'' said the president of the federation, Lazaros Fotiadis.

    Fotiadis stressed that many things changed this year, namely that there were more trade visitors than 2003, many and major transactions were made and agreements reached for further cooperation.

    Fotiadis also met with the commercial attache of the Chinese embassy in Athens with whom he discussed the Greek federation's presence at the International Fur Exhibition which will be held in Beijing.

    [03] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Monday

    04/04/2004 20:53:35

    Mostly sunny on Monday with only scattered clouds in western and southern Greece. Winds variable, light to moderate. Temperatures between 2C to 15C in the north; 4C to 21C elsewhere on the mainland, and 8C to 21C on the islands. Clear and sunny in Athens, 7C to 18C; mostly sunny in Thessaloniki, 5C to 14C.

    [04] Poll shows overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots, Greeks against Annan plan

    04/04/2004 20:14:06

    The overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots and Greeks are in principle against UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem, according to a Greek nationwide and Pancyprian opinion poll conducted by VPRC on behalf of Sunday's edition of ''Eleftherotypia'' newspaper.

    According to the poll, 84.7 percent of Greek Cypriots and 61.7 percent of Greeks declare that they are in principle against the Annan plan.

    Separate referenda will take place simulatenously in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on April 24 when voters will be called on to accept or not the Annan plan.

    A total of 46.1 percent of Greek Cypriots declare that they have not reached a final decision on how they will vote in the referendum while 50 percent declare certain or probably certain about their vote.

    A total of 38.1 percent said they would be very much or considerably influenced by President Tassos Papadopoulos' stance, while 31.9 declare that they do not know the basic points of the Annan plan.

    However, 91.5 percent say that the solution is unfair for the Greek Cypriot side, while 84.1 percent say that they are satisfied with the president's handling of the issue.

    In Greece, 69.3 percent view the solution as unfair.

    According to the figures, 61.7 percent would reject the plan and only 17.7 percent would accept it. A total of 54.3 percent say they are not familiar with the points of the plan.

    A total of 52.8 percent declare ''very'' or ''quite'' satisfied with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' handling of the matter.

    The study was made, through telephone interviews and questionnaires from a sample of 605 people, from April 1-2.

    According to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia on Sunday, 51 percent of Turkish Cypriots declared ''yes'' and 48 percent ''no'' to the Annan plan, in an opinion poll conducted on Saturday evening from a sample of 917 people.

    [05] Greek and Turkish FMs describe Annan's final plan for Cyprus 'a compromise'

    04/04/2004 18:44:28

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, in an interview with Sunday's edition of the ''Eleftherotypia'' newspaper, described UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem as "a compromise" and assessed that the course of the smoothing of Greek-Turkish relations will not be upset even in the event of a negative answer in the separate referenda in Cyprus on April 24.

    At the same time, Gul gave notice that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would visit Athens probably in April.

    Referring to the Annan plan, the Turkish foreign minister stressed the need ''for us to focus primarily on the positive sides of this settlement, which could only further the positive developments in Greek-Turkish relations.''

    On his part, the Greek foreign minister reiterated that Annan's final plan constituted a compromise which has positive and negative elements for each side. ''The Cypriot people will assess it and take their decision. The government at this moment is studying the facts, is evaluating all the factors and will take its decision,''he added.

    At the same time, Molyviatis assessed that "if this plan is rejected either by one or the other community, a long time will pass before someone assumes a new initiative for a solution to be reached. It is very difficult for negotiations to start again."

    Asked on the eventuality of the island's partition in the event of a negative answer in the separate referenda, Molyviatis restricted himself to saying:"This remains to be seen. What the consequences will be of a possible rejection...".

    Concluding, Molyviatis stressed that the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations constitutes a basic strategic objective of both the sides, of Greece and Turkey.

    [06] Deputy FM, ND Secretary to visit Cyprus on Tuesday

    04/04/2004 17:33:40

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, along with New Democracy (ND) Central Committee Secretary General Vangelis Meimarakis, will depart for Nicosia on Tuesday to be briefed on the views and positions of the political leadership of the Republic of Cyprus, in light of the results of the Cyprus talks in Lucerne last week and in view on the referenda which will take place on April 24 on acceptance or not of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Valinakis will be received on Tuesday by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos while meetings are also secheduled with the leaderships of all the political parties of Cyprus.

    Valinakis in continuation will visit Dublin to attend an informal meeting of EU ministers responsible for European affairs.


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