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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-10-04

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Ticket to Europe
  • [02] Momentous Agreement
  • [03] Enthusiasm and Reservations
  • [04] Increasing Security Measures
  • [05] Unbearable Situation with Garbage
  • [06] Xanthi Seem Unstoppable
  • [07] Divorce Meal

  • [01] EU-Turkey Talks Started Ticket to Europe

    04 Oct 2005 07:10:00 (Last updated: 04 Oct 2005 13:39:15)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The path to Turkeys accession to the European Union opened late last night, but it will be a long and tough process, as experts believe negotiation talks could last for some 15 years. The arrival of Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Luxembourg signalled the beginning of talks, while as short ceremony shortly before 01:00 CET officially opened this historic event. The head of Turkish diplomacy reassured his country is determined to fulfil the terms and preconditions set by the EU. "We are convinced of your determination and we will help you in your efforts," said British Secretary of State Jack Straw, underlining there is a "long road" of entry talks ahead and calling Ankara to proceed with the necessary reforms. A 24-hour diplomatic thriller had preceded the commencement of talks, as Austria insisted on a lesser "privileged partnership," while Ankara had objections concerning clause 5 of the negotiating framework, which hardliners in Ankara said could affect its ability to keep EU nation Cyprus out of NATO.

    Optimism and Recommendations

    "This is a win-win situation and the world will also win," stated Mr Gul and reassured his 25 counterparts on his country's determination to fulfil the terms and preconditions set by the EU. At the same time, he underlined the sole goal of negotiations is Turkey's accession to the EU, without any other alternatives.

    The Turkish FM also referred to the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cypriot issue. Mr Gul said Ankara's attitude towards Greece is positive, underlining the two countries' relations are continuously improving, while he hoped a mutually acceptable solution can be reached for the Cypriot issue in the context of the United Nations.

    British Secretary of State Jack Straw said the accession process would strict and challenging, speaking of a "truly historic day" and a new era in the European-Turkish relations, based on mutual solidarity.

    At the same time, the head of British diplomacy urged Turkey to proceed with reforms, reinforce Justice's independence, defend basic freedoms, ensure the state's power against the army and improve the living conditions of the Kurdish people at the south-western part of the country.

    Speaking on Tuesday at his party meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the decision of the 25 was a choice of strategic dimension and a diplomatic success," felt around the world. At the same time, he stressed that Turkey will preserve its rights in international organisations and concluded expressing his gratitude to the non Member-States of the EU for their contribution to this process, meaning the USA.

    Reactions in Athens and Nicosia

    In a Press Conference on Monday night, Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis spoke of a historic time, stressing that Athens and Nicosia achieved the goals in the fullest. The Cypriot leadership also voiced its satisfaction over the negotiating framework.

    "The success of the Greek foreign policy is clear," said Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stilianidis on NET radio 105.8. "For the first time Turkey has committed to take measures concerning its attitude towards Greece, Cyprus, the minorities, the Patriarchate. If it doesn't do so, it would have cancelled its European prospect all by itself," stressed Mr Stilianidis and added that Ankara will have to de facto recognise Cyprus by December 2006.

    PASOK said the decision is of historic important, but still accused the Government of backing down on issues of national concerns and having no government planning, "which deprived Greece from a major opportunity to establish our national interests."

    "Accession negotiations have started and Turkey has not yet recognised the Republic of Cyprus. All parties supporting that the EU has democratic principles and values are heavily burdened with responsibility," stressed KKE in an announcement, adding the EU "does not safeguard the Republic of Cyprus from the danger of partition, promoted by the Annan plan."

    What is more, president of the European Parliament Josep Borrell Fontelles, who met with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, praised Nicosia's stance and stressed that Ankara should meet the political and financial criteria set by the EU.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Momentous Agreement

    [02] Golden Mean Was Found Momentous Agreement

    03 Oct 2005 22:45:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Following a heated 24-hour fraught of negotiations the 25 EU Member States reached an agreement on the negotiating framework that is to rule Turkeys accession talks. Both Austrias objections and article 5, which clearly forces Ankara to cease blocking Cyprus accession to international bodies, had been extremely thorny issues. However, after a clarifying statement issued by the UK Presidency and the intervention of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a golden mean over article 5 was found clearing the way for the commencement of Turkeys entry talks. Shortly after the UK Presidency confirmed the agreement, Turkish FM Abdullah Gul flew to Luxemburg, where the commencement of Turkeys accession talks is to be officially announced.

    Feverish Diplomatic Contacts

    Feverish diplomatic contacts preceded the accord with Ankara refuting to the very last minute the information that spoke of an agreement. The information had been released by UK Presidency sources.

    The spokesperson for the Turkish Premier had refuted the aforementioned information saying that Turkey had not agreed with the EU terms and that Abdullah Guls trip to Luxemburg had not been decided.

    Article 5 of the negotiating framework had been the thorny issue of the talks. The article in questioned forced Ankara to cease blocking Cyprus accession to international bodies, including NATO, in which Ankara has the right of veto.

    The USA intervened on the issue of the controversial article. Although US President George Bush kept underlining that it is a EU matter in which the USA has no saying, for it is not a Union member, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice applied pressure to her European counterparts, the Turkish government as well as to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    The accord was finally reached after the UK Presidency issued a clarifying statement that read, "Irrespective of whether a country is a EU Member-State or not, its policy within the international bodies is not at all affected."

    However, the legal service of the EU, which was asked to issue its opinion upon Greeces request, viewed the UK Presidencys statement as non-binding.

    Straw: "A Truly Historic Day"

    Shortly after the end of the diplomatic marathon, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who chaired the EU Foreign Ministers meeting, voiced his profound satisfaction about the agreement.

    Mr Straw spoke of a truly historic day for Europe and the whole of the international community, a decision that lived up to Turkeys 40-year expectations.

    He went on to call Turkey a secular, modern state that is struggling to meet the European standards, while he envisaged that there is a long road ahead.

    State Department Spokesman McCormack repeated that the USA remains a staunch supporter of Turkeys future in Europe and underlined that Turkeys full membership is to benefit everyone.

    Ankara Fully Satisfied

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the commencement of his countrys entry talks as a "Herculean step in Turkeys history."

    In his brief statement at his partys headquarters, Mr Erdogan referred to the "difficulties" they encountered during the talks about the negotiating framework and pointed out, "We are fully aware that the trip we are about to embark on entails such difficulties."

    Finally, the Turkish Premier noted that Turkey is after full membership underlining that this is to be determined on the length of the talks.

    "Turkey-EU relations have entered a new historic era," stated the Turkish FM Abdullah Gul while heading for Luxemburg, and noted "Many EU leaders were in favour of the commencement of accession talks."

    Molyviatis: "A Historic Moment"

    Greek FM Petros Molyviatis called the agreement a "historic moment" pointing out that the agreement was the result of a long and tough process with Greece and Cyprus having fully safeguarded their objectives on the basis of legally binding and institutional documents.

    Mr Molyviatis also underlined that the Greece-Turkey relations are to embark on a new era of "peace and stability," an era that is definitively to be to the benefit of both the Greek and the Turkish people.

    As far as the UK Presidency clarifying statement is concerned, the Greek FM described it as merely explanatory. However, he made it clear that from this moment forth, Turkey will no longer pose obstacles to Cyprus participation in the European Defence and Security Policy, for it could influence its future in Europe.

    "The European Union took a pivotal decision on Monday. We supported and we still support Turkeys accession to the Union, for we deem this would contribute to the countrys bid for democratisation and would enhance the ideas of friendship, cooperation and joint efforts for economic growth and social progress," commented PASOK parliamentarian responsible for foreign policy Christos Papoutsis. He did not miss, though, to accuse the government of succumbing by accepting the clarifying statement.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Ankara Agrees

    Heated Talks

    Talks Fall Behind

    Awaiting Discussions

    They Fail to Agree

    [03] European Press on Turkey Enthusiasm and Reservations

    04 Oct 2005 11:02:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The commencement of Turkeys membership talks with the EU was met with various comments by the European Press. The British papers expressed their profound satisfaction and spoke of Londons diplomatic triumph that is to build a bridge of friendship between the Muslim world and the Christian West. Most of the European papers took different stances on the obstacle that was finally surmounted, namely Austrias persistency that a privileged partnership between Turkey and the EU be included in the negotiating framework, while the Turkish Press welcomed enthusiastically the decision of the 25 EU Foreign Members. "Europes New Borders," read the cover of The Independent, while Guardians cover read, "Europe embraces Turkey as diplomatic deadlock is broken." Times mentioned that Austria was finally convinced after its demand that talks over Croatias membership of EU open was satisfied. The newspaper also pointed out that the last-minute deal "rescued Britains EU Presidency." Finally, Daily Telegraph noted, "Absorbing a poor nation of 70 million will not be easy," and went on to say that the long-running negotiations will clear the way for Ankara to get ready and for the European leaders to convince the European public.

    Austria's Stance Divides

    "Austria was after much but achieved little," read the Austrian top selling Der Standard lashing out at the way the government handled the situation. As per the newspaper, Austria "failed to convince that it is a country that can achieve agreements."

    Die Presse took a different stance noting that Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel "openly expressed the concerns of the European citizens." Commenting on the commencement of the talks over Croatias accession to the EU, the paper pointed out, "It enhanced Austrias role in Southeastern Europe."

    German newspaper Die Tageszeitungs title "European Fiasco" is highly critical of Austria. Die Tageszeitung read that the countrys handling of the issue "sustained a blow to the EUs credibility," while Berliner Seitung called the Austrian stance "Bizarre."

    On the other hand, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung praised Austrias stance and underlined that "close ties with Turkey that can assume various forms" should be established. Die Welt also approved of Austria noting that Ankaras accession to the EU "does not rely on lawfulness [] neither is meaningful in terms of economy."

    Finally, Slovakian Pravda expressed its belief that the talks are to last at least a decade, while Czech Pravo underlined that the Europeans "remain deeply divided," on the Turkey issue and that the more the EU enlarges the more divided the public.

    Triumphant Statements in Turkey

    The triumphant statements of the Turkish Press came naturally after the EU cleared the way for Turkeys accession talks.

    Turkish top selling H&#252;rriyet spoke of a "Viennese Waltz," adding, "a 42-year dream comes true." The newspaper was critical of Austria. Making a reference to the siege the Ottomans had launched against Austria in1683, it noted, "Turkey was stopped twice at Viennas gates. This time, it is to join Europe via peace and cooperation."

    "The trip has begun," read the cover of Radikal, adding, "All end well: Turkey and the EU at the negotiation table."

    Top Turkish reporter Mechmet Ali Birand appeared optimistic over the result of the accession talks. "Turkey is finally embarking on the EU train. No would-be member failed to reach the final destination, from the moment it get on the train. Each one of them gets off at the last stop. Turkey will do the same," Birand stated and voiced his certainty of Ankaras full membership.

    Related News:

    Ticket to Europe

    [04] In Tourist Areas Increasing Security Measures

    04 Oct 2005 10:03:00

    By Anna Kourti

    After the terrorist hit in Bali, which cost the lives of 26 people and injured another 122, the Thai government decided to increase security measures in frequented tourist destinations. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said before the Cabinet meeting, "We are doing our best and have increased our efforts, but I cannot tell you where we stand." On the other hand, Defence Minister Thammarak Isarangkura asked to increase the navy budget on fuels by 730,000 dollars in order to increase patrols around the oil facilities at the Thai Gulf. At the popular tourist resort of Phuket, authorities have increased patrols on beaches and have assigned undercover officials to follow suspects, announced head of local Police Pawin Pongshirin. Authorities have also increased security measures in government buildings, western embassies in Bangkok, as well as in mosques, beaches and docks.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Decisions Tomorrow at Employees' Meeting Unbearable Situation with Garbage

    04 Oct 2005 09:49:00

    By Jenny Charalampidou

    Employees at the Ano Liossia refuse dump continue being on strike in protest for their working conditions due to sewage sludge coming from Psittalia. As a result, garbage has piled up in the streets of Athens, while the problem is even worse in Piraeus with hazards for public health. Employees will make the final decisions on their collective actions tomorrow at their general assembly and the most probable case would be to reopen the refuse dump, but only for garbage and not sewage sludge. The Association of Attica Municipal and Local Authorities (ESDKNA) is in favour of reopening the Ano Liossia hygienic refuse burial area only for garbage disposal. EYDAP President said the refuse dump closed down to serve political games in view of the municipal elections, regardless of the sewage sludge from Psittalia.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Xanthi Seem Unstoppable

    03 Oct 2005 23:24:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The truth is that Mondays game, the last one for match day five of A Division, was a derby. Xanthi, who ranks second in the scoreboard wanted to maintain that place. Atromitos also intended to climb to second place behind the reigning champions. Finally, Xanthi managed to maintain their place being the only team that can take advantage of a possible failure on the part of Olympiacos. Giannis Matzourakis players prevailed the game and were the first to open the score with Labriakos in the 41. Atromitos applied pressure and performed well, but succumbed to Xanthis amazing goalie, who blocked Atromitos attacks, which may have lead to a tie.

    Referee: Nikolaidis (Thessaloniki)

    Yellow Cards: Κίτρινες: Dagas, Skarmoutsos Garpozis, Paviot, Sikov, Emerson

    ATROMITOS: Mihailidis, Katemis, Mikes, Dagas (73 Papas), Sotirchos, Korakakis, Koutsis, Dimos (80 Manikas), Geladaris, Skarmoutsos, Doe.

    XANTHI: Pizanowski, Torosidis, Papadimitriou, Sikov, Paviot (54Kazakis), Antzas, Emerson, Garpozis (85 Lafata), Karabas, Luciano (80Zapropoulos), Labriakos.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Olympiacos Conquered OAKA

    Tie in Touba

    Kalamaria Strikes Again

    Ionikos Maintains its Unbeatable Record

    [07] Divorce Meal

    04 Oct 2005 09:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The mother-in-law of a 22-year-old woman from Romania seems to have been counting her every bite forcing her to file for a divorce. As Elena T. from Focsani, Romania, supported before the court, her life has turned into a nightmare as her mother-in-law is always present at lunch, every single day. "The presence of my mother-in-law at the most important meal of the day with her teasing remarks have ruined my marriage. I can't stand it anymore!" still, the court did not seemed convinced by the arguments of the young woman, who has only been married for 10 months, and advised her to reconsider her demand and find a better reason if she wants to separate from her husband.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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