|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-02-05
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>February 5, 2002
 PM says PASOK will defend democracy from any unethical attack
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Monday his ruling PASOK party will defend smooth political life from any unethical attack, from wherever it may come from and whatever disguise it might use.
He added that any individual cannot guide democracy or other interest and neither can democracy function when citizens are manipulated.
Simitis was chairing a meeting of his party's Executive Bureau and made statements to reporters in the pressroom while the meeting was still going on.
"We discussed the political developments of past days at the Executive Bureau. The unethical attack against the President of the Republic Mr. Stephanopoulos, combined with early announcements that we shall be led to elections soon, necessitate certain ascertainments," he said.
A report broadcast by the television channel 'Extra' on Thursday implied that President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos was involved in an illegal gambling operation in the Patras region. The affair had also given rise to speculation that the president might resign and thus force the country into early Parliamentary elections.
Both ruling PASOK, main opposition New Democracy and all other political parties condemned the report as slanderous and an attack on democratic normalcy.
Simitis said the Greek people watched in past days what results can be when the limits of responsibility and freedom given to us by democracy are exceeded.
He added that democracy demands respect for human personality, respect for institutions and observance of measure and that this is the responsibility of all without exception.
"Information is a supreme good. It does not concern impressions. It concerns participation in social activities with appropriate knowledge. The well-informed citizen is an active and creative citizen," he said.
Simitis said the "downgrading of every sense of dignity, the distortion of the truth and slander are not information. They lead to the downgrading and downfall of our cultural level, the demerit of institutions and roles and the offending of human existence".
"Greece is a democratic and modern country. It succeeded with great effort to obtain today an enviable position and perspective in Europe and the modern world," he said.
He further said that PASOK has made struggles to defend citizens' freedoms, particularly freedom of information, which is of interest to all. It will also make struggles in the new environment being shaped with developments in technology, when and whenever this is necessary.
"The safeguarding of democratic institutions, transparency in economic activities, the distinction of roles in our constitutional system and observance of rules of ethics and dignity are and shall be our daily concern," he said.
Simitis underlined that the bill determining incompatibility between media owners and economic relations with the state will be discussed by the inner cabinet next week in accordance with the constitutional mandate.
He added that the examination of principles of ethics, which should govern news and informative programs, will also be opened during the same inner cabinet discussion, as well as relations between news quality and ratings.
"The final settlement of the radio and television scene, meaning the granting of licenses and the closure of this issue of licenses, will also be speeded up at a fast rate," he said.
The prime minister said the country's democratic form of government is powerful because it is based on the strong foundations of the free will of all Greek citizens. And this was apparent in past days with the decisive reaction of all political parties, which showed the strength of this democratic form of government.
He went on to say that it is up to all, parties and citizens, to upgrade the quality of democracy, adding that PASOK and the government are determined and devoted to achieve the upgrading of this quality.
"We shall succeed and bring our main task to a favorable outcome: the handling of major problems concerning the development of the country, the progress and welfare of the Greek people. The decisive handling of major problems, which determine the stable course of the country. This is our concern and we shall handle them to enable us to upgrade the country's overall course as well in this way," he said.
Simitis did not rule out the possibility of some attempting new attacks aimed at destabilization, but added that he hoped the political world's reaction had taught them a lesson.
Main opposition party reaction: Commenting on Simitis' statements, the main opposition New Democracy party's Parliamentary Group secretary general Dimitris Sioufas said later "once again the government is running behind the problems it created itself. The prime minister speaks of an examination of principles of ethics in news when for two years the government has been avoiding every relevant dialogue and is keeping codes of ethics imposed by the National Broadcasting Council in the drawers of the press ministry. He speaks of transparency in economic activities when he is insisting on an unstable status of awarding public works and is rejecting our substantiated proposals for an independent authority for state projects and procurements."
Sioufas further said that "the prime minister speaks of quality of democracy when he has rejected all our proposals for the institutional fortification of the state when he himself, in an abusive manner, rejected the proposal by New Democracy's President Costas Karamanlis for dialogue."
 Foreign policy, social security the focus of the gov't for 2002, premier says
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Foreign policy and solving significant problems, such as the social security issue will be the focus of the government in 2002, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Monday during the "New Year's" pitta cutting event of the ruling PASOK party.
"Last year, 2001, was a creative year. With our congress we established the framework for the party's actions over the coming years and we established the central aims of our policy, guided by our aim (which is) the country's development, a strong society, the solidifying of its (Greece's) international position and real social and economic convergence," he stressed.
"The new year, 2002, will be a year, which will allow us to develop our prospects even more so, especially concerning foreign policy issues. And also to resolve significant problems for the country, such as the social security issue. On these issues as well, as we have shown in the past, we will show that we can succeed, we will show that we can make decisions which open new paths," he concluded.
 PM's schedule
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Earlier on Monday, Simitis had meetings to prepare for his visit to Romania on Tuesday and met PASOK Central Committee Secretary Costas Laliotis at 12:30 pm.
On Tuesday, Simitis is scheduled to depart for Bucharest, where he will hold talks with Romanian authorities.
He will be back in time for a 10:00 am meeting with government and party officials on Wednesday morning to discuss regional problems, to be attended by Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis, Minister of State Stefanos Manikas, Deputy Economy Minister Christos Pachtas, Cabinet Secretary Sokratis Kosmidis, Laliotis and members of PASOK's Executive Bureau.
At 11:00 am the same day, Simitis will chair a government meeting attended by Skandalidis, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis and Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on combatting corruption.
At 13:00 pm on Wednesday, the prime minister will meet with PASOK MPs from the Peloponnese to discuss the region's problems in view of the local elections.
On Thursday there will a meeting of the inner cabinet on the progress of the government's program at 10:00, chaired by Simitis, while on Friday morning the prime minister will be in Parliament for the customary prime minister's question time.
On Friday at noon, Simitis is scheduled to address a conference of PASOK's youth group, while at noon on Saturday he is to visit an energy-supply project being constructed by the Public Gas Company in Revithousa.
 PM to pay working visit to Romania today
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Prime minister Costas Simitis will pay a working visit to Romania today, aimed at advancing bilateral political and economic relations.
Simitis is slated to hold talks with Romanian president Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, and other government officials.
Simitis' talks in Bucharest will focus on developments in the wider region, as well as on Romania-EU relations
The Greek premier will be accompanied by alternate foreign minister Tassos Giannitsis and deputy minister Andreas Loverdos, who will meet with their Romanian counterparts.
 Beglitis: Framework for dialogue with Turkey to be finalized Feb. 12
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The framework under which dialogue between Greece and Turkey will continue is to be finalized by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem by February 12, foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said on Monday.
Beglitis said the two men would continue the exploratory contacts that they began in New York on the sidelines of an Islamic conference in Istanbul.
In New York, Papandreou and Cem had agreed on a series of meetings between the political directors of their respective ministries, who would seek to pinpoint points of convergence in the dialogue.
The two men also agreed that to hold a four-way meeting with Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on the sidelines of the Istanbul conference, which would focus on Bulgaria's and Romania's prospects of joining the European Union and NATO.
 Kofi Annan receives Turkish FM, Cyprus issue tops talks
NEW YORK, 05/02/2002 (ANA - T. Ellis)The Cyprus issue was the focus of the meeting between United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Monday.
After the meeting, Cem said "I asked for and listened to the secretary general's opinions on the process underway in Cyprus and then we talked about the developments in Iraq and the peace process in the Middle East".
Speaking on the prospects of progress in the Cyprus issue and whether they are better now than in the past, Cem said "I hope that they will be, but I am always careful".
 ND leader visits Shipping Cooperation Council in London
LONDON, 05/02/2002 (ANA - A. Panagopoulos)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis dined with members of the Shipping Cooperation Council (Committee) on Monday and was briefed on the problems and prospects of Greek shipping.
Council President Epameinondas Empirikos and board members set out their views and listened to ND's positions and proposals. According to reports, Karamanlis appeared certain of his party's victory in the next general elections and offered assurances that it will apply the policy it has announced.
"My ambition is for Greece to have access with a leading role," he said, while the reports said that the ship owners made it clear that the Greek state should negotiate in international forums with a leading logic on issues concerning Greek shipping, which is a protagonist at international level.
Karamanlis also met Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and discussed cooperation between their parties, the European Union's future and the accession of Cyprus to the EU.
Smith said he looks forward to closer cooperation with ND in the framework of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) as well, adding that it was their first meeting.
Karamanlis pointed out that Cyprus should join the EU with the first wave of candidate countries. He is due to visit the British Museum, where the Parthenon Marbles are housed, on Monday evening.
ND leader calls for the Parthenon Marbles' return to Greece: The Athens 2004 Olympic Games are an opportunity for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis said on Monday, following his visit to the British Museum that houses the ancient sculptures.
Karamanlis said that it is about time the marbles are returned to the place where they should be, adding "we work systematically in that direction".
He stressed that the issue is not one of concern to Greece and Britain alone, but one of concern to the whole civilized world, since all of humanity recognizes that the marbles are not in the right place.
Earlier in the day, Karamanlis met with Great Britain's Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith and discussed with him the course of the European Union and Cyprus' accession to the Union.
He expressed his party's standing position in support for a federal Union and the need for strong European institutions, in a system that will allow every member-state to retain its own "personality".
Regarding Cyprus, he noted that the island republic must be in the first wave of the Union's enlargement.
On his part, Smith supported a clearly visible role for the Union's member-states, stressing that there should be strong political autonomy, instead of a centralized administrative system.
As for Cyprus, Smith only noted that his party was in support of a just and viable solution for the political problem of the island republic.
Karamanlis will return to Edinburgh, where he will meet with the Scottish conservative party leadership on Wednesday, while later on the same day he will speak at the University of Edinburgh.
 Parties band together in effort to promote Olympic Truce
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The political parties are to join forces in efforts to promote the idea of an Olympic Truce prior to the start of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, it was announced on Monday.
Parliamentary deputies, Euro-MPs and other officials will take part in missions to various destinations, bearing letters to their counterparts in foreign countries from President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Foreign Minister George Papandreou that call for a world-wide cessation of hostilities during the 2004 Games.
So far, delegations have been scheduled to visit India, Pakistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel and Palestine.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday appealed for the observance of the Olympic Truce by those involved in hostilities during then duration of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, for the safe transit of athletes taking part in the Games.
The UN Secretary-General noted that, even though limited in its duration and purpose, the Olympic Truce could nevertheless offer neutral ground for agreement, open a window in time in which to carry out dialogue and offer a brief reprieve to suffering populations.
 President of the republic returns to Athens from visit to Syria
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Monday afternoon arrived in Athens, having concluded a three-day visit to Syria, where he met with the country's leadership and discussed bilateral and regional affairs.
Stephanopoulos and the Greek delegation he headed, visited the site of the ancient city of Palmyra, where Hellenistic era artifacts survived the passage of time.
Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos and Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis participated in the Greek delegation.
Upon his return to Greece, Loverdos noted that one of the sectors of cooperation between the two countries will be that of tourism and noted that the joint Greek-Syrian ministerial committee will begin meeting again.
 Protopapas expresses support for quake-stricken Turkish people
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Monday expressed support and solidarity for the quake-stricken people of Turkey, as they dealt with the aftermath of yet another destructive earthquake over the weekend.
He also reiterated the Greek government's intention to offer all possible and necessary help.
A powerful earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale rocked western Turkey on Sunday, killing at least 45 people and injuring more than 170.
Tremors hit the mainly agricultural province of Afyon, some 250 km (155 miles) southwest of the capital Ankara.
Turkish officials said more than 100 buildings had collapsed from the quake, and scores of people were hurt by falling masonry as they fled their homes.
 Constantopoulos stresses need for 'healthier' public life
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Public life in Greece needed to be restored to health, Coalition of the Left and Progress party leader Nikos Constantopoulos said on Monday, referring to last week's attempt to link President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos with illegal gambling.
"It's time to do those things that need doing in order for our political system not to appear panic-stricken and paralyzed," he said after a meeting with the Union of Judges and Public Prosecutors, while pointing out that the system's current weak-ness easily allowed any sort of event to become a crisis.
Constantopoulos stressed that this was a time of responsibility for the government, the political parties, journalists, people of the arts and letters and ordinary citizens.
The Coalition leader also tabled a question in Parliament for Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in which he claimed that the recent events "confirm that the state, in order to earn 200 billion drachmas extra revenue each year, promotes the official black economy of the budget and allows the processes of corruption to proceed unchecked, creating crisis and instability in our political system, that is exposed as helpless and panic-stricken."
He asked Simitis what measures he intended to take against illegal gambling and against the vested interests active in legal gambling, and also if he intended to "change the government's policy of constantly expanding the economy of so-called games of chance, securing unlawful power and strength for vested interests at the expense of society and democracy."
 Parliamentary debate on demographic problem in Greece
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party deputy Vassilis Michaloliakos in a debate in parliament on Monday referred to the demographic problem faced by Greece, describing it as "the greatest threat for the Greek nation, a time-bomb which will explode if brave measures are not taken."
The ND deputy said that the birth rate in 2001 was 1.01 per cent while it should have been 2.1 per cent. He stressed that "the forecasts for the future are dramatic."
In reply, Health Deputy Minister Dimitris Thanos said that at present 62 measures exist for the strengthening of the family but which have borne no fruit. He said that for this reason the Health Ministry has proceeded in signing an agreement with the Social Research Center for the composition of a study.
The debate also referred to the issue of people with special needs and Thanos said that for the past year the government has set up a national plan for a network of social solidarity with the objective of implementing measures on employment, education, health and social security.
 Amnesty International Greek chapter calls for Daniel Pearl's release
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The Greek chapter of Amnesty International on Monday called on the unknown until now self-styled organization "National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty" to release journalist Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal employee, it has abducted.
"The taking of hostages is a serious violation of human rights and it is totally unacceptable. It is an action that threatens the fundamental right to life, to personal integrity and to freedom and it is forbidden expressly by international law. The taking of hostages is unjustified under any circumstances," a press release issued by the organization said.
Pearl, a correspondent for the New York based newspaper was apparently abducted during his effort to interview leaders of an Islamic organization in Karachi, Pakistan.
 Protopapas pledges to put broadcasting sector 'in order'
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Press and Media Minister Christos Protopapas pledged on Monday to put the Greek broadcasting sector in order within the year 2002, while he also announced that his ministry was preparing a series of proposals to discuss with the industry regarding a code of practice for news programs.
He said the government intended to take measures to "cure the problems" now seen in the sector and to complete earlier work by his predecessor Dimitris Reppas, including a bill to be presented on Thursday on banning the simultaneous ownership of mass media and any private company that had transactions with the public sector.
Regarding the government's proposals for a code of practice for news broadcasts, Protopapas said these aimed to improve their quality and would be discussed with the relevant bodies.
In response to questions, he said a proposal for banning reports on viewer ratings in news programs was being discussed with interest.
 Gov't on 'Extra' channel furor, operation
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The government on Monday denied that it was investigating the legality of a small, Athens-based television station out of spite, following last week's furor sparked by a television report on the same station claiming ties between President of the Republic Kostis Stephano-poulos and illegal gambling in the Patra area.
"The government responds politically and does not engage in acts of revenge," the government spokesman said in reply to a question over whether the government aims at shutting down the "Extra" TV station.
Spokesman Christos Protopapas, who also holds the press and mass media portfolio, added that he has received a letter by the chairman of the Radio-Television Council (ERS) "asking" for the interruption in Extra's operation if "necessary conditions (for its legal operation) are not met".
Asked about his conversation last week with "Avriani" publisher and media magnate George Kouris, the prime owner of the television station, Protopapas disputed the notion that he attempted to "intervene" or exercise "prior restraint" over the channel's editorial content.
"I asked Mr. Kouris to respect the institutions and not to broadcast the report that his channel's announced, because this would rate as a sordid and unethical act against the president of the republic ..." Protopapas said.
All of the country's major political parties condemned the report, with ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy terming the attack on Stephanopoulos as slanderous and an attack on democratic normalcy.
The affair had also given rise to speculation that the president might resign and thus force early Parliamentary elections.
 Cotton prices the focus of crucial gov't-farmers meeting on Tues
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)A crucial meeting between the government, namely, Agriculture Minister George Drys, and the largest grouping of protesting farmers, the "Pan-Thessaly" organization, is set for Tuesday.
On Monday, Drys said the problem in setting the all-important price per ton of cultivated cotton centers on an excess of 100,000 tons, an amount that has generated some 60,000 appeals by farmers throughout Greece.
According to reports, if the excess 100,000 tons of cotton are judged eligible for subsidization, then a price of 230 drachmas (€0.67) per kilo is possible.
Conversely, if 50,000 tons out of the 100,000 tons earn subsidization - bringing the total harvest up to 1,150,000 tons -- then a final price of 250 drachmas (€0.73) per kilo is foreseen.
Cotton's commercial value of approximately 65 drachmas (€0.19) would be tacked on to the subsidized rate.
 Fresh deadline in Olympic Airways sale tender
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The government has granted IAS, a consortium that is interested in acquiring national carrier Olympic Airways, an extension to its deadline last week for submittal of a financial profile and a down payment, government sources said on Monday.
According to the sources, extension of the January 31 deadline was allowed by the economy ministry following consultations with the government's consultant in the tender, Credit Suisse Boston.
The third extension, which is for several days, was given in order to pursue more negotiations with the group, the sources said.
At the end of last week, it was unclear whether or not pilots of Olympic would take part in the consortium, and how much they would contribute.
Commenting on the extension, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said: "We are obliged to exhaust all possibilities for a certain solution that would ensure the viability of the national carrier, without the Greek public having to pay its debts every so often."
 Talks next week on operation of TVX Hellas gold mine
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Monday that talks would be held next week on how operations could continue at a northern mine belonging to TVX Hellas, a subsidiary of TVX Gold of Canada.
The aim of the talks was to find a way for the gold mine to operate that would include protection of the environment and residents, combined with the avoidance of job losses for company workers.
The minister was speaking after talks with local government officials in Halkidiki, where the mine is located.
 Greek consumers' debt soars in November
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Greek consumers' debt to commercial banks totalled Dr 8.0 trillion, or 22.7 billion euros, at the end of November 2001, sharply higher from a debt of Dr 5.4 trillion in the same month in 2000, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.
The central bank said in a report that the consumer debt rose by 200 billion drachmas in November from the previous month.
The annual growth rate for consumer loans was 42.1 percent and for mortgage loans 37.4 percent in November.
The Bank of Greece said a sharp fall in interest rates, from 8.68 percent in November 2000 to 5.78 percent in November 2001, led Greek consumers to increase their debt with commercial banks.
Inflows to repurchase agreements (repos) eased slightly to 30.6 billion euros in October from 30.5 billion euros in November. Analysts expect the declining trend to accelerate in the following months after a government's decision to impose a 7.0 percent tax on repos' returns.
Savings with commercial banks totalled 96.1 billion euros in November, or Dr 32.7 trillion, up by one trillion drachmas from the previous month.
 Greek stocks end slightly lower on Monday
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Equity prices ended the first trading session of the week lower reflecting lack of buying interest in the market.
The general index fell 0.26 percent to close at 2,588.98 points, with turnover a low Dr 35.3 billion, or 103.7 million euros.
The Construction, Retail and Wholesale sector suffered the heaviest percentage losses (2.87 percent, 1.63 percent and 1.57 percent, respectively), while the IT Solutions, Holdings and Telecoms sectors scored moderate gains (0.92 percent, 0.63 percent and 0.43 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.22 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 0.61 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 1.36 percent lower.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 255 to 59 with another 45 issues unchanged.
The most heavily traded shares were Sex Form, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Panafon, Cosmote, and Giannousis.
Equity futures nose down in flaccid trade: Equity index futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange ended lower on Monday in flaccid trade tracking the main market.
Medium-cap index futures came under pressure to finish at a discount of about 1.50 percent.
Changing hands were 4,064 contracts on turnover of 25.3 million euros.
The underlying FTSE/ASE-20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips shed 0.22 percent; and the underlying FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization stocks also lost 0.61 percent.
Bond prices rise in scant trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Monday finished higher in light trade focusing on five-year paper.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.23 percent, and the spread over German bunds was 38 basis points.
Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 1.3 billion euros.
Buy orders accounted for the lion's share of turnover.
 Acropolis Museum to be ready for the Athens Games, culture minister says
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The Acropolis Museum will be ready in time for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Monday in response to a report in Sunday's edition of the British "Independent" daily newspaper.
Venizelos, who is visiting New York, said that "if anyone in London is interested to know if we have the space to exhibit the (Parthenon) Marbles after their return, we assure them that there is no reason for concern".
"The space awaiting to house them is grand and it would not be good for the tradition and humanistic sensitivities of Great Britain if that space remained empty, declaring the maiming of the monument," he added.
 World Conference of Olympic Medallists to be held in Greece
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)The 3rd World Conference of Olympic Medallists will be held in Greece from September 27 to October 6, it was announced on Monday.
Invited to attend are Olympic medallists from all over the world as well as representatives of the mass media.
The 3rd World Conference of Olympic Medallists was to have initially been held in Taiwan.
 Athens mayor presents new 'Leadership Awards'
Athens, 05/02/2002 (ANA)Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos on Monday presented the new international Leadership Awards to be held under the auspices of the Athens municipality.
Avramopoulos said the awards would go to leading figures in finance, business, politics, sports and activities linked to society, theatre, cinema, music and the media.
Present at the press conference were Dream Work Corporation president Foivos Delivorias and Lambis Tagmatarchis of Netmed, Filmnet and Nova, who first originated the idea for the awards.
The names of the candidates have not yet been announced and are probably not going to be known before Friday, two days before the award ceremony.
 Leaders wrap up security and move on to territory
NICOSIA, 05/02/2002 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash met for the ninth time since January 16 in Nicosia on Monday afternoon, within the framework of their direct talks on the Cyprus problem, in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto.
The meeting, which took place in a building near the UN-controlled Nicosia airport, lasted for about 75 minutes, during which time the two leaders were expected to wrap up the issue of security, and move on to matters of territory at their next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.
At their previous meetings, President Clerides and Denktash concluded talks on the powers of the central government to emerge from a solution, and until the temporary interruption of their talks, from February 20 to the beginning of March, they intend to wrap up all four core issues, as defined by the UN (constitution, security, territory, property), and list their separate views on them.
During the temporary interruption of the direct talks, de Soto will fly to New York to brief UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Security Council on the progress of the dialogue.
 Government spokesman says territory and property two separate issues
NICOSIA, 05/02/2002 (CNA/ANA)Territory and property are two separate issues, in the context of direct talks on the Cyprus problem between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot sides, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here on Monday, adding that the representatives of the two communities aim at concluding their discussions on all remaining chapters within the next two weeks.
The spokesman also said President Glafcos Clerides will go to Athens to meet Premier Costas Simitis when developments in the Cyprus peace effort warrant such a visit.
"The government considers the issue of property and territory as two separate chapters," Papapetrou said, adding that this was clarified by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when the proximity talks started back in December 1999 and the four core issues were defined (constitution, security, territory, property).
Replying to questions, he said the objective of the interlocutors is "to cover all remaining chapters within the next two weeks, if possible."
Asked if the president will go to Athens for consultations, the spokesman said he would go to meet Simitis "when developments are such that would justify such a visit."
Papapetrou said the Greek government is kept informed about the direct talks through its ambassador here and added "there is constant and regular contact between the two governments."
Asked if the direct talks on Cyprus are in some way connected to the Greco-Turkish dialogue on a diplomatic level, Papapetrou said "we cannot put the Cyprus question and the issue of the Aegean in one basket and start negotiating with Turkey."
He said however that all political groups in Cyprus and in Greece have made it absolutely clear that normalization of Greek-Turkish relations goes through the right solution of the Cyprus question.