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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-06-11

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

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

June 11, 2003

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM warns Turkey to abide by the rules if it wants to join EU
  • [02] Turkish military denies harassing passenger plane above the Aegean
  • [03] FM Papandreou, Verheugen discuss Cyprus issue, Turkey
  • [04] US encourages Greece and Turkey to continue rapprochement talks, adopt CBMs
  • [05] U.S. Cyprus coordinator says opportunity still exists for a solution to be found
  • [06] Annual US-EU Summit of 25 June announced at Monday's White House briefing
  • [07] Justice Min. outlines Greek EU Presidency conclusions
  • [08] ND presents its positions on new European constitution
  • [09] Gov't in talks to save gold mining operation
  • [10] Greek aviation head sees major improvement in European aviation industry
  • [11] EU agriculture ministers to meet on 11, 12 and 13 June in Luxembourg
  • [12] Labor Minister addresses ILO Geneva session
  • [13] National Bank of Greece cuts interest rates, tracking ECB
  • [14] S&P upgrades Greek economy's credit rating to A+
  • [15] NSS reports 4.3 per cent rise in GNP in 1st quarter of 2003
  • [16] Tsohatzopoulos signs EU-Israel deal on research program
  • [17] Athens bourse drops slightly on Tuesday
  • [18] ATHOC presents dossier on environmental issues
  • [19] FM says int'l debate necessary to tackle problems with illicit drugs
  • [20] Prosecutor accuses defense of using 'delaying tactics' in N17 trial
  • [21] Gov't seeking dual nationality option for Albania's ethnic Greeks
  • [22] Cypriot President expects UN resolution to condemn Turkish violations
  • [23] FM Iacovou discusses Cyprus with Annan
  • [24] Hannay rules out two-state solution in Cyprus

  • [01] PM warns Turkey to abide by the rules if it wants to join EU

    THE HAGUE 11/06/2003 (ANA - V. Demiris)

    International rules applied to all and Turkey had to abide by them if it wanted to become a member of the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said after a meeting here with his Dutch counterpart Jan Peter Balkenende on Tuesday.

    Holland is the first stop on Simitis' last tour of EU countries as head of the European Council, during which he will prepare the final summit to take place under the Greek EU presidency later this month.

    Commenting on recent tension in the Aegean, particularly an incident on Monday involving an Olympic Airways passenger plane and two Turkish fighter jets, Simitis stressed that the military exercises Turkey was currently conducting did not respect international laws governing air and sea borders.

    If Turkey wanted to become a member of the EU, it should bear in mind that there were international rules that were binding for all and could not be bent to fit the occasion, the Greek premier noted.

    He also warned that flouting international rules could lead to dangerous situations that should be avoided.

    Reporting on the results of his talks with Balkenende, Simitis said they had discussed the Thessaloniki Summit agenda, which would be dominated by talks on the draft EU Constitution to be presented by the Convention for the Future of Europe, immigration and promoting policies to reinforce security within the Community.

    On the planned institutional reforms to the EU, Simitis said the Greek presidency's job was to seek a basis for the talks that will be carried out in the Intergovernmental conference that would follow.

    Balkenende noted that Turkey's EU accession course showed marked differences to the candidacies of Bulgaria and Romania.

    With regard to institutional reforms for the Union, he said the negotiations should place emphasis on preserving the balance between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, while expressing hope that a solution would be found in Thessaloniki.

    If there was no consensus on the EU Constitution, then the work of the intergovernmental conference would be very difficult, he added.

    [02] Turkish military denies harassing passenger plane above the Aegean

    ANKARA 11/06/2003 (ANA - A. Abatzis)

    Turkey's military on Tuesday rejected Greek complaints that Turkish fighter jets had harassed a civilian aircraft flying above the Aegean, saying that the Turkish warplanes had flown close to the passenger plane but had not broken any international laws.

    The Turkish General Staff put out a statement saying the claims put forward by the Greek side were ''completely wrong and a provocation'' and that they had not threatened the Olympic Airways plane.

    ''Passing a civilian plane at 10 km is not a breach or harassment,'' the statement said.

    The Greek foreign ministry said the two Turkish F-16s had set off a crash avoidance alarm on board the OA Boeing 747 by flying within a 10-mile radius of the passenger jet on Monday.

    The General Staff announcement said that it was not obliged to inform Greek authorities of the movements of warplanes passing through the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).

    ''The area in question is not a region of sovereignty but denotes the area of responsibility of Athens and Istanbul who carry out air traffic control duties only for civilian flights. Under international rules, state aircraft passing through this area are not obliged to make any declaration,'' the announcement said.

    Commenting on the Turkish military's response, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas again warned the Turkish side that its European prospects would be determined by its behavior.

    Despite constant provocations from the Turkish side, Greece would not be drawn into a climate of artificial tension but would inform NATO and the European Union of the situation being created by Turkey's military, he said.

    He also noted that countries that joined the EU were those that behaved like European countries and that, ultimately, this was the responsibility of the Turkish government.

    ''We have a government proclaiming the principles of peace and cooperation and a Turkish military establishment that wants tension, intransigence and fanaticism. We are waiting for the Turkish government to implement its proclamations, otherwise it will itself jeopardize [Turkey's] European prospects,'' he said.

    Defense minister on Turkish provocations: Responding to questions on Turkey's stance in Komotini, meanwhile, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou expressed hope that Turkey would respect the Papoulias-Yilmaz memorandum for military activity during the tourist season and that Turkish provocations would not escalate further.

    [03] FM Papandreou, Verheugen discuss Cyprus issue, Turkey

    BRUSSELS 11/06/2003 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Turkey is obliged to undertake initiatives for the building of relations of good neighborliness with Greece as well as with all the other European Union member-countries, said Commissioner for EU enlargement Guenter Verheugen who met here on Tuesday night with Greek EU Council of Foreign Ministers President George Papandreou.

    The German commissioner noted that the responsibility for the tension of the past few days ''does not burden either Greece or the EU.''

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, he said that the momentum should be maintained for a settlement based on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan in order for Cyprus to join the EU in 2004 united.

    Verheugen said that Turkey has made substantial steps of progress in the direction of democratization, underlining however that these steps should increase.

    The Greek foreign minister spoke on the same wavelength. He said that during his talks with the German commissioner, they discussed the Cyprus issue and that he also briefed Verheugen on the increased violation of Greek air space by Turkish warplanes.

    Papandreou said that Turkey's relations of good neighborliness with the EU member countries is one of the factors on the basis of which Turkey's bid for EU accession will be assessed.

    The minister further said that Greece would regularly brief and in particular once a month, the European Commission on who relations with Turkey are progressing.

    Concluding, Papandreou said that also discussed was relations between the EU and the Balkan countries to which, as he stressed, should be given clear prospects for EU accession.

    [04] US encourages Greece and Turkey to continue rapprochement talks, adopt CBMs

    WASHINGTON D.C. 11/06/2003 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The US early Tuesday (Greek time) encouraged Greece and Turkey to continue their rapprochement talks and adopt Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs), replying to press questions on an incident hours earlier during which two Turkish jetfighters which had earlier been intercepted by Greek fighter planes for infringement of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and violation of national airspace harassed a Greek civilian flight inside the Athens FIR.

    ''We have seen the reports that Greece is concerned over the reported violations of Greek airspace in the Aegean by Turkey. We know that Greek foreign minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul have discussed the issue, recently in Madrid (on the sidelines of a NATO summit last week). This is a bilateral issue and we encourage Turkey and Greece to continue the rapprochement talks and to adopt CBMs, such as the recent agreement for an exchange of higher-ranking offices and students of military academies, and other forms of cooperation," a State Department spokesman said.

    [05] U.S. Cyprus coordinator says opportunity still exists for a solution to be found

    BRUSSELS 11/06/2003 (ANA - A. Simatos)

    U.S. special coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston referred here on Tuesday to the Annan plan for a solution to the problem of Cyprus and expressed the view that an opportunity still exists for a solution to be found.

    Weston, who held meetings with EU officials, told reporters the Annan plan, with some changes regarding the timetable for referendums to be held and its implementation can constitute the basis for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    ''The aim of the United States is the finding of a just and viable solution and we believe this can only be achieved through the process promoted by the United Nations,'' he said.

    Weston held talks with the EU's High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Javier Solana and the commissioner responsible for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, terming them a continuation of contacts he has with EU officials following the failure of an agreement to be reached for a solution to the Cyprus issue at The Hague on March 10-11.

    He added that the purpose of these meetings is to analyze the existing situation and to coordinate policies aimed at solving the problem.

    Weston, who will depart from Brussels and make stopovers in Rome, Athens, Nicosia and Ankara, said in reply to a question ''a solution to the issue of Cyprus, whenever it is achieved, will help Turkey's relations with the European Union.''

    [06] Annual US-EU Summit of 25 June announced at Monday's White House briefing

    NEW YORK 11/06/2003 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The scheduled annual US-European Union Summit at the White House on 25 June was announced during the White House briefing on Monday.

    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the US-EU agenda was very rich and continuously increasing, adding that President George Bush was looking forward to the opportunity to discuss transatlantic dialogue issues with the European Council President (Greek Prime Minister) Costas Simitis and the European Commission President Romano Prodi.

    [07] Justice Min. outlines Greek EU Presidency conclusions

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    In view of the conclusion of Greece’s six-month rotating European Union presidency, at the end of June, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos gave a press conference on Tuesday in Athens to present an account of the Greek EU Presidency on justice affairs.

    The conclusions outlined by the minister centered on three basic themes: initiatives taken by the Greek EU Presidency in the area of justice, the legislative work done and the EU’s external relations, with emphasis on the extradition and judicial cooperation between the EU and the US.

    “We did work methodically and I believe that our work has been recognized as an essential contribution to the creation of a European space of freedom, security and justice. The primary axis of our policy was and still is to fully safeguard and protect individual freedoms and the institutions of the state of justice. This choice is dictated by modern challenges for the creation of a European space of freedom, security and justice. Security is a fundamental right of the citizens. However, enhancing security should be in balance with respect for human rights and established freedoms. More security should not mean lesser freedom. This basic evaluation has been guiding our activities and I believe that their results would significantly contribute to boosting security while at the same time safeguarding Europeans’ freedoms,” Petsalnikos said.

    [08] ND presents its positions on new European constitution

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party presented its positions on the new European constitution, to be discussed at the European Union's summit in Thessaloniki later this month, following a meeting of party officials chaired by ND leader Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday.

    ND spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the party opposes the enactment of a European Council president, adding that the party agrees with the extension of the EU method and not with intergovernmental cooperation, it requests a strengthening of the duties of the European Parliament and the European Commission whose president, as he said, should be elected by the European Parliament.

    The spokesman said the party insists on the need for each member-state to nominate a commissioner, not only until 2009 but afterwards as well, it supports the alternating presidency of member-states, not every six months but every year, and a collective presidency at ministerial councils.

    [09] Gov't in talks to save gold mining operation

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    Deputy Finance Minister Christos Pahtas on Tuesday held talks with industrialists, local authorities and workers on a plan to save a gold mining operation in northern Greece that recently declared bankruptcy.

    ''We are at the final stage of forming a group that would comprise foreign investors and Greek bodies, Greek mining and construction firms, and local authorities,'' Pahtas told reporters.

    The operation is owned by TVX Hellas, a subsidiary of TVX Gold, a Canadian goldminer. The parent firm has since been acquired by Kinross Gold Corporation, which in February announced its intention to close the loss making Greek operation.

    Currently under discussion is creation of a group to run the Kassandra mine, which reportedly includes state-run Larco of Greece, a nickel producer; Kinross; Aegean Mining Corporation; three municipalities; and the Halkidiki prefecture.

    Under the plan, Kinross is expected to amortize TVX Hellas' 75 billion drachma debt to TVX Gold, allocate 10 million dollars in start-up capital, and take a small stake in the scheme.

    TVX Hellas also owes an additional seven billion drachmas to third parties including suppliers and workers, accumulated since 1995 when the firm was set up.

    [10] Greek aviation head sees major improvement in European aviation industry

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The European aviation industry is gradually recovering from the blow it suffered after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 in the US, as well as from the recent Iraq war, with air-passenger numbers expected to double in the next decade, according to the deputy chief of the Greek Aviation Authority (YPA) George Soudalakis.

    Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday in Thessaloniki in view of the first international conference on “Airports: Planning and Operation”, Soudalakis said the enlargement of the European Union would contribute to boosting air-passenger numbers, as it is expected to increase transport needs between EU member-states’ capitals.

    Soudalakis added that the increase in passenger numbers necessitates the modernization of airports, as most of European airports’ capacity is significantly lower than that required, while an additional economic burden to the cost of air transport is the fact that Europe has a diverse number of air traffic control centers (49) compare e.g. to the US (six).

    [11] EU agriculture ministers to meet on 11, 12 and 13 June in Luxembourg

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The European Union agriculture ministers Council will meet on 11, 12 and 13 June in Luxembourg to discuss the revision of Europe's Common Agriculture Policy, foot-and-mount-disease, fishing activities management in ''Western Waters'' zones, and a variety of other issues, a Greek agriculture ministry press release said on Tuesday.

    Greek Agriculture Minister George Drys, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, will chair the Council.

    [12] Labor Minister addresses ILO Geneva session

    GENEVA 11/06/2003 (ANA/N. Roben)

    Labor and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas addressed here on Tuesday an International Labor Conference, in his capacity as current president of the EU Council of Labor Ministers.

    The 91st Session of the International Labor Organization (ILO) focuses on the trafficking of children, a criminal practice in which some 1.2 million children each year are compelled to perform various forms of unwanted work, ranging from hazardous or forced labor to commercial sexual exploitation.

    In his speech, Reppas said that the current session was taking place at an especially crucial time both for Europe and the entire world, stressing that the global political agenda included issues such as social and environmental responsibility by all social partners, cooperation to eliminate poverty and expansion of the social dialogue.

    International cooperation aimed at development is the key to maintaining peace and security in the world, while the development model promoted today at a world level is not always in line with the principles for sustainable development, Reppas stressed.

    He further added that the European Union could play a significant role in dealing with such global challenges as it now has the political conscience as to the need to support policies aiming to sustainable development.

    The Greek EU Presidency set as its fundamental target and priority to defend, promote and modernize the European social model, Reppas said.

    [13] National Bank of Greece cuts interest rates, tracking ECB

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    National Bank of Greece, a heavily traded stock on the Athens bourse and the country's largest bank, said on Tuesday that it will lower selected rates, effective on June 12, tracking a rate cut last week by the European Central Bank.

    The rate declines are from 0.20 basis points to 0.55 basis points on deposits; and 0.15 basis points to 0.40 basis points on loans, National said in a statement.

    On Monday, blue chip Alpha Bank, the country's second largest bank, also announced rate cuts.

    Alpha's mortgages, consumer loan rates and credit card rates will drop by 50 basis points, effective on June 17. Business loans are to remain unchanged.

    Rates on deposits will drop by 10 basis points to 25 basis points in line with the product and amount deposited.

    Both banks are quoted on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [14] S&P upgrades Greek economy's credit rating to A+

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The international credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Tuesday upgraded the Greek economy's credit rating from A to A+, thus bringing its assessment in line with that announced in November 2002 by Moody's.

    It said the decision was prompted by a reduction in public deficit and the prospects that the budget would be balanced by 2006, the steady and sustainable convergence, both real and nominal, with the economies of other European Union countries and a focus on structural reforms, such as the pensions system reform of 2002.

    The upgrade will reduce the cost of borrowing for Greece in international markets, though S&P's report stresses that public debt remains among the highest in the EU and primary state spending is also high.

    It recommends measures to reduce both of these and calls for further reduction in insurance and wage costs, while noting that the degree of implementation of structural changes by the Greek economy over the next few years will affect its credit rating, which might be re-assessed if there are delays in this area.

    [15] NSS reports 4.3 per cent rise in GNP in 1st quarter of 2003

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The Greek National Statistics Service on Tuesday reported a 4.3 per cent rise in GNP over the first quarter of 2003, down from 4.5 per cent in the same trimester of 2002.

    By contrast, there was a 3.4 per cent rise in GNP during the last trimester of 2002.

    It said the increase in GNP was mainly due to a rise in final consumer spending, investments and imports.

    Exports remained unchanged relative to the same period in 2002.

    [16] Tsohatzopoulos signs EU-Israel deal on research program

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, in his capacity as current president of the EU Council of Research and Technology Ministers, signed on Tuesday on behalf of the European Union an agreement between the EU and Israel on scientific and technological co-operation.

    The new agreement will cover Israeli participation from the outset of the 6th EU Research Framework Program (2003-2006), and was signed for the Israeli side by Minister of Science Eliezer Zandberg, and by EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin on behalf of the Commission.

    On the basis of the agreement, Israel will contribute to the overall budget with 192 million euros. In the last five years, Israeli partners have participated in 612 EU-sponsored research projects, of which 147 were coordinated by Israeli project leaders. Israeli scientists have participated in EU-sponsored agricultural and water-management research projects with Arab partners, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

    In a short address, Tsohatzopoulos said that the agreement signaled the full association of Israel’s research and technology potential with the 6th EU Research Framework Program. He added that Israel is a pioneer in research and technology and funds poured into these areas by that country are larger than the EU average.

    [17] Athens bourse drops slightly on Tuesday

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The Athens bourse ended 0.27 per cent lower on Tuesday, with the general index following a series of tight fluctuations between 1,860 and 1,877 points to end at 1,863.47 points at the end of the session.

    Turnover was 154.9 million euros.

    Sector indices showed a mixed performance, with the biggest gains in Insurance (+3.49 percent), IT solutions (+0.62 percent), and Wholesale Trade (+0.31 percent). The biggest losses were recorded in Publications (-2.75 percent), Investments (-0.76 per cent) and Holding(-0.70 per cent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks dropped 0.47 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.75 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 0.60 percent.

    Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 71.1 mln euros Tuesday

    Equity Index Futures:

  • FTSE/ASE-20 (high cap): At discount

  • Underlying Index: -0.42 percent

  • FTSE/ASE-40 (medium cap): At discount

  • Underlying Index: +0.75 percent

    Stock Futures:

  • Most Active Contract (volume): Intracom (782)

  • Total turnover in derivatives market: 71.1 mln euros

    Bond Market Close: Buyers match sellers on Tuesday

    Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond

  • Yield: 3.62 pct

  • Spread over German bund: 10 bps

  • Day's Market Turnover: 2.4 bln euros

  • Most Active Bond: 10-year (700 mln euros)

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE

    Closing rates of June 10 2003

    Parities in euro

    For. Exchange Buying Selling

    US Dollar 1,179 1,152

    [18] ATHOC presents dossier on environmental issues

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    A dossier on environmental issues published by the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee's (ATHOC) Education and Training Department was presented on Tuesday by Education Minister Petros Efthymiou, ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and President of the Goulandris Natural History Museum Niki Goulandri.

    Apart from the presentation of the dossier, Daskalaki and Goulandri signed a memorandum of cooperation between ATHOC and the Natural History Museum.

    The cooperation includes the setting up of a joint working group which will undertake the creation of special editions on the environment, the holding of conferences and various events informing the public on the Olympic projects, the environment, environmental training and nature.

    [19] FM says int'l debate necessary to tackle problems with illicit drugs

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, on Tuesday stressed the need for a common European policy on illicit drug production and trafficking, and said the Greek presidency would submit an Action Plan which he said he hoped would be approved at the upcoming European Council in Thessaloniki 19-21 June.

    Papandreou, speaking on the closing day at the Dublin Group conference held in Athens on illicit drug production and trafficking in the Balkans, noted that an international debate should be launched over the complex problem of drugs, since there were conflicting views on how to tackle this problem.

    ''Issues such as punishment and the decriminalization of users, for example, show there is still a lot to be discussed'', the Greek foreign minister said, and pointed to the need for dialogue with the US, a frontrunner on tackling this problem.

    He also referred to initiatives taken by the Greek presidency on the issue, including a meeting to forge a common policy on drugs and review problems with illicit drug trafficking, especially heroin, to Europe through the Balkans, the revision of the policy on drugs (1998-2008) and participation in France's Conference on 21 and 22 May which focused on heroin production in Afghanistan.

    The Dublin Group was established in 1990 as an informal international mechanism against drugs, by the 25 EU members and the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and Norway.

    [20] Prosecutor accuses defense of using 'delaying tactics' in N17 trial

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The public prosecutor on the bench in the ongoing trial of 19 suspected members of the terror group ''November 17'' on Tuesday accused the defense and the alleged leader of the terrorist band Alexandros Giotopoulos of employing delaying tactics to ''nibble away the time with unacceptable ulterior goals''.

    Earlier, Giotopoulos had questioned the authenticity of 26 fingerprints matching his own that police had found in the N17 safe house on Patmos Street, saying the physical evidence was contradictory because no biological material derived from him was found in any of the safe houses, despite an abundance of fingerprints.

    He also noted that despite participating in 10 bomb attacks during the military dictatorship that ruled Greece in 1967-1973, none of his fingerprints had been found by police at that time, even though he was younger and less experienced.

    Later in the proceedings, police tool and firearms traces expert George Raftoyiannis said that three keys found on defendant Savvas Xiros in Piraeus matched keys confiscated in Giotopoulos' house in Vyrona.

    He said the keys in question opened the doors to the apartment building and the flat used by the terror group on Damareos Street.

    Giotopoulos claimed the three keys were planted by police among his own.

    Tuesday's court session ended with the testimony of main opposition New Democracy MP Panos Kammenos.

    He outlined theories that the terrorist groups in Greece, such as N17 and ELA, were linked and supported by foreign secret services of former Eastern Bloc countries, which used them for their own purposes and also financed them.

    The witness claimed that the defendant Dimitris Koufodinas, the alleged operations chief for the group, had received 'special treatment' from the authorities and that a file on Koufodinas had mysteriously disappeared from the anti-terrorist squad.

    He said Koufodinas had been placed under surveillance in 1992 after his father's car was used in a bank robbery.

    The MP also claimed that the founders of the organization were not in the prisoners' dock while expressing doubts that Theologos Psaradellis was actually a member of the terror band.

    [21] Gov't seeking dual nationality option for Albania's ethnic Greeks

    Athens, 11/06/2003 (ANA)

    The government was currently in the final stages of negotiations with the Albanian government for an agreement that would allow Albania's ethnic Greeks to hold dual nationality, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas said on Tuesday.

    Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis was handling negotiations with his Albanian counterpart in this ''extremely grave and delicate'' issue, the spokesman noted.

    The measures sought by the Greek government would allow Albanian nationals of Greek descent that have lived for several years in Greece and become integrated in Greek society to acquire Greek nationality without losing their Albanian nationality in the process, Protopapas explained.

    ''A dual nationality solution must be found that consistently furthers national interests,'' he said, while denying that the government was moved by petty party-political goals in this matter.

    [22] Cypriot President expects UN resolution to condemn Turkish violations

    NICOSIA 11/06/2003 (CNA/ANA)

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Tuesday that Turkey is implementing a policy of provocation to serve its own purposes, both in the Aegean Sea and in the village of Strovilia in Cyprus, and noted he expects the UN to adopt a resolution condemning the violations of the status quo in Strovilia.

    Replying to questions at the Presidential Palace regarding the Turkish army violations in Strovilia, President Papadopoulos said the government expected that the UN Security Council resolution on the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) would condemn the initial violation of the status quo in the area and would be even more severe in condemning this year's violations.

    ''The violation at Strovilia is mentioned in every report of the UN Secretary General on UNFICYP since 2000. Now we have determined not only the continuation but also an extension of the violation with new provocative actions, and we expect the Security Council resolution to contain a stronger wording condemning the initial violation and an even stronger condemnation of the latest violations,'' the President said.

    Regarding the Turkish provocations in the Aegean, President Papadopoulos said ''the Turks are following a policy of provocation, with their own motives and purposes.''

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey is in violation of the status quo in the southeastern village of Strovilia, in the buffer zone. Turkish troops are carrying out construction works contrary to pledges to safeguard the status quo. Greek Cypriot residents in the area are facing problems with electricity and water supply, and telephone connections.

    [23] FM Iacovou discusses Cyprus with Annan

    UNITED NATIONS 11/06/2003 (CNA/ANA)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou met on Tuesday in New York and discussed developments in Cyprus after the Turkish occupation regime eased restrictions on the free movement of citizens and the situation in the southeastern village of Strovilia.

    Speaking after the half-hour meeting, Iacovou said he wanted to find out what the UN chief had in mind for the future.

    Replying to a CNA question, Iacovou said the reference to Strovilia in the final draft resolution of the UN Security Council, taking into consideration the stance and terminology used by the Council in other international matters, was positive. Diplomatic sources said Iacovou was satisfied with the outcome of his meeting with Annan.

    Turkey is violating the status quo ante in the southeastern village of Strovilia, which is in the ceasefire line.

    The sources added that as the UN chief did mention the strict terms set in his report as a prerequisite to recommence negotiations, it is believed that if the Turkish side showed a more positive stance, then Annan would not insist on those terms.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Iacovou met with the UN chief's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto. Diplomatic sources said the UN chief has not yet decided to give de Soto other duties for the time being apart from the Cyprus problem.

    However, if there is no change in the Turkish stance over the next three months, then de Soto will be relieved of the Cyprus problem.

    For the time being, according to the same sources, de Soto is writing a long document on the talks on the Cyprus problem for UN reference.

    [24] Hannay rules out two-state solution in Cyprus

    NICOSIA 11/06/2003 (CNA/ANA)

    A political settlement in Cyprus has not, cannot and will not be based on the idea of two states on the island, Lord David Hannay, Britain's former special representative for Cyprus has stressed, expressing hope that the island's political leadership will realize the advantages of a solution and return to the negotiating table.

    In an interview with CNA after resigning his post, Hannay said the parties involved in the Cyprus problem should understand that general statements expressing willingness to continue the talks ''are not enough'' to persuade UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to reengage in the peace effort.

    Hannay reiterated that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash led the latest attempt at a comprehensive solution to deadlock. ''Mr Denktash wanted two houses in Cyprus and a little corridor between the two houses which he could control,'' the British diplomat said.

    Asked what should be done to resume the stalled dialogue under UN auspices, he said ''what the Secretary General said in his report (to the UN Security Council) remains the case.''

    ''Unfortunately, so far there has not been much of a response on the specifics of what the Secretary General has said, although there have been some general statements of willingness to continue the negotiations.

    ''It is necessary for all concerned to grasp that that will not be enough, it will not persuade the Secretary General to reengage with a reasonable certainty that reengagement will lead to a positive outcome,'' he added.

    He noted that ''Annan is right, both sides in Cyprus as well as Greece and Turkey have to reflect very carefully on what decisions they each need to take and to communicate to the Secretary General before any further negotiations take place.''

    Hannay said there was still time for negotiations so that a reunited Cyprus could join the EU next May, ''but not an infinite amount.''

    At the same time, he said May 2004 and also December next year when the EU will review Turkey's progress in aligning itself with the acquis communautaire before deciding on the start of accession negotiations with Ankara ''are not set in stone.''

    He expressed hope Turkey's review of its application and its conformity with the Copenhagen criteria for membership of the EU will allow Turkey to open accession negotiations in early 2005 and added ''neither of these prescribe or require absolutely a settlement of

    the Cyprus problem, even though it is highly desirable.''

    Referring to the breakdown of Cyprus talks last March, Hannay said he agreed with the UN chief that it was Mr Denktash's attitude which frustrated the effort.

    ''Denktash to the very end was saying he did not want to live in the same house as the Greek Cypriots, he wanted a second house, he wanted two houses and a little corridor between the two houses which he could control,'' he said.

    Hannay said he did not believe a settlement is possible on the basis wanted by Denktash and stressed a solution based on two states was not to be foreseen.

    ''I do not think it ever has been and I do not see any circum-stances in which it ever will be. One has to look towards a reunited Cyprus, albeit one in which the two people will run their own day to day affairs for everything like health, education and police and transport, each on their own without interference from the other but they will do certain things in common.''


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