Laliotis reportedly rejects re-negotiation of new Athens metro
NEWS IN DETAIL
Cyprus and Greece have drafted an outline on their future moves "at this
crucial time" in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and press on with
Cyprus' bid to join the European Union.
A joint communique, issued here yesterday after lengthy talks between
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis, who
yesterday wound up a two-day official visit to the island, and their aides,
stressed that "the necessary planning on future moves was dealt with at the
talks" in view of anticipated increased efforts by the international
community to move closer to a resolution of the Cyprus problem.
Simitis airport statements
In statements shortly before leaving the island, Mr. Simitis called on the
international community to turn its attention to Ankara and demand
compliance with the dictates of international law and the decisions of
international organisations on the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Simitis said the Greek side was ready to cooperate with the UN
secretary-general and third parties intending to undertake initiatives on
the Cyprus problem.
He described his talks with the Cyprus government, political leaders and
Archbishop Chrysostomos during his two-day visit to the island, which
coincided with independence celebrations, as "useful, productive and
"The talks provided the opportunity once again to confirm the absolute
coincidence of views concerning tactical and strategic targets and the
further handling of the Cyprus problem," Mr. Simitis said.
"We agreed that the UN is the only natural framework within which efforts
must be made to find a solution," he added.
Apart from the initiative of the United States and the intention of three
EU countries to express interest in finding a solution, Mr. Simitis said,
other Community member-states had also expressed their intention to help
during contacts with the Greek government.
Speaking later at a ceremony at which he was made an honorary professor of
the school of economic sciences and administration of the University of
Cyprus, Mr.Simitis said that Turkish aggressiveness on Cyprus and in the
Aegean constituted the biggest threat for Hellenism.
"Turkey, despite its severe social, economic and political problems it is
facing, is seeking a dominant role in the region and is developing a steady
policy of disputing the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus. Our basic
principle is to protect our national independence and sovereignty. The
reply to Turkish aggressiveness is a Greece which is strong economically,
defensively, diplomatically and politically. A Greece belonging on an equal
basis to the European area and the international system, which will make
use of its alliances, its international support and negotiating advantages,
without trading on patriotism and isolationism," Mr. Simitis said.
"We have already proposed to the Turkish side," Mr. Simitis continued, "a
step-by-step approach to our relations. In the first stage, Turkey should
have recourse to the International Court at The Hague if it believes that
it has claims on the Imia islet . Subsequently, the drawing up of an
agreement to refer the issue to arbitrators could be discussed, in order
for the issue of the delineation of the Aegean continental shelf to be
submitted to the Hague. Lastly, in the third phase, there could be
discussion of various bilateral issues which do not bear on our sovereign
rights, such as tourism and trade issues. We have made it clear that
Greece desires good relations with Turkey but we will not negotiate
our territorial integrity and sovereign rights."
The Greek premier underlined that Greek-Turkish relations could not be
normalised unless the Cyprus problem was resolved in a just, permanent and
viable way on the basis of US resolutions.
"As far as Greece is concerned, the Cyprus problem is a national issue of
top priority. It is our desire that a settlement should be found using
peaceful and diplomatic means, on the basis of UN resolutions and decisions,
" he said.
Clerides honours Simitis
President Clerides honoured here yesterday Prime Minister Simitis with the
Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III, the Cyprus state's highest
President Clerides told Mr. Simitis that the presentation of the highest
decoration to him is a recognition of his sincere and keen interest in
Cyprus, not only as a prime minister of one of the guarantor powers of the
independence of the Cyprus Republic but mainly as a Greek brother.
He noted the fact that Mr. Simitis had placed the Cyprus problem on top of
President Clerides also referred to Greece's declaration that in case the
Turkish occupation troops advance towards the government-controlled
southern part of Cyprus would mean war between Greece and Turkey.
Simitis honours fallen Cypriot fighters
Prime Minister Costas Simitis paid tribute yesterday to the memory of those
who died during the 1955-1959 liberation struggle against British colonial
occupation and during the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
Accompanied by Foreign
The director of the prison gave Mr. Simitis a guided tour of prison cells
where the imprisoned fighters were held before being led to the gallows by
the British colonial regime.
Greek telecommunications giant Intracom yesterday signed an initial
contract worth one million deutchmarks with the German company BGT for
design and development of the electronic portion and guidance system of the
new air-to-air IRIS-T missile, which is slated for integration on NATO
An Intracom announcement said the IRIS-T programme, worth a total of three
billion deutchmarks, is due to be completed after the year 2000. Greece is
participating in the programme with a 6 per cent share.
Tsohatzopoulos visit to Cyprus announced
Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will soon visit Cyprus, press ministry
secretary general Nikos Athanasakis said yesterday.
Mr. Athanasakis said there is no problem over the fact that Mr. Tsohatzopoulos
is not currently visiting the island republic with the prime minister.
He added that Cyprus Defence Minister Costas Eliades will visit Athens and
meet with Mr. Tsohatzopoulos during the next few days.
Petrol prices increase
According to an announcement by the development ministry yesterday, retail
prices of super gasoline will be 211.90 drachmas per litre in the Attica
region and Thessaloniki prefecture, while the price will stand at 195.90
drachmas per litre for unleaded ga soline.
The the retail price of diesel oil will also increase by 2.70 drachmas per
The above prices will be in effect from today until Oct. 10.
Evert,Souflias continue contacts prior to ND election tomorrow
The two remaining contenders for the leadership of the main opposition New
Democracy party, Miltiades Evert - who recently resigned from the post -
and former minister George Souflias, continued their contacts yesterday
with deputies and prominent party members in view of tomorrow's vote for
the party's leadership.
Both men expressed optimism regarding the outcome.
Commenting on Wednesday's election of the 76 electors that will participate
in the voting, along with the 108 ND deputies and nine Eurodeputies, Mr.
Souflias stated: "We went very well and the message from the grass-roots is
Meanwhile, ND vice-president Ioannis Varvitsiotis yesterday issued a
message of support for Mr. Evert, saying that "his candidacy in the present
phase would secure the goals of party unity, renewal and future prospects,
and the smooth course towards a democratic party congress."
Solana declines to provide details on NATO's policy vis-a-vis Turkish expansionism
NATO Secretary General Javier Solana yesterday observed a policy of equal
distances between Greece and Turkey, while replying to questions by members
of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.
"I understand your concerns, we have them also. However, I hope that in
practice fears will not come true," Mr. Solana replied to a question on
NATO's position vis-a-vis Turkish territorial claims against another member-
state of the alliance.
Mr. Solana avoided going into details, but expressed the view that the best
way for problems among allies to be resolved is by peaceful dialogue.
Greece's request for the return of the Elgin Marbles has gained the
support of 252 Eurodeputies from all European Union member-states and from
all political groupings.
A relevant request was submitted by British Labour Eurodeputy Alfred Lomas
with a European Parliament protocol.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels yesterday, Mr. Lomas said the
signatures of such a large number of Eurodeputies confirm the strong
feeling of European peoples that the marbles should be returned to their
proper place - the Acropolis in Athens .
He also called on the Major government to examine the Greek request
positively, because "it would constitute a major act of international
solidarity. These marbles are a crucial part of Greek history and
On his part, Coalition of the Left and Progress Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos,
who has received a negative reply from London to the same request he had
made in the past, told the same press conference that "although, due to
strict processes, it was not pos sible to gather half (314) of the total
number of European Parliament members in support of the Lomas proposal so
that it will constitute an official position of Parliament, support for the
request for the return of the friezes is great, warm and comes fr om
Specifically, 252 signatures were gathered, while in usual practice most
decisions taken by a Europarliament plenary session are approved with about
The Greek request was supported by 39 Eurodeputies from Britain, 34 from
Italy, 33 from Spain, 26 from France, 22 from Germany, 19 from Portugal, 14
from Belgium, 10 from Ireland and by the Greek Eurodeputies.
Florida the latest stop of exhibition on Macedonian culture
An archeological exhibition entitled "Macedonians - The Greeks of the
North" opened at Florida's International Museum in St. Petersburg on
The exhibition includes 428 ancient works and 10 replicas, and is aimed at
presenting the history of Macedonia through archeological findings, from
the nomadic way of life in the third millenium B.C. until the spreading of
Hellenic culture to Asia.
A special dedication is made to the era of Alexander the Great, while the
same location comprises a second exhibition on the renown Macedonian leader,
constituting continuation of the first, which is being organised by the
Memmo Foundation of Rome.
The exhibition has so far toured Montreal, Hannover, Copenhagen, Marseilles,
Rome and Buenos Aires.
The Council of State has ruled that a measure forbidding individuals with
outstanding public debts to leave the country is in place for reasons of
The ban on leaving the country can be lifted only if authorities provided
with a monetary guarantee, if there are adequate property assets to cover
the debt or if there are exceptionally serious reasons for travel abroad,
such as severe illness.
The Council of State has rejected an application by a debtor who requested
to be allowed to leave the country, suggesting a mortgage be taken out on a
foreign-flagged vessel in order to cover the public debt. According to
court records, the debt was inc urred through the levying of a multiple
fine for a smuggling charge, amounting to 120.6 million drachmas.
The nation's highest administrative court judged that irrespective of
problems of the businessman's ownership of the vessel, the proposal for a
mortgage does not satisfy the state's demands, mainly due to problems which
would arise in the confiscation of the foreign-flagged ship.
The government is considering rescinding a contract with the Olympic
Metro consortium, sources said yesterday, following the consortium's
reported move to halt work on four underground stations and tunnel-drilling
Attiko Metro, which represents the Greek state in the project, issued an
announcement on Tuesday evening stating that problems arising in the
construction of the 520-billion-drachma metro project were the fault of
Olympic Metro. Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas
Laliotis told the Athens daily "Ta Nea" yesterday that the government would
not sign a new contract and would not renegotiate terms beyond those
already in the current contract.
If there is no agreement, the minister added, there is always the
possibility of arbitration or court adjudication.
OTE, SEB consider methods of increasing cooperation
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and the Federation of
Greek Industries (SEB) has announced the establishment of a committee to
look into ways of furthering their cooperation.
At a joint press conference after a meeting of the two organisations' board
of governors yesterday, OTE managing director P. Lambrou said their joint
venture was at present executing projects worth more than $40 million, with
prospects of surpassing $1 00 million in 1997.
Both Mr. Lambrou and OTE president D. Papoulias stressed the significance
of programmatic agreements with SEB for the supply of high quality and
competitively priced equipment.
Mr. Papoulias also underlined the large potential for joint investments in
Greece and abroad, especially in the Balkans.
Referring to OTE's expected financial performance, Mr. Lambrou said profits
were forecast at 1.5 trillion drachmas in the 1996-2000 period, with
investment reaching about the same amount, and turnover topping four
Sunny to partly cloudy in most parts of the country with an increase in
temperatures which will range from 18-26C in Athensand from 13-24C in
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
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375.769, Irish punt 383.945, Cyprus pd 515.449, French franc 46.462, Swiss
franc 191.723 Belgian franc 7.545, German mark 157.416, Finnish mark 52.679,
Dutch guilder 140.348 Danish Kr. 41.011, Swedish Kr. 36.345, Norwegian Kr.
36.899, Austrian Sh. 22.379, Italian lira (100) 15.806 Yen (100) 214.614
Spanish Peseta 1.870, Portuguese Escudo 1.563.