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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-27

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 27/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Pangalos to Turkish consulate: stick to your 'well-meaning duties'
  • Meeting with US State Dept.'s coordinator for Cyprus cancelled
  • Weather service warns of heatwave
  • Expatriate Greek deputies tour Evros
  • Weekend traffic carnage repeated
  • KKE calls on gov't to change positions towards NATO, US
  • Ethnic festival on Lesvos
  • FIBA meeting convenes in Athens
  • More fires reported, others extinguished
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Pangalos to Turkish consulate: stick to your 'well-meaning duties'

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday warned personnel affiliated with the Turkish consulate in Komotini to restrict themselves to their well- meaning duties and not to create problems in the harmonious co-existence of Christian and Moslem residents in Thrace.

Speaking during a visit to Komotini yesterday, Mr. Pangalos said that, otherwise, the Turkish consulate will get an "exemplary lesson."

Mr. Pangalos added that there are some consulates of western countries in Thessaloniki searching for human rights violations in the region and "forgetting" the horrendous crimes taking place only a few kilometres away.

He said that the guarantors of human rights are the Greek people, the people of Thrace and the state, adding that the Greek Moslems and Christians are giving their reply.

Komotini was the second stop, after Xanthi, of his tour of Thrace.

Replying to an address by Metropolitan Damaskinos, he said "today, I am here because the foreign ministry has the duty to supervise the implementation of the Lausanne Treaty which sets out the way of life and the rights and obligations of the Moslem minority living in our country. I ascertained in Xanthi that our fellow Moslem countrymen are living freely, enjoy freedom of religion, communicate with the representatives of the state without problems and without any hesitation, express their claims freely, their criticism and participate actively in our political life."

He added: "I am not speaking only of Turkey's consulate, which is attempting to systemat ically separate the Moslems from the Christians here and to create a problem and a crisis...and in this way it is working against the interest of our country in a way that can be tolerated with difficulty. And I wish to warn this consulate that it is an ins titution with a very limited authority and that it would be good if it were to restrict itself strictly to its well-meaning duties. Because, otherwise, it will get an exemplary lesson."

Mr. Pangalos concluded his speech with a forceful warning, stressing that "my tour so far, and I believe that this will continue in Komotini as well, was a refutation, a slap for the disgraceful slanderers, for those who dare not say openly that they are serving illicit economic interests and dealings and appear as protectors of human rights in Thrace, forgetting the great and hideous crimes which are taking place at this moment that we are speaking, only a few kilometres away from here. To all of them, all the Greeks together, Moslems and Christians, give their reply: Leave us alone at last. We have had enough of your aid and friendship. Leave the Turkish and Greek people at last. Leave the people in the region alone. Stop working for our good. We have seen your good. Thank you very much. Enough is enough."

Meeting with US State Dept.'s coordinator for Cyprus cancelled

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos cancelled a scheduled meeting with US State Department special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller, originally set in Athens on Tuesday.

Mr. Pangalos made the announcement while touring Thrace on Saturday and only hours after US White House spokesman Mike McCurry criticised statements by the Greek foreign minister on Thursday. Specifically, Mr. Pangalos said that US President Bill Clinton had told "a grand lie" regarding a solution of the Cyprus problem in his pre-election promises.

Mr. Pangalos had also noted that Washington had in the past exercised pressure on Ankara which proved fruitless, and had now switched this pressure on Athens. On his part, Mr. McCurry said he hoped Mr. Pangalos would "revise his intemperate, disa ppointing and undiplomatic remarks to the president of the United States," which were "inconsistent with what are otherwise close and warm bilateral relations we enjoy with the government of Greece".

In response, Mr. Pangalos added that all US presidents had failed to act on the Cyprus issue in accordance with UN resolutions, stressing that he had strong indications that Greek-Americans were considering switching funds in future US presidential elections.

"It has become a habit for US presidents to make promises and not keep them. Mr. Bill Clinton had promised to solve the Cyprus problem. I suppose he meant he would provide a solution based on UN resolutions. Are you aware of any solution to date? Are you aware of American diplomacy supporting UN resolutions or law on the issue? I am under a different impression, personally".

The latest round of exchanges was sparked by Mr. McCurry's remark on Tuesday that the "right definition" for the Cyprus problem was one of "conflict" between the two communities on the island, and not one of "invasion" and occupation of its northern half by the Turkish army 24 years ago, as Greece and Cyprus strongly maintained.

Weather service warns of heatwave

A heatwave is expected to affect most of Greece today as temperatures will reach or even exceed 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country, according to the National Meteorological Service (EMY).

High temperatures are expected to continue until Thursday when a gradual decrease will begin in the north of the country.

Expatriate Greek deputies tour Evros

A large delegation of expatriate Greek deputies who participated in the second World Hellenic Interparliamentary Union, recently held in Athens, began over the weekend a three-day tour along the axis "Thrace-Aegean- Cyprus".

The deputies are members of parliaments in Australia, Canada, the United States, the Ukraine, Albania, Georgia, Russia, South Africa, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Argentina, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

Their first stop was the Evros region, where they visited the cathedral of Panagia tis Kosmosoteiras in the town of Ferres, as well as towns and border communities in the area.

Earlier, the visit started with a briefing in Alexandroupoli by the prefect of Evros Georgios Dolios and by deputies from the prefecture.

Meanwhile, the president of the group, Demetri Dollis, said, among others, that the briefing was very interesting, adding that during the period of their stay in Greece the expatriate deputies had an opportunity of knowing even better all that united them with Greece.

On Saturday afternoon, the expatriate deputies visited the town of Sappes, Rodopi prefecture. Afterwards they arrived in Alexandroupoli and then left for their next stop, the eastern Aegean island of Hios.

Weekend traffic carnage repeated

Twenty-seven people were killed and 394 were seriously injured in 242 traffic accidents around the country over the weekend, according to traffic police.

KKE calls on gov't to change positions towards NATO, US

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) called on the government to change its position vis-a-vis NATO and the United States regarding crucial issues such as the Aegean, Cyprus, the Balkans and the Mediterranean.

KKE added that it considers the deployment of the Russian-made S-300 anti- aircraft missiles on Cyprus a positive measure.

In an announcement on Saturday, KKE said that from the moment that the government insists on the same tactic of consent with the plans of the United States and NATO, it will become more and more subject to pressures and will make even greater concessions.

Referring to Friday's meeting of the Government Council of Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA), KKE expressed support for the differentiation of the country's sources of armaments, in the direction of ridding itself from what the communist party called "imperialism."

Ethnic festival on Lesvos

Citizens of 15 different countries living and working on the island of Lesvos will be treating locals to a taste of their homelands' culture during a two-day ethnic festival that opens today at the Agia Irini park.

Foreign residents in Lesvos from England, France, Serbia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Scandinavia and Latin America will be setting up pavilions containing various aspects of their countries' culture and serving traditional foods, along with performances of traditional music, songs and dances.

People from England, Latin America and Turkey will play traditional music from their countries today, while children from Serbia will perform traditional dances. On Tuesday, the festival will close with a concert by the Florina Band.

FIBA meeting convenes in Athens

The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) will announce decisions taken at the 26th World Council, during a press conference at a downtown Athens hotel today.

The conference got underway yesterday and will be concluded today with the assumption of the duties of a new president. Additionally, FIBA's new 23- member central council will be elected, which is due to convene for the first time tomorrow.

Last night's meeting was due to focus on the proposed amendment of regulations and for which the new central council will reach final decisions. FIBA's council will convene twice a year.

It is certain that a third time out in the second half of a game will be approved and the stopping of time every time a basket is scored in the last two minutes.

Meanwhile, the first national basketball teams participating in the 16-team World Basketball Championship, starting on Wednesday and lasting until August 9, started arriving in Athens yesterday. Tourists at Athens airport were surprised to see reporters and TV crews mobbing basketball players for statements.

Five national teams arrived at Athens airport in a few minutes' time. They were the teams of Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Lithuania and Puerto Rico. All of them arrived from New York where they had participated in the "Goodwill Games."

More fires reported, others extinguished

A fire which broke out near the village of Trapeza in the northern Peloponnese continued to rage out of control Saturday and began to destroy the spectacular Vouraikos Gorge, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The blaze, which started Friday, spread towards the villages of Ano Diakopto, Katholiko and Kernitsa, forcing authorities to suspend services of the unique cog-wheel railway between Diakopto and Kalavryta. Police, meanwhile, were investigating al legations by fire department officials in Aegio that unknown persons were using the fire brigade's radio frequencies and threatening to burn firefighters alive.

Fire department officials said the interference was causing a serious communications problem. Fires were also in progress in the area of Podagora, Amphilohia, Krania (Mount Olympus) and Kouvela, Messinia.

Blazes at Grammos (Kastoria), Aravonitsa (Aegio) and Kassandra (Halkidiki), Koiliomeno (Zakynthos), Zagora (Pelion) and Mavrovouni (Larissa) were largely brought under control.

WEATHER

Fine weather is forecast throughout the country Monday, with moderate to strong northerly winds in the east and locally in the Aegean Sea which will subside in the evening. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 24- 38C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 22-37C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.247 British pound 486.239 Japanese yen (100) 209.401 French franc 49.237 German mark 165.079 Italian lira (100) 16.7360 Irish Punt 415.0530 Belgian franc 8.040 Finnish mark 54.314 Dutch guilder 146.419 Danish kr. 43.396 Austrian sch. 23.471 Spanish peseta 1.945 Swedish kr. 37.138 Norwegian kr. 38.968 Swiss franc 196.108 Port. Escudo 1.614 Aus. dollar 183.222 Can. dollar 196.892 Cyprus pound 563.456

(C.E.)


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