G8 leaders call on UN to invite Cyprus sides to autumn talks
The leaders of the seven most industrialised nations plus Russia (G8)
yesterday called on the UN to invite both sides in Cyprus to talks this
autumn, noting that such negotiations should take full consideration of
relevant UN resolutions and treaties on Cyprus.
It also invites the two leaders of the island's communities to commit
themselves to negotiate without preconditions on all issues and to commit
themselves to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached.
In their Statement on Regional Issues at the end of their three-day summit,
the G8 notes that "the Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long" and
that "resolution of this problem would not only benefit all the people of
Cyprus, but would also have a positive impact on peace and stability in the
It said "both parties to the dispute have legitimate concerns that can and
must be addressed", adding that "the members of the G8 are convinced that
only comprehensive negotiations covering all relevant issues can do
"The members of the G8, therefore, urge the UN Secretery General in
accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions to invite the
leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999".
The G8 calls upon "the two leaders to give their full support to such a
comprehensive negotiation, under the auspices of the UN Secretary
They note that "in accepting this invitation, the two parties/leaders
should commit themselves to the following principles: No preconditions; all
issues on the table; commitment in good faith to continue to negotiate
until a settlement is reached; full consideration of relevant UN resolutions
Finally, the membres of the G8 "undertake to give their full and sustained
backing to the negotiating process and hope that it will prove possible for
its outcome to be reported to the meetings of Heads of State and Government
at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied
37 percent of the island's territory.
UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus have repeatedly called for a
bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single international identity. Turkey
and Turkish Cypriots have persistently rejected UN resolutions and have set
as a precondition to the resumption of intercommunal talks the recognition
of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime established in the Turkish-occupied
northern part of the island republic.
Cyprus government reaction
The Cyprus government expressed its satisfaction, in principle, to the G8
Initial reaction from diplomatic sources indicated the government was
pleased with the final outcome.
The sources pointed to two references in the statement which they described
as "improvement" on the text the G8 leaders had before them over the
The addition of the phrase "in accordance with relevant UN Security Council
resolutions" to the anticipated invitation by the UN Secretary General to
the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides for negotiations is one of those
The other amendment, for the better, is the call to both sides to commit
themselves to giving "full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and
The previous text said UN resolutions and treaties serve "as a point of
reference for the negotiations."
"We now have the appropriate G8 involvement through the UN Secretary
General," the same diplomatic sources said.
An ANA dispatch from Nicosia yesterday said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf
Denktash had called on the UN Secretary General to prevent what he termed
"intervention by the G8 on the Cyprus issue" and threatened with reprisals
if his demand for recognition for his regime is not met.
Anomeritis calls for a European central system of food controls
Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis yesterday called for the creation of
a central system of food controls in Europe to protect consumers after a
spate of contamination scandals.
At the same time, Mr. Anomeritis expressed confidence in the operation of
the Greek foodstuffs industry.
"There are actually many problems in the food chain. I must say, however,
as I am familiar with the Greek (foods) industry, that its laboratories and
methods and its scientific staff are aiming for the best in terms of the
final product," he added.
Mr. Anomeritis was speaking in Serres, northern Greece, where he was asked
to comment on contamination scares in Belgium and the Netherlands.
On Saturday, the veterinary department of Thessaloniki's Aristotelian
University said that Greek meat, milk, eggs and fish were free of the
cancer-producing dioxin found in Belgium and metabolic problems discovered
in some Dutch cows.
Domestic products were also free of the substances often used illegally
abroad to fatten animals, including anabolic steroids and synthetic
The university's veterinary department called on the agriculture ministry
to upgrade its own veterinary division and use other sector resources in
order to conduct more frequent and efficient controls, from livestock
rearing through to the meal on the consumer's plate.
Tsohatzopoulos says period ahead difficult for Kosovo
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Saturday said the period
ahead will be difficult for Kosovo and fraught with dangers. However, he
added that he was optimistic that security and peace will be re-established.
Speaking during a one-day visit to Komotini, Rodopi prefecture, Mr.
Tsohatzopoulos said developments in Kosovo vindicate "90 per cent of the
Greek people, who from the first moment stood against the war, as they were
made sensitive to such issues by their historical experience and knowledge."
He added that "Greeks are vindicated, because the government managed to
keep Greece and the Greek people distant from the crisis...Greece has its
own strategy which showcases it as an element of security, peace and
stability in the region.
"(Greece) is the only European Union member-state in the region, thus we
guarantee that the decisions of the Union taken in Cologne, regarding the
stability pact and the Balkans restructuring programme will be implemented,
" he added.
The defence minister also said that Greeks in the north and especially
those of Thrace "are called to realise the new environment in which we have
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said "good neighbourly relations with all Balkan peoples
create inroads for intervention on the economic, social, cultural and
military levels based on equality and friendship."
Skandalidis says PASOK must adopt new approach
The ruling PASOK party, whose performance in the Euroelections was a
warning from voters, needs to change the way it operates - but retain its
strategy - in order to win national elections in 2000, the party's
Secretary, Kostas Skandalidis, said yesterday.
"This particular PASOK cannot go for national elections. It cannot win,"
Mr. Skandalidis told the Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper in an interview.
At the same time, PASOK's strategy should remain intact in any overhaul, as
"the country is achieving its targets and the other (parties) have failed
to articulate an alternative," Mr. Skandalidis said.
But the opposition New Democracy party's three percentage point lead over
PASOK in the June 13 Euro-poll was both a final warning from voters to the
party in government, and to cadres within it.
"It (PASOK) needs to be re-invented on a zero basis through initiatives on
all fronts, with genuine members registering in the party in person and
playing an active role, the ones who want to contribute their services to a
joint endeavour," Mr. Skandalidis said.
A change in the electoral law would be "an acknowledgement of impending
death", he said. The solution to PASOK's dilemma was a root restructuring
of the party and the dissolution of "petty empires" operating within it, he
PASOK's traditional base lay among ordinary working people and more
vulnerable social groups, who had paid most of the price for attainment of
the country's goals, Mr. Skandalidis said.
A new approach was needed to daily problems faced by the public, including
unemployment, bureaucracy, education, crime, the health system, equal
opportunities and recognition of merit.
But he also criticised the Communist Party of Greece as "metaphysical" and
the Democratic Social Movement as "populist."
Turning to a poor election performance by the Socialist parties throughout
Europe, Mr. Skandalidis said: "A certain 'centre left' was defeated, which,
ignoring social demands by the public, measures its stature through opinion
Memorial service held for PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday was present along with political
leaders and PASOK cadres at the third annual memorial service for PASOK
founder and party president Andreas Papandreou.
Following the memorial services held at the Athens Cathedral, Mr. Simitis
said "we who lived and struggled with him (Andreas stand steadfast to the
promise, which united us all on the 3rd of , for struggle which changes
"Andreas (Papandreou) is on our side for a strong, socially just Greece.
His work demands of us to be protagonists of renewal and modernisation," he
PASOK party secretary Costas Skandalidis said that Andreas Papandreou's
absence is "great", adding that his standing in history grows as time goes
Also present at the memorial service for Andreas Papandreou were Democratic
Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Political Spring (POL.AN)
leader Antonis Samaras, sons of the late leader Foreign Minister George,
Nikos and Andreas Papandreou , his widow Dimitra Liani, members of the
government and other PASOK members.
In a related development, the Cypriot EDEK socialist party organised a
memorial service in Nicosia for Andreas Papandreou, officiated by the
country's Archbishop Chrysostomos.
Patriarch, Archbishop appeal for regional peace
Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and Archbishop of Athens and All
Greece Christodoulos on Saturday made an urgent appeal for the peaceful
coexistence of the region's peoples.
Mr. Vartholomeos also spoke of the need for peace and cooperation, adding
that "the long historical period of cooperation between peoples were upset
from time to time by the clouds of ethnic and religious conflict.
"The time has come for the beginning of a new period of cooperation in the
framework of peaceful international relations, which we hope will prevail
in this troubled region," he added.
Mr. Vartholomeos also said that "experience has shown that conflict does
not benefit anyone, that confrontations have only defeated and victims,
while noble competition in the peaceful endeavors have only victors."
Later in the day Metropolitan of Didimotiho Nikiforos hosted a dinner in
honour of the Patriach.
During the dinner, responding to the address of Alexandroupolis, Evros
prefecture Imam Hasan Muhamer, the Patriarch spoke of the brotherhood and
harmonious coexistence between Christians and Moslems.
Mr. Vartholomeos thanked him for welcoming him to the region in behalf of
the Moslems of the area.
"I knew that in this region Christians and Moslems (live) in harmony, love
and mutual respect. I am glad, since now I heard it officially from you,"
Mr. Vartholomeos added.
The Ecumenical Patriarch later in the day departed for Istanbul, ending his
visit in the region of Thrace, northeastern Greece.
Cloud, scattered showers and storms are forecast for western Greece today.
Sunny spells are expected in the rest of the country, turning to showers
and storms in mainland Greece and the northern Aegean during the day, and
then easing off. Winds southwesterly, light to moderate. Mostly sunny in
Athens with temperatures ranging from 22C-34C. Cloudy spells in Thessaloniki
turning to rainy weather in the evening and temperatures from 20-28C.
Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 310.863
Pound sterling 495.663
Japanese yen (100) 260.856
French franc 48.997
German mark 164.328
Italian lira (100) 16.599
Irish Punt 408.091
Belgian franc 7.967
Finnish mark 54.055
Dutch guilder 145.844
Danish kr. 43.233
Austrian sch. 23.357
Spanish peseta 1.931
Swedish kr. 36.744
Norwegian kr. 39.511
Swiss franc 201.450
Port. Escudo 1.603
Can. dollar 212.189
Aus. dollar 203.231
Cyprus pound 557.008