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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-06-21

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, 21/06/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • G8 leaders call on UN to invite Cyprus sides to autumn talks
  • Cyprus government reaction
  • Anomeritis calls for a European central system of food controls
  • Tsohatzopoulos says period ahead difficult for Kosovo
  • Skandalidis says PASOK must adopt new approach
  • Memorial service held for PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou
  • Patriarch, Archbishop appeal for regional peace
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

    MAIN HEADLINES

    • 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 region."

      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 this".

      "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 General."

      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 and treaties".

      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 this November".

      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 summit's statement.

      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 weekend.

      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 points.

      The other amendment, for the better, is the call to both sides to commit themselves to giving "full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and treaties."

      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 oestrogen.

      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 to act."

      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 added.

      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 polls ..."

    • 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 Greece.

      "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 added.

      PASOK party secretary Costas Skandalidis said that Andreas Papandreou's absence is "great", adding that his standing in history grows as time goes on.

      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.

      WEATHER

      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.

      FOREIGN EXCHANGE

      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
      Euro                 321.398
      
      (C.E.)
      Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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