Athens and Nicosia welcome G8 decision on Cyprus
Greece and Cyprus on Monday welcomed a G8 decision that a democratic
solution to the Cyprus problem should be founded on the UN security
council's decisions and the rules of international law.
National defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and visiting Cypriot
counterpart Yannakis Chryssostomis said after talks here that the decision
taken in Cologne by the leaders of the world's seven most industrialised
nations plus Russia (G8) was "positive".
Tsohatzopoulos also expressed hope that the G8 decision would make action
the same principle applied on Kosovo, adding that "for the past 25 years,
two sets of standards have applied in the case of Cyprus".
Papantoniou reaffirms no change in economic policy
National economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou reaffirmed on
Monday that there would be no changes made to the government's economic
policy, which he called "PASOK's trump card, now and for the future".
Speaking in Thessaloniki on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Black
Sea Trade and Development Bank, Papantoniou said in reply to press
questions that there was no prospect of changes to economic policy, which
he said "has completely attained its targets" and implementation of which
"will continue absolutely normally".
Questioned on press speculation of a change in taxation policy, Papantoniou
said "there will be no deviation, neither towards one side or the other',
from the policy line drafted by the government after dialogue with the
sides concerned, adding that the new package of measures would enter into
effect as of January 1, 2000.
US official due on Limnos
US assistant secretary of defence Franklin Kramer arrives on the island of
Limnos on Tuesday for the opening of a two-day High-Level Consultative
Committee (HLCC) meeting.
Kramer will be leading the US delegation to the HLCC, an annual conference
that addresses US-Greek defence cooperation and regional security issues, a
US embassy announcement said.
US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns "welcomes the visit as a manifestation
of the excellent military relations between the United States and Greece,"
the announcement said.
Turk arrested for alleged rape of German boy
A Turkish truck driver was remanded in custody on Monday charged with
raping a 14-year-old German boy on a ferry en route from the Italian port
of Ancona to the western Greek port of Patras, police said.
Yildiz Aygun, 33, was arrested on board the "Superfast 4" ferry early on
Sunday after the boy, identified only as H.A., told ship's officers of the
The boy said Aygun had dragged him into his cabin and, with the threat of
physical violence, forced him to perform "indecent acts" and then sodomised
him repeatedly over a period of three hours.
The boy managed to escape from the cabin when Aygun fell asleep and he
returned to his parents, who went to the ferry's bridge together with the
boy and informed the officers on duty of the incident.
The ferry's captain was immediately alerted, and the captain, with a group
of ship's officers, isolated Aygun in his cabin and turned him over to port
authorities when the ferry docked in Patras.
The boy, who was travelling from Ancona to Patras with his parents for a
holiday, was examined by a doctor, who confirmed he had been sodomised.
Aygun, who claims he does not remember anything because he was drunk, was
taken before the Patras public prosecutor today and charged with raping a
Aygun was remanded in custody and given to Wednesday to prepare his defence
before the examining magistrate.
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, he said.
"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
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 Andreas Papandreou "is at our side for a strong, socially just Greece.
His work demands of us to be protagonists of renewal and modernisation".
Also attending the memorial service were Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI)
leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Political Spring (POL.AN) leader Antonis Samaras,
the sons of the late leader Foreign Minister George, Nikos and Andreas
Papandreou, his widow Dimitra Liani, members of the government and other
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.
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.
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."
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