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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-12-14

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER BRIEFS PRESIDENT ON HELSINKI EU SUMMIT
  • [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES DIVIDED OVER HELSINKI RESULTS
  • [03] CYPRIOT OFFICIALS SEE HELSINKI AS POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT
  • [04] TURKEY SATISFIED WITH HELSINKI RESULTS
  • [05] "YANNOS KRANIDIOTIS AMPHITHEATER" AT FOREIGN MINISTRY

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER BRIEFS PRESIDENT ON HELSINKI EU SUMMIT

    Following a meeting with Greek president Kostis Stefanopoulos, prime minister Kostas Simitis appeared optimistic about the course of Greek-Turkish relations and the consolidation of peace and security in the region in the wake of the EU summit in Helsinki. Mr Simitis said that new opportunities for stability, the development of peaceful relations and economic cooperation were being created, while Mr Stefanopoulos expressed the hope that Greek national issues and stability in the region would benefit from developments at the Helsinki summit. For his part, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the text describing the results of the Helsinki summit coincided with Greek positions, adding that from now on Turkey would have to resolve its differences with other countries in a peaceful way. In a related development, speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis said in an radio interview that the results of the Helsinki summit were above and beyond all expectations, adding that it was a difficult battle won by Greece. Finally, Mr Simitis will give a press conference for foreign correspondents today, while tomorrow a pre-agenda debate will be held in parliament on Greek foreign policy, by request of the Democratic Social Movement.

    [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES DIVIDED OVER HELSINKI RESULTS

    Opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis has issued a negative assessment of the results of the Helsinki summit, saying characteristically that "we opened the door to Turkey without gaining anything." But there were different points of view in the New Democracy party. Top members, such as deputy Dora Bakoyanni and Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, described developments in Helsinki as positive. The Greek Communist party and the Democratic Social Movement criticised the government, while leader of the Coalition of the Left wing and Progress Nikos Konstantopoulos said the Helsinki decision was a positive one. Replying to the criticism, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said it was due to either ignorance or a willful alteration of the facts for partisan reasons.

    [03] CYPRIOT OFFICIALS SEE HELSINKI AS POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT

    In Nicosia, Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou described the Helsinki summit decision as an important development for Cyprus' EU accession process. For his part, former president of the Cyprus Republic Giorgos Vassiliou described the results of the Helsinki summit as a positive development, underlining that Nicosia's position that Cyprus should not be Turkey's hostage had been adopted by the European Union.

    [04] TURKEY SATISFIED WITH HELSINKI RESULTS

    Turkey's leadership has accepted the results of the Helsinki summit. Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit criticized some of the negative positions adopted by the Turkish Cypriot leadership on the Helsinki agreement, while later Turkish Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash tried to alter first impressions by stating he was satisfied with the results of the Helsinki summit since Ankara had been justified. For his part, Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem said in a press conference yesterday that Turkey would proceed at a fast pace towards admission to the EU, where it would carry the heritage of a country which had always been looking both at the Christian West and the Islamic Middle East.

    [05] "YANNOS KRANIDIOTIS AMPHITHEATER" AT FOREIGN MINISTRY

    The Greek foreign ministry's amphitheater was renamed the "Yannos Kranidiotis Amphitheater" during a ceremony yesterday. Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou spoke about the personality and contribution of the late politician and pointed out that in Helsinki Greece attained one of the aims set by Yannos Kranidiotis which was the full consolidation of Cyprus' European prospects.
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