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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (01/03/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@uranus.ee.auth.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, March 1, 1996


NEWS IN BRIEF

  • [01] INCIDENT IN IMIA BETWEEN TURKISH PATROL BOAT AND GREEK GUNBOAT

  • [02] GREEK PRESS MINISTER SPEAKS ON YESTERDAY'S IMIA EPISODE

  • [03]GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS WITH NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL IN ATH ENS

  • [04] MISSING CYPRIOTS HAVE BEEN MURDERED, REVEALS DENKTASH

  • [05] THE DENKTASH CLAIMS ON THE MISSING IN CYPRUS ARE BEING REJECTED

  • [06] CRISIS IS GREECE'S FAULT, SAYS TURKEY'S FOREIGN MINISTRY

  • [07] US AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS: AMERICAN INITIATIVE IS ALWAYS HERE

  • [08] EU COMMISSIONER TO FORMALLY VISIT CYPRUS ON MARCH 4 AND 5

  • [09] PASOK LEADER'S HEALTH GOOD, SLIGHT FEVER TODAY

  • [10] MODERN GREEK STUDIES ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED IN GRANADA

  • [11] GREEK EXPORTERS' UPCOMING MISSION TO FYROM HAS MANY PARTICIPANTS

  • [12] THREE GREEKS ATTAIN FIRST TITLES IN WORLD SAILING

  • [13] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] INCIDENT IN IMIA BETWEEN TURKISH PATROL BOAT AND GREEK GUNBOAT

    The Greek Navy General Staff confirmed the information that was made public after accusations by former Defense Minister and New Democracy vice-President Ioannis Varvitsiotis, according to which yesterday morning a turkish patrol boat entered the greek territorial waters and was heading for the rocky islet of Imia in south-eastern Aegean.

    A greek gunboat that was patroling in the region approached and asked the turkish patrol boat to leave the greek territorial waters.

    The turkish captain refused to comply and the greek warship came closer to the turkish patrol boat in accordance with the rules of Maritime Law. As a result of a mistake made by the turkish captain, the patrol boat collided with the greek gunboat.

    The turkish ship left the greek territorial waters and the greek gunboat sailed into the port of the island of Kalymnos where it underwent repairs.

    [02] GREEK PRESS MINISTER SPEAKS ON YESTERDAY'S IMIA EPISODE

    PASOK Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas refuted today's reports that the greek government knowingly kept secret the information regarding yesterday morning's incident near Imia, where a turkish patrol boat collided with a greek gunboat.

    According to Mr. Reppas, the government first wanted to assess the severity of the episode and added that there was no collision but instead a wrongful handling by the turk captain.

    Mr. Reppas stated that a representative of Turkey's embassy in Athens was summoned to the greek Foreign Ministry in order to receive a demarche regarding the violation of greek territorial waters. However, Mr. Reppas foresaw that Turkey is likely to repeat similar events in the future.

    The Press Minister blasted Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy, specifically its Vice-President and former Defense Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis, as having shown frivolity and prematurity in announcing the event, which act resulted in confusion and magnified the incident beyond its true proportions.

    Moreover, according to Mr. Reppas, the Greek Premier Kostas Simitis related the episode to NATO's Secretary-General Javier Solana, currently on an official visit to Athens, who promised to look into the matter.

    As Mr. Reppas clarified, the Greek Premier made general references to the turkish agression and challlenges and added that Mr. Solana will grant the due attention to the matter, with respect to international law.

    [03] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS WITH NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL IN ATH ENS

    Issues concerning NATO expansion, the situation in Bosnia and Greece's cooperation with NATO were discussed in the meeting held today in Athens between Greek Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis and NATO Secretary-General Javie Solana.

    Mr.Arsenis also briefed the alliance's Secretary-General on the recent Greek-Turkish crisis in the Aegean Sea and added that he hopes there will be more visits to Greece by mr.Solana in order to be able to form his own opinion on the issues.

    From his part, mr.Solana stated that they had discussions on the NATO forces in Bosnia adding that is a great effort by NATO members and non-members for peace in this former Yugoslav Republic. At this point, mr.Solana thanked the greek government on behalf of NATO for its participation in the force. Mr.Solana added were analyzed the ways in which the operation is developing, its future and its prospects.

    Regarding NATO's expansion mr.Solana said that is an issue which concerns and will continue to concern the alliance in the next years, while 1996 will be the year during which the alliance will enter a dialogue with the countries that want to follow this path.

    On NATO's relations with Russia, mr.Solana said that the alliance shares Greece's views on this matter which is a very important one. Mr.Solana made known that in the next few weeks will visit Moscow and will brief the russian government on the thoughts exchanged today on the issue during the talks with mr.Arsenis.

    On NATO's internal changes the alliance's Secretary-General stressed that the world has changed, new missions are being undertaken and NATO must adjust to those missions. At the same time, he assured that NATO will play the role expected to play which possibly will be more significant in the future than it was in the past.

    Responding to the question if as former Foreign Minister accepts the existence of advice from NATO to the greek side according to which should avoid military exercises in the Aegean during the time of the turkish exercises, mr.Solana said that the constructive way is the only way to handle all the problems and on this basis he will handle all the problems as NATO Secretary- General.

    Nevertheless, mr.Arsenis denied that there is advice neither from NATO nor from any other country concerning the programme of the Greek Armed Forces exercises that will be held on greek territory, underlining that the programme of the exercises is set only by Greece.

    Finally, to the question why NATO did not adopt a position on the issue of the rocky islet of Imia in the south-eastern Aegean, mr.Solana said that there are differencies in certain mechanisms and that he will try to respond in the best possible way.

    [04] MISSING CYPRIOTS HAVE BEEN MURDERED, REVEALS DENKTASH

    All the missing Cypriots have been killed by members of turkish-cypriot paramilitary organizations, stated Rauf Denktash, leader of the turkish-controlled zone in Cyprus.

    In this unprecedented disclosure, given yesterday in an interview to the cypriot television station Sigma, the self- proclaimed president stated that the executions were performed in the absence of the turkish military's knowledge.

    Denktash grimly said that the massacre was a result of militant overzealously and added that the paramilitary's method of operation was not in coordination with the turkish troops.

    "As the turkish troops advanced through and arrested the greek-cypriots, they, unfortunately, turned them over to militants," Denktash said.

    "Instead of transfering the prisoners to the local police stations or placing them in concentration camps, they killed them," he said, adding that "when the turkish military forces understood what was happening, they sent the prisoners to Turkey and, according to the Red Cross archives, all the prisoners who were transferred to Turkey have returned."

    The occupied territory's intransigent leader rejected any possibility that the refugees may return to their homes, saying that this issue must be handled differently.

    Denktash said that the Cyprus problem is "a psychological one" and suggested that a joint commission be created that would review all the history books taught in the schools of both communities.

    [05] THE DENKTASH CLAIMS ON THE MISSING IN CYPRUS ARE BEING REJECTED

    Cypriot government spokesman Yiannakis Kasoulidis commenting on the statements made by Rauf Denktash on the issue of those missing in Cyprus he said that for the first time the turkish- cypriot leader admits that prisoners of war had been executed in cold blood. Mr.Kasoulidis added that the issue of Denktash's responsibility for the crimes committed in Cyprus in 1974 remains open.

    The cypriot government spokesman also mentioned that the government accepts the parallel opening of mass graves in the free territories and in the turkish occupied northern Cyprus. He characteristically said that places where, according to Denktash's allegations, turkish-cypriots are being burried should be pointed out to the Exploratory Committee.

    Mr.Kasoulidis categorically rejected the claims that there are no missing greek-cypriots and greeks still alive and stressed that the greek-cypriot side insists on a procedure of gathering convincing evidence concerning the fate of each of those missing.

    He also rejected Denktash's allegations that all the greek- cypriot war prisoners who had been taken to Turkey have returned by saying that there is a number of them who have not been registered with the International Red Cross. Also, he said that there are testimonies on war prisoners who had been registered with the international organization but have not returned yet.

    [06] CRISIS IS GREECE'S FAULT, SAYS TURKEY'S FOREIGN MINISTRY

    Greece bears the sole responsibility for the greek-turkish crisis in the Aegean Sea, stated today the turkish foreign Ministry's spokesperson Omer Akbel in an interview granted to BBC.

    Mr.Akbel accused Greece of maintaining a belligerent stance against Turkey and defended his government's foreign policy as one that "has always been a policy of good neighboring, friendship and cooperation."

    Moreover, the Turk Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that Turkey always extended "an arm of frienship and aid" to its neighbor, while Greece has "chosen to waive our gesture of friendship and to instead adopt a hostile policy."

    Mr. Akbel also said that the lack of dialogue between the two countries is "a choice made by the greek government."

    Regarding Greece's status as a European Union country-member and its intention to impede Turkey's EU funding, which stems from the Customs Union Accord, Mr. Akbel stated that this issue should not be entangled in the exisiting greek-turkish differences.

    "We are asking the EU to fulfil its obligations to Turkey as provided for by the Customs Union.

    "The Customs Union concerns us and the EU," stated Mr. Akbel. "On the other hand, the actions that Greece is engaging in (attempts to block the funding) is a problem that concerns the EU members and we know that Greece did not gain the support of its allies during the Foreign Ministers Council in Brussels."

    [07] US AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS: AMERICAN INITIATIVE IS ALWAYS HERE

    United States Ambassador to Nicosia Richard Bowcher stated today that prior to any visits made by US officials to Cyprus, a preparatory project will have to be organized, regarding the american initiative to resolve the cypriot issue.

    In his address to the Rotary Club, Mr. Bowcher stated that"we are now addressing issues such as power portioning into various governing levels, how these powers will be allocated, as well as creating a representative system which will cater to both communities."

    The Ambassador added that the american initiative is always present and in active in many different forms and various time plans.

    Lastly, he confirmed the upcoming US meeting between cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and US President Bill Clinton.

    [08] EU COMMISSIONER TO FORMALLY VISIT CYPRUS ON MARCH 4 AND 5

    European Union Commissioner responsible on external relations mr.Hans Van den Broek will be on a formal visit to Cyprus on March 4 and 5. The main goal of his trip is to assess the political and economic situation in Cyprus and the progress that has been made in the preparations by the cypriot authorities concerning the pre- accession strategy which was agreed with the European Union.

    Mr.Hans Van den Broek will discuss with the Cypriot government the possibility of an agreement for specific measures aiming at the solution of the Cyprus problem with the assistance of the European Union.

    Within the framework of this effort he will also have contacts and with political personalities of the turkish-cypriot side which must realize that it too will benefit both from the pre- accession procedure and from the membership of Cyprus in the European Union.

    Mr.Van den Broek will meet in Cyprus with President Glafkos Kliridis, Foreign Minister Alekos Michailidis, turkish-cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and with the UN Secretary-General special envoy to Cyprus mr.Feisel.

    [09] PASOK LEADER'S HEALTH GOOD, SLIGHT FEVER TODAY

    The slight fever that PASOK leader and former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou showed today has kept his treating physicians from proceeding with any trials of his respiratory function, as were planned today.

    According to today's medical bulletin issued by the Onasion Cardiosurgery Center where Mr. Papandreou is hospitalized, the fever is most likely due to minor infections caused by the dialysis catheter permanently placed in his hand.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Papandreou continues to undergo a daily intensive program of thoracic physiotherapy while his overall mood is cheerful and he continues to walk unaided for extended periods of time.

    [10] MODERN GREEK STUDIES ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED IN GRANADA

    The University of Granada established today an Association of Modern Greek Studies, under the auspices of a congress attended by more than one hundred fellows of modern greek from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Greece.

    In an interview to M.P.E., professor of byzantine and modern greek history at the University of Granada, Mr. Moschos Morfakides, who is also president of the congress' organizing committee, stated that the Association aims to be a member of the infamous European Association of Modern Greek Studies and, thus far, more than 300 hundred people registered for the congress, among them the Queen of Spain, Sofia.

    "We didn't expect such interest," Mr. Morfakides said, adding that "he congresses that we organized up to now were of a more general nature, they referred to Greece from ancient times up to now. This congress is more focused since its theme concerns the teaching of modern greek at the university level."

    [11] GREEK EXPORTERS' UPCOMING MISSION TO FYROM HAS MANY PARTICIPANTS

    More than 70 greek businessmen and agricultural unions have registered thus far to participate in the upcoming business mission to FYROM, organized by the Exporters Association of Northern Greece.

    The mission, scheduled for March 18-19, is considered to be the largest one, following the lift of sanctions imposed on FYROM by Greece.

    [12] THREE GREEKS ATTAIN FIRST TITLES IN WORLD SAILING

    Three greek sailing athletes are currently covering the top seats in the world of international sailing, according to recent lists published by the International Sailing Federation.

    Specifically, Nikos Kaklamanakis achieved the first title in the "Mistral" sailboards with 3.405 points, against 3.367 points held by New Zealander Mac Intosh.

    In the "470" race Andreas Kosmatopoulos and Kostas Trigonis won first place with 3.315 points, against the Brits who achieved 3.233 points.

    Meanwhile, feverish preparations are underway for next Monday's Athens Sailing Week "Eurolib '96."

    Participating in the athletic event will be sailing athletes, women included, from Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Russia and other countries.

    [13] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              303.4400   302.5300    304.3500
    U.S. Dollar      242.3800   241.6530    243.1070
    Deutsche Mark    163.9000   163.4080    164.3920
    UK Sterling      370.1900   369.0790    371.3010
    French Franc     47.8500    47.7060     47.9940
    Swedish Crown    35.8400    35.7320     35.9480
    Danish Kroner    42.4330    42.3060     42.5600
    Norwegian Crown  37.6800    37.5670     37.7930
    Italian Lira     15.5225    15.4760     15.5690
    Swiss Franc      200.8660   200.2630    201.4690
    Spanish Peseta   1.9490     1.9432      1.9548
    Finnish Mark     53.1900    53.0300     53.3500
    Yen              229.2800   228.5920    229.9680
    
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