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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-09-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


ATHENS, Greece, 30/09/1996 (ANA)


  • Greece demands inquiry into attack on Istanbul Patriarchate
  • Prime Minister Simitis to visit Cyprus tomorrow
  • Stolen luxury car ring uncovered
  • British aircraft carrier to visit


    Greece demands inquiry into bomb at Patriarchate

    Greece will proceed via diplomatic channels to express its displeasure with the latest terrorist incident at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul and request a full inquiry, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.

    A strong explosion went off at 11.50 last night in the grounds of the Patriarchate's buildings in the Phanar district of Istanbul. Although nobody was hurt, the Saint George church sustained serious damage.

    The state-run Turkish news agency, Andolu, reported that the Islamic Fighting Front for a Greater East (IBDA-C) - an extremist Islamic fundamentalist organisation - had assumed responsibility for the blast.

    The IBDA-C has claimed responsibility for previous attacks on churches and restaurants serving alcohol in the Istanbul area.

    Reppas said the terrorist act was an attempt to undermine the rapprochement between the two countries, stressing that it had been condemned by Turkish circles as an attempt to destabilise Turkey's rapprochement efforts with Europe.

    He characterised the organisation as an Islamist extreme right-wing nationalist organisation, motivated by anti-Greek sentiments.

    Simitis in Cyprus tomorrow

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis's visit to Cyprus tomorrow is an indication of the importance Greece places on a resolution of the Cyprus problem, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.

    Simitis's visit is of "the highest national priority", Reppas told reporters, adding that the visit would underline the importance Greece places on Cyprus and would serve to align the common points in Hellenism's strategy.

    The prime minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Reppas, ruling party PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis and PASOK Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Reppas added that the Cypriot government's 'Nikiforos' military exercise, expected to begin in the next few days, was also of "the highest importance within the framework of the joint defence doctrine".

    Asked whether Greece would be participating in the military exercise, he said this was an issue which would be examined.

    Hellenic Air Force planes participated in last year's Nikiforos exercise for the first time in the framework of the joint defence doctrine.

    No new or further taxes will be imposed, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today, stressing that Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou had committed themselves to not imposing new taxes in their election pledges.

    Reppas said that Simitis would chair a meeting of senior government members tonight to prepare for the government's policy statements in Parliament.

    He added that the prime minister had not yet decided on the make-up of the inner cabinet.

    Stolen luxury car ring uncovered

    Police have broken up an organised ring stealing luxury cars in major Greek cities and selling them in Europe.

    Stanic Predi Lang, 25, and Prenkar Bojoslav, 23, were arrested by police at the Promahonoas border post near Serres as they tried to drive two stolen vehicles from Greece to Belgrade.

    One of the vehicles had false number plates indicating it came from Yugoslavia.

    Police said the mastermind behind the ring was a Stanvik Dikora, who is also being sought by Interpol.

    In the past two years, some 300 luxury cars have been stolen from Greece and Italy, headed for Sofia and Belgrade and from there to central Europe to be sold for a fifth of their real value.

    Meanwhile, three Albanian illegal immigrants were killed this morning when the jeep they had stolen crashed in the northern city of Florina, police said.

    Police said the three were aged between 25 and 30 but had no further details on their identity.

    British aircraft carrier to visit Piraeus

    The British navy's aircraft carrier "HMS Invincible" will dock in the port of Piraeus on Octber 7 for a week's visit.

    The Invincible is one of the British Navy's three aircraft carriers and carries a crew of 1,200, including 100 women.

    The carrier will be open to the public on Saturday, October 12 between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm.


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