Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-11-05
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 05/11/1997 (ANA)
- Crete summit a success, Athens says
- Turkish air space violations continue
- Quakes jolt Athens, Crete
- Greek freighter attacked
- Budget to be revealed next week
- Police break up hash ring
- Illegal immigrants arrested on Samos
- Greek bourse hit by rising interest rates
- Bank of Greece drains liquidity, raises interest rates
- ADEDY strike called for Nov. 25
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Crete summit a success, Athens says
The Greek government is satisfied with the results of the Southeastern
European Summit held in Crete this week, according to its spokesman
Dimitris Reppas, who said the meeting had laid the foundations for a new
era in bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation.
The meeting between the Greek and Turkish prime ministers, he added, had
also been beneficial. He said the next meeting between the two would be
held next year in Antalya at the next Southeastern European Summit.
Asked whether Simitis had rejected an invitation from Yilmaz, the spokesman
said that for another meeting between two prime ministers to take place
there would first have to be a positive step. These conditions, he said,
did not currently exist.
With regard to Yilmaz's reported proposal that he and Simitis appoint
special envoys to maintain contact between them, Reppas stressed there was
no agreement to appoint envoys.
However, he said nothing was rejected in general unless it harmed national
interests. The idea of special envoys, he said, neither harmed nor
benefited national interests but was not considered necessary at this
He added that Turkey's habit of violating Greece's air space and infringing
the Athens FIR cast a shadow over the effort to improve bilateral
relations. Simitis, he said, had raised the issue with the Turkish prime
minister, who maintained that Turkey did not recognise the 10 mile limit
for Greek air space. This, said Reppas, was an unbridgeable difference of
He denied that there had been any bad feeling on the part of the foreign
ministry over the Simitis-Yilmaz meeting, saying that Foreign Minister
Theodoros Pangalos himself had played a major role in organising the
summit. The foreign minister would be briefing the government of the United
States and other interested countries on the results of the meeting, as
well as the president of the republic.
He added that the proposal for a secretariat to be established for the
conference had not been but the decision had been postponed. The foreign
ministries will consider the issue, Reppas said.
Turkish air space violations continue
National Defence Ministry sources said 15 pairs of Turkish F-16 and F-4
fighter planes had infringed the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) an
equal number of times today by early afternoon.
They also said there had been 35 violations of Greece's national airspace
by the Turkish jetfighters, mainly between Kos and Rhodes islands, and also
between Limnos-Lesvos, Chios-Lesvos and Chios-Samos.
In all instances the Turkish aircraft were intercepted by Greek F-16 and
The sources said that in at least six instances the interception procedures
had developed into mock dogfights.
They added that another six pairs of Turkish warplanes had infringed the
Quakes jolt Athens, Crete
Athens felt another strong earth tremor today, almost exactly 24 hours
after two tremors originating from the Attica prefecture. The tremor
registered 4.6 Richter at 12:38 and was followed by two weaker aftershocks
of 4.3 at 12:32 and 4.1 at 12:35 p.m., emanating from the same epicentre
Shortly later, at 2:23, Crete was hit by a quake registering 5.2 and with
an epicentre 310 kms south of Athens, between Sfakia, a town on the south
coast of Crete, and the islet of Gavdos.
Residents on the island of Gavdos ran onto the streets when the quake hit,
according to reports.
The tremor lasted for some 40 seconds but there were no reports of damage
to the houses on the small island.
Residents told the ANA that the quake was accompanied by a loud noise which
caused fear amongst some of the residents.
Greek freighter attacked
A speedboat opened fire on a Greek freighter off Corfu island last night
and sped off towards the Albanian shores, the Greek Coast Guard said
It said the freighter "Ioanna" had been en route to Volos from Albania,
without cargo but carrying an eight-member crew, when an unidentified
speedboat opened fire on it 20 nautical miles north of the Peristeria
region of Corfu.
The Coast Guard said the shots had come from Kalashnikov rifles, adding
that none of the crew had been injured.
Two patrol boats rushed to the site after the freighter's captain sent of
an SOS, the Coast Guard said, but the speedboat "disappeared in the
direction of the Albanian shores".
The "Ioanna" continued its journey to Volos after the incident.
Budget to be revealed next week
The 1998 budget will be tabled in Parliament next Wednesday afternoon
(November 12), National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou
After a three-hour meeting chairecd by Prime Minister Costas Simitis,
Papantoniou said the final recommendations of the government's economic
staff had been formulated regarding 1998 incomes policy, which would go
before the Cabinet for approval on Friday, and would be contained in the
Also attending the meeting were Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papdemos,
Finance undersecretaries George Drys and Nikos Christodoulakis, and
National Economy undersecretary Christos Pachtas.
Papantoniou side-tracked questions on the specific measures the 1998 budget
Police break up hash ring
Police said today that they had broken up a gang of Albanian and gypsy drug
smugglers and confiscated 47 kilograms of hashish.
Acting on a tip, the police sent a plainclothesman posing as a buyer, who
arrested four persons, including 43-year-old Albanian Memo Skeloin.
The police had discovered the Albanian's mobile telephone number and
arranged a meeting with him on the night of October 31 to buy the hashish
for seven million drachmas.
Also arrested in the police ambush were a gypsy couple and their 19-year-
Illegal immigrants arrested on Samos
Fourteen Iraqi illegal immigrants, all of them men, have been detained at
the Samos police precinct, police said today.
The Iraqis told police that they were brought to the island by speedboat by
a Turkish captain at dawn on Monday.
Greek bourse hit by rising interest rates
Greek equities came under strong pressure to end sharply lower on the
Athens Stock Exchange reversing a strong upward trend which prevailed in
the first two sessions of the week.
The general index closed 2.07 percent down at 1,580.45 points, reflecting
market worries over a new downturn in international markets and a sudden
sharp rise in interbank rates by the Bank of Greece.
Trading was heavy with turnover at 26.1 billion drachmas.
Other sector indices suffered losses. Banks fell 1.27 percent, Insurance
was 2.67 percent off, Leasing dropped 1.52 percent, Investment eased 1.91
percent, Construction plunged 3.48 percent, Industrials were 2.52 percent
down, Miscellaneous fell 2.64 percent and Holding dropped 2.93 percent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies eased 0.52 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 82 to 59 with another 10 issues
Kekrops, Agrinio Metalplastics, Heliofin, Athinea, Macedonian Mills scored
the biggest percentage gains, while Papoutsanis, Nematemboriki, Remek, Sato
and Klonatex suffered the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 29,400 drachmas, Ergobank at 16,870, Alpha
Credit Bank at 18,970, Delta Dairy at 3,760, Titan Cement at 14,600,
Intracom at 13,350 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 5,
Bank of Greece drains liquidity, raises interest rates
The Greek drachma came under renewed speculative pressure after spending
the previous two days in calm waters.
The Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, was forced to intervene
again in the domestic money market offering to drain seven-day depos at 70
percent. Interbank rates were held at 15-30 percent on Tuesday.
The central bank reported outflows totalling 450 million Ecus, more than
the total of inflows reported during the previous two days.
The drachma continued moving lower against the Ecu in the domestic foreign
Meanwhile, Yiannis Stournaras, one of Greece's two representatives at the
European Union's monetary committee said that the drachma never came up as
an issue at the EU.
Stournaras dismissed as "absolute rubbish" rumours that the EU's monetary
committee suggested that Greek should devalue the drachma.
He underlined that on the contrary the monetary committee congratulated
Greece for its economic progress and its firm policy in defending the
ADEDY strike called for Nov. 25
The Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council, ADEDY yesterday called a
24-hour nationwide strike on Nov. 25 in demand of economic and institutional
ADEDY wants an initial salary for a new employee amounting to 200,000
drachmas together with family bonuses for both husband and wife, an
increase in the tax-free limit for salaried workers and pensioners to two
million drachmas, an index-linked tax scale and legislation covering
collective negotiations in the public sector.
ADEDY's general council will convene on Nov. 27 to determine further
Almost fair weather is expected throughout the country today with the
exception of eastern and southern Greece where it will be cloudy with the
possibility of light rain. Winds variable, moderate to strong, turning gale
force in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be sunny but slightly cold with
temperatures between 10-17C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with temperatures
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 268.584
Pound sterling 451.360 Cyprus pd 528.220
French franc 46.499 Swiss franc 190.915
German mark 155.724 Italian lira (100) 15.892
Yen (100) 220.720 Canadian dlr. 190.980
Australian dlr. 189.279 Irish Punt 403.684
Belgian franc 7.550 Finnish mark 51.884
Dutch guilder 138.166 Danish kr. 40.930
Swedish kr. 35.746 Norwegian kr. 38.252
Austrian sch. 22.122 Spanish peseta 1.845
Port. Escudo 1.523