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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-11-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 16/11/1997 (ANA)


  • Police on standby to avert Polytechnic violence
  • Drug addict kills his grandmother
  • German woman brutally murdered
  • Another quake recorded
  • Three arrested in botched kidnap attempt
  • 2004 Olympics will not leave regions poorer
  • US can do more on Cyprus, Pangalos says
  • Kathimerini report denied
  • US Congress urged to recognise Greek sovereignty over Imia
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Police on standby to avert Polytechnic violence

Some 3,500 police officers will be on hand tomorrow to avert any violence during this year's anniversary of the 1973 student uprising against the military junta, Public Order Minister George Romeos told the ANA today.

Romeos said the entire Attica police force was on standby to deal with any eventuality and that there had been constant contact between his ministry and the police force over the weekend, when the three-day celebration began.

Events will culminate in a rally and march to the US Embassy tomorrow. At midday, Romeos said, the entrances to the Polytechnic grounds would be closed and buildings evacuated while student groups had undertaken the guarding of the building. A strong police force would be deployed around the Polytechnic and in the surrounding areas.

The three days of celebrations have often been marred by pitched street battles between police and masked youths, many of whom are self-styled anarchists.

Polytechnic authorities have fortified the school buildings against possible vandalism by youths who take refuge from police in the school grounds, which police are barred from entering.

One of the buildings burned down during the anniversary six years ago and has now been almost completely restored. The mayhem during the anniversary in 1991 resulted in wholescale destruction of the school's premises and facilities.

Police said they were concerned by a proclamation by a group calling itself "Anarchic Initiative" calling for an "open and dynamic" celebration. The group has called for a rally at 11am on Monday to "preempt the police and university authorities' plans to empty the Polytechic".

Romeos said the memory of the damage suffered by the Polytechnic in 1991 during the anniversary celebrations was "still raw" and the reason behind the decision to place metal protectors on windows of the school's buildings.

The atmosphere at the school today on the second day of celebrations was calm, with hundreds of Athenians placing wreaths at the memorial inside the school grounds.

Drug addict kills his grandmother

A 20-year-old Thessaloniki man brutally murdered his disabled grandmother in her home on Saturday morning when she refused to give him money to buy drugs.

Initial reports say that Christos Seitanidis fatally stabbed his grandmother, Theoktisti Kofterou, 67, while under the influence of drugs. Seitanidis has been arrested and is being questioned.

German woman brutally murdered

A 64-year-old German woman living in Crete since 1974 was found dead on Saturday outside her home in the village of Kissamo, in the prefecture of Hania.

According to coroner Manolis Frangoulis, Line Weber was raped and strangled in the early hours of the morning. A local taverna owner said Weber ate at his restaurant last night in the company of five Moroccans, whom police are seeking for questioning.

Another quake recorded

Another earth tremor, this time with an epicentre in the eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth and measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale, was felt in Corinth and Attica Saturday morning at 10.30.

Meanwhile Friday night's 5.5 Richter quake, which occurred at 23.40 in the sea bed between the eastern Aegean islands of Hios and Lesvos, is considered by seismologists to have been the main quake and not the forerunner of a larger shock.

No damages have been reported from either quake.

Three arrested in botched kidnap attempt

Three men were arrested on Saturday in connection with the kidnapping of car salesman George Polydoropoulos, 49, who was released unharmed as police caught the kidnappers at a petrol station near Tempi, in the prefecture of Larissa.

Theofanis Liakos, 44 and Stefanos Karabekos, 45, posing as policemen, forced Polydoropoulos out of a taxi on Athens' Syngrou Avenue on his way to the airport.

Although they took most of their victim's luggage with them, they left behind a briefcase containing a large sum of money. Polydoropoulos later made a number of phone calls in order to retrieve the briefcase and arranged for it to be brought to the petrol station, where the two kidnappers and their boss, George Manolas, were waiting.

The taxi had been followed by police, who arrested all three. Apparently Manolas was owed several million drachmas by Polydoropoulos. Karabekos, meanwhile, is wanted on six other charges.

2004 Olympics will not leave regions poorer

Assurances that the 2004 Olympiad would not lead to a transfer of funds to Athens from the provinces were reiterated by Environment, Public Works and Town Planning Minister Costas Laliotis, speaking at the "Money Show '97" conference in Athens on Saturday.

The benefits to Attica, he said, not only from the Olympic Games, but from the Culture Olympiad and the environmental protections programme which were to begin in 2000 would also benefit other regions of Greece.

He stressed that projects such as the Spata airport, the natural gas network and the unification of Athens' archaeological sites should not be linked with the Games as they had been scheduled to go ahead irrespective of Athens' candidacy. The difference now, he said, was that "a definite time limit for their completion" had been set.

Technical Chamber of Greece president Costas Liaskos also downplayed the effect of the Games on construction in Athens, saying that the Olympic Village amounted to only 1% of annual construction activity in Attica.

Eurobank managing director Nikos Nanopoulos stressed the importance of cooperation between banks, the state and construction companies in completing Olympic projects, including cooperative efforts and mergers, in the manner of the Stavros-Elefsina highway project, where 12 companies are cooperating. education, military service and unemployment.

US can do more on Cyprus, Pangalos says

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Friday called on special US presidential emissary Richard Holbrooke and Washington to alter their stance on the Cyprus issue, saying the US should use its leverage to pressure Turkey into cooperating towards resolvin g the Cyprus problem.

Speaking after briefing President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on recent foreign policy developments, he said that Mr. Holbrooke's initiative was "important" in as far as the US undertook to use "all the means at its disposal to pressure Turkey .

"There have been plenty of proposals in the past, with the best of intentions, and similar initiatives have been undertaken," he observed.

Mr. Holbrooke visited Nicosia and Ankara earlier this week and later briefed Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis in Brussels on his talks in the two capitals.

He did not visit Athens as Prime Minister Costas Simitis was busy with the tabling of the budget, while Mr. Pangalos himself was in Madrid this week.

Mr. Pangalos said that the US could exert pressure by means of the military supplies it gave Turkey and which were used in Cyprus. He suggested that the US could limit those supplies or enforce a ban on their use on the Aegean coast or in Cyprus.

He also noted that Turkey was economically dependent on the US. Responding to criticism by the US envoy that the European Union had not undertaken any initiatives on the Cyprus issue, Mr. Pangalos said:

"Any effort by the EU to find a solution does not require an American mediator. We can do this by ourselves."

Kathimerini report denied

In addition, Mr. Pangalos said a plan for a tri-zonal solution attributed to Mr. Holbrooke and published in Friday's issue of "Kathimerini" was "unworthy of denial or comment", adding that a similar plan had been recently published in a Turkish Cypriot publication.

"I am not aware of such a proposal by Mr. Holbrooke," said the foreign minister.

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later categorically rejected Kathimerini's front-page report, saying it was "completely wrong".

US Congress urged to recognise Greek sovereignty over Imia

WASHINGTON (ANA - T. Ellis) A draft resolution was presented in the US House of Representatives a few days ago calling on the body to officially recognise that the Imia isles belong to Greece.

The draft resolution was introduced by Greek-American Representative Mike Papas, a Congressman from New Jersey.

"Congress feels that the Imia islets in the Aegean Sea comprise a sovereign part of Greece according to international law," Mr. Papas proposal reads, which was signed by another 20 Congressmen. The draft resolution was tabled in the foreign affairs comm ittee.

In the draft resolution mention is made of Turkey's dispute of Gre-ece's sovereignty over the isles, which Athens maintains are part of its territory based on the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, an Italian-Turkish agreement in 1932 and the Paris Treaty of 1 947.

In addition, a Europarliament decision on Feb. 15, 1996 also backing the delineation of the sea borders of the two countries based on the aforementioned is mentioned.


Rain is forecast for most parts of Greece today. Winds will be southerly, moderate to strong. Temperatures in Athens will range between 13-20C, while in Thessaloniki from 9-16C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 270.003 Pound sterling 456.915 Cyprus pd 531.315 French franc 46.517 Swiss franc 192.423 German mark 155.789 Italian lira (100) 15.921 Yen (100) 214.728 Canadian dlr. 191.853 Australian dlr. 187.290 Irish Punt 406.918 Belgian franc 7.554 Finnish mark 51.792 Dutch guilder 138.205 Danish kr. 40.936 Swedish kr. 35.795 Norwegian kr. 38.142 Austrian sch. 22.130 Spanish peseta 1.848 Port. Escudo 1.528


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