Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-11-16
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Theofanis Liakos, 44 and Stefanos Karabekos, 45, posing as policemen,
forced Polydoropoulos out of a taxi on Athens' Syngrou Avenue on his way to
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
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
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
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