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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 05/01/1998 (ANA)


  • Vigilance in the Aegean as Turkish military exercise continues
  • New tax legislation in parliament on Wednesday
  • Foreign ministry denies confusion regarding territorial waters
  • Sarande leaflet threatens Greeks of Albania
  • Premier to send letter to PASOK members
  • Illegal Iraqi immigrants arrested, body of missing woman found
  • Two killed at 'Diana' papermill explosion
  • Huge arms cache found at American woman's home in Pieria
  • Tax on bank profits from sale of shares to remain in place
  • Vintage cars circuit through Athens streets
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Vigilance in the Aegean as Turkish military exercise continues

The Greek armed forces were cautiously monitoring the Turkish air and naval exercise in progress in the Aegean, and are ready to take all necessary measures -such as interceptions of aircraft- in case the exercise is carried out in areas where there is no relevant entitlement, Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis said after a meeting on Saturday.

The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) on December 28, 1997, described as illegal a Turkish notam, designating eight areas in the Aegean for the exercise, planned for January 2-25, as illegal and invalid, as three of them included areas of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).

Mr. Apostolakis noted, nevertheless, that activity related to the exercise, could, up to that point, be described as low key.

At another meeting at the foreign ministry on Saturday, chaired by Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, officials of the defence and foreign ministries and YPA examined the unfolding situation and coordinated their activities on the matter.

Calm also prevailed yesterday, second day of the exercise in the Aegean, while Greek armed forces maintained their readiness to deal with any eventuality. Today is considered a crucial day as the exercise is expected to unfold north of the island of Lesvos, and between Hios and Andros, areas which the Turks have unilaterally engaged for the exercise.

New tax legislation in parliament on Wednesday

National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will table the government's new tax legislation in Parliament on Wednesday, according to reports.

The discussion of the bill by the parliamentary committee will begin on January 12 and the bill will be then brought before the Parliament for debate and vote.

Foreign ministry denies confusion regarding territorial waters

The foreign ministry issued an announcement yesterday in which it stressed that "the extent of the territorial waters for purposes of aviation and the control thereof has been fixed at ten (10) nautical miles from the coast of the State by law in 1931".

The announcement was sparked by some reports in the press which claimed a "blunder" in a Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) document, supposedly referring to Greek territorial waters as being three (3) nautical miles.

The announcement said that a dispatch containing Greece's reactions over the current Turkish military exercises in the Aegean was compiled by YPA in cooperation with the foreign ministry, and there was no mistake in it.

As a consequence, the announcement added, any misinterpretation or confusion with any other regulation of 1931, which may have referred to territorial waters as being then three (3) nautical miles, was not valid.

The foreign ministry concluded by saying that the government dealt with the issue very carefully and responsibly as it was required and in cooperation with all relavent authorities, and that it was not appropriate for such a crucial issue to be the subj ect of petty partisan expediency.

Sarande leaflet threatens Greeks of Albania

An anonymous leaflet threatening the Greeks of Albania and the Orthodox church circulated in Sarande on New Year's Day, according to reports.

The leaflet called on the residents of the city to "resist" the ethnic Greeks of the region and "their agents, the Communists", saying that they wanted to "destroy Albania".

The leaflet warned that "the time of venegeance was approaching".

The leaflet was condemned by ten political parties which thanked the Greek people and the Greek government for its assistance and support of economic and political reforms in Albania.

Premier to send letter to PASOK members

The major issues that will concern the government, as well as the ruling PASOK party, in 1998 will be the focus of a letter by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to be sent to PASOK members within the coming days.

The premier will refer in his letter to the framework of choices that will make Greece a strong and modern state, such as the upgrading of the country's international position and role, as well as equal participation in procedures for European unificati on and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), defend sovereign rights and the Greek initiative for peace and cooperation in the Balkans.

In the domestic front such choices relate to regional and production restructuring, rapid development, modernisation and reform in the state.

However, Mr. Simitis notes in his letter that this real capture of the future presupposes a revitalised and organised PASOK party that will be open to social and productive forces, and which will decide on crucial policy decisions and will impement that policy in all areas and institutions.

Illegal Iraqi immigrants arrested, body of missing woman found

Ten Iraqi illegal immigrants were arrested on Saturday on the island of Samos in the eastern Aegean, less than 48 hours after the New Year' s arrest of another 24.

According to statements by the Kurdish-origin Iraqi citizens two Turkish smugglers ferried them to the island from mainland Turkey on a small wooden boat from Kusadasi.

The Iraqi also said that hundreds more were waiting to come to Samos a fact that drove up the smugglers' fee to $2,000 per person.

Meanwhile, the body of a 31-year-old illegal immigrant missing since Thursday was dragged from the waters of the Evros River on Saturday.

Police said the woman, identified as Iraqi national Nean Kahaz, was one of the three people reported missing when a boat in which they were being transported illegally from the Turkish side of the river to Greece overturned.

Kahaz was one of a group of 28 put ashore on an islet in the middle of the river.

Two killed at `Diana` papermill explosion

Two people were killed and four wounded by an explosion at the "Diana" papermill at the Xanthi prefecture Maggana village early Saturday morning.

Equipment opperator Stephanos Draskidis, 28 was killed instantaneously, while electrician Theophanis Kamiloglou died en route to the Xanthi hospital.

The explosion sent pieces of the factory's boiler a great distance and caused a fire, which took several hours to be extinguished.

According to the fire department's early estimates the damage to the factory is in the 10ths of millions of drachmas. In an announcement in relation to the accident, the Thrace-based DIANA papermill said that two hours after the explosion, the fire that followed had been put out owing to the plant's fire protection system.

It further said that the old plant will be in operation in a week's time, while the new plant will be ready to operat normally in one month.

It added that both plants are insured and that available stocks can cover the market's needs for two months.

Huge arms cache found at American woman's home in Pieria

An arms cache has been discovered by police in Dion, Pieria, in the home of a 41-year-old American, the widow of criminal George Kaltsas who was found dead with 20 gunshot wounds near Lamia last week in what appeared to be a gangland killing, police said yesterday.

The Katerini security police located and seized quantities of anti-tank rockets and launchers, machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades, pistols and silencers, ammunition, masks and bullet-proof vests in a pig- sty behind the home of 41-year-old A merican Donna Wilkins-Kaltsas.

A police spokesman told the ANA the weaponry had been smuggled into Greece from Albania, and was mainly Russian and Chinese made. He also said 153 sticks of TNT (dynamite), "enough to blow up Mt. Olympus", had also been confiscated, as well as 12 kilos of hashish and a small quantity of heroin. Earlier, police arrested two Albanians, 20-year-old Skrendi Peirikliou and 27-year-old Ilir Rogi from Elbasan, who lived on Wilkins' grounds.

Police also found two Uzi's when they raided the house, believed to have been stolen from the Greek police.

Police believe the weapons were smuggled into Greece in the fall after George Kaltsas' brother, Vassilis Kaltsas, escaped from Corfu jail and fled to Albania, with the help of the Albanian mafia and Greek accomplices. Vassilis Kaltsas died in a car cras h in Halkidiki, northern Greece, last month.

Tax on bank profits from sale of shares to remain in place

A special tax levied on bank transactions for the sale of shares will continue to apply, the Council of State ruled after examination of an appeal by a bank for abolition of the tax on shares. The bank claimed that the special tax on bank profits from the sale of shares should be abolished since it could not be charged on share buyers. However, the Council of State judged that the special tax could and should be charched on share buyers and ruled that the regulation remain in place.

Vintage cars circuit through Athens streets

A circuit of vintage cars was organised yesterday in Athens by the Athens Municipality and the Vintage Car Society (FILPA).

The rally, in which 180 antique cars took part, started from the Athens Panathenian Stadium and went through a shceduled route in downtown Athens and ended again at the stadium. Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a statement to the press that it was his aspiration that the city of Atens be turned into a more humane city, bearing elements reminded by the cars of the 50s and 60s.

Greek First Division soccer results

AEK-OFI 3-0 Panahaiki-Olympiakos 1-2 Panathinaikos-Kalamata 1-0 Ethnikos-PAOK 0-1 Ionikos-Pyrgos 0-0 Heraklis-Panionios 1-0 Kavala-Apollon 0-2 Veria-Proodeftiki 2-2 Athinaikos-Xanthi 4-1 Standings-points: AEK 43, Olympiakos 40 Panathinaikos 39, PAOK 34 Ionikos 32, Heraklis 27 OFI 24, Xanthi, Apollon 23 Panionios, Pyrgos 19


Fine weather with local scattered cloud is forecast for today throughout the country. Athens will be sunny with few clouds and temperatures from 8- 15C. Same in Thessaloniki with tempereatures between 4-12C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.621 Pound sterling 463.700 Cyprus pd 534.688 French franc 46.872 Swiss franc 192.656 German mark 156.805 Italian lira (100) 15.955 Yen (100) 214.371 Canadian dlr. 197.805 Australian dlr. 183.748 Irish Punt 402.117 Belgian franc 7.603 Finnish mark 51.763 Dutch guilder 139.123 Danish kr. 41.182 Swedish kr. 35.520 Norwegian kr. 38.252 Austrian sch. 22.290 Spanish peseta 1.852 Port. Escudo 1.535


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