Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-01
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 01/02/1998 (ANA)
- Europarliament president: Protection of EU external borders
- Public transport stoppages Monday
- Foreign Undersecretary tours southern, eastern African countries
- Mountain climbers killed in avalanche
- British Ambassador urges EU-Turkey dialogue
- Illegal immigrants arrested on Samos
- Albanian illegal immigrants arrested
- 'Sailing through Time to the Aegean Islands' essay contest
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Europarliament president: Protection of EU external borders
European Parliament President Jose Maria Gil-Robles, winding up a three-day
visit to Athens on the weekend, stressed the importance of adopting a
common foreign and defence policy for protection of the European Union's
external borders, and praised Greece's contribution in that direction.
Addressing a special meeting of Parliament's standing committee on European
Affairs convened in his honour, Mr. Gil-Robles described the issue of EU-
Turkey relations as "difficult", noting that Ankara must fulfill the terms
laid down for EU accession which concered clearing up its human rights
record, respect for democratic principles and minorities, and ending its
occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus.
Replying to a question on Greek-Turkish relations, he underlined that the
Aegean islands constituted external borders of the European Union.
While in Athens, Mr. Gil-Robles also discussed EU enlargement, EU-Turkish
relations and the Cyprus problem during a lucnh hosted in his honour by
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, sources said. The talks also
covered the institutional role of the European Parliament in securing
balance in the European structure.
He was also briefed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Athens' efforts to
meet Maastricht targets and on the course of Greek-Turkish relations.
Public transport stoppages Monday
Public transport stoppages and demonstrations are expected tomorrow as
parliament debates and is expected to vote on a controversial bill on the
restructuring of the ailing state-controlled public utility services. The
stoppages will begin at 3.00 p.m. for the subway and at 5.00 p.m. for buses
and trolley buses until the end of the night ship.
Problems are also expected in Olympic Airways, the country's national
carrier between 5.00 p.m. and 9.00 a.m. Tuesday, with delays in several
domestic and international flights.
Foreign Undersecretary tours southern, eastern African countries
Foreign Undersecretary Yannos Kranidiotis is currently on a 6-day tour of
southern and eastern African countries to promote Greece's candidacy for a
non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council for the period 1999-
2000 and to boost bilateral relations.
Mr. Kranidiotis was in Johannesburg on Sunday, in a visit that coincided
with the arrival of Patriarch Petros of Alexandria and All Africa and
president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) for the installation
of the new Metropolitan of Johannesburg and Pretoria, Ioannis. It is
recalled that the Patriarchate of Alexandria announced in September 1997
the establishment of four new bishoprics, including one in Tanzania.
Addressing the Greek Chamber of Commerce of S. Africa last night, Mr.
Kranidiootis confirmed Greece's interest in the overseas Greeks and their
"invaluable role" as a bridge with other peoples and their contribution to
strengthening Greece's positions internationally.
Earlier, Mr. Kranidiotis visited Swaziland, the first by a Greek minister,
and had talks with Swazi foreign minister Arthur Koza on prospects for
development of relations between the two countries. He pledged Greece's
assistance in financing several development programmes in Swaziland in such
sectors as animal breeding and tourism.
He also invited Mr. Koza to visit Greece, while the latter said his country
would favourably examine Greece's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the
UN Security Council
On Friday Mr. Kranidiotis was in dar-es-Salaam where he met with Tanzanian
foreign minister Jakaya Kikuete for talks on bilateral relations and
He recalled the "Initiative of the Six" for peace launched in 1982 by the
late Andreas Papandreou, then prime minister of Greece, together with then
Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, the presidents of Mexico and Argentina
and the prime ministers of Sweden and India, and described relations
between the two countries as excellent, with margins for investment
collaboration among Greek and Tanzanian businessmen.
Mr. Kranidiotis also conveyed an invitation to Tanzanian president Benjamin
Mkapa to visit Greece from his Greek counterpart Costis Stephanopoulos.
The foreign undersecretary began his African tour on Thursday with a
meeting in Nairobi with newly re-elected Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi,
whom he briefed on Greek foreign policy issues including Greek-Turkish
relations, the Cyprus issue, Greece's course in the context of the European
Union and its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. They also
discussed prospects for developing bilateral relations, while Mr.
Kranidiotis further held talks with the Kenyan foreign minister and
undersecretary, the minister for industrial development and the health
He presented Mr. arap Moi with a check for 50,000 dollars as symbolic Greek
assistance for the victims of the recent floods, and promised food
Greece plans to help finance several developmental projects in Kenya
through non-governmental organisations, while the Kenyan government has
expressed strong interest in Greek investments.
Mr. Kranidiotis also delivered two letters to Mr. arap Moi from Greek
president Costis Stephanopoulos and prime minister Costas Simitis inviting
him to visit Greece.
The Greek foreign undersecretary is scheduled to visit Namibia, Mozambique
and Ethiopia before departing on Tuesday for his return to Greece.
Mountain climbers killed in avalanche
Two mountain climbers were killed in an avalanche on Mt. Orvilos in Drama,
northern Greece, while a third mountaineer was in hospital with several
fractures, police said today.
They said the three men had scaled Mt. Orvilos and were on the descent
Saturday afternoon when they were swept away by an avalanche.
The bodies of 52-year-old tax consultant Costas Barouhtsis and 46-year old
Nikos Voivoutopoulos, assistant director of the Mortgage Bank in Xanthi
were dug up from the snow from a 200-metre ravine in a marathon operation
involving land rescue teams and military helicopters hampered by unsteady
ground and a snowstorm. The bodies were taken to a Drama hospital for
autopsy, a police spokesman told the ANA.
Nikos Sioumadis, 63, managed to reach a rural road after a three-hour
battle with a snow and was taken by a passing taxi to Xanthi, where he
informed the local police of the accident before being taken to hospital,
where he was being treated for fractured ribs, thighs and legs, the
British Ambassador urges EU-Turkey dialogue
"Turkey's relations with the European Union are a challenge for the British
(EU) presidency, British ambassador to Athens Sir Michael Llewellyn Smith
said during a ceremony at which several Greek scientists were presented
with European achievement awards.
" We strongly believe that it is in the interests not only of the EU and
its member-states, but also of Turkey, for relations between the EU and
Turkey to improve and become stronger," Sir Michael said.
"There must be dialogue. In other words, we agree with Greece that Turkey
has a European vocation and we are trying to find a way to encourage that
vocation," he said.
Illegal immigrants arrested on Samos
A group of 13 Iraqi illegal immigrants were arrested at dawn today on the
island of Samos, police said.
A police spokesman told the ANA that the 10 men and three women had been
dropped off at Cape Prasso on the eastern coast of the island.
The illegal immigrants told police they had been conveyed to Samos by a
Turkish capitain in a white, seven-metre long speedboat, police said.
They said the same smuggler "has been described by several groups" of
illegal immigrants as having brought them over from the Turkish coast.
Albanian illegal immigrants arrested
Police in Epirus, northern Greece arrested 226 Albanian illegal immigrants
Friday and sent them back to their country via the Kakavia border
Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Albanian was arrested on the Ioannina-Kozani
highway for smuggling 64 Albanian illegal immigrants into the country in
The Albanians, who told police that they had each paid the driver 65,000
drachmas, were deported.
'Sailing through Time to the Aegean Islands' essay contest
The National Tourism Organisation of Greece (EOT) and the Federation of the
Aegean Islands Associations in the United States, are sponsoring an essay
context for 10th and 11th grade students, an EOT representative told the
The contest, taking place in collaboration with the Board of Education of
New York City, carries a prise of a cruise to the Aegean islands in Greece
in the spring of 1998 for four student winners and two teacher chaperones.
The contestants must submit essays of between 750 and 1,000 words on the
historical achievements of the Aegean islands in Greece and how they affect
Information is available from Ms. Ronnie Solow, Director of Special
Projects, School Programmes and Support Services at (718) 935-3475 in New
Clouds and rainy weather throughout Greece today with snow in the
mountainous regions in the northwest. Southwesterly winds light to
moderate. Athens will be cloudy with rain expected later in the day and
temperatures ranging from 6 to 13 C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki, with
temperatures 3 to 7 C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 286.946
Pound sterling 469.613 Cyprus pd 534.390
French franc 46.926 Swiss franc 194.888
German mark 157.252 Italian lira (100) 15.945
Yen (100) 225.968 Canadian dlr. 196.019
Australian dlr. 192.746 Irish Punt 394.201
Belgian franc 7.621 Finnish mark 51.895
Dutch guilder 139.525 Danish kr. 41.269
Swedish kr. 35.504 Norwegian kr. 37.894
Austrian sch. 22.350 Spanish peseta 1.854
Port. Escudo 1.538