Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-10
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 10/02/1998 (ANA)
- Greece condemns attack on Georgian president
- Albanian former president to be treated in Thessaloniki
- Government plans revitalisation of public firms
- Greek businessman sues FYROM power corporation
- Illegal immigrants arrested
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece condemns attack on Georgian president
The government today commented on the assassination attempt against
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze saying that it was not acceptable
for differences to be settled in such a manner.
"Mr. Sheverdnadze is an international figure who ensures stability in his
country and plays a positive role in international developments,"
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.
Attackers ambused Shevardnadze's motorcade with anti-tank grenades and
automatic weapons In Tbilisi on Monday night. Two of the president's
bodyguards are believed to have been killed in the attack while a further
four travelling in the motorcade are reported to be in serious condition.
Albanian former president to be treated in Thessaloniki
Albania's last communist president Ramiz Alia will be moved to Greece for
treatment this week after suffering a heart attack, the Albanian News
Agency reported on Monday.
Alia, 72, has been in intensive care in an Albanian hospital since his
heart attack two weeks ago, Albanian Health and Environment Minister
Leonard Solis told ATA.
Solis said Panayiotis Spyrou, the director of the cardiology unit at the
George Papanikolaou hospital in Thessaloniki, would oversee Mr. Alia's
Spyrou last month headed a team of surgeons conducting a quadruple bypass
on Dimitris Tsovolas, the leader of Greece's opposition party Democratic
Alia who took power following the death of Stalinist Enver Hoxha in 1985,
was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence in 1992 for abuse of power
and violation of the people's rights. He was later freed by an appeal court
ruling only to be rearrested and charged with killing or ordering the
deportation of dissidents who tried to flee the country illegally.
He escaped from jail along with hundreds of others during an armed uprising
in March last year and was finally cleared of all charges in October.
He is expected to leave for Thessaloniki on Wednesday.
Government plans revitalisation of public firms
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said today that
the government would take specific decisions on the revitalisation of
public enterprises and corporations (DEKO) during February and March, after
receiving the relevant business plans from their administrations.
Papantoniou was speaking after a meeting which focused on the revitalisation
of the DEKO, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and attended by
Transport Minister Tassos Mantelis and Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou.
"We have agreed on the time schedule," Papantoniou said, adding that "the
revitalisation programme will be comprehensive, spherical and consistent
with what we have said in Parliament".
Declining to further elaborate on the measures to be taken, Papantoniou
noted that the decisions of the government would certainly be the subject
of social dialogue, while it would also be holding talks with DEKO
administrations and workers.
Mantelis underlined the government's determination to take measures to
enable the national carrier, Olympic Airways, survive strong international
He spoke of a "package" of measures, the most important of which was the
drafting of labour regulations which, he stressed, should have been
completed by January 31, 1995.
Mantelis said there was a "category of personnel" at OA which was "trying
to impose the view" that seasonal workers should be employed, noting that
this was prohibited by law.
"The government cannot give in to irrational and unlawful decisions," he
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Simitis had instructed the
competent ministers to unswervingly continue to implement the programme for
the revitalisation of loss-making DEKO.
Reppas referred to Olympic Airways as "the champion of negative performance",
adding that the plan for its revitalisation had not borne fruit.
He said that the government was drafting a business plan in direct
consultations with trade union representatives of the national carrier.
Describing demands to grant permanent status to seasonal workers at OA as
"irrational and unlawful", Reppas ruled out the possibility of the company
being shut down or sold.
"Olympic Airways will operate normally and at the same time its revitalisation
will proceed," the spokesman said.
Greek businessman sues FYROM power corporation
A Greek businessman has taken FYROM's state-controlled power corporation
Elektrostopanstvo to court in Skopje for breach of contract, seeking 6.2
million dollars in indemnities.
The Skopje Court of First Instances is to begin a hearing today on a suit
filed by Constantine Keltsekis, owner of the Greek-Russian firm "East Power
Corporation", against Elektrostopanstvo for breaching a preliminary
agreement signed in early January 1997 for the construction and equipping
of an electricity station on the Treska tributary of Lake Vardar.
Keletsekis is seeking 6.2 million dollars in compensation for loss of
profits resulting to his company.
According to recent statements by the director of Elektrostopanstvo and
articles in the FYROM press, it is considered a certainty that the project
will be undertaken by the Chinese firm Hainan, although the project has not
been formally assigned yet. It would be Hainan's first project in
The Chinese firm's bid was six million dollars less than that of East Power
Corporation, and the company has constructed hydroelectric projects in the
U.S., but American experts doubt the quality of its mechanical equipment.
According to press sources, the Chinese company's tender was preferred for
political and financial reasons.
Illegal immigrants arrested
Two Greek men were arrested today after port authorities found 50 illegal
immigrants from Egypt hidden in their three 15-metre boats.
Stavros and Skevos Louloudias, both from the island of Kalymnos, are being
detained on the island of Kos before being charged, while the 50 Egyptians
are being held at the Kalymnos Port Authority.
The two men were detected by harbour police as they tried to put ashore the
50 illegal immigrants near Kalymnos's port. The Egyptians told police they
had paid between 3000-9000 Egyptian pounds a head to be brought to
Fair weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today with local clouds,
light rain and snow in the western mainland, Thessaly and Evia island, the
Cyclades and Dodecanese islands. Gale force winds in the Aegean Sea. Partly
cloudy in Athens with sunny spells and temperatures from 4-10. Thessaloniki
will be overcast with temperatures between 3-6C.
Monday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 283.940
Pound sterling 465.050 Cyprus pd 533.081
French franc 46.834 Swiss franc 194.630
German mark 156.984 Italian lira (100) 15.892
Yen (100) 228.289 Canadian dlr. 198.380
Australian dlr. 190.295 Irish Punt 394.022
Belgian franc 7.606 Finnish mark 51.788
Dutch guilder 139.262 Danish kr. 41.198
Swedish kr. 35.097 Norwegian kr. 37.696
Austrian sch. 22.312 Spanish peseta 1.853
Port. Escudo 1.534