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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 15/02/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Farmers' protests continue to cause transport chaos
  • Russian Foreign Minister arrives today
  • Illegal immigrants arrested on Symi
  • Thessaloniki: protest against airport radar
  • Man strangles wolf
  • Pontic Hellenism Museum opens
  • Iordansecu takes over Greek national soccer team
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Farmers' protests continue to cause transport chaos

Farmers were to meet at noon today to determine the course of their protests after they blocked the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway at Tempe, central Greece on Saturday.

Reports said that farmers were planning to block the main highway at a number of other points in the course of the day.

Riot police were dispatched to Larissa last night.

Another blockade at the Malgaron junction was dismantled by farmers later in the evening.

Farmers have stepped up their protests after the government on Thursday refused to satisfy their demands for crop subsidies, lower interest rates on loans, cheaper fuel and an end to legal action against farmers charged in last year's demonstrations.

Later reports said the blockade had been restored at the Malgaron junction at 11 a.m. and that another had been placed on the road to Veria at Halkidona.

Reports said that the farmers planned to block the Thessaloniki-Kavala road at Stivos and the national Thessaloniki-Polygyros road at Vassilika at midday.

Vehicles will be forced to detour on to side roads to get past the blockades.

Russian Foreign Minister arrives today

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov arrives in Athens later today for an official visit that will include talks expected to focus on the Iraqi crisis, developments in the Middle East and Cyprus and relations with Turkey.

Emphasis is also expected to fall on strengthening bilateral cooperation in the Balkans. Primakov, who is scheduled to arrive in Athens at 7.30 p.m. tonight, will kick off his visit tomorrow by visiting the offices of the Prometheus Gas company, which is involved in the distribution of natural gas from Russia.

He then has meetings with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, and President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

He will give a brief press conference on Monday night.

Illegal immigrants arrested on Symi

Police on the island of Symi on Saturday arrested 29 illegal immigrants and a Turkish man who had put 11 ashore in the region of Frankoyialo.

The illegal immigrants said they paid 32-year-old Ali Dem 3,000 dollars a head for their passage to Greece,

Symi authorities also arrested another 18 illegal immigrants, from Afghanistan, on the islands of Hondro and Nimo on Saturday.

Thessaloniki: protest against airport radar

A demonstration against the installation of a radar system at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport was held today by local residents expressing fears of health risks from radiation emitted by the installation.

Municipal councillors and residents of Perea and four other districts surrounding the airport gathered in Perea to protest the move. They propose, as an alternative, a radio-link between the airport control tower and the Hortiati military airport, which they say the Perea municipality will pay for.

The state, however, appears determined to go ahead, as stated by Transport Minister Tasos Mandelis in Thessaloniki this week. Perea's mayor Antonis Matzaris told the ANA that civil aviation officials visited the area on Friday to make arrangements for compensation to be paid to owners of the land to be appropriated for the radar installation.

Residents have already appealed to the Council of State and are now to apply to the European Court of Justice.

Man strangles wolf

A strapping 23-year-old goat breeder in the northern Greek region of Pangaio used his bare hands to kill a huge wolf that attacked him today as he approached the fold where his 1,200 goats were kept.

Kostas Mihalopoulos strangled the wolf after grappling with it outside the goatpen in the district of Aghios Yiannis, although he said he had not wanted to kill it.

"I've never harmed an animal, and I've never fought with another human being," he said.

However, he said he had to decide - in the space of a few seconds - just how he was going to defend himself. He had no knife or other weapon on him at the time.

Mihalopoulos himself apparently came out of the fight without a scratch.

Pontic Hellenism Museum opens

The Museum of Pontic Hellenism was opened in Athens today by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos. The museum's exhibition rooms show the history of the ancient Pontic (Black Sea) Greeks up until the time of their resettlement in Greece during this century, as well as their customs and traditions.

"Unfortunately the history of the Pontic Greeks is not widely known. Not even I myself know enough about it, but I don't know what Greeks would be today if it had not been for the positive influences of the Greeks of the Pontus," said Stephanopoulos.

The opening was part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Committee for Pontic Studies, in whose premises (73 Agnoston Martyron St., Nea Smyrni) the museum is housed.

Iordanescu takes over Greek national soccer team

Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu yesterday signed a two-year contract to take over as coach of Greece's national soccer team in mid-July immediately after the World Cup finals in France.

Until then, Iordanescu will stay on as coach of the Romanian team.

Under the contract, Iordanescu will receive 300,000 dollars annually and a bonus of 250,000 dollars if Greece qualifies for the finals of the European Championships in 2000.

In addition, the Greek Soccer Federation (EPO) has undertaken other commitments including payment of tax dues, home rent, car and insurance for Iordanescu and his family.

EPO has retained the right to unilaterally renew the coach's contract for a futher two years.

WEATHER

Scattered clouds in the east and north, fine weather in the rest of the country. Winds moderate and strong to very strong at times in the Aegean. Temperatures will range from 2-14C in the north, 4-17C in the Ionian islands and mainland and 8-16C in the Aegean islands. In Attica, mainly fine with scattered cloud, temperature 8-15C. Similar conditions in Thessaloniki, temperature 6-13C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 285.012 Pound sterling 466.617 Cyprus pd 533.379 French franc 46.709 Swiss franc 194.784 German mark 156.577 Italian lira (100) 15.860 Yen (100) 227.604 Canadian dlr. 198.400 Australian dlr. 191.813 Irish Punt 392.118 Belgian franc 7.587 Finnish mark 51.604 Dutch guilder 138.905 Danish kr. 41.087 Swedish kr. 35.168 Norwegian kr. 37.676 Austrian sch. 22.254 Spanish peseta 1.847 Port. Escudo 1.531

(Y.B.)


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