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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 25/02/1998 (ANA)


  • Turkey studying Greece's response
  • EU's role in Mideast peace efforts
  • "Insulted" lawyers out on strike
  • COSMOTE to begin distributing new mobile phones
  • Central post office gets facelift
  • Albanian arrested with counterfeit money
  • Protest march marred by car bombs
  • Work stoppage at Acropolis
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Turkey studying Greece's response

Greece's response to a Turkish five-point plan for improving bilateral relations is being studied by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who will reply through diplomatic channels, said Turkey's new ambassador in Greece Ali Tinaz Tuygan today.

Tuygan was speaking after his first courtesy call on Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

Asked whether Turkey was considering taking recourse to the International Court of Justice in The Hague over its disputes with Greece, as Athens has proposed, the ambassador replied:

"As you are aware, and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz himself said on 24 March 1996, Turkey does not rule out any method. We will hve to sit down and discuss all the problems. In the Aegean the problems are interrelated, therefore we will have to see just which method is the most appropriate for resolving these problems. These are issues we have to discuss."

EU's role in Mideast peace efforts

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou today stressed Greece's support for a "more substantial role by the European Union in the Middle East peace process".

Foreign Ministry sources said the remark was made by Papandreou during a meeting with chief of the Diplomatic Representation of Palestine in Athens, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah, also attended by Athens Prefect Dimitris Efstathiadis.

The sources said the meeting was cordial, and the two men discussed the "traditional, good and friendly relations between Greece and the Palestinian Authority".

They said Abdullah called for Greece's support of the Palestinian positions at the EU ministerial council meetings.

The signing of a protocol of cooperation between the Prefectures of Gaza and Athens was also announced today.

"Insulted" lawyers out on strike

Greek courts were paralysed today as lawyers, claiming to have been insulted by the justice minister, began a 48-hour strike demanding an apology.

Lawyers throughout the country were striking in a show of solidarity for Athens Bar Association president Antonis Roupakiotis, who was told to "go to hell" by the minister, Evangelos Yannopoulos, when a row broke out during during a heated discussion on lawyers' issues at the ministry last week.

The outspoken Yannopoulos, a former Athens Bar Association president himself, has refused to apologise, saying that Roupakiotis "deserved what he got" and that the row had been blown out of proportion.

The striking Thessaloniki Bar Association, in a board of directors decision, called for Yannopoulos' resignation or his removal from the justice ministry, saying "his behaviour towards the president and board members of the Athens Bar was insulting".

COSMOTE to begin distributing new mobile phones

The Greek state-owned telecom's mobile subsidiary COSMOTE will begin distributing its new mobile phones later this week, a company spokesman said today.

He said distribution would begin "to the first of the 50,000 applicants in the next two to three days".

The spokesman estimated that more than 120,000 COSMOTE mobile phones would be given out by the end of the year.

During a recent introductory offer, COSMOTE offered its first 50,000 phones free of charge and without subscription for six months. The spokesman said COSMOTE would issue another opportunity package deal in mid-May.

Central post office gets facelift

Transport and Communications Minister today inaugurated the renovated central offices of the Hellenic Postal Service (ELTA) in downtown Athens.

The renovation, which began last June, cost an estimated 200 million dr.

Mantelis said the new electronic system installed, which was operating experimentally in the initial stage, would be able to serve more than 25, 000customers with a maximum waiting time of 10 minutes during rush hours.

The central post office, on 100 Aiolou street, would be operating daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sundays.

The new facilities included booths exclusively for serving people with special needs.

Albanian arrested with counterfeit money

A 36-year-old Albanian has been arrested in the northern Greek town of Florina in possession of counterfeit banknotes, police said today.

Police said Pavlo Tsouka from Shkoder was arrested in a village cafe as he tried to pay the owner with a forged 5,000 drachma bill.

A police search later turned up another 103 counterfeit 5,000 drachma notes.

Protest march marred by car bombs

Four youths bringing up the rear of a teachers' protest march in central Athens today threw makeshift bombs made of gas canisters at a state-owned vehicle parked outside the National Library.

The car, used by the Dean of Athens University, was seriously damaged by fire.

The four youths escaped arrest.

Half an hour later, a group of anarchists threw stones at members of the riot squad in Georgiou Stavrou St., although the incident did not develop into an all-out clash.

The protest march continued on to the Education Ministry without further incident.

Work stoppage at Acropolis

About 1,000 tourists converged on the Acropolis early this morning hoping to complete their tour of the ancient rock before it closed at 10.30 for a four-hour work stoppage by staff at the site.

The employees, who are protesting the transfer of architects away from the Acropolis curators' department, held a protest march to the Culture Ministry where they requested a meeting with the Minister, Evangelos Venizelos.


Partly cloudy weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today with the possibility of local rain in the west and north. Fog in some areas in the morning. Winds light to moderate. Scattered clouds in Athens with temperatures between 7-19C. Possibility of intermittent rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6-15C.


Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.045 Pound sterling 464.415 Cyprus pd 535.581 French franc 46.789 Swiss franc 194.358 German mark 156.845 Italian lira (100) 15.894 Yen (100) 220.869 Canadian dlr. 197.924 Australian dlr. 188.048 Irish Punt 389.796 Belgian franc 7.600 Finnish mark 51.697 Dutch guilder 139.158 Danish kr. 41.148 Swedish kr. 35.214 Norwegian kr. 37.500 Austrian sch. 22.297 Spanish peseta 1.850 Port. Escudo 1.531


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