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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 14/04/1998 (ANA)


  • PM begins visit to Bulgaria
  • Olympic's survival in hands of unions
  • Fireworks arrests
  • Firebomb attacks on cars
  • Greece leads EU in road deaths
  • Cohen due in Athens next Tuesday
  • Serapheim laid to rest
  • Karamanlis's condition critical
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


PM begins visit to Bulgaria

Prime Minister Costas Simitis arrived this morning in Sofia for a two-day official visit, accompanied by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas and National Economy Undersecretary Alekos Baltas. Simitis almost immediately had a private meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart, Ivan Kostov.

The two premiers are presently heading a meeting of the two countries' delegations.

Olympic's survival in hands of unions

The government is not ready to declare Olympic Airways bankrupt but the airline will close if unions fail to adhere to a five-year restructuring plan, Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis said today.

He was replying to talk on Monday that OA's management had told the Union of Civil Aviation Pilots that if workers failed to accept a series of work regulations then OA's legal department would examine the possibility of filing for bankruptcy.

Fireworks arrests

Police have so far arrested five traders this week for illegally selling fireworks and flares as part of efforts to prevent accidents in Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations. The use of fireworks and flares are a traditional part of Easter celebrations but often result in injuries. In 1994, four people died in Easter-time accidents related to fireworks.

Firebomb attacks on cars

Two Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) vans were set on fire early this morning outside the company's offices in Maroussi. Two fire engines and six fire-fighters were needed to put out the blaze.

Greece leads EU in road deaths

Greece has one of the worst records in Europe for the number of road accidents and fatalities which is fast taking on epidemic proportions in the so-called advanced countries of the world. The data is contained in reports to be presented at the 13th Medical Conference of Northern Greece which will be held in Thessaloniki from May 15-17.

In 1994, according to the data, 2,050 people died in road accidents in Greece, which corresponds to 20.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Cohen due in Athens next Tuesday

US Defense Secretary William Cohen's stopover next Tuesday in Athens will reportedly focus on the promotion of Greek-US defence cooperation in efforts to reduce tension between Athens and Ankara.

Mr. Cohen's five-day regional tour, beginning on Friday, will also bring him to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Israel, the US Pentagon announced yesterday.

According to a US State Department official, Mr. Cohen will meet with Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, while he may also be received by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis. He will end his four-hour Athens visit by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Serapheim laid to rest

Archbishop Serapheim of Athens, prelate of the Orthodox Church of Greece for the past 24 years, was buried yesterday with honours due to a head of state.

The longest-serving Archbishop in the Autocephalus Church's more than 150- year history, Serapheim died early Friday morning at the age of 85 from a respiratory infection compounded by chronic renal failure.

After lying in state for three days at the Athens Cathedral, Serapheim's coffin was carried on a gun carriage from the Cathedral through central Athens to the city's First Cemetery as a 21-cannon salute was fired from Lycabettus Hill.

Karamanlis's condition critical

Former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis' condition was described as critical yesterday, as he remained hospitalised for one week.

Physicians said Mr. Karamanlis' condition was unchanged, according to a medical bulletin issued at 8:15 p.m. yesterday.

Mr. Karamanlis was placed on breathing support after his heart stopped beating early on Sunday. Doctors said the 91-year-old patient had shown an improvement since being transferred to intensive care on Sunday.


Partly cloudy weather will prevail in most parts of Greece today. Rain in Crete and the Dodecanese islands from the afternoon. Possibility of sporadic rain in the northern Ionian Sea and Epirus. Winds variable, light to moderate. Athens will be overcast with few sunny spells. with temperatures between 11-22C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9- 19C.


Monday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 316.686 British pound 529.034 Japanese Yen(100) 244.131 French franc 51.689 German mark 173.203 Italian lira (100) 17.538 Irish Punt 436.579 Belgian franc 8.396 Finnish mark 56.998 Dutch guilder 153.790 Danish kr. 45.422 Austrian sch. 24.612 Spanish peseta 2.041 Swedish kr. 40.245 Norwegian kr. 41.763 Swiss franc 208.885 Port. Escudo 1.692 AUS dollar 207.323 Can. dollar 222.109 Cyprus pound 594.208


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