Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-04-20
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 20/04/1998 (ANA)
- Karamanlis still critical
- 32 die on Greek roads
- 3 drown in traffic accident
- Two arrested for smuggling
- Greek arrested for smuggling
- Suburban bank torched
- Greek leadership-Easter Celebrations
- Prime Minister in Corfu
- Stephanopoulos in Hungary next week
- Gov't announces additional measures to combat crime
- Early elections speculation denial
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Karamanlis still critical
Former president Constantine Karamanlis continued to be listed in a
critical condition for the seventh consecutive day since he suffered heart
failure following admission to hospital for a lung infection, doctors said
today. Karamanlis, 91, was admitted to the Hygeia Hospital on April 7 with
a respiratory infection. He was placed on breathing support on April 12
after his heart stopped during a mild heart attack.
32 die on Greek roads
Thirty-two people have lost their lives on Greek roads this Easter long
weekend, with another 428 injured - 87 seriously - in a total of 300
traffic accidents since Thursday night. Authorities said that 70 percent of
the 300 accidents had taken place on rural road networks, where a police
presence was less noticeable.
3 drown in traffic accident
Three Albanian nationals were found drowned in an irrigation ditch after
the van in which they were riding overturned late on Sunday night near the
village of Esovalta, Pella, authorities said.
Police said the driver of the van, Zarte Namik, 32, and his passenger Ruan
Baha, 21, were uninjured in the incident but that the bodies of the three
unnamed Albanians, whom Namik had given a lift, were found early this
morning by a rescue team.
Two arrested for smuggling
Two Turkish nationals were charged with smuggling in 84 illegal immigrants
to Greece before a Samos prosecutor today, authorities said.
Kurt Omer, 24, and Polat Nimer, 33, were charged with transporting 84
illegal immigrants from Iraq - 53 men, 13 women and 18 children - on their
18-metre boat and putting them ashore on Agathonissi on Sunday night.
Greek arrested for smuggling
A Greek man was arrested today after police found him transporting six
Pakistani illegal immigrants to Athens with his car. Ilias Nikolaidis, 45,
from Didymotiho, was arrested at the Fanariou Bridge in the Rodopi
district. Police said the illegal immigrants had entered the country
through the Evros River.
Suburban bank torched
A suburban branch of the Ionian Bank was the target of a firebomb attack
overnight, resulting in serious property damage but no injuries. Authorities
said the fire was caused by a makeshift explosive device made up of seven
gas cannisters and placed at the bank's entrance.
Greek Leadership-Easter celebrations
The country's leaders today visited the Greek youth under arms throughout
Greece to wish them well in this the most important religious celebration
of the year for Orthodox Christians.
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Parliament President
Apostolos Kaklamanis, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas
Karamanlis, Communist Party of Greece secretary general Aleka Papariga,
Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) Nikos Constantopoulos and
Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos visited the Armor Corps Training
Centre (KETTH) at Avlona, Attica to celebrate with the young men of the
The President of the Republic also visited the Salamina naval station and
the Rio regional university hospital.
Prime Minister in Corfu
Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is visiting the island of Corfu for the
Easter celebrations, during a radio address today stated ''Easter and
Spring in Greece. Maybe the only country in the world, where every
Christian, every human being feels the message of the Resurrection,
celebrating in the natural environment totaly in harmony with the most
important day: the celebration of celebrations of Christianity.''
He also voiced his wishes to all Greeks abroad and the foreign visitors who
came to Greece to celebrate easter in this country.
Stephanopoulos in Hungary next week
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will begin a three-day
visit to Hungary next Wednesday at his Hungarian counterpart's invitation.
The Greek president will hold private talks with Hungarian President Arpad
Goncz and leadership, while he will also inaugurate a Greek-Hungarian
Mr. Stephanopoulos will also visit the ethnic Greek village of Beloyiannis
and will address that country's Parliament.
Gov't announces additional measures to combat crime
Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Public Order Minister George Romeos
Thursday decided to adopt additional measures to combat rising crime and
prevent the entry of illegal immigrants into the country.
The two men decided to allocate another 100 billion drachmas in order to
bolster police in both manpower and equipment. In addition, approval was
given for the recruitment of 1,300 new officers to tackle urban crime and
help guard the borders.
Part of the funds will be spent on buying new patrol cars and police
motorcycles, replacing older models, and upgrading buildings.
They also decided the recruitment of 2,000 police officers, through the
process of nation-wide examinations.
The reinforcement of border patrols by military units in cooperation with
police and the coast guard was also decided, while a procedure of
allocating duties to municipal police departments will be accelerated.
Finally, it was decided that a new border corps of 1,000 officers will be
formed by the end of the year.
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Alekos
Papadopoulos, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, National
Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Merchant Marine
Minister Stavros Soumakis also participated.
Mr. Simitis stressed that citizens must feel that the state is protecting
Early elections speculation denied
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday that there are no
plans for a Cabinet reshuffle or early elections.
He added that the government has a duty to confront the nation's problems,
ensuring political and economic stability as well as the nation's
"Everything else is an unnecessary luxury," Mr. Reppas said.
Earlier, main oposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos
asked the government to take a position on the electoral system for the
next general elections, whenever they might occur.
Local cloud in west, central and northern Greece today with some scattered
showers, particularly in the Ionian islands, Epirus, western mainland
Greece and western Macedonia. West-northwesterly winds, moderate and at sea
becoming strong. Scattered cloud in Athens, increasing after noon. Moderate
winds and temperatures between 12 and 22C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki
with slight possibility of rain. Temperatures between 10 and 20C.
The weather tomorrow will be fine with local cloud in some areas. Winds
will be westerlies mild to strong and in the southeast of the country, very
strong. Temperatures in the north will range from 5-22C, in the mainland 8-
24 and on the islands from 12-23. The forecast for Athens and Thessaloniki
is fine with increasing cloud in the afternoon. Winds will be moderate and
the temperature 11-23C in Athens and 9-22 in Thessaloniki.
Thursday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 312.778
British pound 527.149 Japanese Yen(100) 238.090
French franc 51.608 German mark 172.955
Italian lira (100) 17.504 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.379 Finnish mark 56.951
Dutch guilder 153.562 Danish kr. 45.334
Austrian sch. 24.582 Spanish peseta 2.035
Swedish kr. 40.283 Norwegian kr. 41.547
Swiss franc 207.680 Port. Escudo 1.687
AUS dollar 203.558 Can. dollar 217.942
Cyprus pound 593.216