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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 08/07/1998 (ANA)


  • Greece pleased with progress in relations with FYROM
  • New fire threatens five homes
  • Fourth Athens meeting set for September
  • Transport minister to visit Belgrade
  • Greek-Chinese military talks
  • Inquiry into police corruption continues
  • Athens rejects Turkish protest
  • Local gov't elections on October 11
  • Austrian FM in Athens for EU talks
  • Greece objects to Kosovo military solution
  • Izmir street named after poet Seferis
  • Greek Parliament delegation in Algeria
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Greece pleased with progress in relations with FYROM

Greece said today that it saw a "productive improvement" in relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and was making every effort for further improvement. Replying to reporters' questions, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Greece had already taken many steps aimed at improving relations with FYROM and expected similar steps from the Skopje. Reppas underlined that negotiations on the issue of the name of the neighbouring state were being conducted under UN auspices and not on a bilateral level.

New fire threatens five homes

A fire which broke out today in an area of forest land near the village of Anavryti, Laconia in the Peloponnese has quickly spread due to strong winds and rough terrain. Firefighters are at present concentrating their efforts on saving five homes which are in the path of the blaze.

Fourth Athens Meeting set for September

"Peace and Development" is the theme of this year's "Athens Meeting", to be held September 11-13, organisers said at a news conference today. "Athens '98" will be the fourth consecutive such meeting and is organised this year by the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. Topics of discussion will include national defence and peace, major infrastructure projects, development and a globalised economy, social problems in the contemporary world, culture and sport and the role of the citizen in the 21st century.

Transport minister to visit Belgrade

Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis begins a three-day visit to Belgrade tomorrow as part of a Greek initiative to promote cooperation with its Balkan neighbours in the sectors of transport and communication. Mantelis will be heading a team of executives of public utilities and organisations falling under his ministry's jurisdiction. He is scheduled to hold talks with Serbian President Milan Milutinovic and Yugoslav federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, as well as the Yugoslav ministers of transport and communications.

Greek-Chinese military talks

Visiting Chinese Lt.-Gen. Zhou Youliang, Deputy Minister for the General Logistics Department of the Chinese Army, discussed current issues concerning the operation, maintenance and supply of the Greek Armed Forces with Greek national defence undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis. Lt.-Gen. Zhou arrived in Athens on Tuesday at the head of a five-member delegation.

Inquiry into police corruption continues

The case involving information given to a public prosecutor by an anonymous person concerning the unlawful granting of Greek citizenship to foreigners has reportedly been attributed by some senior police officers to rivalry between different groups in the Greek police force. Eleven days ago, prosecutor George Gerakis, acting on information received from the anonymous person, went to the Public Order Ministry and removed files from the State Security Department concerning the granting of Greek citizenship to foreigners. As part of his investigation, Gerakis has already taken depositions from Public Order Minister George Romeos' adviser, George Florentis, while the director of Romeos' political office, Ilias Lucas, is also expected to give testimony.

Athens rejects Turkish protest

Athens yesterday rejected as "unacceptable" a Turkish demand calling for demilitarisation of Greece's eastern Aegean islands, saying it harmedd bilateral relations. The demand was contained in a demarche handed to Greece's ambassador in Ankara on Monday. In Athens, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas dismissed the demand as "historically unacceptable and groundless", particularly in view of "the behaviour of Turkey's leadership, which once again dynamites the relationship between the two countries".

Local gov't elections on October 11

Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos yesterday issued a circular for the Oct. 11 municipal elections, the first to be held after the merger of communities around Greece into larger regional municipality entities. The election will produce 900 mayors and 133 community presidents around the country, while an unprecedented number of candidates are expected to vie for the newly established municipalities. The ministry has sent instructions for election procedures detailing the electoral procedure.

Austrian FM in Athens for EU talks

Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schussel is to pay a short visit to Athens tomorrow to present the priorities of the Austrian EU presidency. During his stay in the Greek capital, the Austrian FM will meet with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and main opposition ND leader Costas Karamanlis. Before leaving Athens for Vienna, he will also give a press conference. The Austrian foreign minister's visit is part of a customary tour by the president of the EU Council of Ministers to member- states' capitals at the beginning of every rotating presidency.

Greece objects to Kosovo military solution

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday expressed strong opposition to a military solution for the Kosovo crisis, underlining that the impasse should only be resolved through political and diplomatic initiatives. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking on the issues of Cyprus and Kosovo during an interview given to CNN in Washington, one of the stops on his ongoing official visit to the United States. "The only way to resolving the crisis is through political and diplomatic initiatives. The international community has good experience from resolving the Bosnian issue and we must realise that the problem of Kosovo is different. A military solution is not indicated here," he said.

Izmir street named after poet Seferis

A street in the seaside district of Vourla, near Izmir,was named yesterday after Greek Nobel laureate George Seferis, a move honouring the poet and diplomat who was born and spent his childhood here. Vourla Mayor Mustafa Kapkip, who unveiled a plaque in a special ceremony, noted that the initiative not only honoured the memory of Seferis, but took place within the spirit of understanding and mutual respect for the two neighbouring peoples. A delegation from Greece also attended the ceremony, including Seferis' niece, Despoina Mylona.

Greek Parliament delegation in Algeria

A six-member delegation of Parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee arrived in Algeria yesterday at the invitation of the North African country's popular national assembly president, Algerian ambassador in Athens Kamel Houhou announced yesterday. The visit is conducted within the framework of inter-Parliamentary exchanges and the strengthening of Greek-Algerian relations. The delegation headed by deputy Elias Papadopoulos will meet with several Algerian officials.


Fine weather is forecast in most of Greece today. Western, central and northern Greece are expected to be overcast while rain or storms are forecast in the afternoon for the northern Ionian Sea, Epirus and Macedonia. Winds westerly, southwesterly, light to moderate. Fine weather in Athens with temperatures between 21-36C. Possibility of rain in the afternoon in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19-33C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.665 British pound 491.576 Japanese yen (100) 216.196 French franc 49.501 German mark 165.862 Italian lira (100) 16.837 Irish Punt 417.632 Belgian franc 8.045 Finnish mark 54.560 Dutch guilder 147.173 Danish kr. 43.539 Austrian sch. 23.583 Spanish peseta 1.955 Swedish kr. 37.236 Norwegian kr. 39.087 Swiss franc 197.577 Port. Escudo 1.622 Aus. dollar 185.454 Can. dollar 204.253 Cyprus pound 565.440


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