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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-11

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, 11/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Olympics security a Greek concern, Athens says
  • Blast rocks Athens suburb, three injured
  • George Papandreou to Brussels for EU meeting
  • Greece supports Slovenian EU bid
  • Robber gets away with 3.5 mln drachmas
  • Canadian justice undersecretary to Athens
  • Third telecoms float on Athens, NY bourses
  • Greece wants lower EU contributions for least affluent
  • Permit curbs on Greek trucks in Yugoslavia lifted
  • University staff attacked in Crete
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Olympics security a Greek concern, Athens says

Greece is ready to handle all issues related to security at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the government said on Friday, responding to reports that the United States had asked to take care of security arrangements at the Games.

"We shall not assign these activities since they are a matter for the Greek authorities," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, while adding that "there will of course be co-operation".

The spokesman was commenting on reports that the request had been put to National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos during his visit to the US this week.

Blast rocks Athens suburb, three injured

A strong explosion rocked the Athens suburb of Patissia early on Saturday morning, injuring three people and causing extensive damage.

The blast, the causes of which are not yet known, took place on the ground floor of a building at 57, Halepa Street, where a goldsmith's is located.

Injured in the explosion were George Harisis, his wife and son, who live on the first floor of the building above the goldsmith's. All three were taken to hospital.

The blast caused damage to adjacent buildings and six cars.

George Papandreou to Brussels for EU meeting

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Brussels on Sunday to attend the European Union General Affairs Council.

Among the issues to be discussed by the Council, which will convene on Monday and Tuesday, are the priorities of the Austrian EU presidency, Agenda 2000 and the time schedule for its implementation.

Ministers will also be discussing the situation in the western Balkans, with emphasis on the crisis in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Greece supports Slovenian EU bid

Greece has assured Slovenia that it supports its bid to become a member of the European Union during talks in Athens on Friday between Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and his Slovenian counterpart, Franco Juri.

During the meeting, the two sides noted the excellent level of bilateral relations and discussed issues which included political and economic ties and the possibility of military co-operation within the framework of the multinational Balkan peacekeeping force to be set up.

Also discussed were the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis, the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations.

Robber gets away with 3.5 mln drachmas

A bank robber escaped on a motorcycle with about 3.5 million drachmas from a branch of the Agricultural Bank in Zarouchleika near Patras on Friday after threatening the cashier with a gun. Police have launched a manhunt for the arrest of the robber.

Canadian justice undersecretary to Athens

Canada's Justice Undersecretary, Eleni Bakopanou, who is of Greek origin, begins a three-day visit to Greece on Sunday during which she will sign a bilateral agreement providing for cooperation between the judicial authorities of the two countries in criminal cases, according to an ANA despatch from Montreal.

Bakopanou will have talks with Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos which are expected to focus on cooperation within the framework of efforts to combat international crime.

The purpose of the agreement to be signed is to facilitate the efforts of the two countries in investigating crimes, bringing criminals to justice and combatting crime in general.

It also provides for cooperation between the police forces of the two countries and allows evidence originating in either country to be admitted in the other country's courts.

Third telecoms float on Athens, NY bourses

The government will float 15 percent of Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) in the autumn on the Athens and New York stock exchanges.

National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou has said that OTE will also issue a bond in international markets and carry out a share capital rise.

The three moves will raise one trillion drachmas for investments and modernisation.

OTE's ownership status is to be changed to allow the acquisition by private buyers of up to 45 percent in the state-run telecom from the current legally ordained 25 percent, Mr. Papantoniou said.

OTE has already carried out two flotations on the Athens Stock Exchange including private placements.

Mr. Papantoniou said no more of OTE's stock would be sold to private investors after the autumn flotation.

Greece wants lower EU contributions for least affluent

Spain, Portugal and Greece have addressed letters to European Commission President Jacques Santer stressing the need to have the European Union's internal resources system reformed.

The letters were sent by the three countries' finance ministers a few months before the presentation of the European Commission's proposals on the EU's future fiscal framework and the contribution of every country to the revenues of the EU's budget.

The common denominator of the three letters is the need to decrease contributions by the EU's economically weaker member-states to the EU budget, and to correspondingly increase contributions by the economically stronger member-states.

Permit curbs on Greek trucks in Yugoslavia lifted

Yugoslavia has decided to lift restrictions on the number of licences granted to Greek trucks travelling through the country to western Europe, ending a long-standing disadvantage for Greek exports.

The measure is included in an agreement signed by Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis and his Yugoslav counterpart Dejan Drobniakovic on Friday.

Greek overland commercial tranport has had to follow routes through Bulgaria and Romania over the last five years because of the war in the former Yugoslavia. There have also been restrictions on the number of licences dating back to 1959.

University staff attacked in Crete

The dean of Crete Polytechnic in Hania, Crete and a lecturer in fine arts were attacked on campus on Friday by a group of fixe men wearing motorcycle helmets.

The five were part of a larger group of about fifty persons who had approached the dean, Dimitris Sotiropoulos, and the lecturer, Alexandros Kapsokavadis, shouting and swearing.

As the dean tried to get into his car to escape, his attackers smashed the rear window of the vehicle and damaged a door on the left side.

Mr. Kapsokavadis was taken to hospital in Hania where he is being treated for multiple cuts and bruises.

Mr. Sotiropoulos described the attack as vicious and was unable to suggest a motive.

WEATHER

Mostly sunny weather is forecast throughout the country on Sunday with cloud building up in mainland Greece in the evening. Temperatures will range from 15C to 32C in the north; 16C to 34C elsewhere on the mainland; and 18C to 30C in the islands. Light winds are forecast in Athens, where the temperature will be 17C-34C. In Thessaloniki cloudy weather is forecast in the evening, and winds will also be light. Temperatures in the second city will range from 16C to 32C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.278 British pound 489.036 Japanese yen (100) 212.774 French franc 49.169 German mark 164.722 Italian lira (100) 16.732 Irish Punt 414.656 Belgian franc 7.992 Finnish mark 54.276 Dutch guilder 146.092 Danish kr. 43.239 Austrian sch. 23.431 Spanish peseta 1.943 Swedish kr. 37.121 Norwegian kr. 38.867 Swiss franc 195.151 Port. Escudo 1.609 Aus. dollar 184.715 Can. dollar 203.796 Cyprus pound 562.960

(C.S.)


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