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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-12

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, 12/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Papandreou at EU General Affairs Council
  • Minister briefed on flight delays
  • 2004 Olympics security is Greece's concern
  • Belgrade lifts truck curbs
  • Mystery blast injures three
  • Greek-Canadian justice accord
  • Greece has EU tourism record
  • Wind-surfing in Attica
  • Ferries collide off Corfu
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Papandreou at EU General Affairs Council

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou will be representing Greece at a European Union General Affairs Council that opens in Brussels tomorrow.

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.

Minister briefed on flight delays

Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis went straight into a meeting with Olympic Airways officials on his return to Athens on Saturday night.

Mantelis was seeking a briefing on the delays and flight cancellations that have plagued operations at the country's biggest airport over the weekend.

Delays of up to an hour were reported in Olympic Airways' domestic flights on Saturday but no routes were cancelled, OA officials said.

The officials attributed the delays to a rise in air traffic throughout Europe and particularly in the Mediterranean, as the tourist season swung into gear.

On Friday, six of the national carrier's domestic flights were cancelled.

2004 Olympics security is Greece's concern

The government said that Greece is ready to handle all issues related to security at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in response to reports that the United States has 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. "There will, of course, be co-operation," he added.

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

Belgrade lifts truck curbs

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

The measure was included in an agreement signed by Tranport MinisterT asos Mantelis and his Yugoslav counterpart Dejan Drobniakovic.

Greek overland commercial transport was forced to follow routes through Bulgaria and Romania over the last five years because of the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Also hampering movement were curbs on the number of passes dating back to 1959.

Mystery blast injures three

A strong explosion rocked the Patissia district of central Athens early Saturday morning, injuring three people and causing extensive material 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.

Greek-Canadian justice accord

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

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.

During her stay, Bakopanou is expected to have talks with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Secretary General for Overseas Greeks Stavros Lambrinidis and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

She will also meet with Piraeus Mayor Stelis Logothetis to discuss the possible twinning of the port city with Halifax - the first Canadian port of arrival of Greek immigrants.

Greece has EU tourism record

Greece recorded the biggest increase among European Union states in overnight stays by foreign tourists in 1996-1997, showing a 12.2 percent rise, Eurostat, the EU's statistics service, said yesterday.

Overnight stays by domestic tourists in Greece increased by 7.0 percent, Eurostat said.

Total tourist overnight stays increased by an average 1.5 percent in the 15- member bloc although overnight stays by domestic tourists in each state was only 0.4 percent higher in the same period.

Wind-surfing in Attica

Olympics champion Nikos Kaklamanakis will represent Greece at the European wind-surfing championships set to begin Monday on the coast of Marathon, eastern Attica.

The competition is organised by the Nea Makri Yacht Club with the support of the Greek Wind-surfing Federation and the municipality of Nea Makri.

The championship is also open to non-European participants.

Ferries collide off Corfu

Two ferry boats collided off the coast of the Ionian island of Corfu early this morning but there were no injuries among passengers, the merchant marine ministry said.

The Cypriot-flagged "Valentino" was en route to an Italian port, and the Turkish "Eskenteroun" to Turkey. Both ships have sailed to the port of Igoumenitsa for evaluation of damage, which sources said was extensive.

The Igoumenitsa port authority is conducting an investigation into the accident but initial reports said the collision occured because of impaired visibility due to local fog.

WEATHER

Mostly sunny weather is forecast throughout the country Monday. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 17C-34C. The same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging 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

(L.G.)


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