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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-14

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, 14/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Commercial announces Ionian Bank sale
  • Gov't comments on dictionary ruling
  • Shipowner charged over attack
  • Unemployment at 10.3 percent
  • EU Commission Flynn in Athens
  • Israeli tourist hurt in jet ski accident
  • Two injured in island car accident
  • Police disarm attacker
  • Eight illegal immigrants arrested
  • Russia, Cyprus say ready for S-300 missiles
  • Kranidiotis in Far East
  • Two bombs explode at Athens court complex
  • Balkan Airlines begins Sofia-Thessaloniki flights
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Commercial announces Ionian Bank sale

The Commercial Bank of Greece, the country's second largest bank, today officially announced a tender for the sale of a 51 percent stake in Ionian Bank through the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE). A bank announcement said that bids should be submitted to the ASE's board on August 24. Commercial Bank is selling 14.3 million common shares. It will retain a 7 percent stake in Ionian after the sale. Workers at Ionian Bank last month ended a six-week strike to protest the bank's privatisation after receiving government assurances that Ionian's future buyer will have to honour the terms of collective agreements signed by management and workers.

Gov't comments on dictionary ruling

Scientific research and knowledge should not be subject to restrictions, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today with reference to a Thessaloniki court ruling ordering the deletion of an entry in a Greek dictionary. Added that he would not comment on the decisions of judicial bodies, the spokesman said science itself should determine its own moral limits. The first instance court yesterday ordered the deletion of an explanation of the word 'Bulgarians' from all future editions of a Greek dictionary which caused a furore when the reference work was published earlier this year.

Shipowner charged over attack

Shipowner Evangelos Ventouris was indicted today for attempted murder and possession and use of a weapon after an armed attack on a Greek shipowner Costas Agapitos on Sunday night. Ventouris, 39, was arrested at his Piraeus office yesterday after Agapitos named him as his attacker, and the indictment was served by Piraeus prosecutor Antonis Liogas after two hours of questioning. The 40-year-old Agapitos, whose family owns the Agapitos Lines passenger ferries, was shot late Sunday night by two men riding a motorcycle as he drove his car in the port of Piraeus. Ventouris says he had nothing to do with the murder attempt and maintains that he was at his home in Glyfada with five friends at the time of the shooting.

Unemployment at 10.3 percent

Greece's unemployment rate is running at 10.3 percent, Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said here today. Citing figures from the official employment office OAED, Papaioannou said the Greek government was particularly concerned about the level of youth unemployment and planned to create jobs for 200,000 young Greeks in the next three years. Papaioannou added that roughly half of unregistered foreign workers in Greece had applied for a work permit, saying 370,000 had signed up since the beginning of the programme to register illegal workers. There are an estimated 750,000 illegal workers in Greece, he said.

EU Commission Flynn in Athens

European Commissioner for employment and social affairs Padraig Flynn will pay an official two-day visit to Greece beginning Thursday to discuss issues concerning the European Union's Social Fund. Flynn will meet on Thursday with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou and Health and Welfare Minister Costas Geitonas. The following day, Flynn will visit two psychiatric hospitals, one on the Aegean island of Leros and the other at Daphne in Attica. He will be accompanied by Health and Welfare Undersecretary Manolis Skoulakis. The commissioner will leave Greece on Saturday.

Israeli tourist hurt in jet ski accident

An 18-year-old Israeli youth was injured on the island of Cos in a jet ski collision, Cos harbour authorities said. They said Abihssera Moti Mordhay was unjured lightly in the leg when the jet ski he was driving collided with another jet ski driven by his friend and compatriot Ilan Pateal Tamazi, also 18. The accident occurred a day after a landmark ruling by the Council of State, the country's highest administrative court, prohibiting all motor- powered pleasure craft -- including jet skis, speedboats and yachts -- near swimming beaches and allowing them only on coasts designated for such craft. The ruling cited the danger to bathers posed by motor-powered craft and the damage caused to the marine eco-system.

Two injured in island car accident

Two persons were killed and a Swiss national was seriously injured in a car crash in Chania, Crete, police said today. They said Willy Gantier, 56, who was temporarily residing in Athens, and Constantine Badouvas, 56, president of the Greek private airline "Air Greece", were both seriously injured when the car they were riding in collided with another car late last night on the Chania-Rethymnon national highway outside Chania. The drivers of the two cars were fatally injured in the crash.

Police disarm attacker

A 39-year-old seaman was arrested after previously disarming a rookie policeman outside a central Athens police station and threatening the rookie with the latter's gun, police said today. They said George Michaniotis approached the rookie guarding the 4th police precinct at Omonoia Square late last night and disarmed him. Holding the rookie's gun to his temple, Michaniotis then grabbed the policeman's machine gun as well. Michaniotis was under arrest in a local hospital, with a police guard posted outside his door.

Eight illegal immigrants arrested

Eight illegal immigrants from Iraq who were spotted this morning by fishermen on the islet of Aghios Nikolaos have been taken to the reception centre for immigrants on nearby Samos. The immigrants - four men, two women and two children - told coastguard officials that they had each paid 1,500 US dollars to a Turk to ferry them to a Greek island.

Russia, Cyprus say ready for S-300 missiles

The leaders of Russia and Cyprus yesterday confirmed the two countries' readiness to proceed with implementation of an agreement for deployment of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island republic. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides had a 20- minute meeting at the Kremlin yesterday. The Cyprus government signed a contract with Russian manufacturers in January 1997 for the purchase of S- 300 surface-to-air missiles, in a bid to bolster Cyprus' air defences. They are scheduled to be deployed later this year. The Cypriot President is in Moscow since Saturday at the invitation of the Russian capital's mayor, Yury Luzhkov. He will return to Cyprus today.

Kranidiotis in Far East

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis today begins a tour of countries in Central Asia and the Far East, aimed at securing support to Athens' application for a non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council during the 1999-2000 session. Japan and China are included in Mr. Kranidiotis' tour. Voting for the election of non-permanent members of the Security Council will take place at the UN General Assembly in September.

Two bombs explode at Athens court complex

Two explosive devices went off at the Athens court complex off Evelpidon street at around 7 p.m. and shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday, causing damages but no injuries, authorities said. An unidentified caller had earlier phoned the "Athinaiki" daily and the private television station "Star" to warn of the first but not the second blast. The caller did not claim responsibility on behalf of any group, police said. However, a later caller to an afternoon newspaper said the shadowy group "Liberation Army" was behind the bombings.

Balkan Airlines begins Sofia-Thessaloniki flights

Bulgaria's transport undersecretary was among the first passengers on an inaugural Balkan Airlines flight from Sofia to Thessaloniki yesterday. Balkan Airlines will operate the schedule three times a week, flying a 40- seater Antonov planes. Bulgarian official Apic Garabedian said the new route will contribute to a further boosting economic relations between the two states, while the Antonov planes may be replaced by Boeing aircraft later if traffic increases.

WEATHER

Sunny weather with rising temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celcius on the mainland and up to 34C on the islands are forecast for today. Athens, sunny and hot with temperatures will between 21-38C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19-36C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 298.136 British pound 487.846 Japanese yen (100) 209.381 French franc 49.162 German mark 164.677 Italian lira (100) 16.711 Irish Punt 414.656 Belgian franc 7.990 Finnish mark 54.201 Dutch guilder 146.171 Danish kr. 43.249 Austrian sch. 23.420 Spanish peseta 1.942 Swedish kr. 36.968 Norwegian kr. 38.698 Swiss franc 194.715 Port. Escudo 1.611 Aus. dollar 182.181 Can. dollar 201.674 Cyprus pound 562.464

(M.P.)


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