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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-15

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, 15/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greek defence minister meets Iranian deputy FM
  • Migration bill ready end-month
  • Work on Rio-Antirrio bridge begins Sunday
  • US Pentagon spokesman on Cyprus 'no-fly' zone
  • No U.S. official in region
  • IOC president Samaranch due Thursday
  • Commercial Bank announces tender for 51% of Ionian through bourse
  • Internet site for athletic events
  • 'Heleco '99' in Thessaloniki
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greek defence minister meets Iranian deputy FM

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met today with visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi to discuss the situation in the Balkans, Southeast Europe and the Middle East. Bilateral relations were also discussed. Also at the meeting was the Iranian housing and development minister.

Migration bill ready end-month

Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said today that a bill on immigration and immigration policy would be ready for Parliament by the end of July. Speaking at a news conference, Papadopoulos said work on the bill, drafted by a committee established by the ministry, had been stepped up since the labour ministry's campaign to register illegal workers in Greece had ended. Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said on Tuesday that roughly half of unregistered foreign workers in Greece had applied for a work permit since the programme to give them legal status began. Papadopoulos also announced the creation of two national committees, one of bioethics and the other on human rights, provided for in a bill recently submitted to Parliament.

Work on Rio-Antirrio bridge begins Sunday

Work on the Rio-Antirrio bridge linking the Peloponnese with northwestern Greece will be officially inaugurated Sunday at Antirrio, in a ceremony attended by President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The ceremony will mark the beginning of work on the bridge proper, following completion of the preliminary stage of works, including studies and underwater drillings, that commenced in October 1996. The GEFYRA S.A. consortium undertook the project following international tendering, initiated as far back as the 1980s, under a contract signed between the Greek State and the consortium in January 1996.

US Pentagon spokesman on Cyprus 'no-fly' zone

A US Pentagon envoy was currently in the area and would visit Greece and Turkey for talks on finding ways of averting the deployment of Russian-made S-300 defence missiles in Cyprus, an ANA dispatch from Washington said, citing Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon. Bacon said the Pentagon envoy "could be travelling with a State Department official who will visit Turkey and Greece at this very time. He left at the end of last week".

No U.S. official in region

There is no U.S. official currently visiting the region to discuss the issue of the deployment of Russian S-300 missiles on Cyprus, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said later. Referring to the U.S. position on the missiles, Reppas said that the stance of certain countries, apart from Turkey, that the missiles would create tension in the region was "unjustified". "This issue is only a small part of the Cyprus problem," Reppas said, adding that if there were prospects for a resolution of the problem were present then that would create "new conditions".

IOC president Samaranch due Thursday

International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch arrives in Athens tomorrow for the opening ceremony of the International Olympic Academy's annual session on Pnyx Hill in the afternoon. Samaranch will be coming form Moscow, where he attended the first World Youth Games. The 38th session of the International Olympic Academy, which runs through July 30, will bring together a record 202 delegates from 97 countries, who will hear 16 speakers addressing the theme "Olympism - Aspects of the Olympic Games".

Commercial Bank announces tender for 51% of Ionian through bourse

Commercial Bank of Greece, the country's second largest bank, yesterday officially invited tenders 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 Aug. 24. Commercial Bank is selling 14.3 million common shares. It will retain a 7 per cent stake in Ionian after the sale. Under the terms of the sale the transaction must be made in cash.

Internet site for athletic events

The sports undersecretariat yesterday unveiled its own Internet site during a ceremony at Zappeion Hall. The site will provide information on athletic events around Greece and throughout the world. The address is: www.sport.gov.gr

'Heleco '99' in Thessaloniki

The "Heleco '99" international exhibition and conference on technology and the environment will be held in Thessaloniki next June, the Technical Chamber of Greece's leadership said yesterday. Heleco '99 will be the third such exhibition organised in Thessaloniki, while the first was held in 1993 and the second in 1995.

WEATHER

Fine weather is forecast throughout Greece today with high temperatures increasing during the day. Temperatures will range from 20-38C on the mainland and 23-36C on the islands. Athens hot and sunny with temperatures between 22-39C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 21-38C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 296.707 British pound 485.286 Japanese yen (100) 209.977 French franc 49.142 German mark 164.722 Italian lira (100) 16.698 Irish Punt 413.664 Belgian franc 7.980 Finnish mark 54.143 Dutch guilder 146.042 Danish kr. 43.208 Austrian sch. 23.396 Spanish peseta 1.939 Swedish kr. 36.853 Norwegian kr. 38.688 Swiss franc 195.156 Port. Escudo 1.609 Aus. dollar 183.252 Can. dollar 200.444 Cyprus pound 562.266

(M.P.)


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