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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-20

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, 20/08/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Civil defence bill passed
  • Air force jet crashes in sea off Andros
  • Four Italians die in road accident
  • Tsohatzopoulos stresses that Kosovo issue is `political problem`
  • Cross-border cooperation support unit for construction companies
  • New website for recyclable energy sources
  • Bulgarian PM Kostov in Athens next week
  • Austrian Chancellor Klima in Greece for private visit
  • Greek stocks rise again in wake of rebound abroad
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Civil defence bill passed

Parliament today passed a government bill on civil defence together with a number of amendments tabled by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

Under the new legislation, women in border regions will be obliged to serve in civil defence units for the first time in Greece.

One of the main aims of the bill is to organise local civil defence forces in border areas to provide support in emergency situations in times of peace and war.

Participation in the PAM will be on a voluntary basis for young men and women aged 16-18, and for men and women above 65 and 50 respectively.

It will however be mandatory for men aged 18-65 except those serving in the Armed Forces, National Guard and Security Corps and those registered in reserve forces, and for women aged 18-50, except women who were pregnant, and mothers of children up to 12 years old or mothers of large families.

Air force jet crashes in sea off Andros

A Hellenic Air Force F-4 fighter jet crashed today in the sea in the centre of the Andros firing range while taking part in a training exercise with other aircraft.

The fate of the pilot and co-pilot was not known.

The jet was taking part in an exercise with three other F-4s and two Mirage- 2000.

A C-130 transport aircraft, two air force helicopters and one navy helicopter have flown to the scene of the accident.

Four Italians die in road accident

Four Italian tourists died at dawn today in Halkidiki, northern Greece, when their jeep crashed into a stationary truck in Halkidiki, police told the ANA.

They said jeep driver Franco Bacnari, 50, and passengers Ornella Zanelato, 49, Frederico Alfieri and Carla Zanoti, 51, (spellings phonetical) died instantly when their jeep, which was speeding, crashed into a cement truck on the right hand side of the road that had stopped to offer assistance to the driver of a car that had overturned on the road.

The accident occurred on the Nea Moudania-Sithonia provincial road ner Halkidiki's Aghiou Mama community.

Traffic police said the jeep was travelling at high speed from Sithonia to Thessaloniki, and attributed the accident to speed compounded by poor visibility, as the road is full of twists and inclines.

Tsohatzopoulos stresses that Kosovo issue is `political problem`

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos reiterated yesterday that the Kosovo crisis was a political problem and underlined that Athens supported the ongoing NATO exercise in Albania, saying it could facilitate a political solution in the region.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stressed at the same time that minorities should not be allowed to change borders in the Balkans, referring in particular to "extremist" elements among Kosovo Albanians who want the region to be united with Albania.

Replying to criticism levelled by Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said his recent call for an end to military operations by Serbian forces in the troubled Yugoslav province was to jumpstart direct negotiations between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the leader of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova, aimed at greater autonomy for Kosovo's Albanians but without any change of borders.

Greek armed forces are participating in the NATO exercise with a C-130 military transport aircraft, two F-16 fighter jets, two helicopters and a company of paratroopers. The exercise began on Monday.

Greece has also sent a medical team to provide services to residents of remote villages in central Albania and in areas near the exercise, codenamed "Cooperative Assembly '98".

Mr. Tsohatzopoulos criticised Mr. Milosevic on Saturday for the recent military operations in Kosovo, comments which were later reprinted in several Belgrade dailies and condemned by media outlets supporting the Yugoslav president.

Cross-border cooperation support unit for construction companies

The central Macedonia chapter of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE-TKM) yesterday announced that the finance ministry has approved the creation of a cross-border cooperation support unit for construction companies.

The unit will be financed by the European Union's Interreg II programme and will provide technical and informational support to construction firms and construction materials manufacturers.

According to the announcement, the unit will provide information on technical issues related to construction projects in Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria, as well as organise business trips and conferences in the a bove-mentioned countries.

New website for recyclable energy sources

The European website for recyclable energy sources recently inaugurated a new Internet address at: www.eurorex.com

The page will be updated by a group of specialists in energy issues from 30 European countries and it will address businesses and organisations active in the recyclable energy area.

Operation of the website in Greece is supervised by the Center for Recyclable Energy Sources (KAPE). Information provided by the development ministry shows that the European market in recyclable energy sources has an annual revenue reaching 4.3 billion Ecu, and an upward trend since all countries must conform to Kyoto pact resolutions on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

Bulgarian PM Kostov in Athens next week

Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov will pay a one-day working visit to Athens on Aug. 26, it was announced yesterday.

Mr. Kostov has been invited by Premier Costas Simitis, with whom he will discuss bilateral issues and the general situation in the region.

Austrian Chancellor Klima in Greece for private visit

Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima is scheduled to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow for a private visit lasting until Sunday.

On Saturday, the Austrian chancellor and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, his host, will pay a visit to the autonomous Mount Athos monastic community.

Greek stocks rise again in wake of rebound abroad

Equities gained more ground on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday following a recovery in international markets.

The general index ended 2.21 percent higher at 2,701.46 points in active trade with turnover at 51.6 billion drachmas, sharply up on recent daily averages.

Traders said buying focused on stocks in the banking sector, which soared 2.62 percent. Sector indices were mixed. Insurance fell 0.25 percent, Investment rose 0.59 percent, Leasing was 0.05 percent higher, Industrials increased 1.87 percent, Construction was 1.37 percent up, Miscellaneous fell 0.89 percent and Holding eased 0.19 percent.

The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 0.99 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index jumped 2.73 percent higher to 1,655.25.

Broadly, advancers led decliners by 138 to 105 with another 20 issues unchanged.

WEATHER

Sunny weather throughout the country today with some cloud in mainland Greece in the afternoon. Storms in Macedonia and Thrace and possibly in Epirus and Thessaly. Winds northerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Temperatures in Athens will range from 22-33C, and in Thessaloniki from 20-30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 299.554 British pound 485.366 Japanese yen (100) 207.497 French franc 49.644 German mark 166.497 Italian lira (100) 16.884 Irish Punt 417.731 Belgian franc 8.075 Finnish mark 54.758 Dutch guilder 147.654 Danish kr. 43.745 Austrian sch. 23.669 Spanish peseta 1.963 Swedish kr. 36.642 Norwegian kr. 38.884 Swiss franc 198.658 Port. Escudo 1.627 Aus. dollar 179.309 Can. dollar 195.860 Cyprus pound 567.821

(S.S.)


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