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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 06/10/1998 (ANA)


  • NATO officials in Greece not linked to Kosovo
  • No decision yet on meeting for armaments programme
  • Cypriot, Russian defence ministers meet in Athens
  • Hopes for end to Thessaloniki water strike
  • Lewinsky in Athens fashion show?
  • Simitis: tangible results
  • New power plant opened in port town
  • Fires being deliberately lit for 2004 gain
  • Defence minister meets with Cypriot Speaker
  • Man injured as tries to enter Greek consulate
  • Aircraft technicians announce walk-outs
  • Five Iraqi illegal immigrants arrested
  • Child used to pass heroin through to prisoner
  • Greek equities halt decline
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


NATO officials in Greece not linked to Kosovo

Greece on Tuesday denied that the presence of NATO officials in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki was linked in any way to a possible NATO strike on the troubled Yugoslav province of Kosovo. The situation in Kosovo has no bearing on the presence of foreign officials in Greece, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. Reppas took the opportunity to reiterate Greece's standing position that the crisis in Kosovo be resolved through political dialogue but admitted that "the clouds of war appeared to be gathering". Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis has sent a message to all the interested parties calling for self-restraint to avert any pretext for a resumption of hostilities, Reppas said in response to a question as to whether Simitis would be conferring with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. No other contacts were foreseen for the time being, he added.

No decision yet on meeting for armaments programme

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday that it had not yet been decided whether the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) would eventually meet as scheduled on Friday. Reppas said the final decision would be taken following consultations between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the competent ministers. Simitis will meet with National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday, he added. The KYSEA meeting is within the framework of the government's multi-million dollar armaments programme, aimed at maintaining and further improving the defence capability of all three branches of the armed forces.

Cypriot, Russian defence ministers meet in Athens

The defence ministers of Cyprus and Russia on Tuesday expressed the desire to broaden their defence cooperation aimed at strengthening the island republic's defences and further promoting what both officials said were already excellent bilateral relations. Cyprus Defence Minister Yannakis Omirou and his Russian counterpart, Igor Sergeyev, met on the sidelines of the Defendory '98 international trade fair for conventional defence systems which began in Piraeus on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Omirou described relations between the two countries as excellent, adding that their bilateral cooperation was based on reciprocity, their common interest in adherence to international law and UN resolutions and international legality.

Hopes for end to Thessaloniki water strike

The government on Tuesday committed itself to safeguarding the public character of any subsidiary companies of the new organisation to be formed by the merger of the Thessaloniki water and sewerage agencies. But water supply workers said they would continue their strike until the parliamentary vote on the merger of the two bodies on Thursday when a general assembly of their union would examine the wording of the bill. Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city, has been facing problems with its water supply since Saturday when workers at the city's Water Company began rolling 24-hour strikes.

Lewinsky in Athens fashion show?

Monica Lewinsky, the woman at the heart of the White House sex scandal, has tentatively been signed on by an American modeling agency for a fashion show in Greece next month. A source at the woman's magazine YES said Athens- based Lucifer fashion house owner K. Agloupas had offered the former White House intern 125,000 dollars to model two dresses on November 14 during a three-day fashion show. The source said Lewinsky had been tentatively signed on by the US-based modeling agency "Women" for the show, adding that her mother was acting as her manager. A term of the agreement is that Lewinsky must shed five kilos to model the two size-48 (European size) dresses, the source said.

Simitis: tangible results

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Tuesday that the government's economic and development policy was bringing tangible results and Greece now had a strong presence in Europe, where it was in a position to influence decisions. Simitis, accompanied by a number of ministers and other government officials, was speaking during a visit to the port of Lavrion on the east coast of Attica. Noting that the government was successfully confronting the repercussions of the crisis in the world economy, the premier said Greece would in the year 2000 attain its target of equal participation in EMU.

New power plant opened in port town

During his visit, Simitis inaugurated a new electrical power plant which will operate with natural gas. It is expected that the output of the new plant - together with that of the existing network - will significantly reduce the possibility of power supply problems in the greater region of Athens. Energy policy is "a strategic key for development", he said, adding that the government had taken steps to ensure the smooth operation of the energy market. In this respect he cited the listing of Hellenic Petroleum on the Athens Stock Exchange, the gradual liberalisation of the electrical energy market as of February 2001, the reorganisation of the Public Power Corporation and the participation of experienced private investors in the natural gas supply company.

Fires being deliberately lit for 2004 gain

The government appears to share the opinions of a senior official at the environment, town planning and public works ministry that this summer's forest fires were deliberately lit by property speculators hoping to clear land and make a profit ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. "Very logical," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented when asked his opinion on the claims made by the ministry's secretary-general, Alekos Voulgaris, to a radio station Tuesday morning. Reppas said similar statements had been made by a number of government officials, including Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas and that the issues and charges were being looked into.

Defence minister meets with Cypriot Speaker

The new friction points in the region, with the main focus on the Kosovo, as well as the general situation in the Balkans and developments in the Cyprus issue were at the centre of talks today between National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and visiting speaker of the Cyprus House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kyprianou said they examined defence matters, noting that he had received "useful information" that would aid in the formulation of the positions that would be tabled with the National Council in Cyprus.

Man injured as tries to enter Greek consulate

A wanted criminal who tried to force his way into the Greek General Consulate in the Albanian town of Korce was injured in a shootout with a guard at the Consulate, an ANA dispatch from Albania said today. It said the incident occurred around noon yesterday when the intruder, a 26-year- old man the Korce police say is on their list of most wanted criminals for serious offences, pulled a kalashnikov rifle from under his jacket and opened fire on the Consulate's main entrance, demanding entry. The Albanian guard at the Consulate returned the fire, seriously injuring the intruder.After a brief disruption, operation at the Consulate returned to normal.

Aircraft technicians announce walk-outs

Olympic Airways aircraft technicians (EPTAOA) on Tuesday announced they would strike on October 13 and 15 to press their demands for the immediate hire of 102 apprentice mechanics and another 80 trainees. Technicians said they would walk off the job between 6-9 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. on both days. EPTAOA representatives said that some 200 people had already left the sector through early retirement schemes and another 30 were due to take retirement in 1998. In the period to 2000, another 85 specialised staff would be lost due to retirement. The departures, the representatives said, have created a major problem for the remaining force of 600 technicians, with the 1998-1999 programme foreseeing a 30 percent increase in maintenance hours on the national carrier's 36 aircraft up to next July.

Five Iraqi illegal immigrants arrested

Five Iraqi illegal immigrants, including three children, have been arrested on the island of Samos, police said today. A Samos police spokesman told the ANA the man, woman and three children were picked up yesterday in the Kastro region near the Pythagorion on Samos. The immigrants told police they had been transported to Samos in a wooden boat from the Turkish coast, and had paid the Turkish captain 1,500 dollars each, the spokesman said.

Child used to pass heroin through to prisoner

The father and grandmother of an 8-year-old boy were arrested when police found heroin in the pockets of the child on a visit to his mother in jail, a prison spokesman told the ANA. Guards at the Korydallos high-security prison found a packet containing half a gram of heroin in young Angelos' pocket yesterday afternoon when he was taken to see his 50-year-old mother Katerina Petrou during visiting hours. Angelos told prison guards, who turned up the narcotic in a routine search of the three visitors, that the packet was put in his pocket by an aunt, who had not accompanied the others to prison. The mother was imprisoned last week on drug charges.

Greek equities halt decline

Greek equities rebounded on the Athens Stock Exchange, halting a four-day decline which saw the market lose 12.5 percent of its value. The general index returned above the 1,900 mark level, to end 0.81 percent higher to 1, 905.06 points. Trading was extremely thin with turnover at 28.3 billion drachmas. Volume was 6,756,000 shares. Sector indices scored gains. Banks rose 0.26 pecent, Insurance ended 0.28 percent up, Investment increased 0.39 percent, Leasing ended 0.08 percent higher, Industrials surged 1.30 percent, Miscellaneous jumped 2.23 percent, Holding soared 2.87 percent but Construction fell 1.83 percent.


Fair weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today with scattered cloud in the west. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Athens sunny with few clouds and temperatures between 16-28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 14-25C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.541 British pound 478.382 Japanese yen (100) 209.163 French franc 51.413 German mark 172.360 Italian lira (100) 17.434 Irish Punt 431.123 Belgian franc 8.357 Finnish mark 56.649 Dutch guilder 152.927 Danish kr. 45.336 Austrian sch. 24.510 Spanish peseta 2.030 Swedish kr. 35.149 Norwegian kr. 37.795 Swiss franc 208.791 Port. Escudo 1.680 Aus. dollar 168.794 Can. dollar 182.409 Cyprus pound 581.590


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