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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-02

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, 02/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens says Ankara not minding its own business
  • PM confident about end to customs strike
  • Strikers say they will continue
  • MPs discuss sports violence
  • 13 illegal immigrants arrrested
  • Tsovolas begins Australian visit
  • Anti-smoking campaign for schools
  • Greek equities rebound
  • OTE managing director resigns
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens says Ankara not minding its own business

Greece on Wednesday accused Ankara of interfering in its domestic affairs following statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on the issue of the S-300 missiles and the possibility of their being deployed in Crete. "We do not allow any third party to interfere in our domestic affairs," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, adding that the governments of Greece and Nicosia were handling the missile issue responsibly in accordance with their own needs. Nicosia's plans to install Russian-made S- 300 anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus have been criticised by the United States and European countries, which claim it will only serve to increase tension. Turkey has openly threatened to prevent their deployment.

PM confident about end to customs strike

Prime Minister Costas Simitis was confident on Wednesday that the end of the day would see an end to the customs strike that has paralysed border traffic and left Greece all but out of petrol. "We are here to do something and if we don't do anything, we may as well go home," Simitis said during a visit to the interior ministry. Customs officials are striking over government plans to reform and merge a number of pension and health funds, including their own.

Strikers say they will continue

An Athens court said on Wednesday that the five days of rolling 24-hour strikes called by the customs union was illegal, ruling in favour of a finance ministry injunction. Customs workers said later they had told the government they would continue to their strike by calling rolling 24-hour strikes for a series of different issues, thus getting around sanctions imposed by the courts for failing to call off the labour action. An official decision is expected from the union later in the day.

MPs discuss sports violence

Greek deputies painted a very black picture of the situation prevailing in professional soccer in the country in reports presented on Wednesday after hearings before an all-party committee specially set up to investigate the phenomenon of violence associated with football. Although the deputies tended to agree that Greek soccer was "a battlefield for profit-making and other interests", each party's report differed in certain respects. The deputies of the ruling PASOK party, in their report, said soccer violence emanated chiefly from the sport's general lack of credibility in Greece and inherent structural weaknesses. "The inflammatory statments and acts of soccer club presidents, biased refereeing and the failure of sports justice to strictly adhere to the relevant laws and sanctions..." are the main reasons given for the situation in the PASOK deputies' report.

13 illegal immigrants arrrested

Thirteen Iraqi illegal immigrants face a Samos prosecutor on Wednesday, after Greek authorities picked the group up off the coast of the island. The illegal immigrants told officials that they had paid $3,000 dollars a head for the trip from Lebanon to Greece. They said a commercial vessel put them on a boat which took them to Samos after the vessel reached the Mykalis straits.

Tsovolas begins Australian visit

The president of opposition Democratic Social Movement, Dimitris Tsovolas, began a nine-day tour of Australia on Wednesday, according to an ANA dispatch from Melbourne. Tsovolas has been invited to the country by the Greek-Australian communities of Melbourne and Sydney. He is also expected to meet with state and federal government officials, state and federal MPs of Greek origin and opposition party officials. He meets Victorian State Premier Jeff Kennet on Thursday.

Anti-smoking campaign for schools

The Greek Anti-Cancer Council, with the support of the education ministry, will provide awards to three school classes which manage to stop smoking for four months, part of a European-wide campaign to reduce the number of young smokers. According to the results of a study by the Greek Cardiology Centre earlier this year, Greeks are beginning to start smoking at younger ages and on average at the age of 13.5. The study was conducted on 5,000 students aged 12-18 in 20 different areas around Greece. Of the sample group, nine percent were regular smokers, 30 percent were occasional smokers while 86 percent had parents who were smokers.

Greek equities rebound

Greek equities rebounded on Wednesday following two sessions of declines, helped by strong buying interest in Leasing shares. The general index climbed above the 2,500 level again, closing at 2,500.04 points, up 1.21 percent. Trading remained heavy with turnover at 58.3 billion drachmas. Volume was 13,762,000 shares. Sector indices scored gains. Banks rose 1.14 percent, Leasing soared 6.76 percent, Insurance increased 0.79 percent, Investment ended 0.19 percent up, Construction rose 0.08 percent, Industrials ended 0.55 percent up, Miscellaneous jumped 3.19 percent and Holding rose 1.16 percent.

OTE managing director resigns

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's (OTE) managing director George Chryssolouris resigned from his post on Wednesday, citing personal reasons and saying he will return to his academic duties at Patras University. Chryssolouris said he had submitted his resignation to National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Transport Minister Tassos Mandelis on November 16. He remained firm on his decision during a meeting with Papantoniou today.

WEATHER

Cloud and rain will prevail throughout Greece today. Snow in the mountainous regions of western Macedonia and Epirus. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Possibility of light rain in the north and east of Athens with temperatures between 11-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9-12C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 281.609 British pound 464.554 Japanese yen (100) 229.688 French franc 49.806 German mark 167.038 Italian lira (100) 16.871 Irish Punt 414.656 Belgian franc 8.098 Finnish mark 54.935 Dutch guilder 148.175 Danish kr. 43.930 Austrian sch. 23.748 Spanish peseta 1.963 Swedish kr. 34.690 Norwegian kr. 37.763 Swiss franc 203.801 Port. Escudo 1.629 Aus. dollar 177.419 Can. dollar 184.909 Cyprus pound 562.464

(M.P.)


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