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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-03

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, 03/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Gov't warns ready to move over customs strike
  • Teargas used to break up DEH protest
  • Judicial officials on strike
  • Culture minister sacks senior museum official
  • Greek students to study sports management in Sydney
  • 2004 official in Sydney to confer on Olympics
  • Police seize 14 kilos of hashish
  • Greek equities plunge on OTE resignation
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Gov't warns ready to move over customs strike

The government on Thursday warned it would take action if customs workers do not call off a four-day strike that has left Greeks without petrol and heating fuel and paralysed border traffic, two key ministers said. "If customs workers do not call off their strike, then the government will be obliged to take measures," Labour and Welfare Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said after a meeting this morning with Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Customs workers begin a five-day strike on Monday to protest plans to merge their capital-rich pension fund with other less well-off funds. The customs officers' supplementary fund receives proceeds collected as a percentage of duties paid on exports and imports.

Teargas used to break up DEH protest

Police used teargas Thursday to disperse protesting residents of a northeastern Athens town blocking the installation of ultra-high voltage pylons, claiming the latter were hazardous to their health. The incidents began when Public Power Corporation (DEH) crews, backed by a strong police contingent, began installing five pylons in Kryoneri necessary to transfer electricity from Northern Greece to the Greek capital to alleviate shortages in periods of increased power needs. A police spokesman said 15 protestors, including a municipal councillor, who had climbed onto the pylons, had been taken into custody but were later released. There were no reports of injuries.

Judicial officials on strike

The main court house in Greece's second biggest city - Thessaloniki - ground to a halt on Thursday as judidical employees began a 48-hour nationwide strike in support of financial and institutional demands. According to union officials representing the employees, participation reached 80 per cent in the northern port city, which meant that only hearings of flagrant offences and cases in danger of being statute-barred. The strike has affected the operation of justice throughout the country, although no figures were available about level of participation.

Culture minister sacks senior museum official

Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday sacked a senior museum official when he found out, through a newspaper report, that a key archaeological museum in Athens would be shut for two days due to lack of staff. Director of the First Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Ismini Trianti, who is also responsible for the Acropolis, was quoted as telling the newspaper that the Athens Ancient Agora Museum would be shut because there was no guard or cleaning staff available due to staff shortages and people on leave. It had already been shut for two days. Venizelos named archaeologist Liana Parlama, head of the Third Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, as Trianti's successor.

Greek students to study sports management in Sydney

Sixty Greek university students will take part in an exchange programme with Sydney's University of Technology (UTS) to study sports management, according to an ANA report from Melbourne. The group is expected to graduate in 1999, a year before the Sydney 2000 Olympics and in time to be able to lend a helping hand with the Athens 2004 Olympics. The group is expected to gain valuable on-hand experience during the 2000 Games. The agreement was forged after talks between the UTS professor Paul Johnson, who is of Greek origin, and a professor Gargaliano from the University of Thrace.

2004 official in Sydney to confer on Olympics

Athens 2004 Olympic Games organising committee president Stratis Stratigis arrives in Sydney for talks with Games officials on December 16. Stratigis's visit comes almost a month to the day after Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos's 10-day trip to Australia where he met with Sydney 2000 Olympic Games officials. Venizelos said he agreed in talks with Australia's competent minister for the Olympics that Greek officials would visit Australia to observe preparations for the 2000 Games.

Police seize 14 kilos of hashish

Police on Thursday arrested one Albanian and were looking for three others after seizing just over 14 kilos of hashish outside Kastoria in northern Greece. The group of four Albanians was spotted by the police and fled when they realised they were going to be questioned, leaving two travel bags behind. Three managed to escape but Baskim Fregiay, 28, was arrested and the police recovered the two travel bags containing 14.3 kilos of hashish.

Greek equities plunge on OTE resignation

Greek equities plunged on Thursday hit by developments in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and a sharp drop of its share price in Wall Street on Wednesday. Traders said sentiment was also affected by a new decline in major European markets. The general index ended 3.46 percent off to 2,413.45 points in extremely heavy turnover of 185.1 billion drachmas, of which 55 billion accounted for Hellenic Telecom's shares trading. OTE's shares ended 7.5 percent lower in heavy volume of 8,300,000 shares. Overall volume totalled 24,712,000 shares.

WEATHER

Cloud and rain will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds moderate to strong, turning gale force in the Ionian Sea and the northern Aegean Sea. Possibility of light rain in the north and east of Athens with temperatures between 10-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 8- 11C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.794 British pound 463.363 Japanese yen (100) 231.424 French franc 49.792 German mark 166.954 Italian lira (100) 16.862 Irish Punt 414.676 Belgian franc 8.093 Finnish mark 54.907 Dutch guilder 148.091 Danish kr. 43.910 Austrian sch. 23.729 Spanish peseta 1.963 Swedish kr. 34.601 Norwegian kr. 37.660 Swiss franc 203.866 Port. Escudo 1.627 Aus. dollar 178.486 Can. dollar 182.528 Cyprus pound 562.563

(M.P.)


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