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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-10

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, 10/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • S-300 missiles sale must go ahead, Zyuganov says
  • Russian defence industry losing traditional markets
  • FYROM, Greek premiers to speak at Thessaloniki conference
  • Defence minister opens armaments conference
  • Development ministry seeks solution to pylons protest
  • Police find skeleton of pensioner in home
  • Three arrested with 110 kilos of hashish
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

S-300 missiles sale must go ahead, Zyuganov says

Russia's Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said on Thursday that the contract between Moscow and Nicosia for the procurement and deployment in Cyprus of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles must be implemented because the defensive weapons system posed no threat to any third country. Zyuganov was speaking at a news conference during a two-day visit to Greece which began yesterday at the invitation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Nicosia's plans to purchase and install the S-300 missiles in the island republic in an effort to bolster its defenses has drawn criticism from the United States and European countries which claim the deployment will merely serve to increase tension. Turkey has openly threatened to prevent the deployment.

Russian defence industry losing traditional markets

Commenting on Russia's policy vis-a-vis arms sales, Zyuganov said his country had lost all the major markets which it had gained in the Soviet era. In a clear reference to the US, Zyuganov said that if only one major arms seller is allowed to dominate the world market, the prices of weapons will be too high for many countries. On Turkey's role in the northern Caucasus and the Middle East, Zyuganov expressed displeasure, saying that Ankara was trying to increase its influence in the two regions without taking into consideration Russia's interests. "This policy does not help towards the development of mutual trust. We have our own zone of geopolitical responsibility and Russia had always played a role, even before the creation of the USSR, in the region of Eurasia," Zyuganov said, indicating that he strongly opposed Turkey's policy of trying to penetrate the region.

FYROM, Greek premiers to speak at Thessaloniki conference

The new prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Ljubco Georgievski will join Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis as guest speaker at a major Balkan economics conference to be held in Thessaloniki in May 1999. Federation of Northern Greek Industries (SBBE) president Vassilis Takas told a news conference on Thursday that both the premiers were scheduled to speak at the federation's annual conference, which next year will focus on the situation in the Balkans a decade after the deregulation of markets. Athens and Skopje's relation have improved markedly over recent years.

Defence minister opens armaments conference

National defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday opened the Third Symposium of the Western European armaments organisation on research and technology taking place in Athens. The minister stressed to delegates at the two-day event the need for a common European defence industry, noting that European defence could not be founded only on private defence industries but needed the participation of countries too. Referring to the co-production of the Eurofire jetfighter by four countries, he said it was no coincidence that the Eurofighter was becoming a "European prospect" as more countries would join the original four, intimating Greece's interest. He called the establishment of the Western European armaments organisation, the presidency of which Greece assumes on January 1, 1999, as an "important step".

Development ministry seeks solution to pylons protest

The public power corporation DEH is to begin a study on running an ultra- high voltage line passing through Kryoneri, northeast of Athens, underground, development minister Vasso Papandreou said today. Kryoneri residents have been protesting DEH plans to install five ultra-high voltage pylons in their town, claiming the electromagnetic field emanating from them was a health hazard and entailed an increased risk of cancer. Police used teargas earlier this month to disperse protesting Kryoneri residents blocking the installation in their town of the last five pylons of DEH's third main north-south power conveyance line for transfer of electricity from Northern Greece to the Greek capital to alleviate shortages in periods of increased power needs.

Police find skeleton of pensioner in home

The skeleton of a pensioner believed to have died 11 months ago was found in the fashionable Kolonaki district of Athens in an apartment just a few blocks away from the Greek prime minister's residence, police said. Kostas Antonakis, a retired bank employee, had been a loner and was not remembered by neighbours to have social contacts, while he was also not on speaking terms with his brother. No one paid attention to the rarely-seen pensioner's disappearance, and it was only when a leak developed in the ceiling of the apartment below did the other residents in the apartment building alert Antonakis' brother.

Three arrested with 110 kilos of hashish

Three men were arrested on Thursday as they attempted to smuggle 110 kilos of unprocessed Indian cannabis into Greece. Police said Dimitrios Stephanidis, 33, and Sebastian Stephanidis, 22, and Nikolaos Paramythiotis, 58, were arrested. They said the two younger men had picked up the hashish from Albanians at the border but were spotted by police as they were driving frrom the Kakavias border post to a village called Zavroho. Police arrested the three when the truck stopped for Paramythioitis in the town of Ioannina. He was planning to take the hashish to Athens.

WEATHER

Clouds with rain or sleet are forecast on Thursday for the eastern Aegean islands, Crete and the Dodecanese with improvement expected later in the day. Few clouds in the rest of the country expected to gradually increase with rain and light snow on the mountains. Winds will be variable, strong to very strong. Athens will be partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 2C to 10C. Thessaloniki will also be partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from -4C to 5C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.899 British pound 460.328 Japanese yen (100) 235.144 French franc 49.642 German mark 166.458 Italian lira (100) 16.810 Irish Punt 413.565 Belgian franc 8.070 Finnish mark 54.748 Dutch guilder 147.699 Danish kr. 43.767 Austrian sch. 23.658 Spanish peseta 1.957 Swedish kr. 34.541 Norwegian kr. 36.704 Swiss franc 203.980 Port. Escudo 1.623 Aus. dollar 171.393 Can. dollar 179.750

(M.P.)


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