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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-14

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, 14/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • German FM Fischer begins EU tour in Athens
  • Holbrooke not scheduled to see PM
  • Gov't blasts opposition comments on education
  • Greece, Romania discuss bilateral relations
  • Decision on air radars expected Tuesday
  • Woman strangles her daughter for breaking curfew
  • Rhodes labourer scoops Joker 1.8bln dr jackpot
  • Greek equities end down again
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

German FM Fischer begins EU tour in Athens

New German foreign minister Joschka Fischer today commenced in Athens a tour of the European Union capitals ahead of his country's assumption of the rotating EU presidency on January 1, 1999. Fischer held talks with Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos on matters concerning European integration, enlargement, Agenda 2000, the 15-nation bloc's institutional prospects and Greek bilateral relations with neighbouring countries. Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and secretary general for European affairs Stelios Perakis also attended the working breakfast. Pangalos and his new German counterpart had their first private meeting in Oslo earlier this month on the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial conference.

Holbrooke not scheduled to see PM

There has been no formal request made for a meeting between visiting US presidential emissary on the Cyprus issue Richard Holbrooke and Greek prime minister Costas Simitis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Monday. Holbrooke is due to hold consultations tonight with foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos and deputy foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis at a working dinner hosted by US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns.

Gov't blasts opposition comments on education

The government on Monday slammed main opposition party New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis's comments on education ministry reforms, saying Karamanlis had failed to address the issues. "The education ministry called on all opposition parties and New Democracy to participate in the dialogue on education. ND refused... Now, not in a position to talk about the essence of the problem, Mr. Karamanlis generalises, theorises and calls for dialogue," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. Karamanlis, in an interview with an Athens daily, said he was against pupils' tactics of occupying schools and blocking roads. He called on the government to withdraw the contentious education reforms and begin "national dialogue" on policies for the sector. Reppas said if Karamanlis could set out real proposals on specific reforms adopted by the education ministry, this would be "positive".

Greece, Romania discuss bilateral relations

Deputy Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis met with his Romanian counterpart on Monday on bilateral relations, the situation in the Balkans and progress in cooperation between Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mihail Razvan Ugureanou is in Athens to address a conference being held by the Hellenic Foundation for Foreign and Defence Policy. He will speak on Romania's foreign policy towards its neighbours on Tuesday. Also a focus for discussion between the two deputy ministers was Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos's visit to Bucharest on January 19-20.

Decision on air radars expected Tuesday

Prime Minister Costas Simitis conferred with Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Monday ahead of a meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) on Tuesday. The KYSEA meeting, which will be chaired by Simitis, has been called to discuss issues related to the multi-million dollar armaments programme currently in progress aimed at strengthening the capability of all three services of the armed forces. At Tuesday's meeting, the focus will be on procurements for the Hellenic Air Force, primarily the purchase of 4th generation combat aircraft and airborne radar. Tsohatzopoulos told reporters after the meeting that some decisions might be made at Tuesday's meeting. Sources said that KYSEA would take a decision on air radar systems produced by two different U.S. companies or a Swedish firm at the meeting.

Woman strangles her daughter for breaking curfew

Athens police are holding a Greek woman after she confessed to strangling her 14-year-old daughter while she lay sleeping. According to police, Valia Siambani telephoned her estranged husband, Alexandros, and told him that she had killed her daughter and threatened to hang herself. The man discovered his daughter's body when he went round to Siambani's house in the Athens suburb of Holargos. Siambani told police she had killed the girl on Sunday after the girl came home at 8 a.m. Siambani said she waited till her daughter was asleep before going in to strangle her.

Rhodes labourer scoops Joker 1.8bln dr jackpot

A 50-year-old labourer from Rhodes is 1.875 billion drachmas (six million dollars) richer after checking all 5+1 winning numbers in Sunday night's Joker jackpot. The father of three, who has requested anonymity after being flooded by calls from television stations and newspapers, played a 2,000 drachma ticket ($7).

Greek equities end down again

Equities finished sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday in a second consecutive decline, sliding further below stubborn resistance at 2, 500 points. The general index ended 2.18 percent lower at 2,407.05 points. Trade was slim with turnover falling to 51.5 billion drachmas from 56.2 billion a session earlier on volume of 13,541,000 shares. Worst hit were the banking and leasing sectors. Bucking the trend were construction shares, which jumped in heavy buying interest. The market lost 3.00 percent on Friday after signs for several sessions that the index might manage to consolidate above 2,500 points.

WEATHER

Most parts of the country will start Monday overcast later turning to rain with snow on high ground. Scattered storms are forecast at sea. Winds northerly, moderate to strong. Maximum temperature in Athens 15C, and in Thessaloniki 8C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Mondays's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 274.992 British pound 459.018 Japanese yen (100) 233.705 French franc 49.602 German mark 166.309 Italian lira (100) 16.797 Irish Punt 413.267 Belgian franc 8.064 Finnish mark 54.709 Dutch guilder 147.600 Danish kr. 43.704 Austrian sch. 23.647 Spanish peseta 1.955 Swedish kr. 33.940 Norwegian kr. 35.891 Swiss franc 206.242 Port. Escudo 1.623 Aus. dollar 171.586 Can. dollar 178.362

(M.P.)


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