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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-15

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, 15/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Ericsson gets Greek airborne radars contract
  • Greeks brave cold and strike to get to work
  • Father chains self to school gate in protest
  • Panamanian ship crew airlifted to safety
  • Holbrooke brings nothing new on Cyprus
  • FM Pangalos to visit Skopje in December
  • Transport ministry urges better service for public
  • Greek, Armenian culture ministers discuss ties
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Ericsson gets Greek airborne radars contract

Greece on Tuesday chose Swedish firm Ericsson to provide it with four airborne radars at a cost of $575 million, part of the multi-million dollar armaments programme currently in progress aimed at strengthening the capability of all three services of the armed forces. The decision was announced by Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, following a meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA), chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The radar systems are expected to be delivered in 45 months, Tsohatzopoulos said.

Greeks brave cold and strike to get to work

Greek commuters braved biting cold and a nationwide general strike on Tuesday that both served to make getting to work and pretty much anywhere else a little more difficult than usual. Athens suffered more traffic congestion than usual during the Tuesday rush hour as trolley bus workers called a 24-hour strike to support the General Confederation of Greek Labour's general strike against the government's 1999 budget. Buses and suburban trains began rolling only at 9 a.m. and were scheduled to stop again at 9 p.m. Also joining the GSEE and civil servants union ADEDY strike were Olympic Airways and ground handling crews as well as workers on the intercity rail lines. Only one OA flight per destination was being carried out on Tuesday and only six train routes between the Peloponnese and northern Greece.

Father chains self to school gate in protest

The father of two high school students participating in nationwide occupations of school premises chained himself to the railings of a school in Thessaloniki to protest at the actions of his children. Iordanis Aimoniotis, a teacher, chained himself to the central gate of the 17th Thessaloniki senior high school early on a bitingly cold Tuesday morning, saying he was opposed to the students' tactics. More than 70 schools in the wider Thessaloniki region are under occupation by students opposed to the education ministry's attempts to introduce wide-ranging changes to grading, examinations and to the curriculum.

Panamanian ship crew airlifted to safety

The crew of a Panamanian-flag cargo ship that ran aground in a rocky outcropping off Euboea island was airlifted to safety at down today, the Piraeus port authority said. It said all 26 crew members of the Greek-owned 12,741-ton "European" were safe and accounted for. The European, carrying a cargo of iron ore, ran aground off the port of Kymasi, Mantoudi on Monday.

Holbrooke brings nothing new on Cyprus

U.S. presidential envoy on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke had nothing new to add to the ongoing efforts to resolve the issue of Cyprus, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. Reppas said Holbrooke and Greek government officials exchanged views on regional issues, including Cyprus and Greek- Turkish relations. Holbrooke, accompanied by special U.S. State Department coordinator on Cyprus Thomas Miller, arrived in Athens on Monday, part of a tour of capitals involved in the Cyprus dispute.

FM Pangalos to visit Skopje in December

Foreign Ministerr Theodoros Pangalos will pay a visit to Skopje on December 22, at the invitation of new prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ljubco Georgievski. Pangalos is expected to meet with FYROM government officials on developments in the Balkans and international affairs and will exchange views on the present state of bilateral relations and room for improvement, a foreign ministry statement said.

Transport ministry urges better service for public

Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mandelis has issued orders to all services and supervisory authorities to work to make transport services more responsive to the Greek public over Christmas. Mandelis's circular asks the inter-city bus service KTEL, the Athens airports and the inter- city rail service OSE to ensure that there be no instances of overbooking during the holiday season. There should be adequate personnel on hand during the busy season to ensure that services work efficiently, Mandelis also said. Care should also be taken to ensure that canteens, rest rooms, waiting areas and lighting are functioning properly.

Greek, Armenian culture ministers discuss ties

Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with his Armenian counterpart in Athens on Tuesday to discuss cultural ties between the two countries. "The historical and cultural ties linking Greece and Armenia are longstanding and have a specific practical significance today," Venizelos said after meeting with Roland Saroyian. The two discussed archaeological research, contemporary arts and decided to pursue the mutual translation of works by Armenian and Greek writers. Venizelos said a protocol of cooperation focussing on film, audio-visual productions, theatrical works, concerts and the fine arts was also being pursured.

WEATHER

Western Greece partly cloudy, northern Greece cloudy with sporadic light snowfall. The rest of the country cloudy with rainfall or sleet and snow in the mountains. Winds northerly, strong to very strong. Athens is forecast cloudy with rainfall or sleet and snow on high ground and temperatures ranging from 7C to 11C. Thessaloniki is expected cloudy with possible light snowfall and temperatures ranging from 2C to 5C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 274.992 British pound 462.649 Japanese yen (100) 236.909 French franc 49.592 German mark 166.309 Italian lira (100) 16.795 Irish Punt 413.406 Belgian franc 8.620 Finnish mark 54.709 Dutch guilder 147.560 Danish kr. 43.700 Austrian sch. 23.645 Spanish peseta 1.955 Swedish kr. 34.291 Norwegian kr. 35.730 Swiss franc 205.776 Port. Escudo 1.621 Aus. dollar 169.806 Can. dollar 178.778

(M.P.)


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