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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 30/12/1998 (ANA)


  • Opposition slams S-300 decision
  • Defence minister in Albania
  • Plea for clemency for Afghani immigrants
  • Fog shuts down Thessaloniki airport again
  • Kurdish man found dead in Thessaloniki
  • Boy accidentally killed
  • Police investigate theft of 500 licences
  • Equities resume upward trend
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Opposition slams S-300 decision

Greece's leading opposition party leader on Wednesday called Nicosia and Athens' decision to install Russian S-300 missiles on Crete instead of Cyprus "a grave defeat" and a "fiasco". "The consequences of incoherence, lack of credibility and concessions are most serious for the whole of Hellenism," Costas Karamanlis, president of conservative New Democracy, said in a statement. The decision not to deploy the missiles on the divided island was taken Tuesday night by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, after consultations with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Simitis expressed his support for Clerides's decision not to install the S-300 surface-to-air missiles on the divided island. "It is a decision which the Greek government fully backs", the premier said.

Defence minister in Albania

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is in Tirana for a day-long visit that includes meetings with the Albanian government and Greek soldiers serving in the south. Tsohatzopoulos's first call was to Gjirokaster where Greek consular staff and Greek military officials briefed the minister on work on a military hospital to be donated by the Greek government to the Albanian defence ministry. In Tirana later in the day, Tsohatzopoulos will have meetings with his Albanian counterpart, Prime Minister Pandeli Majko and President Rexhep Mejdani.

Plea for clemency for Afghani immigrants

Coalition of the Left and Progress Eurodeputy Alekos Alavanos on Wednesday issued an appeal to Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos to waive a deportation order on a family of Afghani refugees. The family - a widowed mother, her two sisters, and four children - were part of a group of illegal immigrants ferried to the island of Icaria by a Turk on Christmas Day. The other illegal immigrants are Iraqi Kurds. A Samos court decided on Tuesday not to order the deportation of the 17 illegal refugees from Iraq, pending a decision by the Greek foreign ministry on their request for political asylum. The deportation of the Afghanis however was granted.

Fog shuts down Thessaloniki airport again

Fog shut down Thessaloniki's international airport on Wednesday for the second time this week with only one domestic and one international flight managing to take off this morning from the northern capital. By 10 a.m. two flights, to and from Athens, had been cancelled. Officials said landings were impossible due to limited visibility. The airport was also closed due to fog on Monday. Greece's second biggest airport is plagued by problems due to fog in winter every year. It is hoped that a modern electronic system which enables "blind" landings will solve the problem.

Kurdish man found dead in Thessaloniki

A Kurdish refugee of Iraqi origin was found dead on a village farm near Thessaloniki early today and police said that the man froze to death as a result of the cold spell in the region. Police identified the man as Disoum Iraq Arbel. He was found in a sleeping bag and part of his chest and left arm had been eaten away by wild beasts roaming the area of Lagadas, near the northern Greek capital. An autopsy showed that the man had been dead for more than a week.

Boy accidentally killed

A two-year-old Pomak boy from the northern Greek village of Soufli was killed by his seven-year-old cousin when the hunting rifle with which the older boy was playing accidentally went off, police said today. The boy, Ibrahim Semtat, who was shot in the chest, was rushed by his parents to a nearby health centre where doctors verified his death. Police quoted the parents as saying that the two boys were playing with the rifle without knowing that it was loaded.

Police investigate theft of 500 licences

Police in the northern Greek town of Xanthi were seeking at least two people involved in the theft of 500 driving licences during a break in at the offices of prefectural department of transport and communications. "Our investigations are continuing, with the cooperation of other departments, in Kavala and Drama," Xanthi police chief Mihalis Aslanoglou said. He said that the central entrance to the prefectural building was not locked and that the thieves had taken advantage of the holiday season to steal the licences from the offices.

Equities resume upward trend

Greek equities resumed their upward trend on Wednesday, following a moderate correction the previous day, pushing the general index above the 2, 700 level on the Athens Stock Exchange. The index ended 1.65 percent up to 2,709.18 points in heavy turnover of 107 billion drachmas. Volume was 21, 294,000 shares. Sector indices scored gains. Industrials jumped 3.07 percent up, Banks rose 1.08 percent, Leasing fell 0.23 percent, Insurance eased 0.28 percent, Investment was 0.81 percent up, Construction increased 1.38 percent, Miscellaneous rose 0.57 percent and Holding dropped 1.70 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.80 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index rose 1.26 percent up to 1, 701.96.


Greece will be overcast today with sunny spells and the possibility of scattered showers and snow in the western, central and southern regions. Slightly higher temperatures throughout the country. Northerly winds, light to moderate in the Aegean and central Greece. Athens will be partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 5C-13C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 3C to 7C.


Banknotes Buying Selling US Dollar 278.940 285.408 Can.Dollar 180.246 184.425 Australian Dlr 170.475 174.428 Pound Sterling 468.244 479.100 Irish Punt 414.458 424.067 Pound Cyprus 562.404 575.444 Pound Malta 691.669 720.489 Turkish pound (100) 0.073 0.076 French franc 49.687 50.839 Swiss franc 204.164 208.897 Belgian franc 8.077 8.265 German Mark 166.646 170.510 Finnish Mark 54.868 56.140 Dutch Guilder 147.843 151.271 Danish Kr. 43.777 44.792 Swedish Kr. 34.553 35.354 Norwegian Kr. 36.760 37.612 Austrian Sh. 23.695 24.244 Italian lira (100) 16.842 17.233 Yen (100) 242.028 247.640 Spanish Peseta 1.958 2.004 Port. Escudo 1.628 1.666


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