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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 31/12/1998 (ANA)


  • Two dead, 10 missing after boat sinks
  • Prime minister's New Year message
  • Fog, ice make Thessaloniki roads treacherous
  • Two rob motorist on national highway
  • New Year babies to get car restraint
  • Cars damaged in french fries mishap
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Two dead, 10 missing after boat sinks

A sailboat ferrying an unknown number of illegal immigrants from the Turkish coast to Greece sank early Thursday off the coast of Nissyros island in the Aegean. Twenty-two people have been rescued by nearby boats, while the bodies of two more have been recovered. Ten people are still unaccounted for. Coast guard officials said navy and patrol boats were sent to the vicinity and nearby vessels alerted after an SOS call was received at dawn today from an unidentified boat that had taken on water and was sinking. Three of the four crew - two Greeks and a Yugoslav - were among those rescued while their companion, another Greek, was missing.

Prime minister's New Year message

1999 will be the year that Greece realises the goals it has set, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in a message to mark New Year, issued on Thursday. "The sacrifices and efforts of the previous year are taking root and the first results of the economy are tangible in the thousands of large and small projects being undertaken through Greece, in the increase in the real incomes of the Greek people and in the role Greece is playing in the Balkans and the European Union," Simitis said. He said 1998 had been a good year, noting that the international financial crisis had not harmed the Greek economy.

Fog, ice make Thessaloniki roads treacherous

Ice and fog in the region of northern Greece caused two car accidents on Thursday morning involving a total of 25 cars, but no injuries. Fog and limited visibility caused a 15-car pile up on the Thessaloniki-Moudanion national road and icy roads were cited as the cause of a 10-car pile up on the Thessaloniki-Peraias road. Fog also caused delays in flights at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport. Fog shut down the airport on Wednesday for the second time this week.

Two rob motorist on national highway

Two masked armed men bailed up a motorist on the Thessaloniki coastal road this morning and robbed him of 40 million drachmas before making their getaway on a high-speed motorbike. The highway robbery occured at around 9.30 a.m. on Thursday. The two men on the motorbike approached the car, whose driver has not been identified, while it was stopped at the corner of Edison St on the Alexander the Great avenue, in the area of Stratigiou. Shooting in the air twice with a hunting rifle, they then grabbed a bag containing the money from the car and disappeared. Police said the victim was a local businessman and have launched a manhunt to find the two men.

New Year babies to get car restraint

The public order ministry said on Thursday that the first babies born in Athens and Thessaloniki in the New Year would receive a baby car restraint as a present. The present is part of an ongoing campaign by Greek of the need for Greek parents to use seat belts and car seats to reduce the number of road deaths. Greece has one of the worst road death records in Europe. Some 1,500 Greeks are estimated to have died over the past five years as a result of not using seatbelts.

Cars damaged in french fries mishap

Three cars were damaged and the windows blown out of an apartment in suburban Athens when a absent-minded young Italian man tried to fry some chips on Wednesday night. Giovanni Albano, 21, forgot that he had left dinner on the stove and compounded his mistake when the pan caught fire by throwing water on the electric stove. The resulting explosion blew out all the windows of the apartment in suburban Petralona. The broken glass caused damage to three cars parked outside the apartment. Albano was unhurt.


The first day of 1999 will be overcast with a strong possibility of rain. Winds moderate to strong to very strong in the Aegean. Light snowfall is forecast for central and northern mountain regions. Temperatures will range from -4-8 in the north, 0-13 in the mainland and 4-14 on the islands. The outlook for Athens is scattered cloud with the likelihood of rain in the evening, 5-12. Thessaloniki will have cloud with rain in the afternoon, -1- 7.

Foreign Exchange

U.S. dollar 280.309 British pound 464.137 Japanese yen (100) 245.907 French franc 49.866 German mark 167.152 Italian lira (100) 16.895 Irish Punt 415.747 Belgian franc 8.107 Finnish mark 55.006 Dutch guilder 148.418 Danish kr. 43.928 Austrian sch. 23.776 Spanish peseta 1.967 Swedish kr. 34.522 Norwegian kr. 36.831 Swiss franc 203.320 Port. Escudo 1.634 Aus. dollar 171.616 Can. dollar 179.850 Cyprus pound 561.770


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