|Wednesday, 1 December 2021|
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-13
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 13/04/1999 (ANA)
NEWS IN DETAILPM to confer with foreign, defence ministers
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair a meeting of the defence and foreign ministers on Wednesday morning to examine issues related to this week's European Union and NATO summits. Simitis will leave later in the day for Brussels to represent Greece at the EU summit. On Thursday he will leave for Sofia, for an official visit at the invitation of Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. Simitis returns to Athens on Friday, where he will brief President Costis Stephanopoulos on developments in Yugoslavia and the wider Balkans as well as on the outcome of the EU summit. The prime minister leaves for New York on Sunday to take part in the NATO summit marking the 50th anniversary of the Alliance.
Athens denies agreement with FYROM on name issue
Greece on Tuesday denied press reports that an agreement settling the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was in the works. "There is no agreement about to be signed," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters. Press reports had speculated that an agreement would be signed in the U.S., during a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and FYROM President Kiro Gligorov. Athens and Skopje are currently holding talks under UN auspices to reach a compromise on the issue of the name of Greece's northern neighbour. Greece says the term 'Macedonia', which Skopje insists on using for its constitutional name, implies territorial claims on the Greek province of Macedonia. Reppas said Gligorov had requested a meeting with the Greek premier and that the meeting had been set for April 25, but that the name issue had not been cited as the reason for the meeting.
Australian politician asks Greek help for aid workers
An Australian politician has asked Greece to intercede with Belgrade to release two Australian aid workers being held on charges of espionage, the ANA reports from Melbourne. ANA said Mike Wran, the leader of the South Australian Labor Party, had written to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis asking him to intercede with the Yugoslav authorities to release the two Australians. Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace, part of Care Australia's refugee relief programme in Yugoslavia, were reported missing two weeks ago. Pratt was shown "confessing" to intelligence gathering activities for NATO on Serbian television on Sunday. Allegations that the two spied for NATO have been strongly denied by the mens' families, Care Australia and the Australian government. In his letter to Simitis, Wran says the charges against the two are "completely baseless" and given that Australia was not involved militarily in the air strikes against Serbia, there was no justification for their being held as "prisoners of war".
German woman attacked; two arrested
Police in the northwest port of Igoumenitsa said on Tuesday they had arrested two men suspected of raping a 21-year-old German woman. Theysaid the woman, identified only by her initials K.O., told them she had been attacked by a group of foreign men while walking in the port city's park. K.O. told police she was initially approached by two men who attacked her. She was then sexually assaulted by them and other men. Following the rape, K.O. was beaten and had her passport and $600 stolen from her. Police said they had arrested two Iraqi Kurds and were seeking the others involved in the attack.
521 illegal immigrants to be deported
Police in Ioannina said they arrested a total of 521 Albanian nationals attempting to enter Greece illegally over the four-day Easter weekend. The police said the high number of arrests was due to the mistaken assumption by the would-be illegal immigrants that border controls would be more lax over the holiday period. The 521 Albanians will all be returned to Albanian territory through the Kakavias border post.
Polish national found dead in farmhouse
A Polish national was found dead in a farmhouse near Argolis in the Peloponnese, police said today. The man, identified as Anatol Ostarkiewicz, 35, was found dead by local farmers late last night and his body was brought to Athens for a post mortem. Police gave no other details except for the man's passport No. 9745901 issued in Poland on 7 October 1996.
Greek equities end up after Easter break
Equity prices ended the first trading session following a four-day Easter break sharply higher. The general index ended 2.72 percent up to 3,720.16 points, only 54.13 points off its record close of March 19 before the start of NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia. The Athens bourse fluctuated widely, within the 3,100-3,700 range, since the crisis began in Kosovo. Traders said the market reacted, belatedly, to a decision last Thursday by European Central Bank to lower its short-term rate by 50 basis points and a record rally in European stock markets which followed through.
FM: NATO decision not to send ground troops still holds
Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday expressed satisfaction over the response proposals for a political settlement to the Kosovo crisis met with at the meeting of NATO member-states' foreign ministers. He said the decision not to use the alliance's ground forces still holds and consent was also reached both on the promotion of diplomatic solutions, with the contribution of Russia, and the safeguarding of Yugoslavia's present borders.
Albright praises Greece's role in the region
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright praised Greece's role in the region and the rendering of humanitarian aid at a press conference she gave at the end of the meeting. "The Greeks have helped us and they will help more," she said. Referring to the climate of consensus prevailing at the meeting, she focused in particular on her meeting with Mr. Papandreou on the sidelines of the meeting and to Greece's role in the region. Mr. Papandreou said Greece's role is not limited to its contribution to overcoming the crisis but extends to the next day as well, as a force of peace in the region.
Constantopoulos to visit FYROM on Thursday
Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos)leader Nikos Constantopoulos will visit the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Thursday for talks with the country's political leadership. Mr. Constantopoulos will also be visiting Tirana and B ucharest in the near future. Mr. Constantopoulos' visits are part of the party's initiatives "for an end to NATO bombings, the achievement of a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, humanitarian aid for refugees and conditions of peace, stability and multifaceted cooperation being secured in the Balkans."
DHKKI begins collecting aid for Yugoslavia
The Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) is collecting humanitarian aid for Yugoslavia, hit by NATO bombings, officials said yesterday. DHKKI asked its members and the public to contribute whatever they could. The party's headquarters in central Athens are to be used as a collection point throughout the day. The project is being undertaken with the Yugoslav embassy in Athens.
Tsohatzopoulos visits Kosovo refugees in Albania
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos visited regions on Saturday where the biggest part of refugees from Kosovo have been located. Accompanied by members of the Greek Embassy in Tirana and the Orthodox Archbishop of Albania Anastasios, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos visited the town of Kukes which is the main point of entry into Albania for Kosovo Albanians. He visited the Greek military force which in recent days has been creating a refugee settlement, while Greek officers briefed him on the daily shipments of foodstuffs to northern Albania and talked to many refugees staying there. On Saturday, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was received by Albanian Prime Minister Panteli Majko who expressed satisfaction over Greece's speedy response to the Albanian government's request for humanitarian aid to avert a humanitarian disaster in the country. He further said that Greece's example must be followed by other countries, appreciating as positive the creation of settlements by the Greek military force.
More humanitarian aid to Albania
Humanitarian aid, particularly for the Albanian people who are currently facing an acute refugee accumulation problem, is being gathered by a newly- established solidarity committee in Thessaloniki in cooperation with the Archbishop of Albania Anastasios. The Solidarity for All Committee, composed of Aristotelion University professors and the publisher Petros Papasarantopoulos, is already gathering quantities of foodstuffs which will be sent with an aircraft to be provided by the Greek government and will be distriubuted in Albania at the responsibility of the Archdiocese.
41 killed in traffic accidents over Easter period
This year's Easter was one of the worst in traffic accidents over past years as 41 people were killed and 430 injured in 305 traffic accidents all over the country from Thursday until Monday afternoon. Twelve people were killed in four traffic accidents alone.
WEATHERCloud and scattered showers are expected in many parts of the country today. Athens will be sunny with a few clouds and temperatures ranging from 12-21C. Same in Thessaloniki with rain likely in the evening and temperatures ranging from 8-18C.
Rates Tuesday (buying) U.S. dollar 297.679 Pound sterling 477.688 Japanese yen (100) 246.423 French franc 49.086 German mark 164.627 Italian lira (100) 16.629 Irish Punt 408.835 Belgian franc 7.982 Luxembourg franc 7.982 Finnish mark 54.153 Dutch guilder 146.110 Danish kr. 43.342 Austrian sch. 23.399 Spanish peseta 1.935 Swedish kr. 35.930 Norwegian kr. 38.337 Swiss franc 201.822 Port. Escudo 1.606 Aus. dollar 186.079 Can. dollar 198.995 Cyprus pound 557.742 Euro 321.983(M.P.)
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