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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 25/04/1999 (ANA)


  • PM: NATO action must be based on international law
  • Kosovo will hurt tourism, exports but not EMU
  • Milosevic will not accept armed force in Kosovo
  • Protestors form human chain around VOA in Xanthi
  • Two Albanians injured in coastguard shootout
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


PM: NATO action must be based on international law

International law must guide NATO in deciding on its actions, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis told reporters at the end of the first full day of talks at the Alliance's summit in Washington. Simitis said that the United Nations had to provide a legal basis for each decision for intervention by NATO that exceeded its brief. The leaders of the Alliance's 19 nations discussed NATO's new strategic approach in the wake of the end of bipolarism and the creation of new security conditions. Greece has stressed that the implementation of international law is a necessary prerequisite for every action otherwise, the Greek premier said, any party can be justified in undertaking unilateral action.

Kosovo will hurt tourism, exports but not EMU

Greece will petition the European Union for compensation for any harm to tourism, exports and transport due to the Kosovo crisis but does not believe the crisis will derail the country's attempt to become the 13th member of European economic and monetary union, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Sunday. "The repercussions (of the Kosovo crisis) on the real economy, tourism, on elections will exist, but they will be small. And there will be no substantial influence on the growth rate of our economy," Papantoniou said. "The Balkans developments will have no influence on our course towards economic and monetary union because all the indixes, inflation, interest rates, are moving at very positive rates," he said. He reiterated his conviction that Greece would be ready to meet all EMU criteria by the end of 1999.

Milosevic will not accept armed force in Kosovo

Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic will not accept a foreign military force in Kosovo but will accept unarmed observers from countries not NATO members, the former head of the Greek Communist Party said on Sunday, on his return from Belgrade. Harilaos Florakis, the honorary president of the Communist Party of Greece, said Milosevic was categorical about the presence of foreign soldiers in Kosovo. "He said that they have not started the war and set some conditions to begin talks with the first being the cessation of the bombing," Florakis said. Milosevic was willing to allow Greek observers to oversee the implementation of an agreement for Kosovo, which would be his only exception to his ban on NATO forces, Florakis said. Yugoslavia accepted autonomous status for Kosovo but wanted guarantees for the freedoms and rights of the seven ethnic groups resident in the province, he said.

Protestors form human chain around VOA in Xanthi

Hundreds of protestors formed a 'human shield' around a building used by U.S. radio broadcaster Voice of America in the northwest town of Xanthi on Sunday, in a symbol protest against the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Voice of America has used Xanthi as a base for decades, broadcasting in dozens of languages. Members of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Committee for Peace claimed that the radio station was broadcasting messages of war and slogans against Yugoslavia and Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic. The protestors came from throughout the wider region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, travelling to Xanthi by car and bus to take part in the protest. There were no reports of violence during the protest.

Two Albanians injured in coastguard shootout

A Greek coastguard patrol returned fire from an Albanian speedboat north of the island of Corfu late on Saturday, resulting in the injury of two Albanian men, authorities said. Coast guard authorities said that a Corfu patrol boat detected a 'suspicious' speedboat sailing in Greek territorial waters and called on it to stop. The two men aboard the boat - later identified as Fatmir Gessari and Kurtit Gentzi, both 20 and from Sarande - opened fire on the patrol boat, which returned the fire, injuring the two and causing the boat to sink. The two men are presently being treated at the Corfu General Hospital. Authorities believe that they were running a shipment of drugs from the Albanian coast.


Scattered clouds in western, central and northern Greece on Sunday with mostly fair weather in the rest of the country. Winds southerly, moderate to strong out at seas. Fair weather for early on Sunday in Athens, cloudy with possible rain in the afternoon with temperatures between 11-24C. Partly cloudy and rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9-19C.


Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          305.318
Pound sterling       490.306
Japanese yen (100)   253.992
French franc          49.409
German mark          165.708
Italian lira (100)    16.738
Irish Punt           411.517
Belgian franc          8.034
Luxembourg franc       8.034
Finnish mark          54.509
Dutch guilder        147.069
Danish kr.            43.610
Austrian sch.         23.553
Spanish peseta         1.948
Swedish kr.           36.402
Norwegian kr.         39.236
Swiss franc          202.482
Port. Escudo           1.617
Aus. dollar          197.919
Can. dollar          205.284
Cyprus pound         559.488
Euro                 324.096
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