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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-05

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, 05/06/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Latest developments vindicate govt stance
  • End to bombing campaign in sight
  • Greece bans all Belgian meat produce
  • Investigation ordered following illegal trading reports
  • Fire threatens popular tourist area
  • Motorist feels force of new highway code
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Latest developments vindicate govt stance

A leading ruling party member on Friday said the latest developments in Yugoslavia were positive and gave rise to hopes and optimism of eventual peace in the region. Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis also said that the stance of the Greek government during the crisis had been vindicated by developments. "The government defended the country's major interests at the same time as extending support to the peoples of the Balkans. Greece showed that it had a voice, authority, action and credibility," he said.

End to bombing campaign in sight

Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis on Friday reiterated Greece's satisfaction about recent developments in the Kosovo crisis and expressed hope that peace efforts would proceed rapidly given that there were still a number of problems to be resolved. Hopes for a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo crisis rose yesterday after Belgrade accepted a proposed agreement worked out by Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin and US Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Speaking to reporters in Cologne, where he is attending the European Union summit, Kranidiotis said once Serb troops had begun withdrawing from Kosovo, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana would most probably order an end to the Alliance's bombing campaign.

Greece bans all Belgian meat produce

Greece's Agriculture Ministry late on Thursday said it was extending a ban on the importation and sale of Belgian poultry to pork and beef products. A statement from the ministry said that a ministry crisis management committee had decided the move as a preventive measure. The measure takes effect as of Friday and is effective for all imports, distribution and sale of pork or beef from Belgium produced after January 15 1999. Any such foodstuffs already on the market will be impounded.

Investigation ordered following illegal trading reports

The head of the public prosecutor's office in Thessaloniki on Saturday ordered an urgent preliminary investigation into reports of illegal trading at a brokerage firm in the northern city. In his instructions to the police, Charalambos Vourliotis requests that the inquiry be completed at the earliest and the findings submitted to his office within two days at the latest. The Athens Stock Exchange was hit on Friday by media reports that a broker or brokers at the Thessaloniki branch of Alki Securities branch had allegedly been engaging in illegal trading practices which had created a shortfall of some 10 billion drachmas.

Fire threatens popular tourist area

A fire which broke out near a popular tourist resort in the prefecture of Chania, Crete threatened hotels and homes in the coastal area of Gerani after forming five fronts fanned by strong winds. The blaze broke out late last night between Gerani and Kontomari, west of Chania, near one of the most popular resort areas of the prefecture. Shortly after midnight, the fire was raging just 300 metres from the sea, threatening hotels and homes along the coast. Scores of fire engines and firemen from Chania and the rest of the prefecture took part in efforts to bring the blaze under control, assisted by local residents. The fire was eventually extinguished early this morning. According to initial reports, the fire destroyed agricultural and forest areas, the extent of which is not yet known.

Motorist feels force of new highway code

A motorist in Kavala, northern Greece felt the full force of the new highway code when he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment on Saturday for driving under the influence of alcohol. Theodoros Tsalidis, 26, had been arrested for drunken driving, one of the offences for which much stiffer penalties are provided in the new highway code that came into force on May 24. In addition to the prison sentence, Tsalidis also had his driving license revoked for six months, his license plates removed for 10 days and was ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 drachmas. The new highway code aims to encourage safer driving practices on Greek roads and protect pedestrians, passengers and drivers. More than 2,000 people die, 4,000 are seriously injured and 30,000 slightly injured in traffic accidents on Greek roads annually, more than double the average in Britain and the Netherlands.

WEATHER

Mostly fine on Sunday with some local cloud over mainland areas in the afternoon and possibility of scattered showers in the north. Winds light and in the Aegean moderate. Temperatures in Athens 19-33C, in Thessaloniki 18-30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          309.742
Pound sterling       497.131
Japanese yen (100)   255.549
French franc          48.992
German mark          164.313
Italian lira (100)    16.597
Irish Punt           408.053
Belgian franc          7.967
Luxembourg franc       7.967
Finnish mark          54.050
Dutch guilder        145.831
Danish kr.            43.233
Austrian sch.         23.355
Spanish peseta         1.931
Swedish kr.           35.962
Norwegian kr.         39.005
Swiss franc          201.763
Port. Escudo           1.603
Can. dollar          209.431
Aus. dollar          200.483
Cyprus pound         556.869
Euro                 321.368
(S.S.)
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