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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 26/06/1999 (ANA)


  • More NATO troops expected in Thessaloniki
  • Tsohatzopoulos to visit Iran
  • Political parties on World Anti-Narcotics Day
  • Goats killed by lightning
  • Police making inroads on crime
  • Equities end week with moderate gains
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


More NATO troops expected in Thessaloniki

US transport aircraft and vessels carrying NATO troops headed for peacekeeping duties in Kosovo are scheduled to arrive in Thessaloniki on Saturday and Sunday. By Saturday evening, eight US C-17 aircraft will have landed at Thessaloniki airport with approximately 150 US troops and 15 jeeps. The force will escort to the war-torn Serb province a US mechanised brigade which arrived in Thessaloniki on Friday night aboard a troop carrier. The brigade's mission is to set up Alliance army camps in the province. On Sunday, five troop carriers - one German, one British and three Spanish - are expected to arrive in Thessaloniki, while two German and two British transport aircraft will land at the port city's international airport.

Tsohatzopoulos to visit Iran

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is due to arrive in Tehran on Monday for an official visit, the first to Iran by a European Union defence minister since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian news agency IRNA said on Saturday. Tsohatzopoulos was invited by his Iranian counterpart, Vice-Admiral Ali Shamkhani. During his four-day visit, Tsohatzopoulos was expected to have talks with the leadership of Iran's armed forces.

Political parties on World Anti-Narcotics Day

On the occasion of World Anti-Narcotics Day on Saturday, the Coalition of the Left urged sweeping legislative reforms, saying that policy to date had failed to combat the problem of drug abuse. "The continuous increase in the number of deaths from narcotics shows the failure of a policy which confines itself to policing methods," a Coalition statement said. The Coalition called for legislative reform to decriminalise drug use, greater support for existing detoxification and counselling centres, the creation of new ones, information campaigns emphasising prevention and specific measures for the social rehabilitation of former addicts. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the government, "instead of trying to turn off the 'taps' which create new users, is trying to conceal the roots of the evil and persuade the people, and youth in particular, to reconcile themselves to the problem". The KKE called on workers, parents, teachers and youth to demand measures from the government to combat the problem of drug abuse.

Goats killed by lightning

A bolt of lightning on Friday night killed 55 goats in a mountainous area of Limnia, Kavala in northern Greece. When the thunderstorm began, stockbreeder Dimitrios Bazianis, 36, tried to herd the animals to a covered area but the lightning bolt struck before he could do so. Local police said Bazianis himself was lucky to escape unhurt.

Police making inroads on crime

The government said on Friday it was succeeding in containing a growing crimewave and urged the public not to exaggerate the problem. "There is a problem with increasing crime but efforts to contain it are succeeding and will continue," government spokesman Yannis Nikolaou said. He presented figures showing that the police had solved 19 of the 35 homicides reported in first half 1999. Fourteen of these cases involved perpetrators who were Greek nationals, he noted. He said the Greek Police was not discriminating between "domestic or imported" crime and said the fight against both would continue.

Equities end week with moderate gains

Equity prices ended the week with moderate gains helped by selective demand in blue chips, particularly in the banks sector. Traders said the market was nervous because of worries over a possible interest rate rise in the US, a prospect hitting international bond markets. The general index ended 0.58 percent higher at 3,948.79 points, reversing an early 0.76 percent drop, but off the day's highs. Turnover was 153.6 billion drachmas with 28,167, 000 shares changing hands.


Mostly fair throughout the country on Sunday but some cloud over parts of mainland Greece in the afternoon. Winds northerly, light in the west of the country and moderate to strong in the east. In parts of the SE Aegean very strong. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 19 and 32C. Sunny in Thessaloniki, becoming cloudy in the afternoon, temperatures between 17 and 28C.


Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          311.002
Pound sterling       491.258
Japanese yen (100)   254.865
French franc          49.058
German mark          164.536
Italian lira (100)    16.620
Irish Punt           408.608
Belgian franc          7.977
Finnish mark          54.124
Dutch guilder        146.028
Danish kr.            43.348
Austrian sch.         23.386
Spanish peseta         1.934
Swedish kr.           36.817
Norwegian kr.         39.630
Swiss franc          201.431
Port. Escudo           1.605
Can. dollar          211.276
Aus. dollar          204.660
Cyprus pound         556.730
Euro                 321.805
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