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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 29/06/1999 (ANA)


  • Greek, Turkish FMs meet on Wednesday
  • Gov't, parties object to Ocalan death sentence
  • Ocalan verdict aimed at all Kurds - KNLF
  • Thessaloniki chosen as base for EU agency
  • IMF: economic progress 'impressive'
  • Olympic management contract signed
  • Illegally parked cars to be towed
  • The Great James Brown arrives
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greek, Turkish FMs meet on Wednesday

The government said on Tuesday that the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey, George Papandreou and Ismail Cem, would hold talks within the framework of issues raised in a letter sent by the Greek minister to his Turkish counterpart. Government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou added that if Turkey had no objection to agreements being reached on these issues, Greece would have no reason not to sign the relevant accords. Nikolaou was referring to talks in New York tomorrow between Papandreou and Cem on the sidelines of a meeting of "the friends of Kosovo", a group of countries formed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Gov't, parties object to Ocalan death sentence

The government and opposition political parties expressed their opposition to the death sentence handed down to Kurd rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. About 60 Kurdish protestors dispersed peacefully after gathering outside the Turkish embassy in Athens, holding a sit-in protest to mark Ocalan's death sentence. Kurds living in Athens and supporters of the Kurdish cause have scheduled a march to the Turkish and U.S. embassies for later on in the day.

Ocalan verdict aimed at all Kurds - KNLF

Kurdish National Liberation Front (KNLF) spokesman in Athens Roshat Laser said the death sentence handed down to Ocalan was a verdict aimed against the Kurdish people and its very existence as a nation. Laser said the objectivity of the Turkish court was acknowledged only by the Turkish state. The Kurd spokesman thanked Greeks for their stance on the Ocalan issue and the support they have expressed to the Kurdish people. He also urged Greeks to stand at the side of the Kurds "so that all the necessary steps can be taken which will lead to the attainment of our objective".

Thessaloniki chosen as base for EU agency

The government and regional officials on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the European Union to base its agency for reconstruction in Kosovo in the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki. Government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said the decision was proof of the role Greece could play in economic and peaceful development in the Balkans. European Union leaders meeting on the sidelines of the EU and Latin American summit in Rio de Janeiro took the decision on Monday.

IMF: economic progress 'impressive'

The progress of the Greek economy to date is "impressive", while the country's entry into the European Union's economic and monetary union (EMU) on January 1, 2001 is a given, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released on Tuesday by the Greek ministry of national economy. The IMF is also quoted as saying that the Greek economy's progress and its EMU entry prospects were a "historic" achievement. The IMF report also noted that inflation was the most difficult target that needed to be attained, and required particular attention.

Olympic management contract signed

The Federation of Civil Aviation Unions (OSPA) cancelled a scheduled meeting with Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mandelis on Tuesday, after the signing late Monday of a contract for British Airways unit Speedwing to take over management at Olympic Airways. OSPA's board was scheduled to meet later on Tuesday to discuss what further action it would take in the wake of the latest developments. It has already called a 24- hour strike for Thursday. Olympic Airways and British Airways officials late on Monday signed the agreement whereby the UK carrier's Speedwing subsidiary will undertake the management of the Greek airline for a period of 30 months.

Illegally parked cars to be towed

Traffic police will use cranes to tow all illegally parked cars in 380 prohibited points in central Athens. The measure, which came into effect effect yesterday, is part of Greece's new traffic code that was implemented recently. Under the measure, the cranes will immediately tow away the illegally parked vehicles, and drivers will have to pay a fine of 35,150 dr. to retrieve their cars. The licence plates will also be removed from the cars and will be withheld for 40 days.

The Great James Brown arrives

The legendary James Brown arrives in Greece in true rock-star style on Tuesday for two concerts in Athens and Thessaloniki, his first performances in the country in 12 years. Replete with 80 personal suitcases, Brown has requested three suites be reserved for him - one for himself, another for his companion and a third for his "personal moments". He had to make do, however, with a Rolls Royce for transport, after organisers convinced him it was difficult to find a seven-metre six-door white limousine. He plays in Thessaloniki on Wednesday night and Athens on Thursday.


Fair weather with a chance of local cloud and scattered rain in the northwest of the country is forecast for today. Winds moderate westerlies. Athens will be sunny with scattered cloud and temperatures between 20-35C. Thessaloniki will be partly cloudy with possibility of rain in the afternoon and temperatures from 188-32C.


Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          310.990
Pound sterling       490.445
Japanese yen (100)   255.718
French franc          49.103
German mark          164.683
Italian lira (100)    16.635
Irish Punt           408.973
Belgian franc          7.985
Finnish mark          54.172
Dutch guilder        146.159
Danish kr.            43.350
Austrian sch.         23.407
Spanish peseta         1.935
Swedish kr.           36.777
Norwegian kr.         39.607
Swiss franc          201.465
Port. Escudo           1.607
Can. dollar          211.693
Aus. dollar          204.292
Cyprus pound         557.504
Euro                 322.092
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