55 Iraqi illegal immigrants arrested on remote Greek island
NEWS IN DETAIL
A clean-up operation at the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) was announced by
National Economy Ministry Secretary General Apostolos Fotiadis, speaking in
a radio interview today.
Meetings had been held over the weekend between the Union of Stock Exchange
Members (SMEXA) with the National Economy Ministry after the situation that
arose Friday when Delta Brokerage S.A was unable to cover cash obligations
to the Titles Depository. Proceedings have been initiated against Delta
representatives after an urgent preliminary investigation.
Fotiadis stressed that the Athens Stock Exchange would be open for business
as usual on Monday and called for a strict inspection of all brokerage
companies. He added that Delta had not been the only company guilty of
failing to meet its obligations and which had had to be bailed out. In
future, he said, any company that broke the rules would be forced to
discontinue transactions and would be fined 50 million drachmas.
According to reports last night, the Titles Depository has agreed to
guarantee transactions and will cover Delta's debt, estimated at almost
three billion drachmas. Meanwhile, it was also reported that the brokers
have no objection to having part of the debt covered by the joint-surety
fund (1.2 billion drachmas), on the condition that transactions be covered
by a legislative amendment prohibiting cash being transferred to brokerage
firms owing titles.
Meanwhile, main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert today
called for a judicial inquiry into the situation at the ASE, since its
credibility was at risk. As long as the ASE's indicator remained low and
investors had no confidence in its proper functioning, the ASE would not be
able to take its proper place in contributing to the country's growth, he
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos called for a procedure within NATO
for determining the course of action when one member state laid claims
against another. Pangalos was speaking in Patra today in response to a
question regarding a letter he sent recently to NATO Secretary General
Now that the alliance was expanding and changing direction, he explained,
Greece should demand such a procedure. He drew attention to the fact that
past governments (under Constantine Karamanlis, George Rallis, Andreas
Papandreou) had maintained that it was not possible for NATO to concern
itself with the problems of the world and to be indifferent to its own
member states' problems.
Pangalos also accused main opposition New Democracy party leader Militades
Evert of ignorance and bad faith in statements he had made regarding this
issue both before and after last September's elections.
Meanwhile, with regard to a possible initiative by the United States on the
Cyprus issue, the Minister said he felt this was unlikely before January,
given that the composition of the new adminstration in Washington had not
yet been finalised. However, he drew attention to campaign promises made by
US President Bill Clinton on the issue, that is, with regard to characterising
the problem as an international one, as well as the implementation of
United Nations resolutions.
Pangalos is to visit the United States in late January or early February,
accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, responsible
for expatriate Greek affairs.
Two unidentified foreigners jumped from a Ukrainian-flag yacht yesterday
as it was being escorted into Piraeus harbour by a coastguard patrol vessel
for an inspection.
The 9.5 metre ''Antares'', which according to initial reports belongs to
Andrei Tortsilov, a ship's master from Rostov, was spotted by the
coastguard vessel early this morning near the Peace and Friendship Stadium
not far from Piraeus central harbour.
Considering the yacht to be suspicious, the coastguard vessel ordered the
yacht to follow it into Piraeus harbour for an inspection.
As the yacht approached the jetty of the harbour, its two crew members
jumped off onto a moored vessel, climbed onto the jetty and ran off.
Coastguard officers who later searched the vessel found 2,230 cartons of
cigarettes on board.
The Antares has been impounded and the Piraeus Coastguard Authority is
conducting an investigation.
A 24-year-old Albanian illegal immigrant died yesterday while being
arrested by a policeman who said that his service revolver went off by
The incident took place at dawn on the Thessaloniki-Athens national road at
the Katerini junction where police had set up a roadblock to apprehend
illegal immigrants from Albania.
The victim was identified as Yiannis Noka, a resident of Episkopi and the
policeman was named as Dimitris Syropoulos, 38.
Noka was travelling in a private car headed for Athens, together with three
other compatriots who had also entered the country illegally.
When the car was stopped at the roadblock, Syropoulos said he pointed his
gun at the Albanians in order to immobilize them but that it went off by
mistake killing Noka.
Syropoulos has been arrested and charged with manslaughter through
Leros coastguard officers have arrested 55 Iraqi illegal immigrants
shortly after they were dropped off on a remote beach on the nearby islet
of Farmakonisi by two Turks who had transported them in a 10-metre wooden
The illegal immigrants -- 29 men, 11 women and 15 children -- said that
they had set off from the Turkish town of Sulemaniya and after a ten-day
journey reached the port town of Smyrni (Izmir).
They told coastguard officers that they had each paid the two Turks 2,500
US dollars, with the exception of children under the age of six, to
transport them from Smyrni to Farmakonisi.
The illegal immigrants, who were arrested Friday, were handed over to the
Leros police department from where they will be sent to appear before the
public prosecutor on Kos.
Greek tennis champion Solon Peppas failed to win the Rhodes international
tournament, losing 2-0 (6-2, 6-1) to Dutchman Peter Wessels.
More than 10,000 people took part in today's ninth annual cycle circuit of
Athens held by the Athens Municipality. The theme of this year's race was
"a clean Athens".
Monday's weather in Athens will be mostly sunny with north/northeasterly
light to moderate winds , temperatures ranging between 11-20C. Sunny
weather in Thessaloniki with reduced visibility early in the day.
Temperatures will range from 6-17C