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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-11-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 10/11/1996 (ANA)


  • Athens Stock Exchange - business as usual tomorrow
  • Foreign Minister urges NATO to protect own members
  • Two escape from Ukraine-flagged yacht
  • Policeman shoots Albanian illegal immigrant ''by mistake''
  • 55 Iraqi illegal immigrants arrested on remote Greek island


    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 said.

    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 Javier Solana.

    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 mistake.

    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 negligence.

    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 boat.

    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



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