Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-11
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 11/08/1997 (ANA)
- Milutinovic begins two-day official visit to Greece
- Fouras expressed displeasure at stance of IAAF chief
- Athens '97 World Athletics Championships come to a successful end
- Silver medallist in women's 10 kms walk disqualified
- Medals table
- Greece ready to host the 2004 Olympic Games
- Olympic Airways airliner carrying soccer team aborts take-off
- Hailstorm devastates crops in central Greece
- Eighty goats killed by lightning
- Albanians, Frenchman arrested for hashish
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Milutinovic begins two-day official visit to Greece
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic today
began an official two-day visit to Greece during which he will have talks
with his counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.
Milutinovic' talks with Pangalos tomorrow are expected to cover developments
in the Balkans and bilateral issues related to economic and political co-
According to informed sources, the talks will focus in particular on the
progress in the implementation of the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia, the
summit meeting of Balkan countries in Crete in November and the promotion
of Greek investments in Yugoslavia.
A number of Greek public and private sector companies are active or wish to
become active in the neighbouring country, including the Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) concerning the purchase of part of
the equivalent Serbian organisation.
Several major Greek construction companies have expressed interest in the
construction of the European E75 highway.
Fouras expresses displeasure at stance of IAAF chief
Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras today expressed displeasure at the
stance of IAAF President Primo Nebiolo during the 6th World Athletics
Championships which ended here Sunday night.
Nebiolo was widely perceived in Greece as having tried to belittle Athens
in order to increase Rome's chances of being selected to stage the 2004
Athens and Rome are bidding for the 2004 Games, along with Buenos Aires,
Stockholm and Capetown.
The successful organisation of the 6th World Athletics Championships held
in Athens from 1-10 August was seen as essential to Greece' bid for the
Replying to reporters' questions on the booing of Nebiolo by athletics fans
at last night's closing ceremony, Fouras said:
"The intuition of the people is infallible. The disappoval expressed was
only to be expected. To be honest, I too was annoyed by his stance."
Turning to the issue of ticket sales for the championships, Fouras directly
accused the IAAF saying:
"They told us as far back as May that 17,000 'packages' had been sold
abroad. At the moment, nobody can say for certain what happened. But a
committee has already been set up under Sports general secretary Yiannis
Sgouros, which will examine all the facts and announce its findings
Replying to other questions, Fouras said the total cost of staging the
championships would be close to 11 billion drachmas.
Athens '97 World Athletics Championships come to a successful end
The Athens '97 World Athletics Championships came to a close last night as
fireworks lit the sky at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, packed with sports
enthusiasts, over 3,000 athletes representing over 200 countries, sports
officials and Greek government representatives.
The closing ceremony of the 6th International Amateur Athletic Federation
(IAAF) event began with participating athletes who paraded in the stadium
under their flags.
Following the IAAF hymn and the national anthem of Greece, this year's host
city handed the flag to Seville, which will host them in 1999.
A roll call was made of all athletes who had won gold medals, followed by
wild clapping from the audience. No closing speeches were made, and during
the music that followed athletes broke out in dance on the track and field,
followed by fireworks.
Despite some impressive victories in these championships, no world records
The United States dominated the event with most medals (7 gold, 3 silver, 8
bronze), the Germans second (5 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze), and Cuba (4 gold,
1 silver, 1 bronze).
In a message for the closing of the event, Prime Minister Costas Simitis
congratulated the athletes "from all over the world who did their best in
every event" in the championships and said the event had been "immensely
Mr. Simitis said, "A special recommendation must surely go to the Greek
athletes who showed us that a new generation of great track and field
athletes is being born".
Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras in a statement thanked the athletes
who took part, as well as the IAAF, the Greek political parties and the
"Wishing goodbye to all those that we have hosted with love all these ten
days, I assure them that the Greek people will do their best to host them
again even more warmly in the future," he concluded.
Silver medallist in women's 10 kms walk disqualified
Russian silver medallist walker Olympiada Ivanova became yesterday the
second athlete to be stripped of a world championship medal for cheating
with drugs and now faces a two-year ban.
In a statement the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) said
Ivanova, who finished second in Thursday's 10 kms walk, had tested positive
for the steroid stanozolol together with compatriot Lyubov Tsyoma who
failed to finish her 800 metres s emifinal heat on the same day.
The 27-year-old Ivanova will also lose her $30,000 prize money. Under IAAF
rules, both athletes will be banned for two years, the minimum penalty for
a serious doping offence.
Stanozolol was the drug used by Canadian Ben Johnson when he won the 1988
Seoul Olympics 100 metres final in world record time. Johnson lost the gold
medal and the time was not recognised by the IAAF.
Ivanova, who produced the best performance of her career to win the silver
medal, was the second medallist to test positive after Ukraine's world shot
put champion Aleksandr Bagach.
Bagach was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for the
stimulant ephedrine but escaped with a public warning because the drug is
not regarded as being as serious an offence as steroid abuse.
French 400 metres hurdler Pascal Maran and women's triple jumper Oxana
Zelinskaya of Kazakhstan, neither of whom made the finals, also tested
positive for ephedrine and were given a warning.
Under the IAAF's old rules the two Russians would have been banned for four
years. But the IAAF decided to halve its bans for serious drugs at a
meeting before the championships because of legal problems with the longer
Belarus walker Olga Kardopoltseva, who finished third, was given the silver
medal in the 10 kms with her compatriot Valentina Tsybulkskaya elevated
from fourth to the bronze medal position.
Final medals table from the sixth World Athletics Championships which ended
yesterday: United States: 7 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze Germany: 5 gold, 1
silver, 4 bronze Cuba: 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Kenya: 3 gold, 2 silver,
2 bronze Ukraine: 2 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze Morocco: 2 gold, 1 silver, 1
bronze Czech Republic: 2 gold Norway: 2 gold Russia: 1 gold,4 silver, 3
bronze Spain: 1 gold,3 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1
bronze Australia: 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Italy: 1 gold, 1 silver, 1
bronze Romania: 1 gold,1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 gold,1 silver Poland: 1
gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver France: 1 gold, 1 bronze
Japan: 1 gold,1 bronze Mexico: 1 gold, 1 bronze Denmark: 1 gold Ethiopia:
1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Sweden: 1 gold Trinidad: 1 gold Britain:
5 silver, 1 bronze Jamaica: 3 silver, 4 bronze Belarus: 2 silver,
2 bronze Greece: 1 silver,1 bronze Lithuania: 1 silver, 1 bronze
Bulgaria: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Namibia: 1 silver Nigeria: 1 silver
Sri Lanka: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Brazil: 1 bronze
Mozambique: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze
Greece ready to host the 2004 Olympic Games
Greece has proven it is able to host the Olympic Games of 2004 and is
committed to sports, president of the Athens 2004 Bid Committee Gianna
Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said yesterday.
In a press statement at the close of the World Amateur Athletics Championships
hosted in Athens from August 1 to 10, Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the
event proved to its visitors that "Athens is very capable of hosting a
She also mentioned the fact that "the weather was wonderful, our sporting
facilities were excellent, our traffic moved quickly". Everything pointed
out to the fact that the 2004 bid "is based on a rigorously prepared
technical plan for hosting the Olympics", she said, adding that the
organisation of the events allowed Greece to "show the reality behind (its)
statistics" for the Athens bid.
In a reference to the International Olympic Committee members, who attended
the event as guests, Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said that,"We have shown
the International Olympic Committee that 72 per cent of the sporting
facilities (and 93 per cent of th e training facilities) needed to host the
Olympics in 2004 are already in place".
Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki asserted that by 2004, Athens "will become even
better able to host the Olympic Games", citing major infrastuctural
projects such as the new airport at Spata, the metro, and a new ring road
that would improve transportation t ime and the quality of air.
Olympic Airways airliner carrying soccer team aborts take-off
An Olympic Airways airliner with 110 passengers aboard, including Crete's
first division OFI soccer team, narrowly averted an accident today when its
two rear wheels burst during takeof from Heraklion terminal in Crete,
airport authorities said.
The pilot of the OA plane, en route to Copenhagen and Reykjavik, managed to
keep the plane on the runway, and there were no injuries among the
The airliner was carrying the OFI team, soccer officials and journalists to
Reykjavik for a soccer match.
The airport authorities said the passengers would be transferred to another
OA airliner, while seven flights had been rerouted to Chania airport as the
airliner was blocking the runway.
Hailstorm devastates crops in central Greece
A hailstorm in Larissa, central Greece, has devastated thousands of stremma
of cotton, corn and other crops, plunging farmers from 17 local communities
The hailstorm, which lasted for about 45 minutes and rained hail the size
of walnuts, totally destroyed the crops, which unofficial estimates put at
60,000 stremma, causing hundreds of millions of drachma in damages.
The hailstorm, accompanied by strong winds, also uprooted trees and swept
away roofs from a number of homes.
Two months ago, another hailstorm destroyed an estimated 80-90 percent of
seasonal crops in Kavala, northern Greece.
Eighty goats killed by lightning
Eighty goats were burned to death by a bolt of lightning this morning
during a thunderstorm in the area of Halkero, Kavala in northern Greece.
The goatherd, Nikolaos Karasmanis, escaped unhurt.
Albanians, Frenchman arrested for hashish
Two Albanians were arrested in Larissa, central Greece, early this morning
with 18 kilograms of hashish in their possession, Larissa police said.
The Albanians, identified as Mendan Esak, 43, and Artan Hamzi, 18, told
police they had brought the hashish from Albania. They will be taken before
the public prosecutor today.
Meanwhile, a French singer has been arrested at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia"
international airport after being found in possession of a small quantity
The man was identified as Frederic Charles Louis Lebon, 32, a singer by
profession and resident of Paris.
Lebon was arrested after flying in to Thessaloniki last night from the
A search of Lebon by customs officers revealed a 27 gram piece of hashish
in plastic wrapping.
Unstable weather in Macedonia and Thrace and the islands of the northern
and eastern Aegean, with cloudiness and sporadic thunderstorms, mostly in
the evening hours. Mostly fair in the rest of the country. Winds northerly,
light to moderate, becoming strong in the southern Aegean. Athens fair with
some rain possible towards the evening and temperatures between 22-31C.
Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19-28C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 291.672
Pound sterling 457.085 Cyprus pd 531.501
French franc 46.273 Swiss franc 190.671
German mark 156.060 Italian lira (100) 15.991
Yen (100) 247.505 Canadian dlr. 210.068
Australian dlr. 213.318 Irish Punt 415.749
Belgian franc 7.557 Finnish mark 52.153
Dutch guilder 138.508 Danish kr. 40.947
Swedish kr. 36.269 Norwegian kr. 37.970
Austrian sch. 22.203 Spanish peseta 1.850
Port. Escudo 1.544