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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-09-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 21/09/1997 (ANA)


  • Albanian defence minister due Wednesday
  • Ruling party agrees on foreign policy
  • Premier warns Turkey over Cyprus
  • US concern over Turkish threats
  • Holbrooke on Cyprus EU accession
  • Vital Rhodes electricity plant inaugurated
  • Drunk driving crackdown continues
  • Dutch priest disappears on Samos
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Albanian defence minister due Wednesday

Albanian Defence Minister Sabit Brokaj is to visit Greece September 24-26 at the invitation of Greek counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos, an ANA dispatch from Tirana said.

He will be accompanied by the defence undersecretary and the chief of the Albanian armed forces.

Military sources said the two sides would sign a new cooperation protocol, based on a bilateral cooperation accord signed in early August during a visit by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to Tirana.

The sources said the new protocol would finalise the specific areas of cooperation between a Greek army company in the neighbouring country and the Albanian armed forces for re-organisation of the Albanian army.

The company of Greek troops remained in Albania, at Brokaj's request, after the pullout of the 8-nation multinational protection force that was deployed in mid April to protect humanitarian assistance and help OSCE observers monitoring last June's general elections.

Ruling party agrees on foreign policy

Ruling party PASOK gave its stamp of approval to the party's executive programme on foreign policy issues, at the end of the party's Central Committee meeting late Saturday night.

In his final address at the close of the conference, party president and Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the two-day discussion had revealed that the majority was in agreement on strategic choices but differed on their handling.

He noted however that there was consensus on the need for Greece to enact a multi-faceted foreign policy and to become stronger in many areas.

Premier warns Turkey over Cyprus

Prime Minister Costas Simitis sent a new warning to Turkey Saturday, saying Greece would back Cyprus in the event of any aggressive action by Ankara against the island republic.

Addressing the second and final day of the ruling socialist PASOK party Central Committee meeting, Simitis stressed that Greek-Turkish relations "cannot be normalised without a just solution to the Cyprus problem", adding that Cyprus' accession to the European Union was a matter of top priority for Greece".

US concern over Turkish threats

The US State Department has expressed concern over warnings by Turkey that it was "working on precautionary measures" against Cyprus' planned deployment of Russian anti-aircraft missiles to defend its territory.

A State Department spokesman said Washington was "firmly opposed to threats to address the issue militarily".

Holbrooke on Cyprus EU accession

President Clinton's special emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke on Saturday assured the head of the Council of Greeks living abroad that "the process for Cyprus' accession to the European Union will not be halted and the island republic will become a member of the Union".

Vital Rhodes electricity plant inaugurated

Development Minister Vasso Papandreou today inaugurated four new electricity production units on Rhodes, which will solve the island's energy problem for at least the next five years.

The 25 billion dr., 90 MW project, is one of 10 major energy projects by the Public Power Corporation (DEH) slated to begin operation in the period 1997-1998 which are designed to ensure the country's full energy adequacy and at the same time ensure DEH's contribution to environmental balance.

The new units, replacing older technology units, are located at Rhodes' Soroni electricity station and have been constructed with the latest in anti-pollution technology. DEH also plans to install a 5W aeolic (wind energy) park on Rhodes to replace petroleum-operated electricity plants, which will be of great environmental benefit to the region.

Next month, Prime Minister Costas Simitis will inaugurate DEH's new lignite unit in Aghios Dimitrios, Kozani, and a major hydroelectric unit at Thissavros, on the Nestos River.

Next year, operation has been slated for natural gas-powered electricity plants in Keratsini, Lavrion and Komotini.

Drunk driving crackdown continues

Police arrested nine drunken drivers Saturday in a total of 1,219 checks around the country.

Seventy-one drivers were found to have exceeded the alcohol limit and the nine arrested had their cars confiscated.

Dutch priest disappears on Samos

A massive search launched for a Catholic priest from Holland who went missing on the island of Samos 10 days ago has proved fruitless so far, and authorities fear he may be suffering from amnesia caused by a fall or might have fallen prey to jackals, which abound in the area, police said today.

Father Franciscus Klein, 55, was on holiday in Marathokambos on the island of Samos, when last Thursday he left with two women for a trek to Evangelistrias Monastery, perched high on Mt. Kerkis.

About 15 minutes before reaching the monastery, the two women stopped to rest, and the priest continued on his own, but never reached the monastery, the women told local police, who immediately launched a search of the area, aided by the fire brigade and army storm-troopers.

Trained dogs from Holland and their handlers arrived on Samos yesterday to join in the search, but no trace of the missing priest has been uncovered.

Yesterday, an Athenian woman on holiday in Marathokambos, when shown the priest's picture, said she had seen the man "wandering on the beach in bad shape".

The priest's brother, who is on Samos awaiting the results of the ongoing search, said Fathern Franciscus was not suffering from any psychological or physical problems.

The search organisers believe the priest may have tripped and fallen on the narrow path winding up to the monastery and either suffered amnesia as a result or, after injury, was devoured by jackals that abound in the area, although they do no rule out the prospect of his having fallen victim to criminal activity.


Fair weather with some local cloudiness and a drop in temperatures is forecast for most parts of Greece today. Winds northerly, light to moderate turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens and Thessaloniki will be partly cloudy with long spells of sunshine.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 279.179 Pound sterling 448.483 Cyprus pd 530.105 French franc 46.608 Swiss franc 190.117 German mark 156.548 Italian lira (100) 16.049 Yen (100) 229.281 Canadian dlr. 200.642 Australian dlr. 200.577 Irish Punt 414.220 Belgian franc 7.586 Finnish mark 52.582 Dutch guilder 139.029 Danish kr. 41.124 Swedish kr. 36.605 Norwegian kr. 38.521 Austrian sch. 22.246 Spanish peseta 1.857 Port. Escudo 1.542


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