Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-19
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 19/04/1998 (ANA)
- Greek leadership-Easter Celebrations
- Prime Minister in Corfu
- Easter exodus road accidents
- Easter Celebrations in Cyprus
- Easter Celebrations at the Patriarchate
- Stephanopoulos in Hungary next week
- Former President of the Republic Karamanlis-health
- Gov't announces additional measures to combat crime
- Early elections speculation denial
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek Leadership-Easter celebrations
The country's leaders today visited the Greek youth under arms throughout
Greece to wish them well in this the most important religious celebration
of the year for Orthodox Christians.
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Parliament President
Apostolos Kaklamanis, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas
Karamanlis, Communist Party of Greece secretary general Aleka Papariga,
Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) Nikos Constantopoulos and
Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos visited the Armor Corps Training
Centre (KETTH) at Avlona, Attica to celebrate with the young men of the
The President of the Republic also visited the Salamina naval station and
the Rio regional university hospital.
Prime Minister in Corfu
Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is visiting the island of Corfu for the
Easter celebrations, during a radio address today stated ''Easter and
Spring in Greece. Maybe the only country in the world, where every
Christian, every human being feels the message of the Resurrection,
celebrating in the natural environment totaly in harmony with the most
important day: the celebration of celebrations of Christianity.''
He also voiced his wishes to all Greeks abroad and the foreign visitors who
came to Greece to celebrate easter in this country.
Easter exodus road accidents
Despite police efforts 21 people were killed and 319 were injured in 230
traffic accidents, to date, throughout Greece since the annual mass exodus
of Athenians for the Easter holiday begun on Thursday.
Easter celebrations in Cyrpus
NICOSIA (ANA) - For yet one more year the relatives of the missing Greek
Cypriots, since the Turkish invation of the island republic, yesterday
celebrated Easter at the barricade near the Lydra Palace hotel, which
divides the city since 1974.
The light of the resurrection came to the barracade the from the Agios
Ioannis Cathedral at 1 a.m., while today the relatives of the missing
Cypriots continued with informational events for tourists of the Turkish
invation and occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Archbishop of Cyprus Chysostomos in telegrammes to the President of
Cyprus Glafcos Clerides, President of Greece Kostis Stephanopoulos and
Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed his wish that the Cyprus
hellenism may celebrate easter soon at those churches of the occupied
northern part of the island.
Mr. Clerides in addressing the servicemen of the Cyprus national guard and
the Greek armed forces in Cyprus (ELDIK) said ''I wish, with the resurrection
of our Lord, to see the resurrection of Cyrpus, which can be nothing else
but the reunification of our island...''
Easter celebrations at the Patriarchate
ISTANBUL (ANA) - The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in his Easter
celebration dress led the Agapi (Love) service today, where the Gospel
according to John stating the resurrection of Christ was read in 12
Amabassadors and counsuls from Christian nations, representatives of other
Christian denominations, former Greek ministers and leaders of the Turkish
society celebrated yesterday's resurrection service and today's Agapi
service at the Patriarchate.
The Greek communities of Istanbul celebrated Easter in 10 churches at the
banks of the Bosporus.
Stephanopoulos in Hungary next week
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will begin a three-day
visit to Hungary next Wednesday at his Hungarian counterpart's invitation.
The Greek president will hold private talks with Hungarian President Arpad
Goncz and leadership, while he will also inaugurate a Greek-Hungarian
Mr. Stephanopoulos will also visit the ethnic Greek village of Beloyiannis
and will address that country's Parliament.
Former President of the Republic Karamanlis-health
The health of former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis
deteriorated for a short period yesterday night, while the attending
physicians announced that at this time they can not talk of an irreversible
Mr. Karamanlis was admitted to a northern Athens hospital on April 7 with a
lung infection and has since suffered a mild heart attack.
Gov't announces additional measures to combat crime
Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Public Order Minister George Romeos
Thursday decided to adopt additional measures to combat rising crime and
prevent the entry of illegal immigrants into the country.
The two men decided to allocate another 100 billion drachmas in order to
bolster police in both manpower and equipment. In addition, approval was
given for the recruitment of 1,300 new officers to tackle urban crime and
help guard the borders.
Part of the funds will be spent on buying new patrol cars and police
motorcycles, replacing older models, and upgrading buildings.
They also decided the recruitment of 2,000 police officers, through the
process of nation-wide examinations.
The reinforcement of border patrols by military units in cooperation with
police and the coast guard was also decided, while a procedure of
allocating duties to municipal police departments will be accelerated.
Finally, it was decided that a new border corps of 1,000 officers will be
formed by the end of the year.
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Alekos
Papadopoulos, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, National
Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Merchant Marine
Minister Stavros Soumakis also participated.
Mr. Simitis stressed that citizens must feel that the state is protecting
Early elections speculation denied
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday that there are no
plans for a Cabinet reshuffle or early elections.
He added that the government has a duty to confront the nation's problems,
ensuring political and economic stability as well as the nation's
"Everything else is an unnecessary luxury," Mr. Reppas said.
Earlier, main oposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos
asked the government to take a position on the electoral system for the
next general elections, whenever they might occur.
Local cloud in west, central and northern Greece today with some scattered
showers, particularly in the Ionian islands, Epirus, western mainland
Greece and western Macedonia. West-northwesterly winds, moderate and at sea
becoming strong. Scattered cloud in Athens, increasing after noon. Moderate
winds and temperatures between 12 and 22C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki
with slight possibility of rain. Temperatures between 10 and 20C.
Thursday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 312.778
British pound 527.149 Japanese Yen(100) 238.090
French franc 51.608 German mark 172.955
Italian lira (100) 17.504 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.379 Finnish mark 56.951
Dutch guilder 153.562 Danish kr. 45.334
Austrian sch. 24.582 Spanish peseta 2.035
Swedish kr. 40.283 Norwegian kr. 41.547
Swiss franc 207.680 Port. Escudo 1.687
AUS dollar 203.558 Can. dollar 217.942
Cyprus pound 593.216