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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 19/04/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • 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
  • Weather
  • 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 armed forces.

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 languages.

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 business conference.

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 condition.

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 them.

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 prospects.

"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.

WEATHER

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.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(M.S.)


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