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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-21

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, 21/04/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Karamanlis health 'worsening'
  • Stocks soar to new record on Athens bourse
  • Air and sea search for missing foreigners
  • U.S. Defence Secretary arrives in Athens
  • Greek chief of staff to visit Cyprus
  • Greek shipper gets ISO certificate
  • Training plane crashes, no injuries
  • Tsohatzopoulos holds talks with Albanian premier
  • Apostolakis visits Greek contingent in Bosnia
  • Easter mass exodus death toll rises to 35
  • New group claims firebomb attack on bank
  • Two Turks charged with smuggling immigrants
  • Foreign prisoners make escape attempt at Athens jail
  • EU Commission proposes fine on Greece over waste
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Karamanlis health 'worsening'

Former president Constantine Karamanlis's condition is worsening, according to a short announcement from Karamanlis's doctors today. The statement, issued at midday, said that Karamanlis was listed as "extremely critical". Karamanlis suffered renal failure late on Monday night and doctors were reported to have said that the former president's health was at its lowest ebb since he was admitted to hospital on April 7. Karamanlis, 91, was admitted to the Hygeia Hospital with a respiratory infection. He was placed on breathing support on April 12 after his heart stopped during a mild heart attack.

Stocks soar to new record on Athens bourse

Greek equities shot up to another record after a four-day holiday on the Athens Stock Exchange. Traders said the market welcomed last week's news of a merge between National Bank of Greece and its subsidiary Mortgage Bank creating the country's largest banking group. Buying focused on the banking sector which showed most share prices hitting the day's 8.0 percent limit up with the exception of Macedonian-Thrace Bank and Mortgage Bank. The general index soared 7.32 percent to end at 2,627.90 points. Analysts expect the market to test the 3,000 level soon. Trading was massive with turnover at 100.1 billion drachmas.

Air and sea search for missing foreigners

Three Canadian nationals and a Greek priest were missing after their boat capsized during a sudden storm off Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, the Merchant Marine Ministry said today. Reports said the three Canadians were working for TVX Hellas, the subsidiary of the Canadian gold mining company which received a concession to work the Cassandra gold mines in March 1995.

U.S. Defence Secretary arrives in Athens

U.S. Defence Secretary Willian Cohen arrived here today on a brief stopover, winding up a five-day tour of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Cohen was driven from the Athens International Airport directly to the Greek defence ministry for talks with counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Cohen will also lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after a joint press conference with Tsohatzopoulos at 2:45 p.m., before departing around 5:00 for his return to the U.S.

Greek chief of staff to visit Cyprus

Greece's chief of staff begins a three-day visit to Cyprus tomorrow for talks with the political and military leadership on the island, the first official visit by a Greek chief of staff to the divided island. General Athanasios Tzoganis is scheduled to discuss the Greek-Cypriot unified defence doctrine and review developments in his meetings with the Cypriot defence establishment. He returns to Greece on Friday.

Greek shipper gets ISO certificate

A Greek shipping company has become the first major ship operating organisation in the world to be certified as meeting the new ISO 14001 environmental standard, a spokesman for ABS Quality Evaluations, an affiliate of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), told the ANA today. Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd. of Greece is the first ship operator worldwide to receive the new ISO 14001 environmental quality standards certification, said the spokesman for ABS Quality Evaluations, which carried out the auditing and certification.

Training plane crashes, no injuries

A small training plane crashed today near Kavala, northern Greece, but its crew were safe, local police said. They said the two-seat F-15 airplane crashed at 1:25 p.m. three miles east of the town of Chryssoupolis, but its two pilots parachuted to safety. The pilots were picked up by rescue units and transferred to hospital for check-up.

Tsohatzopoulos holds talks with Albanian premier

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano in Tirana on Easter Sunday, accompanied by ministry officials, with discussion between them focusing on bilateral issues and issues relating to the wider region of so utheast Europe, including Kosovo and the creation of a multinationl peacekeeping force in the Balkans. The Albanian prime minister said after the meeting that discussion touched upon cooperation between Balkan nations and collective security in the region in the framework of NATO.

Apostolakis visits Greek contingent in Bosnia

National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis spent the Easter Monday celebration with the Greek contingent serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a speech he delivered there, Mr. Apostolakis praised the Greek contingent's work, saying it represented Greece in the best way and adding that Greece had now shaken off its isolationism to become the most powerful country in the region in economic terms, as well as in political stability and social cohesion.

Easter mass exodus death toll rises to 35

Thirty-five people have lost their lives on Greek roads this Easter long weekend, with another 446 injured - 90 seriously - in more than 300 traffic accidents since Thursday night. Traffic police stepped up measures ahead of the expected return of holiday-makers later yesterday. Authorities said that 70 percent of the 300 accidents had taken place on rural road networks, where a police presence was less noticeable.

New group claims firebomb attack on bank

A suburban branch of the Ionian Bank was the target of a firebomb attack on Sunday night, resulting in serious property damage but no injuries. Authorities said the fire was caused by a makeshift explosive device made up of seven gas cannisters. placed at the bank's entrance. An anonymous caller to the Athens daily Eleftherotypia later claimed the arson attack on the bank was the work of a new group, calling itself "Autonomous Revolutionary Activity".

Two Turks charged with smuggling immigrants

Two Turkish nationals were charged with smuggling in 84 illegal immigrants to Greece before a Samos prosecutor yesterday, authorities said. Kurt Omer, 24, and Polat Nimer, 33, were charged with transporting 84 illegal immigrants from Iraq - 53 m en, 13 women and 18 children - on their 18- metre boat and putting them ashore on Agathonissi on Sunday night.

Foreign prisoners make escape attempt at Athens jail

An escape attempt by nearly 40 foreigners at the top security Korydallos prison near Piraeus was thwarted by police. Police units were late last night on the alert around the prison complex, while the would-be escapees remained outside their cells.

EU Commission proposes fine on Greece over waste

The European Commission has proposed to the European Court to impose a fine on Greece for not having implemented a waste programme for the gulf of Souda, Crete. The Commission proposed that Greece pays 8.3 million drachmas (ecu 24,600) per day of delay in implementing the European Court's verdict.

WEATHER

Fine weather in most parts of Greece today with local cloud in a few regions. Winds westerly, mild to strong and very strong in the south. Temperatures in the north will range from 5-22C, in the mainland from 8-24 and on the islands from 12-23. Athens will be sunny with temperatures from 11-23C. Same in Thessaloniki with increasing cloud in the afternoon and temperatures between 9-22C.

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.P.)


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