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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-22

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, 22/04/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece repeats policy of joining EMU in second phase
  • Greece warns against gauging economy on bourse's surge
  • Turkish air space violations
  • Three Canadians still missing
  • Mirage forced landing
  • Gov't meeting on Friday
  • Athens respects European court ruling
  • Two sentenced for smuggling immigrants
  • Greece reaffirms support for Cyprus' defence
  • Athens denies reports of Dayton-type conference for Cyprus
  • Karamanlis's condition worsens
  • World Earth Day celebrated today
  • Swiss say Roussel allegation over kidnap plot baseless
  • CoE's Human Rights Commission on ex-king's complaint
  • Stephanopoulos on official visit to Hungary
  • AEK of Athens in Eurobasket final
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece repeats policy of joining EMU in second phase

Greece will join the second phase of the European Union's economic and monetary union (EMU) as planned in order to avoid hurting the economy through premature entry, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. It would be difficult for Greece to join the first phase of EMU at the same time as countries whose economies were more developed. Such a move could damage the economy, Reppas said.

Greece warns against gauging economy on bourse's surge

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the Athens bourse's current surge was positive but should not be taken as a gauge of the economy. "The general share index's rise may be positive but the government knows that much more effort is needed to achieve targets it has set in its (European Union) convergence programme," Reppas said. The spokesman was replying to a reporter's question on whether the government interpreted the bourse's jump as a sign the economy was doing well.

Turkish air space violations

Sixteen Turkish F-16 fighter jets today infringed air traffic regulations in the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) on six separate occasions in the area south-east of Rhodes, according to national defence ministry sources. Twelve Greek Mirage 2000 and F1 fighters immediately took off to intercept the intruders but the Turkish aircraft had already left the area. According to the same sources, the Turkish aircraft were not armed.

Three Canadians still missing

The Greek Coast Guard said today it had found the body of a priest who went missing with three Canadians when their fishing boat capsized in a sudden storm off the northern Greek Halkidiki peninsula. The three Canadians -- Roger Richer, 49, his brother Gerald, 39, and Alvin Guensel, 44 -- all working for the Canadian-operated TVX Hellas gold mining company, were still missing and presumed drowned, the spokesman said.

Mirage forced landing

A Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000 made a forced landing at Heraklion airport in Crete this morning after the pilot ascertained a fault in the aircraft's brake system. The jet fighter came to a stop at the protective netting without being seriously damaged and the pilot was unhurt. The Mirage had shortly before taken off from the same airport.

Gov't meeting on Friday

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced today that the cabinet and the political secretariat of the ruling PASOK party would hold a joint meeting on Friday, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, to discuss current political developments. Later in the same day, Simitis will meet with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides who is coming to Athens for talks with the Greek government on the Cyprus problem.

Athens respects European court ruling

Greece said today that it respected court rulings in general and would respect the judgement of the European Commission of Human Rights concerning a complaint filed by ex-king Constantine. Goverernment spokesman Dimitris Reppas underlined however that Greece was not a defendant in the Commission's proceedings and said that the ex-king was indirectly attempting to raise a constitutional issue "which ended once and for all in 1974".

Two sentenced for smuggling immigrants

A three-member court on Kos today sentenced two Turks each to eight years' imprisonment and fines of 1.76 million drachmas after finding them guilty of transporting 84 illegal immigrants from Iraq to a rocky islet north-east of Agathonissi. Kurt Omer, 24, and Polat Nimer, 33 ferried the Iraqis - 53 men, 13 women and 18 children - on their 18-metre boat and put them ashore on the islet of Katagani on Sunday night.

Greece reaffirms support for Cyprus' defence

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos reiterated yesterday that Greece would stand by Cyprus in the face of Turkish threats and the on- going occupation of one-third of the island republic by Ankara's forces. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos made the statements following discussions with visiting US Defence Secretary William Cohen, who arrived for a brief stopover in Athens for talks on issues of mutual interest after winding up a five-day tour of eastern Europe and the Middle East. Their meeting lasting for more than an hour and continued during a working lunch.

Athens denies reports of Dayton-type conference for Cyprus

Athens yesterday denied reports that a Dayton-type peace conference on the Cyprus issue was being considered. "There is no such issue," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters. Referring to recent activity on the Cyprus issue, he said the government "could not have a negative stance on the interest being expressed by various sides."

Karamanlis's condition worsens

Former president Constantine Karamanlis's condition is worsening, according to a short announcement from his doctors yesterday. The statement, issued at midday, said that Mr. Karamanlis' condition was listed as "extremely critical". Mr. Karamanlis suffered renal failure late 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 the hospital on April 7. The 91- year-old statesman was admitted to the Hygeia Hospital with a respiratory infection.

World Earth Day celebrated today

As environmental problems are increasing and becoming more universal, World Earth Day is celebrated around the globe today, providing for an insight into the need to protect the environment and implement sustainable development for the entire planet. In a message to mark the occasion, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Undersecretary Theodoros Koliopanos underlined the need for efforts to boost economies in order to take into consideration two major preconditions to achieve sustainability.

Swiss say Roussel allegation over kidnap plot baseless

The Onassis Foundation yesterday released a statement citing a decision by a Geneva public prosecutor who found allegations by Thierry Roussel regarding attempted kidnapping plots targetting his daughter Athina, the primary heir to the huge Onassis fortune, completely baseless. "...the malicious accusations of Roussel about the alleged attempted kidnapping of Athina have also been proven, as expected, false and the entire case has been placed on file," a statement read.

CoE's Human Rights Commission on ex-king's complaint

The European Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe (CoE) held a hearing yesterday on the admissibility and merits of a complaint brought by ex-king Constantine and eight members of his family regarding the confiscation of one-time royal property by Greece in May 1994. Following deliberations, the Commission - comprised of 19 members - declared admissible Constantine's complaint concerning the property issue, but at the same time rejected as inadmissible his petition regarding a requirement by the Greek state that as urname should be acquired and used by him and the members of his family as a condition of access to courts, and for continued recognition of their Greek nationality and passports.

Stephanopoulos on official visit to Hungary

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos leaves for a three-day state visit to Hungary today at his Hungarian counterpart's invitation. The Greek president will hold private talks with Hungarian President Arpad Goncz and other leaders, while he will also inaugurate a Greek-Hungarian business conference.

AEK of Athens in Eurobasket final

AEK of Athens set up another Greek Final Four triumph in Barcelona yesterday with a 69-66 victory over Italy's Benetton Treviso in a semi- final match for the European Champions' League. It plays against Kinder Bologna in Thursdsay's final match.

WEATHER

Mostly fair weather is forecast in most parts of Greece today with a possibility of showers in the northeast of the country from the afternoon. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 11-23C. Scattered clouds in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9- 22C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 308.958 British pound 517.586 Japanese Yen(100) 234.310 French franc 51.300 German mark 171.864 Italian lira (100) 17.384 Irish Punt 433.821 Belgian franc 8.331 Finnish mark 56.641 Dutch guilder 152.669 Danish kr. 45.071 Austrian sch. 24.428 Spanish peseta 2.023 Swedish kr. 40.158 Norwegian kr. 41.364 Swiss franc 206.733 Port. Escudo 1.675 AUS dollar 200.404 Can. dollar 216.077 Cyprus pound 591.232

(M.P.)


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