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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-27

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, 27/04/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Tsohatzopoulos: Kosovo ready to blow
  • Turkey danger to regional peace
  • Greece not ready to approve EU monies for Ankara
  • Two Syrian seamen missing
  • Gov't denies new devaluation reports
  • Seven implicated in murder of Nigerian
  • Tsohatzopoulos comments on the Balkan peacekeeping force
  • Foreign Ministry to publish history of the Greek jews
  • Costas Karamanlis elected EDU Deputy President
  • Bulgarian army chief begins visit to Athens today
  • Athens hosts Int'l meeting of female journalists
  • British stage director Peter Hall visits Athens
  • British Euro-MP to address conference on 'Byron against Elgin'
  • Roman era tomb examined
  • Conference examines fate of domestic tour operators
  • Greek soccer matches called off in pools revenue protest
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Tsohatzopoulos: Kosovo ready to blow

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos today likened the situation in Kosovo to a hand-grenade ready to explode and stressed the need for pressure to be exerted on both the Albanian minority and Serbia for the immediate and unconditional commencement of dialogue in the troubled province. "The situation (in Kosovo) is like a hand-grenade which, if you pull the pin a little bit more, will explode," he said, replying to reporters' questions in Thessaloniki. This should be of concern to all of us, he said, adding that there must be some kind of intervention.

Turkey danger to regional peace

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos today criticised Turkey for its destabilising role in the region while at the same time warning that any attempt to exploit hotbeds of tension would lead to crises and conflict. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking at a meeting in Thessaloniki on the European defence and security structure at the Centre for International and European Law.

Greece not ready to approve EU monies for Ankara

Greece continues to have reservations on the adoption by the European Council of a 375 million ECU financial protocol for Turkey, given that Ankara has yet to make any move towards normalising relations with Greece, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said today, according to an ANA dispatch from Brussels. Sources said Pangalos laid out his positions this morning at the meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg. Pangalos is reported to have clearly set out that the Greek side was not ready to lift its reservations and also tabled with the Council two memorandums regarding the escalation of Turkish provocations.

Two Syrian seamen missing

Two Syrian seamen were reported missing early today as the Cambodian- flagged freighter "NATALEMAR" was sailing near the Strofades islands in the Ionian Sea, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. A ministry spokesman told the ANA that the two Syrians -- sailor Rafiq Alabsi, 28 and engineroom chief Mohammed Alatik, 48 -- were last seen on the deck of the ship shortly after midnight before their disappearance.

Gov't denies new devaluation reports

The government today denied press reports claiming that it was considering a further devaluation of the drachma following last month's 14 per cent devaluation. "The pressure on the drachma prior to its entry to the European Union's Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) does not exist now," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

The drachma was devalued by 14 per cent on March 14 to enable the national currency's entry to the ERM.

Seven implicated in murder of Nigerian

Police said today they were seeking a man suspected of killing a Nigerian national on Saturday and had arrested another six people for aiding and abetting. They said a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Efthymios Kyriopoulos, 28. Use Ugbuefi, 31, was killed when he was repeatedly punched in the chest with a spiked knuckle-duster allegedly during an altercation with Kyriopoulos at the offices of the Panathinaikos Fan Club in Peristeri.

Tsohatzopoulos comments on the Balkan peacekeeping force

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Saturday that a Balkan peacekeeping force whose creation is being discussed by regional leaders should have the right to act in any country facing a crisis, including its own members. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking at a news conference in Ohrid in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) after talks with his counterpart Lazar Kitanovski.

FYROM believes that the multi-national force should not intervene to keep the peace in countries that take part in the group.

The final decision on the peacekeeping force's sphere of activity will be taken in September at a meeting in Skopje, FYROM's capital, the report said.

Foreign Ministry to publish history of the Greek Jews

The Foreign Ministry will publish in late June a bilingual (Greek, English) history of the Greek Jews compiled from the ministry archives, Fotini Konstantopoulou, director of the Foreign Ministry's Historical Archives, announced yesterday during an event in Thessaloniki honouring the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

She said the various files from the archives concerning the rich cultural, economic and political activities of the Greek Jews and the holocaust were being used for the publication.

Costas Karamanlis elected EDU Deputy President

The 18th Conference of European Democratic Union,EDU, Party Leaders opened in Salzbourg on Friday at a time coinciding with the celebration of its 20th anniversary. Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis was elected EDU Deputy President on Friday, while the Deputy Prime Minister of the Finnish government and National Economy Minister Saouli Ninisto was elected President. He succeeds Alois Mock who was EDU President for 19 years. Mesut Yilmaz was also elected Deputy President.

Bulgarian army chief begins visit to Athens today

The chief of Bulgaria's army general staff, Lieutenant General Ginio Tonev, today begins a three-day visit to Athens and talks with Greek counterpart Lt.-Gen. Manoussos Parayoudakis. Defence Ministry sources told the ANA the two men would discuss issues of mutual interest focusing on bilateral relations and developments in the region.

Athens hosts int'l meeting of female journalists

The two-day work meeting between the European Network of Greek Women Journalists and colleagues of theirs from other countries came to a close in Athens on Saturday. The meeting was aimed at a briefing on issues of their concern and the acquaintance of wo men journalists from various countries. The meeting was attended by women journalists from France, Albania, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Romania and Turkey.

British stage director Peter Hall visits Athens

British stage director Peter Hall paid a flash visit to Greece yesterday with a scheduled meeting with Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the National Theatre's artistic director Nikos Kourkoulos. Hall proposed cooperation between the Royal Shakespearean Theatre and the National Theatre for the production and presentation of a spectacle of great dimensions and a worldwide calibre in Sydney, Australia, during the Cultural Olympiad in the year 2000.

British Euro-MP to address conference on 'Byron against Elgin'

British Euro-MP and President of the Bertrand Russell Foundation for Peace Ken Coates laid a wreath at Lord Byron's monument at the Zappeion at noon yesterday. The event was part of a visit he is paying to Greece at the invitation of the Committee for the Protection of Lord Byron's Heritage and as part of events organised in memory of the great poet and philhellene over the April 25-27 period.

Roman era tomb examined

A tomb dating back to Roman times located to the north of the Spileou Orestiadas community has been examined by the Antiquities Service of Thrace in the framework of excavations being conducted in the northern Evros area. The tomb has a diameter of 30 metres and a height of three metres.

Conference examines fate of domestic tour operators

Representatives of tourist agencies from Greece, Armenia, Malta, Turkey and Cyprus on Saturday met to discuss how to deal with a growing trend in the tourism industry that may leave domestic tour operators at the mercy of larger northern European organisations. Speakersat the Hellenic Association of Tourist and Travel Agencies (HATTA) conference on "Expansion: development or threat?" said the travel industry - the third largest sector in Europe - was being transformed by mergers and buyouts by strong travel organisations primarily based in northern Europe, such as Neckermann, TUI, LTU and Alltours.

Greek soccer matches called off in pools revenue protest

Greek first division soccer games were called off this weekend in protest at the way pools revenue is distributed. Clubs are demanding a greater share of soccer pools income from the Greek sports ministry which distributes part of the money to the teams. The Greek soccer association EPAE decided to call off this weekend's games -- the 31st round -- as a protest and reschedule them for next weekend. The Greek first division has four rounds left. Olympiakos Piraeus lead the table and look set to win the title.

WEATHER

Overcast weather is forecast throughout the country today with local showers in the eastern regions and the islands. Winds moderate to strong in the Aegean Sea later today. Athens will be mostly sunny with temperatures from 10-22C. Thessaloniki will be overcast with temperatures between 10- 20C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 310.794 British pound 517.784 Japanese yen(100) 239.528 French franc 51.584 German mark 172.920 Italian lira (100) 17.502 Irish Punt 436.480 Belgian franc 8.388 Finnish mark 56.990 Dutch guilder 153.700 Danish kr. 45.378 Austrian sch. 24.587 Spanish peseta 2.037 Swedish kr. 40.319 Norwegian kr. 41.614 Swiss franc 208.464 Port. Escudo 1.686 Aus. dollar 202.829 Can. dollar 217.228 Cyprus pound 591.351

(M.P.)


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