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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 21/05/1998 (ANA)


  • British envoy on Cyprus to visit Athens
  • Criticism for MP's 'detention' comments
  • Simitis calls on industrialists to share EMU burden
  • EU welcomes drop in Greek deficit, endorses project funds
  • Greece has the best quality bathing beaches
  • First vote in parliament on Constitutional reform
  • Pangalos satisfied with first part of State Dept. clarification
  • KKE to host int'l conference of communist parties
  • Russian consulate in Irakleion
  • Alexander the Great's burial site the subject of conference
  • Study on Greek book market released
  • Advertising in the ANA Daily Bulletin
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


British envoy on Cyprus to visit Athens

British envoy for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay, will visit Athens tomorrow for talks with senior foreign ministry officials, according to an ANA despatch from Nicosia. Citing informed sources, the despatch said Hannay would brief the Greek government on the visit of British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to Ankara earlier this week. Hannay accompanied Cook on his visit to Turkey. that there is margin for the council to be convened on the basis of

Criticism for MP's 'detention' comments

Coalition of the Left and Progress MP Petros Kounalakis today lashed out in Parliament against two colleagues from the main opposition party over a proposal yesterday that Albanian illegal immigrants should be sent to detention centres. Kounalakis called the two ND deputies' statements a "disgrace" for Parliament and "racist", and called on the House presidium to deplore the comments. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later condemned Andreoulakos's statements and New Democracy for "not being clear on its policy on such a sensitive issue". Sources said later that Andreoulakos would be called to account for his comments about detention centres for illegal immigrants when he meets with the New Democracy's party's MPs' secretary-general Stavros Dimas.

Simitis calls on industrialists to share EMU burden

The government told industrialists and business leaders yesterday that they now bore a greater share of responsibility in the country's push towards participation in European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). "Your responsibilities for progress in the economy are now greater than ever. Whether Greece will be able to play a more important role depends on you," Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in his address at the annual general assembly of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), held at a downtown Athens hotel.

EU welcomes drop in Greek deficit, endorses project funds

The European Union has welcomed the government's success in cutting its 1997 deficit, allowing the release of funds for Greek projects. In a letter released yesterday by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, the Commission welcomed a drop in 1997's general government deficit to 4.0 percent of gross domestic product from 7.5 percent a year earlier. The funds mentioned in the letter, which was sent on May 4, are from the EU's Cohesion Fund.

Greece has the best quality bathing beaches

Holidaymakers seeking the cleanest bathing waters in the European Union should head for Greek and Italian beaches or Irish and Austrian lakes, according to the European Commission's 1997 bathing water report. Nineteen out of 20 Greek coastal sites and 18 out of 20 Italian sites were classed as having excellent quality bathing waters in the report, released on Wednesday. Over 17 out of 20 freshwater sites in Ireland and Austria met these standards.

First vote in parliament on Constitutional reform

The first vote on the revision of clauses contained in the Constitution was concluded in Parliament last night with individual differentiations but no surprises. Out of the main clauses, the one on the election of the president of the republic was considered eligible for change, with 165 votes to 118 and one vote listed as present. The clause subject to change anticipates the separation of the election of the president from the dissolution of Parliament with 180 votes.

Pangalos satisfied with first part of State Dept. clarification

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told reporters yesterday that he agreed with the first part of the US State Department's clarification of US President Bill Clinton's recent statements regarding Cyprus and the Aegean, namely, rejection of a "package so lution". He added that Greece's interlocutors should be pursuaded that there are no interests involved, and that there are two sides: one that acts in accordance with legality, and another violating the rules.

KKE to host int'l conference of communist parties

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) will organise an international conference in Athens of 59 communist and workers' parties from 50 countries between Friday and Sunday. The meeting will focus on the better coordination and development of common action, aimed at "processing a common strategy against imperialism," according to a KKE announcement.

Russian consulate in Irakleion

Moscow's ambassador to Athens Valentina Matvienko paid a courtesy call to Irakleion Mayor Costas Aslanis yesterday on the occasion of the reopening of a Russian consulate in the city. The new consulate will cover Crete, while Nikos Daskalantonakis will act as the honorary consul. He accompanied Ms Matvienko on her visit to the mayor's office. Ms Matvienko was due to attend the inauguration of the Fayum exhibition at the Agios Markos Basilisa last night. She will also participate in events commemorating the Battle of Crete.

Alexander the Great's burial site the subject of conference

Two Egyptian archaeologists are to submit conflicting views on the exact location of Alexander the Great's burial place in Alexandria during a major conference entitled "From Macedonia to the World", scheduled in Veroia from May 27-30. Professors Fawzi El Fakharani and Mahmud El Saadani, have carried out extensive research on the subject. They differ on whether Alexander's tomb is located in the royal Ptolemaic necropolis or in the area of the Roman-era theatre, where the city's ancient centre had been located.

Study on Greek book market released

The Greek Book Centre (EKEBI) yesterday released the figures from its study on the local book market, noting increased sales for 1997 as compared to previous years. The study noted that 42 per cent of the books published in Greece are literature related, compared to 1 per cent in Europe, while 39 per cent of Greeks read only one book a year. Another interesting statistic of the study notes that of the 2,000 bookstores in Greece only about 11.4 per cent are dedicated to book sales, while the rest double as stationery stores.

Advertising in the ANA Daily Bulletin

The ANA will from now on welcome professional half-page or full-page advertisements in its daily English and French Bulletin. Advertisements will be accepted from embassies, banks, commercial and maritime companies, chambers of commerce, advertising companies, airlines, organisations, professional associations, educational and research institutions in Greece and abroad as well as international bodies. Also, for a small fee, the above groups may channel their Press Releases (PRs), announcements or photographs - in Greek, English or French - to the ANA's more than 100 media subscribers throughout Greece and Cyprus via the recently introduced ANA on-line PR's service. For details on and arrangements for the advertising and/or PRs on-line service, please contact the ANA Marketing Department, tel: 6400580, fax: 6400024 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.


Good weather throughout Greece today with the possibility of scattered showers mainly in the north of the country. Winds variable, light to moderate. Fine weather in Athens with temperatures between 14-26C. Overcast, with the possibility of rain, in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 13- 24C.


Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 304.842 British pound 496.397 Japanese yen(100) 224.043 French franc 51.191 German mark 171.671 Italian lira (100) 17.409 Irish Punt 432.214 Belgian franc 8.323 Finnish mark 56.482 Dutch guilder 152.322 Danish kr. 45.039 Austrian sch. 24.413 Spanish peseta 2.024 Swedish kr. 39.420 Norwegian kr. 40.706 Swiss franc 206.148 Port. Escudo 1.674 Aus. dollar 191.253 Can. dollar 210.701 Cyprus pound 581.788


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