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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-20

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, 20/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece marks anniversary of Cyprus invasion
  • Pangalos in Tirana for talks on Kosovo, bilateral relations
  • Dialogue the solution for Kosovo, Athens says
  • Another major drug haul in northwest Greece
  • State telecoms workers to strike
  • Commissioner Wulf-Mathies in Greece
  • Kranidiotis warns of continuing tension in Cyprus
  • Former U.S. President Bush holidaying in Greece
  • Ground-breaking ceremony for Rio-Antirrio Bridge
  • Athens welcomes creation of an Int'l Criminal Court
  • Kranidiotis' talks in Uzbekistan
  • Greece rallies for more EU funds for renewable energy
  • Stephanopoulos inaugurates conference of Achaia expatriates
  • Best bid for Softex announced by gov't
  • Heavy road death toll
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece marks anniversary of Cyprus invasion

Greece said today that it was time for the international community to contribute to the implementation of United Nations resolutions on the division and continuing occupation of a third of Cyprus. Speaking on the 24th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said it was time for the impasse in the resolution of the problem to be overcome. Reppas said the presence of Turkish government officials and fighter planes in the occupied sector of Cyprus on the anniversary of the invasion was a "sign of Turkey's weakness".

Pangalos in Tirana for talks on Kosovo, bilateral relations

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos arrived in Tirana today on a two-day visit and talks with the Albanian government on regional issues and boosting Greek investments in Albania. Pangalos met with his Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo on arrival to examine the situation in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo as well as cooperation between Greece and Albania. He said after the meeting that the talks confirmed the "very good" level of bilateral relations and cooperation across the board.

Dialogue the solution for Kosovo, Athens says

The Greek government today said it was "categorically" in favour of the respect of present borders in the wider Balkan region as well as for the rights of ethnic Albanians in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo had to be given "wider autonomy within the context of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". "All sides must seek a solution in the interests of all," Reppas said. He said dialogue and understanding were the only path towards this solution.

Another major drug haul in northwest Greece

Authorities said today they had discovered 306 kilos of Indian cannabis hidden in bushes on a beach near Parga, northwest Greece, in the third major drug discovery in a week. Police said the cannabis, in 104 packages, had probably been left by Albanian drug smugglers to be picked up by their Greek accomplices. Yesterday, customs officials said they had found 1.5 tonnes of Indian cannabis hidden in the floor of a refrigerator truck passing through the Greek-Albanian border post. Last week, officials at the Krystallopigi customs post discovered over 1,029 kilos of hashish when they searched a tanker truck which attempted to enter the country from neighbouring Albania.

State telecoms workers to strike

Greek state telecom workers will stage a 24-hour nationwide strike on Thursday to protest against a third flotation for Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) due in the autumn. The latest float on the Athens Stock Exchange would bring the total of stock sold in OTE up to a maximum of 45 percent, paving the way for a majority privatisation in the future, OTE's union said in a statement today. OTE had no need to sell stock as it could fund investments from its equity capital. The sale was aimed solely at raking in extra funds, the statement said.

Commissioner Wulf-Mathies in Greece

European Commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies, who holds the portfolio on regional policy, structural funds and the cohesion fund, arrives in Athens on Thursday for a two-day visit and talks with the Greek government. Wulf- Mathies will meet with prime minister Costas Simitis, national economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou, national economy undersecretary Christos Pachtas, and alternate foreign minister George Papandreou, sources told the ANA.

Kranidiotis warns of continuing tension in Cyprus

Foreign undersecretary Yannos Kranidiotis warned today that "two separate states in Cyprus would mean that the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would live constantly in a climate of tension, threatening stability in the region". In separate interviews with the Turkish dailies "Sabah" and "Yeni Yuzgil", published today, Kranidiotis said that "unfortunately, (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash and some circles in Turkey have not altered their view regarding an 'independent Turkish state' in (northern) Cyprus".

Former U.S. President Bush holidaying in Greece

Former US president George Bush and his former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. (ret) Colin Powell today began a two-week holiday in Greece, their second in three years. Bush and Powell, accompanied by their wives, are here as guests of Greek shipping tycoon Yannis Latsis, who placed his private jet and luxury yacht, the "Alexander", at their disposal. Latsis sources told ANA that the two couples had already embarked on a cruise of the Aegean islands, and would be in Greece until early August. The Bushes and Powells had a brief private holiday on Crete and Gavdos islands in June 1996.

Ground-breaking ceremony for Rio-Antirrio Bridge

A ground-breaking ceremony was held yesterday to mark the beginning of construction of a bridge linking the Peloponnese to mainland Greece and slash travelling time for the two million vehicles crossing the Rio- Antirrio strait each year. Attending the ceremony in Antirrio was President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, as well as a number of government ministers. Speakers at the ceremony hailed the project as crucial for the development of we stern Greece. The bridge will drastically reduce travelling time, become a transport hub for all national roads and is linked with all the region's infrastructure projects.

Athens welcomes creation of an Int'l Criminal Court

Greece yesterday welcomed the creation of an International Criminal Court (ICC) to try the most serious of war crimes, calling it a major victory. A statute establishing the ICC was overwhelmingly adopted late Saturday night by 120 votes to seven against, with 21 abstentions at the end of a five- week United Nations conference in the Italian capital. The ICC is being set up to try genocide,war crimes,crimes against humanity and aggression. The 18-judge tribunal is not expected to start functioning for several years, since ratification by 60 countries is first required.

Kranidiotis' talks in Uzbekistan

Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis concluded a visit to Uzbekistan on Friday, confirming the very good level of relations between Athens and Tashkent. Mr. Kranidiotis held talks in Tashkent with Uzbekistani Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, as well as with Interior Minister S. Moustafa on issues of bilateral and international concern, such as cooperation between the two countries in international or ganisations (UN, NATO, EU, etc), the situation in Central Asia, Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem. Mr. Kranidiotis has already arrived in the People's Republic of China for talks with the Chinese leadership.

Greece rallies for more EU funds for renewable energy

Greece wants to see more European Union funding for renewable energy, a greater emphasis on sustainable development and the adoption of EU environmental standards by countries seeking to join the 15-nation bloc, a government official said yesterday. The secretary general of the environment, public works and town planning ministry, Ilias Beriatos, told the EU's council of environment ministers at a meeting in Graz, Austria that renewable energy should be funded from structural funds, beyond two existing pilot programmes for the sector. Greece had set a target of increasing the use of renewable energy to 10 percent in 2010 from the current 5.2 per cent in an attempt to approach an overall EU goal of 12 per cent, Mr. Beriatos said.

Stephanopoulos inaugurates conference of Achaia expatriates

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Saturday inaugurated in Patra the first international conference of expatriates from Achaia. Mr. Stephanopoulos requested of participants to take an active part in the political life of their new homes around the world. Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou represented Prime Minister Costas Simitis, while Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras also addressed the conference.

Best bid for Softex announced by gov't

The multinational firm Lockridge has placed the highest bid for purchasing the Softex paper mill, according to the development ministry. Conditions set by the foreign company are considered satisfactory, both by employees and the state. Bids made by all companies were examined by a committee, which considered the Lockridge bid the most favourable. The paper mill in Drama currently employs 470 people.

Heavy road death toll

A total of 26 people were killed and 336 injured, 41 of them seriously, in 256 traffic accidents around the country from Friday afternoon until early yesterday afternoon. Police were reportedly taking urgent measures late yesterday afternoon to facilita te the return of holidaymakers.

WEATHER

Hot, sunny weather is forecast for today. Temperatures will range from 18C- 36C in the west, 17C-34C on the rest of the mainland, and 21C-31C in the islands. Athens will be sunny with temperatures at 22C-34C. The same is forecast for Thessaloniki with temperatures at 20C-31C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.743 British pound 482.945 Japanese yen (100) 210/949 French franc 49.118 German mark 164.771 Italian lira (100) 16.699 Irish Punt 414.160 Belgian franc 7.984 Finnish mark 54.191 Dutch guilder 146.057 Danish kr. 43.221 Austrian sch. 23.416 Spanish peseta 1.939 Swedish kr. 37.133 Norwegian kr. 39.035 Swiss franc 195.037 Port. Escudo 1.609 Aus. dollar 184.854 Can. dollar 198.737 Cyprus pound 561.968

(M.P.)


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