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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-07

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, 07/10/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens welcomes Europarliament Turkey decision
  • Explosion at Greek lyceum in Istanbul
  • Greece supports Malta's EU bid
  • Papandoniou to attend ECOFIN meeting
  • Search on for missing boat
  • 36 firms bid for Olympic Village project
  • Anti-smoking campaign targets kids
  • Surgeon warns women of shonky practitioners
  • South African Greeks donate money for quake-stricken
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens welcomes Europarliament Turkey decision

The Greek government said on Thursday that a European Parliament resolution on relations between the EU and Turkey safeguarded Greece's interests. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the European Parliament's resolution was "an asset and not a concession". The resolution on Wednesday came after Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen told the European Parliament that Turkey should be given formal candidate country status. The assembly subsequently approved a resolution acknowledging Turkey's eligibility to apply for membership but pointing out that it had not yet fulfilled membership criteria.

Explosion at Greek lyceum in Istanbul

An explosion rocked the building housing a Greek lyceum in an Istanbul residential area early today, causing material damage but no injuries, an ANA dispatch from Turkey said today. The explosion, caused by a home-made bomb, ocurred shortly after midnight in the building housing the Zographeio Lyceum in Istanbul's Pera district, and Istanbul security chief Hassan Oznemir arrived promptly on the spot. Sources said the Islamic organisation EBDAC claimed the attack in a telephone call to the local "Star" newspaper. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later told reporters that the attack was an isolated incident. "The government condemns the act and calls on the Turkish authorities to take measures to isolate these elements which belong to Islamic organisations," he said.

Greece supports Malta's EU bid

Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Maltese counterpart, Edward Fenech Adami, on Thursday underlined the excellent level of bilateral relations and the common interests of the two countries in Europe and the Mediterranean. Speaking to reporters after talks with Adami, Simitis said Greece wanted negotiations to commence for Malta's accession to the European Union and expressed the hope that a decision to this effect would be taken at the EU summit in Helsinki. Simitis underlined that Malta's application should be examined along with those of the other candidate countries in the first "wave" of accession.

Papandoniou to attend ECOFIN meeting

National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papandoniou will be representing Greece at the ECOFIN Council in Luxembourg on Friday. The meeting is expected to deal with issues related to employment, economic and structural reforms of member-states, the propsect of reducing VAT on certain goods and combatting fraud. Also on the agenda are financing for Turkey in the wake of the devastating August 17 earthquake.

Search on for missing boat

Search and rescue teams were scouring the sea today between the islands of Milos and Crete after receiving a distress call from a woman who said the vessel had caught fire and was sinking off Falkonera islet. Merchant marine ministry sources said a "terrified woman", who was possibly on board the ship, sent an SOS via VHF to the Radio Hellas coastal station at 8:30 last night, saying a vessel called the "Katerina" had caught fire and was sinking off Falkonera. The woman was unable to give further details or her name before her voice was lost on the station's frequency. No survivors or victims have been located, while efforts to identify the boat have proved futile so far as there are hundreds of vessels -- ranging from small fishing boats to luxury yachts -- registered with the name "Katerina".

36 firms bid for Olympic Village project

Thirty-six engineering firms from Greece and abroad have submitted designs for the international tender for spatial and architectural design of the Athens 2004 Olympic Village. The tender was called on August 2, 1999. A seven-member committee will evaluate the designs and make up a shortlist of six firms to take part in the second stage of the tender. The panel will take into consideration the following aspects of the bids submitted: previous experience on Olympic Games projects; previous experience on similar projects (housing complexes); the make-up of the project group; the ability to carry out a study within the foreseen timeframes; and general profile of the candidate. In the second stage of the tender, the six firms will be invited to submit their studies within 100 days. Negotiations on the carrying out of a final study will follow.

Anti-smoking campaign targets kids

With the slogan "don't start, don't continue, give it up," the Greek Anti- Cancer Council said on Thursday it would focus on preventing and stopping smoking among children during this week's European week against cancer. President of the Council Nikos Dontas told a news conference that the 16-21 age group, the key group in which smoking became a habit, would be targetted in the campaign. He cited figures from a recent study in Greece showed that 35 percent of children and teachers in middle school were smoking. Ninety percent of these smokers, he added, did so in front of other children. Tellingly, doctors were second on the list of most fervent smokers, he said. "The very people who should be setting an example to children about smoking are those apparently least willing to do so," Dontas said.

Surgeon warns women of shonky practitioners

A leading plastic surgeon on Thursday counselled Greek women seeking breast implants to seek out qualified and reputable practitioners and avoid "charlatans" after a spate of highly-publicised botch-ups. Some 20,000 Greek women have resorted to breast surgery for purely cosmetic reasons and about 1,000 women a year continued to seek out this form of surgery, Andreas Foustanos, president of the Greek Society of Plastic and Corrective Surgery, told a news conference. Referring to a recent case of a Thessaloniki woman becoming infected after being fitted with silicone breast implants, Foustanos said complaints were coming the society from both doctors and patients and advised women to seek out doctors with the right qualifications and to go to suitably-outfitted surgeries.

South African Greeks donate money for quake-stricken

The Greek communities of South Africa are the latest to come to the aid of the greater Athens area's quake-stricken residents, with the donation of some four tonnes of aid and a check for four million drachmas. Fundraising efforts by South Africa's ethnic Greeks were highlighted today during a brief ceremony at the residence of Pretoria's envoy in Greece, with the president of the Hellenic Communities of South Africa, Harry Gouvelis, presenting a representative of Greece's Red Cross with the check. "Our offer may be small but it is with love from us," he said, adding that a delegation from South Africa, accompanied by the Red Cross, toured the districts hardest hit by the Sept. 7 tremor.

WEATHER

Fair weather with local cloud and a further drop in temperatures will prevail in most parts of Greece today. Winds northerly moderate in the Ionian and Aegean seas. Few clouds in Athens with temperatures between 19- 27C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 17-23C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          302.729
Pound sterling       501.496
Japanese yen (100)   282.274
French franc          49.660
German mark          166.550
Italian lira (100)    16.823
Irish Punt           413.608
Belgian franc          8.075
Finnish mark          54.786
Dutch guilder        147.816
Danish kr.            43.836
Austrian sch.         23.673
Spanish peseta         1.958
Swedish kr.           37.458
Norwegian kr.         39.513
Swiss franc          204.997
Port. Escudo           1.625
Can. dollar          206.177
Aus. dollar          200.285
Cyprus pound         564.230
Euro                 325.743
(M.P.)
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