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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-25

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, 25/10/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Racist attacks isolated event - govt
  • FM meets with Greek-Turkish forum
  • Greece, Mexico sign agreements
  • Greenpeace protest at ministry
  • Privatisation programme to be stepped up
  • Greek, French defence ministers meet
  • Makeshift bomb explodes at police union
  • Greek equities start week down
  • Clocks go back on Sunday
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Racist attacks isolated event - govt

Greece said on Monday that a racially-motivated attack which left two foreigners dead and another eight injured was an "isolated event". "This act has been condemned by the whole of the Greek people," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. "It is an isolated extremist racist case." Pantelis Kazakos, 23, was formally charged on Monday after testifying before a special investigating magistrate for three hours. Police arrested him and Apostolos Apostolou early on Friday after Kazakos ran amok on the streets of Athens, gunning down anyone looking like a foreigner. Two men were killed; another eight remain hospitalised, at least three with critical injuries.

FM meets with Greek-Turkish forum

Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with members of the Greek-Turkish Forum in Athens on Monday. Sources said that the discussion centred on Turkish-EU relations and the Greek position on this as well as more general developments in Greek-Turkish relations. The forum is made up of leading figures including journalists, academics, MPs and dignitaries. Papandreou welcomed the efforts of the group, saying that this form of activity on behalf of non-governmental organisations from both countries had a great deal to offer both sides.

Greece, Mexico sign agreements

Mexican Foreign Minister Rosario Green began an official visit to Greece on Monday, discussing bilateral and regional issues with Greek counterpart George Papandreou. Papandreou and Green signed two bilateral agreements during the visit, one on furthering police cooperation and one on judicial issues. Relations between the two countries, Papandreou said, are excellent. He thanked Green for Mexico's support over the issues of Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republixc Of Macedonia. Greece, he added, would continue to work hard to bolster Mexico's relations with the European Union.

Greenpeace protest at ministry

Members of environmental group Greenpeace rolled out ten barrels in front of the environment, town planning and public works ministry in Athens on Monday, in a symbolic protest at the lack of measures on toxic wastes at the Hellenic Steel Industry's Aspropyrgos plant. The protestors, dressed in gas masks and carrying a banner, say the ministry and the government generally have been lax in ensuring there are adequate safety measures at the plant. Greenpeace claims that the waste produced at the plant continues high levels of dioxin, a carcinogen. Tests on the waste show dioxin levels 18,500 times higher than the levels found in Belgian chickens earlier this year.

Privatisation programme to be stepped up

The national economy ministry aims to complete its ambitious privatisation programme by January 2000 through the sale of minority stakes in Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP), Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETBA), Hellenic Petroleum, Thessaloniki International Fair, Hellenic Vehicle Industry and Hellenic Aerospace Industry. A meeting today, chaired by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou with the ministry's secretary general George Papaioannou and the government's top financial advisor Yiannis Stournaras, decided to speed up privatisations by the end of the year.

Greek, French defence ministers meet

It is necessary to boost the European Union's ability to advance an independent European defence policy in order to tackle the security problems in the region, the Greek and French defence ministers said today in Athens. Greece and France also shared 'close' views on the security problems in southeastern Europe, Greece's national defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said after talks with visiting French counterpart Alain Richard. Tsohatzopoulos also said advancing a security policy in the eastern Mediterranean, supporting the Middle East peace process and strengthening cooperation with the Arab countries maximised the efforts for security in the region.

Makeshift bomb explodes at police union

A home-made bomb went off early today at the entrance of the Union of Police Employees of Thessaloniki offices in the northern Greek capital. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bomb, but the initials LEM, believed to represent the Popular Revolutionary Front (Laiko Epanastatiko Metopo) were found spray-painted on the outside wall of the building housing the union offices, police said. They said a fire caused by the explosion, which occurred around 2:00 a.m., was quickly extinguished by the Fire Brigade and caused only minor damage. The shadowy group LEM first appeared in 1995 with a gas cannister attack against the offices of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE).

Greek equities start week down

Equity prices ended the first session of the week moderately lower pushing the general index below the 5,600 level. The index ended 0.40 percent down at 5,577.89 points, reversing an early advance of 1.68 percent. Turnover was 375.1 billion drachmas. Traders said market sentiment remained fragile and noted that many investors preferred to take early profits. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks rose 1.59 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.30 percent to 2,785.62 points.

Clocks go back on Sunday

Clocks turn back an hour at 4 a.m. on Sunday October 31, marking the end of Daylight Savings Time. Winter time will be in force until March 26, 2000, when clocks will again go forward an hour.

Weather

Fine weather with some local cloud in the east and north of the country is forecast for today. Winds mild to moderate to occasionally strong in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Athens will be sunny with some local cloud and temperatures between 16-25C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 14- 23C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          303.205
Pound sterling       508.896
Japanese yen (100)   288.087
French franc          49.883
German mark          167.301
Italian lira (100)    16.899
Irish Punt           415.472
Belgian franc          8.111
Finnish mark          55.033
Dutch guilder        148.482
Danish kr.            44.019
Austrian sch.         23.779
Spanish peseta         1.966
Swedish kr.           37.363
Norwegian kr.         39.382
Swiss franc          205.056
Port. Escudo           1.632
Can. dollar          204.550
Aus. dollar          197.334
Cyprus pound         566.710
Euro                 327.211
(M.P.)
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