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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 28/11/1999 (ANA)


  • PM Simitis reiterates wish to see Turkey in EU
  • FM Papandreou in Sweden to discuss Helsinki summit
  • Washington hopes for Greek assent to Turkey candidacy
  • Defence minister denies press reports of nukes in sea
  • More Greek gold at weightlifting championships
  • Two young Bulgarian women nabbed for pick-pocketing
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


PM Simitis reiterates wish to see Turkey in EU

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday reiterated Greece's desire to see Turkey in the European Union, but in line with the principles confirmed to by all EU member states. "The participation of Turkey in the EU - under certain conditions - assists in building a new space of peace and security, of consolidating peace and stability in our region," Simitis said at a rally in Crete during his weekend tour of the island. "This however means that we will not transport the existing problems to the EU," he added.

FM Papandreou in Sweden to discuss Helsinki summit

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou begins a visit to Stockholm on Sunday, part of his round of contacts to brief EU member states on the Greek position ahead of the critical EU Helsinki summit in early December. Papandreou, who has just returned from a visit to Cyprus where he held talks with Cypriot political leaders on the stance to be taken vis-a-vis Turkey's bid for candidacy status, said that Athens would protect its own and Cypriot interests at the summit. In an interview published in Sunday's edition of Eleftherotypia, Papandreou said that if Greece was forced to use its veto at Helsinki on the issue of Turkey's candidacy, the responsibility for this would lie with Greece's EU partners. The outcome at Helsinki, he added, would have an effect on Greek-Turkish rapprochement presently under way but he said he hoped that talks over the next few days would bring results.

Washington hopes for Greek assent to Turkey candidacy

Washington hopes Greece will build on the good climate in bilateral relations with Turkey and give Ankara a positive answer in its bid for European Union candidate country status, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns said in statements to Sunday's edition of Kathimerini. Underlining that the decision was one to be taken by Greece, Burns said that the U.S. stance, as expressed "clearly" by U.S. President Bill Clinton during his recent visit, was that Turkey being closer to the EU would aid in a number of ways such as improving the level of human rights in the neighbouring country and in resolving differences with Greece. "I believe that if Turkey becomes a candidate country for the EU it will help and increase the possibilities of resolving the Cyprus issues and of peacefully and constructively dealing with Greek-Turkish problems," Burns said.

Defence minister denies press reports of nukes in sea

Greece's Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Sunday denied a newspaper report that a nuclear bomb had been accidently 'dropped' off the coast of Crete and had lain there undetonated for years. "Whoever wrote this article was had. The information is wrong...There has been no such incident in Greek incident in recent years," Tsohatzopoulos said. Sunday newspaper To Vima reported that a U.S. nuclear vessel sailing near the Souda base had ejected by accident the atomic bomb into the depths of the sea northwest off Crete.

More Greek gold at weightlifting championships

Greece's Akakios Kakiashvilis on Saturday set a world record in the snatch and won all three gold medals in the men's 94-kilogram category at the World Weightlifting Championships. Kakiashvilis hoisted 188 kilos in the snatch to clinch Greece's first overall category victory in the championships. Leonidas Kokas won the bronze medal in the total and silver in the snatch category. Szymon Kolecki from Poland took silver in the total and clean-and- jerk. Hakob Pilosyan of Armenia took the bronze medal in the snatch and Turkey's Bunyami Sudas won the bronze in the clean-and-jerk.

Two young Bulgarian women nabbed for pick-pocketing

Police in the northern Greek town of Xanthi said they had arrested two young Bulgarian women trying to remove the wallets of elderly women on Sunday. Arrested were Angelova Albena, 18, and Ivanova Danka, 19. The wallets belonged to a 76-year-old and 62-year-old women and contained a total of 70,000 drachmas. Pick-pocketing has become rife in the area over the last three months and police lay the blame with young Bulgarian women. More than 20 Bulgarian women have been arrested trying to steal wallets and handbags over this period, police say. All have been deported.


The outlook for Monday is fine with moderate to strong winds. Temperatures will range from -3-12C in northern Greece, -1-16C in central Greece and 5- 15C on the islands. Athens will be fine with some cloud and mild to moderate winds, 6-16C. Thessaloniki will have light cloud, mild winds and temperatures of 0-11C.


Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          321.547
Pound sterling       518.737
Japanese yen (100)   309.226
French franc          49.755
German mark          166.869
Italian lira (100)    16.855
Irish Punt           414.402
Belgian franc          8.090
Finnish mark          54.891
Dutch guilder        148.100
Danish kr.            43.872
Austrian sch.         23.718
Spanish peseta         1.961
Swedish kr.           38.091
Norwegian kr.         40.182
Swiss franc          203.767
Port. Escudo           1.628
Can. dollar          219.172
Aus. dollar          205.374
Cyprus pound         567.384
Euro                 326.368
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