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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-12-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 01/12/1999 (ANA)


  • Opposition slams govt foreign policy
  • PM promises protection of personal data
  • New tender called for Olympic Village
  • Greek merchant fleet loses 8 ships
  • Freighter rams into jetty, no injuries
  • Another weak tremor recorded
  • Police arrest minor for kidnap hoax
  • Greek stocks remain under pressure
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Opposition slams govt foreign policy

The leader of Greece's conservative main opposition New Democracy party criticised the government on Wednesday for making unilateral concessions and giving in to pressure from Ankara. "Greece is the only European Union country threatened by Turkey, which has designs on our country," ND leader Costas Karamanlis told a meeting of his party's MPs."Turkey disdains international law, threatens the use of force and effectively uses force in its infringements of [Greek] air space," he said. He said that Greece was a stabilising factor in the region, in contrast to Turkey which attempted the opposite. It is up to Turkey itself whether it becomes a European country or remains a regional troublemaker, he said.

PM promises protection of personal data

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Wednesday that his government would provide full protection for the rights to privacy of all Greeks. Simitis was speaking during a visit to the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data. He congratulated staff there on efforts to protect individuals' confidentiality and date related to personal life. "It is not our goal to hinder the course of technology, nor to place obstacles in the ways of new means to liberate and strengthen human knowledge, capabilities and abilities," Simitis said. "Our aim is to guarantee these developments will not be to the disadvantage of the rights of citizens, that the ability of the person to decide independently about his life will not be undermined by new technologies," he said. The Authority comes under the jurisdiction of the justic ministry. To date it has dealt with 205 complaints about invasion and abuse of personal data from a total of 223 cases.

New tender called for Olympic Village

The Greek Olympic Committee is issuing a new international call for tenders for the architectural design of the Olympic Village that will house athletes and entourages during the 2004 Olympic Games in the Greek capital, GOC president Lambis Nikolaou said today. Nikolaou, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told a press conference said the new tender was being called after the first tender was deemed inadequate. Thirty-six architectural and engineering firms from Greece and abroad submitted designs in the initial international tender, issued in early August, to create the Olympic Village for the 2004 Athens Games.

Greek merchant fleet loses 8 ships

The Greek merchant fleet decreased by eight ships representing 419,821 grt in October, the merchant marine ministry announced today. It said three vessels with a total capacity of 29,038 grt joined the Greek shipping registry last month, while 11 ships totalling 448,859 grt withdrew from the Greek flag. The ministry said that the average age of the departing ships was 22, adding that nine of those vessels were sold to foreign shipowners, one switched to the Bahamas flag, and one was scrapped.

Freighter rams into jetty, no injuries

A Liberian-flag freighter rammed into a jetty as it was heading out of the central harbour of the port of Piraeus, causing cracks in its hull but no injuries, the merchant marine ministry said today. It said the "Cypress Pass", which was loaded with 50 cars and was destined for Italy, suffered a 10-metre-long crack and a two-metre crack on its left side when it rammed into the jetty last night. The ministry said none of the crew members were injured, and no pollution was caused. It said the freighter was anchored off the harbour, and a tugboat was on hand awaiting instructions.

Another weak tremor recorded

A weak earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale was recorded early today in Athens. The Athens Observatory's Geodynamics Institute said the tremor was recorded at 1:00 a.m., coming from the Parnitha fault which produced the killer 5.9 Richter earthquake of September 7 in the Greek capital. Seismologists said the tremor was part of the post-seismic activity from the September quake.

Police arrest minor for kidnap hoax

Police in Thessaloniki arrested a 17-year-old heroin addict after the youth tried to con the mother of his dead friend into giving him money by claiming his friend had been kidnapped by Russian underworld figures. Police said the youth, identified only as 'B.D.', abandoned his friend 'B.A.', 16, when the latter took an overdose of heroin in an abandoned warehouse. B.A.'s identity was not known when his death was discovered. So 'B.D.' visited the mother of his now-deceased friend and told her he had been kidnapped and that the abductor - a Russian named 'Malis' - wanted 30, 000 drachmas to free her son. The mother however contacted police with her suspicions and the 17-year-old was arrested.

Greek stocks remain under pressure

Equity prices lost ground in low turnover on Wednesday remaining under pressure for the second consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index ended 1.01 percent lower at 5,653.94 points, off the day's lows. Turnover was a low 247.1 billion drachmas. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks jumped 2.89 percent to 2,119.67 points, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.44 percent lower at 2,812.62 points.


Partly cloudy throughout the country on today with increased clouds in the South. Winds alternating, weak and in the southern seas northeasterly weak to moderate. Few clouds in Athens with long spells of sunshine and temperatures from 6-17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 0- 14C.


Wednesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          322.390
Pound sterling       515.404
Japanese yen (100)   316.220
French franc          49.732
German mark          166.793
Italian lira (100)    16.848
Irish Punt           414.213
Belgian franc          8.087
Finnish mark          54.867
Dutch guilder        148.032
Danish kr.            43.868
Austrian sch.         23.707
Spanish peseta         1.960
Swedish kr.           38.013
Norwegian kr.         40.097
Swiss franc          203.603
Port. Escudo           1.627
Can. dollar          219.232
Aus. dollar          204.937
Cyprus pound         566.591
Euro                 326.219
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