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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-12-07

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, 07/12/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • November inflation at 2.6%
  • Greece wants proof of Turkish good intent
  • Two charged as school sit-ins defuse
  • Ship with 300 illegal immigrants nears Athens
  • Injured KFOR soldier moved to Greece
  • 10-year-old pickpocket nabbed
  • ACS basketball tournament
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

November inflation at 2.6%

Year-on-year inflation in November was running at 2.6 percent, up from 2.2 percent the previous month, the National Statistics Service (ESYE) said on Tuesday. According to the ESYE, the rise was due to an increase in the price worldwide of oil and to an appreciation of the U.S. dollar. The course of inflation, which must be brought and sustained at the 2.0 percent mark for Greece to meet all the criteria for inclusion in economic and monetary union, will be the focus of a meeting of the Council for Monetary Policy on Tuesday. The council will also examine the issue of lower interest rates. According to reports, the Bank of Greece plans to slash its intervention rates by one percentage point on December 15.

Greece wants proof of Turkish good intent

Greece on Tuesday welcomed statements from Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem that Turkey would fall into line with the rules of the European Union but said it wanted to see good intentions take on shape and form. "This positive step must, from words, pass into deeds," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. He added that it was imperative that Turkey proceed to some indication of its good will.

Two charged as school sit-ins defuse

Two parents of schoolchildren were led before a criminal cases prosecutor on Tuesday after they were arrested trying to prevent the school principal from entering the premises. Ioannis Halkiadakis and Anastasia Kouloudi were charged with using illegal force and violating the law. They were set free. Both, parents of children attending the 7th Kallithea Lyceum, were arrested on the complaint of the school's principal on Monday, who charged that they had prevented her entering the premises. Judicial officials were given on Friday ex officio powers to detain and charge any persons they suspected of hindering the legal operation of schools.

Ship with 300 illegal immigrants nears Athens

Gale force winds forced a motorship carrying an estimated 300 illegal immigrants towards the Aegean island of Kythnos on Tuesday as Greek authorities continued to monitor its course. The Vodelai I - although authorities believe the name of the vessel to be fake - is still sailing in international waters after playing cat and mouse with the Greek coast guard since Saturday. Greek authorities have been tailing the vessel after receiving a tip-off that it is carrying up to 300 illegal immigrants, including dozens of children and possibly pregnant women, with a view to putting them ashore Greek territory. According to reports, the immigrants have been without food or water for days.

Injured KFOR soldier moved to Greece

A seriously injured Greek soldier serving with the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo was transferred to a military hospital in the northern Greek capital of Thessaloniki early today, defence ministry sources said. The soldier, identified as Constantinos Fonianis from the island of Lesvos, was transferred unconscious from his unit in Urosevac after being injured in a traffic accident.

10-year-old pickpocket nabbed

Police said today that they had arrested a 10-year-old Bulgarian girl on charges of wallet snatching. The girl, identified only by her initials as I.E. since she is a minor, had entered Greece illegally two years ago and had since then "engaged in stealing wallets from unsuspecting women in department stores and supermarkets." "She was just tall enough to reach the handbags," said a police officer. The girl was arrested yesterday when she tried to snatch the wallet of a 57-year-old woman inside a store selling Christmas toys. The Bulgarian girl was arraigned before a public prosecutor.

ACS basketball tournament

The American Community Schools of Athens (ACS) will once again organise a girls basketball tournament this coming weekend, the fourth year in a row, as part of the educational institution's campaign against drug abuse. A press conference at a central Athens hotel today to unveil the schedule for the weekend events was also attended by US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns and Greek Special Olympics Federation president Joanna Despotopoulou. Burns will play in a special 'celebrity match' along with Canadian ambassador David Hutton and Lebanese ambassador Antoine Chedid, local sportscasters and a handful of professional athletes, among others. Another highlight of this year's tournament will undoubtedly be the participation of a Special Olympics girls team, who will be pitted one-on- one against the other teams.

WEATHER

Overcast weather and rain will prevail throughout Greece today. Light snowfall in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Scattered showers in Athens with temperatures between 9-16C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 2-9C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          321.368
Pound sterling       517.229
Japanese yen (100)   314.821
French franc          49.671
German mark          166.591
Italian lira (100)    16.827
Irish Punt           413.709
Belgian franc          8.077
Finnish mark          54.799
Dutch guilder        147.852
Danish kr.            43.793
Austrian sch.         23.678
Spanish peseta         1.958
Swedish kr.           37.924
Norwegian kr.         40.202
Swiss franc          204.069
Port. Escudo           1.625
Can. dollar          216.196
Aus. dollar          202.710
Cyprus pound         566.174
Euro                 325.822
(M.P.)
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