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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-12-10

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, 10/12/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece pleased with EU summit decision
  • FM outlines what Ankara needs to do
  • Police say find relics from Kosovo monasteries
  • Defamation charges filed against journalist
  • Brown bear population on the rise in Greece
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece pleased with EU summit decision

Greece said on Friday that its three terms for approving Turkey's bid for status as a candidate country had been met. The three terms - unhindered accession course for Cyprus; recourse to the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the event of bilateral disputes; and a timetable with clear prerequisites for Turkey's eventual membership of the Union - were thrashed out at meetings between the 15 EU leaders meeting in Helsinki.

FM outlines what Ankara needs to do

Greece has created a window of opportunity for Turkey, but it was up to Ankara to prove that its intentions toward Europe are serious, Greece's foreign minister George Papandreou said in an article appearing in Friday's edition of the International Herald Tribune as the European Union opened a critical two-day summit in Helsinki where leaders of the 15-nation bloc will decide whether or not to declare long-time EU hopeful Turkey a candidate country. Greece, he said, advocated a real, rather than a "virtual", candidacy for Turkey, and "empty gestures of goodwill" were not sufficient for endorsement of Turkey's European bid. "If Turkey is willing to play by EU rules, we in Europe must back Turkey's candidacy," he said.

Police say find relics from Kosovo monasteries

Police in Thessaloniki said on Friday they believed they had broken up a ring involved in the illegal sale of items stolen from monasteries in the Kosovo. Police said they suspected the relics, which include two 18th century icons and 17 copies of 19th century gospels, had been stolen from Orthodox monasteries in Kosovo following the exodus of the minority Serbs from the strife-torn region. Also found were two crucifixes, six early Christian coins and six typographic plates which could only have come from Serbia or Kosovo, according to experts.

Defamation charges filed against journalist

An Athens criminal court prosecutor on Friday filed defamation charges against a journalist who broadcast scenes of a well-known singer having sex with what was alleged to be an underage girl. The charges are directed against Makis Triantafyllopoulos and unnamed others related to the screening of the videoclip on Triantafyllopoulos' current affairs show 'Yellow Press.' The charges came after the singer and songwriter in question, Stephanos Korkolis, filed a complaint with the Athens court. Korkolis said in his testimony that the charges made during the show were entirely false and that videoclip was of him having sex with a former fiancee and not an underage girl as claimed.

Brown bear population on the rise in Greece

Experts said on Friday that the Greek population of the endangered brown bear had increased slightly, indicating the success of local programmes designed to protect the species. Arktouros, a local conservation group, said that the population had grown from 120-140 a few years ago to some 140- 160 today. The success of the campaign stands in stark contrast to the numbers of brown bears in western Europe. The population of brown bears there totals less than 150 bears in the entire region: France says it has only six left, and Italy 10. The number of brown bears throughout the Balkans however is close to 1,600. Experts said there was a need for greater cooperation among groups involved in protecting the bears.

WEATHER

Scattered showers in most parts of Greece today. Winds southerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens. Possibility of rain in the evening

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          320.634
Pound sterling       519.153
Japanese yen (100)   310.456
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.            43.886
Austrian sch.         23.707
Spanish peseta         1.960
Swedish kr.           38.027
Norwegian kr.         40.216
Swiss franc          204.049
Port. Escudo           1.627
Can. dollar          216.335
Aus. dollar          204.744
Cyprus pound         566.987
Euro                 326.219
(M.P.)
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