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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-06-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Actress-Hunger Strike
  • [02] Olympic Airways-Privatisation
  • [03] Bogus Passports-Arrests
  • [04] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-ND (RECASTS, adding Kaklamanis )
  • [05] Toxic Waste-Environmentalists-Blockade
  • [06] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-ND (RECASTS, adding Coalition )
  • [07] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-New Democracy
  • [08] Firebombs-Culture Ministry-Hand Grenade
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates- Monday
  • [10] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Sunday

  • [01] Actress-Hunger Strike

    30/06/2001 18:35:13

    Actress Natasha Gerasimidou on Saturday resumed a hunger strike from hospital to protest against a failure by local authorities to give refugees access to land in Thessaloniki that they had permission to use in the past.

    Gerasimidou interrupted the hunger strike she began at home three days ago on the recommendation of doctors when she was hospitalised for poor health on Friday.

    She resumed the strike from the Thessaloniki Cancer Hospital, where the actress is being treated.

    [02] Olympic Airways-Privatisation

    30/06/2001 18:21:37

    NICOSIA (ANA/G.Leonidas) - The president of Cyprus Airways, Haris Loizidis, said on Saturday that he believed both his carrier and Axon Airlines had been recommended to the Greek government as potential buyers of Olympic Airways in a privatisation tender for the ailing operator.

    Loizidis said that according to his information, the government's tender consultant, Credit Suisse First Boston, had named the two airlines as candidates for a continuation of sale negotiations in the tender.

    Handling the sale from London, the consultant had made the recommendation to the ministries of national economy and transport, which are both involved in the sale, he added.

    In Athens, sources said on Friday that the government had received a recommendation from its consultant on the winner of the tender.

    The sources said that the national economy ministry may release a statement following the recommendation by Credit Suisse First Boston.

    The latest, extended deadline for bids was June 18, and four groups submitted separate offers - Axon Airlines SA, Golden Aviation Services (the Restis shipping group), Integrated Airline Solutions of Australia, and Cyprus Airways.

    Integrated Airline Solutions, which had pulled out of the tender as it could not meet the original deadline, returned to the bidding due to the extension.

    Credit Suisse said that the bids should meet the following criteria set by the government:

  • Olympic Airways should operate mainly as an airline after its privatisation; retain its logo for a specified period of time; and use the Eleftherios Venizelos airport as the main base for its aircraft

  • The privatised firm should have the financial strength and administrative capacity to post growth as a financially viable company with long-term prospects

  • Risks and commitments for the state and for companies that remain part of the Olympic Airways Group should be minimised after restructuring

  • The transaction should ensure the greatest possible financial benefit for the state

    When bids are submitted, the government will begin talks with the interim winner of the tender, Credit Suisse First Boston said.

    [03] Bogus Passports-Arrests

    30/06/2001 18:03:41

    Two suspects in an operation to steal passports and doctor them for sale were charged in Athens on Saturday following a tip-off to police.

    Charged were Ali Ahfoud, 32, of Syria and Sev Boroda, 22, of Russia. An Albanian wanted for questioning is suspected to be the third member of the ring.

    Among items confiscated from Ahfoud and Boroda were 36 Greek passports, three from other countries as well as two million drachmas, 2,760 US dollars and 200 German marks in cash. The passports are believed stolen from homes and automobiles, police said.

    The two men were arrested on Thursday.

    [04] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-ND (RECASTS, adding Kaklamanis )

    30/06/2001 17:49:16

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that the initiative in defusing a political crisis that has erupted in Yugoslavia lay in the hands of its president, Vojislav Kostunica.

    "The resignation of the federal government has sparked a political crisis. President Kostunica is responsible for moving, within the framework of the constitution, towards a political solution of the problem," Tsohatzopoulos told reporters late on Friday during a tour of the Drama prefecture.

    "I believe that he has the support of a large majority of the Yugoslav people, so that he can proceed with a democratic solution," the minister added.

    In addition, he charged that financial aid for Yugoslavia from abroad had been delayed.

    An acceleration in the dispatch of funds for reconstruction would aid the drive to achieve stability in the country, Tzohatzopoulos said.

    On Friday, Zoran Zizic, prime minister of the rump federation of Serbia with Montenegro, resigned in protest at the way Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic allowed the handover of former leader Slobodan Milosevic for trial at the UN war crimes tribunal.

    The handover prompted the collapse of the federal government, revealing tensions among ruling reformers in Serbia and creating political instability.

    On Saturday, parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis told reporters that Milosevic's handover was not conducive to stability in the Balkans.

    "This counts as a development that fails to aid stability and security in the long-suffering southeast European region. Mr. Milosevic is not, of course, free of blame for what has happened in the region, but the manner in which this affair has proceeded is definitely adding fuel to the fire," he said.

    Earlier, Kaklamanis told a contact group preparing for a Euro-Mediterranean meeting of parliament presidents that the European Union should play a more active role in seeking world peace, including southeastern Europe.

    Also on Saturday, the spokesman for the main opposition New Democracy party, Thodoris Roussopoulos, issued a statement on the aftermath of Milosevic's handover, saying the move raised questions.

    "The matter mainly concerns the citizens of Yugoslavia. However, the maintenance and cohesion of the Yugoslav Federation is a factor for stability in the Balkans, and support for this country is essential for the European Union and for the international community," Roussopoulos said.

    "Equally important is that the international penal justice system should always work on the basis of fixed rules and principles," he added.

    Nikos Constantopoulos, leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress, charged that Serbian authorities had been blackmailed by forces in the West, and criticised the European Union for falling in with NATO policy.

    Addressing a central committee meeting on preparations for the party's congress in January, Constantopoulos said the alleged blackmail and the way in which Milosevic was handed over had set the tone for global action that was governed by the law of the powerful, with no reference to international law and order.

    [05] Toxic Waste-Environmentalists-Blockade

    30/06/2001 17:28:41

    Environmentalists on Saturday blockaded the Athens-Thessaloniki motorway, chaining themselves to trucks they claimed were carrying toxic waste from Athens to Belgium via the northern port of Thessaloniki.

    The activists, who belong to the Veria Environmental Group, blocked the five trucks for about half an hour on a stretch of the motorway near Thessaloniki.

    The vehicles, which were reportedly carrying 116 tonnes of liquid waste, then proceeded to the port for loading.

    The environmentalists claimed that the waste belonged to the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB), which had failed to seek permission from local authorities whose territory the trucks traversed, as legally required.

    EAB had yet to make a statement.

    [06] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-ND (RECASTS, adding Coalition )

    30/06/2001 17:13:38

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that the initiative in defusing a political crisis that has erupted in Yugoslavia lay in the hands of its president, Vojislav Kostunica.

    "The resignation of the federal government has sparked a political crisis. President Kostunica is responsible for moving, within the framework of the constitution, towards a political solution of the problem," Tsohatzopoulos told reporters late on Friday during a tour of the Drama prefecture.

    "I believe that he has the support of a large majority of the Yugoslav people, so that he can proceed with a democratic solution," the minister added.

    In addition, he charged that financial aid for Yugoslavia from abroad had been delayed.

    An acceleration in the dispatch of funds for reconstruction would aid the drive to achieve stability in the country, Tzohatzopoulos said.

    On Friday, Zoran Zizic, prime minister of the rump federation of Serbia with Montenegro, resigned in protest at the way Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic allowed the handover of former leader Slobodan Milosevic for trial at the UN war crimes tribunal.

    The handover prompted the collapse of the federal government, revealing tensions among ruling reformers in Serbia and creating political instability.

    On Saturday, the spokesman for the main opposition New Democracy party, Thodoris Roussopoulos, issued a statement on the aftermath of Milosevic's handover, saying the move raised questions.

    "The matter mainly concerns the citizens of Yugoslavia. However, the maintenance and cohesion of the Yugoslav Federation is a factor for stability in the Balkans, and support for this country is essential for the European Union and for the international community," Roussopoulos said.

    "Equally important is that the international penal justice system should always work on the basis of fixed rules and principles," he added.

    Also on Saturday, Nikos Constantopoulos, leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress, charged that Serbian authorities had been blackmailed by forces in the West, and criticised the European Union for falling in with NATO policy.

    Addressing a central committee meeting on preparations for the party's congress in January, Constantopoulos said the alleged blackmail and the way in which Milosevic was handed over had set the tone for global action that was governed by the law of the powerful, with no reference to international law and order.

    [07] Yugoslavia-Tsohatzopoulos-New Democracy

    30/06/2001 16:49:13

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that the initiative in defusing a political crisis that has erupted in Yugoslavia lay in the hands of its president, Vojislav Kostunica.

    "The resignation of the federal government has sparked a political crisis. President Kostunica is responsible for moving, within the framework of the constitution, towards a political solution of the problem," Tsohatzopoulos told reporters late on Friday during a tour of the Drama prefecture.

    "I believe that he has the support of a large majority of the Yugoslav people, so that he can proceed with a democratic solution," the minister added.

    In addition, he charged that financial aid for Yugoslavia from abroad had been delayed.

    An acceleration in the dispatch of funds for reconstruction would aid the drive to achieve stability in the country, Tzohatzopoulos said.

    On Friday, Zoran Zizic, prime minister of the rump federation of Serbia with Montenegro, resigned in protest at the way Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic allowed the handover of former leader Slobodan Milosevic for trial at the UN war crimes tribunal.

    The handover prompted the collapse of the federal government, revealing tensions among ruling reformers in Serbia and creating political instability.

    On Saturday, the spokesman for the main opposition New Democracy party, Thodoris Roussopoulos, issued a statement on the aftermath of Milosevic's handover, saying the move raised questions.

    "The matter mainly concerns the citizens of Yugoslavia. However, the maintenance and cohesion of the Yugoslav Federation is a factor for stability in the Balkans, and support for this country is essential for the European Union and for the international community," Roussopoulos said.

    "Equally important is that the international penal justice system should always work on the basis of fixed rules and principles," he added.

    [08] Firebombs-Culture Ministry-Hand Grenade

    30/06/2001 15:41:07

    Firebombs were thrown at the culture ministry in the centre of Athens early on Saturday, causing minor damage. No injuries were reported, police said.

    The building's entrance was slightly damaged when three of the seven firebombs exploded.

    Police are seeking the unidentified perpetrators of the attack.

    In a separate incident, a hand grenade was hurled at a home in the northern suburb of Aghia Paraskevi early on Saturday, damaging the building's garage door and a parked car.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates- Monday

    30/06/2001 15:04:31

    Buying rates until Monday

    U.S. dollar 398.631

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 560.481

    Irish punt 429.202

    Belgian franc 008.379

    Luxembourg franc 008.379

    Dutch guilder 153.389

    Italian lira (100) 017.457

    Austrian schilling 024.565

    Danish kroner 45.406

    Swedish kroner 36.691

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 320.796

    Swiss franc 221.972

    Norwegian kroner 042.861

    Cyprus pound 588.606

    Canadian dollar 261.491

    Australian dollar 201.985

    [10] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Sunday

    30/06/2001 15:03:17

    Sunshine is forecast in most parts of the country on Sunday, with some scattered cloud on the northern mainland and in the centre that may turn to isolated storms mainly in the north from evening. Winds northerly, light to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 17C to 33C; on the rest of the mainland from 19C to 35C; and in the Aegean islands from 21C to 31C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 21C and 34C. Sunshine in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 19C to 32C. A shower or storm is likely in the evening.


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