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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 31/05/1997 (ANA)


  • "November 17" terrorists admit to 1996 US embassy rocket attack
  • PM Simitis tours Epirus, stresses Egnatia's importance
  • Greek Armed Forces chief's visit to Romania
  • FM Pangalos to visit Luxembourg, Tirana
  • Former PM Mitsotakis, Alternate FM to receive Turkish Ipekci awards
  • Alternate Foreign Minister calls meeting EU's "Santer package"
  • ANA Mediterranean news agencies' seminar underway
  • Rostropovich to perform in Thessaloniki
  • Drachma stabilised
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


"November 17" terrorists admit to 1996 US embassy rocket attack

The "November 17" terrosist group in a new proclamation has assumed responsibility for the rocket attack on the United States' embassy in Athens, back in February 1996.

The terrorists' proclamation, the third sent to Athenian daily ELEFTHEROTYPIA in as many days, says that they did not issue one at the time of the attack on the US mission because "the reasons were so obvious and understood" and it relates it to the Imia crisis between Greece and Turkey in January 1996.

Police sources said yesterday that American police authorities have offered the use of state-of-the-art electronic equipment to assist in the hunt for the terrorist group.

Meanwhile the 21st victim of "November 17", 42-year-old shipowner Costas Peratikos was laid to rest in Athens today, shot on Wednesday by three assailants in a Piraeus street ambush.

PM Simitis tours Epirus, stresses Egnatia's importance

The Egnatia Highway currently under construction across the breadth of northern Greece will be one of the major projects marking Greece's course early next century, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday at the start of a three-day tour of the northwestern Epirus

Noting that the present situation in the Balkans is perhaps the most characteristic case of the extreme consequences of the new, fluid international reality resulting from the collapse of bipolarity in international relations, he said that the strengthe ning of Greece's economy and its foreign policy would make the country a strong political and economic pole in the Balkans.

He added that Epirus - one of the poorest regions in the EU - must play a leading role in this process, while the Egnatia Highway, together with the upgraded port of Igoumenitsa and the Aktion-Preveza underwater tunnel, will put the region into an orbit o f development, opening the roads to the Balkans and making Epirus a gateway to western Europe.

Greece's policy in the Balkans, and particularly regarding Albania, is another factor that will promote the region's escape from isolation, the premier added.

He said Greece has already made important efforts in restoring conditions of normality in the neighbouring country.

The prime minister also referred extensively to the details of a five-year, 700-billion-drachma government development plan for Epirus.

Greek Armed Forces chief's visit to Romania

National Defence General Staff chief Gen. Athanasios Tzoganis discussed issues concerning cooperation between the armed forces of Greece and Romania during his recent visit to the Balkan nation.

Gen. Tzoganis held talks with his Romanian counterpart, Gen. Constantin Degeratu, the presidents of the Romanian parliament's and senate's defence committees, that nation's defence minister and the presidential adviser on defence issues.

Gen. Tzoganis also discussed existing possibilities for military cooperation, the situation in the Balkans, and Albania in particular, as well as Romania's potential accession to the NATO alliance.

FM Pangalos to visit Luxembourg, Tirana

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos will leave for Luxembourg on Monday, to participate in the European Union Council of General Affairs. Next Tuesday he will travel to Albania for a one-day visit.

Former PM Mitsotakis, Alternate FM to receive Turkish Ipekci awards

Former New Democracy prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis will leave for Turkey next week to receive the 'Ipekci' Award for promoting Greek-Turkish friendship and his "25-year-long efforts in favour of rapprochement and cooperation".

Also to receive this yearYs award will be Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou for his efforts as education minister in promoting knowledge in schools; Coalition of the Left Euro-MP Michalis Papayiannakis for supporting Turkey's application for EU membership; Olympic weightlifting champions Valerios Leonidis and Naim Suleymanoglu; composer Zulfi Livaneli; Greek cartoonist KYR; journalist Ali Birant, and the Metropolitan of Kalymnos Nectarios.

Mr. Mitsotakis will have a series of contacts with prominent political and business leaders, including Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on Friday.

Alternate Foreign Minister calls meeting EU's "Santer package"

A meeting was held at the Foreign Ministry yesterday afternoon at the initiative of Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and focusing on the "Santer package", namely, European Union funding for EU member-states after 1999.

According to press reports, an in-depth examination of fiscal prospects in the EU was made based on both the needs of member-states and financial commitments by the "15" towards candidate countries.

The reports said that according to a European Commission "scenario", enlargement will require at least Ecu30 billion. Among others, this means the preparations for development plans of member-states must start now.

No decisions were made and it was announced that further meetings will be held.

ANA Mediterranean news agencies' seminar underway

A seminar for members of the Mediterranean News Agencies' Alliance, held by the Athens News Agency, begins today at the Divani Caravel Hotel. It will be opened by Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas.

The seminar will explore new services and the changing needs of subscribers, the use of Internet by media organisations, satellite and on-line services, photo exchanges and marketing in the new era.

Speakers from abroad include AFP Deputy Technical Director Stephane Guerillot, ANSA Technical Director Ettore Franzini and commercial Director Arduino Mancini, LUSA President Manuel Pedro Marques, Prof. Bernd-Peter Lange, General Director, European Inst itute for the Media, APA Marketing and Sales Director Konrad Tretter, MENA Chief Consultant Mohamed El Biali, Reuters Regional News and TV Manager Nikola Antonov, Dr. Wlodzimierz Gogolek, Professor, Member of the Polish Telecommuncations Organisation Boar d and EFE International Relations Director Indalecio Diaz.

Greek media representatives who will address the seminar include Athens University Professor Stelios Papathanasopoulos, the editor-in-chief of Ta Nea, Pantelis Kapsis, university lecturer Manolis Heretakis, OTEnet board member Antonis Lyrantonakis and A NA Technical Director Takis Mantis.

The agencies represented at the seminar, apart from Greece's ANA, are: AMI (Mauritius), Anadolu (Turkey), ANSA (Italy), ATA (Albania), CNA (Cyprus), EFE (Spain), JANA (Libya), LUSA (Portugal), MAP (Morocco), MENA (Egypt), NMA (Lebanon), SANA (Syria), TA P (Tunis), WAFA (Palestine). FANA (Beirut), IPS (Italy), AFP (France), and APA (Austria) are attending as observers.

The seminar, sponsored by the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and its subsidiary OTEnet, ends tomorrow at 11.30.

Rostropovich to perform in Thessaloniki

Russian-born cellist Mstislav Rostropovich will appear at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nations in Thessaloniki on June 3 and 4, visiting the city as part of the Cultural Capital of Europe events.

Mr. Rostropovich will solo with works of Dvorak on June 3. The next evening he will conduct the same orchestra with works by Serge Prokofiev, as the National Ballet of Lithuania performs Romeo and Juliet.

The performances will take place in the renovated Theatre-in-the-Forest which holds 3,500 people.

Drachma stabilised

The Greek money market returned to normal trade on Friday after three days of turmoil that led to total outflows of around 1.5 billion drachmas and forced the Bank of Greece to step up interventions in order to curb the drachma's slide.

The Greek currency rose against the ECU and most other foreign currencies to end at 311 drachmas from Thursday's 312 drachmas versus the ECU at the central bank's daily fix. Outflows were minimal, totalling 30 million US dollars.

Interbank rates fell to around 10.50-10.70 percent, reversing an early advance to 13 percent.


On Saturday light cloud is expected over most of Greece except for Macedonia, Thrace and the islands of the northern Aegean Sea where scattered showers and the posibility of local thunderstorms are forecast. Athens can expect only some light cloud and a temperatuyre range of 15 to 27 degrees centigrade. Similar weather is forecast for Thessaloniki with temperatures 12-23C.

Foreign Exchange

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 269.080 Pound sterling 442.015 Cyprus pd 531.712 French franc 46.920 Swiss franc 191.208 German mark 158.656 Italian lira (100) 15.965 Yen (100) 231.890 Canadian dlr. 195.067 Australian dlr. 205.126 Irish Punt 407.692 Belgian franc 7.682 Finnish mark 52.534 Dutch guilder 140.973 Danish kr. 41.662 Swedish kr. 34.916 Norwegian kr. 37.970 Austrian sch. 22.542 Spanish peseta 1.874 Port. Escudo 1.566


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