Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-25
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 25/07/1997 (ANA)
- Hariri continues official visit with talks with opposition leaders
- Woman confesses to killing priest
- Rescue team sets out to bring sick American off Mt. Olympus
- President hosts reception on democracy restoration anniversary
- Albania issues discussed between Pangalos, Fassino
- Greek company returns from tour of duty in Albania
- National Defence Minister visits US carrier 'JFK'
- 12 Greeks on list of WWII names released by Swiss bankers
- Students of Modern Greek to visit Greece
- Tourist arrivals to increase in 1997, V.Papandreou says
- Greek central bank lowers signal money market intervention
- Dollar sets new record vs drachma
- Current account deficit drops in April
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Hariri continues official visit with talks with opposition leaders
Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had separate meetings today with the
leaders of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Social Democrat Party
(DHKKI), the Coalition of the Left and Progress and Political Spring.
Hariri arrived here yesterday on a two-day official visit.
In statements to reporters after talks with Hariri, KKE General Secretary
Aleka Papariga called on the Greek government to support efforts for the
withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon and the implementation of
agreements on the Palestinian problem.
''Although the issue is an international one, it also has a bearing on the
destiny of the Greek people,'' Papariga said.
DHKKI President Dimitris Tsovolas called for closer relations between
Greece and Lebanon ''for the good of both countries'', adding that Lebanon
was in need of the solidarity of all peoples and countries.
Coalition leader Nikos Konstantopoulos stressed that ''the historical and
cultural ties between Greece and Lebanon can today be confirmed in all
Konstantopoulos proposed the promotion of initiatives within the framework
of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, urged support for the Middle East peace
process and the development ''of multi-faceted relations of friendship and
The leader of the Political Spring party, Antonis Samaras, during his talks
with Hariri said he opposed unilateral withdrawals, expressing support for
''the general withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon''.
Greece and Lebanon yesterday signed two bilateral agreements, one providing
for the protection of investments and the other for increased economic and
The agreements were signed during a meeting between Hariri and Prime
Minister Costas Simitis.
During the talks yesterday, both sides noted an identity of views. Simitis
stressed that Greece strongly supported peace and cooperation in the Middle
East, noting that recent "delays" in the peace process, particularly with
regard to relations between Israel and the Palestinians could jeopardise
the entire effort.
He said also that it was "necessary" for Israeli forces to withdraw from
Hariri extended an invitation to Simitis to visit Lebanon and said he had
briefed the Greek premier about the suffering of the Lebanese people,
urging respect for UN resolutions, particularly those pertaining to the
withdrawal of Israeli troops.
Woman confesses to killing priest
A 42-year-old Greek woman today confessed to killing a priest by shooting
him five times on an Athens street earlier this week in a case which
attracted massive media attention.
Aikaterini Yiannakopoulou was arrested late last night outside a monastery
in Mandra, Attica after evading police since shooting Archimandrite
Anthimos Eleftheriadis in Nea Smyrni on Tuesday.
Yiannakopoulou reportedly told police that she killed the Cypriot-born
priest because he had ruined her life by rejecting her after a relationship
spanning eight years.
She told police that she bought the murder weapon from an Athens store last
September and began making plans to kill the priest whom she saw as ''god
himself in human form''.
Rescue team sets out to bring sick American off Mt. Olympus
A rescue team from Litochoro will today try to reach and bring down an
American who suddenly fell ill while trying to climb Mt. Olympus in
Jan Nilliam (phonetic spelling), 32, is believed to be suffering from
anaemia and was taken by other climbers yesterday to the ''Spilios
Agapitos'' refuge at an altitude of 2,100 metres.
Military helicopters tried all day yesterday and this morning to reach the
refuge but were unable due to strong air currents and a lack of visibility
caused by local fog.
Following the unsuccessful attempts of the helicopters, a team of
experienced climbers set out from Litochoro this morning to bring the
American down the mountain on a stretcher.
Meanwhile, a mountaineer who is also a doctor is believed to be tending to
Nilliam in the mountain refuge.
President hosts reception on democracy restoration anniversary
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos blamed Turkey and the
Turkish Cypriot side for obstructing efforts to solve the Cyprus problem,
speaking last night during the annual presidential reception for the
anniversary of the restoration of democracy in 1974.
Mr. Stephanopoulos said that "the intervention and initiative taken for the
solution of the Cyprus issue, unfortunately, does not allow for much
optimism, because of the stance held by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side,
in their words and acts."
Albania issues discussed between Pangalos, Fassino
The situation in Albania dominated talks yesterday in Athens between
visiting Italian Foreign Undersecretary Piero Fassino and Foreign Minister
Theodoros Pangalos and Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
Other issues discussed included bilateral relations and EU issues.
After his meeting with Mr. Fassino, the alternate foreign minister said
that the first phase of stabilisation in Albania had been successfully
completed, and the next important phase was to follow. This second phace,
Mr. Papandreou said, involved the process of democratisation and economic
The Italian official stated that both Greece and Italy were interested in
continuing their assistance to Albania, which was aimed at restoring the
country's political, administrative and economic life.
Greek company returns from tour of duty in Albania
A company of troops which served for approximately three months with the
Greek contingent of the multinational protection force in Albania returned
to Greece yesterday via the Kakavia border post.
An official welcoming ceremony was held for the troops at the Kalpaki army
base, attended by the civil and military authorities of Ioannina and many
Another 117 NCOs and officers of the Greek force in Albania arrived on
board a tank carrier at the port of Thessaloniki in the morning. The main
bulk of the returning force is expected to arrive in Thessaloniki on Aug. 3,
while a contingent of 200 men will stay in Tirana until Aug. 8.
National Defence Minister visits US carrier 'JFK'
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday visited the US
aircraft carrier "John F. Kennedy", which is currently anchored off
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was briefed on the activities of the carrier by its
commander, Adm. Williamson, while he later observed an aircraft display.
The minister was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of the Hellenic Navy
General Staff, Vice-Adm. Leonidas Paliogiorgos.
12 Greeks on list of WWII names released by Swiss bankers
At least 12 Greek nationals are among 1,872 names with war-era deposits in
Swiss banks, who according to the Association of Swiss Banks held accounts
The association published the 1,872 names in newspapers in 27 countries. It
said deposits of about 60 million Swiss francs ($40 million) had never been
Relatives, or legal heirs can now claim the money within one year from the
Association of Swiss Banks.
Students of Modern Greek to visit Greece
One-hundred-and-sixteen top students of modern Greek attending universities
in Europe and the United States will visit Greece from July 27 to August 24
for intensive language, history and culture courses, on scholarships
granted by the Cultural Relations Directorate.
The courses are being organised by the Thessaloniki-based Aimos Peninsula
Institute of Studies.
During their stay, the students from 25 countries will be shown round the
monuments and museums of Thessaloniki and visit archaeological and
historical sites at Philippoi, Pella, Dion, Vergina and Meteora.
Within the framework of a programme for strengthening modern Greek studies
at universities abroad, the culture ministry allocated over 36 million
drachmas for 1997.
Tourist arrivals to increase in 1997, V.Papandreou says
Tourist arrivals will show an 8-10 per cent increase in 1997 over 1996
figures, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou told tourism sector
Ms Papandreou said the programme "Tourism and Culture" had been included in
the Community Support Framework and delays in its initial application have
By the end of the month certain investment projects in the programme will
have been approved, while a meeting will be held in September with all
involved parties to set the schedule for its application.
This programme calls for infrastructural works in many sectors. In marine
tourism, it calls for a programme of port and marina construction totalling
10.5 billion drachmas, including marinas in Thasos, Argostoli, Ikaria and
Another 8.3 billion drachmas is allocated for programmes in mountain,
ecological and alternative tourism in general, while in another sector,
small- and medium-sized enterprises have submitted 367 proposals pending
evaluation and approval that will allo w them to use funds allocated to
Another 414 million drachmas will be approved for training seminars within
1997, with the total budget for professional training amounting to four
Ms Papandreou referred extensively to property owned by the Greek National
Tourism Organisation (EOT), and said a draft bill would be tabled in
Parliament in the autumn for founding societes anonyme to manage these
Greek central bank lowers signal money market intervention
Greece's central bank yesterday nudged down its near-daily intervention in
overnight funds in the domestic money market to 11.6 percent from 11.9
percent. Traders said the Bank of Greece was apparently signalling a return
to lower rates after a period of market jitters largely stemming from
activity on international markets.
The drop also would aid a 12-month treasury bill issue at the end of the
month whose rate is 9.6 percent, the traders said.
The central bank's routine intervention at the end of the trading day acts
as a gauge of liquidity in the interbank market and sometimes signals a
shift in policy.
Dollar sets new record vs drachma
The dollar hit a new all-time high against the drachma yesterday, gaining
0.12 percent to close at 285.75 drachmas at the central bank's daily
Commercial banks on Friday will sell the U.S. currency at 290.036
The pound sterling lost 0.28 percent against the drachma in a downward
correction to end at 478.64 drachmas at the fix, or 485.820 drachmas for
sale by commercial banks.
The German mark edged up 0.08 percent, finishing at 156.080 drachmas.
The Ecu closed steady at 309.38 drachmas.
Current account deficit drops in April
Greece's current account deficit for April dropped 3.1 per cent to US$660
million from $681 million in the same month of 1996, showing an improvement
for the second straight month, the Bank of Greece said yesterday.The
January-April deficit jumped 21.3 pe r cent to $2.28 billion from $1.88
billion a year earlier, the central bank announced.
Localised showers are expected over northern, central and western regions
in the afternoon. The rest of the country will have light cloud. Winds will
be mostly northerly, light to moderate. Athens will be mostly cloudy, with
temperatures ranging from 22-37 C, while Thessaloniki will be increasingly
cloudy with possible showers in the afternoon and temperatures of 20-34
Thursday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 283.464
Pound sterling 474.811 Cyprus pd 530.561
French franc 45.987 Swiss franc 190.762
German mark 154.955 Italian lira (100) 15.938
Yen (100) 245.222 Canadian dlr. 205.165
Australian dlr. 208.469 Irish Punt 420.052
Belgian franc 7.503 Finnish mark 52.655
Dutch guilder 137.590 Danish kr. 40.712
Swedish kr. 36.109 Norwegian kr. 37.686
Austrian sch. 22.022 Spanish peseta 1.840
Port. Escudo 1.537