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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 28/07/1997 (ANA)


  • Greece submits memorandum to US detailing airspace violations
  • KYSEA to decide Phantom modernisation award on Wednesday
  • Mirage jet crashes into sea, fate of pilot unknown
  • Police launch massive security operation prior to Athens '97
  • New Albanian PM looks to stronger relations between Athens-Tirana
  • University of Thrace to cooperate with Ukraine institute
  • Athens ready to host 2004 Olympics, `Independent` says
  • Summer electromagnetics course draws world scientists to Samos
  • Twenty die in car accidents over weekend
  • Hidden immigrant community discovered on remote island
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greece submits memorandum to US detailing airspace violations

Greece's Ambassador in Washington has submitted a memorandum to the US government setting out in detail the latest spate of violations by Turkish warplanes of Greek airspace over the Aegean, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.

Confirming press reports of the memorandum, Reppas said it clearly stated Greece's position that ''such phenomena not only fail to help but undermine the climate which is being aspired to following the Madrid agreement''.

He was referring to the joint communique signed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on the sidelines of the recent NATO summit in Madrid.

''These phenomena (violations) may be sporadic but they must stop,'' Reppas said, clarifying that similar memorandums had not been submitted to other countries.

KYSEA to decide Phantom modernisation award on Wednesday

The government said today that the final decision awarding the tender for the modernisation of 39 Hellenic Air Force Phantom F-4 jets would be taken at Wednesday's meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA).

On the basis of the tender terms, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, one of which is that the aircraft must be ready by the end of the year 2000, it had been decided that the bid of the German company -- DASA -- was superior to that of the US firm which participated in the tender.

Reppas also confirmed that US Ambassador to Greece, Thomas Niles, had sent a letter about the matter to Prime Minister Costas Simitis, adding however that this was ''a usual procedure which illustrates the interest of diplomatic representatives of foreign countries in issues which concern their countries''.

Mirage jet crashes into sea, fate of pilot unknown

A Hellenic Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter plane crashed into the sea northeast of the island of Skyros this morning as it was carrying out a training flight, and its pilot was missing, Airforce sources said.

Two helicopters and a C-130 plane have joined nearby ships in a search operation for Lt. Ioakeim Pantelakis, an experienced pilot with 420 flight hours on Mirages.

Wreckage from the Mirage has been spotted 25 nautical miles northeast of Skyros.

The jet-fighter took off with another Mirage from Tanagra airforce base on a routine training flight in interception and went crashed into the sea at 10:50, the sources said.

A committee of experts has been set up to investigate the causes of the accident.

Police launch massive security operation prior to Athens '97

Over 9,000 policemen will be on duty equipped with the very latest equipment when the IAAF World Athletics Championships open in Athens on Friday, Attica police chief Ioannis Georgakopoulos said today.

The giant security operation got under way last Friday and was immediately apparent to Athenians unaccustomed to seeing so many policemen and cars patrolling the capital.

Georgakopoulos said the operation would climax on Friday and continue until the end of the championships on August 10.

Some 7,500 officers, supported by approximately 1,500 police cadets will be on duty during the games, while increased security measures will be taken for the Marathon and long distance walking races.

Georgakopoulos said the police would be providing security from the moment teams arrive at Athens international airport and are escorted to their hotels.

Police officers will accompany the teams as they travel to and from the Athens Olympic Sports Complex each day, while security at the hotels will be tight.

In particular during the games, Georgakopoulos said, the police will carry out stringent checks of people entering the hotels at which athletes will be staying.

New Albanian PM looks to stronger relations between Athens-Tirana

Newly-elected Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano said in Tirana on Saturday the "reconstruction era" which started in the neighbouring country would help towards better relations between Greece and Albania.

"We both live in the same corner of Europe and we hope this new era of reconstruction of the Albanian republic will create a new climate of confidence between Greeks and Albanians," Mr. Nano told the press late on Saturday before talks with visiting PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis.

Mr. Skandalidis, who arrived in Tirana on Saturday, met also with other Albanian government officials. Yesterday, he met with leaders of parties participating in the Balkan country's socialist-led leftist coalition government, as well as the leader of the opposition Democratic Party.

It is the first official visit to Albania by a Greek politician since the new government took office last week.

Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is expected to visit Tirana on August 5, while a visit by Greek Public Order Minister George Romeos is expected to take place around the same time.

Mr. Skandalidis said his visit aimed to cement ties between the two countries' socialist parties.

He said that the two peoples had no differences, but on the contrary had much to gain from a prospective common course.

"The new Albania will find an ally in Greece, and we are willing to put aside all differences of the past and support our neighbouring country in its new course," Mr. Skandalidis said.

The PASOK Secretary expressed hope that the new Tirana government would succeed in its difficult task as this would be to the benefit not only of Albania itself but also the Balkans in general. "I hope progressive people, with hope and vision, will succeed in building a new future," Mr. Skandalidis said.

He added that Greece was the only country that accepted and honoured Albanians, while in the context of further development of relations and communication between the two peoples, Mr. Skandalidis said the Greek Foreign and Public Order Ministers would visit Albania soon to discuss and find solutions for the main problems of concern to the two countries.

Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, who was present at the talks, told reporters that in the near future four officials of the Albanian socialist party would visit Athens to exchange views with PASOK counterparts aiming at improving the organisation and operation of the Albanian Socialist Party.

Mr. Milo has accepted an invitation by Mr. Skandalidis to visit Greece at the end of August.

During his meetings, Mr. Skandalidis stressed the importance of the problem Greece faces with the high number of Albanian illegal immigrants and the impact on Greek tourism of Albanian armed gangs raiding Greek border towns.

University of Thrace to cooperate with Ukraine institute

The senate of the Dimokrition University of Thrace will cooperate with the Institute of Humanities from Mariupol in the Ukraine, according to an announcement yesterday. Educational, scientific and cultural cooperation between the two sides is expected to lay the foundations for strengthening traditional friendship between Greece and the Ukraine and the rennaissance of overseas Hellenism. According to a Dimokrition University announcement, the biggest Greek community in states of the former USSR is found in Mariupol and the Federation of Greek Societies in the Ukraine is headquartered there, as well as Greece's general consulate. The Institute of Humanities is the sole educational foundation in the territory of the former USSR where in all faculties, the Greek language, history and culture are taught.

Athens ready to host 2004 Olympics, `Independent` says

Greece, a candidate for the 2004 Olympics, is more prepared today to host an Olympiad than the 2000 Games host,

Sydney, was, according to acclaimed sports writer Peter Corrigan. With total financial backing in place and 72 per cent of the necessary facilities built and operational, Athens' plusses also include the genuine desire of the people for the Games, new ro ads constructed and improvements to the underground railway. They also include a new international airport to be operable by the year 2000 that will reduce cars using the city centre and pollution by 35 per cent, and the lowest crime rate in Europe, Mr. Corrigan, who visited Athens and the various sporting facilities last week, wrote in the British newspaper "Independent on Sunday".

Summer electromagnetics course draws world scientists to Samos

New developments and modern applications in the field of electromagnetics are being taught in a summer course which opened Saturday at the Eastern Aegean Research Institute on Samos.

Participants in the course, which will run to August 5, include 134 eminent scientists from 16 countries who will present studies on electromagnetic computation, the theoretical basis for technologies involving electricity, electronics and microwaves.

The course is organised by the Athens Polytechnic University's Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, in the Mechanical Engineering Department, in the context of NATO. Topics to be presented range from computers to telecommunications, antenna s, transmission of electrical waves, satellite systems and fibre optics. The course is organised by Professor Nikolaos Ouzounoglou.

Twenty die in car accidents over weekend

Twenty people were killed in 247 car accidents over the weekend, the public order ministry said late yesterday.

The ministry said 356 people were injured, 67 of them seriously, in accidents that took place between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening.

Hidden immigrant community discovered on remote island

An entire community of illegal immigrants from Albania, Poland and Bulgaria was discovered living on the 300-inhabitant island of Ai Stratis between Lesvos and Limnos islands in the Aegean following the arrest of two illegal immigrant women from Bulgaria.

The two women were arrested Friday and taken before an investigating magistrate for stealing one million drachmas from a home on Lesvos, police said.

According to police sources, the Bulgarian and Polish women from the illegal community were employed as domestic help in the homes of elderly residents of Ai Stratis, while the Albanian immigrants were employed at a water and sewerage project being constructed on the island by a construction company.


Mild weather is forecast throughout most of the country with northwesterly winds and normal temperatures ranging from 18-30 C, except eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where light clouds are expected and the possibility of local showers. Athens will be sunny with temperatures of 22 to 33 C. Thessaloniki will be overcast with temperatures of 20-28 C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 284.307 Pound sterling 473.581 Cyprus pd 530.323 French franc 45.995 Swiss franc 187.776 German mark 155.030 Italian lira (100) 15.933 Yen (100) 244.726 Canadian dlr. 205.721 Australian dlr. 210.403 Irish Punt 415.747 Belgian franc 7.505 Finnish mark 52.189 Dutch guilder 137.640 Danish kr. 40.718 Swedish kr. 35.924 Norwegian kr. 37.527 Austrian sch. 22.036 Spanish peseta 1.839 Port. Escudo 1.534



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