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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-12-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 28/12/1997 (ANA)


  • Defence Minister visits Bosnia, Albania
  • Earhquake recorded near Kos, no damage reported
  • "Logos" newspaper offices destroyed by fire
  • Christmas road toll stands at 19
  • Economy Minister opitimistic
  • Investigation into Ukrainian plane crash
  • Illegal immigrants picked up near Samos
  • European Commission to take action on Greek hotels
  • Companies to buy own shares at stock exchange
  • Roman tomb discovered in Drama
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Defence Minister visits Bosnia, Albania

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos left for a three-day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania this morning and is scheduled to meet with Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic later today. Tsohatzopoulos will call on Greek troops serving in Bosnia in the evening. He is scheduled to leave for Albania tomorrow where he will again visit Greek troops serving in the neighbouring country. Also on the agenda of Tsohatzopoulos's visit to Tirana is a meeting with Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios and meetings with government and state officials.

Earhquake recorded near Kos, no damage reported

Seismologists said on Saturday that they had registered a quake with a magnitude of 4.8 Richter, with an epicentre 250 kms southeast of Athens, south of the island of Kos.

The quake was recorded at 9.18 pm local time on Saturday. No damage or injuries were recorded.

"Logos" newspaper offices destroyed by fire

A fire has almost totally destroyed the offices of the Athens newspaper "O Logos", but there were no injuries, police said.

Four fire brigade trucks and 15 firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out at around 2am. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

Christmas road toll stands at 19

Nineteen people were killed in car accidents over the Christmas break, while 319 were injured, 67 of whom are listed as serious.

Traffic police reported a total of 218 road accidents since Wednesday and announced measures, such as assigning extra traffic lanes, to facilitate Athens in-coming traffic. Some 2,500 police are at hand to oversee the safe return of holiday makers tonight.

Economy Minister opitimistic

National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou is optimistic over the course of the economy, according to an interview published at weekly "Vima" newspaper.

Mr. Papantoniou said that the government remains optimistic inspite the tension and the signs of public discontent that marked the last few days of 1997, forecasting that the economic climate will improve in the first few weeks of the new year.

Finally the minister announced a series of interventions in the money market and the public sector to support the drachma and further monetary tightening to speed up the drop of inflation, which is expected at 4.8% for December.

Investigation into Ukrainian plane crash

Results of the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian Yakovlev-42 aircraft that crashed in northern Greece with the loss of all passengers and crew will be released within the next 10-15 days, Civil Aviation Service director Dionisis Kalofonos told the ANA today.

The aircraft, which had been leased to the Ukrainian-Israeli airline AirSweet, crashed into a mountainside in Pieria west of its destination Thessaloniki on December 17.

The plane's flight data recorders were sent to Germany to be analysed. Greek experts left Thessaloniki for Hanover today to be briefed on the data retrieved.

Kalofonos said Russian and Ukrainian experts are accompanying the Greek team to Germany in accordance with international regulations, since the aircraft was built in Russia and had been leased to a Ukrainian airline. However, they will not be involved in compiling the report on the crash although they have the right to submit recommendations on the findings.

The three teams will also visit the US, Ukraine and Russia.

According to civil aviation sources, initial findings indicate that the accident was due to pilot error. However, instrument malfunction has not been ruled out, according to YPA deputy director George Souladakis, who said this would explain why the pilot reported he was flying north when in fact the plane was flying west.

The final report will be presented simultaneously to the director of the Civil Aviation Service and the Supreme Investigative Council for Airline Accidents as well as to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Kalafonos said that immediately afterwards the report would be released to the press, along with a reconstruction of the flight path taken by the aircraft before it crashed. The recording of the conversation between the pilot and the control tower would also be played, he added.

Illegal immigrants picked up near Samos

Eleven illegal immigrants from Iraq were arrested early yesterday morning on the islet of Makronisi opposite the area of Nisi, Samos.

The nine men and two women told coastguard officers that they had each paid 2,000 dollars to a Turk to take them to the islet.

They said it was the same Turk who, with accomplices, had illegally transported 64 illegal immigrants of Kurdish origin near to the island of Lesbos yesterday.

The 64 were abandoned in a small wooden boat about 2.5 nautical miles off Lesbos by the Turks who returned to the Turkish coast in a speedboat.

The eleven Iraqis picked up today are being detained at the reception centre for illegal immigrants which is housed in the old police station on Samos.

European Commission to take action on Greek hotels

The European Commission has decided to take recourse to the European Court against Greece due to terms and preconditions set by its national legislation on access to administrative positions in hotels.

Greek legislation, which does not recognise experience acquired in this sector in any other European Union member-state, has not been adjusted, in the Commission's view, to Directive 68/368.

The directive anticipates that access to certain professional activities, including hotel professions, must be open to all persons able to justify previous professional experience in this sector in another EU member-state for two or three consecutive ye ars, either as self-employed professionals or at the post of director of a business.

Companies to buy own shares at stock exchange

A number of companies registered at the Stock Exchange will proceed with buying their own shares at the Stock Exchange following decisions taken recently by boards and extraordinary assemblies.

The general assembly of the Papastratos AVES company has already approved the purchase of 1,635,615 shares or a percentage of 10 per cent over the next 12 months, with the highest price being 7,200 drachmas per share.

The Viohalko company will purchase 2,867,512 shares by September 1, 1998, with the highest price being 6,350 drachmas. The company expects revenues from participations amounting to 1,900 million drachmas in 1997.

ELVAL will purchase 2,766,127 shares by July 4, 1998 with the highest price being 4,350 drachmas. During the first half of 1997, ELVAL had a turnover totalling 38,815.3 million compared to 34,488.7 million last year. Net profits amounted to 2,655 millio n drachmas.

ETEM completed the purchase of 324,775 shares. The company is investing 385 million drachmas for the production of small aluminium profiles and 500 million for the production of a series of aluminium products. The cost of building ETEM's factory in Bulgaria will ultimately reach 1.5 billion drachmas. It will have a total production capacity of 6,000 tonnes in aluminium profile products.

Roman tomb discovered in Drama

A Roman family tomb was discovered by chance in the community of Kallithea Dramas and at the location of "Vrysi." Its dimensions are 2.5X3X1.2 metres. The walls are made of white marble and have metal hooks at the sides. Archaeologists found bones and art efacts inside the tomb.


Overcast skies and rain are expected for the whole country today, with some thunderstorms, confined mostly in the eastern part. Later pheomena will subside and the weather will improve from the west. Winds will be strong to very strong reaching gale force in parts of the Aegan Sea. Athens can expect a wet day with local thunderstorms. The weather will improve at night and no rain is forecast for tomorrow, while the temperature will range between 11 and 16 degrees centigrade. A little rain is expected tomorrow in Thessaloniki, ahead of a change. Temperature 5-11C.


Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 277.929 Pound sterling 462.927 Cyprus pd 531.712 French franc 46.747 Swiss franc 193.564 German mark 156.428 Italian lira (100) 15.945 Yen (100) 214.740 Canadian dlr. 193.063 Australian dlr. 182.285 Irish Punt 404.438 Belgian franc 7.584 Finnish mark 51.693 Dutch guilder 138.860 Danish kr. 41.085 Swedish kr. 35.698 Norwegian kr. 38.172 Austrian sch. 22.242 Spanish peseta 1.850 Port. Escudo 1.533


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