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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-01

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 01/01/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece to follow policy of peace, Premier says
  • Samos: Iraqi illegal immigrants
  • Turkish-flag ship ablaze off Skyros island
  • World Indoor Athletics Championships in Athens
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece to follow policy of peace, Premier says

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in a New Year message that Greece's relations with neighbouring Turkey "are going through a period of tension", adding that Ankara "is trying to regain the ground it has lost in the European Union".

But Greece, he stressed, "will follow a policy of peace in the New Year, refusing an escalation of tension, since there are solutions if international treaties and law are implemented".

Samos: Iraqi illegal immigrants

Turkish boat-runners disembarked 24 Iraqi illegal immigrants at dawn today on the east coast of the island of Samos, police said.

They said the 20 men and four women were transported to the Prasso region of Samos in two boat loads.

The illegal immigrants told Samos police they had paid 2,000 dollars each to be brought across to Greece, adding that a large number of Iraqis were in Turkey waiting to be transported illegally to Greek islands in the Aegean.

The 24 were taken to the local police precinct pending completion of the process for the extention of political asylum.

Turkish-flag ship ablaze off Skyros island

Fire broke out aboard a Turkish-flag freighter today as it was sailing in international waters in the Aegean near the Greek island of Skyros, Merchant Marine Ministry sources said.

The blazing vessel was spotted at noon by the Skyros military observation post, since the Turkish captain had not transmitted an SOS nor requested assistance on the VHF radio frequencies.

The Ministry's operations department was told by its counterpart in Istanbul that all 45 crewmembers of the freighter "Akoba" had abandoned ship.

The sources said 40 crewmembers had been picked up by the Turkish ship "Tolka Gen" and were all safe, while another five were in a life raft and in no danger.

Three Greek ships, a Greek coastguard vessel and a Greek navy vessel were on stand-by in the vicinity of the blazing freighter, while two Air Force helicopters and a military C-130 transport plane were flying over the area for security reasons, the sources said.

The causes of the fire on the freighter, which was not carrying a cargo, were as yet undetermined, the sources added.

World Indoor Athletics Championships in Athens

Leading athletes from all over the world will participate in the international indoor athletics meet "Athina" at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Feb. 21, the Amateur Athletics Association (SEGAS) said. So far, 311 male and female athletes have declared participation, among them Charles Austin (US) who came first in high jump in the Atlanta Olympics; Michael Green (US) who came second in the 60 metres dash in the 1997 World Indoor Athletics Championships and Daniela Georgieva (Bulgaria) who came second in the 200 metres event in the 1995 World Indoor Athletics Championships.

WEATHER

Fine weather over most of the country with local cloud in the western and southern regions. Winds light to moderate southerlies. Athens will be sunny with few clouds, and temperatures ranging from 5-16 C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki, with temperatures 3-14 C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 280.349 Pound sterling 464.970 Cyprus pd 535.204 French franc 46.816 Swiss franc 192.825 German mark 156.627 Italian lira (100) 15.943 Yen (100) 215.998 Canadian dlr. 195.940 Australian dlr. 183.252 Irish Punt 400.451 Belgian franc 7.593 Finnish mark 51.713 Dutch guilder 138.984 Danish kr. 41.105 Swedish kr. 35.496 Norwegian kr. 38.297 Austrian sch. 22.259 Spanish peseta 1.851 Port. Escudo 1.530

(L.G.)


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