Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-05
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 05/01/1998 (ANA)
- Illegal immigrants swamp offices to register
- Cypriot FM to visit Athens this week
- Greece to attend six-nation meeting on Kurdish refugees
- American woman charged with weapons, drug trafficking
- National Bank Governor to give press conference
- New law on conscientious objectors comes into effect
- Vigilance in the Aegean as Turkish military exercise continues
- New tax legislation in parliament on Wednesday
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Illegal immigrants swamp offices to register
Hundreds of illegal immigrants besieged the Organisation for the Employment
of Human Resources (OAED) today, eager to register for White Cards allowing
them to live and work in the country until the end of the year.
Registration of the estimated half a million illegal immigrants in the
country will last until May 31. At the end of the year, White Card holders
may obtain a Green Card which will be valid from one to three years.
Labour Undersecretary Christos Protopappas made a surprise inspection on
the central OAED office.
Applicants must present passports or identification cards, certification
from the Alien's Bureau that the applicant has not been designated "persona
non grata", certification from the Justice Ministry that he/she does not
have a criminal record, and a health certificate from a Greek public
Cypriot FM to visit Athens this week
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides will visit Athens and Lisbon
later this week for talks with Greek and Portuguese officials on issues
related to Cyprus's accession to the European Union, according to an ANA
dispatch from Nicosia.
Kasoulides will arrive in Athens on Friday and then visit Lisbon. He is due
back in Cyprus on January 13.
Greece to attend six-nation meeting on Kurdish refugees
The Chief of the Greek Police (ELAS) and the Director of State Security
will represent Greece at a six-nation meeting in Rome to discuss the recent
wave of Kurdish illegal immigrants, it was announced today.
The police chiefs of Italy, Greece, Germany, France, the Netherlands and
Turkey are to meet in the Italian capital on Thursday morning to discuss
the mass migration of Kurds from Turkey and the problems it is creating in
the European Union.
ELAS chief Lt. Gen. Athanassios Vassilopoulos and director of state
security Brig. Gen. George Yiannes leave for Rome at noon Wednesday.
It was also announced that two representatives of the Italian police are
due in Athens Wednesday to collaborate with the Greek authorities on the
problem of Kurdish illegal immigrants from Turkey.
American woman charged with weapons, drug trafficking
Two Albanian men arrested in connection with the discovery of a huge arms
cache in Dion, Pieria, on Sunday were today charged with importation and
possession of weapons, explosives and narcotic substances.
Skrendi Peirikliou, 20, and Ilir Rogi, 27, from Elbasan told reporters as
they left the prosecutor's office that they had nothing to do with the
weapons and arms found in the home of 41-year-old American woman, Donna
The Katerini security police located and seized quantities of anti-tank
rockets and launchers, machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades,
pistols and silencers, ammunition, masks and bullet-proof vests in a pig-
sty behind Wilkins-Kaltsas's home.
A police spokesman told the ANA the weaponry had been smuggled into Greece
from Albania, and was mainly of Russian and Chinese origin.
He also said 153 sticks of TNT (dynamite), "enough to blow up Mt. Olympus",
had also been confiscated, as well as 12 kilos of hashish and a small
quantity of heroin. Police also found two Uzi's when they raided the house,
believed to have been stolen from the Greek police.
Wilkins-Kaltsas's husband, George, was found dead with 20 gunshot wounds
near Lamia last week in what appeared to be a gangland killing. Police
believe the weapons were smuggled into Greece in the fall after George
Kaltsas's brother, Vassilis, escaped from Corfu jail and fled to Albania,
with the help of the Albanian mafia and Greek accomplices. Vassilis Kaltsas
died in a car crash in Halkidiki, northern Greece, last month.
Wilkins-Kaltsas's lawyer told reporters that his client was innocent and
had no idea of the presence of the weapons, explosives and narcotics on her
Donna Wilkins-Kaltsas was later charged with possession and trafficking in
weapons, armaments, explosive material and narcotics.
She told reporters that she denied all the charges, and that her late
husband and his brother had probably transported the arms to the pig-sty on
her property, but without her knowledge.
The arms cache has been moved to Athens for ballistics testing to determine
whether any of the items have been used in criminal activity.
National Bank Governor to give press conference
Theodore Karatzas, Governor of the National Bank of Greece, the country's
largest credit institution, will be the guest speaker at a Foreign Press
Association (FPA) luncheon on Thursday, January 8 at 1:00 p.m. at the
Grande Bretagne Hotel.
Mr. Karatzas will speak on the Greek economy and banking sector. He will
also take questions from the floor.
New law on conscientious objectors comes into effect
Greece has introduced alternative and unarmed conscription, as of the first
of the year, for conscientious objectors, putting an end to a long-standing
controversial issue that had drawn fire from several human rights
Defence Ministry sources told the ANA today that under the unarmed military
service system, conscientious objectors will serve an additional 12 months
to the regular conscription term in the three Arms.
According to legislation passed in June last year, conscientious objectors
will serve 30 months in the Army, 32 months in the Airforce, and 33 months
in the Navy.
Under the alternative conscription system, conscientious objectors will
serve an additional 18 months to the regular conscription term, in public
service in the state-owned organisations and local administration.
Conscientious objectors opting for public service will serve 36 months in
lieu of the Army, 38 months in lieu of the Airforce, and 39 months in liew
of the Navy.
Conscientious objectors choosing either unarmed military service or
alternative conscription will not be abled to serve their term in military
units or public service in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Larissa, Herklion
Crete and Volos, or in their home town.
Vigilance in the Aegean as Turkish military exercise continues
The Greek armed forces were cautiously monitoring the Turkish air and naval
exercise in progress in the Aegean, and are ready to take all necessary
measures -such as interceptions of aircraft- in case the exercise is
carried out in areas where there is no relevant entitlement, Defence
Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis said after a meeting on Saturday.
The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) on December 28, 1997, described as
illegal a Turkish notam, designating eight areas in the Aegean for the
exercise, planned for January 2-25, as illegal and invalid, as three of
them included areas of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).
Mr. Apostolakis noted, nevertheless, that activity related to the exercise,
could, up to that point, be described as low key.
At another meeting at the foreign ministry on Saturday, chaired by Foreign
Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, officials of the defence and foreign
ministries and YPA examined the unfolding situation and coordinated their
activities on the matter.
Calm also prevailed yesterday, second day of the exercise in the Aegean,
while Greek armed forces maintained their readiness to deal with any
eventuality. Today is considered a crucial day as the exercise is expected
to unfold north of the island of Lesvos, and between Hios and Andros, areas
which the Turks have unilaterally engaged for the exercise.
New tax legislation in parliament on Wednesday
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will table the
government's new tax legislation in Parliament on Wednesday, according to
The discussion of the bill by the parliamentary committee will begin on
January 12 and the bill will be then brought before the Parliament for
debate and vote.
Fine weather with local scattered cloud is forecast for today throughout
the country. Athens will be sunny with few clouds and temperatures from 8-
15C. Same in Thessaloniki with tempereatures between 4-12C.
Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 282.621
Pound sterling 463.700 Cyprus pd 534.688
French franc 46.872 Swiss franc 192.656
German mark 156.805 Italian lira (100) 15.955
Yen (100) 214.371 Canadian dlr. 197.805
Australian dlr. 183.748 Irish Punt 402.117
Belgian franc 7.603 Finnish mark 51.763
Dutch guilder 139.123 Danish kr. 41.182
Swedish kr. 35.520 Norwegian kr. 38.252
Austrian sch. 22.290 Spanish peseta 1.852
Port. Escudo 1.535