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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 31/01/1998 (ANA)


  • Turkish freighter polluted Piraeus
  • Simitis meets with Europarliament's Robles
  • Group claims responsibility for wave of car bombs
  • Protest called against Sixth Fleet
  • One injured in yacht fire
  • Foreigner escapes in jail break-out
  • Police arrest 226 illegal immigrants
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Turkish freighter polluted Piraeus

A Turkish freighter today polluted one square kilometre of sea near the anchorage of Piraeus harbour with crude oil.

The port authority has prohibited the vessel - the "Mouzeyen Ana" - from sailing and arrested the chief engineer, Ozanair Ersun, 56.

Ersun will appear later today before a public prosecutor and most probably fined.

The Turkish-flag vessel was in transit at Piraeus and was taking on fuel.

The authorities were alerted to the pollution not by the crew of the Turkish vessel but by the captain of a Greek tanker which was passing nearby at the time.

Simitis meets with Europarliament's Robles

Prime Minister Costas Simitis today briefed visiting European Parliament president Jose Maria Gil-Robles on Greece's efforts to meet the Maastricht targets and on the course of Greek-Turkish relations.

Gil-Robles also met with main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, who also outlined Greece's positions on its relations with Ankara, noting that ND did not agree with the referral of all the issues to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Karamanlis further briefed the Europarliament chief on his party's positions regarding the political and economic union (EMU) of the European Union.

No statements were made after the meetings.

Gil-Robles later stressed the importance of adopting a joint foreign and defence policy for the protection of the EU's borders and praised Greece's contribution in this direction.

He was addressing a meeting of Parliament's standing committee on European affairs which was specially convened in his honour.

Describing the issue of EU-Turkey relations as "difficult", Gil-Robles said Ankara must fulfil the terms laid down for accession regarding human rights, respect for democratic principles and minorities and put an end to its occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.

Group claims responsibility for wave of car bombs

An organisation calling itself "Conscientious Arsonists" has claimed responsibility for 40 fire-bomb attacks against private and state-owned cars over the past two months, police said today.

A security police spokesman said a leaflet by the group was found by a cleaning woman last night at the entrance to the Piraeus Labour Centre.

The leaflet called for the release of four anarchists, among them 27-year- old Nikos Maziotis, who was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of involvement in a series of bomb attacks and for illegal possession of weapons, explosives and subversive material.

The group warned that unless the four were released, the "burning nights in Athens will continue", adding that their target was "the agencies of authority".

In the leaflet, the group claimed responsibility for the fire-bomb attacks against and torchings of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) offices, cars of police officers, diplomatic cars belonging to the embassies of Algeria, Brazil, Italy, Austria, France, Syria and the Philippines, on school cars and on cars belonging to a number of television stations.

Protest called against Sixth Fleet

The Thessaloniki Committee for International Detente and Peace (EDYETH) today announced it would stage a demonstration on Saturday to coincide with the arrival of the US Sixth Fleet flagship "USS La Salle" and the ongoing visit of US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns.

The flagship arrives on Saturday for a five-day port of call, its first to the northern Greek port city.

During the flagship's visit, Sixth Fleet commander Vice-Admiral Charles Abbot will pay courtesy calls on government officials and host a reception on board the La Salle, to be attended by Burns.

In an announcement, EDYETH said the demonstration, being organised in collaboration with the Youth Action for Peace organisation, was "in protest of US intervention in Greece".

"US envoy Burns could not be absent from this fiesta of servility, since, in his recent statements, he made it clear that this is his purpose: even more open governing of our country by the American multinationals and the imposition of the blood-tainted New Order in the Balkans," the announcement said, urging all Thessaloniki inhabitants to join the protest.

The La Salle has been deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, and has engaged in operations in the Middle East, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm before and during the Gulf war.

One injured in yacht fire

A fire broke out early this morning for as yet unknown reasons aboard the Austrian-flag yacht "Lubud" which was docked at the Aegean island of Kos.

A fire engine immediately rushed to the harbour and put out the blaze.

Austrian national Helfried Auger Schwarz, who was alone on board when the fire broke out, suffered minor burns to his hands and one ear and was taken to hospital on Kos for first aid.

Kos harbour police are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Foreigner escapes in jail break-out

A Romanian prisoner escaped from Halikarnassus jail on Crete early this morning while a fellow inmate, an ethnic Greek from the Black Sea region, was captured by guards.

Shortly after midnight, guards discovered that the two men were not in their cell and began to search the prison grounds.

Alexandros Anastasiadis, 29, was found hiding in the exercise yard, but Romanian Kilber Mahaita (phonetic spelling) had already made his escape.

Mahaita, from Iasio, was serving an eight-year sentence for grand larceny, while Anastasiadis, from Kazakhstan, had been sentenced to 13 years for a series of robberies.

Police arrest 226 illegal immigrants

Police in Epirus, northern Greece have arrested 226 Albanian illegal immigrants in the past 24 hours and sent them back to their country via the Kakavia border post.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Albanian was arrested on the Ioannina-Kozani highway for smuggling 64 Albanian illegal immigrants into the country in his lorry.

The Albanian, identified as Amzak Isoufi, from Fieri, was due to appear later today before a public prosecutor, while his 64 compatriots, who told police that they had each paid the driver 65,000 drachmas, were deported.

In separate incidents, police arrested three Greek men - two from Athens and one from Piraeus - for transporting Albanian illegal immigrants in Greece, two in rented cars and one in his taxi.


Partly cloudy weather will prevail throughout Greece today with local rain forecast in the northwest late in the evening. Winds will be variable, light to moderate. Almost fair weather in Athens where temperatures will range between 4-12C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where temperatues will be from 0-7C.


Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 286.946 Pound sterling 469.613 Cyprus pd 534.390 French franc 46.926 Swiss franc 194.888 German mark 157.252 Italian lira (100) 15.945 Yen (100) 225.968 Canadian dlr. 196.019 Australian dlr. 192.746 Irish Punt 394.201 Belgian franc 7.621 Finnish mark 51.895 Dutch guilder 139.525 Danish kr. 41.269 Swedish kr. 35.504 Norwegian kr. 37.894 Austrian sch. 22.350 Spanish peseta 1.854 Port. Escudo 1.538


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