Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-13
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 13/04/1998 (ANA)
- Greece lays head of Greek church to rest
- Further disruption to OA flights today
- Three killed at unguarded train crossing
- Mild earthquake recorded in northern Greece
- Iraqi blockade focus of conference
- Regional security and stability urged at tripartite Balkan meeting
- Balkan experts to tackle Danube bridge stalemate
- Elder Karamanlis transferred to ICU after mild heart attack
- Firefighting equipment for Aegean islands
- Simitis says gov't determined to implement its policy
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece lays head of Greek church to rest
Archbishop Serapheim of Athens, prelate of the Orthodox Church of Greece
for the past 23 years, was buried today with honours usually given to a
head of state.
The longest-serving Archbishop in the autocephalus Church's 150-year
history, Serapheim died Friday at the age of 85 after a respiratory
infection compounded by chronic renal failure.
He was laid to rest in the burial ground reserved for Church leaders.
Eulogies were delivered earlier at the funeral mass by prelates of the Holy
Synod, ruling body of the Church of Greece,
Further disruption to OA flights today
Olympic Airways (OA) flight services suffered serious disruption today due
to a shortage of personnel, nine flights being cancelled and two more being
merged into one.
OA management is now considering hiring aircraft with foreign crews to
serve passenger needs and will meet with the Supreme Council for the
Selection of Personnel (ASEP) to seek approval.
The problem has been compounded by a shortage also of technicians which has
resulted in five OA aircraft remaining grounded following extensive
maintenance work, while a further five are expected to gradually re-enter
service by June.
Three killed at unguarded train crossing
A 26-year-old gypsy and his two young nephews died today when a train hit
their pick-up truck at an unguarded level crossing on the Amyntaio-Kozani
line in northern Greece.
There are no safety bars or warning lights at the level crossing, only a
sign alerting drivers to the railway line.
Mild earthquake recorded in northern Greece
A moderate earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale shook northwestern
Greece at dawn today, and first police reports said there were no damages
The tremor, recorded at 2:53 a.m. by the Thessaloniki Observatory, came
from a distance of 50 kilometres west of Kozani and 30 kilometres northwest
Iraqi blockade focus of conference
A conference calling for an end to the eight-year-old blockade on Iraq will
be held in Piraeus next week, the organising committee announced today.
In a statement, the organisers of the "Third Athens Conference Against the
Blockade on Iraq" said that the blockade had caused the death of more than
1.5 million Iraqis, "mostly children under five years of age". The
conference will take place April 25 at the Municipal Theatre of Athens.
Regional security and stability urged at tripartite Balkan meeting
Bulgaria, Romania and Greece on Saturday stressed the need for security,
stability and cooperation in southeastern Europe in a joint declaration
issued after two days of talks on the Greek island of Santorini.
Foreign ministers Theodoros Pangalos of Greece, Nadezhda Mihailova of
Bulgaria and Andrei Plesu of Romania also proposed the commencement of
negotiations between Be lgrade and the Albanian community of Kosovo.
Balkan experts to tackle Danube bridge stalemate
The Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian foreign ministers have agreed to set up a
team of experts to break the deadlock over where a bridge across the Danube
that would link the region with western Europe should be built.
Bulgaria and Romania have been in disagreement for several years over where
a second bridge across the Danube, which separates the two countries,
should be built. They are currently connected by one bridge, which is
Elder Karamanlis transferred to ICU after mild heart attack
The health of former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis
appears to be improving after suffering a heart attack early yesterday
morning, according to a medical bulletin issued at 8 p.m. last night.
The 91-year-old statesman, who was hospitalised last Tuesday with pneumonia,
went into cardiac arrest at 2:25 a.m., before medical staff at Ygeia
Hospital restored his cardiac functions 20 minutes later. He was transferred
to the intensive care unit.
Firefighting equipment for Aegean islands
Aegean Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said yesterday that the government
intends to equip all the islands with fire-fighting equipment by the year
2000 to enable them to gradually acquire their own volunteer firefighting
stations manned with local citizens.
Ms. Papazoi was making a brief address at the start of a series of
conferences to be held on Aegean islands at the Zimalis Foundation in Samos
Simitis says gov't determined to implement its policy
Addressing the ruling PASOK's central committee on Saturday, Prime Minister
Costas Simitis sent a clear message to party officials and high-ranking
cadres that he is determined to promote the government's policy.
Mr. Simitis said that the government is explicit in its pursuits and will
not negotiate its policy, adding that "some think that they can lay down
terms but they are mistaken."
Mr. Simitis said that what is necessary is the combined strength of all for
these targets to be achieved, with unity and agreement achieved through
On the question of loss-making Olympic Airways, the country's national
carrier, he said that development is unbreakably attached with the
transformation of the economy's state sector.
Scattered clouds throughout the country today with the possibility of rain
in the northwestern regions. Moderate to strong winds in the east will keep
temperatures high for the season. Athens and Thessaloniki can expect light
cloud and maximum temperatures of 22 and 19 degrees respectively.
Friday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 315.258
British pound 527.982 Japanese Yen(100) 245.401
French franc 51.659 German mark 173.114
Italian lira (100) 17.535 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.393 Finnish mark 57.100
Dutch guilder 153.194 Danish kr. 45.442
Austrian sch. 24.611 Spanish peseta 2.046
Swedish kr. 40.144 Norwegian kr. 41.799
Swiss franc 208.474 Port. Escudo 1.671
AUS dollar 206.911 Can. dollar 221.573
Cyprus pound 593.811