Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-21
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 21/04/1998 (ANA)
- Karamanlis health 'worsening'
- Stocks soar to new record on Athens bourse
- Air and sea search for missing foreigners
- U.S. Defence Secretary arrives in Athens
- Greek chief of staff to visit Cyprus
- Greek shipper gets ISO certificate
- Training plane crashes, no injuries
- Tsohatzopoulos holds talks with Albanian premier
- Apostolakis visits Greek contingent in Bosnia
- Easter mass exodus death toll rises to 35
- New group claims firebomb attack on bank
- Two Turks charged with smuggling immigrants
- Foreign prisoners make escape attempt at Athens jail
- EU Commission proposes fine on Greece over waste
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Karamanlis health 'worsening'
Former president Constantine Karamanlis's condition is worsening, according
to a short announcement from Karamanlis's doctors today. The statement,
issued at midday, said that Karamanlis was listed as "extremely critical".
Karamanlis suffered renal failure late on Monday night and doctors were
reported to have said that the former president's health was at its lowest
ebb since he was admitted to hospital on April 7. Karamanlis, 91, was
admitted to the Hygeia Hospital with a respiratory infection. He was placed
on breathing support on April 12 after his heart stopped during a mild
Stocks soar to new record on Athens bourse
Greek equities shot up to another record after a four-day holiday on the
Athens Stock Exchange. Traders said the market welcomed last week's news of
a merge between National Bank of Greece and its subsidiary Mortgage Bank
creating the country's largest banking group. Buying focused on the banking
sector which showed most share prices hitting the day's 8.0 percent limit
up with the exception of Macedonian-Thrace Bank and Mortgage Bank. The
general index soared 7.32 percent to end at 2,627.90 points. Analysts
expect the market to test the 3,000 level soon. Trading was massive with
turnover at 100.1 billion drachmas.
Air and sea search for missing foreigners
Three Canadian nationals and a Greek priest were missing after their boat
capsized during a sudden storm off Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece,
the Merchant Marine Ministry said today. Reports said the three Canadians
were working for TVX Hellas, the subsidiary of the Canadian gold mining
company which received a concession to work the Cassandra gold mines in
U.S. Defence Secretary arrives in Athens
U.S. Defence Secretary Willian Cohen arrived here today on a brief stopover,
winding up a five-day tour of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Cohen was
driven from the Athens International Airport directly to the Greek defence
ministry for talks with counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Cohen will also
lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after a joint press
conference with Tsohatzopoulos at 2:45 p.m., before departing around 5:00
for his return to the U.S.
Greek chief of staff to visit Cyprus
Greece's chief of staff begins a three-day visit to Cyprus tomorrow for
talks with the political and military leadership on the island, the first
official visit by a Greek chief of staff to the divided island. General
Athanasios Tzoganis is scheduled to discuss the Greek-Cypriot unified
defence doctrine and review developments in his meetings with the Cypriot
defence establishment. He returns to Greece on Friday.
Greek shipper gets ISO certificate
A Greek shipping company has become the first major ship operating
organisation in the world to be certified as meeting the new ISO 14001
environmental standard, a spokesman for ABS Quality Evaluations, an
affiliate of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), told the ANA today.
Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd. of Greece is the first ship
operator worldwide to receive the new ISO 14001 environmental quality
standards certification, said the spokesman for ABS Quality Evaluations,
which carried out the auditing and certification.
Training plane crashes, no injuries
A small training plane crashed today near Kavala, northern Greece, but its
crew were safe, local police said. They said the two-seat F-15 airplane
crashed at 1:25 p.m. three miles east of the town of Chryssoupolis, but its
two pilots parachuted to safety. The pilots were picked up by rescue units
and transferred to hospital for check-up.
Tsohatzopoulos holds talks with Albanian premier
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met Albanian Prime Minister
Fatos Nano in Tirana on Easter Sunday, accompanied by ministry officials,
with discussion between them focusing on bilateral issues and issues
relating to the wider region of so utheast Europe, including Kosovo and the
creation of a multinationl peacekeeping force in the Balkans. The Albanian
prime minister said after the meeting that discussion touched upon
cooperation between Balkan nations and collective security in the region in
the framework of NATO.
Apostolakis visits Greek contingent in Bosnia
National Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis spent the Easter
Monday celebration with the Greek contingent serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In a speech he delivered there, Mr. Apostolakis praised the Greek
contingent's work, saying it represented Greece in the best way and adding
that Greece had now shaken off its isolationism to become the most powerful
country in the region in economic terms, as well as in political stability
and social cohesion.
Easter mass exodus death toll rises to 35
Thirty-five people have lost their lives on Greek roads this Easter long
weekend, with another 446 injured - 90 seriously - in more than 300 traffic
accidents since Thursday night. Traffic police stepped up measures ahead of
the expected return of holiday-makers later yesterday. Authorities said
that 70 percent of the 300 accidents had taken place on rural road networks,
where a police presence was less noticeable.
New group claims firebomb attack on bank
A suburban branch of the Ionian Bank was the target of a firebomb attack on
Sunday night, resulting in serious property damage but no injuries.
Authorities said the fire was caused by a makeshift explosive device made
up of seven gas cannisters. placed at the bank's entrance. An anonymous
caller to the Athens daily Eleftherotypia later claimed the arson attack on
the bank was the work of a new group, calling itself "Autonomous Revolutionary
Two Turks charged with smuggling immigrants
Two Turkish nationals were charged with smuggling in 84 illegal immigrants
to Greece before a Samos prosecutor yesterday, authorities said. Kurt Omer,
24, and Polat Nimer, 33, were charged with transporting 84 illegal
immigrants from Iraq - 53 m en, 13 women and 18 children - on their 18-
metre boat and putting them ashore on Agathonissi on Sunday night.
Foreign prisoners make escape attempt at Athens jail
An escape attempt by nearly 40 foreigners at the top security Korydallos
prison near Piraeus was thwarted by police. Police units were late last
night on the alert around the prison complex, while the would-be escapees
remained outside their cells.
EU Commission proposes fine on Greece over waste
The European Commission has proposed to the European Court to impose a fine
on Greece for not having implemented a waste programme for the gulf of
Souda, Crete. The Commission proposed that Greece pays 8.3 million drachmas
(ecu 24,600) per day of delay in implementing the European Court's
Fine weather in most parts of Greece today with local cloud in a few
regions. Winds westerly, mild to strong and very strong in the south.
Temperatures in the north will range from 5-22C, in the mainland from 8-24
and on the islands from 12-23. Athens will be sunny with temperatures from
11-23C. Same in Thessaloniki with increasing cloud in the afternoon and
temperatures between 9-22C.
Thursday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 312.778
British pound 527.149 Japanese Yen(100) 238.090
French franc 51.608 German mark 172.955
Italian lira (100) 17.504 Irish Punt 436.480
Belgian franc 8.379 Finnish mark 56.951
Dutch guilder 153.562 Danish kr. 45.334
Austrian sch. 24.582 Spanish peseta 2.035
Swedish kr. 40.283 Norwegian kr. 41.547
Swiss franc 207.680 Port. Escudo 1.687
AUS dollar 203.558 Can. dollar 217.942
Cyprus pound 593.216