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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-04-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 24/04/1998 (ANA)


  • Greece lays statesman Karamanlis to rest today
  • Queen Elizabeth sends condolences
  • Group claims bomb at local bank
  • One dies in factory fire
  • Three dead, six injured in coach accident
  • Miller, Kranidiotis agree on UN framework for Cyprus
  • President stresses need to stick to international law
  • Greece outlines Council of Europe presidency goals
  • Government condemns attack on Jewish agency
  • Greek basketball team fails in try for European trophy
  • Greenpeace condemns Turkish nuclear power plan
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greece lays statesman Karamanlis to rest today

Greece today lays to rest its elder statesman, Constantine Karamanlis, who died early yesterday of heart failure at the age of 91. Karamanlis, the man who guided Greece into the European Community and took the helm of the country for the smooth return to democracy after the collapse of the military dictatorship, died after two weeks in hospital with a lung infection compounded by heart and kidney complications.

Queen Elizabeth sends condolences

Britain's Queen Elizabeth has sent a message of condolences for the death of former president Constantine Karamanlis. The message, sent to President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, was released today by the British Embassy in Athens.

Dutch Premier Wim Kok also sent a message to his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis, expressing his condolences over the death of former president Constantine Karamanlis.

Messages were also received from German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Group claims bomb at local bank

An anonymous caller to the radio station Flash claimed responsibility on behalf of the organisation "Autonomous Cells of Rebel Action" for an arson attack on a branch of the Ionian Bank in central Athens early this morning.

The new group had also claimed responsibility for a similar attack on an Ionian Bank branch in the Athens suburb of Ilioupolis late Sunday night. In today's attack, shortly after midnight, the attackers used a makeshift incendicary device comprising at least ten gas cannisters and two cans of gasoline.

One dies in factory fire

A fireman died today during hours-long efforts to extinguish a fire at a furniture warehouse in the Athens suburb of Moschato. It took 150 firemen assisted by 25 fire engines seven hours to put out the blaze at the Sato warehouse, the cause of which remains unknown. The dead fireman was identified as Petros Spyropoulos, 26. Fire brigade officers believe the fire began in the basement or first floor of the three-storey concrete building.

Three dead, six injured in coach accident

Three people died and six were injured today when a coach went off the road near the Delphi archaeological site in central Greece and fell 50 metres down the cliffside. The coach was on its way from Amphissa to Arachova when a car coming in the opposite direction crossed the dividing line in the road. The coach driver swerved to avoid hitting the car but ran off the road.

Miller, Kranidiotis agree on UN framework for Cyprus

The US State Department's special coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, said yesterday that the American initiative for a resolution of the island's political problem was under the aegis of the United Nations and aimed at the attainment of a bizonal, bicommunal, federal scheme. He made the statement after talks with foreign undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis in Athens, where he arrived as part of a tour of the region in preparation of a new visit to Cyprus by President Clinton's special emissary Richard Holbrooke next month.

President stresses need to stick to international law

President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday reiterated that Greece, for reasons of justice and the general interest of all peoples, proposed the resolution of current or future disputes on the basis of respect for international law and recognition of the standing of international treaties.

His reference, made in Budapest at an official dinner hosted by his Hungarian counterpart Arpad Goncz, was considered as an indirect but clear address to Turkey.

If this proposal is not accepted, "undesirable situations will be perpetuated, and tensions, for which Greece is not responsible, will be maintained," he said. "For we are not willing to accept baseless claims which are put forward with the aim of altering the established for decades status quo in the Aegean," he added.

The president also reiterated Greece's support for Hungary's bid to join the Euro-Atlantic structures.

Mr. Stephanopoulos also pointed out Greece's initiatives in the Balkans for a normalisation of the situation in Kosovo, while in reference to Cyprus, he stressed that Greece sought a fair solution to its political problem and its unimpeded realisation of full membership of the EU.

Greece outlines Council of Europe presidency goals

Priorities of the Greek presidency of the Council of Europe, which begins on May 5, include upgrading the Parliamentary Assembly, and human rights, with the operation of a new Human Rights Court (through the merger of the Human Rights Commission and the court into a single body), Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou told a press conference yesterday. Another priority of the Greek presidency is illegal immigration and the refugee issue. Greece will propose cooperation among all member-states in tackling illegal immigration and will promote a policy in the refugee sector.

Government condemns attack on Jewish agency

The government yesterday condemned a bomb attack, apparently targetting the offices of a Greek Jewish agency, which caused material damage but no injuries. "The placement of incendiary devices at the offices of the Jewish Council in Athens is condemned by all Greeks. Such acts are alien to the sentiments of our people and do harm to the country. The government is intensifying its efforts so that the police can track down the attackers," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said in a statement.

Greek basketball team fails in try for European trophy

AEK Athens last night failed to win the European Basketball Championship, losing 58-44 (28-20 at half-time) in the final to Kinder Bologna in Barcelona.

Greenpeace condemns Turkish nuclear power plan

Greenpeace, the international environmental protection organisation yesterday condemned a plan by Turkey to build a nuclear power plant located between Cyprus and Rhodes. Greenpeace released the statement in Athens to mark the twelfth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the former Soviet Union. The first nuclear reactor at the Turkish plant has a scheduled start-up date in June 2006, and the second re actor a year later, Greenpeace said. An international tender called in 1997 to find a contractor for the new plant is expected to produce a winner in June this year.


Cloudy weather is forecast for Greece today, mostly turning to rain late in the day. Winds variable, strong to very strong. Athens and Thessaloniki will be overcast with rain expected in the evening, and temperatures reaching 20 and 19 C respectively.


Thursday's closing rates (buying): U.S. dollar 309.316 British pound 515.265 Japanese yen(100) 236.939 French franc 51.459 German mark 172.514 Italian lira (100) 17.443 Irish Punt 434.893 Belgian franc 8.353 Finnish mark 56.893 Dutch guilder 153.115 Danish kr. 45.235 Austrian sch. 24.510 Spanish peseta 2.030 Swedish kr. 40.295 Norwegian kr. 41.664 Swiss franc 208.236 Port. Escudo 1.686 Aus. dollar 201.614 Can. dollar 215.958 Cyprus pound 589.248


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