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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 18/05/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Digital pay TV on Cabinet agenda
  • Anarchist groups jostle for bomb claim
  • Government condemns spate of bombs
  • TV heads to jail for screening porn ads
  • Arson attack on PASOK office
  • OA asks passengers for support
  • No talks between Milosevic, gov't
  • Albright still coming in June
  • Benos to attend EU public administration council
  • Greece woos Japanese investors
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Digital pay TV on Cabinet agenda

The issue of digital TV broadcasting in Greece will be discussed at Friday's joint meeting of the ruling PASOK party's political secretariat and the inner cabinet, to be chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today. It will be just one of the items on the agenda, Reppas said, explaining that such joint meetings generally discuss and formulate general policy frameworks and determine "directions" but no decisions are taken in the strict sense of the word.

Anarchist groups jostle for bomb claim

Three groups have claimed responsibility for last night's bomb attacks on an Olympic Airways office and an Ionian Bank branch on Syngrou Avenue, police said. Unidentified callers phoned television and radio stations claiming responsibility for the blasts on behalf of the elusive "November 17" terrorist group and the previously unknown "Fighting Guerrillas of May" and "May '98" groups. A high-ranking police official told the ANA that the call claiming responsibility on behalf of "November 17" was a "hoax", and attention was focussing on the other two claims.

Government condemns spate of bombs

The government later condemned the spate of bombings over the past few months, saying it required "particular attention". Despite the fact that the police were doing everything possible, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, the number of such attacks had increased. "The phenomenon in Greece is however of a much more limited and milder form than in other parts of the world," Reppas said. Replying to questions, Reppas said there was no evidence linking the bomb attacks with circles abroad, while adding that "all possibilities are being investigated".

TV heads to jail for screening porn ads

A lower court in the western port city of Patras today sentenced the directors of two provincial television stations to seven months imprisonment each for broadcasting hardcore porn ads. Achaia Channel and Super B station were charged with repeatedly broadcasting short action clips of heterosexual and lesbian sex acts while telephone numbers inviting viewers to take part in live conversations on various sex acts were superimposed.

Arson attack on PASOK office

An arson attack on the prefectural offices of ruling party PASOK in the northern Greek city of Ioannina early this morning caused minor damage but no injury, police said today. Police said unidentified persons poured flammable liquid and set it alight at the entrance to the offices, on the fourth floor of an apartment building. Damage is estimated at about 50,000 drachmas. There has been no claim of responsibility for the incident.

OA asks passengers for support

The management of Olympic Airways (OA) has published an open letter asking Greek travellers for their support in efforts being made to revitalise the ailing national carrier. OA recently embarked on a five-year restructuring programme in order to make massive operational and administrative cost cuts or face closure. Worker opposition to the programme has brought serious disruption to the airline's flight schedule, with repeated delays and cancellations.

No talks between Milosevic, gov't

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has not met with any Greek government officials, spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today. Milosevic arrived in Greece over the weekend for a holiday, according to press reports. Reppas added that the Greek government did not know if Milosevic met with other "foreign officials" during his stay in Greece.

Albright still coming in June

The Greek government has not been informed of any change in the scheduled visit of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Athens, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today. "Nothing has changed," Reppas said, replying to reporters questions on the visit. According to informed sources, Albright is due to visit the region in early June and is expected to visit Ankara and Athens.

Benos to attend EU public administration council

Public Administration Undersecretary Stavros Benos leaves for London tomorrow to take part in the council of European Union public administration ministers, being held by the British presidency of the EU. The meeting is expected to discuss improving services in the public sector, utilising electronic services, training for staff and evaluating the quality of services offered. According to a statement from the Greek interior, public administration and decentralisation ministry, the London meeting will lay the groundwork for the next meeting of public administration ministers, in Vienna in November.

Greece woos Japanese investors

A forum to present business and investment opportunities in Greece to Japanese companies will be held in Athens on Thursday attended by chief executive officers from both countries. Due to appear at the forum, which is timed to coincide with a visit by officials of the KEIDANREN Japanese Federation of Economic Organisations, are Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and National Economy Undersecretary Alekos Baltas. The forum includes presentations of business and investment opportunities in Greece by representatives of industry, banking, exports, tourism and the Athens Stock Exchange. The forum will be held at the Grande Bretagne Hotel.

WEATHER

Unstable weather is forecast over the whole of the country Monday, with local showers and possible storms. Athens will be overcast, with chance of rain in the evening and temperatures from 15-23 C. The same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures between 13-20C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 305.645 British pound 498.222 Japanese yen(100) 227.833 French franc 51.201 German mark 171.735 Italian lira (100) 17.433 Irish Punt 432.710 Belgian franc 8.332 Finnish mark 56.504 Dutch guilder 152.406 Danish kr. 45.132 Austrian sch. 24.431 Spanish peseta 2.023 Swedish kr. 39.662 Norwegian kr. 40.980 Swiss franc 206.584 Port. Escudo 1.678 Aus. dollar 191.783 Can. dollar 211.256 Cyprus pound 580.122

(M.P.)


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