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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-22

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, 22/05/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Teachers scuffle with police during protests
  • Chaos in Thessaloniki during transport strikes
  • Fifteen illegal immigrants arrested
  • NATO official 'concerned' about S-300 deployment
  • 100-year-old caretta found dead
  • UN confirms inter-communal basis of Cyprus talks
  • G. Papandreou discusses Clinton statements with Burns
  • Royaumont Initiative coordinator Roumeliotis in US for talks
  • Fatah movement official speaks at Athens University event
  • Ecumenical Patriarch begins official visit to Canada
  • Improvements announced for Athens Airport
  • OA considering billion-dollar loan for new planes
  • Banner year for tourism on Rhodes
  • EOT leases property to Greek-German tourism consortium
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Teachers scuffle with police during protests

Hundreds of teachers marched through the streets of Athens today to the ruling PASOK party's offices to protest the government's plans to abolish the present system of appointing teachers based on a waiting list. Arriving at PASOK's offices, some teachers tried to break the glass doors at the main entrance. Two took a no-parking sign and tried to break the bullet- proof glass. Others threw eggs at the office windows. The protesters then marched to parliament, from where organisers said they would head for the Education Ministry building.

Chaos in Thessaloniki during transport strikes

Commuters in Thessaloniki today faced chaos as urban transport workers, protesting the government's plans to introduce changes in labour relations, held long work stoppages covering even peak hours. The first stoppage was from the beginning of the shift this morning until 8.30 a.m. Many commuters were forced to go to work by car, adding to the chaos on the roads, since taxis were unable to meet needs. Dozens of people stood a bus stops all over the city waiting for transport which did not arrive.

Fifteen illegal immigrants arrested

Fifteen Iraqi illegal immigrants have been arrested on the island of Samos, police said today. Police said the Iraqis were dropped off on the island's remote Krounderi beach by a Turkish boat-runner last night and were detained a few hours later.

NATO official 'concerned' about S-300 deployment

NATO supreme commander, General Wesley Clark, today expressed concern over "the situation that could develop in Cyprus" after the planned deployment or Russian-made S-300 defence missiles on the island. According to an ANA dispatch from Washington, Clark, during a US Pentagon briefing on the situation in Bosnia, told reporters that the US was "naturally very concerned about the situation with the S-300s and how it could develop in Cyprus".

100-year-old caretta found dead

A fatally injured Caretta-caretta turtle, said by experts to be more than a century old, washed up on the shores of the island of Rhodes early today. Andreas Sioulas, head of the Hydrobiological station of Rhodes, told the ANA that the 1.5 metre long turtle had deep gashes in its neck, caused by humans, but it was not clear whether they were accidental or deliberate. The Caretta-caretta loggerhead sea turtles, an endangered species protected under the Bern International Convention and Greek legislation, have their largest nesting ground in the Mediterranean at Laganas Bay on the island of Zakynthos.

UN confirms inter-communal basis of Cyprus talks

The UN Security Council stated yesterday that UN efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem should continue through inter-communal talks, not on the basis of acknowledging the existence of two separate states, as the Turkish Cypriot side wants. The council view was made clear in a five-line reply that its president, Njuguna Mahugu of Kenya, sent to a letter from Secretary General Kofi Annan outlining the results of a visit that the latter's special adviser on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez.

G. Papandreou discusses Clinton statements with Burns

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday received US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns, providing clarifications on the question of a package deal for the Aegean and Cyprus following recent statements by US President Bill Clinton. Mr. Burns explained to Mr. Papandreou that as far as the US is concerned no issue exists of a "package" on the issues of the Aegean and Cyprus. The meeting lasted for 50 minutes and no formal statements were made afterwards.

Royaumont Initiative coordinator Roumeliotis in US for talks

Royaumont Initiative coordinator Panayiotis Roumeliotis held talks in Washington over the last two days with US officials on more effective coordination between the group and the US-backed Initiative for Economic Cooperation in Southe astern Europe (SECI). The Royaumont Initiative is the European Union's initiative for stability and good neighbourliness in southeastern Europe. The former minister and Eurodeputy met with the US State Department's adviser on southeastern Europe issues Richard Sifter and Assistant Secretary of State on European Affairs Mark Grossman, as well as several academics and scholars from US research fou ndations focusing on developments in the region.

Fatah Movement official speaks at Athens University event

"The world met the 20th century with a debate on a solution of the Jewish issue. Now we are saying farewell to the 20th century, and a solution to the Palestinian problem has still not been found," said Hani al Hassan, a member of the executive committee of the Fatah Movement and an adviser to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on strategic affairs. Mr. Hassan was speaking at the opening of a speech in Athens yesterday, at an event organised by the Diplomatic Representation of Palestine and the University of Athens on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the partition of Palestine.

Ecumenical Patriarch begins official visit to Canada

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos today begins an official visit to the United States and Canada, according to Patriarchate announcement. Vartholomeos will visit Yale University, where he will be awarded an honorary doctorate before beginning a six-city tour of Canada. Canadian PM Jean Chretien will receive the Patriarch in Ottawa, while London, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg are also stops in this first-ever visit by an Ecumenical Patriarch to Canada.

Improvements announced for Athens Airport

A major modernisation programme is expected to begin in mid-June for Athens Airport in order to conform with European Union Schengen Pact requirements, airport authorities said yesterday. The six-billion-drachma project includes new loud speaker systems, a hi-tech luggage X-ray system, flight information screens and upgraded facilities for the rapid, safe and effective passenger movement through customs. Plans also foresee two walkway ramps to allow passengers direct access from their airplane to the terminal, as passengers today are still transported by bus.

OA considering billion-dollar loan for new planes

Olympic Airways' board of directors will shortly consider borrowing $1 billion to pay for four Airbuses and eight Boeing passenger jets, which OA wants to purchase in order to modernise its fleet, reports stated yesterday. OA has also approved two other loans, $25 million and $75 million, respectively, from Japan's Sanwa Bank to cover current operating needs and for a deposit on the 12 planes.

Banner year for tourism on Rhodes

Tourist arrivals on Rhodes are expected to reach record levels in the next few days, with tourists from various European and Middle East countries arriving on charter flights alone estimated at 28,000 tourists. Specifically, as of yesterday and until Sunday, 170 charter flights are scheduled. A significant number of tourists are expected to be transported by Olympic Airways. Tourist officials project tourist arrivals will increase by 18 per cent on Rhodes this season compared to last year.

EOT leases property to Greek-German tourism consortium

Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) head Nikos Skoulas yesterday signed an agreement leasing a 190-hectare area in Kyllini, western Peloponnese, to a Greek-German tourism development consortium. The consortium, Loutra Kyllinis SA, comprising the Grecotel group - the largest hotel management concern in Greece - and TUI, Germany's biggest tour operator, undertakes to invest 13.8 billiion drachmas for building renovations, new facilities of an in tegrated 1,500-bed capacity that will include hydrotherapy and sports installations, a golf course and conference centre.

WEATHER

Fair weather will prevail in most parts of the country with scattered showers in central and northern Greece. Winds westerly, light to moderate. Mostly fair weather in Athens with temperatures between 14-28C. Possibility of light rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 13-25C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 302.014 British pound 491.060 Japanese yen(100) 223.012 French franc 51.009 German mark 171.065 Italian lira (100) 17.344 Irish Punt 430.548 Belgian franc 8.289 Finnish mark 56.274 Dutch guilder 151.781 Danish kr. 44.890 Austrian sch. 24.311 Spanish peseta 2.013 Swedish kr. 39.194 Norwegian kr. 40.412 Swiss franc 204.838 Port. Escudo 1.667 Aus. dollar 189.968 Can. dollar 208.598 Cyprus pound 580.320

(M.P.)


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