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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 26/05/1998 (ANA)


  • Spanish royals visit Acropolis
  • PM stresses ties between Greece, Spain
  • President to visit Cyprus
  • Greece denies Turkish press reports
  • Six illegal immigrants arrested
  • Dockers walk-out tomorrow
  • Police to join Acropolis Rally
  • 1,766 AIDS cases in Greece
  • Fire on board Panamanian ship
  • 'Britain and Greece' festival
  • Posidonia '98
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Spanish royals visit Acropolis

Queen Sophia of Spain took a stroll down memory lane this morning, arm-in- arm with husband King Juan Carlos, as the city of her childhood fanned out below her, glittering in the springtime Athenian sunlight, from the Acropolis. The Spanish royal couple spent an hour combing the sacred hill, as Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos acted as their "tour guide". Police took stringent security measures, barring Greek and foreign visitors from the site for the duration of the one-hour royal tour, while a police helicopter hovered above.

PM stresses ties between Greece, Spain

Prime Minister Costas Simitis referred to the common ties linking the Greek and Spanish peoples during his address at the luncheon, saying both peoples had gone through "difficult and heroic struggles" for their independence. He referred to their common sea, the Mediterranean, which was for both peoples "a source of life and wealth". The friendship between Spain and Greece is further strengthened by the their participation in the European Union and NATO, Simitis said.

President to visit Cyprus

President Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Cyprus from June 25-28, Greece's Ambassador to the island republic, Kyriakos Radousakis told reporters in Nicosia today. Speaking to reporters at the Greek stand of the International Exhibition of Cyprus, the envoy told reporters that it would be the first visit of a Greek president to the Mediterranean island. Radousakis described the visit as the culmination of a number of economic and political events within the framework of cooperation between Greece and Cyprus.

Greece denies Turkish press reports

Greece today rejected as "completely untrue" a report in the Turkish daily Cumhurriyet claiming that Greek and Turkish military officials had been "discreetly" working on confidence-building measures to reduce tension in the Aegean. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said issues concerning relations between the two countries were not dicussed at any meetings which did take place between officials of the two sides on the sidelines of multilateral meetings.

Six illegal immigrants arrested

Six illegal immigrants were arrested in a car which was ordered to stop by police on the Thessaloniki-Kozani road today. As soon as the rented car came to a halt, the driver got out and ran off. His identity remains unknown. The Albanians told the police that they had each paid 50,000 drachmas to an unidentified compatriot in Tirana to be transported to the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

Dockers walk-out tomorrow

The national federation of port workers today called a 48-hour strike beginning Wednesday to protest the government's plans to change the legal form of the authorities which run the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. The federation also decided to hold two 48-hour strikes and call on workers not to work at the weekends during the first half of June. The General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE) has called a 24-hour nationwide strike which is due to start at midnight tonight to protest the government's privatisation plans.

Police to join Acropolis Rally

The police will not only be helping in the organisation of the international Rally Acropolis to be held in Greece June 7-9, this year they will also be participating. A six-member team will be taking part in the rally headed by lieutenant Vassilis Christoforakis. The team's car will be driven by sergeant Grigoris Nioras. Its mechanic is sergeant Alexandros Nioras. Technical back-up will be provided by sergeant Theodoros Halmatzis, sergeant Vassilis Valaris and constable George Skouras.

1,766 AIDS cases in Greece

Greek health authorities recorded a further 26 cases of AIDS in the first three months of 1998, bringing the total number of cases to 1,766 since 1984, Health Undersecretary Theodoros Kotsonis told reporters today. Kotsonis said 88 percent of the total number of people afflicted with AIDS were men. Of the 1,766, 25 were children.

Fire on board Panamanian ship

Fire broke out aboard the Panamanian-flag cargo ship "Asklipios" late last night, forcing its 17-member crew, headed by a Greek captain, to abandon ship, the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said today. It said the fire broke out while the freighter was sailing off the coast of Tunis en route from Helsinki to Piraeus for conversion work. It said the captain, Nikolaos Kakaroumbas, and the 16-member Finnish crew, were picked up by a Tunisian warship. The fire was still ragin on the ship, the ministry said.

'Britain and Greece' festival

The British Embassy, with the support of the British Council, is organising the "Britain and Greece" Festival from November 21 to December 5, British Ambassador in Athens Sir Michael Llewellyn Smith announced today at a press conference. The Festival aims to highlight the partnership which already exists between the two countires as well as to strengthen the image of Britain as a modern and innovative country playing a leading role in the European Union, said Sir Michael, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Posidonia '98

The rich maritime tradition of London and the Scandinavian countries can be seen at Posidonia '98, the biennial international shipping exhibition which this year has attracted over 1,480 companies from 71 countries. Two large groups -- Maritime London and the Scandinavian Shipping Association in Greece -- play host to a wide variety of industry leaders. Maritime London boasts big names such as Intertanko -- which represents owners of mearly 2,000 tankers amounting to 169 million dwt -- and Bimco, offering advice and guidance to its 1,000 owner-members who control more than half the world merchant fleet.


Unstable weather is forecast throughout Greece today. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Rainfall and local storms with spells of sunshine in the Ioanian and northeastern Aegean regions. Possibility of rain in Athens with temperatures between 15-25C. Rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 15-20C.


Monday's rates (buying)

U.S. dollar 298.423 British pound 486.477 Japanese yen(100) 217.694 French franc 50.521 German mark 169.384 Italian lira (100) 17.175 Irish Punt 426.362 Belgian franc 8.207 Finnish mark 55.711 Dutch guilder 150.228 Danish kr. 44.455 Austrian sch. 24.071 Spanish peseta 1.992 Swedish kr. 38.720 Norwegian kr. 40.116 Swiss franc 203.102 Port. Escudo 1.653 Aus. dollar 186.987 Can. dollar 205.979 Cyprus pound 573.773


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