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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-01

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, 01/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Services on alert as heatwave begins
  • Gov't calls inquiry into power cuts
  • Tsohatzopoulos, Simitis confer on defence
  • Greenpeace calls for action on smog
  • Mayor arrested in ring road protest
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Services on alert as heatwave begins

Emergency calls for ambulances in Athens rose 20 per cent by noon today compared to Tuesday as temperatures in many parts of the country soared to 39 degrees and state services remained on alert to deal with any problems arising from the hot weather. Most of the calls requested assistance for people suffering from heart and respiratory problems. According to the Metereological Service (EMY), temperatures in many parts of mainland Greece will reach 42 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures are expected to start dropping on Sunday as a cold front moves in from northern Greece.

Gov't calls inquiry into power cuts

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today that an inquiry had been ordered into Tuesday's power cuts. Replying to reporters' questions, Reppas refused to accept the term "blackout" to describe the situation caused in Attica, saying that the rest of the country had not been affected by the cuts. The spokesman said also that there was no connection between the power cuts and Friday's cabinet meeting which had been arranged the day before yesterday.

Tsohatzopoulos, Simitis confer on defence

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos's imminent trip to the United States and the Greek multi-million dollar armed forces' procurements programme was the focus of talks between the defence minister and Prime Minister Costas Simitis today. Tsohatzopoulos told reporters his visit to the U.S., beginning on Friday, was of "leading strategical importance" for Greek- Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue. Asked whether he feared any incident in the Aegean with Turkey, Tsohatzopoulos said the issue was to "bolster efforts to reduce tension by undertaking initiatives".

Greenpeace calls for action on smog

The Greek bureau of the Greenpeace environmental organisation today staged a "funeral of the smog-stricken citizen" outside the Environmental Ministry, demanding that immediate measures be taken to tackle smog in Athens, which is in the grip of a heatwave. Chanting the slogan "take measures before they take our measurements", the Greenpeace activists set up a coffin outside the Ministry of the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works to draw attention to the deadly combination of atmospheric pollution and rising temperatures in the Greek capital, which are expected to reach 42 degrees Centigrade on the weekend.

Mayor arrested in ring road protest

The mayor of the Athens suburb of Aghia Paraskevi, Stavros Kotsis, and municipal councillor Angelos Mastoras were arrested this morning during protests against the construction of the Mt. Hymettus ring road. Kotsis and Mastoras were arrested during scuffles which broke out when protesters tried to obstruct work on the road, which will cut through forest land along the lower part of the mountain. Aghia Paraskevi is one of the municipalities bordering Mt. Hymettus and protesters say the road will destroy one of the last remaining areas of forest near Athens and downgrade the area in general.

WEATHER

Fair weather is forecast throughout Greece today. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Cloudiness in the mountainous regions of Macedonia and Thrace. Sunny and hot in Athens with temperatures between 22-38C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 24- 37C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 302.877 British pound 502.845 Japanese yen (100) 216.325 French franc 49.923 German mark 167.316 Italian lira (100) 16.984 Irish Punt 420.985 Belgian franc 8.114 Finnish mark 55.036 Dutch guilder 148.443 Danish kr. 43.932 Austrian sch. 23.782 Spanish peseta 1.972 Swedish kr. 37.954 Norwegian kr. 39.380 Swiss franc 198.648 Port. Escudo 1.635 Aus. dollar 185.851 Can. dollar 205.939 Cyprus pound 570.598

(M.P.)


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