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

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, 07/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens rejects Turkish demarche
  • Rail services cut by strike on Thursday
  • Russian man drowns
  • French yacht towed to Rhodes
  • Greece, Russia call for talks to slash Cyprus arms race
  • Gov't to merge three insurance funds
  • PM in Lisbon for 'Greek Day' at Expo '98
  • Athens supports NATO efforts to decrease Aegean tension
  • Kasparov announces internet site
  • Coastguard gets powerful new boats, cars
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens rejects Turkish demarche

Athens today described as "unacceptable" a Turkish demand for the demilitarisation of Aegean islands, contained in a demarche handed to Greece's Ambassador in Ankara. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas dismissed the demand as "historically unacceptable and groundless", particularly in view of "the behaviour of Turkey's leadership which once again dynamites the relationship between the two countries". The demarche was handed to envoy Dimitris Nezeritis yesterday. By adopting this practice, Reppas said, Turkey is not contributing to peace and stability in the region and is compromising itself.

Rail services cut by strike on Thursday

The Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) said today that itineries throughout northern Greece would be cut on Thursday due to the 24-hour strike called by the railway workers federation (POS). The strike will affect services in all prefectures of northern Greece, while only a few trains considered essential for social needs would run in the Macedonia-Thrace region. Services in the Peloponnese would not be affected, OSE said, while all trains will be running as normal in the Attica region except those heading for or setting out from Macedonia-Thrace.

Russian man drowns

An elderly Russian man drowned while swimming in Heraklion, Crete, local police said today. They said Valentin Veselov, 74, drowned yesterday as he was swimming off the beach at Kokkino Hani, Heraklion. Two other elderly men, Vassilis Kavroumatzis, 71, and Dimitris Stratoulis, 79, also drowned yesterday at Aghios Spyridonas beach at Porto Rafti and Marathon, respectively.

French yacht towed to Rhodes

A French-registered yacht that drifted into Greek territorial waters after engine failure has been safely towed to the island of Rhodes by a Greek tug, police said today. They said the yacht "Jitterbug" and its two British passengers had set sail from Marmaris port in Turkey yesterday afternoon but suffered engine failure and was pushed by strong northerly winds to the sea region off Kritika, Rhodes, where it managed to cast anchor. The tubgoat "Iraklis" immediately set sail from the port of Rhodes and towed the yacht and its passengers to port.

Greece, Russia call for talks to slash Cyprus arms race

Greece and Russia yesterday agreed to undertake initiatives for the promotion of a military dialogue on Cyprus with a view to the island's ultimate demilitarisation, a foreign ministry statement read after successive meetings in Athens between Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis with Russian envoy for Cyprus Vladimir Tchizhov.

Gov't to merge three insurance funds

Labour and Social Insurance Minister Miltiades Papaioannou yesterday presented social partners with a plan on the merger of self-employed workers' insurance funds, namely, TEBE, the Merchants' Fund (TAE) and the Motorists' Fund (TSA). People insured with TEBE, TAE, TSA and possibly hoteliers will join the Insurance Organisation of the Self-Employed (OAEE), scheduled to be created. This plan, after a new round of talks,together with the remaining issues in the so-called "small insurance package", will be brought before the Cabinet at the end of July and Parliament in August.

PM in Lisbon for `Greek Day` at Expo '98

Prime Minister Costas Simitis arrived in Lisbon yesterday afternoon to attend events organised by "EXPO '98" in Greece's honour and during events entitled "Oceans and Seas." Mr. Simitis is accompanied by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Aegean Minister Elizabeth Papazoi, Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis and National Economy Undersecretary Alekos Baltas. Immediately after arriving in Lisbon, Mr. Simitis held talks with Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, focusing on European issues, "Agenda 2000", European unification and enlargement.

Athens supports NATO efforts to decrease Aegean tension

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday expressed Athens' strong support for NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana's efforts to promote measures decreasing tension between Greece and Turkey. He also reiterated Greece's support for the immediate implementation of confidence- building measures (CBMs) between the two countries, as anticipated by the 1988 Papoulias-Yilmaz communique. The Greek defence minister is on an official tour of the United States, which includes a scheduled meeting with his US counterpart, William Cohen, in Washington.

Kasparov announces internet site

World famous chess master Garry Kasparov said yesterday that he will create an internet site for chess lovers around the world. The launch date will be some time in October and the address will be www.clubkasparov.org aiming to draw all those who love chess and want to play the game on the internet.

Coastguard gets powerful new boats, cars

The Greek Coast Guard yesterday took delivery of three new state-of-the-art CB90 HCG patrol boats worth a total of 828 million drachmas. The 16.1-meter- long boats can reach speeds of over 46 knots. They are equipped with special shore landing systems which allow them to approach and disembark personnel on sandy beaches. Also delivered yesterday, at a ceremony attended by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis and the secretary- general of the Greek Naval Staff Athanasios Tsouroplis, were 32 jeeps - 23 Nissan Terrano II and nine Pajeros.

WEATHER

Sunny weather is forecast throughout Greece today with scattered cloud appearing in the northwest. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Athens sunny with temperatures between 22-34C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 20-31C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.001 British pound 493.044 Japanese yen (100) 213.310 French franc 49.483 German mark 165.813 Italian lira (100) 16.848 Irish Punt 417.632 Belgian franc 8.044 Finnish mark 54.570 Dutch guilder 147.173 Danish kr. 43.551 Austrian sch. 23.592 Spanish peseta 1.956 Swedish kr. 37.339 Norwegian kr. 39.085 Swiss franc 197.011 Port. Escudo 1.620 Aus. dollar 184.507 Can. dollar 204.054 Cyprus pound 564.627

(M.P.)


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