Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-11
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 11/07/1998 (ANA)
- Olympics security a Greek concern, Athens says
- Blast rocks Athens suburb, three injured
- George Papandreou to Brussels for EU meeting
- Greece supports Slovenian EU bid
- Robber gets away with 3.5 mln drachmas
- Canadian justice undersecretary to Athens
- Third telecoms float on Athens, NY bourses
- Greece wants lower EU contributions for least affluent
- Permit curbs on Greek trucks in Yugoslavia lifted
- University staff attacked in Crete
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Olympics security a Greek concern, Athens says
Greece is ready to handle all issues related to security at the 2004
Olympic Games in Athens, the government said on Friday, responding to
reports that the United States had asked to take care of security
arrangements at the Games.
"We shall not assign these activities since they are a matter for the Greek
authorities," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, while adding that
"there will of course be co-operation".
The spokesman was commenting on reports that the request had been put to
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos during his visit to the US
Blast rocks Athens suburb, three injured
A strong explosion rocked the Athens suburb of Patissia early on Saturday
morning, injuring three people and causing extensive damage.
The blast, the causes of which are not yet known, took place on the ground
floor of a building at 57, Halepa Street, where a goldsmith's is located.
Injured in the explosion were George Harisis, his wife and son, who live on
the first floor of the building above the goldsmith's. All three were taken
The blast caused damage to adjacent buildings and six cars.
George Papandreou to Brussels for EU meeting
Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Brussels on Sunday
to attend the European Union General Affairs Council.
Among the issues to be discussed by the Council, which will convene on
Monday and Tuesday, are the priorities of the Austrian EU presidency,
Agenda 2000 and the time schedule for its implementation.
Ministers will also be discussing the situation in the western Balkans,
with emphasis on the crisis in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Greece supports Slovenian EU bid
Greece has assured Slovenia that it supports its bid to become a member of
the European Union during talks in Athens on Friday between Foreign
Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and his Slovenian counterpart, Franco
During the meeting, the two sides noted the excellent level of bilateral
relations and discussed issues which included political and economic ties
and the possibility of military co-operation within the framework of the
multinational Balkan peacekeeping force to be set up.
Also discussed were the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis, the
Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations.
Robber gets away with 3.5 mln drachmas
A bank robber escaped on a motorcycle with about 3.5 million drachmas from
a branch of the Agricultural Bank in Zarouchleika near Patras on Friday
after threatening the cashier with a gun. Police have launched a manhunt
for the arrest of the robber.
Canadian justice undersecretary to Athens
Canada's Justice Undersecretary, Eleni Bakopanou, who is of Greek origin,
begins a three-day visit to Greece on Sunday during which she will sign a
bilateral agreement providing for cooperation between the judicial
authorities of the two countries in criminal cases, according to an ANA
despatch from Montreal.
Bakopanou will have talks with Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos
which are expected to focus on cooperation within the framework of efforts
to combat international crime.
The purpose of the agreement to be signed is to facilitate the efforts of
the two countries in investigating crimes, bringing criminals to justice
and combatting crime in general.
It also provides for cooperation between the police forces of the two
countries and allows evidence originating in either country to be admitted
in the other country's courts.
Third telecoms float on Athens, NY bourses
The government will float 15 percent of Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation (OTE) in the autumn on the Athens and New York stock
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou has said that OTE
will also issue a bond in international markets and carry out a share
The three moves will raise one trillion drachmas for investments and
OTE's ownership status is to be changed to allow the acquisition by private
buyers of up to 45 percent in the state-run telecom from the current
legally ordained 25 percent, Mr. Papantoniou said.
OTE has already carried out two flotations on the Athens Stock Exchange
including private placements.
Mr. Papantoniou said no more of OTE's stock would be sold to private
investors after the autumn flotation.
Greece wants lower EU contributions for least affluent
Spain, Portugal and Greece have addressed letters to European Commission
President Jacques Santer stressing the need to have the European Union's
internal resources system reformed.
The letters were sent by the three countries' finance ministers a few
months before the presentation of the European Commission's proposals on
the EU's future fiscal framework and the contribution of every country to
the revenues of the EU's budget.
The common denominator of the three letters is the need to decrease
contributions by the EU's economically weaker member-states to the EU
budget, and to correspondingly increase contributions by the economically
Permit curbs on Greek trucks in Yugoslavia lifted
Yugoslavia has decided to lift restrictions on the number of licences
granted to Greek trucks travelling through the country to western Europe,
ending a long-standing disadvantage for Greek exports.
The measure is included in an agreement signed by Transport Minister Tasos
Mantelis and his Yugoslav counterpart Dejan Drobniakovic on Friday.
Greek overland commercial tranport has had to follow routes through
Bulgaria and Romania over the last five years because of the war in the
former Yugoslavia. There have also been restrictions on the number of
licences dating back to 1959.
University staff attacked in Crete
The dean of Crete Polytechnic in Hania, Crete and a lecturer in fine arts
were attacked on campus on Friday by a group of fixe men wearing motorcycle
The five were part of a larger group of about fifty persons who had
approached the dean, Dimitris Sotiropoulos, and the lecturer, Alexandros
Kapsokavadis, shouting and swearing.
As the dean tried to get into his car to escape, his attackers smashed the
rear window of the vehicle and damaged a door on the left side.
Mr. Kapsokavadis was taken to hospital in Hania where he is being treated
for multiple cuts and bruises.
Mr. Sotiropoulos described the attack as vicious and was unable to suggest
Mostly sunny weather is forecast throughout the country on Sunday with
cloud building up in mainland Greece in the evening. Temperatures will
range from 15C to 32C in the north; 16C to 34C elsewhere on the mainland;
and 18C to 30C in the islands. Light winds are forecast in Athens, where
the temperature will be 17C-34C. In Thessaloniki cloudy weather is forecast
in the evening, and winds will also be light. Temperatures in the second
city will range from 16C to 32C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.278
British pound 489.036 Japanese yen (100) 212.774
French franc 49.169 German mark 164.722
Italian lira (100) 16.732 Irish Punt 414.656
Belgian franc 7.992 Finnish mark 54.276
Dutch guilder 146.092 Danish kr. 43.239
Austrian sch. 23.431 Spanish peseta 1.943
Swedish kr. 37.121 Norwegian kr. 38.867
Swiss franc 195.151 Port. Escudo 1.609
Aus. dollar 184.715 Can. dollar 203.796
Cyprus pound 562.960