Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/07/1998 (ANA)
- Commercial announces Ionian Bank sale
- Gov't comments on dictionary ruling
- Shipowner charged over attack
- Unemployment at 10.3 percent
- EU Commission Flynn in Athens
- Israeli tourist hurt in jet ski accident
- Two injured in island car accident
- Police disarm attacker
- Eight illegal immigrants arrested
- Russia, Cyprus say ready for S-300 missiles
- Kranidiotis in Far East
- Two bombs explode at Athens court complex
- Balkan Airlines begins Sofia-Thessaloniki flights
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Commercial announces Ionian Bank sale
The Commercial Bank of Greece, the country's second largest bank, today
officially announced a tender for the sale of a 51 percent stake in Ionian
Bank through the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE). A bank announcement said that
bids should be submitted to the ASE's board on August 24. Commercial Bank
is selling 14.3 million common shares. It will retain a 7 percent stake in
Ionian after the sale. Workers at Ionian Bank last month ended a six-week
strike to protest the bank's privatisation after receiving government
assurances that Ionian's future buyer will have to honour the terms of
collective agreements signed by management and workers.
Gov't comments on dictionary ruling
Scientific research and knowledge should not be subject to restrictions,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today with reference to a
Thessaloniki court ruling ordering the deletion of an entry in a Greek
dictionary. Added that he would not comment on the decisions of judicial
bodies, the spokesman said science itself should determine its own moral
limits. The first instance court yesterday ordered the deletion of an
explanation of the word 'Bulgarians' from all future editions of a Greek
dictionary which caused a furore when the reference work was published
earlier this year.
Shipowner charged over attack
Shipowner Evangelos Ventouris was indicted today for attempted murder and
possession and use of a weapon after an armed attack on a Greek shipowner
Costas Agapitos on Sunday night. Ventouris, 39, was arrested at his Piraeus
office yesterday after Agapitos named him as his attacker, and the
indictment was served by Piraeus prosecutor Antonis Liogas after two hours
of questioning. The 40-year-old Agapitos, whose family owns the Agapitos
Lines passenger ferries, was shot late Sunday night by two men riding a
motorcycle as he drove his car in the port of Piraeus. Ventouris says he
had nothing to do with the murder attempt and maintains that he was at his
home in Glyfada with five friends at the time of the shooting.
Unemployment at 10.3 percent
Greece's unemployment rate is running at 10.3 percent, Labour and Social
Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said here today. Citing figures
from the official employment office OAED, Papaioannou said the Greek
government was particularly concerned about the level of youth unemployment
and planned to create jobs for 200,000 young Greeks in the next three
years. Papaioannou added that roughly half of unregistered foreign workers
in Greece had applied for a work permit, saying 370,000 had signed up since
the beginning of the programme to register illegal workers. There are an
estimated 750,000 illegal workers in Greece, he said.
EU Commission Flynn in Athens
European Commissioner for employment and social affairs Padraig Flynn will
pay an official two-day visit to Greece beginning Thursday to discuss
issues concerning the European Union's Social Fund. Flynn will meet on
Thursday with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Labour Minister Miltiades
Papaioannou and Health and Welfare Minister Costas Geitonas. The following
day, Flynn will visit two psychiatric hospitals, one on the Aegean island
of Leros and the other at Daphne in Attica. He will be accompanied by
Health and Welfare Undersecretary Manolis Skoulakis. The commissioner will
leave Greece on Saturday.
Israeli tourist hurt in jet ski accident
An 18-year-old Israeli youth was injured on the island of Cos in a jet ski
collision, Cos harbour authorities said. They said Abihssera Moti Mordhay
was unjured lightly in the leg when the jet ski he was driving collided
with another jet ski driven by his friend and compatriot Ilan Pateal Tamazi,
also 18. The accident occurred a day after a landmark ruling by the Council
of State, the country's highest administrative court, prohibiting all motor-
powered pleasure craft -- including jet skis, speedboats and yachts -- near
swimming beaches and allowing them only on coasts designated for such
craft. The ruling cited the danger to bathers posed by motor-powered
craft and the damage caused to the marine eco-system.
Two injured in island car accident
Two persons were killed and a Swiss national was seriously injured in a car
crash in Chania, Crete, police said today. They said Willy Gantier, 56, who
was temporarily residing in Athens, and Constantine Badouvas, 56, president
of the Greek private airline "Air Greece", were both seriously injured when
the car they were riding in collided with another car late last night on
the Chania-Rethymnon national highway outside Chania. The drivers of the
two cars were fatally injured in the crash.
Police disarm attacker
A 39-year-old seaman was arrested after previously disarming a rookie
policeman outside a central Athens police station and threatening the
rookie with the latter's gun, police said today. They said George
Michaniotis approached the rookie guarding the 4th police precinct at
Omonoia Square late last night and disarmed him. Holding the rookie's gun
to his temple, Michaniotis then grabbed the policeman's machine gun as
well. Michaniotis was under arrest in a local hospital, with a police guard
posted outside his door.
Eight illegal immigrants arrested
Eight illegal immigrants from Iraq who were spotted this morning by
fishermen on the islet of Aghios Nikolaos have been taken to the reception
centre for immigrants on nearby Samos. The immigrants - four men, two women
and two children - told coastguard officials that they had each paid 1,500
US dollars to a Turk to ferry them to a Greek island.
Russia, Cyprus say ready for S-300 missiles
The leaders of Russia and Cyprus yesterday confirmed the two countries'
readiness to proceed with implementation of an agreement for deployment of
Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island republic. Russian
President Boris Yeltsin and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides had a 20-
minute meeting at the Kremlin yesterday. The Cyprus government signed a
contract with Russian manufacturers in January 1997 for the purchase of S-
300 surface-to-air missiles, in a bid to bolster Cyprus' air defences. They
are scheduled to be deployed later this year. The Cypriot President is in
Moscow since Saturday at the invitation of the Russian capital's mayor,
Yury Luzhkov. He will return to Cyprus today.
Kranidiotis in Far East
Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis today begins a tour of countries
in Central Asia and the Far East, aimed at securing support to Athens'
application for a non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council
during the 1999-2000 session. Japan and China are included in Mr.
Kranidiotis' tour. Voting for the election of non-permanent members of the
Security Council will take place at the UN General Assembly in September.
Two bombs explode at Athens court complex
Two explosive devices went off at the Athens court complex off Evelpidon
street at around 7 p.m. and shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday, causing
damages but no injuries, authorities said. An unidentified caller had
earlier phoned the "Athinaiki" daily and the private television station
"Star" to warn of the first but not the second blast. The caller did not
claim responsibility on behalf of any group, police said. However, a later
caller to an afternoon newspaper said the shadowy group "Liberation Army"
was behind the bombings.
Balkan Airlines begins Sofia-Thessaloniki flights
Bulgaria's transport undersecretary was among the first passengers on an
inaugural Balkan Airlines flight from Sofia to Thessaloniki yesterday.
Balkan Airlines will operate the schedule three times a week, flying a 40-
seater Antonov planes. Bulgarian official Apic Garabedian said the new
route will contribute to a further boosting economic relations between the
two states, while the Antonov planes may be replaced by Boeing aircraft
later if traffic increases.
Sunny weather with rising temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celcius on the
mainland and up to 34C on the islands are forecast for today. Athens, sunny
and hot with temperatures will between 21-38C. Same in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 19-36C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 298.136
British pound 487.846 Japanese yen (100) 209.381
French franc 49.162 German mark 164.677
Italian lira (100) 16.711 Irish Punt 414.656
Belgian franc 7.990 Finnish mark 54.201
Dutch guilder 146.171 Danish kr. 43.249
Austrian sch. 23.420 Spanish peseta 1.942
Swedish kr. 36.968 Norwegian kr. 38.698
Swiss franc 194.715 Port. Escudo 1.611
Aus. dollar 182.181 Can. dollar 201.674
Cyprus pound 562.464