Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-07-23
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 23/07/1998 (ANA)
- Three firefighters, one volunteer die in Kareas fire
- Greece will not tolerate Turkish provocations indefinitely
- V. Papandreou letter to EU Commission over Kozloduy
- Tzoumakas talks with Austrian counterpart
- Two herds destroyed in Evros following variola outbreaks
- One ND deputy expelled, another placed on 9-month suspension
- Reversal of dictionary ruling ordered
- Prosecutor says 090 toll numbers fraught with fraud
- Three arrested in antiquities smuggling scam
- Greek stocks drop in correction, just hold 2,800 points
- Major engineering contractors to merge
- Apostolopoulos Group buys new clinic
- New general director appointed to Greece's Macedonia-Thrace Bank
- Latest OSE operational plan eyes restructuring
- Petrol prices down, diesel rises
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Three firefighters, one volunteer die in Kareas fire
Three firefighters and a civilian volunteer died yesterday while trying to
contain a forest fire in the area of Kareas on Mount Hymettus, overlooking
The three firemen were reported missing after their fire-engine was
engulfed by flames while they were dispatched to fight the blaze, which
destroyed one of the last areas of forest land near the capital and
threatened the Aghios Ioannis Monastery.
They were identified as Theodoros Mavroeidis, Dimitrios Malouchos and
Alexandros Diavolis. Malouchos was said to be near retirement age, while
Diavolis was said to be a radioman in the fire brigade, without adequate
previous experience in firefighting.
It appeared that the three tried to escape when flames engulfed their fire-
engine but were trapped by the blaze. They were found 150 metres from their
abandoned vehicle where they died huddled together, according to reports.
Fifteen fire-engines and 70 firefighters immediately rushed to the blaze,
backed by six fire-fighting aircraft.
Meanwhile, the body of the dead civilian was found near the charred remains
of the three dead firefighters, fire brigade officials said.
The man had apparently tried to help the three escape the blaze, authorities
Prime Minister Costas Simitis cancelled a scheduled reception for press
members upon receiving news of the incident, and issued a statement
expressing his regrets.
Another blaze which broke out at 1:50 p.m. in Saronida, along the coast
south of Athens, forced the authorities to evacuate a number of holiday
Forty fire-engines and 350 firemen, assisted by two fire-fighting aircraft
and a Chinook helicopter, took part in battling the blaze which spread
quickly, fanned by strong winds.
Greece will not tolerate Turkish provocations indefinitely
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos warned yesterday that
Greece cannot remain impassive forever in the face of Turkish provocations.
Addressing 40 expatriate deputies composing the World Hellenic Interparliamentary
Union at the Presidential Mansion, Mr. Stephanopoulos called on the
expatriate deputies to promote principles of respect for international law
and UN resolutions in their respective Parliaments.
"Countries, no matter how much they desire peace also have national dignity,
national pride, and they have national prestige, which cannot be offended
by someone else with threats of war. Therefore, these threats might reach
realisation at some moment despite Greece's contrary desire. If it is
supposed that the Turks strike Cyprus, what do you imagine that Greece can
do? Is it possible for it to tolerate such a behaviour without protest as
we did in 1974, due to the situation prevailing then and our weak ness at
the time?" he asked.
Mr. Stephanopoulos called on the deputies to become apostles of peace and
preachers for the implementation of principles of the UN "either this
concerns Greece or concerns whatever other country in the world. We do not
request the implementation of thes e principles for the sake of Greece but
for the sake of world peace."
V. Papandreou letter to EU Commission over Kozloduy
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou has addressed a letter to European
Union President Jacques Santer, EU Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis
and the energy ministers of other EU member-states, calling for immediate
intervention by the Commission in order to end operations of the reactors
(No. 1 to No. 4) at the nuclear plant at Kozloduy in Bulgaria.
Tzoumakas talks with Austrian counterpart
Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas held talks yesterday with his
Austrian counterpart and president of the council of EU Agriculture
Ministers, Wilhelm Molterer, on issues of Greek concern as well as issues
concerning general agricultural policy (GA P).
Mr. Tzoumakas, who termed the meeting "positive", briefed Mr. Molterer on
Greece's request for an increase in the milk production quota.
On the issue of investments for the environment, Mr. Tzoumakas said that
funds to be provided for this purpose must not be deducted from support for
He also raised the issue of an increase in funds for forests and fishing
with his counterpart.
On his part, Mr. Molterer said that during the Austrian presidency
substantive steps must also be taken in the agricultural sector, as by
March 1999 decisions must be taken on the "Agenda 2000" as agreed at the
Two herds destroyed in Evros following variola outbreaks
Two herds of sheep and goats, 244 animals in all, have been destroyed over
the last few days following instances of variola outbreaks in the Orestias
district of the Evros border region.
The area has been put into quarantine, while authorities consider it likely
that the animal disease was transmitted from Turkey, where it is endemic.
Reports from the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, meanwhile, said that the
country's agriculture ministry was planning restrictive measures against
the importation of live animals from Greece following the outbreak of the
One ND deputy expelled, another placed on 9-month suspension
The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party yesterday expelled Halkidiki
area deputy Varsamis Giovanoudas for behaviour unbecoming a member of
Parliament and of harming the party.
The decision was taken by the party's disciplinary council. Mr. Giovanoudas
has admitted to having an extra-marital relationship with a 25-year-old
woman, but has denied allegations that he assaulted her when she tried to
end their affair.
The woman, Maria Katavati, recently appointed to the Corfu tax bureau after
February's nationwide exams, has filed a lawsuit against the deputy.
The council was more lenient with a second deputy, Gerasimos Giakoumatos,
who recently brandished a pistol inside Parliament and threatened Public
Order Minister George Romeos, after the former's house was burglarised.
Mr. Giakoumatos was expelled from the party for a period of nine months,
after the council took into consideration the fact that he had shown
remorse after the incident. The disciplinary council meeting lasted four
Fighting back tears, Mr. Giovanoudas reacted angrily to the council's
The deputy said he was the victim of "expediencies" arising from his
behaviour in the past, in an apparent reference to the fact that he had
supported former party leader Miltiades Evert against present ND leader
Costas Karamanlis in party elections for ND's leadership.
Mr. Giovanoudas also said he would take recourse to justice, "where I will
be vindicated... and then we'll see what Mr. Karamanlis, who is always
going on about justice, will do".
ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said the only victim was New Democracy and
its thousands of supporters "who want to see the party in power and which
is harmed by such behaviour".
By contrast, Mr. Giakoumatos said he accepted and respected the decision.
Reversal of dictionary ruling ordered
Supreme Court prosecutor Panayiotis Demopoulos yesterday requested the
reversal of a Thessaloniki first instance court ruling ordering the removal
of one of the explanations related to the word "Bulgarian", published in a
recently released Greek-language dictionary. Specifically, Mr. Demopoulos
said the lower court ruling obliging Prof. Georgios Babiniotis, a noted
Greek linguist, to remove a derogatory connotation of the word "Bul-garian",
in reference to northern Greece football fans, especially Thessal oniki's
PAOK, was unconstitutional. He noted that the ruling was in contridiction
to freedom of speech and scientific licence, as prescibed by the Greek
Prosecutor says 090 toll numbers fraught with fraud
An Athens first instance court prosecutor yesterday filed a lawsuit against
all responsible for fraud, following a lengthy investigation of the 090-
prefix toll telephone numbers. After a lengthy preliminary investigation,
prosecutor Spyridoula Presveia co ncluded that there is evidence of fraud
in cases where these numbers were used for illegal gains by individuals
claiming to provide various services - lotteries, games, fortune telling or
phone dating, etc.
According to her findings, the state-run Hellenic Telecommunications
Organisation (OTE) has awarded 090 connection rights to nine private firms,
which in turn leased them to various other concerns and individuals,
without however, implementing controls or regulations regarding their use
Three arrested in antiquities smuggling scam
Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested three persons found in possession
of 43 valuable ancient earthenware artefacts of the Mycenaean and Classical
The arrests were made after police stopped a car driven by Ioannis Goglis,
28, in the area of Asvestochori, in which they found the antiquities.
Goglis told the police he had received the artefacts from Anestis Toundas,
a resident of Malesina, Fthiotida, and intended to deliver them to Michail
Soundourlis and Dimitrios Maganaris in the area of Nea Kerdyllia,
Goglis, Soundourlis and Maganaris have been arrested and a warrant has been
issued for the arrest of Toundas.
The police initially estimated the value of the artefacts at about 10
Greek stocks drop in correction, just hold 2,800 points
Greek equities fell yesterday in a technical correction to a surge spanning
several sessions, and the market kept a tenuous hold on the 2,800-point
The Athens general share index ended 0.77 percent lower at 2,803.85 points,
and the FTSE/ASE 20 index lost 0.58 percent to finish at 1,716.96
Trade was moderate with turnover at 62.1 billion drachmas, slightly down
from 63.9 billion drachmas in the last session.
The market had gained 7.10 percent in the previous five trading days.
Buying interest was again reported in construction stocks with the sector
index finishing 1.67 percent higher in the wake of jumps of 6.58 percent
and 5.96 percent in the last two sessions.
Other sectors indices finished mixed. Banks fell 1.21 percent, Leasing rose
0.69 percent, Insurance slumped 1.65 percent, Investment dropped 1.68
percent, Industrials lost 0.30 percent, Holding shed 0.59 percent, and
Miscellaneous sank 2.37 percent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies finished 0.22 percent
Of 267 stocks traded, declines led advances at 142 to 108 with 17 shares
The day's biggest percentage losers were Xylemboria, Dane Sea Line,
Strintzis Lines, Britania, Tzirakian, Inerga, Balkan Export, Lesvos
Shipping Company and Parnassos.
National Bank of Greece ended at 54,100 drachmas, Ergobank at 32,950, Alpha
Credit Bank at 29,980, Ionian Bank at 16,740, Commercial Bank of Greece at
28,580, Delta Dairy (common) at 3,885, Intracom (common) at 14,000, Titan
Cement (common) at 24,650, H ellenic Petroleum at 2,705 and Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation at 8,580 drachmas.
Major engineering contractors to merge
Hellenic Technodomiki SA and Volos Engineering Contractors (TEB) announced
yesterday that they will merge into a single company.
Hellenic Technodomiki is to buy a majority bloc of shares in TEB owned by
its president,Nikos Trihas, who, in turn, will participate in a share
capital rise by Hellenic Technodomi and receive a seat on its board of
According to Hellenic Technodomiki's vice president, Dimitris Kallitsandsis,
the newly formed group will show a turnover of more than 45 billion
drachmas and equity capital of around 30 billion drachmas.
The new group plans to expand both in the domestic market and abroad, Mr.
Kallitsandsis told a news conference.
Both engineering contractors are members of a French-Greek consortium
building the Rio-Andirrio bridge in western Greece, and another consortium
building a ringroad for Athens.
Listed engineering contractors are repositioning ahead of the 2004 Olympic
Games hosted by Athens and the prospect of a fresh round of infrastructure
projects under the European Union's Third Community Support Framework
Apostolopoulos Group buys new clinic
The Apostolopoulos Group has bought a new clinic that will bring the
company's operational total in 1999 to five hospital units in Attica with a
capacity of 750 beds.
The latest acquisition is Aghios Eleftherios, a general clinic in Daphni,
which has 75 beds.
The Group recently bought another unit, the Nikolaou clinic in Peristeri,
with 85 beds.
Both are to be fully operational in the first half of 1999 after refurbishing.
Athens Medical and Paleo Phaliro Clinic, which are listed on the Athens
bourse, are the private group's best known units.
It has another hospital in Thessaloniki with a capacity of 425 beds.
New general director appointed to Greece's Macedonia-Thrace Bank
Stavros Lekkakos, who has held senior executive positions in Greek and
foreign banks, was yesterday appointed general director of Macedonia-Thrace
Bank, which is based in Thessaloniki and listed on the Athens bourse.
Mr. Lekkakos, 47, was until now deputy general director of Bank of Piraeus,
whose group of companies he helped to develop.
He formerly held the posts of vice president and senior director at
American Express in Athens, Macedonia-Thrace Bank said in a statement.
Among board positions currently held by Mr. Lekkakos are president of
Tirana Bank and member of Sigma Securities' board of directors, the
Latest OSE operational plan eyes restructuring
The board of the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) approved yesterday an
operational plan to restructure the debt-ridden state-run organisation.
The plan envisions a reduction in the number of staff by more than 2,500 by
the year 2001, as well as for investments of 1.75 trillion drachmas by
2007. The plan also provides for a rationalisation of train schedules,
while retaining the number of sched ules to the Peloponnese, which was part
of an earlier proposal. However, Dimitris Karapanos, OSE employees'
representative and a former general manager of the agency voted against the
Petrol prices down, diesel rises
The retail sales prices of gasoline will decrease as of today and for a
week due to a change in international prices. The price of diesel will
According to announcements by the Public Petroleum Corp. (DEP) and the
development ministry, the retail sales prices of gasoline will be decreased
by 1.10 drachmas per litre while, on the other hand, the retail sales
prices of diesel will increase by 0. 30 drachmas per litre and those of
heating oil will increase by 0.20 drachmas per litre.
As a result of the changes, super gasoline will cost 216.80 drachmas per
litre in the Attica region and the prefecture of Thessaloniki and unleaded
oil 200.90 drachmas per litre.
Fair weather with rising temperatures is forecast throughout the country
today. Moderate to strong northerly winds. Athens, sunny with moderate to
strong winds and temperatures between 22-35C. Same in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 20-33C.
Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.118
British pound 483.104 Japanese yen (100) 208.846
French franc 49.104 German mark 164.652
Italian lira (100) 16.691 Irish Punt 413.664
Belgian franc 7.984 Finnish mark 54.175
Dutch guilder 146.047 Danish kr. 43.208
Austrian sch. 23.399 Spanish peseta 1.940
Swedish kr. 37.004 Norwegian kr. 38.920
Swiss franc 194.740 Port. Escudo 1.610
Aus. dollar 182.910 Can. dollar 197.110
Cyprus pound 559.290