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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-23

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, 23/07/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Attica stricken by fires
  • Children's hospital evacuated
  • Police arrest suspected arsonist
  • Mitsotakis appeals for change in law
  • Gales prevent ferry docking
  • Three die in road accident
  • Woman arrested with 5kgs of heroin
  • President warns Turkey
  • Transport-telecoms strike
  • Concern over Kozloduy
  • Sailings ban lifted
  • Petrol price falls
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Attica stricken by fires

Firemen in Attica had their hands full again today as more fires broke out at Neos Voutzas near Nea Makri, Pallini and Anthoussa. According to unconfirmed reports, five holiday homes have already been destroyed in the Neos Voutzas blaze and a number of people are trapped in other houses in the area. The same reports said a young girl was missing in the area.

Children's hospital evacuated

The patients at the hospital for mentally handicapped children on Mt. Pendeli near Athens had to be evacuated today as a forest fire approached the facility. The children were evacuated from the "Daou Pendeli" facility on coaches on the instructions of Health Minister Costas Geitonas. Meanwhile, a 38-year-old farmer from Aegion in the northern Peloponnese was being treated in the intensive care unit at Patras General Hospital for serious burns covering most of his body.

Police arrest suspected arsonist

Police in the prefecture of Ioannina, northern Greece said today they had arrested a second suspected arsonist in the space of just a few days. Dimitrios Mageirias, 40, was arrested yesterday evening as he was about to start a fire in the area of Milia Metsovo. Mageirias had been placed under surveillance by the police who suspect him of starting two fires in the same area in the past. The fires destroyed about 20,000 square metres of black pine forest. At the time of his arrest, Mageirias was carrying a container with four litres of gasoline.

Mitsotakis appeals for change in law

Main opposition New Democracy party honorary leader and former premier Constantine Mitsotakis today urged the government to revise provisions in the Constitution dealing with the use of land, in a bid to combat forest fires. Mitsotakis made his appeal the day after three firemen and a volunteer forest-firefighter burned to death while battling a ravaging fire on the slopes of Mt. Hymmetus overlooking the Greek capital.

Gales prevent ferry docking

Seventy passengers on the ferry-boat "Romilda" eventually disembarked on the island of Syros early this morning after the vessel was unable to dock at its original destination, Mykonos, due to strong winds. The 70 passengers and four cars later continued to Mykonos on the ferry-boat "Maria Pa".

Three die in road accident

Three people died early this morning in a road accident at the 4th kilometre of the Florina-Polypotamos road when a car with German license plates overturned. The driver of the vehicle, Ioannis Kizas, 28, and two passengers, Vassilios Melitsis, 21 and Dimitrios Koukoulitsas, all residents of Polypotamos, were killed in the accident.

Woman arrested with 5kgs of heroin

A 20-year-old woman was arrested in Thessaloniki today in possession of 4.8 kilos of heroin. Androniki Gotzamani, who was born in South America but lives in Thessaloniki, was arrested after police found the heroin at her home in the northern Greek port city. The police said the heroin had originated from Turkey. Meanwhile, undercover narcotics agents posing as buyers arrested two Albanians in Ptolemaida, northern Greece who were trying to sell 18 kilos of hashish.

President warns Turkey

President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday warned that Greece could not remain impassive indefinitely in the face of Turkish provocations. He said no matter no much a country desired peace, it also had national dignity and pride, adding that Greece would not tolerate Turkish aggression again, as it did in 1974.

Transport-telecoms strike

Transport and communications services were disrupted today in a 24-hour nationwide strike called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE). Workers at the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) will be on strike throughout the day, while colleagues working on Athens-Piraeus trolleys and urban buses have announced work stoppages beginning at the beginning of the shift until 9 am and from 10 pm to the end of the shift. Olympic Airways workers will be holding a work stoppage from 12 noon to 3 pm.

Concern over Kozloduy

Development minister Vasso Papandreou called for the immediate intervention of the European Commission for a halt to operations of four reactors at the troubled Kozloduy nuclear plant in Bulgaria, in letters to Commission president Jacques Santer, energy commissioner Christos Papoutsis and the energy ministers of the other EU member countries.

Sailings ban lifted

A merchant marine ministry announcement said yesterday that passenger ferry schedules from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina to the Aegean islands, Crete and the Dodecanese had returned to normal as of 7 p.m. yesterday following an improvement in weather conditions, after being banned for two days due to gale-force winds. Passengers planning to travel to the islands today are advised, however, to call port authorities or travel agencies beforehand for any changes in schedules.

Petrol price falls

The retail price of gasoline declined today in weekly adjustments based on international petrol price fluctuations. The retail price of gasoline fell by 1.10 dr. per litre, while diesel rose by 0.30 dr. per litre and heating oil rose by 0.20 dr. per litre.

WEATHER

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.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(M.P.)


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