Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-07-23
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 23/07/1998 (ANA)
- 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
- 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
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 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.
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