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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-24

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, 24/08/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Security forces on alert against terrorist attacks
  • Greek role in S-300 issue purely 'advisory'
  • Hope for defusion of Kosovo crisis
  • Premier to have talks with Bulgarian counterpart
  • Two arrested for transporting illegal immigrants
  • 28 dead in weekend road toll
  • Ionian Bank bids to be unsealed today
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Security forces on alert against terrorist attacks

The government today confirmed a report in today's edition of the Athens daily "Ta Nea" according to which Greece's security forces have heightened security at potential American targets in the country. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas described as "top alert" the measures taken to prevent any attacks by Moslem terrorists in reprisal for the US missile attacks on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. Asked whether the security forces had already deported two people with Moroccan passports, as claimed in the newspaper report, Reppas replied that "the activities of the competent authorities should not be publicised if they are to be effective".

Greek role in S-300 issue purely 'advisory'

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos today described as "advisory" Greece's role in Nicosia's plans to install Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the Mediterranean island. He said the issue was one which concerned solely the Republic of Cyprus and Greece's "advisory" role was limited to intervening only if and when Athens was asked to do so. Noting that Turkey had become involved in the S-300 issue "with threats and irrational demands", Pangalos said that as far as Greece was concerned the issue was never a substantial one in the overall Cyprus problem. Pangalos was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of talks with his Seychelles counterpart Jeremy Bonnelame.

Hope for defusion of Kosovo crisis

Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos was "cautiously optimistic" today that the latest developments in Kosovo could lead to a defusion of the crisis in the strife-torn Yugoslav province. Speaking to reporters, Pangalos said the acceptance of the international community's two proposals on scaling down tension marked some progress. "Let's hope that on the basis of the acceptance of these two proposals there will be a third decisive step, for the holding of some meeting between representatives of residents of Kosovo with the Yugoslav leadership," Pangalos said.

Premier to have talks with Bulgarian counterpart

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will have talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov on Wednesday during his one-day unofficial visit to Greece, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today, announcing the premier's work schedule for the next few days. On Thursday, Simitis will examine the Cyprus problem at a high-level meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and a Cyprus government delegation. Also participating will be a Greek foreign ministry delegation.

Two arrested for transporting illegal immigrants

Police in Komotini, northern Greece, said today they had arrested two men attempting to transport six illegal immigrants from the Greek-Turkish border to Athens. Mousa Endris, 45, an Israeli citizen, and Pavlos Fitsialos, 52, both residents of Athens, were caught trying to bring four Syrian and two Iraqi nationals from the border region of Evros in two cars rented from a local agency. The six illegal immigrants will be brought before a public prosecutor in Rodopi.

28 dead in weekend road toll

The public order ministry said Monday that 28 people were killed and 315 injured in a total 236 traffic accidents throughout the country between Friday afternoon and early today. It said most of the accidents occurred on the rural road networks.

Ionian Bank bids to be revealed today

Sealed bids for the purchase of a 51 per cent stake of state-controlled Ionian Bank are scheduled to be opened today, with the two main bidders expected to be Alpha Credit Bank and the Latsis group. With the possibility of a third, probably foreign bidder, the two Greece-based banking institutions have not released any details regarding the amount they are willing to pay for Ionian's control.

WEATHER

Mostly sunny weather today with scattered cloud in the northeast towards evening. Winds northerly, light to moderate, turning stronger in the north Aegean in the evening. Temperatures in Athens will range between 20C and 36C; and in Thessaloniki between 20C and 33C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Weekend rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.090 British pound 490.782 Japanese yen (100) 208.518 French franc 49.880 German mark 167.182 Italian lira (100) 16.955 Irish Punt 419.616 Belgian franc 8.110 Finnish mark 55.016 Dutch guilder 148.294 Danish kr. 43.916 Austrian sch. 23.773 Spanish peseta 1.971 Swedish kr. 36.825 Norwegian kr. 39.011 Swiss franc 200.042 Port. Escudo 1.633 Aus. dollar 175.113 Can. dollar 195.821 Cyprus pound 569.408

(M.P.)


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