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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 30/08/1998 (ANA)


  • Greek-Albanian border zone to be established next year
  • Border patrols beefed up
  • Violence mars Thessaloniki soccer derby
  • French Prime Minister Jospin in Athens
  • Cultural Olympics foundation to be set up
  • Kranidiotis on Cyprus issue
  • Government on money market crisis
  • Cheating taxi drivers sentenced
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Greek-Albanian border zone to be established next year

A border zone on the Greek-Albanian frontier will be introduced next year, foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos announced today on a visit to Korce, where he inaugurated a new Greek Consulate in the Albanian town.

Greeks and Albanians living within the zone -- the depth of which will be decided later -- will be allowed free movement on either side of the border inside the zone, and will have a special, common identification card, Pangalos explained.

This would enable residents inside the zone to live in one country and work across the border in the other country within the designated zone.

Border patrols beefed up

Greece begins procedures to hire some 1,300 new border guards for a special squad to patrol the border between Greece and Albania in September, Public Order Minister George Romeos announced on Saturday.

Speaking at the Prespes '98 cultural festival, at Lake Prespes in Florina, Romeos said the squad would be charged with beefing up security on the borders and preventing the entry of illegal immigrants, primarily from Greece's northern neighbour, Albania.

"Military, police and border officials will shortly have secured the borders, increasing as far as possible the security of the residents of the border regions," Romeos said.

The special squad's jurisdiction will extend from Thesprotia to Florina.

The creation of the force would also aid in the fight against unemployment as all the appointments would be made from applicants in the border areas, the minister said.

A 10-metre speed boat would be on patrol on the waters of Lake Prespes on a 24-hourly basis to avert illegal immigrants from crossing the lake.

According to statements from Romeos, the justice ministry will be in charge of the policing of border regions, a decision which would free 800 police officers for other duties.

Violence mars Thessaloniki soccer derby

Ten people were injured - none seriously - during violence at Saturday night's football match in Thessaloniki when local Aris beat hometown PAOK, 4-1 in a Greek soccer championship match.

Among the injured were the mayor of Thessaloniki municipality Kalamaria and Thessaloniki mayoral candidate Thrasyvoulos Lazaridis, eight policemen and a fan, who was attacked some distance from the stadium.

The unrest began before the start of the match, at the city's Toumba district, but reached a pinnacle when Aris scored its third goal at the 63rd minute.

Fans rushed the VIP's section and threw bottles, stones and chairs. Lazaridis received a head injury when he was hit by a bottle.

Members of the PAOK management were escorted from the stands under police guard.

Twelve people involved in the violence were arrested and are expected to be charged on Monday.

French Prime Minister Jospin in Athens

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin arrives in Athens on Monday where he and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the keynote speakers at an open discussion later in the evening.

The premiers will speak on "Democratic Socialism, prospects for the Left and the role of the 'society of citizens' in the Europe of 2000". The discussion will be held at the Grande Bretagne Hotel and begins at 7.30 p.m.

The French and Greek prime ministers will have a private meeting in the course of the day to discuss the recent financial crisis and ways the European Union can deal with it.

Cultural Olympics foundation to be set up

International Olympic Committee chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch and Greece's Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos are due to sign a protocol of cooperation to create a foundation for the Cultural Olympics this week.

Speaking at the four-day Prespes '98 cultural festival on Saturday, Venizelos said the Cultural Olympics would be run in tandem with the Olympic Games.

The agreement is due to be signed in Athens on Wednesday, during Samaranch's visit to Greece.

Athens is hosting the 2004 Olympic Games.

Kranidiotis on Cyprus issue

The need of an international initiative to defuse tension, restart intercommunal dialogue and reduce armaments on Cyprus were stressed yesterday by Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, addressing the European Socialist Party (ESP) ''Summer University'' in Halkidiki.

Kranidiotis noted that the European Union and the United Nations must work toward a solution of this international problem, which stems from the continued occupation of one third of the island republic.

Government on money market crisis

National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Friday that a crisis in international money markets stemming from Russia remained serious although there were signs it was coming under control.

He said external pressure on the economy, and in particular on the drachma and stock market, were in line with that being felt in

Cheating taxi drivers sentenced

The Athens first instance court yesterday convicted two taxi drivers each to 40 days in jail and fines of 50,000, on charges of fraud, since both overcharged their customers by manipulating their taxi meters.

Polykarpos Argyriades and Anastasios Pazvantis were arrested two days ago, the first for overcharging foreign tourists on their way from the airport to the Acropolis and the second for charging the nightsift fare to a police officer in civilian clothes.

There were another 4 such arrests and convictions in August alone, in effort by the state to crack down on such behaviour.


Mild weather is forecast for the entire country on Monday, turning cloudy in the afternoon in central and northern Greece with chances of showers in the north. Mild in Athens, with temperatures between 21-31 C. Same in Thessaloniki, with local clouds in the afternoon and temperatures between 18-27 C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 308.710 British pound 510.582 Japanese yen (100) 215.700 French franc 51.463 German mark 172.509 Italian lira (100) 17.454 Irish Punt 433.504 Belgian franc 8.363 Finnish mark 56.609 Dutch guilder 152.867 Danish kr. 45.273 Austrian sch. 24.501 Spanish peseta 2.029 Swedish kr. 37.631 Norwegian kr. 38.023 Swiss franc 208.494 Port. Escudo 1.681 Aus. dollar 175.678 Can. dollar 195.999 Cyprus pound 588.256


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