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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-04

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, 04/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • August inflation drops to 5.0%
  • PM to open Thessaloniki International Fair
  • Greeks mourn victims of Swissair crash
  • U.S. position on Cyprus resolution
  • Two wounded, two taken hostage in bank hold-up
  • Greece, Tunisia sign defence agreement
  • Thessaloniki documentary Film Festival
  • Bill on digital TV tabled
  • OTE to participate in transatlantic cable
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

August inflation drops to 5.0%

Consumer price inflation in August dropped to 5.0 percent year-on-year from 5.1 percent the previous month, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said today. According to NSS estimates last month, inflation was expected to fall below 5 percent in August. The August inflation figure was shaped on the one hand by a decrease in the prices of foodstuffs despite an increase in the price of fresh produce, and on the other by increases in electricity rates, rents and entertainment products.

PM to open Thessaloniki International Fair

Prime Minister Costas Simitis inaugurates the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair in the northern capital tonight, the curtain-raiser to his speech tomorrow on the government's economic policy for the next year. Simitis is expected to arrive in Thessaloniki at 6.15 p.m. Guests of honour at the opening ceremony include US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mary Fran Kirchner, Cypriot Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nikos Rolandis, the Ukrainian public order minister, the Ukrainian international economic relations and agriculture undersecretaries and the Polish finance undersecretary.

Greeks mourn victims of Swissair crash

A researcher at the University of Chicago was one of the Greek-Americans on the ill-fated Swissair aircraft that crashed off the coast of Canada early on Thursday. Maria Tzamarioudaki, 31, from Hania, was returning to Crete to visit her parents and have a weeks' holiday. Swissair officials in Athens expressed their deepest condolences today to the relatives of the victims of the crash as the company released the list of names. According to the passenger list, two of the victims - Chronoula Bonanou-Economopoulou,42, from Patras, and Nikos Kefalidis, 55, a U.S.-based businessman - were travelling on Greek passports. Another 12 passengers, including Tzamarioudaki, had Greek surnames and were travelling on other states' passports.

U.S. position on Cyprus resolution

US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns said in an interview that his government believes that the thorny Cyprus problem could be resolved by a unified, bi-zonal, bi-communal federation to enable the Cypriot people to live, work and trade together. But he said that such a "dream will not occur unless there is political courage and committment on both sides, and unless the leaders concentrate on politics and not military means".

Two wounded, two taken hostage in bank hold-up

Two bank employees were wounded when four armed robbers opened fire during a robbery at a branch of the Commercial Bank in Iraklion, Crete this morning. The four men took two hostages as they fled the bank, but both - the director of the branch and a postman in the bank at the time of the robbery - were later released a short distance from the bank. The two wounded are being treated at a local hospital and doctors say their condition is stable.

Greece, Tunisia sign defence agreement

Greece and Tunisia yesterday signed an agreement providing for cooperation in the defence and military sectors. Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, winding up a three-day official visit to Tunisia, signed the agreement, which provides for joint military exercises and defines conditions for other forms of cooperation, such as in the defence industry. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the countries of the Mediterranean could contribute decisively to the maintenance of stability and security in the region, overcoming the problems arising at a localised level.

Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival

Thessaloniki Film Festival (TFF) director Michel Demopoulos yesterday announced the establishment of the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. Greek state television, the European Documentary Sector, Media II and the Culture Ministry are co-founding members of the new festival along with the TFF. He said that the first run of the festival was set for March 15 to 21, 1999, while he added that the art director of the new institution will be Dimitris Eipidis.

Bill on digital TV tabled

The bill on digital TV was tabled in Parliament with certain amendments yesterday. It had previously been given to various bodies for observation and comment several weeks ago. The bill is titled "For the provision of digital radio and TV services and similar clauses" and contains 21 articles defining the country's new digital "landscape and environment."

OTE to participate in transatlantic cable

The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation OTE will participate in the international underwater cable TAT-14 which links Europe with the United States and increases the capacity currently linking it to the US 50 times. The General Director of Commercial Affairs Mr. Kargados signed on behalf of OTE in Paris on Wednesday for the organisation's participation in a joint venture establishing the new transatlantic cable. The joint venture establishing the new cable comprises 50 telecommunications companies including AT&T, Cable and Wireless, Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom and Sprint. They jointly signed an agreement for construction and maintenance for the establishme nt of a new cable optical fibre network which will link the US with Europe.

WEATHER

Fair weather in most parts the country today with scattered clouds in central and northern Greece, with possible rainfal later in the day. in northwestern Greece. Winds northerly light to moderate. Athens sunny with temperatures between 18-32C. Partly cloudy and hot in Thessaloniki with possibility of rain in the afternoon and temperatures from 17-30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 295.368 British pound 496.556 Japanese yen (100) 217.635 French franc 50.919 German mark 170.485 Italian lira (100) 17.291 Irish Punt 427.552 Belgian franc 8.273 Finnish mark 56.028 Dutch guilder 151.206 Danish kr. 44.828 Austrian sch. 24.239 Spanish peseta 2.010 Swedish kr. 37.440 Norwegian kr. 38.182 Swiss franc 207.130 Port. Escudo 1.664 Aus. dollar 170.158 Can. dollar 192.296 Cyprus pound 576.253

(M.P.)


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