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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 08/09/1998 (ANA)


  • Leading Greek banker confident of market normality soon
  • Banker to be new president of OTE
  • Athens comments on Turkey-Israel cooperation
  • Cypriot defence minister warns of Turkish expansionism
  • Turkish fighter airspace violations
  • Greenpeace activists released without charge
  • Restaurant explosion injures three
  • Plane tyres blow out during landing
  • Bosnian Serbs go ahead with Dayton
  • Greece opposes EU ban on Yugoslav flights
  • State hospital doctors to strike
  • Public transport work stoppages
  • Business circles express satisfaction over PM's TIF speech
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Leading Greek banker confident of market normality soon

The governor of Greece's largest bank, the National Bank of Greece, said today he was optimistic that normality would return to international markets soon. Speaking after giving Prime Minister Costas Simitis a progress report on the state-run bank, Governor Theodoros Karatzas underlined that the Greek economy and the Greek banking system would not suffer adversely from the Russian crisis and counselled consumers to be "patient, calm and optimistic".

Banker to be new president of OTE

Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mandelis today formally asked a Greek parliamentary committee to begin procedures to appoint Vassilis Rapanos, the governor of the National Mortgage Bank, the new president of the Greek telecoms organisation OTE. Rapanos is an associate professor at the Athens School of Economics and will replace Professor Dimitris Papoulias. In a letter to the ministers of national economy and transport and communications dated August 19, Papoulias said that he was returning to academia as he believed his work at OTE, after 30 months at the post, was done.

Athens comments on Turkey-Israel cooperation

Greece today reiterated that it was opposed to the formation of alliances and axes in the region and called for multilateral cooperation. Referring to Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's official visit to Israel, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Athens welcomed assurances from Tel Aviv and Ankara that their bilateral cooperation was not directed at any third party. Reppas said however that "Greece maintains its reservations until this is proved in practice".

Cypriot defence minister warns of Turkish expansionism

Turkish expansionism is a threat not only to Cyprus but to all of Greece, Cypriot Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou said today in Corfu. On the island to attend events marking the twinning of the city of Paphos, Omirou said the present time was "critical for our national issues". Referring to recent statements by Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, Omirou said that the Turkish premier was "repeating himself." Yilmaz, in Israel on an official visit, warned Cyprus on Monday that Ankara would "take all necessary measures" if Nicosia deployed Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the divided island.

Turkish fighter airspace violations

Eleven formations of Turkish warplanes infringed the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and were immediately identified and intercepted by Greek jetfighters, defence ministry sources said today. The sources said that 20 Turkish F-16s, four F-4s and two R-F4s (aerial photography planes) carried out 14 infringements of the Athens FIR over the islands of Chios, Lesvos, Lemnos and Samothraki. TheTurkish aircraft were intercepted by Greek warplanes and, in seven cases, developed into aerial dogfights, the sources said. Earlier today, a pair of Turkish aircraft were spotted by Greek radars and Greek airforce fighters took off to intercept them, the sources said.

Greenpeace activists released without charge

Twelve Greenpeace environmental activists were released by the coastguard today after a two-day protest takeover of a factory which tried to dump toxic slag into the sea north of the island of Evia. The activists from the Greenpeace ship "Sirius" who were held at the coastguard station have not been charged or indicted. The activists had blocked operations by the state- controlled iron-ore company Larco to unload millions of tonnes of waste into the northern Eubean sea.

Restaurant explosion injures three

Three passersby were slightly injured early this morning when an explosion ripped through a ground-floor takeaway restaurant in the suburb of Neapoli, Thessaloniki. A fire department official said the explosion was caused by a gas leak from the restaurant's kitchen. The force of the explosion completely destroyed the restaurant and caused damage to a first-floor apartment. Total damage is estimated in the region of 16 million drachmas.

Plane tyres blow out during landing

A B-737 aircraft with 126 passengers aboard blew two of its tyres as it came in to land at Iraklion airport on the island of Crete late on Monday, authorities reported. None of the passengers or crew were injured in the landing. The aircraft, belonging to French aviation company Europ-Air, was flying from Paris. The incident caused the closure of the Iraklion runway for about an hour, while the aircraft was towed away for repairs.

Bosnian Serbs go ahead with Dayton

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said yesterday that general elections scheduled for this weekend would provide the Bosnian Serb republic with the wherewithal to implement the 1995 Dayton peace accords which ended the Bosnian war. "With a new government, the Serb Republic of Bosnia is well on the way to implementing the Dayton accord," Mr. Dodik said in Athens, following a working meeting with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos. In the elections, Bosnians will choose members of the three-man state presidency. They will also elect deputies for the state parliament and the two entities' assemblies, as well as a president in the Serb entity.

Greece opposes EU ban on Yugoslav flights

Mr. Pangalos said Greece was still against the planned European Union ban on flights by Yugoslav carriers, agreed as a sanction over Kosovo. Greece late August was the only country to object to the implementation of the ban. At a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Salzburg over the weekend, Mr. Pangalos said the Greek side had set out its positions. "We explained that when this decision was taken two months ago, the conditions were entirely different. The situation today is different on four basic points," Mr. Pangalos said. He said what had changed in the two months was that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had indicated willingness to begin talks, which was not being reciprocated by the Kosovo Albanians. Mr. Pangalos said he would be meeting his Yugoslav counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic in Athens on Thursday.

State hospital doctors to strike

State hospitals across the country are likely to remain without doctors for five days, as the Federation of Hospital Doctors (OENGE) has decided to call a strike from Sep. 11 to 15. The action is taken in protest at a decision by the ministries of health and finance to cut up to 50 per cent of allocations for hospitals' duty days. The two ministries turned a deaf ear to reactions both by OENGE and hospital boards, and approved 130 million drachmas for Evangelismos hospital duty days, while the relevant programme submitted by the hospital's board was asking for 230 million drachmas.

Public transport work stoppages

Trolley drivers announced a work stoppage from 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon tomorrow, protesting at the government's restructuring measures in public transport. During the stoppage, they will hold a general meeting to be followed by a protest march to the ministries of transport and national economy. Employees with the Athens-Piraeus metro (HSAP) and green urban bus service also called a work stoppage on the same day and for the same reason from 11:00 to 4:00.

Business circles express satisfaction over PM's TIF speech

The country's business world expressed its satisfaction yesterday with Prime Minister Costas Simitis' annual economic speech at the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday night, as well as on the positions he set out on the economy at a press conference on Sunday, while two main trade unions expressed opposition to the government's announced incomes policy. Contrary to all opposition parties and certain labour representatives who criticised Mr. Simitis over the government's economic policy for 1999, business circles let it be understood that they heard what they expected from the prime minister, even if they would rather prefer speedier rates in the implementation of structural changes.


Mostly fair weather throughout the country today withscattered cloud building up in the afternoon in western Greece, turning to rain or storms in the evening. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 20-31C. Same in Thessaloniki with thick cloud in the evening and temperatures from 18C to 28C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 294.188 British pound 489.770 Japanese yen (100) 224.500 French franc 50.909 German mark 170.684 Italian lira (100) 17.284 Irish Punt 427.552 Belgian franc 8.268 Finnish mark 56.098 Dutch guilder 151.270 Danish kr. 44.813 Austrian sch. 24.253 Spanish peseta 2.011 Swedish kr. 37.008 Norwegian kr. 38.182 Swiss franc 208.518 Port. Escudo 1.666 Aus. dollar 173.005 Can. dollar 193.658 Cyprus pound 578.078


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