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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-10

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, 10/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greek, Yugoslav FMs discuss Kosovo
  • No changes planned to gov't make-up
  • Transport workers warned to adapt
  • 400 graves desecrated in Edessa
  • Welfare services workers rally in Athens
  • Four arrested with counterfeit bills
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greek, Yugoslav FMs discuss Kosovo

Greece today said it was time to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold and criticised sanctions against Belgrade over its stance on the troubled province of Kosovo as not working. "Yugoslavia has to be included in international life and a policy of sanctions is not effective," Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told reporters after meeting with his Yugoslav counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic in Athens. Belgrade's recent positions on the Kosovo issue are heading in the right direction, Pangalos said. Jovanovic said Yugoslavia was determined to find a peaceful resolution to the problem, to safeguard the rights of all the residents of Kosovo, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and to have full respect for international and European standards of human rights for ethnic minorities.

No changes planned to gov't make-up

The government today denied it was considering appointing a deputy prime minister, responding to comments made to journalists by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday. "The foreign minister was simply expressing some views at an informal discussion," acting government spokesman Yannis Nikolaou said. According to press reports, Pangalos told journalists accompanying him on his official visit to Tehran this week that he had proposed the idea of a deputy prime minister to Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Pangalos himself laughed off the speculation that his comments had caused in today's press. "I thought we were talking about an institution on a purely hypothetical level... nevertheless it is always good to be on the front page."

Transport workers warned to adapt

Workers at Athens' heavily indebted urban transport organisations will have to come halfway if they want to keep their jobs, Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis said today. "The government is making a serious effort to upgrade and modernise public transport, providing 134 billion drachmas - at cost to the Greek taxpayer - to renew the fleet," Mantelis said in an interview with an Athens radio station. "Workers have to understand that if they are to continue working they will have to make certain concessions, so as to reduce the operating cost of the companies," he said.

400 graves desecrated in Edessa

A young woman was arrested today after hundreds of graves were desecreated in a municipal cemetery in Edessa, northern Greece. Sources said the woman was psychologically disturbed and distraught at the recent death of her mother. Police said the 32-year-old woman had caused an estimated 3.5 million drachmas of damage to some 400 graves in three hours.

Welfare services workers rally in Athens

About 300 workers at state welfare services and institutions marched throught downtown Athens today, calling for the government to withdraw its bill on reforming the welfare system. Workers claim that the new legislation was attempting to change labour relations and privatise many free state services extended to those in need. A resolution sets out objections to institutions and welfare services coming under the jurisdiction of local government authorities, to the creation of private companies to extend welfare services and to possible cuts in state subsidies.

Four arrested with counterfeit bills

Police in Patras have arrested four people found in possession of 60 fake 5, 000 drachma notes. The four - George Halilopoulos, 28, and his wife Harikleia, 45, and Yiannis Kamberis, 27, and his wife Christina, 18 - were tracked down by police after they passed the notes while making purchases in a number of villages in the Ilieas and Achaias region.

WEATHER

Good weather with scattered clouds in northern and central and eastern Greece today, turning to rain or storms. Small drop in temperatures. Partly cloudy in the central and southern regions with the posibility of rain. Athens partly cloudy with temperatures between 20-28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18-25C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 295.517 British pound 488.798 Japanese yen (100) 215.125 French franc 50.709 German mark 169.999 Italian lira (100) 17.232 Irish Punt 425.508 Belgian franc 8.242 Finnish mark 55.929 Dutch guilder 150.705 Danish kr. 44.650 Austrian sch. 24.166 Spanish peseta 2.004 Swedish kr. 36.902 Norwegian kr. 37.021 Swiss franc 206.896 Port. Escudo 1.660 Aus. dollar 172.181 Can. dollar 193.043 Cyprus pound 575.201

(M.P.)


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