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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 11/09/1998 (ANA)


  • Greenpeace activists arrested
  • Three arrests in cocaine 'mail-order' enterprise
  • Wanted man escapes police again
  • Gales blow ferry into dock, no injuries
  • Pangalos meets with US envoy for Cyprus
  • Finnish president begins visit to Athens on Monday
  • Tsohatzopoulos announces new conscription system
  • Draft law on national land register tabled in parliament
  • Study shows Greeks unhappy with public health system
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greenpeace activists arrested

Greek coast guard officials today arrested nine Greenpeace activists who had tied themselves to a barge in a protest against the dumping of toxic waste in the sea. Greenpeace has prevented Larco, a state-run ferronickel producer, from dumping allegedly toxic waste in the sea near the port of Volos for the past two days. Twelve Greenpeace activists were released by the coastguard on Tuesday after being detained for taking over Larco's loading facilities near Volos but the activists again boarded the Greenpeace ship MV Sirius, to resume their protest on Wednesday.

Three arrests in cocaine 'mail-order' enterprise

Police have arrested three men on suspicion of trafficking in cocaine from Peru, by post. The three men - all Nigerian nationals - are Rufus Kehinde Lawani, 33, Benson Kolan 31, and Benson George-Garry, according to a statement from the finance ministry, whose economic crimes squad SDOE was involved in the three-month surveillance operation. Lawani, police said, was the mastermind behind the operation, which involved him ordering cocaine to be sent from Peru in carbon-paper lined packages. Police found 17 packages containing 114 grams of cocaine. They believe that Lawani's mail-order enterprise extended further and are investigating.

Wanted man escapes police again

A Romanian man now the focus of a nationwide manhunt appears to be becoming a serious headache for the Greek police, with reports that he managed to slip their net for the second time in a week. Police in Attica launched a manhunt for Soren Matei, a Romanian national who has spent time in Greek jails, when he hailed a taxi and disappeared after taking a policeman hostage late on Saturday night. Considered extremely dangerous, Matei managed to avoid detection and was sighted on Wednesday by a farmer in a village near Larissa, central Greece, who duly reported it to police. Some 20 policemen and five patrol cars rushed to the scene. Matei and the police exchange gunfire - resulting in the death of three sheep - and the police then gave chase to Matei, who managed to shake the police cars and disappear again.

Gales blow ferry into dock, no injuries

Strong winds caused a ferry boat with 335 passengers to collide with the pier at the port of Paros this morning as it was attempting to dock. None of the passengers were injured and the ferry, the "Panayia Ekatontapyliani", was able to sail for its destination of Piraeus.

Pangalos meets with US envoy for Cyprus

Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday received U.S. State Department special coordinator for the Cyprus problem Thomas Miller. Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and U.S. ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns were present at the meeting.

Finnish president begins visit to Athens on Monday

The President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari will start a four-day visit to Athens on Monday and will be received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The Finnish president will be accompanied by a 13-member mission of representatives of companies producing paper, timber and high technology, including NOKIA. In a statement to the Athens News Agency (ANA), President Ahtisaari said that the economies of the two countries are supplementary, which provides opportunities for further differentiation as well as an increase in their commercial exchanges.

Tsohatzopoulos announces new conscription system

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos announced a new system of appointments and transfers for soldiers yesterday due to take effect from the next conscription class and by which every conscript will be obliged to spend nine months of his military service in the Evros border region or on border islands. He will then be transferred to a unit having a distance of 300 km at the most from the place of his choice.

Draft law on national land register tabled in parliament

A draft law on the national land register was tabled in Parliament by the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry yesterday, anticipating the gradual abolition of mortgage registers and their replacement by land register offices. The draft law also defines that the final registration of real estate in a land register will take place five years after the initial statement has been made, while real estate not registered will be considered as being of unknown ownership and will come under the ownership of the state.

Study shows Greeks unhappy with public health system

A London School of Economics European wide study has shown that Greeks are the least satisfied with their public health system, since only 15.5 per cent of them stated they are content with the existing system. According to the study, Denmark's health system is the most successful according to the citizens of that country, with a 90.6 per cent of them stating their satisfaction in the system. These as well as other findings were discussed yesterday during a conference on "The priorities in health policy," taking place in Athens.


Good weather with scattered clouds in most parts of the country today with increased cloudiness in the eastern and northern regions. Athens partly cloudy with temperatures between 20-29C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19-26C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 290.170 British pound 484.751 Japanese yen (100) 214.728 French franc 50.749 German mark 170.103 Italian lira (100) 17.229 Irish Punt 426.163 Belgian franc 8.248 Finnish mark 55.919 Dutch guilder 150.734 Danish kr. 44.648 Austrian sch. 24.183 Spanish peseta 2.005 Swedish kr. 36.466 Norwegian kr. 37.875 Swiss franc 207.194 Port. Escudo 1.661 Aus. dollar 170.279 Can. dollar 192.486 Cyprus pound 573.594


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