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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-21

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, 21/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Papandreou to brief CoE on Albania visit
  • Record number of participants in Spartathlon '98
  • Thessaloniki doctors begin second week of strike
  • Truck driver flees police
  • PASOK's 5th congress set for next March
  • Yilmaz-Mitsotakis hold "useful" talks in Istanbul
  • 'Olympic Truce' concept to Olympic medallists
  • DANE announces new high-speed vessel for Rhodes route
  • Simitis speech tomorrow in Kallithea square
  • Greek First Division soccer results
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Papandreou to brief CoE on Albania visit

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, the president of the Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee, will on Tuesday brief the organisation on the outcome of his trip to Albania over the weekend, according to an ANA dispatch from Strasbourg. The dispatch cited Leni Fischer, the president of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, saying Papandreou would give the Assembly more details on his trip to Tirana, where he represented the CoE. The European delegation, sponsored by the CoE, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Western European Union and European Union, urged Albania's political leaders to find a peaceful solution to the country's turmoil and issued a stern warning to the opposition leader, former president Sali Berisha, against undermining stability in the country.

Record number of participants in Spartathlon '98

A record number of athletes will be vying in the 16th international ultra- distance endurance race "Spartathlon '98", commonly considdered the most gruelling in the world, and which begins on Friday at the foot of the Acropolis. The 196 athletes from 23 countries will have 36 hours to run the 246 kilometres to Sparta in the Peloponnese, tracing the steps of the ancient Athenian courier Pheidippides, and running 1,200 meters up Mount Parthenio in the dead of night. The course takes runners on rough tracks and up muddy paths, through vineyards and olive groves, up steep hillsides and up and down Mount Parthenio, where Pheidippides was supposed to have met the god Pan. The ascent is marked by a trail of battery-driven flashing lights.

Thessaloniki doctors begin second week of strike

Doctors at the Ayios Dimitrios Hospital in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Monday occupied the institution as public hospital doctors in the city began the second week of their strike. Another scheduled occupation, of the Theagenio Oncology Clinic, was called off by the clinic's doctors. The Union of Thessaloniki Hospital Doctors meets on Tuesday morning to discuss further labour action, pending a response on Monday, the deadline set by the doctors, from the health ministry. Doctors are protesting state cuts in health spending on duty rosters, effective September 1.

Truck driver flees police

A truck driver transporting illegal immigrants abandoned his vehicle and fled after he ran a roadblock on the Ioannina-Kozani highway and police gave chase, authorities reported on Monday. Police found 41 illegal immigrants, all Albanians, on searching the vehicle. They said they had paid the driver between 30,000 and 50,000 drachmas each to be taken from the Greek-Albanian border to the central Greek city of Lamia and the capital of Athens.

PASOK's 5th congress set for next March

Ruling PASOK's central committee on Saturday decided to hold the party's 5th congress next March. A majority of 81 central committee members voted in favour of the PASOK executive bureau's earlier proposal, while 31 voted against and eight blank votes were cast. National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, before the vote said that he believed a congress in March 1999 would fail for lack of "adequate time to discuss the essence of policies and strategies." In turn, he favoured a different date for the congress.

Yilmaz-Mitsotakis hold "useful" talks in Istanbul

Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz held talks with former Greek Premier Constantine Mitsotakis late last night and later told newsmen that the discussion was "friendly and useful". According to an ANA dispatch from Istanbul, the talks lasted one hour and 45 minutes. Mitsotakis, who is an honorary member of the main opposition New Democracy party said: "We hade a friendly and most sincere exchange of views. The talks were useful and the question is for us to be able to find a way to reduce tension (between Greece and Turkey) and arrive at a solution in due time," Mitsotakis added also refusing further details on the talks.

'Olympic Truce' concept to Olympic medallists

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday called on Olympic Games medallists meeting in Greece to support and become the symbols of the idea for an "Olympic Truce". Speaking on the first day of an international conference of Olympic medal winners at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Mr. Papandreou briefed participants on the project, which is being organised in close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Mr. Papandreou said the support of past Olympic Games medallists was "exceptionally important" as they could inspire and guide the young, and particularly those coming from strife-torn regions, to help in consolidating peace.

DANE announces new high-speed vessel for Rhodes route

DANE Sea Lines announced yesterday that it was introducing a new high-speed passenger vessel that is expected cut travelling time from Rhodes to Piraeus to 5.5 hours. A DANE official said the order placed for the high- speed Trimaran, combined with the company's share capital increase, which began on Sept. 2 and ends on Oct. 2, was part of efforts to save the indebted shipper by diversifying its activities. The Trimaran is set to go into operation as of April 15, with the Australian ship-building firm INCAT leasing DANE a Trimaran until its own is constructed. DANE will pay INCAT 10 per cent of the proceeds from the route as a downpayment on the new 55- m illion-dollar ship.

Simitis speech tomorrow in Kallithea square

Prime Minister Costas Simitis is scheduled to speak at a rally of ruling PASOK supporters tomorrow evening in the Athens distict of Kallithea to mark the second anniversary of his party's 1996 general election victory. Mr. Simitis is expected to outline the government's progress to date and stress its commitment to achieving inclusion in Economic and Monetary Union.

Greek First Division soccer results

Apollon Athens-Panelefsiniakos 1-1 Ionikos Piraeus-Kavala 4-2 AEK Athens-Veria 2-0 Ethnikos Astir Athens-Ethnikos Piraeus 1-0 Xanthi-Paniliakos Pyrgos 2-1 Proodeftiki Piraeus-Iraklis Thessaloniki 0- 0 Olympiakos Piraeus-OFI Iraklion 3-0 PAOK Thessaloniki-Panathinaikos 2-0 Aris Thessaloniki-Panionios Athens play today Standings/points: Olympiakos, AEK, Ionikos 10, Panathinaikos 9, Aris, Iraklis, Xanthi 7, Paniliakos, OFI, Ethnikos Astir 6

WEATHER

Occasional storms and rainfall across most of Greece today. Winds northwesterly moderate to strong in the west and south. Temperatures will range from 12-20 in the north, 15-26 in the Ionian and mainland and 18-27 in the Aegean. Athens overcast with possible rain in the afternoon and temperatures between 17-25C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with the likelihood of evening rain and temperatures from 15-20C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 288.811 British pound 484.790 Japanese yen (100) 218.250 French franc 50.777 German mark 170.267 Italian lira (100) 17.228 Irish Punt 426.362 Belgian franc 8.253 Finnish mark 55.947 Dutch guilder 150.982 Danish kr. 44.658 Austrian sch. 24.200 Spanish peseta 2.007 Swedish kr. 36.972 Norwegian kr. 38.420 Swiss franc 207.179 Port. Escudo 1.664 Aus. dollar 170.475 Can. dollar 188.282 Cyprus pound 575.360

(M.P.)


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