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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-22

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, 22/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens comments on Clinton
  • No change seen to Cyprus joining EU
  • Former PM briefs Simitis on meeting with Yilmaz
  • Two sisters arrested for smuggling
  • Caretta turtle found dead in Crete
  • Train derailment blocks lines
  • Pension reserves to be invested
  • Baltas in Brussels for EU meeting
  • Retail sales in June up 5.4%
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens comments on Clinton

Ethics in politics has a wider significance than what is currently occuring in the United States in relation to President Bill Clinton, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. Asked to comment on the screening on Monday of Clinton's grand jury testimony, Reppas spoke of "tragicomedy and comi-tragedy". "Mr. Clinton was elected by the American people, whom he serves, is judged by the American people and nobody can be a substitute for the American people," Reppas said.

No change seen to Cyprus joining EU

The framework for the accession of Cyprus and other countries to the European Union has been defined by the decisions of the Luxembourg and Cardiff summits and any change to this should be brought to the competent EU bodies, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. Reppas was responding to reporters regarding France, Italy and Spain's reported objections to Cyprus's accession to the EU. Reppas said he believed there would not be any change to the EU's decisions, adding that Greece and Cyprus were "unprepared" to pay the price of the stand-off over finding a solution to the division of Cyprus, due to Turkey's intransigence.

Former PM briefs Simitis on meeting with Yilmaz

Former conservative prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, who met with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Sunday evening, briefed Prime Minister Costas Simitis on the outcome of the meeting on Tuesday. Sources close to Simitis and Mitsotakis said the former prime minister had told Simitis that Yilmaz continues to take a hard line on the Cyprus issue and Turkey's prospects on joining the European Union. The sources added, however, that Mitsotakis believed that there were margins for improvement in Greek-Turkish relations. Simitis is expected to meet with Yilmaz next month when he attends the summit of Southeast European countries in Antalya, Turkey.

Two sisters arrested for smuggling

Police in Thessaloniki appeared to make a small inroad into combatting the smuggling of cigarettes on Tuesday when they arrested two young women. Sisters Anna, 18, and Elina Antoniadou, 21, both residents of Thessaloniki, were found to be in possession of hundreds of packets of contraband cigarettes. Police arrested Anna as she was delivering 400 packets of cigarettes, and arrested her sister a short while later as she tried to dispose of another 500 packets and a handbag containing 68,000 drachmas by dumping them at a construction site. A search of the girls' home later revealed another 795 packets of cigarettes. Greece loses millions of drachmas in duties and consumption taxes through the illegal importation of cigarettes.

Caretta turtle found dead in Crete

Environmentalists on the island of Crete were up in arms on Tuesday after a protected Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (caretta caretta) was found dead near the beach of Tymbaki, Iraklion. "It had knife wounds to the head and pieces of fishing line in its mouth. It had come to lay its eggs but it's not known whether it managed to. This unprecedented incident is a disgrace for the area and is a serious blow to tourism," a statement from the local association to protect the sea turtles said. Sea turtles from around the Mediterranean come to the Messara Gulf to nest and lay their eggs in the warm sand.

Train derailment blocks lines

Eastern Macedonia and Thrace has been without rail services since early on Tuesday after a freight train carrying military supplies came off its tracks and overturned at Mourion, in Kilkis. Nobody was hurt in the incident. The Greek Railways train was en route to Thessaloniki from Alexandroupolis when the incident occured.

Pension reserves to be invested

The government will be submitting a bill to Parliament in mid-October that will allow some 3.5 trillion drachmas in state pension fund reserves to be invested in fixed-yield titles, Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said on Tuesday. Speaking after meeting with National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou, Papaioannou said a smaller part of the reserves would be invested in higher risk but higher yield shares. The measure is part of the government's so-called "mini package" of reforms to the country's overstretched social security and pension system, drafted after talks between the government, employers and unions.

Baltas in Brussels for EU meeting

National Economy Undersecretary Alekos Baltas leaves for Brussels on Wednesday to represent Greece at the meeting of Council of European Union internal market ministers. The meeting is expected to focus on issues related to legislative reforms and more effective implementation of measures relating to the European internal market.

Retail sales in June up 5.4%

The volume of retail sales rose 5.4 percent in June, according to the National Statistics Service. Retail sales rose 1.0 percent in the period January-June compared to the same period last year.

WEATHER

Cloud with scattered showers or storms will prevail throughout Greece on Today. Winds westerly, northwesterly, moderate to strong. Athens partly cloudy with temperatures between 15-26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 14-21C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 287.154 British pound 484.790 Japanese yen (100) 216.167 French franc 51.106 German mark 171.160 Italian lira (100) 17.331 Irish Punt 428.346 Belgian franc 8.305 Finnish mark 56.316 Dutch guilder 151.925 Danish kr. 44.916 Austrian sch. 24.318 Spanish peseta 2.020 Swedish kr. 36.293 Norwegian kr. 38.569 Swiss franc 208.499 Port. Escudo 1.671 Aus. dollar 168.546 Can. dollar 188.460 Cyprus pound 575.360

(M.P.)


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