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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-23

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, 23/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Coastguard picks up 150 illegal immigrants
  • Russian envoy accepts nomination
  • Olympic says no disruption to flights
  • Rhodes hosts Euro-Mediterranean culture meeting
  • No reshuffle, gov't says
  • Doctors strike still on
  • Land Register programme under way
  • Thessaloniki students oppose lifting asylum
  • Illegal immigrants drop hashish and run
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Coastguard picks up 150 illegal immigrants

The Greek coastguard today arrested a Lebanese ship with more than 150 illegal Iraqi immigrants of Kurdish origin as it sailed south of the island of Crete ready to disembark them at a remote bay. A spokesman for the coastguard told the ANA that the four-member crew of the Lebanese-flagged vessel identified as the "Alak" was also arrested. "The immigrants, 56 men, 31 women and 80 children, among them several infants, were packed like sardines on board a 20-meter long wooden boat," the spokesman said. The immigrants and the crew were taken to the Cretan capital of Iraklion for questioning.

Russian envoy accepts nomination

Russia's Ambassador to Greece Valentina Matviyenko has accepted her nomination as a Deputy Premier in charge of social policy in Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov's new cabinet, Russian diplomatic sources said here today. The 49-year old Ukrainian-born envoy is expected to meet President Boris Yeltsin later today to "formalise her appointment". Although the new cabinet has not yet been announced, Mrs. Matviyenko would become the first woman deputy prime minister in post-Soviet Russia.

Olympic says no disruption to flights

All Olympic Airways and Aviation flights will be carried out as normal during rolling 24-hour strikes called by civil aviation employees for Thursday through Sunday, a company statement said. The employees are protesting against planned changes in the institutional framework of work regulations, being introduced by the government. The Civil Aviation Authority has filed a writ with the courts to have the strike declared illegal. Sources said a ruling was expected later on Wednesday.

Rhodes hosts Euro-Mediterranean culture meeting

Culture ministers from the Mediterranean meet on Rhodes on Saturday to begin a two-day Euro-Mediterranean conference on EU financing for cultural programmes. Ministers are also expected to discuss the holding of an 11- nation Mediterranean forum (with the participation of the five EU Mediterranean countries - Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece - and Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Malta and Turkey). Also on the agenda of the Rhodes meeting are the organisation of the Euro-Mediterranean summit for 2001, the Cultural Olympiad and bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

No reshuffle, gov't says

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas on Wednesday denied that Prime Minister Costas Simitis was planning a reshuffle. "The prime minister (at Tuesday night's rally) spoke of the government being judged in 2000...he expressed his satisfaction with the work his ministers are doing. He has not been and is not preoccupied with the issue of a reshuffle," Reppas said. Reppas said the government had every reason to be pleased with the turn-out and reception at Tuesday evening's rally, saying the many thousands indicated the people's interest in the words and work of the prime minister.

Doctors strike still on

Doctors at public hospitals in Athens and Piraeus joined their colleagues in Thessaloniki on Wednesday and said they would continue their two-week strike to press for more government funding for duty rosters and pay increases. A representative of the doctors admitted that Health Minister Costas Geitonas's move to increase spending on duty rosters by 8.0 percent was positive but said they were still waiting to hear whether this applied to all hospitals before they called of their strike. On Tuesday, doctors at public hospitals in Thessaloniki decided to extend their strike to Monday.

Land Register programme under way

More than 500,000 owners of real estate in Greece have registered their properties under the National Land Register programme, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said on Wednesday. Laliotis said the registration rate for areas which are being catalogued was close to 90 percent. Albania and Greece are the only European countries without a land register. A bill providing for the project of documenting titles to land was submitted in 1995. The register is expected to start operating gradually as of 2004 and aims to protect public lands from encroachment as well as provide revenues for the state and create jobs.

Thessaloniki students oppose lifting asylum

A group of about 40 students on Wednesday disrupted a meeting of the Thessaloniki University's Senate to protest against plans by university authorities to allow police and judicial authorities access to the school's grounds. The Senate said it would reconvene the meeting later in the day to discuss the proposal, which has been brought to the Senate by the university's deans following the murder of a man and serious injury of another in a fight between Albanian nationals on the grounds on Sunday. The fight broke out during a soccer match between a group of Albanians who had been living for the past three months in a building under construction for the school.

Illegal immigrants drop hashish and run

Five illegal immigrants from Albania abandoned 12 kilos of hashish and fled when they were detected by a Greek police border patrol near Kastoria late on Tuesday, authorities said. One of the five, Sprios Seran, 23, was arrested in the ensuing chase. He told police that the hashish was to be delivered to an accomplice in Thessaloniki.

WEATHER

Cloud and scattered showers will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds northerly, northwesterly, moderate. Athens will be partly cloudy with temperatures between 15-26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 15- 24C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 288.801 British pound 483.521 Japanese yen (100) 213.498 French franc 50.915 German mark 170.698 Italian lira (100) 17.277 Irish Punt 427.254 Belgian franc 8.275 Finnish mark 56.064 Dutch guilder 151.374 Danish kr. 44.832 Austrian sch. 24.259 Spanish peseta 2.010 Swedish kr. 36.317 Norwegian kr. 38.400 Swiss franc 207.154 Port. Escudo 1.665 Aus. dollar 168.139 Can. dollar 188.361 Cyprus pound 574.368

(M.P.)


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