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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-29

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, 29/09/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece one of hosts of NATO exercise
  • Turkey to participate in NATO exercise
  • Athens comments on Albanian developments
  • Defence minister in Cyprus on Wednesday
  • Gov't warns against witch hunt of foreigners
  • Pop idols fall foul of taxman
  • Gov't charges Turkish involvement in local elections
  • Viagra in Greece for Christmas
  • Blast rips through officers' club
  • Financial consultant for Athens 2004 to be named
  • Taxis to strike on Wednesday
  • Papantoniou predicts interest rates of 6-7% in 2001
  • Two killed, 14 injured in sudden rainstorm
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece one of hosts of NATO exercise

Greece, along with Turkey and Italy, will host the largest NATO exercise conducted in the southern region this year, when Dynamic Mix 98 gets under way on October 1. It will be the first time that Greece and Turkey have participated jointly in a NATO training exercise for 13 years, after talks at the NATO level leading to the two countries' judging that the exercise was in both their national interests. But neither Turkish nor Greek forces will take part in exercises on the territory of the other country.

Turkey to participate in NATO exercise

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said later that the exercise would be conducted in a different region to that selected during last year's Dynamic Mix. "These appear to be the changes that have been made this year and allowed Turkey to participate in this (year's) exercise," Reppas said. Reppas said Turkey had raised objections to some of the regions in which Dynamic Mix 97 was to be conducted and had abstained from participating.

Athens comments on Albanian developments

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos today said neighbouring Albania was in the throes of a political crisis, following the resignation late Monday of Albanian socialist prime minister Fatos Nano, who said squabbling among his own ranks had made it impossible to form a new cabinet from the second reshuffle of his coalition government. The government said later that it hoped the situation in Albania would soon return to normal. "The transfer of power from one person to another does not constitute a dramatic development, if democratic institutions are working," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

Defence minister in Cyprus on Wednesday

National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos flies to Cyprus on Wednesday for an official visit and talks with Cypriot military officials on the joint Greek-Cyprus defence pact. Tsohatzopoulos will also attend celebrations marking the anniversary of Cyprus' independence.

Gov't warns against witch hunt of foreigners

The government said on Tuesday that it was mistaken to assume all economic migrants to Greece were criminals and warned against any "witchunt" of illegal immigrants. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the comments during his regular briefing of reporters, who questioned him over Prime Minister Costas Simitis's apparent linking of a rise in crime with "open borders" and economic migration. Simitis was speaking in Aigrinio, days after the police botched a raid on a Greek-Romanian man holding three people hostage in an Athens apartment.

Pop idols fall foul of taxman

Three of Greece's most popular entertainers and a renowned plastic surgeon are on a list of 20 major tax evaders released by the Ministry of National Economy today. Cypriot-born pop singer Anna Vissi, her husband Nikos Karvellas -- a pop singer and songwriter who composes most of Vissi's songs -- "laika" popular singer Notis Sfakianakis and Andreas Foustanos, who has performed cosmetic surgery on numerous Greek entertainers and high society members, were said by the Ministry to owe the state hundreds of millions of drachma in taxes from undeclared revenues. The list also includes doctors, lawyers, university professors, accountants and notary publics from major cities and the islands.

Gov't charges Turkish involvement in local elections

Turkey is to blame for the activity of a so-called "Turkish minority consultative committee" in Thrace which called on Greek Moslems in the region to vote for minority representatives in forthcoming municipal and prefectural elections, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. A Member of Parliament, Galip Galip, the ruling PASOK member for Rodopi, appears to be among the members of the committee. "Such practices are unacceptable... if illegal activity exists then it will be dealt with as illegal activity," Reppas said.

Viagra in Greece for Christmas

Viagra will be available in Greece in time for the rush to buy Christmas presents, representatives of Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company producing the male impotence wonder drug, said on Tuesday. The Greek commerce ministry will set a retail price for the sale of Viagra, following the submission of the relevant application. According to the Greek representative of Pfizer, the price will range between 3,500-4,500 drachmas. Medical experts at the news conference to present the drug warned those who could not wait for Christmas and would try to purchase it on the black market or from abroad that they should first discuss whether they should use it with their doctor.

Blast rips through officers' club

An explosion ripped through the mezzanine level of a builidng in the Athens suburb of Zografou at 1.05 p.m. on Tuesday, causing damage but no injuries. Police said two makeshift bombs made up of gas cannisters had been placed outside the offices of the Union of Retired Security Forces Officers. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack as yet.

Financial consultant for Athens 2004 to be named

A financial consultant for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be named on November 27, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis decided on Tuesday. The meeting, attended by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, and undersecretaries for National Economy Christos Pahtas, environment, town planning and public works Christos Verelis and sport Andreas Fouras, discussed a number of proposals from the Athens 2004 ministerial committee. Issues included ways to finance construction projects for the Olympic Games to alleviate the burden on state coffers.

Taxis to strike on Wednesday

Taxi owners in the greater Athens region will hold a work stoppage Wednesday between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The cab owners are demanding that taxis be allowed to circulate in the bus lanes on major thoroughfares.

Papantoniou predicts interest rates of 6-7% in 2001

Interest rates will have fallen to 6-7 percent by the year 2001, National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou predicted today. He said after a meeting of bankers that banks should take steps to reduce their operational costs and overhaul their portfolios, otherwise they would either have to reduce their profit margins or lose a share of the market.

Two killed, 14 injured in sudden rainstorm

Two people were killed and 14 others were injured in a flurry of traffic accidents in Athens today caused by sudden rainstorms, police said. Police said 75 road accidents took place this morning, including a 15-car pile-up on Kifissias Avenue, a main thoroughfare. Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired a meeting later in the day on tackling the problem, which was attended by the ministers of public order, transport, and publics works.

WEATHER

Rain and storms will be the main characterists of today's weather in Greece, particularly in the west, south and east of the country. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Rain and storms in Athens with temperatures between 18- 25C. Possibility of rain or storms in Thessaloniki from the afternoon, with temperatures from 16-22C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 288.116 British pound 490.425 Japanese yen (100) 211.802 French franc 51.054 German mark 171.180 Italian lira (100) 17.334 Irish Punt 428.544 Belgian franc 8.298 Finnish mark 56.197 Dutch guilder 151.900 Danish kr. 45.047 Austrian sch. 24.347 Spanish peseta 2.017 Swedish kr. 36.498 Norwegian kr. 38.728 Swiss franc 207.085 Port. Escudo 1.670 Aus. dollar 169.181 Can. dollar 190.662 Cyprus pound 577.344

(M.P.)


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