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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-01

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, 01/10/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greek support for new Albanian PM
  • Athens: talks can still save Kosovo from NATO strike
  • Gov't vows to bring down inflation
  • Saresco bid for Hellenic Duty Free accepted
  • Striking doctors face charges
  • Greek consular official's home attacked in Albania
  • Simitis speaks at conference on EU
  • Peacekeeping missions conference
  • Three arrested in cocaine smuggling ring
  • Dutch business delegation due in Athens
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greek support for new Albanian PM

Greece is ready to support the Albanian government in its effort to develop the country and normalise the situation, both in cooperation with other countries and on its own, the government said on Thursday. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas was responding to comments from the new Albanian prime minister, Pandeli Majko, that he would seek the support of the U.S., Greece and Italy in overcoming the crisis in his country.

Athens: talks can still save Kosovo from NATO strike

Greece believes that the margins for dialogue to reach a settlement of the Kosovo crisis have not yet been exhausted, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday. Reppas was replying to a question on the possibility of NATO intervening in Kosovo, following the news of the massacre of unarmed civilians. "There can be no positive results with military action if all the margins for dialogue for a political solution have not first been exhausted," Reppas said. Referring to the October 12 meeting of southeast European leaders in Antalya, Turkey, Reppas said that issues related to the Balkans had to be discussed between the leaders of the countries of the region, who were also responsible for finding solutions.

Gov't vows to bring down inflation

Striking a blow at stubborn core inflation, economic policy for 1999 and progress in structural changes, particularly privatisations, were the main issues reviewed during a three-hour meeting of the government's economic staff today, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou told reporters after the meeting that "without doubt the government will use all the political means at its disposal to attain the basic target" of reducing inflation to 2 percent by the end of 1999, which he added would comprise Greece's "ticket" for EMU membership.

Saresco bid for Hellenic Duty Free accepted

French firm Saresco, bidding jointly in a consortium with Greek firms Papaellinas and Sarandis, has formally acquired a 67 percent majority stake in the Hellenic Duty Free Shops. Saresco and Dutch firm Kappe both bid on Wednesday for the Hellenic Duty Free Shops SA. Saresco, which also bid in the first tender for the company earlier this year, offered 3,250 drachmas per share and provided a letter of guarantee, which it deposited today finalising the acquisition. Kappe bid 3,300 drachmas per share but did not include a letter of guarantee. The government had set 3,100 drachmas per share as the floor for bidding to begin.

Striking doctors face charges

A public prosecutor on Thursday initiated ex officio proceedings against any striking public hospital doctors participating in occupations of public hospital buildings in Attica. The prosecutor has placed a request with the Athens police authorities that they ensure the continuous operation of hospitals and unhindered access by patients and personnel. The move came after reports of incidents in which patients were prevented from entering hospitals where doctors are in their third week of a strike. At least nine hospitals in the Athens and Piraeus region are closed and accepting only emergency cases.

Greek consular official's home attacked in Albania

Police in the southern Albanian town of Gjirokaster are investigating the attack on Wednesday night on the residence of the secretary of the town's Greek consulate. According to an ANA dispatch, a hand grenade went off on the balcony of the residence, causing material damage but no injuries. There has been no official announcement from the police or the consulate as yet but sources said investigations were under way.

Simitis speaks at conference on EU

Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and ruling party PASOK Eurodeputy Dimitris Tsatsos were speakers on Thursday at a conference on the European Union in the wake of the Amsterdam treaty. Simitis said that Greece had always supported the middle road between the one extreme of a loose inter-government cooperation among EU member-states and the other of a federal state in which the members of the Union would in time give up their state identity. With the passing of time, new balances and relations are created, the prime minister said. The question now is which these are.

Peacekeeping missions conference

The political and military aspects of peace-keeping missions will be the focus of a conference to be held in Athens October 5-8, under the aegis of the peace-keeping missions cooperation group of the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council. The Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council provides a forum for NATO members and members of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme to discuss and fine-tune programmes on a wide range of security issues. Some 60 representatives from NATO and Partnership for Peace countries are expected to attend the conference. The conference will be opened by NATO Assistant Secretary-General for political affairs Klaus-Peter Klaiber.

Three arrested in cocaine smuggling ring

Two Nigerians and a Cameroon national have been arrested on charges of importing and posessing of cocaine, police said today. They said Christian Godwin Chukwudi and Kingsley Chikaodi Jideofor of Nigeria, and Ringoke Okia Mokube of Cameroon, were arrested on Tuesday in the Pangrati residential district for importation and possession of 378.4 grams of cocaine. The cocaine had been hidden in a compartment of a table-top perforating machine sent in the mail from Sao Paolo, Brazil. The drug ring is believed to have been operating in Pangrati for some time.

Dutch business delegation due in Athens

A Dutch trade mission will be visiting Athens October on 19-20, in the context of a Dutch Festival being organised by the Netherlands Embassy in Athens from October 15-24. Taking part in the mission will be represetnatives of Dutch companies involved in the fields of medical technology, environmental technology, construction materials, legal consultancy, professional premises design and equipment, food preparation, and others. The members of the mission, which was organised in cooperation with the commercial chambers of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Athens and the Dutch Trade Promotion Centre, will have meetings with representatives of Greek companies interested in collaborations.

WEATHER

Mostly fair weather is forecast throughout Greece on Thurday with cloud in the nortwest of he country in the evening. Temperatures in Athens will range between 16-28C, while in Thessaloniki from 12-26C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 286.777 British pound 486.378 Japanese yen (100) 211.167 French franc 50.965 German mark 170.857 Italian lira (100) 17.293 Irish Punt 427.056 Belgian franc 8.283 Finnish mark 56.169 Dutch guilder 151.578 Danish kr. 44.951 Austrian sch. 24.281 Spanish peseta 2.014 Swedish kr. 36.452 Norwegian kr. 38.654 Swiss franc 206.564 Port. Escudo 1.667 Aus. dollar 169.751 Can. dollar 188.083 Cyprus pound 576.352

(M.P.)


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