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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 02/10/1998 (ANA)


  • Greece urges talks in Kosovo
  • Only talks can avert NATO, defence minister says
  • Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian leaders meet this weekend
  • Pangalos says moves to derail Cyprus EU entry 'unethical'
  • Greek fighters to participate in Cypriot exercise
  • Russia's Zyuganov demands Yeltsin's removal
  • Doctors in Athens vote to end strike
  • Parliament too slow for TV, anchorman says
  • Author Lily Zographou dies
  • Three arrested in drug pick-up haul
  • Six Romanian women forced to work as prostitutes
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greece urges talks in Kosovo

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Friday reiterated Greece's concern that all the margins for a political resolution of the Kosovo crisis be exhausted before any military action from the West. Speaking to reporters after an inner cabinet meeting, Pangalos said that a last-minute effort at political resolution should be made before resorting to other solutions. He added that Balkan countries that have been successful at achieving political stability, such as Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, had a duty to undertake specific obligations in the region.

Only talks can avert NATO, defence minister says

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, speaking in Thessaloniki, said however that military intervention from NATO was "unavoidable" if there were "no positive overture from the Yugoslav side". He reiterated calls for direct talks between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the representatives of the ethnic Albanians of the province of Kosovo. "NATO's actions are focused on the achievement of a political resolution," he added. "This situation, of the massacres of unarmed civilians and the more than 200,000 refugees both in and outside Yugoslavia, can not continue," he said.

Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian leaders meet this weekend

The leaders of Greece, Romania and Bulgaria will meet this weekend in Delphi, Greece, on bilateral and multilateral cooperation and the situation in the region. The tripartite meeting between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will focus on promoting cooperation between countries of the region and stability in the Balkans.

Pangalos says moves to derail Cyprus EU entry 'unethical'

Any attempt to derail Cyprus from becoming a member of the European Union will mean a re-examination of the entire EU enlargement process, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told a meeting of the Inner Cabinet on Friday. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pangalos blasted the attempt by some EU partners to re-establish a link between the course of Turkey's relations with the EU with the island's course towards EU membership. Turkish troops occupy almost a third of the island republic and Ankara has said in the past that if Cyprus becomes a member of the European Union it will annex the northern third it occupies. Turkey's own ambitions of joining the EU were dashed last year when an EU summit in Luxembourg did not include it on the list of countries that are candidates for membership.

Greek fighters to participate in Cypriot exercise

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos confirmed on Friday that Greek air force fighters would participate in the annual Cypriot military exercise Nikiforos, which gets under way mid-October, according to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia. Speaking to reporters on his departure from Cyprus, where he attended celebrations marking the island's independence day, Tsohatzopoulos said the Greek Air Force's participation was a practical example of the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus.

Russia's Zyuganov demands Yeltsin's removal

Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov demanded the resignation of president Boris Yeltsin, saying that "for some time now, Yeltsin has not been governing, but only claiming that he is governing". In an exclusive interview with the ANA in Strasbourg, where Zyuganov took part in the recent Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the communist leader said prime minister Yevgeni Primakov's new government would contribute to leading Russia out of its crisis. However, he added, Primakov needed to take urgent measures to boost the standard of living of the Russians in view of the winter ahead, which was anticipated to be a very harsh one.

Doctors in Athens vote to end strike

Public hospital doctors on Friday voted to end their near three-week strike, following an invitation from the health ministry to participate in talks on a new duty roster system. The doctors said they would call new meetings in a months' time to review if any progress was being made on the issue. The strike had forced at least nine hospitals in the Athens and Piraeus region into accepting only emergency cases. The doctors are protesting at government cutbacks in health spending, and specifically on payment for duty rosters. The government claims that the present system of duty rosters has been abused, resulting in payment for work not done.

Parliament too slow for TV, anchorman says

Parliament is boring and slow and ultimately "anti-television", a leading news anchorman told a conference on the changing relations between parliaments and mass media in Athens on Friday. "The parliamentary process is antithetical to television, without rhythm or liveliness... it doesn't provide television with new faces, and it doesn't respond to current affairs with enough speed," Nikos Hatzinikolaos, of Mega television station, told the conference. But parliamentarians returned the volleys, with ruling party deputy Nassos Alevras saying the media was in thrall to the market and not to the job of informing the public. Communist Party of Greece MP for Lesvos Stratis Korakas also criticised the motives of the media, saying that in his 14 years as a deputy he had been shown on television just once, for "a slap that never occured."

Author Lily Zographou dies

Well-known Greek author Lily Zografou died today in Crete at the age of 76, following a week-long hospitalisation after suffering a massive stroke. The Cretan-born Zografou was holidaying on the island when she suffered the stroke on September 25, and was rushed to the Heraklion University Hospital. She died of an oedema resulting from the stroke. The woman who in the preface of her last book described herself as an "ardent anti-feminist for the simple reason that I am happy to have been born a woman" was born in 1922 in the seaside village of Milato, Lassithi, where she spent her childhood. One of her most popular novels, the 1994 "I Agapi Argise Mia Mera" (Love Came a Day Late), was translated into French and has been televised and will air in Greece this autumn.

Three arrested in drug pick-up haul

Three people were arrested on Friday as police lay in wait for them to pick up 40 kilos of hashish hidden in a forest near Ioannina. Police identified the three as Nikolas Gelbouras, 27, Constantine Pyrgakis, 29, both from Corinth, and Costa Kalamaki, from Albania. Another Albanian national with the three managed to flee and is being sought by police.

Six Romanian women forced to work as prostitutes

Six Romanian women forced against their will to work as hostesses in a bar in a village near Thessaloniki were arrested during a police raid, police said on Friday. The six women, ranging in age from 18 to 31, were discovered in a room behind the establishment during a police raid. Also found on the premises were a sawn-off rifle and ammunition and a metal club. The manager of the bar, Dimitris Doulkerkosta, 25, was arrested and police are seeking the owner, Ioanni Semertzis, 41. Two of the women will be deported back to their country as police said they lacked permits to work in Greece.


Scattered cloud and rain will prevail in most parts of Greece on Friday. Local fog early morning mainly in mainland Greece. Winds will be southerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Scattered cloud in Athens where temperatures will range between 16-29C. Possibility of rain in Thessaloniki in the evening where temperatures will be from 13-25C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.700 British pound 482.013 Japanese yen (100) 208.647 French franc 51.088 German mark 171.294 Italian lira (100) 17.332 Irish Punt 426.163 Belgian franc 8.303 Finnish mark 56.276 Dutch guilder 151.865 Danish kr. 45.037 Austrian sch. 24.349 Spanish peseta 2.017 Swedish kr. 36.244 Norwegian kr. 38.337 Swiss franc 207.447 Port. Escudo 1.672 Aus. dollar 169.230 Can. dollar 184.512 Cyprus pound 569.448


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