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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 11/10/1998 (ANA)


  • Local government elections today
  • Briton drowns in hotel pool
  • Athens still hopes for Kosovo
  • Greece to buy Patriot missiles
  • Cyprus-EU talks progress
  • Budget revenues up
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Local government elections today

Nearly nine million Greeks went to the polls today to elect new municipal and prefectural councils.

The total number of registered voters is 8,912,000, including 1,468 citizens of other member-states of the EU in special registers.

Voting began at 7 am and ends at 7 pm. Results will start being relayed at about 20:30 on radio and television, as well as on the Internet (

A run-off poll will be held next Sunday, October 18, in municipalities where no ticket wins an absolute majority today.

Briton drowns in hotel pool

A British man was found drowned in his hotel swimming pool on the northern Aegean island of Thassos, authorities reported on Sunday.

Leslie Greenwood, 55, was holidaying on the island with his family.

His body was found floating in the Vranas Hotel swimming pool. An autopsy determined the cause of death as drowning.

An investigation by Thassos police is under way.

Athens still hopes for Kosovo

Greek defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday expressed optimism that, even at the last minute, a NATO military intervention in Kosovo would be averted.

"I am optimistic that logic will prevail before the final political decision is made for the conversion of such preparations into military action," he said.

The government has said Greece would not use its right of veto if NATO decided to use military force, but would not provide forces or planes in any of the operations.

He advised coolheadedness, adding that the critical time limit for any further developments would be early in the coming week.

Greece to buy Patriot missiles

The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) has decided to purchase US-made Patriot long-range missiles and Russian and French short-range missiles as part of its multi-million dollar five-year armaments programme.

The council also decided to buy 45 new training aircraft from the US for the Hellenic Air Force and five new Canadair fire-fighting aircraft to combat forest fires.

The total cost of the procurements decided is estimated at about one trillion drachmas.

Cyprus-EU talks progress

Cyprus' preparations for EU membership have been particularly satisfying to date, the EU's chief negotiator for the bloc's enlargement Nikolaus van der Pas said on Friday.

Van der Pas was speaking after meeting with Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Athens.

Formal talks for accession to the European Union begin with Cyprus and five other candidate countries on November 10, following the decision of the Council of Ministers on October 5.

Budget revenues up

Greece's regular budget revenues increased 23.32 percent in September to a 16.44 percent rise in the first nine months of 1998, exceeding a budget target of 10.74 percent.

Higher revenues contributed to a surplus of 280 billion drachmas in the state's receipts so far this year, up from 197 bln in August.

Finance Undersecretary George Drys said budget revenues would continue rising in the next few months, although the surplus could shrink to 100 billion drachmas if the government decided to lower taxes in an effort to combat inflation.


Light cloud is forecast throughout the country today, with possibility of drizzle in western and northern areas. Winds southwesterly, light to moderate.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.220 British pound 478.045 Japanese yen (100) 237.450 French franc 51.191 German mark 172.631 Italian lira (100) 17.349 Irish Punt 428.941 Belgian franc 8.318 Finnish mark 56.405 Dutch guilder 152.208 Danish kr. 45.130 Austrian sch. 24.392 Spanish peseta 2.021 Swedish kr. 35.500 Norwegian kr. 37.597 Swiss franc 211.688 Port. Escudo 1.669 Aus. dollar 171.601 Can. dollar 182.111 Cyprus pound 584.288


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