Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-11
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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 (www.ypes.gr).
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
"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
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
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
Light cloud is forecast throughout the country today, with possibility of
drizzle in western and northern areas. Winds southwesterly, light to
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