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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 20/10/1998 (ANA)


  • FM Pangalos meets with Irish counterpart
  • Samaras not joining ND, spokesman says
  • Opposition wants unity on MP asylum lift
  • Three containers of smuggled cigarettes found
  • Greek equities resume upward course
  • Second flotation of Athens bourse due in December
  • Russian woman forced into prostitution found dead
  • Two arrested in exploitation of Romanian girl
  • Ten illegal immigrants arrested on Samos
  • U.S. professor to get honorary doctorate
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


FM Pangalos meets with Irish counterpart

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos had talks on Tuesday with his Irish Republic counterpart David Andrews on issues ranging from European Union matters - in view of the informal summit of EU leaders in Poertschach at the weekend - to the Northern Ireland peace process. Also discussed were the situation in the Balkans, Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem. Earlier, Andrews, who is on an official visit to Greece, was received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Speaking to reporters after talks with Andrews, Pangalos underlined the excellent level of relations between the two countries, adding that both were particularly interested in issues related to the institutional reform of the EU "in the direction of greater balance and openness".

Samaras not joining ND, spokesman says

There is no question of Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras returning to the main opposition party New Democracy, party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos told reporters on Tuesday. Spiliotopoulos was speaking after a meeting of the New Democracy party's shadow cabinet on the outcome of local government elections, which ended on Sunday. New Democracy-backed candidates won 27 of the 54 prefectures throughout the country and 368 municipalities, a strong showing credited in part to the alliance with Political Spring. Political Spring is a splinter group of New Democracy, formed in 1993 when former ND foreign minister Antonis Samaras left the party. In subsequent elections it became the fourth-largest party. It failed to win a parliamentary seat in the last general elections in 1996 but still has a number of deputies in the European Parliament.

Opposition wants unity on MP asylum lift

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday emphasised to his shadow cabinet that the party was clearly in favour of the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of two of its deputies. Karamanlis asked the ND parliamentary group's general secretary, Stavros Dimas, to convey the party's position to all deputies in order to ensure a unified stance when Parliament takes a vote on the issue on Wednesday. A Parliamentary justice committee earlier this month voted in favour of lifting the parliamentary immunity of the two ND deputies involved in controversial incidents in recent months.

Three containers of smuggled cigarettes found

The Attica financial crimes squad announced on Tuesday that it had discovered three containers at the port of Piraeus containing a total of approximately 450,000 packets of contraband cigarettes. Acting on information received, the police located the containers at Neo Iconio, Perama on October 15. According to the shipping documents, they supposedly contained sheets and towels. A search today however revealed 900 cases of British-made "Regal" cigarettes and 160 200-litre barrels of alcohol. According to the papers accompanying the containers, the illegal cargo had come from Rotterdam, but an investigation revealed that it had originally come from Alexandria, Egypt via Cyprus. The duty which would normally be paid on such a quantity of cigarettes and alcohol is estimated at 400 million drachmas.

Greek equities resume upward course

Greek equities resumed their upward trend to end higher on Tuesday led by strong buying interest in Leasing stocks and other small and medium-sized listed companies. The general index ended 1.15 percent up to 2,051.19 points with turnover at 34.6 billion drachmas. Sector indices scored gains. Banks rose 1.15 percent, Insurance ended 0.48 percent up, Investment jumped 2.46 percent, Leasing soared 8.0 percent, Industrials were 1.0 percent higher, Construction increased 2.57 percent, Miscellaneous ended 1.23 percent higher and Holding rose 1.31 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 1.67 percent up.

Second flotation of Athens bourse due in December

A second flotation of a 10-15 percent stake in Athens Stock Exchange is expected to be launched early in December, ASE chairman Spyros Kouniakis said. Following the new flotation the Greek state will be a minority shareholder in ASE. ETEBA and Alpha Finance will act as underwriters to the sale. ASE's shares will be offered to institutional investors, banks, stockbrokers, listed companies, insurance, mutual funds, pension funds and other investment trusts. An earlier flotation offered a 39.7 percent stake in the Athens Stock Exchange to Greek institutional investors. The Greek state now controls 60.33 percent of ASE equity, stockbrokers hold 3.08 percent, financial institutions 22.70 percent, listed companies 5.55 percent, insurance firms 1.58 percent, mutual funds 2.36 percent, pension funds 3.04 percent and investments firms 1.35 percent.

Russian woman forced into prostitution found dead

A young Russian woman was found dead in the northern Greek capital of Thessaloniki and police said she apparently killed herself in despair at being forced to work as a prostitute. Police said Irini Penkina, 20, from Russia was found dead in her room by her Bulgarian roommate. She had used her stockings to hang herself. Penkina, her 23-year-old roommate and two other women, from Moldova and Ukraine, lived together in the apartment. Their Greek pimp forced them to have sex with customers in exchange for room, board, a small living allowance, and protection. It was the second case of a young woman from the former Soviet Union killing herself: a few months ago, another Russian woman threw herself off the third floor of an apartment building after similarly being forced into prostitution.

Two arrested in exploitation of Romanian girl

Thessaloniki police said they were bringing charges against two men accused of forcing another young woman into working as a prostitute. Based on testimony from Paola-Violetta Pantourean, a 17-year-old Romanian woman, one of the two men "sold" the girl to the other for 400,000 drachmas after physically forcing her to work as a prostitute in a disused bar. On being sold, Pantourean was again forced against her will to work as a prostitute in various hotel rooms and apartments in Katerini. Pantourean, who illegally entered the country in March through the Greek border with FYROM, managed to escape and seek refuge with the police. She will be deported, police said.

Ten illegal immigrants arrested on Samos

A group of 10 illegal immigrants were arrested this morning on the island of Samos, local police said. A police spokesman told the ANA that four Iraqis, two Iranians and two Turks were ferried to the remote Psili Ammos beach from neighbouring Turkey by a Turkish captain manning a speedboat. The illegal immigrants told police that there were dozens of others waiting on the Turkish coast to be ferried over to the Greek islands in the Aegean.

U.S. professor to get honorary doctorate

Frank Harary, professor of informatics at the New Mexico State University in the United States, will be awarded an honorary doctorate in applied informatics by the Macedonia University's department of economic and social sciences during a special ceremony tonight at the university campus in Thessaloniki. Professor Harary, who recieved his PhD from the University of California in Mathematical Logic in 1948, holds four other honorary doctorates and is on the editorial staff of 16 scientific periodicals around the world. He has published more than 700 papers mainly on the theory of graphs and its application not only in the field of informatics but also in the sectors of anthropology, art, biology, linguistics and business research.


Mostly fair weather is expected throughout Greece on today with scattered cloud in the western and northern regions. Possibility of rain in the northern Ionian, Epirus, western mainland Greece and western Macedonia. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 15-25C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 13- 23C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 276.659 British pound 471.498 Japanese yen (100) 241.215 French franc 50.915 German mark 170.703 Italian lira (100) 17.255 Irish Punt 425.667 Belgian franc 8.275 Finnish mark 56.155 Dutch guilder 151.364 Danish kr. 44.902 Austrian sch. 24.269 Spanish peseta 2.009 Swedish kr. 35.571 Norwegian kr. 37.260 Swiss franc 210.056 Port. Escudo 1.669 Aus. dollar 174.994 Can. dollar 179.354 Cyprus pound 577.661


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