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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-22

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, 22/10/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Strong reaction from Greece over EU-Turkey funds
  • Pangalos in Moscow for talks
  • Athens waits for second round of FYROM elections
  • Inner Cabinet to meet on budget on Friday
  • Athens urges Tirana to fight crime
  • Parliament lifts immunity of two ND MPs
  • Simitis to meet Ecumenical Patriarch in Athos
  • Woman killed by stray bullet in armed robbery
  • Government to drop charges against farmers
  • Another Greek arrested for pimping
  • Eight illegal immigrants arrested
  • Greek equities end higher
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Strong reaction from Greece over EU-Turkey funds

Greece on Thursday warned it would react strongly if the European Commission's decision to approve a 150-million-ecu package of economic aid to Turkey was ratified by the EU Council of Ministers. The Commission's plan, put forward by External Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek and adopted on Wednesday, circumvents a standing Greek veto by introducing a new regulation terming Turkey a developing country, which requires only a special majority for approval by the Council of Ministers. Greek objections to date have been successful in preventing disbursement, as the package was envisaged as aid to an associate member in preparation for membership, which requires unanimity. The foreign ministry quickly responded on Wednesday with a statement saying Greece would refer the Commission to the European Court without delay.

Pangalos in Moscow for talks

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos arrived in Moscow Thursday for talks with the new Russian government including the situation in the Balkans and Greek-Russian economic cooperation. He will also sign two cooperation agreements, one on cooperation between the foreign ministry archives of the two countries, and one on mutually upgrading each other's consulates. Pangalos arrived in Moscow after a one-day visit to Chisinau, where he had similar talks with the Moldovan government.

Athens waits for second round of FYROM elections

Greece considers the successful conduct of democratic elections in the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to be a positive development but will wait for the second round of voting before making any statement, the government said on Friday. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said however that Greece's foreign policy was guided by the need for peace, friendship and cooperation. Athens desires the best possible relations with Skopje to the mutual benefit of both peoples, he said. He added that Greece had taken specific steps to overcome problems in bilateral relations and expected that the new government in Skopje would do the same.

Inner Cabinet to meet on budget on Friday

Bank of Greece Governor Lucas Papademos will sit in on Friday's meeting to discuss the 1999 budget by the Inner Cabinet, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday. Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair the meeting. On Saturday, the prime minister leaves for Austria to take part in the informal EU summit, Reppas said.

Athens urges Tirana to fight crime

Greece on Thursday urged Albania to step up measures to curb the activity and ease of movement of Albanian underworld figures in Greece. Increasing criminal activity by Albanian nationals in Greece was the focus of talks between Greek Public Order Minister George Romeos and his Albanian counterpart Pedro Koci, in Athens on Romeos's invitation. Koci was presented with figures from the Greek ministry showing the number of crimes committed by Albanian citizens and was urged to take more effective measures to police borders.

Parliament lifts immunity of two ND MPs

Parliament voted shortly before midnight Wednesday lifting the parliamentary immunity of two main opposition New Democracy deputies to face penal charges. The 300-member single house in a majority secret ballot decided to lift the parliamentary immunity of Varsamis Yiovanoudas and Costas Karaminas. Yiovanoudas, 44, an independent deputy in Halkidiki, northern Greece has been accused of brutally beating up a young woman with whom he had an affair. Karaminas, 50, a deputy for the island of Samos is being accused of refusing top take a breathelizer alcohol test for when his car crashed after an all night spree at a bar. An Athens university girl was fatally injured in the crash.

Simitis to meet Ecumenical Patriarch in Athos

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to Mount Athos, northern Greece, on Monday to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, the government said on Friday. Vartholomeos, spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, will pay a two-day visit to the autonomous monastic community, beginning this weekend. The Patriarch will arrive by yacht to take part in celebrations marking the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Xenophon Monastery. He is also expected to meet with President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

Woman killed by stray bullet in armed robbery

A 20-year-old woman died on Thursday after being shot during a robbery at a branch of the Commercial Bank in Triandria,Thessaloniki. Two armed masked men entered the bank at noon and seized an unknown amount of money. As they were leaving, one of the robbers turned and fired a shot, apparently to discourage any pursuit, according to eye-witnesses. The bullet hit Vassiliki Katsanou, a student. Police have launched a manhunt for the two bank robbers.

Government to drop charges against farmers

The government intends to drop criminal charges against farmers who participated in extensive protests in 1995-96 and 1997, Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos told Parliament on Thursday. Yiannopoulos said a provision writing off the charges agains the farmers would be contained in a ministry bill to be submitted to Parliament soon. A number of protests by farmers - against new tax laws, in support of demands for cheaper fuel and higher prices for their products - caused unprecedented chaos in Greece over the period, hampering road and rail transport between the north and south, blocking lorries from delivering vital supplies and on occasion forcing factories to shut down due to shortages of fuel and raw materials.

Another Greek arrested for pimping

Thessaloniki police on Thursday arrested a 28-year-old man on charges of pimping after finding seven foreign women working as prostitutes from the basement of his cafe. Police said the seven women - one Romanian, two Moldovan, one Ukrainian and three Bulgarians - were also arrested. Two of the Bulgarian women were in the country illegally and will be deported. All eight will be charged later today. It was the second arrest in Thessaloniki this week involving Eastern European women being used in prostitution rackets. On Thursday, police arrested another man on Tuesday after a young Russian woman he forced to work as a prostitute apparently killed herself in despair.

Eight illegal immigrants arrested

Two operators of a tourist coach were arrested on Wednesday after police found eight illegal immigrants and 264 cartons of contraband cigarettes on board the bus. Police at the port of Igoumenitsa, northwest Greece, said the two men will be charged later on Thursday. The eight illegal immigrants will also be brought before the public prosecutor, charging with illegally entering the country. There was no information on where the coach was coming from.

Greek equities end higher

Greek equities ended higher on the Athens Stock Exchange although some profit taking slowed the market's advance. The general index ended 0.44 percent higher to 2,097.05 points in thin turnover of 35 billion drachmas. Volume was 11,001,000 shares. Sector indices were mixed. Banks rose 0.85 percent, Insurance fell 0.10 percent, Investment increased 2.0 percent, Leasing dropped 2.30 percent, Industrials fell 0.15 percent, Construction eased 0.20 percent, Miscellaneous jumped 2.26 percent and Holding rose 1.35 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.87 percent up.

WEATHER

Scattered cloud will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds will be northerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 15-23C. Overcast in Thessaloniki with possibility of rain in the afternoon and temperatures from 14- 20C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.504 British pound 474.116 Japanese yen (100) 240.520 French franc 50.667 German mark 169.870 Italian lira (100) 17.179 Irish Punt 423.584 Belgian franc 8.235 Finnish mark 55.850 Dutch guilder 150.665 Danish kr. 44.684 Austrian sch. 24.146 Spanish peseta 2.000 Swedish kr. 35.837 Norwegian kr. 37.640 Swiss franc 207.115 Port. Escudo 1.653 Aus. dollar 175.202 Can. dollar 181.219 Cyprus pound 573.614

(M.P.)


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