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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 23/10/1998 (ANA)


  • Palimpsest for sale not legally acquired
  • Two injured as boatman disembarks illegal immigrants
  • Serbian student killed by policeman
  • Industrial production up by 4.9%
  • Greek equities end lower
  • Ecumenical Patriarch in Mount Athos
  • Reward posted for armed robbers
  • Father, son arrested with arms cache
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Palimpsest for sale not legally acquired

Greece said on Friday that a 12th century palimpsest due to be auctioned by international house Christie's in London next week is legally the property of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. At an urgent press conference, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said investigations by the ministry into the ownership status of the palimpsest showed that it had been in the possession of a French family for 75 years, which had acquired it from a monastery in Istanbul. However, Venizelos said, the manuscript originally came from the Patriarchate of Jersalem and Patriarch Diodoros had informed the minister that there was no record of it ever having been sold. The palimpsest contains what is thought to be the only copy of a letter sent by ancient Greek mathematician and physicist Archimedes to astronomer Eratosthenes. Christie's had set opening bids for the manuscript at between 800,000 and 1.2 million dollars.

Two injured as boatman disembarks illegal immigrants

Two Iraqi Kurds were injured when a small speedboat ferrying 15 illegal immigrants from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Kos capsized off the island early today, the Greek coast guard said. A coast guard patrol sped to the rescue of eight children, four women and five men hanging on to the nearly-sunken boat, which was spotted two miles off Kos harbour. "They were just barely hanging on to the speedboat in the cold waters and were in miserable condition when we found them," a coast guard spokesman told the ANA. The Turkish captain of the speedboat, who was also onboard, was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Serbian student killed by policeman

A Serbian youth on a field trip to Thessaloniki was shot dead by police in the city centre in as yet unclear circumstances. Initial reports said the youth was part of group of bag-snatchers. Reports said the dead youth was 18-year-old Belgrade Technical School student Marko Buratovic, who had arrived in Thessaloniki at midday, following a week in Corfu. Eyewitnesses said that the youth and his companions had been standing outside a clothing store on Thessaloniki's main shopping street, Egnatia, when police arrived. An official statement from the Thessaloniki Police is later in the day.

Industrial production up by 4.9%

Industrial production increased by 4.9 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the corresponding period in 1997, Greece's National Statistics Service said. Industrial production rose 3.3 percent in August.

Greek equities end lower

Greek equities ended Friday's session lower on the Athens Stock Exchange in what traders called a normal correction ahead of the weekend. The general index ended 0.97 percent down to 2,076.81 points, to show a net gain of 1.78 percent in the week. Trading was thin with turnover at 35.2 billion drachmas. Sector indices were lower. Banks fell 1.03 percent, Investment eased 0.84 percent, Industrials ended 0.88 percent off, Construction plunged 2.46 percent, Miscellaneous fell 1.92 percent and Holding dropped 2.0 percent. Leasing bucked the trend to end 8.0 percent higher, hitting the daily limit up. Insurance also rose by 0.28 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 1.33 percent.

Ecumenical Patriarch in Mount Athos

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, left Istanbul on Friday to begin a two-day visit to the autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos. The Patriarch, accompanied by a number of senior clergy, will arrive by yacht to take part in celebrations marking the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Xenophon Monastery. Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to Mount Athos, on Monday to meet with Vartholomeos. Vartholomeos is also expected to meet with President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

Reward posted for armed robbers

The Union of Greek Banks (EET) on Friday said it was offering a reward of 30 million drachmas for information leading to the arrest of two bank robbers who killed a girl in Thessaloniki on Thursday. Twenty-year-old Vassiliki Katsanou, a student, was hit by a stray bullet during the robbery of a branch of the Commercial Bank in Triandria, Thessaloniki. The two masked gunmen shot at the ceiling as they left the bank, with one of the bullets ricocheting off the ceiling to hit Katsanou in the heart. An extensive manhunt by Thessaloniki police failed to find any trace of the two men.

Father, son arrested with arms cache

Police in the town of Drama arrested a father and son after finding an extensive hoard of arms in their residence. Police said a search of the home in the village of Kavalari found a 9mm pistol, two rifles, four single- barrelled guns, a double-barrelled shotgun, an air-rifle and two wireless radios similar to those used by police. The two men, Savvas Tsapanidis, 64, and his son Yiannis, 29, will be charged later on Friday.


Scattered cloud will prevail throughout Greece today with the possibility of light rain in the north of the country. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be sunny with few clouds and temperatures between 15-23C. Drizzle in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 13-19C.


Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.248 British pound 472.192 Japanese yen (100) 235.640 French franc 50.640 German mark 169.627 Italian lira (100) 17.155 Irish Punt 423.584 Belgian franc 8.227 Finnish mark 55.838 Dutch guilder 150.506 Danish kr. 44.626 Austrian sch. 24.121 Spanish peseta 1.997 Swedish kr. 36.069 Norwegian kr. 37.803 Swiss franc 207.194 Port. Escudo 1.653 Aus. dollar 174.790 Can. dollar 180.802 Cyprus pound 573.396


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