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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 26/10/1998 (ANA)


  • Govt defends reputation of Greek police
  • Serbian youth's funeral to be paid by Athens
  • Athens' foreign policy geared to peace, cooperation
  • Two die in plane fall
  • Nine policemen charged over prostitution racket
  • Greece ready to bid for palimpsest
  • Athens has role to play in Mideast peace
  • Civil aviation employees call strikes
  • PM meets with Ecumenical Patriarch
  • Fifteen die on Greek roads
  • Athens index ends over 2,100 level
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Govt defends reputation of Greek police

The Greek Police Force (ELAS) is in need of restructuring, training and modernisation but the recent bad press is unwarranted, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday. "It would be unfair not to give ELAS credit for its successes while at the same time not ignoring its mishaps and failures," Reppas said. Reppas was responding to reporters' questions following the arrests of nine police officers implicated in a prostitution racket and in the wake of Friday's fatal shooting by an arresting officer of a Serbian schoolboy. Rising crime is an international phenomenon and one that was discussed at this weekend's informal EU summit, the spokesman said.

Serbian youth's funeral to be paid by Athens

Greece said on Monday it would undertake all the expenses for the funeral of a Serbian schoolboy killed by a Greek policeman in Thessaloniki on Friday. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said all the necessary arrangements were being made, including transferring the body of 18-year- old Marko Bulatovic to Belgrade by a Hellenic Air Force transport plane. Bulatovic's father arrived in the northern capital on Monday to escort his son's body back to the Yugoslav capital. He made no statements to reporters. Bulatovic had been in Greece with fellow-students for little over a week when he and his fellow students arrived in Thessaloniki. 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 to arrest them as suspects in a wallet theft. The police officer involved in the incident, Kyriakos Vantoulis, has been charged with intentional homicide and will give testimony in his defence on Tuesday. An inquiry into the incident is currently under way.

Athens' foreign policy geared to peace, cooperation

Greek foreign policy aspired to relations of peace and cooperation with all countries, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told a press briefing when asked to comment on a statement by parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis in an interview in an Athens daily newspaper that war with Turkey was perhaps inevitable. "If you can't have your friends for neighbours, then you seek to make your neighbours friends," Reppas said, adding, however, that "the friendship must obey rules and conditions such as the avoidance of provocative actions." "That is how Greece acts, and would that the other side did the same," Reppas said. "But this is not the case, and that is why there is tension between" Greece and Turkey, he added.

Two die in plane fall

A single-engine private plane crashed on a mountain in the central Greek region of Fokis late Sunday, killing both its occupants, police said today. The plane was spotted on the mountainside near the village Ayios, at an altitude of 1,750 metres. Local volunteers and EMAK special rescue units battled adverse weather conditions for several hours to reach the crash site. Killed in the crash were Thessaloniki businessman Angelos Florokapis, 47, and a man identified as Zois Kallias, for whom further details were unavailable.

Nine policemen charged over prostitution racket

A prosecutor today opened legal proceedings against nine policemen, two obstetricians and a bar owner on prostitution-related charges in the city of Pyrgos, in Ileia prefecture. The charges were levelled as the government tabled a bill in parliament prohibiting prostitutes from working in groups and regulating how many can work a brothel at one time. The bar owner was charged with pimping as an investigation revealed that four under-age girls from Romania were working in his bar and that he pimped for them. Two of the policemen were charged with complicity, while the other seven with dereliction of duty. The two obstetricians were charged with performing abortions on the girls.

Greece ready to bid for palimpsest

Greece is ready to bid for a 12th century palimpsest containing the only known letter from ancient Greek scientist Archimedes to astronomer Erastosthenes at a New York auction later this week, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Monday. Venizelos said on Monday that his appeal for donations to bid for the palimpsest if the auction did go ahead despite Greece's appeal that it be returned to its owners, had been enthusiastically responded to. Christie's has set opening bids for the manuscript at between 800,000 and 1.2 million dollars. Greece said on Friday that the palimpsest was legally the property of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Athens has role to play in Mideast peace

Greece can play a role in pushing forward procedures that will lead to a lasting peace, Israeli ambassador to Greece Ran Curiel said in Athens on Monday. Curiel, speaking at a news conference on the Israeli-Palestinian accord, said Greece's holding of talks between Iraeli and Palestinian MPs in Vouliagmeni and Rhodes recently had been positive for the peace process. "Greece can continue in this way to act in the benefit (of the Mideast peace process) and also support the new process, whether through the European Union or through economic means, as Israel lends particular weight to economic development of the Palestinians," Curiel said. Athens has sponsored a series of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian figures over the past few years, in a effort to rekindle the stalled Mideast peace process. The latest meeting was held on Rhodes in July this year.

Civil aviation employees call strikes

The federation of civil aviation employees on Monday said it would hold two days of work stoppages beginning on October 30. Electricians and air traffic controllers will not be participating in the work stoppage.

PM meets with Ecumenical Patriarch

Prime Minister Costas Simitis met on Monday with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who is on an official visit to the autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos for celebrations marking the 1000th anniversary of the Xenophon monastery. Simitis, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis, attended a church service conducted by the Patriarch. Simitis and his entourage are expected to leave Athos for Athens later today, while Vartholomeos and his entourage also end their official visit today, returning to Istanbul.

Fifteen die on Greek roads

Fifteen people lost their lives in 229 road accidents over the weekend between Friday afternoon and early Monday morning, the Public Order Ministry said. It said another 239 people were injured, 28 of them seriously, in the same traffic accidents.

Athens index ends over 2,100 level

Strong buying interest in banks pushed the Athens Stock Exchange above the 2,100 level for the first time in several weeks. The general index ended 1.33 percent higher to 2,104.40 points. Turnover was 37.6 billion drachmas. Sector indices scored gains. Banks jumped 2.56 percent up, Insurance fell 0.76 percent, Investment rose 0.94 percent, Leasing increased 1.16 percent, Industrials ended 0.06 percent up, Construction rose 1.15 percent, Miscellaneous increased 0.67 percent and Holding soared 4.75 percent.


Cloud, rain and local thunderstorms are forecast today for western and mainland Greece. Scattered cloud and the possibility of rain in the rest of the country and the eastern part of the Aegean Sea. West-southwesterly winds. Athens will be overcast with occasional drizzle and temperatures from 15-23C. Same in Thessaloniki with showers and temperatures between 14- 19C.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.087 British pound 471.299 Japanese yen (100) 234.400 French franc 50.548 German mark 169.468 Italian lira (100) 17.136 Irish Punt 422.592 Belgian franc 8.214 Finnish mark 55.738 Dutch guilder 150.263 Danish kr. 44.578 Austrian sch. 24.087 Spanish peseta 1.996 Swedish kr. 36.020 Norwegian kr. 37.763 Swiss franc 207.293 Port. Escudo 1.652 Aus. dollar 173.600 Can. dollar 179.949 Cyprus pound 572.245


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