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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-03

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, 03/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Pangalos slams double standards in international affairs
  • Farmers rally to press demands
  • Gov't support for FM's dealings with department
  • Civil aviation agency slams plans to seek OA investor
  • Chief of Staff visits new NATO sub-HQ
  • PM meets with ruling party official
  • Albanian sports minister in Athens
  • Two men rob Commercial Bank
  • Fire breaks out on passenger train
  • Greek man arrested on multiple rape charges
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Pangalos slams double standards in international affairs

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said on Tuesday that political, military nor economic considerations could result in Turkey imposing its designs against Greece. At the same time, Pangalos called on the United States "to force" Turkey to withdraw the armaments it had obtained from the US from the occupied part of Cyprus. Addressing Parliament during a three- day debate leading to tonight's confidence vote, Pangalos slammed what he called "double standards" in international politics. Commenting on a Turkish proposal for dialogue with Greece, Pangalos underlined that in order for there to be dialogue on an equal basis, both countries must belong to the same system of law and order.

Farmers rally to press demands

Hundreds of farmers and more than 70 tractors rallied in the central Greek town of Farsala, near Larissa, on Tuesday, to warn the government they were prepared to block roads again this year if their demands were not met. The rally was organised by the Federation of Farming Associations, with the support of the Thessaly Coordinating Committee, the force behind extensive farmers' protests last year. Federation president Yiannis Patakis said the farmers wanted a higher production ceiling on cotton crops and said that prices for cereal crops would be down by 30 percent this year if the European Union did not alter its regulations. Protests last year by farmers caused unprecedented chaos in Greece, 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.

Gov't support for FM's dealings with department

The government fully supports Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in dealings with recalcitrant former employees at the ministry's translation service, spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. "Mr. Pangalos's statements are clear: service to citizens comes above all. Citizens should not feel like beasts of burden," Reppas said in response to press questions. Pangalos on Monday accepted the resignation of secretary-general for administration and organisation, Constantine Zoras, holding him responsible for serious problems caused in the operation of the ministry's translation department. According to highly-placed sources, Pangalos called in police to evict eight former members of staff, who had not accepted a recent change to their terms of employment and who were preventing colleagues from working. The employees were barred from entering the translation service when they reported for work on Tuesday morning.

Civil aviation agency slams plans to seek OA investor

The Federation of Civil Aviation Associations (OSPA) on Tuesday accused Transport Minister Tassos Mandelis of provocatively ignoring the law providing for the revitalisation of the ailing national carrier Olympic Airways. Mandelis told Parliament last night that the government had assigned an international firm the task of finding a strategic investor to purchase a 15 to 20 per cent stake in the carrier and assume its management. OSPA said the government's plans "dynamited" OA's revitalisation efforts and would prevent it from regaining its commercial credibility as a company.

Chief of Staff visits new NATO sub-HQ

The Chief of the National Defence General Staff, General Athanasios Tzoganis, on Tuesday visited a new NATO sub-headquarters in Tyrnavos, central Greece, which will soon be operational. Tzoganis said the sub- headquarters was important also for national defence "since through the facility, Greece will become a more active member of NATO and this means it will be able to better safeguard its interests in the defence sector". He also underlined the major benefits for the greater region of Larissa arising from the operation of the sub-headquarters, not only on an economic level but also with respect to contacts with the international community.

PM meets with ruling party official

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday met with ruling PASOK party Secretary Kostas Skandalides to discuss preparations for the party's Central Committee meeting later this week. Speaking to reporters after the consultations, Skandalides said they had had a wide-ranging discussion on recent developments and political issues as well as "that which lies ahead". Replying to questions, he said there were no plans in the offing for changes in the composition of PASOK's Executive Bureau. Skandalides said PASOK's Political Secretariat would convene at noon on Thursday and the Executive Bureau later the same day to approve the recommendations of Simitis and the bureau which will be presented at the Central Committee meeting on Friday and Saturday.

Albanian sports minister in Athens

Albania's Sports Minister Mr. Tartari reassured Greece on Tuesday that the Euro 2000 qualifying match between Greek and Albanian teams in Tirana on November 18 would not be marred by any incident. Tartari was speaking to Deputy Minister for Sports Andreas Fouras in Athens. Tartari is heading a delegation to Greece to study organisation of sports events. The Euro 2000 qualifying match between Albania and Greece was originally scheduled for October 10 but postponed by UEFA on October 1 because of political unrest in Albania. Fouras is scheduled to visit Tirana on November 17 to sign a protocol of cooperation in the sports sector between the two countries.

Two men rob Commercial Bank

Two armed men held up a branch of the Commercial Bank in the Athens suburb of Kaisariani on Tuesday morning and escaped with 3 million drachmas. According to eye-witnesses, one of the robbers demanded money from employees at the counter while his accomplice kept an eye on the other staff and customers in the bank. After grabbing the money, the two men escaped on a motorcycle. The police said the robbery had been recorded by a bank security camera.

Fire breaks out on passenger train

A fire broke out early yesterday in one of the carriages of a passenger train en route from Thessaloniki to Athens. The fire, caused by a short in the electrical wiring of the carriage, generated a slight panic among the passengers and the train crew but nobody was hurt, police said. Train and passengers departed for the final destination in Athens, after company employees removed the burnt carriage.

Greek man arrested on multiple rape charges

A Greek man was arrested on Tuesday after he confessed to raping at least three women in the wider Athens area. Emmanuel Alifrangis, 23, confessed to police that he had sexually attacked four women. Alifrangis was arrested after being positively identified by three of his victims. Police are seeking the fourth victim, who has not reported the attack to police.

WEATHER

Overcast weather is forecast throughout Greece today. Light rain in the west of the country and also possibly on the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese. Local fog in the morning, particularly in mainland Greece. Winds southwesterly, light to moderate. Spring-like weather in Athens with temperatures between 15-23C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 8-19C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.353 British pound 462.312 Japanese yen (100) 239.637 French franc 50.110 German mark 168.065 Italian lira (100) 16.990 Irish Punt 418.247 Belgian franc 8.147 Finnish mark 55.278 Dutch guilder 149.003 Danish kr. 44.211 Austrian sch. 23.893 Spanish peseta 1.978 Swedish kr. 35.781 Norwegian kr. 37.865 Swiss franc 205.845 Port. Escudo 1.641 Aus. dollar 173.302 Can. dollar 179.552 Cyprus pound 567.384

(M.P.)


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