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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-08

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, 08/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Simitis calls for unity
  • OTE stake in Romtelecom
  • Kranidiotis on S-300 missiles
  • Drug arrest for speeder
  • PM to visit Poland
  • Nine injured in urban bus accident
  • US embassy closed Wednesday
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Simitis calls for unity

Prime Minister Costas Simitis told the ruling party PASOK Central Committee on Saturday that the party needed a "strategy for victory" in the lead-up to general elections and to get the country into economic and monetary union.

The Central Committee session ended on Saturday night, with the majority voting through the prime minister's proposals. Sixteen members voted against.

Summing up two days of debate by the party's supreme decision-making body, Simitis said the party needing a winning strategy to face off oppposition in the next electoral contest - European Parliament elections in June 1999 - in the wake of disappointing results for the ruling party in recent local government elections.

Simitis called for unity among party ranks. Earlier, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that the local elections result had damaged the party's unity.

OTE stake in Romtelecom

The Romanian government has announced that Greek telecoms organisation OTE is the successful bidder in the sale of a 35 percent stake in the Romananian state telecoms company, Romtelecom, an ANA dispatch reported from Bucharest.

OTE will also take over management of the company.

OTE bid 675 million dollars for the 35 percent share package and voting rights for an extra 16 percent in Romtelecom's share capital.

Analysts said the development was a major success for OTE, giving it access to a market of over 20 million consumers with good prospects for development, as well as a boost for Greek investment in the Balkans.

OTE also holds a 20 percent stake in Serbia's Srbija Telecom.

Kranidiotis on S-300 missiles

Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said that there was no decision on deploying Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the Greek island of Crete rather than Cyprus.

The deputy minister said that the decision in force was the one taken by the National Council of Cyprus, adding: "The Greek and Cypriot governments are in constant contact and cooperation, and all possibilities and alternatives both in the diplomatic and military sectors are being examined."

Drug arrest for speeder

Police discovered 70 kilos of hashish during a routine police check on speeding cars over the weekend.

Police found the drugs when police radars detected a car travelling at high speed on the Thessaloniki-Kavala highway, near the village of Kavalari.

After police motioned for the driver to stop, the driver and his three passengers opened the car doors and started to run in different directions.

After giving chase, the police captured the driver, an Albanian national. A subsequent search of car revealed 70.5 kilos of hashish in 76 packages.

The driver said he and his three companions, also Albanians, had taken delivery of the drugs from the northern Greek town of Edessa and were headed to Kavala. Their payment for delivering the hashish was two kilos of the drug.

Police are seeking the other three and will make an official statement on Monday.

PM to visit Poland

Prime Minister Costas Simitis begins a two-day visit to Warsaw on Monday at the invitation of his Polish counterpart Jerzy Buzek.

During his stay, Simitis will have talks with Buzek on bilateral and international issues.

He will also meet with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and have talks with the speakers of Poland's house of representatives and senate and political party leaders.

Nine injured in urban bus accident

Nine people were injured, two seriously, when a Thessaloniki urban bus overturned and fell into a ditch on Saturday night, police said.

The injured were transferred to a hospital in the northern Greek capital where doctors said they were all in a stable condition.

The incident is being investigated by the Thessaloniki traffic police.

US embassy closed Wednesday

The US embassy in Athens, US consulates in Athens and Thessaloniki and all US federal government offices operating in Greece will be closed on Wednesday, November 11, in observance of Veterans' Day, a US national holiday.

WEATHER

Mild weather is forecast for western Greece, eastern Macedonia-Thrace and the northern Aegean on Monday, and local clouds for the rest of the country with chances of rain. Athens will be cloudy in the north and east of the prefecture, with slight chance of rain and temperatures between 11-17 C. Same for Thessaloniki with temperatures of 6-13 C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.105 British pound 460.566 Japanese yen (100) 234.410 French franc 49.788 German mark 167.028 Italian lira (100) 16.884 Irish Punt 415.152 Belgian franc 8.092 Finnish mark 54.957 Dutch guilder 148.071 Danish kr. 43.926 Austrian sch. 23.744 Spanish peseta 1.964 Swedish kr. 35.730 Norwegian kr. 37.672 Swiss franc 202.730 Port. Escudo 1.628 Aus. dollar 174.443 Can. dollar 180.980 Cyprus pound 563.734

(L.G.)


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