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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 16/11/1998 (ANA)


  • PKK leader an issue for Italian authorities
  • Students jeer PM at Athens Polytechnic
  • Athens comments on U.S. envoy's meetings
  • Greece unhappy about Hollywood blockbuster on Alexander
  • No delay in Olympic Games planning
  • Stocks surge on hopes of rate cut
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


PKK leader an issue for Italian authorities

Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan People's Party (PKK) currently in detention in Rome, has not been invited to Greece and the government has not received any message from him, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday. Reppas said the Greek government had no contact with Ocalan or his representative and that the issue of whether or not he received political asylum was a matter for Italy's leaders and laws. He said however that Greece's stance on the Kurdish issue had not changed "a whit", noting that Greece has fought for a political resolution to the Kurds' long- running separatist cause and against the use of force by Turkish authorities.

Students jeer PM at Athens Polytechnic

Scuffles and jeers greeted Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis as they arrived at the Athens Polytechnic on Monday morning to lay wreaths. Groups of students threw eggs, plastic bottles and other items at the prime minister's entourage and shouted slogans against the government's policies and the education ministry's reforms. Student groups charged with maintaining the peace during the three days of events marking the 1973 student uprising against the military government then ruling Greece clashed with the protestors. Additional police units have been deployed in the Polytechnic's vicinity and other university and public buildings in an attempt to avert any disturbances.

Athens comments on U.S. envoy's meetings

Greece on Monday dampened down press speculation over the visit by U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns to Greek security authorities last week. "The U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns is promoting bilateral relations between Greece and the United States and this framework includes visits to (state) services," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. He denied that the government was in possession of information relating to a possible terrorist attack but said that it was sensitive to the issue and prepared for any eventuality.

Greece unhappy about Hollywood blockbuster on Alexander

Greece on Monday said it doubted whether it would be able to continue to assist Hollywood director Oliver Stone on his plans for a blockbuster on the life of Alexander the Great. "At the present time it is not at all certain whether we would find any grounds for cooperation, at least on the script," Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said. Venizelos was responding to press questions in the wake of reports that Stone's version of the life of Alexander the Great would differ markedly from the accepted historical version, including how Alexander met his end. Stone met with Venizelos in 1996 and Venizelos then had indicated Athens' interest in the project, assuring Stone of every possible support, should he decide to shoot the motion picture in Greece.

No delay in Olympic Games planning

Greece on Monday vehemently denied that it was lagging behind in preparations to stage the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. "The IOC is always concerned about Olympic Games projects. However, there is not the slightest delay in projects in our country," Venizelos said. Venizelos,who has just returned from a 10-day trip to Australia where he met with Sydney 2000 Olympic Games officials, said Athens had a more responsive and effective organisational structure than Sydney. "In terms of projects, Greece is ahead compared to Sydney at a comparable time," he said.

Stocks surge on hopes of rate cut

Greek equities ended sharply higher on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday helped by investors' optimism over lower interest rates, abroad and domestic. The general index soared 3.66 percent to surpass the 2,300 level, ending at the day's highs of 2,316.08 points. Trading was heavy with turnover at 54.6 billion drachmas. Volume was 12,525,000 shares. Traders said a positive report by US investment bank Morgan Stanley on the Greek economy brought euphoria to the market. The report forecast that inflation would drop to 2.5 percent by the end of 1999 and that Greece would achieve its EMU targets.


Overcast weather with rain and storms is forecast throughout Greece today. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures beween 13-20C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures will be from 8-15C.


Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.621 British pound 470.387 Japanese yen (100) 231.642 French franc 49.848 German mark 167.261 Italian lira (100) 16.889 Irish Punt 415.965 Belgian franc 8.101 Finnish mark 54.967 Dutch guilder 148.200 Danish kr. 43.946 Austrian sch. 23.747 Spanish peseta 1.965 Swedish kr. 34.823 Norwegian kr. 37.595 Swiss franc 203.087 Port. Escudo 1.627 Aus. dollar 179.909 Can. dollar 182.310 Cyprus pound 565.182


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