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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-18

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, 18/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens denies reports of Ocalan in Greece
  • Greece responds to Ankara charges
  • Kurd on hunger strike hospitalised
  • 149 students charged after Polytechnic march
  • DEH signs 3.5 bln dr. contract for wind parks
  • Environmentalist blasts sale of nuclear reactors to Turkey
  • No word on new European Commissioner
  • Cold snap to hit Greece Thursday night
  • New head at Greek think-tank
  • Aegean Minister in Cyprus
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens denies reports of Ocalan in Greece

The government on Wednesday described as "a good piece of fiction" an Athens newspaper report which claimed that Kurdish guerilla leader Abdullah Ocalan had stopped off at Athens international airport on Octobe 9 to sound out the Greek government about the possibility of being granted political asylum. "There was never any such issue," government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said, adding "Greece is in no way getting involved in this issue for any reason". Ocalan, the leader of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was arrested at Rome's Fiumicino airport on November 12 after arriving from Moscow on a false passport. A report in today's edition of the Athens daily "Athinaiki" claimed Ocalan stopped off in Athens on October 9.

Greece responds to Ankara charges

In a statement released today, the foreign ministry reacted sharply to Ankara's statements on Tuesday that Greece was supporting the PKK. "The Ocalan affair has once again brought to the forefront the tragic dimensions of the problem of the complete oppression of human rights in Turkey," the statement said. "The Greek government has condemned terrorism from wherever it may originate and has categorically stated to the Turkish side at the highest level that it has not provided any support whatsoever to the PKK. Consequently, the Turkish claims are rejected as unfounded and groundless," the statement said. Ankara on Tuesday said Athens and Nicosia were "playing with fire", following Cyprus's statement that Ocalan not be turned over to Turkey due to its less than stellar performance in the human rights field.

Kurd on hunger strike hospitalised

A young Kurd on a hunger strike in Thessaloniki demanding that political asylum be granted to Kurdish leader Abdallah Ocalan, currently detained in Italy, was rushed to hospital this morning with signs of fatige. Doctors at the George Papanicolaou hospital said later that 32-year-old Mazer Dogan's condition was not life-threatening. About 30 other Kurds entered the sixth day of their hunger strike in the Kamaras area of Thessaloniki, and had installed a television set to monitor developments in the Ocalan case on the satellite Kurdish television station being broadcast from the Netherlands.

149 students charged after Polytechnic march

The 149 people arrested during a march to the US Embassy in Athens on Wednesday appeared before a public prosecutor and were charged with a number of offences ranging from disturbance of the peace to being in possession of dangerous weapons. They were arrested during scuffles which broke out when they tried to join the annual march to the US embassy which is the culmination of events marking the anniversary of the 1973 students' uprising at Athens Polytechnic. Of the 149 - 125 males and 24 females ranging in age from 14 to 30 years old - 27 are juveniles and appeared before a prosecutor for young offenders. Minor scuffles broke out however when some of the youths tried to attack television crews.

DEH signs 3.5 bln dr. contract for wind parks

Greece's Public Power Corporation (DEH) today signed a contract, worth 3.5 billion drachmas, with the NEG Micon-ATE Gnomon group for the construction of two wind parks in Xerolimni, Crete. The contract, signed following an international tender, calls for the construction of two wind parks including 17 wind generators, of 600 KW each for a total power of 10.2 MW. The project is expected to cover energy demand in the island of Crete, particularly in the summer months, and at the same time improve environmental conditions in the island through cutbacks in the use of fossil fuel power stations. The project is expected to be completed in 13 months.

Environmentalist blasts sale of nuclear reactors to Turkey

A leading Candian environmentalist today blasted the proposed sale of two Canadian Candu nuclear reactors to Turkey, noting that the reactors were of outdated technology and warning of the dangers of building a nuclear plant at Akkuyu Bay in a highly seismic area on Turkey's southern coast and charging that Ankara's ultimate goal was to build nuclear weapons. Dave Martin, research director of the Canadian environmental organisation Nuclear Alert, told the ANA in an interview in Toronto that the installation of a nuclear plant at Akkuyu, which was situated near an active seismic fault, would disrupt the nuclear balance in the Mediterranean region and also pose a major threat of environmental disaster. The Turkish government is expected soon to announce the winner of an international tender for the construction of two nuclear reactors at Akkuyu in the southern Turkish province of Mersin, just 80 kilometres north of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The two top bidders are the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), which is a federally-owned corporation, and Siemens of Germany.

No word on new European Commissioner

Prime Minister Costas Simitis has not yet decided who will succeed Greece's European Commissioner, Christos Papoutsis, government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said on Wednesday. The spokesman was replying to reporters' questions concerning press reports claiming Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou was the frontrunner for the post. "The prime minister has time to decide," Nikolaou said, adding "for the time being, Christos Papoutsis is commissioner".

Cold snap to hit Greece Thursday night

The Greek Meteorological Service issued a warning of a sudden drop in temperatures around the country on Thursday evening, accompanied by storms and gale force winds. The service said snowfall was forecast for mountainous regions as well as in central and northern Greece. Winds of between 8 and 9 Beaufort are forecast for Greek seas. The cold snap is expected to last from Thursday evening through to the weekend with intermittent spells of good weather.

New head at Greek think-tank

The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) has elected Athens University professor of international relations Theodoros Couloumbis as the think tank's new chairman, it was announced today. He replaces outgoing chairman, Professor Thanos Veremis.

Aegean Minister in Cyprus

Greece's Minister for the Aegean Elizabeth Papazoi arrived in Nicosia on Wednesday for an official visit. Papazoi is scheduled to meet with Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, Archbishop Chryssostomos and a number of government ministers.

WEATHER

Overcast weather with spells of sunshine will prevail throughout Greece today with rain in the morning in the eastern Aegean Sea, Crete, the Cycladic islands and the Dodecanese. Winds northerly moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Few clouds in Athens with temperatures between 6- 14C. Rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 2-8C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.740 British pound 466.240 Japanese yen (100) 231.136 French franc 49.828 German mark 167.063 Italian lira (100) 16.881 Irish Punt 415.628 Belgian franc 8.098 Finnish mark 54.955 Dutch guilder 148.180 Danish kr. 43.944 Austrian sch. 23.746 Spanish peseta 1.965 Swedish kr. 34.645 Norwegian kr. 37.498 Swiss franc 203.132 Port. Escudo 1.629 Aus. dollar 176.011 Can. dollar 178.778 Cyprus pound 563.277

(M.P.)


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