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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-20

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, 20/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Cold front sweeps through Greece
  • Croatian president in Greece on Monday
  • Customs strike leads to queues at border posts
  • Prince Charles in Greece on Sunday
  • Europarliament MPs call for asylum for Ocalan
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Cold front sweeps through Greece

Dozens of villages in northern Greece were cut off by heavy snowfall on Friday and schools shut down as a cold snap swept in from the west of the country. In Athens, the sudden onset of winter and heavy rain caused the usual traffic congestion and flooding of basement apartments. The fire department reported receiving dozens of calls for assistance. Snow chains were being used on vehicles travelling in northern Greece and snow fall had reached more than half a metre. Strong winds of up to 9 Beaufort forced ships to shelter in the ports of Piraeus and Rafina with only covered ferries in the Saronic Gulf allowed to sail.

Croatian president in Greece on Monday

Croatian President Franco Tudjman begins a three-day official visit to Greece on Monday, at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Costis Stephanopoulos. Tudjman is scheduled to have a private meeting with Stephanopoulos soon after his arrival in Athens. A meeting between the two countries' delegations will follow. The Croatian president meets with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday at midday, and their meeting will be followed by an official luncheon in Tudjman's honour. In the afternoon, Tudjman is scheduled for a series of meetings with leaders and representatives of Greece's political parties.

Customs strike leads to queues at border posts

Long lines of trucks, coaches and cars stretching up to three kilometres formed at the Evzones customs post on Greece's border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Friday as a strike by customs employees entered its third day. As a consequence of the strike, goods heading or coming from abroad are not being loaded or unloaded at the customs posts at Thessaloniki's port and international airport. There was some tension today at Evzones, as quarrels broke out between customs employees on the one hand and drivers and coach passengers on the other. The situation has been exacerbated by bad weather which set in on Thursday throughout most of Greece.

Prince Charles in Greece on Sunday

Prince Charles is expected to arrive in Greece on Sunday for a two-day visit coinciding with the Britain and Greece Festival, during which he will be received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos and may meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Charles will attend a concert by the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields directed by Sir Neville Marriner at the Athens Concert Hall on Sunday evening. The following day at the Athens town hall, he will be presented with the "Medal of the City" before visiting the "12 for 2000" exhibition at the municipal exhibition centre.

Europarliament MPs call for asylum for Ocalan

Coalition of the Left and Progress European Parliament MP Alekos Alavanos on Friday handed a petition signed by 50 members of the European assembly to Italy's ambassador to Athens, Enrico Pietromarci. The petition is addressed to Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and calls on him to extend political asylum to Kurdistan Workers' Party leader Abdullah Ocalan, presently under house arrest at an undisclosed location in Rome. The petition notes "the unanimous decision of the Italian Parliament in 1997 to not extradite any person to a country, such as Turkey, where the death penalty is in force" and "the European Court of Human Rights' condemnation of Turkey for its persecution of the Kurds".

WEATHER

Rain and storms will prevail throughout Greece today with snow in the morning in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds variable, strong to gale force. Rainstorms in Athens with temperatures between 7-13C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1- 5C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.940 British pound 465.466 Japanese yen (100) 233.864 French franc 49.665 German mark 166.552 Italian lira (100) 16.819 Irish Punt 414.458 Belgian franc 8.073 Finnish mark 54.768 Dutch guilder 147.659 Danish kr. 43.795 Austrian sch. 23.669 Spanish peseta 1.958 Swedish kr. 34.589 Norwegian kr. 37.468 Swiss franc 202.814 Port. Escudo 1.623 Aus. dollar 179.765 Can. dollar 179.750 Cyprus pound 561.472

(M.P.)


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