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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-21

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, 21/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Ferry services resume
  • Millenium bug not to heavily affect Greek state
  • Croatian president in Greece on Monday
  • Prince Charles in Greece on Sunday
  • Europarliament MPs call for asylum for Ocalan
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Ferry services resume

Ferryboat services from Piraeus and Rafina to the Aegean islands, Crete and the Dodecanese resumed early Saturday morning after an improvement in weather conditions. Sailings were prohibited on Friday due to gale force winds in the Aegean as bad weather swept across Greece, causing floods and transport havoc in many parts of the country. Scores of villages were cut off by snow up to half a metre deep in parts of northern Greece. Although conditions improved today, the National Meteorological Service was forecasting more bad weather and possibly a worse spell on Sunday.

Millenium bug not to heavily affect Greek state

A "silver lining in the cloud" was cited by the government on Friday, which stated that Greece will be less affected than other European Union states in dealing with the problem of the "millennium bug" because it has been slow in introducing computers.

Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos referred to the issue at a Cabinet meeting focusing on the streamlining of state and ministry services.

The Cabinet ascertained that public services were "more immune" in relation to the "millennium bug" which anticipates problems from an inability of computer systems to anticipate the change of century because many had not yet gone over to computerise d systems.

Mr. Papadopoulos called on the private sector to coordinate work on dealing with the millennium bug, saying it was "further ahead" in this problem.

A five member ad hoc committee, made up of the ministers of the interior, defence, national economy, development and transports, will also be established to deal with the issue.

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.

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 resume on Sunday in most parts of the country after Saturday's short respite, while snow is expeceted in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds will be easterly southeasterly moderate to strong, while later in the day they are expected to reach gale force. Rain is expected for Athens where temperatures will be from 9-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 5- 8C.

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.S.)


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