Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-21
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 21/11/1998 (ANA)
- 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
- 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".
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-
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