Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-22
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 22/11/1998 (ANA)
- More bad weather forecast for Sunday, Monday
- Quake recorded near Patras
- Prince Charles arrives today
- Greek Prime Minister to visit Germany
- Franjo Tudjman in Athens on Monday
- Millennium bug not major threat in Greece
- "Eternity and a Day" to compete for Oscar
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
More bad weather forecast for Sunday, Monday
Greece braced for another wave of inclement weather on Sunday after wild
storms throughout the country on Friday caused flash flooding and power
cuts and left dozens of villages snowed in.
The government said all state services were on alert for the forecast
strong storms, snowfall and gale force winds.
Government spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said on Saturday the weather
conditions were "unprecedented" for Greece, with 94mms of rain recorded at
the Athens Airport on Friday compared to an annual record for the region of
The fire department reported 450 calls for assistance on Friday as basement
Athanassakis said the government was satisfied at the level of preparedness
and coordination between ministries and that anti-flooding programme had
markedly improved the situation.
"The government is in constant contact with the Meteorological Service, has
placed all services on alert and recommends to the public that it restrict
its movements to the minimum," Athanassakis said.
Ferryboat services from Piraeus and Rafina to the Aegean islands, Crete and
the Dodecanese resumed on Saturday morning after an improvement in weather
conditions enabled the Merchant Marine Ministry to lift a temorary
Sailings were prohibited on Friday with gale force winds prevailing in the
Aegean as bad weather swept across Greece, causing floods and transportation
havoc in many parts of the country.
The weather conditions continued to keep the Rio-Antirrio crossing closed
Also closed were the Lyxouriou-Agrostoli and Preveza-Aktion crossings.
Scores of villages were cut off by snow up to half a metre deep in parts of
Despite sunshine in western and central Macedonia on Saturday, many of the
problems caused by the bad weather remain.
In the prefectures of Grevena and Kozani, 37 villages were still cut off by
snow, while conditions on roads throughout the region were hazardous and
snow chains were essential.
The sudden drop in temperature has resulted in icy patches on many roads
and the traffic police have warned motorists to be extremely cautious.
Quake recorded near Patras
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale was recorded at 6.43 p.m.
on Saturday, with an epicentre in the sea region of Rio-Antirrio.
The tremor was felt in the northern part of the port city of Patras and in
Prince Charles arrives today
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.
Greek Prime Minister to visit Germany
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet with new German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder on December 7, during a visit to Germany, government spokesman
Dimitris Reppas said.
Simitis will also meet with the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, on
Reppas refused to say whether Simitis would broach the issue of German
reparations during his talks with the German officials.
Franjo Tudjman in Athens on Monday
Croatian President Franco Tudjman begins a three-day official visit to
Greece on Monday, at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Kostis
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
Millennium bug not major threat in Greece
Greece is in a better position than its European Union partners in dealing
with the problem of the millennium bug because it has been slow in
introducing computers, Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said.
Papadopoulos was speaking after a Cabinet meeting to discuss the streamlining
of state and ministry services.
The Cabinet ascertained that public services were at a satisfactory stage
in relation to the millennium bug, in part because many had not yet gone
over to computerised systems.
"Eternity and a Day" to compete for Oscar
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced on Saturday that award
winning Theo Angelopoulos' film ''Eternity and a day'' will represent
Greece at this year's United States Motion Picture Academy Awards,
nominated for the best foreign film category.
The minister, who is in the north Greek capital for the 39th Thessaloniki
Film Festival said that he made the decision, instead of the committee of
state awards, so as to meet the Nov 2 deadline of the US academy.
"Eternity and a Day" received the top Golden Palm award at this year's
Cannes Film Festival in May.
Rain and storms are forecast Monday in most parts of the country, while
snow is expected 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 abate. Rain is expected for Athens where
temperatures will be from 9-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where
temperatures will be from 5-10C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.538
British pound 466.716 Japanese yen (100) 233.120
French franc 49.650 German mark 166.458
Italian lira (100) 16.815 Irish Punt 414.061
Belgian franc 8.070 Finnish mark 54.788
Dutch guilder 147.664 Danish kr. 43.795
Austrian sch. 23.657 Spanish peseta 1.958
Swedish kr. 34.772 Norwegian kr. 37.527
Swiss franc 202.279 Port. Escudo 1.623
Aus. dollar 180.544 Can. dollar 181.338
Cyprus pound 562.345