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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-23

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, 23/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Three die battling tanker fire
  • Croatian president begins official visit
  • Prince Charles braves downpour to lay wreath
  • FM confers letter sent to Albright
  • Rail workers join EU-wide strike
  • Flights back to normal at Athens airport
  • Wild storms batter Greece
  • Interior minister in London
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Three die battling tanker fire

The bodies of three of four missing crew members of a Greek tug were recovered today after their boat was engulfed in flames in the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki while trying to extinguish the blaze on a burning tanker, Merchant Marine officials said. A spokesman for the Thessaloniki port authority told the ANA that the Piraeus-based "Aghios Georgios" tug had rushed to assist in putting out a fire that had broken out aboard the tanker "Golden Crete", owned by the Vardinoyannis Group. The fire quickly spread to the tugboat, which ran aground one mile off the port of Thessaloniki. The tugboat braved gale force winds and low visibility to extinguish the fire on the tanker, which was carrying 23 tons of gasoline, the spokesman said.

Croatian president begins official visit

Croatian President Franco Tudjman arrived in Athens Monday on a two-day official visit, his first since the former Yugoslav republic's independence was recognised. Greece and Croatia's foreign ministers later signed accords on combatting the narcotics trade, terrorism and organised crime and on cooperation in the tourism sector. Tudjman met with President Stephanopoulos and both said there was room for an improvement in bilateral relations, particularly in trade and economic transactions. The situation in the Balkans and particularly Kosovo were the focus of talks between the presidents and delegations from the two countries.

Prince Charles braves downpour to lay wreath

Britain's Prince Charles today braved a drenching rainstorm to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, continuing a three-day visit here coinciding with the Britain and Greece Festival. The British heir-to-the- throne, who arrived in Athens on Sunday evening, will be received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos today and tour the Acropolis this afternoon, accompanied by Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos. Prince Charles will also meet with Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and be awarded the Gold Key to the City. Later, he will inaugurate a new British Council education centre. He flies to Crete tomorrow to visit the Knossos archaeological site.

FM confers letter sent to Albright

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Monday confirmed press reports that he had sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, but refused to divulge the letter's contents. Pangalos made the comments while speaking to reporters. Sunday newspaper "To Vima" said that Pangalos's letter called on Albright to assist in finding a way out of the impasse that has arisen over the issue of the deployment of Russian-made S-300 missiles on Cyprus. The missiles will be the focus of a meeting on Wednesday between the ministers of foreign affairs and defence and the prime minister.

Rail workers join EU-wide strike

Greek trains came to a standstill today as OSE railway employees joined their European Union partners in five member states in a 24-hour rail strike in protest against plans to further deregulate railways. Rail traffic was halted in Grece, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg in a bid to stop plans to further privatise the rail sector.

Flights back to normal at Athens airport

Traffic at Athens airport was returning to normal on Monday after low visibility early in the morning forced domestic incoming flights to be diverted and the cancellation of outgoing flights. The storm that hit the capital at around 9 a.m. was accompanied by thunder, lightning and low cloud. An Olympic Aviation flight for Kastoria and another two to Syros were cancelled. One report said that winds were so strong that it had moved an empty Boeing 727 parked on the runway some 15 metres.

Wild storms batter Greece

Fire brigade officials in both Athens and Thessaloniki said they had received dozens of calls for assistance from people trapped in lifts during to power surges. Overnight, the storm struck in the areas of Argos and Nafplion. Fifteen people were freed by fire department officers from cars trapped by swirling waters in Argos, with another 10 saved from their flooded homes. Winds had abated somewhat in the Rio-Antirrio region, allowing ferries to resume crossings. The Meteorological Service said that the bad weather would begin abating later in the day with the weather improving markedly as of Tuesday.

Interior minister in London

Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos meets Britain's Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office Jack Cunningham in London on Monday, to discuss issues of public administration. Papadopoulos began an official visit to Britain on Sunday. He is scheduled to meet with Cabinet Office officials on administrative and equal opportunities issues.

WEATHER

Rain and storms are forecast today in most parts of the country, while snow is expected in the mountainous regions of central and northern Greece. Winds easterly southeasterly moderate to strong, expected to abate later in the day. Rainstorm in Athens with temperatures from 9-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5-10C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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

(M.P.)


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