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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-26

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, 26/11/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Bomb at minister's office injures one
  • 7,000 march against education reform
  • FM in Oslo, Copenhagen next week
  • Kurd illegal immigrants occupy islet
  • Greece ready for Schengen treaty
  • Rail repairs completed
  • Former ND deputy to stand alone
  • Greek equities end lower again
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Bomb at minister's office injures one

A home-made bomb went off Thursday at the justice minister's political office in central Athens, slightly injuring one person and causing minor material damage, police said. They said a home-made incendiary device comprising two small liquid gas cannisters and a cannister of gasoline, went off at noon in the corridor outside the 4th floor office of Evangelos Yannopoulos at the corner of Akadimias and Ippokratous streets. The fire caused by the explosion was quickly extinguished by office staff and apartment building residents. The building's concierge was slightly injured while trying to put out the fire, which caused minor damage to the office entrance.

7,000 march against education reform

Three banks and six vehicles suffered extensive damage on Thursday as more than 7,000 students and teachers marched through the city centre to protest education ministry changes to schooling. Police said anarchist youths who joined the march threw stones and planks and set fire to a parked car on central Syntagma Square, despite the strong police presence. Another five cars on Panepistimiou street were damaged aftrer being attacked by the anarchists with clubs. A television crew's van was also damaged. Windows at Cretabank, American Express and Nova Scotia bank branches in the city centre were smashed. Protestors dispersed peacefully after the march ended at the Athens University but representatives said more marches would be held.

FM in Oslo, Copenhagen next week

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos begins a four-day visit to Denmark and Norway on December 1. Pangalos is scheduled to meet with his Danish counterpart Niels Helveg Petersen and with the Danish parliament's foreign affairs committee in Copenhagen on December 1. Pangalos will lead the Greek delegation to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe ministerial summit in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on December 2-3. He will conduct an official visit to Norway at the conclusion of the summit, meeting with Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, the Norwegian parliament's foreign affairs committee. Pangalos will also be received by Norway's King Harald before returning to Athens on December 4.

Kurd illegal immigrants occupy islet

A group of 150 Kurdish illegal immigrants on Thursday landed on the Greek islet of Armathia, northeast of Kassos island, holding pictures of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan -- who has sought political asulum in Italy -- and demanding to speak to Greek journalists. The Kurds, who arrived on the islet on the Syrian trawler "YAHYA 1" and hoisted the Kurdistan flag, have refused calls by the Kassos port authority to leave the islet and demanded to speak with Greek journalists. The trawler's crew has been taken into custody by the Kassos port authorities. Port authorities believe the group was headed for another island in the Dodecanese but the small trawler ran aground on Armathia for reasons as yet unknown.

Greece ready for Schengen treaty

The foreign ministry said on Thursday that Greece was fully prepared for the implementation of the Schengen Treaty on the protection of external borders and the movement of persons. Foreign Ministry secretary-general for Community affairs Stelios Perrakis said the country's airports and most ports were from the viewpoint of infrastructure ready to implement the provisions of the treaty. The coast guard, he said, has already taken delivery of a number of fast patrol boats while a further 52 were to be procured. The ultimate objective, Perrakis added, is for each of Greece's islands to have its own patrol boat.

Rail repairs completed

Most of the damage to Greece's rail network caused by torrential rain at the weekend, particularly on the Corinth-Tripoli section in the Peloponnese, has been repaired, according to an announcement by the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) on Thursday. The announcement said services resumed today on the Corinth-Tripoli section and repairs had been completed on the Athens-Thessaloniki line, with services expected back to normal tomorrow. Disruptions are however expected due to the three-hour work stoppages on Monday and Tuesday and 24-hour strikes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week, announced by the Panhellenic Federation of Rail Workers (POS).

Former ND deputy to stand alone

Former New Democracy national economy minister Stephanos Manos told reporters on Thursday that he would stand as an independent in the next general elections and possibly in next June's European Parliament elections. Manos was speaking to reporters on the submission of his proposal for new procedures for the election of European Parliament MPs. The former minister said the aim of the bill was to bolster representation of the regions and decentralise the system. He said he would be meeting with Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos later in the day on stepping up the procedure to have his proposal discussed. Manos was one of three leading deputies of the main opposition New Democracy party expelled from the party in February this year for failing to toe the party line.

Greek equities end lower again

Greek equities ended lower for the second consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday following a correction in European stock markets. The general index ended 0.87 percent lower to 2,455.16 points in moderate turnover of 49.2 billion drachmas. Volume was 12,136,000 shares. Sector indices suffered losses. Banks fell 0.96 percent, Leasing dropped 1.75 percent, Insurance ended 0.38 percent off, Investment plunged 2.37 percent, Construction dropped 2.42 percent, Industrials eased 0.56 percent, Holding fell 0.69 percent, but Miscellaneous bucked the trend to end 0.36 percent up. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.02 percent down.

WEATHER

Rainstorms and snowfall are forecast for most parts of Greece today and will continue until Saturday. The worst regions to be hit will be central, western and northern Greece. Rain and possible rainstorm in Athens with temperatures between 8-16C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6- 13C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.720 British pound 470.208 Japanese yen (100) 233.914 French franc 49.646 German mark 166.458 Italian lira (100) 16.813 Irish Punt 413.664 Belgian franc 8.070 Finnish mark 54.758 Dutch guilder 147.654 Danish kr. 43.781 Austrian sch. 23.663 Spanish peseta 1.957 Swedish kr. 34.928 Norwegian kr. 37.835 Swiss franc 201.773 Port. Escudo 1.625 Aus. dollar 181.541 Can. dollar 182.528 Cyprus pound 562.841

(M.P.)


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