NEWS IN DETAIL
Athens-Thessaloniki motorway to reopen Saturday evening
Circulation along the motorway connecting Athens to Thessaloniki is likely
to be restored by Saturday evening after a flyover under construction in
Pieria collapsed in heavy rain, police said.
No injuries or damage to vehicles were reported.
The highway was closed to traffic around 1050 when subsidence caused the
flyover at Ziliana, between Leptokarya and Skotina, to collapse over both
sides of the motorway.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides of the motorway far from
Doctor arrested for alleged extortion
A senior doctor in a northern state hospital was arrested for allegedly
extorting cash from a patient in return for performing an operation, police
said on Saturday.
The doctor was identified as Mavrodis Mavroudis, 54, director of the
urology clinic at Kozani Prefecture Hospital.
The patient, farmer Mihail Tsivelidis, 61, told his son that Mavroudis had
demanded an illegal payment of 100,000 drachmas in order to perform the
operation, police officials said.
His son reported the alleged extortion attempt to police, who marked five
of 10 banknotes due to be given to the doctor.
After the patient's son handed over the cash, police arrested the doctor in
his office in possession of the marked banknotes.
Mavroudis is to appear before a public prosecutor to hear charges.
Simitis, Clerides hold wide-ranging talks
Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on
Friday held talks focusing on a fresh UN initiative of shuttle talks in
Cyprus, the island republic's EU accession course and defence, especially
on the proposed deployment of Russian- made anti-aircraft missiles in
Speaking after more than two hours of talks, Mr. Simitis indicated clearly
that the Cypriot government would decide the fate of the missiles in
consultation with Greece.
Mr. Clerides stressed that Cyprus is ready to defend itself if Turkey
realises its threats against the island republic.
Central bank says inflation below 2.0 pct feasible by end-1999
Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos said on Friday that consumer price
inflation would fall rapidly in the first six months of 1999, and was
likely to slip below 2.0 percent by the end of the year.
Submitting an interim report on monetary policy to parliament, Mr.
Papademos said an inflation figure below 2.0 percent by the end of next
year was "feasible", and a decline in the first-half would be "swift".
The report is a supplement to the central bank's monetary policy outlook
released in April.
Easing interest rates would be examined by the bank's monetary council the
week after next, he said.
Mr. Papademos underlined the need for the continuation of current, tight
monetary policy until the inflation target was attained that would enable
entry into European economic and monetary union by January 1, 2001.
New FYROM Parliament president visited by Greece's envoy
The head of the Greece's liaison office in Skopje, Ambassador Alexandros
Mallias, met with new Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
Parliament President Savo Klimovski on Friday.
Afterwards, Mr. Mallias said he delivered a message of congratulations to
Mr. Klimovski from Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis on his
election to the post. The message mentions the will for bilateral relations
to forge ahead for the creation of preconditions to enable all issues to be
Greece says Turkey gunning for `Ottoman A-bomb`
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told Parliament on Friday that Greece
had "well-founded suspicions" that Turkey will use a proposed nuclear power
plant at the Akkuyu site to attempt the production of nuclear weapons.
He told the legislature that the planned construction of the plant on
Turkey's southeastern Mediterranean coast and north of Cyprus, was fraught
with problems because of the high level of seismic activity in the area,
the out-dated technology chosen and because Turkey might use the plant to
gain nuclear weapons.
"Turkey, of course, says the plant will not be used for this purpose, but
it will not be the first time Ankara does something which it has expressly
said it will not do," Mr. Pangalos said.
Greece to take part in conference on Mideast peace process
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis has left for Washington to
represent Greece at sessions of an international conference aimed at
providing support for peace and development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
within the framework of the Middle East peace process.
The decision to hold the conference was contained in the Wye River
Memorandum interim peace accord signed by Israel and the Palestinians in
the United States on Oct. 23.
Development minister in Iran to boost ties
Development Minister Vasso Papandreou on Friday began a four-day official
visit to Iran, aimed at boosting economic and trade ties as well as
strengthening bilateral political relations.
More than 20 entrepreneurs representing major companies engaged in the food,
energy, construction, metal works, tourism and fisheries sectors are
heading to Tehran along with Ms Papandreou.
Greek ambassador in Kosovo
The Greek ambassador to Yugoslavia, Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, visited Kosovo
last week and met with the local Serbian and Albanian leadership.
The ambassador noted that time is a factor for the achievement of a
political solution, while he stressed that the problems cannot be solved by
violence, but with political dialogue.
Kurdish rep calls for Ocalan asylum in Athens, other EU capitals
A representative of the Kurdistan National Liberation Front on Friday
requested that Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan be granted political asylum
by Greece and other European governments.
During a press conference in Athens, Roshat Laser accused Turkey of trying
to create dissension between the Kurdish and Turkish people through para-
state gangs, while he reaffirmed her group's orientation towards a
political settlement of the Kurdish issue. He also stressed the need for
European Union countries to take initiatives in this directions.
Gov't promises heightened scrutiny of police force
Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos announced in Parliament on
Friday that the ministry was proceeding with checks on the "sources of
wealth" for all 42,000 officers in the Greek police force.
"We are not going to give anybody a break", he said, adding that a relevant
draft bill establishing an internal affairs division is expected to be
voted into law next January.
The minister reiterated his decision to institute a "radical clean-up" in
order to rid police of officers "who broke their oath", adding that the
police patrols were going to be boosted with officers transferred from
posts at prisons, airports and court duty.
Bail granted to four held responsible in fatal tugboat fire
A Thessaloniki court on Friday granted bail to the four men held responsible
for the fire aboard the tugboat "Aghios Georgios" in which three people
lost their lives and a fourth is missing and presumed dead.
The Piraeus-based "Aghios Georgios" on Monday rushed to help put out a fire
that had broken out aboard the tanker "Golden Crete", owned by the
The fire quickly spread to the tugboat, which ran aground one mile from the
port of Thessaloniki.
Three charred bodies were pulled from the burning tugboat and a fourth crew
member of the tug was presumed dead.
The four persons on trial are the captain and second mate of the "Golden
Crete", Eleftherios Proedros and Panagiotis Kavvadas respectively, and
Greek Fuels and Mineral Oils (EKO) refinery employees Christos Georgiadis
and Dimitris Masmanidis.
Rate drops 50 basis pts in ministry's 12M T-bill auction
The average weighted rate in a finance ministry auction on Friday of 12-
month treasury bills fell to 10.50 percent from 11 percent in the previous
tender on October 27, 1998.
Auctioned were 180 billion drachmas worth of paper with the ministry
accepting 216 billion drachmas in bids, more than the original target.
Finance ministry to reopen seven-year bonds Dec 1
The finance ministry is to auction 200 billion drachmas of seven-year bonds
on December 1 at a fixed 8.70 percent annually, reopening an April 4, 1998
issue, it said in a statement.
The finance ministry will also launch a public offering of two-year tax-
free savings bonds in electronic form on December 2 and 3, it said in a
The fixed-income bonds at 10.30 percent annually will be offered to retail
Stocks climb again after correction
Equities resumed their upward course in Friday's session following a two-
day correction on the Athens Stock Exchange.
The general index ended 0.95 percent up at 2,478.37 points in active trade
with turnover at 62.9 billion drachmas. Volume was 14,278,000 shares.
The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 0.17 percent.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index rose 0.82 percent to 1,530.81 points.
Athens bourse consolidates, braces for assault on 2,500 pts
The Athens Stock Exchange showed signs of consolidation in robust turnover
last week that included a downward correction after a 10 percent jump the
previous week, taking a breather before a new assault on the 2,500-point
The climate improved substantially following a forecast by Salomon Brothers
that interest rates will fall by 50 basis points by the end of the year,
and a total of three percentage points in 1999, analysts said.
Optimism over consumer price inflation in November, which is expected to
fall below 4.4 percent, was also a supporting factor.
The general index was 0.58 percent higher on the week. It now stands 67.50
percent up from the beginning of the year, and 12.29 percent off its record
peak in July.
The week's turnover totalled 305.282 billion drachmas, or a daily average
of 61.1 billion, slightly down from 61.7 billion the previous week.
Need for more luxury hotels in Athens before Olympics
A Greek-British Chamber of Commerce conference on Greece's tourism sector
focused on Friday on the need for new luxury and upscale hotels in Athens
to cover increased needs during the 2004 Olympic Games and the future.
According to figures, 100 per cent of luxury rooms and 90 per cent of A
category rooms will be occupied by 40,000 athletes expected to arrive for
Rainy weather is forecast on Sunday in eastern and northern Greece with
storms also likely, but conditions are expected to improve later in the
day. Snow is expected in northern mountainous regions. In the rest of the
country cloud is expected, turning to rain or storms in many areas,
especially in the morning. Winds northerly, moderate to strong. Temperatures
in Athens ranging from 12C to 16C and in Thessaloniki from 9C to 11C.
Monday's rates (buying)
US Dollar 283.345 Can.Dollar 184.532
Australian Dlr 179.671 Pound Sterling 469.117
Irish Punt 414.061 Pound Cyprus 563.456
Pound Malta 702.592 Turkish pound (100) 0.082
French franc 49.650 Swiss franc 201.996
Belgian franc 8.070 German Mark 166.458
Finnish Mark 54.768 Dutch Guilder 147.684
Danish Kr. 43.793 Swedish Kr. 34.899
Norwegian Kr.37.849 Austrian Sh. 23.660
Italian lira (100) 16.814 Yen (100) 231.265
Spanish Peseta 1.956 Port. Escudo 1.623