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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-27

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, 27/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • 18 die in road accidents over long weekend
  • Albanian PM's baby hospitalised in Athens
  • Meeting on S-300 missiles
  • Greek policeman murdered in Georgia
  • Cremation bill next year
  • Visas for FYROM citizens
  • Illegal immigrants arrested on Kos
  • Stores reopen Monday
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

18 die in road accidents over long weekend

Eighteen people died and 207 were injured in 158 road accidents between Thursday and Sunday noon as city dwellers left urban centres around Greece to spend the Christmas holiday in villages and the countryside.

Greek traffic police were on standby on Sunday at major intersections and on national highways as vacationers were scheduled to return from the Christmas long weekend.

Conditions on roads have been made more difficult by snowfall in many parts of Greece, with dozens of villages in central and western Macedonia cut off from the rest of the country.

In mountainous areas, wheel-chains are a must, while drivers also had to contend with patches of ice.

According to the National Meteorological Service, the weather will improve on Monday with a gradual rise in temperature up until New Year's Day.

Albanian PM's baby hospitalised in Athens

Doctors at an Athens maternity clinic said that Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko's newborn baby was presenting some respiratory difficulties but that tests so far had shown no indication of an infection.

The two-day old baby boy was airlifted to Greece on Saturday on the recommendation of a Greek expert who examined the premature baby in a Tirana hospital earlier in the day.

The baby and his mother were flown to Greece by a Greek Air Force C-130 transport plane and admitted to the Elena maternity clinic.

Meeting on S-300 missiles

Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides arrives in Athens on Monday to meet with leading Greek government and opposition party officials on Nicosia's controversial plans to deploy Russian S-300 missiles.

Clerides declined on Friday to make any statement concerning Nicosia's plans on the missiles until he meets with Greece's Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, in Athens on Tuesday, according to an ANA despatch from Nicosia.

Greece and Cyprus signed a joint defence pact in 1993.

No decision was taken at Thursday's meeting of the all-party Cypriot National Council regarding Nicosia's plans to deploy the anti-aircraft missiles, which has provoked fears in the United States and European countries of an increase in tension.

Turkey has openly threatened to prevent deployment of the defense system which Nicosia ordered in January 1997.

Greek policeman murdered in Georgia

The body of a Greek embassy security officer murdered in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi arrived in Greece on Saturday.

Anastasios Myzithras, 37, the head of security at the Embassy, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at the entrance to his home on Thursday.

Georgian authorities are continuing their investigations into Myzithras's killing with reports saying that the murder appeared to be linked to the Russian mafia.

Myzithras's funeral will be held on Monday.

Cremation bill next year

The Interior Ministry announced that it has drafted a bill allowing the cremation of non-Orthodox Greek citizens but it was not ready to introduce it just yet, because it was considering extending it also to Orthodox citizens.

A Greek Orthodox Church decision on the cremation practice is expected early next year.

Visas for FYROM citizens

The Greek liaison office in Skopje has issued 1,300 entry visas to citizens of the neighbouring former Yugoslav republic wishing to visit Greece in the three years since the office was established.

The figure is equal to more than two entry visas for each of the 500,000 households in the country, and, according to Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, speaking during his visit last week to Skopje, is an indication of Greece's willingness to further improve ties between the two countries.

The liaison office was established under the terms of a 1995 interim agreement which also states that Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are to proceed to talks under UN auspices to find a mutually acceptable solution to the name of the former Yugoslav republoic.

Athens and Skopje have been at loggerheads over the country's name since the republic declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Greece opposes the use of the name 'Macedonia' by the landlocked republic, arguing it conceals expansionist designs against its northern province of Macedonia.

Pangalos had talks in Skopje last Tuesday with FYROM Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski during which both sides expressed the desire for the further development of bilateral economic cooperation.

Illegal immigrants arrested on Kos

Authorities on the island of Kos on Saturday arrested 14 Iraqi Kurds who had illegally entered the country.

Three of the illegal immigrants said they had been brought over from the Turkish coast by wooden boat, while the other 11 were transported by a speedboat.

The group will be charged with illegal entry on Monday.

Stores reopen Monday

Stores reopen for business as usual on Monday following the Christmas long weekend. Stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through to Wednesday with supermarkets open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WEATHER

Greece will be overcast Monday, with possibility of local showers in Crete and the Dodecanese Islands. There will be a slight rise in temperature throughout the country. Athens will be partly overcast with temperatures between 3-11 C. The same for Thessaloniki, with temperatures 1-7 C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.397 British pound 468.065 Japanese yen (100) 240.848 French franc 49.610 German mark 166.358 Italian lira (100) 16.800 Irish Punt 413.466 Belgian franc 8.066 Finnish mark 54.729 Dutch guilder 147.629 Danish kr. 43.731 Austrian sch. 23.664 Spanish peseta 1.955 Swedish kr. 34.686 Norwegian kr. 36.404 Swiss franc 203.613 Port. Escudo 1.623 Aus. dollar 171.507 Can. dollar 180.147

(L.G.)


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