Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-02
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 02/02/1999 (ANA)
- Ocalan issue raised at meeting between Pangalos and US envoy
- Bank robber shot dead by security guard
- Thessaloniki airport back to normal after bad weather
- Ankara urged to help end long-standing Cyprus issue
- SPD delegation in Athens
- Man accused of murdering his US fiancee ruled sane
- Stagira municipal council rejects second TVX gold mine
- Metka to expand in defence, power sectors
- Eurodeputy tables report on EU's tobacco sector
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Ocalan issue raised at meeting between Pangalos and US envoy
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos met on Tuesday with US Ambassador to
Greece Nicholas Burns during which he raised the issue of Kurdish
separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, diplomatic sources said.
Pangalos reiterated to the US envoy Greece's view that the international
community should make efforts for a political solution of the Kurdish
problem, possibly within a European framework.
Greece on Monday denied reports that Ocalan had attempted to enter the
country early in the morning.
Diplomatic sources said the foreign ministry had no idea where Ocalan was,
following speculation that the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) leader was
headed for Athens after being denied permission to enter the Netherlands.
The reports were also denied by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
Reppas again on Tuesday flatly denied that Ocalan had entered Greece.
Asked by reporters whether the PKK leader had come to Greece, the spokesman
curtly replied "no".
He reiterated that it would be neither "expedient" nor "useful" for Ocalan
to come to Greece because this would reduce an international question
concerning the recognition of the Kurdish people's rights to a bilateral
Reppas also underlined Greece's support for the "just struggle" of the
The spokesman said four ministers had investigated the reports claiming
that Ocalan had entered Greece - Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos, Interior
Minister Alekos Papadopoulos and Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
He said it emerged from their inquiries that Ocalan had not come to Greece
and Prime Minister Costas Simitis had been briefed on the matter.
Reppas said today's meeting between Pangalos and Burns was a regular one
which focused on matters of common interest and was unconnected with the
Bank robber shot dead by security guard
A robber was shot dead on Tuesday by a security guard during a hold-up at a
branch of the Agricultural Bank in Paleo Faliro on the outskirts of
According to initial reports, two robbers entered the bank and ordered
customers and staff to freeze.
A security guard shouted to one of the robbers to surrender and seconds
later shot the man in the stomach when, according to unconfirmed reports,
the robber attempted to resist.
The man was taken to the Erythros Stavros hospital in serious condition and
died soon after arrival.
His accomplice managed to escape but, again according to reports, was
arrested by the police shortly afterwards.
Thessaloniki airport back to normal after bad weather
Flights to and from Thessaloniki's international airport resumed on Tuesday
after a spate of bad weather caused delays and cancellations during the
past few days.
The airport began operating normally at 10.30 local time with a flight from
Thessaloniki to Stuttgart.
Before the Stuttgart flight however, six Olympic Airways (OA) flights, one
Air Greece flight and one Air Cronus flight had to be cancelled because of
ice and frost on the runway which presented a hazard for landings and take-
Two OA flights from Athens - one to Munich and the other to Amsterdam -
went ahead without making the scheduled stop-over at the northern city's
Ankara urged to help end long-standing Cyprus issue
European Union Foreign Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek yesterday
called on Turkey to assume its responsibilities and contribute towards a
solution to the protracted Cyprus issue.
He made the statement after a meeting in Brussels with Cyprus Foreign
Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, calling on Turkey to stop placing obstacles in
the EU accession course of Cyprus.
"I realise that the political problem was not resolved despite the
courageous decision by President (Glafcos) Clerides on the S-300 missiles.
However, a solution does not depend only on the one side. A positive
contribution by the other side is also nec essary," he said.
Mr. van den Broek described the decision by Mr. Clerides not to deploy the
Russian-made missiles system in Cyprus as courageous and important and as a
decision toward defusing tension and achieving political settlement of the
He said the decision would strengthen EU ties with Cyprus and especially
the continuation of the Republic's accession talks, which opened last
SPD delegation in Athens
A German Social Democrat Party (SPD) delegation headed by Deputy Foreign
Minister for European Affairs Gunther Verheugen arrives in Athens today and
will hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
The delegation will also be holding a series of contacts with ruling PASOK
party and government cadres.
Man accused of murdering his US fiancee ruled sane
A Kavala hospital psychiatrist yesterday pronounced a 24-year-old man
charged with the murder of his American fiancee as "sane and not suffering
from any psychological problems."
Defence attorneys for Georgios Skiadopoulos, accused of strangling to death
and brutally decapitating the body of July-Marie Scully, were expected to
submit a statement today to a Kavala magistrate.
Authorities said Skiadopoulos converted large sums of the woman's money
from US dollars into drachmas after the murder, withdrawing several hundred
dollars from a joint account.
Stagira municipal council rejects second TVX gold mine
The Halkidiki municipality of Stagira-Akanthos yesterday reiterated its
opposition to the creation of a second gold mine by the Canadian firm TVX
in the Skouries site.
In a decision yesterday, the town's municipal council said that it agreed
to the operation of the existing TVX installations for as long as
However,it said operation of a second mine,which the company had announced
in 1997,``would have irreversible condequences on water resources and the
area's natural wealth...``
Metka to expand in defence, power sectors
Metka, which plans to become a key player in the defence, mining, and
energy sectors, is to hold a stock split and turn its preferred shares into
common in the wake of its entry into the Mytilineos Group, also listed on
the Athens bourse.
The Mytilineos Group's chairman, Evangelos Mytilineos, announced yesterday
an alliance with Krupp and Mann of Germany in mining operations in the
Balkans. Metka's activities would be funded by means of project finance,
without resorting to bank loans or share capital increases, Mr. Mytilineos
Metka is seeking to become a player in the European defence industry,
working to attain government contracts involving Patriot missiles, tanks
The firm is due next week to sign a construction deal involving Patriots.
Eurodeputy tables report on EU's tobacco sector
New Democracy Eurodeputy Antonis Trakatellis has submitted a report on
tobacco in the Europarliament, with which he is attempting to overturn
proposals by the Commission on determining subsidies and tobacco quotas
over the next three years (1999-2001).
The Eurodeputy said he considers the proposals to be very unfavourable for
Greek tobacco growers.
Mr. Trakatellis pointed out that no increase in subsidisation prices is
anticipated for tobacco varieties, as determined since 1995, resulting in
the decrease in producers' income continuing.
He said that it is impossible for Greek producers to replace their
production with other varieties in three years. He further said that the
proposal for a total transfer to other varieties is leading producers, at
least those in Greece, to deadlock since they have planned their production
for 1999 and are unable to cover the demands for a change in cultivations
both in time and in funds.
Mr. Trakatellis' report has already been discussed at the European
Parliament's agriculture committee and is expected to be ratified
Intermittent rain is forecast in most parts of Greece today. Light snowfall
in the mountainous regions and possibly in areas of centeral and northern
Greece. Winds northerly, northeasterly, moderate, turning strong in the
Aegean Sea. Showers in Athens with temperatures ranging from 2C to 10C.
Overcast in Thessaloniki with temperatures from -4C to 2C.
Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.982
Pound sterling 460.288 Japanese yen (100) 242.663
French franc 48.573 German mark 162.908
Italian lira (100) 16.455 Irish Punt 404.564
Belgian franc 7.898 Finnish mark 53.588
Dutch guilder 144.584 Danish kr. 42.843
Austrian sch. 23.155 Spanish peseta 1.915
Swedish kr. 35.895 Norwegian kr. 37.234
Swiss franc 198.033 Port. Escudo 1.589
Aus. dollar 177.469 Can. dollar 185.087
Cyprus pound 550.441