Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-07
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 07/02/1999 (ANA)
- Foreign Minister on Balkan tour
- Greece guarantees Cyprus' security
- Avramopoulos on Albania visit
- Bulgarians arrested in hash bust
- CD piracy ring dismantled
- Government replies to farmers
- Immigrant smugglers sentenced
- Two injured in robbery
- OA work stoppage
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Foreign Minister on Balkan tour
Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos was due on Sunday to begin a four-day
tour of Balkan countries for a first-hand briefing on political developments
and talks on improving bilateral relations.
The tour encompasses Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia, but a planned
stopover in the troubled Yugoslav province fo Kosovo was postponed.
Greece guarantees Cyprus' security
Greece guarantees the security of the Republic of Cyprus, Greece's national
defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos reaffirmed Sunday in Thessaloniki.
Tsohatzopoulos said that he would meet Monday in Athens with Cyprus
counterpart Yiannakis Omirou to discuss Cypriot defence issues in the
context of the Greece-Cyprus joint defence doctrine.
Stressing that the joint defence doctrine "is in force and will be
safeguarded", Tsohatzopoulos said that "we must learn to live" with the
Turkish threat, adding that "there are no easy solutions to this matter".
The Greek defence minister also expressed optimism that "we will soon have
positive results from Cyprus' EU accession negotiations".
Avramopoulos on Albania visit
Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos is due to begin a brief official visit
to Albania on Monday, sources close to the Mayor said.
They said during his short stay Avramopoulos would meet with Albanian
president Rexhep Mejdani, prime minister Pandeli Majko, deputy prime
minister Ilir Meta and foreign minister Paskal Milo.
Avramopoulos would further meet with his Tirana counterpart to examine the
possible undertaking of an initiative by Balkan mayors for a peaceful
solution to the Kosovo problem.
The Mayor would also be received by Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios of
Tirana and All Albania.
Bulgarians arrested in hash bust
Three Bulgarians were arrested Sunday in Drama, northern Greece for
illegally entering the country and trying to sell 6.5 kilograms of hashish
to undercover policemen, police said.
They said Arso Alendarov, 23, Ivo Ivanov, 32 and Stenov Voskanov, 32, had
illegally entered the country at Nevrokopi, and arranged to meet the two
buyers -- who were plainclothes policemen -- at Xiropotamo village in
The Bulgarians were to sell the 6.5 kilos of hashish for 2 million
Police from Drama and Kavala prefectures showed up on the scene as the
exchange was taking place and arrested the three Bulgarians and confiscated
The Bulgarians were taken before the Drama public prosecutor, where they
requested, and were granted, a 48-hour deadline to prepare their defence.
CD piracy ring dismantled
Six Nigerians, a Cameroonian and a Greek merchant have been arrested for
piracy of compact discs, police said Sunday.
They said 41-year-old merchant Vassilis Filiopoulos, Kinastain Efil, 26
from Cameroon, and Patrick Efhunaa, 44, Henry Nauna, 31, Chvaka Kodloi, 34,
Aken Salami, 29, and Osaron Iedze, all from Nigeria, were arrested for
unauthorised reproduction and sale of compact discs of foreign and Greek
Police also confiscated 3,214 pirated compact discs found in the detainees'
possession, Filiopoulos' home and a recording studio run by the ring.
The value of the bogus CDs and recording studio equipment was estimated at
more than 20 million dr.
The law officers further found a driver's licence that had been stolen from
a parked car near Omonoia Square on Christmas day.
Police said Filiopoulos had two outstanding arrest warrants against him for
Government replies to farmers
Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis on Saturday sent a letter of reply
to the Pan-Thessaly Farmers' Coordinating Committtee outlining the
government's positions on farmers' damands.
Anomeritis leaves open the possibility of some demands being accepted while
Some arrangement will be proposed to facilitate the settlement of farmers'
debts, he said, adding that the National Economy Ministry would on
Wednesday decide on the relevant "technical" details which would be "within
a banking framework".
Among other demands, farmers want lower debt repayment rates.
Immigrant smugglers sentenced
An Athens court early on Saturday sentenced a Greek man and his Pakistani
accomplice to nine years imprisonment for smuggling illegal immigrants into
Eftyhios Zervoudakis, 43 and his accomplice, Haroun Emin Kureshi, 32, were
arrested near Athens on Tuesday as they were about to pick up three Indian
illegal immigrants dropped ashore by the Honduras-flagged vessel 'Volha'.
Zervoudakis was one of four men charged in absentia with murder in January
1997, following the deaths of 283 illegal immigrants when the vessel
carrying them sank off the coast of Sicily on Christmas Day 1996.
Two injured in robbery
Three men shot and seriously wounded two people early Saturday morning when
they robbed a small kiosk selling newspapers and cigarettes in the Athens
suburb of Nea Erythraia.
The owner of the kiosk, Ilias Tsarouchas, 37 and a customer, Nikos
Bakoyiannis, 46, an employee of the road assistance company "SOS" are in
serious condition at the Sismanogliou hospital.
The robbers escaped after grabbing an unknown amount of money.
Police believe it was the same three who had shortly before attacked and
stolen 150,000 drachmas from the owner of another kiosk, Ioannis Stefanidis,
51, in Halandri.
OA work stoppage
Civil aviation employees will hold a three-hour work stoppage at Olympic
Airways on Friday, beginning at noon, in protest of the Greek government's
decision to hire a strategic manager for the debt-ridden national
The industrial action has been timed tocoincide with the deadline in a
tender to find an international managing company for the airline.
Clouds and rain are forecast Monday for western Greece, turning to local
storms later in the day and gradually extending throughout the rest of the
country, with snow in the central and northern mountainous regions. Athens
will be overcast, turning possibly to rain at night and temperatures
ranging from 4-15 C. The same for Thessaoniki, with possibility of rain in
the afternoon and temperatures from -1 to 10 C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.343
Pound sterling 463.581 Japanese yen (100) 250.202
French franc 48.712 German mark 163.374
Italian lira (100) 16.503 Irish Punt 405.723
Belgian franc 7.921 Finnish mark 53.742
Dutch guilder 144.998 Danish kr. 42.967
Austrian sch. 23.222 Spanish peseta 1.921
Swedish kr. 35.984 Norwegian kr. 36.704
Swiss franc 199.779 Port. Escudo 1.594
Aus. dollar 183.465 Can. dollar 189.968
Cyprus pound 550.560