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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-24

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, 24/02/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Government meeting on Ocalan affair
  • Talks under way over Ocalan aides
  • Opposition calls for early elections
  • Rally, concert tomorrow for Kurdish cause
  • NATO forces expected in Thessaloniki
  • Police stumble upon stolen car, drugs
  • Two Albanians arrested on drugs charges
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Government meeting on Ocalan affair

Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired on Wednesday a meeting of the inner cabinet and the ruling party's political secretariat, convened to examine the developments in the wake of the Ocalan affair and the government's strategy. According to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, the government is proceeding with business as usual. This includes holding the ruling party's convention in March as scheduled, the holding of European Parliament elections in June and continuing to work towards the country's inclusion in economic and monetary union in 2000. The next national elections, he said, will be in 2000, as scheduled.

Talks under way over Ocalan aides

Talks are underway to ensure the safe and secure transport of the three female associates of Ocalan still in the Greek embassy in Kenya, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. "The Greek government is in continuous contact with the Kenya government on this issue," he said. He said there was no question of Kenyan authorities entering the Greek embassy in Nairobi to eject the three women and that no deadline had been set for a resolution of this issue.

Opposition calls for early elections

Opposition party Coalition of the Left and Progress on Wednesday called on the government to hold early national elections in June, alongside European Parliament elections. Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos told a news conference that his party demanded national elections so that "the Greek people can intervene to resolve the political problem facing the country". "The government is at cross purposes with the vast majority of the Greek people," Constantopoulos said.

Rally, concert tomorrow for Kurdish cause

More than 25 Greek singers and artists have said they will participate in Thursday's rally and concert to support the Kurdish people and Kurd rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, organisers said on Wednesday. The concert will be held at the University of Athens in central Panepistimiou Street at 5.30 p.m. and is organised by 45 groups, unions and organisations from the artistic world.

NATO forces expected in Thessaloniki

Six British C-130 transport helicopters are expected to land at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport today carrying personnel and 60 vehicles, including 10 Land Rovers, which are destined for FYROM where they will be stationed pending NATO orders to head for Kosovo, airport sources said. The sources said two French Airbuses carrying 10 vehicles and 140 personnel and an American Tri-Star carrying 225 British personnel were also due at the airport today.

Police stumble upon stolen car, drugs

A police patrol in the northern Greek town of Konitsa has stumbled upon an abandoned car containing 158 kilos of Indian cannabis, authorities reported on Wednesday. Police said the car, a BMW, was reported stolen two days earlier from the Attica region. The drugs were found packaged in six sacks in the vehicle, which had been left at the junction of the Konitsa-Kozani national road, in northern Greece.

Two Albanians arrested on drugs charges

Two Albanians were arrested in Athens today as they tried to sell a quantity of heroin to an undercover policeman, police said. They said Petro Koci, 24, and Lucas Kore, 25, were arrested in a downtown fast-food restaurant where they had set up an appointment with a plainclothes policeman posing as a buyer, as they tried to sell him half a kilo of the narcotic at 5,000 dr. per gram. Police confiscated a kilo of heroin found in the Albanians' posession, together with two mobile phones and 17,000 dr.

WEATHER

Cloudy weather and rain will prevail in most parts of Greece today. Winds westerly, northwesterly, moderate to strong. Partly cloudy with sunny spells in Athens with temperatures ranging between 7-13C. Overcast in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 2-9C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 291.460 Pound sterling 471.914 Japanese yen (100) 240.133 French franc 48.844 German mark 163.816 Italian lira (100) 16.548 Irish Punt 406.819 Belgian franc 7.942 Luxembourg franc 7.942 Finnish mark 53.886 Dutch guilder 145.389 Danish kr. 43.098 Austrian sch. 23.284 Spanish peseta 1.925 Swedish kr. 35.942 Norwegian kr. 36.930 Swiss franc 200.513 Port. Escudo 1.598 Aus. dollar 186.228 Can. dollar 194.432 Cyprus pound 552.048 Euro 320.396

(M.P.)


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