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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-05-10

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, 10/05/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece hopes Belgrade to support G8 proposal
  • President: Full support for G8 peace moves
  • Thessaloniki economy forum draws Albanian, FYROM PMs
  • Albanian PM says country is stable
  • No Kosovo side-effects on Greece's EMU path - expert
  • Two Polish students killed in accident
  • 11-year-old arrested for bomb hoax
  • Bigamists sentenced to 7 months' jail
  • Greek equities end lower in normal correction
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece hopes Belgrade to support G8 proposal

Greece on Monday called on Yugoslavia to respond positively to the G8 draft peace agreement for Kosovo and not allow the opportunity for a settlement of the crisis slip away. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Greece believed the G8 proposal should constitute the basis for negotiations in which all the interested parties should participate. The G8 draft agreement with UN participation will be put before the UN Security Council today. Replying to reporters' questions on the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade late Friday night, Reppas said air strikes which result in civilian victims made efforts for a diplomatic solution more difficult.

President: Full support for G8 peace moves

President Kostis Stephanopoulos on Monday expressed Greece's full support for a G8 draft peace agreement for Kosovo with UN participation, following talks in Tbilisi with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze. Stephanopoulos told reporters that Greece and Georgia shared the view that the G8 draft agreement, which will be put to the UN Security Council today, was the only way to find a solution "to this problem which is of grave concern to us". Stephanopoulos, who arrived in Tbilisi for an official visit on Sunday, expressed the hope that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and military operations in Kosovo would stop so that the refugees might return home and a solution found to the crisis in the framework of autonomy for Kosovo within Yugoslavia's borders.

Thessaloniki economy forum draws Albanian, FYROM PMs

The prime ministers of Albania, FYROM and Greece are expected to give their estimations of the situation in the region at the two-day 6th annual forum on the Greek economy that opened today in Thessaloniki. Opening the conference today, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yannis Magriotis said the EU's priority and duty was to plan equal economic assistance to the countries of southeastern Europe, something which he said should have been done as far back as 1990. But beyond the financial assistance, the EU needed to deal with the Balkan nations as as an integrated whole, he said.

Albanian PM says country is stable

Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko gave reassurances over economic stability in his country despite the influx of 400,000 refugees from Kosovo. Addressing an economic forum on southeast Europe in Thessaloniki, Majko said that his ruling coalition has steadily followed a growth policy which led to a 8.0 percent increase in gross domestic product in the last two years and a steady decline in the inflation by 6.0 percent annually. The Albanian prime minister said his country was hit by the Kosovo war and noted that inflation jumped 15 percent in the last two weeks following the influx of refugees. "Albania wants peace and economic partnership in the Balkans more than anyone else", Majko said. Majko urged the business sector to invest in his country, where "they will find a dignified partner and a good friend".

No Kosovo side-effects on Greece's EMU path - expert

Greece's course to European economic and monetary union (EMU) will essentially not be influenced by the ongoing war in Yugoslavia, contrary to the other Balkan countries, the Economist Intelligence Unit's director for European affairs, Marilyn Barudi, said today. Speaking at a Forum on the Greek economy in Thessaloniki, Barudi said Greece would enter the eurozone in 2000, while its EMU entry would not be fundamentally influenced by the continuing war in Yugoslavia. On the contrary, for the other Balkan countries, the repercussions would be severe and long-term, to the point that it will be impossible to assess them or even make a near estimation for some of those countries, including Yugoslavia in particular, she added.

Two Polish students killed in accident

Two Polish high school students were killed on Monday and eight others injured when their coach collided with a lorry on the Igoumenitsa-Preveza road in northern Greece, police said. Police said the coach, with 50 students on board, collided head on with the lorry, four kilometres outside of the port of Igoumenitsa. They said heavy rain at the time was probably a contributing factor in the accident. The two students killed were aged 17, police said.

11-year-old arrested for bomb hoax

Police on Monday arrested an 11-year-old girl after she made a hoax phone call to a radio station to warn a bomb had been placed at the Hilton Hotel. The hoax call prompted a thorough search of the hotel by bomb experts, who found no evidence of any explosive device. According to reports, the girl told police she was mimicking a sketch she saw on a television show. She is expected to be brought before juvenile court authorities. It was the second arrest of a minor for making bogus bomb warning calls in less than a week. Last Tuesday police arrested a 14-year-old high school student for a bomb hoax that caused the evacuation of a local Athens high school.

Bigamists sentenced to 7 months' jail

An Athens court on Monday sentenced a Greek man and a female U.S. resident to seven months jail each for bigamy. George Parisis, a retired Greek navy officer, and Vassiliki Warren-Papadaki, a U.S. resident, were married on November 22, 1994 in Florida. They had met while Parisis served as assistant naval attache in Washington. At the time of his second marriage, according to a writ filed in October 1997 by his wife Maria Parisis, he was still legally married. Parisis told the court that his second marriage was "a sham" and had already been declared null and void on his own initiative. He said however that he had filed for divorce from his wife before marrying Warren-Papadaki. His divorce, he said, has yet to be granted. Parisis filed an appeal against the sentence and was released. Warren-Papadaki was not in court and was sentenced in absentia.

Greek equities end lower in normal correction

Equity prices came under mild profit-taking on Monday to retreat from Friday's record closing levels in what traders described as a normal correction of prices following a 20 percent advance in the previous two weeks. The general index, however, managed to hold above the 4,000 level ending 0.87 percent off to 4,002.05 points off the day's lows. The market was brought down by a sharp fall in the banking sector although construction shares continued trading higher. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 2.03 percent higher.

WEATHER

Overcast weather with local showers and storms is forecast for central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace and the northern Aegean on today. Cloudiness in the rest of the country. Athens will be partly cloudy, increasing in the afternoon and possibly turning to rain or storms in the north, and temperatures from 12-24C. Same for Thessaloniki with temperatures between 10-19C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          299.564
Pound sterling       488.987
Japanese yen (100)   248.853
French franc          49.289
German mark          165.307
Italian lira (100)    16.697
Irish Punt           410.522
Belgian franc          8.015
Luxembourg franc       8.015
Finnish mark          54.377
Dutch guilder        146.713
Danish kr.            43.535
Austrian sch.         23.497
Spanish peseta         1.943
Swedish kr.           36.049
Norwegian kr.         39.224
Swiss franc          201.589
Port. Escudo           1.613
Aus. dollar          199.640
Can. dollar          205.146
Cyprus pound         560.460
Euro                 323.313
(M.P.)
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