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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-05-18

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, 18/05/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Police find more evidence in rocket attack
  • Athens denies KLA arms report
  • Kosovar refugees due in Thessaloniki
  • Belgrade warm to Greek truce idea
  • Blast of cool air blows out office window
  • Hopes of peace spur bourse upwards
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Police find more evidence in rocket attack

A car used by terrorists who launched a rocket attack against the German ambassador's residence in an Athens suburb was found late last night with bloodstains on the back seat, indicating that at least one of the perpetrators was injured. Police said the car, a stolen Toyota, was found abandoned in Kato Halandri on the main thoroughfare Messoghion, a few kilometres away from newly-appointed ambassador Karl-Heinz Albert Kuhna's Halandri residence. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, police believe it is the work of the elusive "November 17" terrorist organisation, which first emerged in 1975.

Athens denies KLA arms report

The government today denied a press report that weapons and other military supplies destined for Albania and the Kosovo Liberation Army were being moved via Athens' Hellinikon international airport and said the only thing moving through the airport was humanitarian aid for Albania and FYROM. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the cargos in question underwent normal customs checks, adding that an official investigation of the issue had shown that no war supplies had arrived destined for FYROM.

Kosovar refugees due in Thessaloniki

Kosovar refugees en route to temporary shelter in Australia will transit through Thessaloniki on Thursday. According to reports, some 500 Kosovo Albanian refugees will arrive in the northern Greek port by road from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia camps. They will be accommodated at the city's airport for a few hours before a foreign airline company aircraft takes them to Australia. Thessaloniki is expected to be a transit stop for some 20,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees on their way to temporary shelter in western countries, mainly the U.S.

Belgrade warm to Greek truce idea

Belgrade on Tuesday welcomed a proposal by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou for a 48-hour truce and ceasefire for military operations in Yugoslavia, according to an ANA despatch from the Serbian capital. Speaking at a news conference in Belgrade, foreign ministry spokesman Nebojsa Vujovic said all proposals and ideas for a cessation of NATO's aerial bombardment were positive "and we are open to discuss them and give impetus for diplomatic and political progress". "It is the only way to resolve the Kosovo problem. The bombing must stop as soon as possible so that diplomatic talks can begin," Vujovic said.

Blast of cool air blows out office window

Police investigating an explosion early on Tuesday at the suburban Athens offices of insurance firm Nationale Nederlanden suspect the cause of the blast to be overworked air conditioning units and not an explosive device. Residents in the seaside neighbourhood of Glyfada reported an explosion at about 1.20 a.m. but police now believe that the noise was actually the sound of a window breaking. They believe that the window exploded outwards due to the low temperatures in the office and the high temperatures outside. Anti-terrorist officers said they had found no evidence of any explosive device.

Hopes of peace spur bourse upwards

Hopes of a diplomatic solution to the war in Yugoslavia and German chancellor's comments against the deployment of ground forces in Kosovo encouraged sentiment on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday pushing equity prices to new records. The general index ended 4.32 percent higher at 4, 106.50 points, its 27th record this year. It now stands 50 percent up from the beginning of 1999. Traders also said a recovery in European bourses, based on hopes of steady interest rates in the US, encouraged buying activity. Turnover was 199.367 billion drachmas and volume 38,078,197 shares. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 3.17 percent up, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index jumped 4.59 percent to 2,452.76.

WEATHER

The forecast for Tuesday is sunshine with scattered cloud and the likelihood of showers in the northern Ionian, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace. Winds northerly mild to moderate. Athens will be partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 17-30C. Thessaloniki will be overcast with a chance of rain with temperatures from 15-26C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          302.342
Pound sterling       489.492
Japanese yen (100)   245.689
French franc          49.210
German mark          165.030
Italian lira (100)    16.672
Irish Punt           409.868
Belgian franc          8.002
Luxembourg franc       8.002
Finnish mark          54.290
Dutch guilder        146.479
Danish kr.            43.432
Austrian sch.         23.459
Spanish peseta         1.940
Swedish kr.           35.944
Norwegian kr.         39.412
Swiss franc          201.396
Port. Escudo           1.610
Can. dollar          206.157
Aus. dollar          200.895
Cyprus pound         557.504
Euro                 322.797
(M.P.)
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