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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-05-27

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, 27/05/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens: Milosevic indictment not helpful
  • Former PM Mitsotakis meets with Milosevic
  • Second refugee groups transits through Thessaloniki
  • Protests at port over NATO supplies
  • New electric rail line opened amid protests
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens: Milosevic indictment not helpful

Greece on Thursday described the indictment of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic by the Hague-based United Nations International Criminal Tribunal as "a politically unsound move". "On the one hand Milosevic is being called upon to contribute to a solution (of the Kosovo crisis) and on the other he is being summoned to answer charges," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. The UN tribunal said ealier on Thursday that it had indicted Milosevic and four other senior Serbs, including President Milan Milutinovic, for crimes against humanity. Replying to reporters' questions, Reppas said Greece's position on the Yugoslav problem was crystal clear, namely that the G8 draft peace proposals served as a good basis for a political solution.

Former PM Mitsotakis meets with Milosevic

Former premier Constantine Mitsotakis expressed guarded optimism over ongoing diplomatic efforts for a solution to the Kosovo crisis, following talks in Belgrade with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Serb President Milan Milutinovic, according to an ANA despatch from the Serb capital. "The Yugoslav leadership is ready to take a constructive approach to the proposals of NATO and the international community which are to be presented by Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin," Mitsotakis said. Mitsotakis, honorary president of Greece's main opposition New Democracy party, said there would be "good intentions" on the part of Yugoslavia "and this is a positive step in the direction of peace". Mitsotakis described as "foolish" Milosevic's indictment by the UN War Crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity.

Second refugee groups transits through Thessaloniki

A second group of Kosovo refugees came through Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport on Thursday, en route to temporary shelter in Australia. The group of 424 refugees, mostly women and about 124 children, were brought to Thessaloniki by coach from refugee camps in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A group of some 375 Kosovo Albanians, mostly family groups with relatives in Australia, left Thessaloniki for Sydney last Thursday. Thessaloniki's airport is being used as an alternative transit point, as is Rome, Frankfurt and London. A third group of refugees is expected in the city next week. According to reports, an estimated 20,000 refugees will use Thessaloniki as a transit point for countries of the West.

Protests at port over NATO supplies

Demonstrators in the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki early today turned back a convoy of NATO troops and supplies headed for FYROM, and two protesters were lightly injured in scuffles with riot police. Backers of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) gathered late last night outside the port's Gate 14, from where the convoy was to pass. When riot police arrived on the scene, the protestors burst through the port's main gate and wrote anti-NATO and anti-war slogans on the buildings and the allied personnel transport tanks and containers. The protestors blocked the NATO convoy from leaving the port to head for FYROM, and a spokesman for them told ANA they were determined to remain there to avert the movement of allied forces.

New electric rail line opened amid protests

Protestors greeted Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mandelis with jeers and shouts as he arrived to inaugurate the Hellenic Railways new electric rail line in Thessaloniki. The protestors briefly prevented the first electric train leaving from the city's central train station by sitting on the rails. The approximately 100 protestors, mainly train drivers, waved black flags as Mandelis arrived at around 10 a.m. They shouted slogans against Mandelis and the government's policies. The protestors are demonstrating against wage cuts and new work regulations which they claim is detrimental to their rights. After the sit-in protest, Mandelis and the management of Hellenic Railways took the electric train from Thessaloniki to Eidomeni, on the border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

WEATHER

Fair weather will prevail in most parts of the country day with showers in the afternoon in the mountainous regions of mainland Greece. Winds northerly, light, turning moderate in the Aegean Sea. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 15-26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 13-25C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          305.040
Pound sterling       488.917
Japanese yen (100)   250.133
French franc          49.205
German mark          165.028
Italian lira (100)    16.670
Irish Punt           409.830
Belgian franc          8.001
Luxembourg franc       8.001
Finnish mark          54.285
Dutch guilder        146.465
Danish kr.            43.422
Austrian sch.         23.457
Spanish peseta         1.940
Swedish kr.           35.887
Norwegian kr.         39.176
Swiss franc          202.328
Port. Escudo           1.610
Can. dollar          208.419
Aus. dollar          198.846
Cyprus pound         556.274
Euro                 322.767
(M.P.)
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