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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-30

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, 30/06/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Olympic Airways strike on Thursday
  • Russian troops to transit through Greece
  • Cell search reveals grenades, guns, drill
  • Four cars destroyed in arson attack
  • Work begins on Thessaloniki airport
  • Kidnapped child returned safe
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Olympic Airways strike on Thursday

A 24-hour general strike by Olympic Airways employees begins at midnight on Wednesday and is expected to cause delays to both international and domestic flights. The workers called the strike last week to protest the awarding of the management of the ailing national carrier to British Airways subsidiary, Speedwing, for a 30-month period. A parliamentary committee is expected to approve the new managing director of Olympic Airways, Rod Lynch, on Thursday night.

Russian troops to transit through Greece

Russian troops and equipment destined for the Kosovo peacekeeping force are expected to begin arriving in Greek ports next week on their way to Kosovo, a military source said on Wednesday. The source said talks over the use of Greek ports for the Russian troops were nearing an end and the only issue still to be tackled was whether Volos, Thessaloniki or Litochoro would be used as their transit points. There is a possibility that all three ports will be used; the use of Litochoro is likely in any case as the Russian will be transporting heavy equipment.

Cell search reveals grenades, guns, drill

A surprise search of cells in the Korydallos prison on Wednesday morning turned up a pistol, two handgrenades and dozens of bullets, prison officials said. Officials said the weapons and ammunition were found hidden in a television set. A search of another cell found two inmates in possession of a drill and mobile telephones. Further details of the finds are expected to be revealed later in the day by Justice Minister Evangelos Yianonpoulos.

Four cars destroyed in arson attack

Four cars were destroyed in arson attacks in the greater Athens area within half an hour early Wednesday morning. At 4 a.m. local time, two cars parked on the same street in the seaside district of Varkiza were burned. Fifteen minutes later, a third vehicle which was parked in an underground garage in Glyfada was burned. Shortly afterwards, a Mercedes car was burned in Peristeri. According to the police, the first two cars belonged to US tourists and the attackers may have been expressing their anti-American sentiment.

Work begins on Thessaloniki airport

Work begins in two days at Thessaloniki's international airport to upgrade equipment used to facilitate the landing of aircraft in conditions of poor visibility, the Ministry of Transport said on Wednesday. The current ILS system will be upgraded from category I to category II at a cost of 3.5 billion drachmas. One of the main aims is to sharply reduce the number of flights cancelled due to fog at the 'Macedonia' airport. While work is in progress, the ministry said, the main runway will be out of operation every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although an alternative runway will be used, the schedules of some flights are expected to be disrupted.

Kidnapped child returned safe

A four-year-old girl kidnapped by intruders from her grandparents' home in the Albanian town of Kakavije more than three weeks ago was released after her parents paid a ransom to the kidnappers, an ANA report from Albania said today. Sophia Goga, a member of the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania, was abducted on June 5 from her grandparents' home in Kakavije, near the Albanian-Greek border, after masked intruders bound and gagged the elderly couple. The girls' parents, migrant workers in the U.S., were working in Greece at the time. The girl, who was in good health, told her family and police that she was given only bread and tomatoes throughout her captivity and slept outdoors wrapped in blankets.

WEATHER

Partly cloudy weather will prevail throughout the country today with scattered showers in central and northern Greece and possibly in the mountainous regions of the Peloponnese. Winds westerly, light to moderate. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 20-35C. Rain in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18-30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          310.992
Pound sterling       491.298
Japanese yen (100)   257.077
French franc          49.097
German mark          164.663
Italian lira (100)    16.633
Irish Punt           408.922
Belgian franc          7.984
Finnish mark          54.165
Dutch guilder        146.141
Danish kr.            43.321
Austrian sch.         23.404
Spanish peseta         1.935
Swedish kr.           36.803
Norwegian kr.         39.632
Swiss franc          201.133
Port. Escudo           1.606
Can. dollar          211.395
Aus. dollar          204.044
Cyprus pound         557.504
Euro                 322.053
(M.P.)
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