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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-01

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 01/07/1999 (ANA)


  • Papandreou-Cem meeting a 'first step'
  • Opposition concerned about national interests
  • Former PM says Greek-Turk dialogue right
  • Greek-US groups to lobby Clinton over Cyprus
  • Cash-strapped drug rehab agency calls for help
  • Abortive kidnap attempt against Albanian girl
  • Farmer killed by lightning
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Papandreou-Cem meeting a 'first step'

Greece said on Thursday that talks in New York between the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers were a "first step" to finding ways to cooperate on a number of issues, "There should not be either great optimism or great pessimism," government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou told reporters. Greece and Turkey yesterday agreed to hold talks on a foreign ministry senior officials level on issues relating to the economy, trade, environment, tourism, as well as combatting organised crime, illegal immigration, drugs and on law and order issues. Foreign Minister George Papandreou made the announcement after two-hour talks with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, on the sidelines of a UN-sponsored meeting on Kosovo.

Opposition concerned about national interests

A statement from conservative opposition New Democracy party on Thursday said the party favoured the normalisation of Greek-Turkish relations but said Greek-Turkish dialogue had to take place "under certain conditions". "Ankara must cease to make territorial claims, abandon the tactic of threatening force and show respect for international law and existing treaties," a statement from ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said. "These conditions are not being met," he added. "Combined with the ineffectiveness and concessions of the government, there is concern that we are slipping into complications that bode dangers for national interests."

Former PM says Greek-Turk dialogue right

Former conservative prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis said the government was right to begin dialogue with Turkey but stressed the need to clarify some "basic issues." "For dialogue to be effective, it must be conducted in a specific framework," he said. He referred to a 1992 meeting of political party leaders in which all decided that dialogue should proceed on the basis of mutual respect, territorial integrity, and of respect of bilateral agreements signed and the principles of international law. He said that the present conjuncture favoured a clarification on Ankara's part of its continued claims of "grey zones" in the Aegean and disputing of Greek sovereignty of a number of rocky outcrops.

Greek-US groups to lobby Clinton over Cyprus

Greek-American organisations in the United States will join forces for the first time this year to lodge a joint demarche on the Cyprus issue with the US government, Archbishop Spyridon of America said yesterday after a meeting in New York with Greek foreign minister George Papandreou. Spyridon said that now that the situation in Kosovo was slowly normalising, the Cyprus problem must "regain its rightful priority" and the importance placed by the international community on its resolution must become manifest.

Cash-strapped drug rehab agency calls for help

A state-funded network of centres providing support and treatment for the drug-dependent and their families said on Thursday that its future was in doubt following cutbacks in funding from the health ministry. "The Centre for Drug Dependency (KETHEA) is in such dire financial straits that it can no longer cover the costs of maintaining its therapeutic programmes or the wages of its personnel," a statement said. KETHEA manages an extensive network of services for those with drug addictions and their famililes. It runs a number of rehabilitation and re-entry programmes, holds conferences and conducts research into the drug abuse situation in Greece.

Abortive kidnap attempt against Albanian girl

A gang of Albanians attempted to abduct a teenage Albanian girl from her home in Thessaloniki, police said today. They said 52-year-old Albanian laborer Petrit Zyber reported that four Albanian men entered his home, where he lived with his 13-year-old daugher, and demanded that he give them his money, threatening him with a knife and a club. When Zyber refused, one of the gang members grabbed the girl's hand and threatened to take her with him. Zyber and his daughter started calling for help, and the four Albanians fled.

Farmer killed by lightning

A 36-year-old livestock breeder was struck and killed by lightning as he was grazing his flock in Agios Dimitrios, Pierias, police said. Christos Karayiannis was caught out in his fields on Wednesday during a hail storm. His family began searching for him after he failed to return home and found his body at 6 a.m. this morning.


Partly cloudy weather with large spells of sunshine will prevail throughout Greece today. Scattered showers in the northern regions. Winds northwesterly, light to strong. Scattered showers in the afternoon in Athens with temperatures between 20-34C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19- 30C.


Thursday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          311.924
Pound sterling       491.417
Japanese yen (100)   257.960
French franc          49.107
German mark          164.699
Italian lira (100)    16.636
Irish Punt           409.010
Belgian franc          7.985
Finnish mark          54.177
Dutch guilder        146.173
Danish kr.            43.331
Austrian sch.         23.409
Spanish peseta         1.936
Swedish kr.           36.801
Norwegian kr.         39.720
Swiss franc          200.949
Port. Escudo           1.607
Can. dollar          211.375
Aus. dollar          206.272
Cyprus pound         557.742
Euro                 322.122
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