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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-05

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, 05/07/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • One killed in jetfighter crash
  • Russian peacekeepers en route to Greece
  • Margaret Papandreou suffers heart attack
  • General elections in September 2000
  • U.S. Defence Secretary in Athens
  • Simitis to attend Sarajevo summit
  • German dies in boating accident
  • 22 tonnes of meat confiscated
  • Five firms in new ticketing programme
  • Equity prices soar to new heights
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

One killed in jetfighter crash

One pilot was killed and a second seriously injured when a Greek airforce jet crash on Monday on a highway near Thessaloniki's Macedonia airport, the defence ministry said. According to initial reports, the F-5 jetfighter was on a training flight when it lost altitude and crashed onto the Thessaloniki- Nea Michaniona highway. An Air Force team of experts has reached the crash site to determine the cause of the accident.

Russian peacekeepers en route to Greece

A convoy of Russian ships carrying Russian marines and artillery has set sail for a northern Greek port en route to Kosovo, reliable sources said. They said four large Russian naval transport ships, carrying marines and heavy artillery, set sail Saturday from the port of Sevastopol for the port of Thessaloniki or Volos, where they were due to arrive mid-week. From there, the marines and weaponry will head for neighbouring FYROM and on to Kosovo, the sources said.

Margaret Papandreou suffers heart attack

Margaret Papandreou, former wife of the late PASOK founder and former premier Andreas Papandreou and mother of foreign minister George Papandreou, suffered an acute heart attack and has been admitted to the Onassion Cardiology Centre, the Onassion said today. Mrs. Papandreou's condition was described as "serious", and initially the problem was being treated with medication, an Onassion announcement said. She was being treated in the hospital's intensive care unit.

General elections in September 2000

Greece's government reiterated on Monday that national elections would be held as planned at the end of the government's four-year mandate in September 2000. Spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the government of Prime Minister Costas Simitis did not link an election of the president of the republic with the government's term. President Costis Stepahanopoulos's five-year term comes up for renewal in March next year. Under the Greek constitution, if the candidate does not receive 200 votes in the 300-seat chamber in the first two rounds, and fails to gather 180 votes in a third round of voting, Parliament is dissolved and general elections held. Ruling PASOK has 162 seats in the chamber. It would need the support of other party MPs during voting for the president if it were to avert elections in March.

U.S. Defence Secretary in Athens

U.S. Secretary of Defence William Cohen will visit Greece next week, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday. Reppas said Cohen would be accompanied by White House adviser Michael Sheen, who would meet with Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoides on issues related to combatting terrorism.

Simitis to attend Sarajevo summit

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will attend the Balkan stability pact summit in Sarajevo on July 30, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday. Dozens of European and world leaders are expected to attend the summit, although according to some reports, it may be postponed. A final decision on the date is expected next week.

German dies in boating accident

A German national was fatally injured when he fell off his speedboat in Halkidiki, northern Greece, police said today. They said Oliver Kuch, 32, fell off his speedboat under undisclosed circumstances yesterday noon in the Yalaki, Pyrgadikion region of Halkidiki. The man's brother was with him at the time. No other details were immediately available.

22 tonnes of meat confiscated

Police confiscated some 22 tonnes of meat from The Netherlands and arrested the truck driver near Corinth. The meat was not packaged and carried no labels. The meat -- beef, pork and other -- destined for Moschato, near Piraeus, was confiscated after being examined by a health inspector.

Five firms in new ticketing programme

The Merchant Marine Ministry has selected five leading shipping firms to participate in a pilot electronic ticketing system, scheduled to come into full operation on January 1, 2000. The five firms are ANEK, DANE, NEL , Minoan Lines and Minoan subsidiary Minoan Flying Dolphins. The pilot programme is expected to begin on July 20. The new system introduces changes to the way ferry tickets are issued, such as detailing passenger names and ages, as well as if they have special needs or health problems which may affect their journey.

Equity prices soar to new heights

Equity prices soared to new records on Monday with the general index surpassing the 4,300 level. News of a mega-merger deal in the banking sector between Bank of Piraeus, Xiosbank and Ergobank, creating the third largest institution in the country, combined with a record close in Wall Street on Friday, encouraged sentiment on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index ended 4.76 percent higher at 4,350.13 points, its 31st record closing this year. It now stands 58.91 percent higher since January 1. Turnover was 179.228 billion drachmas with 25,899,422 shares changing hands.

WEATHER

The weather will be sunny on Monday, turning to cloud in mainland Greece in the evening and then showers or storms. Winds will be northerly, light to moderate, throughout the country but strong in parts of the Aegean. In Athens, temperatures will range from 20C to 33C. In Thessaloniki, temperatures are forecast at 20C to 31C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          314.900
Pound sterling       496.119
Japanese yen (100)   259.934
French franc          49.136
German mark          164.795
Italian lira (100)    16.646
Irish Punt           409.251
Belgian franc          7.990
Finnish mark          54.209
Dutch guilder        146.258
Danish kr.            43.358
Austrian sch.         23.423
Spanish peseta         1.937
Swedish kr.           37.043
Norwegian kr.         39.880
Swiss franc          200.845
Port. Escudo           1.608
Can. dollar          214.074
Aus. dollar          209.887
Cyprus pound         558.694
Euro                 322.311
(M.P.)
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