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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 11/07/1999 (ANA)


  • German FM, U.S.'s Cohen in Athens this week
  • Tunisian defence minister on official visit
  • Majority of Greeks approve of deportations
  • Young Communists in border protest
  • Albanian embassy car torched
  • Firebombs hurled at suburban bank
  • PASOK vows to fight on against conservatives
  • Greek, Dutch firms acquire Bulgarian telecom
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


    German FM, U.S.'s Cohen in Athens this week

    German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is due in Athens on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and other government officials. Fischer is due to meet with his Greek counterpart George Papapandreou and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. On the agenda of the talks are reconstruction of the Balkans, European Union relations with Turkey and the Cyprus issue. Meanwhile, U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen arrives in Athens on Tuesday for two days of talks centring on terrorism and Greek- Turkish relations. Cohen will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the foreign and defence ministers. Also on the agenda of his talks are multipartite cooperation in Kosovo and southeastern Europe.

    Tunisian defence minister on official visit

    Tunisian Defence Minister Habib Ben Yehia arrives in Greece on Monday on the start of an official visit at the invitation of Greek counterpart, Akis Tsohatzopoulos. Ben Yehia and Tsohatzopoulos are scheduled to have talks on Monday at the defence ministry. On Tuesday, Ben Yehia will meet with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    Majority of Greeks approve of deportations

    The majority of Greeks approve of the practice of deporting illegal immigrants, according to an opinion poll published in Sunday's edition of daily Ethnos. Some 89.5 percent said they favoured deportation, with 76.5 percent saying they believed most criminals were Albanian. Some 79. 2 percent said they believed more foot patrols by police would curb crime. Slightly more than half, or 59.4 percent, said they bellieved introducing a green card for immigrants to work legally in Greece was a positive measure, while 34.9 percent believed it was to the detriment of Greek workers.

    Young Communists in border protest

    About 2,000 members of the Communist Party of Greece's youth branch blockaded the Evzones border post on the Greek-FYROM border late on Saturday as a protest against NATO's involvement in the Balkans. Protestors gained entry to the netural zone between the two countries and pulled down and burnt a European Union flag. The blockade lasted for about an hour. During the protest customs officials diverted traffic to other roads.

    Albanian embassy car torched

    A vehicle belonging to the Albanian embassy was set on fire early on Sunday as it was parked in the Athens suburb of Zografou. Police said the car, with diplomatic corps licence plates, was doused in petrol and set alight. The subsequent fire also damaged a car parked next to the Albanian embassy vehicle. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

    Firebombs hurled at suburban bank

    Masked arsonists attacked a branch of the Agricultural Bank of Greece in suburban Kolonos with eight fire bombs early on Sunday, causing some damage but no injuries. The bombs damaged the entrance to the bank.

    PASOK vows to fight on against conservatives

    PASOK's front against the main opposition New Democracy and the forces of conservatism remains open and will continue being the focus of its strategy, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said in his concluding address to the ruling party's Cental Committee session on Saturday. Simitis expressed confidence that despite a disappointing performance in last month's Euroelections, PASOK was in a position to win next year's national elections, but this required unity and an end to introversion and internal friction.

    Greek, Dutch firms acquire Bulgarian telecom

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and KPN of the Netherlands yesterday reached agreement with the Bulgarian government for acquisition of 51 percent of the BTC state telecom following a privatisation tender. The two firms will also jointly acquire Bulgaria's second GSM mobile phone licence, plus a 51 percent stake in the country's Mobikom analog mobile operator. The buyout cost OTE and KPN 510 million US dollars. Another 200 million dollars will be spent over three years on investments to expand existing telecoms networks and develop the GSM network.


    Fair weather over most of the country expected on Sunday. Light cloud over northern areas, with likely scattered showers or storms in the afternoon. Winds northerly, light to moderate. The forecast for Monday is scattered cloud in Macedonia and Thrace with local rain in the afternoon. The rest of the country will be fine will cloud increasing in the afternoon. Winds will be northerly, moderate to strong and in the Aegean very strong. Temperatures will range from 19-37C on the mainland and 22-35 on the islands. Athens will be fine with moderate to strong northerlies, 23-36. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with a chance of rain, 21-34.


    Monday's rates (buying)
    U.S. dollar          316.775
    Pound sterling       491.695
    Japanese yen (100)   258.585
    French franc          49.202
    German mark          165.018
    Italian lira (100)    16.669
    Irish Punt           409.804
    Belgian franc          8.001
    Finnish mark          54.282
    Dutch guilder        146.456
    Danish kr.            43.410
    Austrian sch.         23.455
    Spanish peseta         1.939
    Swedish kr.           37.031
    Norwegian kr.         39.779
    Swiss franc          200.959
    Port. Escudo           1.610
    Can. dollar          215.264
    Aus. dollar          210.765
    Cyprus pound         560.778
    Euro                 322.747
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