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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-12

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, 12/07/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece denies press reports over military exercises
  • Investigation called into corruption charges
  • Greece, Tunisia discuss defence cooperation
  • New terminal for Kavala airport
  • NATO, Russian ships due in Thessaloniki
  • Patti Smith in Athens for concerts
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece denies press reports over military exercises

Greece on Monday denied a newspaper report claiming it had allowed Turkey to use part of its national airspace and territorial waters for recent air and naval exercises. A front-page article in today's edition of the Athens daily 'Athinaiki' claimed that the Turkish military had conducted exercises 15 nautical miles inside Greek territorial waters. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said most military exercises take place in Flight Information Regions (FIR) in which responsibility is shared and that this was the case with regard to the exercises referred to in the newspaper article. Consequently, Reppas added, Greece's national interests had in no way been harmed by Turkey's 'Ephessus' and 'Sea Wolf' exercises.

Investigation called into corruption charges

The justice ministry has ordered an urgent preliminary investigation into claims by a ruling party MP last week that corruption was a way of life among the upper echeolons of the public sector, the government said on Monday. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos had referred the claims to a Supreme Court prosecutor for further investigation. Former foreign minister Yannis Kapsis, speaking to the party's Central Committee meeting on Friday, said that corruption reigned supreme in public life and urged PASOK to launch a crusade against it. He reportedly said that corruption was so rampant that positions in the public sector were being bought and sold. Responding to Kapsis' comments the next day, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the former minister should immediately take whatever information he had to the public prosecutor.

Greece, Tunisia discuss defence cooperation

Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had talks in Athens on Monday with his Tunisian counterpart Habib Ben Yahia aimed at promoting peace in the western and eastern Mediterranean. After the talks, Tsohatzopoulos said the behaviour of both countries was helping to consolidate peace, stability and cooperation in the broader geopolitical region. Ben Yahia said defence ministries should be renamed ministries of defence and peace since the focus of their efforts should be to better serve the cause of peace at a local and regional level.

New terminal for Kavala airport

The new terminal at Kavala's 'Alexander the Great' international airport began operating on Monday after extensive rebuilding and renovation work costing some 2 billion drachmas. The terminal covers an area of 6,800 square metres and replaces the previous facilities comprising prefabricated structures which occupied only 1,500 square metres. The improvements are expected to considerably enhance passenger services at the airport in general, particularly the boarding and disembarkation of travellers.

NATO, Russian ships due in Thessaloniki

The northern Greek port of Thessaloniki will be the destination this week of several NATO and Russian ships transporting troops and artillery destined for or returning from Kosovo. Five Russian warships carrying marines and military vehicles for the Russian peace-deeping contingent in the troubled Yugoslav province are due to arrive in the port on Wednesday. Also due on Wednesday are an Italian and a British vessel which will arrive empty to pick up artillery and troops returning from Kosovo. Tomorrow, some 700 British soldiers returning from Kosov are due in Thessaloniki, where they will be picked up by the British warship "Centurion".

Patti Smith in Athens for concerts

New wave rock great Patti Smith, in Greece for several appearances, last night said that, as an American, she was "not at all proud" over the recent US-led NATO bombings against Yugoslavia. "I'm an American, but I am not at all proud about the war in Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, this war did not sensitise the Americans as much as it should have. The war in Vietbnam concerned everyone from the first minute. With the war in Yugoslavia, now that it has ended do we realise its repercussions," Smith said in the northern Greek capital Thessaloniki, where she will give two concerts tonight and tomorrow at the Mylos complex. The 53-year-old Smith, on her first visit to Greece, also remarked on the ecological devastation resulting from the war in Yugoslavia, noting that she did not know the details of the war "since my information comes from the American media".

WEATHER

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.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

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
(M.P.)
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