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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 18/07/1999 (ANA)


  • Minister says crackdown on illegal migration to continue
  • Police continue investigation into hijacking
  • One arrested for transporting illegal immigrants
  • Bulgarians say larger wave coming from north
  • Deputy defence minister in Georgia
  • 150 ferry passengers wait it out on disabled ship
  • Gov`t continues to campaign for Thessaloniki
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Minister says crackdown on illegal migration to continue

Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis on Sunday warned of a new wave of illegal immigration into Greece, this time from Serbia. Speaking in an interview with Kathimerini, Chrysohoidis reiterated the government's determination to curb illegal immigration and any subsequent criminal activity. He said that police were concentrating on detecting criminal gangs involving in running arms, drugs and women for the sex industry. He said that checks by police on whether migrants in Greece were legally registered would continue.

Police continue investigation into hijacking

Thessaloniki police are continuing their investigations into whether an Albanian who hijacked an intercity bus last week and took eight hostages had accomplices. It was the second time in six weeks that a disgruntled Albanian illegal immigrant had hijacked an intercity bus with passengers aboard. According to unconfirmed reports, police have already detained a number of suspects thought to be involved in the hijacking, detected through an analysis of the phone numbers called by the hijacker during the incident. The detainees include the perpetrator's younger brother, who is reported to be unwilling to cooperate with the authorities. He was revealed to not have valid residency papers and is slated for deportation to Albania.

One arrested for transporting illegal immigrants

Police on Saturday said they arrested a Greek man after finding two Bulgarian women in his car during a roadblock search. Costas Mitilidis, 30, told police that he had picked up the two women, who had entered the country illegally, from a village near Drama and was taking them to Thessaloniki. The arrest was the fourth incident involving Bulgarian illegal immigrants in the past 10 days in the region of Drama.

Bulgarians say larger wave coming from north

Police on Sunday announced they had arrested another 30 Bulgarian illegal immigrants who had illegally entered Greece through Nevrokopiou, Drama. The immigrants, both men and women, told police that an estimated 1000 Bulgarians, including elderly people and children, were waiting to make the crossing into Greece from villages in southern Bulgaria. Police have stepped up measures along a 110-km stretch of the Greek-Bulgarian border. Police in eastern Macedonia and Thrace have detained some 400 illegal immigrants over the past five days and 250-260 are slated for deportation. According to reports, those Greeks hiring illegal labour may also face charges.

Deputy defence minister in Georgia

Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Apostolakis left on an official three-day visit to Georgia, on the invitation of his Georgian counterpart Grigol Katamazde. Apostolakis is expected to have talks with Katamazde and meet with Defence Minister David Tevzadza, Minister of State Vazha Lortikipanidze, Foreign Minister Ikrakli Menagarashvili and Georgian parliament officials, including Speaker Zurab Zhvania. Talks will focus bilateral cooperation and security in southeast Europe and the Caucasus. Apostolakis is accompanied by representatives from the Greek armed forces and state and private defence industries.

150 ferry passengers wait it out on disabled ship

About 150 passengers were stranded for seven hours early on Sunday when their passenger ferry the Georgios Express ran aground off the port of the island of Tinos, merchant marine officials said. The ferry, on the Mykonos- Tinos-Syros-Rafina route, was dislodged at about 3.30 a.m. on Sunday.

Gov't continues to campaign for Thessaloniki

Deputy Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Friday stressed the Greek government's determination to have Thessaloniki selected as both the headquarters and centre of primary ground operations for the Union's new Balkans reconstruction organisation. The Greek minister made the statements during the European Union's budget council in Brussels. Mr. Christodoulakis pointed to a political commitment made by the "15" EU leaders in favour of Thessaloniki as the agency's host. He added that the choice of Thessaloniki will secure the "effectiveness and coordination of EU actions" in Kosovo, in the name of which the European Commission is trying to "cloud" the decision taken by the 15 leaders and substantively thwart the option of Thessaloniki as the agency's headquarters.


Partly cloudy throughout the country on Sunday, localy increased in the Aegean and the mountainous regions. Winds will be northerly, moderate to strong, turning gale force in the Aegean Sea. Partly cloudy in Athens where temperatures will range between 23-33C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 21-30C.


Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          315.387
Pound sterling       493.738
Japanese yen (100)   261.610
French franc          49.112
German mark          164.714
Italian lira (100)    16.638
Irish Punt           409.048
Belgian franc          7.986
Finnish mark          54.182
Dutch guilder        146.186
Danish kr.            43.319
Austrian sch.         23.412
Spanish peseta         1.936
Swedish kr.           36.704
Norwegian kr.         39.452
Swiss franc          200.672
Port. Escudo           1.607
Can. dollar          212.943
Aus. dollar          208.136
Cyprus pound         559.091
Euro                 322.152
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