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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 20/07/1999 (ANA)


  • Greece: 25 years indifference to Cyprus too long
  • Government welcomes EU nod for Thessaloniki HQ
  • Albania, Greece to work together on curbing crime
  • Economy, culture focus of first Greece-Turkey talks
  • Former Yugoslav university students demonstrate
  • Government tries to speed up green card process
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greece: 25 years indifference to Cyprus too long

Greece said on Tuesday that the international community could no longer remain indifferent to the 25 years of division and occupation on the island of Cyprus. "Dealing with this problem is now urgent," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on the quarter-century anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island republic. Turkish troops have occupied 37 percent of the island since July 20, 1974, in defiance of repeated UN resolutions. Reppas said Turkey could not convince the international community it was "a modern state" when it continued to support the invasion, defend the occupation and torpedo any attempt at resolving the problem.

Government welcomes EU nod for Thessaloniki HQ

Greece on Tuesday welcomed the Council of EU Foreign Ministers' decision on Monday to base the EU's agency for Balkans reconstruction in Thessaloniki. "The practical value and political significance of yesterday's decision is obvious," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters. Greece not only had not caved in under pressure, from the European Commission to back track on a political decision, but the efforts of both Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis had brought welcome results, he said.

Albania, Greece to work together on curbing crime

Greece and Albania's public order ministers on Tuesday agreed to a series of measures to coordinate action between the two countries aimed at curbing criminal activity by illegal immigrants in Greece. "We agreed on all the issues we discussed. There was a coincidence of views on solving problems," Greek Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis told reporters after meeting with his Albanian counterpart, Spartak Potsi, in the northern Greek city of Ioannina. The two ministries agreed to upgrade their cooperation by introducing direct phone lines for immediate access and consultation as well as linking up on-line to facilitate the exchange of information. Posted at each ministry will be a police liaison officer from the other country. "The political message from my meeting with Mr. Potsi is that both governments are determined to stamp out organising and common crime at its roots," Chrysohoidis said.

Economy, culture focus of first Greece-Turkey talks

Cooperation and exchanges in the cultural and economic sectors will be the topics on the agenda of the first meeting of Greek and Turkish officials' meeting in Ankara on Monday, the government said. Foreign ministry ambassadors Skopelitis and Gerokostopoulos will represent Greece at the meeting, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. Reppas said the next cycle of meetings would be held in Athens and would focus on issues not touched on in the Ankara meetings, such as combatting crime, illegal immigration, terrorism and related issues.

Former Yugoslav university students demonstrate

Scuffles broke out between police and Greek students enrolled in Yugoslavian universities and their parents staging a protest outside Parliament today. A student was lightly injured and one parent was arrested in the incident. The students, whose studies were disrupted with the Yugoslav crisis, are demanding their transfer to Greek universities. The demonstrators gathered on central Akadimias avenue leading to the entrance to Parliament on Vassilissis Sophias avenue off Syntagma Square, and planned to march to the government headquarters at the Maximos Mansion but were obstructed by police forces. Police made "limited use" of tear gas, according to a police source. One student was injured lightly in the scuffles, and taken to the Red Cross Hospital, where he was given first aid and released.

Government tries to speed up green card process

A government meeting on Monday decided to step up procedures issuing green cards to foreigners meeting all the legal requirements for residency in Greece. A bill will be tabled in parliament which will double the number of Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) committees currently processing the applications, a meeting between the ministers of the interior, labour and public order decided. Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said recently that 73 committees were presently processing the applications and these were taking up to 12 months to approve or reject applications. Up until June 30, only 40,000 of an estimated 225,691 requests for green cards had been processed. Of this number, 35,000 applications were approved.


Sunny wheather is forecast across the country on Tuesday with a possibility of cloud and showers in the north later in the day. Winds will be northwesterlies, mild to moderate, moderate to strong in the east and very strong in the Aegean. Temperatures will range from 19-32C in the north 21- 34 in the mainland and Ionian and 22-30 in the Aegean. Athens will be fine with occasional cloud, winds northerly moderate to strong, 22-34C. Thessaloniki will have scattered cloud, northerly winds mild to moderate and temperatures of 21-31C.


Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          317.172
Pound sterling       493.976
Japanese yen (100)   264.110
French franc          49.058
German mark          164.536
Italian lira (100)    16.620
Irish Punt           408.608
Belgian franc          7.977
Finnish mark          54.124
Dutch guilder        146.028
Danish kr.            43.269
Austrian sch.         23.386
Spanish peseta         1.934
Swedish kr.           36.879
Norwegian kr.         39.666
Swiss franc          200.315
Port. Escudo           1.605
Can. dollar          213.399
Aus. dollar          208.310
Cyprus pound         557.504
Euro                 321.805
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