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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-08-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


ATHENS, GREECE, 23/08/1999 (ANA)


  • EMAK team concludes search efforts in quake-stricken NW Turkey
  • Patriarch Vartholomeos congratulates Greek team
  • Focus on earthquake activity in Greece, Cyprus
  • Greek diplomats visit Yialova
  • Babiniotis on Greek language development
  • Press report cites secret Athens-Ankara talks
  • Greek sprinter records at int'l championship
  • To the "Daily Bulletin" subscribers
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


EMAK team concludes search efforts in quake-stricken NW Turkey

Greece's emergency task force unit (EMAK) yesterday concluded efforts to find and rescue victims trapped in the rubble of last Tuesday's massive earthquake in northwestern Asia Minor.

As there is practically no hope of discovering more individuals alive six days after the destructive quake, which left 200,000 people homeless and more than 12,000 confirmed dead, all foreign search and rescue teams have ceased their efforts.

EMAK moved to Istanbul following rescue efforts in Avcilar, Sinarcig and Yialova, alll on the Asia Minor coast of the Sea of Marmara, and will remain in the area to offer further assistance.

The Greek unit initially arrived in Turkey only a few hours after the earthquake.

"Many more lives would have been saved if there was an elementary coordination of rescue operations," team members, who pulled a boy from the rubble in Yialova, stated.

The Spanish and US teams departed on Saturday, while most others are expected to leave today.

"The rescue operation is over, now the medical care operation for the living and homeless begins," an EMAK doctor stressed.

Patriarch Vartholomeos congratulates Greek team

While in Istanbul, the EKAM unit was received by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at the Fanar district who congratulated the unit's members for their efforts and contribution to promoting friendly relations between Greece and Turkey.

On Saturday, Vartholomeos headed a delegation of Christian eclessiastical leaders visiting Ismit, the city worst hit by the earthquake.

Armenian Patriarch Mesrop, a representative of the Catholic church, a representative of Protestant church groups and a representative of the International Council of Churches also toured the region.

The delegation met with local leaders, residents and the US rescue team, while they were informed of conditions in the area and problems faced by the local population.

The delegation also provided 200 tents as an initial donation to the homless and promised further aid.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Equality Centre, based in Kavala, began efforts for the collection of foodstuffs, medicines and other materials for the victims of the quake, and local administrations throughout Greece are working to provide all necessary aid.

In reaction to Athens' efforts to aid Turkey, most of Turkey's daily press praised Greece along with all 51 countries which responded to a call for aid.

The daily "Hurriyet" in a main article wrote: "Thank you, neighbour".

Focus on earthquake activity in Greece, Cyprus

Thessaloniki University Prof. Vassilis Papazahos, an earthquake specialist, has announced that the earthquake in Turkey does not indicate a global earthquake increase.

He added that the Asia Minor plate slowly moves westward and this move causes earthquakes in Turkey and Cyprus.

Speaking to a Cyprus state radio programme, Mr. Papazahos said there is no reason for changes in the building codes in Greece or Cyprus.

He said it is necessary for readiness measures to be undertaken, adding that an active anti-earth-quake policy is needed, although such measures are very hard to realise.

Such measures, he said, include inspection of all state buildings, while he added that all citizens should inspect the earthquake resistance of their homes.

Greek diplomats visit Yialova

Two Greek diplomats yesterday visited the national contingent of Medecins du Monde in Yialova, in order to ask how Athens could further aid the neighbouring country's earthquake victims.

The diplomats also confirmed the arrival of a consignment of medical supplies from Greece.

Finally, the two diplomats tried to trace a young boy found alive in the rubble of a collapsed building by a Greek rescue team on Saturday, saying they wished to adopt the boy.

Babiniotis on Greek language development

Noted linguistics professor and scholar Giorgos Babiniotis on Saturday stressed in Melbourne that contrary to popular belief the Greek language is not being corrupted by foreign imfluences.

In a lecture at La Trobe University, Prof. Babiniotis noted that "Ithe Greek language is stronger now than ever. However, there is a danger in the introduction of foreign words in the Greek vocabulary."

"I am the father of the word 'dhiadhictio' (Internet). In this way we can, in the future, adopt foreign words in Greek," he said.

The often controversial linguistics researcher and author stressed that the primary element of national identity is language, "we cannot speak of a Greek identity by simply dancing 'syrtaki' and other Greek dances.

"Special teaching methods sould be devised and books should continue to be written to make the teaching of language easy and effective," he said.

Press report cites secret Athens-Ankara talks

Athens and Ankara have been holding secret talks in Brussels over formulating new terms in their bilateral relations, the Athens newspaper "To Vima" wrote yesterday.

The paper said the two countries' permanent representatives at the European Union have had a series of secret discussions on the issue, which have resulted in Ankara sending a message to Athens, where it expresses a view that there is considerable room for arrangements on issues regarding the Aegean that would fully satisfy Greece.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, however, Turkey reportedly is not prepared to make any concessions, "To Vima" said.

Greek sprinter records at int'l championship

Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou yesterday won the bronze medal in the women's 100-metre dash at the World Athletics Championships in Seville, Spain. She clocked in at 10.86.

Marion Jones and Inger Miller, both of the United States, won the gold and silver medals, respectively, with 10.70 and 10.79.

Thanou twice broke the Greek national record in the qualifying rounds, with 10.86 and 10.82.

Two other Greek female athletes qualified for the triple jump final: Voula Tsiamita with 15.07 -- the best performance in the world this year that topped her Greek national record of 14.94 P and Olga Vasdeki with 14.27.

To the "Daily Bulletin" subscribers

Dear friends,

As you are aware, technological developments in the mass media sector are rapid. Today, all the news services are offered online. The "electronic newspaper" supplements, and in many cases replaces, the printed newspaper. Contact via e-mail also affords the ability for direct communication.

These developments, as many others, have also influenced our own work here at Athens News Agency (ANA), which is adapting all its services to the new technology. In the framework of these changes, the "Daily Bulletin" will P as of Jan. 2, 2000 P be conv erted from a printed to an electronic medium for our subscribers.

With this change, our subscribers will: a) receive our news items online, at the moment the news is breaking. b) receive the next day's "Daily Bulletin" on their screens at midnight, with the ability to print it out if they wish or simply view on screen. c) receive the "Bulletin" either via the paid ANA services on the Internet, or via e-mail sent to a subscriber's e-mail address. d) also have the ability, for a small surcharge, to utilise the ANA's English-language data bank, which contains all the news items appearing in the "Daily Bulletin" since 1992.

We believe that these changes, which correspond with the new function of the international and national news agencies, will satisfy subscribers' needs for immediate and credible information. In order to subscribe to this service, you must have a PC and a modem, or an e-mail address.

All who wish to continue receiving our services must prepare for these changes which, as stated, will commence on Jan. 2, 2000.

Takis Mantis, the director of ANA's informatics and telecommunications department, is at your disposal for any technical information on tel: 64.00.560 and 64.00.038.

I sincerely hope all our subscribers will adapt to these necessary technological changes.

Andreas Christodoulides ANA General Director


Sunny weather with a drop in temperatures is forecast throughout the country today with cloud forming over the mainland in the evening, turning to showers or rain storms in central and northern Greece. Winds northerly, moderate, and in some sea regions strong. Athens will be sunny turning to cloud in the evening with temperatures ranging from 24-36C. Also sunny in Thessaloniki with possible showers in the evening. Temperatures from 22- 32C.


Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          304.276
Pound sterling       491.873
Japanese yen (100)   272.145
French franc          49.420
German mark          165.748
Italian lira (100)    16.742
Irish Punt           411.618
Belgian franc          8.036
Finnish mark          54.522
Dutch guilder        147.105
Danish kr.            43.588
Austrian sch.         23.559
Spanish peseta         1.948
Swedish kr.           36.942
Norwegian kr.         39.263
Swiss franc          202.904
Port. Escudo           1.617
Can. dollar          203.062
Aus. dollar          193.103
Cyprus pound         561.412
Euro                 325.810
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