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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-09-13

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, 13/09/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Death toll hits 122; 18 missing
  • Simitis briefs party leaders
  • Laliotis: new measures for buildings
  • PM to see Cypriot president Tuesday
  • Wounded Greek KFOR soldier dies
  • Dukakis: Hope for Cyprus in November
  • Stock market hits new highs
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL ______________ Death toll hits 122; 18 missing

The death toll from Tuesday's 5.9 magnitude earthquake is now at 122 dead and 18 missing, most of them in the ruins of the Ricomex factory, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday. Reppas said that tens of thousands of citizens were homeless and a segment of these would certainly need to be accommodated in tent cities being set. More than 20, 000 tents have been set up to provide accommodation for the moment, he said. Of inspections carried out by ministry engineers, about 10 percent of the 55,000 buildings seen so far would have to be pulled down. Another 20, 000 require repairs before they can be inhabited and 26,000 have suffered no structural damage.

Simitis briefs party leaders

Prime Minister Costas Simitis today completed a series of meetings with opposition party leaders on the repercussions of last Tuesday's devastating 5.9 Richter earthquake in Athens that killed at least 118 people. Simitis, who wound up his round of consultations with party leaders in a morning meeting with main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, said Greece was going through a period of increased seismic activity, adding that additional measures would be taken to better shield the country in the future.

Laliotis: new measures for buildings

Anti-seismic building regulations will be toughened if necessary, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said today, and announced two measures for more stringent checks on building plans. Laliotis said the ministry had decided to establish the institution of a certified engineer, who would inspect the building plans designed by private engineers. He also said a register of private building constructors would be introduced, a move which has long been sought by the Technical Chamber of Greece.

PM to see Cypriot president Tuesday

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet with visiting Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides in Athens on Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced on Monday. Reppas did not clarify what the purpose of Clerides' visit was. He added that Cabinet would meet on Friday to discuss quake relief efforts.

Wounded Greek KFOR soldier dies

A Greek soldier seriously injured while on KFOR duties in the Kosovo town of Urosevac died of his wounds on Monday. Sergeant Anastasios Dinakis, 23, was helicoptered to a Thessaloniki military hospital from the KFOR hospital in Pristina 10 days ago. Dinakis, from Serres, was cleaning his pistol in the army camp in Urosevac when the weapon went off, wounding him in the head.

Dukakis: Hope for Cyprus in November

U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Turkey and Greece later this year will provide an important chance for progress to be marked on the Cyprus division, a former Democratic Party presidential candidate said in Thessaloniki on Monday. Michael Dukakis, who lost to George Bush in 1988, added that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was "a serious problem" in efforts to find a solution. "Clinton has committed himself more than any other president to this issue," Dukakis told a press conference in the northern Greek city. He admitted that no real progress in resolving the dispute had been achieved but said that the Clinton visit could provide this, basing his opinion on the improved climate in Greek-Turkish relations and the "human aspect" following the mutual aid in quake relief efforts in both Greece and Turkey.

Stock market hits new highs

The Athens Stock Exchange surpassed the 6,000 barrier for the first time in its history on Monday as strong liquidity continued to support a rally that started in the beginning of the year. The general index ended 5.09 percent higher at 6,032.85 points, its 49th record in 1999. It now stands 120.38 percent up for the year. Turnover was a massive 480 billion drachmas. Buying interest was heavy in all sector, but stronger in the construction, leasing and parallel market sectors.

WEATHER

The forecast for today is scatttered cloud with some rain, mainly in the southwest. Winds northerly moderate to strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be cloudy with a likelihood of rain and temperatures from 19-28C. Thessaloniki will overcast with temperatures from 17-27C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          307.917
Pound sterling       501.853
Japanese yen (100)   281.629
French franc          49.407
German mark          165.703
Italian lira (100)    16.738
Irish Punt           411.504
Belgian franc          8.034
Finnish mark          54.507
Dutch guilder        147.064
Danish kr.            43.585
Austrian sch.         23.552
Spanish peseta         1.948
Swedish kr.           37.615
Norwegian kr.         39.452
Swiss franc          202.204
Port. Escudo           1.617
Can. dollar          207.626
Aus. dollar          200.429
Cyprus pound         560.480
Euro                 324.086
(M.P.)
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