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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 08/10/1999 (ANA)


  • September inflation stable at 2.0%
  • PM reiterates commitments to homeless
  • Karamanlis charges damage underestimated
  • Opposition leaders debate quake
  • Weak quake recorded near Patras
  • Greece fighting terrorism - minister
  • Turks condemn bomb attack at Greek school
  • FM Papandreou, OSCE's van der Stoel confer on minorities
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


September inflation stable at 2.0%

Inflation remained stable at 2.0 percent in September on a year-on-year basis, the same rate as in August, National Statistics Service said today. The NSS said that rising prices in fruit and vegetables (up by 30 percent in most cases) and higher healthcare services in the private sector (up 5.5 percent) halted the consumer price index's decline in the previous months. The CPI increased by 1.9 percent in September from the previous month. It was running at 5.2 and 4.9 percent annually in September 1997 and 1998, respectively.

PM reiterates commitments to homeless

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday reiterated the government's commitment to providing for the needs of those made homeless by the September 7 earthquake and prosecuting those who built sub-standard buildings. Simitis opened an off the agenda debate in parliament on the 5.9 Richter earthquake, after it was called by president of conservative opposition New Democracy. The session began with a minute's silence for the 143 victims of the earthquake, the majority crushed under tonnes of concrete when factories and buildings collapsed. The prime minister said his government was committed to apportioning blame to any persons found responsible for the collapse of buildings during the quake.

Karamanlis charges damage underestimated

Conservative opposition leader Costas Karamanlis charged that the government was trying to off load responsibility for problems in relief efforts on to local government and said members of the Cabinet had "attempted to underestimate the extent of the damage". This latter factor had torpedoed the country's negotiating strength at the European Union, when it asked for support to restore the damage, he said. He said existing emergency contingency plans - Xenocrates - were outdated and untried and criticised the state for being without national planning in situations of catastrophe.

Opposition leaders debate quake

Communist Party of Greece Secretary-General Aleka Papariga said both the prime minister and ND leader were dealing with the issue of the earthquake as a "hot potato" of secondary importance. She called the claim that the state mechanism promptly shifted into gear "propaganda" and said that files on buildings that collapsed had been deliberately concealed to avoid the long arm of the law. Left Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that the Greece was the most seismically active country in Europe and the sixth in the world but that Greek governments had effectively been indifferent to this fact. Democratic Social Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas said that earthquakes were not for "petty party exploitation". He noted that the victims of the quake were mostly from the lower social classes and had been taken advantage of by "unscrupulous exploiters of housing".

Weak quake recorded near Patras

A weak earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale was recorded at 12:15 today near the western Greek port city of Patras, with its epicentre in the Gulf of Patras, the Athens Geodynamical Institute said.

Greece fighting terrorism - minister

Greece's image as regards the fight against terrorism had improved substantially in Washington, Greek public order minister Michalis Chrysohoidis said last night, after winding up two days of talks in the US capital with American officials. Chrysohoidis held talks on combatting organised crime and terrorism with CIA director George Tenet, Attorney General Janet Reno, and Undersecretary of State Department for political affairs Thomas Pickering.

Turks condemn bomb attack at Greek school

The Turkish government today strongly condemned Wednesday's bomb attack against a Greek school in Istanbul, and ANA dispatch from Istanbul said. "We strongly condemn the bomb attack against the Greek Boys' Gymnasium," a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign ministry said regarding the attack on the Zografion Lyceum in Istanbul's Pera district shortly after midnight Wednesday. The home-made bomb caused damage but no injuries. The Islamic organisation EBDAC, which in the past has claimed attacks targetting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, claimed the bomb attack on the school in a telephone call to the local "Star" newspaper, but did not give any reason for its action.

FM Papandreou, OSCE's van der Stoel confer on minorities

Foreign Minister George Papandreou met on Friday with Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe Commissioner for National Minorities Max van der Stoel, in Athens to give a talk on minorities in Southeast Europe. Both men agreed on the need for protection of minorities in the Balkans, with respect for existing borders. Papandreou said he brought to van der Stoel's attention issues related to the Greek minority in Turkey (such as the ongoing closure of the Halki School of Theology, the dwindling Greek populations on the islands of Imvros and Tenedos) and in Albania.


Fair weather with local cloud and a further drop in temperatures will prevail in most parts of Greece today. Winds northerly moderate in the Ionian and Aegean seas. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging from 17-25C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 15- 21C.


Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          304.197
Pound sterling       503.321
Japanese yen (100)   281.807
French franc          49.694
German mark          166.667
Italian lira (100)    16.835
Irish Punt           413.898
Belgian franc          8.081
Finnish mark          54.825
Dutch guilder        147.919
Danish kr.            43.856
Austrian sch.         23.689
Spanish peseta         1.959
Swedish kr.           37.377
Norwegian kr.         39.392
Swiss franc          204.580
Port. Escudo           1.626
Can. dollar          207.189
Aus. dollar          201.078
Cyprus pound         561.631
Euro                 325.971
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