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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 02/11/1999 (ANA)


  • 10 stowaways dead in ferry fire
  • FM Papandreou to visit Cyprus
  • Athens dismisses Ecevit statements
  • Simitis confers with U.S. envoy
  • 'Issues of mutual interest' on Clinton-Simitis agenda
  • 4.5 quake rattles northwest Greece
  • Athens 2004 Olympic Games marketing plan ready
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


10 stowaways dead in ferry fire

A total of 10 stowaways died in the fire that broke out last night on the Superfast III ferry shortly after it set sail from Patras port for Ancona, Italy, port officials said today. Patras Harbourmaster K. Kontogeorgos told a noon press conference that a total of 10 bodies had been found -- eight men and two women -- after a detailed search of the ferry. He said no identification papers or travel documents were found on the bodies. The casualties, all stowaways, were believed to be Kurdish illegal immigrants, Kontogeorgos said, adding that an investigation would be launched to determine how the stowaways managed to board the ferry undetected.

FM Papandreou to visit Cyprus

Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou will visit Cyprus later in November, most likely before the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul scheduled for November 17-19, Cypriot government sources told ANA in Nicosia. The visit is of great interest, the sources said, given that US President Bill Clinton will pay a state visit to Greece from November 13 to 15 and to Turkey Nov. 15-17 ahead of the OSCE summit. Cyprus government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said today the US had assured Nicosia that the Cyprus issue would be "very high" on the agenda of issues to be discussed by Clinton in Athens and Ankara, the ANA report said.

Athens dismisses Ecevit statements

Greece on Tuesday said Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's statements that Greece could not be a guarantor power for Cyprus were "unfair". "These statements are not accurate as Greece is not only a formal guarantor power but in practice one, as it meets all its obligations and commitments," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. "Turkey is the one which does not meet its obligations as it comes into conflict with UN resolutions," he added. Ecevit, speaking on Turkish state television on Monday, said that Greece had "lost" the right to be considered a guarantor power for Cyprus as the military junta then ruling the country was behind an attempted coup on the island in 1974. Reppas said that Ecevit's statements did little to contribute to the progress already noted in improving relations between Greece and Turkey.

Simitis confers with U.S. envoy

Prime Minister Costas Simitis today received US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns for a more than one-hour meeting to discuss preparations for US president Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Athens, but no statements were made afterwards. Clinton will pay a state visit to Greece from November 13 to 15. Government sources told ANA the meeting took place at the request of the US envoy, who wished to discuss with the premier the finalisation of Clinton's itinerary here, the contents of his talks with the Greek government leadership, and demonstrations planned by various groups in protest of the visit, which has caused concern among American officials.

'Issues of mutual interest' on Clinton-Simitis agenda

Greece's government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday that issues of mutual interest would be discussed during talks between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Costas Simitis later this month. Reppas was responding to reporters' questions on whether the issue of armaments would be on the agenda of the talks, when Clinton visits Athens November 13-15. Reppas said the 'issues of mutual interest' included economic, political and defence cooperation between the two countries, as well as regional issues, such as Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

4.5 quake rattles northwest Greece

An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted northwestern Greece early this morning causing some panic, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. According to the Thessaloniki university observatory the tremor was recorded at 05.42 local time and came from a distance of 15 kilometres north of the city of Ioannina, near the Greek-Albanian border.

Athens 2004 Olympic Games marketing plan ready

The Athens 2004 Olympic Games marketing plan is ready and waiting for International Olympic Committee approval later in the month, Marketing General Director George Bolos told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday. Under the plan, Managing Director Costas Bacouris said, Greece can expect to raise 285 million dollars from sponsorships. Sydney, holding the Olympic Games in 2000, set a sponsorship revenue target of 570 million dollars, 90 percent of which has been achieved. Bacouris said that organisers were trying to avoid the commercialisation of the Games, without this entailing further burdening the state.


Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Tuesday with sunny spells in western and northern Greece. Possibility of showers in Thessaly, eastern central Greece, Evia, the Cycladic islands and northern Crete. Winds northerly, northeasterly, light to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 11-22C. Mostly fair in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9-19C.


Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          309.097
Pound sterling       509.531
Japanese yen (100)   296.043
French franc          49.848
German mark          167.184
Italian lira (100)    16.887
Irish Punt           415.183
Belgian franc          8.106
Finnish mark          54.994
Dutch guilder        148.378
Danish kr.            43.989
Austrian sch.         23.762
Spanish peseta         1.965
Swedish kr.           37.638
Norwegian kr.         39.561
Swiss franc          203.796
Port. Escudo           1.631
Can. dollar          210.185
Aus. dollar          197.289
Cyprus pound         566.432
Euro                 326.983
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