|Tuesday, 28 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-08-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 HEATWAVE IN GREECE ON WEEKENDThe national Meteorological Service forecasts for the next three days a gradual rise of the temperature, which on the weekend will reach 40 degrees Centigrade. State services are on the alert to face any problems caused by the heatwave.
 RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE IN TURKEYThe situation is tragic in northwestern Turkey, following Tuesday's destructive earthquake, as the number of dead and injured is growing. The toll so far is about 4,000 people dead and more than 20,000 others injured.
According to the Turkish news agency Anatolia, only in the city of Golkuk, 5,000 people are still buried under the rubble, while more than 150 others are trapped in the rubble of a naval base near the city of Izmit - Nicomedea. Rescue teams are making superhuman efforts to find survivors under the rubble.
Meanwhile, a fire which broke out in the Tupras oil refinery in Izmit and was raging for 3 days has been put under partial control. Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday expressed optimism as far as putting out the fire in the oil refinery was concerned, saying there were new developments at the refinery. The fire must be extinguished, but we are facing technical difficulties and are studying new methods in order to overcome them, he added. So far, 19 countries including Greece have sent rescue teams to the quake-stricken area, while Cyprus offered to send medical aid.
The EU decided yesterday to grant economic aid to Turkey amounting to 2 million euros. Three ships of the American 6th fleet which can provide medical care facilities for 630 patients are to sail to Constantinople. Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem has thanked his Greek counterpart Yorgos Papandreou for the help granted by Greece which he described as considerably more extensive than expected, while the Turkish embassy in Athens has appealed for aid to the quake-stricken population.
Meanwhile the Turkish press is harshly critical of the government and construction companies saying the authorities were remiss in their duties and new buildings were so badly constructed that they collapsed.
 PRIME MINISTER MEETS EDUCATION MINISTERPrime minister Kostas Simitis returned from his vacations in Sifnos and met yesterday with the secretary of the ruling PASOK party's central committee, Kostas Skandalidis, while today he will meet with education minister Gerasimos Arsenis in view of the new school year.
In the next few days, Mr Simitis will meet with national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou to finalize the state budget for the year 2000 and the allocation of funds from the third EU support framework. Meanwhile, 4,789 new teachers will be appointed in primary and secondary state schools this year, while 1,000 more vacant posts will be filled soon.
 ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE UP 1.41% YESTERDAYThe general share price index on the Athens stock exchange continued to rise yesterday, closing 1.41% up at 4,958.82. Trading reached 269 billion drachmas. In the parities, the US dollar closed at 309.69 drachmas, the German mark at 166.835 drachmas and the euro at 326.30 drachmas.
 FUEL PRICES UNCHANGED THIS WEEKFuel prices will remain unchanged this week and the rise in oil prices will be absorbed by the distilleries, development minister Evangelos Venizelos announced. At a meeting attended by representatives of oil companies, refineries and gas stations it was agreed that fuel prices would not increase by more than 5 drachmas per liter from the prices quoted by the ministry for the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki.
 AUSTRIAN DEFENCE MINISTER FAVOURS END TO CYPRUS' PARTITIONAustrian defence minister Werner Fasslabend yesterday delivered a speech at the HQs of the UN peace keeping force in Cyprus after inspecting the Austrian contingent. He said he was in favour of ending the island's partition. He also expressed the hope that American president Bill Clinton's forthcoming tour of Athens and Ankara would give new impetus to efforts for resolving problems in the region in the framework of Cyprus' planned admission to the EU.
 TAXI DRIVERS TO BE FINED FOR OVERCHARGINGTaxi drivers will be fined from 100,000 to 500,000 drachmas and suffer other penalties as well if caught overcharging their clients. This is provided for in a bill to be tabled by the transport ministry in parliament in September.
 YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT NOT AFRAID TO PROCLAIM EARLY ELECTIONSA spokesman for Yugoslavia's ruling Socialist party has said that if the Serbian opposition so wishes the government will not be afraid to proclaim early elections. Meanwhile in Nis, southern Serbia, yesterday, 5,000 people staged a protest demonstration demanding the resignation of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, while today the opposition is staging a major protest rally in Belgrade.
 US RECOGNIZES CYPRIOT HALOUMI CHEESEThe US has recognized the Cypriot cheese Haloumi as a unique and genuine product of Cyprus. A Danish application requesting that its exclusive appellation be cancelled was rejected.