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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-05-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Eichel,de Silguy laud performance of Greek economy
  • [02] Stephanopoulos continues official visit to Georgia, Armenia next
  • [03] Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need to end NATO bombing
  • [04] Bonn comments on Athens' role over Kosovo
  • [05] Simitis,Portugal's Guterres visit Mount Athos before talks
  • [06] Gov't: Greek personnel are not participating in Yugoslav war
  • [07] Gov't calls on Belgrade to utilise G8 initiative for peace
  • [08] Venizelos refers to better cooperation with FYROM
  • [09] Visa-free travel to US on the horizon for Greek citizens
  • [10] Greek euro entry unaffected by Yugo crisis, EIU says
  • [11] Public investments total Dr 553 bln in Jan-Apr
  • [12] Industry group polls members on Kosovo impact
  • [13] Athens bourse posts 1998 profit jump
  • [14] Altec gets health and welfare software deal
  • [15] AutoHellas-Hertz seeks to enter Athens bourse
  • [16] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [17] Two Polish students die in coach-truck collision
  • [18] Minor caught making bomb hoax

  • [01] Eichel,de Silguy laud performance of Greek economy

    BRUSSELS, 11/05/1999 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Two of the European Union's top economic officials were highly positive in comments yesterday regarding the state of the Greek economy.

    Speaking at a press conference held here at the end of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Council's (ECOFIN) meeting, German Finance Minister and ECOFIN council president Hans Eichel as well as European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Yves-Thibault de Silguy referred to the problems created for the Greek economy by the ongoing Kosovo crisis, stressing that Greece was certainly being harmed more than the other EU member-states, without this meaning that the Greek economy is facing destabilisation dangers.

    "The Greek economy is doing very well and this is the common conviction of the '15', again confirmed today," Mr. Eichel said, underlining the special role Greece will be called on to play in efforts for the Balkan region's economic recovery after the end of the crisis.

    Mr. de Silguy also confirmed the Greek economy's very satisfactory course.

    Asked about the possible negative repercussions the Kosovo crisis will have on it, he said that for the time being there have been no EU evaluations on repercussions the crisis is having on EU member-states.

    He said it is certain that, being a neighbouring country, Greece is harmed more than the other EU member-states which, as he said, "will be taken into consideration when Greece's application for euro accession is evaluated."

    Mr. de Silguy stressed that the Greek economy is proceeding satisfactorily towards fulfillment of Maastricht Treaty criteria for accession to the single currency, adding that there is no reason for hasty moves on the issue of Greece's accession to the final phase of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    "The crisis in Kosovo is one problem, Greece's accession to the euro is another problem and it is expedient for us not to create a blend of the two issues," Mr. de Silguy said.

    Papantoniou: Greece will participate in Balkans' economic, political restructuring : National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou noted afterwards that Greece will participate directly and actively in the economic and political restructuring of the Balkans, planned by the European Union after the Kosovo crisis is over.

    According to a proposal made at the Council by Mr. de Silguy, the planning for the Balkans' restructuring will be undertaken by a special experts committee which, in cooperation with the World Bank, the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg and the Eur opean Restructuring and Development Bank (London) will prepare a report listing losses, capital necessary for restoration and the sources of the capital.

    A political committee will undertake the directions and supervision of the planning's implementation, at ministerial level, in which member-states contributing financially to the restructuring of the Balkans will participate.

    Greece will be represented in both committees, despite its symbolic financial contribution, which corresponds to its limited economic output.

    Mr. Papantoniou also pointed out to the Council that Greece is the sole EU country having economic repercussions from the crisis in Yugoslavia in specific sectors, such as tourism and exports, "which might not be huge but do exist and could lead, accord ing to the extent of operations, to a revision of the 3.5 per cent growth rate predicted to 3 per cent."

    Consequently, he requested that a change in initial predictions on growth rates be taken into consideration in connection with the country's EMU accession, a proposal which met with understanding by his counterparts. He also stressed the need for compen sation in sectors and regions being harmed by the bombings.

    Papoutsis calls for end to NATO bombings : VIENNA (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis) - EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis yesterday called for an immediate cessation of NATO bombings against Yugoslavia as a condition for a political solution, stressing also the need for the disarming of all paramilitary or ganisations, particularly the Albanian UCK.

    He also stressed the need for a large effort by the international community for the economic recontstruction of the whole of southeastern Europe, where all the countries of the European Union and their firms will be able to contribute.

    Mr. Papoutsis inaugurated the installations of the international exhibition of the two-day "Europartenariat 1999", in which 2,500 small and mid-sized companies, including 75 Greek ones, will participate.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Stephanopoulos continues official visit to Georgia, Armenia next

    TBILISI, 11/05/1999 (ANA - N. Megadoukas)

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday expressed Greece's full support for a G8 draft peace agreement for Kosovo with UN participation, following talks here with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos told reporters that Greece and Georgia shared the view that the G8 draft agreement, which was due to be put to the UN Security Council yesterday, was the only way to find a solution "to this problem which is of grave concern to us".

    Mr. Stephanopoulos, who arrived in Tbilisi for an official visit on Sunday, expressed the hope that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and military operations in Kosovo would stop so that the refugees might return home and a solution found to the crisis in the framework of autonomy for Kosovo within Yugoslavia's borders.

    President Shevardnadze said Athens had adopted a "wise and correct" stance on the Kosovo problem and underlined Greece's important contribution with regard to humanitarian aid.

    "Greece, as a member of both the European Union and NATO, is doing everything in its power to promote intiatives aimed at attaining the desired solution," he said.

    Talks between the two presidents concluded with the signing of two agreements, one providing for reciprocal judicial assistance and the other for the avoidance of double taxation. Replying to reporters' questions, the Georgian president stressed the need for UN resolutions to cease being merely formal in nature and for ways to be found to make the international organisation more effective and for its decisions to be implemented.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos later met with representatives of Georgia's ethnic Greek community who called for a bilateral agreement between Athens and Tbilisi to resolve a series of problems as well as a law enabling them to have dual citizenship.

    Handing the representatives a check for US 42,000 dollars as assistance from the Greek state, Mr. Stephanopoulos said he personally would continue to work for the strengthening of the ethnic Greeks of Georgia.

    Speaking during a dinner held in his honour, the Greek president said Greece supported and encouraged Georgia's European vocation.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said pending Community agreements with countries of the south Caucasus would contribute to fostering ties of friendship and consolidating a wider framework of cooperation with Europe.

    Georgia, he said, had both a historical and cultural right to be a part of Europe.

    He praised Mr. Shevardnadze's role in reconstructing Georgia and said Athens was willing to help Tbilisi on a bilateral and multilateral level in achieving its goals.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos begins an official visit to Armenia today.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Tsohatzopoulos reiterates need to end NATO bombing

    BREMEN, 11/05/1999 (ANA - P. Stangos)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday reiterated the need for an end to NATO bombings in the wake of the agreement reached by the G8 on the general principles governing a solution to the Kosovo crisis and foll owing the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

    He was speaking to Greek reporters on the sidelines of the West European Union's (WEU) session here.

    "From the moment there is a realistic rapprochement base on the final negotiating, which will lead to a political solution to the problem of Kosovo, it must be made clear that the continuation of the conflict, the continuation of bombings increases tens ion, creates unjustified problems and renders the smooth development of negotiations difficult," he said, adding that "the tragic events concerning the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade show in a tragic way how easily such a process can be blown apart."

    "What we read a little while ago about a start to the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from Kosovo is a positive step. I recall President Clinton's statement that if it is acertained that indeed the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops has started he will be prep ared to agree to an end to bombings. What remains for us is to await ascertainment," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Bonn comments on Athens' role over Kosovo

    BONN, 11/05/1999 (ANA - P. Stangos)

    The German foreign ministry State Secretary yesterday expressed appreciation for what he called the responsible stance by Athens regarding the Kosovo crisis.

    Guenter Verheugen made the statements following talks here with his Greek counterpart, Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Mr. Verheugen also said Greece had a "major role" to play in the stabilisation of the region after the end of the war in Yugoslavia.

    Diplomatic sources said the German official was "devastated" by NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade late Friday night, which he described as "a catastrophic mistake".

    According to the same sources, Bonn believes efforts begun by G8 foreign ministers last Thursday, aimed at transferring the handling of the Kosovo crisis from NATO to the United Nations would most likely "slow down".

    The Kosovo crisis was at the centre of talks yesterday between Mr. Verheugen and Mr. Kranidiotis, who stressed the Greek government's support for the initiative of the German EU presidency for a Balkan Stability Pact which, he added, was based on a numb er of Greek ideas.

    Speaking to Greek reporters, Mr. Verheugen said he had expressed on behalf of the German government "the great respect and appreciation for the stance of the Greek government which, located as it is in this difficult and sensitive region, is acting with a high sense of responsibility..."

    "Greece has the greatest experience in the region and borders with Albania, a country which plays a key role in the Stabilisation Pact. We believe that Greece can play a major role in promoting and implementing the pact and, as Mr. Kranidiotis stressed, it is willing to do so," Mr. Verheugen said.

    Other issues discussed were preparations for the EU summit in Cologne on June 3-4, the course of negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the EU and Turkey's relations with the Community.

    Mr. Kranidiotis and Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos arrived in Bremen Sunday night to attend a two-day meeting of the Western European Union (WEU).

    The issues of Cyprus and relations between Turkey and the EU are expected to be discussed at length when Mr. Verheugen visits Athens in July.

    Replying to reporters' questions, the German minister, who in the past expressed the view that Cyprus' accession to the EU should not depend on any "de facto" veto from Turkey, said negotiations should continue and any political decisions taken subsequently.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Simitis,Portugal's Guterres visit Mount Athos before talks

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis along with visiting Portuguese Premier Antonio Guterres and several monks of Mount Athos yesterday expressed their hope for peace during a one-day visit by the two leaders to the all-male monastic community.

    "This visit to Mount Athos is occurring at a critical juncture," Mr. Simitis said. "Athos reminds us of human values, such as love and respect for fellow man."

    During his visit to autonomous peninsula in northern Greece, Mr. Simitis also spoke by phone to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroe-der, who briefed him on the progress of peace initiatives as well as on the chancellor's planned visit to Beijing.

    Mr. Simitis reassured the monastic community that Greece would participate in any peacekeeping initiative.

    Mr. Guterres and Mr. Simitis arrived on the peninsula by helicopter yesterday morning. They were accompanied by the foreign ministers of both countries and a number of other officials.

    They were received by the civil governor of the province and attended a service at the Protatos Cathedral before visiting the monasteries of Xenofon and Dionyssios.

    The two premiers returned to Thessaloniki later yesterday, and are scheduled to hold talks this morning.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Gov't: Greek personnel are not participating in Yugoslav war

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Defence Deputy Minister Dimitris Apostolakis yesterday reiterated that no Greek military personnel were participating in NATO operations against Yugoslavia.

    He made the statement in response to a question by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) deputy Babis Aggourakis on how many Hellenic Air Force personnel participated in the operations aboard AWACS planes.

    Mr. Apostolakis noted that such planes had not been used from the Aktion base in western Greece for the operations.

    He also denied Mr. Aggourakis's claim that Athens' had not condemned the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Gov't calls on Belgrade to utilise G8 initiative for peace

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Athens yesterday called on Belgrade to respond positively to a G8 draft peace agreement for Kosovo and not allow the opportunity for a settlement of the crisis to slip away.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said Greece believed the G8 proposal should constitute the basis for negotiations in which all the interested parties should participate.

    The G8 draft agreement with UN participation was due to be put before the UN Security Council yesterday.

    Replying to reporters' questions on the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade late Friday night, Mr. Reppas said air strikes which result in civilian victims made efforts for a diplomatic solution more difficult.

    The government's handling of the Kosovo crisis, Mr. Reppas added, was dictated by national interests, noting that Greece's fulfilment of its (NATO) obligations was "marginal".

    "For this reason we have received positive comments from both sides and this illustrates a balanced policy," he said.

    He also acknowledged that Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) had different "approaches" to the Kosovo crisis, but said there was no danger of their bilateral relations being undermined.

    He said also that Greece had received assurances from Tirana that the property of the significant ethnic Greek minority in the south of that country would be protected.

    As far as the refugees are concerned, Mr. Reppas added, the Greek government is continuing to help in every possible way and is making every effort to facilitate their return home.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Venizelos refers to better cooperation with FYROM

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos referred yesterday to Greece's financial assistance to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to help the Kosovar refugees streaming into that country as well as to a recent agreement for the purchase of a controlling interest by Hellenic Petroleum of a FYROM state refinery.

    In an address to the 6th Thessaloniki forum on the economies of SE Europe, he also described the agreement, which includes construction of a pipeline between Skopje and Thessaloniki, as the most significant act after the signing by the two countries of the interim agreement in September 1995.

    Mr. Venizelos stressed that any plan to be worked out for the region should include all countries of SE Europe, and set as preconditions the creation of a climate of institutional and political security and implementation of a plan which would require funding larger than the Third Community Support Framework.

    Speaking at the same forum, FYROM Finance Minister Boris Stoimenov appealed for economic assistance to his country, warning that in the event of a spreading of the crisis, there was a danger that it could reach most any other European country.

    Among the 250,000 refugees who arrived in his country, he said less than 20, 000 have been transferred to other countries, while only 2 per cent were sent to Albania.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Visa-free travel to US on the horizon for Greek citizens

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    The United States federal government has invited Greece to join its "Visa Waiver Pilot Program" (VWPP) along with Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay, a US embassy in Athens press release stated yesterday.

    VWPP has allowed citizens of 30 other countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa. The US State Department will announce the exact date on which visa-free travel may begin. In the case of Greece, the embassy released noted that there are still issues to be concluded, related to the Schengen Convention and passport services. Greek citizens will be informed by the US embassy when they can begin visa-free travel.

    Athens News Agency Athens 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    An Athens court yesterday sentenced a local man and a US resident to seven months jail each for bigamy.

    Georgios Parisis, a retired Hellenic Navy officer, and Vassiliki Warren- Papadaki, a US resident, were married on Nov. 22, 1994 in Florida. They had met while the man served as assistant naval attache in Washington D.C.

    At the time of his second marriage, according to a motion filed in October 1997 by his wife Maria Parisis, he was still legally married.

    Parisis told the court that his second marriage was "a sham", and had already been declared null and void on his own initiative.

    He added, however, that he had filed for divorce from his wife before marrying Warren-Papadaki, while he divorce has yet to be granted.

    The man filed an appeal and was released. Warren-Papadaki was not in court and was sentenced in absentia.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Greek euro entry unaffected by Yugo crisis, EIU says

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Greece's entry into European economic and monetary union (EMU) will essentially remain untouched by the war in Yugoslavia, the Economist Intelligence Unit's director for European affairs, Marilyn Barudi, said yesterday.

    Speaking at a business forum on the Balkans in Thessaloniki, Ms Barudi said Greece would enter the euro zone in 2000.

    But for other Balkan countries, the repercussions would be severe and long- term, to the point that it would be impossible to assess or approximate the impact for some of the nations, especially Yugoslavia, she added.

    The-two day forum that began yesterday is organised by the Association of Northern Greek Industries. Prime Minister Costas Simitis will wind up the conference.

    Ms Barudi forecast that average Greek growth rates would exceed the European Union average in the two-year period 1999-2000, while inflation would fall to 2.5 percent this year and to 2.0 percent in 2000 against 4.8 percent in 1998.

    The public debt as a percentage of GDP would fall this year to 105 percent against 107 percent last year, and to 101 percent in 2000, Ms Barudi added, while the public sector deficit would fall further this year to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in 1998, but would return to 2.4 percent in 2000.

    She said investments would be the "steam engine" of economic growth, and predicted a slower rate of growth this year, accelerating next year.

    Growth would be 2.3 percent this year against 3.7 percent in 1998, jumping to 3.5 percent in 2000.

    Ms Barudi said the Yugoslav crisis naturally entailed short-term risks for Greece; but also long-term opportunities that lay in the country's advantageous position, especially the fact that it was the only Balkan country that was an EU member-state.

    Magriotis calls for EU aid to SE Europe : Opening the conference, Macedonia- Thrace minister Yannis Magriotis said the European Union's priority should be to arrange equal economic assistance for the countries of southeastern Europe, which should have been done as far back as 1990.

    But beyond financial assistance, the EU needed in the medium-term to view the Balkan nations as a unified area. Those countries would soon enter the EU and transactions with existing member states would increase constantly, Mr. Magriotis said.

    Turning to Greek initiatives in the region, he underscored progress in the Egnatia highway linking the country's northwest and northeast.

    The major road being built also has offshoots towards neighbouring countries in the north. Improved access to Greece and within the country would be the backbone of development in southeastern Europe, the minister added.

    He said his ministry would undertake initiatives to contribute to rapprochement and the development of close economic ties between northern Greece and those countries.

    Stocks succumb to profit-taking in correction : Equity prices came under mild profit-taking yesterday to retreat from their record closing levels on Friday in what traders described as a normal correction following a 20 percent advance in the previous two weeks.

    The general index, however, managed to hold above the 4,000-point level ending 0.87 percent down at 4,002.05 points, off the day's lows.

    The market was brought down by a sharp fall in the banking sector although construction shares continued trading higher.

    Sector indices were mixed. Banks fell 2.31 percent, Leasing soared 7.55 percent, Insurance eased 1.04 percent, Investment increased 0.18 percent, Construction jumped 5.63 percent, Industrials ended 0.96 percent higher, Miscellaneous rose 0.42 percent and Holding increased 1.85 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 2.03 percent higher.

    Turnover was 163.347 billion drachmas and volume 34,480,486 shares.

    Broadly, decliners narrowly led advancers by 144 to 142 with another 11 issues unchanged.

    Hellenic Petroleum, Macedonian Textiles and Thessaliki were the most heavily traded stocks. National Bank of Greece, Alpha Credit Bank, Piraeus Bank and Hellenic Petroleum led the day's turnover.

    Hellenic Petroleum, Fanco, National Fund, Klonatex, Aktor, Proodeftiki, Koumbas, Aegek, Epilektos and Tegopoulos Publications scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the day's 8.0 percent limit up.

    Technodomi, Macedonian Textiles, Allatini Ceramics, Levenderis, Texapret, Yalco, Hippotour, Xylemporia and Alcatel suffered the heaviest percentage losses.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 1.90 percent lower at 2,447.26 points.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 22,400 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 22, 300, Ergobank at 29,170, Ionian Bank at 18,130, Titan Cement at 29,150, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,916, Intracom at 22,495, Minoan Lines at 8,270, Panafon at 8,450 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,570.

    Bonds volatile in scant trade : Bonds fluctuated widely in a thin market yesterday with the yield spread over bunds narrowing due to the German paper's performance. Electronic trade was a scant 53 billion drachmas.

    The ten-year-bond was trading at 104.10, showing a yield of 5.72 percent. The yield spread with German bunds was 169 basis points, a record low.

    In the foreign currency market, the drachma gained sharply on the euro.

    Calm returned after Friday's plunge when the market reacted to talk that Greece would enter the euro zone early, devaluing its currency. Monetary authorities strongly denied the rumours.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro was set at 326.480 drachmas from 325.750 drachmas in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Public investments total Dr 553 bln in Jan-Apr

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Payments from the public investments programme totalled 553 billion drachmas in the first four months of 1999, covering 25.2 percent of its budget, Deputy National Economy Minister Christos Pahtas said yesterday.

    The payments had totalled 16.9 percent of the budget in the same period last year.

    Mr. Pahtas said April's payments rose to 157.5 billion drachmas. He attributed the speedier implementation of the programme to timely preparation by the finance ministry.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Industry group polls members on Kosovo impact

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    The Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) has sent a questionnaire to more than 4,000 Greek businesses in order to evaluate the impact on domestic business of the Yugoslav crisis, SEB chairman Iason Stratos said yesterday.

    Mr. Stratos said that the crisis would lead to delays in payments and the cancellation of export orders.

    He noted that the main impact of the war would be on commercial relations with other Balkan countries.

    Mr. Stratos said that more than 3,000 Greek businesses were active in the Balkan region and stressed that it was too soon to forecast losses due to the war.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Athens bourse posts 1998 profit jump

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    The Athens Stock Exchange yesterday reported net pre-tax profits in 1998 of 10.003 billion drachmas from 3.357 billion drachmas a year earlier.

    Turnover was 10.093 billion drachmas, up from 3,983 billion in the previous year.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Altec gets health and welfare software deal

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    The Altec Group has signed a contract with the Apostolopoulos Group to supply software and integrated solutions for the latter's health and welfare services.

    The two firms said in a joint statement yesterday that they had decided to work with Medisys SA, which is involved in the health and welfare sector, and provides similar services to the private and public sectors in Greece and abroad.

    The two groups have asked Medisys to draw up a study for computerisation of the Apostolopoulos Group's Trans Balkan Medical Centre.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] AutoHellas-Hertz seeks to enter Athens bourse

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    AutoHellas Hertz is seeking to enter the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange through an initial public offer and private placement to company staff.

    The firm is the biggest in Greece in the car hire sector on the basis of finances and fleet. It has 88 outlets around the country.

    The company began working with Hertz International in 1966.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: May 12, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             301.568 308.560
    Can.Dollar            206.475 211.262
    Australian Dlr        201.788 206.466
    Pound Sterling        490.742 502.121
    Irish Punt            411.228 420.762
    Pound Cyprus          558.694 571.648
    Pound Malta           718.682 748.627
    Turkish pound (100)     0.071   0.074
    French franc           49.374  50.519
    Swiss franc           201.480 206.152
    Belgian franc           8.028   8.215
    German Mark           165.592 169.431
    Finnish Mark           54.471  55.734
    Dutch Guilder         146.965 150.372
    Danish Kr.             43.583  44.593
    Swedish Kr.            36.146  36.985
    Norwegian Kr.          39.376  40.289
    Austrian Sh.           23.536  24.082
    Italian lira (100)     16.726  17.114
    Yen (100)             249.607 255.394
    Spanish Peseta          1.946   1.991
    Port. Escudo            1.615   1.652
    
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              301.568 308.560
    Montreal              206.475 211.262
    Sydney                201.788 206.466
    London                490.742 502.121
    Dublin                411.228 420.762
    Nicosia               558.694 571.648
    Paris                  49.374  50.519
    Zurich                201.480 206.152
    Brussels                8.028   8.215
    Frankfurt             165.592 169.431
    Helsinki               54.471  55.734
    Amsterdam             146.965 150.372
    Copenhagen             43.583  44.593
    Stockholm              36.146  36.985
    Oslo                   39.376  40.289
    Vienna                 23.536  24.082
    Milan                  16.726  17.114
    Tokyo                 249.607 255.394
    Madrid                  1.946   1.991
    Lisbon                  1.615   1.652
    
    Athens News Agency

    [17] Two Polish students die in coach-truck collision

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Two Polish high school students were killed yesterday and eight others injured when their coach collided with a truck on the Igoumenitsa-Preveza road in northern Greece.

    Police said the coach, with 42 students and eight teachers and parents on board, collided head-on with the lorry, four kilometres outside of the port of Igoumenitsa. They said heavy rain at the time was probably a contributing factor in the accident. The victims were identified as Artur Antonik and Marlena Zimolak, both 17.

    Another two students - Eva Zanovska and Gorski Borgan - were listed as being in a serious condition.

    The driver of the coach, a Polish national, and seven other students were slightly injured and in a stable condition.

    The 42 students and eight teachers and parents accompanying the group were headed to Preveza after arriving at Igoumenitsa from the island of Corfu.

    Police said it appeared that the coach's brakes had locked in driving rain on the slippery road, causing it to slide and hit the oncoming vehicle.

    The coach ended up hanging half-way off a cliff side.

    The group was booked into local hotels by the area's officials.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Minor caught making bomb hoax

    Athens, 11/05/1999 (ANA)

    Police yesterday detained an 11-year-old girl after she made a hoax phone call to a radio station to warn of a bomb at a downtown Athens hotel.

    The hoax call prompted a thorough search of the hotel by bomb experts, who found no evidence of any explosive device.

    According to reports, the girl told police she was mimicking a sketch she saw on a television show.

    She is expected to be brought before juvenile court authorities. It was the second arrest of a minor for making a bogus bomb threat phone call in less than a week.

    Last Tuesday police arrested a 14-year-old junior school student for a bomb hoax that caused the evacuation of a local Athens high school.

    Athens News Agency

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