NEWS IN DETAIL
EMU means monetary stability and investments for Greece
Greece's participation in European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will
provide monetary stability and will open up prospects for foreign
investments, according to Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
In an interview with Spanish magazine Tiempo, to circulate today, Mr.
Papandreou also stressed that it was very important to a country like
Greece "to feel that it is not left out" EMU.
He added that as important decisions were to be made by EU member-countries,
this was a strong argument for Greece to participate in EMU and take part
in such decisions.
Replying to a question as to the way the target of Greece's participation
in EMU will be attained, Mr. Papandreou said that all criteria have been
fulfilled apart from the one concerning inflation, which he expressed the
certainty will be fulfilled wit hin 1999.
Responding to another question by the Spanish magazine about Turkey, the
alternate foreing minister observed that that country had the potential to
become more democratic, but as he stressed, the power in Turkey is in the
hands of the army and politicians are told what to do.
"There is a problem of human rights in Turkey and as far as foreign
relations are concerned, international law is not observed", Mr. Papandreou
noted, adding that Greece was hoping that Ankara's European course would
bring about positive domestic changes.
According to Mr. Papandreou, the fact that Turkey maintained armed forces
on the northern-occupied part of Cyprus since invading the island in 1974,
was the main obstacle in resolving the protracted Cyprus problem.
Clerides wants progress on Cyprus problem before Washington visit
US President Bill Clinton has invited Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides for
talks in Washington, but the Cypriot president declined the invitation
saying progress toward resolving the protracted problem of the island
republic should first take place.
According to statements to the ANA made by a Cyprus government source,
President Clinton had instructed US Presidential Emissary on the Cyprus
issue Richard Holbrooke to contact President Clerides and convey to him the
White House's satisfaction over Mr . Clerides's decision late last month
not to deploy the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system on the
The same source said that Mr. Holbrooke conveyed to President Clerides an
invitation by the US president to visit Washington.
The source added however that President Clerides declined the invitation
saying that he insisted that progress toward resolving the Cyprus problem
should precede such a visit.
Kavala airport rapidly developing into important junction
Kavala's international "Alexander the Great" airport is quickly transforming
into an important junction, as it is being used for all types of flights,
including commercial, business, and tourism, by many countries in the
region, as well as Greece.
The relevant state services are already carrying out an extensive study of
all details about the airport, considering the needs and requirements of
The operation was termed by airport director Dimitris Psistakis as a
Already, many projects to upgrade all airport facilities and the runway are
under way. More specifically, a covered area of 6,000 square metres is
currently under construction, while a new air-traffic control tower is
being built and surrounding areas a re being developed.
Also, officials are examining the possibility to establish a training
centre for pilots here.
All projects, to cost an estimated 4.2 billion drachmas, must be completed
by spring this year, as the "Alexander the Great" airport will be selected
to play an important role for air transports in the Balkans, due to its
geographic position, its large size, new building installations and large
runway, as well as its easy access to national and international road
Tsovolas visits Cyprus today
Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas is today making
an unscheduled visit to Cyprus, in the wake of recent developments over the
issue relating to the Russian-made S-300 missiles.
Mr. Tsovolas, to be accompanied by his party's press spokesman and
Political Secretariat member Manolis Bakopoulos, will hold successive
meetings with Cyprus political party leaders and other officials.
He will return to Athens tomorrow afternoon.
OA employee and brother arrested for abuse of position and drugs
An employee of national carrier Olympic Airways has been arrested for using
her position to get her brother through airport control without his luggage
being searched for the drugs he was carrying.
Police arrested Zoe Lambropoulos, 31, and her brother Ioannis Lambropoulos,
37, after they found 750 grams of cocaine and 48 grams of cannabis on the
man. Police had been tipped off to Ioannis Lambropoulos's plans to travel
to Brussels and return with cocaine, which he allegedly planned to sell on
the Greek market.
When he returned to Greece on December 31, drug squad police were waiting
for him and discovered the narcotics in his bags.
Also waiting for him, however, was his sister, who attempted to use her
position as an employee of Olympic Airways to spirit her brother through
customs controls without having his bags searched.
Police also found in Lambropoulos's possession a detailed record of the
amounts of cocaine he had sold to customers over a period of two years and
his payments for his services.
Group claims responsibility for American College explosion
An explosived device made of gas cannisters blew up at the American College,
on Amalias Ave., Syntagma Square, last night causing only material damage
to the building's door.
The "Anti-Power Struggle" group claimed responsibility for the incident by
phoning radio and television station Sky and Athinaiki daily.
An unonymous caller said the act was in protest at the government's
education reforms programme.
The fire was put out by seven firemen who arrived on the scene with two
Olympic pilots' refusal to work overtime poses problems
Pilots' refusal to work overtime is posing certain problems to national
aircarrier Olympic Airways (OA), as they believe they have already given a
lot to the airline and that the time has come for OA to hire more
One such problem occurred Saturday night when an OA flight from London,
originally scheduled for Thessaloniki and then Athens, skipped Thessaloniki
and landed in Athens. A delay at London's Heathrow airport drove the pilot
to decide to land straight in Athens so as not to work overtime.
This resulted to a two-hour occupation of the aircraft at Hellinikon
airport by 86 passengers who had paid their tickets to arrive in Thessaloniki.
The passengers were eventually talked into leaving the plane by Civil
Aviation representatives and were taken to a Glyfada hotel to stay for the
night. They flew for Thessaloniki Sunday morning.
The deadlock resulting from pilots' refusal to work beyond their shift is
to be the centre of discussions today between the board of the Pilots'
Association and Transport Minister Tassos Mantelis.
The weather today will be overcast with scattered showers likely to turn to
snow in the mountainous regions. Athens will be partly cloudy with rain,
abating later in the day, and temperatures from 9-13C. Same in Thessaloniki,
with temperatures ranging from 5-8C.
Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.309
Pound sterling 464.137 Japanese yen (100) 245.907
French franc 49.866 German mark 167.152
Italian lira (100) 16.895 Irish Punt 415.747
Belgian franc 8.107 Finnish mark 55.006
Dutch guilder 148.418 Danish kr. 43.928
Austrian sch. 23.776 Spanish peseta 1.967
Swedish kr. 34.522 Norwegian kr. 36.831
Swiss franc 203.320 Port. Escudo 1.634
Aus. dollar 171.616 Can. dollar 179.850
Cyprus pound 561.770