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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 04/01/1999 (ANA)


  • EMU means monetary stability and investments for Greece
  • Clerides wants progress on Cyprus problem before Washington visit
  • Kavala airport rapidly developing into important junction
  • Tsovolas visits Cyprus today
  • OA employee and brother arrested for abuse of position and drugs
  • Group claims responsibility for American College explosion
  • Olympic pilots' refusal to work overtime poses problems
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


    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 island.

    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 north-eastern Greece.

    The operation was termed by airport director Dimitris Psistakis as a "master plan".

    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 networks.

    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 engines.

    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 pilots.

    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


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