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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 26/01/1999 (ANA)


  • Athens welcomes EU Kosovo initiative
  • Ministry, teachers go into 2nd day of talks
  • Students continue street protests
  • PM to visit Vienna Friday
  • Parthenon Marbles issue to UNESCO
  • Cameroon president cancels visit
  • Three arrested in drugs swoop
  • Petition on Amsterdam treaty
  • Thessaloniki host to poignant reminder of Chernobyl disaster
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Athens welcomes EU Kosovo initiative

The Greek government on Tuesday welcomed the European Union's decision to promote a peaceful settlement of the crisis in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, saying it reflected the positions which Athens has supported for quite some time. Describing the decision as a "balanced and objective approach" to the crisis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said it was positive the "15" had realised that such types of problems could be resolved only by peaceful means. EU foreign ministers said on Monday that there was firm support for the negotiating process, adding the Community's voice to a drive for a political solution to the crisis.

Ministry, teachers go into 2nd day of talks

Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis and ministry officials began a second day of talks on Tuesday with the secondary school teachers' federation, OLME, seeking ways to defuse the crisis in the education sector. According to reports, today's meeting, and last night's six-hour session, had found room for agreement on two key concerns: examinations for second year senior high school and upgrading the role of technical educational establishments. OLME has sought to have the law's provisions on these two areas either withdrawn, suspended or completely rewritten. Local unions were meeting on Tuesday to vote on a proposal for a 48-hour teachers' strike on January 28 to press that these provisions be withdrawn.

Students continue street protests

Although, according to figures from the ministry on Monday, the number of schools under occupation had fallen, high school students continued their tactics of holding impromptu road blocks on city streets again on Tuesday. Blocks were reported at 12 points around the city this morning, with one driver trying to run the block on Kifissias Avenue reportedly being attacked by students.

PM to visit Vienna Friday

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will leave for Vienna on Friday to attend the European Socialist Party summit, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. Reppas added that Simitis would visit the offices of National Bank of Greece at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, to receive a briefing on the workings of the largest state-controlled bank. Simitis is expected to make statements about the government's economic policy during the visit, Reppas added.

Parthenon Marbles issue to UNESCO

The return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece will be one of the main issues to be tackled by a UNESCO ad hoc international committee on the return of cultural heritage artefacts to their country of origin, which opened in Paris today. The committee, in its three-day session, will "lay the groundwork for the Marbles' repatriation", a committee source told the ANA. The Marbles, dating back to the 5th century BC, were removed from the Parthenon by the British diplomat Lord Elgin with permission from the local Ottoman occupation administrators. Successive British governments have turned down repeated Greek requests for the return of the Marbles.

Cameroon president cancels visit

Cameroon President Paul Biya has cancelled a scheduled visit to Greece due to the problems in the region, according to an announcement. Biya was due to visit Greece at the invitation of Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos in early February.

Three arrested in drugs swoop

Athens police on Tuesday announced the arrests of a Greek man and two Polish women who were found in possession of 5.5 kilos of marijuana. After receiving a tip-off, the police placed the three - identified as Antonis Dorgiakis, 51, Eva Zarkovitz, 30 and Renata Halasa, 25 - under surveillance. The surveillance operation also revealed that the two Polish women were working for Dorgiakis as prostitutes. The trio were arrested in a swoop by narcotics agents last night.

Petition on Amsterdam treaty

Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis was on Tuesday handed a petition signed by 100,000 Greeks calling for a referendum on European unification. The petition calls for the referendum to be held before Parliament discusses and ratifies the Amsterdam treaty, which is expected to be held some time in February. The petition was given to Kaklamanis by members of the Referendum on Amsterdam (Maastricht) Treaty.

Thessaloniki host to poignant reminder of Chernobyl disaster

"God save us", "Dead Garden" and "Chernobyl Hell" are some of the titles of paintings of red suns, seared black trees, prohibited zones, radiation warning signs, wilted flours and deserted villages painted by children who survived the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine and Belarus, an exhibition of which opened in Thessaloniki on Monday. The exhibition of 81 works, painted by children aged 9-15 just five years after the nuclear disaster, many of whom have since died from radiation-related cancer, will be running at the "Mylos" through February 15 before travelling to Geneva. The idea of the "Chernobyl Children" collection of paintings was born in 1991 when Belarus-born director of the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design Cristian Narkevic Lane visited children being treated at the UNICEF hospital in Belarus.


Partly cloudy weather will prevail throughout Greece today with the possibility of light rain in the southeast. Northern and western Greece will be sunny. Winds variable, light to moderate in the Aegean. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging between 4-14C. Fair in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 0-10C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 275.756 Pound sterling 457.074 Japanese yen (100) 240.739 French franc 48.711 German mark 163.370 Italian lira (100) 16.502 Irish Punt 405.711 Belgian franc 7.921 Finnish mark 53.740 Dutch guilder 144.993 Danish kr. 42.964 Austrian sch. 23.221 Spanish peseta 1.920 Swedish kr. 35.700 Norwegian kr. 37.103 Swiss franc 200.007 Port. Escudo 1.594 Aus. dollar 173.833 Can. dollar 181.080 Cyprus pound 548.378


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