Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-26
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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withdrawn, suspended or completely rewritten.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to press that these provisions be withdrawn.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
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