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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-28

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 28/01/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Teachers join students in protest march
  • Athens denies no missiles report
  • Greece comments on Clinton visit
  • Euro MPs say Ancient Olympia only venue for Games
  • Alternate FM in Cyprus
  • Cold snap on the way
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Teachers join students in protest march

Workers and university students joined pupils on Thursday for a march through the centre of Athens to protest, yet again, against the education ministry's reforms. Police estimated the crowd at some 5,000 people. The violence that had marred previous marches was absent on Thursday, although police reported some tension and scuffles. There was a strong police presence deployed in side streets along the course of the march with orders to immediately intervene at any sign of disturbance. The protest and rally meant that traffic into the city centre came to a virtual standstill from 10.30 a.m. till 2.30 p.m., when marchers dispersed. Marches in Patras and Iraklion were also reported to be fairly peaceful, with protestors in Patras briefly blocking the road with skips.

Athens denies no missiles report

The Greek government on Thursday denied a report in an Athens daily claiming that Russian-made S-300 missiles would not be deployed or stored on Crete as Athens had stated after Nicosia decided not to install them on Cyprus. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas bluntly stated that the article in today's edition of "Eleftherotypia" was not true. Nicosia had originally ordered the anti-aircraft missiles to bolster its defences but President Glafcos Clerides recently decided against their deployment. Turkey had openly threatened to prevent their deployment. There were also fears in Athens and Nicosia that deployment of the S-300 might harm Cyprus' EU accession prospects.

Greece comments on Clinton visit

The Greek government on Thursday said that a reported visit by US President Bill Clinton to Greece would be welcome but expressed some displeasure regarding the circumstances in which it will take place and the way in which it was announced. "Greece is happy to receive all leaders, but it would be preferable if their visits were not a supplement or sequel to some other visit," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. Diplomatic sources said on Wednesday that Clinton had expressed the desire to visit Greece in November for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis. According to the sources, which underlined that it was still too early to say with certainty that the visit will eventually take place, Clinton will be in Istanbul on November 18-19 to attend an OSCE summit. The sources said that Clinton wanted to take advantage of this occasion to hold talks on the region's problems, including the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations.

Euro MPs say Ancient Olympia only venue for Games

Ten Eurodeputies of the ruling PASOK party have undertaken an initiative to make Ancient Olympia the permanent venue for the Summer Games in the wake of a major bribery scandal which has hit the Olympics, according to an ANA despatch from Brussels. In a declaration submitted for the approval of the European Parliament, PASOK's parliamentary group states that "the staging of the Olympic Games in their birthplace, Ancient Olympia, on a permament basis is the best way out of the impasse and the only viable solution". Six members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were suspended on Sunday for taking gifts from Salt Lake City before it won a 1995 vote to stage the 2002 Winter Games. Four have since resigned.

Alternate FM in Cyprus

Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Cyprus Thursday evening to confer with Cypriot officials on the island's attempts to gain entry to the European Union. Papandreou is scheduled to meet on Friday with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Parliament Speaker Spyros Kypranios, Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides. He will meet Cypriot party leaders later in the day. On Saturday, Papandreou will speak at the opening ceremony of the Cypriot National Olympic Academy and meet Nicosia Mayor Lelos Dimitriades. On Sunday, Papandreou will make a speech on "The role of Greece on the threshold of the 21st century: European Union and national issues."

Cold snap on the way

The Greek Meteorological Service issued a warning of a sudden drop in temperatures around the country on Friday evening, accompanied by storms, snowfall and gale force winds. The service said torrential rain and storms would be felt in the northwest of the country and in the Aegean as of Thursday night. The weather is expected to worsen around the country as of late on Friday, with snowfall forecast for mountainous regions as well as in central and northern Greece. Temperatures are expected to dive suddenly, particularly in central Greece. Winds of between 8 and 9 Beaufort are forecast for Greek seas. The cold snap is expected to last from Thursday evening through to early next week.

WEATHER

Cloudy weather will prevail throughout the country today with rain in western central Greece and in the north. Snow in the mountainous regions. Winds southerly, strong to gale force. Rain expected in Athens with temperatures ranging between 8-16C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 4-11C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.185 Pound sterling 458.344 Japanese yen (100) 242.604 French franc 48.719 German mark 163.395 Italian lira (100) 16.505 Irish Punt 405.774 Belgian franc 7.922 Finnish mark 53.748 Dutch guilder 145.016 Danish kr. 42.993 Austrian sch. 23.224 Spanish peseta 1.921 Swedish kr. 35.932 Norwegian kr. 37.021 Swiss franc 198.678 Port. Escudo 1.594 Aus. dollar 174.691 Can. dollar 182.330 Cyprus pound 549.568

(M.P.)


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