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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-06

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, 06/10/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens comments on Cyprus EU candidacy
  • Simitis chairs foreign policy meeting
  • Greek, French FMs in Thessaloniki
  • German tourist missing on Athos found
  • Millennium celebrations at Acropolis
  • Defence minister to Israel next week
  • Unemployment up to 10.8% in 1998
  • Liberals to hold founding congress
  • Road toll falls slightly year on year
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens comments on Cyprus EU candidacy

Greece said on Wednesday that Cyprus' accession to the European Union could not be undermined by anyone, given that the island republic's candidacy constituted an EU decision. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement when asked by reporters why German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had omitted to refer to Cyprus' accession during a two-day working visit to Athens which ended yesterday. "Cyprus' accession to the European Union cannot be undermined by anyone. Cyprus' candidacy constitutes a position and decision of the EU. It cannot be subject to any revocation. Besides, all the EU countries agree regarding Cyprus' accession," Reppas said.

Simitis chairs foreign policy meeting

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday conferred with Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos about recent foreign policy developments, in particular Greek-Turkish ties and Ankara's relations with the European Union. Although no statements were made after the meeting, government sources said it focused on a review of developments relating to EU-Turkish relations in view of the extraordinary EU summit at Tampere on October 15-16. The Finnish presidency has already made known that it intends to raise the issue of relations between the EU and Turkey during a working dinner to be given for the heads of state and government on October 15.

Greek, French FMs in Thessaloniki

Foreign Minister George Papandreou is scheduled to hold talks this evening with his French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine, on the sidelines of a Greek- French seminar on cooperation between the two countries in the Balkans. The seminar will be held in Thessaloniki. During the talks, according to informed sources, Papandreou will set out Greece's positions regarding the conditions set by Athens for consenting to Turkey being given candidate country status at the Helsinki summit.

German tourist missing on Athos found

A German tourist missing since Monday after he got lost on the footpaths of the Mt. Athos all male monastic community has been located and was in good shape, police sources said. The tourist, who was tentatively identified as Helmut Lane (phonetic spelling), apparently got lost in the footpaths of the mountain-top community and contacted relatives in Germany on his mobile phone, who in turn alerted the Greek authorities. The man arrived Mt. Athos on Saturday and stayed at the remote Megisti Lavra monastery, from where he set off on Monday. Police, firemen and monks scoured the steep cliffsides for three days in search of the man, assisted by a helicopter.

Millennium celebrations at Acropolis

Athenians and friends will see out the old millennium at the foot of the Acropolis with a range of events that will last the year, Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said on Wednesday. Apart from the Acropolis, the archaeological site of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio will be kept open for revellers to watch the first sunset of the year 2000. Also scheduled in the city proper are a youth party at the Kallimaron Stadium, the site of the 1896 Olympics, and a people's party in the downtown area of Thisseion.

Defence minister to Israel next week

Greek National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' visit to Israel October 13-15 will include talks with the Mideast country's top leadership, visits to Israeli defence industries as well as a meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, diplomatic circles in Athens said today. Tsohatzopoulos is expected to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who also holds the defence portfolio.

Unemployment up to 10.8% in 1998

Unemployment in Greece last year rose to 10.8 percent of the workforce - or 478,000 people - from 10.3 percent in 1997, despite a 3.0 percent growth in jobs overall, Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said on Wednesday. Papaioannou, speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on employment policies, attributed the rise to an increase in the workforce outstripping available job growth rates, due primarily to the entry of women to the workforce and the fall in agricultural work. Papaioannou said he expected a fall in unemployment next year and that the goal to create 200,000 new jobs in the 1998-2000 period was proceeding well.

Liberals to hold founding congress

Fledgling political party The Liberals will hold their founding conference on October 9-10, party president Stephanos Manos said on Wednesday. Manos said the conference would provide participants with an opportunity to discuss and vote for the party's charter, political strategy, policy direction and to elect party officers. "It will allow us to fight the next electoral battle on better terms," Manos, a former conservative national economy minister, said. Members will vote on a new party president on Sunday. There are not expected to be any challengers to Manos for the two year post.

Road toll falls slightly year on year

The total number of road deaths fell further in the January-July period this year, the National Statistics Service of Greece (ESYE) said on Wednesday. ESYE said 1,212 people died on Greek roads out of a total 13,905 accidents; in 1997 the figure was 1,231 dead in 14,200 accidents and, in 1997, 1,246 dead in 14,047 accidents. ESYE said 238 people died in road accidents in July alone this year. Another 525 people were seriously injured; 2,500 slightly injured.

WEATHER

Fine weather will prevail throughout the country on today, with local light cloud in the northeast. Light westerly winds turning to moderate in the south. Fine weather in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 19-29C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 16-27C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          305.050
Pound sterling       503.718
Japanese yen (100)   286.192
French franc          49.686
German mark          166.641
Italian lira (100)    16.832
Irish Punt           413.835
Belgian franc          8.079
Finnish mark          54.816
Dutch guilder        147.896
Danish kr.            43.854
Austrian sch.         23.686
Spanish peseta         1.959
Swedish kr.           37.480
Norwegian kr.         39.579
Swiss franc          205.585
Port. Escudo           1.626
Can. dollar          208.598
Aus. dollar          201.932
Cyprus pound         563.745
Euro                 325.922
(M.P.)
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