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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-13

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, 13/10/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens looking forward to Clinton visit
  • Cypriot FM in Athens for tactics talks
  • New competition called for Acropolis Museum
  • Pilgrims deny involvement in doomsday cult
  • Public servants to get 2.3% wage hike
  • Leading conservative analyst resigns
  • Greek intellectual property attitudes criticised
  • Greek equities move moderately higher
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens looking forward to Clinton visit

The Greek government said on Wednesday that it believed the outcome of US President Bill Clinton's visit to Athens in November would be successful. "All the indications are that this visit will constitute an important factor in the further improvement of Greek-US relations," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters at a regular briefing. The government yesterday confirmed that Clinton's visit to Greece would take place one week earlier than scheduled.

Cypriot FM in Athens for tactics talks

Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Kasoulides arrives in Athens on Wednesday to talk tactics with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou, an ANA dispatch reported from Nicosia. In statements before leaving Nicosia, Kasoulides said "tactical issues" ahead of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation summit in Istanbul, U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Athens and Ankara and the EU Helsinki summit would be on the agenda of his talks with Papandreou. The meeting was being held "in light of the window of opportunity opening today" for the Cyprus issue, the foreign minister said. Papandreou and Kasoulides meet in Athens at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and will make statements to the media afterwards.

New competition called for Acropolis Museum

Greece's influential Central Archaeological Council late on Tuesday decided on the need to call for a new study for a museum for the Acropolis, the fourth such international competition. The decision to call a new competition was taken after the archaeologists on the Council agreed that antiquities findings in the immediate surrounds of the site of the new museum were too valuable to be ignored. The new design, the council stressed, must take into consideration how to protect and showcase the artefacts found in excavations conducted since 1997. The decision was approved unanimously.

Pilgrims deny involvement in doomsday cult

A representative of a group of pilgrims refused entry to Israel on Wednesday angrily denied they were members of any cult or planning a mass suicide in the Holy Land, as claimed by Israel authorities. "We are Catholics and do not belong to any cult," said a written statement distributed by a member of the group, Joseph Smith, when the boat carrying the group docked in Rhodes on Wednesday. The passengers aboard the Cypriot- flagged cruiseship Nissos Kypros were forbidden from coming ashore when the vessel docked in Haifa, Israel this week after Israeli authorities said they feared they were cult members determined to kill themselves to mark the new millennium and hasten the coming of Christ. A Rhodes port authority spokesman said the group had posed absolutely no problem for the authorities and were free, as holders of European Union passports, to disembark although they had chosen to stay aboard the boat, which leaves later today for Piraeus.

Public servants to get 2.3% wage hike

Wages in the public sector are expected to increase by 2.3 percent in 2000, Finance Undersecretary Nikos Christodoulakis said today during a meeting with Civil Servants Trade Union (ADEDY). Christodoulakis said that in several sectors, such as Defence Ministry staff, wage increases could total 3.0 percent following a 0.7 percent additional pay next year. ADEDY chairman, Yiannis Koutsoukos, said it was important that the government, for the first time, was considering pay rises exceeding the inflation rate. The two sides are expected to meet again next Tuesday for further consultations.

Leading conservative analyst resigns

General director of the Constantine Karamanlis Institute Ioannis Loulis, a close personal advisor of main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, resigned today after reactions to a statement of his that "the party is a frayed product". In his letter of resignation to Institute president and ND parliamentarian Ioannis Varvitsiotis, Loulis said his move was prompted by "misinterpretation of my personal views" put forward in a recent newspaper interview. Loulis said he had tendered his resignation "so as not to create any problems for ND president Costas Karamanlis, and given that we are entering the final stretch of a criticial election battle".

Greek intellectual property attitudes criticised

Participants at a two-day seminar in Athens on intellectual property in broadcasting and over the Internet heard both foreign and Greek officials describe a bleak picture for Greece in terms of copyright infringements and what they said was the "complete disregard" for payment of fees and dues. According to one speaker, none of the major television stations in Greece or radio stations, including the state-run ERT network after 1995, pay dues for musical scores and compositions. Lawsuits against Greece's major broadcasters are expected reach Greek courts next month.

Greek equities move moderately higher

Equity prices ended moderately higher in nervous trade on Wednesday with buying interest shifted towards shares in the banking sector in anticipation of a new round of interest rate cuts. The general index ended 0.45 percent up at 6,155.21 points, off the day's highs of 6,227. It recovered from an early drop to 6,057 points. Turnover was a hefty 488 billion drachmas. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks fell 0.04 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks jumped 1.59 percent to 3,066.50 points.

WEATHER

Fair weather will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds variable, light to moderate in the Ionian and Aegean seas. Athens will be sunny with temperatures between 13-28C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 11- 26C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          305.744
Pound sterling       504.730
Japanese yen (100)   287.640
French franc          49.694
German mark          166.667
Italian lira (100)    16.835
Irish Punt           413.898
Belgian franc          8.081
Finnish mark          54.825
Dutch guilder        147.919
Danish kr.            43.860
Austrian sch.         23.689
Spanish peseta         1.959
Swedish kr.           37.492
Norwegian kr.         39.210
Swiss franc          204.357
Port. Escudo           1.626
Can. dollar          207.328
Aus. dollar          199.625
Cyprus pound         564.289
Euro                 325.971
(M.P.)
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