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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-10-27

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, 27/10/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Anti-inflation drive must continue, finmin says
  • Central bank governor upbeat about inflation
  • Turkish FM says bilateral relations on track
  • BSEC ministers defer new members decisions
  • Kritikos denies Turkish press report
  • SE Europe security on agenda of Crete meet
  • Fog delays, cancels flights at Thessaloniki
  • Interior ministry announces quake homeless figures
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Anti-inflation drive must continue, finmin says

National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papandoniou said today he remained worried over the course of inflation and urged all business and monetary authorities to be vigilant over "the great responsibility we have to achieve the inflation criterion for participating in EMU". Papantoniou said there were two more parameters in an joint effort to combat inflation: the Bank of Greece to continue its strict monetary policy and a package of measures to contain agricultural produce prices in cooperation with Development ministry.

Central bank governor upbeat about inflation

Bank of Greece Governor Lucas Papademos said today he was optimistic over the course of inflation. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Papademos noted that the harmonised consumer price index (to be used to evaluate Greece's progress in fulfilling the inflation criterion) was moving smoothly. He said that harmonised inflation figures were moving within ranges that ensured fulfillment of the Maastricht criterion. The central banker said that recent pressures on the drachma were fully justifiable and that they were linked to an entry procedure in the eurozone and prospects of adjusting the drachma's parity with its central ERM parity.

Turkish FM says bilateral relations on track

Visiting Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem said today in Thessaloniki that Turkish-Greek relations were on a good path, and anticipated they would improve even further in the immediate future. Cem, who arrived at dawn for a meeting of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) pact foreign ministers in the northern Greek capital, said on the sidelines of the conference: "Our relations with Greece are on a good path. We are both cautious in our moves and look forward to cultivating mutual confidence. This is a positive step. Over the coming months the relations between the two countries will improve." Cem is due to meet later in the day with Greek counterpart George Papandreou on the sidelines of the conference.

BSEC ministers defer new members decisions

Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council foreign ministers on Wednesday began their meeting in Thessaloniki by examining applications for membership from four new prospective members. Applications to join came from Yugoslavia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uzbekistan and Iran. Discussion however was referred to a future meeting, under the presidency of Moldavia, due to a lack of preparation. Ministers said that the issue was yet right for a decision.

Kritikos denies Turkish press report

Parliament vice-president Panayotis Kritikos today denied as "the sordidness of Turkish propaganda", claims by a private Turkish television station alleging he had visited northern Iraq on October 21 amd met with leading members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. "I do not reply to such kinds of provocations," Kritikos said of the claims aired by Turkish private television station NTV. "My presence in Greece on the said date is proved by the Minutes of Parliament, the session of which I attended on the cited date," Kritikos added. He blasted the claims as "crass, provocative actions".

SE Europe security on agenda of Crete meet

The continuing persecution of Serbs in Kosovo poses a risk to efforts to consolidate peace and stability in the Balkans, speakers at a conference on the security situation in Southeast Europe said on Wednesday. Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis opened proceedings at the conference by condemning the continuing violence in Kosovo and saying that a policy of persecuting Serbs was not only dangerous for regional peace and stability but also flew in the face of NATO declarations to resolve the crisis and protect the indigenous population. The security status of southeast Europe and particularly the vulnerable region of the Balkans and Yugoslavia and their repercussions for world peace are the focus of the three-day conference in Hania, Crete.

Fog delays, cancels flights at Thessaloniki

Thick fog caused problems for incoming and outgoing flights shortly after 8 a.m. at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport on Wednesday. Four domestic Olympic Aviation flights to Athens and two Aegean Airlines flights to Athens were cancelled. Flights to Iraklion, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf, and Zurich suffered dealys, as did Olympic Aviation flights to Mytiline and Limnos. An Athens-Milan flight was forced to skip a scheduled transit stop in the northern Greek capital.

Interior ministry announces quake homeless figures

The interior ministry said on Wednesday that the number of those still homeless in the wake of the September 7 earthquake totalled 19,560, with a total of 74,067 homes had been slated for demolition or deemed unfit for habitation. The figures come from a comprehensive census of the damage caused by the wake conducted by the National Statistics Service recently. Some 4,367 families continue to reside in settlements set up by the state while the remaining homeless reside in tents near their damaged or destroyed homes or in trailer homes. Some8,388 business premises and stores were also damaged by the quake. About 850 were forced out of their premises due to extensive damage, while another 3,656 must proceed with extensive repairs.

WEATHER

Mostly fair weather with scattered cloud will prevail throughout the country today with the possibility of rain in the afternoon in northern Greece. Winds variable, light to strong. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 17-29C. Possible scattered showers in the afternoon in Thessaloniki and temperatures from 16-24C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          307.837
Pound sterling       510.781
Japanese yen (100)   294.227
French franc          49.899
German mark          167.351
Italian lira (100)    16.904
Irish Punt           415.598
Belgian franc          8.114
Finnish mark          55.050
Dutch guilder        148.527
Danish kr.            44.033
Austrian sch.         23.786
Spanish peseta         1.967
Swedish kr.           37.754
Norwegian kr.         39.650
Swiss franc          204.764
Port. Escudo           1.633
Can. dollar          209.014
Aus. dollar          200.726
Cyprus pound         566.035
Euro                 327.310
(M.P.)
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