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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-12

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, 12/11/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Inner cabinet briefed on Clinton security
  • Government hopes for 'shadow-free' Clinton visit
  • Papantoniou reaffirms economic convergence
  • Harmonised inflation below two percent in October
  • Greece pledges closer ties with Sofia
  • Vangelis to compose theme for Sydney Olympics
  • Kavala nab enterprising drug delivery man
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Inner cabinet briefed on Clinton security

Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoides on Friday briefed the Inner Cabinet on security measures to be taken during the visit to Greece of U.S. President Bill Clinton on November 19. The minister briefed U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns on the measures on Thursday evening.

Government hopes for 'shadow-free' Clinton visit

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas on Friday said that the government had decided to take all necessary measures so that nothing "cast a shadow" over US President Bill Clinton's visit to Athens. Reppas,after a four-hour meeting of the inner cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, said that all requisite measures would be taken. He said that "freedom of speech is a consolidated right in Greece, but it can not be in conflict with the country's interests or its prestige". Reppas called President Clinton's visit a significant opportunity for Greece, saying that "we will be given the opportunity to present him with the Greek position on Cyprus, the Balkans and Greek-Turkish relations".

Papantoniou reaffirms economic convergence

The Greek economy is moving in line with the government's policy statement, next year's budget aims to ensure the country's participation in EMU although it included increased social benefits and the stock market's course continues to reflect the economy's dynamism paving the way for further tax cuts in the next few years, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou told ANA today. In an interview with the Athens News Agency, Papantoniou said next year's budget was drafted to ensure the country's entry in the eurozone by further containing deficits to 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 from 1.5 percent this year. "This means that we are comfortably below the 3.0 percent limit envisaged by the Maastricht Treaty ensuring our participation in EMU based on the fiscal criteria."

Harmonised inflation below two percent in October

Harmonised inflation remained below two percent in Greece in October despite a rise in national consumer price figures the same month. Year-on- year harmonised inflation was 1.9 percent in October, the National Statistics Service said today, with the average harmonised CPI index running at 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.8 percent the previous month. Harmonised inflation offers data for international inflation comparisons and for evaluating prices stability convergence in European Economic and Monetary Union.

Greece pledges closer ties with Sofia

Greece was determined to advance bilateral contacts at all levels, and the two countries' excellent relations would benefit peace and stability in the wider Balkan region, Prime Minister Costas Simitis assured Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov in a message released here today. "I wish to assure you, in the spirit of our recent fruitful talks in Sofia and the very constructive Trilateral Summit meeting between Greece, Bulgaria and Romania in Borovets, that my country is determined to promote the contacts at all levels so that are excellent bilateral relations will be further consolidated and produce specific results, particularly in the economic sector, " Simitis said in the message.

Vangelis to compose theme for Sydney Olympics

Greece's Academy Award-winning composer Vangelis Papathanasiou, known simply as Vangelis, will compose the music for the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, it was announced here today. Vangelis, who won the 1981 Oscar for his score for "Chariots of Fire", which also received the Oscar for best picture, will compose the 10-minute theme for the ceremony in which Sydney will turn over the Olympic Flag to Athens for the 2004 Games.

Kavala nab enterprising drug delivery man

Kavala police said on Friday they had put a stop to a booming home delivery service in drugs in their northern Greek city, following the arrest of a 22- year-old man. Savvas Tekesavvas will be charged with possession and trafficking in narcotics, they said. Tekesavvas had set up a system in which his 'clients' could call his mobile or land-line phone, place an order for hashish, which he would then deliver to their home. The man was caught when he made a delivery to a undercover policeman. He had on him some 28.4 grams of hashish. A later search of his home discovered another 664 grams of hashish.

WEATHER

Light cloud over the Ionian and Dodecanese islands is forecast for Friday with local rainfall and storms mainly in the west, abating gradually. Winds in the west will be easterly moderate, on the east northerly strong and in the Aegean Sea very strong. Athens will be partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 12-18C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 10- 14C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          313.065
Pound sterling       508.202
Japanese yen (100)   298.156
French franc          49.671
German mark          166.591
Italian lira (100)    16.827
Irish Punt           413.709
Belgian franc          8.077
Finnish mark          54.799
Dutch guilder        147.852
Danish kr.            43.817
Austrian sch.         23.678
Spanish peseta         1.958
Swedish kr.           37.700
Norwegian kr.         39.753
Swiss franc          202.482
Port. Escudo           1.625
Can. dollar          213.181
Aus. dollar          200.949
Cyprus pound         565.400
Euro                 325.822
(M.P.)
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