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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 21/11/1999 (ANA)


  • Downtown Athens cleans up after riot
  • Left Coalition leader skeptical about Clinton visit gains
  • Three cars torched in overnight attacks
  • Clinton acknowledges US erred over Greek junta
  • US, Greece on good terms, leaders say
  • Clinton holds "very good meeting" with Simitis
  • Greek stocks show signs of recovery
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Downtown Athens cleans up after riot

Downtown Athens was bustling with activity on Sunday as storekeepers and banks rushed to mop up the effects of Friday's riot and get their premises ready for the start of business on Monday. Athens' Panepistimiou and Stadiou streets - which bore the brunt of the violence which erupted in the wake of U.S. President Bill Clinton's arrival in Athens - was filled crews of workmen, electricians and painters working on replacing broken shop windows, and restoring the damage caused. Estimates of damage were being collated by teams from the interior ministry, at work since early on Sunday.

Left Coalition leader skeptical about Clinton visit gains

U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Greece has brought nothing new and certainly nothing new for issues important for Greece, Left Coalition president Nikos Contanstantopoulos said in Thessaloniki on Sunday. Constantopoulos, who boycotted a state dinner for the U.S. president on Friday night over violence at anti-American protests, called on the government to brief political party leaders on the substance of talks between the Greek and U.S. sides during the 22-hour visit. "During his stay in Greece, the U.S. president fulfilled his public relations role without moving from standing U.S. positions," Constantopoulos told a news conference in the northern Greek city.

Three cars torched in overnight attacks

Three cars were damaged in separate attacks overnight, police said, but the incidents caused no injuries. An explosion in the Nikaia area caused major damage to a five cars. Police said the blast was caused by a handgrenade which was thrown at a Mercedes car. An investigation is under way. A makeshift incendiary device comprised of two gas cannisters caused an explosion and fire to engulf a car in the Pefki residential areas at about 3.40 a.m. Minor damage was also caused to two cars parked nearby. An hour later, a car parked in the Anoixi area was doused in petrol and set alight, causing serious damage. There has been no claim of responsibility for any of the attacks.

Clinton acknowledges US erred over Greek junta

President Clinton on Saturday acknowledged his country was wrong to support the military junta that ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974. "The United States allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War prevail over its interest -I should say its obligation- to support democracy. It is important we acknowledge that," he said in a speech winding up a short visit that sparked violent protests in the streets of the Greek capital. Addressing business and political leaders, Clinton said Turkey was unlikely to enter the European Union before resolving differences with Greece, particularly Cyprus, but, at the same time, rapprochement with its neighbour was one of five major challenges facing Greece and the United States.

US, Greece on good terms, leaders say

Greece and the United States agreed Saturday that relations between the two countries were very good and that there was significant room for stepping up cooperation between them. Speaking to reporters in a joint press conference after talks here, Greek premier Costas Simitis and visiting US President Bill Clinton said they had an open and friendly discussion on all issues ranging from bilateral relations to developments in the Balkans, to Greek-Turkish affairs, Turkey-EU relations and the Cyprus issue. "We had a very friendly and open discussion on all issues. We reaffirmed the historic relations of friendship that bind our two countries and peoples, a relationship that has been kept alive by the Hellenes living in the United States, by our common struggles in the past, our partnership in NATO, by the political solidarity and cooperation we have for our common goals, " Simitis said. "On Greek-US relations, we agreed that there is significant room for improvement of cooperation between the two countries. Greece, due to economic growth of recent years, is creating new worthwhile opportunities for investments, trade, technological and other collaborations, " he said.

Clinton holds "very good meeting" with Simitis

US president Bill Clinton said on Saturday he and Greek premier Costas Simitis had a "very good meeting", noting that relations with Greece were important to him because of the "values and history we share". He said they also discussed the road to reconciliation and lasting peace between Greece and Turkey, and expressed his pleasure that the two sides on Cyprus had agreed to hold UN-sponsored proximity talks. Clinton said Greece's economic growth will render Greece one of the most attractive places in Europe, and noted that the Americans were impressed by the rapprochement between the Greek and Turkish people after the earthquakes in both countries. On Greek-Turkish differences, Clinton said they could be resolved through recourse to "the International Court of Justice at The Hague or a mutually agreed and internationally-recognised mechanism for the resolution of disputes" "We look to Ancient Greece for inspiration, modern Greece for leadership," Clinton said.

Greek stocks show signs of recovery

Greek equities showed signs of recovery in the last trading session of the week,reversing a three-day decline on the Athens Bourse. The general index ended 0.70 percent higher at 5,610.50 points, off the day's highs of 5, 625.16 points with turnover at 310 billion drachmas.Smaller capitalisation stocks were in focus although Banks remained under pressure.Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (-0.12 pct), Leasing (+0.49 pct), Insurance (+1.96 pct), Investment (+2.06 pct), Construction (+3.07 pct), Industrials (+1.60 pct), Miscellaneous (+2.44 pct) and Holding (-1.73 pct).


The forecast for Monday is overcast with some rain and storms in the west and north of the country. Snow may fall overnight in the northern mountain areas. Occasional showers are forecast for the rest of the country. Winds will be southerlies strong to very strong and gale force on the seas. Temperatures will range from 7-17C in the north, 10-20 in the Ionian and central Greece and 15-23 on the Aegean islands. Athens will be overcast with cloud gathering and the likelihood of rain in the afternoon. The temperature will range from 14-19C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with rain and storms in the afternoon, 11-15C.

Foreign Exchange

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 316.349 Pound sterling 511.059 Japanese yen (100) 298.493 French franc 49.732 German mark 166.793 Italian lira (100) 16.848 Irish Punt 414.213 Belgian franc 8.870 Finnish mark 54.867 Dutch guilder 148.032 Danish kr. 43.854 Austrian sch. 23.707 Spanish peseta 1.960 Swedish kr. 37.894 Norwegian kr. 39.847 Swiss franc 203.653 Port. Escudo 1.627 Can. dollar 215.244 Aus. dollar 201.693 Cyprus pound 563.020 Euro 326.219


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