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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-22

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, 22/11/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Clinton visit a success - government
  • Simitis, Clerides confer on Cyprus issue
  • Former PM Mitsotakis says Clinton comments positive
  • NATO chief Robertson in Athens Monday
  • 35 illegal immigrants arrested
  • Greek stocks end slightly lower hit by banks
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Clinton visit a success - government

The government on Monday said U.S. President Bill Clinton's 24-hour visit to Greece over the weekend was crowned with success and that talks had gone exceptionally well. "We were shown to be present in word and deed on the international stage," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. He said the government was satisfied with the understanding shown by the United States on major issues of concern to Greece. "President Clinton's statements," Reppas said, "have contributed to Greece's bilateral and wider relations... Greece will continue to be a presence on the international stage."

Simitis, Clerides confer on Cyprus issue

Visiting Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides held talks today with Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the aftermath of US President Bill Clinton's 24- hour weekend visit to Greece and in view of the Cyprus proximity talks scheduled to open in New York on December 3. The Simitis-Clerides talks focused on the UN-sponsored talks between Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York and the European Union summit in Helsinki a week later when the EU '15' are to decide whether to upgrade Turkey's status to "candidate country" for EU membership.No statements were made after the talks between Simitis and Clerides and the two delegations, which lasted about an hour. A joint communique was issued by the two sides which stressed the crucial juncture facting the Cyprus issue. The communique said that the general estimation was positive in the wake of the OSCE summit and the bilateral talks held by Simitis and Clerides with EU leaders and the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Former PM Mitsotakis says Clinton comments positive

Honorary New Democracy president and former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis on Monday said that the visit by U.S. President Bill Clinton over the weekend was a "serious political event". The United States is actively interested in the region, Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus and the Balkans, than their interest in the past, Mitsotakis said. Taking a different stance from that of the main opposition party, Mitsotakis said that President Clinton had been "cautious and positive" and had made positive statements about Greece. "It remains to be seen if the government over the next few weeks and up to the Helsinki summit is more able and decisive," Mitsotakis said.

NATO chief Robertson in Athens Monday

NATO Secretary General George Robertson arrives in Athens on November 29 for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. On Thursday, the president of the European Union, Finnish Prime MInister Paavo Liponnen will be in Athens for talks.

35 illegal immigrants arrested

Thirty-five Romanian illegal immigrants were arrested this morning near the Peloponnesian city of Sparta as they were being transported by coach from Thebes to nearby Molaous village. Police said the Romanians had no residence permits, and told police they had paid 5,000 dr. each to the driver of the coach, who was also arrested.

Greek stocks end slightly lower hit by banks

Greek stocks ended Monday's session slightly lower hit by losses in blue chip stocks in the Banks sector, although the wider market showed solid gains on the Athens Stock Exchange. Traders said the market initially jumped 2.0 percent reflecting investors' euphoria after US President's positive comments on the Greek economy, but moved into negative territory later in the day on short-selling. Market sources attributed the change in climate to Bank of Greece governor's comments on stable monetary policy until the end of the year.

WEATHER

The forecast for today 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 southerlies strong to very strong and gale force in the Ionian and the Aegean islands. Athens will be overcast with the likelihood of rain later in the day and temperatures between 14-19C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with rain and storms in the afternoon and temperatures from 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
(M.P.)
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