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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-11-29

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, 29/11/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Polls show ruling party ahead in popularity
  • FM Papandreou in Sweden, Finland for talks
  • Petrol station owners rally for regulated hours
  • Olympic flame to be lit May 10
  • Thessaloniki to host political asylum meeting
  • Greek stocks rally on Monday
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Polls show ruling party ahead in popularity

The ruling PASOK party's popularity seems to be on the rise, according to opinion polls conducted in the greater Athens region this month, the results of which appeared in today's newspapers. According to a poll by "Opinion", appearing in the Athens afternoon daily "Eleftherotypia", 29.8 percent of those polled said the intended to vote for PASOK in general elections, up from 29.6 percent in a similar poll conducted by Opinion in September. In a separate opinion poll by V.PRC appearing in the Athens afternoon daily "Ta Nea", 47 percent of those polled believe that PASOK will win the next general elections, against 23.4 percent who believe that ND will emerge the victor, compared with 36.4 percent and 32.9 percent respectively in a similar V.PRC poll in July.

FM Papandreou in Sweden, Finland for talks

Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday had an informal meeting with his Swedish counterpart Anna Lindh, shortly before his departure for Helsinki. The focus of their talks was Turkey's candidacy bid for the EU, to be discussed at the Helsinki summit on December 10-11. Papandreou arrived in Stockholm on Sunday night, the first stop on his tour which will include Helsinki and Moscow. He will meet in Helsinki with the Finnish presidency of the EU ahead of the Council of Ministers meeting and the summit on the issues of Euro-Turkish relations. On Tuesday, Papandreou leaves for Moscow for bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov. According to an ANA dispatch from Stockholm, Papandreou and Lindh discussed the prospects for Turkey's candidacy bid for the EU, ahead of the Council of General Affairs meeting on December 6.

Petrol station owners rally for regulated hours

Petrol station owners today rallied outside the labour ministry, demanding that the government legislate specific working hours for the stations and introduce a night duty roster such as that in effect for pharmacies, and threatend to strike over the holidays if their demands were not satisfied. The patrol station owners want the government to establish, by law, operational hours from 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., and an overnight duty roster. The goal of the proposal is to reduce the gas stations' operating costs and improve security conditions in the stations operating overnight.

Olympic flame to be lit May 10

The Olympic flame that will burn during the third millennium's first Olympic Games in Sydney will be lit on May 10, the Greek Olympic Games Committee announced today. The flame will be lit at a traditional ceremony in ancient Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games in the antiquity at noon Wednesday, May 10, a spokesman told ANA.The torch with the sacred flame will then be relayed by young runners through the cities of Pyrgos, ancient Iliad and Arcadia and on to Athens from where it will be flown by air to Australia. It will make an overnight stop in Tripoli after passing through various cities and villages of the Peloponnese, the spokesman said.

Thessaloniki to host political asylum meeting

Greece lacks the appropriate infrastructure for the application of laws related to issues of asylum and immigration, the president of the Thessaloniki Bar Association said on Monday. George Ignatidis, speaking at a news conference to announce the holding of a two-day seminar December 2 by the Council of European Union Bar Associations, said one indication of this lack was the delay in the issuing of joint ministerial decisions related to the extension by the state of legal aid for lawyers acting on behalf of refugees from the former Soviet Union. The topic of the seminar is "Asylum, migration and the protection of civil liberties and human rights in Europe". Participants include European Parliament deputies and deputies from EU national parliaments, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and members of the Court of Human Rights.

Greek stocks rally on Monday

Greek equities ended Monday's session sharply higher, extending Friday's rally on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index ended 3.37 percent higher at 5,806.33 points, at its day's highs. Turnover was a moderate 287.7 billion drachmas. Traders said buying interest focused on blue chip stocks, mainly in the banks and industrials sectors. Foreign buyers were active again. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks rose 0.67 percent to 2,089.61 points, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks soared 4.10 percent to 2,907.38 points.

WEATHER

Fine weather with local cloud and moderate to strong winds in most parts of Greece today. Athens will be cloudy with sunny spells and temperatures between 6-16C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 0-11C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          321.547
Pound sterling       518.737
Japanese yen (100)   309.226
French franc          49.755
German mark          166.869
Italian lira (100)    16.855
Irish Punt           414.402
Belgian franc          8.090
Finnish mark          54.891
Dutch guilder        148.100
Danish kr.            43.872
Austrian sch.         23.718
Spanish peseta         1.961
Swedish kr.           38.091
Norwegian kr.         40.182
Swiss franc          203.767
Port. Escudo           1.628
Can. dollar          219.172
Aus. dollar          205.374
Cyprus pound         567.384
Euro                 326.368
(M.P.)
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