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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-12-16

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, 16/12/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens stock exchange ready for 2000
  • Minor scuffles at student march
  • Industry upbeat about 2000 prospects
  • Multichoice chosen for digital TV contract
  • Kosovo crisis provides valuable lessons
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens stock exchange ready for 2000

The Athens Stock Exchange is Year 2000 compliant and has been ready since September to deal with any glitches in the changeover in dates, it said in a statement on Thursday. The 'ASE-Y2K programme' was specially developed in 1998 on the basis of international norms and practices to deal with the issue, it said. Further information on the project is available on the ASE's website at www.ase.gr. The ASE has also developed contingency plans for the capital market in case there are some unforeseeable malfunctions, due to the millennium bug. It plans to hold a 'virtual' trading session on Sunday, January 2, to take the system through its paces, before the market opens for trade on the first working day of the new millennium. The ASE, and all central financial and credit institutions in the country, will be closed for business as a precautionary measure on December 31, 1999.

Minor scuffles at student march

Protestors marching against education ministry reforms scuffled amongst themselves during an Athens rally on Thursday but tempers quickly calmed, police said. The scuffles occurred during the march by an estimated 3,500 secondary school students when non-students attempted to join the march, evidently to provoke some kind of disturbance. Students attempted to stop the youths, leading to scuffling. Riot squad police intervened to stop the scuffling developing into anything worse. The two-hour march through the city's main streets caused the usual traffic congestion.

Industry upbeat about 2000 prospects

Greek industry is optimistic about their sector's prospects and the Greek economy generally at the year 2000 dawns and Greece prepares to enter the euro-zone, according to a study of the sector by ICAP market research. "Greek industry is in the best position to deal with the challenges of the future and the prospects of companies in the sector are the best in the past 35 years," ICAP Managing Director Dimitris Maniatakis said, presenting the results of the survey "Greek Industry - Estimates for 1999 and Ambitions for 2000". ICAP surveyed a representative sample of 250 companies in the November 8-30, 1999 period. It showed that Greek industrialists were optimistic that inflation and interest rates would go down, that they would be able to take out loans on more favourable terms, and that they had already discounted the fact that Greece would be made the 13th member of economic and monetary union in 2000.

Multichoice chosen for digital TV contract

The Greek state will on Monday sign a contract for digital television services to be provided by consortium Multichoice, Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday. Reppas said Multichoice had been chosen from the two companies bidding for the contract. Details of the contract will be released after it is signed on Monday, he said.

Kosovo crisis provides valuable lessons

The Kosovo crisis earlier in the year provided Greek non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with valuable hands-on training in providing aid but the region is plagued by a lack of forward planning that is hampering the advent of long-term stability and prosperity, speakers at a Institute for International Economic Relations seminar said on Wednesday. Since the Kosovo problem was no longer on the priority list for the West, speakers said, the aftermath had been plagued by a lack of planning affecting economic and development prospects. The situation is of particular concern to Greece as the future appears grim for such a crucial area.

WEATHER

Overcast weather and scattered showers will prevail throughout Greece on Thursday. Winds will be southerly, strong to gale force. Partly cloudy in Athens, with temperatures between 9 and 18 C. Possibility of rain in Thessaloniki, with temperatures between 5 and 15 C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Thursday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          326.556
Pound sterling       524.074
Japanese yen (100)   315.605
French franc          49.877
German mark          167.280
Italian lira (100)    16.897
Irish Punt           415.422
Belgian franc          8.110
Finnish mark          55.026
Dutch guilder        148.464
Danish kr.            44.031
Austrian sch.         23.776
Spanish peseta         1.966
Swedish kr.           38.025
Norwegian kr.         40.305
Swiss franc          204.540
Port. Escudo           1.632
Can. dollar          220.164
Aus. dollar          207.030
Cyprus pound         568.991
Euro                 327.172
(M.P.)
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