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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-12-28

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, 28/12/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece ready to swat Year 2000 bug
  • Acropolis centrepiece of New Year's Eve party
  • Greek equities rally for second day
  • Greece ready to tackle Schengen pact realities
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece ready to swat Year 2000 bug

Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou counselled Greeks to be calm and confident that the state machine was on top of any possible glitch due to the millennium bug and prepared to deal with it. Papandreou told reporters at a news conference that all public computer systems were year 2000 compliant and that she expected no malfunctions from the millennium bug as clocks ticked over to January 1,2000. A poll published in Ta Nea daily on Monday showed more than seventy percent of Greeks believed that the millennium bug would have an adverse effect on their power, water and phone lines as computers try to change over to the year 2000. But Papandreou said that this was a misconception but that, nevertheless, all services would be on full alert through the period in which the bug could strike. She urged the public to place its trust in official announcements and not to fall prey to rumour-mongering.

Acropolis centrepiece of New Year's Eve party

Athens' New Year's Eve party will highlight the best of modern-day Greece as the country sees in the beginning of a new millennium, Greece's Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said on Tuesday. "We will see in 2000, unite our memories and party like contemporary Greeks. We will honour Manos Hatzidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Odysseus Elytis," Papazoi said, referring to Greece's two most renowned composers and its Nobel Prize laureate for literature. Papazoi was speaking to reporters on Tuesday as she revealed the detailed programme for millennium celebrations in Athens. Hatzidakis, Theodorakis and Elytis will be the core of a series of concerts to be held at the Acropolis on New Year's Eve. The ancient rock, and the Parthenon temple atop it, will be the centrepiece to a range of activities planned in the area.

Greek equities rally for second day

Equity prices rallied for the second consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange helped by strong buying interest in smaller capitalisation stocks. The general index ended 3.76 percent higher at 5,230.61 points, its highest close in the last seven sessions. Turnover was a moderate 220 billion drachmas. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks soared 7.77 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks jumped 2.6 percent to 2,784.17 points, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index surged 7.10 percent to 902.45 points.

Greece ready to tackle Schengen pact realities

Greece, implementing in full the Schengen Treaty's lifting of all internal border controls as of January 1, 2000, is confident that the changes will contribute to a more effective monitoring of the movement of people both within and into the European Union. "The prospects for the future are favourable... Greece has been working conscientiously to deal effectively with the challenges of such a sensitive issue, such as illegal immigration, " Stelios Perrakis, secretary general for European Affairs at the foreign ministry, told the ANA. In practice, the full implementation of the Schengen pact for Greece means that as of January 1, 2000, all checks on international borders in the Schengen area are lifted. Citizens of the Schengen pact members may move freely without passport control.

WEATHER

Partly cloudy weather will prevail throughout Greece today. Winds southwesterly, strong to gale force in the Ionian and Aegean seas. Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging from 12-18C. Same in Thessaloniki with the possibility of rain and temperatures from 8-13C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          323.640
Pound sterling       522.526
Japanese yen (100)   315.664
French franc          49.951
German mark          167.529
Italian lira (100)    16.923
Irish Punt           416.039
Belgian franc          8.122
Finnish mark          55.108
Dutch guilder        148.685
Danish kr.            44.108
Austrian sch.         23.812
Spanish peseta         1.969
Swedish kr.           38.250
Norwegian kr.         40.414
Swiss franc          204.154
Port. Escudo           1.635
Can. dollar          219.907
Aus. dollar          208.419
Cyprus pound         569.388
Euro                 327.658
(M.P.)
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