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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Simitis - 2003 EU Summit
  • [02] Bonds - spread
  • [03] Internet: Stock Market Report
  • [04] Internet: roads
  • [05] Patriarch - Thessaloniki
  • [06] Internet-Cold
  • [07] Jordanian Embassy-Car-Torching
  • [08] Opinion polls

  • [01] Simitis - 2003 EU Summit

    03/01/2000 22:25:23

    The European Union's first six-monthly summit in 2003 will be held in Thessaloniki, the Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, announced on Monday.

    "The event will project the relation of northern Greece --and Greece in general-- with the Balkans and the broader region, will boost the growth potential of the area and will signal that Greece continues to play an important role in the region," he said.

    Greece will hold the EU presidency in the first half of 2003.

    Simitis was visiting the city, where he inaugurated its new Royal Theatre and Concert Hall on Sunday.

    "The decision means that we need to have to try to improve the city's infrastructure. Nevertheless, the existing infrastructure is already very good and will not require a considerable amount of additional efforts," he said.

    [02] Bonds - spread

    03/01/2000 18:59:15

    The 10-year bond yield spread over German bunds narrowed in the secondary market on Monday, the first day of trading in 2000.

    Selling dominated trade after an early flurry of buying as the market began to track European markets in their search for new levels.

    Total turnover on the bond market totalled 86 billion drachmas.

    The yield on the 10-year bond stood at 6.57 per cent, taking the spread over German bunds to 109-110 basis points.

    Traders forecast that within January the spread will drop below the 100-basis-point threshold.

    The overnight rate in the interbank market was 9.40 per cent and 9.60 per cent for one-month funds.

    [03] Internet: Stock Market Report

    03/01/2000 15:48:00

    Greek stocks ended the first trading session of the New Year with sharp gains pushing the market to the 5,800 level once again.

    The general index soared 4.69 percent to end at 5,794.85 points, off the day's highs of 5,874.94 points, in heavy turnover of 289.54 billion drachmas.

    Telecoms stocks were heavily traded while smaller capitalisation stocks and constructions shares led the day's advance.

    [04] Internet: roads

    03/01/2000 15:27:21

    Greek drivers will be subject to stricter penalties for infringements of the traffic code as of January 1, 2000. Although the number of points required to have a licence revoked rises from 17 to 25, a number of offences will carry heavier penalty points. Exceeding the 60km speed limit in built-up areas will carry a penalty of nine points. Running a red light will cost drivers seven points as will reckless driving and driving under the influence. Drivers who have their licences revoked will be required to 'cool off' for six months before being allowed to retake their driving exams.

    [05] Patriarch - Thessaloniki

    03/01/2000 14:55:48

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, the spiritual leader of the world's roughly 300 million Orthodox Christians, was honoured Monday by the Thessaloniki archdiocese.

    Vartholomeos, who arrived Sunday in the northern Greek port city for the inauguration of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, was presented with a diamond-studded silver star depicting the Birth of Christ and a triptych icon depicting the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The gifts were presented by Thessaloniki Metropolitan Panteleimon.

    Panteleimon paid tribute to the role and contribution of the Ecumenical See to the Orthodox faith in presenting the star to the Patriarch.

    [06] Internet-Cold

    03/01/2000 14:32:14

    Athens and its surrounding regions saw the first snowfalls of the season on Monday as a cold front buffeting the north of the country moved southwards. Snow chains were ordered on all vehicles travelling to Mt. Parnes, on the old Athens-Theva road and Athens-Lamia road. The Meteorological Bureau issued a warning of gale force strength winds of up to 9 Beaufort in the Aegean. Passenger ferries were moored at the ports of Piraeus and Rafina, subject to a ban on sailing issued at 10.15 a.m.

    [07] Jordanian Embassy-Car-Torching

    03/01/2000 12:02:00

    A group calling itself "Anarchist Faction" on Monday claimed responsibility for the torching of a car belonging to the Jordanian Embassy, in the northern Athens suburb of Aghia Paraskevi.

    Unidentified persons set fire to a car registered with the Jordanian embassy at 3:20 a.m. as it was parked on a street in Aghia Paraskevi, police said.

    They said an unidentified caller phoned the private FLASH radio station and the Athens afternoon daily ATHINAIKI and claimed responsibility for the torching on behalf of "Anarchist Faction".

    [08] Opinion polls

    03/01/2000 12:02:00

    The main opposition New Democracy party was apparently leading ruling PASOK by 1.9 percentage points in a nationwide opinion poll published Monday, while PASOK had widened its lead over ND to six percentage points in a second, localised poll.

    According to a nationwide poll conducted by V.PRC. appearing in Monday's issue of TA NEA newspaper, ND was leading in voter preference with 34.3 percent against 32.4 percent for PASOK, but 52.4 percent of the respondents believed that the ruling party would win the next general elections against 30.6 percent who said ND would emerge the victor.

    Undecided voters were at a high 18.5 percent, while the smaller political parties ranged between 4-5 percent.

    The poll was carried out in the first 10 days of December, after the EU summit in Helsinki but before ND leader Costas Karamanlis' decision to back the re-election of President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    In a second poll, conducted by "Metron Analysis" in the Attica prefecture among a sampling of 830 people and published in Monday's issue of "Ethnos" newspaper, PASOK led voters' preference with 33 percent against 27 percent for ND.

    Some 55 percent of the respondents believed that PASOK would win the next general elections, against 24 percent for ND.

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