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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece-Romania-NATO-EU
  • [02] Turkey-Greece
  • [03] ANA's special offer to subscribers
  • [04] Cyprus-Greece
  • [05] Government-penalty rates
  • [06] Stock market report
  • [07] Papandreou-Turkey
  • [08] Greece-Soumakis-shipping
  • [09] Bomb-Crete

  • [01] Greece-Romania-NATO-EU

    19/01/2000 20:35:14

    Romania˘s accession into NATO, Greek-Romanian defence cooperation and conditions in the Balkans were the focus of discussions between visiting Greek Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Apostolakis and his Romanian counterpart Ion Mircea Plancu.

    Apostolakis stressed Greece˘s support for NATO and European Union enlargement and Romania˘s accession to both bodies.

    On his part, Plancu noted that Romania˘s cooperation with Greece on defence issues will aid his country to enter NATO and thanked Greece for its support in its bid to join European institutions.

    [02] Turkey-Greece

    19/01/2000 20:28:18

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou said here Wednesday that Greece, Turkey and the European Union "desire dialogue between Ankara and Athens", while his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem hailed his visit as being one of "historical significance."

    Papandreou arrived in Ankara for a four-day official visit, the first by a Greek foreign minister in 38 years. The visit comes only a month after Greece dropped objections and allowed Turkey to be accepted as a candidate for European Union membership.

    [03] ANA's special offer to subscribers

    19/01/2000 19:08:16

    ANA˘s bulletin subscribers are now able to receive:

    a) the Special English Service of news items on-line, as the news is breaking for 500,000 drachmas annually, and,

    b) the next day˘s ?Daily Bulletin? on their screens at midnight, with the ability to print it out, if they so desire, or simply view it on screen for 110,000 drachmas annually.

    ANA is offering a special package discount subscription of 500,000 drachmas for both the above services.

    For further information, please call ANA's marketing dept. at (+30-1-)64 00 580 and (+30-1-)64 00 560, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., until Jan. 31.

    [04] Cyprus-Greece

    19/01/2000 17:13:25

    Athens said on Wednesday that there had been no change in its policies on a resolution of the Cyprus issue and that there would not be any change.

    "I will reiterate that the policy we are following on dealing with the Cyprus issue remains the same," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

    "We have to use the framework of the decisions of the United Nations, the summit agreements which have been made earlier, in the attempt to ensure a resolution. It is in this direction that the Cypriot and Greek governments are moving."

    Reppas, responding to reporters' questions following comments in an article written by former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, denied that any government official had put forward any proposal for a different approach on a resolution of the Cyprus issue

    [05] Government-penalty rates

    19/01/2000 15:59:58

    The government will not change an amendment submitted in Parliament on Tuesday evening covering banks' penalty rates on overdue loans, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Wednesday.

    Papantoniou stressed that despite the government's legislative intervention to reschedule debts resulting from penalty rates, past deals and settlements should be negotiated between debtors and banks.

    He also defended the government's proposals saying that 95 percent of borrowers have repaid their loans despite current high interest rates, while he stressed the need to ensure a balanced banking system.

    "We must be moderate and find a golden mean," Papantoniou said.

    He hinted, however, that a similar formula could be used to deal with debts in the agricultural sector.

    On his part, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the government was adamant to pursue its policy regarding penalty rates.

    [06] Stock market report

    19/01/2000 15:57:02

    Equity prices remained under strong pressure on Wednesday pushing the general index back to the 5,000 level on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Analysts said the sharp fall in the last few sessions was excessive and that they were unable to justify the market's negative reaction. They said that the market has already discounted a fall in domestic interest rates and that a renewed rise in international oil prices rekindled fears of higher inflation in the country.

    The general index dropped 3.26 percent to 5,067.31 points, off the day's lows of 5,048 points. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 2.89 percent to 2,644.85 points while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 ended at 940.09 points, off 3.30 percent.

    Turnover was a moderate 223.26 billion drachmas.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 1,597.55 points, down 4.25 percent.

    [07] Papandreou-Turkey

    19/01/2000 14:21:47

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Turkey on Wednesday afternoon, to begin a four-day visit which will include talks with the neighbouring country's political leadership.

    Papandreou is the first Greek foreign minister to conduct an official visit to Turkey in the past 50 years.

    Apart from signing a series of bilateral agreements on a number of issues with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, Papandreou will meet with President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    Also on Papandreou's agenda is a visit to the Phanar and a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and participating in a meeting with Greek and Turkish entrepreneurs.

    [08] Greece-Soumakis-shipping

    19/01/2000 13:49:39

    Greece is a pioneer in quality shipping and will support any new measures to protect human life, cargoes and the marine environment, Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis said on Wednesday.

    Referring to the ERICA tanker oil spill off the French coast and to measures expected to be agreed at an EU Council of Ministers meeting on March 28, Soumakis said that "Greece cannot stay at the rear, nor protect ships that do not adhere to legal preconditions".

    Soumakis noted that "competitiveness comes through quality" and said that the discussions agenda between the government and shipowners remained open.

    His comments were made ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the Union of Greek Shipowners on Thursday.

    [09] Bomb-Crete

    19/01/2000 13:49:24

    A powerful explosion blew apart a car parked at a Souda, Crete, supermarket on Wednesday, causing damage to stores and homes but no injuries, police said.

    Police said the blast was caused by a substantial amount of dynamite placed underneath a car parked in the supermarket's outdoor parking area. According to initial reports from an investigation under way, the dynamite was probably planted as part of a vendetta to settle some personal score.

    The vehicle was completely destroyed by the explosion with some pieces flung as far as 200 metres away. The hood and bumper bar was found on the roof of a neighbouring house and the steering wheel and front wheel in the courtyard of a cafeteria, police said.


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