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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-25
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Sports roundup25/01/2000 23:06:43
Two foreign players strengthen Olympiakos, AEK rosters
Two transfers of foreign players in two of Greek football¢s top teams, AEK Athens and Olympiakos Piraeus were all but finalised on Tuesday.
Specifically, a deal bringing Bulgarian midfielder Milen Petkov to AEK was officially announced by the club¢s coach, Yiannis Pathiakakis, during his regular weekly press conference.
The 26-year-old former CSSK Sofia player is expected to arrive in the Greek capital on Tuesday evening before beginning practice with the team on Wednesday or Thursday. Petkov may even see some playing time with AEK during its next game against Kalamata.
Referring to the ?ongoing saga? involving the rumoured transfer Iraklis Thessaloniki¢s potent striker Mihalis Konstantinou to AEK, Pathiakakis said management is exclusively responsible for handling that deal.
Meanwhile, only the ?fine print? apparently remains to be ironed out for the conclusion of Polish defender Marek Kosminski¢s transfer to league-leading Olympiakos. The 29-year-old Pole, with eight seasons of play in Italy¢s famed Campionato, played for Brescia this season. By all accounts, he is expected to sign a 3 ½-year deal with the Piraeus club worth some 140 million drachmas a year in salary. Additionally, Brescia is expected to receive an even one million dollars for the transfer.
Finally, the rumoured contacts between Panathinaikos Athens and Torino¢s Yugoslav striker Ilia Ivic · a veteran of the Greek first division with Olympiakos previously · are reportedly at a dead-end, as both sides are unable to compromise on the economic aspects of the deal, according to sources. A segment of Panathinaikos fans also chanted slogans against Ivic during last weekend¢s match with Apollon Athens.
Olympiakos slides in Reuters standings
Olympiakos Piraeus slipped in this week¢s Reuters football standings, based on performances in teams¢ national divisions. The Piraeus club fell out of the top 20 category.
Change in date or time requested for Olympiakos-AEK cup matchup
The management of Athens¢ Olympic Stadium has requested a change in the time or date for the first Olympiakos-AEK cup matchup from the Greek Soccer Federation (EPO). The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at the northern Athens venue.
The stadium¢s management pointed out to EPO in a letter that the European basketball federation (FIBA) has scheduled a Euroleague game between Panathinaikos and PAOK, two Greek teams, at the adjacent indoor stadium on 9 p.m. · a development that would bring the fans of Greece¢s four largest clubs in the same spot at roughly the same time.
 EU-Agriculture-Council of Ministers25/01/2000 22:32:05
The European Union¢s Agricultural Ministers¢ Council met on Tuesday for the first time this year, under the Presidency of Portugal, here, and discussed future policy issues for the Union.
Greece was represented by Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis.
 Eurofighter-Greece-EAB25/01/2000 22:30:03
Eurofighter is the final choice of the Hellenic airforce regarding fourth generation fighter planes, Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Apostolakis said on Tuesday, during a press conference in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.
Apostolakis confirmed that the Government Council of Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) made its final decision on the Eurofighter, but did not decide on the number of planes to be acquired,
 Simitis-National Bank-Shipping25/01/2000 16:14:49
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday inaugurated National Bank's of Greece¢s ?Shipping Trade Centre? in the bustling main Greek port of Piraeus, saying the centre would help to promote "quality shipping" in the country's all-important sector.
Simitis noted that Greek shipping needed Greek officers and seamen, stressing that the government would also offer solutions to the country's shipbuilding industry.
Piraeus must be the centre of Greek shipping, Simitis said.
"The Greek-owned fleet accounts for 16 percent of the world's total and 50 percent of the EU's fleet. The sector needs to operate under more quality standards. We increasingly believe in quality shipping worldwide and promote policies to meet a triptych of ¡quality in life, ship and cargo -- protection of the marine environment -- quality services¢. This effort means a change of attitude and increased investments to benefit the market in the long term," Simitis said.
He noted that the National Economy Ministry was also examining plans to list ocean-going shipping firms on the Athens Stock Exchange.
National Bank Governor Theodore Karatzas said that the bank "was always the bank of Greek shipping".
The ceremony was attended by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis, Foreign Undersecretary Grigoris Niotis, local authorities and shipping officials.
 Police-government25/01/2000 15:58:35
The government on Tuesday denied it was considering replacing the head of the Greek Police Force, following a prosecutor's recommendation that he and three other ranking police officers face charges over a botched hostage raid.
"The chief of police enjoys the confidence of the government and will remain at his post," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said in response to press questions.
A prosecutor investigating the circumstances of a bungled raid on a fugitive holding three hostages in September 1998 on Monday recommended that the four senior police officials then present at the scene face charges over the handling of the affair.
Twenty-five-year-old Amalia Ginaki was critically wounded and later died of her injuries when police raided her downtown Athens home, where a convicted fugitive was holding her and two other members of her family hostage.
 Stock market report25/01/2000 15:58:02
Equity prices remained under pressure for the second consecutive session on Tuesday pushing the market temporarily below the 5,000 level on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Trade was nervous due to inflation worries while a sharp fall in international market also depressed sentiment. A technical problem on the electronic trading system OASIS, which delayed transactions for 90 minutes, also burdened on the market's climate.
The general index ended 1.17 percent lower at 5,022.41 points, off the day's lows of 4.969.06 points. Dealers said the market found support at the 5,000 level helped by a partial recovery of shares in the financial sector.
Turnover was extremely low at 150 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 0.79 percent to 2,629.13 points, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended at 920.46 points, off 1.87 percent.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 1,527.20 points, off 3.37 percent.
 Metro-disabled25/01/2000 15:19:00
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis on Tuesday showed representatives of disabled groups around the soon-to-be-opened Athens Metro, saying that all 21 stations were designed to ease access for those with special needs.
The Athens Metro, which will be officially opened on Friday by Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the presence of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, did not initially include planning for disabled access, but this has since been rectified, Laliotis said.
Similar priorities will be given to the Thessaloniki Metro.
 Rokofyllos-Slovakia25/01/2000 14:26:05
Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos on Tuesday meets with Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs Pavol Hamzik, on the first day on his visit to the country.
Rokofyllos is also due to meet with Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda and the speaker of the Slovak Parliament.
Issues on the agenda of Rokofyllos's talks in Slovakia include the country's relations with the European Union and accession prospects in the wake of the EU Helsinki summit
Also to be covered during the talks are bilateral relations, the situation in the Balkans, the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations.
 Stock market-delay25/01/2000 13:45:02
The Athens Stock Exchange board decided to adjust trading hours on Tuesday due to a technical problem on the electronic trading system OASIS. Transactions started at 12.15 am and will end at 14.30 am local time.
 Athens Metro25/01/2000 12:50:52
Commuters will be treated to free rides on Athens' new Metro this weekend, it was announced Tuesday.
By decision of transport minister Tassos Mantelis, the long-awaited Metro, which will be formally inaugurated Friday by prime minister Costas Simitis, will be free to all passengers over the weekend as part of celebrations marking its incorporation into the Greek capital's public transport system.
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