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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Elections-Government spokesman - ND
  • [02] IOC - Athens 2004 - Rogge
  • [03] Corinth Canal-tender
  • [04] Stock market report
  • [05] Elian-Greece
  • [06] Greece - Demirel - Euro Cup 2008
  • [07] Foreign policy
  • [08] Eathquake

  • [01] Elections-Government spokesman - ND

    27/01/2000 22:51:12

    Speculation of an early election mounted on Thursday, despite the government reiterating its intention to exhaust its four-year term and hold elections in September 2000.

    "Election talk is of no benefit to the country and I would advise all those contributing to it to avoid temptation," acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said during the regular daily press briefing.

    He also avoided commenting on a press report claiming that April 9 was a possible date for elections.

    Later in the day the main opposition New Democracy party decided to speed up its preparatory congress procedures to enable the party to hold its congress a fortnight earlier than March 31, as initially scheduled, if the government proclaims an early poll.

    [02] IOC - Athens 2004 - Rogge

    27/01/2000 19:00:30

    The chairman of the IOCĒs coordinating committee expressed his confidence here on Thursday that Greece will overcome any difficulties in organising the Athens 2004 Games, while at the same time underlining delays in certain areas.

    ?There has been significant progress in AthensĒ preparations. Outstanding work is being done by the inter-ministerial (committee) and the organising committee,? Jacques Rogge told a press conference in AthensĒ Zappeion Hall, a stoneĒs throw from the Greek Parliament.

    ?I believe that whatever problems exist will be overcome. ItĒs imperative, however, for there to be greater flexibility in the moves being taken, as well as for more rapid decisions by the organising committee. You must overcome the problem of bureaucracy,? he noted, adding that certain changes in related legislation were also necessary.

    Additionally, Rogge called for unity, while in terms of delays in preparations, he said the IOC agreed on the need for extended deadlines to be given in certain areas.

    [03] Corinth Canal-tender

    27/01/2000 17:14:27

    Greece's General Accounting Office on Thursday announced five criteria for the evaluation of bids to be submitted by March 8 for acquiring the management of the Corinth Canal SA.

    The criteria refer to: the financial health and credibility of the candidate; know-how potential; a business plan; a pledge regarding the workforce and the creation of new jobs, and finally, investments.

    Finance Undersecretary Nikos Christodoulakis told reporters that tendering procedures were sound and transparent, as all other privatisations promoted by the government.

    He noted that the Corinth Canal "maintained its legal status and ensured the jobs of its workforce".

    [04] Stock market report

    27/01/2000 17:06:48

    A coordinated buying intervention by large institutional funds helped equity prices to recover a big part of earlier sharp losses on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday.

    The general index erased an initial 1.70 percent drop to end 0.10 percent higher at 4,941.60 points. Turnover was a low 158 billion drachmas.

    Dealers said private investors remained sidelined squeezing liquidity in the market and leaving day transactions to professionals.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,595.63 points, up 0.14 percent, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.16 percent to end at 898.82 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks fell 1.34 percent to 1,450.82 points.

    [05] Elian-Greece

    27/01/2000 15:23:50

    About 40 Greek Members of Parliament on Thursday urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to intervene in the ongoing tug of war between Cuba and the United States over six-year-old Elian Gonzalez to ensure that the child is returned to his father.

    The MPs, members of the parliament's standing committee on defence and foreign affairs and representing the ruling party PASOK, the Communist Party of Greece, the Left Coalition and the Democratic Social Movement, say that the issue should be dealt with within the context of humanitarian laws.

    The committee's decision was reached on the basis of the consideration of the child's "obvious need to return to his natural family environment which, in the wake of the death of his mother, will ensure the requisite emotional support," a letter addressed to Annan from the committee says.

    [06] Greece - Demirel - Euro Cup 2008

    27/01/2000 15:23:23

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on Wednesday lent his support behind the idea of both Greece and Turkey jointly hosting a European Cup tournament in 2008.

    The Turkish president made the statement during an International Olympics Committee (IOC) awards ceremony in Ankara, where he stressed that ?events jointly organised with Greece are very significant for Greek-Turkish relations?. He also added that rapprochement between the two countries will be promoted even more through cooperation in the sports sector.

    This yearĒs European Cup tournament will be jointly held in the Netherlands and Belgium, whereas in 2004 Portugal hosts the event.

    Cooperation in the sports sector has been one of the issues discussed in ?low-impact? talks between the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey over the past few months.

    [07] Foreign policy

    27/01/2000 14:35:51

    The ruling party's Executive Bureau will meet next Tuesday to discuss issues of foreign policy, particularly recent developments in relations between Greece and Turkey, it was announced on Thursday.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is expected to brief senior party officials on the results of his recent ground-breaking trip to Turkey.

    The meeting is considered to be particularly significant in the wake of an article in an Athens daily by former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, in which he called for the party to be informed of the foreign policy directions being taken by Papandreou.

    On Monday, the government defended Papandreou's exercise of foreign policy against Pangalos's charges and said that the current improvement in Greek-Turkish relations was based on "solid ground".

    [08] Eathquake

    27/01/2000 10:05:25

    An earthquake registering 5 on the Richter scale jolted the island of Crete Thursday morning, but no damages were reported.

    According to the Athens Observatory's Geodynamic Institute, the earthquake was recorded at 8:51 a.m. at a distance of 350 kilometres south of Athens, with its epicentre in the sea area west-southwest of Crete.

    The tremor was felt mainly in Hania, Kissamos and Paleohora.


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