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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-03-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece-Turkey-FMs-Award
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Market-Close
  • [03] Fighters - F16s - Deal
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday/Tuesday
  • [05] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [06] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [07] Commercial banks-rate cuts
  • [08] Bankruptcies-February figures
  • [09] Portugal-Greek EMU application
  • [10] ASE-close
  • [11] Simitis-Caramanlis-stock market
  • [12] OA - Melbourne - Reaction

  • [01] Greece-Turkey-FMs-Award

    10/03/2000 21:28:41

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem will receive the highest award of the Atlantic Treaty Union plenum, which met in Antalya, Turkey.

    The Greek Chapter of the Atlantic Treaty Union President Theodosis Georgiou nominated on Friday two foreign ministers, during the 10th annual International Conference on Security and Cooperation organised by the Atlantic Treaty Union, under the auspices of Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, the Turkish Parliament and the Turkish Chapter of the Atlantic Treaty Union.

    The award ceremony will take place in Budapest in October.

    The Atlantic Treaty Union was created in NATO member-states to garner popular support for the alliance.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Market-Close

    10/03/2000 19:27:18

    The drachma retreated against the euro and and gained on the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market on Friday with no major inflows or outflows seen, traders said.

    [03] Fighters - F16s - Deal

    10/03/2000 18:48:05

    Greece finalised a $1.77-billion deal with Washington on Friday for the acquisition of 50 F-16 C/D (Block +50) warplanes to supplement its current fleet of F-16s.

    The contract calls for the purchase of 34 one-seater F-16C fighter planes and 16 two-seater F-16Ds, with the option to buy another 10 US-made ?third generation? warplanes if necessary.

    However, the agreement doesn¢t include the final selection for the engine model for the warplanes, as well as the all-important counter-measures system, as relevant procedures will be decided in late April or early May, after the Greek general elections on April 9.

    Conversely, the new Lockheed Martin-assembled planes will reportedly field all the weapons systems the Hellenic Air Force had requested from the national defence ministry¢s leadership -- sans the CDU-87 cluster bomb ordnance dispenser -- which has reportedly been secured from other sources.

    A timetable in the contract calls for delivery to begin in 30 months, with completion within 18 months. Additionally, the subcontracting portion of the deal totals some $250 million allocated between 20 Greek firms, or roughly 18 percent of the purchase. Upgrades and spare parts for the Greek air force¢s other F-16s are also included at no cost.

    The contract was signed in the presence of National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday/Tuesday

    10/03/2000 18:36:27

    Following are indicative foreign exchange buying rates for commercial banks, released by the central bank for the next working day. As Monday is a national holiday, the rates are in place until Tuesday.

    Tuesday's rates

    Euro 331.070

    U.S. dollar 342.557

    [05] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    10/03/2000 18:01:12

    Sunny weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, except in the east and south, which will see scattered cloud.

    Winds northerly, moderate to strong.

    [06] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    10/03/2000 17:09:47

    Sunny weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, except in the east and south, which will see scattered cloud.

    Winds northerly, moderate to strong.

    In the north, temperatures will range from 1C to 12C; in the rest of mainland Greece from 4C to 18C; and in the islands from 4C to 18C.

    Sunshine in Athens with temperatures ranging from 8C to 16C.

    Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures between 4C and 11C.

    [07] Commercial banks-rate cuts

    10/03/2000 17:07:20

    Five more Greek commercial banks announced on Friday they were cutting the loans and deposits interest rates, following a Bank of Greece decision to cut its intervention rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday.

    Alpha Credit Bank, Ionian Bank, Eurobank, Attica Bank and ETBAbank announced lower interest rates, following a similar move by National Bank of Greece, Commercial Bank and Popular Bank.

    [08] Bankruptcies-February figures

    10/03/2000 16:41:20

    The number of company bankruptcies rose to 82 in February in Greece from 52 the same month last year, while new bankruptcy applications fell substantially to 112 from 331 respectively, official figures showed on Friday.

    Bouncing checks and bills fell in volume but increased sharply (up 52 percent) in value in February.

    Bouncing checks totalled 10,017, worth 37.09 billion drachmas, on February, for a 2.32 pct fall and a 73.48 pct rise from the same month in 1999, respectively.

    Bouncing bills totalled 21,759, worth 6.36 billion drachmas, down 14.22 and 12.23 percent compared with February 1999.

    [09] Portugal-Greek EMU application

    10/03/2000 16:19:10

    The Portuguese EU presidency is particularly satisfied with Greece's application for EMU membership, Portugal's ambassador in Athens Fernando Neves told a news conference on Friday.

    Replying to an ANA question, Neves said: "It is a positive step towards EU integration and reflects the substantial progress of the Greek economy in line with that of the other EU member-states."

    "We welcome this development and we are certain that this is the position of the other states. The Portuguese presidency is happy that a final decision will be taken at an EU summit in Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal, in June because both our country and Greece share many common characteristics and they are inspired by the same visions," he said.

    [10] ASE-close

    10/03/2000 16:06:37

    Equity prices ended the last trading session of a turbulent week sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, hit by pre-election clashes between the government and the main opposition party ND over the stock market's course.

    Dealers said news that the Capital Markets' Committee began an official inquiry on charges of stock market manipulation, also depressed sentiment in the market.

    Trading was nervous and extremely volatile. The general index ended at 4,863.55 points, losing 0.04 percent, off the day's highs of 4,917.73 and the day's lows of 4,756.71 points.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,747.84 points, up 0.20 percent, but the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 1.14 percent to 705.55 points.

    Shares in the parallel market of small capitalisation stocks were particularly hit.

    Turnover was a low 182 billion drachmas.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 910.33 points, down 5.89 percent.

    [11] Simitis-Caramanlis-stock market

    10/03/2000 15:42:22

    The Athens Stock Exchange's (ASE) recent sharp decline was the focus of an off-the-agenda discussion in the Greek Parliament on Friday, with political leaders clashing over the issue.

    "We have made clear our position. The stock market is a useful institution for investments, it's a market. Political parties and the government should not intervene..." Prime Minister Costas Simitis said.

    He added that the Capital Markets' Committee has the regulatory authority over the ASE and that all findings should be published to better inform Greece's citizens.

    Simitis also stressed that the economy was on the right track and predicted that the bourse would move to higher levels in the long term.

    Earlier, main opposition ND leader Costas Karamanlis accused the government of "mud-slinging" against his party, claiming leaks from the national economy ministry and the ruling PASOK party pointed to New Democracy as engineering the stock market's slide on Thursday -- the same day that the Greek government submitted a formal application for EMU membership.

    Karamanlis said this move "would be ludicrous and inconceivable, as ND neither wants, nor can it do such a thing."

    [12] OA - Melbourne - Reaction

    10/03/2000 14:58:48

    MELBOURNE (ANA · S. Hatzimanolis) · Victoria State¢s tourism minister expressed his government¢s satisfaction this week over state-owned Olympic Airway¢s decision to continue its flights between Greece and southeastern Australia.

    ?I¢m glad that Olympic reconsidered its decision and will continue its Melbourne route,? Yiannis Pantazopoulos, the Greek-Australian minister said.

    He also said he has asked Victoria¢s tourism organisation to cooperate with OA to better promote the airline and the state in Europe.

    As expected, Melbourne¢s expatriate Greek community praised news of the decision¢s reversal, emphasising however, that one flight per week to Greece cannot cover the Australian metropolis¢ needs.

    Olympics

    In an unrelated development, it was announced in Sydney this week that a statue of the first modern Olympics marathon winner, Greek athlete Spyros Louis at the 1896 Athens Games, will be placed in a coastal suburb of the city.

    Sydney will host the 2000 Olympics in a few months.

    Additionally, the Sydney Olympics organising committee announced that a Hellenic-style monument financed by Australia¢s ethnic Greek communities will be erected outside the Olympic Stadium.


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