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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-03-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou-Gama-EMU
  • [02] Sports roundup
  • [03] Britain-Fitch IBCA-Greek economy upgrading
  • [04] Holiday exodus-Traffic accidents-18 killed
  • [05] Crete-Earthquake
  • [06] Weather Forecast -Tuesday

  • [01] Papandreou-Gama-EMU

    13/03/2000 22:44:33

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Monday expressed optimism that the European Union's June summit will ratify Greece's accession to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Papandreou, speaking to the press after holding talks with EU Council of Ministers President and Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama here, said that Greece, according to the latest data on inflation, now fulfills all the convergence criteria.

    "We are optimistic regarding the decision on our entry into the eurozone. We are also optimistic that the present government will win the elections again and will continue to work hard," Papandreou said.

    On his part, Gama said that "when a country like Greece joins the eurozone, this is of great importance not only for Greece but for all of Europe as well."

    "This issue is not only an economic one, since Europe wants to progress economically to be able to occupy a strong position at a global level," he added.

    Papandreou and Gama discussed the Portuguese Presidency's agenda, the work of the Intergovernmental Conference, the European defence and security identity, Euro-Turkish relations, the course of the Cyprus issue and the situation in Kosovo.

    Gama referred to the upcoming EU-Turkey Association Council to be held on April 11 and said that one of the reasons of his visit to Athens on Monday and Ankara on Tuesday is "the good and careful selection of its agenda to enable it to be successful."

    [02] Sports roundup

    13/03/2000 22:16:40

    Soccer

    Olympiakos Piraeus beat AEK Athens 3-0 on Sunday and stayed on top of the Greek first division soccer championship. In other matches played on Sunday, Panathinaikos beat Iraklis Thessaloniki 3-1 away, Panionios thrashed Xanthi 4-0, Ionikos trounced struggling Trikala 5-1, Kavala beat Aris Thessaloniki 1-0 and Proodeftiki and Panachaiki drew 2-2. PAOK Thessaloniki defeated Paniliakos 4-0 away on Saturday, while on Monday Kalamata beat Ethnikos Asteras 1-0 and OFI Crete edged Apollon Athens 2-1 away.

    Leading clubs after 23 matches played: Olympiakos Piraeus 63 points, Panathinaikos 60, OFI Crete 48, Aris Thessaloniki 38, AEK Athens 37, Iraklis Thessaloniki 36, PAOK Thessaloniki 35 and Panionios 34.

    Basketball

    Olympiakos Piraeus beat Panathinaikos 57-54 on Sunday and remained at the top of the Greek first division championship. In the other matches played on Saturday, Irakleio trounced Sporting 112-69, Iraklis Thessaloniki defeated Esperos 83-72, Near East beat Marousi 88-80 and Peristeri beat Dafni 83-68, while AEK Athens defeated Panionios 70-65. Aris Thessaloniki beat crosstown rivals PAOK Thessaloniki 66-61 on Monday.

    Leading clubs after 23 matches played: Olympiakos Piraeus 42 points, AEK Athens 41, Panathinaikos 41, PAOK Thessaloniki 37, Iraklis Thessaloniki 36, Panionios 35, Peristeri 35, Irakleio 34 and Aris Thessaloniki 34.

    [03] Britain-Fitch IBCA-Greek economy upgrading

    13/03/2000 21:03:13

    LONDON (ANA) - The Greek economy's rating is being upgraded, according to an announcement on Monday by the Fitch-IBCA international rating agency, which noted that Greece's sovereign credit rating in foreign exchange is being upgraded due to latest developments bringing the country closer to accession to Economic Monetary Union (EMU) in early 2001.

    The announcement said that Greece's accession, due to be decided in June, should be considered certain since the country has fulfilled the most difficult of Maastricht criteria, inflation, which was running at 2.1 percent year-on-year in February.

    The prospect of EMU membership should also help Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his PASOK party win the general election on April 9, 2000, the announcement said.

    "Recent polls give the ruling PASOK party around a 2.6 percentage point lead over the main opposition New Democracy party. In any case, there are no major differences on economic policy between the two parties," it added.

    The announcement further said that the upgrading of the Greek economy's sovereign rating also entails the upgrading of three Greek banks: Alpha Credit Bank, Ergobank and EFG Eurobank.

    [04] Holiday exodus-Traffic accidents-18 killed

    13/03/2000 19:28:38

    Eighteen people were killed and 225 were injured in 205 traffic accidents throughout Greece between Friday and Monday morning as urban dwellers left for the provinces for the long weekend.

    According to traffic police, this year's exodus for the last weekend of Carnival season that culminated this Clean Monday, marking the beginning of the 40-day fasting period of Lent leading up to Easter, was marked by some 20 per cent more cars on the roads.

    [05] Crete-Earthquake

    13/03/2000 19:23:02

    An earthquake measuring five points on the Richter scale occurred at 4:19 p.m. on Monday in the sea region west of the prefecture of Hania, Crete. No damage was reported. The tremor's epicentre was the sea region 300 km south-southwest of Athens. The jolt was mostly felt in the prefecture's coastal area.

    [06] Weather Forecast -Tuesday

    13/03/2000 15:36:20

    Fair weather will prevail in most parts of Greece on Tuesday, except in the east and south of the country were it will be partly cloudy in the morning.

    Winds will be northerly, light to strong.


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