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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-05-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>




    04/05/2000 11:53:22



    Euro zone entry concerns

    Turkey's EU entry hinge

    Higher fuel prices today

    Child reunited with parents

    Cyprus National Guard chief

    Liquidity noses up in March

    Reuters photo exhibition

    Bellini's Norma debut


    Euro zone entry concerns

    Greece won the European Union's executive support on Wednesday to join the euro zone on January 1, 2001 despite concerns from the European Central Bank about Greece's economic progress urging it to take strong fiscal measures . The final decision will be taken by EU leaders at a summit in Portugal on June 19 and 20.


    Turkey's EU entry hinge

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou spoke warmly of an improvement in Greek-Turkish relations on Wednesday, but told reporters at the Greek embassy in New York that Turkey's entry into the European Union could hinge on the Cyprus problem, just three weeks before the U.N. convenes a third round of talks in New York toward a settlement of the thorny issue.


    Higher fuel prices today

    The increasing strength of the US dollar has brought new increases in fuel prices this week. As of midnight Wednesday and for a week, prices of super and unleaded gasoline will increase by 3.5 drachmas per litre, while the price of heating oil will increase by 1.5 drachmas per litre. On the other hand, the price of diesel will decrease by one drachma per litre.


    Child reunited with parents

    A 20-month-old boy who was being held by his Egyptian grandfather for nine months was finally reunited with his parents in Greece on Wednesday. The grandfather held the child in Alexandria, Egypt, to punish his Moslem daughter Sirhan Fathy, 25, for marrying a Christian, Yiannis Diamantis, 33. The child was brought to Athens accompanied by his grandmother and Greece's Consul General.


    Cyprus National Guard chief

    Lieutenant General Evangelos Florakis of Greece has been named as the new Commander of the National Guard, Cyprus' armed forces, replacing Dimitrios Demou, whose term of office ended last week. Florakis' appointment is subject to approval by Cyprus' Council of Ministers.


    Liquidity noses up in March

    Liquidity in the economy measured by the M4N gauge edged up in March against the same period of last year, the Bank of Greece said on Wednesday. The M4N index rose in March by 4.9 percent year on year against the same month of 1999. Its year-on-year rise was 4.7 percent in February, the central bank said in a statement. March's increase was below a target range of 5.0-7.0 percent for 2000, the statement added.


    Reuters photo exhibition

    The Reuters Foundation will hold a preview at 6.00 pm. today for a special photo exhibition at Zappeion Hall near the Greek Parliament. The exhibit, entitled "Inside: Outside", consists of photographs taken by children in conflict zones around the world and images taken by Reuters photographers covering the Kosovo crisis. Among the latter photos are roughly 14 taken by Yannis Behrakis, the international news agency's prize-winning Greek photographer.


    Bellini's Norma debut

    Vincenzo Bellini's most famous opera Norma opens at the National Opera House, 59 Academias street at 7.00 pm. on Friday. Performances will follow on Sunday, next Tuesday and then again on May 12 through 14. Tickets at the opera's box office.



    JOLO, Philippines: Two white men among 21 mostly foreign

    hostages held by Philippine Moslem rebels escaped from their

    captors, local radio reported on Thursday. Defence Secretary

    Orlando Mercado told Reuters he could not immediately confirm

    the report on DZMM radio, which said the two hostages escaped

    on Wednesday before noon and guerrillas searching for the pair

    clashed with troops.

    FREETOWN: The U.N. peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone,

    poised to become the world's largest, has suffered its first

    combat fatalities, with rebels who fought in the civil war

    killing seven Kenyan U.N. soldiers in a dispute over


    HARARE: Relations between Zimbabwe and former colonial

    power Britain hit a post-independence low after their latest

    sharp exchanges over the land crisis in the southern African

    country. President Robert Mugabe described Britain as an enemy

    and reaffirmed his support for the illegal invasion by

    liberation war veterans of white-owned farms.

    TOKYO: Police stormed a hijacked bus near Hiroshima early

    on Thursday morning, ending a 15-hour standoff with a teenager

    who killed a woman passenger and held a six-year-old girl at


    NEW YORK: Cardinal John O'Connor, the conservative

    spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church's New York

    Diocese, died on Wednesday at the age of 80 after months of ill


    COLOMBO: Sri Lanka declared itself on a war footing to

    concentrate on fighting Tamil Tiger rebels now threatening the

    northern town of Jaffna. Neighbouring India meanwhile ruled out

    any involvement, saying it would not help evacuate some 35,000

    government troops threatened by the advace on Jaffna

    CAMP ZEIST, Netherlands: Lawyers for two Libyans charged

    with murdering 270 people in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner

    bombing pointed the finger at Palestinian terrorists as the

    long-awaited trial finally began.

    NEW YORK: U.S. stocks and bonds slid on Wednesday, with

    the blue-chip Dow average falling 250.99 points, as investors'

    worries increased about the prospects of a big interest-rate

    boost by the Federal Reserve in mid-May.



    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS(Mitsis): "Liberalisation ushers strong clashes; causes an earthquake in the closed professions".

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS:(Rizos): "Greek police leadership in the dock (over new appointments".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The heavy cost of Greece's admission to the E.M.U.; a squeeze in salaries and pensions".

    ATHINAIKI: "Government amock over the 2004 Olympics; Simitis' plans".

    AVGHI: "Green light for Greece's admission to the E.M.U.; the real problems ahead".

    AVRIANI: "A storm ahead for Olympic Airways; Speedwing's improvement project questioned".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "They killed us because they loved us; that's what we are going to sing when the results of the huggings between Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem come in".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Hawks in the Aegean; U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright officially becomes an inter-mediator in the Aegean; secret agreements".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "The seven committments for the post-E.M.U. admission period".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: The road to the E.M.U. opens with repeated cautions; doors open with austerity".

    ESTIA: "Greece swims in deep waters", a reference to the E.M.U. admission; European recommendations".

    ETHNOS: Published an economic supplement under the headline "what will change in our life after our admission to the E.M.U.".

    EXOUSIA: "Greece and Turkey at the edge of peace; five steps in Greek-Turkish rapprochment".

    KATHIMERINI: "Difficult times begin... Greece's E.M.U. admission means a toppling of the 'existing status quo' in many branches".

    LOGOS: "Green light for Greece's admission to the E.M.U.; all Greeks villified".

    NIKI: "E.M.U.....thank God; euphoria in the government following the E.U. reports".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "E.M.U.: the new anti-popular tunnel".

    STO KARFI: "Simitis; full speed ahead to the Olympic 2004 projects".

    TA NEA: "In the light of the E.M.U.; shattering changes in markets, professions and public utility services".

    TO VIMA: "Terrorism issue: the three 'NOs" to the Americans".

    VRADYNI: "An expensive ticket for E.M.U. entry: cuts in salaries and pensions".



    Sunny weather is forecast in many parts of the country on Thursday, accompanied by high winds. Spring showers are likely in the Peloponnese, Cyclades islands, Crete and Dodecanese islands, and scattered cloud in the north. Winds will be northeasterly, moderate to gale force. Temperatures in the west will range from 11C to 24C; in the rest of the mainland from 10C to 21C; and in the Aegean islands from 13C to 20C. Scattered cloud over Athens with temperatures ranging from 15C to 19C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 13C and 19C.



    Athens 19

    Thessaloniki 19

    Alexandroupoli 16

    Kavala 18

    Larissa 16

    Ioannina 20

    Patra 20

    Kalamata 21

    Iraklio 19

    Rhodes 20

    Corfu 23



    Berlin 19

    Brussels 11

    Budapest 18

    Geneva 21

    Larnaca 24

    London 11

    Madrid 19

    Moscow 10

    Paris 12

    Rome 19

    Stockholm 10

    Vienna 18



    Results of Greek first division soccer matches played on Tuesday and Wednesday:

    Kavala-Kalamata 0-1

    Olympiakos Piraeus-Ionikos 2-0

    Apollon Athens-Trikala 5-2

    Paniliakos Pyrgos-Aris Salonica 1-2

    Panionios Athens-AEK Athens 0-2

    Iraklis Salonica-OFI Iraklion 0-3

    Ethnikos Astir-Xanthi 1-0

    Panahaiki Patras-Panathinaikos 1-0

    Playing Thursday: Proodeftiki-PAOK Salonica

    Standings, points after 30 rounds:

    Olympiakos 80, Panathinaikos 76, OFI 57, AEK 54, Aris 46, Panionios 44, PAOK (29 games), Iraklis 43, Xanthi 38, Ionikos 37, Kalamata, Panahaiki 35, Paniliakos, Ethnikos Astir 34, Kavala 30, Apollon 24, Proodeftiki (29 games) 22, Trikala 18.



    Result of Wednesday's National Basketball Association first-round playoff game (home team in CAPS):


    SEATTLE 104 Utah 93

    best-of-five series tied 2-2



    Thursday's rates (buying)

    Euro 333.342

    U.S. dollar 370.839

    German mark 170.435

    French franc 050.817

    Pound sterling 579.507

    Irish punt 423.257

    Belgian franc 008.263

    Luxembourg franc 008.263

    Dutch guilder 151.264

    Italian lira (100) 017.216

    Austrian schilling 024.225

    Danish kroner 044.729

    Swedish kroner 041.222

    Finnish mark 056.064

    Spanish peseta 002.004

    Portuguese escudo 001.663

    Japanese yen (100) 340.494

    Swiss franc 214.832

    Norwegian kroner 041.253

    Cyprus pound 582.403

    Canadian dollar 249.309

    Australian dollar 219.907



    Equity prices ended Wednesday's highly volatile session slightly higher on the Athens Stock Exchange with the general index unable to break the 4,400 level for the second time this week. Traders said the market ignored a positive recommendation by the European Commission on Greece's bid to join the euro zone. The general index ended at 4,381.14 points, up 0.30 percent, off the day's highs of 4,431.90 and the day's lows of 4,330.75 points. Turnover was an improved 110 billion drachmas.

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