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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-05-16
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 President - Israel16/05/2000 23:01:49
JERUSALEM (ANA - N. Megadoukas) - President Kostis Stephanopoulos concluded his official visit to Israel on Tuesday and will arrive in Bethlehem on Wednesday for talks with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
President Stephanopoulos attended a luncheon given in his honour at noon by Israel's Foreign Policy Institute and said "Greece and Israel belong to a unified, in its wider form, geopolitical and geostrategic area since southeastern Europe and the Middle East are showing common security problems, are experiencing similar strategic threats and are showing quite a few common economic and social infrastructure problems."
He stressed the need for strengthening cooperation between the two countries and expressed the hope that his visit to Israel will contribute decisively to the further development, improvement and enrichment of Tel Aviv's relations with Athens.
 US-Hillary Clinton-Iakovos16/05/2000 23:01:42
NEW YORK (ANA - M. Georgiadou) - Hilary Clinton, wife of US President Bill Clinton and a candidate for the New York senatorship, praised former Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos at an event organised on Monday night by the Hellenic American National Council's Coordinating Committee of Social and Cultural Events and the Cretans' Charity Foundation. The event took place in the framework of the Hermes Expo Inc. exhibition.
The First Lady said Iakovos's "struggles against every form of prejudice and in favour of peace and human dignity everywhere, in South Africa, the Middle East, Bosnia, Haiti, Greece and America produced rich fruit and continue to constitute a source of inspiration and a lighthouse showing us all the way to move forward together."
 Greece-EU-workhours16/05/2000 23:01:35
BRUSSELS (ANA) Greek employees work 40.8 hours per week on average, compared to a European Union average of 40.4 hours per week, a European Commission study shows.
The study based on 1997 data and released on Tuesday noted that only Britons worked more hours than the Greeks, reaching an average of 43.6 hours per week.
According to the study, only 55.6 per cent of Greeks between the ages of 15 and 64 were gainfully employeed, compared to the European Union average of 62.1 per cent.
Of the 10.28 million Greeks, 6.93 million people were between the ages of 15 and 64.
 Cosmote-Albania-Acquisition16/05/2000 19:52:58
Cosmote, a subsidiary of Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, and Telenor, a Norwegian telecoms operator, have acquired Albania's single mobile phone company after winning an international privatisation tender, the Greek firm said in a statement on Tuesday.
 ID Cards-Christodoulos-Government16/05/2000 18:53:00
The Greek government clarified on Tuesday that it hasnt received any decision by an influential independent authority regarding the divisive issue of excluding citizensreligious affiliation from new ID cards.
While the expected elimination of information related to Greek citizens profession, spouses name and fingerprints from new IDs barely raised eyebrows over the past few weeks, the proposal to also exclude religious affiliation has profusely irked the powerful Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greeces leadership and several affiliated conservative religious groups.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday16/05/2000 18:15:37
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Wednesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 367.734
German mark 170.684
 Turkey - Aegean islands16/05/2000 17:42:18
ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas): Nationalist Action Party MP Mucahit Himoglu tabled a question in the Turkish Parliament on Tuesday, directed at Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, regarding an article run by the Greek newspaper "Ethnos". The article in question claimed that the Greek government has plans to sell Aegean islands whose sovereignty is contested by Ankara and was reproduced by the entire nationalist Turkish press.
 Weather Forecast-Wednesday16/05/2000 17:20:41
Sunshine is forecast throughout the country on Wednesday, turning cloudy on the mainland late in the afternoon.
 ADEX-close16/05/2000 16:44:36
Derivatives prices ended mixed on the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Tuesday reflecting a mixed appearance in the two benchmark indices, FTSE/ASE 20 and FTSE/ASE 40.
Turnover was an improved 14.4 billion drachmas in volume of 4,016 contracts.
A total of 1,641 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, with a turnover of 8.2 billion drachmas. The May expiring contract ended at 2,570 points, the June at 2,562, the July at 2,573 and the September contract at 2,570 points.
A total of 2,375 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 40 index, worth 6.2 billion drachmas. The May expiring contract ended at 664 points, the June at 649 and the July contract at 649.25 points.
 ASE-close-CORRECTION16/05/2000 16:40:35
In the third paragraph of the ASE-close story please read...while the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.94 percent to 679.42 points...instead of while the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.94 percent to 679.42 points.
 Greece-projects-funding16/05/2000 16:31:19
Greece's economy ministry is rapidly promoting self-financing project systems in national, regional and municipal levels, aiming to attract private capital necessary to fund infrastructure projects in the country.
Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas said on Tuesday that the ministry has already formed a special task force to process and coordinate policies and actions promoting private funding of public projects.
Pahtas said the ministry was in the process of drafting a feasibility report on projects aimed for private funding.
He said the implementation of the new modern system would ensure alternative sources of funding.
"This programme will free up public funds to be earmarked for projects in other sectors, such as education and health," Pahtas said.
 ASE-close16/05/2000 15:53:47
Equity prices ended higher on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, extending their rally for the fifth consecutive session and pushing the general index above the 4,700 level for the first time in 20 sessions.
Dealers said buying interest was once again focused on blue chip stocks in the banks sector.
The general index ended at 4,709.82 points, up 0.49 percent, but off the day's highs of 4,757.96 points. Turnover was a moderate 207 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,608.39 points, up 1.01 percent, while the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.94 percent to 679.42 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 917.47 points, up 0.53 percent.
 Building activity-February figures16/05/2000 15:25:08
Building activity fell 0.9 percent in volume terms, bases on registered building permits, in February from the same month last year, the National Statistics Service said on Tuesday.
Building volume fell 25.5 percent in the Attica region but it increased 13 percent in the rest of the country.
The NSS said that building volume fell 9.8 percent in the first two months of 2000 compared with the same period last year, reflecting a 24.4 percent drop in Attica and a 1.8 percent fall in the rest of the country.
 Bond auction-results16/05/2000 15:19:29
Medium-term yields rose slightly on Tuesday during a regular weekly auction of state securities by the Public Debt Management Organisation.
The average weighed yield of a 12-month state bill issue, worth 40 billion drachmas, rose to 6.39 percent from 6.35 percent in the previous auction of same securities in April 11.
Bids submitted totalled 131.8 billion drachmas, more than three times the asked sum, while the organisation finally accepted bids totalling 48 billion drachmas.
The average weighed prices of the bill was set at 93.991 points.
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