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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FYROM - Balkan Foreign Ministers
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday
  • [03] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [04] Greece-merchant marine
  • [05] Greece-Euro group-meeting
  • [06] ASE-close
  • [07] Greek Tourism Organisation-fires-impact

  • [01] FYROM - Balkan Foreign Ministers

    14/07/2000 21:58:26

    OHRID, FYROM (ANA - M. Vichou) - Foreign ministers from Balkan countries concluded their one-day meeting in Ohrid, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), on Friday and agreed that despite individual problems faced by the stability pact for southeastern Europe, it is forging ahead a year after its creation but many things have still to be done.

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou attempted to widen the stability pact's scope with specific proposals such as cooperation among Balkan countries at parliamentary level, as well as in the sectors of non-governmental organisations, youth, culture and sports. He also called on countries in the region to participate in the 2004 Cultural Olympiad organised by Greece.

    Papandreou made another proposal, accepted by all the participants, on cooperation among the countries of southeastern Europe in combatting natural disasters on the occasion of forest fires currently raging in most of the Balkans.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    14/07/2000 19:21:03

    Following are indicative foreign exchange rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Mondays rates (buying)

    Euro 333.957

    U.S. dollar 356.336

    German mark 170.749

    [03] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    14/07/2000 17:55:07

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast on Saturday, with scattered cloud on the mainland from evening.

    [04] Greece-merchant marine

    14/07/2000 16:53:23

    Time is of the essence" Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis said on Friday addressing the inaugurate meeting of a Committee of Experts, set up to discuss a new policy framework for Greece's shipping industry.

    Papoutsis stressed that the deadline for the committee to complete its work was the end of September. "The timing of presenting the new draft bill will guarantee the success of an effort to deregulate Greece's shipping sector. Shipowners, seamen, local communities and the state will have to timely know the new legal framework to prepare themselves for the new era in investments and infrastructure needs. The Committee will discuss policy, it will not draft the draft bill," he said.

    Papoutsis noted that the time left for Greece to fully adopt community directives on shipping is short and urged for speedy procedures.

    "The Committee has undertaken an important and historic task because its recommendations will determine the framework for the future operation of Greece's coastal shipping sector," he said.

    "I am certain that you will see your participation in the committee as a challenge for a new plan covering half of Greece," Papoutsis told members of the committee.

    [05] Greece-Euro group-meeting

    14/07/2000 16:30:30

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will represent Greece in a Euro-11 finance ministers' meeting in Brussels on Sunday, to discuss the creation of a "Euro Group" with enhanced policy powers.

    Papantoniou will also participate in a ECOFIN meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss the French presidency's policy targets, including strengthening and improving the coordination of economic and tax policies in Europe and particularly in the eurozone, preparing the EU's expansion and drafting the EU's budget.

    The French presidency recently unveiled proposals to set up a group of "Wise Men" to regulate Europe's securities and financial information markets.

    [06] ASE-close

    14/07/2000 16:04:46

    Equity prices rebounded strongly on the last trading session of a subdued week on the Athens Stock Exchange supported by selective buying in blue chip stocks, pushing the general index above the psychologically-critical level of 4,000 points for the first time in six sessions.

    Traders said foreign institutional investors reappeared in the Greek market after a prolonged absence.

    The general index ended at 4,006.41 points, up 2.03 percent, in persisting low turnover of 71 billion drachmas.

    Analysts said that the 4,050 level was the next resistance level of the market.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 2.07 percent higher at 2,232.16 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 2.47 percent to 576.92 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 758.13 points, up 4.89 percent.

    [07] Greek Tourism Organisation-fires-impact

    14/07/2000 15:50:06

    "Greece is a safe and reliable tourist destination and will remain so," Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Friday in an effort to sooth fears over the likely impact of a wave of ravaging fires that hit the country in recent days.

    Christodoulakis, in a message to foreign visitors in Greece, reassured that the government ensured their safety and pleasant stay in the country. "There is," he added "a network of permanent readiness accessible to all visitors covering the safety and the reliability of tourist services in the country".

    He said that the Greek Tourism Organisation was constantly briefing on the real developments prevailing in tourist areas around the country to avoid any wrong views on the situation.

    Christodoulakis noted that no touristic facilities were hit by recent fires in the island of Samos and pledged that the government would soon announce measures to restore economic and social stability on the island.

    He reassured that "there is no wave of cancellations towards the country" and that foreign visitors were showing their confidence and affection towards Greece through initiatives to economically support regions hit by fires.

    Christodoulakis said that the cancellation of a charter flight from the Netherlands was a decision taken by a private organisation and added that this decision was revoked. He also dismissed talk of a 30 percent rate of cancellations in tourist arrivals.

    "Tourism must not be hurt by the fires ravaging southern Europe. Our country is very well equipped, it has the most extensive fire fighting mechanism in Europe and ranks third in the world," he said.

    He said that the European Union has mobilised powers and mechanisms to decide on policy measures to be taken in the wake of a wave of fires across the North Mediterranean region.


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