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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-19

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 - Agriculture
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday
  • [03] Greek - Turkish - FMs - August meeting
  • [04] Weather Forecast-Thursday
  • [05] Prehistoric mastodon - N. Greece
  • [06] St George flour mills-results
  • [07] Greece-public works-road tolls
  • [08] ASE-close
  • [09] Greece-labour-parliament
  • [10] Greece-labour-meeting
  • [11] Greece-merchant marine

  • [01] Greece - Turkey - Agriculture

    19/07/2000 22:36:26

    Greece and Turkey have announced progress on consultations regarding the joint tackling of problems in the agricultural sector, in line with the protocol on technical, scientific and economic cooperation signed by the two countries' agriculture ministers on June 22, 2000.

    A joint coordinating committee, which met in Athens on July 17 and 18, examined draft agreements for the exchange of information and experts in cases of animal or crop diseases likely to spread accross borders, and agreed on the promotion of joint research programmes.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday

    19/07/2000 18:45:39

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

    Thursdays rates (buying)

    Euro 333.858

    U.S. dollar 361.882

    German mark 170.698

    [03] Greek - Turkish - FMs - August meeting

    19/07/2000 18:20:24

    ISTANBUL (ANA A. Kourkoulas) The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey will schedule a meeting in August, a spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry announced in Ankara on Wednesday.

    The two ministers, Greeces George Papandreou and Turkeys Ismail Cem, met as recently as last week in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), whereas the latest developments in Greek-Turkish relations will be discussed in August, the Turkish spokesman said.

    The exact date and place for the meeting will be announced in the next few weeks.

    [04] Weather Forecast-Thursday

    19/07/2000 18:08:45

    Sunny weather is forecast in most of the country on Thursday with cloud turning to rain or storms in parts of the north.

    [05] Prehistoric mastodon - N. Greece

    19/07/2000 17:34:52

    The remains of a huge ancestor to the modern-day elephant were uncovered in a field in northern Greece recently, a find scientists said may be the best-preserved skeleton of the species ever unearthed.

    Palaeontologists reunited the recently discovered cranium and a massive jaw of a mastodon identified as the ?Mammut Borsoni? with the remains of two pre-historic pachyderms found three years ago at the Milia region of Grevena prefecture, west of the port city of Thessaloniki.

    Scientists said the better-preserved of the two finds was probably a male, standing some 4.5 metres tall and weighing more than 12 tonnes. Additionally, the mastodon roamed what is modern-day northern Greece three million years ago.

    [06] St George flour mills-results

    19/07/2000 16:58:50

    St George Flour Mills on Wednesday reported a 13 percent rise in sales for the first half of 2000 to 8.839 billion drachmas from 7.816 billion the same period last year.

    Profits surpassed 250 million drachmas over the same period, sharply up from 18 million in 1999.

    Wheat flour volume sales, large packages, rose 4.4 percent to 1,250 bags, up from 1,198 bags in the corresponding period last year. Smaller package volume sales rose by 1.5 percent.

    [07] Greece-public works-road tolls

    19/07/2000 16:38:13

    A government decision to assign the construction of road network projects to private investors is an action of justice, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said on Wednesday.

    He was adamant, however, that the government was not giving anything away to contractors and said that any such talk was misinformation based on ignorance.

    "We are not giving anything in advance to contractors. This paranoia should end. Everything will be done through an international tender and with full transparency," he said.

    Laliotis said the government's decision would facilitate the Greek state which in many cases lacked the necessary funding for projects.

    The reconstruction of a national road linking Korinth and Patras is expected to cost around 250 billion drachmas. The Greek state will offer 50 billion drachmas and the remaining sum will be raised by the consortia to build the road, either through own funds or through lending.

    The consortia will pay back this capital through a deal to operate road tolls for a period of 10 years at prices to be agreed with the government.

    Laliotis said the government, in order to reduce the time of private operation of road tolls, could also offer revenues from existing road tolls.

    Projects likely to be included in the plan were road sections in the Athens-Efzoni network, and a bridge linking Malliakos Bay in central Greece.

    [08] ASE-close

    19/07/2000 16:17:03

    Equity prices ended sharply lower on Wednesday, reversing a three-day rally which pushed the market 5.0 percent higher, as investors rushed in to take profits on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Shares in the smaller capitalisation, construction and leasing sectors were particularly hit, while banks resisted pressures.

    The general index ended 1.42 percent lower at 4,044.13 points, off the day's highs of 4,128.70 and the day's lows of 4.022.74 points.

    Turnover was a low 74.6 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.03 percent lower at 2,257.78 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 2.54 percent to 575.17 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 4.63 percent lower at 751.78 points.

    [09] Greece-labour-parliament

    19/07/2000 15:51:59

    Six Coalition of the Left and Progress' deputies on Wednesday tabled a draft bill in parliament for the implementation for a 35-hour working week without cutting workers' income.

    The draft bill's recommendation report argues that implementating a 35-hour week would efficiently help in reducing unemployment and predicts that 130,000 new jobs could be created and another 50,000 jobs could be saved through a general implementation of the measure.

    The report also says that according to a survey by the Labour Institute of Greece's largest union umbrella GSEE, the increase on production cost is estimated at 1-2 percent.

    The six MPs urge for the implementation of the measure from January 1, 2000 for all state enterprises, banks, the public sector and capital raising and technology companies from the private sector.

    From January 1, 2001 for all private sector companies with more than 10 employees, and from January 1, 2002 for all private sector companies with less than 10 employees.

    The report notes that the French and Italian governments have already implemented a 35-hour working week without cutting workers' income.

    [10] Greece-labour-meeting

    19/07/2000 15:51:06

    Labour and Social Security Minister Tassos Yiannitsis began an round of exploratory talks with workers' unions on Wednesday to discuss the terms of a dialogue aimed to promote a more flexible labour market in the country.

    GSEE, the country's largest union umbrella, demanded a dialogue on conditions. GSEE's chairman, Christos Polyzogopoulos, said after the meeting that the union could accept only a bilateral dialogue with the government and under specific terms.

    He noted that the union would not discuss more flexible working hours, lifting a 2.0 percent ceiling on group lay-offs and plans for more flexible labour relations.

    Polyzogopoulos said GSEE could accept discussion on subsidising employers' contributions, reducing overtime work and implementing a 35-hour working week.

    He warned, however, that any unilateral surprise move by the government could lead to social tensions.

    Labour and Social Security Minister, Tassos Yiannitsis said that the ministry wanted a wide agenda of nine general principles aimed at boosting employment and reducing unemployment as a framework of discussions. These included: fiscal, incomes and anti-inflationary policy, structural policies and competitiveness, promoting the business culture, measures for high unemployment areas, creating a safety net to avoid social seclusion and poverty.

    He said that the dialogue would begin on bilateral basis and expressed the hope that it could be completed by autumn to have enough time for any last minute legislative adjustments.

    Yiannitsis is expected to meeting with employers' union in the next few days.

    [11] Greece-merchant marine

    19/07/2000 15:22:13

    Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday to discuss policy issues and to assess the ministry's work in the first 100 days under its new leadership.

    "I will present my next goals and we will assess my first 100 days in office," Papoutsis told reporters on Wednesday.

    He said the ministry was following a policy agreed by the cabinet and noted that during the meeting the two men would discuss shipping safety measures.

    "There will be coordination because the issues of shipping safety and marine environment protection will be handled by the prime minister himself," Papoutsis said.

    He said that the ministry has accepted an offer by the municipality of Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, to build a port police academy in the city.


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