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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU reforms - Greece - Simitis
  • [02] TELETEXT ENGLISH
  • [03] Balkan mayors - Conference - Thessaloniki

  • [01] EU reforms - Greece - Simitis

    09/12/2000 19:22:18

    NICE (ANA) -- Greek Prime Minister reiterated here on Friday evening that negotiations by the European Unions leaders over crucial institutional reforms in the 15-nation bloc are ?extremely difficult and ongoing?.

    The EU partners are split over proposed reforms directly aiming at the way the Union operates over the next decades in light of a projected doubling in the number of member-states.

    In specifying the three points he said have turned the negotiations into a contentious affair, Simitis mentioned what he termed larger EU countries efforts to force their position on weighted voting in order to prevent any dilution of their power following enlargement.

    Negotiations were also hampered, he said, by the current French EU presidencys efforts to ?retain? the status quo among the most populous member-states and, finally, what he called a ?by necessity? front made up of the Unions nine smaller states. He added that this ?front? didnt mean that unified positions by the nine smaller states existed in all cases.

    [02] TELETEXT ENGLISH

    09/12/2000 18:37:28

    @1b

    NEWS HEADLINES

    Inflation up again

    Giant cruiseship as Olympics hotel?

    EU backs UN moves on Cyprus

    Agricultural Bank to hold IPO

    Arrest over bogus Hippocratic cures

    Balkan mayors meet

    American Surrealism

    Cookie McGee in town

    @2b

    Inflation up again

    Consumer price inflation in November accelerated to 4.2 percent year on year from 4.0 percent in October, the National Statistics Service(NSS) said on Friday. November's year-on-year figure is the highest in the last two years, propelled upward by high world oil prices and a strong US dollar. The rise, which drove up heating oil at the start of winter and transport costs, was anticipated, NSS said in a statement.

    @3b

    Giant cruiseship as Olympics hotel?

    American-based Freedom Ship International is discussing the possible construction in Greece of the world's largest cruiseship, which could also provide hotel space for the Athens Olympics in 2004, it was announced Friday. The American company's board of directors will decide on the shipyard to build the super-cruiseship, to be named "Freedom Ship", the cost of which is expected to exceed 11.5 billion dollars.

    @4b

    EU backs UN moves on Cyprus

    The European Union summit expressed its support for the United Nations efforts to achieve the resolution of the Cyprus problem in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Friday, during a press conference at the end of the first day of the EU summit. The Nice summit approved its final conclusions including a reference to Cyprus, which noted that "the European Council welcomed and expressed its strong support of the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    @5b

    Agricultural Bank holds IPO

    The capital markets commission and the Athens bourse have approved a prospectus from state Agricultural Bank of Greece to hold an initial public offer (IPO) for entry into the bourse's main market, officials said on Friday. The IPO will be held on December 18-21 with the issue of 13,496,500 common bearer shares, of which 11,496,500 are for sale to the public and 2,000,000 destined for private placement. Agricultural's main underwriters in the share sale are Commercial Bank of Greece and Bank of Piraeus.

    @6b

    Arrest over bogus Hippocratic cures

    A 77-year-old convicted murderer was arrested Friday on fraud charges of claiming to be able to cure various diseases for 50,000 drachmas (roughly $130). The woman reportedly claimed, in radio advertisements as well, that her homemade 'medicinals' emanated from a text passed down by Hippocrates himself, the ancient Greek known as the 'father of medicine'. The suspect, Konstantina Tsoulou, was convicted in 1964 for the poisoning death of her husband, spending six years in prison.

    @7b

    Balkan mayors meet

    Mayors of the largest municipalities in the Balkans wrapped sessions of their first-ever conference in Thessaloniki on Saturday by focusing on the proposal for the creation of an international network of cities to foster solidarity and mutual support among municipal services, particularly for Balkan townships. Thessaloniki Mayor and conference host Vassilis Papageorgopoulos initially proposed the idea, calling on his Balkan counterparts to also exploit funding through the EUs Interreg III and Phare programmes.

    @8b

    American Surrealism

    An exhibition of works by one of the most significant American representatives of Surrealism, artist Marie Wilson-Valaoriti, is running at the Hellenic American Union, 22 Massalias St. in downtown Athens, through Dec. 22.

    @9b

    Cookie McGee in town

    Blues lady Cookie McGee is on stage at the Blues People Club, 63 Vouliagmenis and 5-7 Kelou St. through Wednesday

    @10b

    FOREIGN NEWS

    JERUSALEM - Thousands of angry Palestinians calling for revenge launched a second straight day of heightened defiance of the Israeli occupation, burying their dead from some of the worst violence in weeks. In the West Bank town of Hebron, shoppers at a fruit and vegetable market ducked for cover as a Palestinian gunman shot at Israeli troops and they replied with a sustained burst of fire.

    NICE - European Union leaders bristled at a package of compromise proposals tabled by France in a bid to break deadlocked EU reform talks. The meeting continued with a point-by-point discussion of the three problems areas blocking an accord -- how far to extend majority voting and abandon national vetoes, how to adjust the weighting of votes among members and how to limit the size of the European Commission.

    TALLAHASSEE, Florida - The protracted duel for the White House headed deeper into a legal and political morass with yet another round of ballot counting due to start and the highest court in the land saddled with the issue once more. Just as the election saga seemed about to end in victory for Republican George W. Bush, the Florida Supreme Court threw a lifeline to Democrat Al Gore, ordering by a 4-3 majority a hand recount of about 43,000 ballots which were not properly read by vote-counting machines.

    UNITED NATIONS - Palestinians and their supporters in the U.N. Security Council delayed until Monday a vote on sending observers to help calm Middle East violence, hoping to win broader support despite a near certain U.S. veto.

    MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was likely to accept a recommendation from his pardons commission and free convicted U.S. spy Edmond Pope, Interfax news agency reported.

    OSLO - South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung predicted that Stalinist North and capitalist South Korea would eventually reunite but that his dream of unity could take decades. Kim, in Oslo on the eve of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, also said Seoul wanted a resumption of talks between North Korea and its ally China and South Korea and its ally the United States on a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

    KHARTOUM - A gunman who murdered 20 worshippers at Friday prayers near the Sudanese capital Khartoum was a zealot from a Muslim sect who tried to teach religious rivals a lesson, police said.

    ANKARA - Turkey declared an amnesty at the weekend that may halve its prison population, easing pressure in violent jails while offering freedom to an Islamist former prime minister and the man who tried to kill the Pope.

    ACCRA - Main opposition candidate John Kufuor in Ghana's presidential election appeared increasingly confident of victory as early provisional results put him well ahead of his closest rival, Vice President John Atta Mills.

    ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made a deal with the military government granting him a pardon in exchange for at least 10 years' exile, senior sources in his party said.

    LAGOS - Former Nigerian presidential candidate and businessman Layi Balogun was killed by gunmen who burst into his Lagos home, police said.

    JAKARTA - Three Indonesian humanitarian volunteers attached to a Danish-sponsored rights group have been tortured and shot dead in Aceh, underscoring the growing threat to aid workers and civilians in the rebellious province.

    @12b

    WEATHER

    Partly cloudy skies are forecast for most of the country on Sunday, with the possibility of rain increasing in the afternoon hours throughout Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace. Morning fog possible. Northerly winds, light to moderate, in the eastern Aegean; west-northwesterly winds in the Ionian, moderate until the afternoon. In the north, temperatures will range from 2C to 16C; in the west from 5C to 20C; and in the rest of the country from 10C to 18C. Scattered cloud in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 9C to 19C. A chance of rain for Thessaloniki, with temperatures between 5C and 16C.

    @13b

    Temperatures-Greece

    Athens 19

    Thessaloniki 16

    Alexandroupolis 14

    Kavala 15

    Larissa 17

    Ioannina 15

    Patra 19

    Kalamata 20

    Irakleio 17

    Rhodes 19

    Corfu 19

    @14b

    Temperatures-Europe

    Berlin 08

    Brussels 10

    Budapest 00

    Geneva 05

    Larnaca 20

    London -

    Madrid 09

    Moscow -01

    Paris 11

    Rome 18

    Stockholm 07

    Vienna 05

    @18b

    NBA-Results

    Results of Friday's NBA games (home team in CAPS):

    Indiana 104 BOSTON 91

    CHARLOTTE 92 La Clippers 87

    MIAMI 80 Atlanta 76

    NEW JERSEY 86 Phoenix 84

    DALLAS 105 Chicago 86

    Philadelphia 107 PORTLAND 94

    Toronto 108 GOLDEN STATE 92

    Seattle 103 LA LAKERS 95

    SACRAMENTO 111 Houston 98

    @20b

    FOREIGN EXCHANGE

    Monday's rates (buying)

    Euro 337.955

    U.S. dollar 380.591

    German mark 172.794

    French franc 051.521

    Pound sterling 551.036

    Irish punt 429.113

    Belgian franc 008.378

    Luxembourg franc 008.378

    Dutch guilder 153.357

    Italian lira (100) 017.454

    Austrian schilling 024.560

    Danish kroner 045.352

    Swedish kroner 039.150

    Finnish mark 056.840

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.685

    Japanese yen (100) 343.500

    Swiss franc 223.547

    Norwegian kroner 041.702

    Cyprus pound 589.625

    Canadian dollar 248.794

    Australian dollar 208.380

    @21b

    ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Equities on the Athens Stock Exchange finished slightly down on Friday as profit-takers raked in their gains, mainly in banks, traders said. The general index finished 0.15 percent lower at 3,736.40 points, with turnover at 81.29 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks closed 0.23 percent down, while the FTSE/ASE 40 index for medium capitalisation shares rose by 0.07 percent.

    [03] Balkan mayors - Conference - Thessaloniki

    09/12/2000 18:13:02

    Mayors of the largest municipalities in the Balkans wrapped sessions of their first-ever conference in Thessaloniki on Saturday by focusing on the proposal for the creation of an international network of cities to foster solidarity and mutual support among municipal services, particularly for Balkan townships.

    Thessaloniki Mayor and conference host Vassilis Papageorgopoulos initially proposed the idea, calling on his Balkan counterparts to also exploit funding through the EUs Interreg III and Phare programmes, as well as other international financing sources.

    Papageorgopoulos also called for the creation of an executive secretariat run by a three-member committee to be comprised by the president of the Balkan mayors council and by the presidents of that served in the previous and upcoming terms.


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