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Antenna: News in English (PM), 98-09-02

Antenna News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <> - email:

Last Updated: Wednesday, 02-Sep-98 22:07:16


  • [01] Athens Stock Exchange
  • [02] Simitis-Stefanopoulos
  • [03] New Democracy
  • [04] Juan Antonio Samaranch

  • [01] Athens Stock Exchange

    There were smiles of relief on the Athens stock exchange Wednesday, which registered gains of five per cent.

    It was also a good day for the drachma, the pressure was off the Greek currency, thanks to an influx of 850 million dollars in foreign investment. The drachma was stable against major currencies, and regstered gains on against the Deutschmark.

    Stock broker Antonis Sarris says the good day on the markets means that the situation has reverted to normal after a week of slides and volatility.

    The upturn in Athens is attributed to Wall Street's upbeat performance Tuesday, and to the Greek government's move to privatise the duty free shops and more of the phone company.

    A two-year state bond issue with a 10.75 per cent yield also boosted investors' interest.

    Broker Arisotelis Ninios says the rebound proves that patience pays off for investors, at least during this unertain period.

    Another broker, Isaac Mordechai adds that Greece is seeing a significant improvement in the size of the capital being invested in the country and a rise in share prices. His view is that Greece will make its appointment with the single European currency in the year 2001.

    [02] Simitis-Stefanopoulos

    The prime minister and president discussed the global financial crisis Wednesday.

    At their meeting, the prime minister Kostas Simitis was caustiously optimistic.

    Simitis said there is some confidence that the crisis will be overcome, but there are no guarantees that it will happen soon.

    The premier believes that despite he recent trouble, Greece is still on course to meet the requirments for taking the drachma into the single European currency.

    [03] New Democracy

    A former leader of New Democracy thinks the government's economic policy is not good enough to get the drachma into Europe's single currency.

    Miltiades Evert said Wednesday that the prime minister is incapable of implementing a comprehensive economic policy.

    The government says the economic indicators are postive.

    But Miltiades Evert told the press that in his view, government policy aims merely at nominal convergence of the Greek economy with the rest of Europe.

    Dismissing government pride in the stability of the drachma, he believes the Greek currency should be allowed to slide ten per cent; in other words, back to where it was after last spring's devaluation.

    Evert is also critical of the govenrment over its

    failed bid to sell a majority holding in the state- owned Ionian Bank two weeks ago. Calling the botched bidding a "game", he said the government is playing with the money of the Greek people.

    The government has called for a new round of bidding within three months; but Evert says the deadline shouldn't be set in the midst of an international financial crisis.

    He wants an non-Greek investment firm called in to assess the real value of the Ionian and draw up a clear picture of its assets and liabilities.

    Evert urges the government to cut public consumer spending by some 25 per cent.

    With everyone agreeing that Russia is one of the causes of the current economic, Evert says the international community should come to Russia's aid immediately with financial assistance.

    The former New Democracy leader believes the Russian crisis will be followed by another in Latin America.

    Another former leader of New Democracy also has words of criticism for the government.

    One-time prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis questions Kostas Simitis ability to lead the country.

    Mitsotakis complains that the country's political life is steadily being downgraded.

    All the political parties are afraid that making tough and unpopular but necessary decisions will cost them votes.

    That fear is poor counsel, he adds, for the Greek

    people are more mature than the parties think; they want to hear the truth.

    Mitsotakis also compares Kostas Simitis unfavourably with his predecessor, Pasok founder Andreas Papandreou. "Papandreou and I were political adversaries", he says. "But if Papandreou were still alive, things would certainly be better. He would do things Simitis would not dare to".

    [04] Juan Antonio Samaranch

    President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch came to Athens for a one- day visit Wednesday.

    Samaranch met with the Greek prime minister and officials from the Greek Olympics organising committee in vue of the 2004 Olympics which will be held in Athens.

    It was a full day Wednesday for International Olympic Committee's President Juan Antonio Samaranch who came to Athens for a one-day-visit.

    Samaranch met with the Greek prime minister and a number of other Greek officials. The meeting was attended by Culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, Sports minister Andreas Fouras and alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Jacques Rongue, head of the IOC's coordinating committee, also took part to the meeting. The committee members will stay in Athens until next Saturday to meet with the Greek Olympics organisationg committee to be informed on the course of the preparation works for the 2004 Olympics.

    After Wednesday's meeting between Samaranch and Simitis, Culture minister Evangelos Venizelos said, "The meeting was absolutely

    optimistic. We are in full control of the time we have, we fit perfectly into the time limits prescribed by the convention signed in Lausanne last September and the message which is sent by what both the premier and Mr. Samaranch said today is that the 2004 Olympics have all possibilities to be the best Olympics ever held. For this fact, a major role is played not only by our good preparation but also by the new dimensions we have added to the games, such as the Cultural Olympics and the Olympic truce. Besides, these are the games of the new millenium".

    Earlier in the day, the IOC president visited the new headquarters of the Greek Olympics committee and met with its president, Lambis Nikolaou.

    The agenda of Juan Antonio Samaranch also included a meeting with Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    Later in the day, Samaranch, Venizelos and UNESCO representative Cohl signed the Protocol for the formation of the International Foundation of the Cultural Olympics.

    The cultural Olympics include major events of interantional interest which will be held during the four years intervening the usual Olympics.

    Samaranch said that the perfect cooperation of all the involved agents is necessary for the success of the 2004 Olympics.

    (c) ANT1 Radio 1998

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