|Friday, 22 February 2019|
Athens News Agency: News in Greek, 00-11-17
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>PERIEXOMENA
 Greece-foreign exchange16/11/2000 15:36:19
The drachma eased moderately against the US dollar on Thursday reflecting pressures on the euro/dollar rate in international markets ahead of an European Central Bank's meeting to discuss monetary policy.
The Greek currency eased to 396.440 drachmas against the dollar at the day's fixing, from 395.760 drachmas the previous day.
The drachma was stable against the euro currency at 340.180 drachmas per euro.
 Greece - Albania - Minority - Borders16/11/2000 15:11:16
Athens wants Albanian leadership to better promote democracy, protect the rights of the ethnic Greek minority in that country and step up patrols on the Greek-Albanian borders, the Greek foreign ministry announced on Thursday.
According to a foreign ministry spokesman in Athens, ministry general secretary George Savvaidis is currently in Tirana for meetings with Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta and Foreign Minister Pascal Milo on Thursday. The Greek diplomat is expected to convey messages from Greek PM Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, respectively.
The spokesman said the messages stress the need for democratic reforms in Albania to proceed more rapidly; that the human rights and property of Albania's ethnic Greek population to be respected and for additional measures by Albanian officials to police borders with Greece. Thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to cross into Greece from impoverished Albania every year, while drugs and weapons smuggling is also very worrisome for Athens.
Spokesman Panos Beglitis said a letter on the same issues has been sent by Papandreou to the EU Commissioner responsible for external relations, Christopher Patten, in which the Greek minister points to the problems created by a "democratic deficit" in the neighbouring country.
Greece's diplomatic initiative takes place prior to a summit between the EU and the western Balkan nations next week in Zagreb.