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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-13

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 13/10/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • No change in govt econ policy, minister says
  • Simitis welcomes unity of views on Kosovo at Antalya
  • No progress in Greek-Turkish relations for now
  • Homes, hospitals flooded in downpour
  • Police find body of missing Dutch priest
  • EU economy ministers approve updated convergence plan
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

No change in govt econ policy, minister says

The government will remain consistent in its existing economic policy as any relaxation in policy would have a direct impact on the economy and in particular interest rates and the drachma, National Economy and Finance Minister, Yiannos Papantoniou said. He said that the government's income policy in 1999 and the years covering the convergence programme until 2001 would ensure real increases in workers' incomes as in the past, meaning pay rises slightly higher than inflation forecasts. National Economy Minister said containing inflation to 2.0 percent by the end of 1999 was the most difficult task. Papantoniou said the government would use all means to achieve this target, including lower indirect taxes.

Simitis welcomes unity of views on Kosovo at Antalya

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday welcomed the unity of views at a summit of southeast European countries on the need to safeguard territorial integrity in the region and work towards defusing tension through peaceful means. Speaking to reporters after the summit meeting in Antalya, Turkey, Simitis said Albania and Yugoslavia's coincidence of views leading to the joint declaration on the troubled Yugoslav province of Kosovo issued at the summit was "an indication of progress". The communique by the leaders underlined support for the decisions of the UN Security Council and called for an immediate stop to hostilities in Kosovo and the commencement of unconditional talks. The communique also underlined the commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia and for the "full protection of all rights of residents, citizens, ethnic minorities and ethnic communities, on the basis of equality".

No progress in Greek-Turkish relations for now

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Tuesday that no progress in Greek- Turkish relations would be noted until after the holding of Turkish elections, according to an ANA dispatch from Antalya, Turkey. "As long as the issue of elections (in Turkey) is pending, there can be no solution to problems," the prime minister told reporters at the conclusion of the two- day summit of southeast European leaders. Simitis met with his Turkish counterpart and host Mesut Yilmaz on Monday night. Both Greek and Turkish sides said the meeting was "positive" despite both premiers ascertaining that the climate prevailing in Greek-Turkish relations was not good.

Homes, hospitals flooded in downpour

Houses and hospitals were flooded and the power supply cut after a torrential downpour in the town of Drama, eastern Macedonia, early on Tuesday morning. Reports said homes, business premises, the Drama hospital and three childcare centres, including one for children with special needs, were flooded in the downpour. Flooding at the local Power Company station caused power cuts for a substantial period of time. Authorities said damage had not yet been estimated but was expected to be "significant".

Police find body of missing Dutch priest

Police on Samos said on Tuesday that they had found the body of a Dutch man missing since September 11 last year. The body of 55-year-old Johannes Francis Klein, a Catholic priest, was found in an isolated and rocky area near the region of Sudes, Samos. It was in an advanced state of decomposition but police said they believed the cause of death was accidental and that Klein slipped and fell. Father Klein was on holiday in Marathokambos, Samos, when he was last seen leaving with two women for a trek to the Evangelistrias Monastery, perched high on Mount Kerkis. An extensive search by local police, fire brigade officials, army commandos and sniffer dogs brought in from the Netherlands failed to find any trace of the man.

EU economy ministers approve updated convergence plan

European Union economy ministers yesterday approved Greece's 1998-2001 plan to align with the rest of the 15-nation bloc that the government hopes will take the country into economic and monetary union. The EU council of economy and finance ministers, known as Ecofin, said in its recommendation after a meeting in Luxembourg that it welcomed the Greek government's target of entry into EMU by January 1, 2001. The convergence plan's focus on fiscal revitalisation and lower consumer price inflation was correct, the recommendation said.

WEATHER

Cloud and rain will prevail throughout Greece on Tuesday. Winds will be southerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Rain in Athens where temperatures will range between 16-24C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 15-20C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 282.145 British pound 476.358 Japanese yen (100) 239.112 French franc 51.007 German mark 171.021 Italian lira (100) 17.285 Irish Punt 427.552 Belgian franc 8.290 Finnish mark 56.205 Dutch guilder 151.667 Danish kr. 44.977 Austrian sch. 24.324 Spanish peseta 2.014 Swedish kr. 35.484 Norwegian kr. 37.547 Swiss franc 211.212 Port. Escudo 1.669 Aus. dollar 175.604 Can. dollar 183.500 Cyprus pound 583.951

(M.P.)


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