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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-14

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, 14/10/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Municipal elections no bearing on government's task
  • Athens welcomes agreement to end Kosovo strife
  • 1999 budget will see cuts in indirect taxation
  • Traffic chaos in Athens in first rains
  • Greek equities surge on govt consistency, rate cut
  • Bank of France Governor in Athens on Monday
  • Man threatens to jump 20 metres over meat protest
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Municipal elections no bearing on government's task

The government will continue its task undistracted until its four-year term runs out in 2000 when it will be judged, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Wednesday. He was replying to reporters' questions on the results of the first round of local elections on Sunday. Reppas said the ruling PASOK party would analyse results after next Sunday's runoffs and for the time being "simply expresses its satisfaction with the percentages received by mayoral and prefectural candidates whom it supported".

Athens welcomes agreement to end Kosovo strife

The Greek government on Wednesday expressed satisfaction at the Western- backed deal to end the conflict in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stressed that Greece was traditionally in favour of the peaceful settlement of all problems. He added that the agreement, reached by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke early on Tuesday, included a proposal put forward some time ago by Prime Minister Costas Simitis concerning the despatch of an international group of observers to Kosovo.

1999 budget will see cuts in indirect taxation

Indirect taxes would be significantly reduced in next year's budget in an effort to contain inflation, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said. An ministerial meeting, chaired by Papantoniou, confirmed that this year's budget would be strictly implemented to achieve a target of a budget deficit at 2.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Achieving this target was a first step towards Greece's participation in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Papantoniou said. Papantoniou stressed that the second step to finalise the country's entry in EMU would be next year's budget, which would provide for a budget deficit smaller than 2.0 percent of GDP, completing a five-year fiscal restructuring plan, and significant reductions in indirect taxes.

Traffic chaos in Athens in first rains

Traffic snarls and flooding on main roads caused havoc for Athens commuters on Wednesday, following strong rains in the morning in the region. The worst hit of Athens' main roads was the coastal road leading into the city, where cars were backed up due to half-metre flooding in certain sections. The fire brigade were called in to free one woman, whose car had stalled in the flood waters, trapping her in her vehicle. A broken water company pipe in Argyroupoli, on Vouliagmenis Avenue, also contributed to the flooding, causing major congestion.

Greek equities surge on govt consistency, rate cut

Greek equities ended sharply higher on the Athens Stock Exchange pushing the general index above the 1,800 level. The government's determination to stick to its current economic policy, a Bank of Greece's decision to lower its intervention rate by 25 basis points and a decision to float a third tranche in Hellenic Telecoms, contributed in restoring confidence in the Greek market. Traders also said that a freeze in a liquidation drive in Greek blue-chips by foreign investors, also encouraged sentiment. The general index ended 4.09 percent higher to 1,855.39 points, with turnover at 33.1 billion drachmas.

Bank of France Governor in Athens on Monday

The governor of the Bank of France Jean-Claude Trichet will be in Athens October 19-20, at the invitation of the French-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. Trichet will speak on the topic of "The French view of economic and monetary union" at 8.30 p.m. on Monday at the Hilton Hotel.

Man threatens to jump 20 metres over meat protest

A 38-year-old father of four on Wednesday climbed on to the neon sign of a hotel in Chania, Crete and for over three hours threatened to jump 20 metres to the ground. Passers-by began to gather on the street below and tried to persuade the man, Ilias Tsourlakis, to come down. Tsourlakis responded by throwing scores of leaflets accusing a former employer - a Chania meat merchant - of distributing rotten meat in the market. He also claimed that he had filed an official complaint with the police but that no action had been taken.

WEATHER

Unsettled weather will prevail throughout Greece on Wednesday. Winds will be variable, moderate to strong. Showers in Athens where temperatures will range between 15-20C. Possibility of rain in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 13-17C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.924 British pound 477.946 Japanese yen (100) 235.104 French franc 51.034 German mark 171.070 Italian lira (100) 17.285 Irish Punt 427.552 Belgian franc 8.293 Finnish mark 56.227 Dutch guilder 151.746 Danish kr. 44.991 Austrian sch. 24.327 Spanish peseta 2.014 Swedish kr. 35.766 Norwegian kr. 37.468 Swiss franc 210.939 Port. Escudo 1.667 Aus. dollar 174.939 Can. dollar 182.746 Cyprus pound 582.304

(M.P.)


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