NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis issues call for unity within PASOK
Prime Minister Costas Simitis has issued a call of unity to PASOK cadres,
stressing that differing opinions and views are acceptable and necessary as
long as they do not lead to a negation of the collective will and
In his address to ruling PASOK party's central committee session Friday
evening, the prime minister included several points of self-criticism for
the party, a strong attack against the main opposition New Democracy party,
and a discreet reference to a critical statement of 11 PASOK deputies
before last Tuesday's confidence vote in Parliament, interpreted at the
time by the premier as hostile and as an effective call for fresh
He said the confidence vote, which the government won after the '11'
withdrew their statement before voting in favour, "consolidated PASOK's
central position on the political scene, making it clear that rallying
round the party's goals cannot be opportu nistic, circumstantial,
conditional or negotiable.".
Mr. Simitis defined the three basic milestones for PASOK in the near future,
namely, the party's congress in March, Euro-elections in June and national
elections in the year 2000. He said he felt honoured to be leading a party
which fielded a host of views and ideas.
"I wish to promote new paradigms in political life, which are more useful
and more creative, even more difficult to apply," he added.
The PM appealed for the session to send a strong message of decisiveness
and avoid the trap of introversion, looking instead, to the future without
hesitation and ready to carry out bold work, symbolising the new era.
V. Papandreou addresing PASOK Central Committee
Development Minister and member of PASOK's central committee on Saturday
said that this was the moment of common responsibilty for PASOK, so as to
confront its "bad self". She added that it was time for all to speak
honestly between them, since the luxury of continuing as in the past does
not exist, "if this is not achieved the responsibilities of all will be
huge". The development minister said that it is not enough for the
party bodies to just conveen, they should be transformed to bodies of co-
decision and co-responsibility, since this is the only way for the dividing
lines to fall.
Papandreou also said that the one-way street to theEconomic and Monetary
Union, should not create an attitude of destabilisation, since the aim is
the modernising of the country with a humane face.
October inflation falls to 4.7%
Year-on-year inflation fell sharply to 4.7 per cent in October from 5.2 per
cent the previous month, the National Statistics Service (NSS) announced on
Friday, predicting a further drop in November due to the price reduction of
heating oil. In view of the October inflation figure, it now appears that
the government's target of 4.5 per cent by the end of December is
attainable. The figure might be even lower at the end of the year if the
tax cuts on car purchases announced by the government earlier this week
have immediate effect in the automobile market.
Athens comments on S-300 future
The Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation by foreign forces, not
one relating to the installation of a missile system, the Greek government
said on Friday. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the comment when
replying to reporters' questions on press reports claiming that Russian-
made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles scheduled to be installed on Cyprus might
eventually be deployed on Crete. Nicosia's plans to install the defensive
missile system have been criticised by the United States and several
European Union countries which say it will lead to greater tension in the
Holbrooke expected in Athens soon
Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy, is expected to visit Athens and
Ankara soon, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns said on Friday. Burns,
speaking in Thessaloniki after meeting with the Thessaloniki Prefect, did
not say exactly when the visit would take place. He added that U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had also expressed a desire to visit
the region and that efforts were under way to scheduled her trip. Albright
was scheduled to visit Greece in May this year but a heavy work schedule
led to the cancellation of the trip.
2004 Olympics Athens confernce
An international conference on November 11 organised by the Organising
Committee of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in cooperation with the
International Olympic Committee will be addressed, among others, by IOC
marketing director, Michael Payne.
The managing director of the Athens 2004 organising committee, Costas
Bacouris, said yesterday that the conference on the "Image and Identity of
the Games" was the first step towards dialogue on developing the image of
the venue - Athens.
The conference will be attended by professionals occupied in advertising
and communications who will be briefed on the procedures for composing the
image which will reflect the identity of Athens in the past, the present
and in the year 2004.
Stock exchange ends week up 4.9%
Greek equities ended the last trading session of a very positive week
slightly higher on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index ended 0.06
percent higher to 2,255.74 points for a net gain of 4.29 percent on the
week. Traders said the market had already banked on a sharp drop in October
inflation and was awaiting Bank of Greece's moves on interest rates next
week. Trading was heavy with turnover at 57.3 billion drachmas. Volume was
12,864,000 shares. Lambrakis Press Organisation was the most heavily traded
stock rising 25.7 percent in its maiden appearance on the market. Ideal,
Hellenic Telecoms and Teletypos also recorded heavy volumes.
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout in the northwestern part of the
coutnry for Sunday. In the rest of Greece the weather the day will begin
with cloud cover and local rains and snow in the north and central regions
of the country. but by the afternoon hours the weather will improve. Winds,
northerly moderate to strong in the Aegean Sea very strong to gale force.
Cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 12-20C. Overcast in Thessaloniki
with the posibility of rain temperatures from 10-16C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 277.829
British pound 460.804 Japanese yen (100) 236.354
French franc 49.836 German mark 167.127
Italian lira (100) 16.894 Irish Punt 416.243
Belgian franc 8.102 Finnish mark 55.004
Dutch guilder 148.220 Danish kr. 43.959
Austrian sch. 23.750 Spanish peseta 1.966
Swedish kr. 35.684 Norwegian kr. 37.571
Swiss franc 203.752 Port. Escudo 1.630
Aus. dollar 175.921 Can. dollar 183.004
Cyprus pound 562.861