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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 12/11/1998 (ANA)


  • Greece reluctant to enter Iraqi fray
  • No change on S-300 missiles issue
  • Albanian PM Majko meets with Simitis
  • Athenians struggle with rain, transport strikes
  • Industrialists welcome budget
  • Delors, Simitis speak on new Europe
  • Croatian President Tudjman to visit Greece
  • PM faces foreign press on Monday
  • Greece still wants loan back from Germany
  • Budget leaves Greek equities cold
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


Greece reluctant to enter Iraqi fray

The government indicated on Thursday that Greece might not participate in any military operations against Iraq, while noting that there was "an agreed international framework" which had not changed. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement in reply to press questions about Greece participating in a possible attack on Iraq after US President Bill Clinton said he was ready to use force to compel Saddam Hussein to submit to U.N. arms inspections.

No change on S-300 missiles issue

Greece said on Thursday that there had been no new developments concerning Nicosia's plans to install Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in the island republic and the decision of Cyprus' National Council still stood. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said also that Athens was in constant contact with the Cyprus government on the missile deployment issue. The National Council, the top advisory body to President Glafcos Clerides on the handling of the Cyprus problem, has decided that installation of the defensive missiles will go ahead unless there is subtantial progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem or major steps towards demilitarisation of the island.

Albanian PM Majko meets with Simitis

Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Albanian counterpart Pandeli Majko on Thursday expressed satisfaction over talks in Athens and declared their determination to further strengthen already close cooperation between the two countries. The two premiers initially had a short private meeting, followed by talks with the participation of a number of Greek and Albanian ministers. Earlier, Majko was received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos. During today's talks, the two sides signed a 5 billion drachma loan agreement within the framework of a bilateral agreement already signed which provides for a Greek loan to Albania of 20 billion drachmas.

Athenians struggle with rain, transport strikes

The first serious rainfall in Athens on Thursday caused a landslide on Dionyssos Avenue in the northern suburb of Penteli, blocking the road and causing traffic congestion. The landslide is a direct consequence of the summer's forest fires in Penteli forest, authorities said. Flash flooding occured on Marathonas and Syngrou Avenues and the coastal road leading into Athens, resulting in cars banking up for some distance. The rain also caused power cuts in traffic lights at a number of intersections. Commuters' tempers were further tried by the stoppages called by workers on suburban rail and trolleys to protest government plans to reform urban transport.

Industrialists welcome budget

The Federation of Greek Industry (SEB) welcomed next year's budget, unveiled by the government on Wednesday, but urged its strict implementation in order to achieve its targets. SEB chairman, Iason Stratos, said that 1999's budget, aimed to achieve the Maastricht criteria, was a positive sign because it reaffirmed the government's determination for economic convergence. However, the budget must be strictly implemented in order to achieve its goals, Stratos said.

Delors, Simitis speak on new Europe

Jacques Delors, the former president of the European Commission, and Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the keynote speakers at an international meeting on European identity, being held in Athens on Friday and Saturday. The three basic items on the agenda are: Nation, sovereignty and democracy; The state, the market and intermediate organisations; and The society of citizens. The meeting ends on Saturday evening with discussion being opened to the floor and with Delors and Simitis speaking. The meeting will be held at the Grande Bretagne Hotel.

Croatian President Tudjman to visit Greece

Croatia's president Franjo Tudjman will pay a state visit to Greece from November 23 to 25, at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, the office of President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos announced today.

PM faces foreign press on Monday

Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the guest speaker at a Foreign Press Association (FPA) luncheon on November 16 at the Caravel Hotel at 1:00 p.m. The Prime Minister will speak about government policy, and reply to questions from the floor.

Greece still wants loan back from Germany

Greece has not abandoned its claim for reparations from Germany, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Thursday. Replying to press questions, Reppas said the matter of the repayment of a wartime loan forcibly extracted from the Greek state during the Nazi occupation continued to be an issue in bilateral relations with Bonn. Prime Minister Costas Simitis had repeatedly broached the issue with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, he added. Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said on Wednesday the new government of Gerhard Schroeder should return the loan as well as grant compensation to Greek victims of the Nazis who have filed suit for such in court.

Budget leaves Greek equities cold

Greek equities ended lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday. Traders said the market ignored the 1999 budget, unveiled by the government on Wednesday, as it did not offer any surprises. They said investors were mainly interested in Bank of Greece's moves on monetary policy. The general index ended 0.80 percent off to 2,228.94 pionts with turnover at 44.2 billion drachmas. Volume was 12,329,000 shares.


Cloud an rain will prevail throughout Greece today. Snow in the mountainous regions in the north. Winds southerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Light rain in Athens with temperatures between 13-19C. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures will be from 12-15C.


Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 280.924 British pound 466.518 Japanese yen (100) 230.144 French franc 49.723 German mark 166.716 Italian lira (100) 16.851 Irish Punt 414.954 Belgian franc 8.081 Finnish mark 54.838 Dutch guilder 147.858 Danish kr. 43.858 Austrian sch. 23.696 Spanish peseta 1.961 Swedish kr. 35.077 Norwegian kr. 37.498 Swiss franc 201.450 Port. Escudo 1.611 Aus. dollar 176.601 Can. dollar 181.139 Cyprus pound 562.464


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