Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-12
NEWS IN ENGLISH
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
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
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.
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
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
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