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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-05-14

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, 14/05/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece sends emissary to China
  • PM Simitis speaks with new Finn Kosovo envoy
  • Ruling socialists reveal Europarliament ticket
  • Greece, Bulgaria, Romania meet on Kosovo in Sofia
  • New Commission president Prodi due in Athens
  • Archbishop Christodoulos scathing of 'hypocrisy'
  • Business must help anti-inflation drive
  • New techniques avert a toothless old age
  • Renewed interest in construction pushes bourse up
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece sends emissary to China

A special emissary of Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Beijing on Friday to deliver a message from Papandreou to his Chinese counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan. The emissary, Sotiris Mousouris, will meet with senior Chinese government and foreign ministry officials on the need to strengthens diplomatic efforts for a political settlement in Kosovo. Mousouris, a former assistant to the UN secretary-general, will emphasise the need for the involvement in this process of the UN Security Council, of which China is a permanent member.

PM Simitis speaks with new Finn Kosovo envoy

The government said that Prime Minister Costas Simitis had been in telephone contact on Friday with his Finnish counterpart, Paavo Lipponen, concerning onging efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated that Greece was in favour of a peaceful settlement to the crisis and was of the view that a political solution should be sought within the framework of UN resolutions and initiatives such as the G8 draft peace agreement. Finland's president, Martti Ahtisaari, has recently come to the fore as a possible leading mediator in efforts aimed at a peaceful settlement of the crisis. Finland assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1 but is not a NATO member.

Ruling socialists reveal Europarliament ticket

Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced on Friday the ruling socialists' ticket for next month's European Parliament elections and said it aimed at providing continuity and renewal. Heading the ruling party's list is present European Parliament deputy and university professor Dimitris Tsatsos and MP Yiannis Souladakis. A total of four PASOK EuroMPs are up for re-election to the Parliament. Also on the list are Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas and the former head of Greenpeace's office in Greece, Ilias Efthymiopoulos. European Parliament elections will be held across Europe June 10-13 for the 626-member assembly.

Greece, Bulgaria, Romania meet on Kosovo in Sofia

Foreign Minister George Papandreou arrived in Sofia on Friday for two days of talks with his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts, Nadezhda Mihailova and Andrei Plesu, which will focus on cooperation to create stability in the Balkans and efforts aimed at a peaceful solution of the Kosovo crisis, according to an ANA despatch from the Bulgarian capital.

New Commission president Prodi due in Athens

New European Commission president Romano Prodi is expected in Athens on Monday to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and opposition party leaders. Government sources said Prodi and Simitis would discuss selection criteria for new commissioners. No final decision however is expected on who will be Greece's new commissioner. The sources said that the new commissioner would be named after European Parliament elections in mid- June.

Archbishop Christodoulos scathing of 'hypocrisy'

Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece on Friday launched a stinging attack on NATO, using the example of Cyprus to accuse the Alliance of double standards and hypocrisy. Addressing a congregation in the Church of Aghios Nikolaos in Alexandroupoli, a port in north-east Greece near the border with Turkey, Christodoulos referred to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia saying: "This relentless supposed implementation of international law, is unfortunately quite selective. In one case they show sensitivity while in another, insensitivity - at the expense of human values."

Business must help anti-inflation drive

A number of business sectors could lower their profit margins to help in an effort to achieve the inflation criterion this year, Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos said today. Speaking to reporters following a meeting with National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Venizelos said he expected oil prices to fall and that inflation was an issue for everyone in the market. He noted that "reducing labour cost per unit product has contributed to a fall in inflation." Venizelos said that the government would seek reaffirmation, on a daily basis, of a "gentlemen's agreement" between the ministry and Greek businessmen to contain prices.

New techniques avert a toothless old age

New developments in orthodontics should be well-received in Greece where more than 77 percent of adults have nine teeth less than they should and more than a quarter aged over 50 lack half their teeth. The new motto in orthodontics, experts speaking at an international conference in Thessaloniki said, was "replant then replace." This is possible through the use of titanium-based implants placed in the patient's gums and providing a base for false teeth.

Renewed interest in construction pushes bourse up

Equity prices ended a volatile week higher on Friday supported by strong buying interest for construction shares and smaller capitalisation stocks. The general index ended 0.89 percent higher to 4,032.22 points, off the day's highs. Traders said the market easily remained around the 4,000 level because of a current high liquidity and positive prospects for the construction sector. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 2.81 percent higher. Although volatility was subdued in the last trading session of the week a total of 91 issues ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up.

WEATHER

Fair weather with rising temperatures will continue in most parts of Greece today, with light clouds in the afternoon in mainland Greece. Winds from west-northwest, light to moderate. Athens will be sunny, with temperatures ranging from 17-32C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 15- 30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          303.294
Pound sterling       490.822
Japanese yen (100)   249.686
French franc          49.208
German mark          165.038
Italian lira (100)    16.671
Irish Punt           409.855
Belgian franc          8.002
Luxembourg franc       8.002
Finnish mark          54.289
Dutch guilder        146.475
Danish kr.            43.440
Austrian sch.         23.458
Spanish peseta         1.940
Swedish kr.           36.055
Norwegian kr.         39.323
Swiss franc          201.674
Port. Escudo           1.610
Can. dollar          207.526
Aus. dollar          202.348
Cyprus pound         559.190
Euro                 322.787
(M.P.)
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