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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-02

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, 02/07/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • PM tells ministers to work till they drop
  • EDU representatives meet on Balkans
  • French senator in Athens for talks
  • Seven soldiers killed in car accident
  • Greek equities maintain upward course
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

PM tells ministers to work till they drop

Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday asked his cabinet to work harder up until the end of the government's term of office in September next year, stressing that this was also the message sent by the Greek people in European elections last month. "Until the end of the government's term of office, we will all have to work with greater persistency, determination and effectiveness. We must work 'till we drop," Simitis told a cabinet meeting. The prime minister said he was optimistic that the people would renew the government's mandate in general elections next year.

EDU representatives meet on Balkans

Member parties of the European Democratic Union, including Greece's conservative opposition New Democracy party, began meeting in Thessaloniki on Friday to discuss the situation in the Balkans. "We have gathered here to discuss and decide on joint action which will promote democracy, a civil society and the social and economic upgrading and restoration of the Balkans," ND leader Costas Karamanlis told reporters during a break in the sessions, which are closed to the press. Kosovo ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, who had been invited to participate, was unable to attend because, according to reports, five members of his family had been murdered.

French senator in Athens for talks

Senator Xavier de Villepin, President of the French Senate's Commission for Foreign Affairs and Defence has arrived in Athens for talks with Greek government officials that will include Thessaloniki's role in the reconstruction of the Balkans, it was announced here today. Senator Villepin, who will be here until July 5, will hold talks with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias and members of the parliament's Greek-French friendship group.

Seven soldiers killed in car accident

Seven Greek soldiers were killed on Friday in a collision between a truck and a military ambulance on the national highway near Thessaloniki, police said. The accident occurred on the 20th kilometre of the Thessaloniki- Kavala national highway between the villages of Aghios Vassilios and Kavalari. Police said the seven soldiers were serving at the Military Training Centre in Redina, Thessaloniki. They said the truck, carrying iron pipes en route from Thessaloniki to Kavala swerved off the road into the opposite lane and crashed into the military ambulance jeep, literally crushing it.

Greek equities maintain upward course

Equity prices ended the week with gains helped by strong buying interest in blue chips in the banks sector. The general index ended 0.67 percent higher at 4,152.55 points, off the day's highs as profit-taking took some steam of the market. Turnover was 152.967 billion drachmas with 26,432,940 shares changing hands. A decision by the ASE's board on Thursday to suspend trading of Thessaliki's shares left a large number of smaller capitalisation stocks under strong pressure. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks fell 1.72 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index gained 1.15 percent to 2,461.20 points.

WEATHER

Partly cloudy weather will prevail throughout the country today with scattered showers in the afternoon in mainland Greece. Winds northerly, light to strong. Possibility of showers in Athens with temperatures between 20-35C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 19-30C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          311.716
Pound sterling       493.064
Japanese yen (100)   258.168
French franc          49.142
German mark          164.815
Italian lira (100)    16.648
Irish Punt           409.300
Belgian franc          7.991
Finnish mark          54.216
Dutch guilder        146.276
Danish kr.            43.380
Austrian sch.         23.426
Spanish peseta         1.937
Swedish kr.           36.952
Norwegian kr.         39.878
Swiss franc          201.108
Port. Escudo           1.608
Can. dollar          212.883
Aus. dollar          208.766
Cyprus pound         558.893
Euro                 322.350
(M.P.)
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