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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-04-03
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Greece-Turkey-Art exhibition03/04/2000 22:25:45
Ankara˘s Ambassador to Athens Ali Tinaz Tuygan and Culture Ministry General Secretary Lina Medoni, on Monday inaugurated an exhibition of works by forty Greek and Turkish artists in Athens.
The exhibition will remain open until April 14 and features works by 20 Turkish and 20 Greek artists. It was organised at the instigation of Ankara University Academy of Fine Arts Alumni Association.
 Germany-Greece-Rau-visit03/04/2000 20:25:55
German President Johannes Rau arrived in Athens on Monday afternoon for talks with the political leadership aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Rau arrived in Athens at 1 p.m. at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos, who received him at the Presidential Mansion, where the two men held private talks.
In statements to the press, Stephanopoulos lauded the role Rau played in the political affairs of his country, adding that for this reason Greece respects him and recognises his contribution to the European Union.
The Greek president also spoke of the increased commercial, economic and political cooperation between Greece and Germany, which is manifest by the stable friendship between the two countries.
On his part, Rau spoke of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Greece during the Second World War and announced his visit to Kalavrita, Peloponnese, where the Nazis burned all the houses and executed more than a thousand of the town's male population on December 13, 1943, in reprisals, and will lay a wreath at the Monument erected on the site.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday03/04/2000 18:54:20
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 348.380
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday03/04/2000 18:43:45
Cloud and scattered showers are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Temperatures will be high for the time of year.
Winds southerly, strong to very strong, turning gale force in some sea areas.
 FYROM - CoE - Report - Name03/04/2000 17:36:26
SKOPJE (ANA · M. Vihou) · A press report here on Monday claimed that the Council of Europe˘s (CoE) observers will reportedly propose to the body˘s parliamentary assembly some type of ?initiative? to re-impose FYROM˘s ?constitutional name?.
According to the Skopje newspaper ?Dvevnik?, such a move would ostensibly aid efforts to encourage FYROM˘s leadership to ?continue its productive policy for the inclusion of national minorities.?
Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have been at odds over the past decade over the land-locked one-time Yugoslav state˘s insistence on using ?Macedonia? as its name -- the same name of Greece˘s major northern province known since antiquity and the region that also borders southern FYROM.
Meanwhile, in a related development, FYROM President Boris Traikovski˘s political office has denied reports in the country˘s mass media claiming he said the Skopje government ?was willing to compromise on the name issue?.
Traikovski˘s press office announced that the ?president expressed his positive stance over the need to find a mutually acceptable solution, while stressing that there should be neither winners or losers?.
Several of the small, ethnically mixed Balkan country˘s media outlets had referred to an interview the FYROM president gave to the Athens daily ?Apogevmatini?.
Additionally, FYROM˘s representative in UN-sponsored talks in New York over the name issue verified recently that no new developments have arisen in the negotiations with the Greek side regarding the name issue. FYROM diplomat Ivan Tosevski added that talks would continue after general elections in Greece on April 9.
Bilateral relations between Athens and Skopje have improved markedly since the two countries signed an interim agreement in New York in September 1995, under UN auspices.
Under the terms of the agreement, Greece and FYROM are to proceed with discussions to find a mutually acceptable solution for the name issue.
 Papantoniou-privatisation03/04/2000 17:03:33
Greece will abolish its monopolies in the energy and telecommunications sectors by 2001, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou told state television NET network on Monday.
He said said that Greece's Public Power Corporation (PPC) would be floated in the stock market in November this year and that from 2001 PPC would lose its monopoly in electricity supply. "Other companies will also produce electricity power," Papantoniou said, citing benefits to the Greek citizen through lower electricity rates and better services arising from stronger competition in the energy market.
Papantoniou also said that from next year other private companies would be able to offer alternative telephone services and that the next government would seek a strategic partner for the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) in fall.
This move would offer OTE access to international markets and to new technology, he said.
Papantoniou refrained from offering clues on the flotation rates in the two state enterprises.
"All IKA pensioners will receive pensions of at least 150,000 drachmas by the end of the year," Papantoniou said.
He stressed that PASOK would not seek dramatic changes in the labour market because the Greek economy was based on flexible small businesses. He denied that the government was planning to raise the rate of redundancies by two percent.
 EU - Africa - Summit - Host03/04/2000 16:04:51
CAIRO (ANA · P. Dimitropoulos) -- The Greek government has offered to host the next Europe-Africa summit in Athens so as to coincide with Greece˘s assumption of the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2003.
According to Greek Alternate FM Christos Rokofyllos, the head of the country˘s delegation at the current inaugural summit taking place in the Egyptian capital, Athens˘ offer was well-received by participating delegates.
The first-ever European Union-Organisation of African Unity summit began on Monday and will convene on Tuesday.
?The relevant proposal we tabled at the EU˘s General Affairs Council appears to have been well received by many?? Rokofyllos said from Cairo.
In referring to Greece˘s participation at the summit, the Greek minister said the Mediterranean nation and EU member-state has traditionally good relations with the African states, while it wants to assist in efforts to build a strategic relationship between the two continents based on mutual interests and democracy, stability and human rights, among others.
Several heads of state and government, along with foreign ministers from 54 African countries and the EU˘s ?15? are participating at the Cairo summit.
A wide range of issues are on the agenda, with European delegates emphasizing the summit˘s political significance and African representatives giving weight to economic and development problems burdening the continent.
Specifically, representatives of the 15-member bloc want to deal with issues related to human rights and democratic institutions, while their African counterparts have stressed the need for greater European investments in their countries.
 ASE-close03/04/2000 15:57:37
It was another dull session on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday with investors sidelined ahead of Sunday's general elections.
Equity prices ended mixed to higher in subdued trade. The general index ended 0.29 percent higher at 4,807.42 points, off the day's highs of 4,814.33 points and the day's lows of 4,769.44 points.
Turnover was a low 100.5 billion drachmas, the lowest since early April 1999.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.48 percent to 2,723.30 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 1.23 percent to 677.66 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 816.00 points, off 1.20 percent.
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