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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-04-10
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Election Results - 2000 - Latest (Recasts)10/04/2000 21:11:55
With more than 99.7 percent of the votes counted on Monday afternoon, Costas Simitis's ruling PASOK party won 43.80 percent of the poll in Sunday's general election and 158 seats in Greece's 300-member Parliament, according to figures released by the interior ministry.
The conservative main opposition New Democracy, led by Costas Karamanlis, narrowly trailed PASOK with 42.72 percent, which gave it 125 parliamentary seats.
Both major parties improved on their 1996 general election totals at the expense of smaller contenders. PASOK gained more than two percent and New Democracy more than four percent. They both elected six deputies each from their respective so-called 'state tickets' on the basis of poll strength.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) realised only slight losses, staying above the 5.5 percent mark, and winning 11 seats in the new Parliament, the same as previously.
The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) only narrowly managed to overcome the three percent hurdle required for parliamentary representation (3.2 percent), winning six seats. Its losses compared to 1996 were nearly 2.5 percent.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday10/04/2000 19:32:03
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 347.012
 Simitis - Congratulations - Election10/04/2000 18:48:49
Congratulations by several heads of state and government began to pour in on Monday for re-elected Greek PM Costas Simitis and his PASOK party, following the former¢s narrow victory in Sunday¢s general elections.
Simitis edged Costas Karamanlis and his main opposition New Democracy party by approximately one percentage point, or roughly 70,000 votes nationwide, to earn his second four-year mandate in a row.
US President Bill Clinton sent a congratulatory telegram stressing that he considers the strengthening of the ?historical ties? connecting Greece and the United States as very significant.
?When I was in Athens last autumn I emphasized that Greece and the United States have a long and close friendship. We must continue our struggle for the deepening of our ties as friends and allies. The renewal of our cooperation is in the interests of both our countries, as well as heightened cooperation for the strengthening of trade and political ties?? Clinton said in his telegram.
?Greece, as the only member-state of NATO and the European Union in SE Europe, has a major role to play in the Balkans. In the previous year you and your government showed great fortitude in your effort to overcome historical differences between Greece and Turkey by offering a hand of friendship,? the US president said, adding that he hopes both Athens and Ankara will continue efforts over the next few months to continue the nascent Greek-Turkish rapprochement.
Clinton also mentioned what he called his administration¢s desire to assist efforts to lessen differences on the divided island of Cyprus and help both of the island republic¢s communities reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
The US embassy also echoed the Clinton telegram.
?We look forward to continued strong co-operation between the governments of the United States and Greece,? an embassy press release stated, adding that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was scheduled to convey her congratulations to her counterpart George Papandreou.
On his part, European Commission President Romano Prodi also congratulated Simitis on his re-election.
?We (Commission) sincerely wish you much success in the continuation of your work. The European Commission is committed to continuing to work closely with your government and you personally, and I want to assure you that you¢ll have its support and cooperation in the joint efforts at dealing with the challenges in building Europe,? Prodi noted.
The Commission president also spoke by phone with Simitis in the morning, as did Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar and Luxembourg Premier Jean Claude Juncker.
In a telegram from London where he was scheduled to receive Cyprus¢ Clerides on Monday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated: ?Congratulations on PASOK¢s success in yesterday¢s general election. This is a strong vote of confidence in your management of Greece'¢ economy; in your success in bringing Greece towards membership of the Euro and in your foreign policy, in particular re-building the mutual relationship between Greece and Turkey? I look forward to carrying forward our shared objectives in Europe and bilaterally.?
Blair was also expected to call his Greek counterpart in the afternoon, as was Italian Prime Minister Massimo D¢ Alema.
On his part, Dutch Premier Wim Kok stressed that Simitis¢ victory as an incumbent premier ?comprises a significant political and popular confirmation,? while he praised the re-elected PM¢s efforts at preparing the Greek economy for inclusion into the ?euro-zone?.
Iranian President Hasan Habibi also conveyed his congratulations, while Archbishop of Athens and All Greece both spoke with Simitis and sent a congratulatory telegram.
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday10/04/2000 18:03:20
Scattered cloud and showers are forecast throughout the country on Tuesday.
Winds easterly, strong to very strong, turning gale force in the south.
 Election results - 2000 - Latest10/04/2000 17:11:58
Election Results - 2000 - Latest
Õðüôéôëïò: Election Results - 2000 - Latest
Costas Simitis and PASOK earned 43.79 percent of the vote from Sunday's general election, a still as yet unofficial figure expected to give the ruling party 158 deputies in Greece's 300-member Parliament as well as the government mandate.
Greece¢s interior ministry will announce official figures in the next few days after ballots from every voting precinct throughout the country have been counted.
With more than 90 percent of the total vote tallied by Monday afternoon, PASOK was ahead of rival New Democracy by some 71,000 votes. ND and its leader, Costas Karamanlis, have unofficially polled 42.76 percent, which translates into 125 Parliament seats and the role of main opposition.
By Monday, PASOK had attracted 2,991,233 votes to ND's 2,920,613.
The April 9 election proved to be one of the closest in Greek history, with several initial exit polls giving ND and Karamanlis the nod, and with supporters of Greece's two major parties sharing mixed emotions of victory and defeat throughout much of the night. Another interesting point is that both PASOK and New Democracy improved on their 1996 general election totals, a development viewed as a resounding defeat for the smaller parties and a solidifying of a two-party system.
In terms of other political parties besides the two main contenders, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) -- quite expectedly -- retained its election strength at between the 5 to 6 percent mark, unofficially earning by Monday's count some 5.5 percent of the vote. With more than 375,000 votes, KKE will field 11 deputies in the new Parliament, the same as it had in the last session.
Additionally, the more-or-less "Euro-leftist" Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) narrowly entered Parliament with some 3.19 percent of the general vote by Monday's count. Synaspismos dropped from its more than 5 percent showing in 1996 to gain around 218,000 votes, placing six deputies in Parliament because it surpassed the 3-percent mark necessary for representation in the legislature.
Conversely, the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) and its founder, one-time PASOK minister Dimitris Tsovolas, failed to re-enter Parliament by earning fewer than 3 percent (around 2.69). DHKKI's campaign of attempting to lure dissatisfied long-time PASOK supporters apparently backfired.
The next party in terms of voters' preference was the newly founded Democratic Regional Union, led by a former top PASOK cadre, Mihalis Haralambidis -- which earned some 0.47 percent with more than 31,800 votes.
 ADEX-close10/04/2000 16:23:05
Derivatives prices ended mixed on the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Monday reflecting investors' reluctance ahead of the new government's policy statement and a mixed appearance in the two benchmark indices, FTSE/ASE 20 and FTSE/ASE 40.
A total of 886 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, with a turnover of 4.7 billion drachmas. The April expiring contract ended at 2,742 points, the May at 2,763 and the June contract at 2,777 points.
A total of 1,206 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 40 index, worth 3.3 billion drachmas. The April expiring contract ended at 690 points, the May at 692 and the June contract at 717 points.
 METKA SA-new acquisition10/04/2000 16:19:51
METKA SA, a listed company member of Mytilienos Group, on Monday announced the purchase of 3KP SA, a company specialising in energy construction projects (particularily refineries).
The deal envisages that METKA would acquire a 60 percent share in 3KP through cash payment and a share capital increase plan to be fully covered by METKA.
3KP reported turnover of 3.37 billion drachmas and pre-tax profits of 330 million drachmas last year.
 ASE-close10/04/2000 16:13:21
Equity prices ended mixed to higher on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday as the market tried to digest Sunday's elections results.
Analysts said that the stock market would enter a transition period in the short-term awaiting the new government's policy statement.
The general index ended 0.13 percent higher at 4,941.32 points, off the day's highs of 5,022.82 and the day's lows of 4,834.59 points.
Sector indices were mixed while stocks in the parallel market for smaller capitalisation issues scored the biggest percentage gains.
Turnover was 143.6 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.51 percent to 2,788.83 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index ended 0.64 percent off at 694.49 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 885.68 points, up 1.36 percent.
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