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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-04-12
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Soccer-First division-Results12/04/2000 21:59:10
Results of Greek first division soccer matches played on Tuesday and Wednesday:
Apollon Athens-Panionios Athens 2-1
Olympiakos Piraeus-Iraklis Salonica 1-0
Ionikos-Ethnikos Astir 3-0
AEK Athens-Xanthi 4-1
PAOK Salonica-OFI Iraklion 2-2
Aris Salonica-Panathinaikos 0-2
Kalamata-Paniliakos Pyrgos 2-1
Standings, points after 27 rounds:
Olympiakos 71, Panathinaikos 70, OFI 51, AEK 47, Aris, Iraklis, Panionios 40, PAOK 39, Xanthi 38, Ionikos 37, Paniliakos 31, Panahaiki 30, Kalamata, Kavala 29, Ethnikos Astir 28, Proodeftiki 19, Trikala, Apollon Athens 18.
No matches were played last Sunday due to the April 9 general elections in the country.
 Harold Pinter-Thessaloniki-Honorary degree12/04/2000 21:57:54
World-renowned British playwright Harold Pinter will be in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Monday to receive an honorary Ph.D. by the English Literature department of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki.
Events will include the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs from 40 different plays of Pinter¢s on Greek theatre stages. It will be entitled ?Pinter on the Greek stage? and will be open until April 23.
Pinter was born in London¢s East End and first appeared as a playwright in 1957 with his plays ?The Room? and ?Birthday Party?. Of late, Pinter has directed many of his plays.
 Simitis - New Cabinet12/04/2000 21:48:57
Prime Minister Costas Simitis kept the same ministers in the key posts of finance, foreign affairs and defence in his new Cabinet, unveiled Wednesday evening.
Four more ministers, those of interior and public administration, environment and public works, public order and press and media also retain their portfolios.
Yiannos Papantoniou, credited with the successful drive to meet the criteria for the country's participation in European Economic and Monetary Union --to be confirmed by the EU Porto Summit in June-- stays in command at the national economy and finance ministries. George Papandreou, the architect of a recent thaw in Greek-Turkish relations remains in charge of foreign affairs and Akis Tsohatzopoulos at the defence ministry.
The new Cabinet, which numbers 43 ministers and deputy ministers and includes 15 members who have not previously held ministerial posts and five women, will be sworn in on Thursday at 11 am before the President of the Republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos.
 New cabinet12/04/2000 19:58:57
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday announced the members of the new cabinet, following the April 9, elections.
The previous government was composed of 41 members, 19 ministers, one alternate minister and 21 deputy ministers. The new government is composed of 43 members, 20 ministers, one alternate minister and 22 deputy ministers.
According to acting Press and Media Minister Argyris Fatouros, the new cabinet announced on Wednesday a little after 7 p.m. is:
Prime Minister: Costas Simitis
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization: Vasso Papandreou
Deputy Minister: Konstantinos Kaiserlis
Deputy Minister: Leonidas Tzanis
National Defence: Akis Tsohatzopoulos
Deputy Minister: Dimitris Apostolakis
Foreign Minister: George Papandreou
Alternate Foreign Minister: Elizabeth Papazoi
Deputy Minister: Aggeliki Laiou
National Economy: Yiannos Papantoniou
Deputy Minister: Christos Pachtas
Deputy Minister: Yiannis Zapheiropoulos
Finance Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
Deputy Minister: George Dris
Deputy Minister: Apostolos Photiadis
Development Minister: Nikos Christodoulakis
Deputy Minister: Alekos Kalaphahtis
Deputy Minister: Milena Apostolaki
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister: Costas Laliotis
Deputy Minister: Ilias Ephthimiopoulos
Deputy Minister: Athanasios Alevras
Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Petros Ephthimiou
Deputy Minister: Philippos Petsalnikos
Agriculture Minister: Giorgos Anomeritis
Deputy Minister: Evangelos Argyris
Deputy Minister: Photis Hatzimichalis
Labour and Social Security Minister: Athanasios Yiannitsis
Deputy Minister: Christos Protopappas
Deputy Minister: Nikos Pharmakis
Health and Welfare Minister: Alekos Papadopoulos
Deputy Minister: Dimitris Thanos
Deputy Minister: Christina Spyraki
Justice Minister: Michalis Stathopoulos
Culture Minister: Theodoros Pangalos
Deputy Minister: Giorgios Floridis
Merchant Marine Minister: Christos Papoutsis
Public Order Minister: Michalis Chrysochoidis
Macedonia-Thrace Minister: George Pashalidis
Aegean Minister: Nikos Sifounakis
Transport and Communications Minister: Christos Verelis
Deputy Minister: Alekos Voulgaris
Press and Mass Media Minister: Dimitris Reppas
Deputy Minister: Tilemachos Hytiris
Minister of State: Miltiades Papaioannou
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday12/04/2000 19:16:55
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Thursday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 347.012
 Sports roundup12/04/2000 18:50:10
Greece welcomes Saporta Cup champion AEK Athens
Some 1,000 fans at the Greek capital¢s airport greeted a victorious AEK Athens team that returned on Wednesday from Lausanne with the Saporta Cup in hand, following the team¢s 83-76 win over Kinder Bologna the previous evening.
The Saporta Cup is Europe¢s second most prominent pro basketball tournament after the Euro-championship.
AEK¢s win in the final came 32 years to the month after its last European trophy, again in the cupwinners¢ tournament, a victory that was cheered on Tuesday by the team¢s thousands of fans throughout the world.
Both Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the country¢s sports leadership addressed congratulatory telegrams to the basketball team over its success.
??with feistiness and will, you¢ve demonstrated the abilities of Greek sports. You¢ve also added an international distinction to Greek basketball history. I wish you every success,? Simitis¢ message read.
Greek nat¢l team upgraded in FIFA standings
The Greek national men¢s team rose in FIFA¢s international standings this month, up to 32nd from 37th. The improvement comes after a string of successful friendlies. Greece pulled in 585 points. Additionally, the Cypriot national team rose by five slots to occupy FIFA¢s 59th spot internationally.
The second leg of the Greek cup semi-finals will take place on April 19, with Panionios Athens hosting AEK Athens and Ionikos Piraeus facing Kalamata at home. AEK beat Panionios 4-1 in their first match, while Ionikos surprised its opponent in an away game by winning 0-2.
 Weather Forecast-Thursday12/04/2000 18:45:47
Cloud is forecast in most parts of the country on Thursday, turning to scattered showers.
The west and the north will be mostly sunny, and the Aegean Sea stormy.
 Verheugen - Turkey - EU criteria12/04/2000 18:15:07
STRASBOURG (ANA · Y. Haralambopoulos) · The European Union Commissioner responsible for the 15-member bloc¢s expansion reiterated on Tuesday evening that both the framework for dialogue and procedures governing Turkey¢s EU accession course are based on the Helsinki decisions and the Copenhagen summit criteria.
German EU Commissioner Gunter Verheugen also told an Europarliament plenary session that ?we¢re at the beginning of the beginning? when referring to EU-Turkey relations.
?Turkey will be treated by the EU just as any other candidate country, and we¢re not going to make discounts on accession criteria for its sake,? he said, adding that the European Commission will present a report regarding EU-Turkey relations in the autumn detailing the present situation in that country and whether progress has been achieved in procedures to promote its European orientation.
The current president of the European Council, Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, echoed Verheugen¢s comments, while noting that Greece has a particular interest in following any such progress in Turkey¢s European orientation. He added that the current process of negotiations could also falter if Turkish leadership does not implement all the reforms the European Union considers as necessary.
On his part, PASOK Eurodeputy Yiannis Souladakis stated during the relevant discussion that the Union must deal with Ankara on the basis of purely European criteria, condemning at one point what he called attempts by many Europeans from time to time to use Greek-Turkish relations as an excuse, calling such a policy a ?distortion of reality.?
Additionally, the Greek Euro-MP stressed that Ankara has so far not provided adequate assurances of its good faith in meeting the EU¢s criteria, citing its rejection of the International Court at The Hague and the European Court of Human Rights¢ jurisdiction. However, he noted that the Union must on its part alleviate any Turkish fears over a possible breakup of the Turkish state should the rights of minorities be recognised.
Finally, New Democracy Euro-deputy Christos Folias said that despite several goodwill gestures on the part of Athens recently, Ankara remains intransigent. He cited comments by Turkish FM Ismail Cem earlier in the week in Luxembourg terming the Turkish occupation army in northern Cyprus as ?liberation forces?. He also condemned the continuing jailing of Turkish human rights defender Akin Birdal and a personae non gratae ?black list? the Turkish foreign ministry reportedly kept to prevent the entrance of several European and American personalities it considered dangerous to Turkey¢s security.
 Sacrilege - Crete - Arrest12/04/2000 17:25:43
A 55-year-old Belgian national with a penchant for living in? caves was arrested this week on Crete on charges of breaking into churches throughout the large holiday island and stealing offerings left by worshippers.
Authorities added that the suspect also admitted to taking wine used in the liturgy, while a map found in his possession reportedly lists the location of caves around Crete he used as shelter.
Although police believe the man is part of a ring systematically burglarizing churches and stealing icons on the island over the past two months, the suspect denied those allegations, saying only that he robbed churches¢ charity boxes to survive and to feed a drinking habit.
Authorities in connection with the case are reportedly seeking two other foreigners of undetermined nationality.
 Budget revenues-March figures12/04/2000 16:28:49
Greek regular budget's revenues increased 12.9 percent in March for a surplus of 225 billion drachmas in the first quarter of the year, Finance Undersecretary George Drys said on Wednesday.
Budget revenues' growth rate was 14.5 percent in the period from January to March this year, sharply up from an official target for a 3.5 percent increase.
Drys predicted that revenues would continue rising in the following months and that the budget surplus would exceed 400 billion drachmas this year. He attributed the spectacular increase in revenue growth to a more efficient VAT collection, the operation of Taxis payment system and higher income taxes resulting from improved corporate profitability.
VAT income rose 19.0 percent in March, for a 19.9 percent increase in the first quarter of 2000.
Drys said that securities tax revenues also contributed in the rising budget surplus and predicted that the government would achieve its goal for tax income totalling 350 billion drachmas from stock share transactions this year.
Drys said the Finance ministry has three priorities for the next four years: first, to improve services, second, to promote tax reform including tax cuts and third, to modernise its structure through the Taxis system and the implementation of a integrated information programme in customs.
He said that the ministry would promote a project for taxpayers to submit their annual tax statements through the Internet, probably in 2001.
 ASE-close12/04/2000 16:09:26
Equity prices remained under pressure for the third consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange, to end lower on Wednesday.
Dealers said the market was awaiting news and incentives to break its current stalemate.
Buying interest again focused on smaller capitalisation stocks, while blue chip stocks, particularly in the banks sector, suffered losses.
The general index ended 0.78 percent lower at 4,877.91 points, off the day's lows of 4,838.88 points. Turnover was a moderate 135.9 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,746.16 points, off 1.11 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.59 percent to 680.78 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 945.75 points, up 3.75 percent.
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