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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-11-14
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Olympics 2004-Ministerial Committee Meeting14/11/2000 22:51:35
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday evening chaired a ministerial committee on the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and expressed his satisfaction on the preparations underway for the Games.
International Olympics Committee (IOC) Vice President Jacques Rogge is due to arrive towards the end of November in Greece for his regular checks on the progress being made in the projects.
Deputy Press Minister Tilemachos Hytiris said that work has already started for the construction of the Games' major project, that of the Olympic Village, at Thrakomakedones, northwest Attica.
It was announced at the meeting that the National Olympic Games Committee will convene on December 8.
The ministerial committee will meet again on December 13.
 Weather Forecast-Wednesday14/11/2000 17:52:50
Sunny weather is forecast throughout the country for Wednesday, with fog likely in the northwest. Winds variable, light to moderate. Temperatures in the north will range from 5C to 23C; in the west from 8C to 25C and in the rest of the country from 13C to 22C. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 12C and 24C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9C to 22C.
 Greece-electronic commerce14/11/2000 17:09:26
EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Panafon and Hellas On Line on Tuesday unveiled a joint venture in business-to-business electronic commerce with an initial equity capital of 2.0 billion drachmas.
Business Exchanges SA will aim to become one of the main suppliers of internet commerce services between business in Greece, through the development of an electronic marketplaces portal.
EFG Eurobank Ergasias will hold a 60 percent stake in the company, Panafon a 30 percent and Hellas On Line another 10 percent.
Business Exchanges will offer its customers links with other local and international B2B electronic marketplaces.
The company will launch its horizontal operation in March 2001 and its vertical market operation two months later.
 Bank of Greece-interest rate cut14/11/2000 16:54:31
The Bank of Greece on Tuesday announced a cut in its intervention interest rates by 50 basis points, effective Wednesday, a moved aiming to achieve short-term interest rates convergence with eurozone countries.
Nikos Garganas, the central bank's vice-governor, announced the bank's decision on the sidelines of an Economist conference in Athens.
The Bank of Greece said it would cut its 14-day rate to 7.0 percent, its Lombard rate to 7.75 percent and the overnight rate to 6.0 percent.
Garganas told reporters that a surge in the inflation rate was temporary and added that the central bank would continue its successful cautious monetary policy.
 Greece - Bulgaria - Trade - Relations14/11/2000 16:37:19
SOFIA (ANA) -- As the only European Union and NATO member in the Balkans, Greece is a strategic partner for Bulgaria and the first country to provide specific financial backing for development in SE Europe, Bulgarian PM Ivan Kostov said here on Tuesday after talks with visiting Greek national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou.
Papantoniou met with Kostov Tuesday in Sofia on the second leg of a regional tour, and following talks with Yugoslav leadership in Belgrade on Monday.
Kostov expressed satisfaction with what he called the "dynamic cooperation" between Greece and Bulgaria, adding that the Balkan Reconstruction Plan approved by the Greek government a year ago would contribute to further cooperation.
Greece is Bulgaria's third largest trade partner from among the EU member states, and the fourth largest foreign investor in the country.
Athens' Balkan Reconstruction Plan was also the focus of talks Papantoniou had late Monday night with Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov.
 Greece-bond auction results14/11/2000 16:24:12
Greece's long-term state bond yields eased slightly during Tuesday's regular auction of state securities by the Public Debt Management Organisation.
The average weighed yield of a 20-year bond issue, worth 220 billion drachmas and paying an annual coupon of 6.5 percent, fell to 6.33 percent from 6.35 percent in the previous auction of same bond on September 19.
Bids submitted totalled 663.5 billion drachmas, three times more than the asked sum. The average weighed price of the bond issue was 101.792 points.
 ASE-close14/11/2000 16:20:45
Equity prices continued moving lower on Tuesday hit by lack of buying interest and a shrinking liquidity on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Traders said the Greek market largely ignored an improved climate in European stock markets and said it was a positive sign that the market has found support at the 3,530-point level.
Shares in the investment and leasing sectors ended slightly higher, while holdings suffered the heaviest losses of the day.
The general index ended 0.77 percent lower at 3,532.82 points, off the day's lows of 3,523.02 points, with turnover a low 42.29 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.94 percent off at 2,035.53 point, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 0.14 percent to 421.29 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 1.33 percent lower at 369.91 points.
 Greece-labour reform14/11/2000 15:57:44
The Greek government will put forward a draft law of measures aiming to reform the country's labour market, following four months of dialogue with workers' and employers' unions, Labour Minister Tasos Yiannitsis said on Tuesday.
The government measures envisage: a) establishing a total working time, on an annual basis, with workers' consent. Employers could ask workers to work up to 43 hours a week without paying overtime compensation and to cut back the extra time on the basis of a 38-hour working week, b) abolishing executives' right of 5 hours overtime a week, c) increasing by 25 basis points the cost of overtime payment, d) raising part-time workers' pay by 7.5 percent, e) offering a monthly sum of 30,000 to long-term unemployed taking part-time jobs for a period of 12 months, f) raising the ceiling on monthly group lay-offs for businesses with a workforce of 20-249 persons to four, and g) cutting employers' welfare contributions by two percentage points.
He said the government was proceeding with its new legislation in an effort to deal with the problem of a total 520,000 unemployed in the country and noted that the new measures would lead to the creation of 50,000 new jobs.
GSEE has announced a 24-hour panhellenic strike on the first day of discussion of the government's labour reform proposals in parliament.
 Greece - Cyprus - Greek PM meets Cyprus president14/11/2000 15:36:04
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Prime Minister Costas Simitis met in Athens on Tuesday to discuss developments during the 5th round of UN-sponsored Cyprus proximity talks in Geneva. Also present were the Cypriot and Greek foreign ministers, Ioannis Kassoulides and George Papandreou, respectively.
After the one-hour meeting, which Simitis described as warm and friendly, the Cypriot delegation attended a working dinner offered by the prime minister.
In statements to the press, the Greek and Cypriot leaders noted that Greece and Cyprus had shared views on how issues of common interest, particularly the Cyprus problem, should be handled and expressed optimism that a final solution would emerge from the UN-led talks.
 Greece-foreign exchange14/11/2000 14:43:56
A fall in the euro/dollar rate below the 86 cents in international markets pushed the drachma lower against the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market on Tuesday.
The Greek currency fell to 396.180 drachmas per dollar at the day's fixing, from 395.140 the previous day.
The drachmas was stable against the euro currency at 340.150 drachmas per euro.
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