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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-02-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] FYROM-Simitis-Georgievski Meeting
  • [02] Arafat Visit-Athens
  • [03] Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday
  • [04] Greece-Loan-Romania
  • [05] Informer-Bulgaria-Deal
  • [06] Bank Workers-Strike
  • [07] Greece - Romania - defence ministers meeting
  • [08] ECB: Euro-Dollar-Drachma
  • [09] ASE-close
  • [10] Weather Forecast-Friday

  • [01] FYROM-Simitis-Georgievski Meeting

    22/02/2001 23:17:37

    SKOPJE (ANA - M. Vihou) -Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis held a 20-minute meeting here on Thursday night with his counterpart of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Ljubco Georgievski. The two men and focused their attention on bilateral relations and the situation in the broader Balkan region.

    Speaking to reporters later, Simitis said the two expressed the will of both sides to confront any efforts being made by various extremist elements to dispute the current borders or to place into doubt the settlements brought about after the war in Kosovo through a United Nations decision.

    The FYROM prime minister expressed the hope that peace prevails as soon as possible in southern Serbia and Kosovo and for disputes to be resolved through peaceful means, because "our two countries are harmed directly and indirectly."

    Simitis arrived in Skopje to attend a Balkan summit which begins on Friday.

    On bilateral relations, Simitis said that the Greek side will examine the possibility of extending visas to FYROM nationals, adding that Athens will contribute financially to the new university in Tetovo.

    Referring to the dispute over the neigbouring country's name, Simitis and Georgievski agreed that the problem must be solved as soon as possible and that the talks between the two countries should continue in New York.

    [02] Arafat Visit-Athens

    22/02/2001 20:37:11

    Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is likely to visit Athens on Saturday, government sources said on Thursday.

    The sources said that the Palestinian leader asked to visit Athens to have talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The Greek side, according to the same sources, accepted Arafat's request, providing he decides to come to Athens, and will be received by Simitis on Satuday morning at the Maximos Mansion.

    [03] Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday

    22/02/2001 18:40:53

    Friday's buying rates

    U.S. dollar 373.261

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 539.110

    Irish punt 429.202

    Belgian franc 008.379

    Luxembourg franc 008.379

    Dutch guilder 153.389

    Italian lira (100) 017.457

    Austrian schilling 024.565

    Danish kroner 45.284

    Swedish kroner 37.339

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 320.917

    Swiss franc 220.678

    Norwegian kroner 40.923

    Cyprus pound 583.595

    Canadian dollar 242.907

    Australian dollar 194.925

    [04] Greece-Loan-Romania

    22/02/2001 18:05:45

    Greece is to give Romania a loan of 80 million euros as part of its plan to spur Balkan reconstruction.

    Payment will be made in installments over five years for projects to be decided by a joint committee from the two countries.

    Details of the loan were discussed with Romania's government during a visit to the country by Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos.

    Both sides were eager to see the creation of joint ventures in which Romanian businesses would have majority holdings.

    [05] Informer-Bulgaria-Deal

    22/02/2001 17:55:13

    Informer SA has won a contract to computerise United Bulgarian Bank, the neighbouring country's largest credit institution, the Greek firm told the Athens bourse on Thursday.

    Under the 2.62 billion drachma deal, Informer will install the Globus banking computer system for all transactions at UBB's headquarters and 120 branches within 18 months, it told the bourse in a letter.

    Informer will work with Planet, Ernst & Young and Ethnodata on the project, the letter said.

    [06] Bank Workers-Strike

    22/02/2001 17:39:53

    Bank workers are to stage a 48-hour nationwide strike on March 12-13, union leaders said on Thursday.

    The union wants to see the creation of a unified health and pension fund for the sector. It claims the government has failed to keep pledges on social insurance and other areas of dispute.

    [07] Greece - Romania - defence ministers meeting

    22/02/2001 17:31:01

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met his Romanian counterpart Ioan Mircea Pascuin Athens on Thursday for talks that focused on NATO and EU enlargement and bilateral cooperation in the defence sector.

    They decided that Greece and Romania should work together on joint defence research programmes, such as the retooling of C-130 aircraft by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and Greek shipyards.

    Both ministers also expressed concern over the situation in south Serbia and the terrorist activities by Albanian separatists in the area. Tsohatzopoulos referred to 'Albanian nationalists' and Pascu talked about parties that did not want Federal Yugoslavia to rejoin the international community.

    "If you can't solve a specific problem, it will lead to more problems," Pascu said on this issue. If the international community could stop Milosevic, he added, there was no reason why it could not control a small group of people.

    Tsohatzopoulos called on the EU and NATO to state that they did not accept terrorist phenomena that appeared to be systematically promoted in southern Serbia. He also appealed to the Kosovo peace-keeping force KFOR and the Yugoslav armed forces to work together in the free zone to deter conflict. He clarified that the problem was centred in the Presevo Valley, which was a free zone that no one could enter, a fact that terrorist organisations took advantage of to create problems.

    The Greek defence minister also expressed Athens' support for Romania's and Bulgaria's accession to the EU and NATO, as well as the accession of the Cyprus Republic and Turkey to the EU.

    After the meeting, the Romanian defence minister was received by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    [08] ECB: Euro-Dollar-Drachma

    22/02/2001 17:25:46

    The euro on Thursday stood at 90.56 cents from 91.46 cents against the US dollar a day earlier, according to reference rates released by the European Central Bank (ECB).

    The parity gives an implied rate of 376.25 drachmas versus the US currency, the ECB said in a routine statement.

    Greece joined the euro zone on January 1.

    [09] ASE-close

    22/02/2001 15:53:32

    Equity prices ended Thursday's highly volatile session lower on the Athens Stock Exchange with the market managing a late and partial rebound from its initial sharply lower opening.

    Traders said investors reappeared, late in the session, in the smaller capitalisation sector boosting the day's turnover.

    The general index ended 0.46 percent lower at 3,177.31 points, off the day's lows of 3,146.61 points and the day's highs of 3,209.52. Turnover was an improved 185.98 million euros, or 63.37 billion drachmas, of which 11.90 million euros were pre-agreed transactions.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.65 percent lower at 1,828.35 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.04 percent to 362.61 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 1.89 percent higher at 299.25 points.

    [10] Weather Forecast-Friday

    22/02/2001 15:36:06

    Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Friday, turning to showers in the west, the north and the eastern Aegean islands. Winds southwesterly, moderate, turning very strong at sea in the south. In the north, temperatures will range from -1C to 13C; on the rest of the mainland from 2C to 17C; and in the islands from 7C to 16C. Light cloud over Athens with temperatures between 7C and 16C. Showers possible in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 2C to 13C.


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