|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-12-28
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
28/12/2000 12:02:32 μμ
 Financial newsIn Frankfurt, the president of the European Central bank Vim Duizenberg yesterday said he was certain that the revaluating course of the euro in international markets would continue.
At the same time, the Greek economy's progress towards convergence with the other European economies is moving quickly and already, the Monetary Policy Council of the Bank of Greece reduced interest rates by 1% in order to equate them fully with the interest rates of the euro zone.
Consequently, the basic interest rate was set at 4.75%, while the government's financial staff is optimistic about the course of the Greek economy throughout 2001.
According to the predictions, inflation will start moving downwards next March, falling down from 3.5%, while for June, the leadership of the national economy ministry forecast that the consumer price index will be below 3%. The government's economic staff is convinced that in the last few months of 2001, the price index will have dropped below 2%.
 Fuel price reductions for one weekMeanwhile, significant reductions in fuel are in force as of today and for one week in Greece.
Retail prices will be reduced by 6.3 drachmas per litre for super, 6.6 drs for unleaded, while heating oil will be sold by 10.2 drs less and diesel by 7.7 drs.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index fell slightly by 0.12% and closed at 3.393,42 points.
 Cyprus talksThe new round of inter-communal talks on Cyprus, scheduled for the end of January, was postponed for early March.
According to the Athens news agency, which quotes reliable government sources, the postponement was due to the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's demand to recognize that the two communities are completely equal, and also his threat not to attend the talks if his demand was not accepted.
Nevertheless, efforts behind the scenes are being made to dissuade the Turkish-Cypriot leader from his demands. Meanwhile, the Cypriot government will lodge protests with the EU member states, Washington and the UN for the abduction of the Cypriot citizen Panikos Tziakourmas from the Turkish occupation forces.
In a related development, the British envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hanney will pay a two-day official visit to Cyprus and will meet with the cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis.
 Greek defense minister visits the DodecaneseOn the occasion of Christmas and New Year's Day, national defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos toured the Dodecanese islands-Leros, Kalymnos and Farmakonisi -yesterday, while his tour will end today with a visit to the islet of Kos.
In Farmakonisi, where there is an outpost of commandos, Mr Tsochatzopoulos addressed a double message as regards the decisive defense of Greece's sovereign rights and also the common security, cooperation and common future with the neighbours on the other side of the Aegean.
 Greek cruise ships and ferries are safeMerchant marine minister Christos Papoutsis appeared satisfied yesterday, regarding the positive views the American State Department expressed on the security measures that are being applied in ferries and cruise ships in Greece.
Mr Papoutsis also stressed that Greece has the most strict safety specifications among European Union countries, adding that Greece is a forerunner in taking security measures both on European level and internationally.
The American State Department's directive to the US citizens wishing to travel to Greece, include positive critics for the safety of Greek cruise ships and ferry boats.
Meanwhile, the four new experts the special magistrate of the court of appeal Nikos Karadimitriou appointed after the expert Ilias Stefanakos resigned from the investigations underway for the shipwreck of the ferry Express Samina off the island of Paros in September, will have to submit their reports within two months.
 Privatazation of Olympic AirwaysNon binding offers for the assignment of Olympic Airways are expected to be submitted by the end of January, while according to information, companies which have expressed their interest in the Greek Post office will be chosen the same month.
The Cypriot Airlines, the American company Chrysler Aviation have shown interest in Olympic Airways, while according to information several Greek businessmen are also interested in it.
Meanwhile, four major foreign companies are interested in purchasing 25% of the Greek Post Office and 505 of its affiliate courier company, while the interested parties will make their final bids in March.
 Meeting of Cretan YouthThe Cretan Youth of Australia and New Zealand organize the 2nd World Meeting of Cretan Youth in Sydney from January 4th to 12th, 2001.
The first meeting of Cretan Youth was held in Iraklion, Crete in 1998, when the World Council of Cretan Youth was set up in the bid to exchange views and draw a common action plan to promote Cretan culture.
 WeatherGale force winds of up to 9 beaufor prevail in the Greek seas. Consequently, there is a ban on ships sailing from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina to the Aegean islands and Crete, while the ferry boat channels Kyllini-Zakynthos and Agia Marina-Styra closed.