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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 08/10/1998 (ANA)


  • September inflation rises to 5.2%
  • Stocks take drubbing on Athens bourse
  • Government meeting on arms procurements on Friday
  • Athens reiterates political solution for Kosovo
  • Cyprus Speaker meets with Pangalos
  • Greek, South African defence ministers meet
  • Second quake recorded off Zakynthos
  • European health spending needs review
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


September inflation rises to 5.2%

Year-on-year inflation stood at 5.2 per cent in September, up from 5 per cent in August, according to an announcement by the National Statistics Service (NSS) on Thursday. The NSS statement said that rising food prices, particularly in fresh food, helped push consumer prices up in the previous month. The NSS, however, remained confident that inflation could drop below 5.0 percent in October following a special fuel and heating oil tax and a government-sponsored food price freeze in supermarkets.

Stocks take drubbing on Athens bourse

Greek equities plunged 5.23 percent on the Athens Stock Exchange, hit by renewed turmoil in international markets and a surprise increase in the inflation rate in September. The general index lost 101 points to end to 1, 829.55, in thin turnover of 28.8 billion drachmas. Volume was 7,276,000 shares. Sector indices ended lower led by a 6.2 percent drop in banks. Insurance fell 1.90 percent, Investment ended 3.36 percent off, Leasing fell 2.56 percent, Industrials plunged 4.67 percent, Construction eased 4.23 percent, Miscellaneous dropped 5.93 percent and Holding fell 5.48 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 3.14 percent off.

Government meeting on arms procurements on Friday

The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) will meet on Friday to examine progress in the government's multi-million dollar five- year armaments programme, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today. There was speculation earlier this week that the scheduled meeting might be postponed. The spokesman clarified today that the meeting had been prepared following numerous telephone contacts by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos. There is also a possibility that other issues will be discussed at the meeting, including the crisis in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, Reppas said.

Athens reiterates political solution for Kosovo

Replying to questions about developments in the Kosovo crisis, Reppas said the government had "nothing new" but was following ongoing consultations with interest. Simitis, he continued, had been in contact with other European leaders and had ascertained the "common perception" that the solution must be sought through political dialogue, although there were some doubt as to the willingness of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in this respect. Asked whether the Greek government intended to issue a travel advisory for Yugoslavia or withdraw its diplomatic mission, as other European countries have done, Reppas replied that there was no need for such a step.

Cyprus Speaker meets with Pangalos

Cyprus House of Representatives Speaker Spyros Kyprianou on Thursday expressed satisfaction at the unanimous decision of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg earlier this week to commence substantive negotiations for the accession of six candidate countries, including Cyprus, on November 10. Kyprianou, who had talks here today with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, said the Greek government was eagerly promoting Cyprus' accession bid. He attributed the positive outcome of efforts in particular to Pangalos' "strong stance".

Greek, South African defence ministers meet

Prospects for expanding cooperation between Greece and S. Africa were examined today during a meeting between Greek national defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his visiting S. African counterpart Joe Modise. Tsohatzopoulos said after the meeting that cooperation could be extended to encompass many fields, such as the social, political and economic sectors in addition to the defence industry, where "there will be better initiatives in the immediate future". Modise expressed appreciation for Greece's support in S. Africa's struggle for democracy, and for the role of the large Greek community in S. Africa in the country's economic development.

Second quake recorded off Zakynthos

A strong earthquake registering 5.2 on the Richter scale rocked the island of Zakynthos this morning, but no damages were immediately reported. According to the Athens Geodynamic Institute, the quake struck at 6:58 a.m. in the Ionian Sea west of the island, 300 kilometres west of Athens. The quake was also felt on Cephalonia island and the prefectures of Ilia and Achaia.

European health spending needs review

Europe must concentrate on rationalising the funds it allocates to health ahead of the growing needs of an ageing population and the costly overdependence by some EU member-states on pharmaceuticals, health experts said on Thursday. Spending on health as a percentage of GDP over the past 30 years has doubled and today ranges between an average 5-10 percent in EU member states, according to the European Commission's latest report on the health of Europeans. The report was presented on Thursday at a news conference by the Federation of Self-managed Health Funds ahead of an international conference on the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals.


Cloudy weather will prevail in most parts of Greece on Thursday with the possibility of scattered showers in the northwest in the morning. Winds will be variable, moderate to strong. Mostly fair in Athens where temperatures will range between 17-29C. Overcast in Thessaloniki where temperatures will be from 15-26C.


Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.058 British pound 470.803 Japanese yen (100) 223.200 French franc 51.501 German mark 172.668 Italian lira (100) 17.465 Irish Punt 430.746 Belgian franc 8.368 Finnish mark 56.746 Dutch guilder 153.140 Danish kr. 45.414 Austrian sch. 24.542 Spanish peseta 2.033 Swedish kr. 35.591 Norwegian kr. 37.984 Swiss franc 210.339 Port. Escudo 1.685 Aus. dollar 171.998 Can. dollar 184.611 Cyprus pound 581.312


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