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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 08/12/1998 (ANA)


  • U.S. envoy upbeat on Greek economy's prospects
  • Holbrooke in Athens on Monday
  • Farmers rally in pouring rain
  • Greece happy with EU decision on Turkey
  • Nazi war compensation still an issue
  • Attica coast under attack - residents
  • One-stop shop for pensioners
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange


U.S. envoy upbeat on Greek economy's prospects

US Ambassador in Greece Nicholas Burns appeared optimistic on the course of the Greek economy as he addressed an Athens conference. Speaking at "The Hour of the Greek Economy" cnference organised by the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, Burns said the opportunity presented itself now for "rebirth of Greek-American (trade) relations". He said trade and investment relations between the two countries were currently at a low ebb, although there had been a particularly positive growth in the current year. He said the news was good for the Greek and American economies, adding that the opportunities existed and, with the contribution of all agencies concerned, economic relations between the wo coutnries would develop further.

Holbrooke in Athens on Monday

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. mediator on the Cyprus issue, will be in Athens on Monday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday. The visit to Athens is part of Holbrooke's tour of the region. He is also expected to visit Ankara and Nicosia. Reppas said it was positive that the international community was showing a "lively interest" in the resolution of the Cypriot issue and added that this should move in the framework defined by the United Nations.

Farmers rally in pouring rain

About 200 farmers and 64 tractors rallied in pouring rain in the central Greek town of Larissa on Tuesday to underline that they were prepared for a repeat last year's road blockade protests against the government's farming policies. "The crisis farmers face is a tragedy titled 'Black Days for Farming', starring Agriculture Minister George Anomerities, directed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and sponsored by the government," president of the Federation of Democratic Farm Cooperatives Christos Papadimitriou told protestors. Yannis Patakis, the president of the Federation of Farming Cooperatives, warned farmers' that their struggle would be long and hard and that they would have to once again block roads.

Greece happy with EU decision on Turkey

Greece on Tuesday welcomed a decision by the European Union's General Affairs Council that Turkey would not join the 11 candidates for EU membership invited to the two-day EU summit in Vienna on Friday. Monday's decision by the European Union's General Affairs Council in relation to the Union's relations with Turkey "is very close to the Greek position," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. Asked whether the issue would be raised again at the Vienna EU summit, Reppas said the summit would show how the government defends national interests.

Nazi war compensation still an issue

The government is satisfied with the way the issue of the compensation for victims of the Nazi occupation of Greece was handled during Monday's meeting between the Greek and German leaders. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that Greece had not suffered any defeat in broaching the issue and that the fact that the issue had become an issue for bilateral relations was a victory. "The issue is on the table and will occupy both sides in the future," Reppas said. He said Greece would be vindicated when the "time was ripe".

Attica coast under attack - residents

Residents of the Athens coastal suburbs of Faliro and Glyfada said on Tuesday that a spate of construction projects planned for the 2004 Olympic Games would completely change the face of the Athens sea front. "The Athens sea front is being threatened with unprecedented destruction, since major tracts of land are being handed over to private interests, either through EOT (the National Tourist Organisation) or for Olympic Games and related installations," members of the Coordinating Committee to Save the Saronic Gulf told a news conference. The committee is made up of representatives of conservation groups, ecological unions and local agencies in the Faliro and Glyfada areas.

One-stop shop for pensioners

The government on Tuesday inaugurated a "one-stop shop" for pensioners, saying that its success would be instrumental for the establishment of planned one-stop shops in other public services. Deputy Interior Minister Stavros Benos said the new pilot programme for the service would be available at four major branches of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), the country's largest social insurance agency. The service is scheduled to begin operating on March 1, 1999. Trained staff will be on hand to advise those with queries about pension issues and on which documents are required. Some 2,500 employees of IKA begin being trained on the new systems as of Wednesday.


Clouds with rain are forecast today throughout the country, with storms at the Aegean and snow in central and northern Greece. Winds will be variable, moderate to very strong. Athens will be overcast with rainfall or sleet. Snow is expected in the mountains around Athens and possibly in the northern suburbs at night with temperatures ranging from 5C to 9C. Thessaloniki will also be cloudy, with sporadic snowfall, and temperatures ranging from 0C to 5C.


Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.714 British pound 463.165 Japanese yen (100) 232.951 French franc 49.673 German mark 166.567 Italian lira (100) 16.832 Irish Punt 413.862 Belgian franc 8.076 Finnish mark 54.808 Dutch guilder 147.828 Danish kr. 43.819 Austrian sch. 23.684 Spanish peseta 1.959 Swedish kr. 34.266 Norwegian kr. 37.484 Swiss franc 203.439 Port. Escudo 1.625 Aus. dollar 172.320 Can. dollar 182.230


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