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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-23

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

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

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 23/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greece welcomes UN resolutions on Cyprus
  • Greek equities end over 2,600 points
  • ANEK IPO oversubscribed 56 times
  • FM Pangalos stresses economic ties in Skopje
  • Gov't unveils adjustments to education reform
  • Campaign intensifies against Turkey nuclear sale
  • New Greek dictionary published
  • Tougher measures to stem tide of illegal immigration
  • Price Waterhouse chosen as consultant for Athens 2004
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greece welcomes UN resolutions on Cyprus

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday expressed the Greek government's satisfaction at two resolutions on Cyprus adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council, one renewing for six months the UN Peacekeeping Force in the divided island republic. The second resolution called on the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to respond positively to efforts by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy special representative for Cyprus, Ann Hercus, to secure agreement on measures to reduce tension and build confidence between the two communities. Pangalos said the simultaneous adoption of the two resolutions not only illustrated the strong interest of the international community in the Cyprus issue, but also showed that the Security Council had realised the dangers entailed by any further prolongation of the problem.

Greek equities end over 2,600 points

Greek equities continued moving higher on Wednesday pushing the general index above the 2,600 level for the first time since August 21. The index ended 2.50 percent higher to 2,605.87 points in extremely heavy turnover of 89.7 billion drachmas. Volume was 16,830,000 shares. Traders said foreign institutional investors were active buyers with focus on blue-chip stocks like National Bank, Alpha Credit Bank, Ergobank and Hellenic Telecoms. Sentiment was improved following a substantial drop in bond yields on Tuesday and news of a stock split by National Bank of Greece next month.

ANEK IPO oversubscribed 56 times

ANEK Lines initial public offering was 56 times oversubscribed raising 1.42 trillion drachmas from an original target of 18.55 billion, a company statement said Wednesday. ANEK Lines was seeking listing on the Athens Stock Exchange through issuing of 348,000,000 shares. A total of 27 banks and brokerage firms acted as underwriters to the deal led by Bank of Piraeus, National Bank and Commercial Bank.

FM Pangalos stresses economic ties in Skopje

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos stressed in Skopje yesterday that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) considers Greece a "strategic ally." He was speaking at a press conference with his counterpart Alexander Dimitrov, during the first day of his official visit to the neighbouring land-locked country. Mr. Pangalos said that the undertaking of initiatives was agreed in the sectors of communications, energy and telecommunications, with the purpose of having the Thessaloniki-Skopje axis become a development pole for the entire region.

Gov't unveils adjustments to education reform

Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis unveiled several proposals yesterday aimed at ending a deadlock in the education sector along with accompanying students' protests, road blocks and occupations of dozens of schools around Greece. He outlined adjustments to certain aspects of the education ministry's controversial reforms, such as changes in the calculation of grades and the option of resitting exams, valid for the present school year. The embattled minister also outlined proposals projected to improve conditions for teaching, proposing the establishment of an institute for continuing education for teachers and calling for dialogue with secondary teachers' federation, OLME.

Campaign intensifies against Turkey nuclear sale

Greek-Canadians are circulating protest postcards against the sale of a Candu-type nuclear reactor to Turkey and addressing them to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. The Greek-Canadian congress urged Canadian citizens to send the cards to their PM in an effort to cancel the sale, which will reportedly be partially financed by a loan from Ottowa. The card lists all the basic reasons why Turkey should not be given nuclear technology, including the fact that the Candu reactors are outdated and Ankara's plans to build a nuclear plant near a seismic rift. They also pointed to the fact that Turkey wi ll use the reactor to attain nuclear weapons capability.

New Greek dictionary published

The Modern Greek Language Institute (Manolis Triantafyllidis Foundation) at the University of Thessaloniki presented on Monday a new Greek-language dictionary, after some 20 years of intensive efforts. The dictionary features approximately 80,000 entries on 1,532 pages, offering phonetic spelling in Latin characters as well as morphological, semantic and grammar elements. Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, in his congratulatory message, said that the ministry instructed the Greek Language Centre to create a data base for research purposes.

Tougher measures to stem tide of illegal immigration

The interior minister is currently preparing and will soon table a draft bill providing for the creation of special services to receive and help legalised immigrants while introducing strict measures such as the immediate deportation of foreign aliens illegally residing in Greece. The new legislation was announced by Interior and Public Administration Minister Alekos Papadopoulos at a press conference yesterday. Under the new law, Mr. Papadopoulos said, criminal sanctions will be extended to cover not only those who facilitate the illegal stay or obstruct police investigations aimed at locating, arresting and deporting illegals, but also whoever assists in their unlawful hiring.

Price Waterhouse chosen as consultant for Athens 2004

Price Waterhouse Business Advisors S.A. was selected yesterday by the "Athens 2004" board of directors as the financial consultant for the 2004 Olympics. The London and New York-based firm will offer "Athens 2004" support in the planning, tendering and selection of private contractors and investors for special technical projects and will assist with the "self- financing" of respective projects, according to an announcement. Price Waterhouse was hired as a consultant for the Barcelona Olympics, Atlanta in 1996 and is also hired by organisers for the upcoming Sydney Games in 2000.

WEATHER

Cloudy skies with rainfall or sleet in most parts of Greece today and snowfall on highground. Winds, strong to very strong and temperatures will range in the north from -1C-7C, in the Ionian and mainland 2C-12C and in the Aegean 12-16C. Athens will be cloudy with rainfall and temperatures ranging from 7C-12C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with scattered sleet or snow and temperatures ranging from 2C-6C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 278.167 British pound 467.649 Japanese yen (100) 237.485 French franc 49.636 German mark 166.438 Italian lira (100) 16.798 Irish Punt 413.466 Belgian franc 8.068 Finnish mark 54.772 Dutch guilder 147.664 Danish kr. 43.763 Austrian sch. 23.658 Spanish peseta 1.957 Swedish kr. 34.714 Norwegian kr. 36.254 Swiss franc 204.689 Port. Escudo 1.624 Aus. dollar 171.041 Can. dollar 179.354

(M.P.)


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