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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-08

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, 08/06/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • PM Simitis confident Yugoslav war to end soon
  • Peace agreement close, Athens says
  • Greek, Spanish ministers confer on Kosovo
  • Public Housing Organisation likely to build Olympic Village
  • 'Doctors of the Balkans' unit to be set up
  • Greek equities end lower
  • Key figure in brokerage probe to give evidence
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

PM Simitis confident Yugoslav war to end soon

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Tuesday that the war in Yugoslavia may end before the end of the week, even as early as today or tomorrow morning. Speaking to reporters after meeting with President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Simitis said Greece would contribute to the implementation of any peace agreement to emerge from ongoing efforts "because we want peace to prevail in the Balkans, which must become a region of development in which these hostilities are set aside". Simitis said he had discussed the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis in telephone conversations Tuesday morning with German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder and Italian Prime Minister Massimo d'Alema.

Peace agreement close, Athens says

Greece said on Tuesday that only a few issues remained outstanding in the talks between NATO and Yugoslavia over a peace agreement for the province of Kosovo. "The few steps that are left will be taken by both sides towards the signing of a peace agreement, which the Greek government believes will not be long in coming," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters. He said that Greece would be present in developments in the region, as it had been since the beginning of the present crisis. Asked about the passage of troops through Greek territory, en route to Skopje to join the peacekeeping force, Reppas said that this passage would occur after the international community had taken a decision on peace in the region and on the presence of a peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

Greek, Spanish ministers confer on Kosovo

Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis had talks in Athens on Tuesday with Spain's European Affairs Minister Ramon de Miguel ranging from European Union and foreign policy issues to bilteral relations. Earlier, de Miguel had conveyed a message from Foreign Minister Abel Matutes to his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, confirming Spain's support for Thessaloniki's bid to become the headquarters for a Balkan organisation to be set up within the framework of the Stabilisation Pact. One of the main reasons for his visit, de Miguel said, was to sound out Greece's positions on the Stabilisation Pact. Replying to questions, de Miguel said it would not be possible to secure stabilisation in the Balkans if Yugoslavia was not a party to the relevant efforts. Commenting in general on the Yugoslav crisis and the situation in the region, de Miguel said "no one understands Balkan issues better than Greece".

Public Housing Organisation likely to build Olympic Village

The Olympic Village for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will be most likely be constructed by the Organisation for Public Housing (OEK), Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said yesterday. Papazoi, speaking at her first news conference regarding the 2004 Games, said she was fully satisfied at the pace of preparations. As culture minister, Ms Papazoi is president of the inter-ministerial committee overseeing the Games' preparations. Ms Papazoi said the ongoing 'saga' of the location of the Olympic Village - the largest of the Olympic Games construction projects - was nearing an end and that an agreement with OEK to construct the site was near.

'Doctors of the Balkans' unit to be set up

A mobile emergency unit called "Doctors of the Balkans" will be set up to intervene in emergencies (earthquakes, wars, epidemics, etc) in Balkan countries, to be created through voluntary contribution, the director of the Social Insurances Foundation's (IKA) preventive medicine unit in Alexandroupolis, Dr. Constantinos Papoutselis, said. Mr. Papoutselis said the activation of the mobile unit "Doctors of the Balkans" is expected to start in January and the first departments will be created in Andrianoupoli, Bucharest, Skopje and Alexandroupoli.

Greek equities end lower

Equity prices ended lower on Tuesday hit by rumours of another securities firm facing liquidity problems. The general index ended 1.10 percent lower at 4,053.95 points, off the day's lows of 4,033 points. It started the day 0.78 percent higher. Turnover was a huge 335.918 billion drachmas reflecting block trades in Ergobank and Eurobank. A total of 44,026,564 shares changed hands. Ergobank and Ergo Invest were the most heavily traded stocks. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.66 percent lower.

Key figure in brokerage probe to give evidence

A former senior employee of Alki Securities, which is being investigated in what may be a share trading racket, was taken into custody yesterday after voluntarily reporting to a public prosecutor in Thessaloniki. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Sunday after allegations of trading irregularities in the Thessaloniki branch of Alki Securities appeared in the media at the end of last week. Authorities are investigating the allegations that the brokerage has a major shortfall and that some of its customers are owed money.

WEATHER

Sunny weather is forecast throughout the country today with cloud expected in northern Greece in the afternoon. Winds northerly, light to strong. Athens, sunny with temperatures between 20-32C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18-31C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          312.262
Pound sterling       501.773
Japanese yen (100)   257.999
French franc          49.018
German mark          164.399
Italian lira (100)    16.606
Irish Punt           408.268
Belgian franc          7.971
Luxembourg franc       7.971
Finnish mark          54.079
Dutch guilder        145.907
Danish kr.            43.281
Austrian sch.         23.367
Spanish peseta         1.932
Swedish kr.           36.152
Norwegian kr.         39.119
Swiss franc          202.790
Port. Escudo           1.604
Can. dollar          212.288
Aus. dollar          206.162
Cyprus pound         557.444
Euro                 321.537
(M.P.)
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