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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Simitis-Economy
  • [02] Plane-search
  • [03] El Greco exhibition - Attendance
  • [04] Olympic-Australia
  • [05] Greece-GM food certification
  • [06] Bond auction-rise
  • [07] Stock market report
  • [08] Netherlands-Greece
  • [09] Airforce plane-Missing

  • [01] Simitis-Economy

    17/01/2000 21:24:14

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Monday the European Union's decision on Saturday to revalue the Greek drachma against the euro showed that major steps had been taken to stabilise the economy and boost growth.

    Simitis was speaking on arrival at a reception by the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    "We will persevere in the same direction in order to attain greater prosperity and more social justice."

    "We are succeeding and for this reason we can be optimistic. Greece is changing its image," he added.

    The European Union's monetary committee on Saturday gave the drachma a new central parity of 340.750 to the euro in the exchange rate mechanism (ERM), representing a revaluation of 3.5%.

    Greece is expected to enter the 11-member euro zone on January 1, 2001 at the drachma's newly-set ERM parity.

    [02] Plane-search

    17/01/2000 17:56:01

    Search and rescue teams seeking the two crew of a Hellenic Air Force F-4 jet missing since early Monday have turned their attention to Mt. Parnassos, according to defence ministry reports.

    A massive search and rescue operation was mounted on land and sea when the jet disappeared from radars at approximately 9.45 a.m., but all efforts have so far failed to detect any trace of the aircraft or the two pilots.

    The plane disappeared 15 minutes before it was due to land on the island of Skyros. The F-4 jetfighter took off Monday morning from Andravida airbase on a training flight.

    [03] El Greco exhibition - Attendance

    17/01/2000 16:40:45

    The long lines of patient art aficionados disappeared on Monday from outside the National Art Gallery in downtown Athens as the heralded and most prolific exhibition of El Greco works · entitled ?El Greco: Identity and Transformation? · wound up a smashingly successful three-month stay at the gallery.

    Two attendance records also fell by the wayside during the carefully organised exhibition˘s run, with approximately 550,000 visitors passing through the art gallery˘s doors since Oct. 18, 1999, besting the figure for the exhibition˘s inaugural venue in Madrid (around 400,000 visitors). The Athens gallery˘s previous attendance record for a similar exhibition · some 500,000 visitors -- was also topped. A distinct El Greco ?drawing card?, the exhibition ?From Theotokopoulos to Cezanne? held the previous attendance record.

    [04] Olympic-Australia

    17/01/2000 16:34:03

    Olympic Airways' management has no plans to drop its Athens-Sydney route, a statement from the national carrier said on Monday.

    The statement was issued in response to recent reports that the airline company was planning to cut back on long-haul flights.

    "Indeed," the statement added, "the company is studying and planning to increase the frequency of flights to all destinations, and particularly those overseas."

    [05] Greece-GM food certification

    17/01/2000 16:24:35

    Greece's Agricultural Products' Certification and Surveillance Organisation, AGROCERT, will start offering credible information on genetically (GM), or non-genetically modified agricultural products.

    AGROCERT's decision to offer certified genetically non-modified products aims to respond directly to new consumer trends, domestic and abroad, as reflected in big supermarket chains pledges not to sell genetically modified products in Europe.

    The organisation is drafting regulatory proposals to certify on genetically non-modified agricultural products, such as corn, cottong, tomato, etc.

    This move will help Greek products to gain easier access in domestic and foreign markets and better prices.

    [06] Bond auction-rise

    17/01/2000 15:52:37

    Greece's Public Debt Management Organisation announced on Monday it would raise the size of a five-year state bond, to be auctioned on Tuesday, from 200 to 250 billion drachmas in view of increased demand by investors following the drachma's revaluation against the euro.

    The bond is paying an annual coupon of 6.6 percent.

    An official statement said "the revaluation of the drachma's central parity against the single European currency is making Greek state securities more attractive to foreign investors".

    [07] Stock market report

    17/01/2000 15:46:09

    Equity prices rebounded strongly on Monday helped by weekend news of a revaluation of the drachma's central parity against the euro ahead of the country's participation in EMU.

    Traders said the drachma's revaluation paved the way for a more rapid fall in domestic interest rates.

    The general index ended 1.68 percent higher at 5,362.30 points, sharply off the day's highs of 5,483.33 points. Turnover was a moderate 249 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.76 percent to end at 2,775.47 points, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended at 999.30 points, up 2.63 percent.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks jumped 3.32 percent to 1,723.47.

    [08] Netherlands-Greece

    17/01/2000 15:24:12

    Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok will begin his official visit to Greece on Tuesday with talks with his Greek counterpart, Costas Simitis.

    On the agenda of the talks will be European Union issues - including issues related to employment, to be discussed at the March Lisbon European Council - and Greece's economic and monetary union prospects, in the wake of last weekend's revaluation of the drachma.

    Also to be discussed will be the Stability Pact for southeast Europe and bilateral relations.

    [09] Airforce plane-Missing

    17/01/2000 13:19:22

    A massive search and rescue operation has been mounted for a Hellenic Airforce jet that went missing Monday between Tanagra and Skyros island with two pilots on board, defence ministry sources said.

    They said the F-4 jetfighter took off Monday morning from Andravida airbase on a training flight and was due to land at 10:00 a.m. at Skyros airport, but never reached its destination.

    The sources said the twin-seater jet disappeared from radars as it was flying between Tanagra and Skyros.

    A search has been launched by land, sea and air, but was being hindered by adverse weather conditions prevailing in the area, the sources said.

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