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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-01-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU-Convergence Plan
  • [02] Ancient Instrument-Premiere
  • [03] New Athens airport - Opening date
  • [04] Netherlands-Greece
  • [05] Greek exporters-drachma
  • [06] Stock market report
  • [07] Bond auction results
  • [08] Simitis-Kok
  • [09] Rubbish-Thessaloniki

  • [01] EU-Convergence Plan

    18/01/2000 21:01:49

    The European Union's executive Commission on Tuesday endorsed Greece's plan to align its economy with other members of the 15-nation block in order to secure euro zone entry.

    Meeting in Strasbourg, the Commission said it had recommended adoption of the 1999-2002 plan by the EU's finance ministers, who are due to meet on January 31.

    Fiscal and structural reforms contained in the convergence plan, which aims to take Greece into the 11-member euro zone on January 1, 2001, were in line with EU economic policy guidelines, the Commission said in a statement.

    [02] Ancient Instrument-Premiere

    18/01/2000 19:11:18

    Setting an ancient poem, by a Roman emperor no less, to music is an arduous artistic accomplishment in itself -- using that composition to present an ancient musical instrument to contemporary audiences, though, ranks as a unique exercise in blending ancient history and archaeology with modern musicology.

    The ambitious work has been underway for quite some time by Greek composer Giorgos Kouroupas, who plans on premiering his musical score based on a poem written some 1,600 years ago by Roman emperor Julian the Apostate using the "Hydraulis", an instrument resembling a crude form of today¢s church organ and comprised of wooden keys and vertically arranged pipes.

    [03] New Athens airport - Opening date

    18/01/2000 17:45:36

    The government and officials from the consortium constructing the new Athens international airport on Tuesday promised that the new facility east of the Greek capital would open on March 1, 2001.

    According to Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis and representatives of the Hochtief-led consortium -- which will manage the airport for 30 years after its completion -- 90 percent of the work was completed as of December 1999, with a period of field tests scheduled in the near future before the facility opens to travelers. Flight tests are expected to begin in May or June.

    [04] Netherlands-Greece

    18/01/2000 17:38:43

    Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, in Athens on an official visit, on Tuesday congratulated the country and its people on their efforts to converge with the European Union.

    Kok was speaking after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on a range of issues, including those touching on the future of the European Union and relations between the Netherlands and Greece.

    "...Greece finds itself very close to submitting its application for participation in the euro zone," Kok told a joint news conference after the talks.

    Greece hopes to enter the 11-member euro zone on January 1, 2001. The drachma received a 3.5 percent revaluation against the drachma over the weekend, in what was widely seen as a further indication that Greece's application to join EMU will be accepted.

    [05] Greek exporters-drachma

    18/01/2000 16:20:07

    The drachma's revaluation against the euro will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the economy, the Federation of Northern Greece Exporters (SEBE) said on Tuesday.

    Conversely, the Federation acknowledged that there would be a negative impact focusing mainly on exports and on lowering the competitiveness of Greek products and its tourism sector.

    They predicted, though, that an expected improvement in the country's economic climate would counterbalance some of the negative impact in the long term.

    SEBE noted that for the "battle" to be victorious it would need measures to support Greek exports through a Third Community Support Framework programme, the drafting of a national strategy on exports and marketing, financing of export-oriented companies, transport costs subsidies, technological development, restructuring of businesses and strengthened cooperations in the business sector.

    [06] Stock market report

    18/01/2000 15:43:00

    Equity prices dramatically change direction to end sharply lower on Tuesday as investors preferred to take early profits following Monday's sharp advance.

    Traders said the market remained cautious awaiting developments in the inflation front and a new round of interest rates cuts by domestic commercial banks.

    The general index ended 2.31 percent lower at 5,238.23 points, at the day's lows, with turnover a moderate 216.25 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 1.86 percent to 2,732.91 points, while the the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index dropped 2.70 percent to 972.27.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 1,668.55, off 3.19 percent.

    [07] Bond auction results

    18/01/2000 15:29:11

    Long-term yields fell during Tuesday's regular weekly bond auction by the Public Debt Management Organisation.

    The average weighed interest rate of a five-year bond, worth 250 billion drachmas and paying an annual coupon of 6.6 percent, fell to 6.36 percent from 6.43 percent in the previous auction of same securities on December 7, 1999.

    Bids submitted totalled 1.17 trillion drachmas, 4.68 times more than the asked sum, reflecting strong demand for Greek state bonds in the aftermath of a government's decision to revalue the drachma's central parity against the euro.

    Finally, the organisation accepted bids totalling 291 billion drachmas.

    The average weighed price of the bond was 100.809 points with an minimum accepted price at 100.710.

    [08] Simitis-Kok

    18/01/2000 14:20:11

    Prime minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday met with his visiting Dutch counterpart Wim Kok, for talks that focussed on European Union issues, Greece's prospective entry into the EU's economic and monetary union (EMU), and bilateral relations.

    Kok, who is in Athens on an official visit, will meet with main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis Tuesday afternoon.

    [09] Rubbish-Thessaloniki

    18/01/2000 13:51:27

    Residents of three municipalities bordering the Tagaradon landfill in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki continued to block access on Tuesday, as garbage began piling up on city streets.

    The residents, who say the landfill is responsible for serious environment pollution and poses a risk to their health, have blocked access to the landfill for the past three days.

    There was no result from hours of talks between prefectural and local authorities on Monday. Negotiations are to resume again on Wednesday.

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