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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-06-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou argues for return of Parthenon Marbles
  • [02] Greek-Turkish cooperation - announcement
  • [03] EU finance ministers approve Greek euro-zone bid
  • [04] Spanish PM Aznar-Visit
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday
  • [06] Weather Forecast-Tuesday
  • [07] Mutual funds-May report
  • [08] ASE-close
  • [09] Hellenic studies - Florida - AFGLC

  • [01] Papandreou argues for return of Parthenon Marbles

    05/06/2000 22:54:21

    LONDON (ANA-L.Tsirigotakis) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou testified for two hours on Monday before a House of Commons cultural committee in London, arguing for the return of the famous Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

    At the head of a three-member Greek delegation, which included culture ministry general secretary Lina Mendoni and Jules Dassin of the Melina Merkouri Institute, Papandreou put his case to a nine-member British parliamentary committee that is holding an inquiry into the illicit trade of antiquities.

    The line taken by the Greek foreign minister marks a new approach to the issue, with the Greek side inviting the British government and the British Museum to cooperate with Greece in finding a solution that satisfies all parties, with the eventual prospect of the Marbles return to Greece. He specified, however, that such a development need not be directly linked to the issue of who owns the Marbles.

    "I have the impression," Papandreou said, "that our proposal is realistic. The return of the Marbles to Greece would be a historic affair that would deeply move the Greek people, and which will gain a large place in the hearts of Greeks."

    Papandreou argued that the Greek side is legally and historically justified, and pointed to reports by archaeologists that talked about the need to make the unique Parthenon temple whole again.

    [02] Greek-Turkish cooperation - announcement

    05/06/2000 21:39:28

    The foreign ministry's European Affairs general secretary, Ilias Plaskovitis, on Friday visited Istanbul, Turkey at the head of a ministry delegation for the third Greek-Turkish meeting for cooperation in European matters.

    A foreign ministry announcement on Monday said that the meeting was carried out in a warm and friendly atmosphere and it was agreed that a series of seminars should be set up for the further training of Turkish civil servants in economic, customs and banking issues, as well as for the Turkish judiciary on the application of European law by Turkish courts.

    This cooperation is expected to continue in the future and to examine other areas that interest both countries in relation to European affairs.

    [03] EU finance ministers approve Greek euro-zone bid

    05/06/2000 20:34:36

    LUXEMBOURG (ANA-M.Spinthourakis) - Finance ministers of the 15-nation European Union on Monday unanimously approved Greece's bid to join the euro-zone on January 1, 2001.

    The ministers adopted an earlier recommendation by the EU's executive Commission, which means the final step for Greek entry is anticipated endorsement by EU leaders at a summit in Portugal on June 19-20.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who attended the Luxembourg meeting, welcomed the approval, calling it "historic" for Greece.

    Papantoniou also said that the 11-member euro zone had decided to invite Greece to euro council meetings from July, well before its expected entry in January.

    [04] Spanish PM Aznar-Visit

    05/06/2000 19:43:32

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar starts a two-day official visit to Greece on Tuesday. He will have talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas who made the statement, also announced that on Tuesday afternoon Simitis will have a telephone conversation with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guteres, who currently presides over the European Union.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday

    05/06/2000 18:47:41

    Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Tuesdays rates (buying)

    Euro 334.205

    U.S. dollar 354.134

    German mark 170.876

    [06] Weather Forecast-Tuesday

    05/06/2000 16:56:00

    Sunshine is forecast throughout the country on Tuesday. Winds northerly, light in the west and moderate in the east.

    [07] Mutual funds-May report

    05/06/2000 16:46:55

    Greece's mutual funds' assets rose by 4.56 percent to 12.052 trillion drachmas in May, from 11.527 trillion in April, Institutional Investors' Union figures showed on Monday.

    The increase reflects a 13.88 percent jump in domestic equity mutual funds' assets to 3.956 trillion drachmas from 3.473 trillion in April, and a 2.84 percent rise in the number of shares.

    Equity mutual funds raised their share of the total market to 34.3 percent in May from 31.7 pct the previous month, while money market funds' share fell from 45.1 pct to 43.6 percent over the same period.

    [08] ASE-close

    05/06/2000 16:45:39

    Equity prices came under pressure to end lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday with market sentiment undermined by worries over the privatisation process in Olympic Airways and Commercial Bank of Greece and the inflation course in May.

    Blue chip stocks, particularly banks, ended with heavy losses followed by smaller capitalisation stocks.

    The general index broke the support level of 4,500 points to end 0.88 percent lower at 4,494.99 points with turnover a low 116.547 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,478.70 points, off 1.39 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 0.64 percent to 658.99 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 946.13, off 2.36 percent.

    [09] Hellenic studies - Florida - AFGLC

    05/06/2000 15:40:00

    An ambitious campaign by Greek expatriates and US philhellenes to better diffuse Hellenic culture and language in practically every corner of Americas academic landscape will be the highlight of an event on Tuesday evening at the Hellenic American Union.

    What began a few years ago in the United States as a heartfelt effort to promote Greek letters and civilisation from antiquity to Byzantium and on to the present has now taken shape as the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture (AFGLC).

    AFGLCs first and most notable success was the establishment this year of its highly touted interdisciplinary centre of Hellenic studies at the University of South Florida (USF), which consists of five permanently endowed chairs in as many ?core? areas of Greek studies Greek language and literature; history; philosophy; culture, and, Byzantine history and Orthodox religion.

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