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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-03
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 USA-European Alliance of Press Agencies03/10/2000 22:08:00
NEW YORK (ANA M. Georgiadou) The annual General Assembly of European Alliance of Press Agencies (EAPA) begun here on Monday with the participation of national news agency general managers from 28 countries.
The EAPA general assembly meetings are scheduled for five days and include organizational issues, the hiring of a full time professional general secretary for EAPA and a special seminar on new digital technologies.
The meeting of the assembly in the United States was the first to be held outside Europe and was scheduled to take place in New York as the US is the world leader in new digital technologies.
Athens News Agency General Director Andreas Christodoulides will take over the presidency of the EAPA and will undertake the organisation of the 2001 general assembly, programmed to take place in Athens.
?It was an opportunity to see from close up what is happening in America in the high technology sector, so as to take advantage of their experience in order to enrich and widen our own activities,? Christodoulides said, regarding the choice of New York for the meeting of the general assembly.
 Defendory 2000-Greek Defence Minister-inauguration03/10/2000 20:29:16
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Tuesday inaugurated the weapons exhibition Defendory International 2000, which takes place once every two years in Greece, at the installations of the Piraeus Port Authority exhibition centre.
There was a 25 per cent increase in exhibits, compared to 1998, as 85 weapons firms from 34 countries, including Greece, are participating in the exhibition that will last until Saturday and is closed to the public.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday03/10/2000 18:05:30
Following are indicative rates released by the central bank for the next working day.
Wednesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 384.013
German mark 172.129
French franc 051.323
Pound sterling 561.770
Irish punt 427.464
Belgian franc 008.345
Luxembourg franc 008.345
Dutch guilder 152.767
Italian lira (100) 017.387
Austrian schilling 024.466
Danish kroner 045.126
Swedish kroner 039.495
Finnish mark 056.621
Spanish peseta 002.024
Portuguese escudo 001.679
Japanese yen (100) 353.281
Swiss franc 221.643
Norwegian kroner 041.910
Cyprus pound 589.466
Canadian dollar 254.369
Australian dollar 207.784
 Weather Forecast-Wednesday03/10/2000 17:45:39
Cloudy weather is forecast throughout the country on Wednesday, turning to rain or storms in many areas. Winds will be variable, moderate to strong. In the west and north temperatures will range from 14C to 26C; on the rest of the mainland from 15C to 28C; and in the islands from 17C to 27C. Cloud over Athens, turning rainy and stormy. Temperatures between 20C and 26C. Showery in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 17C and 25C.
 Greece-Egypt-Medpartenariat03/10/2000 16:46:04
A delegation of 30 Greek businessmen are visiting Egypt to participate in the 6th Medpartenariat Egypt 2000, an initiative designed to bring Mediterranean countries closer to the European Union.
The Greek delegation was organised and coordinated by Northern Greece Exporters' Federation, the country's national advisor to the Partenariat.
Greek businessmen will meet with representatives from 346 selected Egyptian enterprises and from 554 businesses from the European Union and the Mediterranean basin.
Egypt's exports to the EU increased by two percentage points in 1999 and the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise at an annual rate of 5.2 percent in the next five years.
 Greek PM - Yugoslavia - Election03/10/2000 16:39:49
Prime Minister Costas Simitis met with Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Athens on Tuesday for talks centering on the situation in Yugoslavia, following presidential elections in the neighbouring country.
In statements to reporters afterwards, Papandreou referred to what he called a ?supportive role? Athens wants to play, in cooperation with other countries, in relieving the latest crisis in Yugoslavia following the first round of voting in that country.
He also reiterated Greeces proposal for a recounting of votes in the Yugoslav poll.
 Greece-SMEs-electronic business03/10/2000 16:37:25
Greece will help the country's small- and medium-sized enterprises to adapt to the challenges of the new economy with a government-sponsored programme, called "Get on the internet".
The new programme, presented by Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis at the 2nd e-Business Forum in Athens on Tuesday, offers internet access to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the first step in an effort to lead Greek SMEs into the new economy.
"Out of a total 400,000 SMEs in the country, only 15 percent is currently using the internet," Christodoulakis told the forum.
The government programme, budgetted at 20 billion drachmas, aims to double the number of Greek small enterprises using the internet. EU funds cover 12 billion drachmas of the budget with the remaining 8 billion covered by development ministry funds.
 Vernicos Yachts-aviation03/10/2000 16:01:33
Vernicos Yachts Shipping SA on Tuesday announced the full takeover of KAL Aviation SA, a Greek airline company, for 2.1 billion drachmas, signalling its expansion into the airline industry.
The new company, to be named Vernicos Aviation (VER-AVIA), is expected to present a turnover of 1.25 billion drachmas and net profits of 100 million drachmas this year, with a forecast for a turnover of 1.65 billion and net profit of 300 million drachmas in 2001.
KAL Aviation is the largest private light cargo airline in Greece, servicing the country's islands and has recently acquired a self-handling licence for the the new Athens airport at Spata.
A Vernicos Yachts statement said the takeover was in the framework of a strategic plan of the company to transform into a holding company, covering sea tourism, air transport and shipping activities.
The company plans to expand its aviation activities in the Middle East and the Balkans.
The new company employs 60 people and has a fleet of four airplanes servicing 13 domestic destinations daily (including Larnaca, Cyprus).
It has acquired traffic rights for flights to Tirana, Albania, and Belgrade, Serbia.
Professor Christos Papageorgiou, a former Olympic Airways' chairman, was appointed president of Vernicos Aviation.
 Israeli deputy defence minister - Press conference03/10/2000 15:57:19
Visiting Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh will hold a press conference on Wednesday at the ?Defendory? arms exhibition being hosted at the Greek port city of Piraeus, Israeli embassy sources said here on Tuesday after an event scheduled for later in the evening in downtown Athens was cancelled.
According to reports, Snehs lecture on the Mideast peace process at the Athens-based Institute for International Relations was cancelled following the large-scale flare-up of violence in the West Bank and Israel during the last few days.
The press conference is set for 2:45 p.m. at the Piraeus port authoritys exhibition centre. Sneh is currently visiting Greece.
 Bond auction-results03/10/2000 15:53:17
Greek long-term bond yields eased slightly on Tuesday during a regular auction of state securities by the Public Debt Management Organisation.
The average weighed yield of a 10-year bond, worth 220 billion drachmas and paying an annual coupon of 6.0 percent, fell to 5.98 percent from 6.01 percent in the previous auction of same securities in August 1.
Bids submitted totalled 950.5 billion drachmas, more than four times the asked sum. The average weighed price of the bond was 100.054 points, with a minimum accepted price of 100.40.
 ASE-close03/10/2000 15:45:08
Greek stocks ended sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday hit by lack of buying interest and a shrinking liquidity in the market.
Shares in the banks sector came under strong pressure pushing the wider market lower.
The general index ended 2.42 percent lower at 4,079.77 points, with turnover a low 59 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 2.25 percent to end at 2,316.48 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index ended at 515.16 points, off 2.75 percent.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 569.55 points, off 4.15 percent.
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