|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-18
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 DEVELOPMENTS FOLLOWING THE NEW EURO-GREEK DRACHMA PARITYThe new parity of the Greek drachma against the Euro which has now been fixed at 340.75 drachmas has a positive effect in the money markets. On the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index went up by 1.68% yesterday - Monday - closing at 5,362.30 points.
It is generally believed that the struggle against inflation is more effective now and will contribute to the inflow of foreign capital in Greece, as the drachma reevaluation is reducing the risk of investment ventures.
Making comments on the 3.5% reevaluation, foreign investors speak about a rare chance for a major drop in bank interest rates. Banking Institutes are waiting for the Bank of Greece to give the green light to reduce interest rates, as the president of the National Bank Thodoros Karatzas told foreign reporters. Referring to the new parity's side-effects in the competitiveness of exporting companies and tourism, government economic staff are assessing that although they are minimal they will be further reduced.
The president of the European Commission Romano Prodi has stated to New Greek Television channel - NET - that everything is ready for Greece's admission to the economic and monetary union.
The German finance ministry spokesman Tortsen Albeig has stated that his government wishes to see Greece participating in the Euro zone the soonest possible, stressing that the Greek economy's progress towards European convergence is outstanding.
On his way to attend an event at the Piraeus Commercial and Industrial Chamber, the Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis reiterated once again the government's firm decision to lead the country to the economic and monetary union.
Mr Simitis stated that the European Union's decision to reevaluate the drachma last Saturday showed that important steps had been taken for the stabilization of the economy and the country's development. He added that the government would insist in continuing in this direction, so as to obtain more prosperity and social justice.We are successful and for this reason we can be optimistic, Mr Simitis said.
Addressing representatives of the productive classes in Thessaloniki yesterday, New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis, stated that the reevaluation of the drachma against the Euro was dictated to reduce inflation, but its impact to the competitiveness of Greek products would be negative.
Mr Karamanlis also announced his party's economic program as well as his plans to materialize ten major works in Thessaloniki.
 THE GREEK SPEAKER TALKS ABOUT THE CYRPUS ISSUEIn an exclusive interview with Cyprus Radio Institute - RIK - the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis has appealed for a common line after the EU Helsinki summit's positive results.
Mr Kaklamanis said that the constant expression of negative assessments was undermining the efforts for a successful outcome in the struggle of Cyprus and pointed out that in Helsinki all the governments confirmed that the Cyprus issue was their own problem and not a Greek-Turkish dispute.
Replying to a question on the Dutch parliament's stand on the issue, Mr Kaklamanis said it showed that Cyprus and Greece should not be inactive and stressed that there was no question of credibility on behalf of governments in case their parliaments acted in other directions.
 UN WILL ASSIST IN RESTORING TWO MONUMENTS IN CYPRUSThe UN secretary general Kofi Annan stated yesterday that the United Nations has assumed the first stage of works to restore two monuments in Cyprus.
The UN Development Program has undertaken in cooperation with the US the first phase of restoration works in the monastery of Apostle Andreas in northern Cyprus and the Hala Sultan mosque in the southern part of the island.
 STATEMENTS ABOUT EARLY ELECTIONS IN GREECEGovernment spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday reiterated that the government was not concerned about the issue of early elections, nor did it intend to get involved in such harmful attempts for the country's course. Its task to continue and complete its work is a pressing matter for the government, Mr Reppas said.
The New Democracy honorary president Kostas Mitsotakis also referred to the issue of early elections yesterday, stressing that the prime minister will announce them whenever it is convenient for him, but it is not certain that he will win.
 SEARCH FOR LOST FANTOM JETEfforts to locate the Greek air force Fantom F-4 jet that disappeared from the radars shortly after taking-off from the base of Andravida yesterday morning will continue on the snowy slopes of Mount Parnasos today. Flight Lieutenant Efstratios Golias and flight officer Nikolaos Nezis were on board the jet.
 STATEMENTS ON OA TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHTSOn the occasion of a relative debate in parliament, Olympic Airways has announced that the board does not intend to suspend flights to Sydney, stressing that it is planning to increase the flights especially for trans-atlantic destinations.