|Monday, 27 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTSThe prime minister Kostas Simitis met with the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou yesterday evening and discussed general economic developments, Monday's decision by the EU's monetary committee and the upcoming council of EU finance ministers at the end of this month.
After the meeting, Mr Papantoniou stated that the criteria for inflation would be achieved by the end of February.
In reply to a question about a drop in inter-bank interest rates by the Bank of Greece, Mr Papantoniou stressed that this reduction would mark a new round of reductions in interests on loans and saving accounts.
Referring to the course of the stock exchange, the national minister pointed out that it followed the course of the economy and added that good news were expected later.
The minister forecast an inflow of foreign capital in the Athens stock exchange when foreign stockbrocking agencies upgrade the Athens Stock market.
 MOODY'S REPORT ON THE GREEK ECONOMYAccording to the well-known international financial assessors, Moody's, the Greek economy has been placed in the 34th position worldwide and for the first time has been classified in the category of developed nations.
In its annual report however, it pointed out that despite the undoubted progress in the past few years, Greece should not rest on its laurels, but should focus its attention on competitiveness, inflation, pension problems and privatisation of public enterprises.
 IFIR'S REPORT ON THE GREEK ECONOMYThe Institute of Financial and Industrial Research - IFIR - yesterday released its three-monthly report on the Greek economy.
It is stressed in the Institute's report that the prospects of the Greek economy remain positive and are strengthened by the constant improvement of the economic conditions in the European Union and the world.
Furthermore, the report states the view that this progress would be speedier, if infrastructure changes had not been delayed.
The Institute of Financial and Industrial Research is also stressing that the recent revaluation of the Greek drachma will contribute to the reduction of inflation pressures deriving from the sliding of the drachma to the central parity and the convergence of interest rates in drachmas with the Euro interest rates en route to European Economic and Monetary Union.
Nevertheless, it is expected that inflation will drop in the first months of 2000 and Greece will meet by the letter the relative Maastricht Treaty criteria.
 GREEK PRIME MINISTER MEETS CYPRIOT MINISTERSThe prime minister Kostas Simitis met yesterday morning with the Cypriot ministers of education and finance.
The two ministers handed over to Mr Simitis a 400 million drachma cheque as aid for the victims of last year's earthquake in Athens.
The prime minister Kostas Simitis reiterated at the meeting that Greece would continue working together with the Cypriot government for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions.
 CYPRIOT EXERCISE, OLYMPUS 2000In Cyprus, the national guard's scheduled exercise on paper, code-named Olympus 2000, began yesterday and will continue until February 1st.@@ The exercise will take place in collaboration with the Greek armed forces, in coordination with the National Defence General Staff's exercise, Alexander 2000.
 STATEMENTS ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE AND GREEK MILITARY SERVICEReferring to the Greek-Turkish relations yesterday, the national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos said that any discussion with Turkey regarding its proposal on military cooperation could take place only on the basis of the Papoulias-Yilmaz memorandum which provides for confidence building measures in the Aegean.
Mr Tsochatzopoulos also announced a 6 month plan on the reduction of military service gradually, as a result -- as he stated --of the increase of professional soldiers by 15,000 in the next three years.
 RENEWAL OF THE PRESIDENT'S 5 YEAR TERM IN OFFICEThe Greek president Konstantinos Stefanopoulos met yesterday with the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and agreed that the vote for the renewal of the president's five year term in office will be held on 8th February. However, they did not discuss the issue of general elections.
 THE PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT TO THE ATHENS METROPrime minister Kostas Simitis yesterday paid a visit to the Athens Metro and said that it was a major project which would upgrade the life of 3.5 million residents of Athens.
 TRANSPORT MINISTER MET GERMAN COUNTERPARTThe Greek transport minister Anastasios Mantelis and his German counterpart Rain Hart Kleimt have agreed on a close cooperation between Greece and Germany in the sector of transports.
The two ministers visited the Athens Metro and Spata airport yesterday afternoon.
 ATHENS BOURSEOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index dropped significantly yesterday - Wednesday - by 1.71%, closing at 4,936.69 points.
 DATA ON GREEKS LIVING IN AUSTRALIAAccording to data released yesterday on the occasion of Australia Day, the majority of Greeks emigrating to Australia obtain the Australian citizenship.
According to the same data, 87.3% of the Greeks living in Australia obtained the Australian citizenship in 1996 and only the Vietnamese had a higher percentage of 89.6.
On the occasion of Australia Day, prominent Australians were awarded yesterday special distinctions, including two Greek- Australians, namely Dimosthenis Konidaris from Melbourne for his services to society, and through the Australian Red Cross, Nikolas Bekakis from south Australia for his contribution to the Australian exports.