Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-22
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 22/01/1999 (ANA)
- Cabinets focuses on how to boost employment
- Defence minister very concerned about Kosovo
- 26 charged over Thursday's student march violence
- PASOK Youth organisation says 'hold the reforms'
- Deputy defence minister denies missiles press report
- Cypriot defence minister to visit Athens
- Greek MPs to attend Council of Europe meeting
- Eurocentral Bank's Duisenberg has praise for Greece
- Stocks end the week moderately lower
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Cabinets focuses on how to boost employment
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday chaired a Cabinet meeting which
focused on ways of increasing employment and reviewed developments in 1998
which were considered positive. Speaking to reporters after the meeting,
Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou stressed that the
fight against unemployment would be a top priority for the government this
year. He described as "positive" developments in 1998, noting that 85,000
new jobs were created, while prospects were even better for 1999 owing
to anticipated higher rates of growth generated by private and public
investments, as well as structural changes in the labour market. Some 110,
000 new jobs are expected to be created in the near future, Papaioannou
said, of which 60,000 will be for young people between the ages of 20 and
Defence minister very concerned about Kosovo
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos warned that "the worst" could
happen if a solution to the crisis in Yugoslavia's troubled Kosovo province
was not achieved before the end of this winter, stressing that the solution
must be a political one. In an interview with the Athens-published German
language newspaper "Athener Zeitung", Tsohatzopoulos noted that while the
international organisations' policy had succeeded in Bosnia and Albania,
the situation in Kosovo "appears to be uncontrollable". Tsohatzopoulos
rejected any kind of military solution to the problem, adding: "The
solution can only be a political one.
26 charged over Thursday's student march violence
One of the 26 youths arrested during Thursday's violent student protest
march was detained for further questioning on Friday, after he was arrested
in possession of a fire bomb. He is expected to be charged with procurement
and possession of explosive material, a felony charge, as well as resisting
arrest and disturbing the peace. Security was tight at the court as the
group was led in to be formally charged. About 150 people had gathered
outside the courts as a show of support for those arrested. The remaining
25 youths were charged with resisting arrest, disturbing the peace and
abuse before a prosecutor this morning: 11 minors in the group were
released, pending their appearance before the juvenile court.
PASOK Youth organisation says 'hold the reforms'
The executive secretariat of ruling party PASOK's Youth Organisation on
Friday issued a statement calling for the suspension "for as long as it is
deemed necessary" of the education reform law and for talks on any reforms
to begin anew. The youth organisation said the government's perception that
the students' protests were "instigated" had led it to the wrong conclusions.
"These protests express the genuine concerns of the younger generation
suffering the extended downgrading of the education process and (are) a
refusal to compromise with the 'grey' future it promises," the statement
said. Any changes to the education system, the statement continued,
must have the "widest possible consensus".
Deputy defence minister denies missiles press report
National Defence Deputy Minister Dimitris Apostolakis on Friday denied a
report in the Greek-American community newspaper "Proini" claiming that
negotiations were under way for the sale of the S-300 missiles to Egypt. He
was replying in Parliament to a question tabled by ruling PASOK deputy
Lefteris Veryvakis. Apostolakis said that when the S-300 and recently
ordered US-made Patriot missiles came to Greece, they would have the
capability of operating in conjunction with electronic weapons systems
already deployed in Greece.
Cypriot defence minister to visit Athens
Cypriot Defence Minister Yiannakis Chryssostomos arrives in Athens on
February 8 for a four-day visit expected to focus on the transport and
installation of Russian S-300 missiles on the Greek island of Crete,
according to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia. Chryssostomos will meet with
Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos during his visit. The Cypriot
defence minister said in Nicosia on Friday that defence department
officials were continuing talks on the S-300 issue in Athens and that the
ministry would act "in line with developments". Cyprus announced late last
year that it would not deploy the Russian surface to air missile system on
the island, after consultations with the Greek government in Athens.
Greek MPs to attend Council of Europe meeting
An eleven-member Greek parliamentary delegation leaves for Strasbourg on
Sunday to participate in the first part of the 1999 Meeting of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The sessions of the
meeting, which will be held from January 25-29, will deal with a number of
issues including commitments and obligations of Turkey as a CoE member-
state, the creation of an enlarged Europe, religion and democracy, the
crisis in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, the situation in Federal
Yugoslavia and internal security in Europe.
Eurocentral Bank's Duisenberg has praise for Greece
The Greek economy has made significant progress in the last few years,
European Central Bank's chairman Wim Duisenberg said today in Frankfurt.
Duisenberg said he hoped that Greece, along with the other EU member-states
not participating in the euro, would soon participate in the single
European currency. Speaking to reporters, the ECB's chairman noted that
Greece has fought hard improving its macro-economic and fiscal conditions,
although not yet fully achieving all the convergence criteria to participate
in economic and monetary union. Duisenberg said he was aware of the
government's pledge to participate in the euro by 2001 and he hoped that
the EU's council would respond positively to the Greek demand.
Stocks end the week moderately lower
Greek equities ended the last trading session of the week moderately lower
on the Athens Stock Exchange with sentiment hit by negative developments in
international markets. The general index ended 0.65 percent down to 2,
985.75 points, off the day's lows. The index ended the week 3.55 percent
higher. Turnover was 91.7 billion drachmas. Volume was 19,886,000 shares.
The week's average daily turnover rose to 100.2 billion drachmas, up from
97.5 billion the previous week. The parallel market index for small cap
companies ended 1.10 percent up, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 0.89
percent off to 1,894.27.
Overcast weather and showers will prevail in most parts of Greece today.
Winds variable, moderate to strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be partly
cloudy with possible light rain in the suburbs and temperatures between 4-
12C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1-10C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 276.599
Pound sterling 454.733 Japanese yen (100) 245.351
French franc 48.809 German mark 163.699
Italian lira (100) 16.535 Irish Punt 406.529
Belgian franc 7.937 Finnish mark 53.848
Dutch guilder 145.286 Danish kr. 43.041
Austrian sch. 23.268 Spanish peseta 1.924
Swedish kr. 35.764 Norwegian kr. 37.140
Swiss franc 199.566 Port. Escudo 1.597
Aus. dollar 176.512 Can. dollar 181.834
Cyprus pound 549.667