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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-10-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou expresses importance of lifting of economic sanctions against Belgrade
  • [02] EU Council of Foreign Ministers lifts almost all sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia
  • [03] Southeastern Europe multinational force to be operational in early 2001
  • [04] Greek president holds talks with Latvian counterpart, addresses business forum, dinner
  • [05] Ecevit renews invitation to Simitis, Greek warplanes land at Turkish base
  • [06] US, Turkish defense ministers discuss Armenian genocide issue
  • [07] Russian FM Ivanov in Athens this week
  • [08] Switzerland-Greece Parliamentary Committee established
  • [09] No progress in talks for EU institutional reforms, Papazoi says
  • [10] Greece will not set up an "Olympic Games" ministry , Reppas says
  • [11] V. Papandreou presides over local government meeting on restoring fire-ravaged Corinth
  • [12] Commemorative event held in Nicosia in memory of late Alternate Foreign Minister Kranidiotis
  • [13] Government finalizes next year's budget
  • [14] OA in GSEE strike: One flight per destination
  • [15] Strike participation in banking sector exceeds 60 per cent
  • [16] Samos public and private sector strikes for passenger shipping upgrade
  • [17] Transport minister sends bill on telecommunications to Parliament for ratification
  • [18] Greek stocks end sharply lower on ASE
  • [19] Gov't declares satellite telecoms tender null and void
  • [20] Commercial firms showed profit rise in 1999, study says
  • [21] Investment firms show rise in net asset vale in September
  • [22] Minoan Flying Dolphins sued
  • [23] Heather Saunders thanks Archbishop for memorial service and anti-terrorism initiative
  • [24] Simitis receives Greece's Olympic medal winners
  • [25] Municipality of Drama grants 100 million drachmas to Greek Olympic Games athletes
  • [26] Visiting Greek culture minister calls for pressure to be exerted on Turkish side
  • [27] Russian foreign minister postpones visit to Cyprus due to urgent obligations

  • [01] Papandreou expresses importance of lifting of economic sanctions against Belgrade

    LUXEMBOURG, 10/10/2000 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi on Monday expressed satisfaction over the decision taken by the European Union on Monday to lift economic sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and prospects presenting themselves in connection with Greece's presence in the Balkans, as well as the role the Thessaloniki-headquartered Balkan Reconstruction Organization is called on to play.

    The two ministers were speaking to Greek reporters after an EU Council of General Affairs' meeting, which decided to lift part of economic sanctions against the Balkan country.

    Papandreou said the recent change in Yugoslavia has a radical character and expressed satisfaction over the fact the EU decided to unconditionally lift sanctions imposed on Serbia.

    Both Papandreou and Papazoi expressed the importance for Greece of the decision taken by the EU on Monday to extend the task of the Balkans Reconstruction Organization to Serbia and Montenegro after Kosovo, adding that the EU and relevant international organizations should now shape an overall conception on the issue of Balkan reconstruction.

    The EU has foreseen the disbursement of five billion euro for Balkan reconstruction over the next seven years, of which about 2.3 billion euro are believed to concern Serbia.

    Papandreou briefed his counterparts during the meeting on his talks in Belgrade with the new Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica on Saturday.

    He said he feels the new president's top priority will be to normalize his country's relations with Europe and the international community in general.

    Papandreou added that Kostunica's intention to improve relations with Montenegro "is obvious".

    On the question of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, he said that according to assessments by the region's Administrator Bernard Kouchner "it is still early to discuss the Serbs' mass return."

    Regarding the fate of Milosevic, Papandreou said it is an issue, which is not linked to EU economic support for Serbia, reminding that Greece steadfastly, supported similar positions.

    According to diplomatic sources, the issue depends more on political developments in Serbia and, primarily, those to take place in Serbia's socialist party.

    [02] EU Council of Foreign Ministers lifts almost all sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia

    LUXEMBOURG, 10/10/2000 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Union's Council of Foreign Ministers decided on Monday to lift almost all sanctions imposed on Serbia by the EU in 1998, while sanctions concerning former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his close associates will continue to be in effect.

    A Council announcement said the Serb people chose democracy and Europe with their vote and consequently the EU, consistent with decisions taken by the latest Council of General Affairs, decided to lift sanctions. At the initial stage, the lifting of sanctions concerns the oil sector, as well as flights to and from Belgrade.

    Apart from the lifting of sanctions, the Council endorsed a series of measures aimed at strengthening economic cooperation between Serbia and the EU.

    It decided that the EU "CARDS" program on Balkan reconstruction will now also concern Serbia and that the responsibilities of the Thessaloniki-headquartered Balkan Reconstruction Organization now extend to Serbia as well.

    The EU will continue to apply humanitarian aid programs concerning the population of Serbia and will contribute in every way to efforts to strengthen infrastructures and overall economic reconstruction in Serbia.

    On the question of Serbia's political rapprochement with Europe, the Council decided to propose to Yugoslavia to participate in the stabilization process implemented for the Balkans by the EU and also proposes Yugoslavia's full participation in the Stability Pact for southeastern Europe.

    Newly elected Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has been invited and will attend the EU summit in Biarritz, France, at the end of the week.

    Cohen says US not encouraging claim for Kosovo independence: The United States is not encouraging the claim for Kosovo's independence, which has been raised by the Kosovo Albanian leadership in the wake of the latest developments in Belgrade and the removal of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    US Defense Secretary William Cohen, who attended a meeting of his counterparts from countries of southeastern Europe, indicated in Thessaloniki on Monday that the US is insisting on its position for advanced autonomy for Kosovo and is opposed to the claim for independence.

    He said that for the time being, and despite positive developments in Belgrade, no decrease in KFOR forces in Kosovo is anticipated.

    "It would be wise for existing peacekeeping forces to be maintained until there are conditions of security and stability both in Kosovo and the wider region," he said.

    Commenting on the issue of the arrest and indictment of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Cohen let it be understood that this issue is not a priority for the West.

    "The foremost concern of Mr. Kostunica will be to create an atmosphere of order and security, as well as to promote democratic reforms. At a second stage, he should also preoccupy himself with war crimes. Criminals will be brought to justice and this will take place in the future," he said.

    Greek National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the defense ministers' session also focused on developments in Yugoslavia.

    A joint communique issued said that "the defense ministers hailed recent developments and expressed their hope and desire for the continuous promotion of democratic institutions and functions, which are necessary for the enactment of democracy in this country sooner and which will enable possible accession to regional and Euro-Atlantic structures."

    The defense ministers expressed the willingness of their countries to assist democratic developments in Yugoslavia, while in a statement on Sunday night Cohen praised what he said was the leading role-played by Greece in the smooth way with which the change in leadership occurred in Belgrade.

    Karamanlis congratulates Kostunica and offers solidarity: Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis on Monday addressed a letter of congratulations to newly-elected Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, assuring him of his party's undivided solidarity, and his own, for his efforts to achieve democracy and prosperity in the neighboring country.

    "Following the recent historical elections, whose results we all welcomed with enthusiasm, I wish to extend my best wishes to you for the success of the noble task you have undertaken for the restoration of democracy in your country and the prosperity and progress of the friendly Yugoslav people," Karamanlis said in his letter, among others.

    Greece retains entrance ban on Milosevic regime top cadres: The Greek government reiterated on Monday that some 300 Yugoslav nationals affiliated with the deposed Milosevic regime continue to be considered as 'personae non gratae'.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said admission into the country remains forbidden, while he added that Athens assisted in mediating a smooth transition of power in Belgrade last week.

    Finally, he said he was not aware of what negotiations took place in the Yugoslav capital during the crucial hours prior to the handover of government.

    [03] Southeastern Europe multinational force to be operational in early 2001

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The multinational military force created by countries of southeastern Europe, in the framework of the initiative for security and stability in the region, will be in a state of operational readiness as of early January, as publicized at the end of the annual session of defense ministers from southeastern European countries in Thessaloniki on Monday and attended by US Defense Secretary William Cohen.

    The military force is a multinational brigade of 2,500 men whose military commander will be Turkish and its civil commander Greek, while its headquarters will be in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The initial budget for the force will amount to 500,000 dollars and will be paid by the participating countries.

    Speaking at a press conference later, Greek National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the force would be operationally prepared as of January 1 "so as to contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability in the region, intervening if and wherever necessary."

    Referring to this regional initiative for stability and peace in southeastern Europe, Cohen said "this cooperation achieved excellent progress over the past four years and contributed greatly to stability and security in the region."

    [04] Greek president holds talks with Latvian counterpart, addresses business forum, dinner

    RIGA, 10/10/2000 (ANA-N. Megadoukas)

    Visiting Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos met here on Monday with his Latvian counterpart Vike Freiberga for talks on bilateral relations, especially trade.

    Stephanopoulos also reiterated Athens' support for Latvia's desire to join Euro-Atlantic alliances.

    Freiberga noted to Stephanopoulos her country's efforts in the economic sector and focused on achieving the country's accession to the European Union, as Latvia is a Union candidate member-state, part of the second group of countries to enter the Union.

    Stephanopoulos said that Greece was interested in furthering the bilateral relations in the economic, cultural and higher education sectors and briefed Freiberga on Greek-Turkish affairs and the Cyprus problem, as well as the situation in the Balkans.

    He added that Greece supported Latvia's bid to join NATO and the European Union and congratulated the Baltic nation in its progress toward those aims, expressing the hope that Latvia and the other two republics of the Baltic Sea, Estonia and Lithuania would soon become members for the European family.

    Freiberga said that Stephanopoulos' visit was a political confirmation of her country's right to sovereignty and wish to join Euro-Atlantic alliances, adding that her country wished for bilateral cooperation to also include the defense sector.

    Later in the day, Stephanopoulos addressed a forum of Greek and Latvian businessmen, noting that the success of his visit would depend on their success in closing business agreements.

    He reiterated Greece' support for Latvia's accession to the Union and called on them to further increase the economic and business cooperation between the two countries.

    On his part, Greek Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zapheiropoulos, part of the delegation headed by Stephanopoulos, said that the talks between the two presidents were successful.

    He added that the financial presence of Greece in the Baltic countries was not corresponding with the political prestige, thus efforts to upgrade the financial bilateral relations would be facilitated.

    Zapheiropoulos announced that, following the ratification of the agreement for cooperation between the two counties in the financial and technology sectors, an agreement on taxation issues was on the table.

    He said that the financial and technology agreement should be ready for ratification in December, while further agreements on shipping and European Union programs were also planned.

    Early in the evening, Freiberga hosted a dinner in honor of Stephanopoulos and the Greek delegation, which also included Deputy Foreign Minister Angeliki Laiou.

    Speaking at the dinner, Stephanopoulos stressed the grave dangers, which could materialize should there be changes of borders in the Balkans, calling attention on Greece's obligation to lead the region to democratic reforms, peace and prosperity,

    He also spoke of the Greek-Turkish relations and called attention to the Cyprus problem, which he said should be resolved on the basis of the relevant United Nations' resolutions, adding that "it is a problem of military occupation of a section of the territory of an independent country and a source of tension and instability in the eastern Mediterranean".

    He concluded noting that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games would be totally successful, adding that Greece's ambition would be to give to the Games their true Olympic spirit.

    Stephanopoulos is on a three-day visit to Latvia to be followed by a three-day visit to neighboring Estonia.

    [05] Ecevit renews invitation to Simitis, Greek warplanes land at Turkish base

    ISTANBUL, 10/10/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit this week renewed his invitation towards his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis to visit Turkey, while noting that improved relations between the two peoples "facilitate the commencement of talks for the resolution of all problems."

    Ecevit made the comments during an Istanbul conference of journalists and mass media executives from the two countries, a meeting that followed an earlier conference on the Greek island of Rhodes over the summer.

    "I would be particularly happy to welcome and host the Greek prime minister in Ankara," Ecevit said in response to a question.

    In citing the recent rapprochement in Greek-Turkish relations and benefits for discussions "on sensitive problems in the Aegean," Ecevit noted that "with a glance at a map one easily discerns that the Aegean is the most complicated sea in the world."

    Finally, he mentioned his tenure as a journalist in the 1960s and efforts to forge links among newsmen between the two countries at the time.

    Greek warplanes at Turkish base: Meanwhile, the recent rapprochement between Greece and Turkey marked a new milestone this week with the highly publicized landing of six Hellenic Air Force warplanes at a Turkish airbase and the docking of a Greek frigate at the port of Izmir.

    Both the Greek air force's F-16s and the warship "Spetsai" headed for Turkey in order to participate in the NATO exercise "Destined Glory 2000", only a few months after Turkish warplanes and troops arrived in Greece for similar alliance maneuvers.

    "Greek soldiers saluted Izmir" was a headline found in the "Aksam" daily, where it noted that the Spetsai's arrival was the first time in 78 years that a Greek warship sailed into the Gulf of Izmir.

    "Sabah" headlined "Greek jets as peace ambassadors", while "Milliyet" referred to "Greek jets greeted with flowers" as "Radikal" titled "A new page in friendship".

    "Cumhurriyet" headlined "Greek pilots greeted with flowers" whereas "Hurriyet" simply noted that "Six Greek F-16s at Balikesir (airbase)".

    [06] US, Turkish defense ministers discuss Armenian genocide issue

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    US Defense Secretary William Cohen and his Turkish counterpart Sabahattin Cakmakoglu held a one-hour meeting in Thessaloniki on Monday on the sidelines of the annual session of defense ministers from southeastern European countries.

    Among issues discussed was the resolution promoted in the US Congress concerning the official American condemnation of the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks in 1915.

    According to reports, the Turkish defense minister warned that if Congress approves the relevant resolution, then his country will be obliged to take measures, without specifying what these measures would be.

    Cohen reportedly told his Turkish counterpart that he, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright disagreed with the promotion of such a resolution.

    It must be noted that that the resolution has been voted by the Congress' International Affairs Committee and what remains is for its approval by the plenum.

    Cakmakoglu said that Greek-Turkish relations were improving but not at a fast pace.

    [07] Russian FM Ivanov in Athens this week

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov arrives in Athens on Wednesday for talks with Greek leadership.

    Besides his counterpart George Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis will also receive Ivanov.

    In an unrelated development, the Cabinet will focus on foreign policy issues during a session on Wednesday, whereas the foreign ministry's leadership will also brief Simitis.

    [08] Switzerland-Greece Parliamentary Committee established

    GENEVA, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    A Parliamentary Committee of Greek and Swiss deputies has been set up for the first time, the Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva said in a press release on Monday.

    Federal Parliament deputies Josef Zisyadis, and Deputy Barbara Polla, initiated the creation of the committee, which is the only one of its kind in Switzerland.

    The committee aims at promoting political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries. Thirty five Swiss deputies from all the parties, except from the far right, participate in the committee.

    The committee held its first session on September 27 and discussed Swiss-Greek economic relations, while it will be meeting every second Wednesday of every Parliamentary session.

    Its second session will be held on December 6 on the issue of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and will be attended by Swiss Prime Minister Adolf Ogi.

    Committee deputies are scheduled to visit Greece February 1-4 to meet with their counterparts from the Greek Parliament, ministers and other state officials.

    [09] No progress in talks for EU institutional reforms, Papazoi says

    LUXEMBOURG, 10/10/2000 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    No real progress has been made in the European Union intergovernmental conference on the Union's institutional reforms, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said on Monday.

    She said that the "15" Union member-states did not agree on changes in the decision making process, one of the top issues of the Biarritz, France, Summit agenda, in efforts to allow flexibility and speed in decision making. The Biarritz summit is scheduled for this weekend.

    [10] Greece will not set up an "Olympic Games" ministry , Reppas says

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The government will not establish an "Olympic Games" ministry in light of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday, on statements by Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki.

    He added that since such a ministry would not be created, Daskalaki would not be made an "Olympic Games" minister.

    Reppas said that Daskalaki was attempting to mend the gaps that were created in efforts to organize the Games in Athens, while her effort was aided by the Organizing Committee she chairs.

    He said that the Games would be held in Athens as planned, adding that the possibility for Greece to lose the right to organize the Games is totally theoretical.

    [11] V. Papandreou presides over local government meeting on restoring fire-ravaged Corinth

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou visited Aigialia in Corinth, one of the areas worst hit by last summer's wildfires, on Monday and attended a meeting of local government officials outlining the progress made so far in restoring damages and carrying out much-needed anti-flooding works.

    Presiding over the meeting in the Akrata Town Hall, which was also attended by parliamentary deputies, western Greece general secretary Nikos Belivanis, Achaia prefect Stathis Seretis and local mayors, Papandreou said she was satisfied with the progress of anti-flooding measures and that five contracts worth 500 million drachmas had been awarded. She added, however, that central government had now done all it could and it was up to local authorities to implement the measures that had been announced.

    The minister also requested that local authorities speed up the rate of completing public works, as well as urging them to begin recording damages suffered by individual farmers etc. so that compensation could be given.

    Local officials also expressed satisfaction with the progress in works announced by the government, while Belivanis said that the state had provided one billion drachmas for flooding-prevention works in Achaia, of which 600 million had already been released.

    After the meeting and an inspection of public works projects in Aigialeia, Papandreou visited some of the fire-ravaged areas of Corinth.

    [12] Commemorative event held in Nicosia in memory of late Alternate Foreign Minister Kranidiotis

    NICOSIA, 10/10/2000 (ANA - N. Domnaki)

    A commemorative event in memory of the late Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis was organized in Nicosia on Monday night by the Nicosia municipality, Greece's ruling PASOK party, Cyprus' Socialdemocrat Movement and the Political Modernization and Society Group (OPEK).

    Kranidiotis, who was from Cyprus, was killed together with his son and five other people in a freak air accident in September 1999 when a Falcon jet taking him to Bucharest, Romania, suddenly lost height at great speed.

    A message sent by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said he became "the architect of Cyprus' accession process to the European Union."

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said in an address "the vacuum left by the loss of Yannos Kranidiotis is increasing now in particular because the problem of Cyprus is at the most important stage since the Turkish invasion in 1974."

    Visiting Greek Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos said "if Yannos Kranidiotis was alive he would sound the alarm bell. The partnership relationship between Turkey and Europe will be determined in November. We have a big opportunity and a big threat before us."

    Street in Nicosia named after Kranidiotis: Earlier on Monday, Pangalos attended the renaming ceremony of Mykalis street in Nicosia to "Yiannos Kranidiotis Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece" street.

    "It is very difficult for you to see a friend of yours becoming a street," an emotional Pangalos, who was a friend and colleague of the deceased, said while placing the inscription at the corner of the road where Kranidiotis' home stands and which he had visited repeatedly.

    Pangalos announced that a committee has been created by his order and that of Foreign Minister George Papandreou which will assign an artist with the task of creating a bust of Kranidiotis, which will be placed among the Foreign Ministry's buildings to remind that "Yannos fell in the line of duty."

    Pangalos also proposed to Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades to have a replica of the bust placed in Nicosia at a location he and the municipal council will consider necessary.

    [13] Government finalizes next year's budget

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The government's economic team, chaired by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, on Monday finalized the figures in next year's budget, expected to be submitted to parliament early next month.

    The 2001 budget will be the first surplus budget in the fiscal history of Greece and will envisage higher social spending and pay rises, exceeding the inflation target, for civil servants and pensioners.

    It will also seek to reduce the country's public debt to below 100 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), from 103.9 percent this year, and a significant increase in tax revenues without imposing new taxes.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is expected to give the "green light" on Tuesday for submission of a tax draft bill to parliament by the end of October.

    The new tax legislation will envisage tax cuts totalling 400 billion drachmas in the next two years through: a gradual reduction of a tax scale ceiling from 45 percent to 40 percent and from 40 percent to 35 percent for taxpayers and companies, respectively, a price-adjustment of the tax scale every two years, raising the sum for tax-free incomes, and abolishing a special duty on banking services.

    [14] OA in GSEE strike: One flight per destination

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    National carrier Olympic Airways and its domestic flights subsidiary Olympic Aviation will be carrying out only one flight per foreign and domestic route on Tuesday.

    OA announced Monday that due to the airline employees' participation in Tuesday's nationwide labor strike called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servant's Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), only one route per domestic destination and one route per country in international destinations would be carried out.

    Also Olympic Aviation scheduled flights to the islands of Leros, Milos, Zakynthos, Syros, Ikaria, Astypalaia, Kythera, Naxos and Cephalonia would be cancelled Tuesday.

    Teachers and professors to participate in Tuesday's strike: Teachers and professors will participate in the strike called on Tuesday by the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY).

    The Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) issued an announcement on Monday night, stressing that in participating in the strike they are seeking a 40 per cent increase in their gross salaries gradually and over a three-year period, with the first step being a 15 per cent increase as of January 1, 2000.

    They are also seeking a substantive increase in the family allowance, which should be given to both parents, recognition of all professors' years of studies, tax-free income amounting to the salary of a newly-appointed professor and pensions equal to 80 per cent of total remuneration paid at the time of a professor's retirement.

    Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA) participating in Tuesday's strike with work stoppages: The Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA) will participate in work stoppages called by the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists Unions (POESY) in the framework of Tuesday's 24-hour nationwide strike, called by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), as follows:

    The work stoppage for those employed by newspapers will last from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., by state, municipal and private radio stations 3-5 p.m., by state, municipal and private TV stations 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by the Athens News Agency (ANA), the Macedonian News Agency and the press and media ministry 1-4 p.m.

    "The journalists of Athens demonstrate their opposition to changes in labor relations being attempted and will defend the right for a better tomorrow," ESHEA's announcement said.

    [15] Strike participation in banking sector exceeds 60 per cent

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Federation of Bank Organization of Greece (OTOE) President Dimitris Kouselas said on Monday no agreement exists with the government on whatever instruction plan for the Social Insurances Foundation (IKA) regarding all bank employees and their main pension.

    Kouselas was speaking after holding talks with Labor and Social Security Deputy Ministers Christos Protopapas and Nikos Farmakis in the framework of the 48-hour strike called by OTOE on Monday and Tuesday.

    According to trade unionists, the strike had the biggest participation in past years, since the percentage of strikers exceeded 60 per cent, which is satisfactory considering that at private banks employers and "pro-employer" unionists had struggled to limit the extent of the strike.

    [16] Samos public and private sector strikes for passenger shipping upgrade

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    All business activity on the eastern Aegean island of Samos ground to a halt Monday as workers in the public and private sector held a 24-hour warning to demand upgrading of passenger shipping with more modern and faster ships.

    Local concerns said that all civil services and businesses, and even street kiosks, remained closed to press for passenger shipping upgrading, a long-standing demand of the locals.

    They said that industrial action would be stepped up if there were no results soon.

    [17] Transport minister sends bill on telecommunications to Parliament for ratification

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis sent a bill on the "Organization and functioning of the telecommunications sector" to Parliament on Monday for ratification.

    Verelis said the new legal framework, due to take effect as of 1.1.2001, creates the preconditions for an increase in market activity, the strengthening of enterprise and, primarily, the creation of conditions of healthy competition in the telephony sectors, both fixed-line and wireless, which are being deregulated.

    [18] Greek stocks end sharply lower on ASE

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended sharply lower on Monday, quickly returning Friday's gains, as investors preferred to take early profits worried over persistent low liquidity in the market.

    The general index ended 1.74 percent lower at 3,956.87 points, after moving within a 101-point range throughout the session. Technical analysis says that the market would find support at the 3,930 level in the short-term.

    Turnover was a low 77.24 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.40 percent down at 2,240.53 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 2.92 percent to 489.58 points.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 8,149.42

    -1.29% Leasing: 631.68 -2.90% Insurance: 2,137.62 -2.21% Investment: 1,553.41 -1.78% Construction: 1,940.02 -2.87% Industrials: 2,304.13 -2.53% Miscellaneous: 3,852.87 -3.36% Holding: 4,497.58


    The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks ended at 536.59 points, off 4.36 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 307 to 37 with another seven issues unchanged.

    Viohalco, Halcor, Hellenic Telecoms, National Bank and Eurobank were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Leading shares' closing prices (in Drs): National Bank: 14,890 Titan Cement (c): 13,945 Alpha Bank: 14,330 Hellenic Telecoms: 7,125 Commercial Bank: 18,305 Panafon: 3,620 Hellenic Petroleum: 3,900 Eurobank: 10,870 Attica Enterprises: 3,035 Piraeus Bank: 6,460 Intracom: 11,590 Lambrakis Press: 8,100 Minoan Lines: 2,230 Heracles Cement: 6,100

    Hellenic Bottling: 4,940

    Equity futures end down, tracking Athens bourse: Equity futures traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower on Monday, in line with the indices on which they are based.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index closed 1.40 percent down, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 2.92 percent lower.

    Turnover was 16.3 billion drachmas.

    A total of 3,037 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 with turnover at 13.8 billion drachmas.

    On the FTSE/ASE 40 index, 1,338 contracts changed hands on turnover of 2.37 billion drachmas.

    Athens derivatives trades hit record high: Transactions on the Athens Derivatives Market posted an all-time record in September both in absolute terms and in the daily average.

    Deals totalled 297,670, up 35.1 percent from August. The daily average of futures transactions was 7,088 against 5,007 in the previous month, marking a 42 percent rise.

    Bonds end mixed in scant trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Monday finished mixed in slim trade.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.973 percent from 6.002 percent in the last session.

    The Greek paper's yield spread over German bunds was 74 basis points from 73 basis points in the two previous trading days.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 34 billion drachmas from 54 billion drachmas in the session before.

    Of the total, sell orders accounted for 16 billion drachmas of trade.

    Drachma ends down vs. euro, dollar: The drachma on Monday ended lower against the euro and the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market.

    At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 339.450 drachmas from 339.340 drachmas in the previous session.

    Also at the fix, the dollar was set at 390.340 drachmas from 388.350 drachmas a trading day earlier.

    [19] Gov't declares satellite telecoms tender null and void

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The government has declared null and void its tender for a license to operate the National Satellite Telecoms System, or Hellas Sat.

    According to the evaluation committee in the September 29 tender, neither of the two bids submitted met the terms stated.

    The transport and communications ministry, which called the tender, is to hold talks with the two bidders - New Skies Satellites NV and EMI SA - in the hope of finding a formula for award of the license.

    Both sides will be asked to submit fresh bids by October 18 along with a draft contract.

    [20] Commercial firms showed profit rise in 1999, study says

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Commercial firms showed a hefty rise in sales and net pre-tax profits in 1999 against the previous year, the ICAP research group said in a study released on Monday.

    The annual survey was based on a steady sample of 7,006 companies in the sector.

    The rise was sharpest in the 100 largest firms surveyed, which had the capital to fund part of growing consumer demand, ICAP said.

    The companies' sales in 1999 totalled 12,231.9 billion drachmas, up 12.3 percent on a year earlier. Net pre-tax profits totalled 523.1 billion drachmas, marking a 42.1 percent rise from 1998, according to the survey.

    The gross profit margin remained almost unchanged at 20.5 percent from 20.2 percent.

    The rise in earnings was attributed to higher turnover and to factors not directly linked to company operations, ICAP said.

    [21] Investment firms show rise in net asset vale in September

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The country's 17 portfolio investment firms showed a rise in the net value of assets by 81 billion drachmas in September from August, to total 1.52 trillion drachmas, the Union of Institutional Investors said on Monday.

    The net value of assets was lower against the start of the year by a minimum 9.4 percent to a maximum 50.1 percent at the end of September, the union said in a monthly review.

    Seven companies showed a premium while the remaining ten firms were trading at a discount of 1.3 percent to 15.9 percent, the review said.

    [22] Minoan Flying Dolphins sued

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    A suit was submitted against the owners of the Minoan Flying Dolphins and the officers of the "Express Samina" ferry, which sank two weeks ago off the island of Paros, costing the lives of 80 passengers.

    Manolis Kalargyros, who lost his parents in the shipwreck, filed the suit.

    Lawyer K. Livieratos, who survived the shipwreck, also sought a restraining order on the sale of MFD assets of up to 100 million drachmas. The order would include the "High Speed 4" passenger ferry.

    Death toll from "Express Samina" shipwreck climbs to 80: The death toll from the "Express Samina" ferry which sank off the island of Paros two weeks ago has risen to 80, it was announced on Monday.

    The body of Albanian national Akis Skantera was found in the sea region of Mykonos island. His travel documents were found in his clothes.

    Relatives had said that he was traveling on the ship.

    [23] Heather Saunders thanks Archbishop for memorial service and anti-terrorism initiative

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, the head of the Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece, on Monday met with the widow of British military attache Stephen Saunders, who was murdered in Athens last June by the terrorist group "November 17".

    Heather Saunders thanked the Archbishop for a memorial service he conducted on Sunday for victims of terrorism and his initiative on this sensitive issue.

    [24] Simitis receives Greece's Olympic medal winners

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday received Greece's Olympic medal winners from the recent Sidney Olympic Games, in a ceremony at the Maximos Mansion in Athens and talked with all of them individually on their success.

    Simitis was well informed on the performance of each athlete during the Olympic Games in Sidney and discussed details of their efforts.

    Deputy Sports Giorgos Floridis, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, officials of the Athens 2004 Organizing Commit-tee and sports federations' representatives were present at the event.

    [25] Municipality of Drama grants 100 million drachmas to Greek Olympic Games athletes

    Athens, 10/10/2000 (ANA)

    The Municipality of Drama, northeastern Greece, on Monday announced its decision to fund the preparations of Greek athletes for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, to the tune of 100 million drachmas.

    The grant would be allocated over the next four years, Drama Mayor Dimitris Tzimas said, addressing representatives of athletic federations of Olympic Sports.

    [26] Visiting Greek culture minister calls for pressure to be exerted on Turkish side

    LARNACA, 10/10/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    Greek Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Monday called on all countries that have the means to "exert pressure on the Turkish side, taking advantage of all instruments provided for by international law, in order for progress to be achieved in efforts to reach a settlement in Cyprus."

    Speaking on his arrival at Larnaca Airport, Pangalos expressed his full support to negotiations for a settlement in Cyprus, but pointed out that "progress must be achieved otherwise their meaning diminishes substantially."

    Citing the developments in Yugoslavia as an example, the Greek minister said "they have proven that everybody is obliged to respect international law, democratic developments and human rights."

    Four rounds of UN-led talks aiming at reaching a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops occupied 37 percent of its territory in 1974, have taken place since last December. A new round of meetings is scheduled to take place in Geneva next month.

    Before his departure late on Tuesday, Pangalos, who has also served as foreign minister of Greece, will call on President Glafcos Clerides and House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will also meet with his Cypriot counterpart Ouranios Ioannides to discuss a number of issues and projects in their fields as well as preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games that will take place in Athens.

    [27] Russian foreign minister postpones visit to Cyprus due to urgent obligations

    NICOSIA, 10/10/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, said on Monday that the postponement of the three-day official visit of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to Cyprus scheduled to begin on Monday, was due to urgent obligations on behalf of Russia in international questions.

    Papapetrou noted that he did not know yet when the Russian minister would visit the island and that a date for the visit would have to be set by the two sides.

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