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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

July 20, 2002


  • [01] Terrorism is being vanquished by democracy and the law, PM stresses
  • [02] N17 member admits participation in 27 crimes, including Bakoyiannis' murder
  • [03] EP President Cox expresses satisfaction over 'blow' against N17
  • [04] ANA Washington correspondent analyses ''N17'' issue on BBC news
  • [05] Report on N17 evidence leaked to media sent to courts
  • [06] Turkish-Greek police talks and information exchange on N17
  • [07] PM visits IKA computer center; ND comments
  • [08] KKE leader says PM must not ignore country's acute major problems
  • [09] Giannitsis in Cyprus, says circumstances favorable for settlement
  • [10] AHEPA banquet on Friday to be attended by many dignitaries
  • [11] Greek expatriates from Europe meet in Thessaloniki
  • [12] Intra-Parliamentary Union of Hellenes Abroad to hold 4th General Assembly
  • [13] Gov't sends privatization bill to parliament
  • [14] New EU budget to be ratified by Europarliament in December
  • [15] Seven regions in Greece among 30 EU areas with lowest
  • [16] External Trade Center unveils plan to promote Greek exports
  • [17] Greek weekly economic review
  • [18] Greek stocks end 1.41 percent lower on Friday
  • [19] President sends message on coup and invasion anniversary

  • [01] Terrorism is being vanquished by democracy and the law, PM stresses

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Each heinous act of terrorism carried out in Greece over the past 27 years was an attack on democracy, and it was democracy that was now vanquishing terrorism through the agency of the law, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed on Friday.

    The prime minister also underlined that the suspected terrorists would receive a fair trial, saying that democracy's victory over terrorism would be meaningless if it were accompanied by a loss of democratic rights and freedoms.

    ''Democracy in Greece, now stronger than ever before, gives its answer to the violent challenge without resorting to violence and repression,'' he said.

    Simitis was speaking after a one-hour meeting with Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis, who briefed him on the latest developments in the November 17 case.

    The prime minister also stressed that the series of crimes that had so severely undermined Greece's image in the years that followed the restoration of democracy were totally opposed by the Greek people, who condemned violence and the overturning of the rule of law.

    Now it was time for the guilty to answer for their actions, Simitis added.

    Simitis then referred to the innocent victims of the terrorist group and their families, expressing his support for them at this time when painful memories were being reawakened by the revelations.

    He pledged that the effort to wipe out terrorism would continue steadily and decisively, referring to the systematic work over the past years that had helped bring about the authorities' current successes.

    ''We did not take a dogmatic approach. We did not proceed from prejudice and a belief that we would find the guilty parties in one specific area. We carried out systematic work, analyzing the evidence, prudently, decisively and with low-key tones,'' he said.

    Praising the police and public prosecutors for their work in the past few weeks, as well as Chrysohoidis, Simitis stressed that the effort would continue unabated to shed full light on all aspects of the case.

    He noted, however, that to fully complete and consolidate the authorities' present success would require the continued efforts and contribution of everyone and he appealed to the media, the public and the political parties to be circumspect on this issue.

    The premier also expressed his disagreement with apparent attempts to lay the terrorist phenomenon at the door of Greece's Left.

    ''The social area of the wider Left has carried out struggles and contributed to the country. In any case, we know that violence in our land has many and various roots,'' he stressed.

    ''The victory against terrorism will be a victory for democracy, a victory for a state ruled by law, a victory for Greece,'' he concluded.

    [02] N17 member admits participation in 27 crimes, including Bakoyiannis' murder

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    A police spokesman on Friday announced a list of crimes attributed to three men charged with offences linked to the November 17 terrorist group, including the murder of New Democracy party Deputy Pavlos Bakoyiannis.

    Vassilios Tzortzatos, 47, is accused of 27 criminal and punishable acts perpetrated by the November 17 group, including murders he participated in and confessed to and one of them is that of Bakoyiannis in the fashionable Athens district of Kolonaki in September 1989.

    Police spokesman Lefteris Economou said Tzortzatos, Alexandros Giotopoulos, 58, reportedly a mastermind of the group, and Theologos Psaradelis, 59, were brought before a public prosecutor.

    According to the police's announcement, Giotopoulos denied charges but evidence collected during the preliminary investigation revealed that he was a leading and guiding member of the terrorist group.

    Giotopoulos' fingerprints were found on a four-page text produced by a printer bearing handwritten notes and corrections and referring to the slaying of Costas Peratikos, as well as on a piece of paper with handwritten notes found together with the previous text in the group's hideout in Patmou street in the Athens district of Kato Patissia.

    An examination of the handwriting appearing on these documents also revealed that the style of writing is the same with that on a piece of paper bearing handwriting and found on Giotopoulos when he was searched and which belonged to him.

    Economou further said Giotopoulos was recognized by arrested members of the group and they confessed that he is the group's leader with the code name ''Lambros.''

    On his part, Tzortzatos confessed that, together with other November 17 members, he carried out or participated in the following attacks perpetrated by the group.

    1) The murder of the Apogevmatini newspaper's publisher Nikolaos Momferatos and his driver Panayiotis Rousetis in Kolonaki on February 21, 1985.

    2) The explosion of a car-bomb targeting a bus of the MAT riot police in Kaisariani on November 26, 1985, resulting in the fatal injury of policeman Nikolaos Georgakopoulos and the injury of 14 other policemen.

    3) The murder of industrialist Dimitrios Angelopoulos on April 8, 1986, in Kolonaki.

    4) The attempted murder of doctor Zaharias Kapsalakis on February 4, 1987, in Halandri.

    5) The explosion of a makeshift bomb targeting an air force bus carrying American officers on April 24, 1987, in Rentis, resulting in the injury of 13 people.

    6) The explosion of a makeshift bomb targeting a bus carrying American officers on August 10, 1987, in the region of Voula, resulting in the injury of 10 people.

    7) The murder of industrialist Alexandros Athanasiadis-Bodosakis on March 1, 1988, in Kifissias avenue in Filothei.

    8) The attempted murder of American sergeant Robert Judd on April 3, 1984, in Agios Dimitrios.

    9) The storming of the 18th police precinct and the stealing of weapons on August 14, 1988, in Vyronas.

    10) The attempted murder of public prosecutor Constantine Androulidakis on January 10, 1989, in the Zografou area.

    11) The attempted murder, with a car-bomb, of Parliamentary Deputy George Petsos on May 8, 1989, in Psychico.

    12) The murder of Parliamentary Deputy Pavlos Bakoyiannis on September 26, 1989, in Kolonaki.

    13) The stealing of weapons from the army camp of Sykourio on December 24, 1989, in Larissa, central Greece.

    14) The stealing of bazookas from the War Museum on February 3, 1990, in Athens.

    15) The explosion of a makeshift bomb at a cement pillar belonging to the Public Power Corporation (DEH) on May 15, 1990, at the 21st milestone of the Athens-Lamia motorway in Ekali.

    16) The firing of a rocket at the offices of the Procter & Gamble company in Syngrou avenue in Nea Smyrni.

    17) The firing and exploding of two rockets against the EEC's offices on December 16, 1990, in Athens.

    18) The firing and exploding of a rocket against the offices of the American Express Bank on January 28, 1991, in Panepistimiou street in Athens.

    19) The explosion of a bomb on the tugboat ''Karapiperis'' on April 26, 1991, in Perama.

    20) The firing of two rockets and the exploding of one against the ''Halyps'' company on May 16, 1991, in Aspropirgos.

    21) The attempted murder of Turkish Charge d'Affaires Deniz Bulukbasi on July 16, 1991, in Paleo Psychico.

    22) The firing of a rocket and the throwing of a defensive grenade against a bus of the MAT riot police on November 2, 1991, in Exarchia, resulting in the fatal injury of policeman Ioannis Varis and the injury of seven other policemen.

    23) The attempted murder, with the firing of a rocket, of Economy Minister Ioannis Paleokrassas on July 14, 1992, in Athens, resulting in the fatal injury of passer-by Athanasios Axarlian.

    24) The attempted murder of Parliamentary Deputy Eleftherios Papadimitriou on December 21, 1992, in Marousi.

    25) The incident in Louizis Riankour street on March 27, 1992, at Ampelokipi.

    26) The robbery at the EL.TA post office in Patission street in Athens on July 13, 1988, and the injury of policeman Theodoros Papapanou.

    27) The robbery at the EL.TA post office in Aegaleo in 1988.

    Psaradelis confessed that, together with other members of the November 17 group, he participated in the robbery at the National Bank's branch office in Drosopoulou street in Patissia in 1986.

    According to evidence collected during the preliminary enquiry, he also participated in the robbery at the EL.TA post office in Aegaleo in 1988.

    Economou also publicized four photographs of Giotopoulos, showing him in various ages from 1972 to 2002, reminding that any citizen wishing to provide information can phone the Counter-Terrorism Service at 170 and 1964.

    Three persons formally charged as N17 members: Suspected November 17 members Alexandros Giotopoulos, Theologos Psaradelis and Vassilis Tzortzatos on Friday afternoon were formally charged by an Athens prosecutor as members of the urban terrorist group.

    Giotopoulos and Tzortzatos were charged with participation in organized crime, manufacturing, acquiring and owning explosives, illegal possession and use of weapons, manslaughter and intentionally causing an explosion that involved body injury and loss of life, while Psaradelis was charged for participation in organized crime and larceny.

    According to sources, 58-year-old Giotopoulos, who was arrested on Wednesday on the Aegean island of Lipsi and is suspected of being one of ''N17'' leaders, seemed to be stunned when he heard public prosecutor Panayiotis Angelopoulos charging him with a number of felonies in connection with his alleged leadership role in the terrorist organization, the sources said.

    To the prosecutor's inquiry whether he had an attorney that he wished to call, Giotopoulos, who denied all involvement with ''N17'', said that he would find an attorney, however, he refused to make the call before the court official, the same sources said.

    Immediately after the session with Giotopoulos, Tzortzatos, 48, and Psaradelis, 59, were separately taken before the public prosecutor.

    Both Tzortzatos and Psaradelis confessed their involvement in the terrorist group, however, Psaradelis said that of the two larceny charges against him, he only confessed to the one which took place in 1986 at the National Bank branch located in the Patissia area of Athens.

    The three suspects were given until Wednesday morning to prepare their testimonies.

    On a related note, sources said that district attorney supervisor Petros Verios is going to suggest that the ''N17'' file be assigned to a special prosecutor due to the gravity of the case, in which event, the case file will be forwarded from the First Instance Court to an Appeals Court for main investigation procedures.

    Minister to brief President Stephanopoulos on terrorism: Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis will brief President Kostis Stephanopoulos on Tuesday on the progress of investigations on the issue of terrorism.

    Chrysohoidis also briefed Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday on the findings and conclusions of the police, particularly on the approaching of the November 17 terrorist group's leadership during investigations.

    Chrysohoidis was briefed by the counter-terrorism authorities on the stance observed by Alexandros Giotopoulos when he was brought before the police and on evidence police have for referring him to judicial authorities for playing a leading role.

    According to police sources, Chrysohoidis conveyed to the prime minister the authorities' assessments on the possible participation of more people in the nucleus of the group's leaders and on evidence being utilized, particularly following confessions made by people arrested.

    Arrested people have, according to reports, given the names of their accomplices in terrorist acts and a new wave of arrests is expected in coming days.

    Chrysohoidis expects that police will have completed their first cycle of investigations by Tuesday to enable him to brief the president on the extent and final course of investigations.

    According to reports, Chrysohoidis received instructions from Simitis for the police to continue to work in every direction, but to continue to observe cautious tones and always to keep to legality in the process in cooperation with representatives of the prosecuting authorities.

    Protopapas: Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis will ask for a meeting the leaders of the political parties to brief them on the latest breakthroughs and arrests made in the ongoing investigation into the terrorist group November 17, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced on Friday.

    The spokesman also announced that Chrysohoidis would be holding a press conference on the same issue next Tuesday.

    Protopapas referred extensively to past attempts to link N17 to ruling PASOK and the political Left, and referred to statements on this issue made by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    "The Left cannot be branded in this way," Protopapas said, while pointing out that many of those who had supported such theories had belonged to New Democracy.

    "Today we can see how unfair they had been in their working assumptions," he said.

    He also stressed that the governments that had ruled Greece in the past 25 years had all possessed the political will to fight terrorism, regardless of the mistakes they might have made.

    [03] EP President Cox expresses satisfaction over 'blow' against N17

    BRUSSELS, 20/07/2002 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    European Parliament President Pat Cox has expressed his satisfaction over the ''blow'' the Greek authorities have dealt against terrorism.

    In an announcement on Friday, Cox said ''the arrest of members of the November 17 terrorist group constitutes a decisive step against terrorism in Europe.''

    [04] ANA Washington correspondent analyses ''N17'' issue on BBC news

    LONDON, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    BBC World television network evening news on Friday hosted ANA Washington correspondent Athanassios Ellis who offered an analysis on the recent developments surrounding the terrorism issue in Greece.

    In a live broadcast connection from the US capital, Ellis replied to questions by the BBC anchorman in London and called the recent successful efforts of the Greek authorities a decisive development that transformed Greece from an object of criticism into a country that proved to be on the front line in the fight against terrorism.

    Ellis said that the recent successes of the authorities were the result of methodical work done in recent years within the framework of close cooperation between the Greek authorities, the FBI and Scotland Yard.

    [05] Report on N17 evidence leaked to media sent to courts

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    The findings of an internal inquiry regarding a leak of part of the evidence in the 'November 17' case, namely photographs of suspected terrorist Savvas Xiros that were broadcast by a television channel, was submitted to Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis on Friday.

    The minister forwarded the report to the Piraeus Navy Court and the Primary Court Public Prosecutor, who have both pressed charges on this issue.

    [06] Turkish-Greek police talks and information exchange on N17

    ANKARA, 20/07/2002 (ANA - A. Abatzis)

    Turkish Deputy Police Director Feysulah Arslan said here on Friday that Greek and Turkish authorities continued with their talks and information exchange in connection with the Greek urban terrorist group November 17.

    ''Turkey is watching carefully the operations undertaken in Greece in connection with the N17 group'' Arslan said when asked by a reporter to comment on the N17 developments in Greece.

    ''Talks and information exchange are continued between the Turkish and the Greek police forces in connection with that group which has also assassinated two Turkish diplomats'', he added.

    On the same issue, Turkish diplomat Deniz Bolukbasi, on Friday told Turkish News Agency ''Anadolu'', ''the fact that two individuals were arrested and confessed their involvement in the attempt against me is satisfactory on my part, as well as on the part of my two dead colleagues''.

    Bolukbasi on 17 July 91 survived a N17 assassination attempt against him while serving as Charge d'Affaires at the Turkish embassy in Athens.

    [07] PM visits IKA computer center; ND comments

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday paid a visit to the Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) computer center in Zografou, where he inspected new systems installed by the organization to streamline its operations and services.

    Simitis welcomed the changes already instituted by IKA, such as postal renewal of IKA health books, the 184 phone line for booking appointments, abolishing IKA contribution stamps, issuing pensions more quickly and renovations to its buildings.

    He then referred to the organizationís evolution into a unified social insurance fund for all classes of employees, IKA-ETAM, that lay at the core of the government's social insurance reforms.

    Simitis said the new organization would receive 1 per cent of Greece's GNP each year in financial support from the government, the largest received by the social insurance system to date. This would rule out the need to reduce pensions or raise the age of retirement, the prime minister added.

    He also noted, however, that main opposition New Democracy had not made any commitments on this plan, leaving open the possibility that it would follow the opposite policy if it came to power.

    Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas said IKA was entering a new era in which it would take on a central role in the reform of the system.

    The foundation's new online system would allow those insured with IKA to be informed more rapidly on all issues and help in resolving all disputes.

    He stressed that all this was only possible because IKA was now in the black, since the government had undertaken to fund the organization with over three billion drachmas.

    Commenting on the prime minister's visit, meanwhile, New Democracy's social security and labor sector head Gerasimos Giakoumatos said it was another fiesta set up by IKA's governor to present yet another model of projects that should have been completed years ago.

    ''Simitis' government is not interested in pensioners and the insured. It overlooks IKA's problems and those of its workers and employs 'quick-fix' solutions that postpone the problems for the future. Even though, for the time being, the only thing they have succeeded in doing is to shell out pensions even for the deceased, costing IKA roughly 50 billion drachmas," he said.

    [08] KKE leader says PM must not ignore country's acute major problems

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga said on Friday she did not share Prime Minister Costas Simitis' "jubilation" regarding the break up of the November 17 terrorist group at a time when ''the acute major economic, social, democratic and political problems, which government policy has created, are being ignored.''

    Speaking in Preveza, central-western Greece, which she is touring at the head of a KKE delegation, Papariga said that over and above the arrest of the November 17 members, what was needed was the exposure of the ''yarns'' which link this guerrilla group with foreign centers or branches of foreign centers in Greece ''which certainly utilized and used the activity of this organization.''

    She criticized the involvement of foreign secret services in efforts for breaking up the guerrilla group, noting that ''from what we have understood, they are spearheading the investigations into the November 17 and pass over any evidence they want to the Greek authorities.''

    [09] Giannitsis in Cyprus, says circumstances favorable for settlement

    LARNACA, 20/07/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Tassos Giannitsis arrived in Cyprus Friday afternoon, saying that international circumstances are favorable for a solution of the Cyprus problem and expressing the support of Greece in efforts to reach a settlement and for the island to accede to the EU.

    Speaking on his arrival at Larnaca Airport, Giannitsis, who will represent the Greek government at demonstrations to condemn the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, said these are ''days of mourning for all those who were heroically and unjustly lost 28 years ago'' but also ''days of hope because the people of Cyprus managed to give an important impetus'', so that the island is now just a breath away from EU membership.

    He added that despite continuous efforts on behalf of the Cyprus government, part of the island is still under Turkish occupation.

    Giannitsis said circumstances were ''favorable'' at the moment for a settlement and noted that Cyprus is just a few steps away from EU accession.

    ''We believe that by the end of the year, as planned, decisions will be made'' for Cyprus' accession to the EU, he added.

    [10] AHEPA banquet on Friday to be attended by many dignitaries

    NEW YORK, 20/07/2002 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be among the dignitaries to attend the banquet hosted by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) Supreme Convention here on Friday.

    Although originally scheduled for Athens, the AHEPA 2002 Convention this year is held in New York City, for the first time after 34 years, in a show of support for the city and the ''September 11'' terrorist attack victims.

    Archbishop Dimitrios of America, who on Friday will receive the US emissary to Athens, was present at the opening ceremony of the 80th Convention of the largest Greek-American organization.

    Themed "An International Conference on the Parthenon Marbles", Friday's program is dedicated to the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles and will be addressed by Fairfield University Professor Catherine Schwab, British Producer/Commentator William Stewart, President, Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Committee Dr. Dimitrios Pandermalis and Culture Ministry representative archaeologist Elena Korea, among many other panelists.

    [11] Greek expatriates from Europe meet in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    The coordinating committee of the Network of Expatriate Local Administration Bodies of Europe convened in Thessaloniki on Friday in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis.

    During the meeting, the committee decided the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the network and the corresponding operations network of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), but also with the participation of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE), so as to strengthen the cooperation of expatriate Greek businesspersons with local government abroad.

    The network's coordinating committee decided to support the initiative for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and to promote the volunteerism movement for the Games.

    [12] Intra-Parliamentary Union of Hellenes Abroad to hold 4th General Assembly

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis on Tuesday will open the four-day meetings of the fourth General Assembly of the World Intra-parliamentary Union of Hellenes.

    Government ministers, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis, Communist Party Secretary General Aleka Papariga and Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos are going to address the General Assembly that will be held at the Parliament Hall.

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis will receive the members of the Union on Thursday, while on Friday they will visit the northern Greek port-city of Thessaloniki where they will have a meeting with Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Paschalidis.

    [13] Gov't sends privatization bill to parliament

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    The government on Friday sent a new privatization bill to parliament that allows the creation of a special share enabling the state to veto major decisions in denationalized utility corporations.

    The bill also simplifies red tape in the privatization process, allowing greater flexibility; and introduces tougher criteria for the appointment of tender consultants.

    Finally, the bill allows the labor minister to take part in a ministerial privatization committee.

    [14] New EU budget to be ratified by Europarliament in December

    BRUSSELS, 20/07/2002 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    The Council of European Union ministers convened here on Friday to prepare the EU's 2003 budget, with Greece represented by Deputy Finance Minister George Floridis.

    The draft budget, which is to receive a second reading in November before being presented to the European Parliament for ratification in December, includes 100 billion euros in committed funds and 98.2 billion euros for payments, of which 50 percent is for agricultural expenditure and 30 percent in financing for structural funds.

    Floridis secured credits of 53 million euros in economic support for five border and ''sensitive'' regions of Greece, which are central and eastern Macedonia, Thrace, the northern Aegean, the southern Aegean and Crete.

    He also expressed Greece's opposition to cutbacks proposed by the EU's finance ministers primarily in agricultural expenditure, managing to keep the decrease in funds to a minimum.

    Addressing the Council, Floridis said that credits to the Balkans should remain at the same level since reconstruction was continuing. He also mentioned funding for the EU's foreign affairs and defense policy, as well as programs to support the 15-nation bloc's border regions.

    [15] Seven regions in Greece among 30 EU areas with lowest

    GDP BRUSSELS, 20/07/2002 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The regions of eastern Macedonia, Thrace, central Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, western Greece and the Peloponnese continue to be ranked among the European Union's 30 regions with the lowest GDP, as well as among the 30 regions with the lowest disposable income for inhabitants.

    Western Macedonia, the Ionian islands, the northern Aegean and Crete are also included among the EU's 30 regions with the lowest GDP, but not among the EU's 30 regions with the lowest disposable income.

    This emerges from data for 1999 on nine EU countries (France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland) released here on Friday by the EU's statistical service, Eurostat.

    The fact that regions in the EU with the greatest GDP per inhabitant are not necessarily those whose inhabitants have the greatest disposable income is partly justified by the daily movement of working people in the EU and the allocation of state revenue by state authorities.

    [16] External Trade Center unveils plan to promote Greek exports

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greece's External Trade Center, an organization working for the promotion of Greek exports, on Friday unveiled plans to enhance cooperation between Greek exporting companies with foreign enterprises and markets.

    An organization statement said that completion of the program would promote directly and fundamentally cooperation between Greek and foreign companies, with Greek exporting firms having access to daily information over products, specifications and prices interested by foreign importers and at the same time offering on-line communication with candidate buyers.

    The first phase of the program is expected to be completed in six months, along with the launch of a pilot operation of the program.

    [17] Greek weekly economic review

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    The Athens Stock Exchange ended another week with losses on Friday, completing almost three years of decline. ASE chairman, Panagiotis Alexakis said during the week that the Greek market's decline in the last few months was almost exclusively attributed to a decline in international markets.

    In other headline news this week, Prime Minister Costas Simitis visited a site of building a double railroad track in northern Greece. The project, including building of two railway tunnels, is expected to cost 170 billion drachmas and is expected to be delivered to operation in the next 18 months.

    The Greek cabinet approved a package of tax relief measures proposed by Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis. The measures included reducing heritage taxes and raising taxation on off-shore companies.

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the cabinet meeting also approved a flotation of another 10-15 percent of Public Power Corporation and hiring of a strategic investor for Public Gas Enterprise. The strategic investor will acquire 30 percent of the company's equity capital.

    General Bank announced a failure in its efforts to find a strategic investor for the bank, a process that began nine months ago.

    [18] Greek stocks end 1.41 percent lower on Friday

    Athens, 20/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of a highly volatile week lower in the Athens Stock Exchange, hit by renewed pressures in other European markets on Friday.

    The general index fell 1.41 percent to end at 2,123.51 points, with turnover an improved 98.8 million euros.

    The Retail, Textile, IT Solutions and Telecommunications sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (3.61 percent, 2.78 percent, 2.69 percent and 2.51 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 1.40 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 1.64 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index dropped 1.75 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 287 to 41 with another 35 issues unchanged.

    The general index ended the week with a net loss of 0.65 percent.

    The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecoms, Football Pools, Coca Cola HBC, and Balafas.

    Bond Market Close: Prices up in moderate trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Friday finished higher in moderate trade focusing on ten-year paper.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.15 percent, and the spread over the corresponding German bund was 32 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 2.0 billion euros.

    Buy orders accounted for over half of trade.

    Derivatives Market Close: Equity index futures lackluster: Equity index futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange were lackluster on Friday, with contracts on the high capitalization index showing a discount of up to 2.0 percent, and on the mid-cap index also around 2.0 percent.

    Turnover was 90.7 million euros.

    The underlying FTSE/ASE-20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips shed 1.40 percent; and the underlying FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization stocks lost 1.64 percent.

    [19] President sends message on coup and invasion anniversary

    NICOSIA, 20/07/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides said on Friday night that since 1974, all governments of the Republic of Cyprus have accepted even the most painful compromises in an effort to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, noting that unfortunately the Turkish side has always been intransigent.

    In a broadcasted message for the anniversaries of the coup d' etat and the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974, President Clerides said the solution should be just, viable and comprehensive, securing the human rights for every citizen.

    The president said ''twenty-eight years have passed since the tragic summer of 1974'' and noted that ''the people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, are still suffering from the dreadful consequences of the criminal coup and the illegal invasion of Attila''.

    ''Those events constitute one of the darkest periods of the history of Cyprus'', the president said.

    He added that ''the Greeks of Cyprus have learnt an important lesson from the coup: That there has to be absolute respect of the democratic institutions and constant dialogue among all of the political powers, with tolerance of the opposite view, with mutual understanding and with intention for mutual under-standing and acquiescence, where possible'' and that ''passions, hatreds and generally extreme behavior must not have a place in our political life''.

    ''At the same moment, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should learn another common lesson from the invasion: The fact that both communities have committed serious mistakes. For, instead of cooperating honestly and hard in order to consolidate and develop the Republic of Cyprus, building a common, bright future for the benefit of all the residents of Cyprus, we remained attached to mentalities, which damaged the Republic and resulted to exactly the opposite'', he noted.

    President Clerides said ''this is the reason why we should find a right solution, which will heal the wounds of the past, put aside the hatred, suspicion and the sense of insecurity that exists in both communities, will dissipate the concerns and the fears, and consolidate a feeling of confidence, mutual understanding and cooperation for the benefit of all the citizens of this suffering land''.

    He said ''we should create, all of us together, a new real peace potential, stability and security, on the basis of the international law, in order to be able to enjoy the goods of peaceful coexistence and cooperation in the framework of a united Europe''.

    The president noted that ''during these 28 years that have gone by since the Turkish invasion, the governments of the Republic of Cyprus have shown good will and have accepted even the most painful compromises in an effort to support the various initiatives of the UN Secretary General for reaching a solution''.

    ''Unfortunately, however, the leadership of the Turkish side has always been intransigent, as the international community has ascertained from time to time'', President Clerides said, adding that ''we are seeking a solution, which will be just, viable and comprehensive and which will secure the human rights for every citizen, a solution, which will secure the future of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots in the land of their ancestors''.

    President Clerides assured that ''until we find a solution, the government of the Cyprus Republic will continue its policy to strengthen the defense of the free areas within the framework of the Joint Defense Doctrine between Cyprus and Greece''.

    He expressed ''the Greek Cypriots' thanks and gratitude for the invaluable assistance offered to us by the Greek government, the whole of the political leadership of Greece and the brotherly Greek people in our struggle and especially in the diplomatic efforts for our accession to the EU and in the sector of defense''.

    The president also expressed ''thanks and gratitude to all Greeks of the Diaspora and other foreign governments and personalities for their solidarity and active support''.

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