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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 19/02/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens concerned over Iraqi crisis, urges cooperation
  • GM bomb could be November 17 work - police
  • Greece to buy six new S-R helicopters
  • Bulgarian VP heads business delegation to Thessaloniki
  • Police find drugs, arms in forest
  • Greek stocks slump again, shrug off rate drop
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens concerned over Iraqi crisis, urges cooperation

Iraq should accept relevant UN resolutions in their entirety and co-operate with UNSCOM for their implementation, Greece said today in an announcement on the eve of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit to Baghdad.

"The Greek government is following the escalation of the crisis with particular concern. The friendship which the Greek people feel towards the Iraqi people is well known, as too is Greece's basic position of principle regarding adherence to UN resolutions. We believe that Iraq should accept the relevant UN resolutions in their entirety and co-operate with UNSCOM for their implementation," the announcement said.

The government said it actively supported the efforts undertaken by Russia, France, the Arab League and Annan and expressed the hope that the UN chief's visit to Iraq tomorrow would open the way for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over weapons inspection "even at the last minute".

"We therefore appeal to Iraq's leadership to allow UNSCOM to continue its task," the announcement said.

GM bomb could be November 17 work - police

The police suspect that the bomb attack against a General Motors showroom in Athens early today may be the work of Greece's most elusive terrorist organisation "November 17", according to public order ministry sources.

Though there is no hard evidence to support this view, the sources said, the remains of an alarm clock found at the scene of the blast are identical with clocks used as timing devices in bomb attacks subsequently claimed by November 17.

In addition, November 17 has in the past claimed responsibility for attacking four US targets to express solidarity with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. They warned at the time that such attacks would be repeated if the US struck Iraq, as appears likely at the present time.

The bomb went off outside the General Motors showroom shortly after midnight, causing damage to the building but no injuries.

Greece to buy six new S-R helicopters

A committee chaired by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis unanimously decided today to purchase six modern "all weather" helicopters manufactured by the French company "Eurocopter" to be used exclusively for search and rescue missions in the Aegean.

The High Technology Materials and Financial Value committee (YTOA) decided specifically on two types of helicopter, the AS 332 C1 and the AS 332 L2.

The six helicopters will cost a total of 18 billion drachmas, the greater part of which will be supplied from European Union funds.

Selection was achieved only after 19 sessions of YTOA and the relevant all- party committee, while the exclusion of three companies from the international tender was finalised on February 11 by the plenary of the State Legal Council.

Also sitting on the YTOA committee were Finance Undersecretary George Drys, National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pachtas and Development Undersecretary Michalis Chrysohoidis, and the representatives of opposition parties with the exception of New Democracy and the Democratic Social Movement which walked out six months ago.

Bulgarian VP heads business delegation to Thessaloniki

Vice-president of the Bulgarian government Alexander Boshkov, who also holds the industry portfolio, and industry undersecretary Vladimir Kissiov are due in Thessaloniki Saturday for a two-day visit, heading a delegation of Bulgarian businessmen.

The two Bulgarian officials and members of the delegation will meet with the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece and with Greek businessmen active in the neighbouring country.

During the meeting, the representatives of the Northern Greek industries will set out the problems faced by Greek businessmen active in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian minister and undersecretary and delegation member Olga Stoyanova, director of the Bulgarian industry ministry's division on international investments, will outline the course of Bulgaria's privatisations programme and their country's new investment law.

The delegation will also comprise representatives of 20 Bulgarian enterprises active in the fields of communications, tourism and textiles, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian stockmarket and the exhibition Pariz, who will hold individual meetings with Greek businessmen.

Police find drugs, arms in forest

Drug squad officers today announced the discovery of 100 kilos of marijuana and three Kalashnikov assault rifles hidden in woodland at Exochi, Konitsa near the border with Albania.

The police had already found the stash and had placed the location under surveillance for the last two days. Today they removed the rifles and marijuana, packed in six large sacks, after no one came to collect them.

The police believe a 26-year-old Albanian identified as Pipi Kokivesi, who was arrested in Aghia Varvara, Konitsa after traces of marijuana were found in his rented car, may be implicated in the case.

Greek stocks slump again, shrug off rate drop

Greek equities ended lower extending their decline for the sixth consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange.

Traders said the market was ignoring a steadily improving climate in the domestic interbank market and a drop in interest rates.

The imposition of a 0.03 percent tax on all securities transactions was seen as a negative factor in the market.

The general index closed 0.65 percent lower at 1,446.14 points. Sector indices were mixed.

Banks fell 1.07 percent, Leasing dropped 2.41 percent, Insurance eased 1.25 percent, Investment rose 0.09 percent, Industrials fell 0.06 percent, Construction was 1.34 percent off, Holding increased 0.77 percent and Miscellaneous rose 0.20 percent.

The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 1.25 percent higher reflecting the appetite of investors for second-tier stocks with larger returns prospects. The FTSE/ASE blue chip index fell 0.82 percent to end at 798.53 points.

Trading remained subdued with turnover at 13.5 billion drachmas.

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 127 to 79 with another 23 issues unchanged.

Singular, Ergas, Athinea and Daring scored the biggest percentage gains at the daily 8.0 percent upper volatility limit, while Etma, Dane, Boutaris and Keranis suffered the heaviest losses.

National Bank of Greece ended ata 21,350 drachmas, Ergobank at 14,445, Alpha Credit Bank at 15,385, Delta Dairy at 2,810, Titan Cement at 13,680, Intracom at 15,170 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 5, 525.

WEATHER

Partly cloudy weather is forecast for most parts of Greece today with light rain in Evia, Peloponnese, Crete, west Thessaly and the Cycladic islands. Winds northerly, northeasterly, moderate to strong, turning to gale force in the east of the country and the Aegean Sea. Athens will be windy with few clouds and temperatures between 5-13C. Scattered clouds in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1-11C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 285.508 Pound sterling 467.847 Cyprus pd 533.676 French franc 46.691 Swiss franc 193.703 German mark 156.463 Italian lira (100) 15.872 Yen (100) 226.057 Canadian dlr. 198.261 Australian dlr. 190.464 Irish Punt 387.872 Belgian franc 7.583 Finnish mark 51.594 Dutch guilder 138.855 Danish kr. 41.069 Swedish kr. 35.172 Norwegian kr. 37.517 Austrian sch. 22.245 Spanish peseta 1.847 Port. Escudo 1.529

(M.P.)


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