Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-19
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 19/02/1998 (ANA)
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
Trading remained subdued with turnover at 13.5 billion drachmas.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 127 to 79 with another 23 issues
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,
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.
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