Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-14
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 14/08/1998 (ANA)
- Drachma, equities slump in wake of int`l crisis
- More fires rage throughout Greece
- Conference on `Fair Play` in sports
- Archdiocese of Athens assistance for refugee Kurds
- Mass transit fares in Athens to rise
- Gov't orders temporary closure of 34 companies for tax evasion
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Drachma, equities slump in wake of int`l crisis
A renewed financial crisis in Russia had a domino effect on Greek and other
European markets yesterday, driving stock prices and the German mark
Domestic markets were badly hit, with the drachma losing substantial ground
against most foreign currencies.
Equities shed 3.89 per cent to finish at 2,513.25 points; capital outflows
were 500 million DMarks while short-term interbank rates rose by 1-1.5
percentage points, bankers and brokers said.
The Greek currency was 1.36 per cent off against the US dollar, 1.02 per
cent down against the British pound, 0.72 per cent lower against the DMark
and lost 0.78 per cent against the Ecu.
Currency outflows reached 500 million German marks, while short-term
interbank rates rose by between 1 and 1.5 per cent.
Dealers noted that although domestic market sentiment remained positive,
prolonged market turbulence abroad could reverse the climate.
Sector indices suffered heavy losses. Banks plunged 4.16 per cent, Leasing
fell 2.61 per cent, Insurance ended 4.0 per cent off, Investment eased 3.26
per cent, Construction plummeted 6.07 percent, Holding fell 3.99 per cent
and Miscellaneous ended 4.18 per cent lower.
The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 4.79 per cent off,
and the FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 3.85 percent to 1,527.26 points.
More fires rage throughout Greece
Strong winds in most of Greece yesterday contributed to the fanning of
several forest fires in various parts of the country.
A fire that broke out in Alagonia on Mount Taygetus was raging out of
control at press time, while blazes in Halandritsa near Patra and on the
island of Zakynthos were still in progress. Efforts to combat the fires
were supported by fire-fighting aircra ft, including a massive Iliushin
plane that arrived from Russia and is able to drop up to 50 tonnes of
On other fronts, a fire that broke out in Ano Souli, Marathon during the
early hours Thursday was placed under control while a fire in Megalopoli,
central Peloponnese, was reportedly subsiding.
Regarding alleged arsonists, the issue remained cloudy.
Georgios Anastassopoulos, who had previously admitted to six arsons,
yesterday withdrew his initial confession, maintaining that he started only
one such fire at the Koumaria site, western Peloponnese, and that three
individuals he had initially named as accomplices had no involvement in the
fires. He claimed that he had implicated them after authorities pressured
Another suspect, Giorgos Ziombos, was charged with tossing a flaming cotton
wad out of his vehicle in a forest near Diakofto, Peloponnese. He will be
taken today before an investigating magistrate in Aegio.
Conference on `Fair Play` in sports
The 4th conference of the European movement "Fair Play" will be held in
Athens between Sept. 23-26 under the auspices of the Olympic Games
committee, and entitled: "Audience Behaviour and the Ideal of Fair
The conference will be attended by several noted university professors and
experts from various European Olympic committees.
Organisers believe the conference can stimulate interest among the sports
world, since over the past decade discussions on audience behaviour at
athletic events has been on the forefront throughout Europe.
Archdiocese of Athens assistance for refugee Kurds
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos yesterday initiated a new
aid programme for some 200 Kurd refugees living in Koumoundourou square of
The Archdiocese of Athens, in cooperation with local Churchs and ecclesiastical
societies, will initially provide breakfast and in a few days dinner as
Mass transit fares in Athens to rise
Most mass transit fares for the greater Athens will increase as of
Bus and trolley fares will increase from 100 to 120 drachmas, while the
special rate fare will increase from 50 to 60 drachmas. Airport express-bus
fares will rise from 200 to 250 drachmas from 5 a.m. through midnight and
to 500 drachmas from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
However, the price of bus/trolley frequent user cards will drop from 6,000
to 5,000 drachmas, while the price of bus/trolley/subway combination cards
remains at 8,000 drachmas.
Finally, ticket fares for transportation to one or two continuous zones
remain the same, as the regular fare for three-zone transportation rises
from 150 to 180 drachmas, with the special rate fares hiked from 50 to 60
Gov't orders temporary closure of 34 companies for tax evasion
The finance ministry yesterday ordered 34 enterprises around the country to
close for periods ranging from five days to a month as a penalty for tax
The ministry said in a statement that most of the firms were bars,
cafeterias, night clubs, tavernas and hotels.
Sunny weather will prevail throughout the country today. Clouds will appear
in mainland Greece and in the east in the afternoon with the possibility of
sporadic storms in the mountainous regions of the north. Winds will be
northerly, light to strong. Temperatures in Athens will range between 24-
34C, while in Thessaloniki from 22-32C.
Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 296.608
British pound 482.112 Japanese yen (100) 204.044
French franc 49.634 German mark 166.358
Italian lira (100) 16.860 Irish Punt 416.938
Belgian franc 8.074 Finnish mark 54.733
Dutch guilder 147.570 Danish kr. 43.692
Austrian sch. 23.649 Spanish peseta 1.960
Swedish kr. 36.605 Norwegian kr. 39.083
Swiss franc 199.585 Port. Escudo 1.625
Aus. dollar 177.176 Can. dollar 195.761
Cyprus pound 565.480