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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


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
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


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 lower.

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 water.

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 him.

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 Competition".

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 central Athens.

The Archdiocese of Athens, in cooperation with local Churchs and ecclesiastical societies, will initially provide breakfast and in a few days dinner as well.

Mass transit fares in Athens to rise

Most mass transit fares for the greater Athens will increase as of Monday.

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 drachmas.

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 evasion.

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


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