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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-25

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, 25/08/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Athens condemns Turkish attack on Cypriot boat
  • Ionian Bank developments not a watershed
  • Market downturn on Ionian tender
  • Greek, Albanian FMs to meet Sunday
  • Two bomb attacks overnight, no injuries
  • Journalist's car torched
  • New Italian buses for Greek provinces
  • Designer buses for Athens
  • Parliament excavations yield many archaeological finds
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Athens condemns Turkish attack on Cypriot boat

The Greek government said that troops of the Turkish occupation army in northern Cyprus this morning opened fire on Greek-Cypriot fishermen in waters off Paralimni. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the incident, which took place at 5.30 am local time, was an attempt by the Turkish side "to take on the trappings of a legitimate state". A similar incident had taken place about one week ago, he added, when Turkish occupation forces had detained eleven fishermen from Syria. Reppas said the incident provided further evidence of the aggressiveness of the Turkish occupation forces.

Ionian Bank developments not a watershed

The government today commented on the hitch in plans to sell a majority stake in the state-controlled Ionian Bank saying that the steady, upward and promising course of the Greek economy could not be affected by the sale of a middle-size bank. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stressed that the criteria for the sale of 51 percent of Ionian Bank remained two, namely a reasonable and fair price and the absolute solvency of the purchaser. He added that solvency was not something which could be verified beforehand. Three bids were opened yesterday in an international tender for the majority stake in Ionian Bank. Commercial Bank, Ionian Bank's parent company, said the three were Jan Morton Heger, with a bid of 340 billion drachmas, Exchange Finance Overseas (Holdings) with 303 billion and the Latsis Group's EFG Eurobank with Ergobank, with a bid of 135.6 billion.

Market downturn on Ionian tender

Prices fell on the Athens Stock Exchange at Tuesday's session amidst uncertainty over the sale of Ionian Bank. The general price index ended down 3.62% at 2,479.05, off the day's low of 6.5%. Banks fell hardest, with the sector losing 5.50%, and Commercial and Ionian Bank shares ending at the limit down of 8.0%. All sector indices suffered losses: Insurance was down 1.48%, Investment 2.66, Leasing 2.57, Industrials 1,83, Construction 3.0, Miscellaneous 1.75 and Holding down 3.29. Turnover totalled 51.7 billion drachmas.

Greek, Albanian FMs to meet Sunday

Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos will discuss the developments in the strife-torn Yugoslav province of Kosovo with Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo during a meeting Sunday in the neighbouring country. Pangalos will be in the Albanian town of Korce on Sunday for the official opening of a Greek Consulate there. Diplomatic sources told the ANA that the two ministers would meet on the sidelines of the ceremony, and would also discuss the course of Greek-Albanian relations.

Two bomb attacks overnight, no injuries

Two makeshift bombs went off early today causing damage to a bank and a town planning office but no injuries, police said. The first explosion occurred at 1:35 a.m. at the Commercial Bank branch in the Kypseli residential district, causing extensive damage to the entrance and windows of the bank. A second explosion went off a short while later at a Town Planning Department office at Theatrou Square, but did not cause any damage. Both explosions were caused by make-shift bombs made up of small gas cannisters, police said.

Journalist's car torched

Police are investigating an arson attack on a car belonging to a journalist and employee of the Public Order Ministry early today. Police said the fire was caused by a cotton wad that was doused in gasoline, ignited and thrown at the car, which was parked outside the man's home in suburban Kypseli.

New Italian buses for Greek provinces

Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Undersecretary Lambros Papademos today signed a 5 billion drachma contract for the procurement of 143 buses which will be sent to the country's provinces for the transport of schoolchildren and the elderly. Under the terms of the contract, the Italian supplier, BEKO, has undertaken to deliver all the buses by May 1999. The procurment is within the framework of the government's wide- ranging Capodistrias programme aimed at reorganising local government.

Designer buses for Athens

Greek fashion and interior designer Yannis Tseklenis has designed the exteriors of the new ultra-modern Athens buses, which were displayed today by the Athens urban transport organisation OASA. The 750 new fully air- conditioned and electronically equipped buses and minibuses, slated to go into circulation in Athens next month, together with 200 new trolleys, are part of an ambitious programme which, in conjunction with the Athens metro, are designed to completely overhaul and modernise commuter traffic in Athens.

Parliament excavations yield many archaeological finds

The culture ministry's archaeology department yesterday announced that a two-acre dig around and under Parliament had revealed 272 walls built between the late classical to Ottoman periods, with 2,200 different ceramic building materials recorded. The excavations also unearthed 145 gravesites belonging to the sub-Mycaenean, classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, 13 grain silos, 77 ducts, 12 wells, nine cisterns and 11 firing ovens.

WEATHER

Sunny weather will prevail throughout the country today. Cloud in northern Greece from the afternoon with the possibility of storms in the mountainous regions. Winds will be northerly, light to moderate. Temperatures in Athens will range between 23-37C, while in Thessaloniki from 22-34C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 300.774 British pound 492.786 Japanese yen (100) 208.439 French franc 49.937 German mark 167.380 Italian lira (100) 16.979 Irish Punt 419.418 Belgian franc 8.122 Finnish mark 55.018 Dutch guilder 148.537 Danish kr. 43.983 Austrian sch. 23.791 Spanish peseta 1.974 Swedish kr. 36.831 Norwegian kr. 38.543 Swiss franc 200.801 Port. Escudo 1.636 Aus. dollar 174.518 Can. dollar 195.146 Cyprus pound 570.400

(M.P.)


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