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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-26

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, 26/08/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Bulgarian PM Kostov in Athens for talks
  • Athens slams Turkish claims as more of same
  • Grenade attack on Hyundai dealership
  • French PM Jospin to speak in Athens
  • Market recovers from Ionian jolt
  • Tender for Ionian Bank declared null
  • Kosovo on agenda of Greek, Albanian FMs' meeting
  • IOC president due in Athens early September
  • Greek communists condemn 'criminal' U.S. strikes
  • Eurobank makes first payment on Cretabank
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Bulgarian PM Kostov in Athens for talks

Prime Minister Costas Simitis had talks today focusing on economic issues with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov who is here on a one-day working visit. After the meeting, attended also by Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, Simitis hosted a working lunch in honour of Kostov, at which the two leaders were expected to discuss issues related to the Balkans, the crisis in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo and developments in the European Union. Speaking to reporters before the lunch, Simitis said Greek-Bulgarian relations were at a very good level, stressing that any problems which did arise were effectively dealt with and both countries were getting nearer to attaining their common objective - namely excellent communication.

Athens slams Turkish claims as more of same

Greece today likened Turkish foreign policy and in particular statements made from time to time by Turkish officials as "fossils from the past". Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement when asked to comment on remarks today by Turkish President Suleiman Demirel openly disputing Greek sovereignty of 132 islets in the Aegean Sea. Demirel claimed that there were 132 "rocks or rocky islets which we call 'grey zones'... that is, their ownership has not been determined on the basis of agreements. We say: they do not belong to you (Greece). On the basis of succession, they belong to us".

Grenade attack on Hyundai dealership

Unknown persons threw a hand grenade at a Hyundai car dealership early today, causing material damage but no injuries. A police official told the ANA that the hand grenade was an eastern-type grenade, and caused damage to the dealership's entrance and a parked car in the Athens suburb of Nea Halkidona. He said no group had claimed responsibility for the attack so far, nor had there been an advance warning telephone call.

French PM Jospin to speak in Athens

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the keynote speakers at an open discussion to be held in Athens on August 31. The premiers will speak on "Democratic Socialism, prospects for the Left and the role of the 'society of citizens' in the Europe of 2000".

Market recovers from Ionian jolt

Greek equities ended mixed to lower partly halting Tuesday's sharp fall on the Athens Stock Exchange. Traders said bargain-hunting and other speculative buying, particularly in small and medium capitalisation stocks, partly reversed a prevailing negative sentiment in the market following a Commercial Bank's decision to annul a tender for the sale of a majority stake in Ionian Bank. The general index ended 0.29 percent lower at 2, 471.75 points, with turnover at 48.4 billion drachmas. Banks remained under pressure to ease 2.60 percent reflecting limit down losses in Commercial Bank and Ionian Bank shares.

Tender for Ionian Bank declared null

The Commercial Bank's board of directors yesterday afternoon declared the tender for Ionian Bank null, and said it would re-issue an invitation within three months at the latest. The Commercial Bank said the two bids submitted by the Jan Morton Heger law firm and the Exchange Finance Overseas (Holdings) group did not satisfy two of the basic terms of the tender, namely that the price should be fully paid-up, in cash, upon transfer, and that the prospective buyers' proposal should be accompanied by a certificate of a bank acceptable to the seller, validating their ability to pay the value of the shares. A joint 135 billion drachma bid by Greece's Eurobank with Ergo Bank was not considered adequate.

Kosovo on agenda of Greek, Albanian FMs' meeting

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. Mr. 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.

IOC president due in Athens early September

President of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) Juan Antonio Samaranch is to pay a one-day visit to Greece on September 2 for talks focusing on issues relating to the cultural Olympiad. He will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Greek communists condemn 'criminal' U.S. strikes

The Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) politbureau yesterday described the U.S. bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan last week as "criminal". It also announced that "the USA and the other imperialist powers are not only interested in immediate economic and political advantages but in familiarising the peoples with criminal military action in the name of peace and security, in the name of arbitration, terrorism and the so-called defence of Human Rights."

Eurobank makes first payment on Cretabank

The Eurobank Group yesterday deposited 28 billion drachmas which represents 30 per cent of the price for the purchase of Cretabank. The procedures for the signing of the final agreement for the transfer of Cretabank to the Eurobank Group are expected to be concluded by September 25.

WEATHER

The forecast for today is fine and sunny with cloud increasing in the course of the day with the possibility of local storms in mountainous regions. Winds will be northerly moderate to strong and very strong in the Aegean. Temperatures in Athens will range from 22-34 and in Thessaloniki from 22-31.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Wednesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 303.125 British pound 497.309 Japanese yen (100) 210.254 French franc 50.394 German mark 168.838 Italian lira (100) 17.135 Irish Punt 423.584 Belgian franc 8.200 Finnish mark 55.530 Dutch guilder 149.896 Danish kr. 44.354 Austrian sch. 24.010 Spanish peseta 1.992 Swedish kr. 36.767 Norwegian kr. 38.781 Swiss franc 202.249 Port. Escudo 1.652 Aus. dollar 174.885 Can. dollar 195.960 Cyprus pound 575.360

(M.P.)


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