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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-28

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, 28/08/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • ASE ends down 4.89% after concerted intervention
  • Swedish deputy FM dismisses talk of war
  • Cleric quizzed over Penthouse comments
  • Fire aboard Cyprus-flagged freighter
  • Mild quake shakes central Greece
  • Increase in Greek-Turkish trade, Ankara notes
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

ASE ends down 4.89% after concerted intervention

A concerted buying intervention in bank portfolios in the last half-hour of transactions helped Greek stocks halve their limit down initial losses. The general index, which spent most of the day at the daily 8.0 percent limit down, managed to end 4.89 percent lower at 2,169.83 points. Traders said the market remained under pressure as a deepening crisis in Russia and other developing markets undermined global equities and led investors in a flight to quality, particularly in the US and German bond markets. Trading was heavy with turnover at 75.7 billion drachmas. Banks plunged 6.50 percent, Insurance fell 4.95 percent, Investment ended 5.40 percent off, Leasing eased 4.95 percent, Industrials fell 4.45 percent, Construction ended 3.57 percent down, Miscellaneous ended 4.20 percent lower but Holding bucked the trend to end 0.76 percent up.

Swedish deputy FM dismisses talk of war

Sweden's Deputy Foreign Minister Pierre Schori expressed the view today that the possibility of a Greek-Turkish war was highly unlikely because "only crazy people would contemplate something of the sort". Speaking at a press conference in Thessaloniki, Schori also called on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic "to put an end to the terrorism" and on Kosovo separatist guerillas "to stop believing that they can win the armed struggle". He reiterated Sweden's position that Kosovo should be granted broader autonomy but within the framework of Federal Yugoslavia. Schori noted also that 10 percent of the troubled province's population were now refugees. Schori is in Thessaloniki as part of the Social Democrat party's election campaign. About 20,000 Swedes are currently living in Greece with the right to vote in Swedish elections.

Cleric quizzed over Penthouse comments

Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zakynthos appeared today before a senior cleric of the Church of Greece who has been appointed to investigate views expressed by Chrysostomos to the men's magazine "Penthouse" in January this year. In the interview, Chrysostomos appeared to condone pre-marital sex among young people, saying it was better for a young couple to engage in sexual relations which might then lead to marriage rather than each partner having a series of casual sexual encounters. He also advocated the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Chrysostomos of Messinia said the Zakynthian prelate maintained that his statements in the magazine interview had been misconstrued.

Fire aboard Cyprus-flagged freighter

Seven of nine crew members of a Cyprus-flag freighter have been taken to the medical centre in Aigina for precautionary reasons after a fire broke out in the vessel's engine room between the islands of Poros and Methana, a Piraeus port authority spokesman told the ANA. The 2,567 grt "Lady Maria T" was en route from Bulgaria to Spain, with a stopover at Piraeus, loaded with nitric ammonia in solid form. The fire was put out a few hours later with the help of a fire-fighting tug.

Mild quake shakes central Greece

An earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale jolted the town of Lamia and surrounding villages this morning, but no damages or injuries were reported. The Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory said the tremor was recorded at 6:01 a.m. with its epicentre 20 kilometres northeast of Lamia. Lab siesmologists told the ANA the tremor was a usual phenomenon and no cause for concern.

Increase in Greek-Turkish trade, Ankara notes

The Turkish external trade bureau announced yesterday that the volume of Turkey's external trade with Greece in 1997 increased by 39.8 per cent. According to figures, Turkish exports to Greece increased from US$ 236.4 million to $298 million, an increase of 26.1 per cent, while imports from Greece increased by 51.2 per cent, from $285 million in 1996 to $430.7 million. The trade balance shows surplus in favour of Greece of $132.6 million.

WEATHER

Sunny weather is forecast throughout the country today with scattered cloud in the northern Ionian Sea, Epirus and Macedonia in the afternoon. Winds will be westerly, southwesterly, light to moderate. Temperatures in Athens will range between 22-35C and in Thessaloniki from 20-31C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 310.020 British pound 510.860 Japanese yen (100) 217.079 French franc 51.217 German mark 171.566 Italian lira (100) 17.394 Irish Punt 430.925 Belgian franc 8.326 Finnish mark 56.427 Dutch guilder 152.257 Danish kr. 45.106 Austrian sch. 24.405 Spanish peseta 2.024 Swedish kr. 36.787 Norwegian kr. 37.089 Swiss franc 206.847 Port. Escudo 1.677 Aus. dollar 173.908 Can. dollar 197.091 Cyprus pound 584.982

(M.P.)


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