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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-21

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, 21/12/1998 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Gov't denies changes to state sell-off programme
  • Deutsche Bank buys 10 percent stake in Eurobank
  • Skopje name talks still under way
  • Three hospitalised after eating poisonous mushrooms
  • Search and rescue effort under way for two missing
  • New head of ethnic Greek party in Albania
  • Russian underworld seek refuge in Greece - reports
  • Composer Theodorakis honorary citizen of Patras
  • U.S., Greek sporting ties examined
  • Greek equities end up over 2,500 pts
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Gov't denies changes to state sell-off programme

The government said on Monday that its programme of structural changes comprised 22 specific actions which did not include plans to privatise the Commercial Bank. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said efforts were continuing to find a strategic investor to facilitate the development of the national carrier Olympic Airways. Reppas was replying to reporters' questions on an article in Sunday's edition of the weekly newspaper "To Vima" which said the government had submitted a structural reform programme to the European Union.

Deutsche Bank buys 10 percent stake in Eurobank

Deutsche Bank, one of the world's largest financial institutions, and EFG Eurobank, part of the EFG Bank Group, announced today the commencement of their cooperation. Deutsche Bank enters the Greek market by establishing a strategic partnership with the EFG Eurobank Group in Greece. EFG is the second largest private sector banking group, with total assets of DM 10 billion (1.7 trillion drachmas). As part of the deal, Deutsche Bank purchased a 10 percent stake in EFG Eurobank from the majority shareholder Consolidated Eurofinance Holdings SA Luxembourg, which now retains an 81 percent stake in Eurobank.

Skopje name talks still under way

Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Monday that the solution to the problem of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's name was being sought within the framework of negotiations being conducted under UN auspices. He was responding to reporters' questions regarding statements in Parliament on Monday by a ruling party MP that the government was ready to accept the name "Republic of Macedonia-Skopje". Athens and Skopje have been at loggerheads over the country's name since the republic declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Three hospitalised after eating poisonous mushrooms

Three elderly men from the community of Kavousi in the prefecture of Lasithi, Crete are in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Heraklion University Hospital after eating poisonous mushrooms. The three were initially admitted to Ierapetra hospital on Sunday night suffering convulsions. They later fell into a coma. According to relatives, the mushrooms had been bought from a shop in Heraklion.

Search and rescue effort under way for two missing

EMAK special rescue units and teams of firemen and policemen at dawn launched a massive search for two mountain climbers missing on Mt. Parnes, police said today. The two 25-year-old Greek men, who frequently scaled Mt. Parnes, set off early Sunday morning for another trek on the western side of the mountain but have not been heard of since. Relatives of the two men informed the local police precinct, which mobilised the fire department and the EMAK, teams from which were scouring the area with trained dogs.

New head of ethnic Greek party in Albania

The ethnic Greek organisation "Omonia" in Albania has elected 32-year-old Vangelis Dules as its new president, an ANA report from Gjirokaster said. Dules, from Gjirokaster's Kalogorantzi village, holds a degree in English literature and was a leading member of the December 1990 students' movement that led to the toppling of the Alia regime. Dules, a close associate of Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, was elected to the Albanian parliament in 1996 with the Human Rights Union party. He was elected in a marathon voting session Sunday that capped the two-day, fourth Omonia general conference in Sarande.

Russian underworld seek refuge in Greece - reports

A number of Russian criminals had sought refuge in Greece as a result of the ease in obtaining forged Greek citizenship documents, an ANA dispatch from Moscow said, quoting the Russian daily "Izvestia". Russian general prosecutor Yuri Skuratov, who recently visited Greece and held talks with the president of the Greek Supreme Court, presented a draft cooperation agreement between the prosecution authorities of the two countries which he hopes will be signed soon, the newspaper said. The draft, it added, provides inter alia for joint action with the Greek prosecution authority, the operation of a joint Greek-Russian judicial team and exchanges of information on each other's legislation.

Composer Theodorakis honorary citizen of Patras

Internationally renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis will be declared an honorary citizen of Patras by the central port city's new municipal authorities. The honour was announced Sunday night during a concert by the Patras amateur Municipal String Orchestra in the city's municipal theatre, attended by Theodorakis. The concert was also attended by Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and outgoing and new Patras mayors Andreas Karavolas and Evangelos Floratos respectively.

U.S., Greek sporting ties examined

Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras and US Ambassador Nicholas Burns on Monday had talks on bilateral sports cooperation and the further strengthening of sports ties between the two countries. It was agreed that a bilateral sports cooperation protocol be signed in January 1999 at a special ceremony to be held at the new offices of the Olympic Games Committee. One of the issues discussed at today's meeting was the promotion of baseball in Greece. Burns assured the president of the Greek baseball federation, Panos Mitsiopoulos, that he would personally do everything possible to help make the sport more popular in Greece.

Greek equities end up over 2,500 pts

Greek equities moved higher on Monday pushing the general index above the 2, 500 level for the first time in the last six sessions on the Athens Stock Exchange. The index ended 1.11 percent up to 2,526.48 points in heavy turnover of 55.4 billion drachmas. Volume was 11,800,000 shares. Sector indices were mixed. Banks rose 2.51 percent, Leasing fell 0.03 percent, Insurance increased 0.35 percent, Investment ended 1.09 percent up, Construction rose 2.31 percent, Industrials dropped 0.43 percent, Miscellaneous fell 0.28 percent and Holding eased 0.20 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.39 percent up. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 153 to 94 with another 25 issues unchanged.

WEATHER

Fine weather in most parts of Greece today but cloud and rain are expected later in the day. In the north, temperatures will range from 2-11C, in the Ionian and mainland 4-14C and in the Aegean 7-17C. Athens will be sunny with scattered cloud and the likelihood of rain in the afternoon. Temperatures will range from 5-14C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 2-10C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 276.312 British pound 464.911 Japanese yen (100) 239.965 French franc 49.652 German mark 166.557 Italian lira (100) 16.813 Irish Punt 413.565 Belgian franc 8.073 Finnish mark 54.808 Dutch guilder 147.763 Danish kr. 43.813 Austrian sch. 23.674 Spanish peseta 1.957 Swedish kr. 34.502 Norwegian kr. 35.910 Swiss franc 205.379 Port. Escudo 1.624 Aus. dollar 171.909 Can. dollar 179.155

(M.P.)


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