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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>


Athens, Greece, 18/06/1999 (ANA)


  • Kranidiotis calls for long-term strategy for Balkans
  • Stephanopoulos returns from 'highly successful' visit to Romania
  • Greece irked over US statements on terrorism
  • Cook terms Greece's role in the Balkans 'valuable'
  • Scottish officer takes 'the low road' to Pristina
  • Equity prices end week with moderate gains
  • Seven-year bond issue
  • Drys to visit UK
  • Cosmote signs supply deal with Intracom
  • Gov't promotes Greek-produced meat as safe alternative
  • Mismanagement, lack of employees blamed for OA's condition
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


    • Kranidiotis calls for long-term strategy for Balkans Alternate foreign minister Yannos Kranidiotis today urged a long-term strategy that would tackle the practical problems in the Balkans, noting that the war in Yugoslavia may have ended, but the crisis in the wider region of the western Balkans had not. He also called for the Balkan countries' membership in the European Union. In an exclusive interview with ANA, Kranidiotis said the European Parliament elections had ended, and so had the war, but the crisis in the wider region of the western Balkans had not. "The war was simply a phenomenon of this ongoing crisis. The true causes of the crisis must be sought chiefly in (the region's) economic underdevelopment and lack of institutions and democratic operation, and also in the lack of prospects for the future of the countries of the Balkans," he said. "For this reason," he added, "Greece believed -- even before the war and throughout the war -- and continues to believe today that the crisis cannot be tackled through patchwork or corrective moves, but rather a long-term strategy is necessary which will give answers to the practical problems."

    • Stephanopoulos returns from 'highly successful' visit to Romania President Kostis Stephanpoulos returned to Greece on Friday after a three- day official visit to Romania which he described as highly successful. "The visit was highly successful. The Romanians have great affection for us and desire further economic cooperation," Stephanopoulos said, noting that Greece's presence in the Balkan country was already quite considerable. During his visit to Romania, accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, Stephanopoulos met with his counterpart Emil Constantinescu, the leader of the main opposition Social Democracy Party Ion Iliescu, Patriarch Theoktistos and representatives of the Greek community. Kranidiotis signed a health cooperation agreement and a group of Greek businessmen accompanying the president attended a Greek-Romanian business forum. In addition, a National Economy Ministry delegation held meetings with Romanian government officials on the sidelines of the president's visit, during which Greece agreed to extend credits to Romania totalling 20 million US dollars. Praising Constantinescu's qualities as a leader and friend of Greece, Stephanopoulos said "whatever one might have expected from this visit was achieved".

    • Greece irked over US statements on terrorism The government said on Friday that it would not accept insinuations or the disputing of Greece's efforts to combat terrorism. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the statement when asked to comment on remarks yesterday by US State Department spokesman James Foley. Asked to comment on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who claimed that the US had information about "the training of Kurd terrorists in Greece", Foley replied that the US "has reports in mind, past reports on the training of the PKK in Greece. We handle all reports on terrorist activities with seriousness and the relevant American services evaluate them". Reppas said similar accusations which had been made against Greece had proved to be totally false and had been intentionally directed against the country by "certain circles". Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, when asked to comment on the issue, indicated that the Greek government was irked by Foley's statements. Kranidiotis said Greece had made great efforts to combat terrorism and had the political will to continue in this direction. Consequently, he said, Greece does not accept insinuations, when they do not reflect reality, nor recommendations, at a time when efforts are being made to fight terrorism. Kranidiotis noted that it was Greece which had proposed a multilateral agreement for the purpose of combatting terrorism in the Balkans. The minister underlined however that Greek-US relations were at a very good level.

    • Cook terms Greece's role in the Balkans 'valuable' Greece's special role as the only Balkan country which is a member of the EU and NATO has been particularly valuable in reaching the peace agreement on Kosovo and will continue to be so in the involvement of the two organisations in promoting a stability pact in the peninsula, British Foreign Minister Robin Cook said yesterday. "I would like to officially express my admiration for the positive contribution of Greece and (foreign minister) Mr. (George) Papandreou in the diplomatic efforts during the crisis in Kosovo. I recognise Greece's special position as a member of NATO and the European Union, and as the only EU member state in the Balkans, which provided it with special knowledge about the area and, of course, gave it the potential to have a significant contribution to the diplomatic efforts," he said after two hours of talks with his Greek counterpart here.

    • Scottish officer takes 'the low road' to Pristina A Scottish officer of the British army heading for the bombed-out Kosovo capital of Pristina from the northern Greek port of Thessaloniki lost his direction and ended up last night outside the Rendis central produce market near Piraeus, where his jeep ran out of gas, police said on Friday. Sergeant Gordon Easton, 40, set out from Thessaloniki on Thursday in a jeep to join the NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo. But he apparently lost his way after joining the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway and began driving in the opposite direction, eventually running out of gas outside the entrance to the produce market at midnight last night. He flashed the jeep's headlights at an approaching police patrol car, and told the officers "I'm on my way to Pristina and ran out of petrol". After checking the sergeant's documents, the surprised police officers notified the nearby Moschato police precinct, which in turn notiified the British Embassy in Athens. At the request of an Embassy official, Easton spent the night at the precinct and departed for Pristina at dawn on Friday.

    • Equity prices end week with moderate gains Equity prices ended the week with moderate gains reversing a six-day decline on the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index, however, was unable to surpass the 4,000 level ending 0.35 percent higher at 3,968.04 points, off the the day's highs. Turnover was 155.292 billion drachmas with 33,406,382 shares changing hands. The Leasing and Banks sectors outperformed the market ending 2.28 and 1.15 percent higher respectively. Other sector indices ended as follows: Insurance (+0.11 pct), Investment (-0.23 pct), Construction (-1.40 pct), Industrials (-0.57 pct), Miscellaneous (-0.23 pct) and Holding (-0.32 pct). The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.47 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavy traded stocks and blue chips rose 0.72 percent to 2,360 points. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 150 to 130 with another 17 issues unchanged.

    • Seven-year bond issue The finance ministry will auction a seven-year bond issue, worth 120 billion drachmas, in paperless form next Tuesday, June 22. The issue will pay a 6.0 percent annual coupon. The ministry will not pay a premium to primary dealers.

    • Drys to visit UK Deputy Finance Minister George Drys will visit Britain June 21-24 for talks with British government ministers focused on the country's tax system. Drys wants to be informed on the operation of the British tax settlement system which enables taxpayers to calculate their taxes by themselves and pay the first installment simultaneously with the submission of tax statements. He aims to adopt a similar system in Greece. Drys will meet with UK's Treasury Undersecretary on tax issues Mrs Barbara Roche, with Treasury Undersecretary Dawn Rimarolo also chairman of the EU's tax committee, with Undersecretary for public sector's reform P. Kilfoyle and other government officials.

    • Cosmote signs supply deal with Intracom Cosmote yesterday signed a mobile telephone equipment supply contract worth 15 billion drachmas with a consortium comprising Intracom, Ericsson and Intracom Construction. The four-year turnkey deal is for the supply of base stations and other equipment, and also includes maintenance, Cosmote said in a statement. Selection of the consortium was made through an international tender.

    • Gov't promotes Greek-produced meat as safe alternative Representatives of several veterinary organisations yesterday reassured the public that Greek meat is safe, cautioning consumers to avoid fat, where dioxin accumulates. However, veterinarians complained that checks taking place in the country are inadequate. On his part, Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis said all the quantities of confiscated Belgian meat will be destroyed. In another interview, Mr. Anomeritis said fresh milk on sale in the Greek market is unadulterated and locally produced. He said fresh milk is not imported, while all other products are checked as imported goods, adding that a further 200 tonnes of fresh products (meat, mayonnaise and poultry) have already been destroyed. Mr. Anomeritis said stringent checks have taken place and are continuing to take place at the source of dioxin infection, which is fodder crops for animals.

    • Mismanagement, lack of employees blamed for OA's condition Lack of management and failure to satisfy employees' wage demands are the causes of yet more problems at debt-ridden Olympic Airways (OA), a unionist said yesterday. An official of the stewards' union, Vassilis Yiannakopoulos, said OA's subsidiary "Macedonian Airlines" and pesonnel shortages were the main causes for the state-run carrier's problems. He also claimed that Macedonian siphons off up to 16 per cent of OA 's regular flights.


      Unsettled weather forecast for northern Greece on Saturday with possibility of scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some cloud in the rest of the country with possibility of rain in mainland Greece towards the evening. Winds northwesterly, light to moderate and in southern sea areas strong. Temperature in Athens 22-33C and in Thessaloniki 20-30C.


      Monday's rates (buying)
      U.S. dollar          310.863
      Pound sterling       495.663
      Japanese yen (100)   260.856
      French franc          48.997
      German mark          164.328
      Italian lira (100)    16.599
      Irish Punt           408.091
      Belgian franc          7.967
      Luxembourg franc       7.967
      Finnish mark          54.055
      Dutch guilder        145.844
      Danish kr.            43.233
      Austrian sch.         23.357
      Spanish peseta         1.931
      Swedish kr.           36.744
      Norwegian kr.         39.511
      Swiss franc          201.450
      Port. Escudo           1.603
      Can. dollar          212.189
      Aus. dollar          203.231
      Cyprus pound         557.008
      Euro                 321.398
      Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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