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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-02-28
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Simitis-Guteres28/02/2000 21:50:54
Portuguese Prime Minister and European Council President Antonio Guteres on Monday praised the Greek government's contribution to the Portuguese presidency's effort to prepare the Lisbon special summit on employment on March 23-24 and discussed the issue in two-hour talks with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis.
"I wish to express my gratitude and my appreciation, not only for the excellent meeting, but primarily on the excellent contribution of the Greek government to our presidency's work to prepare the Lisbon summit," Guteres said, who is visiting Athens as part of his tour of EU capitals to pave the way for the summit.
Simitis has addressed a letter to Guteres containing the Greek government's proposals on employment, underlining the need to strengthen the rate of the European economy's growth. It also proposes the implementation of policies limiting risks emanating from technological and social changes.
 Petzetakis-1999 Results28/02/2000 20:48:12
A.G. Petzetakis SA, a plastic pipes manufacturer listed on the Athens Bourse, reported on Monday that its 1999 pre-tax profits jumped 400 percent to 1.7 billion drachmas.
The Petzetakis Group's consolidated earnings rose to 2.3 billion drachmas, showing a 200 percent increase, the firm said in a statement.
Consolidated sales topped 28.5 billion drachmas.
Petzetakis in 1999 invested 3.7 billion drachmas to purchase new technology, the statement said.
 ETBAbank-1999 Results28/02/2000 20:41:47
ETBAbank, which is listed on the Athens bourse, on Monday said it posted net pre-tax profits of 38.5 billion drachmas, up 266 percent from 10.5 billion drachmas in 1998.
Consolidated pre-tax profits in 1999 totalled 107 billion drachmas, up from 31.8 billion drachmas a year earlier, showing a 236 percent increase.
 Foreign Exchange Market-Close28/02/2000 20:34:19
The drachma nosed up against the euro in the domestic foreign exchange market on Monday but plunged against the US dollar, in line with the greenback's jump in world markets.
The Bank of Greece did not intervene in the wake of a sale of almost 230 million euros on Friday in order to meet heavy demand for the European single currency and nudge up the drachma.
 Secondary Bond Market-Close28/02/2000 20:25:02
Bonds in the domestic secondary market on Monday traded briskly for a second straight session on expectations of a US interest rate hike, tracking German bunds.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.43 percent from 6.42 percent a session earlier and 6.41 percent on Thursday.
The paper's yield spread over German
 EU-Eurostat-Trade balance-Greece28/02/2000 20:15:54
Greece's trade deficit decreased by 2.6 billion euros in the first 11 months in 1999, compared to the corresponding period in 1998, according to data provided by the European Union's Eurostat statistical service on Monday.
The country's trade deficit decreased to 12.9 billion euros in 1999 from 15.5 billion euros in 1998. The decrease is primarily due to a decrease in Greek imports by 13 percent. Greek imports amounted to 24.3 billion euros in 1998, while in 1999 they did not exceed 21.1 billion euros in value.
 Strintzis Lines-1999 Results28/02/2000 20:06:15
Strintzis Lines, a listed passenger shipper, on Monday reported net profits of 3.019 billion drachmas in 1999 from 2.375 billion drachmas in the previous year, posting a 27 percent rise.
The company said in a statement that turnover last year totalled 26.8 billion drachmas, up 10.5 percent from 24.2 billion drachmas in the previous year.
 Illegal immigration-Decrease28/02/2000 20:05:30
Entries of undocumented immigrants on the eastern Aegean island of Samos decreased by 93.8 per cent in 1999 compared to 1998, local police announced on Monday.
The yearly report noted that police logged 32 cases of illegal entry into Greece via Samos in 1999, compared to 519 in 1998.
Samos˘ proximity to Turkey˘s Aegean coastline, made it a usual port of illegal entry for many years. The island˘ distance from the Turkish coast is measured in under a mile, while policing was difficult due to the large coastline of the island itself.
 Delta Group-1999 Results28/02/2000 19:52:38
The Delta Group on Monday reported consolidated pre-tax profits of 17,447 million drachmas in 1999 from 4,503 million drachmas a year earlier, up 297 percent.
Consolidated sales in 1999 were 125,901 million drachmas from 115,819 million drachmas in the previous year, Delta said in a statement.
 EU-Greece-Fiscal Deficit28/02/2000 19:28:11
BRUSSELS (ANA-M.Spinthourakis) - The European Union said on Monday that Greece had attained a major reduction in its fiscal deficit to 1.9 percent in 1999 from 13.8 percent in 1993.
The EU's executive Commission said in a statement that the decline was the greatest among the bloc's member states.
 Athens Derivatives Trade-Close28/02/2000 19:28:05
Equity futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower on Monday in line with the stock indices on which they are based.
On the Athens bourse, the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 2.41 percent down; and the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 for medium capitalisation stocks closed 5.30 percent lower.
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday28/02/2000 19:27:58
Cloudy weather is forecast throughout the country on Tuesday, turning to snow in Macedonia and sleet or snow in much of mainland Greece, the east and the south, where heavy storms are also expected at sea.
Winds will be north-northeasterly, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in the Aegean.
 Sports roundup28/02/2000 19:23:20
Panathinaikos fails to win in Kalamata
In the Greek first division, Panathinaikos Athens left two valuable points behind on the poorly maintained pitch in Kalamata on Monday, drawing with the local club 0-0. The tie left Olympiakos Piraeus three points ahead of its cross-town rival, as it posted an easy 5-0 defeat of Kavala at home on Sunday. In another Sunday derby, AEK Athens continued its string of poor appearances this season by losing to Iraklis Thessaloniki 3-1 away. Iraklis˘ win puts it ahead of AEK by two points in the chase for a UEFA birth. In other games for the 21st day: Ethnikos Asteras Athens - PAOK Thessaloniki 1-1; Proodeftiki Piraeus - OFI Irakleio 0-0; Panileiakos - Trikala 1-3 in the day˘s surprise and Apollon Athens ˇ Ionikos Piraeus 0-2.
Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou on Sunday won the gold medal in the women's 60-metre sprint at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Ghent, Belgium.
Thanou clocked 7.05 seconds, ahead of Bulgaria's Petia Pendareva and the Ukraine's Iryna Pukha.
In the men's 60 metres dash, Giorgos Theodoridis with 6.51 and Angelos Pavlakakis with 6.54 won the silver and bronze, respectively. The gold went to Britain's Jason Gardner who clocked 6.49.
 ASE-close28/02/2000 15:45:12
Equity prices plunged on Monday pushing the Athens Stock Exchange to the support level of 5,000 points.
Traders said falls in international stock markets depressed sentiment on the Greek bourse creating massive sell-out orders in the smaller capitalisation sector.
Dealers said persistent low liquidity combined with short-term selling ahead of the end of the February trading period also burdened climate in the market.
The general index ended at 5,034.55 points, down 3.24 percent, off the day's lows of 5,008.39 points.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 2.41 percent lower at 2,780.04 points, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index plunged 5.30 percent to 797.39 points.
Turnover was a low 159.32 billion drachmas.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 1,179.27 points, off 8.37 percent.
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