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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-06-09
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Commercial Bank-Credit Agricole - agreement09/06/2000 23:02:01
Credit Agricole, one of France's largest banking concerns, said on Friday that it had agreed to buy a strategic 6.7 percent stake in the Commercial Bank of Greece for about 100 billion drachmas.
Reports said the agreement, reached after protracted negotiations, provides for collaboration in bankassurance, investment banking and asset management.
 Soccer-Olympiakos-Ze Elias09/06/2000 21:46:45
Reigning Greek soccer champions Olympiakos Piraeus announced officially on Friday the signing of Brazilian international striker Zoje Elias Moedin Junior, 26, for the next four years. Elias played for Italian club Milan last season but belonged to its cross-town rival Inter.
According to reports, Ze Elias' transfer will cost Olympiakos about two billion drachmas, while his annual remuneration will amount to 500 million drachmas. He is the team's third Brazilian player after Giovanni and Luciano and is expected to arrive in Greece next week to undergo extensive medical tests.
 US-Judicial assistance-Wolsey09/06/2000 21:00:51
An Athens prosecutor's office sent an urgent appeal on Friday to relevant judicial authorities in the United States for assistance in investigations being conducted by the anti-terrorism service in Greece to combat terrorism.
Such assistance was considered necessary to enable former CIA chief James Wolsey to be summoned to testify in connection with accusations he made this week in the weekly Greek newspaper "To Pontiki."
Wolsey had said, among others, that "members of the Greek government know some of the members of November 17."
 Diplomat's killing - November 17 (lead-all)09/06/2000 20:42:36
Prime Minister Costas Simitis again on Friday expressed the Greek governments abhorrence for the murder of Britains defence attache in Athens and the Greek peoples condolences towards the victims family.
?Our efforts to crack down on terrorism are continuous and the (anti-terrorism) front is solid,? Simitis said during a brief meeting with visiting British Defence Procurement Minister Baroness Symons.
During an earlier Cabinet meeting, the Greek premier referred to an ?intensification of efforts in order to gain specific results? in the battle against terrorism.
He also called for closer cooperation between Greek authorities and their counterparts in other western countries, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas quoted the premier as telling the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the elusive ?November 17? terrorist group claimed responsibility early Friday morning with a proclamation sent to a daily newspaper for the murder of Britains defence attache in Athens.
Brig. Stephen Saunders was gunned down by an assailant riding atop a motorcycle in traffic-congested Kifissias avenue early Thursday morning as he was driving alone to the British embassy in central Athens. The gunman was the passenger on an off-road-type cycle, with an accomplice driving.
In a long 13-page proclamation sent to the Athens daily ?Eleftherotypia?, the text of which was fully published by the newspaper, the urban guerrilla group accused Saunders of "actively participating and coordinating the NATO air raids and bombings of Serbia" last year.
The group also said that it had targeted a British citizen because Britain had played a leading campaign in air strikes against Yugoslavia.
However, the British embassy in Athens denied that Saunders had ?any direct role? in NATOs campaign.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday09/06/2000 18:44:04
Following are indicative rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Mondays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 349.561
 Model - Occupied territories - Sabah09/06/2000 18:29:21
ANKARA (ANA A. Abatzis) A Turkish daily on Friday reported that a Greek beauty pageant contestant was fooled last week into believing she would compete in Istanbul before being taken to the Turkish-occupied third of Cyprus.
A Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state declared in the Turkish-occupied parts of Cyprus in 1983 is recognised only by Ankara, which also keeps up to 35,000 troops in the occupied areas.
According to a front-page article in the daily ?Sabah?, Katerina Deli was deceived by an executive of a beauty pageant, identified as the ?Miss Globe? competition. The newspaper also refers to the man, listed as Turkish national Suha Ozgermi, as a ?national charlatan?.
 Weather Forecast-Saturday09/06/2000 18:15:39
Changeable weather is forecast in mainland Greece and the Ionian on Saturday with cloudy and sunny spells followed by showers or storms, especially later in the day.
 Haidemenos Printing-1st quarter results09/06/2000 16:58:38
Haidemenos Printing on Friday reported a 30 percent rise in its turnover and profits in the 1st quarter this year compared with the same period in 1999.
The company expects its 2000 results to increase by 20 percent from the previous year.
A general shareholders' meeting approved plans to expand the company's activities in the advertising market and the operation of a new printing unit by the end of the year.
Haidemenos also plans to expand in foreign markets.
The company reported net profits of 900 million drachmas last year from 570 mln in 1998, an increase of 57.88 percent.
 Interbalkan Information Forum09/06/2000 16:57:25
The development of the Balkans needs huge steps like the one offering this forum, Thessaloniki mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos told delegates in his speech inaugurating the second Interbalkan Information Forum.
The forum is organised by the Northern Greece's Information Business Association with delegates from the private and public sectors and academics from 12 countries in northeast Europe.
Develoment ministry's secretary-general Dimitris Mardas, in his speech, referred to positive prospects for the information sector in Greece in view of increased funds included in a Third Community Support Framework. He predicted that the country's image would be totally different in the next six years, regarding new technologies.
The government, he said, will announce the formation of a legislative committee, to prepare a bill on electronic commerce, on Monday, and that a new bill would be tabled in parliament by the end of August.
Northern Greece's Information Business Association chairman, Anastasios Tzikas, reiterated his call for the creation of an Interbalkan Information Centre, based in Thessaloniki, with the aim to bring together information businesses of the region.
 ASE-close09/06/2000 16:39:01
Equity prices ended the last trading session of the week with big gains on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday reflecting improved market sentiment on signs of a positive outcome in negotiations to sell a minority stake in Commercial Bank to Credit Agricole.
The general index ended at 4,436.45 points, up 1.12 percent, but off the day's highs of 4,449 points. Turnover was an improved 147 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,455.56 points, up 1.21 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.84 percent to 647.72 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 930.29 points, up 2.10 percent.
 Bounced cheques-May figures09/06/2000 15:36:57
The number of bounced bills and cheques fell substantially in May 2000, a sign of improved conditions in the domestic credit market, according to figures released by "Teresias", a research company of the Hellenic Bank Association, on Friday.
Unpaid bills totalled 20,833, worth 5.4 billion drachmas, down 26.8 pct in volume and 29.3 pct in value, while bouncing cheques totalled 8,532 worth 18 billion drachmas, down 16.8 pct in volume and 5.3 pct in value.
Figures for the first five months of the year showed that total volume of unpaid bills and bouncing cheques was 165,176, worth 149.3 billion drachmas, down 13.7 pct in volume and up 0.56 pct in value compared with the same period last year.
Payment orders totalled 4,660 in May, a drop of 43.4 pct compared with the same month in 1999, and 27,115 in the January-May period, off 33.7 pct.
Bankruptcy applications totalled 217 in May, an increase of 171 percent from the same month last year. Their number fell to 822 in the first five months period, off 17.8 pct from 1999.
Bankruptcies totalled 62 in May, off 4.6 percent from May 1999, and 316 in the January-May period, down 15.7 pct from last year.
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