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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-06-12
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Albright confirms US-Greek contacts on terrorism12/06/2000 21:52:06
WASHINGTON (ANA-T.Ellis) - The United States is in contact with the Greek government regarding the murder of the British military attache to Athens last week, and has received assurances that everything is being done to find the culprits and stop terrorist attacks, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Monday.
"I spoke to Foreign Minister Papandreou earlier today and we discussed the terrible murder and how badly we both feel, as well as how important it is for Greece to act in the strongest possible way. He assured me that the Greek government is very concerned over the issue and feels from its point of view, not just that of foreigners there, that it is very important that the problem of November 17 (terrorist organization) is solved," she told reporters before leaving for Damascus to attend the funeral of Syrian president Assad.
Albright repeated that the US administration had rejected the proposal of the National Committee on Terrorism for the imposition of sanctions on Greece, and had distanced itself from the allegations of former CIA director James Woolsey that members of the Greek government had not acted on information that could lead to the arrest of terrorists.
 Greece-Syria-Assad Funeral12/06/2000 21:03:37
Foreign Minister George Papandreou will represent Greece at the funeral of Syrian President Haffez al-Assad which will take place in Damascus on Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced on Monday.
Papandreou postponed his Monday trip to Brussels to participate in an EU General Affairs Council. He will be replaced at the meeting by Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday12/06/2000 19:21:17
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Tuesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 350.355
German mark 170.674
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday12/06/2000 18:57:05
Sunny weather is forecast throughout Greece on Tuesday, with scattered cloud in the west and north.
 Greece - FYROM - Name issue12/06/2000 17:22:23
Negotiations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will resume on Tuesday over the issue of the latter countrys name.
Talks between the two Balkan countries ambassadors to the United Nations are scheduled in New York under the mediation of US diplomat Matthew Nimits.
The issue of FYROMs name is the only major obstacle remaining that impedes a full normalisation of relations between the two neighbours.
 Viohalco SA-1st quarter results12/06/2000 17:15:45
Viohalco SA on Monday announced that its consolidated turnover totalled 93 billion drachmas in the first quarter of 2000 and that profits jumped 58.6 percent to 13.9 billion drachmas over the same period compared with 1999.
A general shareholders' meeting approved a 16.5 drachmas per share dividend payment to shareholders.
A company statement said that profit growth was satisfactory and that the company has completed investments worth 36.2 billion drachmas in the January-March period.
Viohalco is focusing in the Balkan region for its expansion. Greek Cables recently acquired Romania's biggest cables producer, ICME ECAB, while Halcor purchased KOZM's assets, a combined move expected to double the two companies' production capacity.
 Kyriakidis Marbles-convertible bond issue12/06/2000 17:04:42
A Kyriakidis Marbles-Granites general shareholders' meeting on Saturday approved plans for a convertible bond issue, worth 3.9 billion drachmas.
The three-year bond issue will offer a guaranteed 25 percent yield and holders could covert their bond holdings into stock shares at 6,500 drachmas per share. The bond loan will be used to finance the company's investment programme, envisaging new acquisitions.
Societe Generale will act as a consultant to the issue.
The shareholders' meeting also approved a 10 drachmas per share dividend payment.
Kyriakidis Marbles-Granites reported a turnover of 1.04 billion drachmas and pre-tax profits of 175 million drachmas in the first quarter of 2000. It expects its turnover to total 4.5 billion drachmas this year.
 Papantoniou-privatisation12/06/2000 16:57:32
The Greek government guarantees transparency and efficiency in its privatisation programme, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference on the occasion of the sale of minority stake in Commercial Bank to Credit Agricole, worth 94 billion drachmas, Papantoniou hailed the positive outcome and said it would pave the way (due to its good terms) to other privatisations.
He admitted he was under pressure to "accelerate privatisation procedures" and attacked criticism from former ND prime minister Costantine Mitsotakis on the ministry's handling of the case.
Papantoniou said there were to approaches to the privatisation-flotation drive: one that was followed by Third World and Asian countries and another followed by European Union states.
He said the government was condidering the following factors in its privatisation decisions: high price, credible partners, terms, guarantees and operating plans and administration acceptance.
"This policy takes time, that's why we cannot be precise to any timetables. It took almost nine months to complete Commercial Bank's sale, I personally was under pressure to accelerate procedures, but if I did the terms of the sale would not have been favourable," he said.
Papantoniou said the government was determined to protect national interests.
He dismissed reports that has set a deadline for the sale of a company and said that "a large round of privatisation" would end in summer 2001.
 Athens Medical Centre-Thessaloniki unit12/06/2000 16:37:14
The Athens Medical Group will inaugurate on Saturday a Interbalkan Medican Centre in Thessaloniki, which combined with the group's diagnostics centres operating or expected to operate in neighbouring countries, will push forward the group as a regional leader in healthcare services in the Balkans.
The inauguration will be made by former USSR president, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will offer a blessing during the ceremony, which will be attended by Albania's vice-president, the Montenegrin prime minister and more than eight health ministers from the wider Balkan region.
The new medical centre of G.Apostolopoulos Group, will offer all medical specialities (general medical, maternity, paediatric, etc). It has a capacity of 450 beds and it is build on an area of 52,000 square metres.
Total investment of the project was 27 billion drachmas.
The new medical centre's workforce, around 1,800 doctors, medical and administration staff, will be selected from the wider Thessaloniki region.
The Interbalkan Medical Centre has merged with the listed Athens Medical Centre Group.
The Group's vice-chairman, Vassilis Apostolopoulos, said that the company plans to build a new Medical Centre in Athens ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and new diagnostics centres in Bulgaria, FYROM and Montenegro.
 Lazarides Vineyard-share capital increase12/06/2000 16:08:12
A Lazarides Vineyard extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on Monday approved plans for a share capital increase, worth 718.4 million drachmas, seeking to double its equity capital.
The plan envisages the capitalisation of the company's reserves and the offer of 10-for-one new shares to shareholders.
 ASE-close12/06/2000 15:45:42
Equity prices ended Monday's session lower on the Athens Stock Exchange hit by persistent low turnover and lack of buying interest.
Dealers said investors largely ignored a positive outcome in talks to sell a minority stake in Commercial Bank of Greece to Credit Agricole.
The news had only temporarily encouraged sentiment in the market pushing the general index 0.95 percent higher to 4,478 points initially, but lack of follow-through buying paved the way to profit-taking.
Finally, the index ended at 4,379.32 points, off 1.29 percent. Turnover fell to 92 billion drachmas, below the 100 billion drachmas level for the first time in 26 sessions.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,422.21 points, off 1.36 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 1.37 percent to 638.86 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 894.92 points, off 3.80 percent.
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