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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek FM-Belgrade-President-Visit
  • [02] Athens-Public Transport Strike
  • [03] Yugoslavia-FM Papandreou-Kostunica
  • [04] US-Greece-Three-events-Athens
  • [05] Greece - PM - Yugoslavia - Sanctions
  • [06] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday
  • [08] Inflation-September-Rise
  • [09] Greece - Milosevic - Asylum prospects
  • [10] Gnomon-GEKAT-deal
  • [11] Sex Form-new acquisition
  • [12] ASE-close
  • [13] Greece-credit expansion

  • [01] Greek FM-Belgrade-President-Visit

    06/10/2000 23:09:18

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou will visit Belgrade on Saturday morning in an effort to contribute to a smooth transitional period for Yugoslavia following the presidential elections there.

    According to reliable diplomatic sources, Papandreou will meet at noon with the winner of the Yugoslavia's September 24 presidential elections, Vojislav Kostunica.

    The same sources said the Greek minister's visit aims to underline Greece's full support in Yugoslavia's efforts to join the European institutions as soon as possible, a first step being the gradual lifting of the sanctions against the country. A decision on the lifting of the sanctions is expected to be taken, following a Greek proposal, at a European Union General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

    Papandreou will fly to Belgrade from Paris where he held talks on Friday with French counterpart Huert Vedrine.

    Earlier on Friday, Papandreou congratulated Kostunica for his presidential victory, during a telephone conversation with him.

    According to an announcement by his office, Kostunica expressed his thanks to the Greek government and to the Greek people "for aid given so far and the understanding shown to the Serb people over the years of difficult challenges which are now behind us."

    Kostunica invited Papandreou to visit Yugoslavia as soon as possible. The invitation was accepted with satisfaction, Kostunica's office announced.

    [02] Athens-Public Transport Strike

    06/10/2000 22:43:27

    All Athens public transport will come to a complete standstill on Tuesday due to a 24-hour strike declared by the Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE).

    There will be no services on the Metro, trains, buses and trolleys.

    Bank workers and hospital doctors are beginning strike action on Monday to demand higher pay, better terms of employment and improved social insurance. Bank personnel and hospital doctors will stage strikes on Monday and Tuesday.

    [03] Yugoslavia-FM Papandreou-Kostunica

    06/10/2000 22:35:14

    BELGRADE (ANA - M. Mouratidis) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou congratulated Vojislav Kostunica for his victory in presidential elections in Yugoslavia, during a telephone conversation with him on Friday.

    According to an announcement by his office, Kostunica expressed his thanks to the Greek government and to the Greek people "for aid given so far and the understanding shown to the Serb people over the years of difficult challenges which are now behind us."

    Kostunica invited Papandreou to visit Yugoslavia as soon as possible. The invitation was accepted with satisfaction, Kostunica's office announced.

    [04] US-Greece-Three-events-Athens

    06/10/2000 20:11:57

    The United States will host a series of events next week highlighting the history of US-Greece relationship and to examine the future relations between the two countries, a US embassy press release noted on Friday.

    The three-day events include a joint press conference by US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns and American Hellenic Progressive Educational Association (AHEPA) President Johnny Economy, a conference on Greek language and culture, historical items exhibitions.

    The focal point of the events, however, will be the unveiling of the George C. Marshall statue in the US Embassy grounds, commemorating the efforts of the American statesman to aid Greece and heal its wound, following the World War II and the three-year Nazi occupation that left the country in shambles. A great part of the funds for the statue were donated by AHEPA, as the project was initiated by the Greek-American non-governmental organisation.

    [05] Greece - PM - Yugoslavia - Sanctions

    06/10/2000 19:16:11

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday said Greeces policy in Yugoslavia has been vindicated by the recent developments.

    Simitis, speaking at his ruling partys central committee meeting in downtown Athens, said Athens knowledge of the region and its ?prudent policy? aimed at buttressing peace and security through the Balkans.

    In other comments, the Greek PM hailed the Serbian people as ?voting for a democratic change?, while noting that coolheadedness and responsibility by all political forces in Yugoslavia is necessary.

    ?We will always be on their (peoples) side, supporters of their rapprochement with the European community. The events in Yugoslavia are proof that peace, development and a democratic course are still the necessities for the region,? Simitis said.

    On her part, Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi said the situation was ?normal, beyond all expectations. Of course, there will be a fluid situation for some time??

    Papazoi noted that Greece will request the lifting of European Union sanctions oil shipments, flights, investments and trade with Yugoslav companies -- against Belgrade during a Monday session of the General Affairs Council.

    Finally, she said Athens would also call for the re-activation of a credit line eyeing the reconstruction of Yugoslavia.

    [06] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    06/10/2000 19:00:28

    Rainy, stormy weather is forecast throughout the country on Saturday, gradually improving from afternoon. Winds will be variable, light to moderate. In the north temperatures will range from 14C to 23C; on the rest of the mainland from 16C to 28C; and in the islands from 18C to 27C. The day will start rainy in Athens, with temperatures between 19C and 26C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 17C to 23C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    06/10/2000 19:00:12

    Indicative foreign exchange rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Mondays rates (buying)

    Euro 336.625

    U.S. dollar 385.243

    German mark 172.114

    French franc 051.318

    Pound sterling 558.694

    Irish punt 427.426

    Belgian franc 008.345

    Luxembourg franc 008.345

    Dutch guilder 152.754

    Italian lira (100) 017.385

    Austrian schilling 024.464

    Danish kroner 045.178

    Swedish kroner 039.432

    Finnish mark 056.616

    Spanish peseta 002.023

    Portuguese escudo 001.679

    Japanese yen (100) 353.856

    Swiss franc 220.442

    Norwegian kroner 041.884

    Cyprus pound 588.216

    Canadian dollar 257.821

    Australian dollar 205.423

    [08] Inflation-September-Rise

    06/10/2000 18:46:32

    Consumer price inflation accelerated slightly to 3.1 percent year on year from 3.0 percent in August, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said on Friday.

    The increase was due mostly to a rise in world oil prices, but was lower than expected, the NSS said in a statement.

    The remaining impact of the rise in international fuel prices is likely to show more clearly in October, analysts said.

    [09] Greece - Milosevic - Asylum prospects

    06/10/2000 18:32:03

    The Greek government on Friday warned deposed Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic and his close associates not to seek asylum in the country, as increased security was ordered at border crossings and airports throughout Greece.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas added that Athens has no information on Milosevics whereabouts or of the rumored takeoff of three Russian-made jetliners from Belgrade with high-ranking Milosevic regime officials aboard.

    ?Greece will not welcome individuals (from the Milosevic regime) seeking political asylum ? we will act within the framework of European Union decisions,? the spokesman said, before terming the prospect of Milosevic seeking asylum in Greece as an ?undesirable development?.

    [10] Gnomon-GEKAT-deal

    06/10/2000 16:47:07

    Two Greek listed construction groups, Gnomon ATE and GEKAT ATE, on Friday announced a three-point deal envisaging common actions, bids and building in public works. The deal included a share swap between major shareholders in the two companies.

    The deal aims to create a new company, including their subsidiaris, Koronis and Alpha, eligible to participate in public works tenders, with a combined three-year turnover of 75 billion drachmas and an equity capital of 15 billion drachmas.

    The two companies were already cooperating in a real estate developer and management company, Estater SA.

    [11] Sex Form-new acquisition

    06/10/2000 16:38:27

    Sex Form SA, listed frabics company, on Friday announced it was buying 50 percent of Prestige SA for an undisclosed sum.

    The deal is expected to be completed in the next few week.

    Prestige is a manufacturer and distributor of fabrics for women's clothes and underwear. Its sales totalled 2.2 billion drachmas and profits at 180 million drachmas last year.

    Sex Form also announced cooperation deals with John Lewis department stores in England, Dunnes Stores in Ireland and UK's Freemans shopping catalogue, in an effort to expand in international markets.

    [12] ASE-close

    06/10/2000 16:19:49

    Equity prices rebounded strongly at the end of the week on Athens Stock Exchange, reversing a three-day decline which pushed the general index 5.32 percent lower.

    Buying interest focused on shares in the construction sector reflecting investors' optimism ahead of the presentation of a draft bill by the government over a restructuring of the sector.

    Traders said the market moved strongly upward in the last 45 minutues of trade after a wave of buying orders for Alpha Bank's shares.

    The Greek market shrugged off developments in Yugoslavia (analysts said that the market might have reacted positively to news from the Balkan state) and the publication of a report on the fair value of the Athens bourse by Morgan Stanley.

    The general index ended at 4,027.09 points, up 1.73 percent, with turnover an improved 201 billion drachmas, reflecting the block transfer of CosmOTE's shares, worth 123.4 billion drachmas, to the underwriters of its initial public offering.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.29 percent higher at 2,272.23 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 1.59 percent to 504.29 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 561.08 points, up 3.02 percent.

    [13] Greece-credit expansion

    06/10/2000 16:03:06

    The Greek repos market's value rose by more than one trillion drachmas in August to a total of 5.7 trillion drachmas, reflecting the inflow of capital fleeing the stock market and the mutual funds market, Bank of Greece figures showed on Friday.

    The central bank's report noted that several investors and companies that have completed share capital increase plans, preferred to move their capital in the domestic repos market, which yield a tax-free annual average of 5-6 percent.

    The report also said that credit expansion growth remained at very high levels, maintaining a higher-than-predicted growth in money supply. The average 12-month growth rate of the M4N index was 9.5 percent in the period June-August, up from a 5-7 percent target set by the Bank of Greece.

    Total credit expansion growth was 14.9 percent in July, down from 15.7 percent in June, reflecting slower credits to the public and the private sectors (11.8 percent and 21.6 percent respectively).

    The central bank said that credit expansion figures were also affected by foreign currency fluctuations, and in particularly a sharp rise in the yen and the US dollar parities.

    Private deposits both in drachmas and in foreign currency fell by 557 billion drachmas.

    Consumer and mortgage and trade credits continued rising at very high levels.

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