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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-09
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 EU-Yugoslavia-Greece09/10/2000 21:49:11
LUXEMBOURG (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi on Monday expressed satisfaction over the decision taken by the European Union on Monday to lift economic sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and prospects presenting themselves in connection with Greece's presence in the Balkans, as well as the role the Thessaloniki-headquartered Balkan Reconstruction Organisation is called on to play.
The two ministers were speaking to Greek reporters after an EU Council of General Affairs' meeting, which decided to lift part of economic sanctions against the Balkan country.
Papandreou said the recent change in Yugoslavia has a radical character and expressed satisfaction over the fact the EU decided to unconditionally lift sanctions imposed on Serbia.
 Greek president - Latvia09/10/2000 21:22:02
RIGA (ANA-N. Megadoukas) - Visiting Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos met here on Monday with his Latvian counterpart Vike Freiberga for talks on bilateral relations, especially trade.
Stephanopoulos also reiterated Athens support for Latvias desire to join Euro-Atlantic alliances.
Stephanopoulos said that Greece was interested in furthering the bilateral relations in the economic, cultural and higher education sectors and briefed Freiberga on Greek-Turkish affairs and the Cyprus problem, as well as the situation in the Balkans.
Freiberga said that Stephanopoulos visit was a political confirmation of her countrys right to sovereignty and wish to join Euro-Atlantic alliances, adding that her country wished for bilateral cooperation to also include the defence sector.
Later in the day, Stephanopoulos addressed a forum of Greek and Latvian businessmen, noting that the success of his visit would depend on their success in closing business agreements.
Early in the evening, Freiberga hosted a dinner in honor of Stephanopoulos and the Greek delegation, which also included Deputy Foreign Minister Angeliki Laiou.
Stephanopoulos is on a three-day visit to Latvia to be followed by a three-day visit to neighbouring Estonia.
 Ecevit - Invitation - Simitis - Greek fighters09/10/2000 19:13:36
ISTANBUL (ANA A. Kourkoulas) Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit this week renewed his invitation towards his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis to visit Turkey, while noting that improved relations between the two peoples ?facilitate the commencement of talks for the resolution of all problems.?
Ecevit made the comments during an Istanbul conference of journalists and mass media executives from the two countries, a meeting that followed an earlier conference on the Greek island of Rhodes over the summer.
?I would be particularly happy to welcome and host the Greek prime minister in Ankara,? Ecevit said in response to a question.
Meanwhile, the recent rapprochement between Greece and Turkey marked a new milestone this week with the highly publicised landing of six Hellenic Air Force warplanes at a Turkish airbase and the docking of a Greek frigate at the port of Izmir.
Both the Greek air forces F-16s and the warship ?Spetsai? headed for Turkey in order to participate in the NATO exercise ?Destined Glory 2000?, only a few months after Turkish warplanes and troops arrived in Greece for similar alliance maneuvers.
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday09/10/2000 18:46:09
Cloudy weather is forecast throughout Greece on Tuesday, turning to rain in many areas. Winds will be westerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the southern Aegean. In the north temperatures will range from 12C to 22C; on the rest of the mainland from 14C to 26C; and in the islands from 17C to 27C. Cloud with sunny spells in Athens. Temperatures between 16C and 25C. Similar in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 16C to 22C.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday09/10/2000 18:46:00
Indicative rates released by the central bank for the next working day.
Tuesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 387.217
German mark 172.170
French franc 051.335
Pound sterling 560.083
Irish punt 427.565
Belgian franc 008.347
Luxembourg franc 008.347
Dutch guilder 152.804
Italian lira (100) 017.391
Austrian schilling 024.472
Danish kroner 045.190
Swedish kroner 039.380
Finnish mark 056.634
Spanish peseta 002.024
Portuguese escudo 001.679
Japanese yen (100) 355.255
Swiss franc 221.414
Norwegian kroner 041.862
Cyprus pound 588.256
Canadian dollar 257.226
Australian dollar 206.683
 Ideal Group-internet portal09/10/2000 16:56:49
Ideal Group on Monday launched its own portal on the internet following an increasing trend of Greek companies adopting the use of internet.
iBoom Network (www.iBoom.net) is a portal network of vertical sites aiming to change the face of internet in Greece, using the Greek language for domestic users and the English language for the Greek Diaspora in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
The new portal will offer auction, music, classifies, personal services to users, along with Wap and electronic commerce services.
 Commercial Bank-restructuring plan09/10/2000 16:50:00
Commercial Bank of Greece on Monday unveiled a restructuring plan aiming to establish a customer-based strategy, promoting its market expansion and a more efficient cost management.
The bank's chairman, Yiannis Stournaras, presenting the plan said it envisaged the abolition of 10 departments to be replaced by a Network Operation Department to implement marketing operations across the bank's network.
Customer service officers and private investment consultants will be appointed in all the bank's branches with the aim to attract new customers.
 Tasoglou Delonghi-nine month results09/10/2000 16:43:35
Spyros Tasoglou Delonghi SA on Monday reported a 22.5 percent rise in its nine-month turnover to 8.118 billion drachmas from 6.627 billion in the same period last year.
Net pre-tax profits totalled 381 million drachmas, against a 179 million loss in the first nine months of 1999.
The company expects sales to exceed 12-13 billion drachmas and profits to surpass 800 million drachmas this year.
A Tasoglou Delonghi share capital increase plan, worth 10.8 billion drachmas, is expected to be completed next Monday, October 16. The capital increase plan envisages issuance of 12,000,000 new common shares at a nominal value of 125 drachmas each, to be offered to shareholders at 900 drachmas each for every two old shares.
The company's equity capital will total 4.5 billion drachmas after the capital increase and the new capital will be used to repay short-term debt, to purchase new storage facilities and to install a new computer system in the company.
 Popular Bank-network expansion09/10/2000 16:18:02
Popular Bank (Hellas) on Monday inaugurated a new branch in Veria, northern Greece, raising its network to 17 branches in the country.
The bank plans to open seven more branches by the end of the year with the aim to expand its network to 50 in the next three years.
Popular Bank also plans to use alternative distribution channels for its services, such as the internet and mobile banking.
 Greece-government-budget 200109/10/2000 16:12:28
The government's economic team, chaired by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, on Monday finalised the figures in next year's budget, expected to be submitted to parliament early next month.
The 2001 budget will be the first surplus budget in the fiscal history of Greece and will envisage higher social spending and pay rises, exceeding the inflation target, for civil servants and pensioners.
It will also seek to reducing the country's public debt to below 100 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), from 103.9 percent this year, and a significant increase in tax revenues without imposing new taxes.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is expected to give the "green light" on Tuesday for submission of a tax draft bill to parliament by the end of October.
The new tax legislation will envisage tax cuts totalling 400 billion drachmas in the next two years through: a gradual reduction of a tax scale ceiling from 45 percent to 40 percent and from 40 percent to 35 percent for taxpayers and companies, respectively, a price-adjustment of the tax scale every two years, raising the sum for tax-free incomes, and abolishing a special duty on banking services.
 ASE-close09/10/2000 15:47:53
Equity prices ended sharply lower on Monday, quickly returning Friday's gains, as investors preferred to take early profits worried over persistent low liquidity in the market.
The general index ended 1.74 percent lower ata 3,956.87 points, after moving within a 101-point range throughout the session. Technical analysis says that the market would find support at the 3,930 level in the short-term.
Turnover was a low 77.24 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.40 percent down at 2,240.53 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 2.92 percent to 489.58 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 536.59 points, off 4.36 percent.
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