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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Development Ministry launches energy saving campaign
  • [02] Over 50% of funds to sell Emporiki stock
  • [03] Delegation calls for EU peace initiative in Lebanon

  • [01] Development Ministry launches energy saving campaign

    The Development Ministry's Energy and Natural Wealth Department, in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Consumers, on Friday began a broad campaign of public awarness on the potential which Greece's household consumers have in saving energy, without reducing their standard of living.

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, accompanied by development ministry secretary-general Nikos Stefanou, the Consumers' secretary-general Thanassis Skordas and ministry officials, took part in the campaign of briefing citizens on energy-saving.

    Pamphlets entitled "Energy-Saving", were distributed at Athens' Syntagma Square Metro Station.

    The diistribution of the pamphlet will continue in the coming weeks in Attica., in the whole of Greece and during the period of the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    After the event, Sioufas said:"We need energy-saving because energy is not endless. The potential of energy-saving is in the hands of the citizens and of the households. And the more citizens are briefed, so much the better."

    To reporters' questions whether there was a threat of a blackout, the minister said that all necessary measures have been taken for sufficient energy and for the safety of the system.

    [02] Over 50% of funds to sell Emporiki stock

    Employment and Social Protection Minister Savvas Tsitouridis said on Friday that over half of shareholders among social insurance funds were willing to sell their stock in Athens-quoted Emporiki Bank to Credit Agricole of France, which is seeking to buy at least 40% of the state credit institution through a public offering.

    "I cannot make estimates. What I do know is that above 50% of fund shareholders are responding to the public offer - that is to say the bodies supervised by the employment minstry will be above 50%," the minister said in reply to a reporter's question.

    Meanwhile, Credit Agricole of France SA said on Friday that it held directly approximately 15.60% of Athens-quoted Emporiki Bank.

    In a statement to the capital market commission, Credit said that on August 3 it acquired 2,176,117 common ordinary voting shares in Emporiki at euro 25 each, representing approximately 1.64% of voting rights.

    Before the purchase, the French bank directly held around 13.96% of stock and indirectly about 0.10% of voting rights.

    Workers at Emporiki Bank are staging a strike from August 1 to August 7 in protest at the government's privatisation process for the state-run bank.

    On Tuesday, the government accepted an offer from Credit Agricole for the acquisition of 11% of stock the state holds in Emporiki as part of a public offering called by the French bank.

    The public offering aimed at amassing at least 40% of Emporiki's shares ends on August 7.

    [03] Delegation calls for EU peace initiative in Lebanon

    The 13-member Greek delegation made up of representatives of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party (SYN), trade union organizations and peace movements conveyed their impressions of the situation in the Middle East in a press conference in Athens upon their return from Lebanon after an eight-day visit.

    They stressed that the situation in south Lebanon and south Beirut is tragic, pointing out that the bombing should stop and the EU states should undertake initiatives aimed at a ceasefire and the restoration of Lebanon. They condemned Israel‚s stance maintaining that it seeks to establish a buffer zone in south Lebanon by killing civilians in order to serve its own interests. They also pointed out the emerging risks for a generalized armed conflict in the region with religious overtones.

    They referred to the meetings they had with the Lebanese President and political party representatives as well as to their participation in Sunday‚s antiwar demonstration and their visits to hospitals, refugee camps and south Beirut districts.

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