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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 13/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Greek exports mark considerable increase
  • Premier accepts invitation to visit Yugoslavia
  • Thousands visit Mt. Athos treasures exhibition
  • Bulgaria, Greece: cooperation in marine research
  • Burgas, Alexandroupolis to become sister cities
  • IAAF chief comes under heavy fire
  • Greece's Olympic Committee president congratulated
  • No vote for 16-year-olds
  • Seismology conference in Thessaloniki next week
  • Greek stocks end flat in dull trade
  • Greek and Turkish businessmen to meet
  • Hailstorm causes 4 billion dr. in damages
  • New company enters stock exchange parallel market
  • Ericsson recalls half of its 788 mobile model
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Greek exports mark considerable increase

The export of Greek products has continued its upward trend of recent years, having recorded a considerable increase of 6.6 percent in 1996. Germany has been the main importer of Greek products, of which knitwear - in spite of a downward trend - enjoys fi rst place in the country's exports, followed by fuel, olive oil and cotton.

According to data by the Institute of Export Research and Studies, trade transactions in 1996 totalled Ecu 30 billion, of which Ecu 8 billion related to exports and Ecu 21 billion to imports. European union countries remain at the top of the list of Greece's exports, having absorbed 52 percent of all exports.

However, eastern European countries, as well as countries in the rest of Europe are picking up, with 31.3 percent and 35.1 percent respectively in the import of Greek products.

In the past two years, the Middle East market has also been improving its position in the list of importers of Greek products.

Italy ranks second in the import of Greek products, followed by Great Britain, France, and the US.

Premier accepts invitation to visit Yugoslavia

Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia yesterday expressed their opposition to any attempt to revise the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia, during talks between Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his visiting Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic .

Mr. Milutinovic handed an invitation to Mr. Pangalos for Prime Minister Costas Simitis to visit Belgrade, which will most likely take place towards the end of the year.

Mr. Milutinovic, who began an official two-day visit to Greece Monday, said his talks with Mr. Pangalos had focused on issues of cooperation and the promotion of bilateral relations, which Mr. Pangalos described as "excellent".

Thousands visit Mt. Athos treasures exhibition

According to the Thessaloniki Cultural Capital Organisation, 73,201 people have visited the exhibition of 'The Treasures of Mount Athos' from June 21 until last Sunday.

Revenue from tickets amounts to more than 100 million drachmas, while sales of the illustrated luxury catalogue, in Greek and English, costing 10,000 drachmas, has brought in more than 58 million drachmas. All proceeds will go to the monastic community.

Bulgaria, Greece: Cooperation in marine research

Bulgaria and Greece are expected to sign an agreement on cooperation in marine research at government level by the year's end, Oceanography Institute Director Assen Konsulov said yesterday.

Mr. Konsulov said that Director of the Athens-based Greek centre for marine research George Chronis will pay a visit to the Oceanography Institute in September.

"The experts of the Athens centre have visited Varna on previous occasions to attend conferences and symposia. They know about the specific characteristics of the Black Sea but have never participated in our expeditions. They have much experience in research on various European and world projects," Mr. Konsulov said.

Burgas, Alexandroupolis to become sister cities

A large delegation from the municipality of Alexandroupolis, headed by Mayor Eleftherios Gioftsidis, will leave on August 29 for the Bulgarian seaport of Burgas to sign a twinning protocol.

The delegation will be made up of municipal councillors, representatives of prefectural local government, the Church, the town's labour centre, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Alexandroupolis and local sports officials.

On the occasion of the twinning, Mr. Gioftsidis noted that it would not only be the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline which will link the two towns "since irrespective of progress in the (pipeline) project, it has been decided to open up new paths of cooperation in other important sectors".

Burgas, located in SE Bulgaria on the Black Sea, is the country's chief export port. Alexandroupolis, an important commercial centre, is situated in western Thrace on the Gulf of Ainos, an inlet of the northern Aegean Sea.

IAAF chief comes under heavy fire

International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo came under heavy fire yesterday from the Greek government, political parties and almost the entire Greek press following his tirade on Monday against the 'Athens'97' organisers and his claim that he had "saved" the 6th World Athletics Championships, which ended in Athens on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos reacted sharply to Mr. Nebiolo's comments made during an interview with Greek television, saying: "Mr. Nebiolo committed a great impropriety. He violated a basic rule of all sports officials and fans, which is not to mix politics with sport".

The minister said the IAAF chief was "not well informed about Greece's international relations. Greece has excellent relations with all its neighbours, except Turkey". Mr. Pangalos noted that Italy had problems with its neighbours, citing the example of Slovenia, whose relations with the European Union were obstructed by Rome.

On the level of crime in Greece, Mr. Pangalos said the situation had not required the intervention of the army, "as happens frequently in Italy in order to combat the Mafia, which the neighbouring country exports to the rest of the world".

"Despite this," he continued, "I would never say that the main characteristic of Italy is the Mafia and that Rome was not entitled to stage the Olympic Games. Rome will not be picked to stage the 2004 Games, quite simply because Athens is better."

Mr. Pangalos expressed the view that it would be unjust if Rome were selected to host the 2004 Olympics because the city had staged the 1960 Olympics.

Speaking on the Athens '97 championships, Mr. Nebiolo said:"We didn't find a team of high specifications here. We found mediocrities... We had people of our own who worked until four in the morning for this championship to take place, and not develop in to a tragedy."

Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it would be wrong to juxtapose Greece and Greek sports on one side and Mr. Nebiolo, on the other.

Mr. Venizelos said that the IAAF president "is a public personality, who was given generous access to the Greek mass media to express his views. And as a public personality, he is subject to criticism and evaluation by public opinion".

Following the organisational, athletic and television success of the 6th IAAF world championships, Mr. Venizelos said that "this success is credited to Greece and no valid and credible international sports official has dared doubt this widely held belief".

Greece's Olympic Committee president congratulated

The organisation of the 6th World Athletics Championships in Athens, which has been described by many as perfect, has won the president of Greece's Olympic Committee (EOA) Lambis Nikolaou a couple of letters of congratulations, one by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch and one by the president of Italy's Olympic Committee, Mario Pescante.

In his letter, Mr. Samaranch expressed his sincere congratulations "on the excellent organisation of the 6th World Athletics Championships, as well as on the warm welcome the organising committee in Athens gave the Olympic family".

In his letter, Mr. Pescante referred to the marvellous spectacle Greece had offered to the world through the opening ceremony of the 6th World Athletics Championships, saying: "The organisation was perfect, the di rection was wonderful and thatYs the least I can say".

No vote for 16-year-olds

The Interior Ministry yesterday denied a report in the daily Kathimerini, according to which the government is considering giving 16-year olds the right to vote and introducing the proportional representation system in the next year's municipal elections.

Seismology conference in Thessaloniki next week

Over 1,000 distinguished experts are expected to attend an international conference on seismology and geophysics which begins in Thessaloniki on August 18.

At a press conference yesterday, Professor Vasilis Papazachos of the Geophysical Laboratory attributed the high attendance of foreign experts to the fact that the Aegean and the Greek substrata in general are of interest seismically - Greece ranks sixth in the world with regard to frequency of seismic phenomena.

One of the 1,500 papers being presented at the conference concerns continental drift - that of the Aegean and African substrata towards each other at the total rate of six centimetres per year.

Greek stocks end flat in dull trade

Equity prices ended with minor changes yesterday after subdued trading on the Athens Stock Exchange. Investors were absent ahead of a three-day holiday weekend with the market experiencing a drop in business following the traditional August rally. Tra de was thin and turnover was 7.2 billion drachmas.

The general index remained unchanged at 1,631.68 points, and sector indices traded within range.

Banks eased 0.18 percent, Leasing fell 0.34 percent, Insurance rose 1.29 percent, Investment dropped 0.70 percent, Industrials increased 0.36 percent, Construction fell 1.41 percent, Holding rose 0.28 percent and Miscellaneous increased 0.64 percent.

The parallel market for smaller companies ended 0.13 percent off.

Broadly, declining issues led advancing ones by 125 to 83 with another 27 unchanged.

Demetriades, Pireaus Fund, Radio Athina and Intertype scored the biggest percentage gains while Elfico and Athinea suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

National Bank of Greece ended at 37,705 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,700, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,860, Titan Cement at 15,200, Intracom at 13,450 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 6,500.

Greek and Turkish businessmen to meet

Greek businessmen from the Aegean will meet Turkish counterparts in Izmir from August 20 to 30.

The meeting is organised by the Union of Young businessmen from the Aegean on the Turkish side, and by regional chambers on the Greek side.

Hailstorm causes 4 billion dr. in damages

Initial estimates said that 4 billion dr. in damages was caused to seasonal crops in the Thessaly plain after a devastating hailstorm on Saturday.

About 3 billion dr. damages were caused to the cotton crop.

Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said yesterday the farmers suffering crop losses would be compensated by the ELGA farmers' insurance fund.

Thousands of hectares of cotton, corn and other crops were destroyed in Larissa, central Greece, in a hailstorm that lasted 45 minutes and rained hail the size of walnuts.

New company enters stock exchange parallel market

Shares of the Epiphania company will start trading on the Athens Stock Exchange parallel market as of August 19.

Distribution of shares to new shareholders will start on August 18.

The company's shares were oversubscribed 23.4 times, to a total of 13.1 billion drachmas.

Ericsson recalls half of its 788 mobile model

The Swedish-based telecommunications company Ericsson has recalled nearly 20,000 of a new mobile phone model sold in Greece, following problems in connections with the local network.

The Ericsson 788 phone was launched amid great optimism, since demand exceeded supply, according to market specialists.

Its problem however in compatibility with the Greek network led to its recall for replacement of software or the whole appliance and to a drop in Ericsson's share in the mobile phone market, from 65 per cent to 55-60 per cent.

According to estimates, the recalled mobiles amount to over half of this particular model sold in the Greek market.

WEATHER

Unstable weather continues in most parts of Greece today, with possible showers and thurderstorms in the mainland and the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean Sea. Winds northerly, light to moderate, becoming strong in the southern Aegean. Athens will be partly cloudy with possible showers in the afternoon and temperatures from 19-30C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18-29C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 290.047 Pound sterling 460.315 Cyprus pd 531.062 French franc 46.283 Swiss franc 190.108 German mark 155.931 Italian lira (100) 15.974 Yen (100) 250.217 Canadian dlr. 208.253 Australian dlr. 215.227 Irish Punt 415.430 Belgian franc 7.551 Finnish mark 52.191 Dutch guilder 138.423 Danish kr. 40.935 Swedish kr. 36.277 Norwegian kr. 37.894 Austrian sch. 22.150 Spanish peseta 1.847 Port. Escudo 1.538

(C.E.)


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