Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-13
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 13/08/1997 (ANA)
- 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
- 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
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
"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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
Demetriades, Pireaus Fund, Radio Athina and Intertype scored the biggest
percentage gains while Elfico and Athinea suffered the heaviest losses of
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
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
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
According to estimates, the recalled mobiles amount to over half of this
particular model sold in the Greek market.
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.
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