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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-10-12
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
ATHENS, GREECE, 12/10/1999 (ANA)
NEWS IN DETAILSimitis calls for specific Turkish actions
Greece has contributed to the creation of a positive climate in Greek- Turkish relations and has taken specific steps vis-a-vis Ankara, therefore, it expects reciprocal action in bilateral relations and over Cyprus, Premier Costas Simitis said in a message to his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit.
That message was delivered by Greek ambassador Ioannis Korantis yesterday during a courtesy call to the Turkish PM.
The ambassador told ANA that the message referred to Athens' wish for "excellent relations with Turkey" and that it supported "Turkey's European prospect."
Mr. Korantis said Mr. Ecevit responded that there has been a Greek-Turkish dialogue since 1978, between him and the late Constantine Karamanlis. He again reiterated his position that "whenever Turkey and Greece engage in bilateral talks they make progress".
Latsis Group launches $6 million joint venture in China
The Latsis Group is to set up a joint venture in China worth six million US dollars to process and sell marble from Greece and abroad.
Taking a 51 percent stake in the new Shanghai-based company will be SETE Promitheftiki and Emboriki SA, a member of the Latsis Group.
FHL Kyriakidis Marble-Granite is to hold 47 percent of stock, and Cosmo Marble SA the remaining 2.0 percent.
The joint venture is to be named Cosmostone Shanghai Ltd. and managed by the Latsis-owned firm. The wholly Greek capital investment is the first of its kind in China. In the first stage, Cosmostone will process the marble and sell it in the form of a finished product in China and neighbouring countries.
In the second stage, granite is to be processed for export.
SETE Promitheftiki is a procurement services company that recently branched out into marble exports. FHL Kyriakidis, which obtains raw materials from quarries in northern Greece, is the only marble firm to be listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Porto Carras complex on the auction block
The owner of the Porto Carras complex, Potidea Hotels, Tourism and Agricultural SA, is to be sold in an international tender.
Offering 100 percent of the firm's stock are shareholders National Bank of Greece, Hellenic Industrial Development Bank and National Investment Bank for Industrial Development. The deadline for binding offers, which must be accompanied by a letter of guarantee, is December 1.
Stocks end up after sinking on Aget Heracles sale
Equity prices ended the first trading session of the week moderately higher yesterday helped by renewed buying interest in industrial and smaller capitalisation stocks.
The general index ended 0.79 percent higher at 5,972.75 points, up from 5, 926.08 Friday's close.
Yesterday's turnover was 410 billion drachmas.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 3.01 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks fell 0.32 percent to 2,984.55 points.
A total of 115 shares ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, while another six ended at the day's limit down.
National Bank of Greece ended at 23,900 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 24, 000, Commercial Bank at 27,500, Titan Cement at 38,430, Helle nic Petroleum at 5,200, Intracom at 33,300, Minoan Lines at 10,584, Panafon at 8,050 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,140 drachmas.
Intracom, Romtelecom sign long-term supply contract
Intracom, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, has signed a five-year procurement contract with Romanian telecommunications corporation Romtelecom worth 100 billion drachmas.
The deal was signed on Friday and covers the supply by Intracom of digital lines, transmission systems, digital access services and national network management systems.
The contract provides for the installation of 320,000 digital lines, transmission systems and digital access systems for subscribers by the end of 2000 worth 26 billion drachmas.
Intracom said the contract was initially budgeted at 100 billion drachmas based on conservative forecasts and that the final budget would depend on the Romanian economy's growth rates.
Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) has acquired a 35 percent stake in Romtelecom and manages the company.
Gov't plans to make ADEX Balkan, Mediterranean centre
The Athens Derivatives Exchange (ADEX) is able to handle business and investment needs to the benefit of the economy, national economy ministry secretary general G. Papaioannou told a presentation by the newly created market.
He pledged that the government would support the exchange in order to make it a derivatives centre for the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
ADEX chairman Dimitris Alexakis told the presentation: "The derivatives market is progressing smoothly with investors, both retail and institutional, steadily increasing their presence."
He added that the market had managed to gain the confidence of investors, despite its newness.
During the first 24 days of ADEX's operation, a total of 12,807 contracts have been traded worth 77.4 billion drachmas.
Greek insurers want Balkan business
The Greek insurance market has the potential to lead an effort to develop a wider insurance market in the Balkans, Black Sea region and southeast Mediterranean, delegates to an insurance conference held on the island of Hydra in the Saronic Gulf said yesterday.
The conference was organised by the Greek Insurance Companies Union (EAEE) and was attended by representatives of the insurance industry from a total of 26 countries in the region.
The conference also called for closer cooperation within the industry, with emphasis given to exchanging information of mutual interest and promoting new technologies, training and legislation.
EAEE chairman Dimitris Kondominas noted that Greece has a comparative advantage against other countries in the region, being the only member of the European Union at the crossroads of East and West.
Stephanopoulos begins Iran today
President Kostis Stephanopoulos will leave for Tehran today on a four-day official visit at the invitation of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
He will be accompanied by a government delegation headed by Foreign Minister George Papandreou as well as by Greek entrepreneurs.
According to an IRNA dispatch, Mr. Stephanopoulos is the second head of state from a European Union country to visit Iran after the Islamic revolution in 1979. Austrian President Thomas Klestil had visited the country in September.
IRNA also reported that Greece always adopts "a positive position" towards Iran in the EU.
Greece, Iran and Armenia signed a cooperation protocol in May 1998 on widening and strengthening their tripartite cooperation on transport and communications issues.
EU foreign ministers call for quake-related support to Athens
The Foreign Ministers of European Union member-states convened here yesterday and called for support towards Greece to tackle the repercussions emanating from the devastating Sept. 7 earthquake.
In a statement, the "15" called on the European Commission to study the granting of EU aid to Greece as soon as possible and in cooperation with Greek authorities to have the consequences of the recent earthquake dealt with. The statement comes as a continuation of a similar statement by the ECOFIN Council.
Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos said they were satisfied with this statement and expressed a conviction that the Commission will undertake the necessary initiatives.
Mr. Papandreou also had the opportunity to meet Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, who attended the Luxembourg Council yesterday, and discuss issues of bilateral concern with him, including improved economic ties and cultural relations, as well as Greece's initiative for the development of multipartite cooperation between Greece, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.
Gov't: No US request for DNA results linked to 'Nov. 17' attack
The government yesterday denied that US officials had requested DNA testing results on traces of blood found at the scene of a "November 17" terrorist attack earlier this year.
"The US government has not requested the DNA of the terrorists found after the 'November 17' attack on the residence of the German ambassador in Athens," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.
He was responding to questions from reporters in relation to the results of the Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis' visit last week to Washington.
Mr. Reppas said the trip had resulted in a bilateral agreement on cooperating to combat terrorism and crime.
Cyprus Foreign Minister in Athens tomorrow
Cypriot FM Ioannis Kasoulides is expected in Athens tomorrow for talks with Greek leadership.
The focus of talks between Mr. Kasoulides and the officials is expected to be a projected Turkish candidacy for EU membership at the EU Helsinki summit in December.
British diplomatic sources told the Cyprus Broadcasting Corp. that the eventuality of Turkey being placed on the EU candidate country list would bring little benefit to Ankara, but would give Greece the edge in exerting pressure, along with other EU member-states, on Turkey's progress on a number of issues of concern, including the division of Cyprus.
Nuclear `genie` discussed by Kaklamanis, Japan's Saito
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and the Speaker of Japan's Upper House, Juro Saito, yesterday agreed on the need to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries, which this year marked the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
Mr. Saito visited Mr. Kaklamanis yesterday at the head of a Japanese parliamentary delegation.
Mr. Kaklamanis briefed the Japanese official on the problems faced by Greece owing to the operation of old technology nuclear power plants in neighbouring countries.
In particular, he expressed concern about the risk which would be posed by the operation of a nuclear plant planned in the earthquake-prone area of Akkuyu, Turkey, on its southeast Mediterranean coast.
New Democracy eyes March elections, party spokesman
Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis called on ND's department heads in a meeting yesterday to be "vigilant and to mobilise", stressing that the party would be first in the event elections were held now.
He said that ND cadres should intensify their work to enable the party to be ready as a government to provide solutions to problems faced by citizens.
Speaking afterwards, party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said Prime Minister Costas Simitis is consistent only in inconsistency, because "he thinks of himself first and then the citizen.."
Better tourism cooperation between Greece, Britain discussed
The head of the Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT) met with British Tourism Minister Janet Anderson yesterday for talks on how to better develop cooperation between Greece and Britain.
The meeting was the start to EOT Secretary General Evgenios Yiannakopoulos' four-day working visit in London.
"Great interest was shown on the British side for us to cooperate on tourism issues and the British minister asked to be briefed on the institutions concerning the functioning of Greek tourism and the institution of the National Tourism Council, which we have created in Greece in particular.
In presenting Mr. Yiannakopoulos, Committee president Graham Bins said "he was and remains a considerable backer and supporter of the Committee's effort for the return of the historic friezes to Greece."
WEATHERFair weather with a further rise in temperatures will prevail in Greece today with scattered cloud in the eastern and southern regions of the country. Winds northerly, light to strong. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 15-27C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 14-25C.
Tuesday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 306.220 Pound sterling 507.249 Japanese yen (100) 286.986 French franc 49.652 German mark 166.524 Italian lira (100) 16.820 Irish Punt 413.545 Belgian franc 8.074 Finnish mark 54.777 Dutch guilder 147.793 Danish kr. 43.821 Austrian sch. 23.669 Spanish peseta 1.957 Swedish kr. 37.523 Norwegian kr. 39.228 Swiss franc 204.233 Port. Escudo 1.625 Can. dollar 207.923 Aus. dollar 200.052 Cyprus pound 563.952 Euro 325.693(C.E.)
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