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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-05-15
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Tsohatzopoulos-WEAG-Defence ministers15/05/2000 21:36:29
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Monday expressed support for a joint European armaments policy without discriminations, with all European countries participating with equal opportunities and rights corresponding to their commitments.
Tsohatzopoulos, who was addressing a meeting of West European Armaments Group (WEAG) defence ministers in Oporto, Portugal, also supported the rationalisation of military expenditures to enable common foreign policy and common defence policy to have the necessary means rendering them reliable and respected.
 Belgium-Ancient Greece-Awards15/05/2000 21:36:23
BRUSSELS (ANA G. Zitouniati) - The Belgian highschool of Mons ?Sacre Coeur? organised, for the 12th consecutive year, week-long events dedicated to ancient Greece attracting the participation of 33 other schools, a record number.
The event took place between May 2 and May 6 and included ancient Greek theater performances, exhibitions and student competitions on knowledge regarding ancient and modern Greece.
The Onassis Foundation, the Greek embassy press office in Brussels and Olympic Airways sponsored the events, which included a ?hospitality trip to Greece? as an award for the winning students on the ?geographical quiz? on both modern and ancient Greece.
 Gov't-Technology-E-commerce15/05/2000 21:36:17
Two of the government's main priorities are encouraging the use of high technology and promoting the growth of e-commerce, Deputy Development Minister Alexandros Kalafatis said on Monday.
He was addressing a seminar organised by the Hellenic Investments Centre on strategic alliances between domestic and foreign companies.
European Union funding of 180 billion drachmas had been secured to help fund the goverment's technology programme, Kalafatis said.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Tuesday15/05/2000 19:17:31
Following are foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Tuesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 364.352
German mark 170.653
 Weather Forecast-Tuesday15/05/2000 18:50:14
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Tuesday, possibly turning to showers or storms on the mainland from late afternoon.
 President - Israel visit15/05/2000 18:46:21
JERUSALEM (ANA N. Megadoukas) Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos was received by his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weizman on Monday, the first meeting on a historic official visit by the Greek head of state to the Mideast country.
In receiving Stephanopoulos, Weizman emphasised that Greece and Israel were "two democratic countries with similar economies," while he expressed a conviction that the visit would further strengthen bilateral relations.
On his part, Stephanopoulos said his visit was the result of steadily improving relations between the two countries, while pointing out Athens interest in the Middle East peace process and his hopes that this would yield positive results.
Stephanopoulos then travelled to Tel Aviv, where he addressed a Greek-Israeli trade and economic forum.
He later visited the Israeli Knesset.
Thursday schedule cut
Meanwhile, press reports from Jerusalem cited a Palestinian demand that the Greek president meet with their representative in East Jerusalem as leading to the cancellation of his last days schedule, leaving a meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for Wednesday in Bethlehem.
 Greece-coastal shipping policy15/05/2000 17:00:27
Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis on Monday urged shipowners, municipal authorities and union leaders to work together in an effort to draft a new coastal shipping policy ahead of the abolition of the cabotage policy on December 31, 2003 in Greece.
Papoutsis said that all interested parties should prepare themselves to face new challenges.
"In the meantime we have to solve everyday problems faced by citizens and tourists," he said.
Papoutsis said that liberalising domestic shipping market envisages ensuring fair and healthy competition and protecting the public interest.
 Maillis-share capital increase15/05/2000 16:44:44
M.I.Maillis AEBE, a listed packaging systems company, said it had successfully completed a share capital increase plan raising 50.703 billion drachmas through the sale of 18,108,470 new common shares, worth 2,800 drachmas each, and the capitalisation of cash reserves.
The plan was approved by an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting on December 15, 1999.
Raised capital will be used for acquisitions and investments.
 Egnatia Bank-new branch15/05/2000 16:34:59
Egnatia Bank on Monday inaugurated its new branch in the island of Rhodes offering all retail banking services.
The new branch raises the bank's network to a total 54 around the country.
 Aspis Bank-1st quarter results15/05/2000 16:29:50
Aspis Bank on Monday reported that its profits totalled 433 million drachmas in the 1st quarter of 2000, up from 93 million in the same period last year.
The bank, which operates a network of 22 branches, expects its whole year profits to be around 1-1.5 billion drachmas.
An annual general shareholders' meeting on Monday approved a 15 drachmas per share dividend payment to shareholders.
A forthcoming general shareholders' meeting on May 29 is expected to decide on a plan for a four-to-one rights issue.
 Olympics - Prime Minister - Daskalaki15/05/2000 16:28:32
Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday chaired yet another high-level government meeting focusing on all-important 2004 Olympics preparations, the first session to include the newly appointed president of the Games organising committee.
Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who spearheaded Athens campaign to host the 2004 Olympics, participated in the mid-afternoon meeting that was also attended by the culture minister, the mayor of Athens and other top 2004 executives.
?We must work hard, during this phase its important that we work and not talk. Were determined that, with the assistance of responsible ministers, the government and the organising committee? well reach our goal,? Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said in her first statements after officially assuming the post of 2004 president.
Preparations surrounding the 2004 Games in Athens entered a more-or-less ?accelerated phase? recently after last months stinging comments by IOC President Juan Antonio, who cited severe delays and ?red tape?, among others.
The object of Monday's discussions reportedly centred around turning the organising committee into a more flexible organisation in terms of overcoming problems and obstacles.
 ADEX-close15/05/2000 16:23:40
Derivatives prices ended higher on Monday, extending their previous week's gains on the Athens Derivatives Exchange. Turnover was an improved 13.9 billion drachmas and volume 3,850 contracts.
A total of 1,584 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, worth 8.0 billion drachmas. The May expiring contract ended at 2,559.50 points, the June at 2,559 and the July contract at 2,562 points.
A total of 2,266 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 40 index, with a turnover of 5.9 billion drachmas. The May expiring contract ended at 668 points, the June at 657.50 and the July contract at 662 points.
 ASE-close15/05/2000 16:02:59
Equity prices surged to higher levels on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday supported by strong buying interest in blue chip stocks and an increasing turnover.
Dealers said the market was on a steady upward trend and was expected to test the 4,800 resistance level soon.
Banks were chief gainers on talk of a decision to upgrade the Greek market before the country's EMU participation.
On the other hand, shares in the construction sector suffered losses on profit taking.
The general index ended at 4,686.75 points, up 2.29 percent, but off the day's highs of 4,705.72 points. Turnover was a strong 236.5 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index ended at 2,582.36 points, up 2.83 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index increased 2.44 percent to end at 685.84 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 912.63 points, up 1.2 percent.
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