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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Russia, Greece hold talks on key issues
  • [02] EU-Greece-Turkey-Energy
  • [03] Heatwave - smog alert - forecast
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday
  • [05] Weather Forecast-Friday
  • [06] Onassis Foundation - Grant - Venice (recasts)
  • [07] Olympic Airways - Toll-free line
  • [08] Onassis Foundation - Grant - Venice
  • [09] Theft - A/C units - Heatwave
  • [10] Sanyo Hellas-insurer acquisition
  • [11] Greece-Visa credit card holders
  • [12] ASE-close

  • [01] Russia, Greece hold talks on key issues

    06/07/2000 22:33:53

    MOSCOW (ANA- V. Mourtis) - Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev and Greek counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday confirmed an identity of views on many issues and a common interest in stability in in southeast Europe, sources said.

    The talks took place in the framework of a series of meetings with which Tsohatzopoulos kicked off a three-day visit to Russia, and which included contacts with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilia Khlebanov and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexiy.

    Reports said that the two ministers agreed on the need for additional initiatives to promote peace and stability in the Balkans, particularly the Kosovo area, where military units of the two countries will remain as part of the peacekeeping force.

    [02] EU-Greece-Turkey-Energy

    06/07/2000 22:32:46

    BRUSSELS (ANA - V. Demiris) - The trilateral working group composed of the European Commission, Greece and Turkey, set up with the purpose of creating an interconnections network between Greece and Turkey in the natural gas sector, will hold its first meeting here on Friday.

    European Commission sources said it is an initiative by the External Relations Commissioner Christopher Patten, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, which is part of the European Union's technical assistance programme Interstate Oil Gas Transport to Europe (INOGATE).

    The INOGATE programme concerns the interstate cooperation of countries from central and eastern Europe, the Caucasus and central Asia for the piping of natural gas to Europe.

    EU officials expressed satisfaction over the two countries' decision to cooperate with the European Commission in the framework of the INOGATE programme.

    The European Commission considers the creation of the working group as being an important and specific step in the rapprochement process between Greece and Turkey, while it is expected that the strategic connection of natural gas pipelines in countries in southeastern Europe, and in Balkan countries in particular, will be promoted.

    The working group's first meeting on Friday is the result of three-month negotiations coordinated by the European Commission in the framework of the INOGATE programme.

    Prospects of cooperation in the energy sector are expected to be examined during the meeting with the preparation of plans and investments as of 2002.

    [03] Heatwave - smog alert - forecast

    06/07/2000 21:38:28

    The country is to get a brief respite from the soaring temperatures of the past few days, with the Greek weather service (EMY) forecasting a slight drop to 38C for Friday, but temperatures will jump up to 40C again at the weekend and possibly for the rest of the coming week.

    On Thursday the country sweltered under a baking 45C in the shade, while particularly hard-hit was the capital Athens and surrounding Attica. The high temperatures and the lack of wind also encouraged a dangerous build-up of the notorious Athens smog, with nitrogen dioxide levels reaching 533 micrograms per cubic metre of air at midday, surpassing the government-set level of 400 micrograms for the taking of emergency measures.

    The National Emergency Services (EKAB) transferred two people to hospital on Thursday suffering from thermal exhaustion, while one 87-year-old man with cardiac and respiratory problems died in hospital because of the heat. One more death, that of a 56-year-old construction worker found dead in an Athens park, is being investigated to establish whether it might be linked to the high temperatures.

    The Public Power Corporation (DEH), meanwhile, said that power cuts had occurred in many areas around the capital, caused by an overconsumption of electricity by air-conditioning units. It advised the public to limit their use of air-conditioning and be economical in their use of electricity.

    For the relief of beleaguered citizens, public beaches, swimming baths and stadiums were ordered to remain open on a 24-hour basis on Thursday by the secretariat for civilian protection.

    The other Balkan nations are also in the grip of the heatwave, with temperatures in southeastern Europe topping 43C.

    Temperatures throughout Greece are expected to ease on Friday, ranging from 20C to 36C in the north and 24C to 38C in the rest of the country, with moderate to strong northerly winds.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday

    06/07/2000 19:28:25

    Following are indicative foreign exchange rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Fridays rates (buying)

    Euro 333.957

    U.S. dollar 348.757

    [05] Weather Forecast-Friday

    06/07/2000 18:56:42

    Temperatures are expected to ease on Friday after hitting a sweltering 44C over the last two days. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong in the Aegean.

    [06] Onassis Foundation - Grant - Venice (recasts)

    06/07/2000 18:51:11

    The historic Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Agios Georgios (St. George) in Venice will be the recipient of a 45-million-drachma grant by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, it was announced on Thursday.

    The grant will be channelled through Greeces foreign ministry for renovation works at the cathedral, long associated with the medieval and Renaissance-era ethnic Greek communities in the ?Lagoon City?, as well as the peak of Hellenic arts and letters in the northern Italian states. (One US dollar equals about 360 drachmas)

    [07] Olympic Airways - Toll-free line

    06/07/2000 18:47:37

    State-run Olympic Airways announced on Thursday that a new number is available for flight reservations and information 0801-44444 -- toll free from phones throughout Greece.

    [08] Onassis Foundation - Grant - Venice

    06/07/2000 18:43:31

    The historic Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Agios Georgios (St. George) in Venice will be the recipient of a 45-million-drachma grant by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, it was announced on Thursday.

    The grant will be channeled through Greeces foreign ministry for renovation works at the cathedral, long associated with the medievel and Renaissance-era ethnic Greek communities in the ?Lagoon City?, as well as the peak of Hellenic arts and letters in the northern Italian states.

    (One US dollar equals about 360 drachmas)

    [09] Theft - A/C units - Heatwave

    06/07/2000 18:34:18

    An electronics store selling air conditioning units was the target of burglars on Thursday in the northern Greece city of Kavala, as a heatwave has sent temperatures soaring throughout Greece.

    The ?heat-stricken thieves? joined a veritable legion of consumers in eastern Macedonia and Thrace that headed for air condition outlets, as many stores reported a run on A/C units and fans.

    [10] Sanyo Hellas-insurer acquisition

    06/07/2000 17:07:34

    Sanyo Hellas launched its expansion in the insurance market with the announcement of the purchase of a 10 percent equity stake in International Union, a Greek insurance company, for an undisclosed sum.

    The deal envisages that Sanyo Hellas could raise its stake in International Union to 12 percent.

    Sanyo Hellas Holdings said the move was part of the Group's strategy to benefit from synergies resulting from its participation in the insurance market.

    The company also plans to expand in the financial, investment and insurance products sectors.

    International Union was founded in 1977. A group of professional insurance brokers bought the company in 1988. Its results for the year 1998 were six times higher than the market's average, with insurance contracts rising by 73.2 percent in the two-year period, 1998-1999.

    The company expects an increse of 38 percent this year.

    International Union saw its share of the market rising to 2.6 percent in 1999, from 1.7 pct in 1997, with prospects to exceed 3.4 percent this year.

    The insurance company plans to seek listing on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [11] Greece-Visa credit card holders

    06/07/2000 16:24:13

    Visa credit card holders in Greece totalled 1,620,000 in the first quarter of 2000, an increase of 52.6 percent compared with the same period last year, while the value of transactions made through banks-members of VISA HELLAS rose 41 percent to 2.0 billion US dollars.

    This sum accounted for 1.5 billion dollars in consumer spending and the rest in cash withdrawals.

    Visa credit card holders' average use in Greece was 17 times a year, or 1.5 times a month, mostly for the purchase of consumer goods, three times less than the average use in the rest of Europe (50 and 4.5 respectively).

    The average value of transactions made through Visa credit cards in Greece totalled 76 US dollars, or 26,000 drachmas.

    [12] ASE-close

    06/07/2000 15:51:50

    Equity prices came under renewed pressure on Thursday to end sharply lower pushing the general index below the 4,000 level on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Traders said the market had quickly left behind Wednesday's technical rebound and noted that investors largely ignored positive developments in the inflation and privatisation fronts.

    Analysts said the market would find support at the 3,900 level in the short-term.

    The general index ended 1.42 percent lower at 3,968.83 points, in low turnover of 84 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,189.92 points, off 1.24 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 2.49 percent to 571.54 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 773.54 points, off 1.27 percent.


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