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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-18
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Athens 2004 Olympiad-Sponsorship programme18/07/2000 23:03:01
The sponsorship programme of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games organising committee was presented on Tuesday at a special event held at the Athens Concert Hall.
Organising Committee President Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the Athens Olympic Games of 2004 opened new horizons for the country's economy and provides new prospects for Greek businesses.
The programme provides specific rights and special privileges for each sponsor which are differentiated according to the category and size of the investment. Among others, the main sponsorship rights include an exclusiveness for sponsorship according to each category of products, a four-year duration of sponsorship privileges lasting from 1/1/2001 until 31/12/2004 and the right to use Athens 2004 signs.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday18/07/2000 21:10:31
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates released by the central bank for the next working day.
Wednesdays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 357.170
German mark 170.734
 Weather Forecast-Wednesday18/07/2000 19:31:14
Sunny weather is forecast in most of the country on Wednesday with cloud turning to rain or storms in much of the north.
 Aegean Airlines-new aircraft18/07/2000 16:47:29
Aegean Airlines, a Greek domestic routes airline, on Tuesday announced it was adding two more four-engined AVRO RJ 100 turbo-propeller aircraft to its fleet.
The new aircraft, supplied by British Aerospace, raises the airline's fleet to nine aircraft (six AVRO RJ 100s and three fully upgraded ATR-72s).
Aegean Airlines said it invested more than 50 billion drachmas in the last 12 months in an effort to expand activities in the domestic air market.
The company operates 84 scheduled flights in 11 domestic destinations daily. Its seating capacity exceeds 75 percent while the airline has carried one million passengers in its 13 months of operation.
 Greece-road network-tolls18/07/2000 16:26:55
The Greek government will sign contracts with private companies to build the country's national road network in exchange for road tolls' revenues, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister, Costas Laliotis, Papantoniou said that these contracts would build large sectors of a Third Community Support Framework road project, including the Ionian Road, and road networks in Peloponissos and central Greece.
He said that decisions over the price of the road tolls would be made by the government.
Referring to the government's tax policy, he said that a new tax bill to be submitted in parliament next autumn would envisage a gradual fall in corporate taxes for companies not listed on the Athens Stock Exchange to 40 percent, from 45 percent, and the abolition of a special banking services duty from 2001.
The two measures, along with a planned reduction in employers' contributions, are expected to cut the cost of enterprising.
 Prime Minister - Bulgaria - BTC - Pipeline18/07/2000 16:21:40
PLOVDIV (ANA G. Papachristou) -- EU and Balkans-related issues were on the agenda of talks here Tuesday between the leaders of Greece and Bulgaria before questions quickly focused on two major business deals still pending an oil pipeline and the sale of Bulgarias state telecoms.
Following initial talks with visiting Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the southern Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, Bulgarian Premier Ivan Kostov told reporters that progress over a final agreement to build and operate an oil pipeline connecting the Black Sea with the Aegean was hampered by Russias failure to guarantee specific quantities of crude oil for the three-nation venture. A handful of private companies based in Greece are also involved.
 Papantoniou-structural changes18/07/2000 15:54:47
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou on Tuesday warned that Greece either would implement the necessary bold structural changes or risked losing the train of growth and employment.
"The future of Greek economy lies in the new economy and this develops in an environment of deregulated markets with flexible labour forms," Papantoniou told reporters.
He said that the Greek economy should give "a strong battle to win the future" and noted that the formation of large enterprises was a precondition to achieve a strong economy, to ensure workers' incomes, creating new jobs, creating revenues for state coffers and financing the government's social policy.
"If Greece decides, under the pressure of conservative forces, to diverge from these developments, then it will lose the bandwagon of growth, employment and social cohesion," Papantoniou noted.
Papantoniou predicted that economic growth rates would be higher in the years 2000 and 2001, compared with targets included in a convergence programme.
He said the government was upgrading the convergence programme's growth targets for the gross domestic product to 4.0 percent this year, from 3.8 pct, and to 5.0 percent in 2001 from 4.1 percent.
Papantoniou predicted that this year's budget would show a deficit smaller than 1.0 percent of GDP, from an initial estimate of 1.2 pct, while next year's budget would envisage a surplus.
 ASE-close18/07/2000 15:51:58
Equity prices continued moving higher for the third consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, although at a more slower pace than Monday.
Traders said buying activity for blue chip stocks in banks maintained the market's upward momentum, while Hellenic Telecoms' and Panafon's share prices came under strong pressure to lose ground.
Smaller capitalisation stocks bucked the trend to end lower.
The general index ended 0.51 percent lower at 4,102.51 points, with turnover a moderate 102.5 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,281.25 points, up 0.75 percent, while the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.11 percent to 590.18 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 788.25 points, off 1.92 percent.
 Greece-Turkey-trade fair18/07/2000 15:41:14
The Thessaloniki International Fair will hold a Greek businees trade fair in Istanbul, November 16-19, 2000.
It will be the first official presentation of Greece's dynamic businesses in the economic and trade capital of Turkey, which is the base of more than half of the country's 500 largest enterprises.
The exhibition will cover tourism, transport, food and beverages, dairy products, frozen foods, olive and olive oil, candies, fertilisers, agricultural machinery, bakery equipment, textile machines and plastics.
 Bond auction-results18/07/2000 15:04:39
State bond yields fell during Tuesday's regular auction of state securities by the Debt Management Organisation.
The average weighed yield of a five-year bond, worth 200 billion drachmas and paying an annual coupon of 5.95 percent, fell to 6.13 percent from 6.35 percent of the previous auction.
Bids submitted totalled 810.6 billion drachmas, 4.05 times more than the asked sum, evidence of persisting demand by foreign investors for Greek securities. The organisation finally accepted bids totalling 219.1 billion drachmas.
The average weighed price of the issue was 99.222 with a minimum accepted price of 99.180.
The auction was a re-opening of an earlier issue, dated March 24, 2000, with a maturity date Friday, 21 July 2000.
 Helexpo-Metallon trade fair18/07/2000 14:57:14
Greek Exhibitions-HELEXPO SA on Monday announced a new international annual trade fair, called Metallon, presenting metal processing machinery, raw materials, equipment and tools, to be held alternately in Athens and Thessaloniki from 2001.
The first Metallon trade fair will be held at HELEXPO's new trade fair centre in Athens, May 9-13 2001.
Metallon will be strictly for business representatives.
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