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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU Summit-Middle East-Yugoslavia-Simitis
  • [02] Greek-American relations-Conference-Olympics
  • [03] Defence Minister-NATO exercise-Greek pullout
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday
  • [05] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [06] Germanos ABEE-market share
  • [07] Greece-Britain-economy
  • [08] Greece-bankruptcy report
  • [09] Gov't spokesman - NATO exercise - Greek pullout
  • [10] Helios SA-IPO postponement
  • [11] ASE-close
  • [12] Greece - Turkey - Ecevit
  • [13] Greece-government-oil prices

  • [01] EU Summit-Middle East-Yugoslavia-Simitis

    13/10/2000 22:02:22

    BIARRITZ (ANA V. Mourtis) - The Middle East crisis topped the agenda of a European Union summit in this French seaside resort on Friday with leaders of the 15-nation bloc calling for a top-level meeting of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, the EU and the United States.

    On the summit's first day, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said the EU was deeply concerned about escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians and was urging the meeting, possibly on Saturday, so that Europe would not remain on the sidelines of the crisis.

    The 15 EU leaders said in a joint communique that further destabilization in the Middle East would have repercussions throughout the region, underlining that halting escalation of the violence should be the priority.

    The EU leaders gave a mandate to the EU's High Representative of Foreign Policy and Security Affairs, Javier Solana, to continue his mission of seeking a solution in the Middle East.

    On a more positive note, the European leaders welcomed political developments in Yugoslavia and recognised the need for cooperation with that country as part of the EU's Balkan policy.

    They agreed to allow the new Yugoslav leadership time to establish a policy programme and apply it without external pressure; and economic and political support for Yugoslavia should be unconditional, the prime minister said.

    [02] Greek-American relations-Conference-Olympics

    13/10/2000 21:13:30

    US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns said on Friday, during an address to a conference on "The future of Greek-American relations", the 2004 Olympic Games will be held in Athens without any problem.

    The conference came at the height of three-day events on Greek-American relations which included the unveiling of the statue of George Marshall at the US embassy and the restoration of the monument for American philhellenes.

    The conference was organised by the Centre for Democracy, an American foundation, and the Western Policy Centre, a Greek-American foundation.

    Speaking at the conference, Burns said Greek-American relations are currently at an upgraded level compared to the early '90s.

    Referring to the issue of cooperation between the US and Greece on the issue of terrorism, Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said it is necessary since the Greek security authorities are obtaining very good support to crack down on the phenomenon.

    US special envoy for the initiative on southeastern Europe ambassador Richard Sklark said the strategic target of the US was the creation of a suitable environment for the attraction of investments and the development of the free market.

    [03] Defence Minister-NATO exercise-Greek pullout

    13/10/2000 20:23:07

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Friday that observance of what has been agreed by NATO general staffs was a precondition for Greece's participation in the NATO exercise codenamed "Destined Glory" in which a complication has occurred.

    On Thursday, Greece had ordered six Greek Airforce warplanes taking part in "Destined Glory" to withdraw after Ankara requested changes in air corridors and the exclusion of those passing over the Greek islands of Limnos and Ikaria in the Aegean.

    Tsohatzopoulos attributed the present problems to "unfortunate initiatives or the transfer of administrative duties at various levels."

    "We hope that all issues will be resolved immediately to enable the exercise to be completed, as initially anticipated and under the conditions initially set out so that the Greek armed forces will be able to continue their participation since, for the time being and following yesterday's problems, they are not participating in the exercise," he said.

    Commenting on developments in the Middle East, Tsohatzopoulos conveyed the spirit prevailing during Thursday night's meeting of Socialist leaders and ministers in France, saying the need was ascertained to reinforce the involvement of the international community, and the EU in particular, to facilitate a return to normalcy, an end to hostilities and the safeguard of the peace process.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    13/10/2000 20:06:42

    Indicative rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Monday's rates (buying)

    Euro 336.724

    U.S. dollar 389.191

    German mark 172.165

    French franc 051.333

    Pound sterling 573.535

    Irish punt 427.552

    Belgian franc 008.347

    Luxembourg franc 008.347

    Dutch guilder 152.799

    Italian lira (100) 017.391

    Austrian schilling 024.471

    Danish kroner 045.241

    Swedish kroner 039.450

    Finnish mark 056.633

    Spanish peseta 002.024

    Portuguese escudo 001.679

    Japanese yen (100) 361.247

    Swiss franc 223.294

    Norwegian kroner 041.858

    Cyprus pound 589.427

    Canadian dollar 256.531

    Australian dollar 206.336

    [05] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    13/10/2000 20:05:44

    Cloudy weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, with sunshine in the east Aegean and Dodecanese islands. Visibility will be restricted in the morning. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in parts of the Aegean. On the northern mainland temperatures will range from 13C to 25C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 16C to 27C; and in the Aegean islands from 18C to 26C. Mostly sunny weather in Athens with temperatures between 18C and 27C. Light cloud in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 16C to 25C.

    [06] Germanos ABEE-market share

    13/10/2000 17:06:04

    Germanos ABEE on Friday announced it has increased its market share in the domestic market of mobile telephony connections in the third quarter of 2000 to 36.5 percent, from 32.6 percent in the previous quarter.

    The company expects that its turnover would exceed 125 billion drachmas this year, while pre-tax profits could reach 15 billion drachmas, up 97.4 percent from 1999.

    [07] Greece-Britain-economy

    13/10/2000 17:00:32

    Greece and Britain share several common goals in a drive towards structural reforms to strenthen the competitiveness of the European economy, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Britain's Energy and Competitiveness Deputy Minister Hellen Liddell said after a meeting in Athens on Friday.

    "We all-heartedly congratulate the Greek government and its people for their accomplishment" to participate in the eurozome, Mrs Liddell said. "We discussed the issue of economic reforms as a need to strengthen the two countries' competitiveness not only for the benefit of our two peoples but for the European Union as a whole," she added.

    Papantoniou said the meeting showed that the two countries shared several common aims and noted that both sides agreed that high oil prices would not be maintained and that it was a phenomenon exclusively linked with political developments in the Middle East.

    [08] Greece-bankruptcy report

    13/10/2000 16:39:41

    Sixteen Greek company filed for bankruptcy in September, down from 156 the same month last year, to a total of 1,086 in the first nine months of 2000, from 1,612 in 1999 (a decline of 32.6 percent), Greek Banks Union data showed on Friday.

    Declared bankruptcies, however, rose to 75 in September from seven in 1999, although they fell to 523 in the January-September period from 556 last year (a 6.0 percent fall).

    Bouncing bills volume totalled 18.122, worth 4.7 billion drachmas, in September for a decline of 31 percent in volume and 39 percent in value compared with the same month last year. Bouncing checks volume was 6,146, worth 13.1 billion drachmas (down 27 percent in volume and 29 percent in value respectively).

    Total volume of bouncing checks and bills in the January-September period was 278,836, worth 224.7 billion drachmas (off 15.4 percent in volume and 13.6 percent in value over the same period in 1999).

    [09] Gov't spokesman - NATO exercise - Greek pullout

    13/10/2000 16:35:28

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Friday that Greece was continuing to participate in the NATO exercise "Destined Glory" in Turkey but that this was no longer following the original plans. He added that Greece would withdraw, however, if the original planning was not reinstated by Friday night.

    On Thursday, Greece had ordered six Greek Airforce warplanes taking part in "Destined Glory" to withdraw after Ankara requested changes in air corridors and the exclusion of those passing over the Greek islands of Limnos and Ikaria in the Aegean.

    [10] Helios SA-IPO postponement

    13/10/2000 16:28:05

    Helios SA, a Greek tourism company owners of Elounda hotels in Crete, on Friday announced it was postponing its planned initial public offering to list its shares on the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange, citing a negative climate in the domestic and international markets.

    The company also called subscribing investors to withrdraw their capital.

    Helios plans to issue 6,200,000 new common shares, of which 5,906,000 will be offered to private investors and the remaining 249,000 through private placement. The price range of the offering was set at 3,900-4,200 drachmas per share.

    The company reported turnover of 7.6 billion drachmas and net pre-tax profits of 1.5 billion drachmas last year. It expects a turnover of 9.5 billion and pre-tax profits of 2.5 billion drachmas in 2000.

    [11] ASE-close

    13/10/2000 16:18:51

    A turmoil in international markets hit the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday pushing share prices sharply lower.

    Traders, however, said the market's reaction to negative developments in the Middle East, oil markets and international bourses was excessive.

    The general index ended 2.81 percent lower at 3,701.32 points, off the day's lows of 3,673.50 points, with turnover a low 72.82 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 2.56 percent lower at 2,113.07 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 3.38 percent to 453.36 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 5.80 percent lower at 456.36 points.

    [12] Greece - Turkey - Ecevit

    13/10/2000 15:47:34

    ISTANBUL (ANA) Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Friday reiterated Ankaras long-standing call for dialogue with Athens to solve what he termed ?our problems with Greece?.

    The veteran Turkish politician, prime minister during Turkeys invasion of Cyprus in 1974, spoke to the CNN-Turk television network.

    ?We want to solve our problems with Greece through dialogue... Athens doesnt want to begin dialogue with us, but wants to take recourse to international courts,? Ecevit said.

    Greece has long countered various Turkish claims by maintaining that international law as well as international and bilateral treaties clearly define sovereignty of territorial waters, airspace and territory in the Aegean basin, whereas any unilateral disputes should be taken to international fora such as the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    [13] Greece-government-oil prices

    13/10/2000 15:06:56

    A surge in international oil prices in the last few days will not be maintained because it has mainly a political and not an economic dimension, Greek Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Friday.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Britain's Energy and Competitiveness deputy minister Helen Lindell, Papantoniou said developments in the Middle East would offer directions to oil markets and noted that there could be no predictions over oil prices' course because the situation was critical in the region.

    Papantoniou said the government would discuss subsidy payment to lower incomes and pensioners in compensation for higher oil prices in the context of drafting next year's budget at the end of the month.

    Commenting on a sharp fall of prices on the Athens Stock Exchange in the last few days, Papantoniou said the Greek market was following a similar trend in international markets.


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