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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] "Athens 2004"-Prime Minister-Sacking
  • [02] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Destined Glory
  • [03] Greece-banks-lawsuits
  • [04] Cyprus - Greece - Military exercise
  • [05] Greece-construction sector
  • [06] AB Vasilopoulos-new acquisition
  • [07] ASE-close

  • [01] "Athens 2004"-Prime Minister-Sacking

    18/10/2000 21:02:56

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday dismissed a senior Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee member, for allegations he made against a minister.

    A press release said that Kostas Liaskas' "appointment was recalled because his public statements were not befitting his responsibilities in such a high position".

    The release was issued shortly after a meeting between the prime minister and Liaskas in the afternoon.

    On her part, Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee (ATHOC) President Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said in a statement that "ATHOC Executive Director Kostas Liaskas, without notifying me, made personal remarks in an unacceptable manner concerning Environment Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis".

    [02] Greece-Turkey-NATO-Destined Glory

    18/10/2000 19:35:41

    Greek war planes did not complete their scheduled mission in NATOs Destined Glory 2000 military exercise on Wednesday as Turkish fighter planes were launched to block the corridor Greek planes were using, according to press reports.

    The Greek planes returned to base without completing their mission and the Greek defence ministry requested clarification from NATOs highest administrative levels, in order to act in securing Greek national interests.

    [03] Greece-banks-lawsuits

    18/10/2000 16:33:03

    A Greek consumers and borrowers group said it would file lawsuits against several commercial banks on Thursday on alleged usury against borrowers.

    The move is supported by several business groups from the manufacturing and hotel sectors and by the commission of Greek Chambers' Union.

    N.Christodoulopoulos, chairman of Greece's Consumers and Borrowers Group, told reporters on Wednesday that the first lawsuit on alleged usury would be filed against Constantine Georgoutsakos and Ioannis Stournaras, the former and present governors of Commercial Bank of Greece.

    A lawsuit will be filed against Bank of Greece's governor Lucas Papademos and several auditors on alleged cover-up charges.

    Christodoulopoulos said the Commercial Bank benefited almost four billion drachmas annually from illegal practices on evaluating interest on savings and mortgages.

    The group will also file lawsuits on alleged usury against the former and current boards of Eurobank (on CretaBank's policies) and General Bank.

    The consumers and borrowers group also unveiled a package of 25 demands to be submitted in the European Union, the European Parliament and other European agencies, asking for improved banking services by Greek banks.

    [04] Cyprus - Greece - Military exercise

    18/10/2000 16:15:07

    NICOSIA (ANA) Greek naval vessels are expected to arrive at the port of Larnaca on Saturday as part of an ongoing military exercise on Cyprus by the island republics National Guard.

    The Hellenic Navy frigates ?Salamis? and ?Aegaio? (Aegean), along with the submarine ?Okeanos? (Ocean) and the missile boats ?Stavrakis? and ?Blessas? will take part in the naval portion of the maneuvers, codenamed "Nikiforos".

    The vessels are expected to remain in Cypriot waters until next week.

    Roughly 37 percent of the Cyprus Republics territory is occupied by Turkish troops, with UN peacekeepers patrolling a precarious cease-fire line since a Turkish invasion of the island in July 1974.

    [05] Greece-construction sector

    18/10/2000 16:06:11

    Greece's Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited draft bill on the consolidation of the country's construction sector, offering significant growth, tax and institutional incentives to companies in the sector.

    "The ministry has to and is determined to face new challenges by promoting a legal framework to streamline and protect the construction sector from monopoly trends," Laliotis said.

    He said the new bill envisaged a new rating system for contractor companies based on transparency and objective criteria and according to companies' financial conditions, its experience and viability.

    Laliotis said the ministry's proposals were not aiming to violently impose new rules in the market and said that it was open to a dialogue with companies in the sector.

    He said that a total of 11,854 companies were active in the production of public works in the country.

    The draft bill is expected to be submitted in parliament next month.

    [06] AB Vasilopoulos-new acquisition

    18/10/2000 15:53:51

    AB Vasilopoulos on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Trofo Group, Greece's sixth largest supermarket chain for an undisclosed sum, in a deal creating the country's second largest supermarket company.

    The deal will be completed following approval by the country's competition authorities (expected in the next three months).

    Trofo Group reported a turnover of 77 billion drachmas last year. It operates a network of 45 supermarkets and 12 cash & carry retail shops under the brand name "ENA".

    AB Vasilopoulos has a network of 53 retail shops and reported a turnover of 149 billion drachmas in 1999.

    [07] ASE-close

    18/10/2000 15:44:09

    Equity prices continued losing ground on Wednesday pushing the general index to its lowest levels since September 1st on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Traders said share prices were extremely vulnerable to more pressures because of lack of buying interest and a shrinking liquidity in the market.

    Analysts said they were unable to predict a short-term recovery in the market.

    Shares in the smaller capitalisation sector were particularly hit, while the publication by the government of long-delayed a draft bill on the consolidation of the domestic construction sector was largely ignored by investors.

    The general index ended 2.60 percent lower at 3,627.55 points, with turnover a low 51.81 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 2.09 percent to 2,083.64 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index ended at 444.08 points, off 3.17 percent.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 4.43 percent lower at 447.04 points.


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