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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-10-31
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM Simitis-Cook31/10/2000 23:02:08
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday discussed with visiting British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook the situation prevailing in the Balkans, in the wake of developments in Yugoslavia and in light of the European Union summit with Balkan countries in Zagreb on November 24.
According to government sources, Simitis and Cook, who began a working visit to Athens the same day, also had a lengthy discussion on the issue of Turkey's partnership relationship with the EU, while Simitis reiterated Greece's positions on the need for the documentation of conclusions reached at the EU Helsinki summit concerning Greek-Turkish relations and the issue of Cyprus.
The sources said Cook thanked Simitis on behalf of British Prime Minister Tony Blair for efforts being made by the Greek authorities to detect and arrest the perpetrators of British military attache to Athens Stephen Saunders' murder in Athens last June.
Cook will also be holding talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou on Wednesday.
 FM Papandreou-Cem-Talks31/10/2000 21:20:35
BUDAPEST (ANA D. Konstantakopoulos) Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem met on Tuesday on the sidelines of 46th General Assembly of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) here.
The two ministers approved the conclusions of the talks between the Greek Foreign Ministry Political Affairs Director Skopelitis and his Turkish counterpart Alpogan regarding the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
The agreement, based on Greeces proposals, included a package of measures regarding the environment and good neighbourliness, while measures regarding military issues included in the Yilmaz-Papoulias agreement, will be discussed within NATO under the auspices of the alliances Secretary General Lord Robertson.
According to press reports, those talks are expected to begin in Brussels next week.
 Pollution-Lake-Sentence31/10/2000 19:57:03
The representatives of 18 industries were sentenced by a court in Thessaloniki on Tuesday for polluting the lake of Koronia in the country's north-central region of Langada.
The court imposed sentences ranging between three to 12 months, with a three year suspension, and found 13 others innocent of the charges.
The court ruled that the officials of the 18 enterprises were responsible for dumping toxic waste into the lake.
 Computer theft - patients' medical histories stolen31/10/2000 18:26:09
Three computers containing the complete medical histories of 30,000 patients and all the data of the "Medical Cooperation and Society" research programme were stolen during a break-in at the Athens Medical School in the early hours of Tuesday.
The theft occurred in the offices of Athens University assistant lecturer Antonia Trichopoulou, who told police that the hard drives on her computer contained not only the complete and private biographies of patients but also research data collected since 1991.
 Greece - Turkey - FMs - FYROM31/10/2000 17:01:16
BUDAPEST (ANA) Prospects for continued progress in Greek-Turkish relations were again on the front-burner at an international conference here on Tuesday, as both the Greek and Turkish former ministers focused on rapprochement just more than a week after Athens withdrew in protest from a Turkey-based NATO exercise.
Earlier on Tuesday, both Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Turkish FM Ismail Cem spoke at the Atlantic Treaty Associations (ATA) general assembly.
Both men are expected to meet later in the day on the sidelines of the associations general assembly.
In his address, the Greek FM warned the ATA general assembly that the breakup of Yugoslavia into smaller national entities is a ?constant source for destabilisation?.
Regarding the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), he cited what he called the ?fragile? national balance within the landlocked Balkan state to Greeces immediate north, while also emphasising that FYROMs territorial integrity is of ?vital importance to the national security and interests of Greece and the region.?
 ETEBAbank-resignation31/10/2000 16:47:34
National Bank of Greece on Tuesday announced the resignation of Dimitris Pavlakis, its subsidiary ETEBAbank's chief executive.
Apostolos Tamvakakis, a board member in ETEBA and a deputy governor in National Bank for the group's investment banking services, will, temporarily, replace Pavlakis as a chief executive of the bank.
 Greece-Christodoulakis-presentation31/10/2000 16:41:14
Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis presented Greece new image and its economic prospects during a speech at the 4th annual conference on "Greece; Your EMU Partner in Southeastern Europe", organised by Capital Link in cooperation with the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in a New York hotel on Monday.
Christodoulakis said the country's improved image was based on improving economic figures, Greece's participation in EMU, upgrading of the country's geopolitical role in the Balkans and investment opportunities linked with hosting the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
He said that Greece was aiming to become a junction in the wider energy market in cooperation with Italy and Turkey. Christodoulakis said a visibility study on a Greece-Italy energy link was under completion and that a Burgas-Alexandroupoli gas pipeline was progressing steadily.
Christodoulakis reassured that all scheduled projects would be timely ready for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and urged US investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities offered by the country.
US ambassador to Greece, Nicolas Burns, in his speech said that both the US and Greece were fighting for stability in the Balkans. He said that the Greek economy was rapidly growing, with the country's private sector steadily strengthening, and hailed the government's success in economic reforms.
Burns said that US investments in Greece accounted for one-third of total foreign investment in the country, and predicted that this rate could rise in the near future.
"Greece's participation in EMU, stability in the Balkans and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games were offering significant opportunities to American investors," he noted.
 Piraeus Bank-Marfin-deal31/10/2000 16:38:36
Piraeus Bank and Marfin Securities on Tuesday announced changes in their partnership terms due to a reassessment of their strategic goals.
A joint announcement said the two groups would not proceed to a share link, but they would seek cooperation in distribution of investment products and services.
"These changes were the result of a mutual consensus and friendly procedures that enhance the strong bonds between the two companies and their boards," the announcement said.
 Greece-bond auction31/10/2000 16:31:14
Greek bond yields fell substantially during Tuesday's regular auction of state securities by the Public Debt Management Organisation.
The average weighed yield of a five-year bond, worth 240 billion drachmas and paying an annual coupon of 5.95 percent, fell to 5.75 percent, off the previous auction's level of 5.99 percent.
Bids submitted totalled 827 billion drachmas, almost four times more than the asked sum. The average weighed price of the issue was 100.751 points.
 ASE-close31/10/2000 16:27:39
Equity prices ended higher on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday with buying interest focusing on smaller capitalisation stocks which looked attractive following their recent falls.
Traders said several smaller capitalisation stocks ended at the day's 12.0 percent upper limit, while Hellenic Telecom's shares came under pressure to end 3.12 percent lower.
The general index ended at 3,762.46 points, up 0.94 percent, with turnover an improved 89.65 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.55 percent higher at 2,206.57 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 3.53 percent to 444.82 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 2.74 percent higher at 420.12 points.
 Greece-2001 budget31/10/2000 16:01:57
A Greek government committee meeting on Tuesday finalised the last details in next year's budget ahead of an expected approval by the cabinet and its submission in parliament on Wednesday.
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said the committee finalised its proposals on an energy subsidy payment to lower incomes and pensioners.
Papantoniou said next year's budget would be the first surplus budget in the country's modern fiscal history. The budget has three targets: first, establishing economic stability with low inflation and low interest rates, second, supporting the government's social policy and third, maintaining and enhancing high growth rates.
He said the country's gross domestic product would growth by 5.0 percent and that public investment programme's spending would rise by 10 percent next year.
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