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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-12-16

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Court-Bank-Property Auction-Overdue Loan
  • [02] Athens Mayor-New Party (Recasts, adding reaction)
  • [03] Communist Party of Greece-Congress-Vote
  • [04] Athens Mayor-New Party (Recasts, adding names)
  • [05] Athens Mayor-New Party-Members
  • [06] Express Aris-Minoan Lines-Engine Trouble
  • [07] Olympic Airways-Privatisation Tender-Cyprus Airways
  • [08] Weather Forecast-Sunday
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

  • [01] Court-Bank-Property Auction-Overdue Loan

    16/12/2000 20:35:10

    A court ordered a commercial bank to halt a property auction it had called to recoup its cash from a customer's overdue loan and penalty surcharge, citing the high level of Greek interest rates against their European Union equivalents.

    In its ruling, the Piraeus Single-Member Court of First Instance said that holding the auction contravened Article 281 of the Civil Code and other provisions because the interest rates charged by this bank and others were at least 10 percentage points above EU levels.

    Penalty rates had been charged on the customer's overdue loan as part of a practice by commercial banks that is currently under government scrutiny.

    The government's review of the law comes in the wake of years of complaints from trade groups and the public that the surcharges were crippling.

    National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou recently told parliament that he had frozen property auctions by banks against their creditors until March 31, 2001.

    The minister acknowledged the social problem the auctions had caused, which, in turn, stemmed from the unpopular law on the payment of surplus interest on overdue loans, bankrupting businesses and private individuals.

    He pledged to hold talks with the Union of Greek Banks on the issue and invite its leaders to meet parliament's economic affairs committee.

    Other courts have recently frozen banks' property auctions linked to the overdue loan surcharges as they contravented the freeze until March 31, an extension of an earlier suspension from February 11 to October 31, 2000.

    [02] Athens Mayor-New Party (Recasts, adding reaction)

    16/12/2000 20:03:11

    A group of Athens municipal councillors is expected to join a new political party that the city's mayor, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has said he will found, local government sources said.

    Avramopoulos on Saturday called a meeting of councillors whose political beliefs he endorses, and all officials present renewed their backing for the mayor, also indicating they were likely to join his new party, the sources said.

    The meeting was ostensibly called to discuss the Athens municipal budget for 2001, which Avramopoulos forecast would show a surplus.

    Among councillors expected to defect to the mayor's party is Evangelia Velentza, a member of the main opposition New Democracy party's central committee, the same sources said.

    Avramopoulos was a member of New Democracy until the mid-1990s when he became an independent.

    Senior party officials chosen, sources say

    Sources close to Avramopoulos said later that the mayor had chosen Kostas Triantafyllou to head the political bureau of his new party, whose headquarters are likely to open next week.

    The same sources said that others expected to hold senior positions in the party were as follows: Vassilis Talamangas (journalist); Yannis Golias (National Technical University professor); Thanos Vlastos (National Technical University professor); Yannis Delakis (a former deputy president of the State Auditing Council); Vassilis Rizas (a former finance ministry director); and Yorgos Ladikos (a former foreign ministry director general).

    Small party lashes out

    Dimitris Tsovolas, leader of the small Democratic Social Movement party, blasted both the mayor's move and the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, which has welcomed statements by Avramopoulos on its role in the state.

    Tsovolas told his party's newly-elected central committee that creation of the party served unnamed "foreign interests." In addition, Avramopoulos had failed to resign as mayor, dealing a major blow to democratic institutions and local government itself.

    He accused Church leaders of pretending to oppose "globalisation and barbarity" and "the new order in Greece and the Balkans", but secretly backing them by welcoming Avramopoulos' political move.

    [03] Communist Party of Greece-Congress-Vote

    16/12/2000 19:21:36

    Delegates at a congress of the Communist Party of Greece on Saturday unanimously voted in favour of policies proposed by their leader, Aleka Papariga, and by the party's central committee.

    The vote, which also endorsed party finances, brought the first part of the congress to a close.

    On Sunday, delegates are expected to vote for a new central committee and a financial controls committee.

    [04] Athens Mayor-New Party (Recasts, adding names)

    16/12/2000 18:51:48

    A group of Athens municipal councillors is expected to join a new political party that the city's mayor, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has said he will found, local government sources said.

    Avramopoulos on Saturday called a meeting of councillors whose political beliefs he endorses, and all officials present renewed their backing for the mayor, also indicating they were likely to join his new party, the sources said.

    The meeting was ostensibly called to discuss the Athens municipal budget for 2001, which Avramopoulos forecast would show a surplus.

    Among councillors expected to defect to the mayor's party is Evangelia Velentza, a member of the main opposition New Democracy party's central committee, the same sources said.

    Avramopoulos was a member of New Democracy until the mid-1990s when he became an independent.

    Senior party officials chosen, sources say

    Sources close to Avramopoulos said later that the mayor had chosen Kostas Triantafyllou to head the political bureau of his new party, whose headquarters are likely to open next week.

    The same sources said that others expected to hold senior positions in the party were as follows: Vassilis Talamangas (journalist); Yannis Golias (National Technical University professor); Thanos Vlastos (National Technical University professor); Yannis Delakis (a former deputy president of the State Auditing Council); Vassilis Rizas (a former finance ministry director); and Yorgos Ladikos (a former foreign ministry director general).

    [05] Athens Mayor-New Party-Members

    16/12/2000 18:35:14

    A group of Athens municipal councillors is expected to join a new political party that the city's mayor, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has said he will found, local government sources said.

    Avramopoulos on Saturday called a meeting of councillors whose political beliefs he endorses, and all officials present renewed their backing for the mayor, also indicating they were likely to join the new party, the sources said.

    The meeting was ostensibly called to discuss the Athens municipal budget for 2001, which Avramopoulos forecast would show a surplus.

    Among councillors expected to defect to the mayor's party is Evangelia Velentza, a member of the main opposition New Democracy party's central committee, the same sources said.

    Avramopoulos was a member of New Democracy until the mid-1990s when he became an independent.

    [06] Express Aris-Minoan Lines-Engine Trouble

    16/12/2000 17:58:17

    A passenger and car ferry belonging to Hellas Ferries, a division of Minoan Lines, on Saturday returned to Piraeus after showing engine trouble not far from port, the merchant marine ministry said.

    Port authorities ordered the captain to keep the vessel in dock until the fault was repaired, the ministry said in a statement.

    The vessel's 47 passengers and 16 vehicles were directed to other ships plying the Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini route, the statement added.

    [07] Olympic Airways-Privatisation Tender-Cyprus Airways

    16/12/2000 17:31:29

    NICOSIA (ANA/G.Leonidas) - Cyprus Airways may bid in a privatisation tender for Greek national carrier Olympic Airways following an approach made by Credit Suisse First Boston, which is handling the sale for the government.

    Asked to comment on the Cypriot airline's possible intention to bid for the 51%-65% stake being offered in OA in line with the international tender published earlier this month, its president, Haris Loizides, did not rule out the move.

    [08] Weather Forecast-Sunday

    16/12/2000 15:58:16

    Scattered cloud is forecast throughout Greece on Sunday, turning to showers in the northern Ionian, Epirus and western Macedonia. Winds west-northwesterly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 0C to 13C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 3C to 15C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 16C. Mostly sunny in Athens with temperatures between 7C and 15C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 3C to 13C.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    16/12/2000 15:58:10

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

    Monday's rates (buying)

    Euro 338.024

    U.S. dollar 377.307

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 555.282

    Irish punt 429.202

    Belgian franc 008.379

    Luxembourg franc 008.379

    Dutch guilder 153.389

    Italian lira (100) 017.457

    Austrian schilling 024.565

    Danish kroner 045.344

    Swedish kroner 039.442

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 335.028

    Swiss franc 224.440

    Norwegian kroner 041.535

    Cyprus pound 589.248

    Canadian dollar 247.643

    Australian dollar 205.344


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