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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-11
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Promota-Electronic Commerce-Expansion Abroad11/01/2001 21:39:58
Promota Hellas is to become the first Greek e-commerce store operating globally on the internet following the expansion in January of its domestic-language site into nine languages, the company said on Thursday.
The store - or prom.gr - will have www.promglobal.com as its domain name, selling promotional goods and electronic novelty items, Promota said in a statement.
Promota Hellas has also submitted an application to the Athens Stock Exchange for listing with an initial public offer expected in February.
 OTE-Mobile Phones-Bulgaria11/01/2001 20:38:27
Sofia (ANA/B.Borisov) - Bulgaria's state telecoms committee on Thursday endorsed the award of the country's second mobile phone licence to Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) following a lengthy meeting.
In line with the law, OTE will be formally notified of the decision in three days in a move that will ratify a recent Bularian cabinet order on award of the GSM technology development and operational licence.
Two weeks after notification, OTE must hand over 135 million US dollars, the purchase price it offered in an international tender it won for the licence.
An objection by a Turkish consortium to being barred from the tender was overruled by a Bulgarian court, but industry sources told Sofia's 24 Hours newspaper that the group was planning to embark on a new court battle over the decision.
 Soccer-National Soccer Division-Result11/01/2001 20:20:39
PAS Ioannina drew 2-2 at home with Panionios Athens in a 12th round match of the Greek National Soccer Division on Thursday.
The match had been abandoned on two previous occasions.
The first match had been abandoned in the 27th minute on January 3
due to a power blackout and was continued for another 18 minutes on Wednesday but was abandoned again when thick mist covered the Ioannina stadium.
Standings, points after 13 rounds:
Olympiakos 32 points, Panathinaikos 29, AEK 24, Iraklis 23, PAOK 23, Ionikos 22, Ethnikos Asteras 20, Aris 19, Xanthi 18, Panachaiki 14, Panionios 13, Athinaikos, PAS Ioannina 10, Kalamata 9, Paniliakos 8, and OFI 7.
 Northern Industrialists-Economy11/01/2001 20:13:44
The pace of government reform in the economy is lagging, hurting the country's competitiveness, Vasilis Takas, president of the Association of Northern Greek Industrialists, said on Thursday.
The government had shown complacency since the country's entry into the euro zone on January 1, failing to take action on fiscal policy, Takas told a news conference in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.
"Due to pass by mostly unexploited if not accompanied by structural changes will be opportunities offered by foreign exchange and monetary stability, fiscal discipline due to entry in the euro zone, major Third Community Support Framework funding, and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games," Takas said.
"Privatisation must be completed immediately and markets must be fully deregulated, giving a needed impetus to growth that Greece must have to attain real convergence," he added.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday11/01/2001 19:20:15
Friday's buying rates
U.S. dollar 354.947
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 532.322
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 045.270
Swedish kroner 038.033
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 302.485
Swiss franc 220.578
Norwegian kroner 041.222
Cyprus pound 585.833
Canadian dollar 237.060
Australian dollar 198.248
 Secondary Bond Market-Close11/01/2001 19:17:26
Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Thursday finished mixed in heavy trade with players focusing on 10-year paper.
The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.30 percent from 5.29 percent a day earlier.
The yield spread over German bunds was 54 basis points, the same as the two previous sessions.
Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 880 million euros (about 299 billion drachmas) from 785 million euros (around 267 billion drachmas) the trading day before.
 Weather Forecast-Friday11/01/2001 18:07:30
Fair weather is forecast throughout the country on Friday with scattered cloud in the west and north. Early morning mist is expected. Winds westerly, light. In the north, temperatures will range from 0C to 16C; on the rest of the mainland from 2C to 19C; and in the islands from 8C to 18C. Mostly sunny in Athens with temperatures between 6C and 18C. Scattered cloud in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 2C to 16C.
 DU bombs - bird deaths in Yugoslavia11/01/2001 16:55:22
Yugoslavia's birds have been the first victims of its increasingly toxic environment, the president of the Yugoslav Ornithological Society said on Thursday in Athens, who reported a sharp rise in bird mortality due to tumours and the disappearance of fledglings for many species.
During a joint interview with her Greek counterpart Costas Vassilakis, Alexandra Tadis (phonetic spelling) underlined that birds are one of the best indicators of an environment's health because their small size and life span makes any problems immediately obvious.
She expressed concern over the effects of toxicity on the reproductive system of birds but also on human life, where she said incidents of leukaemia were increasing alarmingly without the causes being identified.
 Agricultural Bank-asset management11/01/2001 16:30:41
Agricultural Bank of Greece expands its activities in the asset management sector with the purchase of a 40 percent equity stake in Vottas International Asset Management from Bank of Piraeus for an undisclosed sum on Thursday.
The company will move to a share capital increase plan, worth 500 million drachmas, doubling its share capital, and will be renamed Agricultural Asset Management.
Agricultural Asset Management will have the responsibility for a more efficient use of the bank's capital in cooperation with foreign financial agencies and drafting specialised programmes (pension funds).
The new company has already hired specialised staff, while Mrs Despina Katri will take over as chief executive.
 Greece-trade unions-survey11/01/2001 16:23:10
The number of Greek workers participating in trade unions or trade syndicates is steadily falling, a survey by research firm VPRC showed on Thursday.
The survey showed that 65.6 percent of workers were not members to any trade union, only 8.2 percent of the workforce were members to workers' syndicates and 22.8 percent were registered to trade unions.
A total of 55 percent of non-union members believes it is necessary to have a workers' syndicate while 48.4 percent of them believe that this move would help to promoting workers' demands.
The survey also shows that foreign workers were more keen to the idea of having a workers' syndicate at work.
A total of 60.6 percent of workers think that syndicates were more reliable, a 7.4 percent prefer political parties and 27.3 percent said they lacked confidence to both syndicates and political parties.
Workers in the transport and communication sectors topped the list of "hard workers" in the country, with 48 hours a week, while workers in the education sector were at the bottom with an average 30.5 hours a week.
A total of 73 percent of Greek workers believe that a reduction of working hours to 35 hours a week would be a positive step. Only 5.5 percent of workers have a negative opinion on the issue.
Finally, 49 percent of workers opposed measures proposed by the government on labour reform, while only 25.5 percent believed that they were moving towards the right direction.
 Greece-real estate onwers11/01/2001 16:01:25
The Panhellenic Federation of Real Estate Owners (POMIDA) opposes a government decision to raise taxes and objective values on real estate.
In a letter sent to Finance Deputy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis, POMIDA said that higher taxes would have devastating effects on Greek workers.
Real estate owners urged for an immediate reduction in a real estate transfer tax to 5.0 percent from 13.0 percent, a 33.0 percent ceiling on income tax and the abolition of a real estate property tax.
 ASE-close11/01/2001 15:39:10
Equity prices rebounded spectacularily on Thursday reversing a six-day decline which pushed the market 8.65 percent lower on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Traders called the market's recovery excessive noting that fundamentals did not justified a change in investors' sentiment.
They said that state funds continued intervening to support the market and that investors might have reacted positively to a government intention to promote new measures on the Greek bourse.
The general index soared 6.98 percent to 3,311.87 points, off the day's highs of 3,329.26 points. Turnover was an improved 270.45 million euros, or 92.15 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 7.54 percent higher at 1,924.53 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 5.80 percent to 367.70 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks soared 8.19 percent to end at 293.01 points.
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