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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-16
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Parliament-Constitution-Debate16/01/2001 21:20:53
The discussion on the revision of the constitution will begin in Parliament on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis accepted a proposal by PASOK party rapporteur Evangelos Venizelos on the compulsory absence of main shareholders of mass media businesses from state auctions. The proposal will be included among clauses to be amended.
On its part, the main opposition New Democracy party has tabled its own proposals which former Prime Minister and Honourary ND President Constantine Mitsotakis refused to sign. The party's spokesman said ND will insist on transparency issues, adding that there is no question of party discipline.
 Journalists-Conference-Mediterranean16/01/2001 20:22:44
Journalists from Mediterranean countries, attending the 3rd conference organised by the Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA) on January 12-13, called for full information on the consequences of bombings in Yugoslavia.
The main issue examined during the conference was the "Balkan Syndrome", while other topics aired were "journalistic solidarity in the time of globalisation" and "new technologies at the service of journalism and freedom of the press."
The conference, attended by 50 delegates from 30 journalistic unions and 15 countries, was completed with the ratification of the "Proclamation of Athens."
The proclamation calls for full information on the "Balkan Syndrome", condemnation of those who limit the right to free information, protection of the health of noncombatants and correspondents, the denunciation of every form of censorship and the handling of the phenomenon of the excessive concentration of media by big economic groups.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday16/01/2001 19:12:03
Wednesday's buying rates
U.S. dollar 359.137
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 527.583
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 045.272
Swedish kroner 037.854
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 303.780
Swiss franc 219.711
Norwegian kroner 041.182
Cyprus pound 579.093
Canadian dollar 239.038
Australian dollar 199.677
 Weather Forecast-Wednesday16/01/2001 18:46:59
Scattered cloud and showers are forecast throughout Greece on Wednesday, with the north and west remaining dry. Light snow is expected on high ground on the mainland. Winds north-northeasterly, strong to very strong, turning gale force in the central and southern Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -6C to 9C; in the Ionian and remaining mainland from -2C to 13C ; and elsewhere from 5C to 15C. Cloudy in Athens with temperatures between 5C and 13C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from -1C to 9C.
 Lambropoulos-Korasidies-home store16/01/2001 17:05:45
Lambropoulos SA on Tuesday announced the creation of a new department store for home furniture and appliances based on the model of "Shop in Shop" stores.
The new company, Lambropoulos Com, will be launched in spring 2002 and will be located at Klaoudatos building in central Athens. Its aim will be to gain a significant market share in the home appliances market.
The decision was announced during a general shareholders' meeting.
Lambropoulos will hold a 51 percent stake in the new company and Korasidis the remaining 49 percent. Hellenic Technodomiki will undertake the work to rennovate the building.
Lambropoulos shareholders' approved the appointment of Christos Papahellinas as new chairman of the board and Varvara Vernicos as vice-chairman taking over the company's management.
Lambropoulos expects its 2000 turnover to total 25 billion drachmas.
 Marfin-Altec-equity participation16/01/2001 16:45:07
Marfin Securities on Tuesday announced the purchase of a 4.0 percent equity stake, or 2,591,000 shares, in Altec, a Greek listed computer company.
Marfin said this move would pave the way for the two group's closer cooperation in a wider investment and business area and that it would result to a significant rise in financial results and boost Altec's share price.
 ETEBA-new chief executive16/01/2001 16:27:30
National Bank of Greece on Tuesday announced the appointment of Dimitris Goumas as chief executive at ETEBA bank, replacing Dimitris Pavlakis who resigned last October.
Mr. Goumas was head in National Bank's Investment and Capital Markets Directorate and has a big experience on investment banking.
The bank said his appointment was aimed to promote ETEBA's role in the investment banking sector.
 Bitros Holdings-new acquisition16/01/2001 16:19:50
Bitros Holdings SA on Tuesday announced the acquisition of a 75 percent equity stake in Thorax Antiseismic, signalling its dynamic expansion into the antiseismic construction sector.
The deal envisages that Thorax would fully absorb Thorakotechniki, a construction firm.
A Bitros announcement said the deal would signal a revolutionary change in construction and in antiseismic building in Greece and abroad.
 Greece-property taxes16/01/2001 16:10:47
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou on Tuesday unveiled a new draft bill envisaging tax cuts on property transfers, hereditaments and charities.
Presenting the bill, Papantoniou said it would cut a tax factor on property transfers by two percentage points while tax-free sums on transfers and hereditaments would be raised by 20 percent.
He said that the new measures would implemented almost simultaneously with a finance ministry decision to increase objective values on real estate, expected sometime next month, in order to counterbalance the tax burden on taxpayers.
Papantoniou said the ministry had not made a decision on imposing a VAT tax on real estate and that the issue would be examined during a discussion of next year's tax system reform.
 ASE-close16/01/2001 15:59:52
Equity prices continued moving lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, hit by losses in smaller capitalisation stocks.
The general index ended 1.08 percent lower at 3,133.12 points, off teh day's lows of 3,112.49 and the day's highs of 3,199.38 points.
Traders said investors remained worried over the market's short-term prospects prefering to take early profits everytime the market moved higher.
Turnover was a low 112.77 million euros, or 38.43 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.91 percent to 1,838.60 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 1.68 percent to 330.45 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 3.19 percent down at 252.78 points.
 Papoutsanis-equity purchase16/01/2001 15:19:38
Papoutsanis ABEE on Tuesday announced the acquisition of a 75 percent equity stake in Olympus Foods ABEE, a Greek food company.
In a letter to the Athens Stock Exchange, Papoutsanis said it had purchased a 57 percent stake in Olympus Foods for an undisclosed sum, raising its total share to 75 percent.
 Kostunica - visit - Stephanopoulos16/01/2001 15:06:39
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica began his first official visit to Greece on Tuesday by meeting with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, for talks that the two men described as having ?absolutely political overtones?.
In statements afterward, the two said they had discussed the course of democratic changes in Yugoslavia and ways of strengthening its bilateral relations with Greece.
On his part, the Greek president stressed the vital role that Kostunica had played in bringing about the democratic changes in his country, while saying that Greece and Yugoslavia were linked by both a common tradition and common interests.
Kostunica hailed his talks with Stephanopoulos as a ?landmark for further cooperation and friendship of two countries that have for centuries been on friendly terms.?
?In an area that is troubled and is described as the powder-keg of Europe, Greece and Yugoslavia have harmonious relations and coinciding views, and this is something very difficult,? he stressed.
 Greece-Papantoniou-ASE16/01/2001 14:50:32
"When politics enter the stock market investors are getting out," Greece's National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Tuesday, commenting over the Athens Stock Exchange's course.
Speaking to reporters, Papantoniou said he was not under pressure to decide measures to support the market, such as buying of state enterprises' shares.
He said that "comments over the stock market are damaging and create nervousness among investors".
"We should leave markets free to make their own judgements over economic developments in the country," Papantoniou said.
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