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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-23
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Michelin Connery-Painting Exhibition23/01/2001 22:25:29
A painting exhibition containing 27 paintings by Michelin Connery, wife of world-renowned Scottish actor Sean Connery, was inaugurated on Tuesday night at the "Athinaida" centre in the Athens district of Votanikos.
Connery, 70 was approached by many of the 650 guests who thronged the building, while photographers and TV crews scrambled to approach him.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by a reception and Connery and his wife will be leaving for a visit to the island of Hydra on Wednesday.
 Greece-Italy-President-Visit23/01/2001 21:56:06
ROME (ANA L. Hatzikyriakou) - The Greek and Italian common bonds and aims within the European Union and in affairs concerning the Balkans and the Middle East, were reaffirmed on Tuesday by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos and his Italian counterpart Carlo Ciampi here.
Stephanopoulos arrived on Tuesday in Rome for a four-day official visit heading a delegation that includes Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis and Deputy Economy Minister Yiannis Zafeiropoulos.
Stephanopoulos was received by his counterpart Ciampi who later in the day hosted a dinner in his honour. Earlier in the day, the Greek president participated in an economic forum organised by the Union of Italian Industrialists with the participation of Greek and Italian businessmen.
During the dinner, Ciampi underlined the bonds of friendship between the two countries and pointed out the common ground and aims of the two Mediterranean European Union member-states, regarding the Balkans and the Middle East.
?The secure emplacement of the Balkans in Europe is a historical responsibility, which should mobilize our forces,? Ciampi said, adding that ?a full exploitation of our abilities of coordination will be made, both in bilateral cooperation and in regional frameworks, such as the Adriatic Initiative in which Italy and Greece participate?.
?In the Balkans, we have for some time now jointly undertaken an effort to stabilize the tortured region, both on a European and an Atlantic level,? Ciampi said.
In his response, Stephanopoulos also noted the Mediterranean ?character? of both countries, ?which determined their historical course and still determines today a basic field of their cooperation?.
?This cooperation is a strong element for securing prosperity, political stability and peace in that region of Europe,? the Greek president said, adding that the ?participation of our countries in the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance shows the focus of both peoples on the ideals of democracy, freedom and the rule of law?.
For the European Union to play the international role that befits its history and culture, it should decide on its future form, Stephanopoulos said, adding ?we should decide on the contents of the integration, which will facilitate the enlargement and will make it effective?.
?Europe, however, will not integrate, if we do not succeed in our efforts for more social justice, confrontation of unemployment and economic stability. It is also important that we soon achieve a common foreign, security and defense policy, which will of course be based on the rule of international law,? Stephanopoulos said.
?Such principles offer the framework of legality for the relations between countries and contribute to the resolution of tensions, international crisis and problems, such as the Cyprus problem, which I might remind you, is a problem of military invasion and occupation of a section of a sovereign country,? he said.
 Thessaloniki-Prodi-EU23/01/2001 21:12:23
European Commission President Romano Prodi will attend events the Greek government will be organising in Thessaloniki on the 20th anniversary of the country's accession to the European Union.
The events are scheduled for March 31.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis and European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine, as well as other dignitaries, will also attend the commemorative events.
Three forums are expected to be organised. "Greece in Europe-20 years of future prospects", "Economic and regional development in Greece and Europe" and "Enlargement and future organisation in Europe."
The government has chosen Thessaloniki for the events to promote its European character and role, Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Paschalidis told a press conference on Tuesday.
 Cultural Olympiad - Main theme23/01/2001 18:29:40
The central theme for the highly touted ?Cultural Olympiad? -- ?The Civilisation of Civilisations? -- was announced here on Tuesday by Greeces culture minister in the presence of the Greek 2004 Olympics organisers (ATHOC).
The holding of the ?Cultural Olympics? during the lead-up to the 2004 Games was one of the ?draw cards? in Athens candidacy file when the IOC awarded the Games to the Greek capital. The governments relevant culture ministry has established a societe anonyme to organise events, budgeting an estimated 40 billion drachmas in the process. (One euro equals 340.75 drachmas)
 ANEK Lines-strategic investment23/01/2001 16:57:09
ANEK Lines announced a strategic investment in Southern Shipping Company (ANEN) with the participation in a share capital increase plan worth 900 million drachmas in the latter's equity capital.
ANEN issued 900,000 new common nominal shares, worth 1,000 drachmas each, in a share capital increase plan to be completed in February 6.
The new capital will be used to adjust its vessel "Myrtidiotissa" to international standards SOLAS, to repay its debt and to acquire a secons smaller vessel.
The new ship will be used in the sea-line between Peloponese and Crete.
ANEN has 3,500 shareholders. Its ship "Myrtidiotissa" has carried 82,000 passenger, 2,100 trucks and 20,000 cars since its launch in April 2000.
 Kyriakides Marbles-activities23/01/2001 16:38:46
FHL H.Kyriakides Marbles on Tuesday announced its was withdrawing its equity participation in DF Securities following a decision to focus its activities in the marble production sector after the acquisition of Mermeren Kombinat, the world's largest white marble processing company.
A company letter to the Athens Stock Exchange said the board's aim was to promote sales and maximise synergies resulting from mining production, and the listing of FHL Marbles ABEE on the Athens bourse.
 Greece-door frame market-report23/01/2001 16:31:06
Greece's external door frame market grew an average 4.0 percent annually in the period 1995-2000, with aluminium frames accounting for 73 percent of the market last year, wooden frames covering 19 percent and synthetic frames only 8.0 percent in 2000, an ICAP sector survey said on Tuesday.
The Greek aluminium frames market includes 10,000 businesses, mostly medium- and small-sized, with only four firms with a strong presence in the market, each reporting an annual turnover exceeding one billion drachmas in 1999.
The market uses mainly domestically manufactured products. The survey reports a significant development in the domestic aluminium frames production since 1996 in the country.
The wooden frames market includes 2,000-3,000 small-sized enterprises, accounting for 80-90 percent of the Greek market.
 Plaisio Computers-e-commerce23/01/2001 16:18:14
Plaisio Computers on Tuesday announced that its electronic sales exceeded 400 million drachmas (1.174 million euros) from the launch of its e-commerce Internet site in May 1999 offering computer products.
The company said that visitors in its electronic shop exceeded one million and that registered members exceed 23,000.
 ASE-close23/01/2001 16:10:33
Equity prices continued moving lower on the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, but the general index managed to hold above the 3,050 support level, a technically critical level for the market.
Dealers said trade was extremely nervous with wide price swings that attracted increased intra-day transactions. Buying interest focused on telecommunication and construction shares, while banks remained under pressure.
The general index finally ended at 3,063.14 points, down 0.61 percent, but off the day's lows of 3,037.19 points. Turnover was 127.16 million euros, or 43.329 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.84 percent to 1,803.27 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.23 percent to 313.80 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.85 percent lower at 238.81 points.
 Marfin-new acquisition23/01/2001 15:58:52
Marfin Investment Services Company on Tuesday announced the completion of a full takeover of Hellenic Securities for 25 billion drachmas.
The deal had been announced last October and was completed following a financial and legal audit in the company.
An extraordinary general shareholders' meeting decided to rename the company to Marfin Hellenic and to appoint Costas Giouras and N.Iatrou as new chairman and chief executive in the company, respectively.
Marfin is under procedures to transform into an investment bank under the name Marfin Bank, offering a wide range of financial products and services.
Andreas Vgenopoulos, Marfin's chairman, has said the bank would focus its activities in private banking, cash management, investment banking and private equity management.
Marfin Bank will start its operation with three subsidiaries: Marfin Hellenic Securities, Marfin Life Trust Services SA and Marfin Comm Holdings SA.
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