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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-26
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Italy-Stephanopoulos-Syracuse-Visit26/01/2001 21:57:41
ROME (ANA - L. Hadzikyriakos) - President Kostis Stephanopoulos, after the moving and enthusiastic welcome he received in the Greek-speaking villages of Apulia on Thursday, arrived in Catania, Sicily, on Friday night on the last stage of his tour of Italy.
He visited Syracuse, located 60 kilometres away from Catania, as an ordinary tourist on Friday morning. The city's prefect and mayor waited for him there to take him to Saint Sebastian Cathedral which has been built in the ancient temple of Athena.
The city, one of the first colonies of ancient Greece, bears strong traces of the Greek civilisation.
Stephanopoulos showed great interest and visited the city's archaeological museum in which findings of the paleolithic era and of the Greek civilisation are on display.
He also visited the ancient theatre in Syracuse, one of the most beautiful to be found in Italy.
Stephanopoulos, visibly moved by the strong presence of the ancient Greek civilisation, congratulated local officials for efforts they have made to preserve these treasures.
 FM Papandreou-Davos-Stockholm26/01/2001 20:09:37
Foreign Minister George Papandreou will leave for Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday morning and will be holding talks with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's relations with the European Union in the evening.
Yilmaz is responsible for his country's relations with the EU.
On the sidelines of the international economic forum, Papandreou will be meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa and former prime minister and current regional development minister of Israel Shimon Peres.
Papandreou will be attending a round table discussion on Balkan reconstruction on Saturday, together with the Presidents of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria and Croatia Kostunica, Trajkovsky, Stoyianov and Mesic respectively, as well as Slovenian Prime Minister Drnovsek.
He will leave for Stockholm on Sunday afternoon to attend the international forum against racism, while on Monday morning Papandreou will meet his Swedish counterpart and EU Council of Ministers' President Anna Lindt.
 Greece - Albania - Police cooperation26/01/2001 19:02:28
The public order ministers from Greece and Albania met at a border post on Friday for talks focusing squarely on the combating of organised crime, as Greek authorities over the past decade have intensified efforts to stem the flow of drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants into the country from its northwest frontier.
An upcoming meeting between the public order ministers from Albania, Greece and Italy is set to take place, meanwhile, in Tirana is expected to lay the foundations for the establishment of a regional law enforcement centre in the town of Vlore.
On Friday, Greek minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and his Albania counterpart Ilir Gioni discussed efforts at interdicting the cultivation and distribution of cannabis in Albania.
 Australia - Greek language26/01/2001 18:51:24
MELBOURNE (ANA) Despite losing ground in recent years Greek continued to be the third most popular language in Australia, according to the countrys statistical service.
Specifically, around 320,000 (1.6 percent) Australians speak Greek at home, third behind a 2.3-percent mark for Italian-speakers, according to figures.
 ECB-foreign exchange26/01/2001 17:01:31
The European Central Bank on Friday set its reference rate on the euro/dollar rate at 92.28 cents, up from 91.94 cents the previous day, pushing the US dollar/drachma rate to 369.25 drachmas.
The ECB also set the euro/yen rate at 107.69 yen (3.16 drachmas), the euro/sterling at 63.15 pence (539.58 drachmas), the euro/Swiss franc rate at 1.5278 francs (223.03 drachmas) and the euro/Cyprus pound rate at 0.5783 (589.22 drachmas).
 Elgeka-Everest-Romanian expansion26/01/2001 16:56:46
Elgeka SA and Everest, two Greek listed companies, on Friday announced the creation of a joint venture company Everest Franchising Srl to expand Everest activities in Romania.
The new company, owned to Everhold Cyprus Ltd (a subsidiary of Everest) by 51 percent and to Elgeka Cyprus (a subsidiary of Elgeka) by 49 percent, will be based in Bucarest, Romania.
Elgeka recently acquired a 55 percent equity stake in Romanian Network Marketing SRL.
 Spyrou Farm-new activities26/01/2001 16:35:09
Spyrou Farm plans to increase investment in farm research with the creation of a subsidiary company, the first ever in Greece, to make farm analysis and cargo certification.
A company statement said research was an important value added factor for its future. Spyrou Farm has already acquired two research and biotechnology firms in California, Nova Genetics and Magnum Genetics, whose products are expected to be tested in the Greek and the eastern Mediterranean area this year.
The company expects its 2000 turnover to reach 10 billion drachmas and its profits to total 3.0 billion drachmas.
Spyrou Farm also plans its transformation into a holding company.
 Pairis ABEE-shareholders' meeting26/01/2001 16:21:58
Pairis ABEE shareholders on Friday approved, for the fifth time, a share capital increase plan with a public offering and cash payment, and the transfer of its stocks from the parallel to the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange.
Under the plan, the company will issue 500,000 new stocks at a price to be set by ASE and the underwriter of the deal just before the public offering.
 ASE-close26/01/2001 16:15:46
Equity prices ended the last trading session of the week with a positive tone, leading several analysts to predictions of a recovery in the market on the precondition that daily turnover stabilised around 60-70 billion drachmas.
Share prices soared initially but fell back later in the session after a wave of early profit taking, that hit the construction sector in particular.
The general index ended 0.12 percent higher at 3,071.83 points, off the day's highs of 3,116.31 points, for a net loss of 2.58 percent in the week. Turnover was 136.37 million euros, or 46.467 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.05 percent up at 1,799.33 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.17 percent to 319.90 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.26 percent higher at 250.99 points.
 Perseus Health Care-merger deal26/01/2001 15:56:28
Perseus Health Care (former Mosholios Chemicals SA) on Friday announced a merger deal with Crete Euromedica, a newly set-up company member of Axon Holdings Group operating four diagnostics centres, a maternity clinic and a general clinic in the island of Crete.
Perseus Health Care was renamed from Mosholios Chemicals SA last July and Athenian Capital Holdings is the main shareholder.
Under the merger deal, Crete Euromedica will build one more diagnostics centre and one general clinic in Crete.
Perseus Health Care reported turnover of 1.4 billion drachmas and profits of 100 million drachmas last year.
 Creta Plastics-results26/01/2001 15:17:45
Creta Plastics on Friday reported that its turnover totalled 17 billion drachmas (49.889 million euros) last year from 13.5 billion drachmas (39.618 mln euros) in 1999, while net profits reached 2.05 billion drachmas (6.016 mln euros), up from 1.9 billion (5.575 mln) over the same period.
The company expects this year's results to improve further following completion of two new takeover deals abroad, of high strategic importance.
Creta Plastics is also in the process of obtaining a licence for the creation of a windpower park in eastern Crete.
The company has hired Deloitte & Touche to draft a new activity based costing system and to upgrade its internal monitoring system. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2001.
A company statement said that its main shareholders have not lowered their stake holdings since the company's listing on the Athens bourse, but on the contrary they have increased their holdings to around 87 percent.
 Telestet-Antenna-deal26/01/2001 15:05:30
Telestet Hellas, a Greek mobile operator, on Friday announced a cooperation deal with Antenna TV envisaging the supply of wireless information services.
Under the deal, ANT1 Internet, a subsidiary of Antenna TV, will provide information services through Telestet's OnLine WAP and wireless messages. These information will include news, sports, financial services, weather report, games and horoscope.
Telestet's chief executive Roberto Rovera noted that mobile telephony and the media would be the dominant medium of the new economy, taking over from traditional newspapers and magazines.
Rovera said the deal with Antenna TV was another proof of Telestet's commitment to forge strong alliances in the Greek market.
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