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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-11-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] EasyJet boss blasts gov't over Internet cafe tax (RECASTS)
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [03] Telecom denies rumour of fresh privatisation float
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday
  • [05] Greek stocks end off lows on Wednesday

  • [01] EasyJet boss blasts gov't over Internet cafe tax (RECASTS)

    28/11/2001 20:59:25

    The founder of EasyJet and easyInternetCafe, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, on Wednesday sharply criticised the government for slapping a tax on internet cafes that is applied in video arcades and pool halls.

    "I am surprised to see that the state is treating computers in the same way as it treats one-armed bandit slot machines," said Haji-Ioannou, whose companies are based in London.

    "It is strange that the Greek government is essentially making growth in this important activity impossible, when most countries are encouraging and subsidising the use of computers," he said.

    Haji-Ioannou added that undesirable activities such as gambling could be blocked electronically, a practice common in major internet cafes worldwide. Most use was confined to information and communication, with many customers also employing computers for work.

    Under a circular issued by the finance ministry, computers in public places for commercial use including hotels, cafes and clubs will have to carry a tax sticker. The move is effective on January 1, 2002.

    In municipalities with more than 1,000 residents each sticker will cost 900 euros with a tax of 1,200 euros per computer for clubs, societies and other groups.

    A fee of 300 euros for each computer is payable for municipalities or communities with up to 1,000 residents in areas designated as tourist or archeological sites; and on ferries plying domestic routes.

    A 90-euro fee has been ordered for municipalities and communities with less than 1,000 residents; 430 euros for cities and towns of between 1,000 and 10,000 residents; and 530 euros in cities with 10,000 to 50,000 residents.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    28/11/2001 19:33:29

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 382.779

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 542.138

    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 045.429

    Swedish kroner 035.927

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 310.280

    Swiss franc 231.739

    Norwegian kroner 042.564

    Cyprus pound 588.636

    Canadian dollar 240.914

    Australian dollar 199.420

    [03] Telecom denies rumour of fresh privatisation float

    28/11/2001 18:44:03

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), a heavily traded stock on the Athens bourse, on Wednesday denied market talk that it was planning to float a new chunk of shares.

    According to newspaper reports, the government wanted a fresh share sale in order to reduce its holding by 8.0 percent.

    OTE said in statement to investors that a decision on an 8.0 percent sale of government stock, in a lump float or in sections, would be taken by the government from the new year onwards.

    Transport and Communiations Minister Christos Verelis confirmed that no decision was due in the near future.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday

    28/11/2001 17:23:09

    Cloud, rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country on Thursday. From afternoon, snow will fall on high ground in the centre and the north. Winds variable, moderate to strong, turning very strong at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from 2C to 13C; on the rest of the mainland from 7C to 17C; and in the islands from 10C to 18C. Rain and storms in Athens, easing off in the evening. Temperatures between 10C and 17C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6C to 12C.

    [05] Greek stocks end off lows on Wednesday

    28/11/2001 16:50:36

    A wave of late buying for blue chip stocks, particularly banks, helped equity prices end off their day's lows on the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

    The general index ended 0.04 percent lower at 2,699.07 points, with turnover a moderate 57.5 billion drachmas or 168.8 million euros.

    The Telecoms sector recorded the heaviest percentage losses (-1.39 percent), while the Wholesale sector scored the biggest percentage gains (+1.04 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.27 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 0.16 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.36 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 194 to 125 with another 40 issues unchanged.

    Market sources said the Greek bourse was showing signs of stabilising around current levels, supported by a strong banks sector, but stressed that it would need a further improvement in daily turnover to push the market higher.


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