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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't thoroughly pleased with sale of Emporiki to Credit Agricole
  • [02] DM: No requests for Greek military presence in Mideast

  • [01] Gov't thoroughly pleased with sale of Emporiki to Credit Agricole

    The sale of Emporiki Bank is the biggest strategic privatization and largest direct investment ever in the country, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis stressed on Tuesday following the successful purchase of the previously state-run financial institution by France's Credit Agricole. "It is very important that a very large banking organization showed confidence in Greece and now becomes active in the wider region through Emporiki Bank," he said in comments to reporters. The minister said the Greek state stands to earn 1.74 billion euros from the sale of its share of Emporiki shares, slightly higher than the 1.65-billion-euro goal initially set. He also said the deal more-or-less concludes the government's privatization programme for 2006, although if an inter-ministerial committee decides otherwise another sale of a state-run company may be in the works.

    Alogoskoufis added that the Greek banking system and economy will reap major benefits from Emporiki's sale, benefits that will be obvious in the coming years.

    As per Credit Agricole's share of Emporiki on Tuesday, Alogoskoufis said it could reach the 70-percent mark.

    On his part, Labour and Social Insurances Minister Savvas Tsitouridis said the board of directors of 42 out of the 47-ministry regulated pension funds and other entities holding Emporiki shares convened to decide whether or not to sell their shares to Credit Agricole, with 31 opting to sell and 11 deciding against.

    Finally, Deputy Economy Minister Petros Doukas indirectly pointed to the previous PASOK government in charging that the Public Securities Co. (DEKA) "purchased 1.7 million (Emporiki) shares at 65 euros a piece, which the previous government turned over to us at 15 euros (each). We received them (Emporiki share price) at 16 euros and sold at 25 euros."

    [02] DM: No requests for Greek military presence in Mideast

    Athens on Tuesday reiterated that no request has been made for the potential presence of a Greek military presence in the Middle East, whereas Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis again dismissing criticism by the political opposition in the country claiming inaction by the government vis-?-vis the Mideast crisis.

    "We have said it loud and clear that there should be a ceasefire, (we should) have peace and reach a solution," the minister said.

    Meimarakis added that the Greek government and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis were playing a significant role in international initiatives to defuse the crisis.


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