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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-10-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek stocks plunge 7.32 pct, dragged down by markets abroad
  • [02] Greek economists edgy about impact of global crisis
  • [03] PM's advisor sees long-term bourse slump leading to recession
  • [04] ND economist urges EMU entry to soften impact of global crisis
  • [05] Constantopoulos: More austere economic measures by gov't in the works
  • [06] Pangalos warns that any attempt to derail Cyprus' EU course will disrupt expansion
  • [07] G. Papandreou to replace Simitis at ESP meeting
  • [08] Kranidiotis stresses that Balkan region should enjoy all of the UN`s services, bodies
  • [09] Second day of conference on mass media and the Parliament
  • [10] Zyuganov demands Yeltsin`s resignation
  • [11] Karamanlis criticises gov`t over delays in major projects
  • [12] Conference on `EU after Amsterdam Treaty` concludes
  • [13] Author Zografou dies
  • [14] Gov't rejects Commission proposal for genetically altered corn brand
  • [15] Costakis art collection arrives in Thessaloniki this week
  • [16] Dutch community commemorates 'Relief of Leiden'
  • [17] Federation of Bank Employee Unions conference
  • [18] Industry, handicraft and embroidery exhibition in Kavala
  • [19] Evros, Rodopi firms participate in trade exhibition on Cyprus
  • [20] Greek investments in FYROM stand at US$50 million
  • [21] Sale of state share convertible bonds completed
  • [22] Viohalko replaces National Mortgage Bank on FTSE/ASE 20
  • [23] Meeting focuses on southeastern Europe transports
  • [24] Greek stocks plunge 7.32 pct, battered by markets abroad
  • [25] Mutual fund assets jump to Dr 8.8 trillion in September
  • [26] Spending on advertising rises 12.15 pct Jan-Sept to Dr 244.9 bln
  • [27] Greek, US tax officials to work on simplifying tax returns
  • [28] Public works ministry releases Dr 7.6 bln for infrastructure
  • [29] Advertising in the Daily Bulletin
  • [30] Athens News Agency on the Internet

  • [01] Greek stocks plunge 7.32 pct, dragged down by markets abroad

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Equities yesterday plummeted to their lowest levels since March 19 on the Athens Stock Exchange, again hit by a deepening crisis in international markets.

    The general index ended 7.32 percent lower at 1,892.62 points, plunging below the 2,000- and 1,900-point barriers in a single session. It was 12.12 percent off in one of the market's worst weeks ever, but remained 27.91 percent up from the beginning of

    1998.

    The Athens general index has lost 33 percent since its record peak on July 21 of 2,825.52 points.

    Trading was active with turnover at 50.057 billion drachmas on 10,091,000 shares traded.

    The week's turnover shrank to 184.61 billion drachmas to post a daily average of 36.9 billion, down from 38.1 billion the previous week.

    International stock markets have tumbled since the beginning of October, a month known for historic crashes on Wall Street in 1929 and 1987.

    Analysts said that foreign investors were scrambling out of emerging markets around the world to seek safe havens in US, British and German bonds.

    Emerging markets have shown losses ranging from 20 percent to 80 percent since mid-July.

    Foreign investors in Greece have dumped stock to help recoup losses incurred elsewhere in the world, analysts said.

    Traders said the current situation would raise hurdles in the government's plan to float a third stake in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at the end of October.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Greek economists edgy about impact of global crisis

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Greek economists said yesterday they were worried about the impact of a worsening global financial crisis on the domestic economy.

    They expressed fears that a long-term slump abroad could lead to a snowballing recession and jeopardise gains made in the domestic economy.

    Three of the country's leading economists interviewed by the Athens News Agency outlined their views, as follows.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] PM's advisor sees long-term bourse slump leading to recession

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Tassos Yannitsis, the prime minister's economic advisor, said that a lasting decline in stock markets, including the Athens bourse, would lower the value of many investors' assets, in turn leading to a drop in consumption and investments, and, eventually, recession.

    "The international situation is fairly serious (exacerbated by) great uncertainty in the global economy, resulting in the fact that no-one actually knows what conditions we will have to face if the crisis continues, " Mr. Yannitsis said.

    He said the G-7 group of countries were unlikely to find a solution to the problem, and the climate in markets would deteriorate through a self- perpetuating, mechanistic impetus.

    "Markets, in the final analysis, will move far less on the basis of real economic developments," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] ND economist urges EMU entry to soften impact of global crisis

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    George Alogoskoufis, head of the New Democracy party's economic affairs section, urged Greece's entry into economic and monetary union to help buffer the repercussions of the crisis abroad.

    "(For Greece), the only shield is to handle the question of (European Union) convergence in a more reliable fashion and be considered a real euro country," Mr. Alogoskoufis said. A long-term decline in the Athens Stock Exchange would bring investors ma jor losses, reduce consumption and demand, bring recession, slow GDP growth, lower state revenue and widen the public deficit, he said.

    Deputy central bank governor fears impact of long-term crisis: Panayotis Thomopoulos, a deputy governor of the Bank of Greece, said he feared that a long-term international crisis would finally hit the real economy, that is, productive enterprises.

    According to initial estimates, the rate of GDP growth would slow or remain stationary instead of rising sharply, Mr. Thomopoulos said.

    He hoped G-7 would find measures to tackle the crisis that would curb nervousness and signs of panic in international markets, often stemming from market psychology.

    Much speculative capital had left Greece, and foreign institutional investors were seeking long-term investments aimed at future profits, Mr. Thomopoulos said.

    Foreign currency outflows yesterday were minor at around 100 million dollars. "Today, the Bank of Greece's foreign currency reserves stand at nearly 18 billion dollars, a sum that allows the central bank a wide margin for action," Mr. Thomopoulos said .

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Constantopoulos: More austere economic measures by gov't in the works

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos told reporters in Pyrgos yesterday that the government is secretly readying to "launch, after the upcoming municipal elections, a new package of harsh measures that will hit the socially weaker groups". Mr. Constantopoulos cited the current international economic crisis as rendering the government's 1999 economic targets unfeasible, while Greece's accession to Economic Monetary Union (EMU), under the current timetable, is uncert ain. Commenting on the crisis, he said that "it is a slap in the face of the neo-liberal school of uncontrolled markets, while it slows down development, and is threatening with a new recessionIhitting the Greek economy, which is exposed to international tides due to excessive foreign debt".
    Athens News Agency

    [06] Pangalos warns that any attempt to derail Cyprus' EU course will disrupt expansion

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Any attempt to derail Cyprus from becoming a member of the European Union will mean a re-examination of the entire EU enlargement process, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told a meeting of the Inner Cabinet yesterday.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Pangalos blasted what he called an attempt by some EU partners to re-establish a link between the course of Turkey's relations with the EU and the island republic's EU accession course. "Such thinking is unethical, because it means the fate of the victim is dependent on the appetites of the persecutor," he said.

    Turkish troops occupy almost a third of the island republic and Ankara has warned in the past that if Cyprus becomes an EU member, then Turkey will annex the northern third it occupies.

    Turkey's own ambitions of joining the EU were dashed last year when an EU summit in Luxembourg did not include it on the list of countries that are candidates for membership.

    "This attempt is equivalent to backing out on the commitment to expansionIif some want to revise agreed-upon policies then they will have to bring everything to the table," Mr. Pangalos said.

    In later statements, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said attempts to circumvent the procedure for the disbursement of Community funds to non-EU countries collaborating with the EU was "legally and politically unsupportable".

    Kosovo: In an unrelated development, Mr. Pangalos reiterated Greece's concern that all margins for a political resolution of the Kosovo crisis must be exhausted before any military action by the West.

    Speaking to reporters after the Inner Cabinet meeting, Mr. Pangalos said that a last-minute effort at a political resolution should be made before resorting to other solutions. He added that Balkan countries that have been successful at achieving political stability, such as Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, had a duty to undertake specific obligations in the region.

    The leaders of Greece, Romania and Bulgaria will meet this weekend in Delphi to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation and the situation in the region.

    The tripartite meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will focus on promoting cooperation between countries of the region and stability in the Balkans.

    Tsohatzopoulos: On his part, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, however, noted that military intervention from NATO was "unavoidable" if there were "no positive overtures from the Yugoslav side".

    He reiterated calls for direct talks between Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and representatives of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

    "NATO's actions are focused on the achievement of a political resolution," he added.

    "This situationImassacres of unarmed civilians and the more than 200,000 refugees both in and outside Yugoslavia cannot continue," he said. He added that Greece would wait and see if NATO decided on a military strike and set out clearly its positions on the issue, which is in favour of pressuring for a political resolution.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also confirmed that Hellenic Air Force fighter jets would participate in the annual Cypriot military exercise "Nikiforos", which gets under way in mid-October, according to an ANA dispatch from Nicosia.

    Speaking to reporters upon his departure from Cyprus, where he attended celebrations marking the island's independence day, Mr. Tso-hatzopoulos said the Hellenic Air Force's participation was a practical example of the cooperation between Greece and Cyp rus.

    It confirms to the people of Cyprus that the cooperation is not empty words and that it is based on specific actions, the minister said.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also said Washington should go ahead with plans to document the weapons of the two sides, saying the project would show that 90 per cent of Turkish weapons systems in Cyprus' occupied north were US- made.

    KKE: Finally, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stressed yesterday that possible intervention by NATO in Kosovo was "yet another crime against the people of martyred Yugoslavia."

    KKE also accused the Greek government of hypocrisy and of "also giving the green light for the imperialist attack with its position", adding that "if it was opposed to interventions it would have denounced them."

    "NATO and European political representatives of imperialism, social democrats and not, cannot tolerate whatever resistance offered to their plans on the part of the Serbs and strike at all those who react to their target of dismembering new Yugoslavia a s well," the KKE announcement said.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] G. Papandreou to replace Simitis at ESP meeting

    VIENNA, 3/10/1998 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou will represent PASOK president Costas Simitis at a meeting of party leaders affiliated with the European Socialist Party (ESP), scheduled here on Monday.

    The meeting to be chaired by ESP President Rudolf Sharping, will examine "Europe's future". It takes place in preparation of an informal EU summit organised at the initiative of Austria's current EU presidency.

    Socialist leaders to participate in Monday's ESP meeting will examine employment and security policies and the "Agenda 2000" programme, also the focus of the EU Vienna summit on Dec. 11-12.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Kranidiotis stresses that Balkan region should enjoy all of the UN`s services, bodies

    NEW YORK, 3/10/1998 (ANA - M. Georgiadou) P Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said here Thursday night that as a Balkan nation in a geographically strategic position in Europe's southeastern corner, Greece believes strongly that the region's delicate regio ns should be given the chance for an active presence and participation in all the United Nations services and bodies, including the Security Council.

    Speaking during a briefing of Greek reporters regarding his contacts within the UN over the promotion of Greece's application for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 1999-2000, Mr. Kranidiotis expressed his reserved optimism for Athens' bid to win the seat.

    "Greece has always been sticking to UN principles and objectives and has always met its obligations emanating from the UN charter, especially on protection and consolidation of international peace and security", Mr. Kranidiotis said.

    He further added that within this spirit, Greece was convinced that as a non-permanent Security Council member it will play a more vital role internationally, to better serve the aims of peace and sucurity.

    "Despite its limited resources, Greece is proud to be active in many peace initiatives," he said.

    Mr. Kranidiotis reiterated that Greece had only once been selected to a rotating seat on the UN Security Council (1952-1953), while Netherlands has already served four times in the Security Council.

    Diplomatic sources said Athens has many possibilities for selection next week by the UN General Assembly P the first balloting will take place on Oct. 8 P due to intense diplomatic activity and the close ties that Greece has developed with numerous UN m ember-states.

    At present time, Greece appears to be supported by many African, central Asian and eastern European countries, as well as by the People's Republic of China and Russia, among the five permanent Security Council members.

    UN sources claim a "gentlemen's agreement" exists between Greek and Turkish officials not to object to each otherYs candidacy P Greece in 2000 and Turkey in 2001.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Second day of conference on mass media and the Parliament

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Parliament is boring and slow, and ultimately "anti-television", a Greek news anchor told a conference in Athens yesterday on the changing relations between parliaments and mass media.

    "The parliamentary process is antithetical to television, without rhythm or livelinessIit doesn't provide television with new faces, and it doesn't respond to current affairs with enough speed," Nikos Hatzinikolaou told the conference, held at Zappeion Hall.

    But parliamentarians returned the volleys, with ruling party deputy Nassos Alevras saying the media was governed by market criteria and not to informing the public.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP for Lesvos Stratis Korakas also criticised the motives of the Greek mass media, saying that in his 14 years as a deputy he had been shown on television just once, for "a slap that never occurred."

    The speakers of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Luciano Violante, and Belgian Senate, Frank Swaelen, are among the participants in the Greek Parliament's two-day conference on the relationship between the mass media and Parliament.

    Mr. Swaelen told the conference that it was time for parliaments to consider the media their allies in disseminating a variety of information to citizens through technology. Mr. Violante said that professional journalists should be entrusted with th e job of disseminating the proceedings of parliament to the wider public.

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, meanwhile, condemned the emphasis by the media on "scandal-mongering and populism" and noted that the Greek Parliament's proceedings would soon be available on the Internet for wider consumption.

    Also in the works, he said, was the Parliament's own television programme, to be screened on subscriber TV.

    The conference is being held in cooperation with the communications and mass media department of the University of Athens.

    Mr. Kaklamanis also condemned what he called the "increase in demagoguery and scandal-mon-gering in the mass media,"asking deputies not to "adjust their political language to (suit the needs of ) televised exposure."

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Zyuganov demands Yeltsin`s resignation

    STRASBOURG, 3/10/1998 ( ANA - M. Psylos)

    Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov is demanding the resignation of president Boris Yeltsin, saying that "for some time now, Yeltsin has not been governing, but only claiming that he is governing".

    In an exclusive interview with the ANA in Strasbourg, where Mr. Zyuganov took part in the recent Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the communist leader said prime minister Yevgeni Primakov's new government would contribute to leading Russia out of its crisis.

    However, he added that Mr. Primakov needed to take urgent measures to boost the standard of living of the Russians in view of the winter ahead, which was anticipated to be a very harsh one.

    Mr. Zyuganov was cast into the political limelight in Moscow after the latest political crisis, as he was instrumental in Yeltsin's appointment of Mr. Primakov as prime minister. The Russian Communist Party, which Mr. Zyuganov heads, and its allies have the majority in the Russian Duma (lower parliament).

    He said that the present Russian government was neither a left-wing nor a right-wing government.

    "It is a Primakov government. This government will contribute to the country's exodus from last month's crisis. It will have to tackle the paralysis of the monetary/credit system which is due to the development of an austerely monetaristic mentality, a policy which sparked the latest crisis".

    The new government, he said, would have to renegotiate the country's external debt with the creditor countries "in order to be able to prepare for the coming winter, when many regions of the country will be without energy raw materials, and will face ma jor shortages in fuel and supplies, and even in bread, due to the weather conditions".

    It was also time for the government to raise the minimum standard of living of the population, given that "in Russia, there are about 50 million citizens who live on salaries two times smaller than the legislated minimum", Mr. Zyuganov said.

    Questioned on the "Yeltsin influence" on the new government, Mr. Zyuganov said that for some time now Russia has had a president "who does not preside, but is simply an obstinate man who claims he is governing the country".

    "But due to the condition of his health, Mr. Yeltsin is unable to stabilise the situation, or to make a decision".

    For quite some time, the Russian government "has been directly dependent on the whims of the president. In recent years it has been impossible for any government to carry out its work, because Yeltsin's sole preoccupation has been dissolving governments .

    Yeltsin's insistence on imposing Sergei Kiriyenko as prime minister cost the nation 500 million roubles," Zyuganov said.

    He said 238 of the 450 Duma deputies had signed a petition for Yeltsin's removal, and developments should be expected, including a "huge rally on Oct. 7 when millions of people will take to the streets and go on strike, demanding Yeltsin's resignation" .

    Asked if he would be a candidate in the next presidential elections in Russia, Zyuganov explaimed that he was Secretary of the National Patriotic Union, which encompassed "all the political movements of the Centre-Left, and we have decided to present in the elections a joint group of candidates for the presidency, the prime minister's post and the important ministries, and a joint electoral platform".

    Turning to Greek-Russian relations, Mr. Zyuganov said he had "very great respect" for the Greek people, stressing Greece's "great contribution in the areas of humanitarianism and democracy, its interest in the problems of the people", and "the common ro ots of Orthodoxy that unite our two peoples".

    He said he had not visited Greece, but hoped to do so in the future.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Karamanlis criticises gov`t over delays in major projects

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis stressed in Xanthi yesterday that "the bet for the 21st century" will be won by societies better versed in the world of "k nowledge and informatics".

    "Only through strong self-administration institutions can local societies take their own future in their hands," he said.

    Mr. Karamanlis described the new development law as a "tragic failure", adding that "major infrastructure projects are being delayed considerably all over the country, as well as in Thrace, eastern Macedonia and particularly the Egnatia motorway, which is proceeding at a snail's pace.

    Planning for it to be ready in 2004 has been overturned long ago." He also said that "we sell sunshine and sea with no programming and amateurishly for two months. We offer poor services, poor infrastructure and poor transport.

    A country which should have had tourism 12 months a year, selling cultural, educational, archaeological and literary tourism, is lagging behind unbelievably."

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Conference on `EU after Amsterdam Treaty` concludes

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    A conference entitled "The European Union after the Amsterdam Treaty" concluded yesterday after focusing on the political vision of Europe together with necessary institutional changes. Other issues discussed were Economic Monetary Union and employment after the Amsterdam Treaty, a common EU foreign policy and the issue of the European citizen.

    The conference was organised by the European Constitutional Law Centre and Eurodeputies of the PASOK party. It was also attended by experts, university professors and other specialists. The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday. European Parliament Deputy President and main opposition New Democracy party Eurodeputy George Anastasopoulos referred at length to electoral reform and to his proposals which concern the unified electoral process in Euro-elections. He said that proposed reform is ultimately linked to a great ambition: to bring voters closer to those elected and Eurodeputies closer to their constituents.

    Eurodeputy Inigo Mendez de Vigo, who also made recommendations for the European Parliament's report on the Amsterdam Treaty together with Mr. Tsatsos, said that the EU must proceed with ts political union after the euro.

    Prof. Christos Rozakis adhered to the same logic in his address but observed that the Amsterdam Treaty is showing a step in the direction of integration and is indicative of the intention of having transformation continued in the direction of European integration.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Author Zografou dies

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Well-knownGreek author Lily Zografou died yesterday in Crete at the age of 76, following a week-long hospitalisation after suffering a massive stroke.

    The Cretan-born Zografou was holidaying on the island when she suffered the stroke on Sept. 25, and was rushed to the Irakleio University Hospital. She died of an oedema resulting from the stroke.

    The woman who in the preface of her last book described herself as an "ardent anti-feminist for the simple reason that I am happy to have been born a woman" was born in 1922 in the seaside village of Milato, Lassithi, where she spent her childhood.

    She wrote numerous articles for newspapers and periodicals and was the author of biographical and historical treatises, prose, theatrical plays and novels.

    Zografou published her first work in 1949, a collection of short stories titled "Agapi" (Love), before travelling extensively in central and eastern Europe.

    The central theme of her 24 stories was the contemporary woman and her problems and struggles for independence.

    One of her most popular novels, the 1994 "I Agapi Argise Mia Mera" (Love Came a Day Late), was translated into French and has been turned into a script for a television series that will air in Greece this autumn.

    Lily Zografou was married three times and has one daugher, who was born during the Nazi occupation of Greece while she was in prison, the poetess Rena Hatzidaki.

    "If I could be 20 again, I would set out from the mountaintops as a guerrilla, a pirate, to open up the eyes of those who unprotestingly accept their fate and of those who willingly turn a blind eye," she once wrote.

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos expressed his sadness at the passing away "of a woman who always expressed, with her writing and attitude, her radical dynamism".

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Gov't rejects Commission proposal for genetically altered corn brand

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday rejected a European Commission proposal for consent to market the genetically altered "pioneer" corn brand, due to reservations regarding possible adverse consequences. In early September, the government had banned the import and sale of the "Agrevo" brand and the genetically altered 'rutabaga' (Swedish turnip) seeds.
    Athens News Agency

    [15] Costakis art collection arrives in Thessaloniki this week

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The famed "Costakis collection" of Russian avant-garde works of art will begin arriving in Thessaloniki on Tuesday, a statement from the culture ministry said yesterday.

    An official reception for the art works will be held towards the end of next week at the Lazarist Monastery and the city's new Modern Art Museum, the statement added.

    The Cologne-based works of art, collected over thirty years by Georgios Costakis, a Muscovite of Greek descent, will be initially housed at the Lazarist Monastery until the completion of the modern art museum, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said e arlier this month.

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis officially opens the grounds of the new modern art museum tonight. The ministry has subsidised the landscaping of the grounds by the French-based, Greek-born sculptor Filolaous.

    Mr. Venizelos announced an interim agreement to purchase about half of the Costakis collection in January. He said the interim agreement had been signed for the purchase of the "Western" part of the collection. A substantial part of the Costakis Collect ion is also in the possession of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow.

    Costakis built up the collection between 1930 and 1960 by exchanging works by western artists for paintings dating from the period 1910-1930 by then unknown Russian avant-garde artists.

    The collection, which now belongs to the grand-daughter of the famous collector, Aliki Costaki, includes works by Malevic, founder of the "Supremacist" school, Tatlin, the founder of "Constructivism", Popova, Rozanova and Mathiushin.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Dutch community commemorates 'Relief of Leiden'

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The Dutch community in Greece yesterday celebrated the 424th anniversary of the relief of Leiden from Spanish forces P Oct. 3, 1574 P according to a press release from the Royal Netherlands embassy in Athens.

    The citizens of Leiden, after several months of an atrocious siege launched in 1574 by the Spanish forces of King Philip II, were liberated with the help of the "Geuzen" (sea-beggars), the Dutch liberation movement.

    Until this day this historic event is celebrated annually in Leiden, as well as in Dutch communities throughout the world.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Federation of Bank Employee Unions conference

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA) Problems related to development and reshaping the Greek banking system, as well as safeguarding of employment and the employment rights constitute the main issues to be examined during a two- day conference of the Federation of Bank Employee Unions (OTOE), which started yesterday.

    OTOE President Dimitris Kouselas said the present period was particularly difficult in the midst of the credit system's global crisis and the speeding up of developments which is brought about by the rapid introduction of new technologies. He said that with current events nothing can be considered certain in the future.

    Mr. Kouselas said that the "followers of uncontrolled market theories openly dispute full employment in banks, aim at overturning labour relations, abolition of acquired rights concerning income and the deification of the bank's managing right."

    He added that the trade union movement must say a "big no" to such logic and strengthen its structures and ties with other working people and with society. Union of Greek Banks' Secretary-General Yiannis Manos said that mergers dominating the world bank ing system might allow for the salvation of the employment level through the retraining of a large section of bank employees, and by using them in different positions from those they are working in at present.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Industry, handicraft and embroidery exhibition in Kavala

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Seven hundred businesspeople from Europe and former Soviet Union countries are expected to visit the industry, handicraft and embroidery exhibition in Kavala, northern Greece, today through Thursday.

    The purpose of the foreign businesspeople is to conclude deals for products, commodities and constructions from the Kavala prefecture and the wider region of eastern Macedonia. The president of the Kavala Chamber of Commerce Apostolos Mardyris said that "the exhibition creates preconditions for the business world and promotes the interests of businesses." A total of 75 businesses had declared participation until Thursday.

    The event will be attended by main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis. Throughout the entire duration of the exhibition, businesspeople from Kavala will be making offers to both local and foreign visitors. In another development, a study was prepared and the amount of 500 million drachmas was earmarked for the creation of a modern exhibition centre in Kavala at a location selected in Nea Karvali.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Evros, Rodopi firms participate in trade exhibition on Cyprus

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Trade agreements exceeding US$1.5 million and business contacts to develop economic ties with Cyprus were the result of the participation of firms from Evros and Rodopi prefectures in an exhibition entitled "Greek Presence '98". The exhibition was carrie d out by the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) in Nicosia last month. A business delegation from Thrace, as well as organised meetings with representatives of economic agencies from Cyprus and Middle East countries were handled by the industrial change bureaus of Rodopi and Evros.
    Athens News Agency

    [20] Greek investments in FYROM stand at US$50 million

    SKOPJE, 3/10/1998 (ANA - M. Vihou)

    Greek investments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) now amount to US$50 million, although lagging in comparison to Greek investments in other Balkan states, the head of Athens' liaison bureau in Skopje was quot ed as saying. Alexandros Mallias said in an interview with the Skopje newspaper "Nova Makedonja" that investments are occurring on the basis of equal cooperation. Replying to a question on whether Greece is eyeing political targets through investments, h e said that "it is degrading for your politicians if they think like way."

    Referring to the issue of the land-locked state's name, Mr. Mallias said that parallel to talks in New York there are bilateral contacts in all sectors, which create a suitable atmosphere for a solution to the problem. He also referred to regular contac ts existing between the foreign ministries of the two countries where bilateral issues are examined, as well as the situation in the region Pprimarily developments in Kosovo.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Sale of state share convertible bonds completed

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    According to anannouncement by the finance ministry, the sale of state share convertible bonds in drachmas to institutional investors and the investing public in general, amounting to 170 billion drachmas, was completed yesterday, despite extremely adver se conditions prevailing in international markets. Their sale price was set at 76.37 drachmas for each bond having a face value of 100 drachmas, which corresponds to an annual tax-free yield of 9.40 per cent.

    The National Bank, Eurobank and Paribas had undertaken the task of coordinating the issue. The issue of state share convertible bonds amounting to 500 million euro, having a five-year duration and a stable 3 per cent interest rate, was similarly complet ed successfully on Sept. 29.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Viohalko replaces National Mortgage Bank on FTSE/ASE 20

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The share price of the Viohalko company replaced as of yesterday the National Mortgage Bank's share price on the indicator FTSE/ASE 20. The change came about due to the merger between the Mortgage Bank and the National Bank of Greece, and the termination of its negotiating at the Athens Stock Exchange as of Oct. 2.

    Viohalko's share was the first in line based on the analysis of criteria contained in the FTSE/ASE 20 indicator on Oct. 1, and will participate in the indicator's composition with a current number of 28,675,120 shares and a 100 per cent free float. Addi tionally, the Hellenic Petroleum S.A. company takes the Mortgage Bank's place in the bourse's general indicator, which also joins the industrial indicator.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Meeting focuses on southeastern Europe transports

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    A memorandum of understanding to improve transports in southeastern Europe, whose adoption will signal a new era in economic and political ties in the region, was the subject of a meeting on Crete last night. Participants included representatives from 11 southeastern European countries, the EU, the US and the UN.

    The memorandum, pushed ahead by Greece's transport ministry within the context of the SECI initiative, will lead to the signing of a multipartite agreementm proposed by Tranport Minister Tassos Mantelis.

    Principles included are deregulation of international road transports and abolition of special tariffs, among others.

    Countries participating in the SECI initiative are Albania, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, FYROM, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] Greek stocks plunge 7.32 pct, battered by markets abroad

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Sector indices during yesterday's trading reached or neared the eight percent lower volatility limit set for individual stocks.

    The heavily weighted banking sector fell 7.83 percent to show a net loss of 13.52 pct in the week. Insurance ended 4.77 percent off, Investment dropped 6.70 percent, Leasing plunged 8.0 percent to a post a 16.89 pct loss on the week, Industrials ended

    7.07 percent down, Construction fell 7.61 percent, Miscellaneous ended 7.27 percent off and Holding dropped 5.06 percent. The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 4.70 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 20 blue chip index ended 7.59 percent off at 1 ,138.36 points, down 12.32 pct in the week.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 235 to 12 with another 7 issues unchanged. Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, Hellenic Petroleum, Mytilineos and Alpha Credit Bank were the most heavily traded stocks. Marfin Invest, Dimitriadis, Sea Farm Ion ian, Sanyo, Naoussa Spinning Mills, Papahellinas, Ippotur, Nafpaktos Spinning Mills and Gnomon scored the biggest percentage gains.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 34,040 drachmas, Ergobank at 20,654, Alpha Credit Bank at 18,750, Ionian Bank at 9,035, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,240, Delta Dairy at 2,940, Intracom at 9,311, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,250 and Titan Cement at 15,190 drachmas .

    Athens News Agency

    [25] Mutual fund assets jump to Dr 8.8 trillion in September

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The assets of Greece's 181 mutual funds totalled 8.8 trillion drachmas on September 30, an increase of 22.64 percent against January 1, the Union of Institutional Investors said in a statement yesterday.

    The market share of mutual funds by category on September 30 was as follows: * Money market funds, 67.42 percent * Fixed-income funds, 19.79 percent * Combined funds, 8.72 percent * Equity funds at 4.07 percent There are 30 mutual fund management f irms currently operating in Greece. The largest managers on the basis of mutual fund assets managed on September 30 were Alpha, Diethniki, Ermis, Ergobank and Alico-Eurobank.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Spending on advertising rises 12.15 pct Jan-Sept to Dr 244.9 bln

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Spending on advertising nationwide rose 12.15 percent in January-September to 244.9 billion drachmas compared with the same period of last year, Media Services said in a report released yesterday.

    The report showed that television accounted for the lion's share of spending, totalling 111 billion drachmas, or 45.40 percent of the market, and showing an 8.54 percent increase from the same period in 1997. Ranking second was spending on advertisemen ts in magazines, totalling 75 billion drachmas, or 30.77 percent of the market, and showing a 22.39 percent rise against the previous year.

    Newspapers and radio stations followed with spending totalling 45.5 billion drachmas and 12.9 billion drachmas respectively, or an 18.58 percent and 5.26 percent share of the market.

    Spending on advertising in September rose 18.44 percent to 26.4 billion drachmas, up from 22.3 billion drachmas in the same month last year.

    The products that drew the biggest spending on advertising were Prometoha, the state's equity convertible privatisation bonds, Propo football pools, Akto colleges, Bodyline health and beauty centres, and Akmi colleges.

    Athens News Agency

    [27] Greek, US tax officials to work on simplifying tax returns

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    Domestic and US tax officials will work together in order to simplify the system for the receipt, handling and clearance of tax returns in Greece, Finance Undersecretary George Drys said yesterday.

    He was speaking after a meeting with the US tax service (IRS) chief, J. Lyons, as part of a long-standing cooperation agreement between the two sides.

    A joint committee will study how tax returns are handled and submit proposals for changes that will make the system simpler and more efficient for both the state and taxpayers.

    The two sides met to review progress and set next year's targets, which are to simplify the handling of tax returns, link the finance ministry's information technology infrastructure, establish a computerised tax administration system, improve organisat ional structure, and look at procedures to monitor vehicles.

    Mr. Drys said that the finance ministry was implementing its policy to create a modern, equitable and efficient tax system in the country.

    Athens News Agency

    [28] Public works ministry releases Dr 7.6 bln for infrastructure

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The public works ministry yesterday released 7.6 billion drachmas in funds for infrastructure projects around the country.

    Five billion drachmas of the total will go to expanding the tarmac area of Kastoria airport in the north of the country.

    Remaining funds are destined for road building, improvement and maintenance works; flood prevention projects; and port improvements.

    Athens News Agency

    [29] Advertising in the Daily Bulletin

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    The ANA will from now on welcome professional half-page or full-page advertisements in its daily English and French Bulletin.

    Advertisements will be accepted from embassies, banks, commercial and maritime companies, chambers of commerce, advertising companies, airlines, organisations, professional associations, educational and research institutions in Greece and abroad as well as international bodies.

    Also, for a small fee, the above groups may channel their Press Releases (PRs), announcements or photographs - in Greek, English or French - to the ANA's more than 100 media subscribers throughout Greece and Cyprus via the recently introduced ANA on-line

    PR's service.

    For details on and arrangements for the advertising and/or PRs on-line service, please contact the ANA Marketing Department, tel: 6400580, fax: 6400024 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

    Athens News Agency

    [30] Athens News Agency on the Internet

    Athens, 3/10/1998 (ANA)

    You can now find the Athens News Agency's news service on the Internet with a brief review of the main news items, in Greek or English, twice a day (at 11:00am and updated at 4:30pm approximately). Log in to our Internet address: http://www.ana.gr and keep abreast with the latest news from Greece.

    Athens News Agency

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