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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-10-24

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] Papantoniou calls for 180-billion-drachma cut in indirect taxes
  • [02] Second day of mass Turkish violations of Greek air space, Athens FIR
  • [03] Demirel: Greece has no interest in blocking Turkey's road towards EU
  • [04] PM to present memo to EU counterparts
  • [05] Third World the focus of conference on Mediterranean cooperation, development
  • [06] Russian PM Primakov expresses satisfaction over Athens-Moscow relations
  • [07] US Congress calls for protection of Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • [08] Papoutsis comments on PASOK developments
  • [09] Legal battle over Archimedes palimpsest brewing
  • [10] Greek group hails Pinochet arrest
  • [11] Yugoslav high school student fatally shot by police in Thessaloniki
  • [12] Simitis to visit Mount Athos for meeting with Patriarch
  • [13] Greece sports unusually high ratio of dentists, dental plaque among citizens
  • [14] Reward for bank robbery/murder
  • [15] Work stoppage in protest
  • [16] Industrial production increases
  • [17] Greece's industrial production up, Eurostat reports
  • [18] Bourse ends lower
  • [19] ASE weekly review
  • [20] Eurocorp group forecasts doubling of '98 profits
  • [21] 21,000 new companies created between 1993-97 in Greece
  • [22] Bulgarian Investment Bank fifth among eastern European banks
  • [23] Commission-financed projects in energy sector
  • [24] Public subscription concluded for Lambrakis group
  • [25] Greece conditionally agrees to changes in EU fisheries sector policy
  • [26] Auction of 12-month electronic T-bills

  • [01] Papantoniou calls for 180-billion-drachma cut in indirect taxes

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    A marathon inner cabinet meeting yesterday put the final touches to the 1999 budget, which includes a package of lower indirect taxes which will cost state coffers 180 billion drachmas but aid in the fight against inflation.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said after the 5.5 hour meeting that the government would speed up procedures to present next year's budget in an effort to reassure foreign markets and Greek society that the country was heading safely towards EMU despite turmoil in international markets.

    Mr. Papantoniou confirmed that there would be no new taxes in 1999, nor a new tax draft bill.

    Final decisions on the exact cuts in indirect taxation will be taken at a Cabinet meeting to be held shortly before the budget is tabled in Parliament, in mid-November.

    The cuts proposed include a 20 percent reduction on special consumer charges on vehicles as of 1999 and a reduction in VAT on electricity bills from 18 to 15 percent. An alternative proposal is for a reduction in VAT on medicine and on water bills from 8 to 5.0 percent.

    Mr. Papantoniou said the fight to stamp out tax evasion and raise revenues would continue with the implementation of new computerised technology at the country's tax bureaus.

    The inner cabinet meeting also decided to freeze all public utility rates for next year to further aid in bringing down inflation.

    Mr. Papantoniou stressed that the inner cabinet was unanimous in confirming that the central goal of economic policy was to achieve convergence criteria by end-1999 so to allow Greece's inclusion in economic and monetary union in first half 2000.

    1999 will be a year of strong growth for the Greek economy, he said.

    Mr. Papantoniou said that an ambitious Public Investment Programme would amount to 2.3 trillion drachmas in 1999 compared to about 1.9 trillion drachmas this year, meaning an increase in public investments (also jointly funded by the European Union) in the region of 17 per cent in nominal and 15 per cent in real terms.

    He also offered assurances that next year's budget will include a considerable restriction in consumer state expenditures to control extravagance in the public sector. On the question of expenditures for each ministry, Mr. Papantoniou avoided giving any details, invoking the "standing habit", both in Greece and abroad, for relevant funds to be disclosed when the budget itself is submitted.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Second day of mass Turkish violations of Greek air space, Athens FIR

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Waves of Turkish warplanes continued to violate Greek air space yesterday in an attempt to hinder the smooth conduct of a joint Greek and Cypriot military exercise.

    A Greek military exercise, code-named "Toxotis", and a Cypriot National Guard exercise, code-named "Nikiforos", is under way in the sea region between Rhodes, Crete and Cyprus.

    According to reports, Turkish fighter jets made 96 sorties, in addition to infringing on Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and Nicosia FIR regulations.

    Turkish jets made five sorties in the central Aegean where FIR infringements developed into violations of Greek air space.

    The Turkish jets, all of which were reportedly armed, were intercepted by Greek planes. Engagements took place in at least 20 incidents.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later stressed that Greece would respond diplomatically on the issue and said that "these mass violations of Greek air space and infringements on Athens FIR regulations goes to show Turkey's unjust aggressivene ss, which undermines any effort for rapprochement between the two countries."

    Turkey, Mr. Reppas added, gives the impression that it is not willing to abide by international rules of conduct.

    On Thursday, 80 Turkish warplanes infringed on Athens FIR and Nicosia FIR regulations.

    Eurocourt recourse over financial protocol towards Turkey: In a separate development, Athens reiterated it will go as far as the European Court in case the European Commission insists on the financing of Turkey with the special procedure majority.

    "We insist on our positions and consider that there must be the necessary compromise proposals which will not annul the legal basis hitherto in force, " Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated yesterday.

    If the Commission insists on its proposal until Nov. 11, when the issue will come up for discussion in the General Affairs Council, it "will most probably cause reactions, both on the part of the European Parliament, and perhaps on the part of the Parli ament of a member-state besides Greece," he said.

    "If the legal basis of the proposal is ultimately maintained, Greece intends to seek recourse in the Court of the European Communities," he added.

    He also welcomed the decision of the plenum of the European Parliament to eliminate credits earmarked for Turkey from the reserves in the 1999 budget.

    "This shows the sensitivity of the European Parliament in institutional issues," he stressed.

    Mr. Papandreou's position was reiterated by Mr. Reppas.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Demirel: Greece has no interest in blocking Turkey's road towards EU

    ISTANBUL, 24/10/1998 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said yesterday that Greece had no interest in blocking Turkey's road to the European Union. Replying to reportersY questions in Antalya, on whether Greece was blocking TurkeyYs accession to the European Union, Mr. Demirel said that "Greece cannot be blamed for that."

    "No country is that powerful, and if something like that occurred, it would mean an enemy stanceIIn any case, Greece has nothing to gain from blocking Turkey's (accession to) the EU," Mr. Demirel said.

    He added that "most issues between Greece and Turkey stem from the past" and that "issues were created and are still pending since the last period of the Ottoman Empire and are unresolved, like the issue of the continental shelf."

    "There are various interpretations to the agreementsISo far, issues are being discussed through peaceful dialogueIWe have avoided confrontation and both sides have made efforts to that end...The issues with Greece will be resolved through peaceful means ," Mr. Demirel added.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] PM to present memo to EU counterparts

    POERTSCHACH, 24/10/1998 (ANA - S. Liarellis/D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to present a memorandum on the present and future of Europe, at the EU informal summit here this weekend, his press office said yesterday.

    The seven-point text centres on the question "After EMU What?", attempting to provide answers to developments after the adoption of the euro, according to the press office.

    The seven points are as follows: A. The need for a common vision on the future of the EU. B. The need for speeding up the political unification of the EU C. The need for fighting unemployment D. The need for the EU to come closer to citizens E. The need for promoting an effective common foreign and security policy. F. The need for strengthening the society of citizens G. The need for creating a Union which will be responsive to the demands of European societies.

    Mr. Simitis' office said further that the prime minister would insist on the pressing necessity of a social Europe, as EMU is a means and not an end in itself.

    The summit will tackle issues such as the further development of the EU, internal security and institutional matters, with other issues likely to be on the agenda are the global economic crisis and Kosovo.

    The Greek premier will take part in a separate two-hour working lunch of socialist and social democratic heads of government in the EU.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Third World the focus of conference on Mediterranean cooperation, development

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    "The developing world as a whole is unable to utilise its real potential today, with living conditions, particulary in Asia and Africa, being so dramatic that no substantial improvement is in sight without a complete overturning of the present circumstanc es," the deputy director of the European Commission, Athanasios Theodorakis, told the 3rd International Conference on Mediterranean Cooperation and Development in Alexandroupoli yesterday.

    Speakers at the conference noted that there has been an evolution in the political priorities regarding the accession of new countries in the EU.

    "The building of all the countries of the New Economic Area and more must centre on European cooperation, without exclusions, with respect for the prniciples of international law and above all, through peaceful means," was the position of EU Commission er Joao de Deus Pinheiro.

    Such countries are planning investments in telecommunications and informatics to the tune of $36.6 billion in the Balkans (including Greece and Turkey), and $22.2 billion in the CIS, said Aegean University professor Stergios Babanasis.

    The general secretary of Western Macedonia-Thrace region, Stavros Kampelis, proposed the setting up of network of economic cooperation of the regions of the area in the domain of provision of support to small and midsized enterprises, and the creation o f a permanent forum of selected businesspeople and regional representatives which will explore the prospects and potential of the new economic area, and provide solutions to problems.

    The conference will also examine isssues relating to energy resources, peace, security and cooperation before concluding on Sunday.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Russian PM Primakov expresses satisfaction over Athens-Moscow relations

    MOSCOW, 24/10/1998 (ANA - D. Konstantakopoulos)

    Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov expressed satisfaction over relations between Russia and Greece, adding that economic relations were developing well and there were identical views on many issues in the politic al field.

    Mr. Primakov was welcoming Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos for talks during which he underlined the need for a peaceful settlement to the situation in Kosovo, without the use of force, as well as the need for safeguarding permanent security in the e ntire region.

    Mr. Pangalos, who concluded his talks in Moscow yesterday, also met his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, Parliament President Gennady Selezniov and Security Council Secretary Mr. N. Bardioula.

    Replying to questions by Izvestia reporters, Mr. Pangalos denied that the choice of Athens to purchase US-built Patriot missiles and not Russian- built S-300 missiles was the result of pressure exerted on Greece by the US and left open the possibility of other types of Russian weapons being purchased.

    Asked on whether Athens supports the decision taken by Nicosia to purchase S-300 missiles, Mr. Pangalos said that Athens "sup-ports" and endorses Cyprus' option.

    Mr. Pangalos and Mr. Ivanov inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to Greek musician Dimitris Mitropoulos which was jointly organised by the Greek embassy and the conservatory. The inauguration ceremony was attended by personalities from Moscow's cultural sector.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] US Congress calls for protection of Ecumenical Patriarchate

    WASHINGTON, 24/10/1998 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The US Congress approved a bill, subsequently signed by US President Bill Clinton, calling for the recognition and protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its personnel, as well as for the need to re-open the Halki Patr iarchical School of Theology.
    Athens News Agency

    [08] Papoutsis comments on PASOK developments

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis yesterday referred to "neo-liberalism with left-wing legitimisation" in regards to ruling PASOK.

    "What must concern us most of all is the relationship between PASOK itself with the people. Because today, PASOK shows an inability to express politically and in modern terms the entire spectrum of social firces comprising the majority current which ba cked it," he said in an address to a local PASOK organisation in Athens.

    "There are no more margins leftIthe signs have been clear for sometime. Unfortunately, those of us who drew attention to them were not only ignored, but also found ourselves accused," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Legal battle over Archimedes palimpsest brewing

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Greece stressed yesterday that a 12th century AD palimpsest due to be auctioned off by Christie's in New York next week is legally the property of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

    At an urgent press conference, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said investigations by the ministry into the ownership status of the palimpsest showed that it had been in the possession of a French family for 75 years, which had acquired it from a m onastery in Istanbul.

    However, Mr. Venizelos said, the manuscript originally came from the Patriarchate of Jersalem and Patriarch Diodoros had informed the minister that there was no record of it ever having been sold. The Patriarchate has a legal right to apply f or the return of the manuscript from the present owners and the ministry has appointed a lawyer to coordinate legal action, Mr. Venizelos said.

    The lawyer, Stavros Dimas, successfully concluded the return of the Aidonia treasure, which were similarly destined for auction.

    A representative of Christie's in Greece said that if there was proof that the manuscript had not been legally acquired it would not be put up for auction.

    Meanwhile, in an AFP dispatch from New York, another Christie's representative said the auction house was determined to sell the artifact, claiming that the document was sold by monks in Constantinople in 1923 to an unnamed French family.

    On the surface, the case appears to be similar to that of the 'Aidonia treasure', the 308 artifacts stolen from the Aidonia region near Corinth by antiquity smugglers in the 1970s.

    The collection was destined for the auctioneer's hammer in 1993 when Greece filed a suit against the Michael Ward gallery in New York. The gallery subsequently donated the collection to the 'Greek Heritage Protection Association' in Washington following an out-of-court settlement with the Greek state. The palimpsest contains what is thought to be the only copy of a letter sent by ancient Greek mathematician and physicist Archimedes to astronomer Eratosthenes.

    Christie's had set opening bids for the manuscript at between 800,000 and 1.2 million dollars.

    "Its return is our duty, both moral and scientific," Mr. Venizelos told the news conference. The Jerusalem Patriarchate had been under the impression that the item had been in the Istanbul monastery's library since the 1920s. The fac t that it wasn't, Mr. Venizelos said, was "a negative factor" as to how it was acquired by the present-day owners.

    Mr. Venizelos said the Patriarchate would seek legal injunctions if those in possession of the palimpsest did not hand it over.

    He said Patriarch Diodoros has invested in him the power to take any action to retrieve the manuscript.

    An academic from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Professor Sophia Katzamani, has been sent to New York to examine the palimpsest and report on its condition.

    Asked by a reporter whether there was a service within the ministry monitoring auctions of art works abroad for such instances, Mr. Venizelos said:

    "There is no such service at the ministry."

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Greek group hails Pinochet arrest

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    The arrest of one-time Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet in Britain signals a new era for the protection of human rights, the Greek committee for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated yesterday.

    The former dictator was detained in London, where he was to undergo medical treatement, following a request of the Spanish authorities for his extradition.

    The announcement added that irrespective of the extradition procedure and a possible trial, which might follow, the prosecution of Pinochet outside his country falls totally within the spirit of the Declaration and is a fortunate coincidence that it fal ls on the anniversary of the 50-year celebrations.

    The announcement also called on the "Greek government to stress at the international fora, that international reaction to the lack of punishment of Pinochet is not just a Chilean national issue, Spain's or of the United Kingdom, but an issue of violatio n of the Universal Declaration. We also call it (the government) to undertake international initiatives to make the outcome of voilations specific."

    Spain requested the extradition of Pinochet to bring him to trial for the alleged killings of Spanish citizens during his 17-year rule in Chile.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Yugoslav high school student fatally shot by police in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    A Belgrade high school student on vacation with his classmates in Greece was shot dead yesterday in the cent re of Thessaloniki by a police officer.

    The victim, Marko Buratovic, 18, was a Belgrade Technical School student, who had arrived along with four busloads of students in Thessaloniki at midday, following a week in Corfu.

    Eyewitnesses said the teen and his companions had been standing outside a clothing store on Thessaloniki's main shopping street, Egnatia, when police arrived. Eyewitnesses said police attempted to grab the youths and that Buratovic was shot in the head while trying to free himself.

    One of the students' escorts, Petza Ranicovic, said that there had been no problems with the students in the course of their trip.

    Thessaloniki Police Chief Athanasios Dalamangidis later told a news conference the killing of the Yugoslav student was "an unfortunate incident" and that police were beginning an inquiry.

    He admitted there were irregularities in the attempt by the police officer to arrest a suspect in the theft of a wallet, allegedly one of the teen's classmates.

    The police chief said that a Greek woman had filed a complaint with the police that a "young Yugoslav" had stolen her wallet. The complaint, however, was filed at 10:30 a.m., 1.5 hours before the students arrived in the city.

    The woman later called the police from a mobile phone to report that she had spotted the suspect and his friends in the city's centre. She pointed out the boy to police who sped to the scene.

    The gun went off when the police officer attempted to apprehend the suspect, instantly killing the teen. In the wake of the killing, police arrested all of the victims companions, who reportedly tried to flee. Meanwhile, an 18- year-old stud ent identified by the woman who reported her wallet missing was not found to be in possession of the wallet and neither were his companions, who are being held for questioning.

    The police chief linked the killing of the youth with the "upheaval and poor climate in police ranks", following a bank robbery on Thursday that left a 20-year-old college student dead.

    He said the officer involved in Friday's incident would be arraign-ed before a public prosecutor on Saturday.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later expressed the government's condolences over the incident and said a judicial inquiry would be held into the exact circumstances of the killing.

    Public Order Minister George Romeos ordered an inquiry and the immediate suspension of the motorcycle division officer. He was identified as 32-year- old warrant officer Kyriakos Vantoulis.

    Party reactions: Main opposition New Democracy deputy Prokopis Pavlopoulos, responsible for justice and public order issues, issued a statement in which he stressed that "the sad incident in Thessaloniki was just another in a series of such incidents which proved that the government lacked a policy to fight crime and protect society."

    He added that the ND will table a question in Parliament next week over the incident, while it will again raise party leader Costas Karamanlis' proposal for the fight against crime and the re-organisation of the Greek police (EL.AS) for discussion in Pa rliament.

    The Communist Party of Greece also issued an announcement condemning the Thessaloniki incident. "The cold-blooded murder of the Yugoslav student in Thessaloniki by a policeman reveals once more the conditions prevailing within the police force", read the announcement.

    KKE added that not only the specific officer was to blame, but also the premier and especially the public order ministry which were responsible for the situation prevailing within the police force.

    Commenting on the incident, the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), spoke of a serious problem of credibility on the part of the public order ministry.

    "It is impossible for police officers' pistols to discharge always when they are facing foreigners, immigrants, gypsies and other groups regarded as different," the announcement stated.

    Synaspismos also demanded the exemplary punishment of those responsible, and strict measures to eradicate racism within police ranks.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Simitis to visit Mount Athos for meeting with Patriarch

    ISTANBUL, 24/10/1998 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos yesterday began a two-day visit to the autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos.

    The Patriarch, accompanied by a number of senior clergymen, will arrive by yacht to take part in celebrations marking the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Xenophon Monastery.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to Mount Athos on Monday to meet with Vartholomeos.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Greece sports unusually high ratio of dentists, dental plaque among citizens

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    There may be a reason why Greece has one of the highest ratios of dentists per residents in the world P it also has one of the highest incidences of dental plaque, particularly among children.

    Experts in Thessaloniki for the start of the 18th national orthodontic conference in the city said yesterday there was one dentist for every 447 Greeks, compared to a world average of one to 2000. "The lack of preventive care, the absence of any state social programme as well as bad dietary habits among children (sweets and acids from soft drinks) contribute to the problem in Greece," the president of the federation of dentists, Christos Karapanos, said.

    Of Greece's 12,500 dentists and orthodontists, only 600 are employed in the national health system - 400 in rural health clinics and 200 in urban hospitals. The remaining 11,900 dentists are all in private practice.

    Research to be presented at the conference will show that of 2,500 Greek children aged 6-12, close to 80 percent were in need of dental treatment.

    Mr. Karapanos pointed to the example of Scandanavian countries, where a strong government-sponsored programme had managed to bring the incidence of plaque down to zero.Some 2,500 Greek and foreign orthodontists will be participating in the conference.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Reward for bank robbery/murder

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    The Union of Greek Banks (EET) yesterday announced a reward of 30 million drachmas for information leading to the arrest of two robbers who killed a 20-year-old college student in Thessaloniki on Thursday.

    Vassiliki Katsanou was hit by a stray bullet during the robbery of a branch of the Commercial Bank in Triandria, Thessaloniki. The two masked gunmen shot at the ceiling as they fled the bank, with one of the bullets ricocheting off the ceiling to hit Ms

    Katsanou in the heart.

    In a statement, EET expressed its condolences to the victim's family and stressed that banks would apply stricter security measures in line with a recent announcement from the public order ministry.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Work stoppage in protest

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    On the occasion of the latest violent robbery at a Commercial Bank branch near Thessaloniki, the Federation of Greek Bank Employee Unions (OTOE) decided to call a two-hour nationwide work stoppage at all banks on Tuesday to protest what they called bank o fficials' "continuing indifference."

    OTOE representatives will give a press conference on Monday to promote its initiatives concerning the handling of the situation created with the upsurge in bank robberies.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Industrial production increases

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Industrial production increased by 4.9 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the corresponding period in 1997, Greece's National Statistics Service said yesterday.

    Industrial production rose 3.3 percent in August.

    Athens News Agnecy

    [17] Greece's industrial production up, Eurostat reports

    BRUSSELS, 24/10/1998 (ANA - G. Daratos)

    Greece's industrial production was following an upward trend over the May- July 1998 period compared to the February-April 1998 period, according to data provided by the European Union's Eurostat statistical service.

    The percentage increase in industrial production in Greece over the period in question amounted to 2.3 per cent compared to the previous quarter. It is the biggest increase observed between EU member-states during the current period, Eurostat reported i n its bulletin.

    Greece shows an even greater increase in its industrial production (9.9 per cent) in July this year compared to the corresponding month last year if this increase is estimated on the basis of the volume of industrial production in relation to workdays r equired for its production (the building sector is excluded).

    Next in line is Finland with 7.9 per cent, Sweden 7.1 per cent and Belgium 6.1 per cent.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Bourse ends lower

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended yesterday's session lower on the Athens Stock Exchange in what traders called a normal correction ahead of the weekend.

    The general index ended 0.97 percent down to 2,076.81 points, to show a net gain of 1.78 percent in the week. Trading was thin with turnover at 35.2 billion drachmas. Sector indices were lower.

    Banks fell 1.03 percent, Investment eased 0.84 percent, Industrials ended 0.88 percent off, Construction plunged 2.46 percent, Miscellaneous fell 1.92 percent and Holding dropped 2.0 percent. Leasing bucked the trend to end 8.0 percent higher, hitting the daily limit up. Insurance also rose by 0.28 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 1.33 percent. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 157 to 77 with another 18 issues unchanged.

    Volume was 9,360,000 shares. Bank of Piraeus, Hellenic Telecoms, Thessaliki and Strintzis were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Boutaris, Viokarpet, Atemke, Piraeus Leasing, Alpha Leasing, ETBA Leasing, Aspis Housing and Mouzakis scored the biggest percentage gains, hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit up. Lambropoulos, Xylemporia, Viosol, Britannia, Ergas, Chalyps Cement, Remek and Sato suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 37,410 drachmas, Ergobank at 23,790, Alpha Credit Bank at 20,700, Ionian Bank at 10,340, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,390, Delta Dairy at 3,260, Intracom at 10,130, Titan Cement at 17,510, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,335 and Minoa n Lines at 5,965.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] ASE weekly review

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    The Athens bourse was cautiously optimistic during the week under review, a climate reflected in a 1.78 percent weekly gain.

    Traders said the Greek market has found a new balance around the 2,100 level, following a long period of high volatility.

    A steadier outlook in international markets has turned market focus to domestic economic fundamentals.

    The government's determination not to change its current economic policy, aimed at ensuring the country's participation in European economic and monetary union, positive Greek economic forecasts by the European Commission and favourable prospects for He llenic Telecoms' third flotation, all encouraged buying activity in stock shares.

    The general index ended the week 1.78 percent up and now stands 40.36 percent higher from the beginning of the year. However, it's still 26.50 percent off its record levels of July 21.

    The week's volume totalled 189.74 billion drachmas to a daily average of 37.9 billion, down from 39.6 billion the previous week.

    The Greek market's specific weight on Morgan Stanley's MSCI emerging markets index rose from 2.7 percent in 1997 to 6.3 percent this year, an increase exceeding most other European markets' rise.

    The Leasing sector scored the biggest weekly percentage gains at 18.91 percent, followed by Construction and Investment at 5.60 and 5.08 percent respectively. Industrials were the only sector to suffer losses, down 0.67 percent.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Eurocorp group forecasts doubling of '98 profits

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Eurocorp group of companies expects 1998 profits to more than double and turnover to rise by 80 percent compared with the previous year.

    Eurocorp was founded in 1997 and includes Eurocorp, Euroholdings and ABAX Brokerage. The group also acts as an investment consultant to Aeoliki, a portfolio investment company, since 1992.

    Eurocorp group represents French investment bank Banque Worms - a member of Europe's second largest insurance group AXA. French participation in Eurocorp is made through Matignon Investissements.

    The group's chairman, Ioannis Coufopandelis, said yesterday the parent company's equity capital exceeded 800 million drachmas.

    Eurocorp was particularly active in promoting Greek stocks abroad, entering European markets with previously subdued presence in Greece, he said.

    The group also created a private banking department to offer services to investors on domestic and foreign securities and new mutual fund products, such as Haussmann Funds managed by Banque Worms, in Greece. Eurocorp is building a nation-wide brokerage network.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] 21,000 new companies created between 1993-97 in Greece

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    More than 21,000 new companies were created in the five year period 1993-97 in Greece, according to an ICAP survey released yesterday.

    The survey shows that new set up companies totalled 21,615 in the five-year period, with initial capital totalling 807.8 billion drachmas. Only 51 companies reported initial capital exceeding one billion drachmas.

    ICAP said that creation of new businesses remained on an uptrend in the previous five years despite the fact that certain sectors in the Greek economy were hit by recession.

    New companies totalled 5,102 in 1997, against 3,760 in 1993, a rise of 35.7 percent.

    Initial capital totalled 175.1 billion drachmas in 1997, up from 141.3 billion in 1993, a rise of 23.9 percent.

    Companies in the commerce sector accounted for 38.6 percent of the total newly created businesses, followed by companies in the services sector (33.7 percent), industrials (21.0 percent) and tourism (6.8 percent).

    However, the services sector absorbed the highest capital, accounting for 34.2 percent of the total, or 276.6 billion drachmas in the five year period.

    The rise in the services sector is attributed to the creation of new businesses in the wider financial sector (banks, investment firms, brokerage houses etc) which required higher capital.

    Industrial companies account for 29.4 percent or 237.5 billion drachmas, followed by commerce (23 percent), and tourism with 13.4 percent. In a geographical distribution, the ICAP survey shows that Central Greece and Evia accounted for 63.6 percent of a ll newly created companies and for 56.3 percent of invested capital. The Attica prefecture attracted the majority of new-found companies with a 60.6 percent share, or 13,099 businesses and invested capital totalling 422.1 billion drachmas, or 52.2 percent of the total.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Bulgarian Investment Bank fifth among eastern European banks

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Bulgarian Investment Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Greece in Bulgaria, ranked fifth among eastern Europe's top 10 banks, based on their asset return, a Wall Street Journal report said.

    The Greek bank's subsidiary in Bulgaria offered a 3.10 percent return on asset, exceeding all western banks operating in the east European market.

    A Commercial Bank's statement said the result was even more significant considering that the neighbouring Balkan country suffered its worst economic crisis since World War Two.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Commission-financed projects in energy sector

    BRUSSELS, 24/10/1998 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    The European Commission has decided to jointly finance projects with 12.1 million Ecu targetting the inter-European energy network in the natural gas and electrical power sectors, totalling 24.2 million Ecu.

    The total amount of 1.13 million Ecu, or about 378 million drachmas, will be given to Greece.

    Greece will be jointly funded with 150,000 Ecu for a technical, environmental and feasibility study concerning the expansion and strengthening of 150 kv and 400 kv electric networks. The total cost of the study is estimated at 300,000 Ecu.

    Greece will also be jointly funded with 980,000 Ecu for a technical simulation study for the Greek natural gas system and basic planning for the compression plant. The total cost for the study is estimated at 1.96 million Ecu.

    Projects proposed by the European Commission must be jointly decided on by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] Public subscription concluded for Lambrakis group

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    Public subscription concluded yesterday for an increase in the Lambrakis Press Organisation's share capital, while its listing on the Athens Stock Exchange was oversubscribed by 31 times.

    The number of subscription applications amounted to 39,000 and the total value of subscriptions amounted to 540 billion drachmas.

    The amount of 17.5 billion drachmas obtained through public subscription will be used to support the group's investment and business plan over the 1998-2000 period.

    The group has 17 publications. Apart from the publishing field, it is also active in the industrial-publishing and tourism sector.

    On the question of the 1998 fiscal year, the group estimates that its turnover will amount to 49.7 billion drachmas and its pre-tax profits to 4.1 billion drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] Greece conditionally agrees to changes in EU fisheries sector policy

    LUXEMBOURG, 24/10/1998 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    Agriculture Undersecretary Vassilis Geranidis yesterday agreed in principle with the European Commission's proposals on restructuring policy in the fisheries sector.

    The Greek undersecretary participated in the fisheries ministers' council, which also discussed a draft amendment on Regulation 2847 of 1993, regarding improving the control on the Common Fisheries Policy. He agreed with a postponement until Jan. 1, 200 0, on the maintenance of a log book by trawlers in the Mediterranean.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Auction of 12-month electronic T-bills

    Athens, 24/10/1998 (ANA)

    An auction of 12-month electronic T-bills of a total amount of 200 billion drachmas will be held on Tuesday. The issue and settlement date will be Monday, Nov. 2.

    The auction will be effected in competitive offers by primary dealers, however, non-competitive offers will also be accepted for up to 20 per cent of the auctioned amount.

    Athens News Agency

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