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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-05-06

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] Kranidiotis optimistic over pending political solution for Kosovo
  • [02] Greek humanitarian convoy in Kosovo bombed
  • [03] Data on environmental repercussions from NATO bombings presented to Parliament
  • [04] Athens cries foul over French group's `asparagus ploy'
  • [05] SAE protest letter to Clinton over 'announcement'
  • [06] Serbian official cites massive damages caused by NATO bombings
  • [07] Greek air force chief at NATO conference
  • [08] Greek, Albanian and FYROM leaders to address Thessaloniki forum
  • [09] Constantopoulos concludes 2-day visit to Albania
  • [10] Yugoslav ambassador receives Tsovolas
  • [11] Greece differs from EU partners on embargo issue
  • [12] Kranidiotis cites 'serious' effort at retackling Cyprus issue
  • [13] G. Papandreou in Sweden to attend Social Democrats' conference
  • [14] Protests against NATO activity in Thessaloniki continue
  • [15] Limited aeronautical exercises over Nicosia FIR
  • [16] Israeli embassy press briefing touches on elections,Osalan to NATO bombings
  • [17] Thracomakedones picked at the Olympic Village site
  • [18] Delos' marble lions to head for permanent sanctuary in Athens
  • [19] April inflation drops to 2.8 pct yr/yr
  • [20] Industrial output rises 4.9 pct yr/yr
  • [21] Stocks rise after correction
  • [22] FYROM's cabinet okays Hellenic Petroleum deal
  • [23] Shipping register loses tonnage
  • [24] Mytilineos announces deals in FYROM
  • [25] Piraeus Bank plans to expand in Balkans
  • [26] Spyrou Farming posts 60 pct sales jump
  • [27] Allianz shows 96 pct rise in premiums in Q1
  • [28] Spending on advertising rises 27.41 pct in Jan-Apr
  • [29] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [30] SAE-funded clinics in ex-Soviet states
  • [31] Veteran actor dies

  • [01] Kranidiotis optimistic over pending political solution for Kosovo

    LONDON, 06/05/1999 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday expressed a view that an effort was under way to resume negotiations for a political solution to the Kosovo problem.

    Mr. Kranidiotis was speaking to reporters after two days of meetings in London with foreign politicians and diplomats, including British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, within the framework of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said recent activities of the German presidency of the European Union and Russian diplomacy had created "some optimism" that an agreement will be reached regarding the nature and composition of the international force which must be deplo yed in Kosovo in accordance with a United Nations resolution.

    Following the deployment of such a force, Mr. Kranidiotis said, talks may recommence on the form of autonomy, "the content, that is, of the solution which must be given for Kosovo".

    This means, he added, that the (NATO) bombings must stop, the refugees must return and extreme nationalist elements neutralised.

    G8 countries meet in Bonn today, with the Kosovo issue and efforts for a political solution expected to top the agenda.

    Former FM Papoulias to meet with Milosevic : The chairman of parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, Karolos Papoulias, left yesterday for Belgrade for consultations with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic and other officials after receiving an early-morning go-ahead from Belgrade, sources said yesterday.

    The sources said the visit was decided Monday during a meeting with Mr. Papoulias called by prime minister Costas Simitis for an exchange of views on the general situation in the Balkans and on developments in the Kosovo crisis.

    Papoulias, a former foreign minister, is scheduled to meet with Mr. Milosevic, to whom he is expected to deliver a letter from the Greek PM, as well as Yugoslav foreign minister Zivadin Jovanovic and Serbian President Milan Milutinovic. He will be accom panied on the trip by foreign ministry special advisor Alexis Rondos, who is the ministry's coordinator on humanitarian aid to Kosovo and Yugoslavia, the sources said, adding that the two men will go to Belgrade via Sofia.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stressed to reporters later that Mr. Papoulias' visit to Belgrade was in his capacity as the president of the Parliament's foreign and defence affairs committee.

    "Mr. Papoulias is not travelling as an emissary of the Greek government," he said.

    Mr. Rondos had last month held successful talks with Belgrade over allowing humanitarian aid to reach Kosovo.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Greek humanitarian convoy in Kosovo bombed

    BELGRADE, 06/05/1999 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    A Greek non-governmental aid mission came under attack yesterday as it was delivering aid in Kosovo. No casualties were reported.

    The mission was apparently attacked by NATO aircraft as the four jeeps were coming out of a tunnel.

    A Greek member of the "Doctors of the World" mission delivering the aid to Pristina, contacted Greek consular officials in Belgrade as soon as the convoy arrived in Kosovo's capital and said a bomb had struck about 100 metres from the lead vehicle.

    Dr. Lakis Nikolaou confirmed that no one had been injured and that none of the vehicles had been struck in the attack, which took place outside the town of Urosevac in southeastern Kosovo.

    He also said that NATO had been given four days advance notice that the mission would be travelling to Pristina.

    The Greek branch of the group is thought to be the only western aid organisation currently active in Kosovo. Belgrade approved the NGO to proceed with relief work following mediation with a Greek foreign ministry official last month.

    Earlier in the day, Dr. Nikolaou told associates in Athens "We're being bombed," before the telephone line went dead at around 3 p.m. When the Athens central office of the NGO contacted the hospital in Pristina, they were told that Mr. Nikolaou had not been injured in the attack but was suffering from shock.

    The NGO's convoy of vehicles, which left Athens on Tuesday, was caught in bombing while it travelled on a regional road from Blace in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to Pristina.

    The convoy was made up of four jeeps carrying medical supplies and humanitarian aid. The mission was destined to staff the Pristina University Hospital.

    NATO said in Brussels there was no indication the alliance was connected to the attack.

    Press reports said last night that Greece's defence ministry had informed NATO of the humanitarian mission route four times.

    Greek FM : Foreign Minister George Papandreou expressed his sympathy with all those he said are "putting their lives in danger under difficult conditions in order to complete a major humanitarian effort".

    He also said he had spoke by phone with NATO secretary general Javier Solana and conveyed his concern over, requesting additionally all details over conditions surrounding the incident.

    On his part, Main oposition New Democracy (ND) spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos condemned the attack, saying the event caused "suprise, anger and disgust", calling the government to provide explainations for the event.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) in a press release stressed that the attack was "a conscious murderous action, which did not have a cost in human lives only due to lack".

    The Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) also condemned the incident.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Data on environmental repercussions from NATO bombings presented to Parliament

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Scientists from the Greek Atomic Energy Committee reassured Parliament's research and technology committee yesterday that the NATO bombings in Yugoslavia bore no consequences for Greece, but appeared very pessimistic over the ecological disaster in the region.

    "Radioactivity was never an issue since the war in Yugoslavia is conducted with conventional arms," Harvard Professor Dimitris Trihopoulos said, adding that "if in reality the dioxin levels had doubled, a human tragedy would have already taken place".

    The scientists reassured the Parliament committee that radioactivity was in normal levels throughout Greece, based on findings of measurements conducted by eight independent university labs. The president of Greece's chemists association, Nikos Katsaros , expressed his concern over the "frightening, non-reversable ecological disaster in Serbia" and said that even if the war ended now the ecological consequences were unknown, pointing out that "there are dioxine sources in Yugoslavia and if the war contin ues everything is subject to change".

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Athens cries foul over French group's `asparagus ploy'

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    The government yesterday denied that an embargo had been imposed on Greek asparagus, supposedly due to contamination by toxins created by the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters that a French professional organisation which produces similar products had issued an advisory warning about Greek asparagus but had withdrawn it following protests from Greece.

    Mr. Reppas said media reports about the pollution caused in Greece by the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia were "exaggerated".

    Presenting the results of measurements carried out by several scientific organisations, Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis told a news conference later that there was absolutely no problem regarding any Greek produce.

    "In Greece, and particularly in northern Greece, no dangerous, toxic, cancer-causing substances have been recorded originating from the military operations in Serbia. All readings are at normal levels and is some cases are lower than the period prior to the war," Anomeritis said.

    He said the asparagus issue had been created by a professional organisation in France with the sole aim of harming Greek exports and thus facilitating the sale of French produce since there was a bumper crop this year.

    An agriculture ministry announcement described the document released by the organisation as "unacceptable" and said the ministry had had recourse to both European and French authorities demanding explanations.

    "We understand that some people have been bothered by the high quality of Greek asparagus this year. Already our exports are 40 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year," the ministry announcement said.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] SAE protest letter to Clinton over 'announcement'

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) president Andrew Athens yesterday said he was planning to sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton over the "announcement" issued by Washington regarding conditions in Greece, information considered damaging to Greek tourism.

    "We will do what we can to reassure that it is not dangerous at all for someone to come to Greece," Mr. Athens said.

    SAE's presidium focused on this issue over the last two days in Thessaloniki, where it was also decided that initiatives should be taken up to inform Greek expatriates on the issue.

    SAE also approved a resolution condemning the bombardments in Yugoslavia as well as ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Serbian official cites massive damages caused by NATO bombings

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    The head of Serbia's economic chamber yesterday called on Greek entrepreneurs to continue their trade with Serbian counterparts and prepare for even wider cooperation after the war's end. Speaking to reporters shortly before a conference organised by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Industry over the war's impact on Greek businesses operating in Yugoslavia, Mileno Illic estimated the damage inflicted daily by NATO bombing against his country's economy at five million US dollars, for a grand total exceeding 1 50 billion dollars.

    Mr. Illic said that so far the bombings have caused damage to the offices of two Greek enterprises, while he clarified that any damage suffered by Greek businesses should be reimbursed by those who caused it.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Greek air force chief at NATO conference

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Air Force General Staff Chief Gen. Dimitrios Lytzerakos will depart for Ramstein, Germany, today to participate in the biannual conference of NATO member-states' air force commanders. According to reports, the conference was initially scheduled to take place between May 5 and 14 in the United States, but due to the Kosovo crisis and in efforts not to cancel the conference it will take place in Germany and will last for only one day.
    Athens News Agency

    [08] Greek, Albanian and FYROM leaders to address Thessaloniki forum

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    The prime ministers of Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and of Albania will be in Thessaloniki next week to address the city's 6th annual business forum.

    The forum, which begins on Monday and ends on Tuesday evening, is expected to draw more than 500 Greek and foreign business figures representing 120 foreign companies and 280 Greek.

    Taking a central role in discussions this year is the reconstruction of the Balkans when the Yugoslav conflict ends.

    The forum, organised by the Federation of Northern Greek Industries (SBBE), Bank of Piraeus and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, will attempt to outline the situation in the Balkans ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    SBBE President Vassilis Takas told a news conference yesterday that the forum hoped to provide an opportunity to overcome the lost opportunities in the region following the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and to build on the lessons learnt.

    Speakers at the forum include the leader of the main opposition New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis and the Greek ministers of development, Macedonia-Thrace, foreign affairs, national economy.

    Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko will speak at Monday noon, and FYROM Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski on Tuesday. Prime Minister Costas Simitis will close the conference with a speech on Tuesday night.

    Also attending will be the finance ministers of Albania, Cyprus, FYROM and the foreign ministers of Albania and FYROM.

    The Romanian industry and commerce minister and Bulgarian deputy minister for industry will also be present.

    Running alongside the forum will be a partenariat organised by SBBE in cooperation with the Balkan and Black Sea Business centre which will provide a forum for business interested in doing business with FYROM companies. Fifteen FYROM companies and the FYROM privatisation agency will be represented at the partenariat.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Constantopoulos concludes 2-day visit to Albania

    TIRANA, 06/05/1999 (ANA - D. Konstantakopoulos)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos wrapped up a two-day visit to Albania yesterday after holding talks with Albanian President Rexhep Mejdani, Prime Minister Panteli Majko, other political leaders and the Archbishop of Tirana Anastasios.

    Albania's political leadership reiterated its position in favour of the imposition of NATO's terms on Serbia and left the issue of Kosovo's future status quo "open" (and consequently of borders in the Balkans).

    The Albanian president pointed out to Mr. Constantopoulos that only a force with NATO as its nucleus and with the participation of other forces, can guarantee the safe return of refugees to their homes.

    On his part, Mr. Constantopoulos said his party favours an end to military operations against Yugoslavia and of acts of war in Kosovo and the return of refugees with the guarantee of an international peacekeeping force of the UN.

    He stressed the need for borders to remain unchanged in the Balkans and for wider destabilisation in the region to be avoided, destabilisation which could also be fuelled both by the refugee issue and "the uncontrolled activity of armed organisations" and of self-styled "armies."

    Mr. Constantopoulos also held a meeting with the Archbishop of Tirana Anastasios, who said that the sole possibility for the Balkan peoples to live in peace and to progress lies in the mutual acceptance, cooperation and the principles of universality a nd respect for difference.

    The Archdiocese is turning these principles into practice and is playing a leading role, despite its meagre resources, in providing humanitarian aid for the moslem refugees from Kosovo, for whom it has already gathered and provided the amount of 12 mill ion dollars.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Yugoslav ambassador receives Tsovolas

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Yugoslav ambassador to Athens Dragomir Vucicevic met with Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) party leader Dimitris Tsovolas yesterday at the former's request.

    Mr. Tsovolas was invited to visit Yugoslavia.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Greece differs from EU partners on embargo issue

    BRUSSELS, 06/05/1999 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    Greece distanced itself from its European Union partners on the issue of an embargo against Yugoslavia and on drawing up a "black list" of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's associates for subsequent denial of travel visas.

    At the Committee of Permanent Representatives, which convened here last night, Greece disagreed with the proposal for inspections of ships headed for Montenegro, from where Yugoslavia is supplied with oil. Consequently, the "15" were unable to shape a common position. The EU presidency will issue a relevant announcement on the issue which will mention that inspections will also take the legislation of each country into consideration.

    On the question of visas being denied for Mr. Milosevic's associates, decided at the Council of Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg, the Greek ambassador balked and no common position was achieved by the "15." However, this ban will apply with the expected issue of a regulation which can be adopted without unanimity being necessary.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Kranidiotis cites 'serious' effort at retackling Cyprus issue

    LONDON, 06/05/1999 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said here yesterday that a "serious" effort was currently being made by Britain, the United States and Russia to reactivate dialogue between the two communities on Cyprus.

    Speaking to reporters regarding his contacts during the past two days in London, including dinner last night with Britain's special envoy on the Cyprus issue Sir David Hannay, Mr. Kranidiotis said:

    "I believe the Cyprus issue, from this point of view, will occupy the next meeting of the G8 group of countries in June."

    Mr. Kranidiotis said he hoped the principles which the international community had decided to implement in the case of Kosovo would also apply for Cyprus, "where things are much clearer".

    "There are UN resolutions, there is a foreign invasion and occupation and the political settlement of the problem must proceed," Mr. Kranidiotis said.

    The Greek minister is attending in London events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] G. Papandreou in Sweden to attend Social Democrats' conference

    STOCKHOLM, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou will arrive here today to participate in the Social Democrats' conference on the issue of "Local administration and Euroelections."

    Mr. Papandreou will hold private talks with his Swedish counterpart Anna Lindt at noon today, while talks between delegations of the two countries will follow.

    At 6 in the evening, he will visit the Swedish Parliament where a Greek- Swedish Friendship Parliamentary Committee will be established at the initiative of the Social Democrat Deputy Nikos Papadopoulos.

    Issues to be discussed at the Social Democrats' conference on May 7-8 will focus on the role the European Union must play and the future of social democracy in unified Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Protests against NATO activity in Thessaloniki continue

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Protesters early yesterday blocked the port of Thessaloniki, preventing a NATO convoy arriving from FYROM from picking up alliance military vehicles to be included in its force in the neighbouring country.

    About 100 supporters of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) blocked a convoy of NATO tow-trucks from picking up military vehicles at the port's Gate 11 at about an hour after midnight, forcing the convoy to camp out in the Sindos region.

    Protesters also tore down the fence of another gate and attempted to enter warehouses containing NATO supplies, before being prevented by special police units.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Limited aeronautical exercises over Nicosia FIR

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    A scheduled limited air and naval exercise began yesterday in the region dividing the Flight Information Regions of Athens and Nicosia.

    The two-day exercise, codenamed "Toxotis", is being held within the framework of the Greece-Cyprus joint defence doctrine.

    Participating in the exercise are 25 aircraft of different types and two frigates.

    According to sources, Greek warships and aircraft are not expected to dock or land, respectively, in Cyprus during the exercise.

    An ANA dispatch from Nicosia, meanwhile, said four Hellenic Air Force F-16 fighter jets flew over the Paphos air base on Cyprus yesterday morning.

    The aircraft remained within Cypriot air space for about 15 minutes before returning to their base.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Israeli embassy press briefing touches on elections,Osalan to NATO bombings

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Israel's hotly contested general election essentially began yesterday as early voting polls opened for some nearly 4,000 consular officials and employees stationed overseas, with the occasion marked by the Israeli embassy in Athens with a press briefing.

    The briefing touched on issues ranging from candidates and election rhetoric to Israel's official position vis-a-vis the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, the possibility of a unilateral declaration of statehood by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and even media speculation over Tel Aviv's involvement in the Ocalan affair.

    "Our position is very clear from the Oslo agreement, that both sides should not make unilateral acts...I believe this is the message Arafat received from the US and the European Union," Israeli charge d'affaires Jacob Dayan said.

    "It is not a secret that he (Arafat) plays with the issue of statehood as a card for negotiations," Mr. Dayan added.

    The two frontrunners in the Israeli election are, of course, incumbent Likud Party prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former military commander Ehud Barak, Labor's leader, in the late May election.

    In terms of the ongoing war in Yugoslavia, the Israeli diplomat repeated the Mideast country's official position of wanting the US and NATO to bring the "war to a conclusion as soon as possible," clarifying that this doesn't mean opposition to the bombi ngs per se. He also declined to draw a parallel with the Kosovars' plight to the Jewish Holocaust of World War II.

    "My personal opinion is that the Holocaust was a unique thing. I think what is going on (in Kosovo) is ethnic cleansing," he said, adding that the difference between the Israeli-Palestinian question and the Kosovo crisis is that the "peace process is ir reversible."

    Additionally, Mr. Dayan used a passage from Shakespeare's "Othello" to attempt to deflect widespread speculation among Greek media over Israel's role in the Ocalan affair, and following questions on an issue that has raised official eyebrows in Athens, namely, the nature of Turkish-Israeli defence and intelligence cooperation and its effect on third countries.

    "Israel was not involved in any way in the Ocalan case. This was clarified by the prime minister and the Mossad head, which is an unusual step. We can only repeatedly deny and say: Israel was not involved. What I see is that the Greek press didn't buy it," Mr. Dayan said.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Thracomakedones picked at the Olympic Village site

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday finalised the construction site of the Olympic Village for the 2004 Athens Games, chosing the Thracomakedones in northwestern Athens.

    The inter-ministerial committee and the Athens 2004 organising committee had previously examined the possibility of using the Hellenikon air base in southern Athens as the site for the Olympic Village.

    The facilities are expected to accommodate 11,000 athletes as well as some 5,000 trainers and escorts.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Delos' marble lions to head for permanent sanctuary in Athens

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    The five remaining ancient marble lions on Delos will be moved to an Athens museum to save them from further damage, the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) decided yesterday.

    The lions, thought to date back to the 6th and 7th centuries BC and discovered a century ago, will be housed at the National Archaeological Museum.

    Strong Cycladic winds and corrosive sea air have damaged the lions. Only five are in reasonable condition today, while only half of another two can be saved and a further three are in fragments.

    The sculptures were originally scheduled to be moved in February but adverse weather conditions and concerns about how the transfer would be carried out delayed the operation.

    Archaeologists have expressed concern about the degenerating condition of the marble lions for some time. They first requested their removal to the museum in 1992.

    One member of the council voted against the move, saying that the lions had to be saved but not to the cost of the aesthetic unity of the site.

    Replicas of the statues will be placed along the road the lions guard on the sacred island of Delos. The "Lions Way" is a popular drawcard for the thousands of tourist who visit the small islet off Mykonos annually.

    Delos, which has been described as "a floating archaeological site", is visited by thousands of tourists every year. It is inhabited by only a handful of museum guards and the staff of a small hostel for archaeologists.

    According to mythology, Delos was raised from the seabed by Poseidon, god of the seas. Archaeological findings show that it was inhabited as far back as the early Bronze Age (around 2000 BC). By the second and first centuries BC, the island had become one of the chief trading and religious centres of the eastern Mediterranean.

    Apart from the impressive row of lions, its numerous archaeological sites have yielded a large number of ancient temples, villas and magnificent sculptures.

    The Olympiakos Piraeus football club yesterday won the Greek Soccer Cup, beating Panathinaikos Athens 2-0. Olympiakos is also on top in the championship standings.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] April inflation drops to 2.8 pct yr/yr

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Consumer price inflation in April fell to 2.8 percent year on year, dropping below 3.0 percent for the first time in 28 years, the National Statistics Service said yesterday.

    The consumer price index rose 1.0 percent month on month from March, reflecting higher prices in oil and products sold at hotels, including soft drinks and coffee.

    NSS director Nikos Karavitis said he expected inflation to drop further in the next few months.

    Year-on-year inflation stood at 5.3 percent in April last year and 5.9 percent in the same month of 1997.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Industrial output rises 4.9 pct yr/yr

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Composite industrial production, including mining and energy, increased by 4.9 percent in February compared with the same month last year, reflecting a 56.4 percent rise in electricity and natural gas production.

    Other sector indices declined in February with the mining production index falling 22.3 percent and the industrial production index dropping 1.3 percent.

    The composite industrial production index rose 5.3 percent in the first two months of 1999 compared with the same period last year.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Stocks rise after correction

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Equity prices resumed their upward trend yesterday, following a correction in the previous session, with investors trying to push the market to record levels once again.

    The general index ended 0.61 percent higher at 3,799.36 points, off the day's highs.

    Turnover was 169.467 billion drachmas and volume 36,557,585 shares.

    Sector indices scored gains.

    Leasing surged 8.0 percent, Insurance rose 4.11 percent, Investment increased 0.80 percent, Industrials ended 1.37 percent higher, Construction jumped 5.46 percent, Miscellaneous ended 1.45 percent up, Holding rose 2.66 percent but Banks bucked the tren d to end 0.19 percent off.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 4.80 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index eased 0.07 percent to 2,328.54.

    Traders said demand for small and medium capitalisation stocks was heavy, although several industrial blue-chip stocks showed fatigue.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 224 to 61 with 13 issues unchanged.

    A total of 83 small and medium-sized capitalisation shares ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, led by shares in the construction sector.

    Thessaliki, Mytilineos, Sanyo and Eskimo were the most heavily traded stocks. Bank of Attica, Alpha Leasing, ETVA Leasing, Varyte, Ideal, Hellenic Sugar, St.George Mills, Michaniki, Proodeftiki and Technodomi were among the biggest percentage gainers, hitting the day's limit up.

    Xylemporia, Lanacam, Fintexport, Zampa, Intersat, Naoussa, Kekrops, Macedonian Plastics and Hellenic Textiles suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 21,410 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 21, 480, Ergobank at 28,500, Ionian Bank at 18,000, Titan Cement at 25,500, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,515, Intracom at 21,705, Minoan Lines at 7,450, Panafon at 8,295 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,250.

    Bonds slip in lacklustre trade : Most bond prices edged down in the secondary market yesterday with turnover sharply lower than in the previous session.

    Electronic trade was 63 billion drachmas from 128 billion drachmas in the previous session and 19 billion drachmas on Monday.

    The ten-year-bond was trading slightly lower than 104.30 a day earlier, showing a yield of 5.74 percent. The yield spread with German bunds was 178 basis points, down from the day before due to a rise in the German paper's price.

    In the foreign currency market, the drachma edged up against the euro.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro was set at 325.100 drachmas from 325.200 drachmas in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] FYROM's cabinet okays Hellenic Petroleum deal

    THESSALONIKI, 06/05/1999 (ANA-M. Vihou)

    The cabinet of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia yesterday endorsed an agreement allowing Elpet-Balkan (Hellenic Petroleum) to build an oil pipeline linking the EKO refinery in Thessaloniki to the OKTA refinery in Skopje.

    The 90 million dollar pipeline will have a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes annually and a length of 220 kilometres, due for completion in three years.

    Hellenic Petroleum is also to become a strategic investor in the OKTA refinery.

    According to FYROM's government, the investment is the largest ever in the country.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Shipping register loses tonnage

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    The strength of the Greek shipping register was reduced by 14,331 gross registered tons in April, the merchant marine ministry said yesterday.

    Six new ships totalling 80,622 grt joined the register in April, while another six ships, totalling 94,953 grt, departed.

    Incoming vessels were nine years old on average, while outgoing vessels were an average 23 years old.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] Mytilineos announces deals in FYROM

    SKOPJE, 06/05/1999 (ANA-M. Vihou)

    The Mytilineos mining and engineering group said yesterday that it had secured three deals in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia following talks in the neighbouring country.

    The company's chairman told a news conference that the firm would sign a contract by the end of the month for the acquisition of a metallurgical company.

    Two mines would also be purchased, and a smelter, he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] Piraeus Bank plans to expand in Balkans

    THESSALONIKI, 06/05/1999 (ANA-S.Theologidis)

    The Bank of Piraeus Group is seeking to expand in the Balkan region, the group's managing director, David Watson, told a press conference yesterday.

    Mr. Watson, who also heads the Macedonia-Thrace Bank, a member of the group, said the expansion included Albania, Bulgaria and other Balkan states.

    He noted that Piraeus was the first Greek bank to be active in Albania with the creation of Tirana Bank, while Xiosbank, another member of the group, was the first to open a branch in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    Mr. Watson hinted that he would be responsible for the current expansion plan.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Spyrou Farming posts 60 pct sales jump

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Spyrou Farming yesterday reported a 60 percent increase in sales in the first four months of 1999 compared with the same period last year.

    Turnover in January-April exceeded by 1.08 billion drachmas the total for the whole of 1998.

    Sales totalled 7.78 billion drachmas, up from 4.85 billion in the same period of last year, also higher than 1998's total of 6.7 billion drachmas.

    The company expects its 1999 turnover to exceed 10 billion drachmas and pre- tax profits to rise by 46 percent to 2.4 billion drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [27] Allianz shows 96 pct rise in premiums in Q1

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Allianz Group Hellas reported a 96 percent increase in its life insurance premiums in the first quarter of 1999 to two billion drachmas compared with the same period last year.

    The group's total premiums following a merger with AGF Kosmos totalled 54.7 billion drachmas last year, placing the group in third place in the domestic insurance market.

    Allianz Group operates 135 branches and 570 insurance offices around the country.

    Athens News Agency

    [28] Spending on advertising rises 27.41 pct in Jan-Apr

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Spending on advertising in domestic media rose to 134 billion drachmas in January-April, up 27.41 pct against the same period of last year.

    Again taking the lion's share of spending was television at 63 billion drachmas, representing a 47.3 percent share of the market.

    Next came magazines, newspapers and radio stations.

    Spending on advertising in the month of April was 34.6 billion drachmas from 28.2 billion a year earlier, marking a 22.3 percent rise.

    The data was given in a monthly report by Media Services SA., released yesterday.

    Athens News Agency

    [29] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: May 5, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             302.461 309.473
    Can.Dollar            207.507 212.318
    Australian Dlr        198.980 203.594
    Pound Sterling        492.984 504.414
    Irish Punt            409.490 418.984
    Pound Cyprus          556.016 568.907
    Pound Malta           720.809 750.843
    Turkish pound (100)     0.071   0.074
    French franc           49.165  50.304
    Swiss franc           200.930 205.588
    Belgian franc           7.995   8.180
    German Mark           164.891 168.714
    Finnish Mark           54.241  55.498
    Dutch Guilder         146.344 149.737
    Danish Kr.             43.390  44.396
    Swedish Kr.            35.879  36.711
    Norwegian Kr.          39.075  39.981
    Austrian Sh.           23.437  23.980
    Italian lira (100)     16.656  17.042
    Yen (100)             249.954 255.750
    Spanish Peseta          1.938   1.983
    Port. Escudo            1.609   1.646
    
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              302.461 309.473
    Montreal              207.507 212.318
    Sydney                198.980 203.594
    London                492.984 504.414
    Dublin                409.490 418.984
    Nicosia               556.016 568.907
    Paris                  49.165  50.304
    Zurich                200.930 205.588
    Brussels                7.995   8.180
    Frankfurt             164.891 168.714
    Helsinki               54.241  55.498
    Amsterdam             146.344 149.737
    Copenhagen             43.390  44.396
    Stockholm              35.879  36.711
    Oslo                   39.075  39.981
    Vienna                 23.437  23.980
    Milan                  16.656  17.042
    Tokyo                 249.954 255.750
    Madrid                  1.938   1.983
    Lisbon                  1.609   1.646
    
    Athens News Agency

    [30] SAE-funded clinics in ex-Soviet states

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) president Andrew Athens yesterday announced that 75 Greek expatriates in Uzbekistan have died from a lack of pharmaceuticals over the past four months.

    In efforts to aid ethnic Greeks living in the former Soviet republics, Mr. Athens said 19 health clinics will be build in Georgia, the Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Russia. On May 9, Mr. Athens will visit Georgia where he will inaugurate a medical clinic, which is already in operation.

    Athens News Agency

    [31] Veteran actor dies

    Athens, 06/05/1999 (ANA)

    Veteran Greek actor Vassilis Diamantopoulos died yesterday in Athens at the age of 81.

    Distinguished in a number of roles in classical theatrical plays, in films as well as television, Vassilis Diamantopoulos is best remembered for his interpretation in the political revue "Oh, papa, what a world is this!" staged in Athens at the end of the military junta in 1974.

    The political world expressed its condolences over the actor's death and "for the void it left in the arena of theatrical art and culture in general."

    Athens News Agency

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