Read the Weekly Financial Report on Greek Markets (by SAE Americas) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Thursday, 14 November 2019
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-06-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't says course unhindered by Euroelection results
  • [02] Ergobank warns shareholders against takeover bid
  • [03] Stocks end lower, shrug off Euro-polls
  • [04] Retail sales rise 9.5 pct in March
  • [05] Car registrations up 35.8 pct in May
  • [06] Athens-Prague flight connection
  • [07] Attendance results for 'Thraki '99' trade fair
  • [08] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [09] Gov't denies early elections,reshuffle rumours
  • [10] Euroelections results
  • [11] ND pleased with Euroelections victory
  • [12] DHKKI satisfaction over results
  • [13] Synaspismos
  • [14] Greek-Mexican bilateral cooperation discussed
  • [15] Vartholomeos inaugurates Ecological Institute of Halki
  • [16] Gov't on possible Clinton visit
  • [17] Greek force to depart for southern Kosovo
  • [18] Dioxin scare dominates EU farm ministers' council
  • [19] Belgian cosmetics judged safe

  • [01] Gov't says course unhindered by Euroelection results

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The government stressed yesterday that it would continue its course and that no early general elections would be called or a reshuffle announced, after Sunday's Euroelections gave main opposition New Democracy first place.

    With almost 100 per cent of the vote counted - 18,506 out of 18,525 polling stations - from Sunday's Euroelections, New Democracy emer-ged as the winner with 35.99 per cent to ruling PASOK's 32.86.

    PASOK dropped one Euro-deputy seat to stand at nine, while ND remained at nine Euro-deputies.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), by increasing its electoral strength, elected three Euro-MPs, up from two it won in the 1994 election. KKE gained 8.68 per cent of the vote.

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) maintained its two seats while falling in voters' preferences to 5.17 per cent. The Democratic Social Movement(DHKKI) in its first-ever Euroelections, polled 6.87 per cent and will field two Euro-MPs.

    The Political Spring (Pol.An) lost its two Europarliament seats, polling only 2.28 per cent.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Ergobank warns shareholders against takeover bid

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Ergobank yesterday warned its shareholders not to rush to sell stock following a takeover bid by EFG Eurobank, a member of the Latsis Group, with Deutsche Bank of Germany.

    In a move announced last week, the two banks are seeking to acquire a maximum 50.1 percent stake in Ergobank, or a minimum of 33.4 percent. Both Greek banks are listed on the Athens bourse.

    In a paid advertisement due to appear in newspapers today, Ergobank's management said the offer was disadvantageous for shareholders, cautioning them to refrain from selling their stock before being fully informed of the details of the bid.

    EFG Eurobank's parent, Consolidated Eurofinance Holdings, has already raised its existing 9.41 stake in Ergobank to 15.57 percent through block trades on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The EFG Bank Group has offered shareholders of Ergobank 110 shares in EFG Eurobank for 50 held in Ergobank, plus a cash sum of 200,000 drachmas.

    The offer to shareholders was closely linked to the share price of EFG Eurobank, a new listing on the Athens Stock Exchange with a short trading history. In addition, EFG's stock was not heavily traded, management said in the advertisement.

    The structure of the offer would give Consolidated Eurofinance Holdings control of Ergobank, but it failed to safeguard the interests of the target bank and its minority shareholders, management added.

    The board was studying the details of the offer, and alternatives, with the bank's financial consultant, Warburg Dillon Read, the advertisement said.

    Also today, Ergobank's staff union is due to meet to discuss the takeover bid.

    Consolidated Eurofinance Holdings and Deutsche Bank, a shareholder in EFG Eurobank, together own 20.57 percent of Ergobank.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Stocks end lower, shrug off Euro-polls

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The Athens Stock Exchange largely ignored Euro-election results yesterday in the belief that they would not negatively affect political developments in the country, nor affect its economic convergence towards EMU.

    The general index ended 0.47 percent lower at 4,020.75 points, off the day's lows of 4,001 points.

    Turnover was 123.791 billion drachmas with 22,314,524 shares changing hands.

    Dealers said the market had already discounted Sunday's poll results, which saw New Democracy (ND), the main opposition conservative party, coming out on top.

    A number of investors remained on the sidelines while others preferred to take early profits.

    Dimitris Karagounis, president of Greece's Societe Anonymes Union, said that the stock market had reacted calmly to the European Parliament election result because the gap between ND and the ruling PASOK party was too narrow to reverse the government's economic policy.

    The policy centres on lowering inflation and interest rates, promoting the flotation of state firms, and cutting deficits.

    "The market showed its confidence in Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who once again reiterated he would remain steadfast in his policy of EMU entry, " Mr. Karagounis said.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (-2.07 pct), Insurance (+0.85 pct), Leasing (+0.96 pct), Investment (+0.20 pct), Construction (+5.85 pct), Industrials (+0.33 pct), Miscellaneous (+2.08 pct) and Holding (+2.23 pct).

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 5.85 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips fell 1.41 percent to 2,389.87 points.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 240 to 49 with another eight issues unchanged.

    A total of 75 issues ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, particularly in the smaller capitalisation sector.

    Altec, Intersat, Thessaliki and Michaniki were the most heavily traded stocks.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 21,010 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 21, 150, Ergobank at 24,335, Ionian Bank at 16,400, Titan Cement at 29,000, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,840, Intracom at 20,990, Minoan Lines at 5,100, Panafon at 7,920 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,300.

    Financial markets indifferent to election result : Financial markets yesterday brushed off the results of European Parliament elections with institutional investors seeing the country's goal unscathed of entering the euro zone in 2001.

    The market saw a hoped-for decline in interest rates as the main factor to affect sentiment and cash placements, bankers said.

    Bond prices in the secondary market were mostly flat in minimal turnover.

    Electronic trade was 6.0 billion drachmas from 45 billion drachmas on Friday.

    The ten-year bond showed a yield of 5.97 percent, taking the spread over German bunds to 165 basis points.

    In the foreign currency market, the drachma rose against the euro, prompting the Bank of Greece to intervene to curb its rise by purchasing around 40 million euros.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro was set at 323.950 drachmas from 324.140 drachmas in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Retail sales rise 9.5 pct in March

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The retail sales index jumped 9.5 percent in March compared with the same month of last year, the National Statistics Service said yesterday.

    The NSS said that the retail sales price index increased by 3.3 percent in the period January-March.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Car registrations up 35.8 pct in May

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    New car registrations totalled 36,550 in May, of which 4,549 were for second-hand vehicles, the National Statistics Service said yesterday.

    The NSS said car registrations were up 35.8 percent compared with the same month of last year.

    Fiat, Opel and Toyota topped the list at 2,319, 2,225 and 2,503 respectively, followed by Citroen (1,679), Nissan (1,301), Renault (1,239), Peugeot (1, 191) and Suzuki (1,291).

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Athens-Prague flight connection

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    State-run Olympic Airways said yesterday it had signed an agreement with Czech Airlines to carry out flights between Greece and the Czech Republic.

    The two carriers, effective as of yesterday, have introduced six flights per week from Athens to Prague, one leaving at 6 a.m. local time on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and another at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

    The Czech Republic is a destination which has seen growing tourist interest over the past few years and this factor has been taken into account in scheduling for flights originating from Athens, a company statement said.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Attendance results for 'Thraki '99' trade fair

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The HELEXPO-Thessaloniki International Trade Fair yesterday announced that its 8th trade fair "Thraki", held every year in Komotini during the spring, attracted an increased number of visitors in 1999.

    "Thraki '99", with 130 pavilions, was visited by more than 14,500 visitors, including entrepreneurs from Bulgaria, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania.

    Industrial goods, especially machinery, electronics and telecommunications equipment, food & beverages as well as paper products attracted the most interest. The Sfakianakis group announced its decision to merge its subsidiaries Personal Best and Es Kar. The new company will operate under the name of Personal Best S.A. at facilities in the Alimos district.

    The new company will operate as an official car and Suzuki motorcycle dealer. It will also operate a used car division through its "Autoselect" programme.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: June 14, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             307.282 314.406
    Can.Dollar            210.364 215.241
    Australian Dlr        203.509 208.227
    Pound Sterling        495.742 507.236
    Irish Punt            408.041 417.502
    Pound Cyprus          556.512 569.415
    Pound Malta           722.813 752.930
    Turkish pound (100)     0.067   0.070
    French franc           48.991  50.127
    Swiss franc           201.515 206.187
    Belgian franc           7.966   8.151
    German Mark           164.308 168.117
    Finnish Mark           54.048  55.301
    Dutch Guilder         145.826 149.207
    Danish Kr.             43.259  44.262
    Swedish Kr.            36.258  37.098
    Norwegian Kr.          39.267  40.178
    Austrian Sh.           23.354  23.895
    Italian lira (100)     16.597  16.982
    Yen (100)             255.281 261.200
    Spanish Peseta          1.931   1.976
    Port. Escudo            1.603   1.640
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              307.282 314.406
    Montreal              210.364 215.241
    Sydney                203.509 208.227
    London                495.742 507.236
    Dublin                408.041 417.502
    Nicosia               556.512 569.415
    Paris                  48.991  50.127
    Zurich                201.515 206.187
    Brussels                7.966   8.151
    Frankfurt             164.308 168.117
    Helsinki               54.048  55.301
    Amsterdam             145.826 149.207
    Copenhagen             43.259  44.262
    Stockholm              36.258  37.098
    Oslo                   39.267  40.178
    Vienna                 23.354  23.895
    Milan                  16.597  16.982
    Tokyo                 255.281 261.200
    Madrid                  1.931   1.976
    Lisbon                  1.603   1.640
    Athens News Agency

    [09] Gov't denies early elections,reshuffle rumours

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The government yesterday denied reports that Prime Minister Costas Simitis will call early elections or announce a government reshuffle in the wake of ruling PASOK's second-place showing in Sunday's Euroelections.

    "The results of the European Parliament elections for the ruling party were positive," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

    Mr. Reppas told reporters that there was no question whatsoever of the prime minister resigning.

    "It (election) has not changed the political stage, as the leaderships of the opposition parties intended," he said. "Elections will be held in 2000."

    Mr. Simitis will chair a meeting of the inner cabinet this morning and of the party's executive bureau later in the day.

    The election results will also be the focus of a two-day meeting of the PASOK's central committee, scheduled for July 9-10.

    Tsohatzopoulos calls Euroelections 'unfavourable for PASOK': National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said Sunday's Euroelections results were unfavourable for PASOK, adding that the ruling party's losses in rural and deindustrialised regions constituted a popular message and the last warning after prefectural and municipal elections.

    In a statement yesterday, he said the voters also ascertained "a political and social deficit in PASOK".

    However, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said PASOK can win parliamentary elections in 2000 because it has proved that it can successfully promote its major interests and needs both in the European Union and the establishment of peace and security in the region.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos explained that the Euroelections were an objective formulation of the Greek people's scepticism and anxiety.

    He said that despite winning first place in the Euroelections, the main opposition New Democracy party is unable to create a popular majority which can only be created by the sector of the left, the sector of reform and the sector of progress.

    Kranidiotis : On his part, Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, speaking to reporters later, admitted that the election result was not what PASOK had hoped, adding that it will not, however, create any obstacles for achieving the government's targets.

    "The gap between New Democracy and PASOK is not particularly great...PASOK can continue as normal with its programme and its efforts, and I am certain that when this is completed it will win national elections," he said.

    Skandalidis : PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis yesterday said the ruling party "stood on its feet" in Sunday's Euroelections despite the fact it "faced the other political forces of the country."

    Following a meeting with PM Costas Simitis, Mr. Skandalidis said the percentage garnered by PASOK was "not expected", although he added the government and its work will be judged in next year's national elections.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Euroelections results

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    With almost 100 per cent of the vote counted (18,506 of 18,525 polling centres), the results of the

    European Parliament elections in Greece are as follows: Party % Seats Votes PASOK 32.86 9 2,098,313 ND 35.99 9 2,298,729 KKE 8.68 3 554,086 SYN 5.17 2 330,068 DHKKI 6.87 2 438,870 POL.AN 2.28 - 145,690 LIBERALS 1.62 - 103,536 Hunters 1.00 - 64,067 Participation is 70.18 percent of registered voters, with invalid votes totalling 150,109 and blank 133, 067 NB: PASOK = Panhellenic Socialist Movement

    ND = New Democracy

    KKE = Communist Party of Greece

    SYN = Coalition of Left and Progress

    Pol.AN = Political Spring

    Hunters = Greek Hunters' Party

    Athens News Agency

    [11] ND pleased with Euroelections victory

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) cadres yesterday expressed satisfaction over the results of Sunday's Euroelections, noting that the targets set before the poll were achieved.

    They added that the percentage garnered, as well as the difference between the two major parties, give ND increased possibilities for victory in the national elections.

    ND Parliamentary group secretary Stavros Dimas stressed that the party should continue to exercise a "responsible opposition", and be ready for elections whenever they may occur.

    Other party officials spoke of ND's need to focus on improving its electoral perfomance in Attica, Crete and certain regions of Thessaloniki.

    There were also calls for the reinstatement of several top ND cadres expelled over the past few years, such as former minister and Larisa-area deputy George Souflias.

    According to reports, ND honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis phone ND leader Costas Karamanlis to congratulate him for the party's electoral victory.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] DHKKI satisfaction over results

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) officials yesterday appeared completely satisfied with the party's Euroelections performance.

    DHKKI's leadership believes that a 50 per cent increase in the party's vote tally from the 1996 general elections vindicated party leader Dimitris Tsovolas' assessment of a wholly autonomous political movement, and with repercussions on ruling PASOK.

    Party cadres also referred to a "front" within the progressive political spectrum lined up against "neo-liberalism".

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Synaspismos

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    The end of the Euroelections marked the beginning of a "reflection and planning" phase for the Coalition of Left and Progress (Synaspismos) party, officials said yesterday.

    The party's political secretariat met yesterday to make an early assessment of the elections' results, primarily agreeing with Synaspismos leader Nikos Constantopoulos that the party "had set higher targets," and that it had anticipated a better response from voters.

    The party's central committee is scheduled to meet on June 26 and 27 to assess the outcome.

    Business sources said yesterday that the course towards Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) should not be affected by pressures for grants, as Greece is the one European Union country where fiscal policy must not slacken.

    The source, referring to results of last Sunday's Euroelections, invoked recent statements by SEB President Iason Stratos that there should be no divergences from the budget because increases in public expenditures are appearing, while the decrease in i nflation through monetary policy is of no use.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Greek-Mexican bilateral cooperation discussed

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Greece and Mexico yesterday sig-ned two agreements for bilateral cooperation in the science and technology fields, following talks yesterday between Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and visiting Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister for North Amer ica and Europe Juan Rebolledo.

    Bilateral issues as well as fostering Mexico's relations with the European Union were on the agenda of talks.

    Mexico is currently in talks with the EU on commercial and investment issues which could lead to the establishment of a free trade zone. "Greece has always been supportive of this initiative and for this we thank it," Mr. Rebolledo said. The European Union will hold a summit meeting with the heads of Latin American countries at the end of June in the hope of further strengthening ties and cooperation.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Vartholomeos inaugurates Ecological Institute of Halki

    ISTANBUL, 15/06/1999 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos yesterday inaugurated the Ecological Institute of Halki, on the Sea of Marmara islet.

    Vartholomeos, speaking at the first conference of the institute, stressed that it will educate clergy, scientists and jounralists on techniques and the "humanitarian aspects of the problem of environmental pollution, as well as the Christian and theolo gical side of the issue."

    The institute will participate in all international environmental conferences, while its own conference will be added to the roster of international ecological events.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Gov't on possible Clinton visit

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Asked whether a possible visit to Greece and Turkey by US President Bill Clinton was discussed during a phone conversation between the US leader and PM Costas Simitis on Sunday, the government yesterday pointed to an OSCE conference set for Istanbul in October and the US president's expected participation.

    Consequently, spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, a presidential visit to the region is a possibility.

    Replying to a question on whether Mr. Clinton's visit to both Greece and Turkey is welcome by the government because - according to the reporter putting the question - Athens had in the past expressed apprehension over a Clinton visit to Greece as part of another itinerary, Mr. Reppas reiterated that Mr. Clinton's visit to the area is a possibility.

    In this context, he said, all possibilities are being examined, adding that there is nothing more to this.

    Commenting on the situation in Kosovo, Mr. Reppas said latest developments (fatalities, etc) are regrettable. However, he said the situation has nothing to do with the situation prevailing a few days ago. The bombings have stopped and the international factor is making consultations to allow for a return to normalcy, he said.

    Mr. Reppas said that what is of importance, and the government desires and stresses this, is that all pending issues should be discussed calmly and reponsibly to enable calm to be restored in the region and a return to the situation prevailing before as soon as possible.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Greek force to depart for southern Kosovo

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Greek troops destined to join a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo were set to depart in the early morning today, headed for the town of Urosevac.

    The 501th motorised infantry battalion in Yiannitsa, northern Greece, will be the first part of the Greek brigade to go to Kosovo.

    The battalion includes 480 men and 180 vehicles.

    Meanwhile, NATO troops destined for the Kosovo force continued to transit through the port and airport of Thessaloniki.

    Activity is expected to increase dramatically over the next few days as the bulk of the peacekeeping force is deployed in Kosovo.

    Yesterday morning, 350 British soldiers arrived at the city's Macedonia Airport, while the British freighter "Centurion" unloaded military vehicles and containers.

    Thessaloniki will continue to be a hub of activity, as it will be a major transit point for supplies for the Kosovo force and will be home to a NATO administrative centre charged with organising the provision and transport of supplies to the Kosovo force.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Dioxin scare dominates EU farm ministers' council

    BRUSSELS, 15/06/1999 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    EU farm ministers yesterday unanimously called for greater transparency and controls in the Union's stockbreeding sector and in the foodstuffs industry in order to avoid any future scandals, such as the current dioxin scare emanating from Belgium.

    In a common text, they called on the EU Commission to present them with measures for the improvement of inspection mechanisms, underlining the necessity of regaining European consumers' confidence.

    Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis expressed Greek consumers' concerns and compared the dioxin contamination in Belgian animal feeds with "a chemical Chernobyl in the foodstuffs industry."

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Belgian cosmetics judged safe

    Athens, 15/06/1999 (ANA)

    Officials from the National Pharmaceuticals Organisation (EOF) yesterday announced that cosmetics originating from Belgium were jud-ged safe for consumers.

    EOF's board, which met yesterday to examine the possibility of dioxin absorption through the skin by the use of cosmetics, said the Belgian government along with responsible EU bodies provided assurances that specific cosmetics on the Greek market were not prepared with animal tissue tainted with the carcinogen substance.

    Dermatology professor Ioannis Hatzis pointed out that "dioxin can penetrate the human skin through the use of cosmetics, but due to the cosmetics preparation process...the final dioxin content in those products, if any, seems to create a minimal dioxin accumulation risk to the human body".

    Athens News Agency

    Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    ana2html v2.01 run on Tuesday, 15 June 1999 - 9:20:12 UTC