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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-06-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] High-level gov't meeting focuses on eradicating crime
  • [02] Diamantopoulou selected as Greece's new EU Commissioner
  • [03] Simitis leaves for Argentina,Brazil today
  • [04] Contract for Crotale anti-aircraft systems signed
  • [05] Gov't calls G8 initiative on Cyprus 'encouraging'
  • [06] Two forest fires reported under control
  • [07] Niarchos Foundation donates 15 new fire engines
  • [08] Greece signs CoE convention on money laundering
  • [09] Forum touts 2004 Olympics business opportunities
  • [10] EDU conference chaired by Karamanlis concludes in Paris
  • [11] Greenpeace cautions against genetically altered soya imported into Greece
  • [12] Rock fever outbreaks reported
  • [13] Magriotis receives Pakistani ambassador Hafeez
  • [14] Tsovolas to participate in London conference on Yugoslav war
  • [15] Avramopoulos announces plans for abused, neglected children's centre
  • [16] OA management concession to parliament
  • [17] EFG Eurobank launches hostile bid for Ergobank
  • [18] Capital markets commission responds to probe order
  • [19] New tax measures in final stage of discussion
  • [20] Stocks slump over trading probe
  • [21] Seven-year bond yield rises in auction
  • [22] Venizelos meets US official for wide-ranging talks
  • [23] Intrasoft shows 40 pct profit rise in 1998
  • [24] Telesis acquires control of Dias fund
  • [25] Drys in UK to study tax system
  • [26] Athens Foreign Exchange

  • [01] High-level gov't meeting focuses on eradicating crime

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Illegal immigration, organised cri-me and terrorism were among the issues examined by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and other public order officials yesterday.

    Mr. Chrysohoidis said afterwards that during the meeting issues were discussed concerning border protection and the expulsion of illegal immigrants, while at the same time announcing that his ministry, in cooperation with the foreign ministry, will laun ch an information campaign abroad to emphasise the high level of security found in Greece.

    Mr. Chrysohoidis also announced that eight new border detachments will be created and an extensive campaign will begin throughout the country to discover hidden weapons and ammunition.

    He also mentioned that US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns talked with him and Mr. Papandreou over the phone recently to express his absolute satisfaction over security measures taken by the government for his personal protection.

    According to reports, issues of judicial support were also examined during the meeting, in the wake of a recent cooperation agreement between Greece and the US, as well as issues concerning a draft agreement on combatting terrorism, which Mr. Chrysohoidis will sign during his visit to Washington in the autumn.

    Greece's response to terrorism : On his part, Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Apostolakis stressed yesterday that Greece cooperates with all organisations in the fight against terrorism and does not understand the expediency of baseless claims - mainly emanating from Turkey - aimed at questioning this contribution.

    He also noted that the elusive phenomenon of terrorism in Greece had clearly smaller dimensions than in other countries.

    Mr. Apostolakis, a retired general, made the statement in his opening address to the US-Greek High Level Consultative Committee, which met on the island of Limnos yesterday with the participation of US Assistant Secretary of Defense Franklin Kramer, who led the US delegation.

    Mr. Apostolakis also referred to issues of regional security, Greek-Turkish relations and bilateral relations with Washington, with an emphasis on the procurement of weapons systems.

    Regarding regional security, he said this required multilateral cooperation between organisations and states.

    He reiterated that Greece was claiming a leading role in the reconstruction of the Balkans, and proposing Thessaloniki as the base for the headquarters of the effort. Concerning Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Apostolakis said the continuous and direct th reat from the neighbouring country (Turkey) forces Greece to spend on arms about double the percentage of its GDP than other European countries.

    Regarding debts arising from FMF loans, which as he noted, were not always granted under the best terms, the Greek minister said they were being repaid as scheduled because the Greek economy was strong and able to fully respond to its obligations.

    Mitsotakis : In a related development, main opposition New Democracy honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis urged the government to place terrorism interdiction at the top of its priority list.

    Mr. Mitsotakis, a former prime minister, said the problem of terrorism continued to plague Greece, "which is the only country which for two consecutive decades has not achieved specific results in the fight against terrorism; which has had deeply negative repercussions on our foreign policy but also in the recruitment of serious foreign investors".

    He added that the effective combatting of terrorism required that problems in the Greek Police (EL.AS) be tackled.

    "In other words, police must be freed from party bonds and function properly. This is a feasible target, as it (police force) has a satisfactory number of police officers...who, under the proper conditions, can give back to the Greek people their lost sen se of security," he said.

    The former premier said combatting terrorism must take "absolute priority", proposing the reinstatement of an anti-terrorism law introduced by his ND government, a law he said the present PASOK government "imme-diately and without explanation abolished when it returned to power in 1993."

    At the same time, Greece should be willing to collaborate in this direction with all countries, without exception. "Our country has no reason to reject the Turkish proposal for a cooperation pact between the two countries on matters of terrorism," Mr. Mitsotakis said.

    He said the Turkish proposal should be accepted for two reasons.

    First of all, because in the past, under the ND government, "there was, in practice, collaboration with Turkey on this issue".

    And secondly, despite the fact that "Greece has never in the past, nor in the present, assisted terrorist actions by the Kurds, as our neighbours to the east seem to believe, Greece's rejection of cooperation - apparently for reasons of creating impress ions - has created such intimations in the other side, without any basis (of truth)".

    Mr. Mitsotakis further said that the issue of terrorism also adversely influenced Greece's relations with the west, particularly the United States "which complains of the continuing inertia of Greece in this area".

    Replying later to reporters' questions about Mr. Mitsotakis' statements, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that any concrete results between Greece and Turkey on issues of bilateral cooperation had to be accompanied by a spirit of good neighbour liness and friendship from both sides.

    To date, he said, only Greece has displayed this spirit.

    "Due to Turkey's stance, at the moment there can be no cooperation on this issue," he said.

    Greece considers this issue an internal one but is also cooperating on a bilateral and multilateral level with countries of the European Union and the United States, he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Diamantopoulou selected as Greece's new EU Commissioner

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis has selected Development Deputy Minister Anna Diamantopoulou to represent Greece in the European Commission, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced yesterday. Ms Diamantopoulou, who is succeeding Christos Papoutsis, met in Bologna yesterday with Commission President Romano Prodi, with whom Prime Minister Costas Simitis consulted before deciding on her appointment.

    Mr. Reppas said her particular post in the EU's top executive body will be decided after Mr. Prodi concludes his round of talks with the new members of the Commission.

    The government spokesman also announced that PASOK MP Rodoula Zisi will succeed Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas, who was elected to the European Parliament. Yiannis Zafeiropoulos, also an MP, will succeed Ms Diamantopoulou.

    Ms Diamantopoulou, born in Kozani in 1959, is a civil engineer by training and a Parliament deputy since 1996 when she assumed the post of development deputy minister. She also served as prefect of Kastoria (1985-86) and secretary general of the industry ministry (1994-96). Between 1993-94 she was president of the Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Handicrafts (EOMMEX).

    She speaks English and German.

    In response to the appointment, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, from Paris where he attended a European Democratic Union meeting, stressed that "for us it is inconceivable, a year before 2000, that our country's Commissioner isn't a person who has the widest possible acceptance. The Commissioner should reflect the national and social dimension..."

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Simitis leaves for Argentina,Brazil today

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will leave for Buenos Aires today to attend a two-day Socialist International Council meeting, beginning on Friday, which will be attended by representatives of 139 socialist and social democrat parties from around the world.

    The session will focus on the theme of "Shaping the Change", with emphasis placed on the exercising of a more responsible government policy and redetermining human values, among others.

    Preparation of the Socialist International's 11th Conference, due to be held in Paris between Nov. 8-10, will also be discussed.

    According to an announcement by the premier's press office, in his address at the session, Mr. Simitis will refer to contemporary challenges characterising the organisation of the international political and economic system, the replies socialist parties must process with the purpose of shaping a fairer and more democratic system, the need to shape a new system of world government, as well as mechanisms, both at regional and international level, for the prevention and resolution of crises to consolidate stability and peace, the role the EU can play, and Greece in particular being a member-state, and the importance of shaping policies which will serve the real needs of citizens.

    The Greek delegation will also be composed of Press Minister Dimitris Reppas, Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and Eurodeputy Anna Karamanou.

    After the session, Mr. Simitis will leave for Rio de Janeiro, where the EU- Latin America summit will take place between June 28-29. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Mr. Reppas.

    The summit will focus on issues concerning political cooperation between the EU and Latin America, economic and trade issues and issues concerning education and culture.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Contract for Crotale anti-aircraft systems signed

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    A defence contract was signed yesterday for the procurement of 11 Crotale short-range anti-aircraft systems for the air force and navy, with a total cost of nearly 82 billion drachmas.

    The contract was signed in the presence of National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos by the general director for armaments of the defence ministry, Yiannis Sbokos, and Marc Veron, the representative of Thomson S.A., the French manufacturer of the system.

    Offset benefits represent 100 per cent of the procurement cost, while eight Greek defence firms from the private and public sectors will assume subcontracts. During the next six months, four ready-to-deploy second-hand Crotale will be delivered to Greece, while the new systems will begin arriving in the 22nd month following commencement of the contract, with delivery having been completed by the 30th month.

    The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) gave its final approval for the procurement in mid-February.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Gov't calls G8 initiative on Cyprus 'encouraging'

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday welcomed the G8's intention to involve itself in the Cyprus issue as an "encoura-ging" move.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the international community's activity could bring a solution to the issue, provided all initiatives operated within the framework of United Nations decisions.

    The Group of Seven leading industrial nations plus Russia, in a statement on Cyprus last Sunday, urged the United Nations Secretary General to invite the leaders of the two communities on the island republic for talks in the fall of 1999, without precon ditions.

    Last week, Cyprus said it was ready to enter talks without preconditions with the Turkish Cypriot community to achieve a deal with Turkish Cypriots.

    But Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit condemned a call by the G8 for an unconditional resumption of peace talks on Cyprus, saying outside intervention could lead to ethnic conflict on the island.

    Mr. Reppas called the Turkish stance on the issue "negative" and noted that Ankara "wants to keep Cyprus hostage".

    "I hope the international community will not tolerate this situation," he said.

    "If Turkey does not respond to these initiatives, it will be a country that moves outside the realm of international legality."

    He stressed again that all activity had to move within the framework of the UN Security Council decisions.

    Athens News Agency Athens 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos presented the ceremonial swords to the Hellenic Navy's new ensigns during a ceremony held at the Navy Cadets Academy in Piraeus yesterday morning. The oath was taken by the 87 new ensigns, of whom six are foreign nationals: four from Cyprus and two from Eritrea. The ceremony was also attended by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, political party representatives, and the armed forces' leadership, among others.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Two forest fires reported under control

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    A forest fire was finally extinguished yesterday near Nea Makri, eastern Attica, but not before it destroyed part of an ever-decreasing pine forest.

    Police arrested four men on charges of accidentally setting the fire at around 3 p.m., as they were using welding equipment without taking the necessary preventative measures.

    Meanwhile, a forest fire raging near the village of Lykohia, Arcadia prefecture, since Sunday afternoon was finally placed under control yesterday. The blaze destroyed dozens of acres of fir trees and a large area of scrubland.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Niarchos Foundation donates 15 new fire engines

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has donated 15 new fire-fighting engines to the fire brigade to help combat the phenomenon of forest fires that plague Greece every summer.

    The 15 French-made vehicles cost more than 650 million drachmas, and are capable of tackling all kinds of fires. They are also ideal for fighting forest fires as their technical characteristics enable them to travel over rough terrain.

    The delivery ceremony took place at the Zappeion Hall yesterday morning.

    Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said the fire brigade was now capable of confronting the major fires, and expressed gratitude to the Niarchos Foundation for its donation, calling the Foundation one of the largest benefactors of the country.

    Fire Brigade Chief Andreas Gekas said the vehicles were among the most technologically advanced in their class.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Greece signs CoE convention on money laundering

    STRASBOURG, 23/06/1999 (ANA - Nikos Rousis)

    Greece yesterday ratified the Council of Europe's (CoE)convention on "money laundering, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime".

    Greece's permanent representative delivered the ratification to CoE Secretary General Daniel Tarschys.

    According to the convention, which will enter into effect by Oct. 1, Greece is obliged to change applicable legislation in compliance with this convention, which aims at countering money laundering from criminal activities, including arms dealing, terrorism, fraud and especially drug trafficking.

    The pact is intended to improve international cooperation between CoE member-states and third countries, such as the US, Canada and Australia.

    The convention is already in force in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Britain and Australia.

    It was also signed by Andorra, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxenbourg, Malta, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia and San Marino.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Forum touts 2004 Olympics business opportunities

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    The Athens 2004 Olympics were the focus of an "Olympic Opportunity Forum" yesterday, organised by the US embassy's commercial section, the American- Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Greek-American Business Council.

    Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi, US Undersecretary of Commerce David Aaron, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos and US ambassador Nicholas Burns addressed the event.

    Ms Papazoi said the Games are an opportunity for Athens to be transformed into a modern metropolis.

    Mr. Aaron called the Games a "great opportunity for Greece and for the Greek people, but they are also a great opportunity for the American companies which wish to become long-term figures in the Greek market."

    He also touched on how Greece will serve as a "gateway for reconstructing the shattered towns and cities of Kosovo", as a US embassy press release noted.

    Athens 2004 managing director Costas Bakouris outlined the opportunities and aims of the Games, its budget, opportunities for investment, economic benefits and the up-to-date work of the committee.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] EDU conference chaired by Karamanlis concludes in Paris

    PARIS, 23/06/1999 (ANA - O. Tsipira)

    The concluding session of European centre-right parties' governing committee yesterday concluded a two-day conference under the chairmanship of New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis. The conference, made up of parties belonging to the European Democratic Union (EDU), focused on the reconstruction of the Balkans, including the sector of democratic institutions.

    The attending representatives decided to discuss the new initiatives and measures for the region at their next meeting in Thessaloniki on July 1 and 2, where foundations like Greece's "Constantine Karamanlis" and Germany's "Adenauer" have been invited to attend, along with representatives of parties from the region.

    The other issue which the conference dealt with, but failed to arrive at decisions, was cooperation between EDU and the European Peoples' Party (PPE). The matter will be again on the agenda of the summit of leaders of centre-left parties in Berlin on Sept. 15.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Greenpeace cautions against genetically altered soya imported into Greece

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    The environmental group Greenpeace yesterday claimed that the Greek foodstuffs sector was unprotected against contaminated foods and genetically altered products.

    During a press conference, Greenpeace representatives in Athens argued for a ban of all genetically altered foods and their by-products, which as they said, are sold on supermarket shelves without any notification or warning printed on containers and wr appers.

    "Amid the panic of the latest developments (dioxin, cow diseases) in the European food sector, some people forgot that one of the basic ingredients for the production of animal feeds is soya, which is imported for the United States to the tune of 80 per cent of the total soya consumed in the Greek market."

    Greenpeace representatives stressed that Greece imports about 300,000 tons of soya per year from the United States and Argentina.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Rock fever outbreaks reported

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Public health authorities in Kozani yesterday were notified of about 30 cases of "rock fever", attributed to the consumption of meat or dairy products from animals suffering from brucellosis.

    The Kozani prefect said the illness was probably transmitted to other animals from a particular herd, whose owner refused to allow their destruction.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Magriotis receives Pakistani ambassador Hafeez

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis yesterday received Pakistan's ambassador to Athens Javed Hafeez.

    The two men discussed the possibility of joint events with Alexander the Great as the main theme, while Mr. Hafeez said his country was interested in the development of trade relations with Greece, and the Thessaloniki region in particular.

    Mr. Magriotis also met with Denmark's charge d' affaires, Sigurd Schmidt, for talks focusing on the reconstruction of Yugoslavia.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Tsovolas to participate in London conference on Yugoslav war

    LONDON, 23/06/1999 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas along with British Labour deputies Tony Ben and Alice Mahon will be among the speakers at an international conference on the impact of the NATO war in Yugoslavia, organised here by the committee for peace in the Balkans on Saturday.

    The conference will inaugurate a global campaign to "oblige NATO states that participated in the (Yugoslavia's) bombings" shoulder the cost for the country's reconstruction, Ms. Mahon said, adding that "it will also point out the immediate need for humanitarian aid to the Kosovars as well as the Serbs and for the immediate disarmament of the so-called "Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)".

    Deputy Defence Minister Dimitris Apostolakis and his US counterpart Franklin D. Kramer yesterday visited several monasteries on the autonomous Mount Athos monastic community.

    Mr. Kramer is in Greece for high-level bilateral contacts on the island of Limnos, scheduled to end today.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Avramopoulos announces plans for abused, neglected children's centre

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday announced plans to establish a shelter for abused and neglected children, the first such centre in Greece.

    "The Athens Municipal Child Care expanding its role to other areas of child care and protection with the establishment of the shelter for battered and neglected children," Mr. Avramopoulos told a news conference.

    "The increasing incidences of child abuse is causing concern and I fear that this is due to new social conditions as well as multiple difficulties in major urban centres."

    The shelter will provide temporary accommodation and support for children and will operate in tandem with a counselling service for families with social problems and families with children with special needs.

    The counselling service will also work closely with other groups to provide information on aspects of the phenomenon to parents, the media and other groups.

    Children will be accommodated at shelters, the first of which is ready to begin operating in the Polygono area, for up to three months.

    After three months, the mayor said, the children will be reincorporated into the family or elsewhere.

    "What we are doing today is innovative and very progressive and we want to believe that this programme will receive state support as well as European support," Mr. Avramopoulos said.

    He said a proposal for funding will be submitted to the European Commission.

    More information on the shelter and the programme can be found on 883-0728, 882-1254 or 883-8375.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] OA management concession to parliament

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    A concession due to be awarded to a foreign operator to manage Olympic Airways is contained in a bill that is scheduled for a parliamentary vote on June 24. Debate on the bill began last night.

    The bill, which contains the clause on Olympic, was submitted to parliament by the national economy ministry.

    According to sources, the management of OA is expected to go to Speedwing, a subsidiary of British Airways.

    The terms of the deal contain an option for British Airways to acquire a maximum 20 percent stake in the ailing national airline.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] EFG Eurobank launches hostile bid for Ergobank

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Consolidated Eurofinance Holdings, the parent company of EFG Eurobank, has launched its offer to shareholders of Ergobank in the country's first hostile takeover bid.

    The 30-day share offer was launched on Monday following approval by the bourse of its terms.

    Ergobank's management had cautioned shareholders to avoid rashly accepting the deal, which it believed was not beneficial due to newly listed EFG Eurobank's brief track record on the bourse.

    It said it would study the terms of the deal, and alternatives, with an international consultant.

    But Eurobank left no time gap after securing the bourse's approval.

    Ergobank's shareholders were offered 110 shares in EFG Eurobank plus 200, 000 drachmas in cash for every 50 shares held in Ergobank.

    EFG Eurobank's executives told a news conference that it believed the offer would benefit Ergobank's shareholders.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Capital markets commission responds to probe order

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    The capital markets commission said in a statement yesterday that numerous measures were in place to monitor the workings of the bourse, responding to the start of a probe into allegations of illegal trading.

    The probe was ordered on Monday by a public prosecutor.

    The commission said that stringent measures implemented in the past two years had curbed irregularities, depite a massive rise in transactions.

    In addition, the commission had worked hard to monitor the market and listed companies, suspending stocks and imposing fines, the statement said.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] New tax measures in final stage of discussion

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Taxpayers may look forward to an easing of tax next year, National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou said yesterday.

    Tax relief on low and middle incomes announced five months ago were to be incorporated into a tax bill and tabled in parliament.

    Debate on the measures was at the final stage, Mr. Papantoniou said. He told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis that he had briefed the premier on key economic indicators and on progress in a social dialogue on the tax reform.

    "We are at the last stage of formulating positions. Decisions will be taken as soon as possible so that the tax bill may be tabled in parliament," the minister said.

    "Our target is tax relief for low and middle incomes, and in particular a substantial rise in the tax-free ceiling. Taxpayers may now look forward to a lighter taxation system for the year 2000," Mr. Papantoniou said. He said the tax relief was part of the government's economic programme, in turn based on policy.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Stocks slump over trading probe

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended substantially lower yesterday hit by news that the public prosecutor of a first instance court had ordered a probe into alleged illegal trading on the bourse.

    The general index ended 1.28 percent down at 3,950.62 points, reflecting losses in blue chip stocks. Turnover was 161.234 billion drachmas with 31, 257,639 shares changing hands.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (-2.30 pct), Leasing (+4.08 pct), Insurance (-1.63 pct), Investment (+0.86 pct), Construction (-0.77 pct), Industrials (-0.52 pct), Miscellaneous (+0.08 pct) and Holding (+0.85 pct).

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks surged 1.02 percent while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips fell 1.83 percent to 2,318.48 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 149 to 138 with another 13 issues unchanged.

    Thessaliki, Dias, Agricultural Insurance and ANEK Lines were the most heavily traded stocks.

    A total of 24 issues ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up while another five ended at the day's limit down.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 20,600 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 20, 155, Ergobank at 31,000, Ionian Bank at 16,900, Titan Cement at 28,800, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,700, Intracom at 20,250, Minoan Lines at 4,960, Panafon at 7,550 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,140.

    Bonds stay in the doldrums : Ten-year bond prices in the secondary market lost 80 basis points and 15-year bonds 100 basis points in brisk trade, with foreign institutional investors seen selling off paper.

    Markets in Europe also were down. Analysts said that there was room for a further decline.

    Electronic trade totalled 136 billion drachmas. Of the total, 126 billion drachmas accounted for sell orders.

    The ten-year bond was trading between 101.20 and 110.80, showing a yield of about 6.18 percent. The yield spread over German bunds was around 180 basis points.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro slipped against the drachma. It was set at 324.620 drachmas from 324.740 drachmas in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Seven-year bond yield rises in auction

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Seven-year bond yields rose in an auction yesterday of 120 billion drachmas of paper, the finance ministry said in a statement.

    The average weighed interest rate rose to 6.28 percent from 6.07 percent in the previous auction of seven-year bonds on April 20.

    Bids submitted totalled 310.3 billion drachmas, 2.6 times more than the amount offered. The average weighed price of the bond was 98.43 with a minimum accepted price of 98.40, down from 99.53 and 99.42 respectively in the previous auction.

    The finance ministry said that the rise in yield reflected current conditions in international markets.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Venizelos meets US official for wide-ranging talks

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday met visiting US Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, David Aaron, and discussed plans for reconstruction in the Balkans, new developments in the energy sector on a national, Balkan and European level, and participation by US companies in projects for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    The two officials also discussed the likely establishment of an American commercial representation in Thessaloniki, a forthcoming World Trade Organisation meeting, and co-hosting a conference on the tourism market early in Athens in December.

    Mr. Venizelos later met the Czech Republic's vice-president responsible for economic affairs, Pavel Mertlik. The two discussed issues regarding energy, industry, trade and tourism.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Intrasoft shows 40 pct profit rise in 1998

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Intrasoft, a member of the Intracom Group, yesterday reported sales of 18.5 billion drachmas in 1998, up 55 percent from the previous year, and pre-tax profits of 3.5 billion, up 40 percent.

    Its chairman and managing director, Socrates Kokkalis, said the company will pay a 75 drachma dividend to shareholders.

    Addressing a general shareholders' meeting, Kokkalis said prospects were positive for 1999 with sales totalling 11 billion drachmas in the first half of the year and expected to show a growth rate of 50-60 percent compared with 1998.

    Profits were expected to total 4-4.5 billion drachmas this year. Intrasoft is active in foreign markets with sales of Intrasoft International, which operates in western Europe, expected to total 6.9 billion drachmas this year, up from 4.3 billion in 19 98.

    The shareholders' meeting approved a plan to convert the company's preference shares into common shares with voting rights, and a plan to buy back up to 10 percent of its equity in the market at a maximum price of 15, 000 drachmas per share.

    Mr. Kokkalis predicted that the general index of the Athens Stock Exchange would surge to the 5,000 point level by the end of the year.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] Telesis acquires control of Dias fund

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Telesis Securities announced the acquisition of a 50.18 percent stake in Dias, a portfolio investment company, through the transfer of 1,050,000 shares on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday.

    Telesis will take management control of Dias, and management of its portfolio activities. Dias will seek a major share capital increase to stengthen its portfolio. Dias ranks second in returns this year among investment fund companies in Greece. Teles is recently acquired a majority control in Dorian Bank.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] Drys in UK to study tax system

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Deputy Finance Minister George Drys is in London for talks with senior British government officials on the country's tax system.

    Mr. Drys is particularly interested in the UK's tax settlement system, under which taxpayers calculate their own tax, and pay the first instalment when they submit their return.

    The Greek government is considering introducing a similar system.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 23/06/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: June 22, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             311.339 318.558
    Can.Dollar            211.395 216.297
    Australian Dlr        202.740 207.441
    Pound Sterling        494.353 505.815
    Irish Punt            408.885 418.365
    Pound Cyprus          558.119 571.059
    Pound Malta           732.355 762.870
    Turkish pound (100)     0.068   0.071
    French franc           49.092  50.230
    Swiss franc           201.763 206.441
    Belgian franc           7.983   8.168
    German Mark           164.648 168.466
    Finnish Mark           54.160  55.416
    Dutch Guilder         146.128 149.516
    Danish Kr.             43.325  44.329
    Swedish Kr.            37.087  37.947
    Norwegian Kr.          39.779  40.701
    Austrian Sh.           23.402  23.945
    Italian lira (100)     16.631  17.016
    Yen (100)             256.283 262.225
    Spanish Peseta          1.935   1.980
    Port. Escudo            1.606   1.643
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              311.339 318.558
    Montreal              211.395 216.297
    Sydney                202.740 207.441
    London                494.353 505.815
    Dublin                408.885 418.365
    Nicosia               558.119 571.059
    Paris                  49.092  50.230
    Zurich                201.763 206.441
    Brussels                7.983   8.168
    Frankfurt             164.648 168.466
    Helsinki               54.160  55.416
    Amsterdam             146.128 149.516
    Copenhagen             43.325  44.329
    Stockholm              37.087  37.947
    Oslo                   39.779  40.701
    Vienna                 23.402  23.945
    Milan                  16.631  17.016
    Tokyo                 256.283 262.225
    Madrid                  1.935   1.980
    Lisbon                  1.606   1.643
    Athens News Agency

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