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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-06-26

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] Simitis calls for balanced economic development around the world, during Socialist Int`l address
  • [02] Karamanlis calls on ND cadres to capitalise on Euroelection results
  • [03] ANA unveils new'Advance-Information Bulletins' service
  • [04] Opposition criticises gov't policy over OA
  • [05] Papandreou reply outlines areas where Greek-Turkish cooperation can be achieved
  • [06] Ethnic Greek minority members in Albania request better protection
  • [07] Greek FM invited to participate in UN Kosovo advisory group
  • [08] Home News
  • [09] State Dept. report on US-made weapons on Cyprus sent to Congress
  • [10] Avramopoulos receives Palermo mayor
  • [11] Two arrested as police point to int'l vehicle theft ring
  • [12] Economic News

  • [01] Simitis calls for balanced economic development around the world, during Socialist Int`l address

    BUENOS AIRES, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday defended the need for balanced economic development around the world, during a Socialist International summit which began here yesterday.

    Mr. Simitis stressed the need of confronting dangers resulting from the globalisation of the economy. He underlined the more active role Europoe should assume in the international economic, social and political environment.

    Earlier in the day, the Greek PM held talks with Argentine President Carlos Menem.

    The meeting was also attended by Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, the PM's adviser Nikos Themelis and the director of his diplomatic office Theodoros Sotiropoulos.

    Following his address, Mr. Simitis spoke to reporters and referred to the efforts being made in Greece.

    "The main theme of discussion today was what socialism means in a world with a globalised economy, with continuous changes in technology, in a world which is, as it is said, a 'global village'," Mr. Simitis said.

    "The answer, of course, differs from region to region, from country to country. For us, in Greece, I would say, the basic principles of socialism P such as social justice, social solidarity and democracy P are summed up in the phrase 'equal opportunitie s for all, more and more possibilities for all'. Regarding democracy, it is consolidated in our country. But we must pay more attention to the position of the citizen towards economic and social authorities. "We have promoted economic development, but we must continue to ensure that there is self-powered development, more stability and to com bat phenomena such as unemployment. Considerable steps have been taken in social policy. But attention is necessary in education, health, in the quality of life. Because the citizen needs more security, he needs to have open paths, particularly youth, new horizons," he added.

    Mr. Simitis said the rivals in this effort are the conservative forces which want domination of the market and the abolition of the state. Trade unions are also rivals, he added, which don't want anything to change. And, of course, demagogues of every o rigin who promise everything to all, but who in reality lead to dramatic deadlocks.

    "As it appeared in discussions over these two days, Greece has advanced a agreat deal. We are no longer a country which sustains, but we are a country which can take necessary decisions independentlyI" he said.

    Mr. Simitis also held talks on the sidelines of the session with Italian Prime Minister and national secretary of the Italian Democratic Left Party Massimo D'Alema, Albanian PM and president of the Albanian Socialist Party Pandeli Majko, the president o f the Socialist International Pierre Mauroy and the honourary president of the Spanish Socialist Party Felipe Gonzalez. Discussion over Kosovo, Albania Mr. Simitis and Mr. D'Alema discussed developments in the Balkans after the war and the start of the peace process in Kosovo. Particular emphasis was placed on securing the necessary preconditions for consolidating peace and stability in the sensitive Kos ovo area combined with efforts underway to reconstruct the Balkans, focusing on the autonomous region of Kosovo in the framework of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Simitis discussed issues concerning bilateral relations as well as issues of mutual concern related to the wider region with Mr. Majko.

    Mr. Simitis pointed to the problem of security for the population in southern Albania and called on the Albanian government to show the relevant interest. He stressed to his Albanian counterpart the importance of strict adherence to what has been agreed to promote the peace process in Kosovo in the framework of respect for the border status quo, as well as for the human and minority rights of the various ethnic groups.

    Mr. Simitis also stressed the importance of a stability pact for the Balkans and assured Mr. Majko that Greece will support the reforms being carried out in Albania for more democracy, economic and social development, and its efforts to achieve its grad ual incorporation in Euroatlantic structures, also in the framework of Europe's effort for the reconstruction of the Balkans.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Karamanlis calls on ND cadres to capitalise on Euroelection results

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday called on the party's cadres to work hard in order to capitalise on the June 13 Euroelection results.

    Addressing a joint meeting of ND's Parliamentary group and central committee, Mr. Karamanlis also called on party cadres to utilise the capacity given to the party by voters.

    Mr. Karamanlis also accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis of being "detached from society", reiterating that he did not receive voters' "message" a second time.

    Referring to Mr. Simitis' appointment of Anna Diamantopoulou to the European Commission, Mr. Karamanlis criticised the premier for what he called a "lack of cooperation", and insisted that an individual of wide acceptance should have been appointed.

    He added that ND's first priority is the confrontation of citizens' everyday problems, especially unemployment, crime, health and education, stressing that ND forced these issues to the forefront both before and after the Euroelections. Finally, Mr. Kar amanlis accused the PASOK government of following, as he said, a passive stance amid developments in the Balkans.

    In response to the ND leader's criticism, acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said "Mr. Karamanlis monotonously repeats empty generalisations and vague policy programmes."

    Athens News Agency

    [03] ANA unveils new'Advance-Information Bulletins' service

    Athens, 26//6/1999 (ANA)

    Athens News Agency (ANA) General Director Andreas Christodoulides yesterday unveiled the agency's new "Advance-Informa-tion Bulletins" service.

    Speaking at a press conference in Ioannina, Mr. Christodoulides told representatives of Epirus province's mass media that the Advance-Information Bulletins target public and private agencies, as well as local administration bodies, and offer reliable an d prompt information over developments in the economic and institutional arenas.

    "IThey offer information on discussions held at various bodies of the European Union, before they are finalised into decisions, as well as on programmes and recommendations of the European Commission," Mr. Christodoulides said.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Opposition criticises gov't policy over OA

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis stressed yesterday that ND's forecasts over state-run Olympic Airways' recent management contract with a British Airways subsidiary were vindicated. He also criticised the government for not priv atising the debt-ridden national carrier, adding that the contract is "nebullous", thereby providing a motive to the foreign manager to "sink" the airline in order to buy the percentage it was allocated at a lower price.

    On its part, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) sternly denounced developments in OA, saying the government was attempting to turn passengers against OA employees in order to "facilitate the implementation of its pro- monopolistic plans".

    Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos yesterday visited OA facilities and met with company officials. Finally, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas called the decision "unacceptable".

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Papandreou reply outlines areas where Greek-Turkish cooperation can be achieved

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou replied in writing yesterday to Turkish FM Ismail Cem, who has proposed the signing of a bilateral accord for cooperation on terrorism, acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said yesterday.

    He said the contents of Mr. Papandreou's letter "has no relation to the claims made by Turkey on terrorism, which Greece does not accept".

    Mr. Nikolaou said the Greek FM's letter outlined a range of issues on which there could be proposals and prospects of cooperation, such as in the sectors of economy, trade, the environment and tourism, as well as issues concerning combatting organised c rime, illegal immigration, drugs and general matters of public safety and public order.

    "If Turkey believes that there are other open issues, it is obliged to respect international law and the international treaties and take recourse in the International Court of Justice at The Hague," the acting spokesman stated.

    Mr. Nikolaou said there was no separate reference to terrorism issues, "at least in the way that Turkey perceives them, since we do not share the same views on terrorism matters". He said the two sides had differing views on matters of terrorism. "The meaning put by each side on terrorism is different. We have rejected Turkey's claims on these matters," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Ethnic Greek minority members in Albania request better protection

    TIRANA, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    An initiative group composed of members of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania has issued a resolution calling on both Albanian and Greek authorities, as well as on international organisations, to intervene for the protection of their live s and property.

    The resolution refers to several abduction cases reported in Albania lately, particularly against members of the Greek minority, as well as robberies and destruction of churches and monasteries. The group requests measures to restore confidence and the feeling of security among local residents and to have the "strangulation" of their economy ended, as they noted.

    The resolution is signed by business people, merchants, shopkeepers, doctors, jurists, students, university professors, intellectuals and elders.

    The resolution has been sent to the representative of the Council of Europe in Tirana, the ambassadors of EU member-states and of the US, the president, parliament and Archbishop of Albania, as well as to the Greek president, the PM and the Greek Parliament.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Greek FM invited to participate in UN Kosovo advisory group

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan addressed a letter to Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Thursday, inviting him to participate in the first session of an advisory group created under the title of "Friends of the Secretary General for Kosovo". The group is set to convene at the foreign ministers' level in New York on June 30. According to reports, Mr. Papandreou accepted the invitation and will attend the session. Apart from Greece, the group will be comprised of Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, J apan, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Britain, the United States, as well as the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Islamic Conference Organisation.
    Athens News Agency

    [08] Home News

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    -Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis will arrive in the United States on Monday, at the invitation of the Macedonian Expatriates' Union of the US and Canada. He is scheduled to attend the group's 53rd annual convention.

    -The Athens prosecutor's office yesterday listed 35 local firms alleged to have distributed dioxin-contaminated meat products from Belgium into the Greek market.

    Immediately after the dioxin scare surfaced in Belgium last month, Greek authorities ordered an investigation and inspection into all foodstuff importers in Attica.

    Upon completion of the investigation yesterday, a total of 35 violations were forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review, while a decision on charges is expected by Tuesday.

    -Former deputy defence minister Ioannis Stathopoulos testified before an Athens prosecutor yesterday following press reports pointing to a 12- million-dollar commission allegedly received by four Greek officials in 1993 from US-based Litton to promote a def ence contract in Greece.

    More witnesses are expected to testify before Prosecutor Georgios Gerakis on Monday, who is also collecting relevant documents from state services. The press reports were published, among others, in the Athens daily "To Vima".

    -The British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (BHCC) will host a cocktail reception on Wednesday at the Chandris Hotel in honour of new British ambassador to Greece, David Madden and Mrs. Madden. - A strong earthquake registering 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the Corinth area yesterday morning. No injuries or damage were reported. Seismologists said the quake's epicentre was located in the seabed east of the Gulf of Corinth. - Thirty-two illegal immigrants from Albania were arrested near Ioannina yesterday along with a compatriot who had agreed to drive them to Athens in his truck for a fee of 30,000 drachmas each. The driver, Yianni Zafiri, 22, and the illegals were arrested w hen police stopped the vehicle at a roadblock on the Ioannina-Kozani highway. They were due to appear before a public prosecutor in Ioannina later in the day.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] State Dept. report on US-made weapons on Cyprus sent to Congress

    WASHINGTON, 26/6/199 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The US State Department yesterday forwarded a long-awaited report regarding the deployment of US-made weapons on Cyprus P a violation of US federal law P to the House of Representatives' international relations committee.

    The classified report will not be publicised, while its contents are only available to members of Congress, as foreseen by US law.

    However, according to sources, the report lays blame on both communities on the divided island, stressing that Turkey and Greece have violated the US law by maintaining US-made weapons on Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, after a Turkish invasion force occupied one-third of the island.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Avramopoulos receives Palermo mayor

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday received Palermo Mayor Leoluka Orlando, termed one of the most significant persecutors of organised crime in Sicily and throughout Italy.

    "We exchanged experiences and views, and we are going to cooperate within the framework of a programme that wants cities free from the excessive pressure of carsIa network in which Athens has been participating since 1995," Mr. Avramopoulos said.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Two arrested as police point to int'l vehicle theft ring

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA) Police arrested two men yesterday on charges of car theft and smuggling, both in Greece and abroad, over the past two years.

    The two were identified as Antonis Makris, 53, and Petros Kesatis, 39. A check carried out at a car sales shop belonging to Makris in the Agios Dimitrios district of Athens on June 9 led to the detection and confiscation of a Volkswagen stolen from the Zografos area in December 1997, as well as a five-tonne truck with German number plates, which had been reported stolen in Germany.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Economic News

    Athens, 26/6/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Petroleum to take part in pipeline project: Hellenic Petroleum, which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, is to take part in an international consortium of firms that will build and operate an oil pipeline from Bulgaria to Greece, Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos said yesterday.

    Mr. Venizelos was addressing a shareholders' meeting of the state-run company.

    He also said that Hellenic Petroleum and the Public Power Corporation would acquire the majority of shares in the Public Gas Company.

    Hellenic Petroleum's chairman and managing director, Eleftherios Tzellas, told shareholders that the company posted pre-tax profits of 40.2 billion drachmas in 1998, up from 15.7 billion drachmas a year earlier.

    In January-May, profits rose to 21.2 billion drachmas, up 20 percent on the same period a year earlier, Mr. Tzellas said.

    Hellenic Petroleum is to give a dividend of 45 drachmas per share on 1998 profits.

    Stocks end higher, led by banks: Equity prices ended the week with moderate gains helped by selective demand in blue chips, particularly in the banks sector.

    Traders said the market was nervous because of worries over a possible interest rate rise in the US, a prospect damaging to international bond markets.

    The general index ended 0.58 percent higher at 3,948.78 points, reversing an early 0.76 percent drop, but off the day's highs.

    Turnover was 153.6 billion drachmas with 28,167,000 shares changing hands.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (+0.89 pct), Leasing (+0.20 pct), Insurance (+1.53 pct), Investment (+0.97 pct), Construction (+0.66 pct), Industrials (+0.40 pct), Miscellaneous (-0.59 pct) and Holding (+0.62 pct).

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.72 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips rose 0.35 percent to 2,306.92 points.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 158 to 127 with another 10 issues unchanged.

    Ergo Invest, Selonda and Sea Farm Ionian were the most heavily traded stocks.

    A total of 17 issues ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, while only two ended at the day's limit down.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 20,400 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 20, 045, Ergobank at 31,050, Ionian Bank at 17,190, Titan Cement at 26,800, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,700, Intracom at 20,550, Minoan Lines at 5,130, Panafon at 7,300 and Hellenic Telec oms at 6,800.

    Bonds pick up steam in line with Europe: Bond prices in the domestic market edged up in renewed buying interest for long-term paper with bargain hunters leading the way, drawn by low prices and high yields.

    Electronic trade totalled 105 billion drachmas from 79 billion drachmas in the previous session and 91 billion drachmas on Wednesday.

    Of yesterday's total, about 80 percent accounted for buy orders in long- term paper.

    The ten-year bond was trading between 100.10 and 100.50, showing a yield of 6.27 percent to 6.28 percent.

    The yield spread over German bunds was around 172 basis points, down from 174 basis points at the end of the previous session. (Continued on page 5) ING Barings said in a report to investors that returns on Greek 10-year bonds again were attractive.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro slipped against the drachma.

    It was set at 324.400 drachmas from 324.580 drachmas in the previous session.

    Finance ministry to auction 12-month T-bills: The finance ministry will auction 100 billion drachmas of 12-month Treasury bills in paperless form on Tuesday, June 29, through primary dealers.

    The ministry will pay a 0.45 percent commission.

    A ministry statement also announced the launch of a public offering of tax- free savings bonds in paperless form on July 1, 2 and 5.

    The bonds are mainly aimed at retail investors.

    The finance ministry has sold saving bonds worth almost one trillion drachmas since the programme began in September 1998.

    State telecom set for new float: Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's fourth flotation on the Athens Stock Exchange is expected to be completed next month with the sale of a 14 percent equity stake to institutional and private investors.

    Deputy Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis is currently on a roadshow in European capitals to present the company's results and its prospects along with general data on the Greek economy.

    Among cities Mr. Christodoulakis is visiting are Rome and Milan. He has already presented the company in London.

    Selonda, Sea Farm to phase in merger: Selonda and Sea Farm Ionian, two of the biggest acquaculture firms in Greece, have agreed on a gradual merger plan to boost their presence in international markets, the two firms said in a joint statement.

    The deal envisages a 10 percent equity swap between the two companies, which was effected on Thursday, as the first stage of a common action plan in sales and production.

    The deal aims to create a powerful international acquaculture group in the European Union.

    Each company will participate in the other's board and create a joint coordinating body.

    The two companies are seeking to reduce their production and distribution costs, improve access to international markets and jointly promote research and development plans.

    Athens News Agency

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