Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-29
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 29/01/1999 (ANA)
- UNESCO initiative decided for return of Parthenon Marbles
- Domestic, foreign consultants drawn to Athens Olympics tender
- Equities again hit record high, boosted by blue chip buying
- National Bank of Greece (London) issues Dr 8.0 bln bond
- Morgan Stanley Dean Witter sees Jan inflation at 3.6 pct
- State telecom changes policy on non-payment of bills
- Record high unemployment in Dec. '98
- Pangalos opposed to bombings, military intervention in Kosovo
- Athens conference on Greece-FYROM relations
- Premier urged to take action in ending education crisis
- New information bulletins for farmers by ANA, ELYROS
- Charges filed in New Jersey woman's killing
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
UNESCO initiative decided for return of Parthenon Marbles
An UNESCO committee responsible for "promoting the return of cultural
artifacts to their country of origin" yesterday decided the organisation's
future initiatives regarding the return of the Parthenon Marbles to
After three days of deliberations, the committee adopted a special
recommendation on the issue, which instructs the UNESCO's director general
to assume initiatives in the immediate future with a view to bilateral
negotiations between Greece and Britain.
It also calls upon the director general to participate, through the
specialised consultative organs of the organisation, in all international
scientific discussions to take place on the issue of the maintenance of the
It notes three such conferences in future, one in Washington next month, in
the British Museum in November 1999, and in Athens in December 1999.
The UNESCO director general will have the responsibility for informing the
Intergovernmental Committee on the results of the negotiations during its
next meeting in two years' time.
It may be noted that the Greek and British delegations agreed on the final
text after two days of deliberations. Acccording to sources, the inflexibility
of the British side was expressed, among other things, through positions
that the British Museum is an independent non-governmental organisation,
able of making its own decisions.
Commenting on the content of the recommendation, Greek culture ministry
officials expressed satisfaction on "the future activation of UNESCO on the
issue, and on the fact that bilateral negotiations will, in some way, come
under the organisation's auspices, and that they will take place at both
ministers' and specialists' level."
Domestic, foreign consultants drawn to Athens Olympics tender
A tender called to find a technical consultant for the 2004 Olympic Games
to be hosted in Athens brought 16 bids from Greece and abroad. Athens 2004,
the company handling the Olympics, said yesterday that the bids are to be
evaluated by a pre-selection committee, and a winner named by the end of
The consortiums and individual firms that submitted bids are as follows:
- Bovi/WS Atkins/SGI/SGI
- Brown & Root
- Parsons Brinckerhoff Int./Heery Int.
- Dames & Moore
- Assman Beraten & Plannen
- Gibb/Vipetva/Millet-Biosca & Associats
- Lahmeyer Int./Europroject
- Sogelerg Ing./Omec
- Yamakos Architects/Sizemore Floyd Sports Planning Int.
- Aris Hellas Consulting Engineers
- Parsons Group Int./Hellenic Technical/Tecnicas Reunidas
- Chesterton Group
- Specht and Kalleja & Partner/SMV
Equities again hit record high, boosted by blue chip buying
Equities rallied to a new all-time high yesterday, the sixth this year,
helped by strong buying interest in blue chips by foreign institutional
The general index ended 1.59 percent higher at 3,093.81 points, reversing
an early drop of 1.0 percent. Turnover was 103.514 billion drachmas and
volume 19,753,505 shares.
Sector indices scored gains.
Banks rose 1.84 percent, Leasing jumped 2.62 percent, Insurance soared 4.13
percent, Investment fell 0.48 percent, Construction increased 0.59 percent,
Industrials ended 1.52 percent up, Miscellaneous ended 2.29 percent higher,
but Holding fell 0.32 per cent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 1.32 percent higher,
while the FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 1.68 percent up at 1,961.92 points.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 140 to 138 with another 15 issues
Aegek, Sanyo, Hellenic Telecoms and Mytilineos were the most heavily traded
Aspis Invest, Papoutsanis, Ideal, Lanacam, Yalco, Loulis, Elfico, Fanco and
Orion hit the daily 8.0 percent limit up.
Viosol, Alcar-Aemet, Xylemporia, Mesohoritis, Daring, Anek Lines, ETEBA and
Eskimo suffered the heaviest losses.
National Bank of Greece ended at 75,000 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 32,
400, Ergobank at 37,980, Ionian Bank at 15,800, Titan Cement at 23,195,
Hellenic Petroleum at 2,305, Intracom at 14,490, Minoan Lines at 7,400,
Panafon at 8,950 and Hellenic Telecoms at 8,350.
National Bank of Greece (London) issues Dr 8.0 bln bond
National Bank of Greece's UK operation yesterday launched an eight billion
drachma bond in London for Abbey National Plc, rated AA/AA2.
The six-year bond expiring in 2004 has a 7.0 percent coupon for the first
two years, and then a six-monthly floating rate based on the six-monthly
Euribor plus 12.5 percent.
The issue price is 101.50 with a recommended resale price of 99.90.
The main underwriter and bookrunner is the London-based National Bank of
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter sees Jan inflation at 3.6 pct
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter expects Greek inflation to drop to 3.6 percent,
Reuters news agency said yesterday.
The figure was likely to prompt the central bank to cut its money market
intervention rate, currently at 12.0 percent, rate by 25 basis points on
February 10, it said. The company also said it believed the Bank of Greece
would continue to pursue a cautious policy of lowering interest rates,
seeking to keep the drachma high against the euro.
State telecom changes policy on non-payment of bills
Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation will no longer cut a customer's
telephone line for non-payment of bills, instead barring outgoing calls but
allowing incoming calls, an official of the National Telecoms and Post
Offices Commission said yesterday.
The measure has been applied on a pilot basis in Patras and will soon be
introduced to prefecture capitals around the country.
Record high unemployment in Dec. '98
The Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) yesterday announced that
recorded unemployment rose to an all-time high in December 1998, reaching
the 10.37 per cent mark.
According to OAED, 306,982 individuals were registered with the organisation,
while the total number of those employed in December was more than 2.66
Labour ministry officials, commenting on the report, said the new
government policies lead most of the unemployed to register, so as to be
eligible for health care benefits and training.
OAED director Costas Eustratoglou said more than three out of four
unemployed persons are registered with the agency, while in the past only
one of every two were registered.
OAED also noted that 65.762 new hirings were recorded in November,
outpacing layoffs (62,639).
The labour ministry expects that a new series of government plans,
including the "National Action Plan for Employment", will reduce joblessness
by next Spring. personality."
Pangalos opposed to bombings, military intervention in Kosovo
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos opposed military intervention, the
bombing in Kosovo as well as a "policy of ultimatums", as he noted, during
an interview with a Belgrade-based magazine.
He said Athens' position categorically rules out every form of military
presence on the territory of Yugoslavia without agreement with the Yugoslav
Mr. Pangalos added that the theory of ultimatums is groundless and leads
unavoidably to conflict, adding that Kosovo is not Iraq and with bombings
and destruction nothing can be achieved.
"It would be a great mistake if it was expected from Greece, Italy or
another European country to send land forces of theirs to occupy a specific
region with the purpose of implementing some political solution," he said,
and added that every symbolic bo mbing will only produce symbolic results
and will lead to the taking of extremist positions, a development which
would destabilise the entire region immediately.
Speaking to the magazine 'Nin', Mr. Pangalos expressed opposition to
Washington's approach to the Kosovo problem and placed priority on the
approach of Europe, saying that it is Europe that is interested in the
development of the region more than anyone else.
Mr. Pangalos placed responsibilities on the Yugoslav government. Firstly,
for not heeding Greek proposals at the start to the crisis, on stabilising
the situation, but accepted proposals by Richard Holbrooke who came to
Belgrade with bombing arguments. Secondly, because in connection with the
problem it is implementing old-fashioned ideological positions on the non-
intervention of foreign forces in domestic affairs.
However, he said that human rights are not a domestic issue but international
issues and for this reason those who are murdering in Kosovo must be warned
that they will be punished.
Athens conference on Greece-FYROM relations
A two-day conference begins in Athens today, aimed at establishing closer
cooperation between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(FYROM) in the economic and cultural sectors.
Invitations to attend the conference, to be held at the Athens Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, have been sent to the leaderships of the ministries
of foreign affairs, finance, development and culture.
Also expected to attend is Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, who was
officially sworn in yesterday for a second term, and members of the
Among the speakers at the conference, which has been organised by the
International Scientific Forum, will be former foreign minister Michalis
Papaconstantinou, FYROM diplomats and entrepreneurs.
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday welcomed a statement by FYROM
Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski on Wednesday as "being in the right
In a statement to state-run FYROM television, Mr. Georgievski distanced
himself from references to a "Slavo-macedonian" minority in Greece's
northern province of Macedonia, made by FYROM foreign minister Aleksandr
Mr. Pangalos, who was speaking to reporters after meeting the newly elected
members of the presidium of the ethnic Greek organisation in Albania
'Omonoia' and its President Evangelos Doules, said that both he and the
Greek government would be the last to question the right of anyone to self-
deter-mination. He said that anyone has the right to speak whichever
language he desires and follow whatever religion he wants.
Mr. Pangalos said that there is a Moslem minority of Thrace in Greece just
as a Greek minority exists in Albania. But he emphasised that a Slav
minority in Greece did not exist, does not exist "and will not exist".
After his talks with the leadership of the ethnic Greek organisation of
Albania, Mr. Pangalos stressed the common intention of both sides to work
together for the creation of the political, economic and social preconditions
which will enable Greeks in Albania to improve their living conditions in
the place belonging to them historically and at the same time to contribute
towards the democratisation and economic prosperity of the country they
Premier urged to take action in ending education crisis
The National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) has urged the prime
minister in a letter to take action to end the crisis in the education
sector and, consequently, increasingly frequent student and teachers'
ESEE called on students "to stop mimicking sick practices" and return to
their "natural environment, which is school".
High school students have held several marches since the beginning of their
protests in late November. The marches effectively prevent commuters and
shoppers from entering the city centre and are often marked by violence
between protesters and police.
"It is unacceptable that the market should freeze, the economy be
undermined, traffic be stopped, workers prevented from working....and for
Greece to be ridiculed internationally because there is nobody in this
country who will accept the responsibility and say 'mea culpa'," the letter
ESEE also called on teachers - who declared a 48-hour strike beginning on
Thursday to protest the education ministry law - to "play their important
role in defusing the tension" and called for a return to normality through
"well-intentioned and construc tive dialogue".
Shopkeepers in the city centre said they were exasperated with the marches
called by students to protest the education ministry's reforms, saying they
were keeping customers away.
Meanwhile, a statement from the "Initiative from Students of Occupied
Schools" said that the government and ministry's refusal to back down on
revoking the law served only to fan the fires of the protests and make the
students more determined to continue.
Marches in Patra and Irakleio were also reported to be fairly peaceful.
Reports from Irakleio said the turnout was lower than for previous
New information bulletins for farmers by ANA, ELYROS
New specialised advance information bulletins for farmers were unveiled
yesterday at the 15th annual 'Agrotica' exhibition in Thessaloniki.
Agricutlure Minister George Anomeritis and Macedonia-Thrace Minister
Yiannis Magriotis attended the event.
The information bulletins are produced by the Athens News Agency (ANA) and
the Brussels-based ELYROS firm. They aim at briefing farmers and various
farm-related agencies and organisations on European Union and international
developments concerning the agriculture sector.
ANA General Director Andreas Christodoulides said the news agency, just as
other international and national news agencies, is developing multifaceted
activities in areas not covered to date through the utilisation of new
He added that the ANA is utilising not only news but statistics, specialised
information and in-depth analyses.
The ANA bulletins can be sent by regular mail electronic mail (e-mail).
Charges filed in New Jersey woman's killing
A 24-year-old cruiseship junior officer was charged with first degree
murder yesterday in the death of his girlfriend, a 31-year-old New Jersey
resident reported missing since Jan. 10.
A Kavala prosecutor formally charged Georgios Skiadopoulos with the
premeditated murder of Julie Marie Scully, along with charges of desecrating
a corpse and false statements to authorities.
According to reports, the American one-time model was murdered by the man,
who confessed that he cut up her body into pieces and threw them into a
lake near Kavala.
A police source said Skiadopoulos confessed on Tuesday night to the murder.
He was taken early Wednesday by police to Kavala, where he took authorities
to the site where he buried pieces of the woman's body.
Cloudy weather, rain and storms will prevail throughout Greece today. Snow
in the mountainous regions. Winds variable, moderate to strong, turning
gale force in the east and south. Rain from the afternoon in Athens with
temperatures ranging between 8-14C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.308
Pound sterling 460.526 Japanese yen (100) 241.721
French franc 48.663 German mark 163.208
Italian lira (100) 16.486 Irish Punt 405.308
Belgian franc 7.913 Finnish mark 53.687
Dutch guilder 144.849 Danish kr. 42.928
Austrian sch. 23.198 Spanish peseta 1.918
Swedish kr. 35.950 Norwegian kr. 37.349
Swiss franc 197.740 Port. Escudo 1.592
Aus. dollar 174.394 Can. dollar 183.222
Cyprus pound 550.560