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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-06

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

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1256), August 6, 1997

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece and Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security
  • [02] Two billion drachma grant
  • [03] Albanian FM
  • [04] Reactions to Gizikis' statements about Cyprus coup
  • [05] Salvage excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb
  • [06] US spokesman on solving Greek-Turkish differences
  • [07] Greece requests clarifications over Yilmaz's statements on Aegean
  • [08] Athens '97 world athletics championships
  • [09] Justice Minister comments on World Championships
  • [10] Coalition of the Left and Progress' Grigoris Giannaros dies
  • [11] Measures to improve hospital care
  • [12] Record price of brent oil poses problems
  • [13] Antenna: $100 m. bond loan
  • [14] Greek mutual fund assets show 4.94 pct rise in July
  • [15] Olympic Airways to begin transfer to new airport in Oct. '98
  • [16] Unbridled dollar hits 293.05 drachmas, sets new record
  • [17] Greek equities nose down in meager trade
  • [18] Olympic Airways marks 16.3 pct rise in passengers Jan-Jun
  • [19] Citibank again wins title of best foreign bank in Greece

  • [01] Greece and Albania sign protocols on seasonal employment, security

    Tirana, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece and Albania yesterday signed a protocol of seasonal employment for Albanian workers in Greece believed to provide a solution to the problem of illegal immigration and avert a new wave of illegal workers from the neighboring country.

    The protocol was signed by visiting Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Albanian counterpart Paskal Milo after talks here.

    A seven-member Greek government delegation, headed by Mr. Pangalos, paid a one-day visit to Tirana yesterday, the first foreign visit since a new Albanian government was elected late June.

    The relevant protocol will come into force four months after the signing of a presidential decree by the President of the Republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos, which provides for the recording of all illegal immigrants, and after its completion, the granting of the 'green card', equivalent of a work permit. The duration of the permit has not been set yet, but nine months is considered most likely, with the possibilities of six or 12 months also being considered.

    Commenting on the issue, Mr. Pangalos said that until the recording is completed, Albanian immigrants will be treated in the same way as all others.

    Mr. Milo told reporters "this is the best news for Albania."

    Mr. Pangalos also said that Greece will propose and support Albania's customs union with the European Union at the foreign ministers' council in Brussels on September 16. He added that Mr. Milo accepted an invitation to attend the Balkan foreign ministers' conference on Crete in November.

    The agenda of discussions also included the participation of Greek officers in the reorganization of the Albanian armed forces and police, in the framework of a broader co-operation in security matters. A relevant protocol signed by Greek National Defense Under-secretary Dimitris Apostolakis and Albanian Defense Minister Sabit Broka envisages that five officers and a company of the already existing Greek force in Albania will remain.

    The protocol also provides for co-operation between the two countries' armed forces.

    The ministers of public order, George Romeos and Neritan Ceka agreed to co-operate on the recording of illegal immigrants, and the reduction of criminal activity in Greece's border area.

    The agreement provides for the creation of an Albanian border police and Greece to train this force aimed at combating illegal immigration as well as smuggling.

    Albania also agreed to provide information on all Albanian criminals who have escaped from Albanian prisons during the insurrection, and return all speed boats which have been seized mainly from Corfu in the last few months.

    [02] Two billion drachma grant

    Tirana, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Well informed sources said it was also agreed that Greece will provide a direct grant of two billion drachmas to Albania, and negotiations will continue for the provision of an 18-billion drachma loan, under very favorable terms after talks between Greek

    National Economy Undersecretary Alexandros Baltas with Albanian officials.

    Another agreement provides for co-operation on vocational training issues and the modernization of Albanian social security funds.

    Mr. Pangalos also met with the country's president, Rexhep Mejdani, Archbishop of Albania Anastasios, and main opposition leader Sali Berisha.

    The Greek delegation included Public Order Minister George Romeos, National Defense Under-secretary Dimitris Apostolakis, Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, National Economy Under-secretary Alexandros Baltas, Public Works Under-secretary Dimitris Verelis and Labor Under-secretary Christos Protopappas.

    [03] Albanian FM

    Tirana, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Earlier, Mr. Milo said that Tirana viewed the visit of the Greek delegation as "further support within the framework of the international solidarity which has recently been clearly manifested.

    "The visit is of particular value because it is being made by the representatives of a neighboring and friendly country which has recently stood at the side of Albania and has and is helping us to overcome the crisis we are going through," Mr. Milo said.

    [04] Reactions to Gizikis' statements about Cyprus coup

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis said yesterday he considered reactions both in Greece and Cyprus over the recent statements by former junta president Phaedon Gizikis that he had personally ordered the 1974 coup in Cyprus, as justified.

    Commenting on the issue, the foreign under-secretary noted that Mr. Gizikis' statements constituted an insult to each and all Greeks. He said the statements were an admission of treason, stressing that the issue over the prescription of the offenses was the subject of a current debate.

    Mr. Kranidiotis pointed out that history had judged people of the likes of Mr. Gizikis and that views like his belonged to the past.

    [05] Salvage excavation reveals possible classical-era soldiers' tomb

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    A group tomb believed to belong to young Athenian soldiers who died in battles during the classical era was discovered during salvage operations close to the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos and the Hiera Odos area, it was announced yesterday.

    Findings related to what is believed to be one of the monumental tombs erected by Athens for its dead soldiers include the lower sections of porous limestone, preserved to a height of one meter. They also include fine samples of ancient Greek pottery from the 5th century B.C. to the 3rd century B.C., covering classical to Hellenistic times. The finds are associated with the series of group tombs that Athens erected for its killed heroes along a special street by the area of Kerameikos, the ancient cemetery.

    The Central Archaeological Council, which oversees all archaeological activity for the Ministry of Culture, will conduct an on-site examination of the area with all members present, headed by excavator Liana Parlama. The excavation was conducted between January 1 and July 4, following a request by a theater group for approval to build a theater on the site.

    [06] US spokesman on solving Greek-Turkish differences

    Washington, 6/8/1997 (CNA/ANA)

    The US government believes Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz is committed to resolving issues that continue to be points of friction in relations between Greece and Turkey, the US State Department spokesman has said.

    Commenting on an interview given by Mr. Yilmaz in the August 11 issue of the US weekly news magazine "Newsweek", Jim Foley said the US believes that Turkish prime minister is "committed to resolving the entire range of issues that divide Turkey and Greece".

    "(Mr. Yilmaz's) comments are an indication that the process of reconciliation began with (US Secretary of State Madeleine) Albright's Madrid initiative is indeed alive and well," Mr. Foley said.

    In the interview, the Turkish prime minister said his government will co-operate with the US initiative to resolve the Cyprus problem, especially if Dayton peace accord architect Richard Holbrooke is involved in the process.

    Mr. Holbrooke was recently appointed US presidential emissary on the Cyprus problem.

    However, Mr. Yilmaz reiterated the previous Turkish government's threats that his country will strike Cyprus militarily to destroy Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles if they are deployed on the island.

    Mr. Yilmaz said his country cannot "tolerate" the deployment of the missiles in Cyprus because they pose a "threat" to Turkey since he claimed the missiles can strike targets within Turkey.

    The Cyprus government purchased the missiles late last year, but stated that neither the missile, nor any of their components will be deployed on Cyprus before August 1998.

    Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and continues to occupy 37 per cent of the island's territory. Turkey also maintains 35,000 heavily armed troops in the occupied areas.

    In the interview, Mr. Yilmaz said that in order for Turkey to resolve its problems it must reach a consensus internally and externally and that steps have already been taken in that direction, such as the common declaration with Greece made last month a t the Madrid NATO summit.

    In that joint communiqui, Greece and Turkey agreed to "initiate an effort to promote bilateral relations" based on the principles of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty, international law and each state's interests in the Aegean Sea, a commitment to resolving differences by peaceful means and avoiding unilateral actions and conflicts arising from misunderstandings.

    The Turkish prime minister noted that he does not exclude the possibility of resolving Greek-Turkish differences over the uninhabited Greek island of Imia in the Aegean through arbitration by a third party or legal recourse to the International Court of Justice.

    Greece and Turkey reached the brink of armed conflict in January of 1996 when Turkish special forces raised the Turkish flag on Imia.

    Mr. Yilmaz added that "wise men" could lead the two countries to resolving the Imia issue in the International Court of Justice.

    Greece and Turkey agreed to a European Union initiative in June to each form respective committees composed of leading academics and other experts to evaluate and recommend ways through which relations between the countries can improve.

    "(Mr. Yilmaz's) comment on 'wise men' we believe is highly significant, and we hope that the wise men can meet soon on this issue (Imia)," Mr. Foley said.

    Reacting to an interview by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the same issue of "Newsweek", the US State Department spokesman said his government considers it "highly significant" that Mr. Simitis has "indicated his desire to solve the issue of t he continental shelf and agreed to confidence-building measures" with Turkey.

    Asked if the US is optimistic that Greece and Turkey will soon accept proposals made by NATO Secretary General Xavier Solana on confidence-building measures over the Aegean, Mr. Foley refrained from saying exactly when this will occur.

    "I don't want to predict when this will be," the State Department spokesman said, adding that "we indeed hope that both governments will be able to respond to secretary general Solana's initiative and agree on mutually agreeable confidence-building measures".

    [07] Greece requests clarifications over Yilmaz's statements on Aegean

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece said yesterday it has requested clarifications from Turkey over the accuracy of statements made by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to the effect that the Aegean Sea is a special case in which international law is not valid.

    In statements to a private radio station, Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis said that if Mr. Yilmaz was quoted accurately in the Sunday edition of US daily "Washington Post", then these statements undermine the spirit of the Madrid Communiqui and support a claim that is entirely illogical, to the effect that international law is not valid in the case of the Aegean Sea.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said the claim is illogical because "if this (international law) is not valid, then what is valid -- the law of war?"

    "Relations between Greece and Turkey," he said, "must be governed by international law and international treaties. Mr. Yilmaz's statements do not contribute to the efforts to improve Greek-Turkish relations".

    [08] Athens '97 world athletics championships

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece wins bronze in javelin, first medal in games

    Yesterday's results in a stadium packed with an enthusiastic crowd, proved to be more colorful than in other days, with the surprise elimination of world and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny from the javelin throw, an impressive run in the women's 10,000 met res that brought Kenya's Sally Barsosio to a smooth and cool top position, and the first medal for host Greece, with a bronze for javelin thrower Costas Gatzioudis. America's Michael Johnson, expected to secure a top placement, clinched the gold in the men's 400 meters.

    Johnson wins men's 400 meters title

    American Michael Johnson won the world men's 400 meters gold medal in 44.12 seconds yesterday.

    Davis Kamoga of Uganda took the silver (44.37) and American Tyree Washington the bronze (44.39).

    Corbett wins javelin gold after Zelezny goes out

    South African Marius Corbett won javelin gold at the world championships yesterday after favorite Jan Zelezny was eliminated from the final.

    Corbett threw a best of 88.40 meters to emerge as the surprise winner.

    Britain's Steve Backley took silver with 86.80 meters at his last attempt while Costas Gatzioudis handed Greece their first medal in the competition with a throw of 86.64 meters for bronze.

    World and Olympic champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic missed the cut for the final eight who take the last three throws.

    The world record holder failed to record a mark at his first two tries and recorded 82.06 meters with his third attempt, finishing in ninth place.

    Barsosio wins women's 10,000 meters title

    Kenyan Sally Barsosio won the world women's 10,000 meters gold medal yesterday, timed with 31:32.93.

    Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal took the silver (31:39.15) and Japanese Masako Chiba the bronze (31:41.93).

    Pedroso wins men's long jump title

    Cuban Ivan Pedroso won the world men's long jump gold medal yesterday, with 8.42 meters.

    Erick Walder of the United States took the silver (8.38) and Russian Kiril Sosunov the bronze (8.18).

    Sacramento wins women's 1,500 meters title

    Portuguese Carla Sacramento won the world women's 1,500 meters title yesterday with 4:04.24.

    American Regina Jacobs took the silver (4:04.63) and Anita Weyermann of Switzerland the bronze (4:04.70).

    Medals table

    Medals table after the fourth day of competition at the World Athletics Championships yesterday:

    United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 1 bronze Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold Cuba: 1 gold Czech Republic: 1 gold France: 1 gold Kenya: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Belarus: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze

    [09] Justice Minister comments on World Championships

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos said yesterday that Athens' suitability as host city for the 2004 Olympiad was being "tested" at the 6th World Athletics Championship currently under way, and that if the International Olympic Committee members awarded the 28th Olympiad to Athens, they would be doing "their duty".

    "However, if they think commercially, then they will not give the Olympic Games to Greece," the Minister added, in an indirect response to criticism by International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) president Primo Nebiolo that Athens had not properly marketed the current 6th World Athletics Championships, resulting in low attendance last Saturday, the first day of events at Athens' Olympic Stadium.

    Athens '97 director Vangelis Savramis also rebuffed the criticism on Monday, saying that he preferred "a stadium full of sports fans rather than soldiers", intimating at the practice adopted for boosting attendance at the 2nd World Championships in Rome in 1987.

    Mr. Nebiolo is honorary chairman of the Rome 2004 Olympic bid organizing committee. Rome and Athens were shortlisted in March for the 2004 Games, together with Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Stockholm from among 11 candidate cities.

    Mr. Savramis said he had proposed to Mr. Nebiolo a change in the August 1-10 dates, as most people in the greater Athens area are away on holiday at that time of the year, but Nebiolo had instead argued "for a promotion campaign using loudspeakers".

    President of the Greek Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolaou has also said that nine days was "too lengthy" for an athletic competition, and that six days would have been better for the World Championships.

    The Justice Minister, who attended the track and field events yesterday, said the organization of the Championships was "impeccable in all respects".

    He also praised the performance of the Greek athletes, noting that "it is no small accomplishment to be fourth or fifth in the world".

    [10] Coalition of the Left and Progress' Grigoris Giannaros dies

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Veteran left-wing politician Grigoris Giannaros died at dawn yesterday at the age of 61 after a lengthy illness.

    Giannaros, a former MP for Athens and member of the Coalition of the Left and Progress' Central Committee, was born in April 1936 in Salmoni, Ileia prefecture. He studied economic sciences at the Athens Higher School of Economic and Commerce Sciences (ASOEE), with postgraduate studies at the Moscow Academy of Sciences.

    Giannaros served as editor of the Athens daily "Avghi" from 1978 to 1988.

    Married to Sonia Tsitilou and the father of one son, Giannaros served as Alternate Industry Minister from November 1989 to February 1990 in the coalition government under Xenophon Zolotas.

    He was first elected to Parliament in the June 1989 elections in Athens' second electoral district and re-elected in November 1989, while in the April 1990 elections he was elected MP in Athens' first electoral district.

    In August 1989 Giannaros served as the Coalition of the Left and Progress's representative on the parliamentary fact-finding commission into alleged financial mishandling of the so-called "purchase of the century" -- the 1986 purchase of 40 Mirage-2000 jetfighters from France and another 40 F-16 fighter planes from the US -- and in September 1989 was elected in a secret ballot in Parliament as alternate prosecutor in the Special Court investigating the accountability of former ministers and PASOK leader Andreas Papandreou in the Koskotas banking scandal during the preceding PASOK government.

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos sent a message of condolences to Giannaros' family, as did Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    In his message, Mr. Simitis said the death of Giannaros, "a friend and fighter, leaves a void that is difficult to fill, as Grigoris Giannaros promoted the concerns of the modern left and showed that its principles and values can also be valid in the modern age".

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (SYN) leader Nikos Constantopoulos extolled Giannaros' struggle for "the renewal of the Greek Left and the reconstruction of Greek society" and said the late politician had "never laid down his arms, he never sought refuge in the safety of dogma, ideological stereotypes and absolute truths".

    Giannaros' vision was "the transformation of the Left to a leading political power of Greek society, with an active role in political development, with a historical sense, scientific knowledge and realistic political plan", Mr. Constantopoulos said.

    The party's youth organization expressed its grief over the "beloved friend who left" and said his death meant "the modern democratic Left loses a significant man and visionary".

    PASOK Central Committee secretary Kostas Skandalidis expressed his great sadness over the death of "a friend and fighter", who was "an outstanding political personality, with unique action and contribution to the greater Left". His death "is a great loss", Mr. Skandalidis added.

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said Giannaros' death was a "blow to the country's political life and to his party".

    The deceased, he said, "was a politician who supported his views with consistency and without fanaticism, and resisted the phenomena of decadence in his own way".

    Condolences were also sent by Communist Party of Greece secretary general Aleka Papariga and honorary leader Harilaos Florakis, while Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras mourned the death "of a politician with integrity and a friend".

    Former premier and honorary ND leader Constantine Mitsotakis said that Giannaros "remained faithful to his ideals and resisted fanaticism and extremism". Giannaros, he added, "had the gift of anticipating developments and the strength of advancing his ideas through democratic dialogue".

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas also expressed grief over the passing away of an "eminent cadre of the left who had made an immense contribution to consolidating Gre-ece's parliamentary democracy", adding that his death "is a loss not only for his party, to which he was a credit, but for all democrats".

    Yiannis Banias, secretary of the Renewal Communist Ecological Left, said he had "met with Giannaros and shared with him common struggles for democracy, socialism and the communist renewal".

    The executive committee of the Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), the umbrella union for the public sector employees, expressed its grief for the man who had "devoted his whole life to the struggles for social progress, democracy, and peace".

    [11] Measures to improve hospital care

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Health Minister Costas Geitonas opened a four-bed intensive care unit at Patras' Aghios Andreas Hospital yesterday and summed up improvements to the hospital care system, particularly in western Greece.

    There are now 340 intensive care units around the country, he said, an increase of 30% in the last 10 months. This figure is expected to reach 600 units within three years and will then cover 99% of the country's needs.

    The ambulance service (EKAB) is being expanded to cover the entire country, while more kidney dialysis units and other special clinics are also being created.

    With regard to western Greece, he said, the government's goal is to make the region self-sufficient with regard to hospital care, through co-operation between the two major hospitals, Aghios Andreas and Patras' University Hospital. Another 305 jobs are being created at these two hospitals for doctors, nurses and other staff.

    Of a total of 11,000 new jobs planned for the current two-year period, 6,000 have already been created, the Minister noted.

    [12] Record price of brent oil poses problems

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    The price of brent oil reached a six-week record on Monday, jumping again to almost $20 per barrel and posing a problem for many governments, including Greece's.

    The Greek government is closely monitoring developments in the oil market since an increase coupled with the dollar's unrestrained steep rise are threatening a flair up of inflationary pressure.

    The increase in the oil price was sudden, since the world was expecting a stable price in view of the resumption of Iraqi exports. However, an unexpected disruption by Colombian rebels of the export of 170,000 Colombian barrels per day at a time when demand is especially high, lead to the current increase. It also caused a market panic in the United States, which buys most of the Colombian oil, as demand for fuel in the holiday period is very high.

    [13] Antenna: $100 m. bond loan

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Private Television station Antenna, which is expected to issue a bond loan of $100 million in the international money market, has received a BB rating by the international organization "Standards and Poors".

    Antenna's board seems to have taken resort to that option after putting aside the idea of floating shares in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [14] Greek mutual fund assets show 4.94 pct rise in July

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Total net assets of Greek mutual funds rose by 268.15 billion drachmas in July, marking a 4.94 percent rise, Ionian Bank said in its monthly report, out yesterday.

    Overall mutual fund assets on July 31 totaled 5,696.25 billion drachmas, representing 32.92 percent of total drachma deposits by private individuals on April 4, 1997.

    Net assets of mutual fixed income funds increased by 4.79 percent, totaling 5,339.1 billion drachmas on July 31, up 243.9 billion drachmas against the previous month.

    Net assets of international funds rose sharply by 8.04 percent and net assets of growth funds also showed a healthy 6.95 percent rise.

    Total net assets comprised 5,339 billion drachmas in fixed income funds, 105 billion drachmas in international funds, and 252 billion drachmas in growth funds.

    [15] Olympic Airways to begin transfer to new airport in Oct. '98

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Olympic Airways, the Greek national carrier, is due to begin transferring its operations in October 1998 to a new international airport being built for Athens, a company statement said yesterday.

    OA's board said the move to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, whose contractor is Germany's Hochtief, would be completed in July 2000 before the new facility's launch in 2001.

    The cost of transferring OA to the new site in Spata, Attica, has an initial budget of 118 billion drachmas with a 20 percent deviation either way.

    The international airport currently in use at Hellenikon is destined for closure when the new facility opens.

    [16] Unbridled dollar hits 293.05 drachmas, sets new record

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    The US dollar again set an all-time high against the drachma on Greek foreign exchange markets yesterday, finishing at 293.05 drachmas, in line with its surge worldwide.

    The dollar's jump was 1.62 drachmas higher than the central bank's fix of 291.43 drachmas the previous day, propelling the US currency's gains on the Greek market to 18.38 percent in 1997.

    Inching towards 300 drachmas, commercial banks on Wednesday will sell the dollar at 297.446 drachmas. The dollar began its upward spiral on the domestic market on July 14 when it ended above 280 drachmas at 281.27 drachmas. Since then, it has set seven all-time highs, gaining 11.78 drachmas.

    At Tuesday's fix, the Bank of Greece set the yen at 247.63 drachmas, up 0.67 percent. The mark ended 0.07 percent down at 155.870 drachmas.

    On international markets the greenback sprinted through the 1.88 deutschemark barrier in morning trade, setting new highs since October 1989 before receding. Technical analysts see the dollar moving in a range of 1.90-2.0 marks until the end of 1997.

    The dollar's frenzied ascent has forced the Greek government to lower its petrol tax to help offset inflationary pressures.

    The surge also has placed a strain on public debt. About a third of the external debt is expressed in dollars. In addition, Greece's 1997 budget was calculated on the basis of an average 247 drachmas.

    Despite a government policy of curbing the US currency's role in the country's debt composition for several years, the dollar still accounted for 33 percent of the total external debt against 17 percent for the ECU.

    The ascending yen, which has jumped 16.5 percent against the drachma in 1997, is also expected to hurt the external debt to a lesser extent.

    The dollar's rise is expected to have a negative impact on the trade balance due to the rise in fuel prices, despite the government's attempt to soften the blow.

    In 1996 fuel imports in dollars totaled around 2.8 billion dollars. In the same year fuel exports were 651.8 million dollars. The value of fuel imports according to data in the balance of payments is rising year by year. From 1.9 billion dollars in 199 4, fuel exports rose to 2.2 billion dollars in 1995 and 2.8 billion in 1996.

    [17] Greek equities nose down in meager trade

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greek stocks again slipped to finish 0.12 percent down in thin trade yesterday, with the market showing signs of consolidating below resistance at 1,600 points.

    The Athens general share index finished at 1,584.91 points from 1,586.85 in the previous session, and turnover rose slightly to 9.1 billion drachmas from 7.5 billion drachmas.

    The parallel market for smaller cap stocks edged down, closing 0.70 percent lower.

    Sector indices ended mixed. Banks edged down 0.10 percent, Insurance rose 0.13 percent, Investment sank 1.25 percent, Industrials crept up 0.24 percent, Construction nose-dived 1.90 percent, Miscellaneous fell 0.30 percent and Holding slumped 0.97 percent.

    State-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organization stayed put at 6,270 drachmas, the same as the previous day's close.

    The dollar set a new all-time high against the drachma on the domestic foreign exchange market to finish at 293.05 drachmas at the central bank's daily fix from the previous 291.43 close.

    Declines outstripped advances at 130 to 68 with 39 shares remaining unchanged out of 237 traded.

    The day's highest percentage gainers were Radio Korasidis, Paleo Faliro Medical, Alkar-Aemet and Hellenic Textiles, which all closed at or near the eight percent upper volatility limit.

    The biggest percentage losers were Sato (preferred and common), General Warehouses (common) and Boutaris (preferred), all finishing at or near the eight percent limit down.

    Among blue chips National Bank of Greece ended at 37,190 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,050, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,600, Delta Dairy (common) at 3,380, Hellenic Bottling at 10,270, Titan (common) at 14,690, Intracom (common) at 13,185, and Aluminium de Grece (common) at 18,995 drachmas.

    [18] Olympic Airways marks 16.3 pct rise in passengers Jan-Jun

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    Olympic Airways posted a 16.3 rise in passengers in the first six months against the same period last year, OA's board said yesterday.

    The increase comprises rises of 17.6 for the parent company and 10.3 percent for Olympic Aviation, its subsidiary handling most domestic routes.

    The national carrier also reported rises of 5.3 percent in departures, 4.5 percent in travel hours, and 4.8 percent in flight kilometers, OA's board said.

    [19] Citibank again wins title of best foreign bank in Greece

    Athens, 6/8/1997 (ANA)

    For the third successive year, Citibank has won the title of best foreign bank in Greece, on the basis of a study conducted by Euromoney magazine.

    Specifically, the study says that Citibank is the most important bank is the shipping sector, and has retained its leading position in the sectors of currency transactions and financial derivatives. It has also maintained its lead in the sector of special innovative financial products.

    Citibank has also acquired the title of best foreign bank in six other EU countries, in three eastern European countries, and in three geographical regions, namely, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America. It is in second position in Asia.

    On a world level, the bank is considered top in the sectors of currency exchange and loan underwriting, as well as in a new category, that of currency services.

    End of English language section.


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