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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-07

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

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1257), August 7, 1997

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address:


  • [01] Greece slams agreement between Turkey and Turkish Cypriot regime
  • [02] ND reactions
  • [03] Other reactions
  • [04] Cyprus government reaction
  • [05] Athens '97 world athletics championships
  • [06] Medals table
  • [07] Possible penal proceedings against junta leader
  • [08] Kranidiotis stresses need for adherence to EU-Cyprus talks
  • [09] Praise for Athens '97 Athletics
  • [10] Results of Greek mission to Albania, 'more than encouraging'
  • [11] Salary increase for deputies brings reactions from smaller parties
  • [12] Veteran politician Grigoris Giannaros laid to rest
  • [13] Convicts escape from Corfu prison
  • [14] Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos
  • [15] Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions policy
  • [16] Greek consumer price inflation edges down to 5.4 pct yr/yr
  • [17] Greek stocks surge 1.68 pct on Olympics bet, pierce resistance
  • [18] Athens to get new garbage recycling plant
  • [19] EU approves funds for public works projects
  • [20] BoG intervenes in short-term interest rates

  • [01] Greece slams agreement between Turkey and Turkish Cypriot regime

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday strongly condemned an agreement between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot illegal regime in the occupied part of Cyprus providing for their partial integration.

    "Turkey with its action today simply institutionalizes the full political and military control it has been exerting in the occupied parts for many years anyway, and reveals its true face," a foreign ministry statement said.

    The agreement, signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a Turkish Cypriot regime "official" yesterday, calls for an association council to work towards the partial economic and defense integration of Turkey with the Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied northern part of the island.

    This agreement towards partial integration comes just five days before the start of a second round of UN-sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to resolve the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The Greek foreign ministry statement also said "the fact that Turkey chose this particular moment to sign such an agreement -- when efforts by the international community are made towards normalizing Greek-Turkish relations on the basis of international law and conventions between civilized countries and when UN-sponsored talks have begun for a Cyprus settlement -- shows that despite its change in government it insists in maintaining an internationally unique behavior towards the world, disregarding laws and rules which it signs only to transgress on them depending on its own interests".

    "This behavior as well as the fact that Turkey is far from being a state governed by justice and a western-type democracy, create, on the basis of the (EU) July 15 common position and its 'Agenda 2000' report, serious obstacles in its European orientation and in normal co-operation with it," the foreign ministry statement added.

    "Greece will defend Cyprus' freedom in co-operation with the Cyprus government on the basis of UN resolutions and international law," the statement concluded.

    Turkey has threatened it will unite with the occupied north of Cyprus if the island Republic begins membership talks with the European Union. The EU has invited Cyprus to begin accession talks early next year.

    [02] ND reactions

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party also accused Turkey of "flexing its muscles", "intransigence", and "creating tension at every opportunity".

    In a statement, ND also charged Turkey with "insisting on transgressing on every principle of international legality and on blackmailing the whole European Union".

    It added that "those who hastily engaged in triumvirates over the communiqui signed in Madrid, and those -luckily few- who insisted on referring to the concept of compromise should come to realize Turkey's tactics."

    "If the smoothing of Greek-Turkish relations is to be substantive and permanent, it cannot be achieved through unilateral concessions, but through securing of the equality of the two sides on the basis of international law," the statement concluded.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel issued a joint communiqui early July after talks on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid. The communiqui, reaffirming the two countries' commitment to promote bilateral relations, calls for respect for peace and security, continuous development of relations, respect for each country's sovereignty and for the principles of international law and international treaties, respect for each other's interests and concerns in the Aegean and commitment to avoid unilateral actions and to resolve disputes by peaceful means.

    [03] Other reactions

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Syn) party leader Nikos Constantopoulos called on the government to "give explanations" on the Madrid communiqui saying that developments were "worrying".

    "Developments are worrying and dangerous. The government, instead of referring to Turkish policy's provocative behavior, ought to explain what guarantees it secured when signing the Madrid agreement, in order that it not be transgressed, as the government affirms with its statement," Mr. Constantopoulos said.

    Political Spring party President Antonis Samaras accused Premier Simitis, saying his responsibilities were "heavy" in signing the Madrid communiqui.

    "The prime minister's responsibilities are heavy. He has the obligation to explain immediately to the Greek people what agreements he has concluded behind Greece's back," Mr. Samaras said

    [04] Cyprus government reaction

    Nicosia, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    In Nicosia, Cypriot government spokesman Manolis Christofides described the accord between Turkey and the pseudo-state a "provocation to the international community" and said it would be debated today with political party leaders, according to a Reuter dispatch.

    "We are closely monitoring these developments which are being handled by the president... Such actions cause damage to the good climate which should exist and are a provocation to the international community, the United Nations and the European Union," he told Reuters.

    [05] Athens '97 world athletics championships

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks in championships

    Yesterday's finals included some spectacular performances and unexpected comebacks, including an admirable win by Kenyans who took all three medals at the 3,000 steeplechase race. Cuban Jose Sotomayor reclaimed the world men's title despite repeated injuries that destroyed his chances in Atlanta last year, Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj came back to win the world 1,500 meters following a spill in last year's Olympics that cost him a gold, and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie, who had withdrawn from Atlanta's 5,000 meters with severe blisters, winning his third consecutive 10,000 meters world title. Czech Thomas Dvorak was another surprise, winning the gold in the decathlon despite his third place in the 1,500 meters, having a clear lead of 96 points over the silver winner. The Athens Olympic Stadium was again packed with an enthusiastic crowd.

    Sotomayor bounces back after dreadful year Cuba's Javier Sotomayor bounced back after a dreadful 1996 yesterday to reclaim the world men's high jump title.

    Sotomayor took the title with a leap of 2.37 meters then, with the gold medal already confirmed, took one abortive attempt at 2.41.

    Poland's Arthur Partyka, second behind Sotomayor four years ago, finished with the silver again (2.35), followed by Australian Tim Forsyth (also 2.35).

    Sotomayor, the world record holder with 2.45 meters, won the Olympic title in 1992 and the world title the following year.

    He was hampered by knee, foot and ankle injuries in 1995 and again last year, finishing 11th at the Atlanta Olympics. Greece's hopeful, Lambros Papakostas, finished sixth with 2.32, after Norway's Steinar Hoen and Britain's Dalton Grant, who tied in fourth/fifth place also with 2.32.

    El Guerrouj inherits Morceli's crown Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj confirmed his promise yesterday when he took the world 1,500m crown from three times champion Noureddine Morceli.

    The 22-year-old world indoor champion, whose chance of the gold in Atlanta last year disappeared when he fell in the Olympic final, glided to victory in three minutes 35.83 seconds.

    Algerian Morceli, the Olympic champion and world record holder, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track titles, finished out of the medals in fourth place behind Spaniards Fermin Cacho and fast-finishing Reyes Estevez who overtook him just before the finish line.

    Cacho, the 1992 Olympic champion, clocked 3:36.63, Estevez 3:37.26 and Morceli 3:37.37, exactly 10 seconds outside his world record.

    The race began at a pedestrian pace with the first two laps averaging 61 seconds.

    El Guerrouj, controlling everything from the front, kicked with 500 meters to run and again at the bell and was never in the slightest danger of losing, easily adding the world outdoor title to the indoor gold he won in Paris last month.

    Kipketer wins final sprint after race went to plan Wilson Boit Kipketer won a dramatic sprint finish between three Kenyans to seal his first major title in the world 3,000 meters steeplechase final yesterday, upstaging world record holder Moses Kiptanuyi in the process.

    After defending champion Kiptanui had led from the start, the 23-year-old Kipketer burst past his compatriot down the home straight to win in eight minutes 05.84 seconds.

    Kiptanui, who was bidding to become the first man to win four successive world track title, took silver in 8:06.04 with Bernard Barmasai completing a Kenyan clean sweep in exactly the same time.

    It was the second consecutive time that Kiptanui has lost out in a tight finish at a major championship after winning the world title in 1991, 1993 and 1995.

    At last year's Atlanta Olympics Kiptanui could also not match the final kick of compatriot and training partner Joseph Keter and also took silver.

    Kiptanui said the three Kenyans had talked about the race beforehand and had carried out a plan to make sure the pace was fast.

    "We had a plan. We knew that if the race was slow it would be difficult for us to finish in the top three," he said. "That is why we were in front and going faster and faster all the time."

    Used to being accompanied throughout the first part of races by a pacemaker on the grand prix circuit, Kiptanui ran a brave race from the front from the start.

    He was ahead at the bell as the three Kenyans set a furious pace down the back straight. The steeplechasers came over the water jump almost together before Kipketer produced his brilliant finish.

    "When I broke through I knew the race was mine because I have been training specifically for the last 300 meters," Kipketer said. "It's great that Kenya got one-two-three. It is what the Kenyan people have been waiting for.

    "I think that the three of us could co-operate to break the record ... We have got what we wanted -- all three medals."

    Kiptanui, 26, has been working more as a coach recently and has been training a group of more than 30 athletes.

    The world record holder said he still felt he could continue his career on the track.

    But he added: "Who knows what can happen? Maybe in one year's time I will not be in the same position as I am now."

    Gebrselassie wins third 10,000 meters world title Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie won his third consecutive world 10,000 meters title with consummate ease yesterday.

    Gebrselassie took off with 600 meters remaining to win in 27 minutes 24.58 seconds ahead of Kenyan Paul Tergat, the 1995 bronze medallist, with former world record holder Salah Hissou of Morocco third in 27:28.67.

    The top three finished in exactly the same order in the Olympic final in Atlanta last year.

    World record holder Gebrselassie ran a perfect race, staying just behind the leader for most of the race before making his decisive move.

    Gebrselassie, 24, had threatened not to come to Athens because he feared the track might be too hard. He then asked unsuccessfully for it to be watered in order to make it softer.

    Gebrselassie withdrew from the 5,000 meters in Atlanta after sustaining severe blisters from the hard track while winning the 10,000 meters.

    Dvorak wins decathlon with historic performance Czech Thomas Dvorak, a bronze medallist at last year's Atlanta Olympics, sealed his first world title with the third best decathlon performance of all time at the world championships yesterday.

    After going into the final event with a 96-point lead over Finland's Eduard Hamalainen, Dvorak came in third in the 1,500 meters to finish with a total of 8,837.

    The Czech was clearly unaware that he could make history, walking across the finish line.

    Hamalainen took silver with 8,730 with Germany's Frank Busemann, who produced a major surprise by coming from nowhere to take silver at Atlanta, winning the bronze with 8,652.

    Dvorak's performance has been bettered by only American world record holder Dan O'Brien who compiled 8,891 in 1992 and Briton Daley Thompson who scored 8,847 at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

    Greece's entry, Prodromos Korkizoglou, came 16th out of 34, with 7,867 points.

    [06] Medals table

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

    United States: 3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Germany: 2 gold, 2 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Ukraine: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver, South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Mexico: 1 gold Britain: 2 silver Russia: 1 silver, 2 bronze Spain: 1 silver, 1 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Poland: 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

    [07] Possible penal proceedings against junta leader

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos yesterday did not rule out the initiation of penal proceedings against junta 'president' in 1974, retired general Phaedon Gizikis, who admitted, in a newspaper interview on Sunday, August 3, to ordering the overthrow of Cypriot president Archbishop Makarios on July 15 of that year.

    Mr. Yiannopoulos made the statement after meeting a delegation of the Cypriot Socialist EDEK party, headed by deputy leader Yiannakis Omirou.

    The minister revealed that the Cypriot government intended to prosecute Mr. Gizikis on charges of high treason, and that he himself would consult with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, with a view to examining the issue both on penal and political grounds.

    He said this would involve examination of whether the legal impediment of the elapsing of the 20-year writing-off period since the commission of the crime could be overcome.

    [08] Kranidiotis stresses need for adherence to EU-Cyprus talks

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis had talks yesterday with Britain's visiting European affairs minister, Doug Henderson, focusing on the Cyprus problem.

    "I stressed that the decision taken for the commencement of negotiations (for EU accession) with the legitimate government of Cyprus six months after the IGC must be adhered to," Mr. Kranidiotis told reporters after the two-hour meeting. He added however that this did not mean efforts should not be made in the meantime for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in view of the fresh round of talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Geneva on August 11.

    While restating the British government's support for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr. Henderson stressed that "the accession path" would be "much smoother" if the issue of the internal division of Cyprus had been resolved through a negotiated settlement .

    The British Minister meanwhile praised the Greek government's contribution to improving the situation in neighboring Albania and expressed the hope that with the help of the international community "and the Greek government in particular" Albania "will establish a firm constitutional position" which would enable the country to contribute to stability in the Balkans.

    Replying to reporters' questions on statements reportedly made by Turkish Premier Mesut Yilmaz to the effect that the Aegean Sea supposedly constitutes a "special case" to which international law is not applicable, Mr. Kranidiotis reiterated that Athens h ad requested clarifications from Turkey.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said however that the statements, reportedly made by Mr. Yilmaz to the "Washington Post", did not contribute to the climate "which we have been trying to create following the Madrid joint communiqui".

    The framework which must govern Greek-Turkish relations, he added, is that of international law, international treaties and international conventions.

    On his part, Mr. Henderson said the two countries should try to resolve the matter themselves "and if they cannot, they will have to find a third party acceptable to both sides as an arbitrator".

    In the absence of any other (arbitrator), Mr. Henderson said, "the Court of Justice at the Hague is a possible way of resolving that outstanding problem".

    The two ministers also discussed matters related to EU enlargement and bilateral issues. Mr. Henderson expressed London's support for the Commission's proposal concerning the commencement of procedures for the accession of the five nations of Central Europe, while noting that "we should also leave the door open for other nations hoping for a seat in the EU at a later stage".

    The EU, Mr. Henderson said, is a great opportunity for those countries in Central Europe and elsewhere which rejected communism "and are looking for a home in democracy".

    "We have a historic obligation to offer that opportunity," the British minister added.

    [09] Praise for Athens '97 Athletics

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, Mr. Henderson also praised the organization of the ongoing 6th World Athletics Championships in Athens. Himself a marathon runner, the British Minister said the championships were "very well organized" with events beginning "precisely on time".

    "Everyone has the opportunity to watch the events in a friendly, harmonious and very pleasant atmosphere," added Mr. Henderson, who was among the spectators at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Tuesday and yesterday evening.

    "I'm sorry about the javelin, but that's athletics," Mr. Henderson said, referring to his compatriot, Steve Backley, who on his last throw deprived Greek champion Costas Gatsioudis of the silver medal in Tuesday's event.

    [10] Results of Greek mission to Albania, 'more than encouraging'

    Tirana, 7/8/1997 (ANA - P. Haritou)

    The results of a government mission to Tirana on Tuesday are "more than encouraging", according to members of the delegation, which included six ministers headed by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Of particular importance are the two co-operation protocols signed in Tirana, the first on seasonal employment for Albanian immigrants in Greece and the second on defense co-operation.

    The terms of the first protocol also provide for the removal from Greece of criminals who escaped from Albanian prisons during the recent uprising. The full registration of all Albanians in Greece is expected to be completed within the next four to five months. Lists of escaped criminals thought to be in Greece are to be made available by the Albanian authorities.

    The defense protocol allows for the participation of Greek forces in the reorganization of the Albanian army, including the presence of five Greek officers in Tirana, supported by a company.

    The general nature of the protocol requires further studies to be made, specifying the role of the Greek forces and their degree of participation in an eventual multinational council of advisers for the reorganization of the army.

    With regard to a financial protocol signed last year regarding a $20 million loan to Albania, National Economy Under-secretary Alekos Baltas reportedly assured Albanian Finance Minister Arben Malaj that Greece remained most interested in supporting his country during the current phase.

    The Greek side clarified that two billion drachmas would be made available immediately as a guarantee of Greece's goodwill. Another 18 billion drachmas would be awarded gradually, on favorable terms.

    In a press conference at the end of the Greek delegation's visit, both Foreign Ministers referred to the particularly warm climate that had pervaded the talks.

    "While a new road is opening up in relations between the two countries," said Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, "the sooner agreements with Greece are implemented, the closer the Albanian people will be to a better future." Mr. Pangalos had earlier announced a commitment by Mr. Milo for more Greek language education in Albania, which he said would open the way to a better rapprochement and understanding between the two nations.

    [11] Salary increase for deputies brings reactions from smaller parties

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Smaller parties in Parliament reacted strongly yesterday to the government's defense of an increase in deputies' salaries, prompting Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos to say that those who refused the increase could just keep the money in a bank.

    Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr. Yiannopoulos said that salaries for the 300-strong representative body were equal to the salaries received by presidents of high courts, therefore they increased simultaneously.

    Reactions came as he clarified the status of a rule passed in 1975 that links salaries of judges with those of deputies.

    Mr. Yiannopoulos said that deputies' salaries at present were low, citing his own example of spending 850,000 drachmas per month for running his office.

    He also proposed that Parliament put out a brochure for the public, detailing the salaries of deputies and their expenses.

    Protests came from Coalition of the Left and Progress (Syn) leader Nikos Constantopoulos who said that "being a deputy is a choice, not a professional selection. Life choices are costly".

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) deputy Kostis Korakas accused the government of using the provision on judges' salaries as an excuse.

    Democratic Social Party (DHKKI) said it opposed the increase, while main opposition New Democracy (ND) supported it but called for transparency in Greek politics.

    Responding to the criticism, Mr. Yiannopoulos said that "Whoever doesn't want to pick up the money (to cover their expenses) can deposit it instead in a bank account, since the state will give it out anyway".

    [12] Veteran politician Grigoris Giannaros laid to rest

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Hundreds of people yesterday attended the funeral in Athens of veteran left-wing politician Grigoris Giannaros, who died on Tuesday at the age of 61.

    Those present included Coalition of the Left party leader Nikos Constantopoulos, Eurodeputies Michalis Papagiannakis and Alekos Alavanos, and the ministers of Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Development, Vasso Papandreou, Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos, and of Justice, Evangelos Yiannopoulos. The main opposition New Democracy party was represented by former ministers Ioannis Varvitsiotis, George Souflias, and Stefanos Manos.

    Eulogies were delivered by Messrs Constantopoulos and Varvitsiotis, Ms Papandreou, Education Minister Gerassimos Arsenis, and former journalist colleagues.

    Giannaros had served as director of the left-wing Athens daily Avghi.

    [13] Convicts escape from Corfu prison

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    A group of prisoners escaped yesterday evening from Corfu jail by disarming the guard of the central gate under the threat of a gun, initial reports said.

    Later reports said the escaped convicts, who included a group of Albanians, numbered 15, and that five of them have been apprehended.

    Other reports said one of them was wounded in the leg when other guards opened fire, while another was fatally wounded, but this was not confirmed.

    [14] Soldiers from Peloponnesian War possibly interred at Kerameikos

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Archaeologists on the salvage excavation which revealed what might be one of the monumental series of tombs erected to honor soldiers who died during the 5th century B.C., said yesterday that the finds may be associated with Athenians who fought in the Peloponnesian War.

    "It is possible that the monument found on Salaminos Street (near Kerameikos) is related to those who died during the Peloponnesian War," one of the excavators, Ch. Stoupa, said following a general announcement of the finds on Tuesday.

    Mrs. Stoupa said data pointing out to this conclusion included the monumental aspect of the tombs discovered in July, the dates determined from pottery found on the site and information gleaned from Thucydides' accounts on how the first dead of the Peloponnesian War were interred.

    The war, pitting the city-state of Athens and its allies against rival Sparta, raged for most of the 5th century B.C. and brought about the collapse of classical Greece.

    No official opinion has been given on the findings, pending a coming in site examination by the Ministry of Culture.

    [15] Greenpeace attacks Greece's emissions policy

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    The international environmental organization "Greenpeace" on Wednesday urged a radical review of Greece's policy relating to climate change, accusing the government of trying to exercise environmental policy "on the backs of others".

    The Greek branch of Greenpeace called a press conference yesterday on the occasion of the meeting of officials from around the world in Bonn to formulate a plan for reducing greenhouse gases in view of a conference on climate change in Kyoto, Japan in December.

    "While supporting the taking of measures and the signing of a binding protocol for confronting problems associated with climate change, Greece is not only refusing to reduce emissions of dangerous gases but on the contrary is planning to increase them by 30 per cent by the year 2010," Stelios Psomas, an official of Greenpeace's Greek branch charged.

    The aim of the Kyoto conference will be the signing of a binding protocol which for the first time will reduce dangerous greenhouse gases threatening the earth's climate.

    Greenpeace expressed concern about the outcome of the Kyoto conference, charging that major financial interests were blocking efforts to fight global warming.

    "A strong lobby made up of oil, coal and natural gas companies, supported by many governments, is exerting pressure to prevent the crucial decisions from being taken," Mr. Psomas alleged, naming in particular the United States, Japan, Australia and the oil-producing countries.

    Although the European Union is proposing a reduction in the emissions of certain gases by 7.5 per cent by the year 2005 and by 15 per cent by the year 2010, Greece will increase overall emissions by 30 per cent up to the year 2010 "with the excuse that the country has the right to develop", Mr. Psomas asserted.

    [16] Greek consumer price inflation edges down to 5.4 pct yr/yr

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greek consumer price inflation fell slightly to 5.4 per cent in July year-on-year from 5.5 per cent in June, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday.

    NSS said the consumer price index fell 1.9 percent in July month-on-month from June against a 1.7 per cent reduction a year earlier.

    The fall in inflation was marginal due to a smaller drop in vegetable prices this year against the same period of 1996, when they slumped 20 per cent.

    Commenting on the recent surge in the dollar, NSS General Director Nikos Karavitis said pressure so far on fuel prices in Greece had been absorbed by a cut in gasoline tax announced by the government last week.

    Inflation had not been affected, Mr. Karavitis said.

    [17] Greek stocks surge 1.68 pct on Olympics bet, pierce resistance

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greek stocks yesterday gained fresh impetus from a buying spree in construction with market players apparently discounting a win for Athens in its bid to host the 2004 Olympics.

    Also lured by price declines across the board, market players bought into the battered construction sector mainly on sentiment, allowing the market again to pierce stubborn resistance at 1,600 points.

    The Athens general share index finished up 1.68 percent at 1,611.46 points from 1,584.91 in the previous session.

    Exerting a minor but tangible impact on sentiment was a fractional decline in July's consumer price inflation to 5.4 percent year-on-year from 5.5 percent a month earlier.

    Inflation has so far emerged unscathed from the rampant dollar's surge on world and domestic markets, partly due to a government-ordained drop in gasoline tax.

    Turnover was healthier at 11.8 billion drachmas, rising gradually from 9.1 billion and 7.5 billion drachmas in the last two sessions.

    The volatile market recaptured resistance at 1,600 points after six sessions trading below the key psychological and technical level that has several times proved elusive to reach and then hold.

    Construction stocks propelled the market, skyrocketing 6.49 percent in the wake of a 1.90 percent plunge in the previous session.

    The parallel market for smaller cap stocks underperformed the main market to end 0.93 percent higher.

    Sector indices rose across the board. Banks jumped 1.65 percent, Leasing gained 0.61 percent, Insurance soared 2.88 percent, Investment increased 0.72 percent, Industrials leapt 1.80 percent, Miscellaneous rose 1.22 percent and Holding increased 1.17 percent.

    State-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organization gained 25 drachmas to close at 6,295 from 6,270 drachmas in the previous session.

    Advances outstripped gains at 141 to 69 with 21 shares remaining unchanged out of 231 traded.

    The dollar held its momentum on the domestic foreign exchange market, setting a new all-time high against the Greek currency to finish at 295.05 drachmas at the central bank's daily fix from the previous 293.05 drachmas.

    The dollar's jump on world foreign exchange markets reflected domestically has aided the Athens bourse, according to analysts.

    Listed export-oriented companies are benefiting from the US currency's unbridled ascent, acquiring a shot of adrenaline for second-half profits.

    Among firms tipped to gain most from the dollar's rise are blue chips Titan cement maker and Aluminium de Grece. Other key exporters are Aget Heracles, Karelia, Papastratos and Maillis.

    In addition, players raking in gains on the dollar from markets abroad are believed to be diverting part of the cash into Greek equities.

    The day's highest percentage gainers were engineering contractors Proodeftiki, Technodomi, Diekat, Aktor and Attikat, which all finished at the daily eight percent upper volatility limit.

    The biggest percentage losers were General Warehouses (common), Yalko, Bank of Attica, and engineering contractor Konstandinidis.

    Among blue chips National Bank of Greece ended at 37,580 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,790, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,900, Delta Dairy (common) at 3,475, Hellenic Bottling at 10,440, Titan (common) at 14,900, Intracom (common) at 13,400, and Aluminium de Grece (common) at 19,095 drachmas.

    [18] Athens to get new garbage recycling plant

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday attended a signing ceremony for construction of a 13-billion drachma garbage recycling plant for Athens and Attica.

    The unit, located in Ano Liossia, will form the linchpin of a garbage disposal network for part of Attica and the capital. The deadline for construction is 18 months.

    Signing the contract were the representatives of local authorities involved and a consortium of engineering contractors that won the project.

    The plant will process 1,200 tons of garbage daily, representing more than a third of the total for Attica. It will also process 150 tons daily of material from a major biological waste treatment plant at Psyttalia, which handles waste from Athens and is currently being expanded.

    A further 50 tons a day will be processed at the plant consisting of greenery from pruning in Attica. The garbage disposal network at Ano Liossia is also to include new sites costing 4.5 billion drachmas and renovation of old tips budgeted at 7.8 billion drachmas.

    [19] EU approves funds for public works projects

    Brussels, 7/8/1997 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) The European Commission yesterday approved the disbursement of 130 million ECU through the Cohesion Fund in support for 13 public works projects in Greece.

    Six of the projects concern parts of the Egnatia highway, planned to link the western port of Igoumenitsa with the Greek-Turkish border.

    The largest of all 13 projects concerns increasing the capacity of the Mornos river reservoir, supplying Athens, budgeted at 36.4 million ECU, of which 26.4 will be disbursed by the Cohesion Fund.

    [20] BoG intervenes in short-term interest rates

    Athens, 7/8/1997 (ANA)

    The Bank of Greece intervened yesterday over a strong rise in short-term interest rates in the banking sector by a liquidity offer.

    As the overnight interest rate showed a strong upward trend, reaching 13.40 per cent, Greece's central bank reacted by offering 78.9 billion drachmas in seven-day revers repos to start on August 6 and end August 13, at an interest rate of 12.60 per cent .

    Following this intervention, the overnight interest rate closed at 11.40-11.90 per cent.

    The one-month Athibor reached 12.13 per cent, a rise by 8.21 per cent against two days ago when it was fixed at 11.21 per cent.

    End of English language section.

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