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

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 1258), August 8, 1997

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US displeased with Turkish partial integration agreement
  • [02] Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey, EU reiterates
  • [03] Paris deplores
  • [04] Tsohatzopoulos: Ankara blackmailing EU
  • [05] Opposition parties
  • [06] Expected good result for Johnson at World Championships
  • [07] Bagach loses gold medal for doping
  • [08] Faumuina wins New Zealand's first world gold
  • [09] Kumbernuss proves she is still woman to beat
  • [10] Korzeniowski adds world gold to Olympic title
  • [11] Sidoti wins 10 kms walk after champion disqualified
  • [12] Johnson blazes to second world high hurdles title
  • [13] Greek athlete passes to men's 200 meters final
  • [14] Perec's campaign ends in tears on training track
  • [15] Medals table
  • [16] Foreign journalists briefed on Athens' 2004 Olympics bid
  • [17] Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999
  • [18] Members of US Congress to visit Greece and Cyprus
  • [19] Culture foundation bill discussed
  • [20] Greek minority leader denies discussion of double citizenship
  • [21] New Turkish consul general pays visit to Alexandroupoli mayor
  • [22] Neolithic finds in Serres
  • [23] Corfu prison escapees release hostage
  • [24] Argolida orange processing plant misappropriates EU funds
  • [25] Kaklamanis lashes out against media, defends deputies' pay increases
  • [26] Greek equities surge 1.08 pct, shrug off resistance at 1,600
  • [27] Greece gives Dr. 16 billion for roads, port, flood prevention
  • [28] Ergobank's mutual fund assets rise 6.6 pct in July
  • [29] Athens hotels more than able to handle large world events
  • [30] Turkish town buys Greek salt from Lesvos

  • [01] US displeased with Turkish partial integration agreement

    Washington, 8/8/1997 (ANA-T. Ellis)

    The US State Department last night expressed its displeasure over the partial integration agreement between Turkey and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime.

    New State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin termed the agreement as "unuseful" adding that the US "would not want to see steps obstructing the UN negotiating process or moving in the direction of the permanent partition of the island."

    He said the US is aware of the content of the agreement and expressed Washington's displeasure.

    "The US firmly supports the UN efforts for securing a settlement to the Cyprus problem," Mr. Rubin said.

    The agreement, signed Wednesday in the occupied northern part of Cyprus by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a Turkish Cypriot "official", provides 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. It 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, in Switzerland in August 11-16, aimed at resolving the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Turkey has threatened it will unite the occupied north of Cyprus if the island republic begins membership talks with the European Union. The EU last month invited Cyprus to begin accession talks early next year along with five central European nations.

    [02] Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey, EU reiterates

    Brussels, 8/8/1997 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Union yesterday said accession talks with the Cyprus Republic would start in 1998 reiterating that Cyprus could not be held hostage by Turkey.

    "Membership negotiations with Cyprus will begin within 1998, together with the five countries of central and eastern Europe," a European Commission spokesman told the ANA when asked to comment on the partial integration agreement.

    The EU Commission spokesman clarified that the presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Commission had no knowledge of the text of the illegal agreement, and stressed that "the continuation of intercommunal talks and the finding of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem is of the utmost priority for the European Commission". Concluding, the spokesman provided a reminder of External Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek's recent statement that "Cyprus cannot be held hostage by Turkey" and that negotiations will begin as scheduled.

    [03] Paris deplores

    Paris, 8/8/1997 (ANA/ AFP)

    The French government yesterday deplored the signing of the illegal agreement.

    "We believe that the association agreement counters the efforts underway for the finding of a negotiated solution," a French foreign ministry statement said.

    "France desires the reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation, according to the UN Security Council resolutions," Yves Doutriaux, a ministry spokesman added.

    Paris is asking the two sides to "contribute" to the success of the forthcoming negotiations in Montreux, and stresses that the Cyprus problem "must be resolved before the completion of membership negotiations" with the island republic.

    [04] Tsohatzopoulos: Ankara blackmailing EU

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    In Athens, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday described the partial integration agreement between Turkey and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime as "sheer blackmail by Ankara against the European Union".

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said it was part of Turkey's efforts to impede the process for the accession of the Cyprus Republic to the EU.

    "Accession however cannot be obstructed by such blackmail," he added.

    "This effort by Turkey illustrates its inability to adapt to the principles of international law and the values which govern the EU, which Ankara must accept if it wishes to come closer to Europe," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

    "The Greek government," he continued, "is calmly and steadfastly implementing its policy which is based on international law, international treaties and conventions and the decisions of international organizations which provide a hopeful and positive framework of prospects for the Cyprus issue." "Greece will not lose from such pyrotechnics, the other side will lose," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, referring to the integration agreement.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was speaking to reporters after meeting with a Cypriot party delegation visiting Athens.

    On Wednesday, the Greek foreign ministry strongly condemned the illegal agreement and warned Turkey over its European orientation. Alternate Foreign Minister Echoing Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' statements, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou also warned Ankara that the agreement "does not contribute to Turkey's European orientation".

    Replying to reporters' questions, Mr. Papandreou likened Turkey's policy to an "impasse", underlining that the agreement did not contribute to the efforts of the international community under UN auspices for a just solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Papandreou also reminded the Turkish leadership that "the EU, with its common position and recent report - the so-called Agenda 2000, has stressed that the settlement for the Cyprus problem is a prerequisite for Turkey's European course".

    "Turkey should bear this in mind because moves such as these (the agreement) clearly do not contribute to Turkey's European orientation," he added.

    Asked whether the agreement would affect the joint communiqui of Madrid, Mr. Papandreou replied that "everything will depend on what steps are taken next, but most certainly it does not contribute to finding a positive way out of the Cyprus problem".

    [05] Opposition parties

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    "The policy of 'playing the good boy' being followed by (Prime Minister) Costas Simitis towards Turkey is not only not effective with respect to our national interests but also emboldens Ankara and its supporters," main opposition New Democracy party deputy and former defense minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis said in a statement yesterday.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) commented on the agreement by saying it provided proof that the Madrid joint communiqui would not result in positive developments. The Coalition of the Left and Progress meanwhile called for an immediate meeting of the political party leaders to discuss the situation in light of the agreement.

    "In order to confront Turkish provocativeness and neutralize the efforts being made to undermine the process of Cyprus' accession to the EU, the government should co-operate with the Cyprus leadership and, in consultation with the Greek political forces , take initiatives within the framework of international organizations and particularly the EU," a Coalition statement said.

    The Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) issued a statement saying that "the provocative association agreement between Turkey and the pseudo-state" proves that last month's "Madrid declaration (of principles for smoothing relations) is not worth the paper i t is written on".

    "It also proves how ruthless Turkey is in the pursuit of its aims, and how dangerous those who think that Ankara wants or can change are," the statement said.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel early July issued a joint communiqui in Madrid defining the principles which should govern Greek-Turkish relations.

    [06] Expected good result for Johnson at World Championships

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Yesterday's results at the Athens '97 World Athletics Championships revolved around an expected good result for American Allen Johnson, who won his second successive world high hurdles title and came very close to breaking the world record, and an unexpected stripping of a gold medal, nonetheless, from world shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach of the Ukraine, who was the first athlete to fail a drug test during this event.

    Greece's hopeful George Panagiotopoulos managed to hold his own and pass into the finals of the men's 200 race, while France's Marie-Jose Perec was forced to withdraw after hurting herself in warm-ups.

    [07] Bagach loses gold medal for doping

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    World shot put champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his gold medal yesterday and lost $60,000 prize money after testing positive for the stimulant ephedrine.

    The 30-year-old Ukrainian, who became on Saturday the first person to win a title at the sixth world championships, also became the first athlete to fail a drug test here.

    American John Godina, competing here after he was granted a wild card as defending champion, is the new world shot put champion while German Oliver-Sven Buder has the silver.

    C.J. Hunter, fiancee of the new women's 100 meters champion Marion Jones, is elevated to the bronze medal position.

    French men's 400 meters hurdler Pascal Maran and women's triple jumper Oxana Zelinskaya of Kazakhstan also tested positive for ephedrine. Their results were also canceled.

    All three are beneficiaries of the International Amateur Athletic Federation's (IAAF) decision to scrap bans for first offenders for minor drugs such as stimulants and replace them with a "public warning".

    Bagach was suspended for two years after being found to have high levels of testosterone at the 1989 European Cup in Gateshead, England, while competing for the Soviet Union. Under the old rules, as a second-time offender Bagach would have been banned for life if he had tested positive for a more serious performance-enhancing drug such as steroids.

    [08] Faumuina wins New Zealand's first world gold

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Beatrice Faumuina won New Zealand's first gold medal in the 14-year history of the world championships when she won the women's discus final yesterday.

    The 22-year-old of Samoan descent, who came into the competition as a favorite after throwing a season's best of 88.52 meters at Oslo a month ago, fouled her first two throws and would have been eliminated if her third throw was illegal or too short.

    But she survived the pressure to unleash her winning delivery of 66.82 meters in the third round.

    That was good enough not only to win New Zealand's first world championship title, but also their first ever world medal.

    Defending champion Ellina Zvereva of Belarus, who led the competition after two rounds with a heave of 65.90 meters, could not improve on that and had to settle for the silver.

    Natalya Sadova of Russia, the Olympic silver medallist, took the bronze with a throw of 65.14 meters.

    Greece's finalist, Stella Tsikouna, came seventh out of 12, with a throw of 61.92.

    [09] Kumbernuss proves she is still woman to beat

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Germany's Olympic champion Astrid Kumbernuss continued her dominance of the women's shot put by defending her world title with ease yesterday.

    A second-round throw of 20.71 meters clinched the gold for the 27-year-old Neubrandenburg athlete.

    Vita Pavlysh took silver with 20.66 to bring some positive news to Ukraine on a day when their male shot put world champion Aleksandr Bagach was stripped of his title for doping.

    Germany's Stephanie Storp took bronze with a first-round effort of 19.22.

    [10] Korzeniowski adds world gold to Olympic title

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Poland's Robert Korzeniowski added the world gold to his Olympic title yesterday when he took the 50 kilometers walk in three hours 44 minutes and 46 seconds.

    Korzeniowski walked an almost flawless race, picking up only one warning, and took the lead with just over four kilometers to go.

    He had dueled for much of the race with Spain's Jesus Garcia, the 1997 World Cup winner, but managed to match Garcia's repeated attempts to pull away.

    Garcia stayed in close contact to finish second in 3:44.59. Mexico's Miguel Rodriguez took the bronze medal.

    Greece's Christos Karagiorgos, 44, completed the walk 29th at 4:30:05. Karagiorgos, a veteran in track events, is the oldest athlete participating in this year's IAAF championships.

    [11] Sidoti wins 10 kms walk after champion disqualified

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Italian Annarita Sidoti won the world women's 10 kms world title yesterday after defending champion Irina Stankina was disqualified.

    Sidoti was in the lead with Russian Stankina on her heels when the latter received her third warning with 5-1/2 laps remaining.

    Stankina, who had become the youngest ever world champion at 18 years 135 days two years ago in Gothenburg, collapsed by the side of the track, holding her head in her hands.

    The 28-year-old Sidoti, whose best result previously in world championships was a ninth place in 1991 and 1993, went on to record a comfortable victory in 42 minutes 55.49 seconds.

    It was the second major title for the diminutive Italian after her gold medal at the 1990 European championships.

    Russian Olimpiada Ivanova came a distant second in 43:07.63 and Olga Kardopoltseva of Belarus was third in 43:30.20.

    Hungarian Maria Urbanik-Rosza, who came last, fell unconscious after crossing the line.

    [12] Johnson blazes to second world high hurdles title

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    American Allen Johnson blazed to his second successive world high hurdles title yesterday in a time only two-hundredths of a second outside the world record.

    The Olympic champion brushed five barriers on his way to the finish but still won easily in 12.93 seconds from Briton Colin Jackson (13.05), who set the world record at the 1993 Stuttgard world championships.

    Igor Kovac of Slovakia took the bronze in 13.18 seconds.

    The race featured each of the Atlanta Olympic medallists, but Olympic silver medallist Mark Crear could finish only seventh in 13.55 seconds, while German Florian Schwarthoff, who won the bronze in Atlanta, was fourth in 13.20.

    Johnson's time was the quickest in the world this year and equaled the 12.93 clocked by former world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah in 1981.

    [13] Greek athlete passes to men's 200 meters final

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    George Panagiotopoulos became the first Greek athlete in history to qualify for the men's 200 meters final in a world championship, placing third in the first semifinals series yesterday with 20:43 seconds. He will be competing today along with silver medallist Frankie Fredericks from Namibia and bronze medallist Ato Boldon from Trinidad and Tobago.

    [14] Perec's campaign ends in tears on training track

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Marie-Jose Perec's world championship campaign ended in tears on the training track yesterday when she pulled a leg muscle while warming up and was forced to pull out of the 200 meters semifinals.

    The Olympic 200 and 400 meter champion from France, who originally did not want to compete in Athens because of her disappointing form this session, hurt a thigh muscle and left the warm-up arena in tears.

    Perec entered the 200 only here and admitted that it would need a miracle for her to win a medal. But she had looked confident in the earlier heats and could have had a chance of getting into the first three in today's final. Trinidad's Ato Boldon, who will run in the 200 men's finals and trains with Perec, said the Frenchwoman had had no chance of competing.

    "If she had come out and run (yesterday), she would have left the track on a stretcher," he said.

    Defending champion Merlene Ottey, who failed to win a medal in the 100 meters, looked sharp as she won her semifinal with meters to spare in 22.26 seconds.

    [15] Medals table

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

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

    United States: 5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze Germany: 3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze Kenya: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze Cuba: 2 gold Czech Republic: 2 gold Poland: 1 gold, 1 silver Portugal: 1 gold, 1 silver South Africa: 1 gold, 1 silver Australia: 1 gold, 1 bronze Mexico: 1 gold, 1 bronze Morocco: 1 gold, 1 bronze Ethiopia: 1 gold France: 1 gold Italy: 1 gold New Zealand: 1 gold Ukraine: 3 silver, 1 bronze Britain: 3 silver Russia: 2 silver, 3 bronze Spain: 2 silver, 1 bronze Belarus: 1 silver, 2 bronze Canada: 1 silver Finland: 1 silver Jamaica: 1 silver Romania: 1 silver Uganda: 1 silver Bahamas: 1 bronze Greece: 1 bronze Japan: 1 bronze Lithuania: 1 bronze Slovakia: 1 bronze Switzerland: 1 bronze.

    [16] Foreign journalists briefed on Athens' 2004 Olympics bid

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    80 foreign journalists from the press and electronic media around the world were received yesterday at the Zappion Building by the President of the Athens 2004 Bidding Committee, Yianna Aggelopoulou-Daskalaki. The foreign journalists were analytically briefed by the president and members of the committee on Athens' bid for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    [17] Greece to host Optimist European sailing championship in 1999

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greece will host the Optimist European sailing championship in 1999, putting Greece on the map as a center for international sailing events. In a vote to decide on the host for 1999, Greece got 16 "yes" votes and 4 "no" votes.

    [18] Members of US Congress to visit Greece and Cyprus

    New York, 8/8/1997 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    A number of leading members of the US Congress are scheduled to visit Greece and Cyprus from August 20 to 28.

    The American congressmen and congresswomen have key positions in various committees such as public relations, national security, banking organizations, sciences etc.

    The tour, which will offer the American officials the opportunity to be briefed on major problems facing the region at the present crucial period, is being organized by the Cypriot Federation of America in co-operation with the World Committee for Justice in Cyprus.

    The delegation will have meetings with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and other government officials and ambassadors in both countries.

    The delegation comprises members of the Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, Rob Andrews, Alcee Hastings, of the National Security Committee, Michael Pappas, and of the Banking Organizations Committee, Maurice Hinchey.

    [19] Culture foundation bill discussed

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    A Foreign Ministry bill on the institutional framework for a Greek Culture Foundation was debated yesterday by the relevant parliamentary committee.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou emphasized the need for such an agency, to operate in a similar way to corresponding educational and cultural foundations in other countries.

    The bill was approved by the majority of committee members. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) expressed some objections.

    [20] Greek minority leader denies discussion of double citizenship

    Gjirokaster, 8/8/1997 (ANA-P. Barkas)

    Human Rights Union party leader Vassilis Melios denied yesterday he had discussed the possibility of double citizenship issued to Albanians of Greek descent during the visit Tuesday of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Mr. Melios also said that according to the foreign minister, the same possibility for Albanians of Greek descent living in Greece was nil.

    [21] New Turkish consul general pays visit to Alexandroupoli mayor

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Newly-appointed Turkish consul general for Komotini Shakir Ozgan Torunlar (phonetic spelling) paid a formal call on mayor of Alexandroupoli Eleftherios Gioftsidis.

    The mayor expressed his best wishes to the new consul general over his duties and the hope for better ties of friendship between the two countries.

    The consul general said that there are problems in the relationship between the two countries, but latest developments are steps to solving them. His presence in the area would contribute to this development, he said.

    Greece wishes for a solution to any problems, as its actions and stance show, and expects Turkey to do the same, Mr. Gioftsidis said. "We cannot choose our neighbors, but since we are neighbors, we must live peacefully and friendly," he added.

    [22] Neolithic finds in Serres

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Excavations by archaeologists working in the ruins of a Neolithic settlement near Promachonas, Serres in northern Greece have revealed parts of walls with wooden frames, ovens, pottery and benches dating back to 5000 BC.

    The excavations are being conducted jointly by Greek and Bulgarian archaeologists, since the settlement spans the border between the two countries.

    According to the director of the Kavala Department of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities, the find is particularly significant since it reveals a great deal about the cultural relations which developed between the Aegean and the Balkan region.

    [23] Corfu prison escapees release hostage

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    A Corfu prison guard taken hostage by 16 escapees on Wednesday afternoon was released early yesterday morning.

    Of the eight Albanian and eight Greek prisoners who escaped by threatening guards with an imitation pistol, three Greeks and five Albanians were still at large yesterday. Police have thrown a cordon around the island and are carrying out an extensive se arch for the remaining escapees.

    [24] Argolida orange processing plant misappropriates EU funds

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    European Union subsidies for orange processing and exports have been misappropriated by the Argolida processing plant ABIK and associates, representatives of cooperatives and orange growers and employees with the Argolida Directorate of Agriculture.

    Agriculture minister Stefanos Tzoumakas filed a law suit with a public prosecutor in Athens yesterday. The minister also ordered a systematic inspection of all orange processing plants in the region, as well as in other orange producing areas across the country.

    In his law suit report, Mr. Tzoumakas said that though the EU subsidy amounted to 14.80 drachmas per kilo, the processing firm paid only 7.50 drachmas to orange growers.

    [25] Kaklamanis lashes out against media, defends deputies' pay increases

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday lashed out against the media over critical comments on the recent increases in deputies' pay. The increases were designed to bring deputies into parity with high-ranking judges.

    He accused media owners and directors of acting as "self-appointed prosecutors" of politicians and social groups, and of owing billions of drachmas to the Greek people.

    "The government has to inform the people what each one of these gentlemen owes, what he does not pay to the state, what he does not pay to the social insurance funds, with first and foremost the funds of those working in the media," he said.

    "Almost the whole of the press does not fulfill the mission of disseminating information, but, rather, of commerce, small trading, and various other activities which do not boost its prestige," he added.

    Also commenting on the issue, Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos attributed newspaper reports to mistaken information, claiming that the net increase amounted to no more than 100,000 drachmas monthly.

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras stated that "the political penalty of austerity which applies to all Greeks, must apply to parliament also. He added that the decision of deputies to "double" their pay showed how provocatively they were out of touch with the people.

    [26] Greek equities surge 1.08 pct, shrug off resistance at 1,600

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Greek stocks yesterday powered ahead for a second straight session to end 1.08 percent higher in moderate trade still buoyed by sentiment that Athens will win its bid to host the 2004 Olympics.

    The market easily kept its grip on resistance at 1,600 points after sprinting through the stubborn technical and psychological level several times in past weeks, and then slumping again.

    The Athens general share index finished at 1,628.88 points from 1,611.46 in the previous session.

    Turnover nosed upwards in a rising market to total 12.8 billion drachmas from 11.8 billion drachmas and 9.1 billion in the last two sessions.

    Construction again led the market outperforming the general index with a 2.74 percent jump. The sector soared 6.49 percent on Wednesday more than recouping a 1.90 percent dive in the previous session.

    The market gained impetus on Wednesday gaining 1.68 percent after players discounted a successful bid by Athens to host the 2004 Olympics, boosting investment. The International Olympic Committee is due to decide in September.

    In addition, bargain hunters elbowed into the market to take positions in cheap stocks across the board following a phase of summer vacation inertia.

    Also aiding sentiment was news that July's consumer price inflation year-on-year had slipped to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent a month earlier.

    The government forestalled a certain rise in inflation from higher fuel prices due to the galloping dollar by lowering its gasoline tax.

    In yesterday's trade, the parallel market for smaller cap stocks outperformed the main market to end 1.30 percent higher.

    Sector indices mostly recorded gains. Heavily-weighted Banks rose 1.22 percent, Insurance soared 1.27 percent, Investment gained 1.08 percent, Industrials leapt 1.32 percent, Miscellaneous crept up 0.35 percent and Holding rose 0.93 percent. Bucking the trend was Leasing, which slipped 0.09 percent.

    State-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organization lost 20 drachmas to close at 6,275 drachmas from 6,295 in the previous session.

    Advances outstripped gains at 145 to 67 with 26 shares remaining unchanged out of 238 traded.

    The US dollar cooled off on the domestic market, interrupting its feverish rise with a technical correction to close at 293.85 drachmas from the central bank's previous 295.05 daily fix. It finished higher than Tuesday's 293.95 drachmas.

    The dollar's unbridled ascent has aided Greek equities by bolstering second-half profits for listed exporters. Profit-takers on the dollar in markets abroad are believed to be diverting part of their funds into the market.

    Delta Dairies, a key exporter to the Balkans, gained 225 drachmas to finish at 3,700 drachmas from 3,475 drachmas.

    The day's highest percentage gainers included Papoutsanis (preferred), Piraeus Leasing, Ekte, and Viokarpet (preferred), which all finished at the daily eight percent upper volatility limit.

    The biggest percentage losers were Sato (preferred), Eskimo (preferred), Tria Alpha (common), and Fourlis (preferred).

    Among blue chips National Bank of Greece ended at 37,625 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,895, Alpha Credit Bank at 20,170, Delta Dairy (common) at 3,700, Hellenic Bottling at 10,800, Titan (common) at 15,010, Intracom (common) at 13,400, and Aluminium de Grece (common) at 19,240 drachmas.

    [27] Greece gives Dr. 16 billion for roads, port, flood prevention

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday endorsed credits of 15,082,345,272 drachmas for roadbuilding and flood prevention projects nationwide.

    Mr. Laliotis also ordered the release of 1,361,500,000 drachmas in funds for the purchase of computer equipment by Thessaloniki port authority.

    Among roadbuilding projects slated for tendering are:

    * Highway and junction for Rapsani-Platamonas link, which forms part of the major north-south highway linking Patras, Athens, Thessaloniki and the northern border post at Evzones.

    The new road has a budget of 13 billion drachmas.

    * Improvements to a highway running along the Ionian Sea linking Etoliko, Astakos, Mytikas and Vonitsa, budgeted at 820 million drachmas.

    * Construction of a stretch of motorway between Polygyro and Ierissos, budgeted at 80 million drachmas.

    [28] Ergobank's mutual fund assets rise 6.6 pct in July

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Total assets of Greece's Ergobank Mutual Funds were 6.6 percent higher on July 31 against June 30, bringing the total for January-July to 515 billion drachmas, the firm said in a statement.

    The mutual funds management firm belongs to Ergobank, which is listed on the Athens bourse and is a blue chip among domestic and foreign investor.

    Assets by sector managed by the firm on July 31 were as follows:

    * Growth funds totaled 10.4 billion drachmas, marking a 930 percent jump from the beginning of the year, and a 7.6 percent increase on June 31. Total yield on the beginning of the year was 67.33 percent.

    * Fixed income funds totaled 85 billion drachmas, up 67.4 percent on the beginning of the year and four percent on June 30. Accumulated yield from the start of the year was 7.06 percent.

    * Money market funds totaled 420 billion drachmas, with a 6.35 percent yield from the beginning of the year.

    [29] Athens hotels more than able to handle large world events

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    The hotels of Athens can provide more than enough beds for any large sports event like the IAAF World Championships or the Olympic Games of 2004, if Greece wins the bid, the Union of Athens Hoteliers (UAH) said yesterday.

    At a press conference, union president Gerassimos Fokas said that recent press reports that Athens faced a lack of rooms these days because of the championships were not true.

    The hoteliers said they were likely to lose money since only 6,000 reservations were kept of the 10,000 initially made for athletes, journalists and officials attending the championships.

    At present, there are about 7,000 free beds in the greater Attica area, or 10 per cent of the total potential of the prefecture.

    If the 2004 Olympic Games were held in Athens, hoteliers pledged to reserve 75 per cent of their beds for those attending the event, and added that in terms of building new hotels, Athens is saturated. Many hotels in the city have closed in the last few years and there is no expectation of a lack of beds, they said.

    [30] Turkish town buys Greek salt from Lesvos

    Athens, 8/8/1997 (ANA)

    Businessmen in Pergamum, Turkey will buy 2,000 tons of salt from the Hellenic Saltworks SA at Polychnitos, on the island of Lesvos, the company's general manager, Dionyssis Xenos, said yesterday.

    Mr. Xenos welcomed the businessmen on the island and said the only pending issue was the cost of transporting the salt to Dikeli, five miles from Lesvos, before the agreement was signed.

    He said it was expected to be done by the end of August.

    Late yesterday delegations from the chambers of trade from Dikeli and Lesvos met and discussed possibilities of further trade. They will also finalize their business exchanges during the reciprocated visit of Lesvos chamber representatives to Dikeli in September.

    The Turkish side also expressed interest in know-how for mild sources of energy, and looked into Greek proposals for oil, containers to freeze fish, and insulating materials among others.

    End of English language section.


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