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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-27

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 1273), August 27, 1997

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens to verify 'outrageous' Dini statements on Cyprus
  • [02] Opposition reaction
  • [03] EU calls Denktash demand on Cyprus' accession talks 'unacceptable'
  • [04] Athens, Nicosia bitterly condemn Denktash war threats
  • [05] Nicosia reacts
  • [06] Karamanlis calls for reaction to Turkish threats
  • [07] ND leader honors Cyprus teacher
  • [08] No comment on reports of Turkish wedding on Imia
  • [09] Scientist warns of major earthquake near Tokyo
  • [10] Prediction of destructive earthquakes possible, scientists claim
  • [11] Cesme mayor condemns latest Ecevit statements against Greece
  • [12] Simitis meetings with Skandalidis, Papadopoulos
  • [13] Meeting considers items on Commission's 'Agenda 2000'
  • [14] Synaspismos leader in Albania
  • [15] Teachers begin coordinating protests
  • [16] Greek teams qualify for UEFA second round
  • [17] Tow still missing from Aegean yacht tragedy
  • [18] Athens to host Europe and global economy summit
  • [19] Two more IOC members end visit to Athens
  • [20] Greek firm discusses joint projects in Serbia
  • [21] Greek, Cypriot businessmen to meet in Lesvos
  • [22] Greek retail sales up 4 pct in May yr/yr
  • [23] Greek stocks end flat in technical rally
  • [24] Bread finds its way back to the Greek dinner table
  • [25] Mytilineos posts 100 per cent half-year profits
  • [26] Top Gov't meeting to again focus on economy, '98 budget

  • [01] Athens to verify 'outrageous' Dini statements on Cyprus

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greece last night reacted sharply to a statement by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini that there are two governments on Cyprus.

    The Greek foreign ministry described as "outrageous" the statement by the Italian foreign minister that "there is the Greek Cypriot government, as there is the Turkish Cypriot government in the north", which he reportedly made after talks with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem in Rome.

    The foreign ministry statement expressed "surprise", adding that instructions had been issued to ascertain whether "the outrageous statement attributed to Mr. Dini, which has no relation to existing reality, UN resolutions, European Union decisions and the positions of all Italian governments to date, is true".

    "If this is the case, it is obvious that a major issue arises in the relations between the two countries," the statement ended.

    According to an ANA dispatch from Rome, Mr. Dini expressed the view that the "existence of two entities" on the island republic was relevant to forthcoming EU accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    "The issue is to see whether in negotiations with the EU, these two entities are recognized as equal. But if - as the Turkish side fears - the Commission negotiates with only one of the two entities as a representative of the whole of Cyprus, then there will be no progress," he said.

    The Commission's proposal for "a start to negotiations is a factor which complicates the situation. A way must be found for a solution of these difficulties in a way that is satisfactory for both entities, the Turkish and the Greek, with the agreement of the Greek and the Turkish governments," he added.

    Mr. Dini's statements come on the same day that the EU presidency condemned in a statement Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's conditions at recent UN-led inter-communal direct talks that the Union should freeze accession negotiations with the island republic for progress on a Cyprus solution.

    [02] Opposition reaction

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    The statements by the Italian foreign minister on Cyprus, if they stand as reported, are a provocation against international law and another blow against Greece, a Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) statement read.

    The Political Spring party said it was a sign of deterioration that "Mr. Dini supports Turkish views, when Ankara's policeman in Cyprus, Mr. Denktash, is also threatening Cyprus, and even Europe, with war".

    [03] EU calls Denktash demand on Cyprus' accession talks 'unacceptable'

    Brussels, 27/09/1997 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Union yesterday strongly condemned Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's stance concerning Cyprus' EU accession to the Union, branding it "unacceptable".

    "The position adopted by Mr. Denktash, who poses as a condition for the continuation of (UN-direct) talks the freezing of Cyprus' accession negotiations is unacceptable," an EU Presidency statement read.

    The six-month EU rotating presidency is currently held by Luxembourg.

    The EU presidency has been notified of the Cordovez report to the United Nations Security Council concerning the direct talks at Glion-sur-Montreux, underlining its regret over the fact that direct talks did not result in more substantial results, and calls on the leaders of the two communities to continue their talks, the statement said.

    Regarding the "accession agreement signed between Turkey and the self-proclaimed Northern Cyprus", the statement noted that "it is not valid for the international community and could not cast doubt on the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. "

    The presidency statement stressed that the EU "shares the UN Secretary General's view that the decision to start negotiations for Cyprus' accession should constitute a positive factor in efforts to reach a political agreement beneficial for the island's two communities".

    The presidency also noted that the decision for the start of these negotiations was taken by the EU summit in Cannes and confirmed by the summit in Florence.

    The presidency reaffirmed that these negotiations "will begin early next year under any circumstances".

    The EU presidency clarified that it intends to play an important role in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem by calling all factors in the international community to set the same goal.

    It concluded by calling "on Turkey, especially, to show constructive behavior", saying that this would contribute decisively to strengthening its relations with the European Union.

    [04] Athens, Nicosia bitterly condemn Denktash war threats

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greece and Cyprus yesterday slammed statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who threatened with war if Cyprus joined the European Union.

    "Mr. Denktash's statements are indicative of his lack of willingness and his inability to contribute to the finding of a solution to the Cyprus problem," the Greek government spokesman said, while Nicosia warned that if Turkey declares war against Cyprus, this would also mean a declaration of war against Greece.

    "The word 'war' should not simply be condemned when it is used but should simply not exist in the vocabulary of political figures who aspire to find solutions to problems they are facing," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

    Mr. Reppas said Mr. Denktash's statements were an indication of the political and strategic crisis facing the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish sides and called on the international community to take the statements into account.

    Addressing reporters on Monday in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia, Mr. Denktash said:

    "If the Greek Cypriots become a member of the EU in the name of the government of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots will be stripped of their rights. And the remedy to this is a war".

    [05] Nicosia reacts

    Nicosia, 27/08/1997 (CNA/ANA)

    If Turkey declares war against Cyprus, this would also mean declaration of war against Greece, Cypriot government spokesman Manolis Christofides stressed yesterday, pointing out that such an action would constitute a casus belli.

    "If his (Denktash) threats for war aim at Cyprus, this will automatically mean war against Greece because it is reason for casus belli", he said.

    Athens has often said that it would step in if Turkey advances in Cyprus, noting it would be a cause for war.

    Mr. Christofides added that if Mr. Denktash's threats for war are directed towards the EU, "because he considers it responsible for his own intransigence, then this is a clearly quixotic attitude."

    Reiterating the wish of the Greek Cypriot side for peace, Mr. Christofides said the two communities should compete as to which will offer more towards the creation of a "common home" and for the happiness and prosperity of all Cypriots.

    Asked whether Mr. Denktash's threats make the arrival of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus all the more necessary, the spokesman repeated that the Russian missiles are defensive weapons.

    He also reminded that President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for demilitarization of the island still stands.

    Pointing out that this is a crucial period for the Cyprus problem, Mr. Christofides said that even though the first and second round of direct talks between President Clerides and Mr. Denktash have not been successful the process continues.

    "We are waiting for the next step which is expected to be very serious", he added.

    President Clerides and Mr. Denktash participated in two rounds of UN-sponsored direct talks in July and August, which came to a deadlock because of the Turkish Cypriot leader's insistence not to negotiate unless the EU postponed its decision to start ac cession talks with Cyprus next year.

    [06] Karamanlis calls for reaction to Turkish threats

    Nicosia, 27/08/1997 (ANA - A. Panagopoulos/CNA)

    The international community should stop turning a blind eye to Turkish threats against Cyprus, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis stressed here yesterday.

    "The Greek opposition leader was speaking after a meeting with Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the right-wing ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party, at whose invitation Mr. Karamanlis and a four-member ND delegation is visiting Cyprus.

    Pointing out that all Greeks consider Cyprus' defense a top priority and moral obligation, Mr. Karamanlis pledged assistance and support in order to achieve a settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem and to restore human rights on the island.

    "However, it is important that such options are responded to in deeds rather than words, and this is not mainly addressed to our Cypriot brothers. We Greeks must always be on the alert, and have resoluteness, national consensus and unanimity," he said.

    Commenting on recent threats of war and saber-rattling by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash if Cyprus joins the European Union, Mr. Karamanlis called on the international community to "stop turning a blind eye to Turkish threats and acknowledge the aggressor and the party that violates international law."

    He also pointed out that Greeks should always be alert and coordinate their efforts in order to face Turkish threats.

    On his part, Mr. Anastasiades described the meeting as useful and said that there is complete agreement between the two parties concerning policies followed on the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Karamanlis also met yesterday with other party political leaders, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, Defense Minister Costas Eliades and National Guard Commander Gen. Nikolaos Vorvolakos.

    The ND delegation departs for Athens today.

    [07] ND leader honors Cyprus teacher

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Mr. Karamanlis later yesterday presented an honorary plaque to teacher Eleni Foka, for her contribution to educating enclaved Cypriot children in the Turkish-occupied area.

    Ms Foka has been prevented from re-entering the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island republic, because she refuses to sign a declaration recognizing the pseudo-state set up in the north.

    "I am a Greek of Cyprus, too, who believes that the whole island's independence and liberation is the major national issue for Greeks everywhere, that's why I will fight from any place the Greek people place me, until the day of achievement of our joint goal," Mr. Karamanlis said.

    [08] No comment on reports of Turkish wedding on Imia

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday refrained from commenting on reports in Turkish newspaper "Cumhurriyet" that a Turkish couple had decided to get married on the Aegean islet of Imia.

    "The government has no details on the matter," Mr. Reppas said.

    Mr. Reppas added that the initial reaction of the Greek side would be that if legal procedures on the basis of which weddings are held in Greece for both Greek and foreigner were followed, then he did not foresee any problem.

    Imia was the focus of a tense stand-off between Athens and Ankara early last year.

    [09] Scientist warns of major earthquake near Tokyo

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Japanese scientists expect a major earthquake, measuring around 8 on the Richter scale, to hit the city of Tokai, 100 km from Tokyo in the next five or 10 years, Professor Simazaki yesterday told the World Seismology Conference, currently held in Thessaloniki.

    "We are ready to face it. It is possible there will be some indication of a coming earthquake, as in Kobe, where scientists found afterwards there had been changes in the earth's crust in the area 24 hours earlier," Prof. Simazaki said.

    He added that authorities were well prepared for such an eventuality, with plans for the residents of Tokai to abandon their homes.

    "People are informed and will not panic. Everyone knows what to do and where to go," he said.

    He cautioned, however, that advance indications were not certain. "It is not certain that such phenomena (as in Kobe) will take place, or that there will be an earthquake if they do appear. For this reason, authorities have placed much weight on the strengthening of structures and on fully informing the public how to behave when the earthquake comes and they have no time to leave the city," he went on.

    Finally, he sounded a pessimistic note on the predictability of earthquakes.

    "Japan invested huge amounts on the study of the advance phenomena of an earthquake for 30 years, but when the earthquake in Kobe took place in 1995, we had no substantial warning, and regrettably concluded that we had failed and reversed course. Anti-seismic policy is now organized on the basis of dealing with the earthquake when it happens," he said

    [10] Prediction of destructive earthquakes possible, scientists claim

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek and foreign scientists attending the 29th World Congress on Seismology in Thessaloniki concluded that the only reliable method of prediction is to observe seismic indications over a three-year period in order to identify the stages leading to an earthquake.

    Citing an example, Giorgos Houliaras, of the National Observatory in Athens, said that an area where a large earthquake is about to strike exhibits certain recognizable signs.

    In Thessaloniki, Kozani, Egion and other areas, he said, showed that a "seismic calm" precedes accelerated seismic activity that leads to a strong earthquake.

    This activity lasts between 2.5-3 years and culminates in a destructive tremor, he said.

    This model was supported by other scientists from Russia, Germany and elsewhere.

    The 10-day congress will conclude its works tomorrow. ANA

    [11] Cesme mayor condemns latest Ecevit statements against Greece

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    The mayor of the Turkish coastal town of Cesme yesterday criticized Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit for his statements against Greece, which were published in the Istanbul daily 'Hurriyet' last week.

    "Ecevit's statements undermine the good climate between the two countries. Whoever wants tension between Greece and Turkey effectively acts as an employee of multinational arms selling companies and of the Americans," he said at the opening of events en titled "Greek-Turkish Friendship Through Art" on the eastern Aegean island of Hios on Sunday.

    In his published statements, Mr. Ecevit claimed that Turkey would have been larger today had it fully availed itself of opportunities to conquer Greek territories this century, and also accused the European Union of trying to isolate Turkey.

    [12] Simitis meetings with Skandalidis, Papadopoulos

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday held separate meetings with PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis and Interior and Public Administration Minister Alekos Papadopoulos.

    With Mr. Skandalidis, the prime minister discussed the planning of government action in the coming months.

    Mr. Skandalidis said after the meeting that the ruling party's executive bureau would convene on September 3, the 23rd anniversary of the founding of the party, to reach final decisions on the prime minister's and the political secretariat's recommendations regarding comprehensive planning.

    He also announced that PASOK' s Central Committee would meet on September 19 and 20 to discuss political planning until the end of the year and the government's foreign policy.

    With Mr. Papadopoulos, the prime minister discussed the implementation of the 'Kapodistrias' plan for the merger of several municipalities and small communities into larger units, and the tabling of the relevant bill in Parliament, expected in early October.

    [13] Meeting considers items on Commission's 'Agenda 2000'

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Items on the "Agenda 2000" program, which feature European Commission proposals on the future development and enlargement of the European Union, were examined yesterday at an Athens meeting.

    The gathering was organized at the initiative of Alternative Foreign Minister George Papandreou and attended by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, National Economy Under-secretary Christos Pachtas, and other government officials.

    The meeting focused on Athens' stance towards an enlarged Union, the continuing globalization of the world's economy, issues related to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Greece's proposals to ensure better cohesion of the European Union.

    The meeting also centered on the Commission's proposals regarding Turkey, as these are contained in the Agenda 2000.

    [14] Synaspismos leader in Albania

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos leaves for a three-day visit to Albania today, at the invitation of the neighboring country's Socialist Party.

    Mr. Constantopoulos is scheduled to meet with new Albanian President Rexhep Mejdani, Prime Minister Fatos Nano, the neighboring country's foreign minister and the president of the Albanian parliament, as well as members of the Albanian opposition.

    The Synaspismos leader will also meet with Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios and members of the Omonia political party.

    [15] Teachers begin coordinating protests

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Teachers from primary and secondary schools met yesterday to discuss coordinated protests against planned changes to the education system, due to be implemented with the new school year.

    The leader of the teachers' union OLME Nikos Toulias said a rally would be held tomorrow and be followed by meetings at a local and regional level.

    The meeting was held as discussion on the education ministry's new bill got under way in Parliament at the committee level. The bill includes changes such as different evaluation procedures for teachers as well as changes to curriculum for junior high schools and to testing.

    In a related development, teachers on the waiting list for appointment to public school positions rallied in front of the National Technical University of Athens yesterday morning to protest the planned abolition of the waiting list.

    In the prefecture of Magnesia, teachers occupied school offices to protest the measure.

    [16] Greek teams qualify for UEFA second round

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Yesterday was good day for Greek soccer teams taking part in the UEFA Cup, as both PAOK Thessaloniki and OFI Irakleio qualified to the next round of 64 teams.

    PAOK beat Slovakia's Spartak Trnava away 1-0 (6-3 on aggregate), and OFI downed Iceland's Reykjavik 3-1 at home (3-1 on aggregate).

    [17] Tow still missing from Aegean yacht tragedy

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Autopsies completed on five of the bodies from a Friday yacht accident in the north-central Aegean showed that all five victims drowned, while massive air and sea searches failed to locate two men still missing.

    The 12-meter "Gold Fin" had left the island of Lesvos on Friday under poor weather conditions. A fire that broke out in its engine forced eight passengers on board to abandon the yacht, which subsequently sank.

    An engine-less rubber dinghy had been able to hold only six of the passengers, who included two children five and eight years old, while two held onto side ropes. One of the two, the only survivor so far, managed to swim to an islet where she was rescue d on Saturday by a passing fisherman.

    A search failed to locate the dinghy until Monday, when five of the yacht's passengers, including the two children, were found dead on and near the capsized life raft. The bodies were recovered off Psara island, near Hios, and were transported to Thessaloniki for the autopsies. Forensic surgeon Nikolaos Vassiliadis told a press conference that all died between Sunday to early Monday morning.

    A helicopter, a Dornier aircraft from the Hellenic Air Force and 20 fishing boats continued their search for the missing two until late yesterday.

    An Albanian youth, identified as Dretan Megi, 18, drowned on Sunday in Strimonas river while swimming.

    [18] Athens to host Europe and global economy summit

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    A meeting on Europe's contribution to the globalization of the economy will open on August 29 in Athens, to be addressed by a number of prominent Greek and foreign speakers.

    The official opening of the three-day conference, organized by the National Technical University of Athens, will take place on the Pnyx Hill opposite the Acropolis on Friday evening.

    Entitled "Democracy and Development. Europe's Contribution to the Globalization of the Economy", the meeting will focus on issues such as democracy and democratization, development and human rights, European Union enlargement, the social Europe and the European banking system.

    Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will officially inaugurate the meeting. Scheduled to speak are French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, European Parliament President Egon Klepsch, Latvian Deputy Premier J. Kaksitis and Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs , Slovak Interior Minister Jozef Krajci and Bulgarian Finance Minister Muravei Radev.

    Also speaking will be National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis.

    [19] Two more IOC members end visit to Athens

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Seventy-six members of the International Olympic Committee have visited Athens so far in order to be briefed on the Greek capital's candidacy for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Philip von Scheller and the President of the World's Basketball Federation (FIBA) George Kilian concluded their visit to Athens yesterday.

    "The Greek candidacy is very strong," Mr. von Scheller said. "Everything has greatly improved since my last visit in 1991."

    Mr. Kilian agreed that Greece's candidacy "is indeed strong."

    [20] Greek firm discusses joint projects in Serbia

    Belgrade, 27/08/1997 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    The business consulting firm Eurodinamics yesterday discussed the possibility of participating in infrastructure projects in Serbia, especially road and railroad constructions.

    Representatives of the company met with Serbian government officials to discuss their interest in participating in the construction of the new railroad station in Belgrade and the shopping center "Europolis", which is planned along the shores of the Sava River in Belgrade.

    Eurodinamics representatives made specific offers to the Serbian side on both projects, which they said were very cost efficient.

    They also mentioned that the Greek government had also expressed an interest in Greek companies' participation in Serbian development projects.

    The talks between the two sides were also attended by Vice-President of Parson Transportation, a US company dealing with infrastructural projects.

    [21] Greek, Cypriot businessmen to meet in Lesvos

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Business leaders from Cyprus, Thrace and the Aegean are to meet on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos this weekend within the framework of the program "Cyprus-Aegean-Thrace: A Unified Region".

    The meeting, organized by the Aegean ministry and the Lesvos Chamber of Commerce, will focus on exports, investments, transport and tourism.

    Delegates will also discuss issues related to services provided by offshore companies in Cyprus and Community programs.

    [22] Greek retail sales up 4 pct in May yr/yr

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Retail sales volume increased by two percent during the first five months of 1997 compared with the corresponding period last year, Greece's National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday.

    In its report on retail sales, the service said that the volume of sales rose by four percent in May from the same month last year.

    [23] Greek stocks end flat in technical rally

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek equities showed signs of recovery to end flat after a two-day sharp decline that drove down the Athens Stock Exchange 3.35 percent.

    Traders described the reversal of the trend as a technical rebound.

    The general index closed up 0.6 percent at 1,565.96 points with most sector indices scoring gains.

    Banks fell 0.07 percent, Leasing eased 0.83 percent, Insurance rose 0.38 percent, Investment declined 0.39 percent, Industrials were 0.55 percent higher, Construction increased 0.49 percent, Holding was 1.35 percent up and Miscellaneous rose 0.39 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.07 percent higher.

    Trading improved slightly and turnover was 9.7 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 104 to 89 with another 34 issues unchanged.

    Altec, Pavlides, Intertype scored the biggest percentage gains, while Bank of Athens, Benroubi and Remek suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 35,800 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,100, Alpha Credit Bank at 18,925, Delta Dairy at 4,000, Titan Cement at 14,600, Intracom at 12,550 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 6,300.

    In the domestic foreign exchange market the US dollar fell sharply against the drachma following a correction in international markets.

    [24] Bread finds its way back to the Greek dinner table

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek bread consumption improved in 1996 remaining in a recovery trend that started at the beginning of the decade after a recession in the 1980s, Thessaloniki Bakery Union said.

    The chairman of the union, Michalis Tziallas, said during a press conference yesterday that bread was a vital foodstuff in Greece whether it was made by small neighborhood bakeries or big manufacturers and supermarket chains.

    Average per capita bread consumption in Greece was 64 kilograms in 1996, up from 58 kg in 1982 and slightly lower than 68 kg in 1980, but a long way down on an average of 210 kg in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

    Greek bread consumption in volume was 602,000 tons in 1996, up from 560,000 tons in 1995. However, the average Greek consumer was showing a preference for new types of bread in quality and taste, Mr. Tziallas said.

    As a result, brown bread consumption doubled between 1992 and 1996 from eight to 16 percent, while consumption of traditional village bread rose from 50 to 60 percent.

    In comparison, average per capita bread consumption in 1996 was 85 kg in Germany and 60 kg in the Netherlands and the UK.

    The Thessaloniki Bakery Union will hold a three-day bread festival on September 12-14 in the northern Greek capital.

    [25] Mytilineos posts 100 per cent half-year profits

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Mytilineos company recorded an impressive rise in turnover and profits for the first half of the year, with pre-tax profits reaching 1.134 billion drachmas against 577 million drachmas last year - a 100 per cent increase.

    The company's turnover increased by 67 per cent, to 24.47 billion drachmas, against 14.05 billion drachmas in the same period last month.

    Mytilineos executives said they expected sales for the current year to near 43 billion drachmas, a 70 per cent rise against last year.

    The company is involved in heavy metal works.

    The company will float 880,880 common stock at 3,300 drachmas per share. A large percentage of shares will be distributed to overseas institutional investors, since the company's current shareholders will resign in view of Mytilineos' transfer from the parallel to the main Athens Stock Exchange market.

    [26] Top Gov't meeting to again focus on economy, '98 budget

    Athens, 27/08/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will meet this morning to discuss the current course of the economy.

    Mr. Simitis yesterday met with professor John Spraos, who heads a committee assigned the task of preparing recommendations and reports on the Greek economy.

    On his part, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday that decisions for the consolidation of improvements in the economy to date would be reached in the framework of a debate and the drafting of the 1998 budget.

    He expressed the view that efforts to bring the inflation rate down would bear fruit, and that although ministers, such as Mr. Papantoniou and Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, may at times express differing views on the economy, these would always converge on the target of reducing inflation.

    The main opposition New Democracy party, meanwhile, responded in a statement that the government spokesman "is ignorant of the economy and is happy to accept assurances by part of the government's economic staff for a supposed smooth course of the inflation and public finances".

    ND added that data belied ministers, and called for the adoption of "courageous measures".

    End of English language section.


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