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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek,French PMs speak on `Democratic Socialism`
  • [02] Greece, Cyprus reject proposal for Cyprus confederation
  • [03] Simitis,Jospin discuss Russian economic crisis
  • [04] Tsohatzopoulos begins visit to Tunisia
  • [05] Apostolakis holds defence talks in Sofia
  • [06] Ukraine aims to sell military hovercraft to Greece
  • [07] Meeting held on flood control
  • [08] Finnish president to pay official visit
  • [09] President Stephanopoulos to visit Florina
  • [10] Books to be sent to Greek school in Paris
  • [11] Patriarch Vartholomeos: Environment protection day
  • [12] European Socialist Party's 'summer university' sessions end
  • [13] Simitis to brief president tomorrow
  • [14] EU ministers to discuss pending ban of JAT flights
  • [15] ND questions govt's EMU policy
  • [16] Jet-ski company fined 10 million drachmas
  • [17] No complaints about Greek airport safety - ICAO
  • [18] Air Greece reports 20 pct jump in passenger traffic
  • [19] Government ready to handle pressure on drachma, interest rates
  • [20] Greek stocks end slightly up in wake of last week's plunge
  • [21] Greek markets recover equilibrium following last week's turmoil
  • [22] Gov't says no new taxes in '99 budget, debates impact of int'l crisis
  • [23] Government postpones 15-yr bond auction
  • [24] State to issue new two-year bonds
  • [25] EU average inflation slips to 1.5 pct in July yr/yr
  • [26] Greek textiles mark drop in sales, losses

  • [01] Greek,French PMs speak on `Democratic Socialism`

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his visiting French counterpart Lionel Jospin last night agreed that Europe is, historically and ideologically, the privileged action-field for socialists and the first changes which will lead to reforms necessary for the transformation of societies in the economic, political and cultural fields are taking place within Europe.

    The two premiers were addressing a one-day event in Athens organised by the ruling PASOK party on "Democratic Socialism: Prospects for the Left and the Role of the 'Society of Citizens' in the Europe of 2000".

    The Greek premier began his speech by referring to the current financial crisis in Russia, in order to state that now the ideological arsenal of the socialists is boosted or in order to stress the importance of their position for contemporary societies.

    Mr. Simitis posed the question on whether "we will accept the subjugation of societies to the market or will we seek to control the market?" In answering the question the Greek premier strongly supported the second choice, that of the control of the market.

    Mr. Jospin agreed with his Greek counterpart noting "yes to the market economy and the redistribution of resources, no to the society of the market."

    Mr. Simitis, in explaining his policies said he believed that the policies the socialists must follow should aim toward the passage "from direct to indirect interventionism, where a flexible supervising state structure will aim toward the dynamic function of the markets, orienting the total of resources to national, social and ecological priorities."

    He added that this new social state will erase the injustices of the past, since even those well off benefited, and will support those who are really in need of state support, since the goal is "to move from today's unjust universality of benefits alloc ation, to a just selective one and consequently to the selective generous allocation of benefits."

    According to Mr. Simitis the European unification is one of the basic preconditions to go, on a world scale, from a "casino-capitalism to a more humane and logical system."

    "In the event the country does not continue on this course, the consequences will be disastrous for the majority of the people and mostly for the interests of the financially weak classes. In contrast our participation in the EU is the major precondition for the democratic restructuring of Greek society, the maintenance of prosperity , which is disbursed more and more to all the Greek people, and the securing of our national and vital interests," Mr. Simitis said.

    The prime minister noted that the "centre-left vision" is distant from neo- liberalism, which sacrifices the independence of the institutional principles on the altar of the financial logic of profit and the market.

    Furthermore the "centre-left vision is distant from the traditional left, which replaces the economic imperialism with political imperialism."

    Jospin : In his own speech during the event, the French prime minister referred to his own experience from reforms being carried out in France under his government in the past 14 months as part of efforts to face up to the challenges of the 21st century.

    Mr. Jospin said it will be a major success if socialists manage to control the mechanisms of the economy, as it will be for societies to adjust to new realities.

    He added that the fact that 12 out of the 15 EU member-states were ruled by a socialist government or a coalition government with participation of leftist parties, proved that socialist ideas were still holding strong in Europe.

    Referring to Russia's current economic crisis, the French official used the example to argue that the economy did not operate on its own, isolated sphere, but was associated with social conditions and the functioning of the political system.

    As did Mr. Simitis before he opened his speech, who said that the event was a tribute to PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou, Mr. Jospin also spoke in warm words about the late socialist leader, whom he had first met in 1974.

    He also spoke favourably of Mr. Simitis' reforms, saying that the Greek prime minister was a highly respected politician in Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Greece, Cyprus reject proposal for Cyprus confederation

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek government has rejected the idea of a confederation of two states on Cyprus proposed earlier yesterday in a joint press conference by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash immediately after their talks in t he Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the stance adopted by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots proves that Ankara's policy runs completely contrary to the direction expected by the international community and simply confirmed the provocativeness and aggressiveness associated with the neighbouring country.

    At the same time, Mr. Reppas added, it also confirmed the correctness of the policy being followed by the Cyprus government with the consenting opinion of Athens.

    According to the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot proposal, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the divided island should exist as two states under the "umbrella" of a confederation, with Athens and Ankara acting as respective security guara ntors.

    From Durban, South Africa, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides rejected the Turkish Cypriot proposal to resume peace talks with a view to establishing a confederation in Cyprus as "unacceptable" because it is contrary to and defies UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    Mr. Reppas took the opportunity to address the international community, reiterating that if it was really interested in securing the conditions for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, it should undertake initiatives in this direction.

    He also criticised the international community for in effect not doing anything to bring an end to the illegal Turkish occupation of approximately one-third of Cypriot territory. Mr. Reppas also accused Mr. Denktash of laying claim to rights which were not his, despite the fact that no country (with the exception of Turkey) recognised his pseudo-state.

    ND : The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party described Mr. Denktash's proposal as an outrageous fabrication. In a statement over the issue, spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said Turkey was practically ignoring all resolutions passed by the United Nations calling on Ankara to contribute to a solution of the Cyprus problem for which Turkey itslef was to blame for having created.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Simitis,Jospin discuss Russian economic crisis

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The ecomonic crisis in Russia is not only a development of a conjunction of circumstances, but also stems from deeper reasons as well, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday after talks with visiting French counterpart Lionel Jospin. He added that he and Mr. Jospin were in agreement on all aspects of the current crisis and its international repercussions.

    Mr. Simitis said that the European Union should deal in depth with the problem, adding that this will be considered in the forthcoming days. The Greek premier underlined that there was "great concern over the crisis, its length and scope. All necessary data for giving answers are not yet available".

    "We have ascertained that the reasons for this development are not only conjunctural but also deeper. There are some structural reasons which we should study in the long term," Mr. Simitis said.

    The two men also discussed issues relating to the Austrian-led October EU summit and Mr. Simitis noted that both leaders were in agreement on the general course of the issues to be raised there.

    Mr. Jospin said that during the talks the two premiers ascertained that beyond the financial aspect of the problem, there were also problems relating to a "polical balance" in Russia, declining further comment, so as to respect the principle of non-inte rvention in the internal affairs of other countries, as he said.

    The French premier, answering questions regarding Cyprus' accession to the EU, said that there are "specific political problems."

    He added that "the work continues along with the other candidate countries for accession to the EU. The file of each country must be examined, this is the procedure which was decided. Naturally, in the long-term we hope this negotiation procedure for the accession will contribute to the rapprochement of views and the decrease in tensions."

    Finally, he said "at this time the procedure is in motion, although there are, in Cyprus' case, specific political problems, which we must take into account, in time."

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Tsohatzopoulos begins visit to Tunisia

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos begins a three-day visit to Tunisia today, at the invitation of his Tunisian counterpart Ben Yahia.

    According to reports, the two men will discuss bilateral relations and the security conditions in the region and will sign an agreement on military cooperation between the two countries.

    The Greek defence minister will meet with Tunisian President Ben Ah, Parliament President Foued M'Bazaa, the ruling RCD party's secretary general Abdelaziz Ben Dhia and Foreign Undersecretary Sadoc Fayala.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Apostolakis holds defence talks in Sofia

    SOFIA 01/09/1998 (ANA - A. Makridis)

    Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis had talks in Sofia yesterday with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Gechev on plans for the formation of a multinational rapid intervention force in the Balkans, developments in Kosovo and bilateral cooperation in the defence sector.

    In statements after the meeting, both sides underlined the identity of views on the issues discussed and expressed satisfaction with the level of coordination between the two countries.

    Mr. Apostolakis described as "excellent" the cooperation between the two countries' peacekeeping contingents in Bosnia, saying a joint visit was being planned to the force's headquarters.

    On the formation of the multinational rapid intervention force, both ministers underlined the importance of the venture but left open the question of its headquarters. Mr. Apostolakis hinted however that Bulgaria's offer to provide facilities in Plovdiv now had "a greater possibility" of being accepted.

    The issue is expected to be discussed at the meeting of Balkan defence ministers in Skopje at the end of September as well as at a meeting of experts in Rome on September 7.

    Turning to developments in Kosovo, Mr. Gechev said all avenues for a political solution had not yet been exhausted. He added however that a solution must be found quickly and expressed Sofia's concern at the escalation of tension in the Yugoslav provinc e and the refugee problem.

    Mr. Apostolakis reiterated Greece's position calling for respect for the human rights of the ethnic Albanian population without any change of borders.

    "All the people have rights which no one is entitled to take from them," he said.

    Mr. Gechev declined to reply to reporters' questions on the Cyprus problem and in particular Nicosia's right to bolster its defences by installing Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Ukraine aims to sell military hovercraft to Greece

    KIEV, 01/09/1998 (Reuters/ANA)

    Ukraine's defence ministry said yesterday it hoped to sell military hovercraft to the Greek navy.

    Ukraine's Defence Minister Olexander Kuzmuk added a hovercraft would be sent to Greece for demonstrations in mid September.

    "Ukraine's defence minister has decided to send the military hovercraft 'Donetsk' to Greece to demonstrate its military capabilities from September 5 to September 20", Serhiy Nahoryansky, a ministry spokesman, told Reuters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev .

    The hovercraft was designed in Soviet times for paratroops to make amphibious landings and can carry three tanks and about 100 soldiers at high speed.

    "Ukraine has the only plant in the former Soviet Union which can build this type of craft, the shipbuilding company More in Feodosia", Mr. Nahoryansky said.

    Mr. Nahoryansky gave no further details, saying only that the Greek defence ministry was "very interested" in purchasing such craft.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Meeting held on flood control

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Ministry of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works officials yesterday held the first of a series of meetings on flood and soil erosion control in areas affected by last summer's devastating fires.

    Deputy Minister Christos Verelis chaired yesterday's meeting aimed at establishing procedures for the installation, in early October, of contractors' work sites for the construction of adequate soil erosion guards in areas of Attica and other parts of the country.

    Environment Minister Costas Laliotis will chair a meeting on Wednesday with the participation of Deputy Minister Christos Verelis and regional administrators of the areas that were affected by fires, to coordinate action for flood control.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Finnish president to pay official visit

    HELSINKI 01/09/1998 (ANA-V. Patouhas)

    Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari will pay an official visit to Greece from Sep. 14 to 17, an announcement said here yesterday. It will be the Finnish president's first visit to Athens, taking place in return of a visit to F inland by President Kostis Stephanopoulos in Nov. 1996.

    While in Athens, the Finnish official will be received by President Stephanopoulos and will have a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    Apart from issues of a bilateral nature, discussions are expected to focus on recent developments in Russia, the situation in Kosovo and the Balkans and issues relating to the European Union in view of Finland taking up the union's rotating presidency in the second half of 1999.

    The Finnish president, elected to the post in 1994 under nomination by the country's Social Democratic Party, is a keen supporter of the EU and the completion of its economic and monetary unification, and regards the introduction of the euro as a choise aimed at Europe's political and economic stability and social development.

    Mr. Ahtisaari, who has played a key role in Namibia's independence and peace efforts in Yugoslavia in his former capacity as U.N. Deputy Secretary -General, has a special interest in the Cyprus issue.

    Finnish peacekeepers are stationed on Cyprus since 1960, while a force of about 400 troops are dispatched in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    A team of Finnish entrepreneurs will accompany President Ahtisaari on his Greek visit, for contacts aimed at expanding economic and trade relations between the two countries.

    Before leaving Greece, the Finnish official will pay a short visit to Crete, from where he will depart for Helsinki.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] President Stephanopoulos to visit Florina

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos is to make a two-day visit to the prefecture of Florina on September 5-6, an announcement from his office said. Mr. Stephanopoulos will visit the cities of Amynteo, Florina, the guardhouses of Niki, Koula and Agia Paraskevi, as well as the Prespes lake.
    Athens News Agency

    [10] Books to be sent to Greek school in Paris

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos yesterday pledged his ministry will send literature and history books to the Greek highschool in Paris. The minister made the pledge during a ceremony where he was awarded the medallion of St. Paul of the Or thodox Metropolis of France, in recognition of his support of the educational institutions in France.
    Athens News Agency

    [11] Patriarch Vartholomeos: Environment protection day

    ISTANBUL 01/09/1998 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos has declared Sept. 1 as environment protection day, and he is expected to announce it from the pulpit.

    Sept. 1 marks the begining of the Orthodox Christian ecclesiastical year.

    Meanwhile, the biennial Synaxis (convocation) was to come to a close yesterday with the issuing of a message on the finds of the 75 leaders of the church on the "Orthodox Christian by Choice," the central theme of this meeting.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] European Socialist Party's 'summer university' sessions end

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The sessions of the "summer university" organised this year in Halkidiki by the European Socialist Party were concluded yesterday.

    A joint communique said the participants talked about a "socialist and democratic Europe" and envisioned a "strong Europe based on decocratic structure, which will respect diversity, equal opportunity and the rights of its citizens", a Europe "able to respond to challenges of the international economy in a changing world".

    The participants of the North and the South nevertheless expressed dissimilar views on issues regarding common expression of foreign policy that were included in the joint communique, the former insisting on the establishment of a European military force to intervene in crises in the broader area, while the latter insisted that in such occasions Europe should assume an active role "mainly through diplomatic and political means".

    The proceedings concluded with a speech by National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who awarded degrees to sixty young members from 24 socialist parties in Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Simitis to brief president tomorrow

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will brief President Kostis Stephanopoulos at noon tomorrow on current political developments, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday, announcing the premier's schedule for the week.

    Mr. Reppas said the meeting would be within the framework of the regular monthly contacts between the premier and president.

    At 1.30 pm. the same day, Mr. Reppas said, Mr. Simitis will receive International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch to discuss issues related to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    On Thursday morning, the premier will chair a joint meeting of the inner cabinet and the ruling PASOK party's political secretariat.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] EU ministers to discuss pending ban of JAT flights

    BRUSSELS 01/09/1998 (ANA-M. Spinthourakis)

    The issue over the EU's sanctions on Yugoslavia in the light of developments in the Serbian province of Kosovo, especially the pending banning of Yugoslav airlines JAT flights to and from airports in the union's member-st ates, is to be included in the agenda of issues to be examined by the informal EU foreign ministers council to take place this weekend in Salzburg, Austria.

    Greece is the only member whose consent for the banning of JAT flights has not been given yet, as Athens believes that the repercussions from the embargo should first be examined in depth.

    Greece, however, agreed yesterday to a second round of a written procedure by member-states to express their position on the matter, but nevertheless reserved to issue its own position not until after the Salzburg meeting.

    In the event that Greece still disagrees with the decision to ban JAT flights, then the embargo will be adopted under a special majority by the union's foreign ministers.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] ND questions govt's EMU policy

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party expressed reservations yesterday over the effectiveness of the government's policy aimed at acheiving the country's admission into EU Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos, speaking after a meeting of the heads of sectors chaired by party leader Costas Karamanlis, added that the country was currently at a crucial turn, while he accused the government and National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou of amateur handlings.

    He said that six months after the announcement of structural changes in the economy by Mr. Papantoniou, nothing had been done yet apart from the sale of small banks of minor importance. He noted that the initial package of measures did not include the sale of the Ionian Bank, which the government had elevated to a major issue but had eventually failed.

    Mr. Spiliotopoulos further accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis of being unable to remove incapable ministers in his government as he did not wish to disturb his party's internal balance.

    Commercial and technical chambers in western Macedonia are to meet tomorrow in the city of Kozani to discuss coordinating efforts to increase their presence in Balkan markets, according to the Macedonian Press Agency.

    The western Macedonia chambers' representatives are to meet with the general director of the Inter-Balkan and Black Sea Business Center Charalambos Tsarouhas, as well as with the chairman of the Inter-Balkan cooperation center Kostas Delides.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Jet-ski company fined 10 million drachmas

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The owner of a marine pleasure craft rental company on the island of Zakynthos was yesterday fined 10 million drachmas for illegally renting out two jet skis which later collided, resulting in the serious injury of a British woman.

    In the accident, which took place in the sea near the beach of Aghios Nikolaos, Vassiliko on August 19, Joanne Salter, 26, was seriously injured while riding on a jet ski driven by another British woman when it was hit by a second jet ski which had been rented from the same company reportedly by two Italian men.

    Salter later underwent emergency surgery for injuries sustained to her liver at a hospital on Zakynthos.

    The owner of the pleasure craft company, Charalambos Vythoulkas, was fined by the Zakynthos coastguard for renting the two jet skis to persons who did not have a speedboat licence.

    An inspection of the two jet skis also revealed that the automatic engine switch-off system was not working on either.

    A 23-year-old British woman, Samantha Riddle, was killed in late June on the island of Rhodes when her rented jet ski collided with another jet ski, also driven by a British woman.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] No complaints about Greek airport safety - ICAO

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    An international group of civil aviation authorities (ICAO) has received no complaints about safety or security at Greek airports, ICAO general secretary Kosta Pereira told reporters yesterday.

    Mr. Pereira was asked to comment on allegations by an international pilots' association that measures were inadequate at Greek airports.

    He was speaking after a meeting with Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis.

    Passenger control equipment at Greek aiports was internationally recognised, and was used in all other developed countries, said Mr. Pereira, visiting the country for the first time.

    He will take part in an international conference on airport security held by the Civil Aviation Authority.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Air Greece reports 20 pct jump in passenger traffic

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Air Greece, a private airline, yesterday reported a 20 percent increase in passenger traffic in January-August compared with the same period last year, to total 273,000.

    Passenger traffic totalled one million on August 29 following 3.5 years of operation by the airline.

    Air Greece owns three 70-seater ATR-72 aircraft, and operates regular flights to Athens, Iraklio, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Hania and Santorini.

    In 1997, the airline reported an average of 22 flights daily, capacity of up to 80 percent, and a total of 335,000 passengers.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Government ready to handle pressure on drachma, interest rates

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government is ready to deal with any adverse effects on the drachma and interest rates from a deepening financial crisis in Russia, its chief advisor said yesterday.

    "The situation is completely under control," Yiannis Stournaras, chairman of the national economy ministry's council of economic experts, said in a radio interview.

    Domestic markets, in turmoil last week, were calm yesterday with bonds rebounding slightly. The Athens Stock Exchange ended with minor gains following a plunge last week.

    Mr. Stournaras said the government's main concern was any further rise in interest rates that could burden the budget and hinder the country's plan to join European economic and monetary union by January 1, 2001.

    Mr. Stournaras, who is National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou's chief advisor, also said that even if the Russian financial crisis continued this week, the impact on the Greek economy would be discernible, but not disastrous.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is due to announce the government's economic policy for next year in his annual speech at Thessaloniki International Trade Fair on Saturday.

    Economists say the turmoil that has hit economies around the world, including Greece, will narrow the government's options for a less austere economic policy in 1999, as hoped.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Greek stocks end slightly up in wake of last week's plunge

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Equities ended slightly higher on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday in the wake of a free-fall in prices in the last two sessions of the previous week due to a global market crisis.

    Traders said the market remained nervous ahead of political and financial developments in Russia and the response by major western markets. Trade was jumpy and stock prices volatile.

    The general index ended 0.26 percent higher at 2,175.53 points with turnover at 65.1 billion drachmas. Dealers noted that buyers were returning to the market absorbing liquidity in stocks, a sign that investors believed the Greek market was attractive at current levels. Sector indices were mixed to higher. Banks rose 0.67 percent, Insurance fell 0.21 percent, Leasing dropped 1.42 percent, Investment soared 4.63 percent, Industrials eased 0.66 percent, Construction ended 3.67 percent up, Miscellaneous r ose 2.67 percent and Holding fell 1.65 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies jumped 3.95 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 174 to 74 with another 12 issues unchanged.

    Bank of Pireaus, National Portfolio, Bank of Central Greece, Ergobank, Desmos, Proodos, Delta, Ergodata and Diekat scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit up.

    Ionian Bank, Boutaris, Keranis, Hellenic Bottling, Commercial Invest, Ionian Hotels, Daring and Sato suffered the heaviest losses at the daily 8.0 percent limit down.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 40,695 drachmas, Ergobank at 24,246, Alpha Credit Bank at 22,400, Ionian Bank at 11,605, Hellenic Telecoms at 7,010, Delta Dairy at 3,267, Intracom at 11,690, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,690 and Titan Cement at 18,750.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Greek markets recover equilibrium following last week's turmoil

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    One-month domestic interbank rates yesterday fell to 18 percent and two- month rates to 17 percent from above 20 percent last week, dealers said.

    Bond prices also rebounded slightly helped by a steadier outlook in international markets after foreign investors last week engaged in mass dumping of Greek debt paper.

    The drachma was steady with no pressure seen on the currency, and no capital outlows were reported.

    The central bank made no interventions in the money or foreign currency market yesterday.

    Contributing to calm in the market was the fact that today was a public holiday in the United Kingdom. Pressure on the drachma from abroad often begins in London.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Gov't says no new taxes in '99 budget, debates impact of int'l crisis

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government will not impose any new taxes in the 1999 budget, but neither will it introduce any new tax breaks, ministry sources said yesterday.

    The sources were speaking after a meeting between National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Finance Undersecretary George Drys to review implementation of the 1998 budget, and discuss new difficulties in drafing next year's budget due to an ongoing crisis in international financial markets.

    The government expects to see a budgetary revenue surplus of 142.5 billion drachmas in August after exceeding a growth target of 11.2 percent.

    The surplus would aid financial management, depending on how long the international crisis lasted, the sources said.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Government postpones 15-yr bond auction

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    The state has postponed an auction for 15-year fixed-income bonds scheduled for September 1, the finance ministry said in a statement yesterday.

    The statement gave no reason for the postponement, and no new date was set.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] State to issue new two-year bonds

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    A new issue of two-year bonds aimed at luring retail investors will offer a 10.75 percent rate annually, the finance ministry said yesterday.

    The new fixed-income bonds will be available on September 2. Banking commission for distributing the paper to investors is 0.60 percent.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] EU average inflation slips to 1.5 pct in July yr/yr

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Average inflation in the European Union fell slightly to 1.5 percent in July from 1.6 percent in July 1997, Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said yesterday.

    Eurostat said that highest inflation rates were recorded in Greece (4.8 pct), Portugal (2.8 pct) and Ireland (2.5 pct).

    Austria and France recorded the lowest rates at 0.8 percent, followed by Germany at 0.9 percent.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Greek textiles mark drop in sales, losses

    Athens 01/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek Textiles recorded a drop in sales and constant losses in the first half of the year.

    Without any apparent results from restructuring efforts, sales reached 7.95 billion drachmas while losses equaled 273 million drachmas in comparison to 8.3 billion drachmas and 275 million drachmas respectively during the same period last year.

    Short-term debts were tripled, rising to 7 billion drachmas from 2.14 billion drachmas, while reserves increased from 2.9 to 6.18 billion drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

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