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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece,Italy sign natural gas agreement
  • [02] PM hopeful of early end to global market crisis
  • [03] Greek stocks bounce back in line with world markets
  • [04] Greek money rates drop, drachma picks up steam
  • [05] ND again calls for privatisation of Olympic Airways
  • [06] Greek spending on advertising rises 11.4 pct in Jan-Aug
  • [07] Shippers move 2.2 million passengers to islands in June-Aug
  • [08] Egnatia Bank to boost share capital
  • [09] Damanaki launches mayoral campaign
  • [10] Greece says unaware if UN had prior knowledge of Turkish proposal
  • [11] Prime Minister meets Pangalos
  • [12] Archbishop Spyridon conludes busy week
  • [13] Protocol signed for establishment of `Cultural Olympics` institute
  • [14] PM optimistic on PASOK's course on 24th anniversary
  • [15] World War II bomb unearthed
  • [16] Parliament contemplates on single mothers
  • [17] Thessoloniki police arrest Albanian drug traffickers
  • [18] Albanians rape British tourist
  • [19] Photographer shows his worth
  • [20] Mitsotakis criticises gov't, ND
  • [21] Emergency measures planned to confront floods
  • [22] Technicians fix teleconference
  • [23] Greek-Polish industrial cooperation
  • [24] OA's share capital to be raised by 14 bln dr.
  • [25] Measures against taxi-driver thieves

  • [01] Greece,Italy sign natural gas agreement

    ROME 03/09/1998 (ANA - L.Hatziky-riakos)

    An agreement for the joint construction of an undersea pipeline to carry natural gas from Italy to Greece was signed here yesterday between Greece's Public Gas Company (DEPA) and ENI of Italy.

    Earlier, a joint statement by the two countries on cooperation in natural gas projects was signed by Greece's Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and Italy's Industry and Energy Minister Pier Luigi Persanti.

    In Athens, Prime Minister Costas Simitis described the DEPA-ENI agreement as an especially positive one, both for the country overall and the national economy.

    Mr. Simitis said that the Rome agreement made Italy Greece's second supplier of natural gas after Russia, which meant that the country now secured a sufficient quantity of gas in competitive rates.

    The materialisation of the Greek-Italian agreement, according to Mr. Simitis, will additionally make Greece a natural gas junction in the wider region of the Balkans, with the pipeline network having the potential to be further extended to connect Turkey and Central Asian countries.

    The pipeline, to be part of the Intereuropean natural gas networks, will be financially aided by the EU.

    Deregulation of the energy sector in the EU will mean that Greece will be able to buy natural gas also from Algeria, The Netherlands and Norway through Italy.

    The joint statement signed by the two ministers expresses both countries' drive to support the materialisation of the DEPA-ENI cooperation agreement, which additionally provides for the establishment of a joint venture to take care of the supply to Greece of Italian natural gas. The network could potentially be extended to reach other neighbouring countries.

    Ms. Papandreou described the agreement as of a strategic importance for Greece, adding that the country's energy programme with Italy will have been finalised by the end of the year

    As mentioned in the joint statement, ENI is among the biggest players in the construction of energy projects, with activities expanding in as many as 77 countries. It has six subsidiaries and 48.5 per cent of its shares are in private hands, at Milano, New York and London's stock exchanges.

    A preliminary feasibility study on the possibilities of a comprehensive development of the natural gas industry in Greece has already been carried out by both companies.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] PM hopeful of early end to global market crisis

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis was hopeful yesterday that a financial crisis in Russia that has buffeted world markets would soon be under control.

    Mr. Simitis quoted European bankers as saying it would not be long before the crisis was defused.

    "Developments may seem uncertain but this does not necessarily mean that they will be negative," he said. The prime minister was speaking to reporters before a meeting with President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The two officials discussed the impact of a plunge in world stock markets resulting from the Russian crisis, domestic economic policy for 1999, relations with Turkey and the Cyprus question.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Greek stocks bounce back in line with world markets

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities rebounded in active trade on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday following a recovery in international markets, especially in Europe.

    The general index ended 5.15 percent higher at 2,200.40 points with turnover at 74.9 billion drachmas. Sector indices scored gains. The heavily weighted banking sector soared 7.90 percent, approaching the 8.0 percent daily upper volatility limit.

    Insurance jumped 5.05 percent, Investment rose 5.90 percent, Leasing increased 5.23 percent, Industrials ended 3.06 percent higher, Construction rose 4.91 percent, Miscellaneous increased 3.51 percent and Holding ended 3.50 percent up.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 3.51 percent up.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 blue-chip index ended 5.72 percent higher at 1,342.26.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 231 to 18 with another 8 issues unchanged.

    Commercial Bank, Mortgage Bank, Alpha Credit Bank, Bank of Piraeus, Ergobank, National Bank, Naousa Mills, Ridenco, Vioter, Rilken, Keranis and Bank of Central Greece scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit up.

    Sarandopoulos, Vis, Athinea, Macedonian Plastics, Xylemporia, Aspis and Pairis suffered the heaviest losses. National Bank of Greece ended at 42, 552 drachmas, Ergobank at 26,136, Alpha Credit Bank at 23,004, Ionian Bank at 11,400, Hellenic Telecoms at 6 ,880, Delta Dairy at 3,370, Intracom at 11,530, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,735 and Titan Cement at 19,650.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Greek money rates drop, drachma picks up steam

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greek interest rates slid yesterday reversing a jump to over 20 percent during international and domestic market turmoil sparked by a financial crisis in Russia.

    Bankers reported capital inflows of 200 million US dollars, 400 million Ecus and 200 million DMarks in the domestic foreign exchange market.

    The drachma rebounded strongly to end 0.91 percent higher against the US dollar, 0.80 percent up against the mark and 0.83 percent higher against the Ecu.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] ND again calls for privatisation of Olympic Airways

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's main opposition New Democracy party has again called for the immediate privatisation of Olympic Airways, saying that data on passenger traffic was proof of the national carrier's rapid decline.

    OA lost 455,000 passengers in January-July, or 11 percent of customers against the same period a year earlier, party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said in a statement yesterday.

    The figures revealed that the government's plan to revitalise the airline had failed, giving the country a negative image abroad and driving passengers away.

    "The government should assume responsibility, abandon its destructive tactics and adopt our proposal ahead of Olympic's complete collapse," Mr. Spiliotopoulos said. The airline lost the business from the spring through strikes and flight delays due to staff shortages and go-slows.

    He repeated his party's proposal for the immediate sale of Olympic through an international tender in which bidders would also submit business plans for the airline's growth.

    OA's labour regulations should also be made to conform with those of leading airlines abroad, Mr. Spiliotopoulos said.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Greek spending on advertising rises 11.4 pct in Jan-Aug

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Spending on advertising in Greece totalled 218.4 billion drachmas in January-August, showing an 11.44 percent increase from the same period last year, Media Services SA said in a report yesterday.

    The report said that television commercials accounted for 45.76 percent of the total at 99.9 billion drachmas; followed by magazines at 30.98 percent, or 67.7 billion, newspapers at 18.05 percent, or 39.4 billion and radio at 5.21 percent, or 11.4 billi on drachmas.

    Magazines and newspapers showed hefty revenue increases of 23.46 percent and 26.04 percent in the same period, but income from radio commercials was down by 32.13 percent. Income from television advertisting rose by 7.30 percent. In August, spending on advertising rose 30.68 percent to 13.2 billion drachmas.

    Media Services said that Bodyline weight loss centres topped the list of advertising spenders in August, followed by Joker games of chance, Lexitel lonely hearts phone line, the Athenian Journalism Centre, Star Channel, Greenpeace Hellas and telephone sex lines.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Shippers move 2.2 million passengers to islands in June-Aug

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Coastal shippers moved 2,235,688 passengers in the peak tourist season months of June-August from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina to islands in the Saronic Gulf and Aegean, the merchant marine ministry said yesterday.

    It said in a statement that passengers travelling from the port of Piraeus totalled 1,260,953 in the same period, against 1,208,441 a year earlier.

    Passengers travelling from Pireaus to islands in the Saronic Gulf were 566, 386, down from 598,174 last year.

    Passengers from the port of Rafina totalled 408,349, up from 391,663 in the same period of 1997.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Egnatia Bank to boost share capital

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Egnatia Bank announced yesterday that it will raise its share capital by 25 billion drachmas following shareholder approval.

    Of the total, 17.3 billion drachmas will be used to help fund the purchase of a majority stake in Bank of Central Greece after Egnatia won a tender on July 31 to buy the holding from Agricultural Bank of Greece.

    The remainder will be used to strengthen the two banks' capital and to finance an expansion plan.

    Following the merger of the two banks to be completed in 1999, Egnatia Bank's network will total 48 branches, its staff 1,200 members, and its assets 400 billion drachmas.

    Egnatia's profits totalled 1.8 billion drachmas in the first half of the year, with management forecasting profits of 3.5 billion for 1998.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Damanaki launches mayoral campaign

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Athens mayoral Candidate Maria Damanaki yesterday inaugurated her campaign at an Athens hotel, among a large representation of the ruling PASOK party and the Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) party officials, as well as representatives of social movements.

    Ms. Damanaki, who is supported by PASOK and Synaspismos, accused her main opponent in the October election, main opposition New Democracy (ND) supported Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos of financial intransparency, the non-existence of projects and the degredation of the municipal council.

    Ms. Damanaki, the former Synaspismos leader, said that the combined forces of the progressive polical landscape will win the elections on the second round.

    Ms. Damanaki spoke of a lack of projects, noting that Mr. Avramopoulos received 225 billion drachmas and spent only eight billion "for facades, railings, fountains, and lighting of four major streets".

    Ms. Damanaki added that Mr. Avramopoulos "refused dialogue during the pre- election period as he has done for the last four years, by his absence and degredation of the Municipal Council."He is trying to convince that he represents the new element in the polical scene, because he has no polical past. But the absence of a past is in itself a polical action."

    PASOK central committee secretary Costas Skandalidis noted the need "to win the six years that are left to 2004 so as to change the essence of this city and not its image."

    He accused the current mayor of "trying to borrow projects" so as to show them as his own.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Greece says unaware if UN had prior knowledge of Turkish proposal

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece said yesterday it was unaware of whether the United States had any prior knowledge of a Turkish-backed proposal for a confederation on Cyprus, revealed by the Turkish foreign minister and Turkish Cypriot leader on Monday.

    Responding to press questions, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas attacked "those who, without making known what they want, simply undertake initiatives for the resolution of the Cyprus issue, don't respect the countries taking part in this process an d turn their backs on reality and the decisions of the (UN) Security Council... these things do not correspond".

    Asked whether he was aware if the U.S. was bothered by Greece's outright rejection of the proposal, Mr. Reppas said no side could be bothered by the fact that Greece supports the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

    France and China, two permanent members of the Security Council, Mr. Reppas added, have already opposed the proposal.

    "It is a fact that the framework and basis on which the Cyprus problem must be resolved are UN Security Council resolutions," Mr. Reppas said.

    According to the 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 guarantors.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Prime Minister meets Pangalos

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis met yesterday for one hour with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos at the former's office and discussed on-going foreign policy issues.

    Earlier in the day Mr. Simitis met with the President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos whom he briefed on current political developments and Greece's national issues.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Archbishop Spyridon conludes busy week

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, has concluded a week-long schedule of extensive meetings at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople and flew back to New York, said a press release here yesterday.

    Throughout the week, in addition to attending the many meetings of the Synaxis (Convocation) of Ruling Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne, Archbishop Spyridon led a group of 100 Archons of the Ecumenical Throne in their pilgrimage to Constantinople. On

    Monday, the Archbishop held private meetings with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and with the Committee for the Eparchies of the Throne, which is chaired by Metropolitan Joachim of Chalcedon.

    Commenting on the meetings, Archbishop Spyridon remarked: "I had a wonderful meeting with the spiritual father of Orthodoxy, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos. In addition, my meeting with the Committee for the Eparchies of the Throne was very constructive and positive", he told reporters.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Protocol signed for establishment of `Cultural Olympics` institute

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch yesterday signed the protocol establishing the "Cultural Olympics" International Institute, which will be responsible for this new institution.

    Mr. Venizelos had proposed to UNESCO the new institute have a status as a non-governmental organisation, based at Olympia, Greece.

    Mr.Venizelos said that the first Cultural Olympics will be held at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games leading to the Athens 2004 Games, while the four- pronged subject will focus on the civilisation of peace, social cohesion, the society of information and the civilisation of innovation.

    The culture minister said that a second cooperation protocol was also signed between the Olympia Archaeological Museum and the Lausanne Olympic Games Museum. On his part, Mr. Samaranch said "the texts we signed were an important beginning for the 2 004 Games." He added that he always supported the idea the Games had two dimensions, an atheletic and a cultural one, and that the 2004 Games in Athens will have a third one, the historical.

    Meeting with Simitis : Mr. Samaranch who flew to Athens yesterday for a series of meetings with Greek officials on preparations for the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, met earlier with Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The meeting was attended by Mr. Venizelos, Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and the president and managing director of the Athens 2004 Olympics Organising Committee, Stratis Stratigis and Costas Bakouris, respectively.

    "It was an exceptionally friendly working meeting. We are very optimistic because we have the advantage of time and are working within the framework of the contract signed with the IOC last year in Lausanne," Mr.Venizelos told reporters after the meeting.

    He added: "Everybody's optimism about a successful Games is based not only on good organisation but also because we will introduce a cultural Olympiad and the Olympic Truce."

    Press conference : Mr. Samaranch held a press conference in an Athens hotel last night, where he stressed that this is "the first meeting between the IOC and the 2004 Games organising committee."

    He noted "we did not come to Athens to oversee or control the situation. We are here to offer help, support and cooperation. I am sure of the success of the 2004 Olympic Games, which will all belong to Greece, Athens and the Olympic ideal."

    The members of the IOC will return to Athens for a second visit on Sept. 25.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] PM optimistic on PASOK's course on 24th anniversary

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday expressed his satisfaction over PASOK's accomplishments and the course of its future in a message marking the 24th anniversary of the foundation of the ruling PASOK party.

    "The founding of PASOK in 1974, by late leader Andreas Papandreou, constituted an overturning of the political establishment of the pre- dictatorship era," Mr. Simitius said, adding: "Today, many of the misfortunes which we suffered such as the country's foreign dependence, the police state, the great social inequalities and the democratic deficit belong to the past."

    The premier, in his capacity as PASOK president, also noted that the "struggle for the transformation of society continues, aiming at a strong and modern Greece of development, social justice, sensibility and solidarity."

    "The country needs a mature and responsible PASOK of the new great social, economic and political plannings, and of the great reforms the country needs," Mr. Simitis said.

    "This course will continue victoriously," he added.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] World War II bomb unearthed

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Construction workers discovered an 50-kilo bomb, believed to be an unexploded remnant from World War II, while they were digging to set the foundations of a new building, yesterday in Ioannina, northern-western Greece.

    A police bomb-squad was working to remove the bomb and transport it to a firing range, where it can be safely detonated.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Parliament contemplates on single mothers

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's Parliament tussled with whether single mothers should be considered a "special needs" group eligible for state support and programmes yesterday, during the second day of the discussion on the labour ministry's bill on "employment of special categ ories of groups".

    Labour and Welfare Minister Miltiades Papaioannou, saying he would consider a written proposal on the issue, he added he was concerned over whether "we can protect all those who have (consciously) chosen not to marry but to have a child."

    He was responding to a question from ruling PASOK deputy Nora Katseli, who asked for state support for single mothers "not only when they have three children, but when they have one", referring to extensive state support for those considered to have lar ge families.

    Conservative opposition New Democracy deputy Prokopis Pavlopoulos, responding to Mr. Papaioannou's concern over unwed women who have children, suggested that single mothers be judged by a court as to whether she had made a lifestyle choice to have children or was truly disadvantaged.

    The court would hear the testimony of two witnesses or "expert opinion" to determine the woman's motives in having children, he said. "Children should not be born if the only aim is to provide the mother with a job," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Thessoloniki police arrest Albanian drug traffickers

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday they had arrested two men found in possession of 18 kilos of hashish and were seeking another two who had evaded arrest.

    Lufti Daci, 33, an Albanian national, and Jetmir Bardholi, 22, also Albanian , were found in posession of hashish, a hand grenade, and a number of stolen items.

    Authorities said the arrests were a serious blow to a growing trade in drug trafficking in hashish from neighbouring Albania. They said that the incidence of the use of hashish in central Macedonia had increased markedly in recent months.

    Surveillance of Daci and Bardholi had revealed that a number of locations along the Thessaloniki-Katerini highway had turned into meeting points between the two traffickers and their clients.

    The Thessaloniki police directorate said that the city's police force had arrested 300 people on drug-related charges since the beginning of the year and had confiscated a total of 14 kilos of heroin, 13.5 kilos of cocaine and 300 kilos of hashish.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Albanians rape British tourist

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Three Albanian nationals raped a British tourist at a rural area of the prefecture of Imathia, northern Greece, yesterday, and held her hostage for 12 hours, police said.

    The 46-year-old woman escaped her captors and alerted local police, when two of them left the cave where she was held and the third fell asleep, where police found and arrested him.

    The tourist was on her way alone to an archaeological site in the area when she was attacked, taken to a cave, raped and mugged. The three men stole her ATM cash card and forced her to tell them the pin number of the card, police said.

    Officials said they have in custody Arian Kiko, 23, while a manhunt is on for Ren Rina, 27 and Retzem Rina, 25, who are thought to be in Thessaloniki.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Photographer shows his worth

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Veteran Associated Press photographer Aristotelis Sarricostas, otherwise known as "Saris", will exhibit photos from around the world spanning 35 years of his work in covering stories in Greece, Europe, Africa and Asia.

    The 10-day exhibition, to be held at the "Pierides Gallery", 29 Posidonos Avenue in Glyfada, will be inaugurated on Monday, Sept. 7, at 8:30 p.m. by the Mayor of Glyfada Mr. Theodoros Spondylides and will last until Sept. 16.

    A.P.'s president Louis D. Boccardi once described Mr. Sarricostas as a "one man band" for his courage in covering difficult missions in earthquakes, local wars around the world and the plight of refugees, by carrying his mini-developer lab on one hand and his cameras on the other.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Mitsotakis criticises gov't, ND

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis launched an attack against Prime Minister Costas Simitis, and an indirect criticism of his party's leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday while speaking to the Greek Radio in Chania, Crete.

    "I doubt whether there is worthy prime minister currently in parliament, for there is a constant degradation of our political life's level", said Mr. Mistotakis, adding that all political parties were losing their power.

    Political parties were weak and lacked credibility because politicians today lied to the Greek people and were terrified by the political cost, he observed.

    He further criticised his own ND party for having disagreed with the government on certain issues on which the ND had actually the same policy line.

    Evert : In a separate development, ND's former leader Miltiadis Evert presented yesterday a number of proposals to overcome the international economic crisis. Mr. Evert, who was speaking during a press conference, also took the opportunity to criticise the govern ment's economic policy, which he said was uncoordinated and childish. He charged that the government was targeting at the convergence of Greece's economy with EU member-states without caring about what will happen to Greece after joining the euro currency . Mr. Evert further called on Prime Minister Costas Simitis to present concrete positions and proposals to boost the economy, during his speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair this weekend.

    KKE criticises tobacco company : Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga yesterday condemned the management of the Karelias cigarette factory, which refused her request to speak to the employees, during her visit of the Kalamata region.

    Ms. Papariga said that problems of the area stem from the general government policies and called on the working classes to rise up against these policies.

    She added that KKE had foreseen the stock exchange crisis and stressed that this crisis will help people understand the reality of it and react.

    Finally, she accused the government of disbursing huge sums of money in support of ruling PASOK municipal and prefectural candidates, in light of the upcoming local elections.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Emergency measures planned to confront floods

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works (YPEHODE) Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday presided over a meeting on the planned emergency flood control projects for the protection against soil errosion in areas hit by last summer's forest fires.

    The minister noted that the projects will not be subject to a unified study of the problem, so as to maintain flexibility and speed of completion.

    The projects in southern Greece, excluding Attica will cost an estimated 4.7 billion drachmas and will inlcude log walls water dams and the clearing of dry river beds.

    In Attica alone, more than 100 such dams will be constructed on mountainous areas to avert soil errosion and mud slides.

    It was noted during the conference that the summer forest fires burned 1, 250 hectares of forests in Attica, 1,450 hectares in Hlia, 100 hectares at Taiyetos Mt., 250 hectares in Achaia and 300 hectares in Aetoloacarnania.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Technicians fix teleconference

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Technical glitches delayed the start of the Greek Parliament's first-ever teleconference with the European Parliament and other European Parliaments yesterday.

    Greek MPs were finally able to talk to their Austrian, German, Finnish and Euro counte rparts after technicians fixed the fault between the Brussels- Athens line, after some 50 minutes.

    The focus of the teleconference was the economic crisis facing Russian and reverberating on world markets and problems faced by the unemployed.

    The teleconference was held on the initiative of Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. Participating were ruling party PASOK MP Pantelis Economou, main opposition New Democracy deputy Marietta Yiannakou-Koutsikou and Coalition of the Left and Progress deputy Yiannis Dragasakis and PASOK Eurodeputy Nikos Papakyriazis.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Greek-Polish industrial cooperation

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Development Undersecretary A. Diamantopoulou met with Polish National Economy Undersecretary V. Kardner yesterday in Athens, with discussion focusing on Greek-Polish cooperation in the industry sector and support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (S MEs). The two officials also examined the potential cooperation of Greece's EOMMEX and ELOT organisations with Poland's corresponding state bodies.
    Athens News Agency

    [24] OA's share capital to be raised by 14 bln dr.

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    National air-carrier Olympic Airways' share capital will be increased by 14 billion drachmas. Making the announcement during a briefing of Board members yesterday, OA president Theodoros Tsakiridis said that an extraordinary general meeting should be held within next week to approve of this, first phase of the company's share capital increase. The development gives the green light to the Greek state, after the final decision by the EU, to pay a guarantee amount of US$478 million for the ailing carrier's fleet renewal. The Greek state will also pay the sum of 50 billion drachmas for OA's relocation to the new Athens international airport in Spata.
    Athens News Agency

    [25] Measures against taxi-driver thieves

    Athens 03/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's public works ministry is planning on placing signs at central intersections giving approximate fares for taxi rides on commonly-used routes, in an effort to protect unsuspecting tourists from being ripped off by unscrupulous taxi-drivers.

    In a meeting held at the Athens Prefectural Offices yesterday, representatives of local government, taxi-drivers' unions and organisations and other officials decided on a number of measures to offset the bad image a number of taxi-drivers have given the profession among tourists.

    Six taxi-drivers were found to be overcharging - some through sophisticated rigging of taxi meters - in August alone, in a crackdown by police.

    One woman, a young Australian tourist, was charged 25 times the standard fare for the trip from the airport to the city centre, paying 38,500 drachmas for a ride which should have cost no more than 1,500.

    The transport and communications ministry also moved Monday to bring Greece's taxi-drivers into line, saying anyone caught overcharging passengers would have their vehicles taken off the roads.

    Athens News Agency

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