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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-09-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece says Albania must get strong government
  • [02] Turkey blamed for inciting Moslems in Thrace
  • [03] Good news for consumers as food prices fall
  • [04] EC expected to ratify revised Greek convergence programme
  • [05] Largest NATO exercise to be conducted in southern region this year
  • [06] Tsohatzopoulos in Cyprus
  • [07] Papandreou holds constructive talks in Poland
  • [08] US critical on Turkish president's statement
  • [09] Kranidiotios arrives in New York
  • [10] Gov't warns on 'witch hunt'against alleged criminals and llegal immigrants
  • [11] Mayoral candidate Damanaki meets tourist officials
  • [12] Labour minister says housing organisation will be brought up to date
  • [13] AEK knocked out of UEFA Cup
  • [14] Prime minister pledges better days for elderly
  • [15] First conference of Black Sea Studies Centre
  • [16] Interest rates to sink to 6.0-7.0 pct by 2001-minister
  • [17] Celebrities caught in tax swoop
  • [18] Gov't to appoint financial consultant for 2004 Olympics
  • [19] Greek 12M treasury bill rates slide to 11.6 pct in auction
  • [20] Greek stocks edge up in lacklustre trade
  • [21] Gov't writes off Athens urban transport's debts of Dr 913 bln
  • [22] Viagra likely to be sold in Greece by Xmas
  • [23] Spyrou Farming to raise its share capital by Dr 1.3 bln
  • [24] Cretabank's new board meets for first time after Eurobank buyout
  • [25] DANE Sea Line plans to increase share capital
  • [26] Greek-British joint steel venture
  • [27] Kyriakidis named new tourism chief

  • [01] Greece says Albania must get strong government

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday urged that the resolution of the Albanian political crisis after the resignation of Fatos Nano from the post of prime minister had to come through proper constitutional procedures.

    "Democratic institutions in the neighbouring country can and must function satisfactorily, and I believe that procedures have to be completed in the framework of legitimacy and the constitutional order, so that Albania may again acquire a strong governm ent that will face the country's problems," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters during his daily briefing.

    "Transitions from one person to another do not constitute dramatic developments as long as democratic institutions function," he added.

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on his part urged the international community to respect democratic procedures, following the resignation of Mr. Nano late Monday, expressing his surprise at the development.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said democratic procedures and political decisions in Albania "must be respected" so that "we can offer our undivided support for stabilisation of the political system".

    He also said that opposition leader Sali Berisha "cannot exploit the situation arising from the resignation of the Albanian prime minister", as he was accused of trying to topple the government.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the current political crisis could lead to "new operational procedures in the neighbouring country that will disengage it from the policies of the past".

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Turkey blamed for inciting Moslems in Thrace

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Turkey is to blame for the activity of a so-called "Turkish minority consultative committee" in Thrace which called on Greek Moslems in the region to vote for minority representatives in forthcoming municipal and prefectural elections, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Tuesday.

    A Member of Parliament, Galip Galip, the ruling PASOK member for Rodopi, appears to be among the members of the committee.

    Turkey is trying to present a religious minority as Turkish and in this way to harm the government's policy of equality before the law and the state," Mr. Reppas said.

    "Such practices are unacceptable... if illegal activity exists then it will be dealt with as illegal activity," Mr. Reppas said.

    Mr. Galip's activities drew the ire of the government earlier this year after he made statements during a radio interview referring to a "Turkish minority" in Thrace.

    Mr. Reppas said then that Mr. Galip should keep in mind that he was elected by Greek citizens and that he has taken an oath to Greece's Constitution.

    Mr. Reppas added that all related issues have been resolved, and that there is no such thing as a Turkish minority in Thrace.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Good news for consumers as food prices fall

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The retail sales prices of about 250 foodstuffs and consumer goods will start decreasing as of tomorrow in the wake of recent price decreases in spare parts and lubricants.

    The price decreases, ranging between 3-33 per cent and being applied gradually in the market until October 15, are taking place following an agreement between Development Undersecretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis and representatives of foodstuffs and cleaning products industries.

    The agreement was reached in talks held over the past 20 days.

    The duration of the retail sales price decreases is three months and six months for certain products.

    The categories of products whose prices will be decreased are cleaning products, flour, pasteurised milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, coffee, rice, legumes, pasta products, infants' foods, refreshments, corn flakes, chocolates and mayonnaise.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] EC expected to ratify revised Greek convergence programme

    BRUSSELS 30/09/1998 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    The European Commission will convene its weekly session today and is expected to ratify the revised Greek convergence programme which had been adjusted to new developments following the devaluation of the drachma on March 14 this year.

    According to an EU source, the European Commission recognises efforts made by the Greek government for convergence and considers the targets set in the revised programme to be satisfactory.

    The revised programme, which covers the 1998-2001 period, anticipates 4.5 per cent inflation in 1998 and 2.5 per cent in 1999 and a public deficit of 2.4 per cent in 1998 and 2.1 per cent in 1999.

    The European Commission believes that the Greek participation in the euro will depend on the achievement of targets set by the Greek government and on the strict implementation of the revised convergence programme, particularly in connection with the ra tionalistic functioning of the public sector and an increase in its effectiveness, privatisations and reforms in the social sector.

    The revised Greek convergence programme will also be examined by the Monetary Committee.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Largest NATO exercise to be conducted in southern region this year

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Greece, along with Turkey and Italy, will host the largest NATO exercise conducted in the southern region this year, when Dynamic Mix 98 gets under way tomorrow.

    It will be the first time that Greece and Turkey have participated jointly in a NATO training exercise for 13 years, after talks at the NATO level leading to the two countries' judging that the exercise was in both their national interests.

    But neither Turkish nor Greek forces will take part in exercises on the territory of the other country.

    Dynamic Mix will involve forces from 11 NATO nations and will be conducted in the Mediterranean and is designed to improve the Southern Region's capability to implement NATO strategy and to deal simultaneously with a crisis and peace support operation.

    Exercises will take place concurrently in more than one location, with many nations participating in different aspects of the same exercise.

    It will be the largest NATO exercise conducted in the region this year, with approximately 17,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Approximately 5,000 troops, 62 ships and 170 aircraft will participate, as well as all NATO headquarters in the Sout hern Region. It will be directed and coordinated by the Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH).

    The area of the exercise include the south and eastern Mediterranean, the Ionian Sea, northern Greece, southeast Turkey and southern Italy.

    The final phase of Dynamic Mix will be held in southeast Turkey. At the same time, U.S. and Turkish forces will conduct a small-scale aeronautical exercise in international waters between the Greek islands of Chios and Samos.

    The U.S. and Turkish authorities will be obliged to submit flight plans, in line with Dynamic Mix regulations. If they do not, they will be intercepted by Greek fighters.

    Turkey has also scheduled a national landing operation to take place at the same time as the NATO exercise.

    Gov't spokesman : Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said later that the exercise would be conducted in a different region to that selected during last year's Dynamic Mix.

    "These appear to be the changes that have been made this year and allowed Turkey to participate in this (year's) exercise," Mr. Reppas said.

    Mr. Reppas said Turkey had raised objections to some of the regions in which Dynamic Mix 97 was to be conducted and had abstained from participating.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Tsohatzopoulos in Cyprus

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos flies to Cyprus today for an official visit and talks with Cypriot military officials on the joint Greek- Cyprus defence pact.

    Mr.Tsohatzopoulos will also attend celebrations marking the anniversary of Cyprus' independence.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Papandreou holds constructive talks in Poland

    WARSAW 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou held talks in a cordial climate yesterday with the President of the Parliamentary European Integ ration Committee Tadeusz Mazowiecki.

    The two officials headed delegations which discussed issues concerning the two countries in relation to the adjustment of their national laws to European Union legislation.

    Mr. Papandreou said that adjustment is no easy matter and his interlocutor agreed, saying in turn that his country is making considerable efforts to achieve this target.

    Mr. Mazowiecki said he is opposed to the view that the dialogue on adjusting legislation must be completed first and then accession negotiations follow.

    He said that Poland is making every effort to have negotiations concluded by the end of 2000 and to join the EU at the end of 2002.

    Commenting on the country's agricultural economy, Mr. Papandreou said that in 1981 30 per cent of the economically active population were farmers, while the present figure stands at 18 per cent, adding that efforts are being continued to tackle internat ional competition. He also said that parallel activities must be developed in the agricultural sector.

    Mr. Mazowiecki agreed with this position and said that his country wants the farmer to stay in regional areas. They agreed to cooperate in the future on issues concerning the adjustment of the agricultural sector to new developments, while Greece will enrich Poland's knowledge with its experience in issues regarding deregulation of markets for farm products.

    EU enlargement : WARSAW (ANA) - In another development, Mr. Papandreou yesterday said Greece favours European Union enlargement and stressed the need for changes and an increase in the EU's own resources.

    Mr. Papandreou was referring to the future of Europe, EU enlargement and its targets in a speech to students of the College of Europe-NATOLIN.

    On the question of enlargement, Mr. Papandreou said, among others, that the accession course of Cyprus constitutes an excellent opportunity to resolve the problem. He said that Cyprus sustained an illegal invasion from Turkey which is still keeping a part of the Republic of Cyprus under occupation.

    Mr. Papandreou added that Turkey is also placing obstacles in the accession course of Cyprus.

    Students at the college listened attentively to his example on the occupation of a part of Cyprus. He asked them to imagine a part of Poland being occupied and the country having occupied the part placing obstacles in the accession course of Poland. On the question of Turkey, Mr. Papandreou said that Greece is in favour of its European orientation but, of course, Turkey's leadership must realise that its European orientation will proceed with the same criteria which are valid for the other countries which are candidates for accession, such as respect for human rights.

    Polish president receives Papandreou : WARSAW (ANA) - Mr. Papandreou also met Polish President Aleksandr Kwasniewski yesterday afternoon and discussed the situation in the Balkans, and Albania in particular, the European prospect and integration in relation to the results of last Sunday's gene ral elections in Germany. Mr. Papandreou was accompanied by the Greek Foreign Ministry's Secretary General for European Affairs Stelios Perrakis.

    According to diplomatic sources, a coincidence of views was ascertained on many issues between Greece and Poland which concern stability in the Balkans and the future of Europe.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] US critical on Turkish president's statement

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The US yesterday adopted a critical stand on a public statement by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on August 26, by which he questioned the sovereignty of 132 Greek islets in the Aegean, and stressed the need for disputes to be resolved peacefully thro ugh international fora.

    "We view such public comments as unhelpful. Unilateral assertions of sovereignty do not advance prospects for the peaceful resolution of these disputes.We continue to stress to both Turkey and Greece the importance of establishing a process to resolve d isputes peacefully, through such mechanisms as the International Court of Justice or similar fora, based on the principles of the rule of law."

    This US position was disclosed by US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman in a letter to Andrew E. Manatos, president of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, responding to the September 8 inquiry of Mr. Manatos.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Kranidiotios arrives in New York

    UNITED NATIONS 30/09/1998 (ANA/M. Georgiadou)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday arrived in New York heading a diplomatic delegation for a series of contacts with his UN member- states counterparts and top officials in view of GreeceYs candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 1999-2000.
    Athens News Agency

    [10] Gov't warns on 'witch hunt'against alleged criminals and llegal immigrants

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government said yesterday that it was mistaken to assume all economic migrants to Greece were criminals and warned against any "witch hunt" of illegal immigrants.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made the comments during his regular briefing of reporters, who asked him over Prime Minister Costas Simitis's apparent linking of a rise in crime with "open borders" and economic migration.

    Mr. Simitis was speaking in Aigrinio, days after the police botched a raid on a Greek-Romanian man holding three people hostage in an Athens apartment.

    The police handling of the hostage drama and the raid resulted in 12 injuries, including one of the hostages - who is listed in an extremely critical condition - and the head and deputy head of police.

    The police chief resigned after the incident, and another two senior officials were replaced.

    Reaction : Commenting on Mr. Reppas' statements, the Coalition of the Left, said they betrayed an attempt to shift the burden of responsibility.

    "They amount to evasions and an exhibition of verbiage in order to shift government responsibility in the Matei issue," the party said in a statement, adding that "the government is resorting to vague comments aiming to let the matter slide into oblivion".

    It called for the setting up of a judicial police body, stressing that its functioning in many European countries has contributed to the formation of conditions of transparency and objectivity in the handling of similar situations.

    Ginaki in critical condition, but under control : Doctors at the Erythros Stavros (Red Cross) hospital said yesterday the condition of 25-year old Amalia Ginaki, still in an intensive care unit, was critical but under control.

    The young woman was injured when a hand grenade exploded last week during a police operation to free her, her mother and fiance held hostage by escaped criminal Matei Sorin.

    Doctors are slightly optimistc as hemorrage had now stopped, but they still fear septic poisoning.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Mayoral candidate Damanaki meets tourist officials

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    PASOK-backed Athens mayoral running candidate Maria Damanaki yesterday met with representatives of the Greek Tourist Businesses Association (SETE).

    Ms Damanaki supported the establishment of an active Tourist Organisation in Athens and the construction of a conference centre in the capital, which, as she said, could be included in the project for the creation of an Art- village in western Athens.

    She accepted the tourist sector demand for the exclusive use of the 2% municipal tax paid by hotels saying that "Athens municipality should have an annual tourist-projects account," and that "the municipal tax paid by hotels should be invested in infras tructure projects instead of vanishing in the 'black hole' of the deficit".

    The mayoral candidate pointed out that the target of her group "Capital- Power" was for Athens to earn its place in the international cities contest within the next six years.

    She proposed programmes to improve the traffic in the city centre, to "get- to-know" the city, the establishment of motels, noise-pollution control and city cleaning.

    SETE President Spyros Kokotos proposed that programmes be developed for patrolling the central hotel streets, for the resolution of taxi-related problems and the improvement of city mass-transportation.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Labour minister says housing organisation will be brought up to date

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou said yesterday, at the inauguration of the new building that will house the Labour Guild/Workers Housing Organisation (OEK), said that a new bill will be tabled within the first quarter of 1999 to bring the organisation up to date.

    The bill will introduce new types and terms of housing assistance, such as rental housing, employee housing projects co-financed by large private and public businesses, special housing programmes for weaker social groups, extension of the organisation a ctivities to student housing and re- development of old, abandoned housing areas.

    OEK President Thanassis Hanakoulas said that the organisation is planning to maximise its revenue, develop construction projects, new types of loans and contemporary types of housing assistance.

    Mr. Papaioannou expressed satisfaction with the work of the organisation and pointed out that within 1999 the rental subsidy programme would be reinforced to cover more recipients.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] AEK knocked out of UEFA Cup

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    AEK Athens yesterday bid farewell to its participation in this sesson's UEFA Cup competition, after drawing 3-3 at home with Arnhem Vitesse.

    The Dutch side, which was ahead 1-3 in the 50th minute with two headers by Greek-born Nikos Machlas in the 11th and 17th minutes and one by Roiser in the 50th, had its goalkeeper sent off and played the second half with 10 men. They qualified 6-3 on aggregate. Nikolaidis (13, 75) and Kopitsis (67) scored for the Greeks.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Prime minister pledges better days for elderly

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday politics should continue to have a social dimension, and that citizens should feel they can rely on social solidarity programmes.

    "Our aim is a comprehensive, modern and effective Social Security Net. This aim is not set on condition of achieving high economic growth rates. It is not the decorative supplement of future prosperity, either. It is a condition for a common course of a ll towards better living conditions," he said during the inaugural ceremony of a new Open Day Centre for the Elderly (KAPI) in the Athens neighbourhood of Ilioupoli.

    Mr. Simitis said that besides KAPI, the ruling party had also promoted the Social Solidarity benefit and the national social care system for the ailing elderly, which included programmes of assistance at home in 102 municipalities.

    He later visited an elderly couple in the area which has been included in the programme.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] First conference of Black Sea Studies Centre

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The first conference of directors of the International Black Sea Studies Centre, an offshoot of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council, and about to be set up, was wound up in the Athens seaside resort of Vouliagmeni yesterday. The draft charter subm itted by Greece, which will host the centre in Athens, was approved with small changes, but two countries, Turkey and Azerbaijan, expressed reservations and are likely to abstain from the whole endeavour.

    Greek representatve Yiannis Papanikolaou was elected first director general of the centre, and Russian ambassador Koutovoi his alternate.

    The 15-member board will includes an OECD representative, a French businessmanl and an official of the European Commission.

    The next conference of directors of the centre will convene in plenum in Athens on November 12 and 13.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Interest rates to sink to 6.0-7.0 pct by 2001-minister

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Interest rates will fall to 6.0-7.0 percent by 2001, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou predicted yesterday.

    He said after a meeting with domestic bankers that their institutions should reduce operational costs and overhaul their portfolios, limit their profit margins, or be willing to lose their market share.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Celebrities caught in tax swoop

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Three of Greece's most popular entertainers and a renowned plastic surgeon are on a list of 20 major tax evaders released by the national economy and finance ministry yesterday.

    Cypriot-born pop singer Anna Vissi, her husband Nikos Karvellas, a singer who also composes most of Vissi's songs, popular singer Notis Sfakianakis, and Andreas Foustanos, who has performed cosmetic surgery on Greek entertainers and socialites, were said by the ministry to owe the state hundreds of millions of drachmas in taxes from undeclared income.

    The list also includes doctors, lawyers, university professors, accountants and notary publics around the country.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou, who released the list of names and amounts owed, said the instances of tax evasion were uncovered during audits conducted by the financial crimes squad. He said the audits were continuing, and further lists would be released at regular intervals.

    According to the list, Ms Vissi will have to pay the Greek state over 140 million drachmas in delayed taxes and fines, and Mr. Karvellas more than 167 million drachmas.

    The audits on Mr. Sfakianakis and Mr. Foustanos are continuing.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Gov't to appoint financial consultant for 2004 Olympics

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday endorsed a ministers' proposal to appoint a financial consultant for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, who will be chosen on November 27.

    The prime minister chaired a meeting on the Olympics attended by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Undersecretary Christos Verelis, and Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras.

    The officials debated ways of financing construction projects for the Olympic Games in order to alleviate the burden on state coffers.

    Mr. Venizelos said work on major projects for the Games was proceeding on target, as confirmed in statements to the media by the International Olympic Committee's monitoring group, which visited the installations a few days ago.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Greek 12M treasury bill rates slide to 11.6 pct in auction

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Interest rates on Greek 12-month treasury bills fell sharply to 11.6 percent in a finance ministry auction yesterday from 13.2 percent in the previous tender.

    Spurring the decline were the drachma's entry into a new European Union currency grid (ERM-2) for countries remaining outside economic and monetary union, and tighter convergence targets in a new Greek programme for the EU, analysts said.

    The state collected 236 billion drachmas from the auction, which originally offered 200 billion drachmas worth of T-bills. Submitted were bids totalling 390 billion drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Greek stocks edge up in lacklustre trade

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Trading on the Athens Stock Exchange was flaccid in light trade yesterday ahead of news on US interest rates and a new effort to privatise Hellenic Duty Free Shops through the bourse today.

    The general index ended 0.34 percent up at 2,159.75 points with turnover at 33.6 billion drachmas, including block trades of eight billion drachmas, on 7,470,000 shares traded.

    Sector indices were mixed. Banks fell 0.16 percent, Insurance dropped 0.57 percent, Investment ended 0.09 percent off, Leasing ended 1.38 percent down, Industrials rose 0.46 percent, Construction fell 0.38 percent, Miscellaneous increased 0.13 percent and Holding jumped 1.46 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 1.32 percent higher reflecting a shift by investors to small or medium-sized companies in the market.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 126 to 92 with another 30 issues unchanged.

    Delta Inform, Thessaliki, Alpha Finance and Mytilineos were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Halyps Cement, Boutaris, Eskimo, Fourlis, Elfico, Lampsa, Allatini, Selonda and Alkar-Aemet scored the biggest percentage gains.

    Thessaliki, Development Invest, Constantinidis, Dimitriadis, Aspis Invest, Bitros, Rokas, Levenderis, Vis and Xylemporia suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 39,400 drachmas, Ergobank at 24,070, Alpha Credit Bank at 21,870, Ionian Bank at 10,280, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,875, Delta Dairy at 3,105, Intracom at 11,000, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,465 and Titan Cement at 17,665 drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Gov't writes off Athens urban transport's debts of Dr 913 bln

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The government is to write off debts of 913 billion drachmas posted by the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) as part of a restructuring plan for the loss-making company.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Transport Minister Tassos Mantelis yesterday signed a management contract with OASA that also includes the transfer of long-term procurement deals directly to state control.

    The biggest long-term contract signed by the company is the purchase of 750 new buses by 2001.

    The management contract calls for a 35 percent reduction in the real cost per ticket per passenger. The state currently covers the shortfall between the real cost of approximately 200 drachmas of a ticket and the price paid by passengers, which is 120 drachmas.

    The government will continue to pay a subsidy, to be worked out at the beginning of each year.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Viagra likely to be sold in Greece by Xmas

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Viagra is likely to be available in Greece in time for Christmas, representatives of Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company producing the male impotence wonder drug, said yesterday.

    The firm will submit an application to the commerce ministry in coming days in order to have Viagra's retail price set, which is expected to be 3,500-4, 500 drachmas, the representatives told a news conference to present the drug.

    Medical experts warned people who intended to buy Viagra abroad or on the black market before Christmas to consult their doctors first.

    "Viagra is not a stimulant and will not arouse desire where there is none," one doctor present said, with others warning that those with conditions including heart or liver problems should not take the drug.

    Viagra is only available on prescription, and it is not yet clear whether Greece's health funds will pay for use of the drug.

    The company said it would begin briefing pharmacists on the drug soon. The package will also carry a certificate of authenticity to fend off any attempts at imitation.

    The doctors said that Viagra was bound to be as successful in Greece as elsewhere, adding that 447,000 Greek men over the age of 40 were estimated to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Spyrou Farming to raise its share capital by Dr 1.3 bln

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Spyrou Farming, which is listed on the Athens bourse's parallel market for smaller cap firms, is seeking to raise its share capital by 1.3 billion drachmas.

    The plan, which has been endorsed by shareholders, includes a capitalisation of reserves and distribution of two free new shares to shareholders for every old one.

    Spyrou's turnover totalled 5.2 billion drachmas in the first half of 1998, a rise of 5.9 percent from the same period last year.

    Pre-tax profits were 1.7 billion drachmas, up 20.1 percent from the first half of 1997.

    Athens News Agency

    [24] Cretabank's new board meets for first time after Eurobank buyout

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The new board of Cretabank, a private commercial bank, formally assumed its duties yesterday after being bought out by Eurobank in June for 93 billion drachmas.

    Cretabank's new chairman and managing director is Constantine Georgakopoulos, and its vice-chairman is Nikos Nanopoulos, Eurobank said in a statement.

    The members of the board are George Gontikas, Haralambos Kyrkos, Vyron Ballis, Christos Sorotos and Emmanuel Bussetil, the statement said.

    Cretabank is to operate independently for the present, pursuing modernisation and growth as a member of the EFG Eurobank Group, it said.

    Athens News Agency

    [25] DANE Sea Line plans to increase share capital

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    The process of increasing the share capital of DANE Sea Line, with the right of preference for old shareholders with one new share for every one old one and at a face value of 500 drachmas, will be completed on October 2.

    The sale price has been set at 500 drachmas with the payment of cash with bank accounts opened with the National Bank and the Cooperative Bank of the Dodecanese.

    Capital to be obtained from the increase will be used to cover the company's commitments in renovating the ships Ialysos, Leros, Rodos and Patmos, as well as for the renewal of the company's fleet.

    An announcement by the management said that the company's plans include turning the ship Ialysos into a cruise ship from a passenger and car ferry to facilitate cruises, in cooperation with tourist agencies, linking the Dodecanese with Cyprus and the Ho ly Lands.

    The new management's plans also include the scheduling of a Trimaran-type ship which will link Piraeus to the Dodecanese in less than six hours.

    Athens News Agency

    [26] Greek-British joint steel venture

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    British Steel and the listed company "Kalpinis A.-N. Simos AEBE" will establish a joint venture with the purpose of promoting metal production products.

    According to a draft agreement signed, the two companies, which have also cooperated in the past, will each hold 50 per cent of the new company's share capital which will amount to 2.1 billion drachmas.

    The company will bear the name "British Steel Kalpinis Simos" and its installations will be located in Athens. The plant will be operated in the second half of 1999 and its products will be provided in the Greek market.

    An announcement by British Steel said that the two partners promise that the new products will combine the specialisation of "Kalpinis-Simos" in the production of aluminium profile products with the high technology possessed by the British group.

    Athens News Agency

    [27] Kyriakidis named new tourism chief

    Athens 30/09/1998 (ANA)

    Mihalis Kyriakidis officially assumed his duties yesterday as Secretary General of the National Tourist Organisation of Greece (EOT). He succeeded Nikos Skoulas who had resigned. The ceremony was attended by Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and EOT President Yiannis Stefanidis.

    Mr. Kyriakidis, 47, worked at the European Commission from 1991 until 1996 and was a member of the Permanent Greek Delegation at the EEC from 1986 until 1990.

    In September 1996 he assumed the management of the Industrial Ownership Organisation. He was also a member of EOT's administration and an adviser for Ms. Papandreou on tourist issues.

    Athens News Agency

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