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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-02-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] SPD delegation holds high-level contacts with PASOK counterparts
  • [02] Greece still last in EU per capita income, although figure improved since '86
  • [03] Tsohatzopoulos defends S-300 purchase decision,cites subsequent `poor handling`
  • [04] Kranidiotis in Brussels for ESP conference
  • [05] Kurdish issue reportedly raised at Pangalos-Burns meeting
  • [06] Vartholomeos on pitfalls of economic globalisation
  • [07] Three-nat ion exhibition of El Greco's works
  • [08] Royaumont coordinator Roumeliotis expresses concern over Kosovo
  • [09] Greek-Hungarian transports, telecoms protocol signed
  • [10] Short-term interest rates fall in 12-month bond auction
  • [11] Alpha Credit Bank results
  • [12] Mailis French buy-outs
  • [13] Greece-EU funds
  • [14] Stock market
  • [15] Campaign to promote standardised olive oil
  • [16] Total bourse value of investment firms dramatically rises
  • [17] Subsidised hirings announced
  • [18] Mutual funds' total assets up slightly in Jan.
  • [19] Flocafe expansion
  • [20] Highly successful Mevaco bourse registration
  • [21] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [22] Kavala man jailed until trial for murder of US fiancee

  • [01] SPD delegation holds high-level contacts with PASOK counterparts

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Delegations from the ruling PASOK party and the German Social Democrat Party (SPD) held talks at the former's offices in Athens yesterday, while in the morning the German Social Democrats were received by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The head of PASOK's delegation, Secretary Costas Skandalidis, said the meeting was very important, while the head of the German delegation Gunther Verheugen said it was not by chance that the first visit they were making after the German elections was to Greece, to meet with a delegation of PASOK.

    Mr. Skandalidis and Mr. Verheugen said bilateral relations between the two parties were discussed and it was agreed for permanent and stable contact to be maintained.

    A large part of the discussion was devoted to European developments and to the Eurolections.

    Mr. Simitis and the SPD delegation discussed European developments and relations between the two parties. Later, the German Social Democrats met with a government delegation composed of Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Krani-diotis, Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas and Deputy Labour Minister Christos Protopapas.

    Talks focused on issues concerning the Balkans, the situation in Kosovo, the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations and issues of European concern, such as the 'Agenda 2000' and employment.

    According to sources, the German delegation showed understanding for Athens' positions on issues including the "Agenda 2000" and noted that Greece will certainly continue to benefit from funds contai-ned in the European Union's structural funds, which Germany does not intend to curtail. The German delegation also took the opportunity to explain its position on the restriction of contributions it pays for the EU budget.

    The same sources said the SPD delegation showed interest in the problem of Cyprus and agreed with the Greek side that Cyprus' accession negotiations with the EU must continue unimpeded and unobstructed.

    The SPD delegation expressed grave concern over developments in Kosovo and pointed out to the Greek side that the terms and preconditions for the use of military force must be examined if the situation in the region is not normalised as soon as possible .

    Later, the German officials had a brief meeting with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, while a luncheon given in their honour included National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Greece still last in EU per capita income, although figure improved since '86

    BRUSSELS 03/02/1999 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Real per capita income in Greece in 1999 is estimated to be 30 per cent lower than the EU average, although the difference did shrink from 40 per cent in 1986, the European Commission's latest bi-annual report on the so cioeconomic state of European regions stated.

    The report, unveiled yesterday, contains extensive references to data relating to the economically weaker regions of the Community, which include all of Greece.

    Real per capita income in Greece, expressed in points of purchasing power, rose from 59.2 per cent of the EU average in 1986 to an estimated 69.3 per cent this year; in Portugal from 55.1 per cent to 71.8 per cent; in Spain from 69.8 per cent to 79.6 per cent; while in Ireland from 60.8 per cent it has now surpassed the Community average by 5.1 per cent.

    Commenting on the figures, structural funds Commissioner Monica Wulf- Matthies said the rapid rate of convergence of the poorer countries, including Greece, to the EU average was largely the result of activities supported by the funds.

    Regarding Greece, the report also contains extensive references to socio- economic problems, stressing that the Greek economy faces several serious problems in competitiveness, and estimating that for the EU average to be approached, productivity would have to increase by 40 per cent in coming years and employment by 20 per cent.

    Concerning the state of infrastructure contributing to economic growth, the report states that the Greek telecoms sector shows serious retardation in relation to both the number and the quality of connections.

    Greece, Italy and Spain are estimated to record a relatively large increase in the numbers of people over 80 years of age in coming years, which will have serious repercussions in the social security sector. Unemployment in Greece is described as low but increasing at a relatively rapid pace.

    Finally, the report points out that 10 of the 25 poorest regions of the European Union are in Greece, while most of the rest are overseas French territories or old Spanish and Portuguese colonies.

    The northern Aegean region appears as the poorest, with real per capita income being 44 per cent of the EU average, and is followed by Epirus wiht 47 per cent, eastern Greece with 49 per cent, the Ionian islands with 52 per cent, Thessaly with 55 per cent, eastern Macedonia and Thrace with 56 per cent, Crete with 57 per cent, western and central Macedonia with 58 per cent and the Peloponnese with 61 per cent.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Tsohatzopoulos defends S-300 purchase decision,cites subsequent `poor handling`

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday defended Nicosia's decision to purchas e Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles but said subsequent poor handling resulted in the cancellation of their deployment, according to sources.

    Speaking at a closed-door session of Parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, Mr. Tsohatzop oulos reportedly said the missile issue gradually became a "diplo-matic card", turning the Cyprus issue into a "missile issue" and Nicosia's plans to install the system on the island had to be aborted. He stressed, however, that the Greece-Cyprus joint defence doctrine had to be substantially strengthened and that the non-deployment of the S-300 missiles on Cyprus meant systems with a different range would have to be procured in their place. Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said he would be meeting with his Cypr us counterpart next week to discuss this and other issues.

    Asked by reporters after the meeting whether a different type of missile would be installed on Cyprus, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos replied that this was a matter for the Cyprus government to decide.

    "Nicosia has our political backing but it is an issue which rests entirely with the Cyprus government," he said.

    Nicosia's plans to install the S-300 missiles were criticised by the United States and European countries, which claimed they would increase tension in the region. Ankara openly threatened to prevent their deployment, claiming that the long range of the missiles posed a threat to Turkey.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides subsequently decided against their deployment, while Athens said it would take delivery of the missiles and install them on Crete.

    In addition, the committee yesterday began discussion of a multi-million dollar armaments programme currently underway to boost the effectiveness of Greece's armed forces.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos told reporters that the level of defence spending depended "on the conditions, dangers and threats under which the country is obliged to live..."

    Mitsotakis : Former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis said the current PASOK government was hastening to confront the armaments problem after losing five years.

    Speaking after the meeting of the parliamentary committee Mr. Mitsotakis said the government was correct in boosting the armed forces' armaments, but added that there should be a ceiling on the expenditure, which has been estimated at four trillion drac hmas, "which me-ans an increase of the national public debt of at least 10 per cent."

    Mr. Mitsotakis said the procurements should be handled with great caution and all formalities should be adhered to "because the problem of transparency, particularly in armed forces procurements, is acute".

    He said that the "appropriate persons", namely the armed forces leadership, should be consulted because "the people who use the weapons are certainly the most appropriate".

    The committee discussion included airforce procurements, primarily the purchase of fourth-generation fighter planes and airborne radar, with the main contenders for the contract being the French "Mirage" 2000-5, the European co-production "Eurofighter" 2000, the US-made F-15 and F-16 (block 50+), and Russia's Sukhoi 27.

    Regarding the jetfighters' procurement, Mr. Mitsotakis said that "we are correctly oriented towards selection of the Eurofighter".

    But, he warned, "we already have five (different) types of aircraft, at a time when Turkey has two".

    Today, he added, the Simitis government needed to be especially cautious "if we are to discuss the prospect of acquiring one more new type of aircraft rather than stick with the types we already have."

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Kranidiotis in Brussels for ESP conference

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis will depart for Brussels today, where he will participate in a conference of the European Socialist Party's (ESP) presidium, set to produce the final draft of the political grouping's manifesto.

    The final draft will be based on proposals of ESP leaders, tabled during a late January Vienna summit.

    The presidium will also work on preparations of the fourth ESP congress due for March 1-2 in Milan.

    Following the conference Mr. Kranidiotis will conduct an official visit to Slovenia.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Kurdish issue reportedly raised at Pangalos-Burns meeting

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos held talks yesterday with US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns, in what diplomatic sources described as a routine meeting within the framework of the minister's regular contacts with the heads of foreign missions in A thens.

    Sources added that the issue of Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan was raised by Mr. Pangalos, who reiterated to the US envoy Athens' view that the interna-tional community should make efforts for a political solution to the Kurdish problem, possibly within a European framework.

    Greece on Monday denied reports that Mr. Ocalan had attempted to enter the country early Monday.

    Diplomatic sources said the Greek foreign ministry had no idea where Mr. Ocalan was, following speculation that the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) leader was headed for Athens after being denied permission to enter the Netherlands. The reports were also denied by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    At yesterday's meeting, according to diplomatic sources, Mr. Pangalos and Mr. Burns did not discuss the visit to Athens tomorrow of NATO Secretary- General Javier Solana.

    Gov't spokesman : Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas again yesterday flatly denied that Mr. Ocalan had entered Greece.

    Asked by reporters whether the PKK leader had come to Greece, the spokesman curtly replied "no". He reiterated that it would be neither "expedient" nor "useful" for Mr. Ocalan to come to Greece because this would reduce an international question conc erning the recognition of the Kurdish people's rights to a bilateral Greek-Turkish issue.

    Mr. Reppas also underlined Greece's support for the "just struggle" of the Kurdish people.

    The spokesman said four ministers had investigated the reports claiming that Mr. Ocalan had entered Greece - Foreign Affairs Minister Theodoros Pangalos, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos and Public Or der Minister Philippos Petsalnikos. He said it emerged from their inquiries that the PKK leader had not come to Greece and Prime Minister Costas Simitis had been briefed on the matter.

    Mr. Reppas said yesterday's meeting between Mr. Pangalos and Mr. Burns was a regular one which focused on matters of common interest and was unconnected with the Ocalan issue. Speculation surrounding the whereabouts of the Kurdish leader intensified yesterday, after a Falcon-type private jet landed at Corfu airport on Monday afternoon. Airport authorities refused to reveal anything about the identity of the passengers and crew, saying only that the plane was carrying a Greek businessman.

    A black limousine was seen leaving the airport, possibly carrying passengers from the Falcon. It was later ascertained that the aircraft would remain grounded for minor repairs.

    Yesterday, Corfu airport chief Costas Skiadopoulos told reporters that no person under the name of Abdullah Ocalan or a similar one had arrived there, in any type of flight, whether scheduled or transit.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Vartholomeos on pitfalls of economic globalisation

    ISTANBUL 03/02/1999 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos yesterday said globalisation should not lead to the financial improvement of the few against the many, during his address at the International Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Addressing participants, many of whom comprise the economic, political and literary elite of the western world, the Patriarch stressed that globalisation of the international economy, information and knowledge are major achievements of our era, but their worth depends on their ultimate uses by man.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Three-nat ion exhibition of El Greco's works

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos left last evening for Madrid to attend the inauguration of an international exhibition entitled "El Greco - Identity and Transformation."

    The exhibition, jointly organised by Spain, Italy and Greece opens in Madrid before travelling to Rome and Athens.

    The inauguration ceremony at the Titian Museum will be attended by Spain's monarch, Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia.

    The exhibition traces the career of Cretan-born Domenikos Theotokopoulos from his early years on the Venetian-held island, to Venice and finally to 17th century Spain.

    On display will be 72 of the artist's works from the three organising countries, as well as from private collections and museums.

    The exhibition will be inaugurated at the National Gallery in Athens on Oct. 19 by President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    Mr. Venizelos said the exhibition was of particular importance for Greece, because the country was for the first time acknowledged as the "artistic cradle" of the great painter.

    During his three-day visit, Mr. Venizelos will have talks with his Spanish and Italian counterparts on problems related to European Union cultural programmes, particularly with respect to the EU countries of the south.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Royaumont coordinator Roumeliotis expresses concern over Kosovo

    SOFIA 03/02/1999 (ANA - B. Borisov)

    Royaumont Initiative coordinator Panayiotis Roumeliotis yesterday expressed his concern over develop-ments in Kosovo, during a press conference here.

    "We are all worried over the critical developments in Kosovo. All countries in the cooperation with the Contact Group and NATOImake efforts to prevent the development of the crisis into a war, which could have very negative consequences for the whole region," he said.

    He added that he met with Bulgarian officials and discussed the issue during his one-day visit to Sofia.

    Mr. Roumeliotis said the Royaumont Initiative will organise a series of international conferences in efforts to strengthen relations of the countries in Europe.

    Athens News Agency Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) yesterday announced that the Ramsar wetlands protection office in Greece will honour the Prespes Protection Society for its unique methods of management and protection.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Greek-Hungarian transports, telecoms protocol signed

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Transport Minister Tassos Mantelis and his Hungarian counterpart Kalman Katona yesterday signed a bilateral protocol of cooperation.

    According to a joint statement, the protocol establishes a basis for multi- faceted cooperation on air, road and rail transports as well as telecommunications.

    During the press conference, Mr. Mantelis said Athens will support Budapest during pre-accession talks with the European Union, as well as during the accession phase.

    On his part, Mr. Katona said Hungary will offer Greece all the needed facilitations for the unhindered travel of Greek shippers through the country.

    The two ministers also announced the creation of a joint transportation monitoring committee to meet once a year and examine the course of bilateral relations in the sector.

    Mr. Katona also expressed his government's desire for state-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) to participate in an international tender for Hungary's mobile telephone system. Hungary is among 11 EU candidate countries.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Short-term interest rates fall in 12-month bond auction

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Short-term interest rates fell significantly during yesterday's 12-month bond auction by the finance ministry in the domestic market of primary dealers.

    The average weighed yield fell to 9.50 from 10.30 percent of the previous auction in December.

    Bids submitted a total of 548 billion drachmas, 3.4 times more the original asked price. Finally, the finance ministry accepted bids totalled 192 billion drachmas.

    The ministry announced the offering of two-year tax-free deposit bonds, in electronic form, on Friday, Feb. 5 and Monday Feb. 8.

    The new bonds, offered at a minimum nominal price of 10,000 drachmas, pay a 9.20 percent annual coupon.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Alpha Credit Bank results

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Alpha Credit Bank, the largest private sector bank in Greece, reported a 24 percent increase in its 1998 net pre-tax profits to 90.4 billion drachmas.

    Assets rose 22 percent at 4.2 trillion drachmas, deposits increased by 30 percent to 3.2 trillion and loans rose by 31 percent to 1.67 trillion drachmas.

    The bank's board proposed paying a 800-drachma per share dividend to shareholders, up from 724 drachmas in 1997.

    Alpha Credit Bank also approved a rights issue offering one new share for every two old ones to existing shareholders, through a share capital increase and a cut in its nominal share value from 2,000 to 1,500 drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Mailis French buy-outs

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Mailis group, a company listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, yesterday announced the buy-out of three French packaging firms, Cerbere Agrafvit, Sovarec and Codami, for an undisclosed sum.

    Cerbere Agrafvit, founded in 1935, is the second largest producer of metallic hoop in France, a company statement said.

    Mailis noted the significance of know-how and sales experience that the company would benefit from its decision to expand in the French market. The group's consolidated turnover is expected to increase by five billion drachmas, or 25 percent, following the three takeovers.

    Mailis plans to expand activities and create its own supply network in west and east European markets. It expects profits and turnover to double this year.

    Pre-tax profits in 1998 rose by 80 percent to 3.4 billion drachmas, while sales rose 36 percent to 20 billion drachmas in 1998, according to the provisional estimates.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Greece-EU funds

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Greece has made remarkable progress in fiscal restructuring and is on the right track to participate in EMU, the director of the EU general directorate on regional policy, E. Slavkov, said yesterday after a meeting with national ministry officials.

    The meeting, attended by National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas and other EU officials, discussed proposals on a Third Community Support Framework.

    The Greek government hoped that EU funds, earmarked in the Santer package, will be as significant as in the past, Mr. Pahtas said.

    He noted that the new Community Support Framework's priorities were to fund programmes aimed at combatting unemployment, job training and education with the target of reducing unemployment to 5.0 percent by 2006.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Stock market

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Greek equities extended their record-breaking rally to a sixth consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday although the pace of advance was slower than in the previous sessions.

    The general index ended 1.39 percent higher to 3,278.03 points, its ninth record this year. Turnover also hit a new record to 148.1 billion drachmas causing serious problems in the operation of the market's electronic trading system. Volume was 23,200,0 73 shares.

    Sector indices scored gains. Banks soared 2.26 percent, Insurance fell 4.58 percent, Leasing dropped 1.89 percent, Investment ended 1.21 percent off, Construction increased 1.52 percent, Industrials rose 1.18 percent, Miscellaneous ended 1.87 percent higher and Holding ended 1.55 percent up.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.80 percent higher while the FTSE/ASE 20 index rose 1.63 percent to 2,092.99. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 154 to 109 with another 25 issues unchanged.

    National Bank of Greece with more than two million shares, Eskimo, Hellenic Telecoms and Panafon were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Metka, Radio Athina, National Bank, Despec, Endysi, Britannia, Lambrakis Press, Athinea all hit the day's 8.0 percent limit up.

    Lambropoulos, Alysida, General Trading, Anek Lines, Levenderis, Ergas, Benroubi, National Insurance and Parnassos suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 22,735 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 33, 450, Ergobank at 26,500, Ionian Bank art 16,245, Titan Cement at 22,980, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,305, Intracom at 15,785, Minoan Lines at 7,300, Panafon at 10,450 and Hellenic Telecoms at 8,550.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Campaign to promote standardised olive oil

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    The federation of Greek olive oil canners (SEVITEL) has begun a campaign to promote standardised olive oil with the purpose of better informing consumers on how to discern the quality of olive oil.

    The campaign is entitled "In the name of our health we choose standardised olive oil." It will be completed at the end of February and will be presented on television and in various Sunday newspapers of Athens and Thessaloniki.

    The campaign comes in the wake of a decision by the development ministry prohibiting the uncontrolled sale of non-standardised olive oil, particularly by itinerant salesmen. Profiteers have repeatedly been brought to the attention of both the development and health ministries for selling poor quality olive oil.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Total bourse value of investment firms dramatically rises

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    The total stock market value of portfolio investment firms stood at 322.9 billion drachmas on Dec. 31, 1998, up 86.17 per cent from a year earlier.

    The net value of these firms, on the same dates stood at 335 billion and 167.29 billion drachmas respectively. At the end of December, 13 out of the 16 firms in the sector recorded an improvement in their stock market price, while all showed an improvem ent in their internal value.

    Regarding the structure of their portfolios, the companies had invested 82.3 per cent of their assets in shares, 5.3 per cent in fixed-income securities and 12.4 percent in money market funds, as of Dec. 31, 1998.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Subsidised hirings announced

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    The government yesterday announced the subsidised hiring of 4,000 new unemployed university graduates, during one-day seminar organised by the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED).

    Labour Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said the subsidy will last for 11 months, while unemployed individuals participating in the programme will receive a 140,000-drachma monthly stipend.

    The ministry expects 1,400 new permanent jobs to be created through the STAGE programme.

    The programme will be jointly funded by OAED and the European Union. The programme is applicable for both the private and public sectors.

    Firms wishing to participate in the programme are invited to apply until the March 1 deadline at any OAED office.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Mutual funds' total assets up slightly in Jan.

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Total assets of mutual funds managed by the 30 Greek firms of the sector were valued at 9.25 trillion drachmas on Jan. 31, 1999, up 2.86 per cent since the beginning of the year.

    According to the Union of Institutional Investors, the rise is mainly due to an increase in the assets of domestic growth mutual funds by 150 billion drachmas (up 31.23 per cent), of domestic growth and income funds by 45 billion drachmas (up 6.32 per cent).

    The number of units held in growth funds also recorded an impressive 17.47 increase, while the average monthly yield for January was 13.62 per cent. The average yield of growth and income funds was 8.74 per cent.

    Most foreign and international mutual funds saw the value of their assets and number of units decline, mainly due to a turnaround of interest towards Greek equities.

    The composition of assets of all mutual funds at the end of January, according to category, was as follows: - Money market: 65.61 per cent - Fixed-income: 17.98 per cent - Growth and income: 9.21 per cent - Growth: 7.20 per cent.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Flocafe expansion

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    The chain of Flocafe Espresso coffee bars,belonging to the Goody's group, is rapidly expanding.

    The chain currently operates 17 Flocafe bars: 13 in Athens, one in Thessaloniki, one in Halkida and two along the Patra-Athens-Thessaloniki motorway. The number of outlets is expected to exceed 27 by the end of 1999.

    The turnover of Flocafe coffee bars totalled 2.2 billion drachmas in 1998 and is expected to increase to 3.3 billion drachmas in 1999.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Highly successful Mevaco bourse registration

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Public registration completed by the Mevaco metals company was oversubscribed yesterday by 341 times.

    Mevaco issued 474,000 new nominal shares with a face value of 200 drachmas and a sale price of 1,600 drachmas each.

    The total amount collected during the registration was about 259 billion drachmas. The subscription of public registration constitutes one of the highest records for the Athens Stock Exchange.

    An inter-party committee has decided to call for the purchase of 300 buses fuelled by natural gas.

    According to Deputy Transport Minister Nikos Salayiannis, the 300 buses will cost 23 billion drachmas, with the cost to be covered in part by the second Community Support Framework.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: February 2, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes            Buying  Selling
    US Dollar            281.371 287.895
    Can.Dollar           186.317 190.637
    Australian Dlr       179.478 183.639
    Pound Sterling       462.847 473.579
    Irish Punt           404.111 413.481
    Pound Cyprus         549.370 562.107
    Pound Malta          697.697 726.768
    Turkish pound (100)    0.073   0.076
    French franc          48.519  49.644
    Swiss franc          198.564 203.168
    Belgian franc          7.890   8.073
    German Mark          162.726 166.499
    Finnish Mark          53.528  54.769
    Dutch Guilder        144.421 147.770
    Danish Kr.            42.791  43.783
    Swedish Kr.           35.869  36.700
    Norwegian Kr.         37.091  37.951
    Austrian Sh.          23.130  23.666
    Italian lira (100)    16.436  16.818
    Yen (100)            248.417 254.176
    Spanish Peseta         1.913   1.957
    Port. Escudo           1.587   1.624
    Foreign Exchange     Buying  Selling
    New York             281.371 287.895
    Montreal             186.317 190.637
    Sydney               179.478 183.639
    London               462.847 473.579
    Dublin               404.111 413.481
    Nicosia              549.370 562.107
    Paris                 48.519  49.644
    Zurich               198.564 203.168
    Brussels               7.890   8.073
    Frankfurt            162.726 166.499
    Helsinki              53.528  54.769
    Amsterdam            144.421 147.770
    Copenhagen            42.791  43.783
    Stockholm             35.869  36.700
    Oslo                  37.091  37.951
    Vienna                23.130  23.666
    Milan                 16.436  16.818
    Tokyo                248.417 254.176
    Madrid                 1.913   1.957
    Lisbon                 1.587   1.624
    Athens News Agency

    [22] Kavala man jailed until trial for murder of US fiancee

    Athens 03/02/1999 (ANA)

    A 24-year-old junior cruiseship officer, charged with first degree murder in the death of his American fiancee, was remanded into custody yesterday pending trial.

    Georgios Skiadopoulos, who admited to killing Julie-Marie Scully, a 31-year- old New Jersey resident, was formally arraigned yesterday by a Kavala magistrate.

    According to court records, Skiadopoulos said he strangled Scully when she told him she had changed her mind and would not marry him.

    During his five-hour testimony, Skiadopoulos admitted killing the woman but claimed it was a crime of passion.

    He also claimed that he grabbed her by the neck "to just shake her, to scare her..."

    According to the man's defence attorneys, Skiadopoulos has regretted his actions and broke down several times during questioning.

    They said they have applied for a second psychiatric evaluation, claiming the previus one conducted by a Kavala hospital psychatrist "was very impromptu."

    Skiadopoulos said the victim's decision stemmed from the fact that she had not adjusted to life in Greece and that she missed her three-year-old daughter, who was in her father's custody in the United States.

    Athens News Agency

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