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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-11-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis: No exclusions, respect for borders and int'l law necessary to stabilise region
  • [02] Ecevit denies that Clinton called for Turkish goodwill gesture towards Athens
  • [03] Clinton received by Patriarch Vartholomeos at Patriarchate
  • [04] Simitis holds talks with Patriarch
  • [05] Itinerary for Clinton's Athens visit unveiled
  • [06] Premier: State duty-bound to safeguard nat'l interests during Clinton visit
  • [07] Oil prices will not affect euro zone entry
  • [08] Average harmonised inflation to drop, Papademos says
  • [09] National Bank to buy stake in OTEnet ....
  • [10] Greece set for euro entry, Papantoniou says
  • [11] Stocks continue moving lower
  • [12] Drachma ends down in light trade
  • [13] Mutual fund managers expect new rally
  • [14] Athens 2004 organisers cite cash flow problem after lottery idea scrapped
  • [15] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [16] Greece, Albania and FYROM sign air traffic protocol
  • [17] Architects call for meeting with gov't over abortive Acropolis museum design

  • [01] Simitis: No exclusions, respect for borders and int'l law necessary to stabilise region

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed yesterday that Greece and the entire region were at a "critical crossroads of developments", as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul provided "an international forum to re inforce our firm positions".

    Speaking at Athens airport before departing for Istanbul, Mr. Simitis said the policies for stabilisation and development in the Balkans needed to be further consolidated in order to reduce the danger of crises, "and this must be done without exclusions and with respect for existing borders and international legality".

    The Greek premier noted that on the sidelines of the OSCE summit he would have separate meetings with the prime ministers of the other 14 EU member- states and the prime minister of Turkey, Bulent Ecevit.

    "It is our firm conviction that the interests of peace in the region dictate good neighbourliness and cooperation between Turkey and Greece," Mr. Simitis said, adding that Athens had shown the way in that direction.

    "We hope that Turkey will take similar initiatives, so that international law and the conditions in the area will be the framework of reference in our relations, and also that there will be progress towards solving the Cyprus issue in accordance with UN decisions and resolutions," Mr. Simitis said.

    The premier added that, in the same framework, Greece looked forward to a "fruitful discussion" with US President Bill Clinton, who is due to visit Athens tomorrow and Saturday after the OSCE summit.

    Mr. Simitis said the significance of President Clinton's visit for Greece was self-evident, "as we are given the opportunity to reiterate our view on how peace and cooperation in the region may be advanced and the problems tackled".

    "The good relations between our two countries, the long-standing ties between the two peoples, the flourishing Greek community in the US, all dictate a good relationship and good hospitality towards our American guests and President Clinton," Mr. Simitis said.

    "Naturally, political parties and citizens have the right, and responsibility, to choose the expression and manner of expression of any different opinions they hold," Mr. Simitis said, adding however, that "the responsible Greek state is duty-bound to safeguard our country's interests and dignity. And we shall do just that".

    Greece, he said, was a sovereign state, adding that it "does not serve the country's interests...to have the country's picture marred, or to give the impression that we are expecting 'something', as clients expect from their patrons.

    "We shall put forward our positions, defend our view and seek to influence develpments in the direction that we deem correct," Mr. Simitis said.

    Turning to this year's celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic students' uprising, Mr. Simitis said the message of the commemoration was that "we have achieved in living today in an independent and strong Greece, a Greece with a presence on the international scene".

    He also called on all Greek citizens and all political parties and citizens "to safeguard our national interests, with responsibility and vigilance..."

    Gov't: no tripartite meeting : In addition, Athens reiterated yesterday that there will not be a tripartite meeting between the US, Greek and Turkish leaders during the Istanbul OSCE summit, acting government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou said.

    Mr. Nikolaou said there was also no expectation that a joint communique would be issued in the wake of today's meeting between the Greek and Turkish prime ministers.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Ecevit denies that Clinton called for Turkish goodwill gesture towards Athens

    ANKARA, 18/11/1999 (ANA - A. Abatzis)

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stressed yesterday that US President Bill Clinton "did not call on Turkey to make a goodwill gesture towards Greece within the framework of a deal."

    Mr. Ecevit was replying to a question regarding a Turkish press report yesterday, which claimed that Mr. Clinton told Mr. Ecevit to "make a goodwill gesture to help me in my effort to defend you before Athens, the European Union and (the US) Congress."

    Replying to a question at Ankara airport before leaving for Istanbul, Mr. Ecevit said the US president "said nothing within the framework of a deal. He referred, of course, to all these issues.

    "However, certainly not in the sense of a deal in the form of do this so that I can act myself. What is important is the improvement in Turkish- Greek relations through dialogue..." he said.

    The Turkish daily "Milliyet" stressed yesterday that during his talks with Mr. Ecevit on Monday the US president was quoted as saying: "If it will not have a great cost for you, could you possibly make a goodwill gesture? If you do, this will also help mein my effort to defend you before Athens, the European Union and Congress."

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Clinton received by Patriarch Vartholomeos at Patriarchate

    ISTANBUL, 18/11/1999 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    US President Bill Clinton was received here yesterday at the Patriarchate by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and new Archbishop of America Demetrios, in the first-ever visit by a standing US leader to the Patriarchate.

    The US president was accompanied at the Patriarchate by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea.

    Following a private meeting between Vartholomeos and Mr. Clinton, Archbishop Demetrios said discussions included issues of religious freedom around the world and the re-opening of the Halki Academy of Theology.

    "The focus of the discussions was the contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the re-establishment of peaceful relations," Demetrios said.

    Halki issue reportedly raised : ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas) - Meanwhile, Mr. Demirel reportedly requested a "little bit more time" to find a solution to the problem of the Halki Academy of Theology's reopening, following talks with Mr. Clinton, sources said.

    "Give us a little time," the Turkish leader said, according to the same sources, adding that he is expending efforts to find the appropriate solution within Turkey's existing legal framework.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Simitis holds talks with Patriarch

    ISTANBUL, 18/11/1999 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis arrived in Istanbul yesterday for the OSCE summit with his first visit being at the Ecumenical Patriarchate for a meeting with Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    "The Phanar (the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) is a place which links us with our history, tradition and our religion," the prime minister said after meeting Vartholomeos.

    "Our presence here is to underline the importance which we extend to the significant work being undertaken to ensure the voice of Orthodoxy is heard."

    Patriarch Vartholomeos said he congratulated Mr. Simitis on the work he and the Greek government had undertaken, as well as the overtures "you have made in the direction of co-existence and cooperation between the peoples of Greece and Turkey."

    He also thanked Athens for the aid it was continuing to send to the quake- stricken areas of Turkey.

    Saying that he did not want to further comment on political issues, the Patriarch added that he had noted "a significant change in relations between Greece and Turkey".

    Mr. Simitis was accompanied by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Press Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Itinerary for Clinton's Athens visit unveiled

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    US President Bill Clinton arrives in Athens tomorrow afternoon on a long- awaited 24-hour visit and talks with the government, all amid stringent security measures as well as a ban on all protest rallies and street marches.

    The US presidential airplane will land at approximately 6:35 p.m. at Athens airport, while Mr. Clinton's arrival and the rest of the schedule will be covered by a specially accredited pool of reporters and photographers.

    Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Clinton and his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea will attend a reception at the Presidential Mansion to be given in his honour by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    Both men will hold a brief private discussion at the presidential mansion on Saturday morning, after which they will be joined by aides. Mr. Clinton will hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the Maximos Mansion at around 11:30 a.m., to be followed by a 30-minute press conference at 1 p.m.

    The US leader will then deliver an address at the Athens Intercontinental Hotel before departing in the early afternoon.

    According to the Attica police chief on Tuesday, the ban on demonstrations was being enforced "for reasons of public safety".

    Several main boulevards and roads leading from the airport to the centre of the city will be closed at certain sections during Mr. Clinton's arrival and departure, and traffic will be rerouted, police said.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Premier: State duty-bound to safeguard nat'l interests during Clinton visit

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis emphasised yesterday that it was not unusual for reactions to surface against US President Bill Clinton's visit, but it was the duty of the state to safeguard the country's interests.

    Speaking at Athens airport before departing for Istanbul for an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit, Mr. Simitis said it was "natural" that there were reactions to the Clinton visit, scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday, "which has its own self-evident significance".

    "However, the responsible state is duty-bound to ensuring the interests of the country. And that is what we shall do," Mr. Simitis said.

    The premier called on citizens and political parties to "national vigilance" to "safeguard the country's interests from within the maintenance of democratic legality".

    He also said Athens should not give the picture that it was awaiting the US president "as clients awaiting the patrons".

    Turning to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Simitis said Greece had taken "many steps towards normalisation" of relations with Turkey, "and now Ankara must also take similar steps".

    Opposition criticises rally ban : In a related development, a police ban on rallies and protest marches has drawn sharp criticism from several opposition parties.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which controls 11 seats in the 300- member Parliament, called the move an "American-inspired choice of the (Greek) government" and a "deeply anti-popular decision with a political goal".

    KKE said the "reasons of public safety" cited for imposition of the ban were "a pretext", and claimed that "the PASOK government, backed by the (main opposition) New Democracy party, does not want the march to the US embassy to take place because it do es not want the protest that symbolises the people's unhalting anti-imperialism struggle and the struggle against the new world order to be expressed".

    KKE further claimed that the government "does not want the people to demonstrate against the plans being advanced by this specific Clinton visit, which concerns the full Americanisation of the Aegean, toppling of the Milosevic government (in Yugoslavia) , the increased role being undertaken by the PASOK government against the Balkan peoples and the government's acceptance of Turkey's membership in the European Union without a positive solution to the Cyprus problem".

    The Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) said the government, "hiding behind the police authorities, is aligning itself with the demands of US authorities and going back on previous commitments".

    Synaspismos called the ban a "spasmodic decision of monumental authoritarianism and exaggeration that disrupts the centre of Athens and brings it to a standstill for 26 hours, prohibiting peaceful demonstrations and even the movement of pedestrians and vehicles even in places and at times that are totally unrelated with Mr. Clinton's programme and movements".

    Synaspismos called on citizens "not to fall into the trap of provoking incidents and the climate of terror that the authoritarian governmental prohibitions are advancing".

    In a similar announcement, the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) called the ban a "clearly undemocratic and unconstitutional decision that blatantly offends the democratic sensitivity and honour of the proud Greek people and also downgrades Greece into the role of a Third World country and into the role of a subject."

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Oil prices will not affect euro zone entry

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Rising oil prices in international markets will not have an impact on the inflation criterion that Greece has to meet for entry into European economic and monetary union, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday.

    Speaking to reporters after addressing a parliamentary economic committee on next year's budget, Mr. Papantoniou said rising oil prices would be an "unpleasant development" for the country's inflation rate.

    He noted, however, that the price rise in oil would not hinder Greece's application for entry into the euro zone as it would affect the inflation rate in the European Union as a whole.

    Mr. Papantoniou said that the government would not have to take special measures to deal with the price increase.

    "I hope that this will not last long, although it is something we cannot guarantee because it depends on international developments", he added.

    Domestic fuel prices rise : The development ministry and state-owned Hellenic Petroleum yesterday announced that indicative fuel prices would rise in the coming week in line with higher oil prices in international markets.

    Under the government's weekly price review, super gasoline will rise by 4.80 drachmas a litre, leadless gasoline by 5.0 drachmas a litre, diesel by 7.30 drachmas a litre and heating oil by 5.00 drachmas a litre.

    According to the indicative prices, super gasoline will cost about 226.90 drachmas a litre and leadless gasoline around 211.20 drachmas a litre.

    The price rises were effective at midnight.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Average harmonised inflation to drop, Papademos says

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Average annual harmonised inflation is expected to fall gradually in the months ahead, reaching by early next year the level required for entry into the euro zone, central bank governor Lucas Papademos said yesterday.

    "The average harmonised inflation index will fall gradually in the months ahead to two percent. We believe we shall reach this level and meet the inflation criterion in February or March 2000," he told the Italian financial newspaper "Sole 24 Ore" in an interview.

    Average harmonised inflation stood at 2.6 percent in October.

    Year-on-year harmonised inflation, which fell to 1.9 in the same month, is not expected to exceed two percent in the months ahead, Mr. Papademos said.

    At the same time, the central bank does not expect a fall in consumer price inflation in November or December.

    Easing monetary policy in the same period would be felt throughout the market, but the extent of the effect on prices next year was unclear, he added.

    "The effect on prices will be partly counterbalanced by the fact that the income of Greek households will be restricted, as they tend to invest mainly in bank deposits and other fixed-income investments.

    "Besides, the effect of lower interest rates on prices will not be instant, but spread throughout the year in 2001," he said.

    Finally, Papademos said no decision had been made regarding a rumoured readjustment of the drachma's central parity against the euro, and therefore foreign exchange policy would remain unchanged.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] National Bank to buy stake in OTEnet ....

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    National Bank of Greece yesterday announced a deal to acquire a 10 percent stake in OTEnet, an Internet provider and subsidiary of state Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation.

    The bank will acquire the shares through a share capital increase by OTEnet.

    OTEnet is the leading domestic Internet provider. It accounts for 33 percent of the country's market, and 1999 profits are expected to reach 250 million drachmas.

    National Bank aims to promote its services and products through the Internet.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Greece set for euro entry, Papantoniou says

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Greece will become the 12th member of economic and monetary union in June 2000 when its entry is expected to be endorsed at a European Union summit, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou told parliament yesterday.

    Addressing a parliamentary committee on economic affairs that is discussing next year's budget, Mr. Papantoniou referred to major changes in the Greek economy in the last six years, such as a drop in the inflation rate from 14 percent to 2.0 percent and an almost zero deficit.

    The government had succeeded in completing a fiscal restructuring effort which opened the door to tax cuts and social benefits, he said.

    "This was accomplished by expanding the tax base and securing a surplus of 400 billion drachmas, a result of combatting tax evasion and a rise in the stock market which led Greek companies to reveal their real profits and pay real taxes," Mr. Papantoniou said.

    He said that by the end of the year Greece would have fully absorbed funds from the Second Community Support Framework, adding that the country had set a world record with a 23 percent increase in investment activity.

    In addition, the government had raised 2.3 trillion drachmas from 10 major and medium-sized privatisations.

    "Our efforts in the last few years have resulted in a recovery of the economy which is now more competitive. We are moving faster than the rest of Europe and we are approaching the EU average", he said.

    The minister said that a 5.3 percent GDP growth rate, compared with a 6.4 percent growth in national income, would mean lower taxes to the average Greek citizen and predicted that the cost of servicing the country's public debt would fall to 20 percent of GDP, down from 33 percent currently and 66 percent in 1993.

    The national economy minister said that the government was seeking to lead the country into the post-EMU era with a vision based on stability, discipline, a rational social benefits policy, increased investments and structural changes with the consent of workers.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Stocks continue moving lower

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Equity prices continued moving lower yesterday reflecting selling in blue chip stocks.

    The general index ended 0.50 percent down at 5,654.07 points, off the day's low of 5,592 points. Turnover was higher at 323.354 billion drachmas.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (-0.17 pct), Leasing (-0.52 pct), Insurance (+1.74 pct), Investment (-0.28 pct), Construction (-2.40 pct), Industrials (-0.88 pct), Miscellaneous (-0.48 pct) and Holding (-0.12 pct). The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks rose 0.17 pct while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks eased 0.11 percent to 2,789.18 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 199 to 121 with another 10 issues unchanged.

    A total of 25 shares ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up, while another three (Lanacam, Tzirakian and Barba Stathis) ended at the day's limit down.

    NEL Lines and Naoussa Spinning Mills were the most heavily traded stocks.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 21,780 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 26, 000, Commercial Bank at 23,650, Titan Cement (common) at 37,400, Hellenic Petroleum at 4,800, Intracom at 13,540, Minoan Lines at 9,890, Panafon at 3, 580 and Hellenic Telecoms at 6,440.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Drachma ends down in light trade

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    The drachma edged down yesterday in demand for euros with minor outflows estimated at around 50 million euros, traders said.

    At the central bank's daily fix, the euro rose against the drachma.

    The single European currency was set at 328.900 drachmas from 328.710 drachmas in the previous session and 328.310 drachmas on Monday.

    The dollar dropped against the drachma in line with its descent in international markets.

    The US currency was set at 316.240 drachmas from 318.160 drachmas a day earlier and 318.280 drachmas on Monday.

    Bond trade thins again : Trade was scant in the secondary bond market yesterday with buyers shrugging off a rise in US interest rates that they had apparently already discounted.

    The benchmark 10-year bond was trading around 99.05, showing a yield of 6.48 percent from 6.44 percent a day earlier and 6.41 percent on Monday.

    The yield spread over German bunds was 156 basis points from 154 basis points in the two previous sessions and 153-155 basis points on Friday.

    Electronic trade was sharply down at 4.0 billion drachmas from 9.0 billion drachmas in the previous session and 15 billion drachmas on Monday.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Mutual fund managers expect new rally

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Mutual fund assets totalled 12.199 trillion drachmas on Tuesday, November 16, with 11.931 trillion drachmas invested in domestic funds and another 267.6 billion drachmas in international funds.

    The data was released yesterday.

    Market analysts noted that a wave of major share capital increases by listed companies on the Athens Stock Exchange had drained liquidity from the market, keeping the general index within a narrow trading range in the last few weeks.

    However, stockbrokers and mutual fund managers anticipate a new round of interest rate cuts by the Bank of Greece and domestic commercial banks that will spur a new rally on the Athens Stock Exchange, pushing mutual fund returns higher.

    They also noted that the rally would not resemble a spectacular jump in the period July-August.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Athens 2004 organisers cite cash flow problem after lottery idea scrapped

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    The Athens 2004 organising committee said yesterday it was suffering from cash flow problems, due in part to the government's decision last month to drop plans for a lottery that would have raised 70 billion drachmas for the Olympic Games.

    Athens 2004 Managing Director Costas Bakouris told reporters that the committee faced an "enormous cash flow problem" and had appealed to the inter-ministerial committee to help.

    Plans for the 'Olympic Video-lotto' were summarily dropped last month by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, after heightened criticism by the opposition and certain PASOK cadres.

    According to Mr. Bakouris, the revenues from the lottery would have been the organising committee's first income, because monies from sponsorship deals is not expected to come in until 2001.

    Apart from the revenue problem, Mr. Bakouris said the committee had also yet to sign an agreement with hoteliers on accommodation and the issue of broadcast coverage was still pending.

    In terms of security, the public order ministry and the 2004 committee have begun talks and proposals from private companies from the United States and Israel have already been submitted, he said.

    The organising committee is due to present a general report on progress to a Parliament committee on Nov. 24.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: November 17, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             313.710 320.984
    Can.Dollar            214.371 219.342
    Australian Dlr        201.455 206.126
    Pound Sterling        509.571 521.385
    Irish Punt            414.276 423.881
    Pound Cyprus          565.440 578.550
    Pound Malta           730.971 761.428
    Turkish pound (100)     0.056   0.058
    French franc           49.739  50.892
    Swiss franc           203.682 208.405
    Belgian franc           8.088   8.275
    German Mark           166.819 170.686
    Finnish Mark           54.874  56.147
    Dutch Guilder         148.054 151.487
    Danish Kr.             43.876  44.893
    Swedish Kr.            37.597  38.469
    Norwegian Kr.          39.777  40.699
    Austrian Sh.           23.711  24.261
    Italian lira (100)     16.850  17.241
    Yen (100)             297.044 303.932
    Spanish Peseta          1.961   2.007
    Port. Escudo            1.628   1.666
    
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              313.710 320.984
    Montreal              214.371 219.342
    Sydney                201.455 206.126
    London                509.571 521.385
    Dublin                414.276 423.881
    Nicosia               565.440 578.550
    Paris                  49.739  50.892
    Zurich                203.682 208.405
    Brussels                8.088   8.275
    Frankfurt             166.819 170.686
    Helsinki               54.874  56.147
    Amsterdam             148.054 151.487
    Copenhagen             43.876  44.893
    Stockholm              37.597  38.469
    Oslo                   39.777  40.699
    Vienna                 23.711  24.261
    Milan                  16.850  17.241
    Tokyo                 297.044 303.932
    Madrid                  1.961   2.007
    Lisbon                  1.628   1.666
    
    Athens News Agency

    [16] Greece, Albania and FYROM sign air traffic protocol

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    Greece, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) yesterday signed a cooperation protocol on air traffic.

    Transport Tassos Mantelis, his Albanian counterpart Ingrid Souli and FYROM Deputy Transport Minister Hassani Redrep signed the protocol in Thessaloniki, whose immediate aim is the establishment of a representative office in the northern port city.

    The Greek government will organise the operation of the office.

    The primary mission of the office, which was initiated by Greece at the Eurocontrol conference last September in Paris, will be to coordinate the air traffic control systems of the three countries.

    Turkey has also expressed interest in joining the office.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Architects call for meeting with gov't over abortive Acropolis museum design

    Athens, 18/11/1999 (ANA)

    The team of Italian architects originally contracted to build the new Acropolis museum stressed yesterday they wanted to meet with the government over recent plans to call for a new design.

    Manfredi Nikoletti and Lucio Pasarelli said they were "taken aback" by Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi failure to receive them in order to discuss amendments that could be made to their winning design for the museum.

    In October, the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) decided on the need to call for a new study for a museum for the Acropolis, the fourth such international competition.

    The decision was taken after the archaeologists on the Council agreed that antiquities findings in the immediate surroundings of the site of the new museum were "too valuable to be ignored."

    Expressing the hope that the museum will be ready by 2004, when the Greek capital hosts the Olympic Games, Ms Papazoi said then that by the end of 2000 the selection process must be completed.

    To date, some 500 million drachmas has been spent on the abortive process to get the new Acropolis museum off the ground. This amount is considered effectively unrecoverable.

    The budget for the successful winning design by Mr. Nikoletti and Mr. Pasarelli was 46 billion drachmas. They won an international architectural competition begun in 1989 and submitted a design on the basis that the site then was considered to have little of archaeological value.

    However, excavations revealed a settlement dating to the later Roman and early Christian periods, another settlement from the 7th century, with wells, pipes and a Roman era bath house.

    Athens News Agency

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