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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 01-02-22

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] Greece’s new social action plan to be drafted, following cabinet decision
  • [02] Simitis and Papandreou meet to discuss Balkan Summit
  • [03] Parliament discusses amendments on prosecuting ministers
  • [04] Stephanopoulos: Greece has the prospects for a better future
  • [05] Foreign minister and Coalition of the Left leader discuss issue of FYROM's name
  • [06] Hellenic Foundation of European and Foreign Policy organizes event on 20th anniversary of Greece's EU accession
  • [07] European Parliament Socialist Group delegation on three-day visit to Cyprus
  • [08] Greece and Cyprus agree to strengthen regional cooperation
  • [09] Greek deputy minister to visit Canada and hold meetings with managers of high tech firms
  • [10] 13 to be prosecuted for Kurdish rebel leader's illegal entry into Greece in 1999
  • [11] Spokesman announces new bill on crime, terrorism in the wings
  • [12] Bill establishing Health Inspectors Corps tabled in Parliament
  • [13] Defense ministry bill introduces 'adoption' leave for women in military
  • [14] PM addresses party's new committees for prefectures, regions
  • [15] No invitations to Avramopoulos, Samaras for ND Congress
  • [16] Leftist party leader criticizes government for performance on Athens 2004 Games
  • [17] Investors see gold rush in Greek electricity market
  • [18] Greek commercial, cultural exhibition to take place in Chicago in November
  • [19] OTEnet launches Internet roaming service
  • [20] Opposition says port facilities weak before deregulation
  • [21] ICAP releases survey of textiles, clothing industries
  • [22] HELMEPA invites applications for Livanos Scholarship
  • [23] Greek stocks fall sharply hit by profit taking
  • [24] UN report positive about Greek efforts against drug abuse
  • [25] Greek professor re-elected president to SE European university association
  • [26] KAS approves plans for New Acropolis Museum construction
  • [27] Illegal court adjourns trial of abducted Greek Cypriot

  • [01] Greeces new social action plan to be drafted, following cabinet decision

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Greeces new plan for social cohesion was discussed on Wednesday during a ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in light of the submission of the countrys action plan against poverty to the European Union in May.

    The meeting concluded with the decision to establish a social net of solidarity and support for the weaker groups of citizens with services and income support.

    The coordination of efforts will be the responsibility of the labor ministry, while the study and final draft of the decision will be ready in a few weeks.

    The new plan will be implemented over the next three years and will include action in many forms, Labor Minister Tassos Giannitsis said after the meeting, adding that there is a need for a differentiating policy system to meet the needs of every category of citizens.

    Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, Health and Welfare Minister Alekos Papadopoulos and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou also participated in the meeting.

    [02] Simitis and Papandreou meet to discuss Balkan Summit

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The government reiterated on Wednesday that no new developments were expected at this week's Balkan Summit regarding an unresolved dispute with the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over that republic's adopted name.

    Emerging from a working meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during which they had discussed foreign policy issues in view of the Summit meeting in Skopje on Thursday and Friday, Foreign Minister George Papandreou told reporters that Athens was open to discussion on this issue, as proved by ongoing UN-mediated talks to find a solution, but did not expect radical developments at this time.

    Papandreou said that Greece planned to present proposals to restore stability in southern Serbia, while the Skopje summit's agenda also took in economic cooperation and the possible repercussions for public health of depleted uranium.

    Diplomatic sources said the prime minister and Papandreou discussed recent developments in Turkey, in view of a meeting between Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the Balkan Summit.

    They also claimed that the issue of FYROM's name had been discussed, in view of meetings between Simitis and Papandreou and their FYROM counterparts, Ljubco Georgievski and Srgan Kerim.

    [03] Parliament discusses amendments on prosecuting ministers

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Special courts for trying ministers accused of criminal offences were the focus of Wednesday parliamentary debate on revising the Constitution.

    Culture minister and PASOK spokesman for revising the Constitution, Evangelos Venizelos, surprised main opposition New Democracy by accepting a proposal that only Supreme Court prosecutors should act as prosecuting authorities in trials of ministers, not parliamentary deputies, and presenting a counter-proposal for accomplices of accused ministers, asking that they could be tried separately by ordinary courts if the minister is not sent to trial.

    ND spokesman Yiannis Varvitsiotis rejected such separate trials, saying that it would make the accused parties non-prosecutable.

    Another surprise was the opposition to the proposed amendment by PASOK MP and former justice minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos, who said the "system has worked and doesn't need changing."

    Venizelos' proposed amendments to article 86 on ministers' responsibilities included bringing Council of State justices onto the Special Court panel, drafting a judge's council for the Special Court that can issue acquittals or referrals when preliminary hearings show there are no grounds for prosecution, thus avoiding a full-fledged trial for unsound charges.

    A third amendment abolishes MP prosecutors, who heightened the political nature of such court proceedings and presented the image of some political parties fighting their rivals through the courts.

    Finally, the decision to make a minister stand trial would now require the agreement of at least 180 MPs in the first round and a simple majority of 151 in the second round.

    Varvitsiotis opposed the two-round system for allowing prosecution, saying it would lead to two categories of accused. He also opposed the participation of Council of State justices in the Special Court and the exemption of the Supreme Court president from the same.

    Simple parliamentary majorities for deciding to prosecute were also favored by the Coalition of the Left and Progress and the Communist Party of Greece, who said Parliament's role should be limited to approving prosecution or not, and that the rest should be left to the judicial system.

    Venizelos defended two votes on minister prosecutions, saying that this would discourage "revenge votes" by the majority faction against a previous government.

    [04] Stephanopoulos: Greece has the prospects for a better future

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    President Costis Stephanopoulos said late Tuesday that Greece had the prospects for a better future, speaking at celebrations in the northern Greek city of Ioannina on the eve of the 88th anniversary of the city's liberation from Turkish rule.

    "The anniversary we celebrate today with patriotic sentiments allows us not only to remember the past, but to open up the future, with its broad prospects," the President said during an official dinner in his honor, responding to a toast by Ioannina Mayor Anastasios Papastavrou.

    "It is the course of the Nation to face today's needs, the everyday problems, to respond to the desires of the Greek people, which now focus on development and prosperity," Stephanopoulos said.

    That new idea, he added, was removed from political characterizations and "prepares us to work as hard as we can, together, to realize these new goals".

    Stephanopoulos expressed his conviction that the "auspicious prospects exist for Greece to live better than in the past, and better than today".

    "We have many prospects not only because we are members of the European Union, not only because of the progress we have achieved thus far, but because we have genuine abilities," the President said.

    Celebrations culminated Wednesday with a parade by pupils, students, boy scouts and units of the armed forces and security forces.

    Tsohatzopoulos: Crisis in Turkey a 'classical controversy': National Defense minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Wednesday termed the political crisis that has broken out in Turkey as "a classical controversy in a nation that is evolving into a country that finds itself in a stage of compulsory adaptation".

    "Turkey, historically, is obliged to adapt to the new age and desires this adaptation on a course of approach with Europe. But at the same time it has immense difficulties in materializing that course of approach," the minister said in response to press questions in Ioannina, where he was attending events marking the 88th anniversary of the city's liberation from Turkish rule.

    The crisis, he said, was "a deployment for social, economic and cultural battle taking place. It is interests that are clashing. It is difficult for one to predict how it will develop," Tsohatzopoulos said, adding that it was important "for us to stress that strategically, the course of Turkey's convergence with Europe is positive for both the Turkish and the Greek interests".

    That is why "we are seeking, from within Turkey's political adaptation to the European status quo, to secure more beneficial terms for the improvement of our relations with Turkey and the resolution of outstanding issues".

    [05] Foreign minister and Coalition of the Left leader discuss issue of FYROM's name

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos on Wednesday discussed the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) name, the decree on the recognition "of the genocide of Asia Minor Greeks" and foreign policy issues in general.

    Later, Constantopoulos said the present period is particularly serious and crucial for all foreign policy issues, adding that for this reason the Coalition insists on the creation of a Foreign Policy Council.

    On the question of FYROM's name, Constantopoulos said the promotion of a mutually acceptable solution is an imperative need since it is the only realistic base for a solution to the name problem and the government should take an initiative in this direction.

    Constantopoulos further said a solution to the problem of FYROM's name would contribute to stability in the region, as well as to the safeguarding of Greek national interests.

    Referring to the issue of the genocide decree, Constantopoulos said the handling of Greek-Turkish issues should be part of a unified strategy.

    [06] Hellenic Foundation of European and Foreign Policy organizes event on 20th anniversary of Greece's EU accession

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday said Greece, as a European Union member, is creating conditions for stability and prosperity in the region with the policy it is following.

    Papandreou, who was addressing an event organized by the Hellenic Foundation of European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) on the 20th anniversary of Greece's accession to the European Union, also referred to the policy of rapprochement with Turkey which, as he said, does not revoke the need for respect for the country's territorial integrity and sovereign rights.

    He also said Greece's course since 1981 has resulted in the strengthening of both its national economy and its international position.

    Honorary Ambassador Vyron Theodoropoulos described Greece's course to European unification as being one of the most important phases in its national history.

    Theodoropoulos added that this course was completed with the country's accession to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but warned that Greece should proceed towards convergence with a faster pace since it is still distant from the average of European economies.

    [07] European Parliament Socialist Group delegation on three-day visit to Cyprus

    BRUSSELS, 22/02/2001 (ANA - V. Demiris)

    A European Parliament Socialist Group delegation started a three-day visit to Cyprus on Wednesday at the invitation of the Socialdemocrat Movement.

    The delegation is composed of the Socialist Group's president and vice presidents, including the head of the PASOK party's Eurodeputies George Katiforis.

    The Eurodeputies will be meeting Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Finance Minister Takis Clerides and Socialdemocrat Movement leader Vassos Lyssarides.

    [08] Greece and Cyprus agree to strengthen regional cooperation

    NICOSIA, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Minister of Macedonia and Thrace George Paschalidis and Minister of the Aegean Nikos Sifounakis, ending a visit to Cyprus on Wednesday, said Greece and Cyprus agreed to strengthen and upgrade their cooperation in the framework of the "Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus" program.

    They said this was the conclusion reached during their contacts with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Finance Minister Takis Clerides, at whose invitation the visit took place, as well as with other government officials.

    Sifounakis said it was agreed that other sectors would be included in cooperation in the future, apart from those of culture and the environment.

    Commenting on the new base being created by the Turks in Izmir, on the west coast of Turkey, Sifounakis said the issues of importance were those of peace in the region, the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and the reunification of the island.

    The two ministers were on the island to attend a meeting of the joint Greece-Cyprus evaluation committee of the "Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus" program that examined 330 proposals from 115 organizations relating to the promotion of education, culture, and the environment of Thrace, the Aegean and Cyprus.

    [09] Greek deputy minister to visit Canada and hold meetings with managers of high tech firms

    MONTREAL, 22/02/2001 (ANA - I. Frangouli)

    Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Alekos Voulgaris will arrive in Canada on March 3, for a three-day visit, to meet with officials of high technology and communications companies. On March 5, he is scheduled to address a Greek-Canadian Chamber of Commerce forum.

    [10] 13 to be prosecuted for Kurdish rebel leader's illegal entry into Greece in 1999

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Thirteen persons involved in the illegal entry of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in Greece will be tried by an Athens first instance felony court on charges that they provoked what could have been a serious crisis between Greece and Turkey.

    The legal opinion issued by the Athens court council includes Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan himself and his two aids, who arrived in Greece on Jan. 28, 1999 and illegally entered the country. At this time Ocalan is on death row in Turkey and his two aids in another European Union country.

    Among the 13 persons prosecuted are the pilot of the plane that transported Ocalan from Russia to Greece, police and airport officials that allowed his entry, a novelist and her daughter that kept the fugitive from Turkish justice in their home near Athens and finally a retired Hellenic Navy captain first class.

    The same legal opinion exonerated another 12 persons reportedly involved with Ocalan's illegal entry and two-day stay in Greece.

    Ocalan was finally abducted by Turkish agents in Kenya, where he sought refuge. In Turkey he was tried and convicted.

    [11] Spokesman announces new bill on crime, terrorism in the wings

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    A bill on dealing with organized crime and terrorism is now being prepared, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Wednesday.

    Reppas was commenting on press articles regarding the murder last summer of Brigadier Stephen Saunders, a military attache working at the British Embassy, by the terrorist group "November 17".

    Reppas said the bill would include a series of measures to make the work of security forces easier.

    [12] Bill establishing Health Inspectors Corps tabled in Parliament

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    A bill establishing a "Health and Welfare Inspectors Corps" was tabled in parliament Wednesday.

    According to the introductory section of the bill, the Corps will be answerable directly to the minister of health and welfare, and will function as a monitoring mechanism of medical services and welfare agencies in both the public and private sector.

    [13] Defense ministry bill introduces 'adoption' leave for women in military

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The Armed Forces will give a special six-month leave of absence to women serving in the military who adopt children, according to a bill tabled in parliament Wednesday by national defense minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    The bill also raises from 12 to 14 months the maternity leave for women officers serving as nurses in the Armed Forces.

    [14] PM addresses party's new committees for prefectures, regions

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    PASOK has to be constantly alert, in an age of challenges and fundamental change, to maintain its lead in Greek politics, Prime Minister Costas Simitis advised the ruling party's new prefectural and regional committees on Wednesday, at an event in Athens' Caravel hotel.

    During his speech to the new committee members arising from PASOK's recent internal elections, Simitis told them they were the political cells of the ruling faction and invited them to contribute to further strengthening the party's important role and the development and success of the government's policies.

    "Let's leave the luxury of complacency to the main opposition and the conservative forces," he added.

    PASOK has to rally its forces, on the basis of its values and ideological principles, if it is to speed up the pace of reforms being made by government, Simitis pointed out. He also stressed that a movement of reform, such as PASOK, could not always depend on the same forces and faces.

    "We need constant renewal, and this is our strength," he said.

    Regarding PASOK's goals, he said the party "does not accept social and economic stagnation that lead to social inequality, does not accept management thinking based on conservativism and weakness, does not accept the conservative ideology that condemns Greece to the stand on the sidelines of international developments."

    Also attending the Caravel event is PASOK Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis.

    [15] No invitations to Avramopoulos, Samaras for ND Congress

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is currently setting up a new political party, and Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras will not be invited to main opposition New Democracy's upcoming Congress, the head of the Congress' organizational committee said Wednesday.

    Organizing committee chairperson MP Marietta Yiannakou said that the two politicians, both originating from ND, would not be invited as the party's decision was to invite representatives of "all the political parties that took part in the last general and European Parliament elections on their own or in alliances, and have representation in parliament".

    Consequently, she said, Liberals leader Stephanos Manos -- who together with another party candidate gained seats the 300-member House in an electoral alliance with ND in the April 2000 parliamentary polls -- would be invited to the Congress.

    It was still uncertain whether individuals such as George Souflias or Andreas Andrianopoulos would be invited to the Congress as no decision had yet been taken on individuals, she said.

    Yiannakou said that, according to the results of the recent in-party elections for the delegates to the Congress in the party's regional organizations, the participation of women in the Congress would be 30 percent.

    [16] Leftist party leader criticizes government for performance on Athens 2004 Games

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos on Wednesday accused the government, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the International Olympic Committee and business interests for neglecting the environment in favor of the Athens 2004 Games.

    During a press conference, he said that when "others spoke of a 'Grand Idea' we pointed out at great cost that it is all about 'big business' that will reveal the even bigger impotence of govern-mental management and the state's structure".

    Constantopoulos called for the cancellation of the rowing center's construction in the Marathon region, where the famous battle took place.

    [17] Investors see gold rush in Greek electricity market

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Investors see a gold rush in the Greek electricity market with a total of 921 applications submitted for the construction of electricity production units, following the market's deregulation, Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Wednesday.

    "Results were unprecedented and beyond any prediction," Christodoulakis said.

    A total of 917 applications were submitted for electricity production and another four for imported electricity power, of an estimated investment value of 5.0 trillion drachmas, creating 4,500 permanent jobs and 15,000 jobs in the construction phase.

    Christodoulakis said that the first private electricity power units were expected to begin operating in 2004. Until then, the country would begin to import electricity power to facilitate competitiveness in the market indirectly and noted that these applications would be considered on priority.

    The development minister said that the country would need more natural gas supplies due to an increased interest in the construction of natural gas units. Christodoulakis said that two gas pipelines, from Turkey and Italy, were under study and noted that the domestic natural gas market should have been completed earlier than 2006.

    Public Power Corporation, Greece's electricity utility, is expected to retain an 83 percent share in the market by 2005, but deregulation is expected to increase significantly afterwards.

    The first phase of the deregulation of the domestic electricity market includes 6,500 high- and medium-voltage consumers. The rest of the market - houses - is expected to be deregulated from 2005.

    Christodoulakis said investments in power production were the preconditions for the country to play a dominant role in the Balkans market.

    He stressed that Public Power Corporation would begin road shows to foreign and domestic institutional investors next month, ahead of its flotation.

    Hellenic Steel, Natural Gas Public Enterprise, Hellenic Petroleum, Elval SA, Mytilineos, Titan Cement, Athens Water, Germanos, Public Power Corporation, Michaniki, Terna and AEGEK, were among those expressing interest in the production of electricity power in the country.

    [18] Greek commercial, cultural exhibition to take place in Chicago in November

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    A Greek commercial and cultural exhibition will take place in Chicago, USA in November, organized by the Council of Hellenes Abroad in cooperation with the International Center of Commerce, the Federation of Northern Greek Exporters and with the support of the Greek ministries of foreign affairs, culture and finance.

    Next to the trade show, Greek archaeology professor Dimitris Pantermalis will be charged with organizing an exhibition of Greek antiquities and Athens 2004 Olympic Games will operate their own special booth.

    A relevant announcement was made during a meeting of the SAE presidium in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.

    [19] OTEnet launches Internet roaming service

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    OTEnet, a subsidiary of listed Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, on Wednesday said it was launching an Internet Roaming service (Roam All Over) to its fixed-line telephone customers in Greece.

    A company statement said Roam All Over was a low cost service to OTEnet subscribers working of traveling abroad and using the Internet for their communication.

    The new service is offered in cooperation with GRIC Communications, a company cooperating with the biggest Internet Service Providers in more than 90 countries worldwide.

    [20] Opposition says port facilities weak before deregulation

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party said on Wednesday that the standard of port infrastructure nationwide was poor, especially ahead of deregulation of the passenger shipping market.

    "Unfortunately, shortly before the liberalization of passenger shipping, the country's ports cannot guarantee, due to massive inadequacy, the safe transportation of passengers and management of new ships in port, as is required in any serious, developed state," ND's shipping and tourism spokesman Yiannis Papathanasiou told reporters.

    Papathanasiou also charged that the government was unable to make use of European Union funds available for ports modernization.

    His statements were triggered by a letter sent by the Panhellenic Union of Ships' Masters to Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis complaining about the quality of ports infrastructure.

    [21] ICAP releases survey of textiles, clothing industries

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The ICAP market research company on Wednesday released its latest sector report on the textiles and clothing industries.

    A presentation of the survey was held at the Thessaloniki Chamber of Light Industry.

    The main points were as follows:

  • The spinning sector is undergoing a restructuring in order to adapt to the world market, after showing growth in the 1980s. Output has consolidated over the last four years to total 142,000 tones in 1999. A rise is expected in 2000 due to the launch of four new mills. Exports over the last four years have risen, totalling 60,000 tones in 1999.

  • The women's apparel sector is characterized by a plethora of producers, most of which are small or medium sized enterprises. Output has shown an average annual rate of decline of 2.6 percent in recent years. Output is 34.5 million items of clothing, with 13-14 million pieces a year being exported, of which 65 percent-75 percent are sold to European Union countries.

  • The children's clothing sector has posted growth, to make Greece one of Europe's biggest producers. Output is about 23.6 million items, of which 6.1 items are exported.

  • The sportswear sector is consolidating with output at around 4.7-4.8 million items. Sales are mostly to the domestic market with exports totalling about 1.5 items.

    [22] HELMEPA invites applications for Livanos Scholarship

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) on Wednesday invited applications for its annual scholarship in memory of the association's founder, George P. Livanos, for post-graduate studies for the academic year 2001-2002.

    The scholarship, offered for the fourth consecutive year, provides for a year of studies for a Masters Degree in Marine Management from the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhouse University in Halifax, Canada.

    Eligible candidates are seafarers or children of seafarers up to 28 years of age, graduates of a local or foreign university, who have not received scholarships from any other source and fulfill all typical and essential requirements, including good knowledge of the English language documented with a score of 580 or more on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination.

    Applications may be submitted in person at the HELMEPA offices at 5 Pergamou street in Nea Smyrni weekdays from 9am to 4pm, or by registered mail with the indication 'George P. Livanos scholarship' printed on the envelope. The deadline for applications is March 9.

    The final section will be conducted jointly by HELMEPA and Dalhouse University in early May.

    HELMEPA is a non-profit, non-governmental organization comprising Greek shipping companies that was founded in 1982 by the late shipowner George Livanos to pursue preservation of the marine environment. Its revenue comes exclusively from membership fees.

    [23] Greek stocks fall sharply hit by profit taking

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended Wednesday's session sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange as waves of profit taking reversed a 10-day rally in the market pushing the general index below the 3,200 level.

    Analysts said they were worried over the extend of Wednesday's fall, which was attributed to the closing of open positions in the Greek market and a trend to take early profits.

    The general index ended 2.42 percent lower at 3,191.85 points, near the day's lows of 3,183.07 points. Turnover was a low 145.69 million euros, or 49.642 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 2.36 percent down to 1,840.40 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 4.02 percent to 362.46 points.

    Sector indices ended as follows: Banks: 6,866.03

    -1.73% Leasing: 532.29 -2.07% Insurance: 1,430.17 -1.46% Investment: 1,301.11 -1.98% Construction: 1,376.97 -5.11% Industrials: 1,946.66 -3.51% Miscellaneous: 2,373.28 -3.91% Holding: 3,426.27 -3.76%

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalization stocks plunged 4.67 percent to 293.69 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 321 to 25 with another 10 issues unchanged.

    Panafon, Alpha Bank, Hellenic Telecoms, National Bank and Klonatex were the most heavily traded stocks.

    Leading shares' closing prices (in euros): National Bank: 38.26 Alpha Bank: 32.24 Commercial Bank: 50.84 Eurobank: 20.44 Piraeus Bank: 15.10 Lambrakis Press: 12.16 Altec: 6.98 Titan Cement (c): 38.00 Hellenic Telecoms: 16.38 Panafon: 6.98 Hellenic Petroleum: 9.46 Attica Enterprises: 7.10 Intracom: 20.24 Minoan Lines: 5.14 Viohalco: 10.42 Coca Cola Bottling: 18.68

    Equity futures end down, tracking Athens bourse: Equity futures traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower on Wednesday, in line with the bourse indices on which they are based, traders said.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index closed 2.36 percent down, and the FTSE/ASE 40 ended 4.02 percent lower.

    Turnover was 63.0 million euros on 9,449 contracts traded, the dealers said.

    Bond prices mixed in brisk trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Wednesday finished mixed in lively trade, dealers said.

    The new Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.37 percent from 5.39 percent a day earlier.

    The yield spread over German bunds was 55 basis points from 57 basis points the day before.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 925 million euros (315.9 billion drachmas) from 625 million euros (around 212.9 billion drachmas) in the previous session.

    Euro noses up vs. dollar: The euro on Wednesday stood at 91.46 cents against the US dollar from 90.70 cents a day earlier, according to reference rates released by the European Central Bank (ECB).

    The parity gives an implied rate of 372.56 drachmas versus the US currency, the ECB said in a routine statement.

    Greece joined the euro zone on January 1.

    [24] UN report positive about Greek efforts against drug abuse

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    Greece's national policy against drug abuse complies with international treaties and does not deviate from international rules for combatting narcotics, according to a United Nations report on controlling drugs worldwide.

    The report was presented by Mirka Gontika from the UN press office in Athens on Wednesday, at the organizations offices in Greece.

    The report also praises the Greek government for offering a wide range of treatment and rehabilitation programs, which provide drug users with medical care, psychological counseling and professional training.

    The report is positive on the way that Greek authorities monitor legal prescription drugs, and urges even more effective ways of monitoring the distribution of psychotropic drugs in the wholesale and retail markets.

    [25] Greek professor re-elected president to SE European university association

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The Association of Southeastern European Economic University (ASECU) on Monday re-elected Yiannis Tsokouras, professor and former dean of the Thessaloniki based University of Macedonia, to the presidency of the non-governmental organization.

    Belgrade University prof. Bozidar Cerovic was elected to the vice-presidency of ASECU, which decided during this meeting of its general assembly of all 27 member educational institutions to plan and implement a postgraduate distance learning system.

    ASECU is an association of universities from Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Cyprus, Romania, Bosnia and Turkey.

    [26] KAS approves plans for New Acropolis Museum construction

    Athens, 22/02/2001 (ANA)

    The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) approved the plans for the construction of the New Acropolis Museum on Wednesday, budgeted at 30-35 billion drachmas.

    According to Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis, president of the New Museum Organization, the finished museum will "present the monuments of the Acropolis as the artistic expression of the Athenian state at its peak."

    The plans submitted by the Museum Designs Directorate differed from the previous 1989 plans in seven points.

    [27] Illegal court adjourns trial of abducted Greek Cypriot

    NICOSIA, 22/02/2001 (CNA/ANA)

    A self-styled court in northern Turkish-occupied Cyprus on Wednesday adjourned for Friday a parody of a trial of a Greek Cypriot. Panicos Tziakourmas, a contractor by profession, is facing "charges" of alleged possession and introduction into the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime of drugs.

    UN acting spokesman Charles Gaulkin told CNA on Wednesday one of Tziakourmas' defense lawyers told the "court" his client is innocent and pleaded not guilty as charged.

    Tziakourmas, who is represented by a British and a Turkish Cypriot lawyer, was abducted on 13 December 2000 within the territory of one of the two British Bases the UK has retained since Cyprus became an independent state.


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