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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-08-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

August 9, 2005


  • [01] Greece second top overall investor in Bulgaria
  • [02] Greek Church's Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan
  • [03] Ecumenical Patriarch to visit Edessa, Florina in September
  • [04] Papariga speaks at Beirut event in honor of slain communist leader Hawi
  • [05] Merchant Marine Ministry steps up efforts in sea transport ahead of major holiday weekend
  • [06] Greek bond prices rise across yield curve in July
  • [07] Gov't: No more leeway for aid to peach producers
  • [08] Hellenic Stock Exchanges reports H1 earnings
  • [09] Greek stocks jump 1.0 pct on Monday
  • [10] OSE Peloponnese Station temporarily closed for upgrade works
  • [11] Cypriot President: No objection to a social meeting with Talat
  • [12] Cyprus spokesman: Turkey should abandon its persistence to dissolve Cyprus Republic

  • [01] Greece second top overall investor in Bulgaria

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Greece ranked the second top foreign investor in Bulgaria for the overall period of January 1992 to March 2005, with investments by Greek companies reaching 20.1 million in the first quarter of 2005, bringing the overall figure to 1.054 billion dollars, according to figures released by the Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency (BFIA).

    The total of directly invested Greek capital in Bulgaria over the period January 1992 to March 2005 reached 1.054 billion dollars, ranking Greece in second place among the top foreign investors in the neighboring Balkan country, following Austria.

    According to BFIA figures citing the National Bank of Bulgaria as the source, Austria topped the list of foreign investors in Bulgaria with total direct investments of 1.829 billion dollars over the period January 1992 to march 2005. Austria toppled Greece from first place in the past few years due to exceptionally high investments made -- 163.2 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005 and 923.7 million dollars in 2004, against 20.1 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005 and 156.9 million dollars in 2004 by Greek interests.

    A key factor in the jump in Austrian investments was the acquisition of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC), the Bulgarian national telecoms provider (in June 2004, after two years of political and legal wrangling, the Austrian holding company Viva Ventures succeeded in a 730 million euros leveraged buyout of 65 percent of BTC, with the obligation to invest up to 700 million euros in modernization and digitalization, half of which was slated to be invested within five years of the acquisition).

    Third among top foreign investors in Bulgaria was The Netherlands, with direct investments of 939.5 million euros in the January 1992-March 2005 period (11.8 million dollars in the first quarter of 2005), followed by Germany in fourth place with 897.1 million dollars in the overall period, Italy in 5th place with 738.1 million dollars in the overall period, and Cyprus in sixth place with 516.4 million dollars in the overall period, according to the BFIA figures.

    A total of 379.7 million dollars in foreign investments was recorded in Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2005 (January-March), bringing overall foreign investments in that country to 10,524.9 million dollars for the entire period from January 1992 to March 2005.

    [02] Greek Church's Holy Synod unanimously votes to dismiss embattled Metropolitan

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Members of the Church of Greece's Holy Synod on Monday unanimously voted to sack embattled Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon, a high-ranking cleric already suspended since February on allegations of improper and prurient behavior.

    According to the Holy Synod's spokesman, Metropolitan of Syros Dorotheos, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece's hierarchy "ascertained that the serious reasons involving his (Panteleimon) person continue to exist..."

    The cleric had previously requested, via his attorney, that Monday's discussion be postponed, something that was also unanimously rejected by the body's members. Additionally, Panteleimon declined to attend the session.

    The Holy Synod meeting was chaired by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.

    The bishopric of Attica, whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction covers a large swath of the prefecture where the Greek capital is located but not the greater Athens area itself, is among the most influential in the country.

    Metropolitan of Attica blames archbishop for dismissal: Metropolitan of Attica Panteleimon, dismissed by the Holy Synod on Monday, blamed Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos for the dismissal.

    In a statement issued on Monday evening, Panteleimon said that Christodoulos "initiated" his dismissal, which he had "promised to carry out six months ago".

    He also accused the Holy Synod of breaking the law by basing its decision on "false recordings", evidence which the Holy Synod "had declared inadmissible three years ago". Panteleimon also said that the legal procedure of taking the case to ecclesiastical court had been bypassed.

    He said that he would appeal the decision to the State Council and to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Panteleimon is a high-ranking cleric who had been suspended since February on allegations of improper behavior.

    [03] Ecumenical Patriarch to visit Edessa, Florina in September

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will visit Edessa and Florina in September, it was announced on Monday.

    This will be the Ecumenical Patriarch's first visits to the Edessa and Florina Metropolises (Bishoprics), in the framework of a series of visits to the so-called 'new lands'.

    Delegations of the two Metropolises and representatives of the local and prefectural governments had extended a formal invitation to Vartholomeos during a visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Phanar in June.

    "The region has close ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the era of the Macedonian Struggle,' Florina mayor Stefanos Papanastasiou said on Monday, while Edessa mayor Ioannis Sontras stressed that "this visit constitutes a blessing for the region".

    Vartholomeos, who will be accompanied by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, will arrive in Edessa on September 13, and in Florina on September 16, and will be declared an honorary resident of Florina, Ptolemais and Edessa in special ceremonies.

    He will also visit the University of Western Macedonia, as well as the towns of Ptolemais, Prespa and Yannitsa.

    [04] Papariga speaks at Beirut event in honor of slain communist leader Hawi

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga visited Lebanon over the weekend, where she spoke at an event in Beirut on Sunday organized by the Lebanese communist party.

    The event was held in honor of the Lebanese party's slain former leader, George Hawi. Papariga also met with a delegation from the Lebanese communist party, headed by its general secretary, Khaled Hdada.

    Among others, Papariga expressed her party's solidarity with the Lebanese people's struggle against "imperialist invasions", as she said.

    She returned to Athens on Monday.

    [05] Merchant Marine Ministry steps up efforts in sea transport ahead of major holiday weekend

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    The Merchant Marine Ministry is stepping up efforts to ensure the smooth travel of thousands of ferry passengers ahead of the major holiday weekend of August 15, Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis announced on Monday.

    Measures include adding ferries to existing routes - particularly for the islands of Paros and Tinos which are major travel destinations for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary holiday - as well as adding staff at the port of Piraeus.

    Furthermore, Kefaloyiannis said that ferry companies which inconvenienced thousands of passengers leaving for their summer holidays in late July and early August, due to technical difficulties and repeated delays, have been fined.

    He also promised to put an end to the existing situation in the Greek ferry industry.

    [06] Greek bond prices rise across yield curve in July

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Turnover in the Greek state bond market fell to 52.48 billion euros in July from 61.61 billion euros in June and 63.25 billion euros in July 2004, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in its monthly report on the market, said that average daily turnover in the electronic secondary securities market also fell to 2.5 billion euros in July from 2.9 billion in the previous month.

    Benchmark bond prices fell by 49 basis points in the short end of the yield curve and by 102 bps in the long-end. The three-year benchmark bond price fell to 101.22 at the end of July from 101.71 a month earlier, while the 32-year benchmark bond fell to 107.46 from 108.48 over the same period, respectively. The 10-year benchmark bond price fell by 37 bps to 102.14 from 102.51.

    Investors' interest focused on state bonds with a maturity from seven to 15 years, which accounted for 62 percent of total turnover in the market (32.48 billion euros). The 10-year benchmark bond recorded the biggest turnover (13.24 bln euros).

    Greek state bond yields rose across the board and in the long-end of the curve in particular. The three-year benchmark bond rose by 16 bps to 2.45 percent at the end of July, while the 10-year bond yield rose by 4.0 bps to 3.44 percent and the 32-year rose by 5.0 bps to 4.07 percent.

    Greek mutual funds' market assets rise in July: The Greek mutual funds' market assets rose to 29.74 billion euros at the end of July from 29.17 billion euros a month earlier, for an increase of 569 million euros or 2.0 percent, official figures showed on Monday.

    A monthly report by the Association of Institutional Investors, said that foreign combined funds reported the biggest asset increase in July (+8.6 pct), followed by the foreign bond funds (+6.3 pct) and domestic equity funds (+5.3 pct).

    The Greek mutual funds' market recorded a net inflow of 446.2 million euros in July, reflecting increased inflows in foreign bond funds (306 mln euros), foreign combined funds (67.4 mln) and combined funds of funds (62.3 million euros).

    Domestic equity funds reported an average return of 16.48 percent in July, from the beginning of the year, up from a 9.0 percent average return in June.

    A total of 20 domestic equity funds reported returns from 17.51 pct to 25.07 pct in July, exceeding a 17.43 percent increase of ASE's composite index, while another 19 funds reported returns from 16.04 pct to 17.23 pct.

    [07] Gov't: No more leeway for aid to peach producers

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    The government has taken all possible measures to assist peach producers that do not contravene European Union rules, Agricultural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos said on Monday.

    Earlier in the day peach growers from Pella staged a road block in the north, calling for higher crop prices.

    "The government does not have the right to conduct trade in products or shape prices," Basiakos told reporters.

    [08] Hellenic Stock Exchanges reports H1 earnings

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Athens-quoted Hellenic Stock Exchange Holdings SA on Monday reported consolidated net earnings after tax and minorities of 13.1 million euros in first-half 2005, down from 14.4 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

    The group's net earnings before tax were 57.0 million euros from. 31.2 million euros in the first half of 2004, the company said in a statement.

    The group's net earnings after tax totalled 56.8 million euros in the first half of this year against 28.5 million euros.

    Consolidated turnover was 34.2 million euros versus 33.6 million in the first half of 2004, the statement said.

    The increase in turnover by 2% was mainly due to a rise in income from the Athens Stock Exchange's spot market by 19% (average value of transactions 189 million versus 157 million), which was offset by a major decline in turnover from the derivatives market stemming from a 10% decrease in volume coupled with a fee reduction from January 1; coupled with a decline in off-market transaction revenue and a lack of income from European Union funded projects.

    Operating costs fell by 9% to 17.8 million euros from 19.6 million euros, the statement added.

    Rise in Athens bourse placements from abroad: Investors from abroad increased their placements in the Athens Stock Exchange to 38.32% in July from 37.66% a month earlier, the Central Securities Depository said in a monthly statement on Monday.

    The equivalent for the FTSE/ASE-20 for high-capitalization paper was 45.49%, up from 44.11% in June, the depository said in a statement.

    At the same time, foreign investment in the FTSE/ASE-40 for mid-cap stocks fell to 19.7% in July from 20.26% in the previous month; and in the FTSE/ASE-80 for small-cap shares placements rose to 22.8% from 22.4%, the statement added.

    [09] Greek stocks jump 1.0 pct on Monday

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended at their second highest level of the year on Monday, reflecting an improved climate in other European stock markets, heightened talks over new mergers and takeovers in the Greek market and optimistic expectations over listed companies' six-month profits.

    The composite index ended 1.0 percent higher at 3,310.50 points, with turnover a low 124 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.1 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.96 pct higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.09 percent.

    The Textile sector scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (2.84 pct), followed by the Telecommunications (2.25 pct) and Publications (1.49 pct). The IT sector suffered the heaviest losses (1.18 pct), followed by the Base Metals and IT Solutions (0.58 pct, and 0.49 pct, respectively).

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 177 to 98 with another 55 issues unchanged.

    [10] OSE Peloponnese Station temporarily closed for upgrade works

    Athens, 9/8/2005 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) terminal station on Liossion avenue (Peloponnesus station) in Athens was temporarily closed to passengers on Monday for work on a section of the network, and the Aghioi Anargyroi station will serve as the terminal for OSE destinations to the Peloponnese for the duration.

    The closure of the terminal was deemed necessary for the duration of upgrade works on the Piraeus-Athens-Treis Gefyres-SKA-Aharnes-Ano Liossia section of the railway, comprising completion of the infrastructure of the Suburban Railway.

    The works are part of a general program for upgrade and modernization of the nationwide railway network, including the introduction of state-or-the-art high-speed trains.

    Eleven OASA bus lines will be serving passengers to and from the Aghioi Anargyroi station: A12, B12, C12, X12, 420, 421, 892, 701, 704, 717, and 747.

    Passengers may also call the four-digit passenger service telephone line 1110 for further information.

    [11] Cypriot President: No objection to a social meeting with Talat

    NICOSIA 9/8/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Monday he has no objection to a social meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, underlining though that the Cyprus problem is an issue that has to be discussed under the UN auspices.

    President Papadopoulos also noted that if a social meeting between himself and Talat takes place it will not be a major step towards the settlement of the Cyprus problem, adding that social encounters are important for the creation of a better climate, but do not have a political meaning.

    ''Several months ago I discussed with House President Demetris Christofias the possibility for a meeting with Talat. I told him, and I reiterated this in public as well, that there is no dogmatic objection on my part to a social encounter with Mr Talat'', President Papadopoulos said in statements to Cypriot radio station ''Astra''.

    Furthermore he underlined that ''if we discuss the Cyprus problem, this should take place under the UN auspices'', noting that there should be evidence ''that Talat is authorized to discuss major issues for the solution of the Cyprus problem, not for the day by day solution of confidence building issues''.

    A report in the Turkish Cypriot daily ''Kibris'' said last week that House President Demetris Christofias intended to invite President Papadopoulos, Mehmet Ali Talat, so called prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and other politicians to his country residence at Kellaki village, Limassol district. The newspaper wrote that President Papadopoulos did not want such a meeting to take place.

    ''It is a general conviction that all meetings have their own usefulness as regards the climate they create but I do not attribute any political meaning to it. If it takes place it will just be a simple meeting,'' he said.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third.

    [12] Cyprus spokesman: Turkey should abandon its persistence to dissolve Cyprus Republic

    NICOSIA 9/8/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    Turkish persistence to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus and create a new state on the island is a stance that Turkey should have already been abandoned, Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides stressed on Monday.

    ''Turkish positions, like this one, are contrary to the international and European realities as well as to political and legal facts'', the spokesman underlined, invited to comment on Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's statements that Ankara would only recognize the new state that would emerge after the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    ''This is a stance supported by Ankara. The persistence to dissolve the Republic of Cyprus and create a new state is a stance that should have already been abandoned'', he said.

    The spokesman added that the Turkish stance ignores the realities and causes reactions on behalf of EU member states.

    ''Turkey should not be surprised by such reactions. These realities are that the whole territory of the Republic of Cyprus has acceded to the EU'', Chrysostomides stressed.

    About the forthcoming discussion at COREPER and later at the General Affairs and External Relations Council regarding the Protocol extending the Customs Union of Turkey with the 10 new EU member states and the declaration that Turkey issued regarding the non - recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, Chrysostomides said that the governments of Greece and Cyprus are in constant contact about this matter.

    ''There is a continuous and constant communication and cooperation between the two governments,'' he added.

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