Wave of bad weather sweeps through Eastern Macedonia-Thrace
NEWS IN DETAIL
No going back on gov't tax measures, Reppas says
''The decisions announced yesterday by National Economy and Finance
Minister Yiannos Papantoniou concerning tax policy are the final ones,''
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.
Papantoniou yesterday announced new taxation measures and the abolition of
several tax exemptions, saying the additional burden will be paid by
''those who have and own''.
Asked about the government's intention to cut the benefit currently given
to mothers with large families, Reppas said that the measure would enable
the channeling of funds to young mothers ''since priority will be given to
mothers with children up to six years of age''.
Replying to other questions on nationwide protests organised by farmers and
workers, culminating in a 24-hour general strike tomorrow, Reppas said that
the government was aware that problems existed ''which is why it took its
decisions with sensitivity and accordingly''.
He expressed the hope that workers and farmers ''who have the same
sensitivity about the course of the country'' would understand that ''there
is only one road, namely the one shown by the government's policy''.
Reppas ruled out the possibility of legislative measures being taken by the
government to confront the labour action.
''There is no such issue. Greek society is not made up of friends and
enemies,'' the spokesman added.
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday evening
announced new taxation measures and abolition of several tax exemptions,
saying the additional burden will be paid by "those who have and own".
The government projects to earn 150 billion drachmas from the new taxes and
collect a further 130 billion drachmas with the abolition of 206 tax
In terms of new taxes concerning large real estate holdings, the tax-free
limit is 60 million drachmas in objective value, 60 million drachmas for
the taxpayer's spouse as well and 15 million drachmas for each child. A tax
percentage is applied to the remaining value, which escalates from 0.3 per
cent to 0.8 per cent.
A 7.5 per cent tax will be imposed on new issues of bonds and treasury
bills as of Jan. 1, 1997. Increased registration dues will be imposed on
private vehicles, motorcycles and motorbikes of less than 785cc. In
addition, a 20 per cent tax will apply to the excess value resulting from
the transfer of shares not registered with the Athens Stock Exchange.
Income tax concerning bank profits will increase from 35 per cent to 40 per
cent, while the down payment for profits in the inter-bank market will
increase from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.
Industry on the mend, IOBE report says
The climate in Greek industry appears to be improving, according to the
latest survey of the Institute for Economic and Industrial Studies
According to the survey, the business expectations index shows a continuously
upward trend, reaching 102.5 in September this year, which however is still
down on the October 1995 figure of 114.
At the same time, prospects for undertakings appeared to be positive for
the next three months, according to statements by businessmen themselves.
There were no substantial changes in the way Greek undertakings viewed the
competitiveness of domestic industry in the third quarter of 1996, both
with respect to the Greek market and abroad.
The IOBE survey noted a drop in business expectations for the retail trade
in the second quarter this year, but the more long-term expectations of
retail companies continued to be optimistic.
Among the undertakings asked in the survey, 56 per cent predicted that
their situation would improve during the next six months, 43 per cent
forecast that it would remain the same and only 1 per cent said it would
Evening meeting critical for a bickering New Democracy
The main opposition New Democracy (ND) political council meets this evening
in a charged atmosphere after party leader Miltiades Evert and honorary
president Constantine Mitsotakis traded verbal attacks about the functioning
of the party.
In a related development, ND deputy and former Parliament speaker
Athanasios Tsaldaris today strongly criticised Mitsotakis for his
statements on Tuesday.
''Yesterday's statements by the honorary president bring to mind past years
and past events which we had managed to surpass. It was a mistake and I
hope that (Mitsotakis) understands this and makes a retraction,'' Tsaldaris
Asked by reporters whether there was a danger of ND breaking up, Tsaldaris
''Ask those who are trying to do this, not me.''
Mitsotakis said in a television interview and magazine article that ND
''has ceased to function democratically to a great degree''.
Evert responded by accusing Mitsotakis of disorientating the Greek people
and helping the ruling PASOK party to implement what he called ''its tough
new economic measures''.
The political council will meet at 19.00 hours local time.
Gerry Adams due in Athens to promote autobiography
Northern Irish republican leader Gerry Adams is due in Athens on Friday for
a two-day promotion of his recently-published autobiography ''Just Before
Dawn'', it was announced today.
Adams, leader of the Sinn Fein party since 1983, will be in Greece on the
occasion of the publication of his autobiography here by the publishing
firm ''KOAN - Books of the World''.
In the book Adams, who was born in western Belfast in 1948, describes his
childhood and reminisces of glorious hours of play on the mountainsides
behind his home, moving on to the years of conflict and uprising in
On Saturday, Adams will be signing copies of his book on the 4th floor of
the Eleftheroudakis Book Store on 17 Panepistimiou street in downtown
Ferries collide in Patras port
An Italian and Greek flag passenger/car ferry collided late Tuesday night,
causing slight damage to the one but no injuries, Patras port authorities
The stern of the Italian-flag ''Ionian Star'', as it was entering the port,
rammed into the stern of the Greek-flag ''Aretoussa'', causing light
The Aretoussa was immediately repaired and set sail early in the morning
for Ancona, Italy.
The Ionian Star is still in Patras Harbour with engine trouble probably
caused by the collision.
The vehicles and passengers from the Ionian Star left for Ancona on another
ferry, the authorities said.
Justice Minister due in Brussels for EU meeting
Justice Minister Evangelos Yannopoulos leaves Thursday for Brussels to
represent Greece at a meeting of the EU Council of Justice Ministers.
The Council will discuss EU justice and internal affairs issues.
Chief of Staff to visit Bulgaria next week
The Chief of the National Defence General Staff, Lieutenant-General (air)
Athanasios Tzoganis, will pay an official visit to Bulgaria from 2-4
December at the inviation of his Bulgarian counterpart General Tsvetan
Bladenov Totomirov, it was announced today.
During his stay in the neighbouring country, Tzoganis will have talks with
the political and military leadership of the Bulgarian defence ministry on
issues of mutual interest in the defence sector.
In addition, he will sign the programme for bilateral military cooperation
for 1997 and visit a number of military units and installations.
Athens considering trade credits for Yugoslavia
Greece is seriously considering extending credits to the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia in order to boost trade between the two countries, which
totalled only $170 million in the first 10 months of 1996.
The dispatch quoted the counsellor for economic and commercial affairs at
the Greek embassy in Belgrade, Christos Farmakis, who addressed a meeting
of Greek and Yugoslav businessmen.
At present, he added, 150 Greek companies are cooperating with Yugoslavia,
either directly or through joint ventures.
Govt. going ahead with privatisations
Labour and Social Security Undersecretary Christos Protopapas yesterday
told Greek businessmen that "all of us should have the power to see the
privatisations issue through."
Addressing a conference on the "Hour of the Greek Economy," organised by
the Hellenic-American Chamber, Mr. Protopapas said the government was
proceeding with the privatisation of all public sector companies falling
under the jurisdiction of the Busines s Restructuring Organisation.
Referring to efforts to contain state intervention in the banking system,
Mr. Protopapas said that only if the governments, the parties and the
social forces agreed on certain principles and procedures, while bureacracy
was lessened as well, could denationationalisation procedures come to
Elaborating on the same issue, President of the Federation of Greek
Industries (SEB) Jason Stratos said that denationalisation would free
resources which can be channelled to the private sector thus encouraging
SEB's president stressed the lack of signs for an expanded denationalisation
in other sectors where the presence of the state is strongly-felt, such as
the banking system, with the exception of smaller banks.
Wave of bad weather hits Kavala
Strong winds and heavy rain swept eastern Macedonia and Thrace in northern
Greece today, causing damage and disruption particularly in the area of
Gale force winds were blowing in the northern Aegean, forcing ferry boats
to interrupt services from Kavala and Alexandroupolis to the islands.
A number of small craft were blown from their moorings, some sinking and
others being seriously damaged. Trees uprooted by the wind fell on power
lines, cutting electicity to Thassos and villages of Paggaio and the Kavala
region for several hours.
The power supply to the Kavala municipality pumping station was cut off for
Rainy and stormy weather throughout the country. Same for Athens where
temperatures will range from 10-16C and in Thessaloniki from 6-11C.
Snowfalls in the mountainous regions.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
U.S. dlr 237.713, Can. dlr.177.270, Australian dlr. 192.994, Pound sterling
397.990, Irish punt 398.050, Cyprus pd 516.634, French franc 46.003, Swiss
franc 184.115 Belgian franc 7.571, German mark 156.012, Finnish mark 51.854,
Dutch guilder 139.118, Danish Kr. 40.642, Swedish Kr. 35.696, Norwegian Kr.
36.962, Austrian Sh. 22.171, Italian lira (100) 15.738, Yen (100) 211.534,
Spanish Peseta 1.855, Portuguese Escudo 1.548.