Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-28
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 28/01/1998 (ANA)
- British Secretary's statements on missiles for Cyprus
- Simitis receives Olympics organising committee
- Turkish ship adrift in Greek waters after fire
- Greece insists on "step-by-step" approach with Turkey
- Greek stocks hit by rising interest rates
- Internet users grow rapidly in Greece
- Greece's cable industry outlook positive, report says
- Agrotica '98 trade fair opens in Thessaloniki today
- Pavlopoulos to address business event
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
British Secretary's statements on missiles for Cyprus
The government said today that the views expressed by British Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook concerning Nicosia's plans to install S-300 anti-
aircraft missiles were his own personal opinion.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas underlined that the views expressed by
Cook, who currently presides over the EU Council of Ministers, were not
those of the EU.
Nicosia intends to purchase and install the Russian-made missiles to
bolster the island republic's defence.
Reppas said Russia would fulfil the commitment it had undertaken so that
the missiles could be installed in Cyprus according to schedule.
The spokesman noted that Cook had recognised Cyprus' right to strengthen
Cook said in Brussels yesterday that the deployment of Russian missiles in
Cyprus would not be a particularly prudent action. He clarified at the time
that this was his own personal view.
Simitis receives Olympics organising committee
President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis said
today that Athens' successful holding of the 2004 Olympic Games was of
Simitis received the members of the Games organising committee before
accompanying them to the presidential mansion where he introduced them to
Wishing the committee members every success, Stephanopoulos told them that
the success of the 2004 Games was the common aim of the entire Greek people,
"a true national target".
Simitis said he had told the organising committee that the 2004 Games were
a national issue and that the efforts to be made involved not only the
present government but the entire Greek people.
"We must all do our bit and the effort must not be allowed to succumb to
conjunctions or (political) party expediencies," Simitis said.
"We can promote our country, its views on foreign policy and peace, and
give new content to athletics and send out messages different to those
emitted by previous Olympiads. The composition of the (organising)
committee guarantees the success of this effort," the premier added.
Turkish ship adrift in Greek waters after fire
A Turkish-flag freighter was adrift today inside Greek territorial waters
near the island of Andros after fire broke out in its engine room, Piraeus
harbour authorities said.
They said the "Hassan Bei" was 10 nautical miles northeast of Cavo Doro off
the island of Evia when its captain radioed the Greek Merchant Marine
Ministry's search and rescue centre.
The Centre immediately despatched the navy frigate Epirus, a tugboat and
two other nearby ships to the scene.
A Greek navy helicopter was also on the spot.
The Ministry said the 20 persons aboard the "Hassan Bei" were all well and
accounted for. The ship was en route from Dakar to Istanbul, without cargo,
when the fire broke out.
When asked by the tanker "Star" if he required assistance, the Turkish
captain replied that the fire had been extinguished and none of the crew
The captain gave the same reply when asked by the pilots of the two
aircraft which had gone to the Turkish vessel's assistance.
The vessel was later reported to be adrift inside Greek territorial waters,
just five nautical miles north of the island of Andros.
In conversations with Greek captains of vessels sailing in the area and the
Operations Centre of the Merchant Marine Ministry, the Turkish captain said
that due to the fact that he was in Greek waters, the towing of the vessel
would be undertaken by a Greek shipping company with which he had already
come into contact.
Greece insists on 'step-by-step' approach with Turkey
The policy of a "step-by-step" rapprochement with Turkey is Greece's answer
for a normalisation of Greek-Turkish relations, government spokesman
Dimitris Reppas said yesterday in reply to criticism by main opposition New
Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis .
The ND leader made statements on foreign policy following a meeting with
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
"Turkey is called upon to harmonise itself with the international legal
order and accept the appropriate rules of behaviour. It is called upon to
recognise the jurisdiction of the International Court at The Hague, as
envisaged by the political framework of the Luxembourg summit," he
Earlier, Mr. Karamanlis accused the government of having no strategy and of
"attempting to secretly alter its policy, as it appears to have decided to
refer all issues - which Turkey unilaterally and arbitrarily has raised in
an attempt to change the status quo in the Aegean - to the International
Court at The Hague".
Greek stocks hit by rising interest rates
Greek equities remained under pressure for the second consecutive session
yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange to lose further substantial
Traders said renewed turbulence in the domestic money market hit sentiment.
A rise in interest rates at Monday's auction of state bills was interpreted
as a sign of a rising trend in money market rates.
Bank of Greece sources reported new capital outflows totalling 150 million
US dollars at the drachma's fixing, while the Greek currency's parity eased
by 0.66 percent against the dollar. The drachma was stable against the
DMark and the Ecu.
The general index closed 1.23 percent lower at 1,410.23 points with most
sector indices losing ground. Banks fell 1.72 percent, Insurance eased 1.51
percent, Leasing dropped 0.44 percent, Investment fell 0.28 percent,
Industrials eased 0.60 percent, Constructions plunged 3.08 percent, Holding
ended 2.09 percent off but Miscellaneous bucked the trend to end 1.19
The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 0.32 percent, while
the FTSE/ASE index ended 1.48 percent down to 769.84 points.
Trading remained moderate with turnover at 13.2 billion drachmas. Broadly,
decliners led advancers by 160 to 49 with another 26 issues unchanged.
Bank of Athens, Sarandopoulos, Radio Athina, Sato and Dane scored the
biggest percentage gains, while Alumil, Technodomi, Levenderis, Viokarpet
and Lanakam suffered the heaviest losses. National Bank of Greece ended at
19,650 drachmas, Ergobank at 13, 420, Alpha Credit Bank at 14,500, Delta
Dairy at 2,730, Titan Cement at 13,460, Intracom at 14,540 and Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation at 5,440.
Internet users grow rapidly in Greece
The use of Internet is rapidly growing in Greece according to a report by
the Institute of Financial and Industrial Research (IOBE) on telecommunications
The report said that the number of Greek users of the Internet was
estimated at 20-25,000, while a big number of users - mainly students -
take advantage of free access offered by universities.
Greek Internet companies turnover totalled 2 billion drachmas in 1996, a
figure likely to grow substantially in coming years.
The report noted that competition would increase in the future and that
only a few companies would survive.
Greek companies were steadily adopting electronic data information systems
More than 100 companies, mainly multinational subsidiaries, have adopted
the EDI system, while another 250 were expected to follow soon.
Greece's cable industry outlook positive, report says
Greece's cable industry outlook is positive, but the sector may face
increased competition in the domestic market due to the liberalisation of
public utilities procurement contracts in the European Union, the Institute
of Financial and Industrial Research (IOBE) said yesterday in a report.
Greek cable manufacturers depend largely on orders by Public Power
Corporation and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation.
The two Greek utilities recently signed procurement contracts covering 25
percent of the country's cable industry turnover.
The report urges cable manufacturers to seek expansion in eastern Europe
ahead of an expected massive investment in the telecommunications and
energy sectors in the region.
Currently, almost 40 percent of Greek cable manufacturers production is
exported and the industry showed a surplus of 75 million Ecu in 1995.
Italy is Greece's main supplier in cables. On the other hand, Britain and
France are the main exporting markets.
Agrotica '98 trade fair opens in Thessaloniki today
Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas today inaugurates the 14th
Agrotica international trade fair in Thessaloniki, rated as the biggest
agricultural trade fair in the Balkans and this year is expected to show
increased numbers both in exhibitors as in visitors.
According to HELEXPO figures, 1,517 Greek and foreign exhibitors will take
part in the fair, covering 38,500 square metres, up from 1,500 and 36,807
respectively last year.
Albania, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Tunisia are taking part
with state-sponsored pavilions.
Pavlopoulos to address business event
Prokopis Pavlopoulos, State Deputy for the main opposition New Democarcy
party, will be the guest speaker of the first of this year's series of
business luncheons organised by Delos Communications in cooperation with
the Financial Times.
Mr. Pavlopoulos will address the luncheon today (Thursday) on "Public
Adminstration and Economy", to be held at the Grande Bretagne Hotel at 1:00
Cloudiness and light snowfall in most parts of Greece today. Winds variable,
moderate to gale force. Athens will be cloudy with mild rain and temperatures
between 3-7C. Cloudy with slight snowfall in Thessaloniki with temperatures
Tuesday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 281.619
Pound sterling 464.792 Cyprus pd 532.684
French franc 47.027 Swiss franc 194.154
German mark 157.530 Italian lira (100) 15.964
Yen (100) 222.962 Canadian dlr. 194.551
Australian dlr. 190.365 Irish Punt 394.122
Belgian franc 7.637 Finnish mark 52.060
Dutch guilder 139.803 Danish kr. 41.368
Swedish kr. 35.603 Norwegian kr. 38.011
Austrian sch. 22.400 Spanish peseta 1.858
Port. Escudo 1.541