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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


Athens, Greece, 09/08/1998 (ANA)


  • Selected food prices to drop on Monday
  • Greece reiterates solidarity with Cyprus
  • Burns addresses AHEPA convention
  • Ankara to protest sale of missiles to Greece
  • French national arrested for arson
  • Court rules post-1983 barriers to beaches are illegal
  • No concern over meningitis epidemic
  • Ballet dancers to honour memory of Ulanova
  • Results in World Basketball Championship held in Athens
  • Greek stocks edge up in lacklustre trade
  • Athens bourse ends week with losses
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange
    NEWS IN DETAIL Selected food prices to drop on Monday

    The prices of a series of foodstuffs are coming down Monday by between five and 15 percent, following a "gentlemen's agreement" between the development ministry's commerce department and food manufacturers and retailers.

    Further reductions are in the pipeline for more foodstuffs and car and motorbike spare parts.

    Greece reiterates solidarity with Cyprus

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis has conveyed a message of solidarity to Cyprus from Greece, stressing that he bore no American proposal to Cyprus nor pressure from Athens to cancel the deployment of t he Russian defensive S-300 missile system on the island.

    Speaking after a working lunch with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on Friday, Mr. Kranidiotis said rumours about an American proposal and pressure from Athens on Nicosia "do not relate to reality", adding that he did not know the reasons behind them.

    "The only message I convey", he said, "is one of solidarity and identical views" of Greece with Cyprus. "This is the message we send to third parties: That Greece and Cyprus are united in the struggle for justice and the interests of the people of Cyp rus," he stressed.

    Mr. Kranidiotis reassured that the two countries would not detract from the basic aims, which are, Cyprus' accession to the European Union and resolving the Cyprus problem according to UN resolutions.

    "The substance of the Cyprus problem is the illegal Turkish behaviour," the Greek deputy foreign minister stressed, pointing to Ankara's refusal to comply with the directives of the international community and to withdraw its occupation troops from the is land.

    Mr. Kranidiotis also made special reference to the Turkish side's refusal to enter a dialogue aiming at a Cyprus settlement and to take part in accession talks with the EU.

    Defending Cyprus' right to self-defence, he said the S-300 issue is not the dominant, but only part of issues preoccupying Greece and Cyprus.

    He said the two countries' concern is "the substance of the Cyprus problem, how to convince Turkey to comply with international law and UN resolutions, how the dialogue between the two communities will be resumed and how a process will begin which would help towards Cyprus' demilitarisation."

    "The S-300 is a weapon that strengthens Cyprus' defence, but our efforts aim at the demilitarisation of the island, on the basis of President Clerides' proposals," he concluded.

    Foreign governments, especially the US administration and the British government, have opposed the deployment of the S-300 surface-to-air missiles, expected later this year.

    President Clerides had proposed the island's complete demilitarisation.

    Burns addresses AHEPA convention

    US Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns has stressed the need for peace in Cyprus.

    Mr. Burns made the statement in a keynote address during the Supreme Convention of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) in Orlando, Florida.

    Outlining the five challenges for the future of relations between the US and Greece, Mr. Burns said first the two nations must bring their leaders and peoples together in a stronger relationship and establish trust between the two countries.

    They must also strengthen and maintain the US military alliance with Greece and rebuild economic trade.

    Referring to Cyprus, Mr. Burns said, "we must realise the importance of peace in Cyprus and between Greece and Turkey".

    The ambassador noted Greece and Turkey have not succeeded in finding solutions and Cyprus remains a divided nation.

    In a speech, Greece's newly appointed ambassador to the US, Alexandros Philon, referred to national issues "with the major priority revolving around the question of Cyprus".

    "The continued occupation and no progression have been disastrous occurrences in recent years" but Greece is working very hard and intends to go beyond the past to find solutions, he said.

    Ankara to protest sale of missiles to Greece

    Ankara will protest the US Defence Department decision to sell to Greece 1, 322 anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, the Anadolu news agency has reported.

    The US Defence Department proposed to Greece the sale of these han d-held mid-range anti-aircraft missiles.

    According to Anadolu, the Turkish embassy in Washington was instructed to present a demarche to the US officials in efforts to stop the sale.

    The Anadolu report noted that the Turkish officials' argument will be that the missiles might end up in the hands of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Millyet daily called the decision hypocritical and noted that "the US are pressuring the Greek Cypriots not to buy the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, and give to Athens 1,322 missiles.

    French national arrested for arson

    A French national has been arrested for arson after an eye witness reported seeing him start a fire, in the northwestern prefecture of Thesprotia.

    Igoumenitsa police arrested tourist Alain de Fremont, 48, after he was reported starting a fire in the forested area of Zavia, near the seaside resort of Syvota. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Igoumenitsa Fire Brigade and local residents.

    De Fremont was arrested at 8.30 am after a brief pursuit, about 25 kilometers away from Zavia, in the company of his wife.

    The police said that although the Frenchman admitted to the arson, he was unable to explain his motives. He is being investigated in connection with other forest fires on the island of Corfu, where he was the previous days.

    Court rules post 1983-barriers to beaches are illegal

    Enclosures or walls erected after 1983 and impeding access to the coastline are illegal and their demolition is obligatory, while any pre-1983 such stuctures are allowed to stand as long as there are five-metre wide access roads every 300 metres, the Council of State has ruled.

    The country's highest administrative court thus allowed a country housing complex near Nea Makri, eastern Attica, to maintain an enclosure erected before a 1983 law came into force.

    Citing the law, the court said local town planning authorities can impose a suspension on the construction of any kind of enclosure, or order the demolition of any finished structure impeding access to the coastline or lakeside.

    Exceptions are allowed for the protection of cultivated land or other special uses.

    No concern over meningitis epidemic

    The Hellenic Epidemiology Control and Intervention Centre announced yesterday that there was no particular cause for concern of a meningitis epidemic.

    The recent death of a six-year old boy, the seventh victim of meningitis in Iraklion, Crete, within the year, generated fear among the local community of an epidemic on the island and prompted a release by the ministry of health.

    The ministry's news release stressed that there was no outburst of the illness in the country and that since the beginning of this year the number of incidents not only in Greece but also in Iraklion had been within the same parameters that are registered each year.

    The concern that stirred the Iraklion community, continues the ministry's release, was unjustified and the health authorities have already taken appropriate protection measures regarding the persons in the immediate environment of the dead child.

    Pursuant to fixed ministry guidelines, specialists from the Epidemiology Centre travel to the site wherever epidemic disease incidents are reported to monitor developments.

    Microbiology Professor Jenny Kourea-Kremastinou has pointed out in the past that of utmost importance in a meningitis incident is diagnosis of the symptoms of the illness that are unfortunately still today confused with the symtoms of other viruses or infections.

    Replying to what was said about mass vaccination, the health ministry pointed out that this measure is not recommended for any European country by the International Health Association or by any other international epidemic control organisations.

    Meningitis incidences and the number of deaths caused by this disease in Greece continue to be distinctly lower than in other countries in Europe, Great Britain for example.

    Ballet dancers to honour memory of Ulanova

    Renowned ballet dancers Julia Makhalina, Dadesda Gracheva, Nina Semizorova and Vadim Pisarev will honour the memory of Galina Ulanova at the second Ancient Olympia Festival, on Aug. 22.

    The Bolshoi and Mariinsky (former Kirov) ballet dancers along with their Donetsk Opera colleagues will perform at this tribute.

    For more detail please call Prime Art production at (01)-7293822 or visit the Virgin Megastore in Athens or Maroussi for tickets to the event.

    Results in World Basketball Championship held in Athens

    Following are the latest results in the World Basketball Championship being held in Athens and ending on Sunday.

    • Puerto Rico beat Canada 92-81 in the playoff for 11th and 12th places
    • Australia beat Brazil 79-75 in the playoff for 9th and 10th places
    • 5/8th classification match: Italy beat Lithuania 76-71, and Spain beat Argentina 77-64,
    • In the semi-finals, Russia beat the United States 66-64, and Yugoslavia beat Greece 78-73

    Greek stocks edge up in lacklustre trade

    Greek equities crept up in scant summer-holiday trade for the second straight session on Friday after a slump earlier in the week.

    The Athens general share index finished 0.39 percent higher at 2,716.49 points from 2.706.06 points. Turnover slipped to 32.5 billion drachmas from 34.5 billion in the previous session.

    Sector indices mostly finished higher. The heavily weighted banking sector gained 0.51 percent, Leasing lost 0.63 percent, Insurance surged 5.20 percent, Investment crept up 0.27 percent, Industrials shed 0.24 percent up, Construction jumped 2.05 percen t, Holding rose 1.50 percent, and Miscellaneous gained 1.57 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies finished 3.61 percent higher.

    Of 259 stocks traded, advances led gains at 158 to 79 with 22 shares remaining unchanged.

    The day's biggest percentage gainers finishing at the daily upper eight percent volatility limit were Elfiko, Minerva, Hatzioannou (common), Halyps, Varagis, Sportsman, Imperio, Boutaris, Kyriakopoulos and Dane Sea Line.

    The day's biggest percentage losers were Development Invest, Ippotur, Endysi, Dimitriadis, Hadzioannou (preferred), Bank of Central Greece, Ideal and Allatini.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 53,000 drachmas, Ergobank at 30,990, Alpha Credit Bank at 28,050, Ionian Bank at 17,380, Commercial Bank of Greece at 29,150, Delta Dairy (common) at 3,880, Intracom (common) at 12,955, Titan Cement (common) at 23,230, H ellenic Petroleum at 2,795 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation at 8,240 drachmas.

    Athens bourse ends week with losses

    The Athens Stock Exchange ended the week lower in the wake of sharp declines in US and European markets, analysts said

    Foreign institutional investors in the bourse took a wait-and-see attitude, but domestic institutionals dumped stock, especially on Wednesday when the market dived 3.27 percent.

    The Athens share index finished the week at 2,716.49 points, shedding 80.92 points, or 2.89 percent, from the 2,797.41-point close a week ago.

    The index has gained 83.59 percent since the beginning of the year.

    Turnover this week was 207.138 billion drachmas to post a daily average of 41.4 billion drachmas, down from 48.5 billion in the previous week.

    At the same time, economic fundamentals were healthy with consumer price inflation slipping to 5.1 percent year-on-year in July from 5.2 percent the previous month. Revenue from tax also was satisfactory.

    In the mid-term, the market's progress depends on whether the government carries out its privatisation plan, the analysts said.

    Listed Ionian Bank, a subsidiary of state Commercial Bank of Greece, is due to be tendered through the bourse on August 24; and Hellenic Duty Free Shops SA is slated for retender via the market in the autumn after bids were considered too low in the first auction.


    Hot, sunny weather throughout the country tomorrow with scattered cloud in mainland Greece later in the day. Winds northerly, light to moderate. Temperatures in Athens between 24C and 34C; and in Thessaloniki from 22C to 33C.

    Foreign Exchange

    Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 291.747 British pound 476.398 Japanese yen (100) 200.037 French franc 49.074 German mark 164.543 Italian lira (100) 16.666 Irish Punt 413.664 Belgian franc 7.978 Finnish mark 54.114 Dutch guilder 145.888 Danish kr. 43.182 Austrian sch. 23.353 Spanish peseta 1.937 Swedish kr. 36.424 Norwegian kr. 38.390 Swiss franc 195.226 Port. Escudo 1.608 Aus. dollar 175.227 Can. dollar 190.147 Cyprus pound 556.512


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