Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-09-03
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 03/09/1998 (ANA)
- Greece, Italy sign natural gas agreement
- Greek stocks bounce back in line with world markets
- Greek money rates drop, drachma picks up steam
- Spending on advertising rises 11.4 pct in Jan-Aug
- Shippers move 2.2 million passengers to islands in June-Aug
- Damanaki launches mayoral campaign
- Samaranch signs protocol for establishment of 'Cultural Olympics'
- KKE criticises tobacco company
- Emergency measures planned to confront floods
- Greek-Polish industrial cooperation
- OA's share capital to be raised by 14 bln dr.
- Measures against cheating taxi-drivers
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece, Italy sign natural gas agreement
An agreement for the joint construction of an undersea pipeline to carry
natural gas from Italy to Greece was signed here yesterday between Greece's
Public Gas Company (DEPA) and ENI of Italy.
Earlier, a joint statement by the two countries on cooperation in natural
gas projects was signed by Greece's Development Minister Vasso Papandreou
and Italy's Industry and Energy Minister Pier Luigi Persanti.
In Athens, Prime Minister Costas Simitis described the DEPA-ENI agreement
as an especially positive one, both for the country overall and the
Mr. Simitis said that the Rome agreement made Italy Greece's second
supplier of natural gas after Russia, which meant that the country now
secured a sufficient quantity of gas in competitive rates.
The materialisation of the Greek-Italian agreement, according to Mr.
Simitis, will additionally make Greece a natural gas junction in the wider
region of the Balkans, with the pipeline network having the potential to be
further extended to connect Turkey and Central Asian countries.
The pipeline, to be part of the Intereuropean natural gas networks, will be
financially aided by the EU.
The joint statement signed by the two ministers expresses both countries'
drive to support the materialisation of the DEPA-ENI cooperation agreement,
which additionally provides for the establishment of a joint venture to
take care of the supply to Greece of Italian natural gas. The network could
potentially be extended to reach other neighbouring countries.
Ms. Papandreou described the agreement as of a strategic importance for
Greece, adding that the country's energy programme with Italy will have
been finalised by the end of the year
As mentioned in the joint statement, ENI is among the biggest players in
the construction of energy projects, with activities expanding in as many
as 77 countries. It has six subsidiaries and 48.5 per cent of its shares
are in private hands, at Milano, New York and London's stock exchanges.
Greek stocks bounce back in line with world markets
Greek equities rebounded in active trade on the Athens Stock Exchange
yesterday following a recovery in international markets, especially in
The general index ended 5.15 percent higher at 2,200.40 points with
turnover at 74.9 billion drachmas. Sector indices scored gains. The heavily
weighted banking sector soared 7.90 percent, approaching the 8.0 percent
daily upper volatility limit.
Insurance jumped 5.05 percent, Investment rose 5.90 percent, Leasing
increased 5.23 percent, Industrials ended 3.06 percent higher, Construction
rose 4.91 percent, Miscellaneous increased 3.51 percent and Holding ended
3.50 percent up.
The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 3.51 percent
The FTSE/ASE 20 blue-chip index ended 5.72 percent higher at 1,342.26.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 231 to 18 with another 8 issues
Commercial Bank, Mortgage Bank, Alpha Credit Bank, Bank of Piraeus,
Ergobank, National Bank, Naousa Mills, Ridenco, Vioter, Rilken, Keranis and
Bank of Central Greece scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the
daily 8.0 percent limit up.
Sarandopoulos, Vis, Athinea, Macedonian Plastics, Xylemporia, Aspis and
Pairis suffered the heaviest losses. National Bank of Greece ended at 42,
552 drachmas, Ergobank at 26,136, Alpha Credit Bank at 23,004, Ionian Bank
at 11,400, Hellenic Telecoms at 6 ,880, Delta Dairy at 3,370, Intracom at
11,530, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,735 and Titan Cement at 19,650.
Greek money rates drop, drachma picks up steam
Greek interest rates slid yesterday reversing a jump to over 20 percent
during international and domestic market turmoil sparked by a financial
crisis in Russia.
Bankers reported capital inflows of 200 million US dollars, 400 million
Ecus and 200 million DMarks in the domestic foreign exchange market.
The drachma rebounded strongly to end 0.91 percent higher against the US
dollar, 0.80 percent up against the mark and 0.83 percent higher against
Spending on advertising rises 11.4 pct in Jan-Aug
Spending on advertising in Greece totalled 218.4 billion drachmas in
January-August, showing an 11.44 percent increase from the same period last
year, Media Services SA said in a report yesterday.
The report said that television commercials accounted for 45.76 percent of
the total at 99.9 billion drachmas; followed by magazines at 30.98 percent,
or 67.7 billion, newspapers at 18.05 percent, or 39.4 billion and radio at
5.21 percent, or 11.4 billi on drachmas.
Magazines and newspapers showed hefty revenue increases of 23.46 percent
and 26.04 percent in the same period, but income from radio commercials was
down by 32.13 percent. Income from television advertisting rose by 7.30
percent. In August, spending on advertising rose 30.68 percent to 13.2
Shippers move 2.2 million passengers to islands in June-Aug
Coastal shippers moved 2,235,688 passengers in the peak tourist season
months of June-August from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina to islands in
the Saronic Gulf and Aegean, the merchant marine ministry said yesterday.
It said in a statement that passengers travelling from the port of Piraeus
totalled 1,260,953 in the same period, against 1,208,441 a year earlier.
Passengers travelling from Pireaus to islands in the Saronic Gulf were 566,
386, down from 598,174 last year.
Passengers from the port of Rafina totalled 408,349, up from 391,663 in the
same period of 1997.
Damanaki launches mayoral campaign
Athens mayoral Candidate Maria Damanaki yesterday inaugurated her campaign
at an Athens hotel, among a large representation of the ruling PASOK party
and the Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) party officials,
as well as representatives of social movements.
Ms. Damanaki, who is supported by PASOK and Synaspismos, accused her main
opponent in the October election, main opposition New Democracy (ND)
supported Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos of financial intransparency,
the non-existence of projects and the degredation of the municipal
Ms. Damanaki, the former Synaspismos leader, said that the combined forces
of the progressive polical landscape will win the elections on the second
Ms. Damanaki spoke of a lack of projects, noting that Mr. Avramopoulos
received 225 billion drachmas and spent only eight billion "for facades,
railings, fountains, and lighting of four major streets".
Ms. Damanaki added that Mr. Avramopoulos "refused dialogue during the pre-
election period as he has done for the last four years, by his absence and
degredation of the Municipal Council."He is trying to convince that he
represents the new element in the polical scene, because he has no polical
past. But the absence of a past is in itself a polical action."
Samaranch signs protocol for establishment of `Cultural Olympics`
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and International Olympic Committee
president Juan Antonio Samaranch yesterday signed the protocol establishing
the "Cultural Olympics" International Institute, which will be responsible
for this new institution.
Mr. Venizelos had proposed to UNESCO the new institute have a status as a
non-governmental organisation, based at Olympia, Greece.
Mr.Venizelos said that the first Cultural Olympics will be held at the 2000
Sydney Olympic Games leading to the Athens 2004 Games, while the four-
pronged subject will focus on the civilisation of peace, social cohesion,
the society of information and the civilisation of innovation.
The culture minister said that a second cooperation protocol was also
signed between the Olympia Archaeological Museum and the Lausanne Olympic
Games Museum. Mr. Samaranch said "the texts we signed were an important
beginning for the 2 004 Games." He added that he always supported the idea
the Games had two dimensions, an atheletic and a cultural one, and that the
2004 Games in Athens will have a third one, the historical.
Mr. Samaranch who flew to Athens yesterday for a series of meetings with
Greek officials on preparations for the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, met
earlier with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Mr. Samaranch told a press conference last night that this was "the first
meeting between the IOC and the 2004 Games organising committee."
He noted "we did not come to Athens to oversee or control the situation. We
are here to offer help, support and cooperation. I am sure of the success
of the 2004 Olympic Games, which will all belong to Greece, Athens and the
KKE criticises tobacco company
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga yesterday condemned
the management of the Karelias cigarette factory, which refused her request
to speak to the employees, during her visit of the Kalamata region.
Ms. Papariga said that problems of the area stem from the general
government policies and called on the working classes to rise up against
She added that KKE had foreseen the stock exchange crisis and stressed that
this crisis will help people understand the reality of it and react.
Finally, she accused the government of disbursing huge sums of money in
support of ruling PASOK municipal and prefectural candidates, in light of
the upcoming local elections.
Emergency measures planned to confront floods
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works (YPEHODE) Minister Costas
Laliotis yesterday presided over a meeting on the planned emergency flood
control projects for the protection against soil errosion in areas hit by
last summer's forest fires.
The minister noted that the projects will not be subject to a unified study
of the problem, so as to maintain flexibility and speed of completion.
The projects in southern Greece, excluding Attica will cost an estimated
4.7 billion drachmas and will inlcude log walls water dams and the clearing
of dry river beds.
In Attica alone, more than 100 such dams will be constructed on mountainous
areas to avert soil errosion and mud slides.
The summer forest fires burned 1,250 hectares of forests in Attica, 1,450
hectares in Hlia, 100 hectares at Taiyetos Mt., 250 hectares in Achaia and
300 hectares in Aetoloacarnania.
Greek-Polish industrial cooperation
Development Undersecretary A. Diamantopoulou met with Polish National
Economy Undersecretary V. Kardner yesterday in Athens, with discussion
focusing on Greek-Polish cooperation in the industry sector and support to
small- and medium-sized enterprises (S MEs). The two officials also
examined the potential cooperation of Greece's EOMMEX and ELOT organisations
with Poland's corresponding state bodies.
OA's share capital to be raised by 14 bln dr.
National air-carrier Olympic Airways' share capital will be increased by 14
billion drachmas. Making the announcement during a briefing of Board
members yesterday, OA president Theodoros Tsakiridis said that an
extraordinary general meeting should be held within next week to approve of
this, first phase of the company's share capital increase. The development
gives the green light to the Greek state, after the final decision by the
EU, to pay a guarantee amount of US$478 million for the ailing carrier's
fleet renewal. The Greek state will also pay the sum of 50 billion drachmas
for OA's relocation to the new Athens international airport in Spata.
Measures against cheating taxi-drivers
Greece's public works ministry is planning to place signs at central
intersections giving approximate fares for taxi rides on commonly-used
routes, in an effort to protect unsuspecting tourists from being ripped off
by unscrupulous taxi-drivers.
In a meeting held at the Athens Prefectural Offices yesterday, representatives
of local government, taxi-drivers' unions and organisations and other
officials decided on a number of measures to offset the bad image a number
of taxi-drivers have given the profession among tourists.
Six taxi-drivers were found to be overcharging - some through sophisticated
rigging of taxi meters - in August alone, in a crackdown by police.
The transport and communications ministry also moved Monday to bring
Greece's taxi-drivers into line, saying anyone caught overcharging
passengers would have their vehicles taken off the roads.
Fine weather in most parts the country today with scattered clouds in
central and northern Greece. Winds northerly moderate to strong. Fine
weather in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 19-32C. Same in
Thessaloniki with temperatures from 17C to 30C.
Thursday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 296.757
British pound 494.353 Japanese yen (100) 215.264
French franc 50.642 German mark 169.930
Italian lira (100) 17.201 Irish Punt 426.560
Belgian franc 8.228 Finnish mark 55.840
Dutch guilder 150.407 Danish kr. 44.580
Austrian sch. 24.125 Spanish peseta 1.999
Swedish kr. 37.559 Norwegian kr. 38.553
Swiss franc 206.038 Port. Escudo 1.657
Aus. dollar 173.898 Can. dollar 192.051
Cyprus pound 576.927