Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-09-11
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 11/09/1998 (ANA)
- Greece says it is time to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold
- Greece to issue convertible bonds on Sept. 22
- Greek stocks creep down in thin, edgy trade
- Results positive in organic grape project, researcher says
- Greece-Japan commercial transactions
- Greek ready-made clothes promoted in Germany
- Simitis holds talks with Cypriot EDEK party leader
- Pangalos meets with US envoy for Cyprus
- Finnish president begins four-day visit to Athens on Monday
- Tsohatzopoulos announces new conscription system
- Draft law on national land register tabled in parliament
- Study shows Greeks least satisfied with their public health system
- Foreign Exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece says it is time to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold
Greece yesterday said it was time to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold
and criticised sanctions against Belgrade over its stance on the troubled
province of Kosovo as not working.
"Yugoslavia has to be included in international life and a policy of
sanctions is not effective," Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told
reporters after meeting with his Yugoslav counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic in
Belgrade's recent positions on the Kosovo issue are heading in the right
direction, Mr. Pangalos said. "We are ready to help as much as we can to
find a peaceful solution to this difficult problem in the context of the
existing borders of Yugoslavi a and with the simultaneous safeguarding of
human rights and freedoms for all the population of Kosovo," the Greek
minister said. Mr. Jovanovic said Yugoslavia was determined to find a
peaceful resolution to the problem, to safeguard the rights of all the
residents of Kosovo, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and to have full
respect for international and European standards of human rights for
Mr. Jovanovic called the ethnic Albanian separatist "Kosovo Liberation
Army" a "terrorist organisation which should be included on the list of
similar organisations". He accused the KLA of kidnapping, torture, bomb
attacks on cars and other targets and said he was convinced that the
Albanian-speaking populatgion of Kosovo were becoming more sceptical of the
Turning to bilateral relations, Mr. Jovanovic and Mr. Pangalos agreed that
there were strong ties between the two countries.
Economic ties between Greece and Yugoslavia were growing rapidly, with
trade rising 26 percent this year, Mr. Pangalos said.
Greece is Yugoslavia's fifth largest trade partner and biggest foreign
investor, he said.
Greece to issue convertible bonds on Sept. 22
The government will issue new tax-free equity convertible bonds in the
domestic market on September 22 aimed at drawing retail and institutional
investors into its privatisation drive.
Issue of the new bonds, named Prometoha, is aimed at spurring the
government's wide-ranging privatisation scheme, which it has promised the
European Union in order to gain entry into economic and monetary union by
The bonds are a new investment product that reproduce the low-risk status
of government securities, at the same time offering optional conversion
into the shares of any state firms joining the Athens Stock Exchange from
January 1, 1999, the finance mini stry said yesterday.
The new bonds will offer high yields due to a fixed, competitive interest
rate. They are tax-free whether they are converted into equity at any point
after January 1, 1999, or held until expiry and then encashed, the ministry
said in a statement.
The minimum investment is 100,000 drachmas, and the bonds, issued in
electronic form, are negotiable. Registration is by book entry.
The paper allows an immediate preferential option on any stock of firms
privatised through the bourse.
Greek stocks creep down in thin, edgy trade
Greek equities ended slightly lower in nervous trade on the Athens Stock
Traders said investors stayed on the sidelines due to lingering uncertainty
over the fallout in international markets of a crisis in Russia coupled
with doubts that the government could successfully carry out its privatisation
The general index ended 0.17 percent lower at 2,210.36 in low turnover of
36.5 billion drachmas.
Sector indices mostly lost ground.
Banks fell 0.45 percent, Insurance eased 1.29 percent, Investment was 0.28
percent off, Leasing plunged 3.76 percent, Construction dropped 1.08
percent, Miscellaneous ended 0.54 percent lower, and Holding fell 1.63
percent, but Industrials bucked the tr end to end 0.90 percent up.
The parallel market index for small cap companies jumped 1.89 percent, and
the FTSE/ASE 20 index eased 0.38 percent to 1,342.90 points.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 131 to 104 with another 22 issues
Macedonian Mills, Eltrak, Mosholios Chemicals, Boutaris, Singular and Remek
scored the biggest percentage gains hitting the daily 8.0 percent limit
National Bank of Greece ended at 41,010 drachmas, Ergobank at 24,675, Alpha
Credit Bank at 24,190, Ionian Bank at 10,700, Hellenic Telecoms at 6,850,
Delta Dairy at 3,260, Intracom at 11,200, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,680 and
Titan Cement at 18,850.
Results positive in organic grape project, researcher says
Results in a pilot programme for the organic production of grapes on the
island of Crete are positive, Agricultural Science Professor Nikos
Roditakis, the head of the project, told the Athens News Agency yesterday.
The project, which was financed by the European Union's Interreg II
programme, was based on a pilot application for grapes used to produce wine
The application aims to combat vine-moths (Lobesia botrana) with biological
means through bacillus thuiniensis soil dusting before sowing.
The project was carried out on 43 stremmas of "soultanina" variety raisins
and 47 stremmas of wine-grapes with the distribution of 1,000 kilos of
bacillus to 24 wine grape and raisin producers in 13 villages throughout
the prefecture of Iraklion, Crete in all crop seasons.
Agricultural guidelines were adhered to in the programme, which was
directed by scientists.
An evaluation of results on completion of the cultivating season showed
that soil-dusting with bacillus before sowing produced equal or better
results than the use of chemicals to combat vine-moths.
The producers who participated in the programme said that they would
continue with the bacillus method.
Greece-Japan commercial transactions
Greece's economic and commercial transactions with Japan have left a
deficit for Greece since the value of Japanese products imported into
Greece in 1996 amounted to about 712 million ECU, while Greece's exports
were valued at 65 million ECU.
This was announced by the Japanese Overseas Trade Organisation which is
participating in the 63rd Thessaloniki International Fair.
The purpose of the participation is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of
the conclusion of a friendship, commerce and shipping agreement between
Greece and Japan in 1898.
The Japanese market is showing particular interest in such Greek products
as wine and olive oil, as well as in products having high added value such
as health food.
Greek ready-made clothes promoted in Germany
The Greek Overseas Trade Organisation (OPE) carried out a big advertising
campaign in Germany during the June-August 1998 period this year in the
framework of promoting readymade clothes in the German market.
OPE successfully organised and carried out Greek participation in the
international readymade clothes exhibition CPD in Duesseldorf.
The exhibition is considered the most important of its kind in Europe with
47,000 commercial visitors from all over the world and was held between
Simitis holds talks with Cypriot EDEK party leader
Vassos Lyssarides, leader of the Greek Cypriot socialist EDEK party,
proposed a review of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the continuing
occupation of Cyprus by occupation forces as well as secrecy over the
arming of Cyprus.
Mr. Lyssarides, who was speaking after holding talks with Prime Minister
Costas Simitis at the Maximos Mansion yesterday, said that "the Cyprus
issue is an issue of invasion and occupation and not missiles", adding that
any other consideration of the is sue helps Turkey and those desiring a
perpetuation of the present situation.
On the question of the deployment of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft
missiles in Cyprus, Mr. Lyssarides said that "logic says that the less is
said so much the better.
The missiles should have been in Cyprus and nobody should have known about
them. We must not speak about details of defence preparations."
Pangalos meets with US envoy for Cyprus
Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday received U.S. State
Department special coordinator for the Cyprus problem Thomas Miller.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and U.S. ambassador to Athens
Nicholas Burns were present at the meeting.
No statements were made afterwards.
Finnish president begins four-day visit to Athens on Monday
The President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari will start a four-day visit to
Athens on Monday and will be received by President Kostis Stephanopoulos
and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
The Finnish president will be accompanied by a 13-member mission of
representatives of companies producing paper, timber and high technology,
In a statement to the Athens News Agency (ANA), President Ahtisaari said
that the economies of the two countries are supplementary, which provides
opportunities for further differentiation as well as an increase in their
He said that Finland is interested in promoting high technology and know-
how products in shipbuilding in the Greek market. He added that Greece is
the most popular summer travel destination for the Finns.
The visit by the president of Finland coincides with the economic and
political crisis in Russia, which provides Greece with the opportunity of
having full information on the issue and in particular on the repercussions
of the crisis in the region of northeastern Europe and the Baltic since
Finland, due to its position, has a clearer picture of developments in
Finland is also showing great interest over developments in the Balkans and
Cyprus. Replying to a question by the ANA, President Ahtisaari termed
relations between Greece and Finland and being good and without problems,
although they are somewh at distant due to their geographical position at
the two ends of Europe.
President Ahtisaari's stay in Greece will be concluded on September 17 with
a visit to Crete from where he will be returning home.
Tsohatzopoulos announces new conscription system
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos announced a new system of
appointments and transfers for soldiers yesterday due to take effect from
the next conscription class and by which every conscript will be obliged to
spend nine months of his military service in the Evros border region or on
border islands. He will then be transferred to a unit having a distance of
300 km at the most from the place of his choice.
To offset the increase in border service for conscripts, the new regulation
establishes an obligatory leave of absence of a small duration every two
months (in addition to normal leave), as well as free tickets on all means
of transport for all soldiers . Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that the principle
of six-month service in border areas in effect to date "was vindicated
because there was social acceptance and because it was observed to a great
The new measure was considered necessary due to the demographic problem
faced by the country and for the planning of a flexible and effective
military requiring an increased presence of troops on the borders with
Draft law on national land register tabled in parliament
A draft law on the national land register was tabled in Parliament by the
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry yesterday, anticipating
the gradual abolition of mortgage registers and their replacement by land
The draft law also defines that the final registration of real estate in a
land register will take place five years after the initial statement has
been made, while real estate not registered will be considered as being of
unknown ownership and will come under the ownership of the state.
A report accompanying the draft bill said that main legislation is being
supplemented for the modernisation of the publicity system for all real
estate in the country.
The land register has also created 2,400 new jobs all over the country for
a period of about 2.5 years.
Study shows Greeks least satisfied with their public health system
A London School of Economics European wide study has shown that Greeks are
the least satisfied with their public health system, since only 15.5 per
cent of them stated they are content with the existing system.
According to the study, Denmark's health system is the most successful
according to the citizens of that country, with a 90.6 per cent of them
stating their satisfaction in the system.
These as well as other findings were discussed yesterday during a
conference on "The priorities in health policy," taking place in Athens.
The study revealed that the percentage of satisfaction rose in direct
proportion to the funds allocated for health services.
Good weather with scattered clouds in most parts of the country today with
increased cloudiness in the eastern and northern regions. Athens partly
cloudy with temperatures between 20-29C. Same in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 19-26C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 290.170
British pound 484.751 Japanese yen (100) 214.728
French franc 50.749 German mark 170.103
Italian lira (100) 17.229 Irish Punt 426.163
Belgian franc 8.248 Finnish mark 55.919
Dutch guilder 150.734 Danish kr. 44.648
Austrian sch. 24.183 Spanish peseta 2.005
Swedish kr. 36.466 Norwegian kr. 37.875
Swiss franc 207.194 Port. Escudo 1.661
Aus. dollar 170.279 Can. dollar 192.486
Cyprus pound 573.594