Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-10-23
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 23/10/1998 (ANA)
- Europarliament votes to eliminate frozen credits for Turkey
- Pangalos arrives in Moscow for bilateral talks
- New navy landing vessel launched
- Turkish warplanes attempt to disrupt Greece-Cyprus manoeuvres
- Int'l conference on Med cooperation opens in Alexandroupolis
- OTE flotation presented in New York
- IOBE: Greece's prospects for EMU accession
- Parliament approves bill on Land Register
- Stocks end higher
- Panafon, Telestet focus on ASE listing
- Greek companies purchase majority share of FYROM bottler
- Foreign exchange
NEWS IN DETAIL
Europarliament votes to eliminate frozen credits for Turkey
The European Parliament yesterday adopted an amendment by the Budget
Committee eliminating credits earmarked for Turkey from the EU's budget
reserves, citing a lack of legal ground.
In the past, such credits to Turkey were "frozen", pending acceptance of
terms and conditions set by the Union. Eurodeputies voted 365 for the
amendment, 165 against, while 10 abstained.
PASOK Eurodeputy Yiannis Roumbatis said that the vote proved that Euro-MPs
were not willing to "overlook human rights violations, the oppression of
the Kurdish people, the dissolving of every sense of democracy and the
threatening attitude of Turkey to ward a member-state, in the name of
Main opposition New Democracy Eurodeputy Timos Christodoulou said that
yesterday's vote should not lead us to joyful celebrations, since the
Council of Ministers can create the legal grounds, thereby overturning the
decision of the Euro-Parliament.
He added that what is important for Greece is to decide what policy it will
follow within and outside the Union,so as not to provide arguments to the
Commission, which yesterday approved a financial protocol towards Turkey,
claiming that Greece accepted such decisions at the Cardiff summit.
Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) Eurodeputy Alekos
Alavanos said that EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek and the Commission as
a whole yesterday received a strong political answer from the Europarliament
in regards to Turkey's funding.
Mr. Alavanos added that he hoped the Europarliament will in the same way
discard the "new regulations of the Commission".
Pangalos arrives in Moscow for bilateral talks
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos arrived in Moscow yesteday for talks
with the new Russian government including the situation in the Balkans and
Greek-Russian economic cooperation.
He will also sign two cooperation agreements, one on cooperation between
the foreign ministry archives of the two countries, and one on mutually
upgrading each other's consulates.
Mr. Pangalos arrived in Moscow after a one-day visit to Chisinau, Moldova,
where he had similar talks with the Moldovan government.
The Chisinau talks with the president, prime minister, foreign minister and
parliament president of Moldova focussed mainly on bilateral realtions, EU-
Moldova relations, and regional issues.
At present there are 33 Greek enterprises active in Modova, while the
Commercial Bank of Greece recently opened a branch there.
Greek companies have undertaken the construction of a petrol terminal on
the Danube, while Greek private telecom Intracom has organised the Lotto
numbers lottery in Modlova and the Hellenic Bottling Company (3E) has
opened a Coca-Cola bottling plant.
Speaking in Moscow at a joint press conference with Mr. Pangalos, Russian
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov issued a strong warning to what he called
Albanian "terrorists" in the Serbian province of Kosovo to conform with the
decisions of the United Nations an d the six-nation Contact Group on the
Mr. Pangalos too expressed concern at the recent upsurge in military
activities of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army.
Agreeing with Mr. Ivanov, Mr. Pangalos underlined the need for "balanced
rather than one-sided initiatives", adding that it had been necessary to
discourage the use of "excessive force" by Belgrade while taking measures
to prevent "terrorist acts" by the Albanian side.
Mr. Ivanov and Mr. Pangalos signed two protocols, one providing for the
establishment of a Greek consulate general in Moscow and a Russian one in
Greece, and the other for the preparation and joint issuing of a collection
of documents from the historical archives of the two countries' foreign
New navy landing vessel launched
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday said that five new
Hellenic Navy landing vessels will cover the armed forces' need for
continued and stable sea transport of personnel and military equipment.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' statements came during the launching of the navy's
newest landing ship, delivered yesterday at the Elefsina shipyards.
The new vessel, "Ikaria", will be inducted by 1999, while its sister vessel,
"Lesvos", will be inducted within the first few months of 1999.
These "Samos" type ships can trasport 17 amphibious vehicles, 15 trucks, a
helicopter and 245 troops.
Meanwhile, talks were expected to begin between the general armaments
directorship and the Elefsina Shipyards for the construction of three
torpedo boats and a fuel trasport ship, while based on a separate decision
of the Government Council of Foreing A ffiars and Defence (KYSEA), the
Skaramanga Shipyards will build submarines for the navy in cooperation with
a foreign shipyard.
Turkish warplanes attempt to disrupt Greece-Cyprus manoeuvres
An unprecedented number of Turkish fighter jets on Thursday violated Greek
and Cypriot air space during an ongoing joint military exercise between
Greek and Cypriot forces.
The violations coincided with the Greek military exercise, code-named
"Toxotis", and the Cypriot National Guard exercise "Nikiforos", in the sea
region between Rhodes, Crete and Cyprus.
The manoeuvres are taking place within the framework of the two countries'
joint defence doctrine.
According to reports, 80 Turkish warplanes, mostly F-16s, infringed on
Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and Nicosia FIR regulations in an
attempt to obstruct flights to Cyprus by Greek fighter jets participating
in the exercises. On all occasions , the Turkish jets, all of which were
reportedly armed, were intercepted by Greek jets.
Meanwhile, Greek fighters and bombers took part in yesterday's third day of
the "Nikiforos '98" exercise.
A total of four F-16 fighter jets and two A-7 Corsair bombers flew over
Nicosia, while fighters hit mock targets in the Nicosia area and will, at a
later phase use live ammunition during the manoeuvres, which end on
The joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece provides for Greek air,
sea and land cover in case of a fresh Turkish offensive against Cyprus.
Int'l conference on Med cooperation opens in Alexandroupolis
Delegates from 35 countries, observers from another 45 and various
ministers are convening in Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, as of
yesterday within the framework of the 3rd International Conference on
Mediterranean Cooperation and Development.
The event was inaugurated by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
In his address, Mr. Papandreou stressed the special significance attributed
by Greece to cultural issues, believing that the human dimension of
cooperation and the promotion of the role played by non-governmental
organisations and the society of citizens constitute a safe path for the
building of confidence and solidarity between peoples in the region.
Referring to cooperation between the peoples in the region, he said that
its target must be the exploitation of the comparative advantages possessed
by the specific region for its development and its turning into a strong
Mr. Papandreou said that structural weaknesses, the worsening of the
economic situation, as well as the demographic explosion, frequently lead
to social tensions, an increase in the emigration wave, the strengthening
of Islamic fundamentalism and the use of political force.
Securing conditions of law and order, strengthening trade transactions,
securing conditions of an open economy which will be based on the
principles of the free market and attracting international investments of
prestige, both by securing conditions of political and economic normalcy
and the provision of incentives, are those basic preconditions, according
to main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, for the
countries in the wider Mediterranean and Balkan region to develop
OTE flotation presented in New York
Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) managing director George
Chrysolouris yesterday launched the presentation of the organisation's 10
percent flotation in the New York Stock Exchange to more than 70 institutional
investors of North America, managing more than $6 trillion.
Yesterday's presentation of the issue, which will be managed by Salomon
Smith Berney, the National Bank of Greece and Credit Suisse First Boston,
was on the whole positively received.
The flotation will take simultaneously on November 2 in Greece, the US and
Canada, while the price range will be announced on Sunday, October
Public subscription in Greece will tgake place between October 26 and 30,
on the basis of the share's highest price.
IOBE: Greece's prospects for EMU accession
Greece's prospects of joining a Economic and Monetary Union have declined
compared with the previous months of 1998, the Institute for Economic and
Industrial Research (IOBE) said in its latest quarterly economic report.
The report said that "the Greek economy is on track to participate in EMU,
although its chances were lower compared with the previous months."
IOBE's reservations referred mainly to the possibilities of achieving the
inflation and interest rates criteria.
The institute notes that Greece needed structural reforms in privatisation
and liberalising domestic markets.
The government, although acknowledging the need for such changes, faces
difficulties in implementing the right policies because it is caught in a
cross-fire, it said.
"On the one hand is the need for real economic convergence and on the other,
political opposition inside and outside the government," the report
Stock market's prospects remain positive, despite a negative international
situation, on the condition that a current international market volatility
will not deteriorate, it said.
IOBE predicted that the outcome in recent municipal elections would
increase difficulties in implementing a structural reforms programme in
Parliament approves bill on Land Register
Parliament voted in principle a bill on drafting the country's first ever
land register submitted by the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works
The draft bill provides for the organisation of all legal, technical and
other information on all property in Greece.
All political parties voted in favour of the bill except the Communist
Party of Greece (KKE), which said that the project was not capable to help
in the country's development.
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis
pledged that the land register project would be included in a third
Community Support Framework.
He said he expected the project to absorb 200 billion drachmas in EU funds
in the period 2000-2006.
He noted that since 1836 the state has voted almost 4,000 bills and decrees
but the country has not yet managed to develop a full land register.
Mr. Laliotis said that the project has created 9,500 new jobs with an
average employment period of 24-30 months.
Stocks end higher
Greek equities ended higher on the Athens Stock Exchange although some
profit taking slowed the market's advance.
The general index ended 0.44 percent higher to 2,097.05 points in thin
turnover of 35 billion drachmas. Volume was 11,001,000 shares.
Sector indices were mixed. Banks rose 0.85 percent, Insurance fell 0.10
percent, Investment increased 2.0 percent, Leasing dropped 2.30 percent,
Industrials fell 0.15 percent, Construction eased 0.20 percent, Miscellaneous
jumped 2.26 percent and Holding rose 1.35 percent.
The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.87 percent
Broadly, advancers narrowly led decliners by 122 to 117 with another 17
Panafon, Telestet focus on ASE listing
Two out of the three mobile phone operators in Greece, Panafon and Telestet,
have entered the final stages for potential listing on the Athens Stock
Panafon, joining through public subscriptions, is taking advantage of a new
legal framework and is estimating that approval procedures will be
expedited to allow for public subscriptions in mid November.
Telestet will not join through public subscriptions since the multinational
subsidiary is using the legal framework for simultaneous introduction of
shares already introduced in the several other EU member-states' bourses.
Panafon announced a 62.7 per cent increase in consolidated revenues for the
first half of 1998, while turnover reached 90.4 billion drachmas,
corresponding to 69.1 per cent of total revenue for 1997 (130.8 billion
The consolidated financial data include Panavox, after Panafon bought all
of its shares in December 1997.
The third mobile phone operator is Cosmote, a subsidiary of the Hellenic
Telecommunications Organisation (OTE).
Greek companies purchase majority share of FYROM bottler
The Hellenic Bottling Company and Athinaiki Brewery have signed an
agreement with the AD Pivara Skopje company for the purchase of 51 per cent
of that company's shares.
3E has sent a letter to the Athens Stock Exchange notifying of the
The Pivara company produces and sells Coca Cola products (Coca Cola, Fanta
and Sprite) and the Scopcko and Star Lisec beers in Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Pivara's products hold the biggest percentage of the market in FYROM.
Scattered cloud will prevail throughout Greece today with the possibility
of light rain in the north of the country. Winds variable, light to
moderate, turning strong in the Aegean Sea. Athens will be sunny with few
clouds and temperatures between 15-23C. Drizzle in Thessaloniki with
temperatures from 13-19C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 279.248
British pound 472.192 Japanese yen (100) 235.640
French franc 50.640 German mark 169.627
Italian lira (100) 17.155 Irish Punt 423.584
Belgian franc 8.227 Finnish mark 55.838
Dutch guilder 150.506 Danish kr. 44.626
Austrian sch. 24.121 Spanish peseta 1.997
Swedish kr. 36.069 Norwegian kr. 37.803
Swiss franc 207.194 Port. Escudo 1.653
Aus. dollar 174.790 Can. dollar 180.802
Cyprus pound 573.396