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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 05/02/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • January inflation slips to 3.7pct
  • Coast Guard finds two bodies of missing crew
  • Bomb attack on Greek journalist's car
  • Thessaloniki Metro contract signed
  • British EuroMP calls for Marbles' return
  • US Info Resource Centre
  • Greek equities resume upward course
  • Bond auction announced
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

January inflation slips to 3.7pct

Year-on-year inflation marked a new drop in January, falling to 3.7 per cent from 3.9 per cent in December 1998, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said on Friday. According to the NSS, inflation will continue to fall in February also. The January inflation figure was shaped by price drops in clothing and footwear (9.2 per cent), durable goods (2.9), services (1.4) and housing (0.3). Increases were recorded in the categories of foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages (1.8), alcoholic drinkgs and tobacco (0.7) and hotels, cafes and restaurants (1.1).

Coast Guard finds two bodies of missing crew

Coast guard authorities said on Friday they had found two bodies off the island of Kythnos, most likely members of the seven crew of the trawler Lyberius, which has been missing since January 24. The Lyberius, with two Greek seamen and five Egyptian workers aboard, set sail from the port of Keratsini, near Piraeus, on January 23. It was last seen on Sunday evening off the coast of the island of Santorini by another fishing boat. Coast guard authorities said the Lyberius was one of the most modern vessels in the fishing fleet and suspect that it was rammed without warning by a larger vessel which then continued on its way.

Bomb attack on Greek journalist's car

A makeshift incendiary device early this morning caused serious damage to a car belonging to the publisher of a local newspaper in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece. The device comprised two small gas cannisters and a wad of cloth soaked in gasoline. It had been placed under the car of Yiannis Laskarakis, publisher of the newspaper "Gnomi", which was parked outside his home. The device exploded at 2 a.m. local time and the ensuing fire was extinguished shortly afterwards by firemen before it spread to other cars parked nearby. Describing the arson as a "terrorist" attack, Laskarakis linked it with a three-day meeting of Greek and Turkish journalists scheduled to begin today in Komotini.

Thessaloniki Metro contract signed

A 220 billion dr. contract for construction of the Thessaloniki Metro was signed today between environment and public works minister Costas Laliotis and representatives of the "Thessaloniki Metro" consortium led by the French firm Bouygues. Work on the 10-kilometre-long project is slated to begin next month, after parliamentary ratification of the contract. Construction is anticipated to take five years, with the Metro ready for operation by the fall of 2004. The consortium will exploit the Metro for 20 years, after which ownership and exploitation will revert to the Greek State.

British EuroMP calls for Marbles' return

A British EuroMP today called for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and urged the British government to make every effort in that direction. The Marbles, dating back to the 5th century BC, were removed from the Parthenon by the British diplomat Lord Elgin with permission from the local Ottoman occupation administrators. British MP Alf Lomas has played a key role in lobbying for a petition signed on Jan. 15 by 339 Eurodeputies for the return of the Parthenon friezes. He will be the guest of honour at a reception hosted by a group of Greek EuroMPs tonight, and be received by President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos in the early afternoon.

US Info Resource Centre

The US Information Service (USIS) in Athens boosted information access regarding practically every facet of the United States squarely into the 21st Century yesterday, detailing the various computerised and on-line services available at its fourth-floor Massalias street premises. Geared toward professionals in Greece (academics, Greek government officials, the media, NGOs and US embassy personnel, among others) much of the IRC's information can be accessed over the Internet, while for on-site research an appointment needs to be made. For specific information, queries should be sent by e-mail to irc&usisathens.gr or by telephone at 36.38.114 and 36.37.740. Its website is www.usisathens.gr

Greek equities resume upward course

Greek equities resumed their upward course to end the last trading session of the week moderately higher. The general index ended 0.44 percent up to 3, 307.62 points reversing an initial 2.0 percent decline. It ended the week 5.02 percent higher. Turnover was a record 238.6 billion drachmas and volume 37,664,420 shares, boosted by the transfer of Xiosbank's 10,498,260 shares, worth 98.172 billion drachmas from Vardinoyiannis family to Bank of Piraeus. The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 2.21 percent up while the FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 0.10 percent up to 2, 104.97.

Bond auction announced

The finance ministry said today it will auction two new issues of three- and six-month Treasury bills, worth 40 billion drachmas each, in electronic form next Tuesday. The auction will take place in the domestic market of primary dealers. The ministry will pay a premium of 0.15 percent for three- month T-bills and 0.25 percent for six-month securities.

WEATHER

Overcast weather is forecast in most parts of Greece today with scattered rain in the east and south. Winds variable, moderate to strong. Mostly sunny in Athens with temperatures ranging between 2-13C. Overcast in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 0-10C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 283.166 Pound sterling 463.581 Japanese yen (100) 249.428 French franc 48.642 German mark 163.136 Italian lira (100) 16.478 Irish Punt 405.132 Belgian franc 7.909 Finnish mark 53.663 Dutch guilder 144.786 Danish kr. 42.908 Austrian sch. 23.187 Spanish peseta 1.918 Swedish kr. 35.849 Norwegian kr. 36.906 Swiss franc 199.070 Port. Escudo 1.591 Aus. dollar 181.114 Can. dollar 187.706 Cyprus pound 549.568

(M.P.)


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