|Saturday, 23 January 2021|
Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-07-23
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
Athens, Greece, 23/07/1999 (ANA)
NEWS IN DETAILKaramanlis says government panicking
Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said on Friday that the government had gone into "panic" after last month's European Parliament elections.
Addressing a meeting of presidents of the party's prefectural committees, Karamanlis criticised government policy across the board in domestic as well as foreign affairs.
He epxressed concern over the Greek-Turkish dialogue that opens Monday, saying the government was being "dragged by pressure, recommendations, lack of strategy and weaknesses into a dialogue without guarantees and conditions", adding that the government's track record did not allow "confidence in its handling, as the balance has tipped against" Greece.
Karamanlis said further backdowns and concessions would not be tolerated as "the government supposedly makes gestures of goodwill and at the same time Turkey escalates the tension", and reiterated his call for establishing a Foreign Policy Council.
European Socialists prepare positions for Sarajevo summit
National Defence Minister and European Socialist Party vice-president Akis Tsohatzopoulos has set out four points that European socialists should put forth as their finalised proposal at the European Union's upcoming Balk an conference in Sarajevo.
He made the statement in Vienna last night after the start to the European socialist and social democrat parties' two-day Balkan summit.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said this policy should be based primarily on the need for the recognition and non-violation of existing borders and, secondly, on the need for support for democratic institutions, human freedoms and human rights as a basic ingredient for the operation of all Balkan states.
He also referred to the need for support in Balkan states for the implementation with EU funds of an integrated plan for the productive reconstruction of Balkan countries as a third point.
Lastly, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the EU should guarantee the common prospects of all Balkan states towards the EU through special processes which will recognise the strategic importance the accession of all Balkan states in common European prospects has for Europe.
Apart from Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, PASOK is also represented at the ESP's summit by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis.
Kranidiotis at OSCE
Alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday submitted Greece's proposal to assume the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) presidency in 2004 to the permanent council of the 54 member-states at the OSCE's headquarters in Vienna.
Greece's proposal is already being viewed positively by the organisation's member-states following yesterday's development.
The representatives of a number of countries, including the US and Russia, expressed positive positions, after Mr. Kranidiotis presented the proposal, and praised Greece's role in the recent crisis in Yugoslavia, as well as its wider role in guaranteeing security and peace in the region.
Mr. Kranidiotis said the year 2004 when Greece intends to assume the OSCE's presidency is the year of the Olympic Games for Greece, as well as the year immediately after Greece's presidency at the European Union.
He added that it is an important year, just as the role of the OSCE presidency is very important and substantive since it also has a political and executive content.
Gov't condemns Ankara's recent provocations, talks still scheduled
The government yesterday attributed Ankara's stance over recent days, especially the harassment by Turkish warplanes of a civil aircraft carrying Transport Minister Tassos Mantelis, to "circumstances whereby intiatives are being manifested for the settlement of various issues." Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said these issues included the Cyprus problem, the Kurdish issue and Greek-Turkish relations.
Mr. Reppas said another example of Turkey's stance was the neighbouring country's issuing of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) requesting that certain areas of the Aegean be reserved for Turkish air and naval exercises during the two-month moratorium on military flights over the Aegean in the summer, something agreed to in the past by Athens and Ankara.
Two Turkish F-16s on Wednesday infringed on Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) regulations and harassed an aircraft carrying Mr. Mantelis from Larnaca to Athens. The incident took place at an altitude of 28,000 feet south-east of Rhodes in air corri dor RED-19, which connects Larnaca with the Dodecanese island.
The harassment was also roundly condemned by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who added however, that it would not affect efforts for a de- escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey.
Varvitsiotis sues Lambrakis press group over Litton probe
New Democracy deputy and former defence minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Lambrakis press group for defamation, following recent reports in the morning daily "To Vima" over an ongoing investigation regarding commissions by US defence contractor Litton in 1993.
The newspaper reported that Litton paid 12 million dollars in commissions to secure a contract for the supply of spare parts for Greece's F-16 fighters and while Mr. Varvitsiotis was defence minister.
"To Vima" quoted relevant court proceedings against Litton in a US federal court.
Mr. Varvitsiotis is seeking 500 million drachmas in damages,pledging to donate all the proceeds to charity in the event he wins the lawsuit.
Referee tells police of death threats
A well-known soccer referee who was shot twice in the leg told police on Friday that he had recently received death threats which however had stopped around Easter.
Yiannis Spathas, 45, was shot by two men on a motorbike in Drapetsona near Piraeus on Thursday morning. He is in stable condition after an operation to remove one bullet.
Spathas, who is president of the Piraeus Referees' Association, reportedly told the police today that "the state should look to see who have been creating problems in (Greek football) referreeing of late" if it wanted the attackers to be apprehended.
Turk arrested after crossing to Samos on lilo
A Turk was arrested in the area of Kerveli on Samos on Friday after crossing to the eastern Aegean island on a lilo without any travel documents.
Ibrahim Kaya, who had set out from the promontory of Mycale on the nearby coast of Asia Minor, was expected to appear before a public prosecutor on Samos later in the day and charged with illegally entering the country.
There is speculation that Kaya, who has not requested political asylum, was trying to avoid compulsory military service in Turkey.
Stocks hit new high in wake of correction
Equities posted a new record high yesterday after a technical correction lasting two sessions, taking the market beyond 4,500 points.
The general index ended 1.29 percent higher at 4,528.97 points from 4, 471.22 points a day earlier.
Turnover was 167.869 billion drachmas from 164.127 billion drachmas in the previous session. Changing hands were 27,923,073 shares.
Again attracting investors were small and medium capitalisation stocks. Players mostly fought shy of banking shares.
Sector indices ended as follows: Banks (+0.60 pct), Leasing (+1.79 pct), Insurance (+1.33 pct), Investment (+1.93 pct), Construction (+2.13 pct), Industrials (+0.92 pct), Miscellaneous (+3.49 pct) and Holding (+5.20 pct).
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 3.95 percent higher. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips gained 1.06 percent to finish at 2,654.61 points.
Of 298 shares traded, advances outpaced declines at 231 to 56 with 11 issues unchanged.
National Bank of Greece ended at 22,300 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 22, 105, Bank of Piraeus at 9,160, Ergobank at 40,500, Titan Cement (commom) at 30,530, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,910 and Intracom (common) at 21,390 drachmas.
Information technology market jumps 34.3 pct
The domestic information technology market grew by 34.3 percent in 1998, the highest percentage increase in 10 years, according to a survey released yesterday.
The survey by Strategic International/K.Kataras SA said the market was worth 276.7 billion drachmas last year.
The rate of increase is expected to decline in coming years, but not below 15 percent.
The market's explosive rise in 1998 was due mainly to three factors, the survey said.
For the first time, personal computers appeared in the market that cost less than 300,000 drachmas, expanding the customer base.
In addition, wider use of the Internet in Greece spurred sales, coupled with lower prices for personal computers.
Finally, debate on the "millennium problem" led many companies to buy new hardware and software, again stimulating sales.
Bank of Cyprus gets central bank OK ahead of bourse entry
The Bank of Cyprus Group yesterday received permission from the island republic's central bank to alter the status of share capital that would allow entry into the Athens Stock Exchange.
The Bank of Cyprus will call a shareholders' meeting in September to endorse the release of 10 percent of its share capital to Greece, in effect endorsing the move to seek bourse entry.
Gasoline retailers call for price consensus
The Gasoline Retailers Federation of Greece yesterday blamed fuel companies for price excesses in the market that have angered the government.
The federation said in a statement that a gentleman's agreement sought by the state would have to involve concrete commitments on prices by the two other parties involved - fuel producers and the development ministry.
Retail price anomalies seen among filling stations and districts were due to shifting wholesale prices charged by the companies, the statement said.
Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos repeated yesterday that he would slap ceilings on fuel prices if the violations continued. Retail prices should not differ widely from weekly indicative rates released by the ministry, Mr. Venizelos said.
He added that the ceilings would be imposed if prices fluctuations were not reduced by 50 percent in the next ten days.
ANEK orders ships from Norwegian yard
ANEK, a Crete-based passenger shipper, said yesterday it had ordered the construction of two passenger and car ferries from Norway's Fosen shipbuilder.
The cost of the two vessels is 205 million euros. The first ship is due for delivery in October 2000 and the second in May 2001.
The ferries' maximum speed is 30 knots. They have a capacity of 1,850 passengers, 130 trucks and 120 cars.
Aegean Airlines makes deals with foreign airlines
Aegean Airlines announced yesterday that it had forged commercial agreements with a batch of foreign airlines.
The private Greek carrier said the operators were KLM, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Middle East Airlines and Maersk. Aegean Airlines, which launched domestic flights in June, has undertaken to effect the Greek stretch of the airlines routes.
WEATHERFair weather is forecast across the country on Thursday, with cloud cover later in the day in the northwest. Winds will be northerlies mild, while in the Aegean moderate. Temperatures will range from 22-35C in the north, 19- 38C in the mainland and Ionian and 24-31 in the Aegean. Athens will be fair, winds northerly moderate, 23-38C. Thessaloniki will have fair weather, northerly winds mild to moderate and temperatures of 21-35C.
Friday's rates (buying) U.S. dollar 307.004 Pound sterling 484.314 Japanese yen (100) 260.162 French franc 49.144 German mark 164.820 Italian lira (100) 16.649 Irish Punt 409.313 Belgian franc 7.991 Finnish mark 54.217 Dutch guilder 146.280 Danish kr. 43.331 Austrian sch. 23.427 Spanish peseta 1.937 Swedish kr. 36.702 Norwegian kr. 38.902 Swiss franc 200.682 Port. Escudo 1.608 Can. dollar 203.697 Aus. dollar 198.435 Cyprus pound 556.948 Euro 322.360(S.S.)
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