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Athens News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-09-19

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, 19/09/1999 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Central bank governor cautions investors
  • Homeless to get shelter soon - Laliotis
  • Bucharest plane accident claims 7th victim
  • Greek children the fattest, survey says
  • Greek-Cyprus Defence ministers reconfirm defence policies
  • Venizelos on Thessanloniki's industrial development
  • Fifth 'Athens Summit' honours four pre-eminent int'l personalities
  • Majko discusses ethnic Greeks' problems in Gjirokaster
  • Culture ministry retrieves stolen wreath
  • Equities end historic week on high note
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Central bank governor cautions investors

The governor of Greece's central bank has expressed some reservations about the recent upward surge of share prices on the Athens Stock Exchange, according to statements published in Sunday's Kathimerini newspaper. Lucas Papademos, the governor of the Bank of Greece, said he was concerned about the continuing rise of share prices of companies "with limited or non- existent profits, without worthy fixed assets and with uncertain economic prospects." The Athens Stock Exchange has boomed in recent months, with the general price index rising 2,000 points since June . Fuelling the boom has been the injection of capital from new investors around the country, particularly rural areas.

Homeless to get shelter soon - Laliotis

Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis said on Sunday that work was proceeding apace on providing housing for an estimated 50,000 people left homeless by the September 7 earthquake. Laliotis said 130 settlements would be established in the Metamorphossi area in some 15 days for the use of the area's homeless. In eight to 10 weeks, the minister added, the ministry will have established 4,000 settlements of pre-fabricated homes in all the areas hit by the quake. The Sept. 7 quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale and killed 139 people; most were killed when buildings, including factories and high-rise apartment buildings, collapsed.

Bucharest plane accident claims 7th victim

A cameraman seriously injured in the plane accident that claimed the life of Alternate Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis and five other people earlier this week succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. Panayiotis Poulos, 52, a cameraman with Greek Television, died of heart failure shortly before 1 p.m., doctors at the General State Hospital said. Poulos had been listed as critical since the accident on Tuesday evening which occured as the prime ministerial Falcon prepared to land in Bucharest. For reasons as yet not clear, the plane plummeted thousands of feet, killing six people immediately - Kranidiotis and his 23-year-old son, a bodygurad, two journalists and the flight engineer. Still hospitalised and listed as critical is Kranidiotis's diplomatic office director Grigoris Papadopoulos, who is suffering from cranial injuries.

Greek children the fattest, survey says

Greek children are among the fattest in the world, according to the results of a survey revealed at Thessaloniki pan-European conference on obesity. According to the study of children aged 13 from eight countries around the world, Greek children, and particularly girls, had the highest body mass of all. They were followed by children from Kuwait, the U.S., Germany, Finland, Holland, Kenya and Thailand. A Greek-based study meanwhile, showed that four in 10 Greek children below the age of 10 were overweight, with girls more obese than boys their age. Experts say this bodes ill for adult health as childhood obesity is a signpost to adult obesity and an indicator of a range of adult illnesses.

Greek-Cyprus Defence ministers reconfirm defence policies

Greece and Cyprus reconfirmed their joint defence policy on Saturday, during discussions between Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his Cypriot counterart Sokratis Hasikou, in Athens. The two ministers focused on the further support of the existing security and defence policies and the European prospect of Cyprus, which is one of the candidate European Union members-states, while they also discussed cooperation in military training and equipment.

Venizelos on Thessanloniki's industrial development

Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday, speaking in a conference entitled "Development in Thessaloniki stressed the importance of industrial development in northern Greece with the creation of two new high technology units, a chemical and a film production one.

Fifth 'Athens Summit' honours four pre-eminent int'l personalities

The UN special representative for Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, world-acclaimed actor Peter Ustinov and well-known film directors Jules Dassin and Bernardo Bertolucci were honoured last night by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos during an event in Athens. The four individuals were awarded prizes for their contribution towards enhancing human values throughout the world, during the opening ceremony of the 5th "Athens Summit".

Majko discusses ethnic Greeks' problems in Gjirokaster

Albanian Prime Minister Panteli Majko yesterday visited the southern Albanian town to discuss the problems of the ethnic Greek minority in the region. The visit followed Prime Minister Costas Simitis' recent visit to Albania, when relevant issues were discussed. Mr. Majko said Tirana over the past two years has treated the ethnic Greek minority with "realism", which is founded on cooperation and not just statements based on international agreements.

Culture ministry retrieves stolen wreath

Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi on Friday announced the return of a priceless golden wreath stolen from a regional museum earlier this year, the second time this week that stolen Greek artefacts have been returned. Papazoi said the Hellenistic-era wreath was now in the hands of the authorities on the island of Evia. The wreath was stolen on June 25 this year from the island's Halkida Archaeological Museum. According to police, the wreath was stolen by a 23-year-old unemployed man who had hidden the object in his home in Politika on the island while he negotiated with prospective buyers. On Tuesday, Papazoi announced that U.S. authorities had found most of the artefacts stolen from one of Greece's most important archaeological museums almost a decade ago and were preparing to return them.

Equities end historic week on high note

Equity prices ended an historic week to new records on the Athens Stock Exchange led by strong gains in the banks sector, although some late profit taking slowed an initial rally. The general index ended 0.53 percent higher at 6,355.04 points, sharply off the day's highs of 6,484.38 points. It was its 53rd record closing this year and the sixth in a row. Turnover was a massive 550 billion drachmas. The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 1.69 percent off, while the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.65 percent to 3,270.85 points.

WEATHER

Cloudy weather is forecast for Greece on Sunday, while later in the day there is a chance of showers in the western, north and central regions of the country. Winds will be westerly, light to moderate. Cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging from 19C to 27C. Thessaloniki will be cloudy with a chance of rain later in the day and temperatures ranging from 17C to 25C.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Monday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          310.962
Pound sterling       503.638
Japanese yen (100)   289.902
French franc          49.354
German mark          165.525
Italian lira (100)    16.720
Irish Punt           411.064
Belgian franc          8.025
Finnish mark          54.449
Dutch guilder        146.906
Danish kr.            43.547
Austrian sch.         23.527
Spanish peseta         1.945
Swedish kr.           37.412
Norwegian kr.         39.313
Swiss franc          201.927
Port. Escudo           1.615
Can. dollar          210.899
Aus. dollar          201.817
Cyprus pound         560.976
Euro                 323.739
(M.P.)
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