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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-04-06
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Karamanlis - Election Rally - Olympic Stadium06/04/2000 22:57:49
Main opposition New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis on Thursday concluded his campaign for Sunday's general election with an ever stronger appeal seemingly designed to sway other opposition party supporters and undecided voters.
"I ask you to lower the party flags and hoist high the flag of Greece. This is not the time for rejoicing, it is a time for recollection and responsibility. New Democracy does not distinguish between Greeks, its sole criterion is competence and honesty," he said at his party's final rally at the Athens Olympic Stadium.
He rejected suggestions that his party's victory would jeopardise Greece's progress towards joining the euro zone next year.
"We are the authentic expression of a European orientation," he said.
Karamanlis said his party's election victory would spell a break with the past.
"Now is the time for a break with old party mentalities, for mending the inefficient state, the strengthening of the welfare state, a collision with phenomena of corruption and decadence," he said.
 UNESCO-Vardinoyiannis-Bethlehem-ChildrenĘs centre06/04/2000 22:42:44
UNESCO Good Will Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyiannis on Thursday inaugurated a ?Childhood Resource and Training Centre? in Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority ruled region in the West Bank.
The centreĘs construction and operation will be funded by UNESCO and Vardinoyiannis, will include a childrenĘs library, theatre, music resource facility and classrooms in a facility complex along with a kindergarten and a multi-grade school.
President Yasser ArafatĘs representative Dr. Emil Jarjoui, Ms Suha Arafat, BethlehemĘs Mayor Hanna Nasser Said and other notables of the Palestinian Authority and UNESCO were present at the inauguration.
?Children, the citizens of tomorrowĘs world, are worth of a better future,? Vardinoyiannis said, adding ?this is a symbolic gesture at a place symbolising peace ... the most important objective of this centre is to promote the culture and education of peace in this area?.
 Prime Minister-Election speech-Pyrgos06/04/2000 21:59:16
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday said that PASOKĘs main policy aim is the development of rural areas and the support of the income and pensions of farmers.
Addressing a PASOK party rally in Pyrgos, Peloponnese, Simitis accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) of ?discovering? lately the existence of farmers, adding that ND is attempting to harness votes with empty promises.
?Greek agriculture and Greek farmers have PASOK to depend upon for their income,? Simitis said.
?Unlike ND, PASOK knows the problems of the people,? he added, stressing that after the elections he will personally undertake the necessary restructuring of the public sector and services, the health sector, education and in whichever other sector it is necessary.
 Greece-Germany-Foreign Ministers-Hios06/04/2000 20:58:28
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his German counterpart Joschka Fischer on Thursday toured the eastern Aegean island of Hios and discussed Greek-Turkish relations following the European Union Helsinki summit decisions.
Fischer wished success in the Sunday elections to ?his friend George Papandreou?, adding that Greece needs a government with ?European vision, so on Sunday night, if I hear good news for my friend George, I will drink water to his health?.
Responding to a question on the resolution of the Cyprus problem, in light of the up coming meeting of the Association Council of the European Union and Turkey, Papandreou said that this was a political affair.
 Greece-Olympics Day-Anniversary06/04/2000 19:57:23
On the occasion of Greek Olympics Day, the board of the organising committee of the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games in an announcement onThursday said that the 2004 Games in Athens will open new horizons, giving the Games a new cultural and historic dimension.
The organising committee said that it is fully aware of the responsibility it has undertaken, and honours the anniversary of the modern Olympic Games which began in Athens on April 6, 1896.
The 2004 Games will be a lever for development and the driving force for Athens to become a modern metropolis and Greece a modern country with upgraded infrastructures and services, the announcement said.
 Pella-Winds-Deaths06/04/2000 19:28:59
Two people lost their lives in the Pella prefecure of northern Greece on Thursday when winds lashed the area.
The strong winds uprooted trees, caused walls to fall, destroyed rural cultivations and blew off the rooftops of farm houses.
A 21-year-old worker was crushed to death by a falling tree and a 57-year-old man was killed when a wall collapsed on him.
 Weather Forecast-Friday06/04/2000 19:11:16
Changeable weather is forecast in most parts of the country on Friday, alternating between cloud, sunny spells, showers and brief storms.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday06/04/2000 18:58:09
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day
Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 345.028
German mark 169.846
 Folli Follie-1st quarter results06/04/2000 17:00:25
Folli Follie, a listed jewelry and accessories company, on Thursday reported that consolidated sales totalled 4 billion drachmas in the first quarter of 2000, sharply up from 1.34 billion in the corresponding period last year, while group pre-tax profits rose to 1.2 billion, from 400 million drachmas in 1999.
A company statement attributed its improved results to a sharp increae in exports, covering 80 percent of the group's turnover in the first six-months of the current fiscal year.
The parent company reported that its turnover rose to 2.7 billion drachmas in the first quarter, up from 1.34 billion in 1999, while pre-tax profits more than doubled to 900 million drachmas from 400 million last year.
Folli Follie is expected to seek listing on the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange without a share capital increase.
Group sales rose in Southeast Asia, France, UK and in Japan.
The company's three-year business plan, ending in 2002, envisages a sales network of 70 shops with sales exceeding 25 billion drachmas.
 Panafon-subscribers' base06/04/2000 16:51:12
Panafon, a listed mobile phone operator, on Thursday announced that its subscribers' base grew spectacurarly in the first quarter of 2000, to a total of 1,773,000, up 49 percent from 1999.
New subscriptions totalled 109,665 in the period January-March this year.
Panafon's non-contract customers, representing 62 percent of its total customers' base, at 1,100,000, accounted for the biggest part of new subscriptions in the first quarter of 2000.
Panafon expects to launch this month its Internet portal (www.pan.gr) in connection with its Panafonet service.
 Capital Markets' Committee-1999 report06/04/2000 16:42:23
The Greek Capital Markets' Committee imposed fines worth 1.074 billion drachmas last year on companies and securities firms involved in 42 cases of share trading manipulation and use of insider information.
In its report for 1999, the Committee said it has also made 167 inspections on share trading following accusations by investors and it revoked the licenses in one securities firm and four brokerage intermediaries.
The Capital Markets' Committee also temporarily suspended the operation of nine brokerage intermediaries which violated market rules.
Four listed companies were imposed fines worth 145 million drachmas for offering false information to investors and the market's regulatory authorities over their business activities.
A total of 515 million drachmas, in fines, were imposed on 26 persons charged for insider trading and share manipulation.
The Committee implemented two significant measures aimed to boost transparency in the market. These included: a company is obliged to publish every change in voting rights rates exceeding five percent, all securities firms have to inform the committee on block trades in stock shares under surveillance.
The Committee also agreed to raise the ceiling in fines to 300 million drachmas.
The Capital Markets' Committee also actively participated in the drafting of a law covering the operation of the Market for New Enterprises (NEXA).
 ADEX-close06/04/2000 16:16:44
Derivatives prices ended higher on Thursday reflecting investors' optimism of a recovery in the Greek bourse in the short-term and despite a slight fall in the two benchmark indices, FTSE/ASE 20 and FTSE/ASE 40.
Turnover, however, remained subdued at 5.12 billion drachmas.
A total of 593 future contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, with a turnover of 3.1 billion drachmas. The April expiring contract ended at 2,688 points, the May at 2,690 and the June contract at 2,705 points.
A total of 766 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 40 index, with a turnover of 2.02 billion drachmas. The April expiring contract ended at 663 points and the May contract at 662 points.
 FYROM - Soldiers - Abduction06/04/2000 16:04:14
SKOPJE (ANA ∑ M. Vihou) ∑ The government here on Thursday sharply criticised NATO-led KFOR as unable to secure the troubled Yugoslav provinceĘs borders, following the abduction of four FYROM soldiers near the Kosovo frontier by Albanian rebels on Sunday.
The incident resulted in KFORĘs commander making a lightning visit to Skopje after a request by Former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaĘs (FYROM) President Boris Traikovski, as the four soldiers were promptly freed on Monday.
According to media reports in the land-locked Balkan countryĘs capital of Skopje, the soldiersĘ abduction by rebels belonging to the so-called ?Kosovo Liberation Army? aimed at securing the release of an ethnic Albanian recently extradited by KFOR troops to FYROM. The suspect, identified as one Jevit Hasani, was wanted on charges of attempted murder against a FYROM police officer. Reports state that Hasani had fled to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo two years ago and assumed a leading role in the ethnic Albanian rebelsĘ conflict with Yugoslav forces.
The abducted soldiers, ambushed while on a routine patrol at the Tabanaftse site, were taken some 20 kilometers inside the now UN- and NATO-controlled province only to return to FYROM the next day wearing NATO military uniforms and without their weapons.
 ASE-close06/04/2000 16:00:46
Equity prices made another subdued appearance on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of Sunday's general elections.
Dealers said trading conditions were extremely thin and that block trades in six blue-chip stocks in the last half hour of trading pushed turnover at 158 billion drachmas.
Buying focused on smaller capitalisation stocks with the sector showing the biggest percentage gains.
The general index ended 0.03 percent lower at 4,811.62 points. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,724.68 points, down 0.04 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.53 percent to 668.80 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 814.51 points, up 1.07 percent.
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