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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-06-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Church-Rally-Government
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday
  • [03] Weather Forecast-Thursday
  • [04] Thassos-new oil exploration
  • [05] Memorial service - Saunders - Friday
  • [06] Papantoniou-Greece-EMU
  • [07] Commercial Bank-shareholders' meeting
  • [08] ASE-close

  • [01] Church-Rally-Government

    14/06/2000 22:59:31

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos addressed a massive rally in Thessaloniki on Wednesday evening in protest of the government's decision to abolish reference to citizens' religious persuasion on the new police identity cards.

    He reiterated the Church's "right to consultation with the government on important issues," while stressing that this did not represent a wish to co-govern.

    The rally was the first of two called by the Church to protest the government's decision.

    In response, the government said that the rally was in contradiction to the Church's proper role.

    "The holding of the rally and the content of the speech confirmed intentions and goals which contradict the spiritual and social role of the Church...The government has made its position known on the issue of identity cards, which is of the exclusive responsibility of the State," said government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday

    14/06/2000 18:50:17

    Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Thursdays rates (buying)

    Euro 333.679

    U.S. dollar 346.357

    German mark 170.607

    [03] Weather Forecast-Thursday

    14/06/2000 18:32:52

    Sunny weather is forecast for most of Thursday, with a chance of brief storms on high ground on parts of the mainland late in the day. Winds northerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the Aegean.

    [04] Thassos-new oil exploration

    14/06/2000 16:42:33

    Kavala Oil technicians began new oil explorations at the Prinos off-shore oil field, in Thassos, with first evidence being positive, company officials said on Wednesday.

    A special drill is being used for drilling, capable to search the under-sea bed to depths up to 3,000-3,100 metres.

    This new reservoir could produce 2,000 barrels of oil a day, which combined with Prino's current production of 5,000-5,500 barrels per day would raise its total production to 7,000-7,500 barrels, a viable rate for Thasso's hydrocarbonate fields.

    German consultants and Greek experts are observing the new drilling on the belief that the Prinos oil field has still enough oil to produce at a time when oil exploration is cheap because of rising world oil prices.

    Final results of the drilling are expected next month.

    [05] Memorial service - Saunders - Friday

    14/06/2000 16:23:43

    British ambassador to Athens David Madden on Wednesday announced that a memorial service would be held for Brig. Stephen Saunders at the Agios Dionysios Cathedral (34, Skoufa St. in the Kolonaki district) on Friday at 10 a.m.

    Brig. Saunders, who was the defence attache at the British embassy in Athens, was assassinated by a notorious urban terrorist group last Thursday.

    For more information, contact the embassy at (01) 72.72.636 or 72.72.744.

    [06] Papantoniou-Greece-EMU

    14/06/2000 16:21:05

    "The future will be better from the present, which is already favourable, if we continue our successful past policies," National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Wednesday.

    Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting to discuss the procedures for the country's entry in the euro zone, Papantoniou said the government should have four policy priorities in the coming years: first, to ensure economic stability with low deficits and low inflation, second to promote large investments, third to seek structural reforms and four to introduce new technologies.

    Cabinet ministers adopted these priorities and agreed to begin an extensive campaign to inform Greek citizens for their obligations and rights resulting from the country's participation in EMU.

    Greece expects an EU summit in Santa Maria de Feira, Portugal, June 19-20, to formally approve its membership in the euro zone.

    [07] Commercial Bank-shareholders' meeting

    14/06/2000 16:07:51

    The Commercial Bank of Greece is in the right condition to play a fundamental and autonomous role in a consolidation of the Greek banking system, the bank's chairman Costas Georgoutsakos told an annual general shareholders' meeting on Wednesday.

    Georgoutsakos noted that the signing of a strategic alliance with the French bank Credit Agricole offered Commercial Bank a permanent competitive advantage in the domestic market and would contribute to fully exploit any opportunities arising from the country's entry in the euro zone and from a restructuring in the domestic financial sector.

    The deal envisages the sale of a 6.7 percent equity stake in Commercial Bank to Credit Agricole, worth 94.1 billion drachmas, or 16,450 drachmas per share, with a 10 percent discount.

    It also envisages the cooperation between the two banks in the bankassurance sector through the creation of a new company and in money market management and the investment banking sectors.

    Commercial Bank has the right to repurchase its stake after five years in case that Credit Agricole decides not to extend the contract.

    The Greek bank said that it would pay a 300 drachmas per share dividend to shareholders.

    Commercial Bank's profits totalled 92.8 billion drachmas last year, its assets totalled 4.543 trillion drachmas (up 33.8 pct from 1998), deposites were 2.560 trillion drachmas (up 28.5 pct) and loans were 1.647 trillion drachmas (up 19.6 pct).

    First quarter profits totalled 18.2 billion drachmas, up 68.7 percent from the same period last year.

    Commercial Bank has a network of 380 branches in Greece and it is represented in nine countries abroad.

    [08] ASE-close

    14/06/2000 15:35:27

    Equity prices recovered their previous day's losses on the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday as the market quickly recovered from a turmoil created by a Morgan Stanley negative report on the Greek market on Tuesday.

    The general index was moving within a narrow range for the biggest part of the session to jump 1.16 percent in the last 45 minutes of trade ending at 4,366.61 points, near its day's highs.

    Turnover was a low 119 billion drachmas. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 2,418.65 points, up 1.22 percent and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 1.75 percent to 637.54 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 910.56 points, up 4.08 percent.

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