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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-11-22
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Eurobasket 2001-Greece-Win22/11/2000 20:10:46
Greece's national basketball team beat Estonia 92-73 (half time 46-38)in the sixth game of the semi-final phase of the Eurobasket 2001 competition which was held in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, on Wednesday.
The Greek team's captain, Giorgos Sigalas was in top form and scored 17 points.
Greece remains undefeated in Group A and is a favourite to reach the final phase of the competition which will take place in September next year in Turkey.
 Greece-FYROM-cooperation22/11/2000 19:30:57
Greece decided to begin issuing one-year multiple entry visas to citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) within the framework of the Schengen Pact, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Wednesday.
Following his meeting with his counterpart from FYROM Aleksandar Dimitrov, Papandreou said that Greece "as a matter of fact operates within the bounds of the Schengen agreements", adding that the entry visas granted to FYROM citizens increased considerably over the past three years.
He said that in 1998 Greece granted 35,000 visas, in 1999 45,000 visas and in 2000 72,000 to date, stressing the economic cooperation between the two countries, which he called "excellent and developing".
 Greece - Armenia - Investments22/11/2000 18:53:18
Greek Premier Costas Simitis on Wednesday cited Athens interest in directing more investments in Armenia, as he received visiting Armenian President Robert Kocharian.
?We want more Greek investments in Armenia. Already, OTE (the state telecoms utility), Commercial Bank and other large Greek firms are active there, but thats not enough,? Simitis said in a joint press conference with Kocharian.
In referring to bilateral relations, Kocharian focused directly on economic and trade ties.
?Political relations between Armenia and Greece are very good, from the very first moment of our independence. However, weve always said that economic relations have not yet reached the level of political ties,? the Armenian leader stated.
 2004 Olympics - Projects - Moved up22/11/2000 17:25:28
Greeces public works minister on Wednesday stated that five venues for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the so-called ?orphaned projects?, have been given a completion date earlier than originally scheduled.
The completion dates, moved up to January 2004 from May that same year, essentially fulfill a request by powerful International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Jacques Rogge, who arrived in Athens this week at the head of an IOC delegation set to gauge organisers progress for the 2004 Games.
Less than 24 hours after inspecting several construction sites in the greater Athens by helicopter with the head of the 2004 organising committee (ATHOC), Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis on Wednesday also pledged that infrastructure works related to the Games including new highways, upgrading of districts, zoning etc. are also projected for completion months before the Games.
Recent favourable comments by the IOCs leadership, including Rogge and outgoing president Juan Antonio Samaranch, over the Athens organisers stepped up efforts have diminished worries that preparations for Games were falling dangerously behind.
 Aspis Insurance-ASE listing22/11/2000 16:32:36
Aspis Insurance expects to list its shares on the Athens Stock Exchange by the end of the year, a company statement said on Wednesday.
Premium production increased by 84 percent to 11.5 billion drachmas in the January-September period, compared with the same period last year.
The company recently signed three damage insurance contracts for construction projects, worth 18 billion drachmas.
 EFG Eurobank Ergasias-LogicDIS22/11/2000 16:16:07
EFG Eurobank Ergasias on Wednesday announced it was acquiring a 9.0 percent equity stake in LogicDIS SA, a Greek software company, worth 11 billion drachmas.
The purchase will be made through the issuing of a convertible bond loan, worth 4.45 billion drachmas, paying an annual coupon of 0.5 percent and with a converting price of 2,500 drachmas, along with a share capital increase plan, worth 6.3 billion drachmas, at a price of 1,400 drachmas per share.
The two partners will cooperation in the developing and expanding LogicDIS' activities in Greece and abroad.
 ASE-close22/11/2000 16:05:06
Equity prices resumed their downward trend on Wednesday, quickly reversing a previous day's recovery on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Analysts said Tuesday's rebound was a technical reaction of the market which remained on a declining trend for most of the current year.
Blue chip stocks, like Hellenic Telecoms, National Bank, Alpha Bank and Intracom, were particularly hit pushing the general index lower.
The index ended 2.92 percent lower at 3,307.56 points, very close its day's lows of 3,301.14 points. Turnover was a low 62.1 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 3.18 percent off at 1,887.23 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 2.99 percent to 401.68 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 3.04 percent lower at 353.62 points.
 Greece-Athens 2004-new hotels22/11/2000 15:05:16
The Greek government on Wednesday announced it was abolishing a glut status applied for a long period of time on many regions in the Attica prefect and on the centre of Athens and that it would allow building of new luxury hotels to meet demand ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said that, based on current facts, domestic and foreign investors were expected to show increased interest in such projects.
He said that a total of 4,000 beds could be built in glut areas in Athens and another 4,000 beds in other areas in the Attica prefect, to an estimated total of 8,000 quality beds by 2004.
Christodoulakis said this number was adequate to meet demand for the Games but stressed that the new hotels should be viable after the Olympic Games as well.
He said that new investments would create more jobs and said that building licensing procedures would be accelerated.
Christodoulakis said that an increase in luxury hotel beds in the wider capital region would help Athens to attract more visitors in 2004 and beyond.
He announced a package of "Olympic Tourist Measures", including: rennovating existing hotels with funds from a Third Community Support Framework, advertisement campaing to promote Athens, expanding and upgrading conference infrastructure of the capital and creating new entertainment and theme parks.
 FM press conferece - EU-Turkey partnership - IGC22/11/2000 14:47:23
Greece is ready to ratify the EU-Turkey partnership agreement, but only if this clearly includes all the conditions agreed upon at the EU summit in Helsinki, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with Alternate Foreign Minister Elisavet Papazoi.
He also pointed out that Greece was in no hurry over this issue and that a final resolution might well be postponed until the Swedish EU presidency or even later.
At another point of the press conference, Papandreou referred to the EU's Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), which is discussing changes to EU institutional structures in view of enlargement. He said that enlargement should not become an alibi for undermining the smaller states within the community and stressed that the EU is based on equal participation by all member-states.
 Greece-foreign exchange22/11/2000 14:38:31
A new fall in the euro/dollar rate at 84.28 cents in international markets pushed the drachma's parity lower in the domestic foreign exchange market on Wednesday.
The Greek currency fell to 403.300 drachmas per dollar at the day's fixing, from 400.340 on Tuesday.
The drachma was narrowly changed against the euro at 340.190 drachmas per euro, from 340.250 at the previous day's fixing.
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