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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-02-07
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Soccer-Greek Cup07/02/2001 22:20:06
Olympiakos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens drew 1-1 in a Greek soccer cup first leg quarterfinal match played at the Athens Olympic stadium on Wednesday night. Djordjevic scored with a penalty for Olympiakos in the 26th minute and Lymberopoulos equalised for Panathinaikos in the 87th. The second leg match will be played at Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium on March 21.
In another first leg quarterfinal match played earlier in the day, Paniliakos Pirgos lost at home 3-1 to Apollon Athens, the only first division club left in the cup (the other seven belong to the national division). Mantra scored Paniliakos' only goal with a penalty in the 69th minute, while Apollon's goals were scored by Papadimitriou in the 36th minute with a penalty, Skarmoutsos in the 79th and Petkovic in the 90th. The second leg match will be played on March 7.
 General Bank-Armed Forces-Police07/02/2001 18:25:47
General Bank is to expand the services it offers to the armed forces and police, its president and managing director Yiannis Manos told a presentation of the bank to the Union of Institutional Investors on Wednesday.
It is setting up a mutual fund management firm with the armed forces' credit fund, and creating another company to develop and handle real estate, working with housing cooperatives in the armed forces, Manos said.
The bank is also to offer the national defence ministry financial consultancy services and provide special loan products to employees of the armed forces and police, including credit cards, consumer loans and mortgages, he added.
General Bank has a network of 100 branches, six financial services subsidiaries and a market share of 2.0 percent.
 Gov't spokesman - security during Olympics07/02/2001 17:43:06
The government reacted strongly on Wednesday to press reports in the US that question Greece's record on fighting terrorism and the level of security during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris was particularly virulent in his attack on "Los Angeles Times" journalist Wayne Merry, formerly with the US Embassy in Athens, whom he described as a "failed embassy employee," and accused of bias and slander.
The spokesman avoided criticising high-ranking International Olympic Committee (IOC) official Jacques Rogge, however, who is due in Athens next week at the head of an IOC Coordination Committee that will monitor the city's progress in preparing for the Olympics.
In a letter to the Athens 2004 Olympics Organising Committee (ATHOC), Rogge had raised the issue of security during the course of the Games ahead of his February 15 visit. Commenting on the letter, Hytiris said only that Rogge referred to all issues requiring the cooperation of the IOC and ATHOC and it was therefore natural that he should also raise the issue of security.
Hytiris also denied links between the US reports and American objections to the statements of Greek Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis after a meeting with a US congress delegation visiting Greece, over which the US State Department had lodged a demarche on February 1.
"There is no connection with this issue," Hytiris said. "Relations between Greece and the US are very good, as is cooperation between them for dealing with terrorism."
 Weather Forecast-Thursday07/02/2001 17:04:22
Mostly sunny weather is forecast throughout Greece on Thursday, with limited visibility early in the morning and some light cloud in the west. Winds variable, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from -1C to 18C; on the rest of the mainland from 5C to 21C; and in the islands from 8C to 19C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 8C and 20C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5C to 17C.
 ASE-close07/02/2001 16:10:25
Equity prices ended lower on Wednesday as lack of follow-through buying and tight liquidity conditions reversed an initial advance on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Smaller capitalisation stocks were badly hit, while investment shares resisted pressures.
The general index eased 0.77 percent to end at 3,130.10 points, off the day's lows of 3,118.56 and the day's highs of 3,189.55 points. Turnover was a low 105.74 million euros, or 36.03 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.70 percent lower at 1,826 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.92 percent to 325.59 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 3.17 percent lower at 243.23 points.
 Greece-passenger shipping-fares07/02/2001 14:21:14
Passenger shipping fares will increase by 7.0 percent this year, Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis said on Wednesday.
Papoutsis said the increase in fares was agreed with National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and will be implemented gradually in two stages. The first, an increase of 5.0 percent from March 1 and the second, a 2.0 percent rise from June 1.
The minister said the rise was necessary because passenger fares remained unchanged in the last three years despite a jump in fuel prices.
 ASE-Belgrade bourse-cooperation07/02/2001 14:09:00
The Athens Stock Exchange and the Belgrade Stock Exchange are beginning to implement a cooperation deal following signing of a memorandum in December 2000.
An ASE statement on Wednesday said that the Greek market would organise a series of specialised seminars aimed to create and develop Belgrade's stock market and to train its staff.
The training programme will cover, in this stage, the basic principles of capital markets, securities transaction, clearing, listed companies, securities firms, investors, spreading of information, technological infrastructure and selected case studies from the Greek market.
The programme also includes virtual transactions based on the way the Belgrade market would operate.
 Hellenic Telecoms-new policy07/02/2001 13:36:21
Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) decided to open up to the Greek telecom market aiming to facilitate companies involved in the broader sector, on a client basis.
OTE's board said on Tuesday, February 6, that this decision was dictated by the organisation's dominant position in the Greek market and formed part of the management's efforts to expand activities in the sectors of: completion of middle-term policy on network development, faster offer of new services and products, re-evaluation of its commercial policy, merging or liquidating existing OTE subsidiaries and establishing new ones.
OTE said it was willing to provide organisation's "space" to mobile telephone operators, fixed wireless telephone operators and companies unbundling the local loop by charging an agreed fee.
The organisation also said it would seek cooperation with third parties in fields where enhanced capabilities for major developments or additional know-how were required.
OTE's board also discussed cooperation with the largest distribution networks of the market in an effort to promote faster services and products required by the organisation's new commercial policy.
 Social security funds' reserves suffered no losses on ASE07/02/2001 13:33:52
The social security funds suffered no losses to their reserves as a result of investment on the Athens Stock Exchange, social security deputy minister Nikos Farmakis said Wednesday in parliament.
Replying to a question tabled by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Farmakis noted that the social security organisations, on the responsibility of their elected administrative boards, had decided since 1995 to invest in high capitalisation stocks on the Athens bourse and although the stockmarket crisis had chipped away at the profits they had made, there was no loss to the initial capital.
 Negotiations ongoing for Greek satellite system07/02/2001 13:31:24
The Greek state was currently in negotiations with companies interested in the development of the Greek satellite system Hellas SAT, transport and communications deputy minister Alekos Voulgaris said Wendesday in parliament.
Replying to a question tabled by main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy Marietta Yannakou-Coutsikou on the delay in the signing of the relevant contract, Voulgaris assured that Greece was at no risk of losing the position it has been assigned (39 degrees east in the geostatic orbit), as a six-month extension to the April 8, 2002 expiry date could be requested from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), provided the contract for the development of the system had been signed by the above date.
The question was tabled after two tenders for the satellite system were declared null and void in July and October, respectively, after the bids submitted failed to meet the required standards.
 Illegal immigrants escape from police van07/02/2001 13:28:58
Police were searching Wednesday for five Kurdish illegal immigrants who escaped a police van transporting illegal aliens from Athens to Alexandropoulos.
Police said the van, which was carring 40 Kurdish illegal immigrants, had stopped late Tuesday along the Athens-Lamia national highway near the village of Castro, in Viotia prefecture, where the detainees broke the van's windows and opened a roof hatch, through which some 10 detainees escaped. Five of the escapees were recaptured after a strong police backup arrived on the spot.
 Man shot while accosting car thief succumbs to wounds07/02/2001 10:14:56
A man shot in the stomach as he accosted a thief trying to steal his car in Paleo Faliro, near Piraeus, succumbed to his wounds early Wednesday.
Ioannis Skoularikos, head of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's (OTE) branch office in Paleo Faliro, was shot five times in the stomache Monday as he tried to prevent an unidentified man from stealing his car just after he had stopped at a kiosk to buy cigarettes.
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