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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis winds up Qatar visit on Monday
  • [02] Thessaloniki police investigating disappearance of businessman
  • [03] Paradias re-elected UIPI president
  • [04] Stocks dive at ASE opening

  • [01] PM Karamanlis winds up Qatar visit on Monday

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis, on a two-day visit to Qatar, is due on Monday to tour several worksites of Greek construction companies active in the region. The prime minister is accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Deputy Foreign Minister Petros Doukas.

    The potential for development of bilateral relations between Greece and Qatar was at the focus Karamanlis' talks in Doha on Sunday with the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and prime minister and foreign affairs minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabir Al Thani.

    In statements after the meeting, at the beginning of his two-day official visit to Qatar, Karamanlis referred to the present international conjuncture in which the global economies were facing the heavy repercussions of the international credit crisis, which was proving to be of unpredictable intensity and duration.

    He added that the governments have the duty to invest in strategic planning, which could shore up the national economies against the dangers and to release their developmental potential after the crisis.

    The Greek government, he continued, has set out two chief targets: to fortify the households and businesses against the impact of the continuing crisis through a series of effective measures, and to accelerate the implementation of any reforms necessary for the structural reformation of the national economy, while at the same time enhancing cooperation with the country's international partners.

    Turning to bilateral economic relations with Qatar, Karamanlis particularly noted the "very encouraging" prospects opening up.

    A broad spectrum of prospects were examined during the meeting, with emphasis on investments in the sectors of energy, transports, shipping and construction.

    Qatar, Karamanlis continued, was a country of geostrategic significance in the region and with a dynamic economic growth, adding that the presence there of major Greek construction companies was proof of the common efforts in that sector.

    To a question on the ailing national carrier Olympic Airways (OA), Karamanlis said investments were discussed in many sectors, adding that Qatar Airways was among the hopeful investors in OA, while the Qatari prime minister simply said that the matter had been touched on during their meeting.

    Later, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Qatari counterpart signed a dual taxation avoidance agreement, while deputy foreign minister Petros Doukas signed a cooperation agreement in health and medical sciences.

    In the morning, Karamanlis inaugurated a meeting of the Greek-Qatari Business Forum.

    In a brief greeting, Karamanlis said that his visit to Qatar underlined the importance placed by Greece on further strengthening of their bilateral relations, and aspired to greater development of economic cooperation.

    He noted that Qatar was among the countries with the largest economic growth and high per capital income, whereas Greece was the steam engine of the economy of Southeast Europe.

    In a reference to the international financial crisis, Karamanlis stressed that the governments must not look on passively, but rather encourage investments and advance growth. He noted that his visit to Qatar served that purpose, by enhancing the investment prospects of both countries.

    He further said that the Greek government has taken all the measures necessary to face the crisis, and was closely monitoring the situation in order to react immediately if necessary.

    Caption: Prime minister Costas Karamanlis addressing a meeting of the Greek-Qatari Business Forum in Doha. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] Thessaloniki police investigating disappearance of businessman

    Thessaloniki police are investigating the disappearance of a 59-year-old local businessman who has been missing since Friday night and is believed to be possibly the victim of abduction.

    The police are officially dealing with the case as a disappearance, but the investigation, which is shrouded in secrecy, is also examining the possibility of abduction, following a message purportedly received by the businessman's son on his cell phone demanding that the family amass the sum of 400,000 euros in ransom money for the man's release.

    Police are investigating the car dealer's business environment and dealings.

    The businessman went missing on Friday night after he left his car dealership in central Thessaloniki, but never arrived home in Oreokastro, causing his family to worry and finally seek the assistance of the police after their own search for the man proved fruitless.

    [03] Paradias re-elected UIPI president

    Hellenic Property Owners' Federation (POMIDA) president, Athens lawyer Stratos Paradias, has been re-elected to a second four-year term as president of the international union of property owners (Union Internationale de la Propriete Immobiliere-UIPI), it was announced on Monday.

    Paradias was unanimously re-elected by the representatives of the national federations of property owners of the international organization's 24 European member countries.

    Paradias, the first Greek president of UIPI, has served in the past as a member of the international federation's board since 1984, alternate secretary general since 1986, and secretary general from 1999-2004.

    The UIPI was founded in 1923 in Paris, and is now headuartered in Brussels.

    Caption: Hellenic Property Owners' Federation president Stratos Paradias has been re-elected as president of UIPI. (ANA-MPA)

    [04] Stocks dive at ASE opening

    Equity prices were plunging at the opening of trade on Monday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), influenced by the major international money markets, with the basic share price index down 4.91 percent, standing at 1,643.58 points at 10:45 a.m., and turnover at 18.5 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving downward across the board, with the only gains in Insurance, up 3.97 percent.

    The heaviest losses were in Construction, down 7.90 percent; Food & Beverage, down 6.66 percent; Raw Materials, down 5.83 percent; Banks, down 5.07 percent; and Industrial Products, down 5.02 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was down 4.86 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 3.25 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was down 3.94 percent.

    Of the stocks moved, 10 were up, 124 were down, and 18 were unchanged.

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