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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Corruption a 'common enemy'
  • [02] State Department on FYROM 'name issue'
  • [03] Greek stocks up 2.04%
  • [04] Nat'l Bank cancels selling plan

  • [01] PM: Corruption a 'common enemy'

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday addressed the 13th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) organised by Transparency International (TI) in Athens, as the closely watched event this year focuses on worldwide efforts to combat corruption amid the spectre of a global credit crisis.

    "International corruption constitutes a common enemy that we are obliged to combat with a persistent effort, both on a national and international level," Karamanlis told delegates at the international conference.

    The premier said the deeper problems of the real economy are now at the forefront, while cautioning that the world is faced with a recession of unknown intensity and duration.

    "We are all responsible for the grim reality the world is faced with today ... and we need to deal with the real causes (of the recession)," he stressed.

    "Behind the explosion in prices and the credit crisis lies inadequate transparency," he said, adding that the conference's thematic sessions on natural resources, energy and climate change must generate answers, "as climate change comprises a nightmare threat for the planet's future".

    In terms of Greece, Karamanlis said the country has passed from the stage of idleness to a gradual improvement in the international anti-corruption index.

    The 13th IACC kicked off in Athens on Thursday with delegates from 135 countries taking part and speakers that included Greek Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, among others.

    Hatzigakis noted that corruption was a phenomenon that eroded political life and contaminated society, while its persecution was a political act but one that needed to be carried out with due care and caution.

    IACC Council chair Barry O' Keefe noted that the conference was an attempt to have a "positive impact on the future of the planet" and stressed the part played by corruption in the current credit crisis, while the president of TI Greece Costas Bakouris stressed the need for Greece to remain alert for high levels of corruption and find solutions for its eradication.

    The chairwoman of Transparency International Huguette Labelle, meanwhile, said that corruption affected all aspects of life and resulted in the loss of vast sums on a global scale each year that could be used to improve people's lives.

    The 13th IACC will consist of 40 working groups, beginning on Thursday and ending on November 2. The conference will focus mainly on the causes and consequences of corruption on peace and security, natural resources and energy markets, climate change, and sustainable globalisation.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] State Department on FYROM 'name issue'

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis) - US State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said on Thursday that the United States "wants to see the issue solved," while answering to a reporters' questions on the "name issue" of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). He added that the UN Secretary-General's special envoy, Matthew Nimetz, "is working in an effort to bridge the differences. This process will continue, and we need to support it and we will support it."

    Asked whether Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is concerned over the fact that the matter has not yet been settled, Wood noted that "the Secretary of State is trying to work with the sides for there to be a solution to the name issue. And we will continue to do whatever we can. But the matter is being handled by envoy Nimetz."

    [03] Greek stocks up 2.04%

    Greek stocks continued moving higher for the second consecutive session in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, following a recovery trend prevailing in international markets. The composite index ended at 2,009.99 points, up 2.04 pct, with turnover a low 238 million euros, of which 4.5 million were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Food/Beverage (6.88 pct), Oils (4.40 pct), Telecoms (3.27 pct), Utilities (3.26 pct), Banks (2.35 pct) and Financial Services (2.26 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (2.90 pct), Personal/Home Products (2.17 pct) and Insurance (1.81 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 1.94 pct, the FTSE 40 index was down 0.06 pct and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.02 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 163 to 72 with another 51 issues unchanged.

    [04] Nat'l Bank cancels selling plan

    National Bank on Thursday announced that it was cancelling a procedure to find an international insurance group as a strategic partner for its insurance activities, in the wake of a crisis in international financial markets.

    In an announcement, National Bank said it believed in the growth prospects of insurance activities, in Greece, southeastern Europe and Turkey, and noted that it would support the implementation of National Insuranceās business plan with the promotion of bankassurance.

    ?National Insurance with its prestige, credibility and its leading position in the market, is in an advantageous position to exploiting opportunities arising today because of financial developments, offering the necessary guarantees to its customers,? the statement read.

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