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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-11-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'Civil War in Prespes' con'f
  • [02] BoG: Greek banks raised interest rates on deposits, lending in Sept.
  • [03] Greece, Bulgaria energy focus
  • [04] Gov't threatens NBG with sanctions
  • [05] Greek stocks end 1.77% up

  • [01] 'Civil War in Prespes' con'f

    The latest scholarly works on the 1946-49 Greek Civil War and its socio-economic impact in northwest Greece will be presented in a conference entitled "Civil War in the Prespes", scheduled to take place on Nov. 8-9 and hosted by the Prespes municipality. Conference participants, including individuals who fought in the Civil War, will speak on a period of recent Greek history that affected the country's postwar course and also visit civil war-era monuments.

    [02] BoG: Greek banks raised interest rates on deposits, lending in Sept.

    Greek banks raised their interest rates in September amid an international credit crisis, the Bank of Greece said in a report published on Friday.

    The average one-day deposit rate for households rose by two basis points to 1.28 pct in September, the same rate for non-financial enterprises fell by four basis points to 1.09 pct, the average one-year time deposit rate for households rose by 12 basis points to 5.11 pct and the average repo rate jumped 54 bps to 4.76 pct.

    Lending rates also moved up. The average rate on consumer loans was practically unchanged in September to 15.15 pct, the average rate for business loans rose 16 bps to 7.94 pct and the mortgage loan rate grew by 11 bps to 5.45 pct.

    [03] Greece, Bulgaria energy focus

    Athens and Sofia on Friday declared their common determination for expansion and a further strengthening of cooperation between the two governments in the strategic sector of energy, in a joint statement issued by Greek Development Minister Christos Folias and Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov after talks in Sofia on Friday.

    "I deeply believe that this signature (on the joint statement) but also the others that will follow, lwill lead our two countries to a common future of energy security, multiple energy sources and close energy cooperation. And, of course, this comprises the basis for a neighborhood of peace and cooperation," Folias said in statements to the press after the meeting with Dimitrov.

    The joint statement came after discussions between the two ministers on all issues, in the framework of a visit by Folias to the Bulgarian capital.

    Dimitrov, in turn, expressed satisfaction with the energy cooperation with Greece, which he said was constantly increasing, despite the global financial crisis.

    Dimitrov noted that Greece and Bulgaria are partners in major natural gas and oil transport plans of strategic importance to Europe, citing the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and the South Stream natural gas pipeline.

    Meanwhile, an announcement by the Bulgarian economy and energy ministry on the Folias-Dimitrov meeting noted, inter alia, that the construction of a second line lking the electricity grids of Bulgaria and Greece (from Maritza, Bulgaria, to Nea Santa, Greece) could begin in 2009, with the prospect of completion in 2011.

    According to the ministry announcement, it was made known during the meeting between the two ministers that Greek investments in Bulgaria doubled in the first half of 2008 in relation to the corresponding period of 2007.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Development Minister Christos Folias.

    [04] Gov't threatens NBG with sanctions

    Development Minister Christos Folias on Friday warned National Bank of Greece, amongst the largest banking institutions in SE Europe, with sanctions unless the bank repealed a series of "unilateral" decisions raising credit card interest rates for its customers, while adding that other domestic banks‚ practices are also under regulators' scrutiny

    In a letter sent to National Bank‚s management and the Bank of Greece (BoG), the development ministry said National Bank's behavior is under investigation for breaching transparency regulations and that unless the bank takes back its decision it faces fines ranging from 1,500 to one million euros.

    National Bank has inform customers of unilateral changes in contract terms, namely, higher interest rates and subscription fees.

    Commenting on the issue, Deputy Minister George Vlahos said the ministry‚s intervention was not only aimed at revoking such terms but stopping any similar behavior by other financial institutions in the country.

    "Any further burdening of consumers at this present negative conjucture is at least unfair. If banks need to boost their liquidity the government has announced a package of measures aimed at supporting the system. In any case, we will not allow this to happen to the expense of consumers," Vlahos said.

    In a later statement, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis was quoted as saying that "banks should put public interest before private (interests) and if they do not do this on their own, we have the way to make them."

    He made the comment in reference to the 28-billion-euro liquidity support package for domestic banks.

    [05] Greek stocks end 1.77% up

    Greek stocks resumed their upward trend in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, pushing the composite index of the market 1.77 percent higher to end at 2,107.10 points. Turnover was a low 167.6 million euros, of which 7.8 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved higher, with the Constructions (6.61 pct), Telecoms (5.25 pct), Banks (2.40 pct), Technology (2.08 pct) and Travel (1.89 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Financial Services (0.38 pct), Utilities (0.34 pct) and Media (0.10 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 2.39 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.05 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 0.88 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 132 to 91 with another 55 issues unchanged.


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