|Saturday, 16 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 02-01-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 NEWS IN ENGLISHERA.5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
22/1/2002 2:26:00 μμ
 NEWS HEADLINES- 5.9 earthquake rocked Crete and the Dodecanese islands
- Developments in the banking world
- Athens bourse
- PM Simitis visits Sofia
- Appointment of new Deputy Foreign Minister
- IOC team visits Athens
 5.9 earthquake rocked Crete and the Dodecanese islandsAn earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale was registered at 6:54 a.m. 370 kilometers southeast of Athens, with its epicentre in the sea region between the islands of Astypalea and Kos at a depth of 75 kilometres below the seabed. The tremor was felt throughout the entire Dodecanese island grouping and Crete
The director of the Athens Observatory, Mr. Stavrakakis, told the radio station NET 105.8 that the quake was felt in distant areas due to the great depth of its epicenter.
"Usually, earth tremors of the kind have practically small post-quake activity and this should not concern citizens", Mr. Stavrakakis said.
 Developments in the banking worldMajor banking groups are preparing their next moves after the collapse of the merger between the National Bank of Greece (ETE) and Alpha Bank.
The strategic alliance between the Dutch Group ING and the Bank of Piraeus has already been finalized.
The alliance concerns the development of three sectors of cooperation in Greece namely, bank insurance, group insurance products and asset management.
The promotion of joint products will start gradually on March 15, 2002, while the joint business formations and products will bear the name ING Piraeus.
The president of the Bank of Piraeus, Michalis Salas, said prospects are for ING to get 5% of the shares of the Bank of Piraeus and the Bank of Piraeus to get 20% of the banking-insurance Group Nationale Nenderande.
"The Greek government encourages business activities, but does not guide them" stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, adding that business ought to be taking up initiatives in proper time, take advantage of them. The prime minister also said that reforms will continue in all the sectors.
Meanwhile, the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party accused the government of "blatant government irresponsibility".
ND party deputies George Alogoskoufis and Miltiadis Evert carried a relative motion in parliament.
In addition, deputy Panagiotis Lafazanis of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress asked the parliamentary economic affairs committee to convene immediately.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday the general index dropped by 0.63%, closing at 2,543.73 points, while the volume of transactions was at 100.4 million Euro ( 34.2 billion drachmas).
Of the stocks trading yesterday, 118 recorded gains and 191 had losses, while the value of 49 stocks remained unchanged.
 PM Simitis visits SofiaPrime Minister Kostas Simitis is in Sofia today on a working trip, accompanied by major Greek company executives.
Mr. Simitis will meet with President Georgi Parvanof and Prime Minister of Bulgaria Simon Saxe Coburg Gotha, with whom he will discuss the progress of the two countries' bilateral relations, as well as the increase in Greek investments in the region.
Bulgaria and Greece are to sign economic agreements mainly.
 Appointment of new Deputy Foreign MinisterDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Giannis Zafiropoulos, in charge of international developmental cooperation, submitted his resignation yesterday, due to disagreement in the policy being followed in the Balkans.
Andreas Loverdos will be sworn in tomorrow Foreign Deputy Minister responsible for international economic relations, thus replacing Mr. Zafiropoulos.
Commenting on Mr. Zafiropoulos resignation, Foreign Minister George Papandreou, said "political disagreements may exist and it is to the honor of the politician who takes such decisions".
Meanwhile, ND deputy Dora Bakogianni spoke of malfunction within the government and weakness in putting programs into effect.
 IOC team visits AthensA high-ranking International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspection team has again arrived in Greece to assess the progress made for the 2004 Olympic Games.
IOC vice-president Denis Oswald -who is heading the inspection team- has ascertain significant progress in the Olympic works, while he will give a press conference today.