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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-08-22
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>August 22, 2003
 Skaramanga Shipyards, Greek Railways will find solution, Tsohatzopoulos
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday expressed his optimism over finding a solution to outstanding issues in contracts signed by Skaramanga Shipyards and Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) for the supply of passenger coaches within agreed timetables.
''The outstanding issues refer to the delivery time and the number of coaches,'' the Greek minister said, adding that the two sides have already reached a compromise solution to most outstanding issues.
Mr Tsohatzopoulos said that the government was guaranteing the contracts and that Piraeus Bank was expected to submit specific proposals seeking a restructuring of these contracts.
The Greek minister was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and Transport Minister Christos Verelis to discuss the issue.
According to sources the German company HDW, the owner of Skaramanga Shipyards, was not in a position to deliver passenger coaches to Hellenic Railways timely.
Meanwhile, 47 deputies from the ND main opposition party tabled an inquiry with the Greek parliament blaming the government for the ''delays'' of delivering rolling stock to Hellenic Railways by Skaramanga Shipyards.
 Ruling PASOK communication team meets
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Ruling PASOK's communication team held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the party's policy in the sector, as well as activities and initiatives ahead of the upcoming Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in early September.
The two-and-a-half-hour meeting was attended by new PASOK secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Press and Mass Media Minister Christos Protopapas, communication sector scretary Nikos Athanassakis and the director of the prime minister's office, Nikos Themelis.
 Gov't condemns Tuesday's suicide bombings in Jerusalem
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)The government spokesman this week condemned what he the called ''unacceptable terrorist attacks'' in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Following similar statements by Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday evening, spokesman Christos Protopapas stressed that ''Violence does not solve problems, neither does it contribute to peace. On the contrary, it heightens confrontations ... We should all contribute to the peaceful settlement of the problem through the international community.''
 ND leader sends letter of condolences to Annan over Baghdad
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis on Thursday forwarded a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan offering his condolences for the terrorist attack against the UN headquarters in Baghdad.
The ND leader expressed his grief over the tragic death of UN representative in the Iraqi capital Sergio Vieira de Mello, as well as, of all Iraqi and foreign workers attending to peace and security in Iraq.
Karamanlis in his letter reiterated his party's stance regarding the central role of the UN everywhere where international peace and security are threatened.
 Papariga meets local gov't representatives
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Financial problems facing the local government have been the centre of discussion on Thursday during a meeting between Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga and a delegation of the Central Association of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), at the party's central office in Perissos.
According to a statement Papariga made after the meeting, her party's position is that the local government should have full economic sufficiency, with all municipalities income being covered by the state coffer.
Papariga added that state allowances should be raised and all the funds illegally withheld by the state should be returned to local government, also stressing the need for legislative framework reforms.
 Labor minister Reppas on two-day visit to Chios
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Labor and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas is starting a two-day official visit to the north-eastern Aegean island of Chios on Friday.
While on the island, he is scheduled to inaugurate the Chios Hospital maternity clinic and a Kindergarten at Vrondadon municipality.
 MLS Informatics reports improved 1st half results
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)MLS Informatics SA, a Greek high-technology company, on Thursday reported a 26 percent increase in its consolidated turnover in the first half of 2003 to 2.207 million euros from 1.746 million euros in the same period last year.
The Group said its net pre-tax profits rose 20.4 percent in the January-June period to 839,758 euros, up from 697,327 euros last year.
The parent company reported a 28 percent increase in its first half turnover to 2.121 million euros, and a 25 percent rise in its net pre-tax profits to 865,055 euros over the same period.
The company said in a statement that it was optimistic for an even larger increase of its financial results both the whole year and for 2004.
MLS Informatics also said that recent pressures on its share price was attributed to a decision by its shareholder Farlane Enterprises Ltd (owner of an 8.1 percent equity stake in the company) to liquidate its position.
 HATTA calls for 'quality tourism' in light of Faliraki incidents
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)The Association of Tourism and Travel Bureaus in Greece (HATTA) in an announcement on Thursday referred to the recent incidents which occurred in such areas such as at the resort of Faliraki on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes, stating that they lead to the ''trivialization of our tourism product.''
HATTA called on all professionals in the field of tourism to ''to invest in quality tourism'' so as to avert numerous problems, such as conduct ''contrary to our customs and ethics.''
 Greece promotes itself in Russian tourism market
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Greece is stepping up its tourism advertising campaign in the Russian media, sponsored by the National Tourism Organization (EOT), with the focus being on ads, features and inserts in major newspapers (Isvestia, Pravda) and magazines.
The campaign, which will promote Greece as a tourist destination during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, will cost EOT 68,600 euros.
 ASE ends to new 2003 highs on Thursday
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Greek stocks ended at their highest level this year in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday reflecting a very positive sentiment among investors encouraged by more gains in other European bourses.
Buying focused in blue chip stocks, mainly banks with National Bank's shares ending 5.20 percent higher at 20.22 euros remaining on an upward trend for the seventh consecutive session.
The general index rose 1.92 percent to end at 2,276.47 points, with turnover at 222.2 million euros.
All sector indices ended higher, with the retail, insurance and banks scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day (5.80 percent, 5.05 percent and 3.79 percent, respectively). The food and beverage sector scored the smallest gains (0.51 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks jumped 2.45 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 1.97 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 1.32 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 273 to 51 with another 46 issues unchanged.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 100.67 mln euros Thursday
Equity Index Futures:
Bond Market Close: Buyers outstrip sellers on Thursday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
Closing rates of August 22 2003
Parities in euro
For. Exchange Buying Selling
US Dollar 1,109 1,084
 ATHOC president to inaugurate conferences of national Olympic Committees
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki on Friday will inaugurate the Assembly of the National Olympic Committee Chiefs that was organized by the Athens 2004 International Relations General Directorate.
One hundred ninety six leaders will participate in the conference which will last until Sunday, while the total number of participants announced was 395 persons, which will include representatives from the Turin Winter Olympics of 2006 and the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008.
 V. Papandreou visits Athens 2004 sailing venue
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou on Thursday visited the Olympic Sailing Centre at Agios Kosmas, where she was given a guided tour of the brand-new facilities by Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
Papandreou expressed satisfaction at the progress of works, stressing at the same time that ''attention should focus on the detail.''
''I think that the Games will be very successful, as it is not only the facilities that count but also the organizational element. This is very positive for Greece and all the citizens. The Games will transform Athens into a much prettier city,'' Papandreou said.
For her own part, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said that the feedback received so far with regard to the specific facilities, as well as the organization and Greek people's passion to host unique Games, was excellent.
''We do not stop here, we use everything as a step, as we have a lot of work to do in the next 12 months,'' she added.
 Vartholomeos calls on Greeks not to ''throw stones'' to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
ISTANBUL, 22/08/2003 (ANA – A. Kourkoulas)Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Thursday said that “us, the modern Greeks, should not throw stones” at the Patriarchate, while speaking to a group of visitors from Greece and other parts of the world.
Speaking to another group of visitors from Epirus, Vartholomeos underlined the bonds of the Patriarchate with the region, adding that “it is well known in the minds of all Greeks what the Ecumenical Throne offered over the years, to the maintenance of the ethnic identity of the language and the Orthodox faith during four difficult centuries”.
“We the modern Greeks should remember these things and not to move the back of our foot against those that did good to us, we should not throw stones to the Patriarchate,” he noted.
 Archbishop Christodoulos meets with Polish president
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Thursday continued his visit in Poland with his meeting with the country’s President Alexander Kwasniewksi, who expressed to the Greek prelate the great sympathy his country feels for Greece and the Greek people.
Christodoulos focused his attention, during the meeting with the president of Poland on the subject of the “hopes of the Orthodox Church of Poland, one of which is the re-acquisition of property that was confiscated in the past”.
Kwasniewksi promised to expend all possible effort for the closure of such outstanding problems.
 Human Rights Union party of Albania announces aims for local elections
GIROCASTER, 22/08/2003 (ANA – P. Barkas)The Human Rights Union party announced here on Thursday its targets for the October local elections, its leader Vangelis Dules stressing that the party aims at winning in 20 municipalities and regional administrations.
Dules underlined that if that aim is achieved, the party, which will run independently of others, will be the third largest in the country. However, he did not rule out cooperation in some areas, where it might run with other parties of the country.
 Two Albanians arrested in drug bust
Athens, 22/08/2003 (ANA)Athens police on Thursday said they arrested two members of a drug-trafficking ring allegedly importing large quantities of cannabis from Albania into Greece.
Albanian nationals Aristidis Doukas, 23, and Vassilis Rakou, 24, were arrested by narcotics squad officers while transporting a large quantity of hashish from the west Attica town of Aspropyrgos to Athens in their vehicle.
According to reports, almost 50 kilos of narcotics along with 5,460 euros, their vehicle, a fake ID document and two mobile phones were confiscated.
Authorities are searching for other suspects involved in the case.
 President Papadopoulos to hold talks with Simitis in Athens
NICOSIA, 22/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos will travel to Athens on September 16 for talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Papadopoulos will return to Cyprus and after that he will leave for New York to address the UN General Assembly.
 House President sends letter of condolences to Annan
NICOSIA, 22/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)House President Demetris Christofias, in a letter of condolences to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, expressed "deep shock and sorrow" at the "unprovoked and devastating attack' on the UN headquarters in Baghdad and the tragic loss of many lives, including that of Annan's Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.
Expressing his deepest condolences and steadfast solidarity, Christofias conveyed the House of Representatives and his "sincere sympathy and feelings of grief" to the bereaved families.
"These are undoubtedly dark moments, not only for them and the UN but for all mankind in its search for peace in Iraq and the world," Christofias said.
"The senseless and cowardly perpetrators of this terrorist blow must know that the international community, including Cyprus, fully supports the organization’s efforts to help the people of Iraq and uphold international law worldwide and will not be deterred by such barbarous acts," the House President added.
 Eurozone external trade surplus figures on Cyprus
NICOSIA, 22/08/2003 (CNA/ANA)Exports from Cyprus to EU member states were down to 0.06 billion euros between January-March 2003, compared to 0.07 billion euros for the same period last year, while imports remained stable at 0.5 billion euros.
According to Euro-zone external trade estimates released by Eurostat regarding EU member states' trade with acceding countries, Cyprus' exports to non-EU countries for the period January-March 2003 were down to 0.04 billion euros from 0.07 billion euros for the same period last year, while imports for the same period from countries other than the EU remained stable.
According to Eurostat figures, the total exports of Cyprus from January-March 2003 were down by 0.4 billion euros compared to the corresponding period in 2002 (from 0.14 billion euros in 2002 to 0.10 billion euros in 2003).
Imports also marked a drop of 0.1 billion euros (from 0.9 billion euros in 2002 to 0.8 billion euros in 2003).