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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-05-04
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Pope-Archbishop Christodoulos-Joint Statement04/05/2001 20:36:48
Pope John Paul II and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, in a joint statement signed and read at the Areios Paghos hill in Athens on Friday, the place where Apostle Paul preached Christianity, condemned any fanaticism in the name of religions, as well as any resorting to force and proselytisation.
They also said relations between Christians, in all aspects, should be characterised by integrity and wisdom.
The two Churches also expressed concern over the fact that economic and technological development belongs to a very small sector of humanity and it is not accompanied by a probe of the concept and value of life.
The statement stresses that wars and sufferings are a daily reality for millions of people and for this reason the two Churches are committed to struggling for peace and calling, on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, for the return of the ancient Olympic Truce.
Archbishop Christodoulos and the Pope express satisfaction over the European Union's success, underlining the importance of Europe's Christian roots, which should be preserved.
Mention is also made of globalisation, which, as they said, will have harmful consequences unless globalisation of fraternity is achieved.
"We condemn any resorting to force, proselytisation and fanaticism in the name of religions. We insist, in particular, on relations between Christians, in all of their aspects, to be characterised by integrity, wisdom and knowledge of relevant issues,"the statement said.
It went on to say "we are watching that the scientific and social development of man is not accompanied by a probe into the concept and value of life which, in any case, is a gift of God, nor by a corresponding appreciation of the unique dignity of man."
"We ascertain with anxiety," it added, "that wars, massacres, torturing and sufferings constitute the daily nightmarish reality for millions of our brothers. We are committed to struggling for peace all over the world, respect for life and the dignity of man and solidarity for all who are in need."
The statement further said "we are watching attentively and with concern the process of globalisation with the hope that it will provide gracious fruit."
"We are satisfied with the success and progress of the European Union. The unification of the European world into one state entity, without peoples losing their conscience, national tradition and religious identity, was the vision of its leaders," it added.
The statement also noted that the looming trend of some European countries turning into secular states without any reference to religion constitutes a retraction and denial of their spiritual heritage, adding that their strength will be devoted to having Europe's Christian roots and its Christian soul being preserved intact.
 Gov't-Mobile Phones-Permits04/05/2001 20:20:13
Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Alekos Voulgaris on Friday signed a decision allowing the award of four new third-generation (UMTS) mobile phone permits this year.
The tendering process will be announced on Monday.
In addition, a fourth and final permit will be awarded for second-generation (GSM and DCS)mobile phones. The three existing permits are held by Panafon, Cosmote and Telestet.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday04/05/2001 19:27:39
Buying rates until Monday
U.S. dollar 378.148
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 542.924
Irish punt 429.202
Belgian franc 008.379
Luxembourg franc 008.379
Dutch guilder 153.389
Italian lira (100) 017.457
Austrian schilling 024.565
Danish kroner 45.280
Swedish kroner 37.001
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 312.442
Swiss franc 219.019
Norwegian kroner 41.769
Cyprus pound 584.547
Canadian dollar 246.991
Australian dollar 197.022
 Athens Medical-Albania-Gov't04/05/2001 18:44:52
Athens Medical, a group of clinics and diagnostic centres listed on the Athens bourse, has been appointed as a health sector consultant to the Albanian government.
Also agreed by the two sides was that the Athens Medical Group would treat patients from Albania in its clinics when domestic hospitals were unable to handle cases due to a lack of specialised resources or skills.
Furthermore, the company's Interbalkan Medical Centre in Greece would train Albanian doctors, the group said in a statement on Friday.
Finally the group, which belongs to entrepreneur Yorgos Apostolopoulos, has pledged to create a modern diagnostic centre in Tirana, the Albanian capital, in the near future, the statement added.
 Weather Forecast-Saturday04/05/2001 17:03:11
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Saturday, turning to showers from late afternoon in the west, centre and north. Winds variable, light to strong. Temperatures on the northern mainland will range from 11C to 27C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 13C to 29C; and in the Aegean from 15C to 25C. Light cloud in Athens, with temperatures between 15C and 28C. Evening showers in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 11C to 27C.
 Pope - Apology - Orthodox World04/05/2001 16:45:53
A historic apology to the Orthodox world for sins ?of action and omission? over the centuries by Catholics was made here on Friday by Pope John Paul II during his unprecedented pilgrimage to Greece and meeting with the Greek Church Primate Christodoulos.
"For the occasions past and present, when the sons and
daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by actions and
omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the
Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of him," he said.
Christodoulos, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, applauded twice as the visiting pontiff made his statements at the Athens Archdiocese, sparking off a guarded hope for reconciliation between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches which dominate from Russia, the Balkans and, of course, Greece. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church split in 1054.
In directly commenting on a historical milestone that the Orthodox Churches have for centuries cited as the epitome of the Catholic Churchs animosity towards them the sacking of the Byzantine Empires capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade John Paul II said the ?fact that they were Latin Catholics fills Catholics with a deep regret?.
In his greeting, Christodoulos emphasised that not one word of remorse has been heard from the Vatican to date over the Orthodox world's grievances, while also touching on a matter dear to the hearts of Greek Orthodox faithful, namely, Cyprus' ongoing division following a Turkish invasion in 1974. The Greek Church Primate also warned against what he called the ?de-Christianisation? of Europe in his greeting.
Christodoulos and John Paul II are due to meet again this afternoon, when the pontiff arrives at the Areopagus Hill at the foot of the Acropolis to visit a spot where the Apostle Paul preached to the ancient Athenians in 51 A.D.
 ASE-close04/05/2001 15:59:43
Equity prices ended lower on the last trading session of a subdued week on the Athens Stock Exchange, hit by lack of buying interest and a "freezing" of intraday trading by securities firms ahead of the implementation of margin account trading by the end of the month.
Traders said also that several brokerage firms were selling stock shares to close investors' debit accounts.
The general index ended 0.74 percent lower at 3,204.36, near its day's lows of 3,201.32 points. Turnover was a low 126.55 million euros, or 43.12 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index ended at 1,873.69 points, off 0.34 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 1.48 percent to 367.69 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 317.65 points, off 1.06 percent.
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