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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-06-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece-IOC-Assembly (RECASTS - Adds more)
  • [02] Immigrants-Legalisation-Report
  • [03] Olympic Village-Groundbreaking
  • [04] Lambrakis-Flash-Pegasus-Internet
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates- Thursday
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Changeable weather on Thursday
  • [07] Fitch upgrades Greek long-term debt
  • [08] Greek stocks plunge to their lowest levels since January 199

  • [01] Greece-IOC-Assembly (RECASTS - Adds more)

    20/06/2001 22:54:54

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch presided for the last time over the inauguration ceremony of the International Olympic Academy's (IOA) assembly in Athens on Wednesday as he will be retiring soon.

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, Sports Deputy Minister George Floridis, Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Greek Olympic Committee President Lambis Nicolaou and IOA President Nikos Filaretos were present at this 41st IOA assembly.

    Visibly moved, Samaranch once again expressed his conviction that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be a success and said "Greece is preparing to give us the opportunity to share all the aspects of its rich culture at international level until the Athens Olympic Games are held."

    "The Greek government, headed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the 'Athens 2004' Organising Committee, whose President is Ms. Angelopoulos, are making every effort possible for the success of this international event which links this country directly to its history," he added.

    Samaranch, referring to volunteerism, also said "2001 is the international year of volunteers. Volunteerism constitutes the foundation of the Olympic movement. This is the reason why we are all activating ourselves to pay tribute to volunteers all over the world."

    [02] Immigrants-Legalisation-Report

    20/06/2001 21:32:13

    An estimated 90.2 percent of immigrants said the new immigration law on legalisation was good and 8.2 percent said it was bad, according to a report prepared by the Citizens Service Centre based on a telephone poll among immigrants.

    Moreover, 80.6 percent believe life will become better for them, 6.5 percent that it will worsen and 11.7 do not expect any change.

    Out of the immigrants participating in the poll, 58.4 percent are from Albania, 10.3 percent from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, 7 percent from Romania and 4.4 percent from Bulgaria.

    The report also shows that 50 percent of illegal immigrants have been living in Greece over four years, 63 percent live with their families, 72 percent wish to live in Greece over five years and 50 percent wish to settle permanently.

    Meanwhile, 85,000 applications had been made by Wednesday for the granting of temporary residence permits to immigrants. According to information from the interior ministry, applications have been increasing gradually in past days, while over 280,000 have requested information so far by dialling the citizens service number "1464."

    [03] Olympic Village-Groundbreaking

    20/06/2001 20:14:37

    Labour Minister Tassos Yiannitsis on Wednesday attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Olympic Village that will be used in the 2004 Games to be hosted by Athens.

    The village, which is being built in Lekanes, Aharnon, will contain 2,290 dwellings to house 17,000 athletes. The homes will be used as subsidised housing for workers after the Olympics.

    Yiannitsis said that the projects's budget of around 100 billion drachmas would be adhered to, along with a completion deadline of November 30, 2003.

    Also to be built on the site are a centre for the arts and entertainment, a religious centre, an Olympic museum, and a shopping precinct.

    "The design is original, and modern in conception and specifications. Its budget is sensible," said Deputy Labour Minister Christos Protopapas, who also attended the ceremony.

    The village, whose contractor is the Labour Housing Organisation, is the largest project in the 2004 Olympics.

    [04] Lambrakis-Flash-Pegasus-Internet

    20/06/2001 19:36:58

    DOL Digital (Lambrakis group), Flash Multimedia (Kokkalis group) and Pegasus Interactive (Bobolas group) announced on Wednesday that they planned to set up a company for e-commerce operations on the internet, following regulatory approval.

    The new firm will also provide allied services for third parties, the three firms said in a statement.

    Each of the three groups has an internet portal, which will be used to aid the new company, whose start-up capital is 3.0 million euros, the statement added.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates- Thursday

    20/06/2001 18:21:46

    Buying rates for Thursday

    U.S. dollar 397.052

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 553.228

    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 045.342

    Swedish kroner 037.088

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 321.917

    Swiss franc 221.683

    Norwegian kroner 043.024

    Cyprus pound 588.057

    Canadian dollar 258.594

    Australian dollar 205.605

    [06] Weather Forecast: Changeable weather on Thursday

    20/06/2001 18:03:56

    Cloud is forecast throughout the country on Thursday, turning to showers or storms on the mainland and in the Ionian and northern Aegean. The weather will begin to improve from the west in the evening. Winds variable, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 12C to 26C; in the west from 14C to 28C; and in the rest of the country from 16C to 30C. Unsettled weather in Athens, with temperatures between 17C and 29C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 16C to 25C.

    [07] Fitch upgrades Greek long-term debt

    20/06/2001 17:08:31

    Fitch IBCA, an international credit rating agency, on Wednesday said it was upgrading Greece's long-term debt to A from A- following the country's entry in the euro zone.

    The credit rating company said the country's short-term debt remained unchanged at F1, while Greece's outlook status was "stable".

    In a report, Fitch said Greece "has showed remarkable performance in its efforts to achieve EMU entry criteria and was continuing at the same rapid speed in 2001."

    Fitch noted that "although Greece still has the lowest per capita gross domestic product in European Union )around 68 percent of the EU average), the gap was closing as the country's real growth rate continued to exceed the EU's aveage by far and investments have risen considerably."

    [08] Greek stocks plunge to their lowest levels since January 199

    20/06/2001 16:47:55

    Equity prices prices fell to the lowest levels since January 13, 1999 on Wednesday hit by lack of fresh buying activity and very low liquidity in the market.

    Traders said the general index finally fell below the 2,820 support level following several attempts to break the level in recent sessions.

    Blue chip stocks were particularly hit, with National Bank falling 2.13% and Commercial Bank easing 2.70%, while telecom stocks showed resistance (Cosmote +1.17%, Hellenic Telecoms -0.32%, Panafon -0.63%).

    A total of 22 shares plunged to their lowest levels this year, including Alpha Bank, Commercial Bank, Hellenic Petroleum and Titan Cement, while the banks and investment indices fell to year record-lows.

    The general index fell 0.93 percent to 2,806.65 points, with turnover at 127.50 million euros, or 43.45 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 1,626.98 points, off 1.09 percent, the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 1.02 percent to 321.61 points, and the FTSE/ASE SMALLCAP 80 index ended at 892.87 points, off 1.68 percent.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 267.72 points, off 1.52 percent.

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