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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Decision on trial for 'plane spotters' this week
  • [02] Initial figures show population of Greece numbers 10,939,605
  • [03] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [04] Memorial service for Sept. 11 victims held at US embassy
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Cloudy and cold on Wednesday
  • [06] Gov't considers 15-day leave plan during Olympics
  • [07] Speculation over next Panathinaikos coach
  • [08] Athens Bourse Close: Bourse ends lower in edgy trade

  • [01] Decision on trial for 'plane spotters' this week

    11/12/2001 21:19:38

    A judicial decision on the fate of 14 British and Dutch ?plane spotters? arrested and charged with espionage last month -- a case thats turned into a minor ?cause celebre? by a number of London dailies and even attracted Foreign Office interest is expected in the next two days.

    A three-judge misdemeanor council heard arguments by counsel for the 12 Britons and two Dutchmen on Tuesday in the SW Greek port city of Kalamata, where their clients were arrested in November and subsequently charged with espionage.

    The misdemeanour council follows a recommendation by a local prosecutor that all 14 be tried for photographing a handful of military airbases in southern Greece.

    A Kalamata investigating magistrate and a public prosecutor late last month decided to refer to the case to the misdemeanor council after Greek intelligence officials pointed to espionage in their report to court officials.

    Conversely, the 14 foreign nationals 13 men and one woman -- have continued to maintain throughout that they were on a ?plane spotting? vacation when arrested outside a military airbase near Kalamata.

    Photographing military installations is prohibited in Greece, although the 14 say they had an invitation to attend an air show in Kalamata. Another issue now apparently complicating matters is the revelation that the leader of the ?plane spotting? group had visited Turkey recently as a guest of the Turkish military.

    They were arrested on Nov. 8 in the port city, three days after being briefly detained at an airbase north of Athens for photographing the site.

    [02] Initial figures show population of Greece numbers 10,939,605

    11/12/2001 21:19:22

    The population of Greece in 2001 totalled 10,939,605 compared to 10,252,580 in 1991, marking an increase of 6.7 per cent, according to initial census data made public on Tuesday by the National Statistics Service of Greece (ESYE).

    Of the 10,939,605, 5,424,089 are males and 5,515,516 are females.

    The male population increased 7.4 per cent during the decade, while the female population increased 6 per cent.

    The greatest increase in population was in the eastern Attica prefecture (37 per cent), the western Attica prefecture (20.7 per cent), Crete (11.5 per cent), the Ionian Islands (10.7 per cent) and Macedonia (8.2 per cent).

    [03] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    11/12/2001 21:18:15

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 379.454

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 544.320

    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 045.398

    Swedish kroner 036.087

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 300.989

    Swiss franc 228.522

    Norwegian kroner 042.242

    Cyprus pound 588.088

    Canadian dollar 240.371

    Australian dollar 195.104

    [04] Memorial service for Sept. 11 victims held at US embassy

    11/12/2001 21:18:07

    A solemn ceremony was held at the US ambassadors residence on Tuesday in memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist victims, three months after the dastardly attacks in Manhattan and Washington shocked the world.

    Similar services were held at US diplomatic missions around the world.

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and former premier Constantine Mitsotakis attended the ceremony at ambassador Thomas Millers official residence.

    Numerous other ministers, MPs, diplomats and religious leaders also attended.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Cloudy and cold on Wednesday

    11/12/2001 18:24:58

    Scattered cloud gradually increasing during the day with some snow during the night is forecast in northern Greece on Wednesday, while the rest of Greece will be overcast with showers and some snow on high ground. Storms are forecast on Crete and the Dodecanese. Winds north-northeasterly, moderate to strong, turning to very strong in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -6C to 6C; in the west from 0C to 12C; and in the rest of the country from 3C to 11C. Cloud and showers in Athens with snow on high ground. Temperatures between 5C and 10C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with some snow at night, temperatures from -3C to 5C.

    [06] Gov't considers 15-day leave plan during Olympics

    11/12/2001 17:47:36

    The government announced on Tuesday that it was considering offering 15-day vacations to civil servants and other public sector employees in August 2004, when the Olympic Games are hosted in Athens.

    Town planning, environment and public works Minister Vasso Papandreou made the statement during a press conference in the Greek capital, a day before she travels to Brussels to attend an EU environment ministers council.

    Several proposals have been aired over the past few months on ways to reduce Athens notorious traffic congestion for the 2004 Games, although August is traditionally a month when most city dwellers take their holiday while schools are closed.

    [07] Speculation over next Panathinaikos coach

    11/12/2001 17:27:52

    Resigned Panathinaikos Athens skipper Yiannis Kyrastas will stay on with the club until Dec. 19, team officials said on Monday, one day after struggling Panathinaikos lost at home 2-1 to PAOK Thessaloniki.

    Sundays loss, Panathinaikos third loss in Greek first division play, left the second round Champions League participant (Group C) 12 points behind league-leading AEK Athens.

    AEKs 6-2 away win against weak Panionios Athens left it at the top of the standings with 24 points, followed by last years champions Olympiakos Piraeus at 18 points.

    Panathinaikos assistant coach Stratos Apostolakis, a well-known former Greek international, also tendered his resignation.

    Finally, Portuguese international Paolo Sousas future with the ?clover-emblem? Greek team will probably be decided this week. Sousas publicly clashed with Apostolakis following Panathinaikos 3-0 away defeat by Real Madrid on Tuesday for Champions League play, while press critics have pointed to a lacklustre performance by the star midfielder so far this season.

    Widespread speculation in several Athens sports dailies on Monday had respected Uruguayan coach Sergio Marcarian, who guided Paraguay to World Cup 2002 qualification, landing at Panathinaikos helm.

    Marcarian also posted a brief but successful stint a few years ago at Ionikos Piraeus, a Greek first division club currently in the relegation zone.

    Another name touted as the next Panathinaikos coach in local newspaper headlines is current Ionikos skipper Oleg Blochin, a one-time Ukrainian superstar striker that has coached several Greek teams as well, including AEK and PAOK.

    [08] Athens Bourse Close: Bourse ends lower in edgy trade

    11/12/2001 17:21:07

    The Athens bourse finished lower in edgy trade on Tuesday, with wary investors fighting shy of stocks and pushing the bourse down.

    The general share index shed 0.62 percent to end at 2,645.38 points. Turnover was 122 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.51 percent down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.59 percent lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.86 percent down.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 228 to 86 with 42 issues remaining unchanged.

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