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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Exports need a boost, government official says
  • [02] Five Greeks deported, one arrested after EU summit protest
  • [03] Cross transactions with Istanbul bourse to start in 2002
  • [04] Market holiday on Dec 31 to prepare for euro cash launch
  • [05] Greece, Spain back southern EU tobacco growers' pact
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain and snow on Sunday
  • [07] Greek PM welcomes EU plan to reshape its future
  • [08] Patriarch Vartholomeos marks end of Moslem holy month

  • [01] Exports need a boost, government official says

    15/12/2001 19:53:19

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis said on Saturday that Greek exports needed to increase, and the time was right for companies to evolve a more outward-looking business strategy.

    Magriotis attributed the relatively low level of exports to weaknesses in both the private and public sectors that hindered growth in competitiveness.

    However, current conditions were favourable with a chance for Greek firms to show dynamism and turn their sights outward.

    In addition, Greek foreign policy and the country's presence in southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and central Asia had created prestige and opened new businesses opportunities, Magriotis said.

    He was addressing the OTE Money Show 2001 in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

    [02] Five Greeks deported, one arrested after EU summit protest

    15/12/2001 19:30:58

    BRUSSELS (ANA/B.Demiris) - Five Greek protesters arrested for taking part in an attempt to occupy a building in the Belgian capital have been deported, diplomatic sources said on Saturday.

    The five, who were protesting ahead of a European Union summit to be held in Laeken, near Brussels at the weekend, were deported on Thursday, the day of their arrest, the Greek diplomatic sources said.

    The sources said they had learned of the deportation from Belgian police reports given to their ambassador in Brussels.

    Another Greek national was arrested on Saturday for breach of the peace, they added.

    The names of the protesters have not been officially released.

    [03] Cross transactions with Istanbul bourse to start in 2002

    15/12/2001 18:56:33

    The Athens Stock Exchange and Istanbul bourse are to launch cross transactions in 2002, the head of the Greek market, Panayotis Alexakis, said on Saturday.

    Speaking at the OTE Money Show 2001 in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Alexakis also said that authorities were studying the possibility of activating a platform for transactions between the Athens bourse and the Yugoslav market in Belgrade.

    In addition, the Athens bourse was working on cooperation arrangements with markets in Sofia, Bulgaria; and Bucharest, Romania, he added.

    [04] Market holiday on Dec 31 to prepare for euro cash launch

    15/12/2001 18:43:55

    Greece has declared December 31 as a market holiday in order to prepare for launch of the euro as a physical currency on the following day.

    The ruling applies to transactions at the Bank of Greece, or central bank, and commercial banks, except for selected business including introduction of the new coins and banknotes; and internal systems trials for the following day.

    The Athens Stock Exchange and Athens Derivatives Market will remain closed on December 31, along with affiliated companies including mutual fund managers and investment firms.

    Automated teller machines for the public will operate normally.

    The ruling on the market holiday has been ratified by parliament and is about to be published in the Government Gazette, when it becomes law.

    [05] Greece, Spain back southern EU tobacco growers' pact

    15/12/2001 18:30:40

    Greece and Spain agreed on Saturday that the European Union's southern countries should form a united front on EU policy for tobacco growers.

    Agriculture Minister George Drys and his Spanish counterpart, Miguel Arias, said at a meeting in Athens that Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal should give the EU joint action plans on the sector in order to secure favourable terms in the future.

    The meeting was part of exploratory talks by Spanish government officials before their country assumes the EU's rotating presidency on January 1.

    Drys also told Arias of Greece's interest in establishing new EU rules on the Aegean Sea's small islands in line with amendments made for sea regions off Spain, France and Portugal.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain and snow on Sunday

    15/12/2001 17:59:09

    Cloud is forecast in all parts of the country on Sunday with snow on high ground, also falling in low lying areas of the north, and in the centre from evening. Rain and storms are expected in the Ionian sea, the western central mainland, the Peloponnese, the Aegean sea, Crete and the Dodecanese islands. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from -5C to 4C; in the centre from -1C to 12C; and in the rest of the country from 6C to 17C. Cloud and showers during the day in Athens, turning to storms from late afternoon. Temperatures between 5C and 12C. Snow in Thessaloniki with temperatures from -2C to 2C.

    [07] Greek PM welcomes EU plan to reshape its future

    15/12/2001 17:43:02

    BRUSSELS (ANA/M.Spinthourakis) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Saturday welcomed a decision by leaders of the European Union to create a constitutional convention on rethinking the future of the 15-nation bloc ahead of enlargement.

    "The EU summit's Laeken declaration on the future of Europe and decisions taken on the form and nature of the convention that will prepare an institutional overhaul of the EU constitute a good starting point," Simitis said.

    He was speaking at a news conference for Greek media in Laeken, near the Belgian capital, where the two-day summit was held. Also scheduled for the EU leaders was a working luncheon with the heads of state and government of the bloc's 13 candidate countries.

    The prime minister said that the Laeken declaration, which sets the agenda for the convention, would safeguard the democratic nature of institutional reform, as it allowed representation for the society of citizens, national parliaments, governments and the Europarliament.

    Initially, the advisory convention would examine key areas for the overhaul; and then make single proposals or offer alternative proposals on each issue.

    Deliberations would focus on a rearrangement of powers in the EU; the development of a common foreign and security policy; and simplification of the decision-making process in order to narrow the gap between Community institutions and the public, Simitis said.

    The convention, whose head was named as veteran statesman Valery Giscard d'Estaing of France, would also look at whether the bloc should adopt a constitution; and if so, what its orientation should be.

    The outcome of the convention's deliberations on setting a framework for the institutional overhaul would not be binding on a meeting of governments that was scheduled to follow.

    Turning to the summit's decisions on European defence, Simitis said the government was satisfied with the outcome, although a problem remained with Turkey; and he was optimistic that a compromise would be found on the question of the EU's ties with NATO.

    Furthermore, Greece exercised its foreign policy fearlessly, and without pandemonium. "Foreign policy is not conducted by means of threats," Simitis noted.

    Finally, the prime minister said that whether or not Greece would take part in a troop dispatch to Kabul, Afghanistan by EU member states was under discussion.

    He implied that Greece's contribution to the effort was likely to be in the form of humanitarian aid, such as doctors and medicine, rather than troops.

    [08] Patriarch Vartholomeos marks end of Moslem holy month

    15/12/2001 16:00:21

    ISTANBUL (ANA/A.Kourkoulas) - Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Saturday sent a message to Moslems marking the end of their holy month of Ramadan that called for peace among the world's three major monotheistic religions.

    Vartholomeos said that a meeting of religions arranged by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Brussels under the aegis of European Union Commission president Romano Prodi aimed to spur peaceful coexistence among the three faiths.


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