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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] White House announces Greek PM's Washington visit
  • [02] Greece to participate in NATO's Afghanistan peacekeeping force
  • [03] Gov't takes measures to cut costs for ailing airline market
  • [04] Intracom chief voted top Greek businessman
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [06] Budget for Olympics-related projects under review
  • [07] 300,000 Bulgarians visit Greece after visa abolition
  • [08] Bush to receive Greek PM on Jan. 10
  • [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, fuelled by institutionals
  • [10] Weather Forecast: Cloud, intermittent snow on Wednesday

  • [01] White House announces Greek PM's Washington visit

    18/12/2001 22:54:41

    WASHINGTON (ANA) - U.S. President George W. Bush will welcome Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Washington on Jnuary 10, 2002, according to an announcement by the White House press secretary's office on Tuesday.

    "This visit provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation between the United States and Greece, key NATO allies, on stability in the Balkans, Cyprus, NATO and the European Union, counterterrorism, and preparations for the upcoming Olympics in Salt Lake City and Athens. The visit will also serve as a reminder of the great and enduring contributions that Greek Americans have made to the United States and to American society," the announcement said.

    [02] Greece to participate in NATO's Afghanistan peacekeeping force

    18/12/2001 22:23:48

    BRUSSELS (ANA - G. Zitouniati) - Greece will participate in the NATO peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Tuesday here after the defence ministers' meeting of the alliance.

    He noted that Greece will participate with a medical team, a company of engineers, two C-130 cargo aircraft and a small number of special forces troops which will be charged with the protection of the Greek mission.

    Papantoniou said that according to U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld the war operations in Afghanistan have almost concluded, but there still are some active elements of al Queda in the country.

    [03] Gov't takes measures to cut costs for ailing airline market

    18/12/2001 20:00:33

    The government on Tuesday announced measures to lower costs for the airline industry in a bid to help the slumping sector after terrorist attacks in the US on September 11 deterred the public worldwide from travelling.

    Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis said that charges at Athens international airport for airlines would be reduced from January in a joint decision with Hochtief of Germany, the facility's operator.

    In addition, the Eleftherios Venizelos airport would be given 15 percent of a government tax on the airport, a move that also comes into force in January, Verelis told a news conference.

    The measures would help to keep down the price of fares for passengers, spurring travel, he added.

    [04] Intracom chief voted top Greek businessman

    18/12/2001 19:47:49

    The owner and founder of the Athens-quoted Intracom Group, Socrates Kokkalis, has been voted the country's top businessman in a country poll conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Kokkalis was voted top in a domestic survey of Greek businesses, followed by the chairman of Alpha Bank, Yiannis Kostopoulos; the president of the Latsis Group, Spyros Latsis; the chairman of Delta Holding, Dimitris Daskalopoulos; and the president of Chipita International, Spyridon Theodoropoulos.

    Intracom was voted the country's top business by domestic respondents, followed by Titan Cement Co., Alpha Bank, Hellenic Bottling HBC, Delta Holding, Folli Follie, Cosmote and EFG Eurobank Ergasias.

    The findings of the poll were released on Tuesday.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    18/12/2001 18:35:16

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 375.068

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 546.175

    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 045.439

    Swedish kroner 035.713

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 293.269

    Swiss franc 229.260

    Norwegian kroner 042.287

    Cyprus pound 587.520

    Canadian dollar 239.038

    Australian dollar 193.685

    [06] Budget for Olympics-related projects under review

    18/12/2001 18:31:56

    Greater international promotion of the Athens 2004 Olympics as well as an emphasis on the upcoming Games ?uniqueness? and ?homecoming? dominated Mondays inter-ministerial Olympics committee meeting, the last convened for 2001.

    Among others, the committee chaired by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis approved the establishment of a new press centre at the Zappeion Hall in downtown Athens to assist foreign journalists and sportswriters before the Games get underway in August 2004.

    In another critical area, a government spokesman said the budget for 2004-related projects will be reviewed in January, whereas other government sources later said that a ?small increase? is more than likely.

    In other 2004 news, ATHOC unveiled its expanded website -- -- on Monday, featuring 1,800 electronic pages in Greek and English.

    Finally, well-known Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava visited ATHOC's headquarters on Monday to submit his study for the unification of the OAKA sports complex, which includes the primary venues for the 2004 Games, including the Olympic Stadium where the opening and the athletics events will take place.

    [07] 300,000 Bulgarians visit Greece after visa abolition

    18/12/2001 18:30:39

    SOFIA (ANA) Greek diplomatic officials on Monday said roughly 300,000 Bulgarian citizens entered Greece since April 10, when Schengen Pact member-states lifted a visa requirement for Bulgarians.

    According to the Greek embassys consular affairs director, all-important figures on how many of the 300,000 or so Bulgarian nationals legally returned to their native country after entering Greece are pending.

    ?Greeces standing policy is to facilitate the free movement of Bulgarian citizens within the (existing) legal framework,? diplomat Nikolaos Diktakis told local reporters and foreign correspondents here on Monday.

    He warned, however, that non-EU nationals properly entering the country only to subsequently remain as illegal migrants or work illegally in Greece forfeit their legal standing.

    Finally, consular officials said 15,000 Bulgarians have taken advantage of a bilateral seasonal labour agreement over the past year and a half to work legally in Greece.

    [08] Bush to receive Greek PM on Jan. 10

    18/12/2001 18:27:24

    The Greek government officially announced on Tuesday that Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to the United States for an official visit in early January, with a White House meeting with US President George Bush set for Jan. 10.

    A government spokesman in Athens added that a detailed itinerary for Simitis trip will be announced in the next few days.

    [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, fuelled by institutionals

    18/12/2001 18:00:33

    The Athens bourse finished higher on Tuesday, with a buying spree in selected high capitalisation stocks by institutional investors towards the end of trade fuelling prices.

    The general share index gained 0.59 percent to end at 2,578.06 points. Turnover was 153.5 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.94 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.09 percent lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.04 percent higher.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 168 to 149 with 40 issues remaining unchanged.

    [10] Weather Forecast: Cloud, intermittent snow on Wednesday

    18/12/2001 17:48:00

    Snow and sleet will fall intermittently in many parts of the country on Wednesday, gradually easing off during the day. The west and north will be cloudy. Winds northerly, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -15C to -2C; on the rest of the rest of the mainland from -7C to 5C; and in the islands from -1C to 7C. Scattered cloud in Athens with snow likely to the north and east of the city in the morning. Temperatures between -1C and 4C. Light cloud in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from -7C to -1C.

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