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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Leaders of three monotheistic religions reject conflict of cultures
  • [02] Papantoniou in Turkey: Int' law, pacts the basis of solutions
  • [03] Greek president to visit Slovakia from April 8-10
  • [04] Athens metro system goes festive with live music and short theater
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [06] Greek stocks fall on profit taking

  • [01] Leaders of three monotheistic religions reject conflict of cultures

    20/12/2001 22:13:27

    BRUSSELS (ANA - B. Demiris) - "We unanimously reject the notion that religion leads to an inevitable conflict of civilizations. To the contrary, we propagate the constructive and educational role of religion in the dialogue between civilizations," read the "Declaration of Brussels", a joint communique drafted by leaders of the three major monotheistic religions here.

    The dialogue between religions organized by the Orthodox Christian Ecumenical Patriarchate in cooperation with the European Commission included representatives of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

    "We declare jointly that the will of God is that the peace of paradise should reign on earth and we pray for the peaceful coexistence of the faithful of all religions in the modern multi-cultural world society," the declaration said.

    European Commission President Romano Prodi stressed that the European Union was the only organization to work towards the coordination of a supra-national reaction to the post Sept. 11 crisis.

    [02] Papantoniou in Turkey: Int' law, pacts the basis of solutions

    20/12/2001 22:12:13

    ISTANBUL (ANA A. Abatzis) Greeces defence minister reiterated on Thursday that the ?Euro-force? issue primarily concerns Greece and the other European Union member-states, a clear reference to Turkey, which is hosting a summit of southeast European countries defence ministers in the Turkish resort city of Attalya.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou echoed Athens official position on the issue, namely, that ?Greece will not accept any understanding that violates its national interests. The agreement that will come about cannot impede the exercise of sovereign rights,? Papantoniou said.

    Greece last week rejected a British-US compromise deal with non-EU member Turkey that would have secured access to plentiful and operational NATO resources for the Unions nascent rapid deployment force.

    Athens primary concerns over the deal centred on the issue of non-EU members possibly being invited to join future ?Euro-force? missions on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, Greek leadership is weary of the fact that non-EU members would also be consulted on missions affecting their own national security. Turkey, a non-EU member and ?dark horse? in the race to join the bloc in the medium-term, has vociferously lobbied to join the 15-member Unions security operations.

    Besides Greece and host Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Romania and the Ukraine have sent their defence ministers to Attalya, while deputy ministers from Italy, Slovenia, the United States and NATO representatives are also attending.

    The Greek minister was later joined by his Turkish counterpart Sabahattin Cakmakoglu after attending defence ministers gathered for a customary ?family portrait? photo opportunity, with the latter expressing his satisfaction over the fact that ?certain Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) are beginning to bear fruits?. As such, Cakmakoglu cited the establishment of a direct emergency telephone line between the Greek and Turkish defence ministries.

    In the presence of his Turkish counterpart, Papantoniou merely reiterated to reporters Greeces standing position that ?resolution of (bilateral) problems must be accomplished on the basis of international agreements and International Law.?

    [03] Greek president to visit Slovakia from April 8-10

    20/12/2001 22:09:31

    VIENNA (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis) - President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Bratislava from April 8-10 at the invitation of his Slovak counterpart Rudolf Schuster.

    Stephanopoulos will be returning a visit made by Schuster to Athens in May 2000.

    The announcement of the visit was made here on Thursday by departing Greek Ambassador to Slovakia, Vassilis Eikosipentarchos, who will return to the Greek Foreign Ministry in a few days time. Eikosipentarchos was the first Greek ambassador to Slovakia since the establishment of the Greek Embassy there in July 1997.

    Greek Ambassador to Austria Christos Alexandris gave a reception in Vienna in honour of the outgoing ambassador, attended by foreign diplomats and Greek officials.

    Relations between Greece and Slovakia have developed increasingly. Prime Minister Costas Simitis had paid an official visit to Bratislava from November 12-13 this year.

    A number of bilateral agreements have been signed in recent years.

    It is expected that about 80,000 Slovak tourists will have visited Greece by the end of the year.

    There are about 300 Greeks studying in Slovakia, mainly in the field of medicine.

    [04] Athens metro system goes festive with live music and short theater plays

    20/12/2001 22:08:11

    Transport Minister Christos Verelis on Thursday announced that the festive season will touch the lives of those traveling with the Athens metro system as special multicultural events will take place in the underground caverns of the fastest transport mode in the city.

    He said that the events will begin on Dec. 21 and run through Dec. 24, while for new years a series of events will take place between Dec. 28 to Dec. 31.

    The events will include 80 one hour music concerts and 64 short theater acts.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    20/12/2001 19:45:45

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 376.727

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 544.938

    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 045.438

    Swedish kroner 035.536

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 293.800

    Swiss franc 230.345

    Norwegian kroner 042.337

    Cyprus pound 587.348

    Canadian dollar 238.804

    Australian dollar 191.217

    [06] Greek stocks fall on profit taking

    20/12/2001 16:43:44

    Equity prices ended lower on Thursday hit by a wave of profit taking on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index ended 1.01 percent lower at 2,584.98 points, with turnover an improved Dr 69.9 billion, or 205.1 million euros.

    The Insurance sector was the only to score gains, while the Publications, Wholesale and Investment sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (2.33 percent, 1.97 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.10 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 1.07 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.90 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 255 to 66 with another 31 issues unchanged.


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