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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [02] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Saturday
  • [03] Turkey again claims 'airspace violations' by Greek planes
  • [04] Greece announces participation in Afghanistan peace mission
  • [05] Greek stocks end last 2001 session slightly up
  • [06] Athens organisers say 6,000 drivers needed for 2004 Games

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    28/12/2001 18:49:35

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 383.554

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 555.501

    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 045.454

    Swedish kroner 036.342

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 293.093

    Swiss franc 227.941

    Norwegian kroner 042.51

    Cyprus pound 587.824

    Canadian dollar 240.117

    Australian dollar 195.619

    [02] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Saturday

    28/12/2001 18:19:11

    Mostly sunny throughout the country on Saturday. Winds northerly, northwesterly, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from -7C to 6C; on the rest of the mainland from -2C to 14C; and in the islands from 10C to 16C. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 6C and 14C. Mostly sunny in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 2C to 6C.

    [03] Turkey again claims 'airspace violations' by Greek planes

    28/12/2001 18:13:42

    ISTANBUL (ANA) Turkeys general staff on Thursday again lobbed a charge of ?increased airspace violations? against Greeces air force, a practice for which Athens has vociferously condemned Turkeys military establishment over the past several years and repeatedly countered in the Aegeans skies.

    Turkeys military claimed on Thursday that Hellenic Air Force warplanes ?violated Turkish airspace and harassed Turkish fighter planes flying in the Aegeans international airspace.?

    Ankaras claims the ?violations? occurred on Nov. 23-24 and between Dec. 11 and 20.

    ?... aircraft belonging to the Greek air force violated Turkish airspace on six occasions south of the Daca region (across from Greeces eastern Aegean island of Hios) ? an immediate response by Turkish fighter planes intercepted the Greek fighter planes,? an announcement released by the Turkish general staff on Thursday stated.

    The Turkish general staffs statement merely added: ?The dangerous results that may be created in the Aegean by the Greek planes harassing and (airspace) violations were pointed out to the relevant authorities?.

    The last time Turkey ?reversed roles? and claimed airspace violations by Greek aircraft was in mid November, when the neighbouring countrys chief of staff asserted that Greek warplanes violated Turkish airspace 14 times in the Aegean throughout 2001, a claim flatly denied by Athens only a few hours later.

    Another Turkish general staff announcement in November charged that ?Greek fighter planes harassed Turkish aircraft on a training mission two to three miles inside Turkish airspace near the Izmir-Karaburum region (300 miles southwest of Istanbul) on Nov 2.?

    In similar language to Thursdays statements, Novembers press release by the Turkish general staff cited what it termed as the ?dangerous results? that may be created in the Aegean from such violations.

    Greece has long and vigorously pointed to scores of infringements of Athens FIR regulations and national airspace violations over the Aegean by Turkish warplanes during the past decade, incidents that practically assure the take-off of Greek fighter planes on missions to intercept the intruders and escort them back towards Turkish airspace.

    [04] Greece announces participation in Afghanistan peace mission

    28/12/2001 18:12:30

    Greece announced on Friday that it will contribute 124 military personnel towards the international peacekeeping force taking shape in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

    The Greek peacekeeping force, made up of volunteer officers and NCOs, is expected to travel to Afghanistan at the end of January for a three-month tour of duty.

    According to the national defence general staff, a corps of engineering company, an accompanying security detail as well as the crews of two dispatched C-130 transport planes will comprise the Greek force in Afghanistan the first soldiers from the east Mediterranean nation to set foot in the rugged Central Asia land since the time of Alexander the Great.

    Meanwhile, the highest-ranking army officers expected to command the Greek contingent participated in a conference on Thursday in London, chaired by British Lt.-Gen. John McCall, focusing on operational and logistical matters for the international peacekeeping mission.

    [05] Greek stocks end last 2001 session slightly up

    28/12/2001 16:18:54

    Equity prices ended the last trading session of 2001 slightly higher in very thin trading conditions as investors remained sidelined awaiting the introduction of the euro currency in January 1, 2002.

    The general index ended 0.37 percent up at 2,591.56 points for a net loss of 23.53 percent in the year, with turnover a low Dr 41.3 billion or 121 million euros.

    The IT Solutions, Retail and IT sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (1.88 percent, 1.56 percent and 1.55 percent, respectively), while the Metals, Investment and Construction sectors suffered the heaviest losses (0.70 percent, 0.38 percent and 0.36 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocs ended 0.44 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.29 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index jumped 1.18 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 202 to 114 with another 40 issues unchanged.

    [06] Athens organisers say 6,000 drivers needed for 2004 Games

    28/12/2001 15:12:43

    Athens 2004 organisers (ATHOC) announced on Thursday that they will need up to 6,000 drivers both professionals and volunteers for the upcoming summer Olympics.

    Some 2,300 vehicles and 5,000 drivers alone will be needed to transport VIPs and members of the extended ?Olympic family? during the Athens Games of 2004, whereas 600 vehicles and 1,000 drivers will be assigned to various national sports delegations to be used at their convenience and discretion.

    Based on ATHOCs planning and in combination with the host city contract it has signed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), approximately 1,260 VIPs will be allocated a car and driver on a 24-hour basis for all their transportation needs.

    Another 4,200 IOC-accredited officials will have a car and driver at their disposal for 17 hours per day, although this perk will extend only for transportation to and from sports- and non-sports related Olympic venues.

    Conversely, 1,600 specially equipped vehicles and 3,000 drivers are envisioned for the Para-Olympic Games.

    ATHOC officials said they have already begun contacts with taxi owners and drivers associations to review conditions and prospects for using sector drivers for the 2004 Games.

    Professional drivers employed for the duration of the Games are expected to be provided with a uniform, a meal stipend, as well as a daily salary expected to be set in the near future.

    All drivers, regardless, for both the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games will undergo ATHOC-organised fast-track training to acquire rudimentary foreign language skills, familiarity with the necessities in transporting Olympic VIPs, historical and cultural information about the country, the Olympic Games and specific sports competitions.


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