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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-12-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Hope and concern over arrival of euro
  • [02] PM visits merchant marine ministry for rescue briefing
  • [03] Parliament President and parties issue new year messages
  • [04] New special court for gov't members, per demand of the Constitution
  • [05] Turkish national exonerated in illegal immigration smuggling case
  • [06] Greek, Turkish coast guards foil attempt of would illegal immigrants
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Cloud and rain on Monday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

  • [01] Hope and concern over arrival of euro

    30/12/2001 21:35:36

    The 300 million Eurozone inhabitants are awaiting new year's day with both concern and hope since the arrival of the new year signals a new era for Europe as the new European currency, the euro, will become a reality and national currencies will belong to the past.

    Concern regards the transition process to the new currency, since it is a great undertaking, and possible cases of profiteering. Hope also exists because all are expecting positive results with an increase in employment and growth and dynamic aggression by the euro against the other powerful currencies in the world, primarily the U.S. dollar.

    In Greece, the banks' automatic cash machines will be providing drachmas until late on Monday afternoon. However, as of 5 p.m. and according to the banks the machines will gradually cease their operation to be equipped with euros which they will either be providing shortly after midnight or by the morning of new year's day.

    [02] PM visits merchant marine ministry for rescue briefing

    30/12/2001 21:34:25

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis visited the merchant marine ministry on Sunday evening, where he was briefed on the functions and duties of the Unified Search and Rescue Coordination Centre.

    He was welcomed by Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis and the Harbour Corps' military leadership headed by Vice Admiral Andreas Syrigos.

    Simitis communicated with the Greek ship "New York Express", a container carrier, sailing in the Atlantic. He spoke with the ship's captain who briefed him on the vessel's mission, its cargo and on the good weather conditions prevailing in the area.

    The prime minister also conveyed his greetings by satellite to the crews of all Greek ships sailing in seas all over the world at present and wished them well for the new year.

    [03] Parliament President and parties issue new year messages

    30/12/2001 21:33:14

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and political parties on Sunday issued new year's messages to the Greek people, noting the great historic moments that Greece and all of Europe are undergoing at present.

    "In 2002, European integration is moving away from the field of declarations and is becoming everyday, matter-of-fact, reality through our common currency ... In this new era Greece can look forward to the future with optimism and hope. A necessary precondition is the continual vigilance of our people and especially that of youth and the participation in political and social struggles," Kaklamanis said.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said in its message that 2002 is bringing along preparation for "savage blows against rights concerning social security, human living standards and labour".

    "No new page is opening for working people with the establishment of the euro. A new page is opening for plutocracy. A new page will only open for the people when they themselves come out onto the forestage to determine their own course," KKE said.

    In his own message, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas expressed the hope that "2002 will be a year for the activation or ordinary citizens to enable the creation of better conditions for an improvement in the living standards of the people."

    "DHKKI, being a purely patriotic, democratic, progressive and popular movement, will continue steadfastly to struggle for the creation of a powerful patriotic and progressive social front against the barbarity of neo-liberalism," he added.

    [04] New special court for gov't members, per demand of the Constitution

    30/12/2001 16:32:02

    The justice ministry is preparing a draft bill establishing and detailing the function, the procedures and the makeup of the Special Court, which will have jurisdiction over members of the government and related persons that the Parliament decides to bring charges against.

    According to sources, the ministry is following up on the mandate of the amended Constitution, which prescribes that the state is obliged to provide the venue for Parliament to bring charges against the government and its members, having the sole responsibility for such action.

    The same sources said that according to the draft the court will be comprised of 13 members, which will include six judges from the Council of State - Greece's highest administrative court - and seven judges from the Arios Pagos - Greece's supreme court.

    The members of this new court will be drawn by chance at a public meeting of the Parliament by the president of the legislative body.

    The president of each session of this court will be the senior Arios Pagos judge selected with the aforementioned process.

    [05] Turkish national exonerated in illegal immigration smuggling case

    30/12/2001 16:16:18

    A 21-year old Turkish national was found innocent of smuggling charges, on Sunday, by a Greek first instance court in Volos prefecture, in the case of the transportation of 193 illegal immigrants from Turkey to Greece last Thursday.

    Nekdet Abdoulah was found innocent as no evidence pointed to his guilt.

    [06] Greek, Turkish coast guards foil attempt of would illegal immigrants

    30/12/2001 16:11:37

    A Greek coast guard vessel located three would be illegal immigrants of the shores of the Eastern Aegean island of Kos, at the sea border between Greece and Turkey and proceeded to call their Turkish counterparts who arrested them and lead them back to Turkey, a press release of the Greek merchant marine ministry said.

    [07] Weather Forecast: Cloud and rain on Monday

    30/12/2001 15:03:19

    Cloud and rain in the north and east on Monday, with light cloud in the rest of the country. Winds southwesterly, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from -3C to 9C; on the rest of the mainland from 1C to 16C; and in the islands from 8C to 18C. Cloudy in Athens with a chance for rain in the late evening and temperatures between 8C and 16C. Rainy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 1C to 9C, and snow in the higher elevations of the city.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    30/12/2001 14:34:03

    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

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