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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-01-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Papandreou tells Ecevit solutions 'legal' and not 'political' ones
  • [02] U.S. secretary of state calls on Greek FM to intervene in Middle East
  • [03] PM stresses US trip, new 'strong' Greece at PASOK central committee
  • [04] Athens dismisses latest Turkish demarche over Limnos
  • [05] Greece to ask the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles
  • [06] Archbishop of Athens to visit Church of America in 2003
  • [07] Turkish regulators OK purchase of Sitebank by NovaBank
  • [08] Athens University professor elected to UN's committee against racism
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [10] Peter Greenaway in Athens
  • [11] Weather Forecast: Showers, storms on Saturday
  • [12] Greek stocks ease slightly on ASE

  • [01] FM Papandreou tells Ecevit solutions 'legal' and not 'political' ones

    18/01/2002 23:14:29

    Greece considers that solutions to any Greek-Turkish difference are only legal, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Friday.

    Turkish premier Bulent "Ecevit may consider that solutions (to Greek-Turkish differences) are political but we consider them as being legal," Papandreou said in response to statements which Ecevit made in Washington on Thursday.

    According to an ANA dispatch from Washington, Turkish Prime Minister Evevit dismissed on Thursday the eventuality of recourse by Turkey to the International Court at The Hague for the solution of any differences Turkey views it has with Greece, claiming that "the matter of the Aegean is not a legal but a political one."

    Greece maintains that the only Greek-Turkish difference is that of the deliniation of the Aegean continental shelf and has repeatedly called on Ankara to refer the issue to The Hague.

    Papandreou said "the current year is a difficult and important one for our country's foreign issues. The dialogue with Turkey concerns important issues of the two countries, limited rivalry, and these issues are heard from both sides with that of the recent agreement which we signed with Ankara on illegal immigration."

    The foreign minister stressed that the continental shelf was a legal issue, an issue of international law, and that "our position on this issue is clear, and this I say in reply to the statements by Mr. Ecevit. We are of course making an effort to approach a common framework." He added however that "this common framework has not been found and we stress that this common framework can be found providing Turkey itself follows that which the EU has given as an instruction, that is, Paragraph 4 of the Conclusions of the European Council in Helsinki."

    Papandreou further stated that "we do not negotiate with anyone our sovereign rights, (but) we exchange views."

    On his part, Greece's National Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said that there was a systematic effort by Turkey to question Greece's soverign rights in the Aegean. "Our position is clear: absolute firmness on our steadfast national positions and readiness of the country's military forces. This message should be given in every direction and I believe that this should be the base for a correct political rapprochement and cooperation with Turkey. But with absolute respect for our national rights," Papantoniou said.

    [02] U.S. secretary of state calls on Greek FM to intervene in Middle East

    18/01/2002 23:13:16

    U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday requested Greece's intervention in the Middle East from Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, as conditions there deteriorated over the past few days.

    According to diplomatic sources, Powell, who is currently visiting Pakistan, called Papandreou and asked him to undertake an initiative to lessen tensions in the region, by contacting both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

    Papandreou has already contacted by telephone Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and he will be contacting also by telephone negotiator of the Palestinian Authority Nabil Saath.

    The two men also discussed Prime Minister Costas Simitis' visit to the United States, which they both evaluated as positive. They also discussed the crisis between Pakistan and India, in the context of the possible intervention of the European Union toward the disentanglement of the two neighboring countries.

    [03] PM stresses US trip, new 'strong' Greece at PASOK central committee

    18/01/2002 21:49:12

    His recent trip to the United States and the country's increasingly strong position within the international community dominated an address by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to ruling PASOK's central committee on Friday.

    The prime minister stressed that there was no room for fear and the old dependent and subservient mentality in contemporary Greece.

    The meeting had been called to discuss strategy for local elections to be held later this year but Simitis put emphasis on the results of his US trip, the country's course within Europe and the euro-zone and domestic policy directions.

    Simitis said his talks in the US had strengthened bilateral political and economic ties and revealed common positions and goals, as well as opening new channels of communication and building up relations of trust with US President George Bush and the US leadership.

    He further said that the visit had reaffirmed relations of equality between the two countries, which had been earned by Greece, and had highlighted its role in the surrounding geopolitical region through a policy that defended common values and sought to create a wider region of peace, cooperation, development and respect for international law.

    [04] Athens dismisses latest Turkish demarche over Limnos

    18/01/2002 21:47:59

    Athens on Friday dismissed the latest Turkish protest over the military use of an airport on the Greek island of Limnos, a strategically placed island in the northeastern Aegean near the Dardallenes strait.

    In Athens, a government spokesman merely noted that the recent Turkish demarche towards the Greek embassy in Ankara isnt something new, while referring to the action as no more than an attempt to divert attention from certain major issues -- i.e. efforts to find a solution for the long-standing Cyprus problem, the island republics course towards EU accession and even Turkeys own EU prospects vis-a-vis conditions laid down by Helsinki summit decisions.

    [05] Greece to ask the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles

    18/01/2002 21:46:42

    Greece intends to send an official request to the British Museum asking that the Parthenon Marbles be returned for the inauguration of the new Acropolis Museum in 2004 and before the start of the Olympics, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced on Friday.

    Venizelos said that Dimitris Pantermalis, head of the Acropolis Museum Organisation responsible for constructing the new museum, would send a letter to the British Museum on Monday.

    Venizelos made the statements while commenting on the recent activity within Britain regarding the return of the Marbles.

    The minister said that Greece was very near its goal since everything showed that the British Parliament and society were more open and sensitive to the weight of its demands.

    On Thursday, three world-renowned British actresses - among them Vanessa Redgrave - as well as academics, journalists and ordinary members of the public became the first members of a new campaign launched by British MP Richard Allan for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.

    [06] Archbishop of Athens to visit Church of America in 2003

    18/01/2002 20:46:05

    Archbishop of America Dimitrios, concvluding a visit to Greece on Friday visited Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and extended an invitation to him to visit the Church of America.

    The invitation was accepted and the visit will be taking place in the spring of 2003.

    An exchange of views on issues concerning the two Churches took place during the 40-minute talks which were held in a cordial atmosphere.

    [07] Turkish regulators OK purchase of Sitebank by NovaBank

    18/01/2002 20:31:11

    ANKARA (ANA/E.Areteou) - Turkish regulatory authorities have approved the sale of domestic Sitebank to NovaBank of Greece, the Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

    A contract for the transfer of 100 percent of Sitebank's shares to the Greek bank was signed on January 11, Anadolu said.

    The Turkish bank fell under state control on July 10, 2001 in the wake of a liquidity crisis in December 2000 and cumulative losses.

    Novabank submitted an application on October 25, 2001 for acquisition of the Istanbul-based commercial credit institution

    The purchase price is believed to fall below 50 million euros, which would include the purchase price plus investments in the target bank's departments of information technology, network and marketing; personnel costs, and the payment of cumulative losses.

    State-owned Sitebank has 13 branches in six Turkish cities; assets equivalent to 31 million euros; and a staff of 223 people.

    [08] Athens University professor elected to UN's committee against racism

    18/01/2002 20:07:32

    Athens University Prof. Linos-Alexander Sicilianos was elected on Thursday as one of the nine members of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

    Sicilianos received 110 votes during the election that included all 160 voting members of the United Nations which participate in the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Pact.

    The committee will be called upon to implement an Action Plan that was adopted during the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance, which took place in Durban, South Africa.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    18/01/2002 19:29:47

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro until Monday

    U.S. dollar 0.888

    Pound sterling 0.619

    Danish kroner 7.490

    Swedish kroner 9.319

    Japanese yen 118.02

    Swiss franc 1.481

    Norwegian kroner 7.973

    Cyprus pound 0.581

    Canadian dollar 1.433

    Australian dollar 1.726

    [10] Peter Greenaway in Athens

    18/01/2002 18:04:19

    Noted film and stage director Peter Greenaway is expected in Athens on Monday to discuss his proposals for the Cultural Olympiad with the company set up to organise the events, Promotion of Hellenic Cultural Heritage SA.

    Sources said that Greenaway is proposing a mega-spectacle entitled 'Icarus' and the meeting will focus on the details in order to decide whether to include it in the Cultural Olympiad programme.

    [11] Weather Forecast: Showers, storms on Saturday

    18/01/2002 17:53:13

    Cloud and rain are forecast throughout the country on Saturday, with isolated storms, mainly at sea. Snow will fall on high ground and in low-lying areas of Macedonia and Thrace. The weather will improve from the west in the evening. Winds variable, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from -1C to 6C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 5C to 12C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 15C. Rain in Athens with temperatures between 7C and 10C. Rain or sleet in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1C to 6C.

    [12] Greek stocks ease slightly on ASE

    18/01/2002 16:40:10

    Equity prices easily overcame a bout of profit taking to end slightly lower the last trading session of the week on Friday, in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index fell 0.07 percent to 2,559.94 points, with turnover a low Dr 44 billion, or 129.3 million euros, boosted by several block trades.

    The Textile, Publishing and Investment sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (2.11 percent, 1.07 percent and 0.91 percent, respectively), while the Retail, Food and Metals sectors scored the biggest gains of the day.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.18 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.38 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 0.76 percent.

    National Bank's shares fell 0.16 percent and Alpha Bank's dropped 1.54 percent.

    The general index ended the week with a net loss of 0.57 percent.

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