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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-01-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece, Turkey to talk on taking Aegean continental shelf issue to The
  • [02] Rail line to airport, 2004 preparations dominate gov't meeting
  • [03] Austrian FM signs statement in support of Olympic Truce
  • [04] President of the republic to visit Syria
  • [05] Greek FM: EU against Montenegro secession
  • [06] Winner named for Athens Lycabettus development
  • [07] 8-year-old Iraqi girl's health restored in Onassion heart surgery
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday
  • [09] Key supermarkets deny importing Belgian poultry in food scare
  • [10] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Tuesday
  • [11] Greek stocks flat in subdued trade

  • [01] Greece, Turkey to talk on taking Aegean continental shelf issue to The Hague

    28/01/2002 22:58:56

    BRUSSELS (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) - Greece and Turkey will begin talks in the near future with the purpose of reaching a compromise "formula" to take the Aegean Sea continental shelf issue to the International Court at The Hague, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Monday.

    Speaking to Greek journalists after a meeting of the European Union's General Affairs Council, Papandreou said that the talks will get underway at the level of political directors from the foreign ministries of the two countries.

    The Greek minister stressed that it was Greece's standing position that the issue should be tabled at the international court, adding that Greek political parties showed a "rare consensus" on Greek-Turkish affairs during a closed-door meeting of the Parliament's foreign affairs committee last week.

    Papandreou underlined that the continental shelf issue and the Cyprus problem are the two issues that will determine, to a great extent, Greece's positions regarding Turkey's compliance with the acquis communautaire of the European Union, adding that the extent of compliance will be assessed during the next Turkish-EU Association Council, which will take place during the EU's Spanish presidency.

    [02] Rail line to airport, 2004 preparations dominate gov't meeting

    28/01/2002 22:56:25

    The course of Olympic 2004 preparations along with a handful of decisions dominated a high-ranking inter-ministerial meeting here on Monday, less than a week after the last International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspection team wound up yet another visit to the Greek capital.

    The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and attended by the Athens 2004 organising committees (ATHOC) leadership.

    Among others, the deputy press minister later told reporters that an Athens metro extension line will connect the Stavros intersection, in northeast Athens, with the new Eleftherios Venizelos airport at the Spata site, east of Athens proper.

    Telemahos Hytiris added that diesel-powered trains may initially be used instead of trains powered by electricity, an issue that even garnered IOC executive Denis Oswalds attention last week. Hytiris did mention that the ?diesel solution? would be temporary.

    Oswald, the head of the all-important IOC commission supervising progress for the 2004 Games, offered his opinion last week during a press conference that diesel engines would be both less effective and environment-friendly than a normal metro line.

    According to reports, the government will purchase rolling stock from the state-run Skaramangas Shipyards compatible with both systems.

    Initially, the so-called ?suburban rail line? was envisioned as connecting Stavro with the new airport.

    Olympic hospitality

    In terms of another current ?thorn? in preparations, namely, the hospitality sector, the government will take final decisions at another inter-ministerial meeting on Feb. 26.

    Meanwhile, Hytiris said 11 cruiseships (6,500 rooms) would be used to host 13,500 members of the extended ?Olympic family?.

    On his part, Transport Minister Christos Verelis said 2,500 new buses and 300 trolleys will be purchased for the greater Athens area, as an ATHOC executive said 600,000 people will travel to Olympic facilities on a daily basis during the Games double the current rate.

    Olympic Village

    Unlike the complex issue of Olympic transports, Cabinet members and ATHOC officials were briefed that the Olympic Village project was ahead of schedule, whereas it was announced that the ?International Zone?, adjacent to the Olympic Village, will host a shopping mall, sponsors facilities, restaurants, public offices and press centres.

    Finally, Hytiris announced that Simitis would visit the Olympic village on Tuesday.

    [03] Austrian FM signs statement in support of Olympic Truce

    28/01/2002 21:48:14

    BRUSSELS (ANA - Y. Zitouniati) - Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero Waldner signed the statement in support of the Olympic Truce here on Monday evening, in the presence of her Greek counterpart George Papandreou and reporters.

    The statement has already been endorsed by many personalities from the international political and cultural sectors.

    Waldner congratulated Papandreou for the initiative, praising international cooperation and the common vision of peace which should be utilised primarily in regions of conflict where children and young people are the victims.

    [04] President of the republic to visit Syria

    28/01/2002 21:46:57

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will conduct a three-day visit to Syria beginning on Saturday at the invitation of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

    Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis and Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos will accompany the president.

    [05] Greek FM: EU against Montenegro secession

    28/01/2002 19:17:57

    Greeces foreign minister reiterated on Sunday that the European Union continues to oppose a possible secession by Montenegro from the Federal Yugoslav Republic.

    In comments just prior to attending a trilateral meeting in the northern port city of Thessaloniki between diplomats from Austria, Italy and Greece to examine the situation in southeast Europe, Greek FM George Papandreou said such a development will intensify instability in the region.

    ?Its not certain that we will have a referendum (in Montenegro). The international community is extremely wary over such a development. The European Unions view, as well as that of the international community, is that new secessions and new states in the region create instability and should be avoided,? he said, adding:

    ?Greece and the other European Union countries advice the peoples of the region that it is better to work towards a common European vocation -- because we will all be under one roof, while the issue of borders has, in the end, very little importance instead of searching to create new structures, which create more tension..."

    Ambassadors of the three countries Austria, Italy and Greece -- serving in several Balkan countries attended the meeting.

    [06] Winner named for Athens Lycabettus development

    28/01/2002 19:13:51

    The Kastellorizo Group said on Monday that it had won a state development tender for Lycabettus Hill in central Athens.

    The tender was called by Hellenic Tourism Real Estate, which offered a 25-year lease for the area.

    Under the terms of the contract, the winner will spend more than one billion drachmas in tourism investments that are due for completion by the end of April.

    The Kastellorizo Groups owns five restaurants located in Varkiza, Glyfada, Tzitzifies, Kifissia and Ioannina. It is also involved in fish farming.

    [07] 8-year-old Iraqi girl's health restored in Onassion heart surgery center

    28/01/2002 19:08:27

    Eight-year-old Suhid Salib found the medical attention she needed in Greece's Onassion Heart Surgery Center, as her first operation for a congenital heart condition was successful.

    Suhid, "Iroke" for those who know her a little better, had her first of a series of operations to correct a life threatening heart condition that could not be operated on in her country.

    Doctors at the Onassion Heart Surgery Center restored through by pass surgery the function of the girl's heart. She was born with the Fallot tetralogy condition.

    The post operative condition of the eight-year-old was reported as being excellent.

    The little girl and her father arrived in Greece as illegal immigrants on January 2 and, as they reached the shores of Crete, her father alerted local doctors of her medical condition.

    The doctors at the Ierapetra, Crete hospital agreed with the Iraqi doctors that she was in need of multiple heart operations to survive.

    The little girl's case found its way to the health and welfare ministry, which decided that the Center for the Control of Communicable Diseases (KEEL) would foot the bill for the medical care of Iroke, a Kurd by origin.

    Thus she will find her way to the Athens Onassis Heart Surgery Center on Thursday afternoon, with her father at her side.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday

    28/01/2002 18:06:39

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.864

    Pound sterling 0.614

    Danish kroner 7.487

    Swedish kroner 9.301

    Japanese yen 115.83

    Swiss franc 1.485

    Norwegian kroner 7.902

    Cyprus pound 0.580

    Canadian dollar 1.394

    Australian dollar 1.681

    [09] Key supermarkets deny importing Belgian poultry in food scare

    28/01/2002 18:00:35

    Alpha Beta Vassilopoulos and Carrefour-Marinopoulos, two major supermarket chains, said in separate statements on Monday that they had not imported chickens from Belgium, moving to allay consumers' fears in a new food scare.

    On Friday, Belgian authorities said they had found traces of PCBs, chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects, in feed given to chickens that were sent to market; most of the poultry had been seized and the risk to public health was small.

    Alpha Beta, which is quoted on the Athens bourse, also said that it had not imported any other Belgian meat, fresh or frozen.

    The contamination is the latest in a spate of food scares in

    Belgium, whose meat and dairy exports were banned by many

    countries in 1999 after cancer causing dioxins entered the food

    chain through animal feed.

    [10] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Tuesday

    28/01/2002 17:36:51

    Sunshine is forecast throughout the country, with early morning mist. Winds northerly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 3C to 17C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 6C to 20C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 20C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 8C and 20C. Fair weather in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5C to 17C.

    [11] Greek stocks flat in subdued trade

    28/01/2002 16:31:16

    Equity prices ended Monday's session flat with investors sidelined awaiting developments in an embezzlement scandal that hit ETBAbank and with a shortened-session in the domestic derivatives market - due to technical problems - leaving the Athens Stock Exchange with no clear directions.

    The general index ended 0.25 percent higher at 2,624.46 points, with turnover a low Dr 48.1 billion, or 141.3 million euros.

    The IT and the Wholesale sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (1.90 percent and 1.33 percent), while the Cement, Holdings and Food-Beverage sectors suffered the heaviest losses.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks rose 0.65 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.28 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.25 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.53 percent up.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 182 to 125 with another 53 issues unchanged.

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