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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Support for president continued to pour in on Friday
  • [02] Greece moves towards economic, social convergence, Simitis says
  • [03] Euro-MP Katiforis to represent government at the EU Convention
  • [04] ND leader Karamanlis to pay four-day visit to UK
  • [05] Winner named for Athens metro extension towards airport
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Saturday
  • [08] Greek stocks end flat in ASE

  • [01] Support for president continued to pour in on Friday

    01/02/2002 22:45:54

    Support for President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos continued to pour in from all parts of the political spectrum on Friday, with politicians from all parties expressing confidence in the president's integrity and condemning an attempt to link his name in an illegal gaming scandal.

    Both ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy had responded almost instantly on Thursday to implications in a report broadcast by the television channel 'Extra' that Stephanopoulos was involved in an illegal gambling operation in the Patras region, condemning them as slanderous and an attack on democratic normalcy.

    The affair had also given rise to speculation that the president might resign and thus force the country into early Parliamentary elections.

    Commenting on the issue on Friday, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said the president's resignation was out of the question and expressed satisfaction at the almost universal support for Stephanopoulos expressed by political parties and the public.

    He also condemned what he called the "few, sad exceptions," to this rule and reports on Friday that Foreign Minister George Papandreou might be behind the organised attack on the president, saying that these damaged the country's image abroad.

    [02] Greece moves towards economic, social convergence, Simitis says

    01/02/2002 22:43:31

    "Everyday we cover the distance that separates us from Europe as we continue our efforts to further adjust Greek economy into a new environment," Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Friday.

    Addressing a meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for the euro, Simitis noted that "we move towards economic and social convergence by taking advantage of the stability and predictability offered by the euro currency."

    The prime minister said that Greek businesses were pursuing restructuring plans and seeking scale economics with the aim to strengthen their competitiveness, while they also expand in foreign markets to secure a new share in a globalised environment.

    "That's how we ensure the country's growth prospects and create new jobs. The introduction of the euro strengthens national confidence because the country evolved from a regional country among the EU's core members not with a feeling of inferiority but equally and with dignity. Greek economy and the country are becoming stronger with the euro," Simitis said.

    The prime minister noted that, according to recent polls, nine out of 10 Greeks said they did not experience any problems in their transactions with the euro currency, 95 percent of Greeks have already used the new currency and around 70 percent of transactions were made in euros.

    Simitis said that the changeover from the drachma to the euro currency was fully successful.

    [03] Euro-MP Katiforis to represent government at the EU Convention

    01/02/2002 22:42:23

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday appointed ruling PASOK Eurodeputy George Katiforis to represent the Greek government to the European Union Convention for the future of Europe.

    President of the Greek Centre of European Studies (EKEM) Professor Papagiotis Ioakimidis was appointed as Katiforis' alternate.

    The Greek Parliament will appoint its own representatives.

    The Union Convention for the future of Europe will work on issues regarding the policies and organization and the functions of the European Commission.

    [04] ND leader Karamanlis to pay four-day visit to UK

    01/02/2002 22:42:16

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis begins a four-day visit to the United Kingdom on Saturday.

    Karamanlis will meet with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, main opposition Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and discuss the issue of the Euroarmy, the general developments in the Balkans and the combatting of international terrorism.

    The ND leader will also visit the British Museum where the Parthenon Marbles are kept and attend a dinner in London with the presidium of the Greek shipping cooperation committee, the so-called Committee.

    Karamanlis will also visit Scotland where in Edinburgh he will meet with Conservative Party president and former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkin and give a speech at the city's university on the course of democracy in the western Balkans and within the framework of the initiative of the European Peoples' Party of which he is head.

    He will conclude his visit to the UK on Wednesday afternoon.

    [05] Winner named for Athens metro extension towards airport

    01/02/2002 19:10:12

    Themeliodomi SA, an Athens-quoted engineering contractor, on Friday was named the winner of a tender for extension of an Athens metro line towards the city's international airport.

    The extension will take the metro's third line a stretch further towards the airport, east of Athens, from the Ethniki Amyna station on the city's outskirts. The line starts at Syntagma Square.

    The company was the lowest bidder in a tender called by Attiko Metro, the network's operator.

    The project is budgeted at 4.6 billion drachmas (13,499,633.16 euros).

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    01/02/2002 18:17:26

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro until Monday

    U.S. dollar 0.870

    Pound sterling 0.614

    Danish kroner 7.487

    Swedish kroner 9.261

    Japanese yen 116.59

    Swiss franc 1.489

    Norwegian kroner 7.903

    Cyprus pound 0.581

    Canadian dollar 1.381

    Australian dollar 1.706

    [07] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Saturday

    01/02/2002 18:04:44

    Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country, which is likely to turn to light rain mainly in the southwest. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning very strong in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 2C to 14C; on the rest of the mainland from 7C to 17C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 18C. Light cloud over Athens, with temperatures between 7C and 15C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5C to 13C.

    [08] Greek stocks end flat in ASE

    01/02/2002 16:49:23

    Equity prices ended flat the last trading session of a generally subdued week on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday.

    Traders said investors remained sidelined awaiting fresh news from the domestic business activity.

    The general ended was 0.04 percent off at 2,595.71 points, with turnover a low Dr 32.6 billion, or 95.6 million euros.

    The Construction, Holding and Investment sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (1.03 percent, 1.01 percent and 0.58 percent, respectively), while the Telecoms, Metals and Retail sectors scored gains.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.21 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.21 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 0.02 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 194 to 119 with another 52 issues unchanged.

    The general index ended the week with a net loss of 0.84 percent.


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