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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-02-19
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM satisfied with progress of Attica highway, metro extensions19/02/2002 22:22:45
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday said he was greatly satisfied with the progress being made in the construction of the Attiki highway and an extension of the Athens metro after inspecting worksites with Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou earlier that morning.
"I was very impressed by what is being done here," Simitis told Papandreou after visiting the Attiki Highway-Kifissias Avenue junction and the extension of line 3 of the metro at the Doukissis Plakentias station in Polydroso, Halandri.
In statements afterward, the prime minister stressed that the works were progressing on schedule and would be ready within the deadlines set, some in 2002 and 2003, while the remainder in 2004 before the start of the Olympic Games.
Simitis also underlined that the projects would greatly improve life in Athens when completed and urged local residents to bear with any inconvenience they had to put up with at present.
 Visiting Luxembourg premier speaks on EU in Old Parliament building19/02/2002 22:21:41
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker spoke on the successes, failures and ambitions of the European Union on Tuesday night at the Old Parliament building in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and numerous members of the government.
Juncker, who began a two-day official visit to Greece on Tuesday, declared his pro European feelings, but spoke of a deficit of a social policy in Europe today.
"The common currency exists, but we have to learn to manage it," he said, noting that the current coordination of the European economic policy is not what is demanded.
He spoke for a European Constitution and said that there is a need for an institutional reform in Europe, before the grand step of enlargement, thus, he said, a longer-term European presidency is needed, so as for one minister to hold the specific responsibility of each subject and bring it to completion, in one or more years.
Juncker will hold official talks with Simitis on Wednesday as well as with political party leaders.
 Greek tipped by central bankers for ECB vice president19/02/2002 22:20:21
Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos is favoured among central banking circles for the post of vice president of the European Central Bank when Christian Noyer steps down in May.
"Papademos has been tipped in central banking circles, but euro zone politicians may not want to be handed a done deal, preferring to show that they - and not central bankers - pick the ECB board," Reuters news agency said in a news analysis from Frankfurt.
Papademos is a member of the ECB's governing council.
A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up ahead of a European Union summit in Barcelona on March 15-16.
 New Acropolis Museum competition entries on show in Athens19/02/2002 22:19:04
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday presented an exhibition of the 12 entries submitted in an international architectural competition for the construction of the new Acropolis Museum, including the winning entry by the architectural firm Bernard Tschumi.
Models of the 12 designs will be on show at the museum in Makrygianni street in central Athens.
Dimitris Pantermalis, president of the Organisation for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum (OANMA), told reporters that the new museum would be ready in 2004.
 Event in New York on preparations for Athens 2004 Olympiad19/02/2002 22:17:59
NEW YORK (ANA - M. Georgiadou) - Preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the role the Greek-American community is called on to play for its success was the theme of an event organised here on Monday by the General Sports Secretariat, the General Consulate of Greece and the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).
The main speakers at the event were Sports General Secretary Nicos Exarchos and PASOK Deputy Panayiotis Fassoulas.
Present at the event, among others, were the General Consuls of Greece and Cyprus in New York, Dimitris Platis and Vassilis Filippou, a representative of Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Dimitrios, SAE members and representatives of Greek-American associations.
 Greece, FYROM bourse authorities mull dual listing19/02/2002 22:17:52
Authorities of the Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Centre and the Skopje bourse in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia met on Tuesday to debate plans for cooperation, including dual listing.
The proposal for dual listing was made by Hellenic Stock Exchanges SA, owner of the Athens bourse and Thessaloniki centre.
Hellenic is also considering buying a stake in the Skopje bourse.
No final decisions were taken at Tuesday's meeting, held in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday19/02/2002 20:03:56
Indicative tourist buying rates per euro
U.S. dollar 0.876
Pound sterling 0.614
Danish kroner 7.489
Swedish kroner 9.265
Japanese yen 117.2
Swiss franc 1.490
Norwegian kroner 7.810
Cyprus pound 0.581
Canadian dollar 1.392
Australian dollar 1.696
 Vedrine, Fischer pledge support for 'Olympic Truce' idea19/02/2002 18:57:29
BRUSSELS (ANA) The French and German foreign ministers on Monday offered their full backing towards Athens high-profile ?Olympic Truce? initiative, signing a relevant document on the sidelines of an EU General Affairs Council here.
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Athens ?point man? in promoting the initiative, stood by as both his French and German counterparts, Hubert Vedrine and Joschka Fischer, respectively, penned their support for the idea of refraining from armed conflict during the holding of the winter and summer Olympic Games.
The foreign ministers support follows similar backing by several other international statesmen and personalities, with Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem being the first to sign the ?Olympic Truce? document.
On his part, the Greek FM added that both Israeli Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and the Palestine National Council (PNC) Speaker Salim al-Zaanoun have signed on, while European Union representatives have recently promoted the idea of an ?Olympic Truce? in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Armenia.
A relevant statement in the document cites the ?Olympic Truce? as a ?medium to promote peace and reconciliation in conflicts?, while also committing leaders to exert every possible effort, both on a personal level and collectively, to encourage a peaceful solution to differences and to work towards cease-fires during the holding of the Olympics.
 Bosnian Serb minister: No evidence Karadzic is our territory19/02/2002 18:56:17
The Republika Srpska defence minister, Slobodan Bilic, on Monday emphasised that the Bosnian Serb entitys government has no information showing that Radovan Karadzic is still in its territory.
Karadzic, the one-time Bosnian Serb leader, is wanted by the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague on a variety of charges related to the Bosnian civil war.
Bilic made the statement in Thessaloniki, where he arrived along with the Bosnian federal governments (Muslim and Croat) Defence Minister Nijo Anic, and following an invitation by the Greek defence ministry.
The Bosnian Serb governments minister also stressed that the tribunals high-profile prosecutor, former Swiss attorney general Carla del Ponte, not only failed to specify a particular area in the Srpska territory where Karadzic may be hiding, but, in fact, ?asked us to learn where he was?.
Bilics reference was to a recent visit to Banja Luka, the capital of the Bosnian Serb entity, by del Ponte.
The minister also confirmed that his government has issued an ultimatum to the indicted Bosnian Serbs, calling for their surrender within 30 days, while guaranteeing that until a Hague trial commences they can prepare their defence in the republic.
 Weather Forecast: Rain on Wednesday19/02/2002 17:52:04
Rain is forecast in all parts of the country, turning to storms in the Ionian, on the mainland and in the northern Aegean. Snow will fall on high ground in the north. Winds southerly, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 5C to 10C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 7C to 15C; and in the Aegean islands from 10C to 17C. Scattered cloud and some rain in Athens, with temperatures between 8C and 15C. Rain and possibly a storm in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6C to 10C.
 Greek stocks end sharply lower in ASE19/02/2002 16:36:56
News of indictments against Greek businessman Socrates Kokkalis undermined sentiment in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, leading investors to massive selling of blue chip stocks and pushing prices sharply lower.
The general index ended 1.74 percent down at 2,418.11 points, with turnover a moderate 52.7 billion drachmas, or 154.7 million euros.
Share prices of companies included in Kokkalis Group suffered heavy losses, with Intracom off 16.16 percent, Intralot down 9.47 percent and Intracom Construction down 11.20 percent.
The IT, IT Solutions and Publication sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (4.86 percent, 3.55 percent and 3.22 percent, respectively), with only the Retail sector scoring gains (0.29 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.48 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 2.17 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 1.75 percent down.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 308 to 31 with another 15 issues unchanged.
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