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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM stresses political successes of his visit to Japan
  • [02] Ecumenical Patriarch meets U.S. Secretary of State
  • [03] Govt presents social security reform plan
  • [04] Farmers protest in Athens; gov't reaction
  • [05] ATHOC president in Nicosia on Wednesday
  • [06] Greece formally proposes central bank chief for ECB vice president
  • [07] Scottish & Newcastle to get stake in Boutaris group brewer
  • [08] Coca-Cola HBC to invest in Romanian Dracula theme park
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [10] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Wednesday
  • [11] Greek stocks end flat on Tuesday
  • [12] Athens voices concern over FYROM situation

  • [01] PM stresses political successes of his visit to Japan

    05/03/2002 22:59:05

    TOKYO (ANA - V. Mourtis) - Prime Minister Costas Simitis, currently in Tokyo for the first-ever official visit to Japan by a Greek premier, on Tuesday stressed the visit's success in promoting closer bilateral ties between the Far East country and Greece.

    Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, the Greek prime minister said that contacts between the two sides on all levels had so far revealed a marked convergence of views and no notable differences.

    Simitis is scheduled to stay in Japan until Friday for a series of high-level meetings with Japanese officials.

    The Greek premier said the aims of the visit were two-fold, combining both political and economic goals, while he underlined the visit's successes on the political front, such as highlighting Greece's role in the Balkans and the European Union.

    Regarding relations between the EU and Japan, Simitis said he had promised his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi to press for the resumption of discontinued Japan-EU summit meetings during Greece's EU presidency in 2003.

    The Greek premier also referred to other goals of the Greek EU presidency, particularly that of Cyprus accession to the Community.

    Direct talks between the Cyprus government and the Turkish Cypriot community were scheduled to end within November but this was not definite, Simitis said.

    If the talks ran over the deadline, the Greek presidency would then be in charge of taking them to completion and of the signature of any agreement that arose.

    In either case, he added, the signing of the agreement for the island republic's accession to the EU would take place during the Greek presidency.

    [02] Ecumenical Patriarch meets U.S. Secretary of State

    05/03/2002 22:57:51

    WASHINGTON (ANA - T. Ellis) - The reopening of the Halki School of Theology was among the main issues discussed between Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell here on Tuesday.

    Vartholomeos briefed Powell on the inter-religious dialogue initiated by the Patriarch and viewed positively by Washington, since it is believed that it supports understanding between religions and peoples and makes more difficult the exploitation of religion as a means to promote terrorism.

    Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Dimitrios was also present at the meeting, along with a delegation of Greek-American community leaders and Patriarchate benefactors.

    Vartholomeos later said that Powell promised to aid the Patriarch in the case of the theological school as he considers it necessary for the Patriarchate's present and future.

    Later in the day, Vartholomeos was scheduled to meet U.S. President George W. Bush.

    [03] Govt presents social security reform plan

    05/03/2002 22:56:54

    Labour and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas on Tuesday presented to trade unions the government's plans for the reform of the country's social security system.

    The reform plan was aiming to create a 'unified social security system'' with unified rules and regulations that ''will not overturn the certainty and confidence of its members.''

    Trade unions reacted positively to the government's main position on the issue during the first meeting of a dialogue procedure that started on Tuesday.

    [04] Farmers protest in Athens; gov't reaction

    05/03/2002 22:55:08

    Roughly 5,000 farmers from Thessaly and northern Greece protested in central Athens on Tuesday morning, mainly over better and more expanded crop subsidies, with minor scuffles breaking out when police blocked them from reaching the prime ministers office.

    In statements afterwards, their representatives said they are waiting on the government to reschedule a new meeting between them and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    ?Everyone knows how the government has dealt with the farm sector issue, how much it has tried to exploit all the margins for a solution,? acting government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris said on Tuesday, while charging that Tuesdays rally was politically inspired and organised by the main opposition New Democracy party.

    Along those lines, some 50 ND deputies attended the farmers rally in front of the Panathenian stadium and Parliament while farm unionists affiliated with the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stayed away from the demonstration, instead scheduling a rally on Wednesday in the central town of Karditsa.

    [05] ATHOC president in Nicosia on Wednesday

    05/03/2002 22:53:56

    Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Agnelopoulos-Daskalaki will depart for Nicosia, Cyprus on Wednesday to brief the Cyprus government on the course of the preparations for the Games and to promote the volunteerism program.

    On Thursday, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki will address an event on volunteerism, where she will invite Cypriots to participate en mass in the volunteerism program, since ATHOC looks forward to the participation of Cypriots.

    According to reports from Nicosia, ATHOC, in cooperation with the Cyprus Olympic Committee, has established and operates an ''Athens 2004'' coordination office.

    [06] Greece formally proposes central bank chief for ECB vice president

    05/03/2002 21:43:57

    BRUSSELS (ANA/M.Spinthourakis) - Greece on Tuesday formally proposed its central bank chief as a candidate for vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

    Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis told reporters in the Belgian capital that Lucas Papademos, governor of the Bank of Greece, was a banker of international calibre, who had successfully handled changes required for Greece's eurozone application and entry.

    ''His candidacy also symbolises the ability of Greece to seek high-ranking posts, with a major chance of success,'' said Christodoulakis after a meeting of European Union finance ministers at which he proposed Papademos.

    The central bank chief, a member of the ECB's governing council, is favoured in central banking circles for the post of vice president when Christian Noyer steps down in May.

    A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up ahead of an EU summit in Barcelona on March 15-16.The succession may also be discussed at an informal EU finance ministers' meeting in April, also to be held in Spain.

    [07] Scottish & Newcastle to get stake in Boutaris group brewer

    05/03/2002 21:13:29

    Scottish & Newcastle Plc, one of the largest brewers in the world, is to acquire a stake in Mythos Brewery SA, a subsidiary of Athens-quoted Boutaris & Son Holding SA.

    The global brewery has said the acquisition is part of a strategy of investment in high growth companies with effective distribution networks.

    S & N will buy shares in Mythos and reinforce its capital base, with both owners finally holding equal stock. The firm will also be represented on Mythos' board of directors and management.

    The two companies hope to sign a contract for the acquisition by June this year.

    [08] Coca-Cola HBC to invest in Romanian Dracula theme park

    05/03/2002 19:16:19

    A Romanian subsidiary of Coca-Cola HBC, which is quoted on the Athens Stock Exchange, is to invest in a Dracula theme park in Transylvania, gaining exclusive rights to soft drinks sold in the entertainment complex.

    Reuters news agency quoted Romania's tourism ministry as saying that in order to secure the rights, Coca-Cola HBC's Romanian operation will buy an unspecified number of shares in Sighisoara Tourist Development Fund SA, whichis supervising construction of the theme park.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    05/03/2002 18:30:32

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.875

    Pound sterling 0.615

    Danish kroner 7.489

    Swedish kroner 9.113

    Japanese yen 115.3

    Swiss franc 1.488

    Norwegian kroner 7.750

    Cyprus pound 0.579

    Canadian dollar 1.390

    Australian dollar 1.682

    [10] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Wednesday

    05/03/2002 16:48:56

    Scattered cloud is forecast in all parts of the country. Winds variable, moderate to strong, turning gale force in parts of the Ionian. In the north, temperatures will range from 8C to 20C; on the rest of the mainland from 10C to 23C; and in the islands from 12C to 20C. Light cloud in Athens with temperatures between 12C and 22C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 9C to 20C.

    [11] Greek stocks end flat on Tuesday

    05/03/2002 16:29:06

    Equity prices ended Tuesday's session flat in nervous trade as investors seemed reluctant to push the Athens Stock Exchange higher despite a positive climate in international markets.

    The general index ended 0.02 percent up at 2,419.99 points, with turnover a low 102.8 million euros.

    The Textile, Insurance and Publication sectors recorded the heaviest percentage losses (0.86 percent, 0.83 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively), while the Retail and Telecoms sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.85 percent and 0.72 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.07 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.20 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 0.43 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 209 to 94 with another 56 issues unchanged.

    [12] Athens voices concern over FYROM situation

    05/03/2002 16:00:33

    Athens on Monday expressed its concern over the situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the small land-locked country to its immediate north, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying reconstruction and normalisation in the recently strife-ridden country is overdue.

    In response to press questions about the ?name dispute? still posing the last remaining ?thorn? in otherwise excellent Greek-FYROM relations, spokesman Panos Beglitis merely reiterated Athens position that negotiations must continue until a mutually acceptable solution is achieved.

    Furthermore, he said no new development towards accepting a ?double name? solution has been noted, as the goal of a mutually acceptable name for the one-time Yugoslav republic remains.

    ?All the rest simply express wishful thinking,? he said.

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