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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens eyes improved EU-Iran ties during 2003 Greek presidency
  • [02] PM and Iranian president examine international relations
  • [03] OTE gets first chief to be appointed by shareholders
  • [04] Campaign for Parthenon Marbles return begins in Belgium
  • [05] Greek police novels to be presented at Leipzig book fair
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday
  • [08] Greek stocks end lower on Wednesday

  • [01] Athens eyes improved EU-Iran ties during 2003 Greek presidency

    13/03/2002 22:59:02

    Iranian President Mohammad Khatami arrived here on Wednesday for an official visit expected to revolve around traditionally cordial Greek-Iranian relations, as Athens appears intent on taking steps to improve often cool EU-Iran relations when it assumes the Unions six-month rotating presidency in the first half of 2003.

    In greeting the reformist Iranian president, his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos praised Irans efforts in the international anti-terrorism campaign and in helping Afghanistan get through the post-Taliban era, stressing in particular Tehrans role in hosting millions of Afghan refugees over the years.

    Khatamis arrival in Greece follows his visit to Austria, where he began a mini European tour that comes on the heels of US President George W. Bushs reference to Iran as part of an ?evil axis? as well as highly publicised reports that Washington is reviewing new contingency plans that purportedly include the tactical use of ?battlefield? nuclear warheads against a handful of countries -- including Iran.

    ?Greece doesnt recognise such axes, evil or otherwise,? Stephanopoulos stated in paraphrasing comments last week from Japan by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    In indirectly commenting on the ?evil axis? reference, Khatami said such notions hurt the US people as well.

    ?Because this great power belongs to the US people, not to the (US) governments that come and go ... this power should not become a tool against the international community,? Khatami said, before agreeing that ?there is evil in the world.?

    ?Im sure that the international public opinions conscience, and the US publics conscience, does not accept this US policy of threats,? he said.

    In terms of the Middle East, the Iranian leader stressed that the Palestinians rights must be fulfilled before peace can be sustained, while he called the situation extremely grave not only for the region but for the entire world.

    Khatami was greeted by Stephanopoulos at the presidential mansion in downtown Athens for the signing of five bilateral agreements, including a memorandum of understanding between Greeces state-affiliated gas provider, DEPA, and Irans National Oil Co. (NIOC.

    [02] PM and Iranian president examine international relations

    13/03/2002 22:57:51

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and visiting Iranian President Mohammad Khatami examined international relations on Wednesday in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

    Simitis told reporters that the need for a dialogue which will take autonomy and particularities of each country into consideration was stressed during the talks.

    Simitis assured the Iranian president that Athens intends to assist the EU-Iran rapprochement during its six-month presidency in the first half of 2003.

    The two leaders also discussed economic and energy cooperation issues, while Simitis accepted an invitation by the Iranian president to visit Tehran.

    [03] OTE gets first chief to be appointed by shareholders

    13/03/2002 22:56:46

    Shareholders of Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), a heavily traded stock on the Athens bourse, for the first time elected a president and chief executive officer along with a board of directors, positions formerly awarded by the state.

    The corporation's new head is Eleftherios Antonakopoulos, a senior official of the Association of Greek Industry, who succeeds state-appointed Nikos Manasis.

    Antonakopoulos told the shareholders' meeting on Wednesday that his objectives were to boost OTE's presence abroad and increase profitability.

    The outgoing CEO said that he would remain in his position for a short time in order to see through projects that were nearing completion.

    As OTE's main shareholder, the state has the right to make recommendations on board or management choices.

    [04] Campaign for Parthenon Marbles return begins in Belgium

    13/03/2002 22:50:31

    BRUSSELS (ANA - V. Demiris) A campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece was launched in Belgium on Wednesday by Belgian senators Francois Roelants du Vivier and Paul Wille, at a press conference in the Belgian capital.

    Entitled 'Parthenon 2004', the campaign aims to put pressure on the British government and the British Museum, where the Parthenon Marbles are currently on display, to return the ancient sculptures in time for the start of the Athens Olympics in 2004.

    The Belgian campaign mirrors a similar campaign started up in Britain with the same aim.

    [05] Greek police novels to be presented at Leipzig book fair

    13/03/2002 22:49:19

    Greek police novels will be presented at the International Book Fair in Leipzig from March 22-24 with the participation of six authors of its kind. The National Book Centre, within the efforts to promote Greek literature abroad, will also take part in the Salon du Livre in Paris from March 22-27.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    13/03/2002 18:26:47

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.880

    Pound sterling 0.624

    Danish kroner 7.490

    Swedish kroner 9.193

    Japanese yen 113.9

    Swiss franc 1.479

    Norwegian kroner 7.807

    Cyprus pound 0.579

    Canadian dollar 1.396

    Australian dollar 1.694

    [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

    13/03/2002 17:33:46

    Sunny weather is forecast in most parts of the country, with early morning mist chiefly in the Ionian and on the mainland. Winds north-northwesterly, light to moderate, turning strong in parts of the Aegean and then easing off. In the north, temperatures will range from 3C to 17C; on the rest of the mainland from 6C to 19C; and in the islands from 9C to 18C. Sunshine in Athens with temperatures between 9C and 19C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 7C to 17C.

    [08] Greek stocks end lower on Wednesday

    13/03/2002 16:41:54

    Equity prices ended Wednesday's session slightly lower on the Athens Stock Exchange, as lack of follow-through buying and persistent low liquidity reversed an early modest advance.

    The general index fell 0.11 percent to 2,384.35 points, with turnover a low 92.6 million euros.

    The Retail, Holding and Publication sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (2.50 percent, 1.83 percent and 1.72 percent, respectively), while the Metals and Telecoms sectors scored gains (0.84 percent and 0.22 percent).

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.06 percent higher.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.32 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 0.27 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.37 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 185 to 116 with another 58 issues unchanged.

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