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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-15
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 PM and Cyprus president discuss inter-communal talks15/03/2002 23:16:58
BARCELONA (ANA - V. Demiris) - Prime Minister Costas Simitis held talks with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on the sidelines of the European Union's informal summit here on Friday and said later ''it is time the Turkish Cypriot side shows the will to take advantage of this great opportunity which exists for a solution to the Cyprus issue.''
Referring to the Turkish Cypriot position during direct talks, Simitis said that what is necessary to solve the Cyprus issue is contribution which means that we cannot repeat the same positions and expressed the hope that ''there will be some move further on which will signal a change in position.''
On his part, President Clerides said he gave Simitis a full briefing on the course of the inter-communal talks.
 Greece favours gradual energy deregulation15/03/2002 23:15:40
BARCELONA (ANA-M.Spinthourakis) - Greece favours a deregulation of energy markets in Europe on the condition that member-states will ge given enough time to prepare the ground for a free household market, in which households freely choose the electricity supplier, Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters in Barcelona, in the framework of an EU summit, Christodoulakis said he informed his EU counterparts on Thursday that Greece believed that a deregulation of energy markets should initially cover industrial and business users.
''The Greek market is not ready to accept household energy consumer choices over electrity suppliers,'' he said.
 Iran's Khatami meets with Christodoulos, opposition leaders15/03/2002 23:13:16
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Friday continued his high-profile three-day visit here by meeting with several of Greeces opposition political leaders and influential Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos.
Dialogue between the worlds major religions and civilisations especially in light of the dastardly Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States dominated talks between Khatami and Christodoulos, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church.
In a direct reference to recent press reports claiming Washington is reviewing new contingency plans that include the tactical use of ?battlefield? nuclear warheads against a handful of countries -- including Iran Khatami reiterated, ?? no nation is safe. Not even the people nor the leadership (of a nation) that threatens the use of nuclear weapons.?
On his part, Christodoulos tersely referred to a theme thrust onto the international limelight following Sept. 11.
In consecutive meetings Friday morning, Khatami met with a delegation from the main opposition New Democracy party as well as the leaders of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos).
During his brief talks with the ND delegation comprised of former premier Tzannis Tzannetakis, Amb. Petros Molyviatis and deputy Marieta Yiannakou Khatami reportedly referred to the role of late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis in restoring democracy in Greece.
 Hypertension symposium in Thessaloniki examines role of genes15/03/2002 23:12:01
Scientists believe that some people may be genetically predisposed to develop hypertension, according to research presented on Friday at the Panhellenic Arterial Hypertension Symposium in Thessaloniki.
Prof. Haralambos Gavras, head of the department of hypertension and arteriosclerosis at Boston University Medical School, said that research centres around the world were now focusing on the DNA of hypertension patients to find out what conditions caused genes to give out the wrong information that led to the disease in one person, while another was protected.
Eventually, at some time in the future, the research should give doctors the tools to prevent the onset of the disease at an early age, he said.
 Regional food safety network to be created within six months15/03/2002 18:44:38
Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Friday that a regional infrastructure for food safety controls would be put in place over the next six months.
The agriculture ministry is to issue formal decisions in coming days that will supplement the institutional framework for controls, Tsohatzopoulos said.
Offices are to be opened in the western city of Patras and in Iraklio, on the tourist island of Crete, in line with an existing bureau in the northern port city of Thessaloniki. Others are due to open in the next phase of the project.
The network will belong to the state's Unified Food Controls Authority.
The minister was addressing a European conference arranged by the INKA consumer group.
 Local government chief blasts northern border post strike15/03/2002 18:30:12
A local government leader on Friday sharply criticised a lasting strike at a northern border post with Turkey by agriculture ministry employees carrying out controls on fresh produce. The walkout has severely disrupted two-way border traffic.
Evros prefect George Dolios said he would seek a court restraining order on Tuesday, after Monday's public holiday, if the strike continued. He also complained that local government authorities had not received notification of the walkout from the union.
On Thursday, more than 80 trucks carrying perishable goods backed up on the Greek side of the Kipi border post in Evros, with congestion also reported on the Turkish side.
Strikers are reportedly mulling blockading the border post over the upcoming holiday weekend that would bar access to all vehicles including tourist coaches.
Dolios said that two local government officials had been dispatched to the border post to carry checks on trucks carrying fruit and vegetables.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday15/03/2002 18:14:47
Indicative tourist buying rates per euro until Monday
U.S. dollar 0.892
Pound sterling 0.626
Danish kroner 7.492
Swedish kroner 9.206
Japanese yen 115.0
Swiss franc 1.473
Norwegian kroner 7.829
Cyprus pound 0.580
Canadian dollar 1.421
Australian dollar 1.701
 Olympic Aviation stewards protest flight cuts to Thessaloniki15/03/2002 18:09:52
The Union of Olympic Aviation Flight Attendants said on Friday they opposed the abolition of direct flights to the northern port city of Thessaloniki by the airline, a short-haul subsidiary of ailing national carrier Olympic Airways.
''Even after the terrorist attack in the US on September 11 when the global airline industry was thrown into crisis, Olympic Aviation's flights to and from Thessaloniki not only retained a high proportion of travellers but actually showed a rise of 25 percent in passenger traffic,'' the union said in a statement.
The direct flights that have been abolished included Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris.
''Why should so much effort go to waste?,'' the union asked. ''Maybe certain people want to turn Thessaloniki into a large village from a modern European city.''
 Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Saturday15/03/2002 17:35:33
Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, gradually turning cloudy in the north with a possibility of light showers later in the day. The morning wil be misty. Winds north-northwesterly, light, turning strong in the Aegean from the evening. In the north, temperatures will range from 5C to 16C; on the rest of the mainland from 8C to 20C; and in the islands from 11C to 19C. Sunshine in Athens with temperatures between 9C and 20C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 6C to 16C.
 Greek stocks lose 2.60 percent in the week15/03/2002 16:49:42
Equity prices ended the last trading session of a subdued week with minor changes, reflecting investors' inertia and a lack of posite fresh incentives in the Greek bourse.
The general index ended a volatile session 0.09 percent lower at 2,384.22 points, with turnover a disappointing low 79.5 million euros.
The IT and Retail sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (1.17 percent and 0.95 percent, respectively), while the Telecoms, Wholesale and Textile sectors suffered the heaviest losses (1.09 percent, 0.17 percent and 0.11 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.02 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.41 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.13 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 150 to 143 with another 67 issues unchanged.
The general index ended the week with a net loss of 2.60 percent.
Agricultural Bank's shares jumped 8.71 percent leading the group's subsidiaries' prices higher.
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