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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] News of Hellenic Post Offices sale tender expected Tuesday (CORRECTION)
  • [02] Greece, Bulgaria to hold talks on pipeline project on Tuesday
  • [03] News of Hellenic Post Offices sale tender expected Monday
  • [04] Greeks celebrate end of carnival, start of Lent
  • [05] Pylon for Greece-Italy power link destroyed in dynamite attack
  • [06] Archbishop blasts Big Brother
  • [07] Ruling party secretary scotches talk of early elections
  • [08] Intracom joins FTSE4Good indexes
  • [09] Gov't backs quality in tourism, rather than price cuts
  • [10] Afghan migrants picked up in boat off island
  • [11] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Tuesday
  • [12] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

  • [01] News of Hellenic Post Offices sale tender expected Tuesday (CORRECTION)

    18/03/2002 21:51:49

    Please read in first paragraph ''is expected on Tuesday'' instead of ''is expected on Monday''.

    A corrected version follows:

    News on progress in a tender to privatise 10 percent of Hellenic Post Offices (ELTA) is expected on Tuesday.

    The deadline for shortlisted bidders to submit binding financial offers was on Friday.

    The bidders are Deutsche Post of Germany; Netherlands Post Offices (TPG); and La Poste of France.

    On the auction block is a strategic alliance with ELTA comprising the share holding and creation of a joint venture in speed deliveries.

    In addition, the process will begin this year for Hellenic Post Offices to enter the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [02] Greece, Bulgaria to hold talks on pipeline project on Tuesday

    18/03/2002 18:48:47

    SOFIA (ANA/B.Borisov) - Greek Development Minister Akis Tsohazopoulos is due to visit the Bularian capital on Tuesday for talks with the neighbouring country's regional development minister on a project with Russia to build an oil pipeline.

    Under the long-delayed scheme, Russian oil would be exported to Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, from the pipeline beginning in Burgas, Bulgaria.

    The three countries are expected to sign a political memorandum of cooperation in the near future that would allow the project to start.

    Bulgaria has said it will seek an equal holding for each country in the company that will undertake the project.

    [03] News of Hellenic Post Offices sale tender expected Monday

    18/03/2002 18:30:41

    News on progress in a tender to privatise 10 percent of Hellenic Post Offices (ELTA) is expected on Monday.

    The deadline for shortlisted bidders to submit binding financial offers was on Friday.

    The bidders are Deutsche Post of Germany; Netherlands Post Offices (TPG); and La Poste of France.

    On the auction block is a strategic alliance with ELTA comprising the share holding and creation of a joint venture in speed deliveries.

    In addition, the process will begin this year for Hellenic Post Offices to enter the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [04] Greeks celebrate end of carnival, start of Lent

    18/03/2002 18:18:02

    Thousands of Athenians on Monday climbed Philopappou Hill near the Acropolis to celebrate the start of Lent with traditional delicacies and music.

    Leading the annual municipally-arranged event was Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    Children around Greece flew kites, another tradition that marks the end of the annual carnival season and the beginning of Lent, leading to Greek Orthodox Easter, which falls early in May this year.

    In the capital for celebrations were the leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress, Nikos Constantopoulos; and the head of the Communist Party of Greece, Aleka Papariga.

    President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos spent the holiday in Rio, Achaia; Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Aghii Theodori, Attica; and the leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, Kostas Karamanlis, on the island of Evia.

    On Saturday, thousands of visitors had poured into Patras in summer-like weather for the start of the western port city's annual carnival, the largest in Greece.

    The carnival peaked on Sunday with a five kilometre long parade through the city centre, this year featuring Poseidon, the sea god of ancient Greek mythology, as the carnival's traditional King of Laughter, whose effigy is burnt at the end of the event. The theme of the parade was the Mediterranean.

    The carnival also includes a treasure hunt, enjoyed this year by about 35,000 children wearing masks and costumes.

    Hoteliers reported that hotels in Patras were filled to capacity.

    [05] Pylon for Greece-Italy power link destroyed in dynamite attack

    18/03/2002 17:35:14

    An electricity pylon that forms part of a future power link between Greece and Italy was destroyed in a dynamite explosion perpetrated by unknown attackers, police said on Monday.

    Police have no clues about the identity of the attackers who planted the dynamite on Sunday under cover of darkness in Sayiada, Threspotia.

    The electricity link being built between the two countries will include power installations at either end, joined by an undersea cable.

    The high tension pylon, which belongs to the Athens-quoted Public Power Corporation, was due to carry 400,000 volts of power when connected.

    [06] Archbishop blasts Big Brother

    18/03/2002 17:20:36

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece has slammed popular game shows Big Brother and Bar as morally decadent.

    Calling on believers to turn off their TV sets, Christodoulos warned that as long as his tongue was in place, he would continue to rail against the corruption of reality shows.

    The archbishop launched his stinging attack from the pulpit of a church in the Athens suburb of Zographou on Sunday.

    [07] Ruling party secretary scotches talk of early elections

    18/03/2002 17:07:27

    Costas Laliotis, the secretary of the ruling PASOK party's central committee, has precluded early national elections, saying that polls will be held as scheduled at the end of the government's term in the spring of 2004.

    In an interview to the Athens News Agency released on Sunday, Laliotis also said that the prime minister, Costas Simitis, would remain at the helm.

    He noted that an initiative for talks with parties of the left and centre of the political spectrum, as well as public figures from the two spheres, would aim to create a ''majority, multi-party centre-left'' in the election battle against the main opposition New Democracy party.

    The bid for a centre-left alliance could also produce consensus for the election of a new president of the republic in 2005, when the term of incumbent Costis Stephanopoulos comes to an end, Laliotis added.

    Among groups PASOK planned to approach in order to forge common ground were alternative environmental and social critique movements, he said.

    PASOK held the initiative for action, and had the ability to reverse a current adverse political climate if it rallied itself to do so, Laliotis emphasised.

    The leaders of other parties should rise to the occasion, he added.

    [08] Intracom joins FTSE4Good indexes

    18/03/2002 16:43:21

    Intracom SA, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, announced on Monday that its stock had joined the FTSE4Good Europe and FTSE4Good Global indexes on March 13.

    Beyond financial criteria, the two Financial Times indexes also take into account a company's social contribution, industrial relations policy, and environmental protection, Intracom said in a statement.

    The company is a manufacturer of telecoms and information systems.

    [09] Gov't backs quality in tourism, rather than price cuts

    18/03/2002 16:36:18

    BERLIN (ANA/P.Stangos) - Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Monday that the government had placed emphasis on improving the quality of services offered in domestic tourism, rather than cutting prices

    Measures to boost quality are contained in a three-year plan for tourism, which also promotes a cultural angle coupled with the 2004 Olympic Games to be hosted by Athens, Tsohatzopoulos told reporters at Berlin's International Tourism Fair.

    Tourism sector executives in Greece, including hoteliers, have complained that large German tour operators have put pressure on them to offer discounts of up to 20 percent in order to channel their customers to Greek destinations.

    ''Greek businesses know what they should do, but it is clear that the difficulties that we are facing in toning up demand cannot be overcome through a drop in prices, but rather by means of a rise in the quality of supply, accompanied by a new communications policy,'' the minister said.

    Tourist arrivals by air from Germany to Greece dropped in 2001 against 2000, but the decline was minor in the context of a wider slump in the airlines sector following terrorist attacks in the US on September 11 last year.

    Tourism from Germany accounts for one fifth of the market in Greece.

    [10] Afghan migrants picked up in boat off island

    18/03/2002 16:04:12

    Nineteen illegal Afghan migrants, including including four women and five children, were picked up by a Harbour Corps. patrol off the island of Symi on Monday after their boat began taking in water, the merchant marine ministry said.

    The Afghans were reported safe after being taken to the island's port, the ministry said in a statement.

    In another incident, four Turkish nationals were arrested by a Harbour Corps patrol in a boat off Symi late on Sunday.

    The Doluna Ivan employed manoeuvres to try to deter the patrol boat from approaching, which eventually fired warning shots, the statement said.

    [11] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Tuesday

    18/03/2002 15:38:11

    Sunshine is forecast in all parts of the country. Winds north-northwesterly, moderate, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean, easing off later in the day. In the north, temperatures will range from 5C to 15C; in the west from 7C to 19C; and in the rest of the country from 8C to 17C. Sunny in Athens with temperatures between 8C and 16C. Scattered cloud in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 7C to 14C.

    [12] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    18/03/2002 15:11:37

    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


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