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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-03-29
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Olympics committee gets first corporate donation29/03/2002 20:18:41
The Sklavenitis Group, owner of a major domestic supermarket chain, on Friday presented the Athens 2004 Olympics organisers with a donation of 150,000 euros, the first corporate contribution to the event.
The donors and benefactors scheme was arranged by the national Olympics organising committee after requests from Greece and abroad for a system to allow backing for the event. The target is to raise 20 million euros in donations.
Receiving the first contribution, the committee's president, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, welcomed the fact that companies and individuals wished to assist the Games without receiving anything in return, as donors do not gain the right to make use of their act for advertising purposes, or use the 2004 Olympics logo.
 Gov't repeats vow to have airport rail link ready for 2004 Olympics29/03/2002 19:50:17
Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis on Friday repeated the government's pledge that a railway link to Athens international airport would be ready in time for the 2004 Olympics hosted by the Greek capital.
Also slated for completion by the start of the Games was the Athens tram, whose construction had already begun, Verelis told reporters after a meeting with the prime minister on the use of European Union funds for railways.
At the end of February, an interim winner was named in a tender for the second phase of the railway project. The works include signals infrastucture, electrification, and three station buildings, including for the airport.
The suburban line, part of a wider network, is to centre on a railway centre in Aharnon.
The airport stretch of the railway will help to cope with increased passenger movement during the 2004 Athens Olympics, beyond easing daily travel for commuters. A station is to be built at the Olympic Stadium north of Athens in another phase of the project.
The lowest bidder for the second phase was a consortium comprising engineering contractors Avax, Gnomon, ETETH and J&P, which offered 295.134 million euros to carry out the project.
Previously, a consortium led by Athens-quoted engineering contractor Aktor signed a contract for 84.5 million euros with Ergose, a projects subsidiary of state Hellenic Railways Organisation, to undertake the first phase of works for the railway, due for completion in 18 months.
Aktor is joined in the consortium by Hellenic Technodomiki and TEB.
Deputy Finance Minister Christos Pachtas, who also attended the meeting with the prime minister on Friday, repeated that projects linked to the Olympics would be ready on target.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-New ECB rates on Tuesday29/03/2002 19:06:02
New indicative euro foreign exchange rates for tourists will be released by the European Central Bank on Tuesday. Friday and Monday are market holidays abroad for Catholic and Protestant Easter.
 New Athens airport reports 12.2 million passengers in first year29/03/2002 18:58:42
The Eleftherios Venizelos airport near Athens on Friday celebrated its first birthday, reporting that 12.2 million passengers had used the facility since it opened this time last year.
Airport officials told a news conference that 170,000 flights had been effected in the same period, with cargo transported at 107,000 tonnes. Also moved were 5.8 million pieces of luggage.
Despite a global slump in air travel after terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, passenger movement at the newly built airport rose by 2.0 percent.
In addition, charges for aircraft and other services fell by up to 30 percent, making the airport one of the cheapest in Europe, the officials said.
 National Bank of Greece seen retaining same governor29/03/2002 18:41:51
Shareholders of National Bank of Greece are expected to vote in favour of retaining the bank's current governor, Theodoros Karatzas, when they meet on April 24, market sources said on Friday.
Also slated for approval is management's proposal for a merger with Banque Nationale de Grece, a France-based subsidiary, through absorption by the parent company, the sources said.
 Weather Forecast: Rain on Saturday29/03/2002 17:40:02
Cloud and rain are forecast in all parts of the country with isolated storms at sea. Snow will fall on high ground, and in low-lying areas of the north. Winds northeasterly, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -1C to 11C; in the west from 2C to 16C; and in the rest of the country from 3C to 15C. Cloud and rain in Athens with temperatures between 5C and 12C. Snow will fall on Mount Parnes. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 3C to 10C.
 ASE ends week 1.56 percent lower29/03/2002 16:13:52
The Athens Stock Exchange ended a shortened week 1.56 percent lower with the general index plunging to its lowest levels this year and to its lowest since October 15, 2001, on Thursday.
The Greek bourse is still undermined by negative sentiment and investors' reluctance to open new positions in the market, paving the way to a continuous decline in stock prices amidst a lack of fresh macro- or micro-economic statistics.
The market finally found a strong support base at the 2,280 level, while technical resistance is seeing at the 2,320 level.
The general index first fell below the 2,300 level on Tuesday reflecting pressures on selective bank shares and Hellenic Telecoms' shares. It fell 0.95 percent on Tuesday, 0.55 percent on Wednesday and 0.07 percent on Thursday.
The index is now 11.99 percent down this year. The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended the week 1.7 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 1.36 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index dropped 1.97 percent.
The volume of trade totalled 313.39 million euros in the three working sessions, for an average daily turnover of 104.46 million, down from 128.492 million euros last week.
The week in numbers
Clos.28/3/2002 Clos.22/3/2002 Change (%)
General 2.280,72 2.316,78 - 1,56%
Ftse/Ase 20 1.229,21 1.250,56 - 1,71%
Ftse/Ase40 246,62 250,03 - 1,36%
Small Cap 80 729,29 743,95 - 1,97%
Banks 4.004,80 4.083,55 - 1,93%
Insurance 1.300,89 1.322,57 - 1,64%
Investment 658,50 671,27 - 1,90%
Industrials 1.381,80 1.394,72 - 0,93%
Construction 1.086,96 1.108,63 - 1,95%
Holding 1.972,68 2.029,67 - 2,81%
Base Metals 790,09 791,86 - 0,22%
IT Solutions 456,27 465,89 - 2,06%
Publication 355,23 357,42 - 0,61%
Textiles 741,28 762,05 - 2,73%
Retail 651,11 679,52 - 4,18%
Minerals 1.014,01 1.012,54 + 0,15%
IT 739,09 747,92 - 1,18%
Telecoms 1.054,95 1.072,20 - 1,61%
Food & Beverage 736,18 743,48 - 0,98%
Wholesale 556,86 576,15 - 3,35%
Parallel market 231,57 236,31 - 2,01%
 Balkan leaders reaffirm desire to cooperate at Tirana summit29/03/2002 14:30:58
TIRANA (ANA - I. Paco) - The 5th summit of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) ended in Tirana with a joint declaration reaffirming Balkan leaders' commitment to cooperate in regional security and support each others efforts for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
In a declaration released at the end of the summit on Thursday evening, the heads of state and government of nine Balkan states particularly emphasised the efforts of SEECP countries to join NATO and pledged to support these in order to increase security in the region.
''Supporting the objectives of the aspiring countries (to join NATO) to accelerate the process, we have committed ourselves to further develop our cooperation leading up to the Prague Summit. We express our strong expectation that at the Prague Summit NATO will decide the Alliance's enlargement to South Eastern Europe,'' the joint declaration said.
Among those participating in the meeting were Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Croatia as an observer. The meeting was also attended by the foreign ministers of the participating nations, while Stability Pact Special Coordinator Erhard Busek and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Kosovo Michael Steiner were present as special guests.
Greece was represented at the summit by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
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