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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-05-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bank workers, employers resume pay talks after strike
  • [02] Grim statistics of motherhood announced by UNICEF ahead of Mother's Day
  • [03] Athens taxi business seen declining in next two decades
  • [04] Lithuanian president to arrive in Greece on Wednesday
  • [05] Construction of 2004 Olympics press centre awarded
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Friday
  • [08] Greek stocks' rally continues on Thursday

  • [01] Bank workers, employers resume pay talks after strike

    09/05/2002 20:44:18

    Bank workers and employers on Thursday agreed to resume deadlocked pay talks as the second day of a 48-hour strike came to an end.

    In a gesture of good will, negotiators for the Union of Greek Banks improved their offer on a pay rise for 2002 and 2003, upping the total increase over two years to 7.0 percent from 6.5 percent.

    If a one-year agreement is signed, employers are willing to grant a 4.2 percent rise for 2002.

    On Wednesday, the national bank workers' federation said that strike turnout on the first day of the stoppage was about 70 percent, with operations severely disrupted.

    More staff in private banks had reported for work than in state sector enterprises, the OTOE federation said.

    In addition, the major payments division of the Bank of Greece, or central bank, was obliged to halt operations following intervention by OTOE officials.

    The result was that interbank transfers at home and with central banks in Europe could not be made, as well as transactions through Europe's Target clearing system, the statement said.

    Furthermore, many cashpoint machines for the public ran out cash.

    Bank workers had staged the strike following a breakdown in pay talks with employers, resumed on Thursday, the second and final day of the walkout.

    The Union of Greek Banks had proposed a two-year collective labour agreement with pay rises of 3.5 percent in 2002 and 3.0 percent in 2003. OTOE was seeking a 6.0 percent increase for this year.

    Another point of contention is a shorter working week.

    Bank workers are seeking a 35-hour week. Employers are willing to consider a reduction in the working week but want opening hours to the public increased, which OTOE has rejected on the grounds that the pace of work may increase sharply.

    [02] Grim statistics of motherhood announced by UNICEF ahead of Mother's Day

    09/05/2002 20:14:51

    More than 500,000 women die every year as a result of pregnancy and giving birth, a UNICEF press release said on Thursday in light of Sunday's Mother's Day celebrations.

    The press release brought attention to the grave problems of motherhood in such areas as sub-Saharan Africa, where one in every thirteen women dies of complications related to pregnancy, while the corresponding ration in industrialized nations is one of every 4,100 women.

    For every dead mother, there are thirty with injuries sustained because of pregnancy or the giving of birth, bringing the total number of victims to 15 million per year around the world.

    UNICEF called for obstetric and gynecological care to be named a basic human right and also called for the encouragement of a wider government role in providing safe conditions for motherhood.

    [03] Athens taxi business seen declining in next two decades

    09/05/2002 19:50:32

    The demand for taxis in Athens will decline over the next 20 years due to an anticipated rise in use of the capital's rapidly improving public transport network, a survey released on Thursday said.

    Commissioned by a taxi owners' trade group and conducted by the University of Piraeus, the study forecast that demand for taxis would drop by half from the current level by 2020.

    Currently, each of the city's taxis is on the road for 19 hours a day and covers 350 kilometres daily, with the seach for passengers taking up about 28 percent of the mileage total, the survey said.

    At present, about 50 percent of movement in Athens is in private vehicles, 28 percent by public transport, 11 percent in taxis and the remaining 11 percent on foot, the survey showed.

    By 2020, the percentage for taxi demand will have dropped to 4.7 percent, it predicted.

    The study recommended the creation of taxi cooperatives or partnerships, a practice established in countries abroad.

    [04] Lithuanian president to arrive in Greece on Wednesday

    09/05/2002 19:37:34

    Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, will arrive in Greece for a three-day official visit on Wednesday, May 15 at the invitation of Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    Adamkus' visit is a reciprocal one to Stephanopoulos' visit in Lithuania in 1999.

    [05] Construction of 2004 Olympics press centre awarded

    09/05/2002 19:35:16

    Lamda Development, a subsidiary of Athens-quoted EFG Eurobank Ergasias, is to undertake construction of a press village for the Athens 2004 Olympics that is to be located near the main stadium for the event.

    The developer said in a statement on Thursday that it will use designs produced by the public works ministry and local authorities in the northern suburb of Marousi, the venue for the press centre.

    The press village, one of the Athens Olympics' few self-financing projects, will house 1,600 journalists during the games.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    09/05/2002 17:59:45

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.913

    Pound sterling 0.627

    Danish kroner 7.494

    Swedish kroner 9.383

    Japanese yen 117.5

    Swiss franc 1.466

    Norwegian kroner 7.640

    Cyprus pound 0.583

    Canadian dollar 1.433

    Australian dollar 1.688

    [07] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Friday

    09/05/2002 17:40:58

    Sunshine is forecast in all parts of the country. Late in the day, Macedonia and Epirus may see isolated storms. Winds variable, light to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 11C to 25C; on the rest of the mainland from 13C to 26C; and in the islands from 14C to 24C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 14C and 25C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 12C to 24C.

    [08] Greek stocks' rally continues on Thursday

    09/05/2002 16:38:46

    Greek stocks extended their rally for the second consecutive day in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday with buying interest expanding from blue chip to all all stock categories. Traders said sentiment was encouraged by a positive climate in international markets.

    The general index rose 1.04 percent to end at 2,298.29 points, with turnover an improved 126.4 million euros.

    The Construction, Holding and Retail sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (3.07 percent, 2.89 percent and 2.03 percent, respectively), while only the Textile sector suffered losses (-0.01 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.14 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 1.17 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 1.30 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 229 to 80 with another 53 issues unchanged.

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