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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-05-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Minor blast reported near Acropolis
  • [02] Olympic Airways to retire Boeing 737-200s in fall
  • [03] EU okays border cooperation plan between Greece, FYROM
  • [04] EU defence ministers discuss military potential
  • [05] Metropolitan Savvas of Warsaw begins official visit to Greece
  • [06] EU's 15 FMs discuss Mideast, relations with Iran
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday
  • [08] Minor blast reported near Acropolis (recasts)
  • [09] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Tuesday
  • [10] Greek stocks end slightly up on Monday

  • [01] Minor blast reported near Acropolis

    13/05/2002 22:26:55

    An explosion early Monday afternoon outside a well-known restaurant facing Athens' Acropolis -- the premier tourist attraction in Greece -- reportedly injured one unidentified man, police said.

    Authorities believe the blast, reported at around 2:30 p.m., was caused by a hand grenade detonator near a spot where two young men and a woman were seen only moments earlier. Both men, one of whom was reportedly injured in the explosion, were subsequently spotted driving off on a motorbike.

    Blood stains and a grenade pin were found at the scene, reports state. Moreover, authorities believe only the detonator exploded and not the grenade itself, something that would have ostensibly caused more serious injuries.

    [02] Olympic Airways to retire Boeing 737-200s in fall

    13/05/2002 22:24:32

    Olympic Airways on Monday said it would withdraw all Boeing 737-200 aircraft from its fleet by fall, in line with a European Union recommendation to all European airlines to withdraw this type of aircraft for environmental reasons.

    The national carrier issued a statement on the issue responding to press reports over an alleged request by the country's transport ministry to the European Commission for extending a deadline in the withdrawal of these aircraft.

    Olympic Airways operates only three out of a total of 11 Boeing 737-200 aircraft in its fleet, under the highest safety standards. OA said that the company had notified EU authorities seven months ago over its intention to end the use of this type of aicraft after completing its summer flight schedule.

    [03] EU okays border cooperation plan between Greece, FYROM

    13/05/2002 22:20:49

    BRUSSELS (ANA) - The European Union's executive Commission on Monday approved a programme for border cooperation between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    The two countries are to receive funding of 73 million euros, which will be given to Greece through the EU's Interreg III initiative and to FYROM through the Cards programme for reconstruction, growth and stabilisation in western Balkan countries, the Commission said in a statement.

    The overall programme will bring another 24.3 million euros in investment from the public sector and 6.0 million euros from the private sector, the statement said.

    The plan aims to step up cross-border cooperation and sustainable development for the regional economy.

    [04] EU defence ministers discuss military potential

    13/05/2002 22:17:55

    BRUSSELS (ANA - Y. Zitouniati) - European Union defence ministers discussed shortages in means and armaments concerning the EU's military potential on Monday, while according to a proposal by Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou the issue could also be the object of a special conference in November, during the Greek presidency.

    Greece will undertake the presidency in the defence sector as of July 1, 2002, since Denmark, which will hold the EU presidency during the second half of the current year, does not participate in European defence policy.

    Papantoniou attributed a historic character to the first official meeting of EU defence ministers, in parallel with foreign ministers, saying that in this way the European defence identity is strengthened as an element equal to common foreign policy.

    The Defence Council also discussed the creation of a permanent apparatus for deploying military potential, based on a proposal by Britain, which does not include Cyprus and Malta because they do not participate in cooperation for peace agreements with NATO, resulting in Papantoniou disagreeing and expressing reservations on the British text.

    Papantoniou termed the issue ''technical'' primarily although it does not lack, as he said, political substance. However, he clarified that it has no relation whatsoever with the pending issue of the so-called Euroarmy which concerns the EU's relations with NATO and on which the Greek position remains unchanged.

    Both Papantoniou and Foreign Minister George Papandreou were subjected to ''pressures'' from their European counterparts to lift their objection to the Ankara agreement concluded by the United States and Britain which allows Turkey to jointly decide on the EU's operational planning, without being a member of the EU, while at the same time excluding the Aegean and Cyprus from the field of action of the European rapid deployment force, but as the two ministers said ''Greece insists on its position.''

    ''We cannot accept the Ankara text,'' Papantoniou reiterated.

    [05] Metropolitan Savvas of Warsaw begins official visit to Greece

    13/05/2002 22:13:14

    Metropolitan Savvas of Warsaw and All Poland began an official visit to Greece on Monday.

    He was met at Athens airport by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, members of the Holy Synod, government officials and the Polish ambassador to Athens.

    Following the Metropolitan's arrival, a service was held at Athens Cathedral.

    Receiving Metropolitan Savvas, Archbishop Christodoulos referred to the bonds of friendship he has with the Polish Orthodox faithful and stressed that Europe needed Orthodox spiritualism.

    On his part, the Metropolitan of Warsaw referred to close cooperation existing between the Church of Poland and the Church of Greece and expressed his pleasure for visiting Greece.

    Metropolitan Savvas will depart for Warsaw on May 20.

    [06] EU's 15 FMs discuss Mideast, relations with Iran

    13/05/2002 22:11:44

    BRUSSELS (ANA - M. Spinthourakis) - Conditions in the Middle East and the European Union's relations with Iran were the focus of a meeting held here by the EU's 15 foreign ministers, where Greece was represented by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Deputy Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis.

    Regarding the Middle East, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Ireland were the only EU members that stated their willingness to accept on their soil the 13 Palestinians exiled from the Middle East after the month-long standoff at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem.

    Papandreou said that the 13 will depart from Cyprus, where they are staying temporarily, to the countries that will host them as soon as possible and probably by the end of the week.

    In this light, diplomats from the EU's member-states will continue to discuss the final official status of the 13 exiles, attempting to resolve legal and technical problems that arose.

    Papandreou appeared guardedly optimistic concerning developments in the Middle East, but called the decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's ruling party to vote against the creation of a Palestinian state negative.

    Concerning Iran, the 15 ministers did not reach an agreement as to the character of the cooperation agreement between the EU and that country, as some countries - including Greece - supported the signing of an agreement on trade, while other member-states supported the idea of a wider agreement with political ramifications.

    The final decision on this agreement was postponed for June, while until then the European Commission will study alternatives.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday

    13/05/2002 19:01:54

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.919

    Pound sterling 0.629

    Danish kroner 7.496

    Swedish kroner 9.417

    Japanese yen 117.3

    Swiss franc 1.465

    Norwegian kroner 7.608

    Cyprus pound 0.583

    Canadian dollar 1.431

    Australian dollar 1.681

    [08] Minor blast reported near Acropolis (recasts)

    13/05/2002 18:19:00

    An explosion early Monday afternoon outside a well-known restaurant facing Athens' Acropolis -- the premier tourist attraction in Greece -- reportedly injured one unidentified man, police said.

    Authorities believe the blast, reported at around 2:30 p.m., was caused by a hand grenade detonator near a spot where two young men and a woman were seen only moments earlier. Both men, one of whom was reportedly injured in the explosion, were subsequently spotted driving off on a motorbike.

    Blood stains and a grenade pin were found at the scene, reports state. Moreover, authorities believe only the detonator exploded and not the grenade itself, something that would have ostensibly caused more serious injuries.

    [09] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Tuesday

    13/05/2002 17:31:16

    Sunny weather is forecast in most parts of the country, with isolated showers in the eastern Aegean islands and Dodecanese in the morning. Storms may occur over high ground in the north. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 10C to 23C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 13C to 25C; and in the Aegean islands from 15C to 24C. Sunshine in Athens, with temperatures between 15C and 25C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 12C to 22C.

    [10] Greek stocks end slightly up on Monday

    13/05/2002 16:35:49

    Equity prices ended the first trading session of the week slightly higher supported by selective buying activity in bank stocks, although profit taking in smaller capitalisation stocks pared early gains in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday.

    The general index ended 0.18 percent up at 2,325.04 points, with turnover an improved 116.6 million euros.

    The IT Solution, Bank and Investment sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.62 percent, 1.19 percent and 0.80 percent, respectively), while the Publication, Telecommunication and Wholesale sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (0.85 percent, 0.36 percent and 0.30 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.55 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.13 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.04 percent.

    Broadly, decliners narrowly led advancers by 149 to 147 with another 61 issues unchanged.


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