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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-05-14
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Greek FinMin sees higher growth, adherence to stability pact14/05/2002 22:42:39
Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Tuesday said he was satisfied with a process of implementing this year's budget and noted that any ''doubts'' over the country's fiscal policy were attributed to changes in calculating budget figures from last year.
Mr Christodoulakis also said that Greek economic growth could exceed 3.8 percent in 2002 and reiterated that Greece would adhere to a Stability and Development Programme.
 Gov't spokesman praises Kofi Annan's presence in Cyprus14/05/2002 22:41:33
Government spokesman Christos Protopapas said the presence of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Cyprus, who arrived on the island on Tuesday afternoon, was very important, adding that the Cyprus problem is at a crucial and decisive phase.
Referring to intransigent statements made by the Turkish side, he said reactions are even taking place within Turkey since the country's position on the Cyprus issue unavoidably creates a problem in its (Turkey's) European course.
Protopapas did not rule out the possibility of proposals and initiatives on the part of Annan and said he is cautiously optimistic over the outcome of the visit.
 NBC members visit Olymic Games installations, ATHOC headquarters14/05/2002 22:41:26
High-ranking members of the U.S. radio and television network National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), who were on a working visit to Greece from May 10-14, expressed their satisfcation on the progress made in preparations for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
During their stay, they visited the Olympic installations and were given a briefing at the headquarters of the Olympic Organising Committee (ATHOC).
 Culture minister and U.S. reporter discuss democracy14/05/2002 22:40:14
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and distinguished U.S. journalist Victor Navasky, a professor at the Columbia University's Journalism Academy and publisher of the magazine The Nation, held talks on Tuesday announcing afterwards the creation of an international centre focusing on the relation between democracy and art and democracy and culture.
It is a very important plan for the purposes of the Cultural Olympiad, which will be promoted as of now and until 2004, Venizelos said pointing out that the creation of such a centre, in the heart of New York and at a very distinguished university, can promote the aims of ecumenical culture.
 Archaeology film meeting on May 16-1914/05/2002 21:18:20
The Chinese terra cotta army, the Euphrates' lost Zerf Al Ahmar village, the secrets of the Pharaohs and Ancient Olympia with its ceremonies and Olympic Games, as well as other wonders of the past, will be screened at the Apollon-Renault cinema on May 16-19 with free admittance for the public.
The event concerns 20 films by European film directors, chosen from among 80, to take part in the 4th International Archaeology Film Meeting of the Mediterranean Area ''The Struggle.''
It is an institution established by the Greek magazine ''Archaeology and Arts'' and as was said at a press conference on Tuesday by the magazine's publisher Anna Lambraki a Federation of European Archaeology Film Festivals will be established during this year's festival and will be based in Athens.
Among the Union's targets is support for the distribution of audiovisual work on archaeology and cultural heritage in the widest possible way.
The Struggle's six awards are equal and are accompanied by cash prizes amounting to 3,000 euros. They will be given at the end of the international meeting on Sunday night.
 Europarliament okays appointment of Papademos to ECB14/05/2002 20:05:48
BRUSSELS (ANA) - The European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday approved the appointment of Lucas Papademos, Greece's central bank chief, as vice president of the European Central Bank.
On April 22, Papademos attended a routine endorsement hearing before the Europarliament's economic and monetary affairs committee, which voted its approval.
Papademos had outlined his view of the ECB as a vehicle for price stability in the euro zone, and as a body independent of member-state governments although accountable in terms of communicating policy and practice.
The attainment of monetary stability, high growth rates and lower unemployment were complementary objectives, Papademos said.
 National Bank of Greece to lower interest rates14/05/2002 18:57:29
National Bank of Greece announced on Tuesday that it will lower its deposit rates by up to half a percentage point and its base lending rate on working capital by 25 basis points.
Indicatively, balances of up to 1,000 euros interest will receive no interest from zero interest previously for balances of up to 500 euros, National, the country's largest bank, said in a statement.
Interest on higher deposits is to range from 1.25 percent to 2.25 percent, said the bank, a blue chip on the Athens bourse.
The floating base lending rate on working capital is to fall to 6.25 percent from 6.50 percent at present, the statement said.
The rate declines were intended to track a drop in European Central Bank rates by 150 basis points since January 1, 2001, National added.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday14/05/2002 18:23:01
Indicative tourist buying rates per euro
U.S. dollar 0.913
Pound sterling 0.628
Danish kroner 7.494
Swedish kroner 9.363
Japanese yen 117.1
Swiss franc 1.467
Norwegian kroner 7.607
Cyprus pound 0.583
Canadian dollar 1.424
Australian dollar 1.672
 Weather Forecast: Mainly sunny on Wednesday14/05/2002 17:30:33
Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with isolated storms likely from early evening on high ground chiefly in the north and centre. Winds northerly, light to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 10C to 24C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 13C to 26C; and in the Aegean islands from 15C to 24C. Sunshine in Athens, with temperatures between 15C and 26C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 12C to 24C.
 Turkish admiral: Greek planes harassed chopper during exercise14/05/2002 17:11:03
ISTANBUL (ANA) A top Turkish naval officer on Tuesday alleged that Greek fighter planes harassed a Turkish military helicopter during an ongoing military exercise by the neighbouring countrys armed forces in the Aegean.
According to a dispatch by the semi-official ?Anadolu? news agency, Turkish admiral Yener Karahanoglu claimed that Athens was briefed over the holding of the ?Sealion 2002? aero-nautical exercise and that Greek officers were also invited to observe the exercise.
?We expected such a harassment, but the Greek aircraft should not engage in such actions during an exercise aimed at saving lives,? the Turkish admiral said, while repeating that the maneuvers purpose centred only on search and rescue training.
Finally, Anadolu reported that the exercise is being held in international waters and air space over the Aegean.
Athens has strenuously and repeatedly stated in both direct talks and at various international fora over the years that International Law and a handful of treaties cover and clarify every claim brought up by Turkey over the past three decades.
Greece has also repeatedly stated that the only outstanding issue remaining to be settled in the Aegean involves delineation of the seas continental shelf, while pointing to the International Court of Justice at The Hague as the proper venue to adjudicate the matter. Greece maintains a six-nautical-mile limit for territorial waters and eight miles for its national airspace. Additionally, the Athens FIR is responsible for air traffic over much of the Aegean, including international airspace, another point that Ankara dislikes.
 Greek stocks rally for fifth consecutive session14/05/2002 16:47:58
Greek stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday, extending their rally for the fifth consecutive session pushing the general index above the 2,350 resistance level in the Athens Stock Exchange.
The general index jumped 1.55 percent to 2,361.09 points, with turnover an improved 136.8 million euros.
The Retail, Banks, Textile and IT sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (4.03 percent, 2.55 percent, 2.04 percent and 2.02 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.80 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index jumped 2.0 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 1.30 percent up.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 244 to 70 with another 45 issues unchanged.
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