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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-05-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM heads all imporant inner cabinet meeting on foreign policy
  • [02] Latest Euro-Med conference on Mykonos next week
  • [03] Palestinian and Israeli children to be hosted at camping sites in
  • [04] Culture minister addresses foreign diplomats on importance of Olympic
  • [05] Banks to open longer hours under new staff pay deal
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Sunshine on Friday
  • [08] 354 Greek beaches earn 'Blue Flag' for 2002
  • [09] Small-caps lead ASE higher on Thursday

  • [01] PM heads all imporant inner cabinet meeting on foreign policy

    16/05/2002 23:11:00

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday addressed the Inner Cabinet focusing on the Cyprus problem and the Euroforce issue.

    Speaking after the meeting, which lasted five hours, Simitis said the two issues are at a point just before decisions will be taken, stressing that there is a necessity for national unanimity and a responsible stance by everyone.

    He underlined that the foreign policy of the country and the confrontation of international issues can not be ''an issue of cries or to be presented with simplifications'', adding that ''we should move on with caution, conviction and decisiveness, as well as cohesion within the country''.

    Speaking of developments concerning the Cyprus problem, Simitis said that the accession course of Cyprus is at its final and most delicate phase and for this reason great care is needed, adding that Greece will use all means provided by the treaty for Cyprus' accession to the European Union and that this accession should be done in accordance with the Helsinki decision.

    Concerning Greek-Turkish relations, Simitis said that Greece on this issue follows an aggressive policy of peace and cooperation and that Greek-Turkish relations are at the same time Euro-Turkish relations and are regulated by the Helsinki decisions.

    On the Euroforce issue, Simitis reiterated the refusal of the Greek government to accept the Ankara text.

    Simitis said that Greece's position on this issue was determined by three elements, which are the autonomy of decision making of the European Union, the equality between NATO and the Union and the issue of non-preferential treatment.

    [02] Latest Euro-Med conference on Mykonos next week

    16/05/2002 23:10:01

    Three main themes, including efforts to better combat terrorism, money laundering and drug smuggling, will dominate the agenda of next weeks Euro-Mediterranean forum on the holiday island of Mykonos, with the foreign ministers from nearly a dozen participant-countries expected to attend.

    According to a foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday, other matters up for discussion include the establishment of a free trade zone amongst Euro-Mediterranean countries by 2010, along with talks focusing on the repercussions from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

    Finally, the third major theme on the agenda of talks covers the so-called ?dialogue amongst civilisations?, as well as the restoration of cultural heritage monuments and the ?Cultural Olympiad?, one of Athens top international initiatives.

    [03] Palestinian and Israeli children to be hosted at camping sites in Greece

    16/05/2002 23:08:22

    Hundreds of children from the Palestinian territories and Israel will be hosted at municipal camping sites following an initiative by the Central Union of Greek Municipalities and Communities (KEDKE), it was announced on Thursday.

    Taking part in the initiative are the Archbishopric of Greece, the Greek Cooperation Committee of UNICEF, the Greek section of ''Doctors without Frontiers'', the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) and the Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY).

    [04] Culture minister addresses foreign diplomats on importance of Olympic Games

    16/05/2002 23:05:58

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos spoke on the great importance which the Olympic Games have for Greece during a dinner he hosted in honour of foreign ambassadors and cultural attaches in Athens on Thursday.

    Venizelos referred to the preparations for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and to the works being conducted in the capital and in the rest of the country.

    He also said that the government attributed equal importance to the Paralympic Games and to the Cultural Olympiad which has already started and will climax during the Olympic Games.

    [05] Banks to open longer hours under new staff pay deal

    16/05/2002 19:29:18

    The board of the bank workers' federation on Thursday approved a two-year pay deal forged with employers late the previous day.

    Under the terms of the agreement, staff will receive wage rises of 4.2 percent in 2002 and 3.8 percent in 2003 coupled with a decline in preferential mortgage rates.

    Acting as an intermediary in the talks between the OTOE union group and Union of Greek Banks was Labour Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    Also under the pact, banks will open to the public for 32 hours a week from 29.5 hours at present. Staff working hours will total 37 per week, from 0745 to 1515 on Monday to Thursday; and 0745 to 1445 on Friday.

    Employers had long wanted to increase opening hours, a move resisted by unions, which had linked the demand to a 35-hour working week.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    16/05/2002 18:07:56

    Indicative tourist buying rates per euro

    U.S. dollar 0.919

    Pound sterling 0.630

    Danish kroner 7.495

    Swedish kroner 9.305

    Japanese yen 117.2

    Swiss franc 1.467

    Norwegian kroner 7.601

    Cyprus pound 0.583

    Canadian dollar 1.429

    Australian dollar 1.674

    [07] Weather Forecast: Sunshine on Friday

    16/05/2002 17:44:01

    Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with isolated storms likely in the centre and north from early evening, mainly on high ground. Winds northerly, light to moderate. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 12C to 26C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 14C to 29C; and in the Aegean islands from 15C to 25C. Sunshine in Athens, with temperatures between 15C and 28C. Scattered cloud in Thessaloniki, and possibly an early evening storm, with temperatures from 13C to 27C.

    [08] 354 Greek beaches earn 'Blue Flag' for 2002

    16/05/2002 17:07:34

    Three-hundred and fifty-four beaches and seven marinas around Greece were awarded a ?Blue Flag? this year, the international distinction denoting a minimum of seaside facilities, clean waters and sands, safety, as well as environmental information for bathers.

    The 2002 figure includes three more ?Blue Flags? given to Greek beaches from last year, with Crete (76) again earning top honours among Greece's numerous tourist attractions from the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

    Eight beaches in the greater Athens area Vouliagmeni, Asteras, Alimos, the Mavro Lithari site at Anavissos, Edem beach, Varkiza, the Brexiza beach at Nea Makri and both beaches at Lagonissi earned ?Blue Flags?.

    The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label awarded to more than 2,800 beaches and marinas in 23 countries across Europe and South Africa for the coming year.

    [09] Small-caps lead ASE higher on Thursday

    16/05/2002 16:42:27

    A shift of investors' interest to smaller capitalisation stocks helped the Athens Stock Exchange to resume its upward trend on Thursday, quickly reversing Wednesday's decline and overcoming continued profit taking in blue chip stocks.

    The general index rose 0.20 percent to 2,351.36 points, with turnover a moderate 112.9 million euros.

    The Textile, Metals and Retail sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.62 percent, 1.55 percent and 1.42 percent, respectively), while the IT Solutions, Insurance and Construction sectors suffered the heaviest losses (0.63 percent, 0.60 percent and 0.37 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.04 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.55 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.35 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 166 to 132 with another 63 issues unchanged.

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