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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-09-16
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Greek and Turkish defence ministers discuss direct telephone line16/09/2002 23:00:41
ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas) - Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, following his meeting here on Monday with his Turkish counterpart Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, said the direct telephone line which which will be installed between the two countries' defence ministers will avert the possibility of tensions which could be created in the crucial period leading to the decision of the EU summit in Copenhagen.
Papantoniou noted that ''we all know that this is linked with the systematic violations and infringements of the national air space which the Turkish air force has proceeded in these past 18 months.''
The Greek minister discussed with his Turkish counterpart developments in the Cyprus issue and emphasised to his interlocutor that ''the opportunity should not be lost for the efforts being made at present, through direct talks between (Cyprus President Glafcos) Clerides and (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash, for a just settlement of the Cyprus issue to conclude positively.''
Papantoniou termed as ''useful'' the meeting in Istanbul between the defence ministers of Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.
 Athens pledges to setup fund for Black Sea region Greek entrepreneurs16/09/2002 22:59:41
The Greek government on Monday pledged to create a one-million-dollar entrepreneurial fund for ethnic Greeks in the Black Sea region as of next year, with the fund managed by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis made the announcement from Thessaloniki, where he noted that a maximum loan of $10,000 would be given to individual entrepreneurs with favorable terms.
He added that the Greek governments intention is to support expatriates in the Black Sea region and to create new job positions.
 Drama Short Films festival begins on Monday16/09/2002 21:38:25
The 8th Drama Short Films Festival kicked off in the northern Greek city on Monday with 36 screenings, including four documentaries and six student films. The screenings will take place at the recently renovated cinema ''Olympion'' and at ''Asteria'' where most of the films were screened last year.
There are 90 films from 50 countries participating in this year's festival in Drama, with four films in the special competition programme ''Greeks of the World''.
During the festival, there will also be seminars on film training and digital film-making and presentations of books.
 Greek Culture Foundation awards for literary translation16/09/2002 21:37:12
The Greek Culture Foundation will bestow its first-ever award for literary translation during a ceremony at London's South Bank Centre on September 23.
The name of the translator and the title of the book to be honoured will be announced the same day.
The European Awards for Literary Translation ceremony is organised by Britain's Society of Authors, the British Centre for Literary Translation and the Times Literary Supplement.
The Greek award is bestowed on the inititaive of the Greek Culture Foundation and covers Greek literary works which have been translated into English and have been published in Britain over the past five years. The award, which is accompanied by the sum of 1,000 pounds sterling will be given every two years.
 Consumer group cites success in fruit & veg boycott over price hikes16/09/2002 20:35:55
A consumer watchdog said on Monday that sales of fruit and vegetables had fallen by 70 percent on the first day of a boycott it had called to protest against steep price hikes in the market.
Reporting continually rising prices, the Consumer Institute (INKA) last week asked the public to refrain from buying fruit and vegetables from September 16 to September 19.
INKA said in a statement that the number of shoppers purchasing the produce at the start of the four-day boycott had fallen by 40-60 percent, and purchases were cut to a minimum, bringing a 70 percent drop in turnover.
Items bought were mainly one that had begun to show a decline in prices, which accounted for about 60 percent of fruit and vegetables, the statement said.
INKA recently also called a 24-hour boycott of all stores that it said had received widespread backing from consumers. Supermarkets claimed the protest had little impact.
A trade group for street markets said that recent rises were due to a doubling in production costs and the impact of adverse weather on crops.
The group said it would launch an indefinite strike from October 1 in a call for lower output costs.
The government has said that it will set up a ministerial committee to tackle high fruit and vegetable prices.
The finance, development and agriculture ministers intend to speed up imposition of a unified price scale from farm to retail outlet; order the use of electronic cash registers in street markets; and ease terms for imports.
On a weekly basis tomatoes had risen by about 10 percent, and on an annual basis by 63.5 percent. Lettuce has increased in price by 59.01 percent annually, Golden Delicious apples by 36.3 percent, and grapes by 19.26 percent.
 Chilean embassy to hold arts, gastronomy festival16/09/2002 18:58:35
The Chilean embassy is to hold an arts and gastronomy festival on September 19 to 23 at the Metropolitan Hotel in Athens.
Chilean cuisine will be served at the hotel's La Veranda restaurant. Also scheduled are exhibitions of photographs, jewellery and crafts, the Chilean ambassador in Athens, Marcia Covarrubias, told a news conference.
Covarrubias said that the openness and stability of Chile's economy had attracted investors from abroad.
Trade ties with Greece had risen sharply over the last decade, especially the past three years, she added.
 Foreign Exchange Rates -Tuesday16/09/2002 18:20:12
Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank
U.S. dollar 0.976
Pound sterling 0.633
Danish kroner 7.486
Swedish kroner 9.176
Japanese yen 119.2
Swiss franc 1.480
Norwegian kroner 7.400
Cyprus pound 0.577
Canadian dollar 1.544
Australian dollar 1.783
 Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Tuesday16/09/2002 18:12:23
Sunshine is forecast in most parts of the country, with showers or storms possible on the mainland or in the north. Winds north-northwesterly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 13C to 23C; on the rest of the mainland from 15C to 27C; and in the Aegean islands from 18C to 27C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 27C; and in Thessaloniki from 15C to 23C.
 Greek stocks plunge to new four-year lows on Monday16/09/2002 16:44:13
The Athens Stock Exchange dropped to new four-year lows on Monday, with share prices succumbing to both domestic and international pressures.
The general index ended 1.32 percent lower at 1,940.72 points, with turnover a low 81.9 million euros.
The Food and Beverage sector was the only one to end higher (0.29 percent), whiule the IT Solutions, Insurance, Construction and Cement sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (3.44 percent, 3.16 percent, 3.07 percent and 2.11 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.39 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 1.46 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 2.04 percent down.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 271 to 50 with another 36 issues unchanged.
Market officials urged investors to remain calm and to avoid taking hasty decisions, noting that the Greek bourse was following international markets amidst a climate of uncertainty over economic and political developments around the world.
Analysts said it was crucial for the market to find support near the 2,000 level in the short-term.
 'Week without cars' initiative in Athens until Sun.16/09/2002 16:25:52
Traffic-congested Athens will join several other European cities over the next few days in the ?week without cars? initiative, as automobiles were banned from the Greek capitals centre beginning on Monday with access to other adjacent roads restricted.
On Sunday the Greek metropolis main Panepistimiou thoroughfare, which spans from Parliament to the Athens Academy and ends at Omonia square, will be closed off to traffic and surrendered to pedestrians for a day.
Many motorists on Monday, however, apparently werent aware of the week-long restrictions based on the last digit of a vehicles license plate number -- with traffic backed up on many roads. The stepped up restrictions begin at 6:30 a.m. and end at 9 p.m.
A series of events, including concerts, bicycle races etc, are also planned.
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