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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-09-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't plans to slash military service
  • [02] Gov't pledges above-inflation pay rises for 2003
  • [03] Besieged Arafat seeks peace move from EU, US via Greece
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Rain in much of the country on Monday
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

  • [01] Gov't plans to slash military service

    22/09/2002 21:52:45

    Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Sunday that the government plans to slash compulsory military service to eight months after 2006 in a phased decline.

    In an interview to the state-run NET television, the minister announced that the decline would begin in 2003, falling to 12 months in the army, 14 months in the air force and 15 months in the navy.

    It was hoped that by 2005 half of the army would comprise standing army personnel, and the other half recruits on compulsory military service, he added.

    [02] Gov't pledges above-inflation pay rises for 2003

    22/09/2002 21:44:00

    Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis has repeated the government's pledge of above-inflation wage and pension rises for 2003.

    In an interview to the Sunday Ethnos newspaper, Christodoulakis also promised that hefty increases in spending would be ordered in 2003 for the health, education, and social insurance sectors.

    [03] Besieged Arafat seeks peace move from EU, US via Greece

    22/09/2002 19:22:24

    Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Sunday asked Greece to approach the European Union and the US in order to help end a siege of his headquarters by Israeli troops and resume the peace process.

    Arafat was speaking during a lengthy afternoon telephone call with Foreign Minster George Papandreou, the ministry said in a statement.

    Papandreou immediately contacted the EU's presidency to discuss a possible peace move by the 15-nation bloc, the statement said.

    The minister reiterated to Arafat that he had the backing of Greece and the European Union as the Palestinians' legitimate leader; and he relayed greetings and support from Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the statement added.

    On Thursday, Israeli troops besieged Arafat's West Bank headquarters. The Palestinian leader vowed never to surrender to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and refused to hand over 50 suspected militants whom Israel says are with him in his devastated presidential headquarters in the city of Ramallah.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Rain in much of the country on Monday

    22/09/2002 16:14:25

    Rain and storms are forecast in many parts of the country, spreading to the centre and north from the west. The south and east will see scattered cloud. Some areas will be misty in the morning. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning very strong at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from 14C to 27C; in the west from 20C to 28C; and in the rest of the country from 16C to 31C. Temperatures in Athens between 19C and 31C; and in Thessaloniki from 17C to 26C.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    22/09/2002 15:42:11

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 0.986

    Pound sterling 0.638

    Danish kroner 7.489

    Swedish kroner 9.166

    Japanese yen 121.6

    Swiss franc 1.477

    Norwegian kroner 7.420

    Cyprus pound 0.578

    Canadian dollar 1.552

    Australian dollar 1.806


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