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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-10-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU DMs promise to preserve European army limits
  • [02] PM and Danish premier discuss Brussels summit
  • [03] Alternate FM meets with British trade minister
  • [04] FM promoting EU information programme through Internet
  • [05] Children's painting exhibition inaugurated in Athens
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Saturday
  • [08] Greek stocks rebound strongly on Friday
  • [09] Greece ready to fund projects in Yugoslavia

  • [01] EU DMs promise to preserve European army limits

    04/10/2002 22:58:22

    European Union defence ministers committed themselves to adhering to all timetables concerning the creation of the European army, during their meeting in Rethimno on Friday on the first day of an informal two-day conference.

    Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, presiding over the conference in this Cretan city, said the 15 ministers agreed that by March 1, 2003 recommendations will be submitted by work groups involved in registering national contributions and the covering of deficiencies regarding the European rapid reaction force.

    It was further agreed that a committee will be set up and will be composed of the 15 member-states' chief armaments alternate general directors.

    The committee will convene at regular intervals and will examine the creation of a new body to propose ways of financing to cover vacuums registered, while taking into consideration the eurozone's Stability Pact, national budgets and the fiscal policy of each member-state.

    Papantoniou reiterated that the European rapid reaction force would function supplementarily and not competitively towards NATO's rapid reaction force.

    The European army's exclusive mission will be peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, while NATO's rapid reaction force will include intervention and strike operations in its missions.

    Relations between NATO and the EU were also discussed during the conference. The Greek presidency has expressed willingness to promote this issue on the basis of principles set at the Seville summit and in an effective way.

    [02] PM and Danish premier discuss Brussels summit

    04/10/2002 22:56:41

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen, head of the EU presidency, met in Athens on Friday to discuss the agenda of an EU summit in Brussels later this month where vital decisions regarding European enlargement will be made.

    Rasmussen is currently touring EU member-state capitals to prepare for the October 24-25 summit, during which the 15 EU leaders are due to name the countries set to complete enlargement talks in December in Copenhagen.

    In statements after the meeting, Simitis said that another topic that would dominate the Brussels meeting would probably be Kalinigrad and EU-Russia relations, and any new developments concerning Iraq.

    Noting that EU leaders at the Brussels summit would be called to assess the efforts of the 13 candidate-countries to meet the Copenhagen criteria, based on reports prepared by the European Commission, Simitis once again underlined the importance that Greece attaches to enlargement.

    He also said that Athens was in favour of discussing the progress of all candidate-countries at Brussels, including Turkey, so that final decisions might be made at the EU summit in Copenhagen in December.

    According to the premier, Cyprus was among the 10 candidate-countries that had enough progress in talks and accession negotiations, decisions for Bulgaria and Romania had been postponed until later and a date for starting accession negotiations with Turkey was yet to be decided.

    [03] Alternate FM meets with British trade minister

    04/10/2002 22:55:30

    Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis on Friday met with British Trade and Industry Minister Melanie Johnson and according to sources, although this was a courtesy meeting discussions between the two officials focused on issues of European interest.

    Earlier on Friday, the minister had a meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, within the framework of preparations for the Greek EU presidency.

    [04] FM promoting EU information programme through Internet

    04/10/2002 22:54:22

    NEW YORK (ANA - M. Georgiadou) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou is promoting the creation of a programme aimed at providing information for citizens through the Internet on the European Union's pursuits, purposes and targets, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

    A report in the newpaper's website said that with Greece's assumption of the EU's presidency in the first half of 2003, the idea is maturing of greater involvement of the peoples of Europe in the EU's decision system.

    Papandreou said that ''electronic democracy'', the continuous and direct contact through the Internet, has already been tried with great success, permitting Greece to communicate with overseas Greeks living in the four corners of the world.

    ''The more we create electronic democracy structures, the closer we come to the cultivation of global thought and global governance,'' Papandreou said to the newspaper's editors.

    [05] Children's painting exhibition inaugurated in Athens

    04/10/2002 22:54:12

    Olympic Games secretary general Costas Kartalis inaugurated the 10th International Children's Painting Exhibition on the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on Friday.

    ''The glance that conveys the Olympic Games clearer and more accurately is the glance of children,'' Kartalis said on the occasion.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    04/10/2002 18:26:34

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 0.994

    Pound sterling 0.634

    Danish kroner 7.487

    Swedish kroner 9.163

    Japanese yen 122.0

    Swiss franc 1.473

    Norwegian kroner 7.362

    Cyprus pound 0.577

    Canadian dollar 1.579

    Australian dollar 1.816

    [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Saturday

    04/10/2002 18:10:09

    Sunshine is forecast in all parts of the country, with some scattered cloud and early morning mist. Showers or storms are expected later in the day, mainly in the west. Winds northerly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 09C to 23C; on the rest of the mainland from 11C to 27C; and in the Aegean islands from 16C to 25C. Temperatures in Athens between 14C and 26C; and in Thessaloniki from 10C to 22C.

    [08] Greek stocks rebound strongly on Friday

    04/10/2002 16:48:54

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of the week with significant gains following comments by Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis over speculative practices in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    His comments were followed by ASE chairman, Panagiotis Alexakis, who expressed his worry over the market's decline and stressed that current market prices did not reflect the Greek economy's real condition.

    The general index ended 1.17 percent higher at 1,792.45 points, reversing an earlier decline to 1,748.98 points. The Greek bourse largely ignored losses in other European markets.

    Turnover was a low 60.9 million euros.

    The Base Metals and Food-Beverage sectors were the only ones to suffer losses (0.59 percent and 0.07 percent, respectively), while the Insurnace, Telecommunications and Holding sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (2.97 percent, 1.51 percent and 1.27 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.25 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.37 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 0.77 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 189 to 107 with another 60 issues unchanged.

    The general index ended the week with a net loss of 4.8 percent.

    [09] Greece ready to fund projects in Yugoslavia

    04/10/2002 16:29:43

    Greece is ready to proceed with funding of investment projects in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the framework of a Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans, Foreign Deputy Minister Andreas Loverdos said on Friday.

    Speaking to ANA, on the sidelines of a second Greek-Serb Forum, Mr Loverdos said that Greece's foreign ministry has already received 20 applications by private Yugoslav companies, but acknowledged that the fact that the Serbian government has not yet submitted his investment proposals was creating problems in approving payment of funds.

    Mr Loverdos noted, however, that the Serbian side was expected to submit one or two very serious proposals and urged Serbs and Montenegrins to speed up procedures for submitting investment proposals.

    The Greek plan envisages offering funds worth 550 million euros to six Balkan states (Bosnia-Herzegovia, Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia), of which 250 million euros are earmarked for Serbia and Montenegro.

    Under the plan, 20 percent of the money will be offered directly through the Greek foreign ministry with the remaining 80 percent to be offered in the form of subsidies to government projects.

    Speakers in the Greek-Serb Forum underlined Yugoslavia's steps forward in the last few years, a development supporting investments in the country. The country's growth rate (4.0 percent), falling inflation and the government's favourable tax measures were creating favourable investment conditions, speakers said.

    Serbia has already privatised 75 state companies, with another 250 companies expected to be privatised soon.

    The forum also said that Greek-Serb relations would be boosted by the creation of a Greek-Yugoslav Union of Commerce and Industry.


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