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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-11-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Powell says settlement of Cyprus problem a U.S. priority
  • [02] PM stresses 'social dimension' of Olympics works at gov't meeting
  • [03] Ticket prices for Athens 2004 Olympic Games
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday
  • [06] Greek stocks end flat, unable to follow Europe's recovery

  • [01] Powell says settlement of Cyprus problem a U.S. priority

    27/11/2002 23:18:48

    (ANA - F. Karaviti/T. Ellis) - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking on Wednesday after holding talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou at the State Department, said the settlement of Cyprus' political problem and Turkey's European course is a basic priority for the U.S. these days.

    Powell said the blueprint by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a comprehensive settlemet of the protracted Cyprus problem, is a ''historic opportunity'', expressing his conviction that both sides ''realise the seriousness of the moment and will respond to the blueprint's timetables, stating their positions by November 30 in a way permitting us to proceed''.

    Referring to what was said during the meeting between the two delegations, Papandreou conveyed the commitment of the U.S. ''to make every possible effort so that the opportunity of December 12 will not be lost.''

    The ministers agreed to the need of speeding up the process for a solution to the Cyprus issue after the counter-proposals of Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are given to the UN secretary general by Saturday, while the reaching of an agreement by the European Union's summit in Copenhagen (on December 12-13) remains the target of both the U.S. and the international community.

    Kofi Annan's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said that the Secretary General received on Wednesday morning from Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash a reply to his earlier letter of November 11, in which he states that he is prepared to negotiate on the basis of the UN chief's proposal for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem. Denktash's delayed response was originally expected on November 18 after Annan, on November 11, had given the two sides in Cyprus seven days to say whether they accept the plan as a basis for negotiation.

    However, Powell left open the possibility of a solution not being signed in the brief time limit remaining, saying ''I don't know if we will have or we will not have a solution by December 12.''

    [02] PM stresses 'social dimension' of Olympics works at gov't meeting

    27/11/2002 23:17:48

    The government had to highlight the social dimension of projects for the 2004 Olympics and make sure the public understood that every euro spent on the Games was ultimately targeting the needs of Greek society and the Greek economy, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed on Wednesday.

    Speaking during a government meeting to monitor progress in preparations for the Games, the premier also expressed satisfaction at the positive feedback from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the preparations and certainty that all the loose ends would soon be dealt with.

    According to sources within the prime minister's office, Simitis presented this as the best way to counteract the main opposition's claims about budget overruns and waste.

    He also pointed to a recent labour ministry announcement regarding the allocation of houses built in the Olympic Village by the Labour Housing Organisation after the Games, showing that the works had been designed with their use after the Olympics primarily in mind.

    The same was true of all Olympics projects, he added.

    The prime minister then noted that the government's attention would shift from construction projects to the organisation of the Games over the coming days.

    ''Our first priority will be to promptly and efficiently incorporate all the various sub-programmes...into a single Programme of Action,'' he said.

    [03] Ticket prices for Athens 2004 Olympic Games

    27/11/2002 23:16:06

    The price of tickets for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be cheaper than initially estimated. The Athens 2004 Organising Committee (ATHOC) announced on Wednesday that tickets for the events will range between 10 to 300 euros, while for the opening ceremony from 100 to 950 euros and for the closing ceremony from 50 to 750 euros. A total of 5,300,000 tickets will be issued, of which 2,300,000 will be given to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    The tickets will start being sold to the general public from May 12, 2003 (simultaneously in all the countries of the world).

    Those interested can order the tickets through the ATHOC website or at all the branches of Alpha Bank.

    It is noteworthy to point out that the average price of tickets for the Athens 2004 Games are 34 per cent cheaper than the corresponding average price of the Games in Sydney.

    Of the total 5,300,000 tickets which will be issued, 3,600,000 (68% of the total) will cost up to 30 euros, 2,900,000 (55%) up to 20 euros and 2,000,000 (38%) will cost 10 to 15 euros.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    27/11/2002 17:51:56

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.000

    Pound sterling 0.646

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.133

    Japanese yen 121.5

    Swiss franc 1.487

    Norwegian kroner 7.333

    Cyprus pound 0.576

    Canadian dollar 1.575

    Australian dollar 1.797

    [05] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday

    27/11/2002 17:41:48

    Rain and storms are forecast in most parts of the country, with showers in the north. Winds variable, strong to very strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 09C to 14C; in the west from 13C to 19C; and in the rest of the country from 13C to 19C. Temperatures in Athens between 13C and 17C; and in Thessaloniki from 11C to 14C.

    [06] Greek stocks end flat, unable to follow Europe's recovery

    27/11/2002 16:44:18

    Greek stocks ended Wednesday's session mixed to higher unable to benefit from a rebound in other European markets.

    The general index of the Athens Stock Exchange rose 0.13 percent to end at 1,869.22 points, recovering from an early decline as Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's share price reversed early losses.

    The Food-Beverage, Bank and Investment sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (0.91 percent, 0.58 percent and 0.10 percent, respectively), while the Publication, IT and Holding sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (1.53 percent, 1.09 percent and 1.06 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.16 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.74 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.58 percent higher.

    Turnover was a low 70.7 million euros.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 160 to 134 with another 67 issues unchanged.

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