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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-01-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FM says Greek presidency targets viable Europe
  • [02] Taxi strike on Wednesday in Athens, Piraeus
  • [03] New peleo-flora finds on Lesvos
  • [04] Zappeion Hall turned over to Greek EU presidency
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud expected on Wednesday
  • [07] Greek stocks end lower on Tuesday

  • [01] FM says Greek presidency targets viable Europe

    07/01/2003 23:00:15

    Foreign Minister and current Council of Ministers President George Papandreou said on Tuesday the target of the European Union's Greek presidency is a viable Europe and the strengthening of basic principles governing the EU, adding that the EU is currently more of a political community than it had been in the past.

    Papandreou, who was addressing members of the European Socialist Party's (ESP) Parliamentary group convening in Athens, said treaties will be signed in Athens with the EU's 10 new member-states and stressed that democracy is a real challenge for Europe and the rest of the world.

    The foreign minister also said Euroscepticism should be handled through initiatives which will highlight Europe having a humane image.

    He further said the Mediterranean is one of the focal points of the Greek presidency's efforts, as well as the Balkans and the wider region.

    On the question of the Middle East, he said problems remain and extreme trends are being shaped adding that Europe has a very important role to play regarding Iraq.

    Focusing on the Balkans, Papandreou said the Balkan countries belong to Europe and noted that a meeting with Balkan countries will be held in the northern city of Thessaloniki during the Greek presidency.

    The meeting will centre on providing an impetus for the process of these countries' rapprochement with the EU, handling organised crime, transparency, confronting corruption, the process of solving conflicts and economic growth.

    Papandreou said a date was given to Turkey at the EU's Copenhagen summit and added that it was a considerable offer for Turkey and there will be positive repercussions for Greek-Turkish relations if the neighbouring country complies with criteria set in Copenhagen (human rights, democracy, etc) and develops better relations with its neighbours, not only with Greece, but with Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania as well.

    He went on to say that official positions expressed by both the leader of Turkey's ruling party Recept Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Abdullah Gul are encouraging.

    Papandreou further said there is no progress in the Middle East, but rather steps backwards.

    He also referred to issues concerning terrorism and extremism, stressing that they are returning again in relation to observance of democratic principles, while matters regarding inequality are not dissociated from security issues in general.

    [02] Taxi strike on Wednesday in Athens, Piraeus

    07/01/2003 23:00:08

    Taxis will be on strike on Wednesday and Thursday in the greater Athens area, by decision of the union of taxi owners, as the Parliament will be discussing the new legislation for taxicabs.

    Taxi owners in the Attica prefecture are demanding changes in the bill tabled in Parliament and access to the bus lanes, in which only buses are presently allowed

    [03] New peleo-flora finds on Lesvos

    07/01/2003 22:59:26

    New impressive peleo-flora finds have come to light on Lesvos Island during the construction of a windmill farm for the production of electricity.

    Scientists cooperating with contractors discovered several fossilized trees, one of them having a trunk of two meters in circumference and 15 meters in length.

    Excavations are continuing and protective measures are being taken to protect any new finds and make them available for visitors.

    [04] Zappeion Hall turned over to Greek EU presidency

    07/01/2003 22:58:37

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday turned over to Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis the use of the Zappeion Hall building, located on central Athens Vassilisis Olgas Avenue.

    Zappeion Megaron, one of Athens' monumental buildings, recently underwent a just under 5.9-million-euro renovation and will be used for the needs of the Greek EU presidency through June 2003; after that date, the building will be used to house services of Athens Olympic Games 2004.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    07/01/2003 22:57:23

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.050

    Pound sterling 0.654

    Danish kroner 7.487

    Swedish kroner 9.139

    Japanese yen 125.8

    Swiss franc 1.482

    Norwegian kroner 7.294

    Cyprus pound 0.578

    Canadian dollar 1.638

    Australian dollar 1.830

    [06] Weather Forecast: Cloud expected on Wednesday

    07/01/2003 18:26:49

    Cloud is forecast for most parts of the country on Wednesday, while in the east and southeast, there may be local rains later in the day. Winds westerly, strong turning very strong. In the north and center, temperatures will range from 5C to 12C; in the west from 7C to 17C; and in the rest of the country from 10C to 18C. Scattered cloud in Athens with temperatures between 09C and 16C. Cloud and rain in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 07C to 11C.

    [07] Greek stocks end lower on Tuesday

    07/01/2003 16:37:30

    Greek stocks ended the first trading session of the week lower in the Athens Stock Exchange, although prices ended off lows supported by a moderate wave of selective buying in the last hour of trading.

    The general index ended 0.39 percent down at 1,769.18 points, with turnover a low 70.3 million euros.

    The Insurance, IT Solution and Textile sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (2.36 percent, 1.83 percent and 1.71 percent, respectively), while the Publication (2.97 percent), Telecommunications (1.37 percent) and IT (0.12 percent) sectors scored the biggest gains.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.42 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 1.01 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index dropped 1.74 percent. The wider FTSE/ASE 140 index fell 0.66 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 259 to 56 with another 37 issues unchanged.


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