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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-01-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM stresses need for peaceful solution to Iraq issue in Europarliament
  • [02] IOC chief expesses satisfaction with Athens 2004 progress
  • [03] FM Papandreou applauds Cyprus demonstrations, refers to Middle East
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly fine on Wednesday
  • [06] Blue chips lead ASE higher on Tuesday
  • [07] IOC chief expesses satisfaction with Athens 2004 progress

  • [01] PM stresses need for peaceful solution to Iraq issue in Europarliament address

    14/01/2003 22:38:24

    STRASBOURG (ANA - M. Spinthourakis/O. Tsipira) - Prime Minister Costas Simitis and current President of the European Council, addressing a European Parliament plenum here on Tuesday, stressed the need for a peaceful solution to be found to the issue of Iraq.

    Simitis said the aim of the European Union's Greek presidency is for a common position to be achieved by the EU on the issue of Iraq, adding that special efforts will be made to enable this to happen at the EU's next Council of Foreign Ministers meeting.

    ''In the months ahead of us we might face a war in Iraq. We hope it will not happen. We are working to enable the efforts of the UN to reach a positive outcome and have war averted,'' he said.

    Simitis also said consultations should take place between the EU, Russia and China, as well as with the United States.

    On the question of Turkey, Simitis reiterated that Greece supports its European prospects.

    Simitis further stressed the need to reshape the EU's agriculatural policy, saying that Greece primarily supports backing for small producers.

    He also took the opportunity of outlining the five main priorities of the EU's Greek presidency.

    These priorities are completing enlargement, reforming the European economy, tackling the phenomenon of immigration, promoting procedures for the EU's institutional restructuring and, lastly, strengthening the EU's international presence.

    ''Greece belongs to the EU member-states which desire and support the strengthening of the European Parliament's role and powers,'' Simitis said during his address.

    [02] IOC chief expesses satisfaction with Athens 2004 progress

    14/01/2003 22:28:19

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge on Tuesday compared Athens preparations for hosting the next Olympic Games to a popular Greek dance ?syrtaki? -- slow in the beginning, then accelerating and ?by the end you can't keep up with the pace.?

    Speaking at a luncheon organised by the Foreign Press Association of Greece, Rogge said progress for the 2004 Olympic Games is ?outstanding and evident?, a far cry from two and a half years ago when then IOC chief Juan Antonio Samaranch issued Athens a stern warning over delays and bureaucratic obstacles.

    ?? Im confident all will be realised in time ? We now see construction emerging out of different places ? there is great momentum and enthusiasm on the part of ATHOC and at the government level,? the Belgian IOC president stressed hours after taking a helicopter tour over several 2004-related sites and venues. Nevertheless, he again warned that deadlines are ?tight?, albeit ?feasible?.

    Rogge, Samaranchs successor, returned to Athens for the first IOC inspection of 2003 -- repeatedly touted by the Lausanne-based officials as the most crucial year for ensuring the next Olympic Games quality and deadlines. He was joined at the press luncheon by his successor at the helm of the IOC coordinating commission monitoring ATHOCs progress, Denis Oswald, as well as high-profile ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, one of the prime recipients of praise for the organising committees stunning turn-around since April 2000.

    [03] FM Papandreou applauds Cyprus demonstrations, refers to Middle East

    14/01/2003 22:24:45

    BELGRADE (ANA-E.Boukaouri) Upon arrival to Belgrade on Tuesday afternoon for a series of meetings with the political leaderships of Serbia and Montenegro, Greeces Foreign Minister George Papandreou commented on the pro-European accession demonstrations staged on the northern occupied part of Cyprus by thousands of Turkish-Cypriots.

    ?Such demonstrations are particularly moving, they are a message to everyone, a message of democracy and peace to overcome the stereotypes,? Papandreou said, adding that ?it is also a European message that peoples can live together. All the leaderships should respond to that, we should do our best to achieve a resolution (to the Cyprus issue) within the next few weeks, months.?

    Referring to the Middle East issue and a tele-conference taking place in London, which Papandreou is to attend together with Dr. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Greek Foreign Minister, in his capacity as chairman of the EU Ministers Council, said that the EU will continue its efforts for peace in the region of the Mid East. He added that the EU approved of the London initiative and Palestinian Authoritys reform efforts. He added however that ?Israels rationale not to allow Palestinians to travel to London to attend the conference is unproductive.?

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    14/01/2003 18:53:28

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.066

    Pound sterling 0.663

    Danish kroner 7.488

    Swedish kroner 9.243

    Japanese yen 126.0

    Swiss franc 1.474

    Norwegian kroner 7.387

    Cyprus pound 0.581

    Canadian dollar 1.643

    Australian dollar 1.826

    [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly fine on Wednesday

    14/01/2003 17:13:20

    Most of the country will enjoy sunny weather with scattered cloud in the east and south. Winds northerly, light to strong, turning very strong in the southeastern Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -7C to 9C; on the rest of the mainland from -3C to 12C; and in the islands from 1C to 13C. Temperatures in Athens between 3C and 12C; and in Thessaloniki from -1C to 3C.

    [06] Blue chips lead ASE higher on Tuesday

    14/01/2003 16:34:32

    Greek stocks ended higher on Tuesday helped by renewed buying activity in blue chip stocks of the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index ended 0.73 percent higher at 1,715.91 points, with turnover a low 74.1 million euros.

    The Publication, Insurance, Textile and Telecommunications sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.95 percent, 1.72 percent, 1.68 percent and 1.58 percent, respectively), while the Metals (0.72 percent), Cement (0.55 percent), Retail (0.22 percent) and Industrials (0.05 percent) suffered the heaviest percentage losses.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.61 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.43 percent, the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index jumped 1.10 percent and the wider FTSE/ASE 140 index rose 0.63 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 192 to 102 with another 61 issues unchanged.

    [07] IOC chief expesses satisfaction with Athens 2004 progress

    14/01/2003 16:22:43

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge on Tuesday compared Athens preparations for hosting the next Olympic Games to a popular Greek dance ?syrtaki? -- slow in the beginning, then accelerating in pace and ending in a frenzy.

    Speaking at a luncheon organised by the Foreign Press Association of Greece, Rogge said progress for the 2004 Olympic Games is ?outstanding and evident?.

    Rogge, Samaranchs successor, returned to Athens for the first IOC inspection of 2003, joined by his successor at the helm of the IOC commission committee monitoring ATHOCs progress, Denis Oswald, as well as high-profile ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

    Among others, Rogge dismissed concerns about ballooning Olympic budgets beginning with the current 2004 Games -- and apprehensions that rising costs may instill in possible host-cities in the future, stressing that ATHOCs operational budget (1.962 billion euros) remains on target and in line with the same levels allocated for Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. In fact, he stressed that Greek taxpayers will not be burdened with ?even a cent?.


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