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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-01-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU troika discusses Turkey's European prospects, Iraq in Ankara
  • [02] Culture minister and Athens mayor discuss 2004 Olympics
  • [03] Gov't says Greek Balkan reconstruction plan going well
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Saturday
  • [06] Greek stocks end week 2.17 percent lower

  • [01] EU troika discusses Turkey's European prospects, Iraq in Ankara

    31/01/2003 23:27:23

    ANKARA (ANA/A. Podimata)- Ministers making up an EU troika delegation to Ankara reiterated their support for Turkey's European prospects on Friday, in a joint press conference after their meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis.

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini for the next EU presidency and EU Commissioner for enlargement Guenter Verheugen took part in talks covering a review of the EU-Turkey association agreement, negotiations for a new package of EU funds for Turkey and the reforms being carried out by the Turkish government to satisfy the Copenhagen criteria, as well as the Cyprus issue and Turkey's bilateral problems with Greece and the Iraq crisis.

    Papandreou underlined that the Greek EU presidency supported Turkey's efforts to join the Community and said that a joint programme ''with a horizon at the end of 2003'' had been worked out in cooperation with Italy, which would next take over the EU presidency.

    Papandreou also stressed that a solution of the Cyprus issue and better relations with Greece would not only benefit both countries but also Turkey's European prospects.

    Referring to the crisis in Iraq, the Greek minister said the troika's talks with the Turkish government had been useful and he stressed the need to ''send a strong message to the Iraqi government'' to conform with the decisions of the UN Security Council.

    He said the Greek presidency would continue efforts for a common stance by European countries and said that he would be cooperating closely with Turkey, also, on this issue.

    His Italian counterpart Frattini said they had ''confirmed the goal of finding a peaceful solution for Iraq's disarmament under the supervision of the United Nations'' while he stressed that the credibility of the Security Council was at stake.

    The Italian minister denied that a statement signed by eight European countries on the Iraq crisis, in which they called on Europe to support US efforts to ensure Iraq's compliance with Security Council resolutions, was in conflict with the joint position released by the 15 EU foreign ministers on Monday.

    Papandreou praised his Italian counterpart's statement and his assurances that the statement by the eight did not intend to come into conflict with the joint EU position.

    [02] Culture minister and Athens mayor discuss 2004 Olympics

    31/01/2003 23:22:46

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni had a lengthy meeting on Friday to discuss preparations by the city for the Athens Olympics in 2004, in the presence of staff from the ministry and the municipality.

    ''There are many issues that must be addressed if Athens is to succeed as host-city,'' Bakoyianni said after the meeting.

    She said she had presented Venizelos, whose ministry is in charge of coordinating Olympics preparations, with a detailed outline and cost estimates for the things the municipality would need in order to succeed in its task and provide hospitality for the many thousand visitors expected during the Games.

    Venizelos stressed that the mayor's office would receive funds to carry these out as quickly as possible.

    He said that a third and final meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to discuss the Olympics budget would take place on Monday, which would finalise the budget for the state and the Athens Olympics Organising Committee (ATHOC).

    ''Therefore, we will soon be in a position to transfer the maximum funds possible to local government,'' he added.

    [03] Gov't says Greek Balkan reconstruction plan going well

    31/01/2003 23:16:50

    The government said on Friday that the country's economic reconstruction plan for the Balkans was progressing well.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos and Deputy Finance Minister Christos Pahtas said on the sidelines of a meeting of the plan's monitoring committee in the northern port city of Thessaloniki that allocation had been set of funds for private productive investments.

    Of a total of 107 million euros, or 20 percent of the 550 million euro reconstruction plan, Albania would receive 10 million euros, Bulgaria 11 million euros, Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo) 53 million euros, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 15 million euros, Romania 14 million euros, and Bosnia Herzegovina 4.0 million euros.

    In addition, 13 project proposals had been submitted, which would be evaluated in the middle of February. The projects were eight for Yugoslavia, three for Albania, and one each for Montenegro and Bosnia, the officials said.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    31/01/2003 18:45:22

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.090

    Pound sterling 0.660

    Danish kroner 7.496

    Swedish kroner 9.302

    Japanese yen 130.2

    Swiss franc 1.479

    Norwegian kroner 7.511

    Cyprus pound 0.583

    Canadian dollar 1.669

    Australian dollar 1.854

    [05] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Saturday

    31/01/2003 18:20:53

    Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country. Snow will fall on high ground in the north and centre, and low lying areas of the north. Winds east-southeasterly, very strong to gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from 0C to 9C; on the rest of the mainland from 7C to 14C; and in the islands from 14C to 17C. Temperatures in Athens between 10C and 14C; and in Thessaloniki from 3C to 7C.It may rain in both cities in the evening.

    [06] Greek stocks end week 2.17 percent lower

    31/01/2003 16:48:54

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of the week with moderate gains pushing the general index nearer the 1,700 level.

    Traders said buying interest for blue chip stocks in the last hour of trading led to the recovery of the Athens bourse.

    The general index rose 0.75 percent to end at 1,683.59 points, with turnover a low 75.5 million euros.

    The Retail, Industrial and Bank sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.03 percent, 0.81 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively), while the Textile, Food-Beverage and Publication sectors suffered the heaviest losses (3.25 percent, 1.60 percent and 1.41 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.87 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.10 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.59 percent lower. The wider FTSE/ASE 140 index rose 0.56 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 198 to 107 with another 52 issues unchanged.

    The general index ended the week with a net loss of 2.17 percent.

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