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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU sports ministers to meet in Athens on Thursday, Friday
  • [02] Government in talks with Schiesser over Athens factory closure
  • [03] Opposition expresses solidarity for redundant Schiesser workers
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Sunshine on Wednesday
  • [06] OTE leads Greek stocks higher on Tuesday

  • [01] EU sports ministers to meet in Athens on Thursday, Friday

    06/05/2003 23:27:43

    The European Union's sports ministers will meet in Athens on Thursday and Friday, with the participation of the sports ministers of the new member-states in the framework of the Greek European Union presidency.

    Deputy Sports Minister George Lianis will head the two-day session, which will focus on ''Sports and regional development. The economic and social dimension of the Olympic Games and the major sports meets''.

    [02] Government in talks with Schiesser over Athens factory closure

    06/05/2003 20:50:14

    The government on Tuesday held talks with Schiesser of Switzerland in a bid to persuade management to save the multinational's Athens underwear manufacturing plant, slated for closure at the end of the month due to losses.

    Labour Minister Dimitris Reppas said in a statement later in the day that Scheisser appeared resolved to go ahead with closure on May 30, leading to about 500 redundancies.

    Also involved in talks with management were representatives of the General Confederation of Labour of Greece, a trade union umbrella group that represents nearly a million workers.

    [03] Opposition expresses solidarity for redundant Schiesser workers

    06/05/2003 20:02:03

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Tuesday urged workers to show solidarity for 500 people slated for redundancy at the end of the month when Schiesser, a Swiss multinational, closes its Athens factory.

    The Schiesser Group, which produces Palco brand underwear, announced on Monday that the Athens-based operation had shown the lowest level of competitiveness among the Group's plants in Europe, coupled with high operational costs. The result was that the firm, 70 percent of whose output was ordered by Scheisser AG, was no longer viable.

    The KKE said in a statement that the right to work had been severely eroded following endorsement of Europe's Maastricht Treaty by the ruling PASOK party and main opposition New Democracy Party.

    In a separate statement, the Coalition of the Left and Progress called on the government to make a last-ditch effort to persuade the Schiesser Group to reverse its closure decision.

    ''This multinational company is halting operations and relocating to Bulgaria. The government is following these dramatic developments as a spectator - the de-industrialisation of the country - in a cowardly and spineless fashion, with no industrial policy for the key sector of apparel,'' the Coalition's leader, Nikos Constantopoulos, said.

    ''The government has left the economy to run on automatic pilot, dictated by the market, and it has left society exposed to competition,'' Constantopoulos added.

    The Schiesser Group has said it is undertaking a restructuring in order to meet a worldwide recession and fierce competition from countries undercutting the market. The company plans to shift plants to Balkan and Asian countries.

    Another Greek plant owned by Scheisser - in Komotini, northern Greece - is competitive and is destined for expansion and job creation.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    06/05/2003 19:10:17

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.143

    Pound sterling 0.710

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.169

    Japanese yen 134.9

    Swiss franc 1.526

    Norwegian kroner 7.946

    Cyprus pound 0.592

    Canadian dollar 1.608

    Australian dollar 1.794

    [05] Weather Forecast: Sunshine on Wednesday

    06/05/2003 19:06:10

    Warm, sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with scattered cloud in Epirus and Macedonia from late afternoon. Winds northerly, light to very strong, turning gale force in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 13C to 20C; in the west from 15C to 32C; and in the rest of the country from 17C to 29C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 29C; and in Thessaloniki from 16C to 29C.

    [06] OTE leads Greek stocks higher on Tuesday

    06/05/2003 16:46:40

    A jump in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's share price late at the session helped push Greek stocks to new highs on Tuesday in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index rose 0.94 percent to end at 1,768.27 points, with turnover a stable 130.7 million euros.

    The Telecommunications sector led the market's advance ending 2.78 percent higher, reflecting a 5.71 percent jump in OTE's share price. The Food-Beverage (2.73 percent), Publications (2.71 percent) and Insurance (2.37 percent) sectors followed with big percentage gains. The Holding, Investment and Retail sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (0.28 percent, 0.21 percent and 0.18 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.24 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.58 percent, the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 1.19 percent and the wider FTSE/ASE 140 index ended 1.12 percent up.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 164 to 137 with another 57 issues unchanged.

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