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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Wednesday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [03] PM Simitis discusses forthcoming EU summit with Portuguese counterpart
  • [04] FM Papandreou meets with Arafat in Ramallah to promote 'road map'
  • [05] A strong euro to benefit eurozone, global economy, Greek FinMin says

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Wednesday

    14/05/2003 10:19:51

    Scattered cloud is forecast in all parts of the country, with storms likely on high ground in the north. Winds variable, light. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 12C to 31C; on the rest of the mainland from 14C to 34C; and in the islands from 17C to 31C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 33C; and in Thessaloniki from 14C to 30C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    14/05/2003 10:18:32

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.161

    Pound sterling 0.722

    Danish kroner 7.483

    Swedish kroner 9.258

    Japanese yen 135.4

    Swiss franc 1.528

    Norwegian kroner 7.937

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.614

    Australian dollar 1.796

    [03] PM Simitis discusses forthcoming EU summit with Portuguese counterpart Barroso

    13/05/2003 23:54:42

    Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Costas Simitis, currently on a tour of European capitals ahead of the EU summit in Thessaloniki in June, held talks in Lisbon on Tuesday with his Portuguese counterpart Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

    Barosso congratulated Simitis ''for the exceptional work during these difficult months, during which the Greek Presidency stood capable of proving that in Europe, with the involvement of the heads of governments, during a specific period of time, significant progress is being achieved for our mutual vision which is a strong European Union.''

    With regard to the EU summit in Thessaloniki, Barroso said he viewed as the main issue the presentation of the conclusions of the Convention for the Future of Europe. ''We will also discuss certain matters relating to European expectations concerning defence and security,'' he added.

    ''Another important issue at the summit in Thessaloniki, which is included in the agenda following a proposal by the Greek Presidency, is the combatting of illegal immigration. At this point also, Portugal supports the efforts for a common EU rapprochement,'' he concluded.

    On his part, Prime Minister Simitis noted that it is the first time that 25 member-states will take part in the EU summit. ''The 10 states, though they are not yet full members, have the right to also present their views and there is agreement that they will participate in the decisions of the summit,'' he said.

    Simitis further said that this EU summit, despite the fact that important decisions will not be taken in the sense that there will be a change in the EU, it is an important summit because the plan of the new EU Constitution will be presented by Convention for the Future of Europe President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

    [04] FM Papandreou meets with Arafat in Ramallah to promote 'road map'

    13/05/2003 23:40:58

    RAMALLAH (ANA - D. Konstantakopoulos) - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Tuesday welcomed Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who visited him at his office here, thanking the European Union for the visit and for its efforts toward peace in the Middle East.

    Papandreou is on a visit to the region in his capacity as European Union foreign ministers' council chairman, to promote the ''road map'' to peace.

    ''We agreed to promote the 'road map', so as to push the Israeli side to accept it,'' Arafat said, thanking the quartet for its work on the road map.

    On his part, Papandreou stressed that there should be no more bloodshed and that peace should be achieved, giving hope to the Palestinian people, who want to live in a state that is prosperous and to lift the fear of the average Israeli citizen.

    ''I understand the caution, the scepticism even the cynicism, with which this peace initiative is faced from time-to-time after so many failures, but today there is a new opportunity, the 'road map' with very specific terms,'' Papandreou said.

    He underlined the support of the road map offered by the U.S., the EU, Russia and the United Nations, adding that ''we are determined to do everything to realize it. Finally, of course, that will be judged by the on the side protagonists, who I call to move on,'' Papandreou stressed.

    Referring to EU initiatives in the Middle East, Papandreou said that ''they say that Europe is divided, but concerning the Middle East problem we are united, all 25 of us are united''.

    [05] A strong euro to benefit eurozone, global economy, Greek FinMin says

    13/05/2003 23:33:12

    ''The eurozone and the global economy benefit from a strong and stable euro, which has also assisted in checking inflation and boosting demand'' Greek Economy and Finance Minister Christodoulakis said on Monday.

    Christodoulakis, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, in a joint press conference in Brussels late on Monday along with European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes at the end of a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting, said they expected a recovery of the European economy following the ebb in geopolitical uncertainty and a drop in oil prices.

    The Greek minister also referred to the macroeconomic dialogue where representatives of the Council (Troika), the Commission, the European Central Bank and the Social Partners exchanged views on employment, social consent and structural changes in the European economy.

    Within the framework of the Convention for constitutional reforms in the EU, the ''12'' discussed the institutionalisation of the eurogroup and a possible extention to the EU presidency term beyond the current six-month mandate.

    Finally, with regard to fiscal developments, the group reviewed the updated stability programme of Austria and stressed the need for adhering to commitments on reducing deficit from Germany and Portugal, emphasizing an expedition in structural reforms and the promotion of a dialogue on modernisation.


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