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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Friday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [03] FM Papandreou hails lifting of sanctions against Iraq
  • [04] Greek and British PMs discuss EU's constitution and security
  • [05] Pan-European environmental protocols signed in Kiev

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Friday

    23/05/2003 11:05:45

    Cloud is forecast in all parts of the country, turning to rain and storms. The weather will improve for intervals in the west and south. Winds variable, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 12C to 22C; and in the rest of the country from 15C to 26C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 24C; and in Thessaloniki from 16C to 20C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    23/05/2003 11:05:18

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.181

    Pound sterling 0.722

    Danish kroner 7.483

    Swedish kroner 9.221

    Japanese yen 138.2

    Swiss franc 1.524

    Norwegian kroner 7.910

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.602

    Australian dollar 1.793

    [03] FM Papandreou hails lifting of sanctions against Iraq

    22/05/2003 23:46:45

    PARIS (ANA - O. Tsipira) - Foreign Minister and President of the European Union's Council of Foreign Ministers George Papandreou, speaking to Greek reporters here on Thursday, hailed the UN's decision to lift sanctions imposed on Iraq.

    ''Being the EU's presidency, we hail the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, with a new resolution which received a big majority. There was also unanimity by the four members of the EU which participate in the Security Council. With this resolution we are gaining the creation of a post of Special Representative of UN Secretary General Mr. (Kofi) Annan who will closely watch developments in this way,'' he said, commenting on UN resolution 1483.

    Papandreou arrived in Paris on Thursday to participate in two ministerial meetings. One concerns the ''road axes of drugs from Central Asia to Europe'' organised in close cooperation with the UN's programme for international control of drugs.

    The second is the preparatory meeting of foreign ministers from G8 countries in light of the eight richest countries' summit due to take place in the French city of Evian on May 31.

    The foreign minister expressed hope that the people of Iraq will be helped through economic growth, humanitarian aid and reconstruction which will create a country of freedom and democracy.

    Papandreou also referred to the most important issues to be discussed during the two ministerial meetings on Thursday and Friday.

    ''Developments in the Middle East will be one of the important issues for discussion since there is even a little and existing hope for the ratification and promotion of the road map by all sides. This Map will lead us to the creation of a Palestinian state and to the safeguarding of the security of Israel,'' he said.

    International terrorism and drugs are also on the table for discussion.

    Iraq will be an exclusive issue in Friday's talks, due to take place in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell who also arrived in the French capital on Thursday.

    [04] Greek and British PMs discuss EU's constitution and security

    22/05/2003 23:39:13

    LONDON (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis) - Visiting Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his British counterpart Tony Blair discussed the European Union's new constitution during a working luncheon here on Thursday.

    The meeting was held in the framework of preparations for the agenda of the EU summit in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, next month.

    Simitis conceded that constitutional problems exist, but expressed his conviction that there will be possibilities for a decision to be taken on the new constitution of Europe before Euro-elections are held in 2004.

    ''We discussed with Mr. Blair the agenda of the Thessaloniki summit and the main issue was the plan for the new constitution of the European Union which Giscard d' Estaing will present to us and on which we shall have to decide before the Euro-elections in 2004. There are problems, they are known constitutional problems, agreements on principles and on the issue of human rights. There are two possibilities, two options, and I hope that we shall be in a position to take a speedy decision after the summit in Thessaloniki,'' Simitis said after the meeting at the British prime minister's residence at 10 Downing Street.

    The Greek prime minister said issues concerning the EU's security were also discussed, while EU High Commissioner for Defence and Security Policy Javier Solana will be presenting a report. He added that they also referred to Iraq and the Middle East, stressing that the issue of the Middle East will be discussed during the luncheon at the EU summit in Thessaloniki.

    Simitis further said his talks with Blair had a positive outcome and a satisfactory agreement was reached on all issues discussed.

    Simitis will leave for Dublin on Friday morning to meet Irish Prime Minister Berty Ahern for similar talks on the Thessaloniki summit's agenda.

    [05] Pan-European environmental protocols signed in Kiev

    22/05/2003 23:31:52

    KIEV (ANA) Environmental protection topped the agenda at the fifth Pan-European Ministerial Conference here over the past two days, with three protocols signed by the EU as well as countries in eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia as well as in the Balkans.

    The protocols refer to a ?strategy for evaluating environmental repercussions?, registering transports of pollution-causing substances as well compensation in the wake of industrial accidents causing damages in international or trans-national waters.

    Greek Public Works and Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou, who presided over the EU council of environment ministers, signed the protocols for the Union.

    Papandreou met on the sidelines of the conference with the Ukrainian environment minister as well as her counterparts from the United States, Armenia and Georgia.

    In talks with the former, she called for stepped up efforts to create an international maritime institute for the Black Sea, an initiative co-funded by Athens.

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