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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-07-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't further clarifies proposals for new electoral law; opposition
  • [02] Alternate FM at the Socialist International conference in Rome on 18,
  • [03] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks end up, break through resistance
  • [04] Gov't, civil servants reach agreement on new payscale
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Unsettled on Saturday

  • [01] Gov't further clarifies proposals for new electoral law; opposition reactions

    18/07/2003 23:27:00

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Costas Skandalidis presented further clarifications on the government's proposals for reforming the electoral system during a press conference on Friday.

    Under the proposed new system, up to 80 per cent or 240 seats in the House will be distributed among the parties that collect the 3 per cent minimum required to enter Parliament, based on their nationwide share of the vote, while the remaining 20 per cent will be divided between the first and second parties so that there can be a governmental majority.

    It also introduces a split-vote system, with voters casting two separate ballots in different ballot boxes, one for the party of their choice and one for individual MPs.

    Another important change is the abolition of an article that forbids parties from forming alliances prior to elections.

    Skandalidis said the government wished to begin dialogue with the other parties on the proposals at the beginning of September and had for this reason kept several of them open for discussion.

    Among these were a proposal to reduce the number of large electoral districts from 13 at present to nine or 10 and to increase the number of smaller electoral districts. Also left open are the precise percentage of proportional representation, with 80 per cent recommended, the election of MPs from a list for large electoral districts and the time that the new law will go into effect.

    [02] Alternate FM at the Socialist International conference in Rome on 18, 19 July

    18/07/2003 23:20:28

    Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis will represent Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the Socialist International Conference that launched its two-day deliberations in Rome on Friday with the participation of a number of leaders and protagonists of developments in Iraq, including former Prime Minister of Italy Massimo D'Alema, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and Israel's former Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

    The first day of the conference will focus on discussions on postwar Iraq while the situation in the Middle East will be central to discussions on the second day.

    According to press reports, Yiannitsis on the second day of the conference will speak on Greece's support for the ''road-map'', the US-EU-Russia-UN-brokered peace plan for the Middle East.

    [03] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks end up, break through resistance

    18/07/2003 23:05:31

    The Athens bourse finished higher on Friday with buying interest taking the general index above resistance at 2,100 points during the session, traders said.

    The general share index gained 1.05 percent to end at 2,085.49 points. Turnover was 250.1 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 1.45 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.81 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities finished with gains of 2.13 percent.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 250 to 88 with 33 issues remaining unchanged.

    [04] Gov't, civil servants reach agreement on new payscale

    18/07/2003 20:10:54

    Civil servants and the government on Friday reached agreement on a new payscale that is to take effect on January 1, 2004.

    The ADEDY civil servants union said in a statement that it had accepted the finance ministry's offer of a monthly base starting salary of 1,391 euros for employees with university degrees from 774.97 euros at present.

    The starting salary for staff who have completed mandatory education will be 590 euros per month from 398.37 euros.

    Pay rises are to fall between 4.1 percent and 6.4 percent including the incorporation of allowances into base pay, with workers taking home an extra 26 euros to 93 euros per month from January.

    Pensions are to increase by 5.0 percent.

    The finance ministry said that 630 million euros would be allocated from the state budget to cover the higher payroll for civil servants, 50 percent higher than for incomes policy in 2003.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    18/07/2003 18:45:33

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.129

    Pound sterling 0.710

    Danish kroner 7.493

    Swedish kroner 9.311

    Japanese yen 134.5

    Swiss franc 1.548

    Norwegian kroner 8.426

    Cyprus pound 0.592

    Canadian dollar 1.588

    Australian dollar 1.744

    [06] Weather Forecast: Unsettled on Saturday

    18/07/2003 18:29:14

    Unsettled weather is forecast on the mainland, including sunshine, cloud, rain and storms. The rest of the country is likely to stay sunny. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 17C to 30C; on the rest of the mainland from 19C to 36C; and in the islands from 22C to 34C. Temperatures in Athens between 25C and 35C; and in Thessaloniki from 22C to 30C.


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