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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-10-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Govt tables 2004 draft budget plan to parliament
  • [02] Elections will take place in Spring, PM says
  • [03] Athens stresses concern over Mideast crisis, condemns hostilities
  • [04] IOC press commission president lauds progress made
  • [05] Government development bill ready for parliament
  • [06] OTE's new system failure number ''121'' becomes country wide
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday
  • [08] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Tuesday
  • [09] Greek stocks end sharply higher on Monday

  • [01] Govt tables 2004 draft budget plan to parliament

    06/10/2003 22:51:18

    Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Monday tabled the government's 2004 pre-draft budget to the parliament's permanent economic affairs commission.

    According to the draft budget, unveiled last week, the government seeks to combine fiscal stability with economic development, with growth rates expected to reach 4.2 percent in 2004 (up from 4.0 percent this year), unemployment rates to fall to 8.0 percent of the country's workforce (from 9.0 percent in 2003) and inflation to be contained around 3.0 percent.

    Next year's budget also envisages a 7.9 percent increase in net revenues and a 7.7 percent rise in spending, with the Internal Affairs, Development and Aegean ministries expected to see the biggest percentage spending increases in 2004 (13.6 percent, 11.2 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively).

    Spending in the Health and Labour ministries are also expected to rise by 7.2 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

    Public investments are expected to increase by 7.0 percent in 2004 to 9.25 billion euros, up from 8.6 billion this year.

    [02] Elections will take place in Spring, PM says

    06/10/2003 22:49:58

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday, speaking to the ruling PASOK Parliamentary group presidium, said that elections will take place in the Spring, because ''people want stability'', underlining that the country's economy is ''doing well''.

    He also stressed that they should explain to the Greek people the policy of the government, so that it may be understood. During the meeting issues concerning the better coordination and cooperation between government ministers and PASOK party deputies was also discussed.

    [03] Athens stresses concern over Mideast crisis, condemns hostilities

    06/10/2003 22:48:46

    Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis on Monday said Athens was intensely concerned by the latest turn of events in the Middle East and stressed that the roadmap for peace and strict adherence to the responsibilities arising from this were the only way out of the crisis.

    The spokesman also condemned the latest suicide bombing targeting an Israeli restaurant in Haifa, while describing a retaliatory air raid by Israel against targets in Syria as ''unacceptable''.

    [04] IOC press commission president lauds progress made

    06/10/2003 22:47:35

    The IOC Press Commission President Richard Kevan Gosper lauded ATHOC preparations for the Athens 2004 Games, during a meeting of the commission in Lausanne on Monday.

    He praised the presentation by the Games Press Services of progress over the past 18 months in building infrastructure, technology and services for written and photo Press at the 2004 Olympics.

    Gosper, congratulated the ATHENS 2004 delegation and expressed his confidence that Athens fulfilled all the conditions for providing excellent services to print journalists. The Press Commission Vice-President, IOC Member Gunilla Lindberg, said she was satisfied with the progress of preparations and the high quality of those working in Athens with the shared aim of making the life of the written media easier.

    [05] Government development bill ready for parliament

    06/10/2003 22:47:24

    Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Monday that the government's new development bill had been completed and was ready for dispatch to parliament.

    The bill contains a clause allowing companies to form a tax-exempt reserve from earnings for use in productive investments, Christodoulakis told parliament.

    The reserve can be created from earnings between 2004 and 2008, totalling up to 35 percent of undistributed profits. The time limit for use of the reserve is three years from its creation.

    In addition, the corporate tax bracket will be lowered to 25 percent from 35 percent for companies that make investments totalling more than 30 million euros, the minister said.

    Other provisions of the bill include incentives for major investments and investments by firms with international operations; incentives to recruitment; investments in high technology products; and greater assistance for firms in regions lagging in development.

    Finally, the bill also offers capital incentives to firms over five years old to help boost their growth, Christodoulakis said.

    [06] OTE's new system failure number ''121'' becomes country wide

    06/10/2003 22:44:54

    The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) number for system failures changed to 121 and will now be the same for the whole country and it will be toll free, operating from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

    06/10/2003 18:50:45

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.167

    Pound sterling 0.700

    Danish kroner 7.488

    Swedish kroner 9.042

    Japanese yen 129.6

    Swiss franc 1.559

    Norwegian kroner 8.229

    Cyprus pound 0.589

    Canadian dollar 1.571

    Australian dollar 1.714

    [08] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Tuesday

    06/10/2003 18:48:14

    Most parts of the country will see sunshine. It may rain in the northwest from late afternoon. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 13C to 23C; on the rest of the mainland from 15C to 26C; and in the Aegean islands from 18C to 27C. Temperatures in Athens between 16C and 26C; and in Thessaloniki from 15C to 23C.

    [09] Greek stocks end sharply higher on Monday

    06/10/2003 16:56:03

    Greek stocks ended sharply higher on Monday pushing the general index above the 2,100-point resistance level in the first trading session of a new week in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Buying interest focused in blue chip stocks like Alpha Bank, National Bank and Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation.

    The general index ended 1.94 percent higher at 2,130.54 points with turnover an improved 157.5 million euros.

    All sector indices ended with gains of more than 1.0 percent. The Textile (8.26 percent), IT Solutions (6.47 percent) and Insurance (3.89 percent) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 2.35 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index jumped 2.51 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index soared 4.02 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 307 to 34 with another 20 issues unchanged.

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