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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-10-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Premier reiterates pledge to combat unemployment
  • [02] Parliament lifts immunity of five deputies
  • [03] Govt approves subsidies to energy saving projects
  • [04] Health services alerted over gastroenteritis outbreak on cruise ship
  • [05] Alert over inclement weather conditions
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Light cloud on Friday
  • [08] Greek stocks end slightly higher on Thursday

  • [01] Greek Premier reiterates pledge to combat unemployment

    30/10/2003 22:20:25

    Increasing employment and reducing unemployment are the first and main priority of our policies, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Thursday.

    Speaking to reporters, after a cabinet meeting to discuss the issue, Mr Simitis stressed that the government would use all of its policies on taxation, development, pension, etc, as means to deal with unemployment in the country.

    The Greek premier noted that unemployment was steadily falling in Greece, reaching the eurozone average rate of 8.9 percent, down 2.2 percentage points from 2000, while at the same time employment has risen significantly.

    Simitis said this development was a significant progress, although he referred to particular problems facing the domestic labour market, such as the large number of immigrants finding work and a high rate of farmers and women seeking jobs.

    Our employment policies since 2000 produced 324,000 employment opportunities, 394,000 training opportunities and 367,000 re-training opportunities, Mr Simitis said.

    Simitis reiterated that a Convergence Charter, a government-sponsored programme, aimed to reduce unemployment to around 6.0 percent by 2008, to raise employment by 1.5 percent annually, to boost employment among women population by 2.0 percent and to cut non-wage labour cost by 15 percent.

    [02] Parliament lifts immunity of five deputies

    30/10/2003 22:17:53

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis on Thursday expressed his satisfaction over the voting process and results of a parliamentary vote to lift the immunity of five deputies so as to be tried on non-politically motivated charges.

    ''It was a very significant process. There was a taboo in force for 160 years. The cases of the lifting of immunity were rare and there had to be intense pressure from the public opinion to be lifted in the past. We took a great step,'' Kaklamanis said.

    Kaklamanis also spoke of the new system concerning the lifting of parliamentarians' immunity, which mandates that all cases regarding deputies would be sent to the prosecutor of the Areios Pagos - Greece's supreme court - who will decide on their merit and then he would send those back to a relevant parliamentary committee, which would decide on whether those cases may be politically motivated or not.

    In all, Parliament lifted the immunity of two ruling PASOK deputies and of three main opposition New Democracy deputies.

    [03] Govt approves subsidies to energy saving projects

    30/10/2003 22:16:34

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday signed a ministerial degree to approve subsidies for 36 investments in the framework of an EU-funded Third Community Support Framework project.

    The investments, worth 138,796,991 euros, cover projects in energy saving and supporting renewable energy sources, like windpower, small hydro-electric projects, solar systems and others.

    Among the companies eligible for subsidies (ranging from 30-45 percent of total budget) are: Pepsico-IVI ABA, Spiliopoulos ABEE, Larko, Public Power Corporation, Mevgal Dairy, Airhotel Capital, Hellenic SpinMills, Intercomm Foods, Rhodos Palace Hotel, Preveza SpinMills, Bingo AEBE, Radio Korasidis, Petrogaz SA, Cyclades Windpower Parks, Epirotiki Energy SA, Paradisos SA, Vodafone-Panafon.

    [04] Health services alerted over gastroenteritis outbreak on cruise ship

    30/10/2003 22:15:23

    Greek health services, including the Centre for Special Diseases and the health ministry, have been placed on alert to deal with an apparent outbreak of gastroenteritis affecting dozens of passengers on board a British-flagged cruise ship due in Piraeus port on Friday.

    Authorities were alerted about the outbreak by the captain of the cruise ship ''Aurora'', shortly after it left Dubrovnik but have not been told the precise number of passengers showing symptoms nor when the outbreak first began.

    Health Minister Costas Stephanis stressed that the health services readiness and epidemic control mechanisms operated immediately and as a result, since noon yesterday (Wednesday) there was a full briefing offered by the chief physician of the company that is managing the cruise ship.

    ''We follow all developments concerning the course of the epidemic and we are confronting all possibilities with forethought. No concern is justified, as for the protection of the health of the general population,'' he said.

    [05] Alert over inclement weather conditions

    30/10/2003 22:14:02

    All prefectures and municipalities throughout the country have been placed on alert to face possible problems arising due to inclement weather conditions, the Civil Defence General Secretariat announced Thursday.

    The Cyclades Islands, the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean, and the Dodecanese islands are expected to be affected to inclement weather conditions that hit western Greece and the rest of the mainland beginning Wednesday.

    Near-storm-force winds were blowing in the east and south.

    The weather was expected to start improving Thursday night, from west to east.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday

    30/10/2003 18:45:16

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.183

    Pound sterling 0.693

    Danish kroner 7.492

    Swedish kroner 9.087

    Japanese yen 127.9

    Swiss franc 1.561

    Norwegian kroner 8.291

    Cyprus pound 0.587

    Canadian dollar 1.546

    Australian dollar 1.668

    [07] Weather Forecast: Light cloud on Friday

    30/10/2003 18:40:45

    All parts of the country will see cloud, with rain and storms in Thrace, the eastern Aegean, the Cyclades, Crete and the Dodecanese that will soon ease off. Winds variable, moderate to very strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 6C to 19C; in the west from 10C to 22C; and in the rest of the country from 12C to 24C. Temperatures in Athens between 14C and 23C; and in Thessaloniki from 9C to 18C.

    [08] Greek stocks end slightly higher on Thursday

    30/10/2003 16:49:17

    Greek stocks ended Thursday session slightly higher as a wave of buying interest in the last half hour of trading reversed a prevailing downward trend in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index rose 0.38 percent to end at 2,115.86 points after falling to 2,102 points early in the session, with turnover a huge 541.2 million euros, of which 450 million euros accounted for the transfer of block shares in the framework of Public Power Corporation's latest flotation.

    All sector indices ended higher with the Publication, Retail and Insurance sectors scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.29 percent, 1.26 percent and 1.02 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.33 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.51 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 0.41 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 146 to 124 with another 86 issues unchanged.


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