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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-10-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't meeting focuses on setting social package in motion
  • [02] Greece signs Government Security Programme with Microsoft
  • [03] Europe must become competitive, Greek EU Commissioner says
  • [04] Greek tourism needs new strategy, Tsohatzopoulos says
  • [05] Russia seeks closer tourist cooperation with Greece
  • [06] Ministry decrees all immigrants with pending application legally
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Cloudy on Saturday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday
  • [09] ASE ends October 5.02 pct higher

  • [01] Gov't meeting focuses on setting social package in motion

    31/10/2003 23:04:24

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday chaired a government meeting with all the ministers involved in the implementation of the social package, so that the measures will be up and running by January 2004.

    Reporting on the results of the meeting, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said that certain measures required acts of law while others could be set in motion by ministerial decree and still others by simple circulars.

    He said Friday's meeting had carefully examined the interlinked legislative, administrative and communications interventions that would be made, so that the public could be properly briefed on what it was entitled to and how to get it.

    Simitis appeared satisfied with progress made so far, Protopapas added.

    The ministers also discussed recruitment in the public sector and decided to go ahead with the procedure using the assessment reports submitted by the Three-Member Committee.

    Protopapas said this would be done with ''transparency, based on the criteria set by the laws and in order to boost the public sector and thus improve the service to the citizens.''

    [02] Greece signs Government Security Programme with Microsoft

    31/10/2003 23:01:53

    The Greek government on Friday announced the signing of an agreement for the country's participation in an international Government Security Programme by Microsoft.

    Speaking to reporters, during a news conference held at Zappeion Hall in Athens, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Costas Skandalidis said that the programme was part of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Initiative, offering national government a wide and free access to a source code in Windows programmes, along with technical information needed to ensure safety of Windows' platform. Other countries participating in the programme are the UK, NATO, Russia, Austria, Finland, Norway, Taiwan, Australia, etc.

    Skandalidis said the cooperation would enter the Greek state into a new era. ''Electronic governance is one of the main strategic goals of the government to deal, more efficiently, with citizens' needs,'' the Greek minister said.

    [03] Europe must become competitive, Greek EU Commissioner says

    31/10/2003 22:54:39

    Greek European Commissioner for employment Anna Diamantopoulou on Friday stressed that Europe had to be made competitive so that it was able to implement policies of social solidarity.

    Speaking at Macedonia University on the ''The Future of Europe, Competitiveness and Solidarity'', she said that Greece had to revise its policies for both competitiveness and solidarity, boosting the former for the sake of the economy and for the benefit of consumers.

    The meeting was also addressed by Italian Commissioner for Competitiveness Mario Monti, who appeared sanguine about the long-term growth prospects of the EU and said the slow growth seen in recent years was because the Union had given priority to reforming its institutions in order to become a ''global player''.

    [04] Greek tourism needs new strategy, Tsohatzopoulos says

    31/10/2003 22:48:28

    Only one out of a total 54 prefects in Greece are offering high-quality tourist product, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Friday and urged authorities to adopt a policy of strategy planning and information to create a new tourism policy.

    Addressing a seminar organised by Greece's National Tourism Organisation in Thessaloniki, in the framework of the 19th Philoxenia tourism trade fair, on agro-cultural tourism, Tsohatzopoulos stressed ''it is very useful to know from advance the specific characteristis of each region, to know its advantages and it weaknesses and what kind of tourism it could take before we decide on actions and programmes on tourism.''

    [05] Russia seeks closer tourist cooperation with Greece

    31/10/2003 22:40:59

    ''We will send you to Siberia with a return ticket.'' This is the communication message, with a strong reference to the country's past, accompanying Russia's new tourist campaign aiming to attract more foreign tourists in the country, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, Russia's Economic Development and Trade Deputy Minister said on Friday.

    Speaking to reporters, during a news conference held to celebrate Russia as a honoured country at this year's 19th Philoxenia tourist trade fair, Strzhalkovsky stressed that Russia's tourism industry has grown strongly in the last three years reflecting a political stability in the country.

    He acknowledged, however, that the country still faced significant shortages in infrastructure (mainly hotels).

    [06] Ministry decrees all immigrants with pending application legally resident

    31/10/2003 22:37:25

    All foreigners who have promptly submitted an application for the renewal of their work or residence permit for which a reply is still pending will henceforth be considered legally resident in Greece, according to a circular released on Friday by the Interior ministry.

    This will apply if their application was submitted before their previous residence permit had expired and until a final decision is reached regarding their application, it said.

    [07] Weather Forecast: Cloudy on Saturday

    31/10/2003 19:46:24

    All parts of the country will see cloud, with drizzle in the northwest and scattered storms in the northern Ionian and Epirus overnight. Winds southerly, moderate to gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from 8C to 22C; in the west from 12C to 24C; and in the rest of the country from 10C to 26C. Temperatures in Athens between 14C and 25C; and in Thessaloniki from 11C to 22C.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    31/10/2003 19:41:24

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.171

    Pound sterling 0.691

    Danish kroner 7.493

    Swedish kroner 9.119

    Japanese yen 127.7

    Swiss franc 1.563

    Norwegian kroner 8.276

    Cyprus pound 0.587

    Canadian dollar 1.542

    Australian dollar 1.659

    [09] ASE ends October 5.02 pct higher

    31/10/2003 17:01:32

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of the week slightly higher reflecting renewed buying activity for blue chip stocks, particularly banks.

    The general index rose 0.25 percent to end at 2,121.06 points for a net gain of 0.90 percent in the week and a rise of 5.02 percent in October. Turnover was a heavy 229.4 million euros, of which 126.1 million represented trading in Public Power Corporation's shares after a successful third flotation by the company.

    The Telecommunications and IT sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (0.61 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively) with the first sector suffering from a drop in Hellenic Telecoms' share price.

    On the other hand, the Insurance, IT Solution and Base Metal sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (2.70 percent, 2.12 percent and 1.43 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index rose 0.06 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 1.01 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 1.20 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 227 to 73 with another 56 issues unchanged.

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