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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-12-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms and snow on Tuesday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday
  • [03] PM and Tony Blair discuss international affairs, Parthenon Marbles
  • [04] Athens: Results of T/C 'vote' a 'strong message' for solution
  • [05] Greece is Middle East's gate to Europe, Syrian president says
  • [06] Syrian group signs protocol with Mediterranean cooperation foundation
  • [07] Greeks say they're accustomed to the euro, poll shows

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms and snow on Tuesday

    16/12/2003 10:16:30

    Strong rain and storms are forecast, especially in sea areas. Snow is expected on to fall on high ground and in low-lying areas. Winds northerly, very strong. Temperatures will plunge, with a minimum of 10C and maximum of 14C in Athens; and in Thessaloniki, 0C to 3C.Snow will fall on high ground around the capital and briefly in the city centre from late afternoon.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

    16/12/2003 10:15:55

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.232

    Pound sterling 0.706

    Danish kroner 7.499

    Swedish kroner 9.063

    Japanese yen 133.1

    Swiss franc 1.564

    Norwegian kroner 8.268

    Cyprus pound 0.588

    Canadian dollar 1.626

    Australian dollar 1.665

    [03] PM and Tony Blair discuss international affairs, Parthenon Marbles

    15/12/2003 23:47:39

    LONDON (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)- International and European affairs but also the return of the Parthenon Marbles were among the topics discussed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and visiting Greek Premier Costas Simitis, during their meeting here on Monday.

    The two men particularly focused on developments in the Middle East following the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

    As he emerged from the British premier's residence at 10 Downing Street, Simitis stressed that Saddam's arrest was a positive event that created the right conditions for the democratic organisation of Iraq and to deal with tensions there that also spilled over into other parts of the world.

    Simitis underlined the need for decisive intervention in issues concerning Israel and the Palestinian territories, noting that this area was one of the key sources of current conflict in the world that bred terrorism and concern.

    Simitis said his talks with Blair had also covered the failure of efforts to agree on a new European constitution at the European Council in Brussels over the weekend.

    [04] Athens: Results of T/C 'vote' a 'strong message' for solution

    15/12/2003 23:45:42

    Greece on Monday said the results of an ''election'' in the Turkish-occupied sector of Cyprus were a ''strong message'' to Turkey, the international community, the UN and the European Union that the majority of Turkish Cypriots were looking toward the future.

    A Greek foreign ministry spokesman also said that results proved that the Turkish Cypriots desired a solution to Cyprus' political problem based on the Annan plan, as well as the accession of a reunited Cyprus into the EU.

    Spokesman Panos Beglitis added that results revealed a ''new political reality'' and a ''new political momentum'' in Cyprus, which no one could ignore. He noted that Athens was in constant contact with the Greek Cypriot side for an evaluation of recent developments.

    Beglitis further expressed hope that conditions would be created for the immediate re-opening of talks aimed at a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.

    The latest developments in the Cyprus problem will be discussed in Athens on Tuesday afternoon by US State Department special coordinator on the Cyprus issue Thomas Weston, the foreign ministry spokesman said.

    press release as stating.

    [05] Greece is Middle East's gate to Europe, Syrian president says

    15/12/2003 23:44:56

    Visiting Syrian president Bashar al-Asadon Monday called Greece the Middle East's ''gate to Europe'', and described Athens' positions on the Middle East as ''just and objective''.

    Al-Asad, who arrived in Athens on Sunday on a three-day state visit, said after talks with his host, Greek president Costis Stephanopoulos, that Greece was the gate to Europe for Syria and all the countries of the Middle East.

    He also noted the ''historical ties'' between the two countries.

    The two men discussed Syria's proposal for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, as well as the revival of an earlier initiative by (Syria's late president and father of the country's current president) Hafez al-Asad on terrorism.

    Bashar al-Asad recalled that in 1986, the only European country that had responded positively to that initiative had been Greece under the premiership of the late Andreas Papandreou, founder of the ruling PASOK party.

    Their talks also included bilateral economic relations, tourism, marine transports, and drillings for natural gas and oil.

    [06] Syrian group signs protocol with Mediterranean cooperation foundation

    15/12/2003 23:43:44

    A Syrian development organisation on Monday signed a protocol with the Foundation for Mediterranean Cooperation.

    Signing for the Middle Eastern country was Asmaa al Assad, the president of the Fund for Integrated Development of Syria (FIRDOS) and wife of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who is paying an official visit to Athens.

    Representing the Foundation for Mediterrean Cooperation was its deputy president, Vicky Pantazopoulou.

    Under the cooperation protocol, the two countries will work to promote economic, political, cultural and social development among government and non-government groups in the two countries.

    In collabortion with the foundation, FIRDOS is implementing an agro-tourism programme funded by the foreign ministry's international development cooperation service.

    In the programme's first phase a women's cooperative is being set up to produce local handicrafts according to international specifications.

    In the second phase, the cooperative will run a traditional hotel that is to be built in the future.

    [07] Greeks say they're accustomed to the euro, poll shows

    15/12/2003 23:36:28

    BRUSSELS (ANA/V.Demiris) - Greeks say they are well accustomed to the euro following its introduction two years ago but they are also among the most dissatisfied at relinquishing their former national currency, according to a European Union poll released on Monday.

    The survey carried Greeks as saying that the euro had failed to contribute to price stability.

    The poll was carried out on October 29-November 11 in the euro zone's 12 member countries with 12,017 members of the public questioned.

    Sixty three per cent of Greeks said they felt accustomed to the euro against an average of 51 per cent for the euro zone. The highest rate was claimed by the Irish at 76 per cent.

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