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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-12-20

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 stresses growth angle of budget
  • [02] No flu epidemic in Greece, gov't says
  • [03] Weather Forecast: Sunshine, scattered cloud on Sunday
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

  • [01] Gov't stresses growth angle of budget

    20/12/2003 18:58:25

    Deputy Finance Minister Apostols Fotiadis said on Saturday that the government's budget for 2004 was growth oriented, allowing one trillion drachmas more for social policy than in 2003.

    ''This is also a growth oriented budget as for the eighth consecutive year it envisages a pace of growth 10 times higher than the European average,'' Fotiadis told parliament during a third day of debate on next year's budget.

    He added that under governments of the ruling PASOK party, employees' income had risen by 22 per cent while in other European countries the increase was zero during the process of economic and monetary union.

    Parliamentary debate on the budget ends around midnight on Monday with a roll-call vote after a five-day session. The house is expected to pass the bill.

    By means of the budget, the government wants to show that economic growth will not come to an end after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    It contains a growth target of 4.2 percent next year from 4.0 percent in 2003, reflecting an anticipated 7.0 percent rise in investments.

    It also forecasts an increase in the export of goods and services; a decline in unemployment to 8.0 percent from 9.0 percent currently; a 2.5 percent rise in productivity; and a 3.4 percent rise in real wages.

    Inflation is forecast to fall to 2.5 percent in 2004 from an anticipated 3.0 percent this year.

    [02] No flu epidemic in Greece, gov't says

    20/12/2003 17:57:58

    No influenza epidemic has broken out in Greece, the health ministry said on Saturday.

    Cases reported to medical authorities were straightfoward infections of the respiratory tract, the ministry said in a statement.

    At least ten children had been taken to the Aglaia Kyriakou hospital in Athens in recent days with symptoms resembling flu, but only two were diagnosed as suffering from an influenza virus named Type A, Health Minister Costas Stephanis said in a separate statement.

    [03] Weather Forecast: Sunshine, scattered cloud on Sunday

    20/12/2003 16:28:17

    Sunshine and scattered cloud are forecast in all parts of the country, with showers likely in the west and Crete. Winds southerly, light to moderate, turning strong at sea. Temperatures are to rise slightly, with a minimum of 5C and maximum of 15C in Athens; and in Thessaloniki, 1C to 12C.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    20/12/2003 16:24:47

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.251

    Pound sterling 0.708

    Danish kroner 7.502

    Swedish kroner 9.181

    Japanese yen 134.7

    Swiss franc 1.567

    Norwegian kroner 8.398

    Cyprus pound 0.589

    Canadian dollar 1.671

    Australian dollar 1.697


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