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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis briefs president on Cyprus talks
  • [02] Government meeting on Olympic Games security
  • [03] European Parliament plenum ratifies Olympic Truce resolution
  • [04] Cultural Olympiad event held in Berlin
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday
  • [07] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks nose down despite rise in banks
  • [08] PM Karamanlis briefs President Stephanopoulos on Cyprus talks
  • [09] NATO assistance in Olympics security incurs no extra cost for Greece

  • [01] PM Karamanlis briefs president on Cyprus talks

    01/04/2004 23:25:57

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday briefed President Costis Stephanopoulos on developments that took place in UN-sponsored Cyprus negotiations over the past few days in the Swiss resort of Buergenstock.

    After the 20-minute meeting, Karamanlis told waiting reporters that he ''in cooperation with the President of Cyprus, we sought an improvement of the Annan plan. The final judgement belongs to the Cypriot people.''

    Karamanlis will brief Parliament on Friday morning about this past week's negotiations in Switzerland. Leaders of the other parties representated in Parliament will also have the right to make statements before the assembly.

    Meanwhile, Karamanlis spoke on Thursday by phone with US President George W. Bush, as the latter reportedly expressed his interest over the pending Cyprus talks.

    The issue of combatting terrorism was also discussed, with Bush noting his satisfaction with bilateral cooperation to fight the menace.

    [02] Government meeting on Olympic Games security

    01/04/2004 23:23:21

    A governmental meeting was held at the Ministry of Defence on Thursday, in order to discuss the Action Plan for Olympic Games security.

    Present at the meeting were ministers Spilios Spiliotopoulos (Defence), George Voulgarakis (Public Order), and Manolis Kefaloyannis (Merchant Marine), Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff General George Antonakopoulos, Head of Police Lt. General Fotis Nassiakos, and Head of the Coast Guard Vice Admiral Christos Delimichalis.

    According to sources, the issue of increasing armed forces staff for Olympics security, billeting, reinforcing security at ports, and using crews from both the Navy and the Coast Guard were some of the items on the meeting agenda.

    ''It was a coordination meeting in order to define the measures with which the Defence Ministry will address the demands of those authorities charged with Olympic Games security,'' Spiliotopoulos said.

    Voulgarakis reiterated that Olympic Games security is the government's top priority. He also announced that implementation of plans will be accelerated, ''so that we can ensure the international community that Greece is a very safe country that can stage good Olympic Games.''

    [03] European Parliament plenum ratifies Olympic Truce resolution

    01/04/2004 23:22:10

    STRASBOURG (ANA/O. Tsipira) - The European Parliament plenum ratified a resolution on the Olympic Truce with a large majority on Thursday.

    With their resolution, the Eurodeputies call on the Council to urge member-states and candidate countries to honour and observe the Olympic Truce during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    They also call on the Council to appeal to all the embattled sides all over the world to honour the Olympic Truce.

    They further request support for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its efforts to promote peace and understanding between people through sport and the Olympic ideal.

    The Parliament hailed the creation of a Foundation and International Centre for the Olympic Truce by the IOC, whose purpose will be to promote the ideals of peace and understanding through sport.

    Lastly, the Council is called on to examine this issue every two years, before the future summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    [04] Cultural Olympiad event held in Berlin

    01/04/2004 23:20:49

    BERLIN (ANA) - The Greek embassy in Berlin held a special event at a central hotel here to inform attendees of the Cultural Olympiad's programme and goals.

    Greece's ambassador to Berlin Dimitris Kypreos and Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis spoke about this ''new institution which unites culture with sports.''

    Stylianidis also conveyed a message from Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. He also emphasised that, ''We are proudthat the 2004 Olympic Games will be staged in Greece - their birthplace.''

    The deputy foreign minister also spoke about the Olympic Truce: ''We live in difficult times - terrorism, wars. The Olympic Truce will not solve these problems, but it will provide a breath of peace and brotherhood among peoples.''

    Kypreos made reference to the goals, the programme, and the course of the ''Cultural Olympiad.''

    ''The Cultural Olympiad's objective is to leave behind long-lasting values that will remain a part of the Olympic Spirit - the promotion, support, and understanding of various civilisations, through a series of important cultural events,'' the Greek ambassador said.

    Germany will participate in the ''Cultural Olympiad'' on June 17 and 18, when the Bavarian State Opera Ballet will perform at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday

    01/04/2004 19:15:08

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with scattered cloud in the east and south. Winds northerly, light to moderate. Temperatures in Athens 09C to 15C and in Thessaloniki from 7C to 14C.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday

    01/04/2004 19:12:38

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.241

    Pound sterling 0.671

    Danish kroner 7.505

    Swedish kroner 9.307

    Japanese yen 128.8

    Swiss franc 1.572

    Norwegian kroner 8.541

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.627

    Australian dollar 1.625

    [07] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks nose down despite rise in banks

    01/04/2004 19:05:00

    The Athens bourse finished lower on Thursday despite a rise in banks that was offset by a slump in telecoms, traders said.

    The general share index shed 0.46 per cent to end at 2,359.64 points. Turnover was 108.6 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.05 per cent down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.41 per cent lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities lost 0.73 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 182 to 101 with 71 issues remaining unchanged.

    [08] PM Karamanlis briefs President Stephanopoulos on Cyprus talks

    01/04/2004 18:22:25

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday briefed President Costis Stephanopoulos on the developments that took place in the UN-sponsored Cyprus negotiations in Buergenstock.

    After the 20-minute meeting, Karamanlis told waiting reporters that he "briefed the President on the latest developments".

    "In cooperation with the President of Cyprus, we sought an improvement of the Annan plan. The final judgement belongs to the Cypriot people," Karamanlis said.

    [09] NATO assistance in Olympics security incurs no extra cost for Greece

    01/04/2004 18:22:12

    No extra costs will be incurred by Greece due to the government's request to NATO for assistance in Olympics security, national defence deputy minister Yannis Lambropoulos told Parliament on Thursday.

    Replying to a question tabled by Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) MP Fotis Kouvelis, the deputy minister said the cost of security for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was budgeted at 700 million US dollars, 10 times greater than the Atlanta Games and three times that of the Sydney Games.

    Lambropoulos added that the Greek government had asked ''only for assistance from NATO, which will operate outside the boundaries of Greek airspace and territorial waters, and the cost of this assistance will be shouldered only by NATO itself''.


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