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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM arrives in Sarajevo, will meet Turkish counterpart on Wednesday
  • [02] ATHOC president and Denis Oswald comment on Olympic Games progress
  • [03] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Wednesday
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday
  • [05] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise on bank buying
  • [06] Oswald briefed by ministers on Olympic progress; OAKA tour today
  • [07] Greek economy has many and serious problems, FinMin says
  • [08] PM to attend 'Balkan summit' in Sarajevo

  • [01] PM arrives in Sarajevo, will meet Turkish counterpart on Wednesday

    20/04/2004 23:24:30

    SARAJEVO (ANA/A. Panagopoulos) - Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Sarajevo on Tuesday afternoon to attend the Conference of Countries of Southeastern Europe and will be meeting his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday morning. The Turkish prime minister is expected to arrive late on Tuesday night.

    The Greek government has made it clear that it does not desire developments on the issue of Cyprus to constitute a stumbling block in bilateral relations and that regardless of the outcome of the referendum on the Greek Cypriot side it will support Turkey's European prospects.

    Karamanlis will have bilateral meetings with all leaders of Balkan countries in Sarajevo on Wednesday morning and, according to diplomatic sources, he wants to show that Balkan policy remains a priority for the government and this is apparent by the participation of the prime minister and of Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis at a high level.

    The conference is being attended by the presidents of Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia-Montenegro, FYROM's caretaker president and the prime ministers of Turkey, Albania and Croatia.It will be inaugurated on Wednesday morning.

    Issues to be examined during the conference include strengthening regional cooperation to combat organised crime, and harmonise the status governing visas and communications, telecommunications and energy issues.

    [02] ATHOC president and Denis Oswald comment on Olympic Games progress

    20/04/2004 23:18:16

    Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, IOC Coordinating Commission President Denis Oswald and Secretary General for the Olympic Games Spyros Capralos visited the worksites at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA) on Tuesday, along with other IOC executives.

    ''We had a very productive meeting today with government and IOC representatives and, as it turns out, the progress made is substantial and evident, which means we will be ready on time,'' Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said at the end of the visit. ATHOC's president emphasised that, ''We have made up for lost time and we will be ready.''

    ''As you know, the OAKA complex is of vital importance for the Olympic Games, since many venues are located here where very important sports events will be held. After last week's synchronised swimming and water polo events - which went very well - it became evident that the facilities satisfy Olympic standards and that the events were successful in every way,'' Oswald stated.

    He went on to add that, ''It's been three weeks since I visited the complex and I must admit that I am impressed with the work that's been done."

    [03] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Wednesday

    20/04/2004 19:46:34

    Cloud, rain and isolated storms are forecast in most parts of the country on Tuesday. Snow will fall on high ground in the centre and north. Winds variable, light gradually turning strong. Temperatures in Athens from 4C to 17C and in Thessaloniki between 10C and 13C.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday

    20/04/2004 19:12:34

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.202

    Pound sterling 0.669

    Danish kroner 7.503

    Swedish kroner 9.242

    Japanese yen 129.6

    Swiss franc 1.567

    Norwegian kroner 8.344

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.626

    Australian dollar 1.624

    [05] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise on bank buying

    20/04/2004 18:58:46

    The Athens bourse finished higher with players buying into banking stocks, traders said.

    The general share index gained 0.71 per cent to end at 2,466.35 points. Turnover was 104.4 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.76 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.57 per cent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities gained 0.70 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 172 to 111 with 79 issues remaining unchanged.

    [06] Oswald briefed by ministers on Olympic progress; OAKA tour today

    20/04/2004 17:53:00

    The chairman of the IOC's influential coordination committee for the 2004 Games, Denis Oswald, expressed his satisfaction on Tuesday with the progress for the upcoming Athens Olympics, as preparations are now ''under the microscope'' of international scrutiny.

    Oswald's latest upbeat comments followed a meeting at the culture ministry attended by a handful of top ministers charged with various sectors of Olympic preparations, including Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, Transport Minister Mihalis Liapas and Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis, among others.

    Also on hand were high-profile Athens 2004 Organising Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and the ATHOC executive director Marton Simitsek.

    ''There is nothing that is not being done. We are progressing well. We are within the allotted timeframe. Everyone is working around the clock at all Olympic locations. We are trying very hard and we will be ready,'' Palli-Petralia told reporters afterwards.

    On his part, Liapis said the new suburban rail line (northern Athens/airport) and the new Y-shaped tram network (central Athens/coastal districts) will soon be ready and operating. He also promised that a pending reshuffle of the state-run and listed telephony utility (OTE) will ensure that deadlines for various 2004-related telecommunications projects will be met as well.

    Oswald will tour the main Olympic Stadium Complex (OAKA) later in the day, a site that tops concerns of both the IOC and ATHOC in terms of meeting deadlines.

    [07] Greek economy has many and serious problems, FinMin says

    20/04/2004 17:51:48

    The Greek economy has many and serious problems, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Mr Alogoskoufis stressed that the problems were the result of the irresponsible policy adopted by the previous government.

    ND's government would adhere to its pledges and would begin implementing its economic programme aimed to boost growth, employment and social cohesion, the Greek minister said.

    Commenting on the country's fiscal deficit, Mr Alogoskoufis said it was double the figure presented by the previous government and stressed that the government has not changed accounting rules for the evaluation of the deficit.

    [08] PM to attend 'Balkan summit' in Sarajevo

    20/04/2004 17:50:38

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due to depart for Sarajevo at 15:45 on Tuesday in order to attend a meeting of South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) political leaders - also known as the "Balkan summit", government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos announced.

    Karamanlis is expected to have successive meetings with several of the leaders attending the summit, which begins on Wednesday.

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