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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-21

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: Leave past problems to historians,today's challenges
  • [02] Greek and Turkish PMs meet in Sarajevo; discuss Cyprus issue, bilateral
  • [03] Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to visit Athens on Tuesday
  • [04] Minister presses for measures to save sea cruise sector
  • [05] Transport minister says tram and rail projects will meet Olympic
  • [06] Athens 2004 president meets with Korea's foreign minister
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday
  • [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise on high-cap buying
  • [10] Greek and Turkish PMs meet in Sarajevo; discuss Cyprus issue, bilateral

  • [01] PM Karamanlis: Leave past problems to historians,today's challenges need answers

    21/04/2004 23:22:58

    Sarajevo (ANA/A. Panagopoulos) -- Greece's prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday expressed his desire for cooperation with all the neighbouring Balkan countries, addressing the 7th summit meeting of the SE Europe Cooperation Process, which opened earlier in the day in Sarajevo.

    Karamanlis explained that cooperation was a priority of his government, as well as himself, personally, stressing that such cooperation must be based on a future founded on the common European values and not on the past, and adding that the problems of the past should be left to the historians, whereas the challenges of the present and future required specific answers and viable solutions from the politicians.

    The prime minister condemned the destruction and vandalism of cultural monuments, churches and religious sites during the recent clashes in Kosovo, recalling the EU summit condemnation of ethnic violence on March26 as well as the EU summit statement on April 2002 in Albania, and expressed hope that the Kosovo leadership would abide by the acquis formulated in the process for cooperation in SE Europe.

    Karamanlis further welcomed FYROM's application to join the European Union, and congratulated Bulgaria and Romania on their NATO membership.

    The Greek premier stressed that despite the steps that have been made in the Balkans, the situation remained fragile in many sectors, and referred to organised crime, prostitution, lack of infrastructures, the need for the safe return of refugees, and the need to develop the transport, energy, telecoms and water-supply sectors, as well as for macro-economic stability, so as to attract foreign investments and combat unemployment.

    [02] Greek and Turkish PMs meet in Sarajevo; discuss Cyprus issue, bilateral ties

    21/04/2004 23:19:05

    SARAJEVO (ANA - A. Panagopoulou) Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a meeting here on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit taking place in Sarajevo.

    The 25-minute talks were also attended by Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The meeting focused on matters of mutual interest, Turkey's European prospects and the Cyprus problem, where Karamanlis reiterated his government's positions.

    With regard to bilateral relations, Karamanlis said the two sides reaffirmed their will to improve and strengthen these.

    The Greek premier said he would be glad to receive Erdogan in Athens in the near future but did not set a date for the visit, though sources estimate that this will probably take place between May 5-7, when Erdogan has been invited to attend the international 'Economist' conference in Athens.

    In statements to Turkish reporters, Erdogan said that he and Karamanlis had agreed on making further progress in bilateral relations and reaffirmed good will regarding the Cyprus issue, while announcing a future visit to Athens.

    [03] Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to visit Athens on Tuesday

    21/04/2004 23:16:20

    SARAJEVO (ANA - A. Panagopoulos) - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos will visit Athens on Tuesday, according to government sources.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis concluded his bilateral contacts on Wednesday afternoon with the heads of Balkan countries who participated in the summit on the process for cooperation in southeastern Europe and left for Athens.

    Apart from meeting his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at noon, who will be visiting Athens officially, according to latest information from government sources, on May 6-7, Karamanlis held meetings with the presidents of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, the tripartite presidium of Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYROM's acting president, the president of Serbia-Montenegro and the Albanian prime minister.

    [04] Minister presses for measures to save sea cruise sector

    21/04/2004 23:15:31

    Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis on Wednesday criticised the previous government's policies, which he said led to the gradual ''extinction'' of the Greek cruise fleet and the role played by Greek banks, which recently confiscated at least 10 Greek-flagged vessels over unpaid debts.

    Speaking to reporters, Mr Kefaloyiannis said that since he took over

    at the ministry he has had a series of meetings with shipowners and

    representatives of merchant seamen, where he urged for a ''golden solution'' to ensure the survival of the Greek cruise sector.

    ''The sea cruise sector is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners of Greek shipping,'' the minister stressed.

    Commenting on a recent decision by banks to confiscate at least 10

    vessels, Mr Kefaloyiannis said: ''It's likely the banks could have helped more. The merchant marine ministry and the finance ministry could have acted differently all those years, which is something that did not happen here but happened in other countries, where this area of cruise shipping faced similar problems.''

    ''The (London) Committee (of Greek shipowners) does not rule the merchant marine ministry. As is well known, the ministry's political leadership forges policy,'' Kefaloyiannis said.

    Kefaloyiannis said the ministry was also examining a plan to link various Greek islands with hydroplanes.

    [05] Transport minister says tram and rail projects will meet Olympic deadlines

    21/04/2004 23:13:47

    Greece's Transport Minister Mihalis Liapis on Wednesday said that the suburban railway and tram projects in Athens were on schedule and will meet Olympic deadlines, beginning commercial operation sometime in July.

    He also announced that the Athens metro will acquire a direct line from Syntagma to the city's international airport in Spata during that time.

    There is still uncertainty about the types of engines that will be used for the suburban railway, which will go to Piraeus from the airport, and whether these will be diesel or electrically-powered or a combination of both.

    The minister also revealed plans to clean up Athens' fleet of vehicles by removing thousands of overage motorcycles and mopeds from circulation, with further details to be announced in coming weeks.

    Another measure under consideration that targets road safety is a reduction in the price of safety equipment for motorcyclists, such as helmets and other safety gear.

    [06] Athens 2004 president meets with Korea's foreign minister

    21/04/2004 23:09:59

    Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commerce Ban Ki-moon met with Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki on Wednesday to be briefed on Athens' Olympic preparations.

    During the meeting, Daskalaki emphasised that preparations ''are on the right track,'' and that the Athens Games ''will be unique in Olympic Games history.''

    Ki-moon expressed his confidence that the Athens Games will be a success and stressed that, ''the Athens Games will be a milestone in the history of the Olympic movement.''

    He added that, ''the international community is expecting a lot from Athens.''

    [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

    21/04/2004 20:29:12

    Sunny weather is forecast in most parts of the country. Winds northerly, moderate to strong. Temperatures in Athens from 8C to 18C and in Thessaloniki between 8C and 17C.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday

    21/04/2004 19:04:11

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.193

    Pound sterling 0.673

    Danish kroner 7.501

    Swedish kroner 9.231

    Japanese yen 130.8

    Swiss franc 1.567

    Norwegian kroner 8.346

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.623

    Australian dollar 1.638

    [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise on high-cap buying

    21/04/2004 19:00:39

    The Athens bourse finished higher with players buying into high capitalisation stocks, focusing on Football Pools Organisation, which rose by 9.32 per cent traders said.

    The general share index gained 0.76 per cent to end at 2,485.02 points. Turnover was 147.4 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.60 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.18 per cent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities dropped 0.18 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 184 to 98 with 81 issues remaining unchanged.

    [10] Greek and Turkish PMs meet in Sarajevo; discuss Cyprus issue, bilateral ties

    21/04/2004 17:26:09

    SARAJEVO (ANA - A. Panagopoulou) Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a meeting here on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit taking place in Sarajevo.

    The 25-minute talks were also attended by Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The meeting focused on matters of mutual interest, Turkey's European prospects and the Cyprus problem, where Karamanlis reiterated his government's positions.

    With regard to bilateral relations, Karamanlis said the two sides reaffirmed their will to improve and strengthen these.

    The Greek premier said he would be glad to receive Erdogan in Athens in the near future but did not set a date for the visit, though sources estimate that this will probably take place between May 5-7, when Erdogan has been invited to attend the international 'Economist' conference in Athens.

    In statements to Turkish reporters, Erdogan said that he and Karamanlis had agreed on making further progress in bilateral relations and reaffirmed good will regarding the Cyprus issue, while announcing a future visit to Athens.


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