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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-28

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens international airport stopover for Dornier 24 ATT
  • [02] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday
  • [03] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday
  • [04] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, spurred by Alpha Bank results
  • [05] Cyprus issue remains at top of Greek foreign policy agenda, PM

  • [01] Athens international airport stopover for Dornier 24 ATT

    28/04/2004 22:36:15

    The legendary sea plane Dornier 24 ATT landed at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos on Tuesday evening as part of the pilot's - Iren Dornier's - world tour in an effort to raise awareness of UNICEF's programmes.

    Captain Dornier, also chairman of Southeast Asian Airlines, decided to launch a 12-month world tour which began in February and will donate a large portion of the proceeds raised through this campaign to UNICEF in the Philippines for the building of schools for the benefit of abandoned and neglected children in the country - in Manila alone they number 400,000.

    Dornier is the grandson of Claude Dornier who designed and built the Dornier 24 ATT in 1939. The specific aircraft as well as other similar models were used to rescue people at sea during World War II.

    Christian Kerr and Nikos Gitsis are the aircraft's crew members.

    Upon arrival Tuesday, the Airport's Deputy General Manager John Paraschis greeted the crew and offered Dornier a commemorative plaque.

    [02] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

    28/04/2004 19:08:19

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with some cloud building up from evening in the west and north. Winds variable, light to moderate. It will be warmer. Temperatures in Athens from 12C to 22C and in Thessaloniki between 11C and 20C.

    [03] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday

    28/04/2004 18:52:55

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.200

    Pound sterling 0.671

    Danish kroner 7.500

    Swedish kroner 9.189

    Japanese yen 131.2

    Swiss franc 1.561

    Norwegian kroner 8.268

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.628

    Australian dollar 1.643

    [04] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, spurred by Alpha Bank results

    28/04/2004 18:35:40

    The Athens bourse finished higher, fuelled by favourable first quarter results announced by blue chip Alpha Bank, which took the banking sector up and then the rest of the market, traders said.

    The general share index gained 1.22 per cent to end at 2,553.75 points. Turnover was 177.8 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 1.36 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.78 per cent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities rose 0.68 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 172 to 118 with 73 issues remaining unchanged.

    [05] Cyprus issue remains at top of Greek foreign policy agenda, PM reaffirms

    28/04/2004 18:26:26

    The Cyprus issue remains the top issue and priority of Greece's foreign policy, and Cyprus' reunification remained the unwavering goal, prime minister Costas Karamanlis stressed Wednesday, after a meeting with visiting Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Karamanlis told reporters after the meeting that the Greek side's target was to prepare and facilitate the reunification of the island, and reaffirmed the Greek government's, and his own personal support for the Republic of Cyprus' efforts to achieve a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The prime minister described his talks with Papadopoulos as ''friendly and substantive'', noting that all the latest developments had been discussed, as well as the prospects arising following the Cypriot people's democratic expression of their volition on April 24 in the referenda on the Annan Plan, which was overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

    He added that Athens approved of the Nicosia government's intention to adopt a series of new measures of support for the Turkish Cypriots (in the Turkish-occupied north of the island republic), and also endorsed a solution based on the Annan plan that would, however, provide the necessary sense of security to the people of Cyprus.

    Papadopoulos, in turn, thanked the Greek government for the support it provided in the recent critical and difficult hours and days, adding that ''Greece is always at our side''.

    Asked whether the Annan plan could continue to exist from here one, Papadopoulos said that setting timetables was not possible, because a solution did not depend only on the volition of the Greek Cypriots but also on other unpredictable factors. Naturally, he added, plans such as that of UN secretary general Kofi Annan ''do not disappear...They do not die, they are always on the table''.

    Papadopoulos further said that it was not possible to speak of an overall renegotiation of the Annan plan, ''but our goal, now, is the efforts for changes'', adding that ''we cannot, at this time, say publically which, precisely, will be our aspirations''.

    Asked what position the Cyprus government would take vis-a-vis Turkey's request for a specific date for commencement of negotiations with the European Union for EU accession, Papadopoulos said that Turkey was a European country, and therefore was expected to act like a European country and abide by all the European principles and the acquis communautaire (the EU body of law).

    Earlier, Papadopoulos discussed Cyprus developments with Greece's President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, while he was also slated to meet separately with the Greek political party leaders in the afternoon.

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