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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papoulias receives Arsakeio Tirana pupils
  • [02] 'Citizens' Euro-parliament' in Athens
  • [03] Eurobank unveils investment, export initiatives
  • [04] Tourist flow down 7.2% in Q1
  • [05] Stocks surge 3.85% on Mon.

  • [01] Papoulias receives Arsakeio Tirana pupils

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received elementary pupils from the Arsakeio School of Tirana, Albania at the presidential mansion in Athens on Monday, on the occasion of the International Children's Day (June 1).

    The 20 boys and girls were escorted by the school's headmistress and three teachers.

    The private Greek-Albanian school is operated in Tirana by the Greek Arsakeio Foundation, and the first school outside of Greece.

    [02] 'Citizens' Euro-parliament' in Athens

    The migration issue, environmental protection and equal opportunities were among the issues that mostly dominated citizens' queries during the first six days of operation of a "Citizens' Euro-parliament", that has been set up at the Syntagma square metro station in central Athens.

    The initiative is a multimedia area where any citizen can send his own message for submission to a committee comprised of new MEPs. The Citizens' Euro-parliament is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until June 6.

    [03] Eurobank unveils investment, export initiatives

    Eurobank on Monday unveiled five new initiatives designed to boost investments and the export orientation of the Greek economy, with the aim to facilitate a smoother exit from the international crisis and to jumpstart a growth cycle in the coming years.

    Presenting the initiatives, Eurobank chief executive Nikolaos Nanopoulos said the Greek banking system was unfairly criticized by part of the country's political world on an series of issues, such as alleged exposure to "toxic products" and facing risk - speculation that was proved inaccurate - or that it did not contribute to the strengthening of liquidity in the Greek economy, such as small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    Nanopoulos said this criticism was also unfair since more than 38,000 enterprises have received financing totaling more than 3.0 billion euros via the domestic banking system so far.

    Eurobank's five initiatives include: committing 1.5 billion euros to finance infrastructure projects and investments in renewable energy sources; better funding of the tourism industry; supporting a foreign exchange network for export companies; creating an internal investment capital of 30 million euros for minority equity participations in SMEs, and finally promotion of joint export actions in cooperation with state and corporate agencies.

    [04] Tourist flow down 7.2% in Q1

    The domestic tourism sector is apparently suffering from the effects of the ongoing global economic crisis, a report by the Institute for Touristic Research and Forecasts (ITEP) stated on Monday.

    The report said that based on available figures so far this year, Croatia (-21 pct) and Portugal (-22 pct) have suffered the sharpest decline in tourist arrivals, followed by Spain (11.9 pct) and Greece (7.3 pct). The crisis has also hit Turkey (-0.5 pct), a country with an annual average growth rate of more than 15 pct in the last few years.

    ITEP said Greece was affected more in tourism foreign exchange receipts (down 18.2 pct) in the first quarter of the year, although it predicted that this rate would improve in the four-month period from January to April helped by higher tourist arrivals during the Easter period.

    Greek airports (excluding Athens) recorded a 3.0-pct decline in arrivals in the January-April period, while the Athens International Airport reported a 9.8-pct drop in arrivals, for a total decline of 7.0 pct in the country. These figures showed that convention and business tourism in Athens and Thessaloniki was suffering more compared with the country's major travel destinations.

    The Dodecanese islands recorded an 18.5-pct increase in tourism arrivals in the first four months of 2009 (mainly Rhodes, up 26.4 pct), followed by Hania (+23 pct), although Santorini (-69.8 pct), Mykonos (-45.4 pct), Hios (-38.6 pct), Cephalonia (-26.7 pct), Kos (-20.7 pct) and Corfu (-19.7 pct) posted hefty decreases.

    [05] Stocks surge 3.85% on Mon.

    Greek stocks surged to new year highs at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, following a rally in other European markets. The composite index jumped 3.85 pct to end at 2,417.01 points, with turnover a strong 339.7 million euros, of which 27.8 million euros were block trades.

    All sectors moved upwards, with the Raw Materials (11.35 pct), Insurance (10.06 pct), Health (8.54 pct), Banks (5.56 pct) and Industrial Products (5.39 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 4.19 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 4.73 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 1.91 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 172 to 64 with another 30 issues unchanged.


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