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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-03-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece-Iran-visiting foreign minister-address
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday
  • [03] Athens - Ozone levels - EU Commission
  • [04] Athens - New Airport - Opening
  • [05] Shipowners-Seamen-Pay Talks
  • [06] Weather Forecast-Thursday
  • [07] ASE-close
  • [08] Prefects - emergency meeting - incompatibility amendment

  • [01] Greece-Iran-visiting foreign minister-address

    07/03/2001 22:04:01

    Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Naqi Kamal Kharazi on Wednesday addressed an event of the Mediterranean Studies Foundation at the Greek foreign ministry, in Athens.

    He focused on the ?dialogue between cultures?, stressing that the basic elements of such a dialogue is the equality of those who are participating and not the establishment of categories of countries.

    Kharazi spoke of the 3000 years of Greek and Iranian cultural exchanges, while he noted favourably the five round table discussions between academics of the two countries, since 1991, focusing on Islam and Orthodox Christianity.

    The Iranian foreign minister also made mention of the tripartite cooperation between Greece, Iran and Armenia, as well as the expanding bilateral cooperation between Iran and Greece in the economic and political sectors and the cooperation of the two countries in efforts to resolve the Bosnia and Kosovo crises.

    In response to questions, he said that the Cyprus-Iran relations were upgraded of late as the two countries exchanged ambassadors and on a more cultural tone he condemned the destruction of antiquities in Afghanistan by the Taleban party.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates-Thursday

    07/03/2001 18:58:11

    Thursday's buying rates

    U.S. dollar 363.195

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 531.649

    Irish punt 429.202

    Belgian franc 008.379

    Luxembourg franc 008.379

    Dutch guilder 153.389

    Italian lira (100) 017.457

    Austrian schilling 024.565

    Danish kroner 45.294

    Swedish kroner 37.334

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 303.482

    Swiss franc 219.895

    Norwegian kroner 41.144

    Cyprus pound 583.665

    Canadian dollar 234.821

    Australian dollar 186.375

    [03] Athens - Ozone levels - EU Commission

    07/03/2001 18:28:28

    BRUSSELS (ANA) -- The European Commission has reportedly warned that ground-level ozone levels in the greater Athens area are higher than non-binding ceilings, according to a press release issued here on Wednesday by the New Democracy party's Eurodeputies.

    According to reports, EU Commissioner for the environment Margot Wallstrom added that health problems may also occur through increased sulphur, lead and nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as increased levels of airborne particles. The Commission considers that safe emissions levels for both Greece and the rest of the EU states have been set too low.

    [04] Athens - New Airport - Opening

    07/03/2001 18:24:52

    The long-anticipated opening of the new Athens airport is scheduled for March 27 while the first landing is set for the next day, the government stressed on Wednesday.

    The announcement of the March 27 date, delayed slightly from an initial March 1 target announced a few years ago, comes on the heels of criticism from inside and outside the country that new roadways to the new facility and testing are incomplete, charges the government has vociferously dismissed.

    The government, including Prime Minister Costas Simitis, has promised to turn land vacated by the decades-old Hellenikon Airport -- located in a seaside southeast Athens district -- into a desperately needed park for the concrete-laden Greek capital. A handful of Olympic 2004-related events will also be hosted at the vacated site, with new portable venues and standing facilities, including a giant aircraft maintenance hanger, employed.

    Along those lines, the government also said on Wednesday that the old airport would close in February 2002. Additionally, an adjacent air base would be transferred by February 2003.

    [05] Shipowners-Seamen-Pay Talks

    07/03/2001 17:57:48

    The Union of Passenger Shipowners and the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) on Wednesday began a first round talks to forge a collective labour agreement for 2001, but reached no agreement.

    Shipowners' representatives said that union pay demands were excessive, and salaries should fall within the framework of inflation. A new round of talks is set for March 14.

    The PNO is seeking pay rises of 7.0 percent in 2001 for passenger shipping workers and 8.0 percent for seamen in cargo shipping.

    The PNO has set the end of March as the deadline for the conclusion of an agreement, and indicated that its members may strike if the deadline is broken.

    The PNO has strongly criticised a call for a two-year labour pact sought by another employers' group, the Union of Owners of Passenger Ships.

    "The PNO will not take part in such a process. The shipowners' unions should agree among themselves on concluding unified agreements," the PNO's general secretary, Yiannis Halas, said.

    [06] Weather Forecast-Thursday

    07/03/2001 17:35:09

    Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Thursday, turning to showers in Crete and the Dodecanese islands. Winds will be northerly, light to moderate in the west, and very strong to gale force in the east and in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from -3C to 11C; in the west 3C to 16C; and in the rest of Greece from 1C to 14C. Light cloud over Athens, with temperatures between 6C and 13C. Showery in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 5C to 10C.

    [07] ASE-close

    07/03/2001 16:04:46

    Equity prices eased slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday despite strong buying interest in smaller capitalisation stocks as blue chip stocks, particularly in the banks sector, remained weak for one more session.

    Investors tried unsuccessfuly to push the market above the 3,200 resistance level only to end-up taking profits late in the session.

    Shares in the IT, wholesale and retail commerce, construction and non-metal minerals attracted the heaviest demand.

    The general index ended 0.26 percent lower at 3,174.21 points, off the day's highs of 3,196.45 and the day's lows of 3,168.90. Turnover was an improved 216.16 million euros, or 73.66 billion drachmas.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 0.36 percent to 1,807.59 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 0.46 percent to 373.64 points.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks increased 0.92 percent to 350.50 points.

    [08] Prefects - emergency meeting - incompatibility amendment

    07/03/2001 15:07:07

    Greece's local government prefects are threatening to take action over an incompatibility proposal that would block them from running for Parliament after their terms as prefects, which was submitted by MPs from ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy.

    At an emergency meeting that began on Wednesday morning at a central Athens hotel, the prefects are asking that they be given the right to run for a third term by the Constitution, as well as the right to run in parliamentary elections, regardless of when they resigned their office as prefects.

    They said they were determined to take action and maybe even appeal to the European Union's Human Rights Tribunal.

    Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, PASOK spokesman Evangelos Venizelos and all the parties have been invited to attend the meeting.

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