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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-09-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] President meets with Icelander counterpart, discusses terrorism
  • [02] Four Falcon planes arrive in Athens destined for Egypt
  • [03] Athens bourse general index 0.08 per cent lower
  • [04] Three Greek commercial banks slash interest rates
  • [05] Wednesday weather: Sunny in most parts of the country
  • [06] Bond Market Close: Mixed results in heavy trade
  • [07] Greece Church prelate's visit to Cyprus cancelled
  • [08] Iceland's Grimsson in Athens, comments on terrorism fight
  • [09] Greek PM: Security our No. 1 priority for Olympics
  • [10] Tuesday weather: Sunny in most parts of the country
  • [11] Wreath-laying ceremony - US embassy - Athens
  • [12] OA lays on extra flight to New York to clear waiting list

  • [01] President meets with Icelander counterpart, discusses terrorism

    18/09/2001 21:47:09

    New forms of cooperation are needed to end terrorism, Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos said on Tuesday, in his address to a dinner he hosted in honor of President of Iceland Olafur Grimsson, who is in Greece for a three-day visit.

    "There is a need for new forms of cooperation to put a final end to terrorist actions, as well as cool headed investigation on the reasons that cause such horrible acts," Stephanopoulos said.

    "We do not know the answers to the grand questions that caused these acts and we are taken by well reasoned concern over its consequences. There is no doubt that the realization - in such a tragic way - of how vulnerable modern societies of the western world are, will oblige everyone to come up with new thoughts and to look together for the means to confront a harsh reality," Stephanopoulos added.

    Grimsson met with Stephanopoulos earlier in the day as well, while later in the day he met with all Parliament party leaders, while on Wednesday he is expected to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    During their meeting and later during the dinner, Stephanopoulos and Grimsson underlined the close ties between the two countries and noted the political will to further strengthen them.

    Stephanopoulos stressed that Greece has every reason to improve and strengthen its ties with Iceland, a NATO ally and a member of the European Economic Space.

    On his part, Grimsson said that both countries promote security and cooperation within NATO's framework, aiming at peace in Europe.

    "Unfortunatelly, however, we witnessed the tragic events in the United States, which remind us, one more time, the importance of cooperation between us, so as to ensure that all people around the world co-exist in peace," he added.

    Grimsson-Karamanlis

    Grimsson also met with main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis and a delegation of the ND's foreign and defence affairs on Tuesday afternoon in a central Athens hotel.

    Karamanlis stated ND's positions in light of the recent international developments, while the two men discussed the effects of the recent terrorist attacks on the Common European Policy on Security and Defence.

    [02] Four Falcon planes arrive in Athens destined for Egypt

    18/09/2001 21:27:44

    Four Falcon-20 planes which the British defence ministry rented from a private company arrived at the Athens International Airport on Monday.

    According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the four planes had submitted a flight chart from September 7, stating that their destination was Egypt.

    The Civil Aviation Authority inspected the planes in which were only the pilots and some electronic equipment which, is conjectured, can cause interference to a country's telecommunications.

    This caused various scenarios in connection to a scheduled regular visit by Civil Aviation Authority chief Athanasios Tzoganis to Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis.

    [03] Athens bourse general index 0.08 per cent lower

    18/09/2001 21:00:17

    The stable performance at Wall Street led to the Athens Stock Exchange closing on Tuesday with the general index showing a marginal balance and company shares moving at higher levels, with a total index loss of 1.7 points.

    The general index at the Athens bourse on Tuesday ended 0.08 per cent lower at 2,206.24 points.

    Turnover was 142.28 million euros or 48.48 billion drachmas.

    [04] Three Greek commercial banks slash interest rates

    18/09/2001 20:21:37

    Three Greek commercial banks cut their interest rates across the board on Tuesday, following suit with the European Central Bank (ECB).

    Alpha Bank, Commercial Bank of Greece and Bank of Attica cut deposit interest rates and loan interest rates in a move expected to be taken by the rest of Greece's banks.

    The average interest rate cut for deposits was 2 percentage points, while interest rates for home-loans dropped to 6.5 per cent by Alpha and Commercial Bank cut by half a percentage point, while Bank of Attica's home-loans dropped to 7 per cent.

    This development makes all deposit account yields unprofitable at best, as the low balance accounts accrue 2 per cent interest, while the best yield for higher balance deposit accounts reaches to 3.25 percent.

    As inflation in Greece run at 3.8 per cent in August and interest payments for deposit accounts is taxed, depositors are loosing at least a percentage point of buying power from their capital every year.

    Meanwhile, mutual funds, both domestic and international, are loosing up to 50 per cent in value, leaving long-term investors at a loss of venues to protect their savings.

    The real winners of this development are borrowers as they can increase their buying power as they can service their loans with less money.

    [05] Wednesday weather: Sunny in most parts of the country

    18/09/2001 19:21:39

    Sunday in most areas of Greece on Wednesday, with light cloud in the inland regions. North to northwesterly winds, light to moderate. Temperatures between 12C to 31C in the north; 16C to 33C in the rest of the mainland and 19C to 29C on the islands. Light cloud weather in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 33C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures ranging from 18C to 31C.

    [06] Bond Market Close: Mixed results in heavy trade

    18/09/2001 18:43:09

    Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Tuesday finished lower in heavy trade focusing on 10-year paper, with buying restricted to short-term securities.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5,29 percent, and the yield spread over German bunds was 51 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totaled 1.2 billion euros.

    Buy and Sell orders were balanced.

    [07] Greece Church prelate's visit to Cyprus cancelled

    18/09/2001 18:23:04

    A visit to Cyprus by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece has been cancelled, it was announced here on Tuesday.

    Christodoulos, the head of the influential Orthodox Church of Greece, was scheduled to visit the island republic between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 at the invitation of Archbishop of Cyprus Chryssostomos.

    Although the reasons for the cancellation werent announced, press reports cited the fluid international situation following last weeks devastating terrorist strikes in the United States.

    [08] Iceland's Grimsson in Athens, comments on terrorism fight

    18/09/2001 18:21:51

    The president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, met with Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis on Tuesday as part of his official contacts in the east Mediterranean country.

    In statements afterwards, Grimsson referred to whats shaping up to be an international anti-terrorism campaign, saying that ?it is very important to establish the international communitys framework of cooperation against terrorism, based on a respect of human rights and humanistic ideals?.

    In the wake of last weeks unprecedented and large-scale terrorist strikes in the United States, Kaklamanis emphasised that ?nothing can justify barbaric and terrorist actions, which are a scourge for contemporary representative democracy and open democratic societies.?

    [09] Greek PM: Security our No. 1 priority for Olympics

    18/09/2001 18:18:18

    The Greek government reiterated on Tuesday, one week after the devastating terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, that security will be the No. 1 priority for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

    ?We will do everything in our power for the countrys security,? Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed to members of a high-ranking inter-ministerial committee assigned with smoothing over bureaucracy and delays for 2004 preparations. The leadership of the Athens 2004 organising committee (ATHOC) also attended the meeting.

    He also said it was obvious that an Olympics security masterplan will be constantly improved during the run-up to the Athens Games.

    In other 2004 Olympics-related items, Simitis cited what he called ?delays and problems in the course of certain projects,? which however, he termed as ?justified?.

    His comment was apparently aimed at the International Olympic Committee, whereas he followed by promising that ?all of the projects will be delivered on time within the prescribed deadlines?.

    Newly elected IOC President Jacques Rogge and the newly appointed president of the all-important IOC coordinating committee for the Athens Games, Dennis Oswald, arrive on Sept. 25 at the head of a high-ranking delegation to gauge progress for the Games.

    [10] Tuesday weather: Sunny in most parts of the country

    18/09/2001 18:11:25

    Sunday in most areas of Greece on Wednesday, with light cloud in the inland regions. North to northwesterly winds, light to moderate. Temperatures between 12C to 31C in the north; 16C to 33C in the rest of the mainland and 19C to 29C on the islands. Light cloud weather in Athens, with temperatures ranging from 19C to 33C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures ranging from 18C to 31C.

    [11] Wreath-laying ceremony - US embassy - Athens

    18/09/2001 17:42:30

    Several noted local politicians, representing practically the entire spectrum of Greek politics, held a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the US embassy in Athens on Tuesday afternoon for the thousands of victims of last week's terrorist attacks on US soil.

    ?I just want to say on behalf of the American embassy that were very touched by the great deal of support that were getting from groups all over Greece, and were especially delighted that this group that has joined us today are very prominent Greeks that represent large constituencies all over the country,? US charge d'affaires J. Michael Cleverley afterwards.

    On his part, former New Democracy minister and Liberals Party founder Stephanos Manos noted that ?we came here to express our solidarity to the American people for the thousands of victims of the terrorist attack, as well as our unreserved cooperation with our allies, the forces of freedom and democracy, in the struggle against terrorism and the battle to defend the open society and the Western way of life.?

    Manos was joined by former PASOK minister Stavros Benos, former ND minister Andreas Andrianopoulos and PASOK Euro-MP Myrsini Zorba, among others.

    Cleverley told reporters that preliminary reports show that nationals from roughly 40 countries around the world were killed in the World Trade Center attacks, including between 200 to 300 Colombians.

    ?... being able to stand together is the right thing, and it's the right thing here in Greece. We know from our experience that we have many friends and allies here in Greece. Greeks are great friends and allies and were standing together on this...? he concluded.

    [12] OA lays on extra flight to New York to clear waiting list

    18/09/2001 14:47:47

    Olympic Airways has arranged for an extra flight to New York on Wednesday, in addition to its regular OA 411 flight at 12:20 p.m., in an attempt to clear the backlog of passengers waiting to travel to the United States.

    The extra flight departs at 10:00 a.m., while passengers are advised to come to the airport four hours before their scheduled departure time.


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