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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-09-20
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Cultural Olympiad event inaugurated in Athens on Thursday20/09/2001 21:34:08
President Kostis Stephanoloulos on Thursday attended an international symposium entitled "Rethinking Civilization" that began in Athens' ancient forum with a music event and will be concluded on Sunday.
The symposium will take place both in Athens and Olympia and is part of the Cultural Olympiad events.
"I hope that on Sunday noon, we will be in a position to present in Ancient Olympia the charter of Ancient Olympia for culture, which will broadcast a clear, specific and convincing message to the international public opinion," Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said, in inaugurating the event.
 Archbishop Dimitrios invited to attend White House event20/09/2001 21:29:54
WASINGTON (ANA - T. Ellis) - Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Dimitrios was among the religious leaders which US President George Bush invited to the White House on Thursday to attend a special event relating to the terrorist attacks on the US last week.
Archbishop Dimitrios will conduct a memorial service on Friday for the victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and later in the day will attend various meetings and events at the US capital, which will conclude in the afternoon with a service at the Church of Aghia Sophia.
 European Parliament President to visit Greece Sept. 26-2820/09/2001 20:14:34
European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine will pay an official visit to Greece on September 26-28 at the invitation of Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.
During her visit to Greece, Fontaine will have a series of meetings with the political leadership to discuss current Greek, European and international issues.
She will be accompanied by Eurodeputies A. Trakatellis (New Democracy party) and G. Katiforis (PASOK).
Fontaine will be received by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and have meetings with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary Aleka Papariga, Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos and Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas.
Fontaine will address Parliament's European Affairs Committee and Greek Eurodeputies and exchange views with them on current European issues.
The European Parliament President will also speak at the International Conference on the future of Europe which is organised on September 27 by the "Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy".
Finally, Fontaine will also meet with Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
 National Bank sees slower eurozone growth after US mayhem20/09/2001 19:53:05
National Bank of Greece, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, said on Thursday that it expected US growth to slow in 2001, dragging down the rate in the eurozone, following terrorist attacks in New York and Washington last week.
In a monthly English-language market report for customers, the state-run bank forecast eurozone growth of 1.6 percent, expected to rise to 1.8 percent in 2002, sharply lower than initital forecasts of 2.5 percent for next year.
The report gave no forecast for Greek growth, which is currently running at about 3.5 percent, well above the eurozone average.
 Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria sign memo in satellite pact20/09/2001 19:43:26
NICOSIA (ANA/G.Leonidas) - Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria on Thursday signed a memorandum of cooperation on use of a westerly satellite position under a project undertaken by the three countries' transport ministries.
Cyprus' transport and works minister, Averof Neofytou, told reporters that the Vatican was expected to initial the memorandum and join the project.
The satellite position was awarded to the four parties by the International Telecommunications Union.
Signing for Greece was Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Alekos Voulgaris.
 Athens Bourse Close: Stocks slump in sell-off20/09/2001 18:39:43
The Athens bourse finished sharply lower on Thursday in short-term profit-taking with sentiment dampened by gloom on international markets in the wake of terrorist attacks in the US last week.
The general share index shed 5.08 percent to end at 2,133.46 points. Turnover was 134.8 million euros.
The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 5.26 percent lower; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 5.84 percent down; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities lost 5.86 percent.
Declines led advances at 348 to 12 with 3 issues remaining unchanged.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday20/09/2001 18:19:32
Indicative tourist buying rates
U.S. dollar 365.063
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 534.845
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 45.411
Swedish kroner 34.568
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 312.557
Swiss franc 229.399
Norwegian kroner 042.617
Cyprus pound 589.818
Canadian dollar 232.736
Australian dollar 180.300
 New National Bank subsidiary to aid technology firms20/09/2001 18:07:11
National Bank of Greece, a blue chip on the Athens bourse, has set up a subsidiary to help spur new companies in the high technology sector that is due for launch early in October, officials announced on Thursday.
The company, named iVen SA, which is short for Innovative Ventures, was founded by another subisidiary of the bank, National Business Holdings, with Vectis Capital, in which blue chip Alpha Bank has a holding.
The new firm is also to receive cash from the development ministry under the European Union's Third Community Support Framework package of funds.
National's governor, Theodoros Karatzas, told a presentation that iVen would select and back business plans, then buying equity in the new or existing companies. The investment will total up to 300,000 euros.
The firm is also to offer services including strategic planning, tax, accounting and executive recruitment.
Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said iVen hoped to attract 18 new companies over the next few years.
 Weather Forecast: Sunny on Friday20/09/2001 17:26:58
The weather will be sunny throughout the country on Friday, with some scattered cloud in the west, centre and north. Winds northerly, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 15C to 31C; on the rest of the mainland from 16C to 32C; and in the islands from 19C to 30C. Sunshine in Athens, with temperatures between 20C and 32C. Scattered cloud in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 18C to 30C.
 Papantoniou unveils plan to build a "strong Greece"20/09/2001 16:11:32
The creation of continuous budget surpluses, promotion of a "Third package", supporting business activity and implementing infrastructural reforms will be the base of an effort to "build a strong Greece", National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Thursday.
Addressing the first conference of the Greek Public Enterprises and Organisation Centre, Papantoniou emphasized that past inefficiencies and weaknesses in the public administration, existence of too many laws and bureacracy, were discouraging business activity in the country, while citizens' expectations were pressuring the government to seek drastic changes with timely results.
"We will focus our efforts during this four-year period with the aim to improve efficiency and offer better services to citizens," Papantoniou said.
Commenting on recent events in the US, Papantoniou said they were already causing some uncertainty over developments and that no one could predict the impact on the economy. He added, however, that the Greek economy had a dynamism of its own and that it would continue growing rapidly.
He reaffirmed that Greece's GDP growth would be double the eurozone's average this year and said that inflation was still below the last three decades' avarage and it would soon converge closer with eurozone's average rate.
Papantoniou said Greek economic prospects for next year were positive "despite uncertainties over international economic developments".
"Today, we can take actions that seemed unattainable a few years ago because we have created a strong economy and we are equal members in the eurozone," he said.
 House speaker: Greece must ally itself in fight against terrorism20/09/2001 16:09:01
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Thursday briefed the countrys Parliament president, Apostolos Kaklamanis, over the latest international developments emanating from last weeks shocking terrorist attacks, as well as the upcoming EU summit to focus on the situation.
On his part, Kaklamanis said Greece has every reason, both in principle and as a matter of national interest, to ally itself with the struggle against terrorism, as called by the European Union and the United States.
However, he said the fight against terrorism will only be effective if waged within the margins of international law, respect of human rights and democratic freedoms, and not just in the name of those principles.
?No dialogue or compromise is justified in this struggle with terrorism, whereas no deductions can be made in terms of the rules of democracy and international law?? he added.
 KYSEA confers on arms programme, terrorism20/09/2001 15:05:57
A marathon session by the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) ended at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, after lengthy deliberations on recent world developments following the terrorist strikes in the United States, and their implications for the country's defence and armaments programmes.
In statements after the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the council had discussed the changes that needed to be made to defence policy over the next decade in view of the newly arisen threat of terrorism.
 Athens Tower bomb scare a hoax, police said20/09/2001 14:51:51
An anonymous call on Thursday to say a bomb had been planted in the Athens Tower proved to be a hoax, police said.
The phone call was made to Alpha television channel and said the bomb had been set to go off at noon in the high-rise office block, situated at the intersection of Kifissias and Alexandras avenues.
Athens Tower security refused to allow a search by police or to evacuate the building, but the time when the explosion was due take place came and went without incident.
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