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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-04-10
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 ALCO opinion poll puts ND in 7.5 pct lead over PASOK10/04/2002 23:14:40
A nationwide opinion poll conducted by the ALCO polling company on behalf of a private television station puts main opposition New Democracy party 7.5 percentage ahead of the ruling PASOK party.
The poll, conducted by ALCO on behalf of ALPHA television station, showed that ND was ahead with 36 percent against 28.5 percent for PASOK with respect to intended votes among those polled.
Also, 47.5 percent of respondents believed New Democracy would win the general elections against 28.4 percent for PASOK.
As for most appropriate prime minister, ND leader Costas Karamanlis was leading premier Costas Simitis by 1.8 percentage points.
In addition, Karamanlis also lead Simitis with a 10.8 percent difference with respect to understanding of the problems of the ordinary citizens.
 Greeks says consumer habits unchanged since euro launch10/04/2002 23:11:29
BRUSSELS (ANA/B.Demiris) - The majority of Greeks say that their consumer habits have remained unchanged overall since the introduction of the euro on January 1, 2002, a European Union survey in the eurozone showed.
According to the poll released on Wednesday, 18 percent of Greeks said that they bought fewer products on introduction of the euro, 14 percent more products, and 67 percent the same number of products.
 EU's Kinnock in Athens on Wed.10/04/2002 23:07:03
Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis will receive EU Commission Vice-President Neil Kinnock on Wednesday afternoon at the foreign ministry, as the latter will arrive in Greece for a working visit.
Statements to the press will follow the meeting.
 Transport ministry submits report on OA to parliament10/04/2002 23:04:38
Former transport and communications Minister Tassos Mantelis clashed with main opposition ND party deputies in parliament on Wednesday over the issue of Olympic Airways following a decision by the former minister to refuse to answer ND's deputies questions.
The transport ministry submitted to a parliamentary committee a report on the conditions that burdened OA's finances in the previous years, including a change for the worse in the European airline sector, a 63 percent increase in fuel costs in the period 1999-2000, a change in the US dollar rate (creating a burden of six billion drachmas annually since 2000), the impact of the September 11th tragic events in the US and high aircraft leasing rates.
The report also attributed the national carrier's performance to current contracts and regulations that burdened the company by 12 billion drachmas annually and to the company's strategy in the period 1999-2000 - which did not aim to reduce operating cost but to raise revenues through an expansionary policy. This policy was criticised as wrong strategy by the report.
The report also referred to OA's total strategy, envisaging an 18 percent decline of scheduled flights that saved 60 billion drachmas, a 13 percent reduction of the company's workforce and savings totalling 11.3 billion drachmas from leasings and maintenance and an eight billion drachmas annual profit from higher revenues per passenger.
A. Christodoulatos, OA's financial director, said the company was currently operating at satisfactory levels although it remained inferior to other airlines operating on strictly financial criteria.
He predicted that Olympic Airways would show a deficit of around 30-35 billion drachmas this year.
OA's financial chief said the company's new strategy envisaged the improvement of its finances through a reduction of flights and workforce, the abolition of discount fares and payment of state debt to the company.
 Worldwide premiere of Theodorakis' 'Lysistrate' opera10/04/2002 19:02:05
The worldwide premiere of Mikis Theodorakis' opera "Lysistrate" - based on the comedy of the same name by the ancient playwright Aristophanes - will take place at the Athens Concert Hall on Sunday, as one of the events in the 2001-2004 Cultural Olympiad.
"Lysistrate" completes Theodorakis' tetralogy after "Electra", "Medea" and "Antigone" and will be performed on five more nights in Athens between April 16-20 by the National Opera, with the participation of Greek singer Giorgos Dalaras.
It will then be performed at Epidavros, Ioannina, Thessaloniki and Istanbul.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday10/04/2002 18:47:09
Indicative tourist buying rates per euro
U.S. dollar 0.886
Pound sterling 0.617
Danish kroner 7.494
Swedish kroner 9.164
Japanese yen 115.66
Swiss franc 1.478
Norwegian kroner 7.702
Cyprus pound 0.580
Canadian dollar 1.413
Australian dollar 1.670
 Archbishop of Athens to visit to Jerusalem's Patriarchate10/04/2002 18:36:02
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Wednesday evening will depart for Jerusalem for a "love and solidarity visit to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem," sources said.
According to the same sources, Christodoulos will remain in the city until Friday and will head a delegation of bishops of the Church of Greece and he will provide aid to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
 Israel's Sharon a 'disaster' for the region, director Jules Dassin says10/04/2002 18:29:28
Noted film director Jules Dassin, who settled in Greece after his marriage to the late actress and politician Melina Mercouri, on Wednesday described Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a ''disaster'' for Israel and Palestine during a press conference in Athens.
Dassin was also intensely critical of Sharon's motives, saying that he desired ''absolute domination over the Palestinian people and the collapse of the peace process.''
The award-winning director made his name in the '50s and '60s with films such as ''Rififi'', ''Never on Sunday'' and ''Top Kapi''.
 Technical problems at Iran's airport prevent visit by Greek FM10/04/2002 18:28:06
BEIJING (ANA - H. Poulidou) Problems with the runway at Teheran airport forced Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou to postpone a planned visit to Iran on Wednesday and return directly to Athens.
A meeting between Papandreou and his Iranian counterpart Dr. Kamal Kharazi will now take place when the conditions allow, it was announced.
 Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Thursday10/04/2002 17:39:18
Light cloud is forecast with showers in the west and Macedonia. It may rain on the rest of the mainland overnight. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in the Ionian. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 8C to 16C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 10C to 21C; and in the Aegean islands from 13C to 22C. Scattered cloud in Athens with temperatures between 11C and 18C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 9C to 15C.
 Greek stocks end 0.68 percent down in ASE10/04/2002 16:56:13
Equity prices came under pressure on Wednesday, quickly reversing Tuesday's recovery trend, as investors preferred to take early profits on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Market sentiment was negatively affected by the reports made by Lehman Brothers and Schroder Salomon Smith Barney downgrading the outlook of the domestic bank sector and reducing target prices for the largest Greek banks.
Both investment firms said they were cautious over banks' revenues this year.
The general index ended 0.68 percent lower at 2,207.53 points, with turnover a low 68.85 million euros.
The Telecoms sector was the only one to score gains (0.28 percent), while the Publication, Investment, Holding and Textile sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (2.12 percent, 2.12 percent, 1.80 percent and 1.52 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 1.10 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index dropped 0.66 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.99 percent lower.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 226 to 87 with another 42 issues unchanged.
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