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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-12-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: Solution to Cyprus, differences with Turkey will boost economic
  • [02] FM and alternate FM present EU Greek presidency programme
  • [03] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR
  • [04] Funds provided for building of SAE's new medical centre
  • [05] Truck drivers launch indefinite strike on Thursday
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Sleet, snow on Thursday
  • [07] Tax workers to stage strike
  • [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks slip despite late buying
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

  • [01] PM: Solution to Cyprus, differences with Turkey will boost economic growth

    18/12/2002 22:59:24

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday linked increased social spending with a resolution to the long-standing Cyprus issue and the prospect of ever-improving Greek-Turkish relations, saying extra funds from defence cutbacks will inevitably be shifted, among others, to the health and education sectors and also beef up economic growth.

    Speaking at a luncheon organised by the Foreign Press Association of Greece (FPA), Simitis also stressed that a countrys foreign policy ensures and safeguards its economic potential.

    Specifically, the Greek premier noted that ?tension and confrontations? funnel the countrys energy and attention in other directions, instead of putting the emphasis on various domestic concerns.

    Simitis cited what he called a noteworthy increase in Greek exports to other Balkan countries, while adding that Athens will step up initiative dealing with the Balkans during its upcoming EU presidency, particularly its ambitious participation in the Balkan Stability Pact.

    Along those lines and in answer to a press question, Simitis said he believes Croatia, for instance, could post the same rates of progress in its accession course as Bulgaria and Romania while clarifying that this is a personal view and that the entire issue falls within the Unions procedures.

    [02] FM and alternate FM present EU Greek presidency programme

    18/12/2002 22:58:13

    BRUSSELS (ANA - V. Demiris) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Wednesday, referring to the message contained in the European Union's Greek presidency, the target is to promote a community of values which will recognise the citizens' right to security, democracy and a better quality of life.

    Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis presented, after Athens, the Greek programme of the Greek presidency during the first half of 2003.

    Papandreou said EU enlargement is the Greek presidency's main priority, adding that the target is to safeguard the timetable for the accession of the 10 countries, in accordance with decisions taken at the EU's Copenhagen summit, to enable their accession treaty to be signed in Athens on April 16.

    Referring to Cyprus' accession to the EU, Papandreou said ''the issue has been closed'' with the decision taken at the summit and expressed the hope that all the interested parties will show the political will for a solution on the political issue to be achieved soon and to have a reunited Cyprus join the EU.

    [03] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR

    18/12/2002 22:57:08

    Eight formations of Turkish warplanes made an equal number of infringements of air traffic regulations in the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) on Wednesday, developing into one air space violation in the region of the northern and central Aegean, press reports said.

    The 20 Turkish warplanes, five of which were armed, were recognised and intercepted by Greek fighter jets, while in five cases the interception process developed into an engagement.

    [04] Funds provided for building of SAE's new medical centre

    18/12/2002 22:55:55

    The President of friends of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Antonis Doudos has offered 586,073 euros (200 million drachmas) for the building of SAE's new medical centre in Marioupolis in Ukraine.

    SAE President Andrew Athens thanked Doudos for his donation on Wednesday and expressed the wish that his gesture will be followed by others.

    ''Thanks to Mr. Doudos' benefaction we have the possibility of providing basic treatment for our brothers who are unable to have even the most elementary medical care,'' Athens said.

    The medical centre in Marioupolis will be receiving about 15,000 visits a month by patients. Its building and equipment is funded primarily by private donations, including the Niarchos Foundation.

    In 48 villages populated by Greek-speaking people in the Marioupolis region live about 150,000 expatriates, while their number all over Ukraine is in the region of 250,000.

    [05] Truck drivers launch indefinite strike on Thursday

    18/12/2002 22:55:47

    Truck owners and drivers covering national and international routes are to launch an indefinte strike on Thursday following a breakdown of talks with the government.

    The drivers, including fuel transport workers, are seeking exemption from a retroactive check on company books.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Sleet, snow on Thursday

    18/12/2002 22:17:51

    Cloudy weather is forecast in all parts of the country with most areas likely to see sleet, snow or rain. Storms are expected in the Aegean. Winds variable, very strong to gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from -01C to 04C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 04C to 09C; and in the Aegean islands from 05C to 12C. Temperatures in Athens between 0C and 04C; and in Thessaloniki from 0C to 04C.

    [07] Tax workers to stage strike

    18/12/2002 21:00:35

    Tax department officials are to strike on December 27 and again on December 30-31.

    Their union said in a statement on Wednesday that the stoppages were called to protest compulsory transfers of staff ordered on December 12.

    [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks slip despite late buying

    18/12/2002 18:38:04

    The Athens bourse finished lower on Wednesday with players buying into high capitalisation paper, especially banks and telecoms, towards the end of the session, bringing up the index.

    The general share index shed 0.15 percent to end at 1,823.21 points. Turnover was 124.6 million euros, fuelled by block trades.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.19 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 1.24 percent lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities finished 2.30 percent down.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 280 to 42 with 35 issues remaining unchanged.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    18/12/2002 18:19:22

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.032

    Pound sterling 0.645

    Danish kroner 7.484

    Swedish kroner 9.162

    Japanese yen 125.3

    Swiss franc 1.478

    Norwegian kroner 7.371

    Cyprus pound 0.577

    Canadian dollar 1.600

    Australian dollar 1.826


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