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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-06-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] European Commission report says almost all Greek swimming regions OK
  • [02] Rally Acropolis gets underway
  • [03] Greek EU presidency hails US-Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Aqaba on
  • [04] Greece and Hungary sign agreement for joint defence tech programmes
  • [05] Events to mark World Environment Day in Greece
  • [06] Young artists from Europe and the Mediterranean to perform in Athens
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [08] Weather Forecast: Sunshine, scattered cloud on Friday
  • [09] Greek stocks fall on profit taking on Thursday

  • [01] European Commission report says almost all Greek swimming regions OK

    05/06/2003 22:52:50

    BRUSSELS (ANA - G. Zitouniati) - Almost all swimming regions in Greece meet specifications set by the European Union, a fact which the European Commission's annual report on the quality of swimming waters, publicised here on Thursday, registers as ''very notable.''

    The report says that, according to readings made during the swimming period in 2002 (the swimming period lasts for 4.5-5 months in accordance with geographical position and climatic conditions, while readings are completed in October of each year and are publicised in the following spring), 99 percent of swimming regions in Greece ''not only meet compulsory readings set by the relevant directive, but the strictest suggested readings as well.''

    Internal waters in Greece (such as lakes) appear to have an even better image in the report since they meet compulsory readings by 100 percent, as well as the EU's strictest suggested readings.

    [02] Rally Acropolis gets underway

    05/06/2003 22:51:44

    The 50th Rally Acropolis got underway at the foot of the Acropolis at 19:30 on Thursday.

    The start of the race was preceded with music by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Athens Municipality and a display of vintage cars.

    Passing the starting ramp were a total of 82 crews which will start the purely competitive part of the race on Friday. The first car will start from the Service Park area in Lamia at 07:30, while the first special route (Pavliani I) starts at 08:08.

    [03] Greek EU presidency hails US-Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Aqaba on Wednesday

    05/06/2003 22:40:33

    The Greek European Union presidency on Thursday welcomed the meeting between US President George W. Bush and the Palestinian and Israeli leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon, respectively, in Aqaba, Jordan on Wednesday, and called it an important step that opened a substantive peace prospect after ''a long and dramatic period of dead-end conflict and bloodshed''.

    In a declaration issued on Thursday, the presidency said that the EU wholeheartedly supported this initiative, and called on the Israeli and Palestinian sides to take appropriate measures for a timely and full implementation of the ''Road Map'', a peace initiative brokered by the UN, EU, Russia and the US, which the EU presidency said constituted the only hope for the rebirth of the peace process, which should not be wasted.

    [04] Greece and Hungary sign agreement for joint defence tech programmes

    05/06/2003 22:40:25

    Greece and Hungary on Thursday signed a memorandum for mutual understanding and cooperation in armaments and defence technology.

    The agreement was signed in Athens by Greek Deputy Defence Minister Loukas Apostolidis and his Hungarian counterpart Imre Ivancsik.

    The memorandum provides for joint planning of programmes for the development and production of arms systems that will cover the needs of the armed forces in both countries, to be chosen by a mixed technical committee.

    Ivancsik reiterated Hungary's support for the initiatives of the Greek European Union presidency to provide Community funds for the development of research for defence purposes and for creating a European Armaments Organisation. He also expressed support for the bids of Bulgaria and Romania to join NATO.

    [05] Events to mark World Environment Day in Greece

    05/06/2003 22:39:07

    Hundreds of events took place throughout Greece on Thursday to mark World Environment Day, organised by various bodies and organisations.

    Among the highlights was an event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Syntagma Square, in Athens, with the participation of well-known Greek actors and musicians under the slogan ''Don't be a spectator, your voice has power''.

    The organisation also announced plans for a campaign in collaboration with a mobile telephony company, which will donate a large part of SMS messages sent in the context of the campaign to the WWF.

    At Omonoia Square, Athens, meanwhile, there was an event organised by the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party's youth group, attended by Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos.

    In the southwestern Athens municipality of Rendi, the mayor celebrated Environment Day by inaugurating a programme against pesticides, in which he released quantities of ladybirds imported from Holland into woods and squares in the district to combat greenfly.

    [06] Young artists from Europe and the Mediterranean to perform in Athens

    05/06/2003 21:58:20

    The 11th Bienalle of Young Creators from Europe and the Mediterranean will be held in Athens from June 6-15.

    Taking part in the events, which will be held at the Antonis Tritsis Environment Education Park at Ilion, will be 720 young artists from 24 countries.

    Of the total, 214 are Greeks while it is noteworthy to point out that 18 Rom artists will also be present.

    Events will include concerts, dances, theatre, exhibitions, cyber art and film projections from many countries of Europe and the Mediterranean.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    05/06/2003 18:35:21

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.186

    Pound sterling 0.717

    Danish kroner 7.483

    Swedish kroner 9.199

    Japanese yen 140.3

    Swiss franc 1.556

    Norwegian kroner 8.202

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.605

    Australian dollar 1.781

    [08] Weather Forecast: Sunshine, scattered cloud on Friday

    05/06/2003 18:29:45

    The day will start sunny with scattered cloud from afternoon. Showers are likely in Crete in the morning. Winds north-northeasterly, light to strong. In the west, temperatures will range from 16C to 31C; on the rest of the mainland from 14C to 32C; and in the Aegean islands from 16C to 27C. Temperatures in Athens between 19C and 30C; and in Thessaloniki from 18C to 29C.

    [09] Greek stocks fall on profit taking on Thursday

    05/06/2003 16:47:29

    Greek stocks ended Thursday's session slightly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange as many investors preferred to take early profits after Wednesday's sharp advance.

    Dealers said that a decision by the European Central Bank to cut interest rates by 50 basis points in the eurozone did not have a positive impact on European markets because ECB acknowledged the risk of a further economic slowdown.

    The general index fell 0.41 percent to end at 1,832.08 points, with turnover a heavy 175.7 million euros.

    The Cement, Textile and Wholesale sectors suffered the biggest percentage losses of the day (2.29 percent, 2.0 percent and 1.73 percent, respectively), while the Insurance, IT and Publication sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (6.88 percent, 2.16 percent and 0.65 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 0.63 percent the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was unchanged, the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.01 percent and the FTSE/ASE 140 index ended 0.46 percent lower.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 223 to 93 with another 46 issues unchanged.

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