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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-06-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Hot and sunny on Wednesday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [03] Greek PM warns Turkey to abide by the rules if it wants to join EU
  • [04] Greek FM says int'l debate necessary to tackle problems with illicit
  • [05] Annual US-EU Summit of 25 June announced at Monday's White House
  • [06] Gov't seeking dual nationality option for Albania's ethnic Greeks

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Hot and sunny on Wednesday

    11/06/2003 10:29:00

    The day will be sunny, with isolated storms likely on high ground in Epirus and Macedonia from late afternoon. Winds northerly, light to strong. In the Ionian, temperatures will range from 20C to 32C; on the mainland from 18C to 34C; and in the Aegean islands from 21C to 30C. Temperatures in Athens between 23C and 33C; and in Thessaloniki from 21C to 32C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    11/06/2003 10:28:32

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.179

    Pound sterling 0.712

    Danish kroner 7.484

    Swedish kroner 9.188

    Japanese yen 139.3

    Swiss franc 1.554

    Norwegian kroner 8.283

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.602

    Australian dollar 1.791

    [03] Greek PM warns Turkey to abide by the rules if it wants to join EU

    10/06/2003 23:47:04

    THE HAGUE (ANA - V. Demiris)International rules applied to all and Turkey had to abide by them if it wanted to become a member of the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said after a meeting here with his Dutch counterpart Jan Peter Balkenende on Tuesday.

    Holland is the first stop on Simitis' last tour of EU countries as head of the European Council, during which he will prepare the final summit to take place under the Greek EU presidency later this month.

    Commenting on recent tension in the Aegean, particularly an incident on Monday involving an Olympic Airways passenger plane and two Turkish fighter jets, Simitis stressed that the military exercises Turkey was currently conducting did not respect international laws governing air and sea borders.

    If Turkey wanted to become a member of the EU, it should bear in mind that there were international rules that were binding for all and could not be bent to fit the occasion, the Greek premier noted.

    Reporting on the results of his talks with Balkenende, Simitis said they had discussed the Thessaloniki Summit agenda, which would be dominated by talks on the draft EU Constitution to be presented by the Convention for the Future of Europe, immigration and promoting policies to reinforce security within the Community.

    On the planned institutional reforms to the EU, Simitis said the Greek presidency's job was to seek a basis for the talks that will be carried out in the Intergovernmental conference that would follow.

    With regard to institutional reforms for the Union, Balkenende said the negotiations should place emphasis on preserving the balance between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, while expressing hope that a solution would be found in Thessaloniki.

    [04] Greek FM says int'l debate necessary to tackle problems with illicit drugs

    10/06/2003 23:38:32

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, on Tuesday stressed the need for a common European policy on illicit drug production and trafficking, and said the Greek presidency would submit an Action Plan which he said he hoped would be approved at the upcoming European Council in Thessaloniki 19-21 June.

    Papandreou, speaking on the closing day at the Dublin Group conference held in Athens on illicit drug production and trafficking in the Balkans, noted that an international debate should be launched over the complex problem of drugs, since there were conflicting views on how to tackle this problem.

    ''Issues such as punishment and the decriminalisation of users, for example, show there is still a lot to be discussed'', the Greek foreign minister said, and pointed to the need for dialogue with the US, a frontrunner on tackling this problem.

    [05] Annual US-EU Summit of 25 June announced at Monday's White House briefing

    10/06/2003 23:33:33

    NEW YORK (ANA - T. Ellis) -- The scheduled annual US-European Union Summit at the White House on 25 June was announced during the White House briefing on Monday.

    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the US-EU agenda was very rich and continuously increasing, adding that President George Bush was looking forward to the opportunity to discuss translatlantic dialogue issues with the European Council President (Greek Prime Minister) Costas Simitis and the European Commission President Romano Prodi.

    [06] Gov't seeking dual nationality option for Albania's ethnic Greeks

    10/06/2003 23:31:10

    The government was currently in the final stages of negotiations with the Albanian government for an agreement that would allow Albania's ethnic Greeks to hold dual nationality, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas said on Tuesday.

    Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis was handling negotiations with his Albanian counterpart in this ''extremely grave and delicate'' issue, the spokesman noted.

    The measures sought by the Greek government would allow Albanian nationals of Greek descent that have lived for several years in Greece and become integrated in Greek society to acquire Greek nationality without losing their Albanian nationality in the process, Protopapas explained.

    ''A dual nationality solution must be found that consistently furthers national interests,'' he said, while denying that the government was moved by petty party-political goals in this matter.

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