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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-08-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Govt' tables plan to restructure ailing national carrier OA
  • [02] Gov't vows to continue fight against people trafficking
  • [03] Government postpones Thessaloniki Metro construction for 2008
  • [04] Justices order the conditional release of arrested Russian fugitive
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Saturday
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [07] Greek stocks end sharply lower on Friday

  • [01] Govt' tables plan to restructure ailing national carrier OA

    29/08/2003 22:09:05

    The government on Friday tabled an amendment in Parliament for the creation of a new national carrier, with the envisioned ''Olympic Airlines'' to replace debt-ridden Olympic Airways.

    The former is expected to inherit all of the state-owned group's flight operations after the merger between Olympic Airways, Olympic Aviation and OA's charter subsidiary, Macedonian Airlines.

    Under the bill, Olympic Airways will be broken into separate and independent companies up for privatisation, leaving the national carrier with only flight operations.

    Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, and Transpors Minister Christos Verelis said the new OA would employ 1,850 staff, and would operate with a 45 percent reduction in labour costs.

    Christodoulakis also stressed that the new company, relieved from the massive financial burdens of the past, would be viable, reliable and attractive to investors, as the government aimed to sell more than 51 percent of the company to private investors.

    ''Privatisation could be made either through the sale of shares to investors, or by increasing the new company's share capital,'' he said.

    Olympic Airlines will have an initial capital of 140 million euros, it will operate a fleet of 44 aircraft and will maintain Olympic Airways' logo.

    The amendment will be discussed in Parliament next week and the government expects to have signed a ministerial decree for the creation of the new company in around two months.

    [02] Gov't vows to continue fight against people trafficking

    29/08/2003 22:06:41

    The government on Friday said it fully backs the activities of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) active in combating illegal people trafficking.

    ''NGO financing started in 2002 and continues into 2003. For the protection of people trafficking victims and for repatriation efforts we have earmarked 1.1 million euros, which is expected to increase in 2004'', Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos said.

    Greece is a contributor to a number of multilateral assistance funds and action groups that are active in combating people trafficking under the umbrella of leading organisations, while a special desk officer has been appointed to monitor relative activities and the development of a three-member team that will coordinate strategy and oversee the work of NGOs.

    [03] Government postpones Thessaloniki Metro construction for 2008

    29/08/2003 22:04:19

    The government announced on Friday it was revoking its plans for the long-delayed construction of the Thessaloniki Metro, nullifying a 1992 tender for the project, a development that gave rise to strong reactions.

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou told Thessaloniki officials the government was considering to terminate a Greek state contract with a private contractor and call a new tender.

    According to the new plan, the Thessaloniki Metro project would be funded by the Public Investments Programme, with its completion estimated in 2008, Papandreou said.

    [04] Justices order the conditional release of arrested Russian fugitive

    29/08/2003 22:03:06

    An Appellate Council of Justices on Friday accepted the request of a Russian fugitive held here on an Interpol warrant and issued an order for his conditional release on a 100-thousand-euro bail and on the condition that he not leave the country.

    Vladimir Gusinskiy, 51, wanted in Russia since 2000 in connection with a multi-million-dollar money laundering and loan fraud scandal, was formally remanded in custody on Monday following his arrest at Athens' International Airport ''Eleftherios Venizelos'' last week.

    A one-time media baron and former chief of the Media-Most Holdings, one of Russias largest private broadcast networks, Gusinskiy arrived in Athens aboard a flight from Tel-Aviv, travelling with both Russian and Israeli passports.

    The Appellate Council is now expected to review a request filed by the Russian authorities for Gusinskiy's extradition to be tried for fraud he allegedly committed in Russia.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Sunny on Saturday

    29/08/2003 19:53:42

    Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of Greece on. Fog in some areas in the early hours of the morning. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean. Temperatures in the north will range from 18C to 37C; in western Greece from 21C to 39C; in the Ionian from 22C to 37C; and in the Aegean islands from 24C to 34C. Temperatures in Athens between 24C and 38C; and in Thessaloniki from 23C to 36C.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    29/08/2003 19:15:44

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.101

    Pound sterling 0.698

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.303

    Japanese yen 128.2

    Swiss franc 1.549

    Norwegian kroner 8.313

    Cyprus pound 0.588

    Canadian dollar 1.538

    Australian dollar 1.714

    [07] Greek stocks end sharply lower on Friday

    29/08/2003 16:54:35

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of the week sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange, hit by massive profit taking that pushed Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's shares 7.24 percent down.

    The general index dropped 2.02 percent to 2,210.57 points, with turnover a hefty 227,3 million euros. The index ended the week 4.22 percent lower for a net gain of 2.41 percent in the month.

    The Cement index was the only one to score gains (up 0.77 percent), while the Telecommunications, Insurance, Holding and IT sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (4.11 percent, 3.81 percent, 3.80 percent and 3.42 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 2.30 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 1.37 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index dropped 2.38 percent. The wider FTSE/ASE 140 index ended 2.15 percent lower.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 301 to 45 with another 20 issues unchanged.

    Σε εβδομαδιαία βάση ο γενικός δείκτης έχασε σε ποσοστό 4,33%, ενώ σε μηνιαία βάση ενισχύθηκε κατά 2,41%.

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