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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-02-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The City of Athens to establish a Tourism and Economic Development Agency
  • [02] Hellenic Parliament to elect new President of the Republic in special session on Tuesday, former FM Papoulias the uncontested candidate
  • [03] 84.9 mobile telephony subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in Greece in 2002

  • [01] The City of Athens to establish a Tourism and Economic Development Agency

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis on Monday submitted a proposal before the City Council to establish a non-profit tourism development agency in collaboration with the private sector, as part of efforts to raise the Greek capital's profile as a year-round tourist destination.

    According to a press release, the non-profit Athens Tourism and Economic Development Agency will comprise the City of Athens, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Hellenic Hoteliers Chamber, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, the Hellenic Association of Tourist and Travel Agencies, and the Hellenic Retailers Assocociation.

    The municipality considers support and promotion of Athens' tourism industry vital as the sector has the potential to stimulate the city's wider economic development.

    At Monday's City Council meeting, Mayor Bakoyannis presented the plans which account for the state of tourism in Athens, the policies and achievements of other European cities and Olympic host cities, as well as international tourism trends.

    The agency, which is in its formative stages, will act as a platform of cooperation between all relevant agencies and organisations in the Attica region, whose aims will be jointly promoted.

    Of a total 350,000 euros in start-up capital, the municipality has contributed 300,000 euros.

    "Athens' tourism industry has remained static for a long period of time. This is impacting negatively on the city's economy, considering the important role tourism plays in business development and the competitiveness of the economy," Mayor Bakoyannis told the City Council.

    "The Olympic Games brought Athens to the forefront of international attention, offering the city a unique promotional opportunity and the potential to boost development. The city's new infrastructure and its successful hosting of the Games conveyed to the world the impression that Athens is a capital of world-class standards. Now that Athens is equipped with modern facilities and services, there is great scope for development in the post-Olympic period.

    "We believe that these prospects could become reality through the planning and implementation of a development policy focused on supporting and promoting the city's tourism sector," she added.

    [02] Hellenic Parliament to elect new President of the Republic in special session on Tuesday, former FM Papoulias the uncontested candidate

    The Parliament of Greece convenes on Tuesday to elect a new President of the Republic, ahead of next month's expiry of current President Costis Stephanopoulos' second and last term in office. Veteran politican and former foreign minister Karolos Papoulias, the uncontested candidate for the post, is expected to be elected with an overwhelming majority in the 300-member unicameral House during Tuesday's session, which is exclusively devoted to the Presidential election.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis nominated Papoulias, a one-time top cadre with the PASOK party, late last year, while main opposition leader and PASOK president George Papandreou immediately voiced his support for the choice.

    The maximum number of votes by deputies from ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK that Papoulias can receive is 282, more than enough to send him to the presidential mansion as the successor to Costis Stephanopoulos. A tally of more than 269 votes - the number received by Stephanopoulos on his re-election on Feb. 8, 2000 out of 298 MPs present - would be a record.

    Stephanopoulos' second five-year term concludes on March 11, 2005.

    Conversely, Parliament's two smaller parties, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), are expected to propose another candidate at the last minute. Nonetheless, deputies of those two parties are unlikely to vote for Papoulias, and are expected to simply state their presence during the roll call vote. Two hundred votes during a first round are necessary to elect a President of the Republic.

    If elected, Papoulias will be the sixth President of the Republic since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974, following Mihalis Stasinopoulos, Constantine Tsatsos, Constantine Karamanlis, Christos Sartzetakis and Stephanopoulos.

    [03] 84.9 mobile telephony subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in Greece in 2002

    BRUSSELS (ANA/V.Demiris) - Subscriptions of mobile telephony in Greece in 2002 came to 84.9 per 100 inhabitants, marking a 17 per cent increase compared to 2001.

    Over the past years the development of mobile telephony in Greece, but also in the other European Union member-states, is spectacular given that in 1995 the subscriptions of mobile telephony in Greece was just 2.6 per 100 inhabitants.

    The information comes from a report released in Brussels on Monday by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Commission, on mobole telephony in the EU of the "25".

    In 2003, the highest number of mobile phone subsriptions per inhabitant were in Luxembourg, Sweden and Italy.

    Luxembourg (120 per 100 inhabitants), Sweden (98), Italy (96) and the Czech Republic (95) recorded the highest numbers of mobile phone subsriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2003. The lowest numbers of mobile phone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants were recorded in Poland (46), Latvia (52) and Lithuania (62).

    There is no data on Greece for 2003.

    In the "25", the subsriptions of mobile telephony per 100 inhabitants came to 79.9 in 2003, marking an 8.6 per cent increase compared to 2002. In 1995, these subscriptions were just 4,9 per 100 inhabitants.


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