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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece-Italy-Pope-Visit
  • [02] Stephanopoulos-Pope-Meeting
  • [03] Basketball-Eurobasket 2001-Greece-Win
  • [04] ECB-foreign exchange
  • [05] Epiphania-new purchase
  • [06] ASE-close
  • [07] Greece-Papantoniou-EMU
  • [08] Greece-construction activity
  • [09] Greece-car registrations

  • [01] Greece-Italy-Pope-Visit

    24/01/2001 23:05:39

    ROME (ANA - L. Hatzykiriakos) - Visiting President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Wednesday evening confirmed an earlier Vatican statement indicating that he had extended an official invitation to Pope John Paul II to visit Greece.

    Stephanopoulos made the confirmation during statements to Greek journalists at the Greek Embassy.

    [02] Stephanopoulos-Pope-Meeting

    24/01/2001 22:20:05

    ROME (ANA - L. Hadzikyriakos) - Visiting Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos on Wednesday met with Pope John Paul II, who reiterated his desire to visit Athens as a pilgrim in the framework of his tour of the Holy Lands.

    The visit was also the topic of his talks with the Vatican's Prime Minister Sontano, while bidding the Pope farewell Stephanopoulos told him in French "I am expecting you in Athens soon."

    The Holy See later issued a statement saying that "during the Pontiff's meeting with the Greek President a cordial exchange of views took place on various current events with references to Europe's cultural and historical traditions. The President extended to the Pope an official invitation to visit Greece. The Holy Father thanked the President, expressing the wish that the visit will take place one day on the route followed by the Apostle Paul."

    Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis, who participated in the delegation, said that both the Pope and Sontano communicated a desire to visit Greece.

    "The Pontiff links his visit to the position of the Greek Church, since there is no question of a visit as a head of state but as a religious leader. There is no question of an invitation on the part of Greece," he said.

    Earlier in the day, Stephanopoulos held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and dined with him later.

    Amato, addressing a press conference afterwards, said "we discussed prospects in the Balkan region. We stressed the need for democracy and stability, as well as for an improved prospect in the Republic of Serbia as well. Both countries, Italy and Greece, are convinced that a renewed Yugoslav Republic will be able to provide solutions, under the present form, in resolving specific issues. And, of course, there should be a balance and responsibility, both on the part of Yugoslavia and Europe, which has a great responsibility, for their future."

    [03] Basketball-Eurobasket 2001-Greece-Win

    24/01/2001 19:32:20

    Greece beat Austria 76-50 in a match played for the Eurobasket 2001 semifinal phase in Volos, eastern Greece, on Wednesday. Greece has won all nines matches played so far and has secured first place in the second group of the championship and has qualified for the finals due to take place in Istanbul later this year.

    [04] ECB-foreign exchange

    24/01/2001 16:40:08

    The euro/dollar rate fell to 92.94 cents on Wednesday, from 94.07 the previous day, according to the European Central Bank's reference rates, pushing the drachma/dollar rate to 366.63 drachmas.

    The ECB also set the euro/yen rate at 109.79 yen (3.10 drachmas), the euro/sterling at 63.41 pence (537.37 drachmas), the euro/Swiss franc at 1.5323 (222.37 drachmas) and the euro/Cyprus pound rate at 0.5780 (589.53 drachmas).

    [05] Epiphania-new purchase

    24/01/2001 16:35:17

    Epiphania SA strengthened its position in the communications, advertising and technology market in Greece with the purchase of a 50.1 percent equity stake in Stefi SA, a commercial advertisement, TV and cinema production company, for an undisclosed sum.

    Epiphania acquired a majority stake in Mass advertising last December.

    Stefi has produced around 3,500 TV spots, 200 musical videos and cinema movies in Greece and Europe.

    Its 2000 profits totalled 400 million drachmas on turnover of 3.5 billion drachmas.

    [06] ASE-close

    24/01/2001 15:58:20

    Equity prices moved one step closer towards the psychologically critical level of 3,000 points, remaining on a declining trend for the fifth consecutive session on the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

    Traders, however, said that buying interest focused on shares in the construction and smaller capitalisation sectors, which looked oversold.

    The general index ended 0.99 percent lower at 3,032.85 points, off the day's lows of 3,010.01 points. Turnover was a low 105.77 million euros, or 36.042 billion drachmas, while a total of 28 shares hit their lowest levels in the last 12 months.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.99 percent off at 1,785.35 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index eased 0.44 percent to 1,785.35 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.80 percent higher at 240.73 points.

    [07] Greece-Papantoniou-EMU

    24/01/2001 15:33:11

    The country's benefits from EMU participation are not only economic and social, but mainly political, National Economy and Finance Minister said on Wednesday.

    Papantoniou noted that Greece's participation in the Group of 12, the eurozone's economic government, highlighted the country's new upgraded role.

    Addressing a crowd in Elefsina, a western Attica city, he said that EMU membership ensured the country's negotiating position, supported out national interests and initiatives in the Balkans, the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean regions.

    "Participating in the euro is a safety investment for our country," Papantoniou said.

    He said that the Greek government has achieved the redistribution the national income in favour of salary earners, pensioners, medium-sized businessmen and self-employed.

    "Greece is no longer a country of high tax rates and its economic progress is reflected not only in the nominal but in the real convergence as well," he said.

    Papantoniou reiterated that the government's development policy was based on the full liberalisation of enterpreunership in the country.

    [08] Greece-construction activity

    24/01/2001 15:13:21

    Greece's composite home building construction price index increased 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000, compared with the previous quarter, the National Statistics Service said on Wednesday.

    The NSS said that the index rose 2.7 percent in December 2000 from the same month the previous year.

    [09] Greece-car registrations

    24/01/2001 15:02:45

    Car registrations totalled 19,882 in December to a total of 423,321 vehicles in 2000, National Statistics Services said on Wednesday.

    The NSS said that almost half of December vehicles (8,181) were registered in the Attica region, for a total of 171,475 cars in the year.

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