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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-08-29
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Athens 2004 - Top chefs29/08/2001 19:48:01
Athens 2004 organisers (ATHOC) were host to a slightly more unique group of visitors on Tuesday, as members of the ?Chefs des Chefs? delegation many of whom prepare the meals of heads of state, kings and sultans were briefed on the all-important nutritional and culinary aspects of the upcoming Games.
In greeting the Chefs des Chefs delegation, ATHOC executive Spyros Kapralos underlined that the Olympics ?will give Greece an opportunity to promote its modern, dynamic and creative aspects on an international level.?
The ATHOC official reiterated that the highly acclaimed ?Mediterranean Diet? is at the heart of Grecian cuisine as well as traditional Greek foodstuffs.
In response to Kapralos comments, the clubs founder and current secretary general, Gilles Bragard, expressed his certainty that the 2004 Olympics will be successful. He also focused on a common concern, as he said, shared by Athens 2004 and the ?Chefs?.
?Each of us in his own country, a presidents or a kings chef, must utilise his countrys cuisine, its local culinary traditions, all in a manner that satisfies the foreign guests received by the leader of a state. Therefore, he must adapt to all international cuisines and the religious particularities of each guest. You have the same problem,? Bragard said, explaining:
?Its obvious that you will exploit Greeces cuisine, but its also obvious that your foreign guests will have to find certain elements of their cuisine in their diet (here), while naturally discovering Greeces cuisine.?
The Chefs des Chefs were also received by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
 Greece - FYROM - Defence minister29/08/2001 19:41:34
Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told a Parliament committee on Wednesday that Athens considers the inviolability of international borders in the region a matter of heightened national interest.
Speaking before Parliaments national defence and foreign affairs committee, Tsohatzopoulos briefed its members over Greeces participation in a NATO force dispatched to the strife-torn Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) ?Operation Essential Harvest? -- to collect and destroy weapons and ammunition surrendered by ethnic Albanian rebels in that country.
Asked about the number of weapons NATO expects to collect, the Greek defence minister replied that the important point has to do with the rebels commitment to surrender them.
?The NATO force will collect those (weapons) handed over voluntarily, and wont enter into a procedure of searching out weapons,? he said.
In response to a question by former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos agreed that certain quarters in the Slavic-speaking majority of FYROM have over the past promoted an ?autocratic and behaviour and nationalistic? agenda vis-a-vis Greece as well as minorities in that country.
Moreover, Tsohatzopoulos said he could not rule out the possibility of developments leading to a new international conference in four to five years to redraw Balkan boundaries. Along those lines and in response to another question, he said that if ?a future procedure for changing borders takes place, then this cannot occur without Greece.? However, he immediately clarified that Athens, along with the rest of the international community, will assume initiatives to avert such a prospect.
 Greek tanker - Collision - Singapore29/08/2001 19:39:16
None of the crewmembers aboard a Greek-flagged tanker were hurt following its collision on Tuesday with another vessel in the Strait of Malacca, betweem Sumatra and Singapore, it was reported on Wednesday by the merchant marine ministry.
Conversely, nine foreign nationals on board the "Silversea" were injured, while both ships suffered extensive damage. An investigation is pending on the causes resulting in the accident.
The injured crewmembers aboard the "Silversea" were transferred to a hospital in the area.
The crew on board the Greek vessel was comprised of 16 Greeks, 11 Filipinos and one Finnish woman.
 ID issue - President - Referendum29/08/2001 19:37:57
A highly anticipated meeting between President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Archbishop Christodoulos, held over the latters request for a referendum on the contentious ?ID issue?, lasted for 45 minutes on Wednesday, with the presidency immediately issuing a written statement afterwards.
?... the president of the Republic (Stephanopoulos) touched on the ways with which popular rule is expressed, including the holding of a referendum and the procedures envisioned for such by the Constitution and the states laws.
?Based on those (laws), the prerequisites for holding such a referendum on the issue of identification cards do not exist ... and all have the obligation to adhere to the rules of law, while the collection of signatures outside the margins of the stated legal procedure cannot possibly reverse the Constitutions provisions.?
In exiting the presidential mansion, Christodoulos, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, termed his meeting with Stephanopoulos as ?good?, while in response to press questions over the presidents stance, he said: ?He had his own views?.
Christodoulos, who was accompanied by a small delegation of other high-ranking clerics, said he briefed Stephanopoulos over the Churchs initiative to collect signatures for a referendum because ?we believe in the great prestige of the president to solve this matter?.
The outspoken Greek Church prelate also said he asked Stephanopoulos to intervene in order for dialogue to commence on the holding of a referendum. The Church steadfastly wants a referendum to decide whether citizens may optionally list their religious preference on police-issued ID cards.
The Church of Greece prelate dramatically raised the stakes on Tuesday in the more than year-long ?ID issue? souring of Church-state relations by demanding a referendum or new legislation.
In a press conference at the Holy Synods headquarters in downtown Athens, Christodoulos announced that a nation-wide petition drive calling for just such a referendum garnered 3,008,901 signatures.
In a swift reply, however, the government cautioned that the number of signatures would not affect the governments policy on the divisive matter.
Regarding Christodoulos statements on Tuesday, a government spokesman reiterated that the state has made its final decision on the matter.
In June, the Council of State (CoS), Greece's highest administrative court, upheld the exclusion of religious affiliation from new IDs -- effectively ruling out an optional listing as well. The court ruled that citizens religious preferences fall under the heading of personal and confidential information.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday29/08/2001 18:04:49
Indicative tourist buying rates
U.S. dollar 370.541
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 539.195
Irish punt 429.202
Belgian franc 008.379
Luxembourg franc 008.379
Dutch guilder 153.389
Italian lira (100) 017.457
Austrian schilling 024.565
Danish kroner 45.408
Swedish kroner 35.864
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 310.280
Swiss franc 222.858
Norwegian kroner 041.896
Cyprus pound 590.125
Canadian dollar 240.540
Australian dollar 196.499
 Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday29/08/2001 17:49:37
Mainly sunny weather is forecast on Thursday, with scattered cloud on the mainland from early evening, turning to showers or storms in the north. Winds north-northwesterly, light to moderate. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 18C to 30C; on the rest of the mainland from 20C to 35C; and in the islands from 22C to 32C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 23C and 35C. Same in Thessaloniki, followed by showers and storms. Temperatures from 21C to 29C.
 Greek stocks succumb to profit taking, end lower29/08/2001 16:26:21
Equity prices ended Wednesday's session lower hit by profit taking, a normal reaction of the market after six consecutive sessions of advance which pushed the general market 4.40 percent higher breaking the 2,800 resistance level on Tuesday.
The Greek market was negatively affected by falls in international markets which led to short-term selling. Traders said the Greek bourse's dependance on international stock market trends was limited due to low foreign investments in Greek stocks.
The general index ended 1.08 percent lower at 2,775.70 points, off teh day's lows of 2,769.64 points, with turnover 134.90 million euros, or 45.97 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended at 1,547.81 points, off 1.10 percent, the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 1.45 percent to 314.58 points, and the FTSE/ASE SMALLCAP 80 index ended at 932.37 points, off 1.18 percent.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 275.18 points, off 0.85 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 287 to 60 with another 13 issues unchanged.
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