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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-10-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't to freeze utility rates in move to aid euro launch
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [03] Coffee trade fair opens Thursday
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Thursday
  • [05] PM receives outgoing PASOK party secretary
  • [06] Greece steps up Aegean patrols to curtain illegal migration
  • [07] Greek stocks rally on Wednesday
  • [08] Mycenean-era artifacts located along road construction site

  • [01] Gov't to freeze utility rates in move to aid euro launch

    17/10/2001 20:12:19

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said on Wednesday that the government would freeze public utility rates in the first half of 2002 to ease introduction of the euro as a physical currency on January 1.

    Addressing a central bank seminar on introduction of the new currency, Papantoniou urged wholesalers and retailers to keep to a verbal agreement made with the government on rounding off prices from drachmas into euros.

    "The government's immediate priority is price restraint," he added.

    Also addressing the seminar, which is part of a eurozone information campaign, European Central Bank governor Wim Duisenberg said that the ECB's main role in the euro era would remain that of ensuring price stability.

    Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos said that it was necessary to minimise the cost of the switch to the euro; but any temporary glitches and costs were outweighed by the long-term benefits of the single currency.

    Senior bankers at the seminar said they believed their sector was ready for the currency change, but representatives of commerce, industry and consumers claimed that information about the mechanics of the shift was inadequate.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    17/10/2001 18:46:22

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 374.656

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 541.621

    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 045.45455

    Swedish kroner 035.764

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 307.980

    Swiss franc 227.774

    Norwegian kroner 042.521

    Cyprus pound 588.504

    Canadian dollar 239.374

    Australian dollar 191.755

    [03] Coffee trade fair opens Thursday

    17/10/2001 18:36:36

    An international trade fair of coffee and coffee-making appliances begins in Athens on Thursday organised by Helexpo SA and Next Media Hellas, publisher of CoffeeNet, an electronic magazine for the sector.

    Athens Coffeebiz 2001 at the Attica Trade Fair and Conference Centre in the northern suburb of Maroussi ends on Sunday.

    A conference on coffee will be held on Friday and Saturday as part of the event.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Thursday

    17/10/2001 18:04:44

    Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Thursday. Winds north-northeasterly, light to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Aegean and easing off in the evening. In the north, temperatures will range from 9C to 26C, on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 12C to 27C; and in the Aegean from 17C to 24C. Light cloud in Athens, with temperatures between 17C and 25C. Mostly sunny in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 13C to 25C.

    [05] PM receives outgoing PASOK party secretary

    17/10/2001 18:02:10

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday received outgoing ruling PASOK party Secretary Costas Skandalidis and discussed issues concerning the party.

    Following the meeting, Skandalidis said to reporters that the meeting was not so much an official one as a more human and substantial, as this was the last meeting of the two men while Skandalidis still holds the post of the party secretary.

    [06] Greece steps up Aegean patrols to curtain illegal migration

    17/10/2001 17:13:59

    Three Greek naval vessels have been added to stepped up coast guard patrols throughout the Aegean, especially in the northeast, as the number of illegal migrants attempting to land on Greek territory from the adjacent Turkish coast continues unabated, the government said on Wednesday.

    Numerous arrests of mostly Third World migrants as well as a handful of smugglers have been widely reported by Greek authorities in the Aegean over the past two months. On many an occasion, would-be immigrants have been intercepted in small rubber dinghies making for the Greek holiday isles, in disembarked groups on remote beaches as well as crammed aboard decrepit Turkish-flagged freighters, fishing trawlers and even yachts of all registries heading for the Greek mainland if an Italian shore appears unattainable.

    "Because of the increased number of illegal migrants caused by the crisis in Afghanistan, we have asked for the cooperation of all security forces, while coast guard officers at all ports have been instructed to strictly apply Schengen Pact provisions," Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis said on Wednesday.

    The minister, who at one point served as Greece's representative on the EU Commission, also sharply criticised Turkey for the wave of illegal immigrants trying to enter Greece, and by extension, the European Union.

    "Although it (Turkey) has the necessary means to quash illegal immigration, it remains indifferent," he said, adding that his office again directed a letter to the Turkish government in the past few days requesting an immediate implementation of measures.

    [07] Greek stocks rally on Wednesday

    17/10/2001 16:41:32

    The rally of prices on the Athens Stock Exchange continued for the second consecutive session on Wednesday pushing the general index above the 2,350 resistance level.

    A positive climate in other European markets and a decision by international investment firsm to upgrade Greek banks' stocks helped in maintaining demand for blue chip stocks in the market.

    The general index ended at 2,350.53 points, up 2.03 percent, with turnover an improved 45.2 billion drachmas or 132.7 million euros.

    The Insurance, Investment and Banks indices scored the biggest percentage gains (up 6.64 percent, 3.12 percent and 2.95 percent, respectively), with the parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ending 3.10 percent higher.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks jumped 2.27 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index soared 3.21 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 2.27 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 316 to 29 with another 16 issues unchanged.

    [08] Mycenean-era artifacts located along road construction site

    17/10/2001 16:19:06

    A cache of rare, and by all accounts significant, archaeological finds were unearthed this past week in NW Greece by workers at a roadway construction site.

    The artifacts date from the Mycenean era (before 1000 BC) and follow similar finds on adjacent stretches of the same roadway, many dating to the Classical Age and the Hellenistic era, archaeologists said in their initial reports.

    According to Greece's culture ministry, a late Mycenean period grave -- dating to roughly 1,100 BC -- containing a copper sword with an ivory handle was the latest discovery at an Egnatia highway construction side.

    Workers at an under-construction section that passes through the Ioannina basin discovered the finds.

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