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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-10-18
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Peristeri loses to Frankfurt Skyliners in Euroleague match18/10/2001 22:30:45
Peristeri Athens lost at its Andreas Papandreou indoor stadium to Frankfurt Skyliners of Germany 93-89 in a Euroleague basketball group four match played on Thursday night. The 10-minute play scores were 16-25, 37-37, 53-63 and 89-93.
Peristeri, which has lost both games it has played so far, had Byron Dinkins top scorer with 21 points.
 Founding of modern Greek studies faculty in Paris18/10/2001 21:57:04
The founding of the Modern Greek Studies chair at the Higher Social Studies School of Paris was announced on Thursday during a special ceremony held at the Athens University in the presence of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, politicians and academics.
The ceremony was organised by the Athens University.
Education Minister Petros Efthymiou, addressing the ceremony, said, among other things that through the founding of the modern Greek studies chair, "we also want to present modern day Greece. Our ambition is for this chair to obtain the character of the Major Hellenism Centre of the Diaspora."
There is a proposal already for the chair's scope to be jointly funded by Greece and France.
Also present at the event were Culture minister Evangelos Venizelos.
 FM briefs inner cabinet on EU's positions on international affairs18/10/2001 20:19:10
Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Thursday briefed the inner cabinet on discussions of the European Union's general affairs council in Luxembourg, which focused on preparing the agenda of the informal summit scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
According to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, Papandreou said that among the issues discussed in Luxembourg was that of refugees, the military actions in Afghanistan, the post Taliban era and developments in the Middle East.
Reppas also noted that Papandreou said that the Union's ministers expressed the opinion that the military operations would not conclude soon, saying that efforts are underway for the operations to be as effective as possible and adding that the aims of the campaign to date have been achieved.
Papandreou also noted that efforts were underway in regards to a political-diplomatic solution for the post Taliban era in Afghanistan, Reppas said, stressing that the common position of the Union's ministers was that military action should not widen to other countries.
According to Reppas, Papandreou noted that there was a common position that the World Trade Organization should open its doors to poor countries and that the dialogue between representatives of different religions should be promoted.
Reppas also noted that over the next few days Greece will issue a Presidential decree activating the United Nations' decision for the freezing of bank accounts that are connected with terrorism.
In response to a relevant question, Reppas denied that an incident at the health ministry involving a suspicious envelop was a readiness exercise, saying that the envelop was sent to the laboratory of an Athens hospital to undergo the necessary tests to determine the possibility that it contained anthrax bacteria or whether it was a heinous hoax of an irresponsible person.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday18/10/2001 19:32:26
Indicative tourist buying rates
U.S. dollar 374.491
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 540.924
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 045.454
Swedish kroner 035.605
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 309.463
Swiss franc 228.706
Norwegian kroner 042.478
Cyprus pound 588.504
Canadian dollar 237.854
Australian dollar 190.437
 Greek-American trade fair in US postponed to April18/10/2001 18:49:33
A Greek-American trade fair in the US and an accompanying conference on Greece's role in backing peace, security and prosperity for the two countries will be held on April 6-7 instead of October 20-21, as originally planned.
Officials said that security was the reason for postponement of the Hermes Expo international trade fair after terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, followed by the country's bombing campaign in Afghanistan.
The venue for the event is the same - the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel in Atlantic City.
 Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Friday18/10/2001 18:08:45
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout the country on Friday, with showers likely mainly in the southeast. Winds north-northeasterly, light to moderate, turning strong in parts of the Aegean and easing off later in the day. In the north, temperatures will range from 9C to 25C, on the rest of the mainland from 12C to 27C; and in the islands from 16C to 26C. Light cloud in Athens, with temperatures between 15C and 25C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 13C to 24C.
 Security alert at health ministry over suspicious package18/10/2001 16:55:08
The arrival of a suspicious-looking envelope containing an unidentified powder cast the health ministry into disarray on Thursday, with a full security alert ordered and the ministry cordoned off until further notice.
Ministry general secretary Haris Sofianos said that the civil protection secretariat was informed immediately and all measures foreseen for such situations were taken.
Employees that came into contact with the envelope, which arrived at the ministry post room, are to be subjected to medical tests as a precaution and no one is allowed into or out of the ministry for the time being.
 Greek stocks fall in line with international markets18/10/2001 16:52:31
Equity prices ended Thursday's session lower in the Athens Stock Exchange in line with a trend in international markets.
Losses, however, were significantly reduced in the last hour of trade because of a wave of buying for blue chip stocks, mainly Hellenic Telecoms' shares.
The general index ended 0.26 percent lower at 2,344.37 points. The index was showing losses of up to 1.9 percent earlier in the day.
Turnover was a low 34.3 billion drachmas or 100.7 million euros.
The Investment and IT Solution sectors recorded the biggest percentage losses (3.04 percent and 2.36 percent respectively), while Telecoms and Publications ended 1.51 percent and 0.12 percent higher.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.28 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 1.01 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 1.06 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 272 to 62 with another 28 issues unchanged.
 Greece to record highest growth rate in OECD18/10/2001 16:45:50
The Greek economy will grow by 4.0 percent in 2002, recording the highest growth rate among OECD's member-countries for the first time since World War Two, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest forecasts for the country.
This forecast is based on the preconditions set by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou (maintaining a US-led alliance against terrorism and avoiding an expansion of military operations).
 Gov't comments on possibility of raising troop strength in Balkans18/10/2001 16:31:25
Greece confirmed on Thursday that a request towards NATO members, including Greece, to provide replacements for US troops serving in Bosnia and Kosovo has been accepted and approved at the Alliance level.
Foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis added that Greece has expressed its willingness and availability to contribute forces towards replacing outgoing US troops in the region.
"Greece has a significant role to play in the Balkans, and it is in our interests to defend this role, to buttress our presence in the Balkans," Beglitis said.
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