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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-11-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis: Athens ready to support stable gov't in Kabul
  • [02] Austrian FM to visit Athens
  • [03] Greeks favour opening their own businesses, EU says
  • [04] International journalists conference in Athens in 2004
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [06] Family allowance for both spouses to be paid from July 2002
  • [07] Hotels soon to switch to international quality ranking
  • [08] Weather Forecast: Rain and storms on Friday
  • [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop in edgy trade

  • [01] Simitis: Athens ready to support stable gov't in Kabul

    22/11/2001 23:15:04

    Developments in Afghanistan and the European Unions common foreign policy were the subject of a recent phone conversation between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Britains Tony Blair.

    In response to questions after his talks here on Thursday with visiting Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Simitis said both he and Blair agreed over the need for a political solution in the war-ravaged Central Asia country, as well as the formation of a government in Kabul that guarantees security.

    ?We are ready to contribute to this effort,? he stressed.

    Simitis also said his British counterpart touched on a recent high-profile meeting in London of only half the EUs leaders to discuss international developments -- an action that infuriated the member-states not invited to participate in the informal dinner hosted by Blair.

    Simitis noted that it was clear such initiatives would not be repeated, whereas he added that it was agreed such issues would be discussed only within the Unions institutional framework.

    [02] Austrian FM to visit Athens

    22/11/2001 23:11:31

    VIENNA (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis) - Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner will visit Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks with the country's political and state leadership on possibilities of improving what are termed as excellent relations between Greece and Austria in various sectors.

    Talks will also focus on the Cyprus issue and Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Greek-Turkish relations, developments in the Balkans, the international situation in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, EU enlargement and the upcoming European Council in Lacken, Belgium.

    Apart from talks with her Greek counterpart George Papandreou, whose visit to Vienna last March she is returning now, Waldner will be meeting President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    [03] Greeks favour opening their own businesses, EU says

    22/11/2001 23:10:11

    BRUSSELS (ANA/M.Spinthourakis) - Average Greeks prefer to open their own businesses rather than become employees but they are hampered to a great extent by mainly economic factors, according to a report released by the European Union's executive Commission on Thursday.

    In its report on business activity in the 15-nation bloc, the Commission also said that market capitalisation in the Athens Stock Market dropped to about 100 percent of gross domestic product in 2000 from 150 percent in 1999.

    In addition, only 10 percent of institutional investors placed funds in the Greek market, the lowest percentage in the EU.

    Furthermore, fewer than 20 percent of Greek enterprises have women directors against more than 30 percent of firms in a number of other EU countries.

    Finally, Greece is lagging in the number of computers used in schools at an average of five computers per 100 pupils against an EU average of 10 computers to the same number of schoolchildren, the report said.

    [04] International journalists conference in Athens in 2004

    22/11/2001 23:09:00

    The 25th International Conference of the International Journalists Federation (IJF) will take place in Athens in 2004, the year in which the 2004 Athens Olympic Games will be held, after the event was successfully contested by the Athens Journalists Union (ESHEA).

    The relevant decision was taken by the IJF's Executive Committee and the conference is scheduled to take place in May, 2004, with the participation of representatives of at least 146 journalists unions from 106 countries who represent over 500,000 members.

    IJF secretary general Aidan White will visit Athens in December to examine details of the conference.

    The conference will last four days and will be preceded by a session on "sports journalism and ethics."

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    22/11/2001 19:07:12

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 385.071

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 544.233

    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 045.419

    Swedish kroner 036.010

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 311.073

    Swiss franc 231.613

    Norwegian kroner 042.879

    Cyprus pound 589.308

    Canadian dollar 240.625

    Australian dollar 198.769

    [06] Family allowance for both spouses to be paid from July 2002

    22/11/2001 18:52:33

    National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Thursday that a family allowance for both spouses would be paid from July 1, 2002, with no retroactive effect.

    The minister was speaking in an interview to the Antenna radio station.

    The country's civil servants union has asked the government to make the payment retroactive for both spouses from the time of the allowance's abolition to its reinstatement.

    [07] Hotels soon to switch to international quality ranking

    22/11/2001 18:23:35

    Hotels are soon to be ranked under an internationally recognised system of stars to denote quality, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told reporters on Thursday.

    Speaking after a meeting with senior state tourism officials, the minister said a presidential decree allowing the switch from the current domestic system, which uses letters of the alphabet, would soon be issued.

    He added that the government's plan to lease beaches in Attica owned by the Greek National Tourism Organisation was underway, along with a tender for marinas in Attica whose second phase is to begin in about two weeks.

    In addition, Greece will launch a tourism publicity campaign throughout Europe in three to four weeks in order to help boost demand. Other programmes are to be implemented to draw tourists from the US and Scandinavia.

    [08] Weather Forecast: Rain and storms on Friday

    22/11/2001 17:56:49

    Rain and storms are forecast in the west on Friday, spreading throughout the rest of the country by nightfall. Snow will fall on high ground in the centre and the north. Winds south-southwesterly, turning northerly, moderate to gale force. In the north, temperatures will range from -2C to 15C; in the west from 3C to 17C; and in the rest of the country from 1C to 19C. Light cloud turning to rain and then storms in Athens with temperatures from 8C and 17C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 1C to 14C.

    [09] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop in edgy trade

    22/11/2001 17:46:59

    The Athens bourse finished lower on Thursday in nervous, volatile trade dragged down by selling in blue chips.

    The general share index shed 0.64 percent to end at 2,747.91 points. Turnover topped 301 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 1.24 percent down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.57 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.88 percent up.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 190 to 150 with 24 issues remaining unchanged.


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