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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-11-29
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Conference in Athens on entrepreneurial social responsibility29/11/2001 22:16:27
European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou on Thursday opened a two-day conference in Athens on the theme "Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility - the role of enterprises in the new era".
The conference is organised by the Greek Network for Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility within the framework of the 1st European Entrepreneurial Marathon for Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility.
In her address, Diamantopoulou referred to the increased interest in social responsibility by enterprises in the U.S. and Europe which adopt codes of conduct and systems of certifications.
The reasons justifying the increased interest is the fact that consumers are more demanding and better informed on the repercussions of globalisation and the power of multinational companies, she said.
Referring to the activities of the European Union with regard to entrepreneurial social responsibility, Diamantopoulou said that more than eight years have passed since then European Commission president Jacques Delors made a successful appeal to enterprises to combat social exclusion. However, the EU's commitment for entrepreneurial social responsibility was reinforced during the EU summit in Madrid in March last year when the heads of state and government called on enterprises to better organise labour, offer equal job opportunities and be more environment conscious.
On his part, Labour and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas referred to what he termed the Greek state's and that of his ministry's undivided support to the European campaign for entrepreneurial social responsibility. He noted that state agencies were observing with particular interest the social activities of the business world.
The creation of a better working environment, the commitment by working people to be more productive and their direct involvement in social issues was to the benefit of enterprises, he added.
 Parliament rejects motion for inquiry into Public Securities Company29/11/2001 21:26:44
Parliament on Thursday rejected a motion for a parliamentary inquiry into the stock market transactions carried out by the Public Securities Company (DEKA) shortly before the April 2000 elections, as recommended by a public prosecutor in November.
The proposal to set up a parliamentary committee for this purpose was tabled by main opposition leader Costas Karamanlis and backed by all 121 main opposition MPs.
The investigation focused on DEKA's activities from March 21 to April 10 2000, before Greek general elections on April 9 that year, during which the company bought stock in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, Hellenic Petroleum, National Bank of Greece and Commercial Bank, representing an outlay of 250 billion drachmas in state funds.
The prosecutor's investigation was ordered following charges of malpractice filed against DEKA by ND MP Miltiades Evert last year.
He had accused the state-owned investment agency of bulling up the market through bulk buying in state-owned firms before the elections, and being responsible for losses suffered by retail investors in the subsequent artificial slide.
 Island of Samos declared in state of emergency29/11/2001 21:20:38
The Aegean island of Samos was declared in a state of emergency on Thursday to enable the handling of serious problems caused by torrential rain which resulted in the flooding of hundreds of houses, shops and businesses.
Reports said that more rain fell in 12 hours than it usually does in the whole month. All services on the island have been alerted, as well as the armed forces which are helping in the restoration of the road network. A similar situation also prevailed on the nearby island of Ikaria.
According to weather reports, a new wave of bad weather is expected over the weekend with rainfall and storms which in some sea regions and eastern Aegean islands might turn to gale force.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday29/11/2001 18:42:30
Indicative tourist buying rates
U.S. dollar 380.343
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 542.051
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 045.426
Swedish kroner 035.701
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 309.463
Swiss franc 230.970
Norwegian kroner 042.529
Cyprus pound 588.565
Canadian dollar 240.405
Australian dollar 197.387
 Weather Forecast: Rainy on Friday29/11/2001 17:58:08
Showery weather is forecast in all parts of the country on Friday with isolated storms in the south. Snow will fall on high ground in the centre and north. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from 2C to 9C; on the rest of the mainland from 5C to 15C; and in the islands from 9C to 17C. Overcast in Athens, possibly turning to rain. Temperatures between 8C and 15C. Rain or sleet in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 5C to 8C.
 Gov't eyes tax on 'Internet cafe' PCs29/11/2001 17:51:18
The ?tax mans? reach will extend into the growing number of ?Internet cafes? as of Jan. 1, 2002, following an announcement by the finance ministry on Wednesday that such establishments must pay a special games fee previously confined to video arcades and pool halls.
According to a circular issued by the ministry, all computers setup or operating in public venues for commercial use, such as hotels, cafes, clubs and others, will have to have a special tax sticker glued onto them.
The fee is particularly pricey for urban areas.
Specifically, in municipalities with more than 1,000 residents each ?computer fee? sticker will cost 900 euros; 1,200 euros a piece for recognised clubs, societies and organisations.
A fee of 300 euros for each computer is mandated for municipalities or communities with up to 1,000 residents in regions designated as tourist or archeological sites, as well as aboard ferryboats sailing local routes.
A 90-euro fee is mandated for municipalities and communities with less than 1,000 residents; 430 euros for cities and towns of between 1,000 and 10,000 residents, and finally, 530 euros for computers in cities of between 10,000 and 50,000 residents.
 Archaeologists hope to reconstruct Jason's 'Argo' in Volos29/11/2001 17:01:52
An ambitious project to recreate the "Argo", the ship that Jason and his legendary Argonauts used in their quest for the Golden Fleece, is to begin in the coastal city of Volos on Saturday.
At a special event beginning at 10:00 at the Spirer building in Volos, there will be the first public briefing on a full-scale experimental archaeology project to rebuild a 1500-BC galley, conducted by a scientific research team specialising in such reconstructions with the aid of the Volos Municipal Tourism Enterprise.
When completed, the reconstructed model will conduct an experimental voyage, following the route of its legendary predecessor.
 Greek stocks end flat in ASE29/11/2001 16:44:05
Equity prices ended Thursday's dull session flat on the Athens Stock Exchange with blue chip stocks showing clear signs of "fatigue" after their recent rally.
The general index ended 0.02 percent lower at 2,698.61 points with turnover a moderate Dr 59 billion or 173.1 million euros.
Buying interest focused on smaller capitalisation stocks. The Wholesale and Publication sectors scored the biggest percentage gains (2.07 percent and 1.83 percent, respectively), with the Banks and Cement sector suffered the heaviest losses (0.25 percent and 0.12 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.29 percent lower, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.83 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index jumped 1.28 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 236 to 93 with another 27 issues unchanged.
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