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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-08-21

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] US Coast Guard to transfer patrol boat to Greece
  • [02] Australian official due in Athens to finalise bilateral pensions
  • [03] Yugoslav deputy PM to visit Greece next week
  • [04] Russian envoy warns against Kalinigrad isolation by EU
  • [05] Government plans in the pipeline to tackle price hikes
  • [06] New central bank chief sees end-year inflation at 3.0 pct
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks up, spurred by banks
  • [09] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

  • [01] US Coast Guard to transfer patrol boat to Greece

    21/08/2002 22:41:40

    A US Coast Guard vessel has been approved for transfer to Greeces Coast Guard corps, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The 64-metre patrol boat will undergo a complete renovation and upgrade before being turned over to Greece in late 2002.

    Both the US Senate and House of Representatives approved of the transfer, following a relevant request by the Greek merchant marine ministry via US ambassador Thomas Miller.

    Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis added that the patrol boat will be fully operational on the day it is transferred.

    The vessel can reach a speed of up to 18 knots and carry a crew of 12 officers and 63 crewmembers.

    [02] Australian official due in Athens to finalise bilateral pensions agreement

    21/08/2002 22:39:09

    MELBOURNE (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis) Australian Prime Minister John Howard has instructed Ross Cameron, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services, to travel to Athens next month in order to finalise a bilateral agreement on pensions between Greece and Australia, the ANA correspondent in Melbourne reported on Wednesday.

    In a recent trip to Athens, Howard and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis had agreed to speed up the process of signing the bilateral deal after lengthy negotiations lasting several years.

    The news was greatly welcomed by the Greek-Australian community, who have been pressing for such a deal for a long time, while initial contacts on this issue between Cameron and ministry staff apparently yielded encouraging results.

    It is widely expected that Cameron's trip to Athens will also lead to the signature of the agreement.

    The pensions agreement is also among the issues that will be discussed at this year's regional Council of Hellenes Oceania conference to take place in Melbourne on September 27-29.

    [03] Yugoslav deputy PM to visit Greece next week

    21/08/2002 22:33:47

    Federal Yugoslavia's deputy prime minister Miroljub Labus is to visit Greece on August 27-28 for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou and a visit to the monastic community on Mount Athos.

    One of the two front runners in the upcoming Serb presidential elections, Labus is considered a rising star in Yugoslav politics and heads the alliance that toppled Slobodan Milosevic - minus the party led by Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica.

    Though it is still uncertain whether Kostunica intends to run, Belgrade sources believe he will announce his candidacy in the next few days, in which case Labus will be faced with a close race.

    The Yugoslav deputy premier is also responsible for Yugoslavia's foreign economic relations and is very popular in Serbia, where polls give him a slight lead over Kostunica.

    Yugoslavia, now reduced to Serbia and smaller Montenegro, is set to become a loose federation with a largely figurehead president in a few months, making the Serbian presidency the more powerful post under the new constitution.

    [04] Russian envoy warns against Kalinigrad isolation by EU

    21/08/2002 22:25:23

    Russias ambassador to Athens on Wednesday reiterated his governments staunch opposition to any form of isolation of the Kalinigrad region from the rest of Russia following the potential accession of Poland and the Baltic countries into the European Union.

    Kalinigrad, known as Koenigsberg before World War II, is Russian territory on the Baltic Sea, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

    Ambassador Mikhail Botcharnikov added that current talks between Moscow and the Danish EU presidency are focusing on the regions unhindered operation, as he called it, as well as the free movement of Russian citizens. He said that if talks are not concluded with the Danish presidency Moscow will continue negotiations with the Greek presidency in the first half of 2003.

    In using a quote by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ambassador stressed, ?the course and quality of relations between Russia and the European depend on a solution to this issue.?

    [05] Government plans in the pipeline to tackle price hikes

    21/08/2002 19:14:22

    The development ministry is expected to approach trade groups in early September to seek a new 'gentlemen's agreement' on price restraint, government sources said on Wednesday.

    In addition, the ministry is preparing a bill that will strengthen the role of consumer groups in society, also making them eligible for European Union and national funding.

    Furthermore, the ministry's consumer price watchdog division is to be computerised, allowing regular release to the public of price ranges for commonly purchased items, the sources said.

    [06] New central bank chief sees end-year inflation at 3.0 pct

    21/08/2002 18:49:22

    The country's new central bank chief, Nikos Garganas, said on Wednesday that he was optimistic inflation would drop to 3.0 percent by the end of the year.

    Appointed this summer as governor of the Bank of Greece, Garganas told reporters that authorities should set as a target an inflation level below 2.0 percent.

    ''I think we are able to achieve this but care is required both in wage rises and in the fiscal area,'' he said after a meeting with the prime minister.

    Garganas added that Greek inflation had remained discernibly higher than in the eurozone.

    Also requiring attention were unemployment, which remained high despite a recent decline; and the balance of payments.

    Finally, Garganas welcomed the country's high growth rates against European and US levels.

    The central bank's estimate was growth of about 3.5 percent, he added.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    21/08/2002 18:26:05

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 0.984

    Pound sterling 0.645

    Danish kroner 7.486

    Swedish kroner 9.240

    Japanese yen 116.7

    Swiss franc 1.481

    Norwegian kroner 7.416

    Cyprus pound 0.578

    Canadian dollar 1.543

    Australian dollar 1.804

    [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks up, spurred by banks

    21/08/2002 18:18:58

    The Athens bourse finished higher on Wednesday, with an institutional investor abroad fuelling the market with a buying spree in blue-chip National Bank of Greece, which closed 4.98 percent higher, traders said.

    In turn, the action in National spurred trade in the market's heavily weighted banking sector, they added

    The general share index gained 1.37 percent to end at 2,204.95 points. Turnover was 114.6 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 2.12 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 1.32 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.75 percent up.

    Of 362 stocks traded, advances led declines at 257 to 59 with 46 issues remaining unchanged.

    [09] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

    21/08/2002 17:59:25

    Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with scattered cloud from late afternoon on the mainland. Showers are likely, mainly in the north. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 17C to 29C; in the west from 18C to 32C; and in the rest of the country from 19C to 30C. Temperatures in Athens between 21C and 30C; and in Thessaloniki between 19C and 28C.


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