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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Warm, sunny on Wednesday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday
  • [03] Greek economic growth exceeds target in 1st quarter
  • [04] EU conference lays foundations for common tourism policy
  • [05] COSAC meeting concludes in Athens

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Warm, sunny on Wednesday

    07/05/2003 10:53:05

    Warm, sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with scattered cloud in Epirus and Macedonia from late afternoon. Winds northerly, light to very strong, turning gale force in parts of the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 13C to 20C; in the west from 15C to 32C; and in the rest of the country from 17C to 29C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 29C; and in Thessaloniki from 16C to 29C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Wednesday

    07/05/2003 10:52:39

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.143

    Pound sterling 0.710

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.169

    Japanese yen 134.9

    Swiss franc 1.526

    Norwegian kroner 7.946

    Cyprus pound 0.592

    Canadian dollar 1.608

    Australian dollar 1.794

    [03] Greek economic growth exceeds target in 1st quarter

    06/05/2003 23:46:38

    Greek economic growth exceeded budget targets in the first quarter of 2003 and was in course to achieve a 3.8 percent growth rate set by the country's stability programme, Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Tuesday.

    The Greek minister said he expected the inflation rate to fall in April and in the months ahead and stressed that ''the economy will be the country's strong point''.

    Christodoulakis predicted a smoother implementation of the state budget in the next months, with reduced spending, although he did not exclude more spending hikes. Ordinary budget revenues were growing 11.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, two-and-a-half times more than a 5.0 percent growth rate envisaged by the state budget, he noted.

    Christodoulakis said that the government would promote initiatives to ensure that a Schiesser - a Swiss company - underwear manufacturing factory would continue its operations despite a decision by the Swiss owners to close down the factory. He added that the government was examining its policies in the textile industry, a sector hit after the deregulation of the global market in 1999.

    Christodoulakis said that the government would begin payment of its 2003 incomes policy to civil servants and pensioners on May 25.

    Finance ministry sources said that the government would proceed with a new issue of so-called ''popular'' state bonds aimed for small depositors, offering a 3.6 percent interest rate.

    [04] EU conference lays foundations for common tourism policy

    06/05/2003 23:39:04

    An Informal Ministerial and High-Ranking Officials meeting on European Tourism, held in Aghia Pelaghia, Crete, under the Greek EU presidency, laid the foundations for drafting a common tourism policy in the European Union by proposing specific measures on tourism promotion and communication.

    The informal meeting also recorded the common will of an expanded EU's 25 member-states to include a reference of the tourism industry's significant contribution to sustainable growth in a European Convention, to be presented in 2004.

    Greek Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos made these announcements after completion of the informal meeting alongside EU Commission Erkii Liikannen.

    The Greek minister stressed that tourism issues would be discussed, for the first time, in a Competitiveness Council (a new EU body aimed to ensure coordination of micro-economic policies).

    Tsohatzopoulos also announced a decision by the 25 EU members to create a common portal for the promotion of tourism in EU level.

    Both the Greek minister and EU Commissioner Erkii Liikannen expressed their optimism over European tourism in 2003 despite the impact from a war in Iraq and the SARS global scare.

    [05] COSAC meeting concludes in Athens

    06/05/2003 23:32:42

    The 29th Meeting of the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees (COSAC) concluded on Tuesday in Athens. The two-day meeting was presided over be Greek Parliament Vice-President Dinos Vrettos.

    Two important decisions were taken during the COSAC meeting, one relating to modifications of the Conference rules of operation, which would allow the Conference to take decisions through an increased majority. The specific measure is expected to provide for the bodys greater effectiveness and solid work.

    The second decision regards the setting up of a secretariat to the Conference, securing continuity and cohesion in the bodys work.

    The Athens COSAC meeting approved a recommendation text to EU organs and the European Convention on the Future of Europe, which refers to the successful completion of the European blocks enlargement, as well as to the need for EU cooperation with the United Nations in Iraqs reconstruction and to the progress achieved in the work of the Convention.

    The text also refers to necessity of the specific plan to be presented to Junes Thessaloniki EU Council, and to the fact that the Intergovernmental Conference should conclude its work in time to allow for the new European Constitution to be endorsed before the 2004 Euro-elections.

    During the two days of meetings sessions, speeches on the above topics were delivered by Greek Prime Minister and European Council President-in-office Costas Simitis, Greek Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Public Order Minister Mihalis Chysohoidis.

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