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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-09-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Simitis unveils 'social charter' plan
  • [02] Cyprus president receives Greek FM, discussions focus on Cyprus problem
  • [03] Greece-Russia cooperation accord on combatting crime tabled in
  • [04] Greece steadily converging with the rest of EU, report says
  • [05] Italian composer Piovani to perform on Delos Island
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday
  • [08] Greek stocks end higher on Wednesday

  • [01] Simitis unveils 'social charter' plan

    10/09/2003 23:13:53

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis cited employment, investments and a more robust social state as the three main axes behind his governments high-profile ?social charter?, which the premier formally unveiled in Athens on Wednesday following an earlier Cabinet meeting.

    The ''social charter'' follows the announcement of a social spending package, worth 2.6 billion euros, last week.

    In citing his governments goals for the post-EMU period, Simitis referred to boosting employment and incomes, with the latter forming part of a much-touted attempt of achieving ?real convergence? with the rest of the European Union. Simitis said the goal was to reduce unemployment to 6.0 percent by 2008, down from an official 8.9 percent today. The Greek premier also cited a goal of raising the average per capital wages of Greek workers to 90 percent of the European average, up from the 80 percent currently.

    The Greek premier addressed reporters at the Zappeion Hall in a press conference broadcast live by several television stations.

    [02] Cyprus president receives Greek FM, discussions focus on Cyprus problem

    10/09/2003 23:07:43

    NICOSIA (ANA - Ch. Poulidou) - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on Wednesday received Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and discussed issues related to the Cyprus problem and the island republic's European course.

    Following the meeting, and responding to a question about the expected ''surprise'' by Turkish Cypriot community leader Rauf Denktash, Papadopoulos said that ''it is not the first time that such a thing is foretold, Mr. Denktash who is responsible for the failure, let him undertake an initiative''.

    He declined any further comment.

    On his part, Papandreou said that he and the president had a very constructive discussion ''in the framework of the new era Cyprus' accession to the European Union created,'' stressing that there was a ''qualitative difference'' in the manner in which the international community regarded Cyprus.

    ''The Cyprus issue is high on the agenda of the international community, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots are inspired by a common vision, while in the final analysis there is a developing course of Turkey's accession to the European Union. Thus there is a new dynamic that must be utilized,'' Papandreou said.

    [03] Greece-Russia cooperation accord on combatting crime tabled in parliament

    10/09/2003 23:05:18

    A cooperation agreement between Greece and the Russian Federation on combatting crime was tabled in parliament on Wednesday for ratification.

    The agreement provides for the development of cooperation and provision of mutual assistance in the prevention and containment of terrorism, organised crime, the trafficking of arms, nuclear weapons, radioactive materials and explosive materians, the illegal manufacturing and trade of narcotic substances, economic crime, people trafficking, prostitution, human organ trafficking, and crimes related to illegal migration and other serious criminal activity.

    According to the introductory report, the agreement is of particular importance as Russia plays a key role in international affairs and constitutes an important factor of stability in the wider region, particularly given the fluid situation in many countries in southeast Asia and the Middle East.

    [04] Greece steadily converging with the rest of EU, report says

    10/09/2003 23:02:52

    Greece is achieving both economic and social convergence with other EU member-states in a systematic way and with satisfactory rates, a report by Economy and Finance ministry said on Wednesday.

    The report stressed that Greece was growing more rapidly compared with other developed countries, and in particular EU member-states.

    Investments, a driving engine for the economy, were steadily rising in the last few years, with an expected annual rise of 9.5 percent in 2003 compared with an average growth rate of less than 1.0 percent in the eurozone. The Greek figure mainly reflects a steady rise in public investments.

    Foreign investments, however, remained at low levels as the country failed to attract foreign capital because of a volatile macro-economic environment, heavily regulated markets, bureaucracy and the small size of the domestic market.

    The report on ''Greece converges with the EU'', stressed that bureaucracy and the market's small size were major discouraging factors in attracting foreign investments.

    [05] Italian composer Piovani to perform on Delos Island

    10/09/2003 19:10:32

    Italian composer Nicola Piovani and Israeli pop signer Noa will perform on Delos Island on Saturday evening, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced on Wednesday, saying that the performance is part of the Cultural Olympiad.

    The performance will take place on a wooden temporary theater and will include the debut of the composer's ''Island of Light'' creation, which was written exclusively for the Cultural Olympiad. Seating will be limited to 1,390 people.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    10/09/2003 18:43:37

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.126

    Pound sterling 0.708

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.228

    Japanese yen 131.5

    Swiss franc 1.562

    Norwegian kroner 8.349

    Cyprus pound 0.587

    Canadian dollar 1.540

    Australian dollar 1.711

    [07] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Thursday

    10/09/2003 18:21:34

    Many parts of the country will see sunshine, with showers and storms in the northeast that will ease off fairly quickly. Light rain may fall in the west. Winds westerly, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 15C to 26C; in the west from 18C to 27C; and in the rest of the country from 17C to 29C. Temperatures in Athens between 20C and 29C; and in Thessaloniki from 18C to 25C.

    [08] Greek stocks end higher on Wednesday

    10/09/2003 17:18:31

    Greek stocks ended a highly volatile session higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, ending a several-day decline in the market.

    The general index rose 0.61 percent to end at 2,075.21 points, after falling as much as 2.5 percent to 2,009.06 points one hour before closing bell.

    Traders said the market's reaction during the last one hour of trading and the fact that the general index found strong support at the 2,000 level was offering hope of a gradual recovery in stock prices.

    The Telecommunications and Cement sectors were the only ones to suffer losses (0.49 percent and 0.17 percent, respectively), while the Textile (3.07 percent), Retail (3.05 percent) and Publications (2.90 percent) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.80 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index jumped 1.63 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 2.33 percent higher.

    Turnover was heavy 475.1 million euros, of which 260 million euros accounted for a block trade in Alpha Bank. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 234 to 100 with another 34 issues unchanged.


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