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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-09-16

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Tuesday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday
  • [03] Gov't presents its proposals for reforming electoral law
  • [04] FM Papandreou in US for talks with top leadership

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Tuesday

    16/09/2003 08:50:24

    All parts of the country will see scattered cloud and rain, especially in the west and south. Winds variable, moderate to strong. In the north, temperatures will range from 11C to 24C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 15C to 27C; and in the Aegean islands from 20C to 28C. Temperatures in Athens between 18C and 27C; and in Thessaloniki from 15C to 25C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Tuesday

    16/09/2003 08:49:57

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.137

    Pound sterling 0.709

    Danish kroner 7.486

    Swedish kroner 9.215

    Japanese yen 133.6

    Swiss franc 1.569

    Norwegian kroner 8.343

    Cyprus pound 0.588

    Canadian dollar 1.555

    Australian dollar 1.714

    [03] Gov't presents its proposals for reforming electoral law

    15/09/2003 23:34:18

    The interior ministry on Monday released the government's official set of draft proposals for reforming the electoral system, to be discussed in cross-party dialogue over the coming months.

    According to the announcement, the changes aim to simplify the system for parliamentary elections and strengthen the element of proportional representation, while retaining measures to boost the leading parties and produce strong governments.

    As expected, the current 3 per cent ''platform'' required for parties to elect an MP to Parliament is to be retained, while the government wants to abolish an article in the previous law that militates against pre-election alliances by only allowing single-party formations to benefit from first-party 'bonus' seats.

    The government has also placed changes to the number and type of electoral districts on the table for discussion, such as dividing the very populous electoral districts in Athens and Thessaloniki into smaller districts electing up to nine or eight seats, or creating enlarged electoral districts corresponding to ''developmental or administrative'' regions in the country, in addition to the traditional electoral districts, that will be represented by 60 seats in the house.

    Overall, it proposes that up to 80 or 85 per cent of the seats in the house will be divided among the parties using a system of proportional representation, and offers two alternative methods for awarding the remainder to the first and second parties, respectively.

    [04] FM Papandreou in US for talks with top leadership

    15/09/2003 23:31:19

    WASHINGTON (ANA T. Ellis) Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou was due to arrive here on Monday for a two-day official visit that will include meetings with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Bush administration national security adviser Condoleeza Rice.

    Papandreou will also meet with State Department special coordinator for the Cyprus issue and veteran diplomat Thomas Weston.

    Contacts with members of the influential US Senate foreign relations committee are also planned, as the issues of security for the 2004 Athens Olympics and the Cyprus question are expected to dominate talks.

    On the sidelines of his meeting, Papandreou will be honored by the Parliamentarians for Global Action group, which includes lawmakers from 105 legislatures around the world.


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