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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-09-19
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 2004-2008 a period of 'major goals and high risk', PM Simitis says19/09/2003 23:09:42
The four-year period of 2004-2008 would be a period of ''major goals and high risk'', prime minister Costas Simitis said Friday, inaugurating the port of Igoumenitsa.
''It will be a four-year period of high risk because the (fate of the) major national and social goals will be judged within a fluid and uncertain international environment,'' the premier said.
He explained that in the focus during that period would be the national issues, convergence in all sectors, which he said would result in a reduction of unemployment, increase in real incomes, and all-around reinforcement of the protection of the economically weak.
The premier further described his recently-announced Economic and Social Convergence Charter as a ''roadmap for the giant leap forward, for the definitive change of Greece, a guarantee of security for the future''.
The premier said that the first goal for the 2004-2008 period was acceleration of the country's real and social convergence with the other EU countries''.
While in Igoumenitsa, Simitis also inaugurated the new court buildings in the town and emphasised in his speech the government's efforts over the past years to protect and bolster transparency within the state and public life.
 Karamanlis leads ND delegation in Ukraine19/09/2003 23:03:41
ODESSA (ANA) Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis led a high-ranking party delegation during a visit here on Friday, as he begins a three-day tour of ethnic Greek communities in the southern Ukraine.
A museum dedicated to the Filiki Etairia (Society of Friends), a secret organisation of ethnic Greeks active in several parts of Europe and dedicated to throwing off dour Ottoman rule before the 1821 War of Independence, was the first stop on Karamanlis itinerary. The Filiki Etairia was founded in Odessa in 1814.
The ND leader called the western Black Sea port city a historic site for Hellenism, as it kept alive the flame of independence for more than two centuries.
 ATHOC to hire around 6,000 unemployed people19/09/2003 22:58:56
Around six thousand unemployed people, in the ages of 18-40, will be offered temporary jobs, with a duration ranging from three to 11 months, according to a plan agreed by Athens organisers ATHOC and the government's Labour ministry.
Under the plan, unveiled by Labour Minister Dimitris Reppas, ATHOC president Yianna Aggelopoulos and chairman Yiannis Nikolaou, the Athens organisers will hire 5,785 university, lyceum and technical school graduates, currently registered as unemployed, with the aim to offer work practice and expertise before entering the country's labour market on better terms after the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Reppas said that the programme was included in the EU co-funded projects and was budgetted at more than 17 million euros. He said that university degree holders will be paid around 1,310 euros per month, while lyceum and technical school graduates will be paid around 1,000 euros per month.
 Greece ready to build F-1 circuit, minister says19/09/2003 22:54:00
Greece is one step closer to building a Formula One circuit, Development Deputy Minister Dimitris Georgakopoulos said on Friday.
Georgakopoulos, speaking in parliament, said that a presidential decree envisaging the standards of the circuit was almost ready and stressed that the government already has passed a law under which all circuit installations could be characterised as tourist infrastructure and enjoy increased state subsidies.
''Today, we can build a Formula One circuit in Greece,'' the Greek minister said. He was responding to a proposal by ND opposition party's parliamentary speaker, Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to promote speed car races in the country citing the example of Turkey (the neighbouring country hopes to host the first Formula One race in four years).
 Carlos Fuentes in Athens19/09/2003 22:50:26
Renowned Mexican novelist, playwright, essayist and short-story writer Carlos Fuentes was a guest speaker at an event Thursday night in the ''Book Stoa'' in central Athens.
The legendary author of ''The Old Gringo'', ''The Death of Artemio Cruz'' and ''The Years with Laura Diaz'' told a packed audience that ''in orger to progress, we must accept the multi-culture reality and not be afraid of difference and variety but, conversely, cultivate it''.
 Parliament president inaugurates conference on 'Mass Media and Culture'19/09/2003 20:58:14
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis inaugurated the 3rd conference on ''Mass Media and Culture'' on Friday night, stressing that ''unfortunately, the television scene is barbaric today.''
Kaklamanis said ''I do not want to refer to examples. Whoever is living in our society is aware of them, in any case. However, I want to stress that the problem of the continuing downgrading of the quality of the mass media is exclusively a political problem.''
The main speakers on Friday were main opposition New Democracy party Parliamentary representative Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Communist Party of Greece Deputy George Hourmouziadis, Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party leader Nikos Constantopoulos and Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) party leader Dimitris Tsovolas.
The conference is due to last until Sunday.
 Price ceiling for fuel to take effect on islands19/09/2003 19:16:32
A government-ordained price ceiling on fuel will go into force in the near future in nine prefectures, including four on the island of Crete, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Friday.
The ceiling will lie one cent above average prices in Attica to cover transport costs, and will last for a month, the minister told a news conference on Crete.
The move takes effect when the government decision is published in the government gazette, he added.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday19/09/2003 18:51:04
Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank
U.S. dollar 1.140
Pound sterling 0.700
Danish kroner 7.487
Swedish kroner 9.109
Japanese yen 130.9
Swiss franc 1.572
Norwegian kroner 8.222
Cyprus pound 0.588
Canadian dollar 1.546
Australian dollar 1.703
 Weather Forecast: Warm and sunny on Saturday19/09/2003 18:41:31
All parts of the country will be warm and sunny, with some scattered cloud in the east and south. Winds variable, light to strong, turning very strong in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 12C to 27C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 14C to 28C; and in the Aegean islands from 18C to 25C. Temperatures in Athens between 16C and 27C; and in Thessaloniki from 14C to 27C.
 Greek stocks end week 2.08 percent lower19/09/2003 16:57:57
The expiring of September contracts in the Athens Derivatives Exchange offered some respite to share prices in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, with buying activity intensifying steadily during the last hour of trading in the market.
The general index ended 0.88 percent higher at 2,039.38 points, off the day's highs of 2,045.79 points, after changing directions eight times during the session. The index ended the week with a net loss of 2.08 percent.
Turnover was an improved 148.1 million euros. The Investment index was the only one to end lower (-0.37 percent), while the Holding (4.91 percent), Publication (4.33 percent) and Construction (3.49 percent) indices scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.41 percent, while the FTSE/ASE MID 40 and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 indices soared 3.08 percent and 3.29 percent, respectively.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 284 to 62 with another 20 issues unchanged.
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