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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] US president sends letter urging action on Cyprus issue, PM replies
  • [02] Deputy press minister says PM will make announcements to media on
  • [03] ND leader calls for off-the-agenda debate in Parliament
  • [04] ND - President - Caramanlis - Parlement - Debat
  • [05] Deputy press minister says PM will make announcements to media on
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Saturday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

  • [01] US president sends letter urging action on Cyprus issue, PM replies

    02/01/2004 22:16:41

    In an exchange of letters shortly after Christmas, United States President George Bush and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis agreed that 2004 will be a historic opportunity to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem, in view of the island's formal accession to the European Union.

    Bush also called on all sides involved to return to the negotiating table following the ''elections'' in the occupied north of the island republic. In his reply on Friday, Simitis expressed satisfaction with the continued active interest in the Cyprus issue displayed by the U.S. and said he shared Washington's views on the importance of achieving a solution.

    In a letter dated December 26, Bush underlined that the United States had long believed that it was important to achieve a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, that would benefit both sides on the island and also the security interests of Greece and Turkey.

    In his reply, Simitis agreed that Cyprus' imminent official accession to the EU had created a new drive for a comprehensive solution and said the Greek government welcomed ''the desire that was recently expressed by the majority of Turkish-Cypriots for a solution of the Cyprus problem and in favour of the benefits of EU accession, despite the pressure on them to support the existing status quo''.

    [02] Deputy press minister says PM will make announcements to media on January 7

    02/01/2004 22:15:33

    Deputy Press Minister Telemahos Hytiris said on Friday Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be making announcements to representatives of the mass media on January 7.

    Hytiris said that Simitis will meet President Kostis Stephanopoulos at the Presidential Mansion at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, at 11 a.m. Simitis will chair a joint meeting of the ruling PASOK party's Government Committee and Executive Bureau at the Maximos Mansion, while at about 1-1.30 p.m. the prime minister will be making his announcements to the media.

    In addition, Simitis will be having a meeting at his home with Foreign Minister George Papandreou at 7 p.m. on January 6.

    At 1 p.m. on the same day, the prime minister will have a meeting at his home with the party's Central Committee secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis and Hytiris.

    [03] ND leader calls for off-the-agenda debate in Parliament

    02/01/2004 22:15:24

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis addressed a letter to Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis on Friday, calling for an off-the-agenda debate to take place in Parliament.

    Karamanlis invoked three reasons for the debate to take place:(a) unemployment, poverty, regional inequalities in the country, corrosion of the quality of democracy, (b) the state of education and (c) the state of health which is ''provided through conditions which are unsuitable for every sense of social sensitiveness.''

    [04] ND - President - Caramanlis - Parlement - Debat

    02/01/2004 22:14:19

    Le president de la Nouvelle Democratie (ND), Costas Caramanlis, a adresse vendredi une lettre au president du Parlement, Apostolos Kaklamanis, lui demandant de fixer une date pour un debat extraordinaire sur ''des secteurs de l'administration publique''.

    M. Caramanlis avance comme raisons a ce debat, d'une part, la question du chomage, de la pauvrete, des disparites regionales, la corrosion qualitative de la democratie, d'autre part, la situation dans l'enseignement et, egalement, celle dans le secteur de la sante, ou les soins sont prestes, dit-il, ''dans des conditions contraires au concept meme de sensibilite sociale''.

    Ainsi, conclut le chef du principal parti de l'opposition, ''en raison des questions precitees (se referant) a la situation dans des secteurs de l'Etat et a leur fonctionnement, lesquelles relevent de toute evidence de l'interet general, et conformement aux dispositions de l'art. 143 par. 1 du Reglement du Parlement, nous demandons un debat extraordinaire''.

    Entre temps, 88 deputes de la ND ont depose vendredi une interpellation au Parlement sur la situation dans l'agriculture, estimant que le monde rural, la province en general, font face a une crise en raison de la politique anti-agricole du gouvernement. La ND souligne notamment la perte des revenus, la ''baisse considerable'' d'environ 17% de la population rurale active, ''l'absence de travaux et un taux dangereusement faible d'absorption des financements communautaires''.

    Par ailleurs, 16 deputes de ce parti , dont le coordinateur de la ND

    pour la defense nationale, M. Spyliotopoulos, se sont interroges sur les fournitures des forces armees et, en particulier, sur la fusion de l'Industrie hellenique d'armements (EBO) et de la Compagnie publique de poudres et munitions (PYRKAL), ainsi que sur les hauts salaires verses a des cadres du PASOK grevant les caisses de l'Etat de quelque 450 millions d'euros.

    Enfin, la 3e question deposee par 43 deputes de la ND concerne la ''mauvaise gestion et l'absence de transparence'' dans les hopitaux publics.

    [05] Deputy press minister says PM will make announcements to media on January 7

    02/01/2004 22:14:11

    Deputy Press Minister Telemahos Hytiris said on Friday Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be making announcements to representatives of the mass media on January 7.

    Hytiris said that Simitis will meet President Kostis Stephanopoulos at the Presidential Mansion at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, at 11 a.m. Simitis will chair a joint meeting of the ruling PASOK party's Government Committee and Executive Bureau at the Maximos Mansion, while at about 1-1.30 p.m. the prime minister will be making his announcements to the media.

    In addition, Simitis will be having a meeting at his home with Foreign Minister George Papandreou at 7 p.m. on January 6.

    At 1 p.m. on the same day, the prime minister will have a meeting at his home with the party's Central Committee secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis and Hytiris.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Saturday

    02/01/2004 19:21:02

    Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country. Winds southeasterly moderate. Temperatures in Athens 9C to 14C and in Thessaloniki 5C to 9C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    02/01/2004 18:51:48

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.269

    Pound sterling 0.711

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 9.122

    Japanese yen 135.8

    Swiss franc 1.574

    Norwegian kroner 8.460

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.641

    Australian dollar 1.681


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