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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou announces start of 'open dialogue' with citizens (new lead)
  • [02] ND leader pledges campaign focused on issues, not faces
  • [03] Greek car sales down 4.2 percent in 2003
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Rain and storms on Saturday
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday
  • [06] Greek stocks end week with net gain of 3.88 pct

  • [01] Papandreou announces start of 'open dialogue' with citizens (new lead)

    09/01/2004 22:03:20

    In statements after meeting Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday, foreign minister and soon-to-be PASOK president George Papandreou announced plans to begin a nationwide tour of Greece leading up to the PASOK conference on February 6, during which he will initiate ''open dialogue with the citizens'' regarding the party's programme for after the elections.

    Papandreou was speaking immediately after a meeting with Simitis at the prime minister's office that was also attended by PASOK Central Committee Secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis and Deputy Press Minister Tilemahos Hytiris.

    Stressing his belief in the value of participation and the value of dialogue with citizens, he said he wanted to hear the views of the general public and what issues it considered most important, jointly assess the significant work that had been done up until now and jointly set new goals for tomorrow.

    [02] ND leader pledges campaign focused on issues, not faces

    09/01/2004 22:01:51

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis on Friday pledged that his party's pre-election campaign would stay focused on the issues rather than the candidates, urging against ''personal attacks that do not befit the principles and values of our party''.

    ''Our opponents are the problems and the policies that have led to these,'' he stressed during his speech to the candidates being fielded by ND in the upcoming parliamentary elections, setting the tone for ND's pre-election battle against ruling PASOK and George Papandreou.

    Karamanlis appeared confident that his party would gain a strong majority on the day of the polls, stating that there was ''universal demand'' for a new start in society that this ''new page cannot be written by an old regime in a new wrapping''.

    [03] Greek car sales down 4.2 percent in 2003

    09/01/2004 22:00:26

    Greek car market shrunk in 2003 with sales declining by 4.2 percent compared with the previous year, following a trend prevailing in international markets.

    Market analysts, however, stressed that the total 257,923 new cars registered in the Greek market in 2003 was not a bad figure given tight liquidity conditions in the domestic economy. They also noted that government measures to reduce car registration taxes failed to strongly boost domestic sales.

    Toyota maintained its leading position in the Greek market with 24,170 sales in 2003, up 0.9 percent from the previous year. Hyundai was second with 20,935 sales, down 4.5 percent over the same period, while Opel was third with 19,838, up one position from 2002.

    Ford jumped to fourth position in 2003 with 17,392 sales, up 12.1 percent, from the eighth position in 2002.

    Mazda recorded a 283 percent rise in sales, Volvo jumped 227 percent, Saab was up 91 percent and Mercedes rose 63.5 percent in 2003.

    Luxury cars also recorded increased sales in the year, with Porsche recording 160 sales (up 139 percent), Maserati 15 sales (up 114 percent) and four Lamborghini.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Rain and storms on Saturday

    09/01/2004 19:22:13

    Rain and storms in most of the country and snow in mountainous continental regions and in regions in central and northern Greece. Winds southeasterly moderate to strong. Temperatures in Athens 3C to 12C and in Thessaloniki 1C to 6C.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    09/01/2004 18:53:03

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.283

    Pound sterling 0.699

    Danish kroner 7.507

    Swedish kroner 9.184

    Japanese yen 137.2

    Swiss franc 1.579

    Norwegian kroner 8.716

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.641

    Australian dollar 1.657

    [06] Greek stocks end week with net gain of 3.88 pct

    09/01/2004 17:10:59

    Greek stocks ended the last trading session of the week with minor losses in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, ending an eight-session rally of prices.

    The general index eased 0.35 percent to end at 2,403.34 points, with turnover a heavy 200.5 million euros. The index ended the week with a net gain of 3.88 percent.

    The insuranse, publications and textiles sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day (3.12 percent, 2.55 percent and 2.16 percent, respectively), while the cement and investment sectors were the only ones to score gains (0.39 percent and 0.13 percent respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks eased 0.35 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index fell 0.42 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index dropped 1.07 percent.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 259 to 66 with another 34 issues unchanged.

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