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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek economic growth rate exceeded expectations in 2003, FinMin says
  • [02] Olympic Torch relay route inside Greece unveiled
  • [03] ND presents health programme, promises revision of National Health
  • [04] Press conference on reuniting Parthenon Marbles attended by Robin Cook
  • [05] German president receives Kalavryta delegation
  • [06] FM Papandreou holds talks with PM, PASOK secretary, says new momentum
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Rain on Thursday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday
  • [09] Greek stocks jump 1.48 pct on Wednesday

  • [01] Greek economic growth rate exceeded expectations in 2003, FinMin says

    14/01/2004 23:25:46

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Wednesday said that the government's economic and social convergence programme has room for social benefits.

    Commenting on a dialogue process that began with social agencies aimed to expanding government support towards less developed classes, Mr Christodoulakis stressed that the ruling PASOK party's new programme, to be presented ahead of the elections, would include new directions and prospects, while he stressed that the Greek economy has the ability to support convergence, social cohesion and effectively combat poverty.

    The party's new programme, the Greek minister said, has the ability to cover new social benefits based on forecasts of improved fiscal conditions in the country from 2005.

    [02] Olympic Torch relay route inside Greece unveiled

    14/01/2004 23:24:21

    More than 680 cities and towns around Greece will be included in the very ambitious 2004 Olympic Torch relay, with the route including every prefecture in the country as well as 32 islands and 24 historical and archaeological sites.

    Athens organisers (ATHOC) on Wednesday said the routes selection was based on six criteria: security, population, proper infrastructure, historical or cultural aspects as well as geographical position.

    The Olympic torch-lighting ceremony will take place on March 25 in ancient Olympia, before departing for the Peloponnese and Saronic islands over a seven-day period. The Olympic Flame is scheduled to arrive at Athens all-marble Panathinaikos Stadium afterwards and its delivery to ATHOC. The flame will remain at a specially built altar at the stadium until June 4 before embarking on a 33-city journey to all five continents around the world.

    The flame will return to Athens on July 9.

    The route was presented during a ceremony at ATHOC's headquarters on Wednesday.

    [03] ND presents health programme, promises revision of National Health System-Recast

    14/01/2004 23:21:44

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party presented its government health programme on Wednesday which anticipates radical revision of the National Health System, improvement of the quality of medical services, utilisation of funds and avoidance of extravagance.

    According to the programme, presented by ND officials George Souflias, Nikitas Kaklamanis and party leader Costas Karamanlis, insured citizens will have the right to select a doctor freely.

    It also anticipates a national collective labour agreement for private doctors and dentists with social security funds and a family doctor, while urban health centres will be created and hospital units will be organised on selected islands.

    In addition, performance and effectiveness incentives will be provided for staff and private clinics in hospitals will be abolished, as well as the list of prescribed medicines.

    The institution of one-day treatment at hospitals will be extended to all hospitals, the institution of treatment at home will be established, intensive care units will be increased and patients' rooms will have one to four beds.

    [04] Press conference on reuniting Parthenon Marbles attended by Robin Cook

    14/01/2004 23:20:32

    LONDON (ANA/L.Tsirigotakis) - The new movement created in Britain on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, named ''Reuniting the Marbles'', gave its first press conference on Wednesday in the presence of British former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    The head of the new movement, Peter Chequin, presented the results of an opinion poll held on a nationwide scale in Britain in December on the question of whether or not people agree with the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

    Percentages ranging between 71 and 81 percent agree with the return of the Marbles and on the question of whether the British government should commit itself now, that it is Olympic Games year, on their return, 73 percent replied yes.

    Moreover, an exit poll carried out among visitors to the British Museum, where the Marbles are being displayed, on the question of the Marbles' return produced a 67 percent yes response.

    ''These majorities are so big that they leave no margin for politicians to take different decisions. The solution of the return of the Marbles will make all, both politicians and public opinion, to feel winners,'' Cook said.

    [05] German president receives Kalavryta delegation

    14/01/2004 23:17:57

    BERLIN (ANA/P.Stangos) - Germany's President Johannes Rau received at the presidential mansion Bellevue in Berlin on Wednesday a delegation from Kalavryta who formally presented him with a photopgraphic album issued by the Kalavryta municipality entitled ''Memory and mistakes'', from Rau's historic visit to Kalvryta in April 2002.

    The delegation, headed by Kalavryta Metropolitan Ambrosius, Kalavryta Mayor Athanassios Papadopoulos and Ioannis Andropoulos, an eye-witness of atrocities committed in Kalavryta by Nazi occupation troops, discussed with Rau a proposal by the Kalavryta municipality for the joint creation with the German side of a ''House of Peace'' in Kalavryta, as a youth hostel.

    The album from Rau's visit to Kalavryta was issued by the Kalavryta municipality in December 2003 to commemorate the 60th anniversary since the atrocities.

    The German president, whose tenure ends on June 30, promised to bring the matter to the attention of the government and parliament for the securing of the necessary funds.

    Rau had visited Kalavryta accompanied by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos to formally apologise on behalf of the German people for the most extreme act of violence perpetrated by German occupation troops against Greeks.

    [06] FM Papandreou holds talks with PM, PASOK secretary, says new momentum exists

    14/01/2004 23:16:32

    Foreign Minister and ruling PASOK party leadership candidate George Papandreou attended a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, PASOK Central Committee secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis and other officials on Wednesday and said new momentum and new hope exist.

    Papandreou said dialogue with the citizen begins from Thrace, northern Greece, which he will tour over the weekend with the purpose of highlighting problems faced by citizens and shaping the new priorities of PASOK's programme which will result through dialogue.

    He added that in a private discussion with Simitis, foreign policy issues were examined in light of next week's visit to Athens by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    [07] Weather Forecast: Rain on Thursday

    14/01/2004 23:11:17

    Rain is forecast in all parts of the country on Thursday, with sporadic storms in the west, north, the eastern Aegean islands and the Dodecanese. Winds westerly, southwesterly, moderate to strong. Temperatures in Athens 8C to 18C and in Thessaloniki 6C to 12C.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday

    14/01/2004 18:14:55

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.279

    Pound sterling 0.695

    Danish kroner 7.507

    Swedish kroner 9.248

    Japanese yen 135.7

    Swiss franc 1.572

    Norwegian kroner 8.635

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.628

    Australian dollar 1.645

    [09] Greek stocks jump 1.48 pct on Wednesday

    14/01/2004 16:46:06

    Greek stocks rallied on Wednesday pushing the general index closer to the 2,500-point resistance level in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The index ended 1.48 percent higher at 2,482.35 points with turnover a heavy 256.9 million euros.

    Buying activity focused on blue chip stocks. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 186 to 125 with another 49 issues unchanged.


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