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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday
  • [03] PM receives Bosnian presidency, discusses bilateral cooperation
  • [04] Floridis discusses Olympic Games security with Rice in Washington
  • [05] PM presents Crete's Convergence Charter, appeals to voters of all
  • [06] UK MP tables resolution for return of Parthenon Marbles in British
  • [07] Greek govt earmarks 145.6 mln euros in SMEs' support
  • [08] Thessaloniki share centre offers technical aid to Cairo bourse

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday

    16/01/2004 09:47:04

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with a drop in temperature. Winds northwesterly, strong to very strong, easing off from late afternoon. Temperatures in Athens 8C to 12C and in Thessaloniki 2C to 6C.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday

    16/01/2004 09:45:34

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.273

    Pound sterling 0.697

    Danish kroner 7.507

    Swedish kroner 9.237

    Japanese yen 135.1

    Swiss franc 1.575

    Norwegian kroner 8.609

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.644

    Australian dollar 1.649

    [03] PM receives Bosnian presidency, discusses bilateral cooperation

    15/01/2004 23:53:18

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday received the tri-partite presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Athens on an official visit.

    In talks with presidency chairman Dragan Covic (Croat community) and fellow presidency members Borislav Paravac and Sulejman Tihic (of the Serb and Bosniak/Moslem communities respectively), Simitis discussed cooperation between Greece and Bosnia in issues such as economic aid, Greece's participation in the international peacekeeping force in Bosnia and the training of Bosnian police officers by the Greek police force ELAS.

    The Greek premier particularly stressed the prospects for economic cooperation, while pledging that the Greek government would assist Bosnia in its efforts to sign a Stability and Association Pact with the European Union.

    Thaking Greece for its support, Covic said Bosnia remained steadfast in its Euro-Atlantic orientation and asked Greece's assistance in this direction.

    ''We are prepared to fulfill all our obligations so that our rapprochment with the EU and NATO is possible and in order to attract foreign investments,'' Covic said.

    He announced that an international conference on investments will take place in Mostar in the coming weeks, with Greece among the participants.

    He also noted that Bosnia was working closely with the International Court at The Hague in order to bring those wanted for war crimes to justice.

    [04] Floridis discusses Olympic Games security with Rice in Washington

    15/01/2004 23:51:01

    WASHINGTON (ANA/T. Ellis) - Greek Public Order Minister George Floridis, currently on a two-day visit to the United States, met here on Thursday with President George W. Bush's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

    Following his meeting with Rice, Floridis told reporters that the safety of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was a top priority for the Greek government, adding that cooperation with the United States is developping in a perfect manner and that the American side is fully satisfied with the course of the Olympic security preparations.

    ''We also had the opportunity to discuss the role of Greece in the wider region as a factor of security and cooperation,'' Floridis added.

    He said that Rice conveyed to him ''the will of the United States to continue helping in the issue of the best possible security for the Games.''

    Present at the meeting were Greece's National Information Service chief Loukas Apostolidis, Greek Police chief Fotis Nasiakos, Greek Ambassador to the U.S. George Savvaidis and U.S. Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller.

    [05] PM presents Crete's Convergence Charter, appeals to voters of all parties

    15/01/2004 23:49:29

    Visiting Prime Minister Costas Simitis, speaking in the packed Lido indoor basketball stadium in Irakleio, on Thursday evening, presented Crete's regional Convergence Charter and appealed to voters of all parties ahead of the March 7 general election.

    Simitis called on progressive citizens regardless of party origin, as well as on a considerable social and democratic element in the main opposition New Democracy party to rally round PASOK ''for real progress, the strengthening of social justice and the consolidation and integration of modernisation and of European orientation.''

    The prime minister said the PASOK party expresses the overwhelming majority in the country, the big party of the centre and the left and, referring to the party's new leadership, stressed that it will be the new leadership of the country after the elections and will achieve progress with even more rapid paces and more effectively.

    ''Many believed that PASOK has no future, but we showed them that it is PASOK which has the strength to move ahead. It is the force that is paving the way for the developments of the future,'' he said.

    Simitis underlined that the dilemma set for the March 7 election is clear and is ''shall we live in conditions of greater security, growth and prosperity for all, or shall the smooth progress course of a decade be interrupted by an authoritarian policy, improvisations and neo-liberal experiments?''

    He further said two very important milestones in the country's path towards the future will also be decided in the election.

    Simitis pointed out that these milestones are the prospect of resolving major national issues by December, 2004, as well as the successful holding of the Olympic Games this coming August.

    [06] UK MP tables resolution for return of Parthenon Marbles in British Parliament

    15/01/2004 23:43:11

    LONDON (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis) - A resolution calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece was tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday by Labour MP for Hendon Andrew Dismore, signed by over 50 MPs from all parties, including former foreign secretary Robin Cook.

    The text of the resolution notes that the new Acropolis Museum being built in Athens provides an unprecedented opportunity to exhibit all the sections of the Parthenon Marbles currently scattered between Athens and London together.

    It also declares belief that the development will be accepted with satisfaction by the majority of the British people and that any legal issues can be resolved if the return is made in the form of a long-term loan.

    It welcomes the Greek government's offer to provide important Greek antiquities to exhibitions at national and local museums in Britain once the issue of the Parthenon Marbles is resolved.

    [07] Greek govt earmarks 145.6 mln euros in SMEs' support

    15/01/2004 23:41:59

    The Greek government has earmarked the sum of 145.6 million euros to be offered to Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises throughout the country (with the exception of Attica-based enterprises) through a second phase of a programme to support SMEs, Economy and Finance Deputy Minister Christos Pahtas said on Thursday.

    The first phase of the programme, aimed to offer financial support to manufacturing and tourist enterprises, was launched last year.

    Pahtas noted that the second phase of the programme has been improved, as the government has taken in mind notes made by interested parties in the first phase.

    The Greek minister said that subsidised budget for newly set-up enterprises would be raise to 200,000 euros from 150,000 euros, while eligible companies would have to present an average annual turnover between 15,000 to 4.0 million euros in the last three years and to employ up to 50 workers.

    [08] Thessaloniki share centre offers technical aid to Cairo bourse

    15/01/2004 23:39:21

    The Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Centre is to provide Egypt's Cairo and Alexandria bourse with technical assistance as part of a programme financed by the foreign ministry.

    Under the terms of the agreement, the Thessaloniki centre will establish the framework for bilateral cooperation; and provide training for personnel at the Cairo bourse, local stockbrokers, banking staff, and capital market commission officials.

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