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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't welcomes Turkish reaction to arms cutback proposal
  • [02] Foreign ministry spokesman announces holding of Greek-Turkish Task
  • [03] Greek unemployment to fall to 7.17 pct by 2006, forecast
  • [04] Societe Generale signs purchase contract for stake in General Bank
  • [05] Commerce trade group complains of influx of cheap Chinese goods
  • [06] Eurobank sets 2700 pts as goal for Athens bourse by end-year
  • [07] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Wednesday
  • [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday

  • [01] Gov't welcomes Turkish reaction to arms cutback proposal

    20/01/2004 22:53:03

    The Greek government on Tuesday welcomed the positive reaction by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to a Greek proposal for gradual and matching cutbacks in arms by Greece and Turkey.

    Government spokesman Christos Protopapas said Gul's statements were ''very positive and an initial base for dialogue and for implementing the proposals of George Papandreou''.

    He also noted that there had already been a significant reduction in arms spending over the past few years, chiefly because of Papandreou's policies and a general overhaul and restructuring of the Armed Forces.

    According to the spokesman, these had achieved savings of up to 2.3 billion euros.

    Gul's reaction was also praised by Greek Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, though he stressed that Turkey's good intentions would have to also be put into action and that arms reduction should be mutual and not one-sided.

    In statements to a private Greek TV station on Monday, Gul welcomed a proposal made by Papandreou for a gradual matching reduction in defence spending in the two neighbouring countries, saying it was a good proposal that showed good intentions, while stressing that Ankara desired good neighbourliness with Greece.

    ''It is a good proposal and we agree with it,'' he said.

    [02] Foreign ministry spokesman announces holding of Greek-Turkish Task Force meeting

    20/01/2004 22:51:57

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis announced on Tuesday that the 11th regular Greek-Turkish Task Force meeting on know-how concerning the adoption of acquis communautaire was held in Athens on Monday, with European Affairs secretary general Ilias Plaskovitis and Turkish Assistant Deputy Foreign Minister V. Bozkir being joint chairmen.

    Beglitis said activities carried out to date were given a very positive appraisal, which concern the holding of informative visits and seminars for Turkish administration members, while planning for the coming months was agreed.

    It is reminded that in the framework of the Task Force, and from the beginning of its operation in 2000, 19 seminars and informative visits have been held so far and more than 600 Turkish public administration members have been trained.

    [03] Greek unemployment to fall to 7.17 pct by 2006, forecast

    20/01/2004 22:50:32

    Unemployment will decline gradually in Greece over the next two years, the Commission monitoring implementation of a Third Community Support Framework programme forecast on Tuesday.

    Its forecasts, based on the outlook of both the Greek and international economies, called for an unemployment rate of 7.17 percent by 2006 from a 8.9 percent currently.

    The Commission also forecast that the Western Macedonia and Central Greece regions would maintain high unemployment rates by 2006 (11.0 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively).

    Other Greek regions are forecast to record unemployment rates of 8.9 percent (Attica), 8.5 percent (Central Macedonia), 8.9 percent (Epirus), 3.0 percent (Crete), 6.3 percent (North Aegean), 4.9 percent (South Aegean), 8.0 percent (Western Greece), 5.6 percent (Thessaly), 4.5 percent (Peloponese) and 3.7 percent (Ionian Islands).

    [04] Societe Generale signs purchase contract for stake in General Bank

    20/01/2004 22:49:10

    Societe Generale has signed a contract with the Army Pension Fund for the purchase of 23 per cent of stock in General Bank, the fund said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Purchased will be six million stocks at for 6.0 euros per share. The transaction will be made following approval from the central bank and fair competition commission, and then a share capital increase for General, the statement said.

    Societe General has also signed a contract agreeing to increase General Bank's share capital by 89,142,858 euros, it added.

    [05] Commerce trade group complains of influx of cheap Chinese goods

    20/01/2004 20:58:36

    The National Confederation of Greek Commerce on Tuesday called for a halt to an influx of cheap Chinese products the trade group said is flooding the market.

    "This has provoked major upheaval and distortion in the domestic market and in markets abroad," the confederation said in a statement.

    The trade group said it planned to hold consultations with employers' organisations and the General Confederation of Employees of Greece so that the matter could be put jointly to the government and to European Union authorities.

    [06] Eurobank sets 2700 pts as goal for Athens bourse by end-year

    20/01/2004 20:48:22

    The Athens bourse should hit 2,700 points by the end of 2004, if not sooner, EFG Eurobank Ergasias said in a market report released on Tuesday.

    The Athens-quoted bank's analysts said it was likely that the market could reach the level in the first half of the year.

    [07] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Wednesday

    20/01/2004 18:55:25

    Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country, sweeping across from the west and north. Snow will fall in the centre and north. Winds southwesterly, strong to very strong, later turning into gale force northerly winds. It will be colder from late afteroon. Temperatures in Athens 11C to 15C and in Thessaloniki 5C to 7C.

    [08] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday

    20/01/2004 18:14:47

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.263

    Pound sterling 0.696

    Danish kroner 7.506

    Swedish kroner 9.236

    Japanese yen 135.5

    Swiss franc 1.584

    Norwegian kroner 8.673

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.633

    Australian dollar 1.650


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