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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday
  • [02] Papandreou meets British PM, discusses Cyprus, Parthenon Marbles
  • [03] Papandreou on proposal for reduction in defence spending by Greece,
  • [04] Greece, Turkey sign memorandum of cooperation for extension of Ignatia
  • [05] Greek and Lebanese presidents open business forum in Beirut

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday

    23/01/2004 09:42:16

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.281

    Pound sterling 0.694

    Danish kroner 7.508

    Swedish kroner 9.178

    Japanese yen 136.3

    Swiss franc 1.579

    Norwegian kroner 8.611

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.661

    Australian dollar 1.645

    [02] Papandreou meets British PM, discusses Cyprus, Parthenon Marbles

    22/01/2004 23:53:46

    LONDON (ANA - F. Karaviti) - The Cyprus issue, the return of the Parthenon Marbles and domestic developments within Greece were the focus of talks here on Thursday between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and visiting Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    As the sole candidate for the leadership of Greece's ruling PASOK party, Papandreou has also effectively taken over the task of leading the party to elections on March 7 and stands to lead any PASOK government that emerges from the polls.

    Papandreou said the British government was showing heightened interest in a solution of the Cyprus problem, particularly after the new dynamics created by Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

    He also reiterated the Greek government's position regarding the need for political will, especially on the Turkish side.

    ''We can all live together in peace and without walls in new Europe,'' he stressed.

    With regard to the Parthenon Marbles, Papandreou once more explained Greece's positions to Blair and said it was an issue that could ''prove positive for both countries''.

    ''We have a new museum at the Acropolis and we can highlight the contribution of both peoples to international culture. We are open to proposals,'' he added, in a reference to an upcoming meeting between Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his British counterpart.

    [03] Papandreou on proposal for reduction in defence spending by Greece, Turkey

    22/01/2004 23:52:34

    LONDON (ANA/F. Karaviti) - Referring to his recent proposal for the matching gradual reduction in defence spending by Greece and Turkey, Foreign Minister and ruling PASOK leadership candidate George Papandreou clarified here on Thursday that ''it concerns a proposal which must be officially submitted by the new government'' following the March 7 general elections.

    Regarding the possibility of NATO's involvement in the matter, Papandreou clarified that ''even though NATO usually asks for more defence spending, Greece and Turkey already contribute enough, therefore there is no such issue.''

    The Greek foreign leader departed late afternoon for Berlin for talks with his German counterpartJoschka Fischer.

    [04] Greece, Turkey sign memorandum of cooperation for extension of Ignatia Highway

    22/01/2004 23:49:55

    ''Turkey is closer to Europe via the Ignatia Highway'' is the basic conclusion drawn during Thursday's meeting between Greek Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis and his Turkish counterpart Binali Gildirim, within the framework of which a memorandum of cooperation was signed for the extension of the Ignatia Highway to Istanbul, both on the road and railway network.

    Through this agreement, Turkey will advance the upgrading of the road axis, which extends the Ignatia Highway to Istanbul, securing the same level of service of transport from both sides of the borders. It concerns a distance of 253 kilometres from the Greek-Turkish borders to Istanbul.

    At the meeting between the two ministers, a decision was reached for the setting up of a joint service which will be responsible for upgrading the specific road and railway axis. This service will have offices in Athens and Istanbul. The first meeting of the joint service will be held in Thessaloniki on February 26.

    [05] Greek and Lebanese presidents open business forum in Beirut

    22/01/2004 23:44:46

    BEIRUT (ANA - N. Megadoukas) Declaring the start of a Greek-Lebaese business forum in Beirut on Thursday, Greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos said he was certain that his visit to Lebanon would be decisive in strengthening Greek-Lebanese bilateral ties, especially in the economic sector and investments.

    Stephanopoulos is currently on the second day of a three-day official visit to Lebanon, the first such visit by a Greek head of State in 30 years. He inaugurated the forum alongside his Lebanese counterpart Emile Lahoud.

    ''My visit is very important for Greece and the business people that accompanied me, not just because it is taking place in a country that is as much a friend as Lebanon but because it is taking place in a country that offers so many opportunities for further cooperation with Greece,'' Stephanopoulos said.

    The Greek president arrived in Lebanon at the head of a delegation of roughly 50 Greek business people and government officials.


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