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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Papandreou says Cyprus negotiations must begin and be based on Annan
  • [02] Rogge again expresses confidence in 2004 Games' success
  • [03] PM backs Papandreou handling of Pachtas affair, Porto Carras amendment
  • [04] Merger for US affiliates of Piraeus Bank
  • [05] German portal to feature Greek products ahead of Olympics
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, sleet, snow on Tuesday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

  • [01] FM Papandreou says Cyprus negotiations must begin and be based on Annan plan

    26/01/2004 23:15:11

    BRUSSELS (ANA/Y. Zitouniati) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Monday negotiations on the issue of Cyprus must begin and be based on the Annan plan, while ''blanks'' on which the views of the two sides diverge must be agreed on during the course of the negotiations.

    ''Let's begin negotiations and let's see what blanks have to be filled in,'' Papandreou said in a press conference after briefing his counterparts at the Council of Foreign Ministers on latest developments on the Cyprus issue, during his last presence here on Monday in this capacity.

    Papandreou said promoting a solution to the Cyprus issue in 2004 is an issue of political will and underlined ''the need for us to honour the policy of the UN and have a workable and viable solution.''

    Papandreou disagreed with the Turkish proposal on the replacement on the UN secretary general's special envoy Alvaro de Soto, saying valuable time will be lost until somebody else would be briefed, who would be aware of the issue, as was the case with de Soto.

    In his farewell press conference as foreign minister, Papandreou made a brief account of his five-year tenure as member of the General Affairs Council, expressing his conviction that with his colleagues ''an open relation was created, one which was human and of mutual confidence, a relation of criticism and even of confrontation, but always with respect and sincerity.''

    [02] Rogge again expresses confidence in 2004 Games' success

    26/01/2004 23:13:58

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge was quoted in the latest edition of the 2004 Olympic Organising Committees (ATHOC) official magazine, ATHENS.04, as expressing his conviction that the upcoming Summer Games will be unique, as well as leaving a spectacular legacy for Greece.

    Rogge referred in detail to various issues regarding the Games, including the doping controversy, security during the Olympics as well as his personal vision and ambitions.

    He stressed that a myriad of projects underway in the greater Athens are transforming the Greek capital. ?You have a new airport, the Attica roadway, the suburban rail, the new metro. Truly, changes have occurred before the Games even begin,? Rogge was quoted as saying.

    Finally, the Belgian IOC president stressed that since the 1972 Munich Games security has been the top priority for the Lausanne-based organisation.

    [03] PM backs Papandreou handling of Pachtas affair, Porto Carras amendment

    26/01/2004 23:13:13

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will deal at length with the issue created by the so-called Porto Carras amendment during an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament mid-week, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced on Monday.

    He also underlined that the premier fully agreed with the way that George Papandreou, the sole candidate to succeed him as PASOK president, had handled the affair.

    Protopapas said Papandreou's decision to drop the MPs that signed the amendment from PASOK's tickets had a political, symbolic meaning: ''It showed that we follow a policy with principles and values, it showed the vision of the new era,'' he said.

    He also underlined that Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis had immediately made it clear that the government intended to cancel the offending amendment, which was passed in Parliament last Wednesday.

    According to the spokesman, one of the key concerns raised by the affair was the procedure by which the amendment had been tabled, which gave rise to serious doubts in society.

    [04] Merger for US affiliates of Piraeus Bank

    26/01/2004 23:11:20

    Two members of the Athens-quoted Piraeus Bank Group in the US have merged, the parent company said in a statement on Monday.

    The merger was effected through the acquisition of Interbank NY by the Marathon Banking Corporation, a Piraeus Bank subsidiary in New York.

    The acquisition has brought Marathon Bank's branch network in New York to 11, and its assets to 600 million US dollars, the statement said.

    [05] German portal to feature Greek products ahead of Olympics

    26/01/2004 19:58:01

    A German-language portal is to feature Greek products ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympics, its designers told a presentation at the development ministry on Monday.

    Implemented by Web.De, Greece Portal Olympic Year 2004 ( incorporated in the company's website,

    Web. De has made contact with companies in industry, commerce and tourism in order to promote Greek products and services to German internet users through 3,000 Internet pages.

    Included will be tourism, a corporate register and a catalogue of Greek wines and products.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Rain, sleet, snow on Tuesday

    26/01/2004 18:58:54

    Rain and sleet are forecast mostly in the west, centre and north. Snow is expected on high ground, as well as in low-lying areas of the north. Winds southerly, strong. The weather will be warmer. Temperatures in Athens 1C to 11C and in Thessaloniki 1C to 7C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

    26/01/2004 18:44:07

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.267

    Pound sterling 0.694

    Danish kroner 7.508

    Swedish kroner 9.224

    Japanese yen 134.5

    Swiss franc 1.577

    Norwegian kroner 8.682

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.663

    Australian dollar 1.638

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