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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-01-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday
  • [02] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday
  • [03] Greece's high growth rates not based on Olympic Games, Solbes
  • [04] PM accuses ND party in Parliament of 'far-right divisive mentality'
  • [05] ND leader says corporate democracy begins in Parliament, questions FM's
  • [06] Memory day for Greek Jews honoured in Thessaloniki on Wednesday
  • [07] Greek deputy FM meets Russian counterpart in Moscow for bilateral talks
  • [08] New stretch of Egnatia Way opens to traffic

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates: Thursday

    29/01/2004 09:38:56

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.266

    Pound sterling 0.692

    Danish kroner 7.508

    Swedish kroner 9.198

    Japanese yen 134.1

    Swiss franc 1.581

    Norwegian kroner 8.751

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.665

    Australian dollar 1.633

    [02] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Thursday

    29/01/2004 09:38:49

    Rain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country with snow on high ground in the mainland and in low-lying areas of the north. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in the Aegean. The weather will be warmer. Overcast in Athens with strong winds, rain and storms, and teperatures of 10C to 13C. The same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures of 5C to 9C.

    [03] Greece's high growth rates not based on Olympic Games, Solbes

    28/01/2004 23:59:49

    BRUSSELS (ANA/V. Demiris) - Greece's high economic growth rates are largely independent from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, EU Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes said on Wednesday.

    ''We are asking me if Greece's high growth rates were depending on the Olympic Games? The answer is no. The country's high growth rates are not solely justified by the Olympic Games and I think that these growth rates are satisfactory themselves,'' Solbes said in Brussels on Wednesday.

    The EU Commissioner on Monetary Affairs presented the European Commission's recommendation on Greece's updated Stability and Growth programme for the period 2003-2006. Solbes stressed that additional public spending related with the Olympic Games was having a negative impact on the country's public deficit and noted that there were risks in adhering to a fiscal discipline programme, risks that were taken under consideration in the Greek programme and that should be dealt with.

    The Commissioner said that Greece's Stability Programme was ''optimistic'' and underlined the need to maintain high primary surpluses by the government.

    [04] PM accuses ND party in Parliament of 'far-right divisive mentality'

    28/01/2004 23:56:07

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, accused the main opposition New Democracy party of having a ''far-right divisive mentality.''

    Simitis was speaking during an off-the-agenda debate between party leaders, held at ND's initiative, on ''the government's policy in crucial sectors of the state's functions.''

    The prime minister said that ''ND, with the verbal vulgarities it used against himself and (foreign minister) George Papandreou, showed its roots which is the far-right and which constituted an indication of political hypocrisy. Its speech and actions are in extreme contrast, it uses duplicity, the lack of ethics, arrogance, personal attacks and defamation and harms politics and the political system.''

    Referring to the controversial ''Pachtas amendment'', Simitis pointed out that the government's position had been explicit and clear from the beginning of December, when the amendment had been brought to Parliament for the first time and had been rejected by the government.

    ''All should have been aware of this or should have pursued a revision of the government's position,'' he said, referring to Christos Pachtas and the nine deputies who had signed the controversial amendment.

    ''The amendment was promoted and ratified contrary to the government's position and with an unethical process,'' Simitis stressed, adding that measures taken concerning both the resignation of the deputy economy minister and the removal of the nine from election tickets were ''necessary actions.''

    [05] ND leader says corporate democracy begins in Parliament, questions FM's absence

    28/01/2004 23:51:07

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday during a debate on ''government policy in crucial sectors of state functions'', noted the absence from Parliament of Foreign Minister and PASOK party leadership candidate George Papandreou, saying ''corporate democracy begins and ends here, in Parliament.''

    Karamanlis began his address with a compliment to Prime Minister Costas Simitis over the ''good level of dialogue we had all these years, despite tensions and nervous expressions'' and recognised the contribution of the prime minister and the other party leaders in this respect.

    ''I am wondering why I can't see your successor beside you. Where is Mr. Papandreou today? Why is he absent, particularly today when the people want to see their leaders and their views?'', Karamanlis said.

    Simitis replied that according to Parliamentary regulations, the prime minister and the relevant minister reply in an off-the-agenda debate and not the foreign minister who only has 12 minutes at his disposal.

    [06] Memory day for Greek Jews honoured in Thessaloniki on Wednesday

    28/01/2004 23:48:21

    The memory day for Greek Jews who lost their lives in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau was honoured by the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Wednesday in the presence of US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, Nobel peace prize winner Eli Vizel and representatives of the city's political and cultural sectors.

    Events got underway in the morning with wreaths being laid at the Jewish Holocaust memorial by Miller, Vizel, Central Israelite Council President Moisis Constantinidis, German Ambassador Alper Spiegel, French Consul Roland Blatman, Russian Consul Aleksander Osvikan and Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis, while on behalf of the New Democracy party leader a wreath was laid by Deputy Sotiris Kouvelas and on behalf of the mayor of Thessaloniki by municipal councillor Aspasidis.

    [07] Greek deputy FM meets Russian counterpart in Moscow for bilateral talks

    28/01/2004 23:47:11

    MOSCOW (ANA - S. Aravopoulou) Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Magriotis and his Russian counterpart Sergei Razov on Wednesday noted the start of a new cycle in relations between Greece and Russia, which they said was satisfactory for both sides.

    Speaking at a joint press conference after their meeting and a working lunch in Moscow, the two ministers said there was strong forward momentum in bilateral relations and that their talks had helped settle both past outstanding issues and future moves and prospects.

    During his visit to Moscow, which returns an earlier visit to Athens by Razov in October, Magriotis is to work on specifics of an Action Plan Protocol that will soon be signed by the two countries.

    The talks focused mainly on stable cooperation for the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and strategic bilateral cooperation.

    [08] New stretch of Egnatia Way opens to traffic

    28/01/2004 23:47:00

    A new stretch of the northeast-northwest Egnatia Way opened to traffic on Wednesday.

    The motorway stretch between Argos Orestiko-Maniaki and its link to the town of Kastoria is 10 kilometres long.

    Inaugurating the roadway, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou said that the entire 74-kilometre section would acquire a motorway link to the border with Albania, assisting trade and communications for western Macedonia and Epirus.

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