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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-03-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New parliament to formally commence session on Thurs., vote of
  • [02] NATO to review Greek request for assistance during 2004 Games
  • [03] Greek-Israeli conference on biotechnology
  • [04] Belgian senators campaign for Parthenon Marbles' return home
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Wednesday
  • [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday
  • [07] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise in late, high-cap buying

  • [01] New parliament to formally commence session on Thurs., vote of confidence Monday

    16/03/2004 23:02:22

    The new parliament that emerged from the recent general elections will formally commence the first meeting of the new parliamentary session at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, with the taking of the parliamentary oath by the 300 MPs of the unicameral House, in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution.

    The oath-taking ceremony will be attended by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece and representatives of the Holy Synod, as well as representatives of the Diplomatic Corps.

    The MPs officially assume their duties immediately after the taking of the oath.

    On Friday, the new deputies will convene to elect the parliament presidium comprising the president of parliament, 5 vice-presidents, 3 deans, and six secretaries.

    The 4th vice-president, one dean and one secretary will be from the main opposition party, while the 5th vice-president and one secretary will be from the second-largest (in parliamentary seats) opposition party.

    To date, the only certain candidacy for the post of parliament president is that of Anna Psarouda-Benaki. If elected, as expected, she will be the first woman to assume the parliament presidency since the establishment of the Greek State.

    The new government's policy statement will be read out on behalf of prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, to be followed by a debate, with the leaders of the other political parties represented in parliament taking the floor to present their positions, with the entire process being completed at midnight Monday with a vote of confidence for the new government.

    [02] NATO to review Greek request for assistance during 2004 Games

    16/03/2004 23:01:16

    BRUSSELS (ANA V. Demiris) NATO has begun administrative procedures to examine Greeces request for security assistance during the holding of the 2004 Olympic Games in August.

    According to diplomatic sources, NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer informed the alliances member-states about Athens request during an unofficial summit of NATO permanent representatives, which took place on Tuesday.

    A relevant discussion on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday at the Council of Permanent Representatives.

    Greece recently requested assistance from its allies to better safeguard its airspace, territorial waters as well as the dispatch of specialised units to counter bio-chemical threats.

    [03] Greek-Israeli conference on biotechnology

    16/03/2004 23:01:10

    The Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Athens (EBEA) in cooperation with the Israeli embassy in Athens and the Greek-Israeli Chamber of Commerce will organise a conference in Athens next week on the topic of ?Steps in the Future: Biotechnology in Greece and Israel?.

    Distinguished Israel and Greek scientists from the Weizmann Institute, Ben Gurion University, the Management College of Tel Aviv, the Greek Pasteur Institute and the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, will discuss applications of biotechnology in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. There will also be a presentation about how to transform research in biotechnology into business profit. EVEA President Drakoulis Fountoukakos and Israeli ambassador to Greece Ram Aviram will make opening remarks.

    For more information, contact the Israeli embassy at (210) 6719530.

    [04] Belgian senators campaign for Parthenon Marbles' return home

    16/03/2004 22:57:37

    European Union enlargement and the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games would be ''a sign of European cultural reconciliation,'' according to Belgian senators Francois Roelants du Vivier (Mouvement Reformateur) and Paul Wille (Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten)who launched a relevant campaign several months ago.

    Within the context of this campaign, 150 Belgian MPs and more than 350 academics, art historians, and archaeologists signed the letter of protest the two Belgian senators addressed to the British ambassador to Brussels.

    On March 8, and without having received a response, Vivier and Wille sent another letter of protest, this time to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, urging him to make every possible effort for the marbles' return before the Athens Olympic Games' opening in August.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Wednesday

    16/03/2004 19:17:34

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with some scattered cloud in the east and south. Winds northerly, light to strong, turning very strong in the southern Aegean. Temperatures in Athens 9C to 20C and in Thessaloniki from 7C to 16C.

    [06] Foreign Exchange Rates: Wednesday

    16/03/2004 18:50:37

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.244

    Pound sterling 0.684

    Danish kroner 7.509

    Swedish kroner 9.311

    Japanese yen 136.0

    Swiss franc 1.581

    Norwegian kroner 8.546

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.656

    Australian dollar 1.678

    [07] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise in late, high-cap buying

    16/03/2004 18:47:46

    The Athens bourse finished higher on Tuesday in a burst of buying in high capitalisation stocks during the last two hours of trade, traders said.

    The general share index gained 0.78 per cent to end at 2,382.05 points. Turnover was 154.0 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.80 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.30 per cent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities rose 0.13 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 161 to 129 with 63 issues remaining unchanged.

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