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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-03-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] U.S. president and Greek PM discuss Cyprus issue on the phone
  • [02] Greek PM to attend four-way talks on Cyprus issue in Lucerne
  • [03] ND-dominated Parliament opens new legislative session
  • [04] Greek journalists attacked by Albanians during Kosovo violence
  • [05] Memorial service held in Athens for Madrid terrorist victims
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday
  • [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop in jittery trade
  • [09] Greek PM to attend four-way talks on Cyprus issue in Lucerne
  • [10] Greek journalists attacked by Albanians during Kosovo violence
  • [11] U.S. president and Greek PM discuss Cyprus issue on the phone

  • [01] U.S. president and Greek PM discuss Cyprus issue on the phone

    18/03/2004 23:10:15

    United States President George Bush and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis briefly exchanged views on the Cyprus issue on Thursday, during 15-minute conversation over the telephone.

    Bush congratulated the recently-elected Greek premier on his victory in the elections and wished him success in his work, while stressing that the United States was prepared to assist in resolving the political problem on Cyprus.

    Karamanlis replied that a solution on Cyprus had to be viable, functional and compatible with European Union standards and asked for Washington's intervention with the Turkish-Cypriot side in order to ensure a solution within this framework.

    [02] Greek PM to attend four-way talks on Cyprus issue in Lucerne

    18/03/2004 23:02:07

    Responding to an invitation sent out by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Greek government on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will attend UN-backed talks taking place in Switzerland to resolve the Cyprus issue.

    Officials said the Greek premier would attend the later stage of the enlarged four-way talks in Burgenstock, near Lucerne, on March 28.

    According to an ANA correspondent in New York, the UN chief sent out two-page letters to the leadership of Greece, Turkey and the two communities on the island republic, asking them to send representatives to the talks that begin on March 23, which seek to reunite the island republic before it officially joins the European Union on May 1.

    Annan urges Athens and Ankara and the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot leadership to reply as quickly as possible and points out that they must be represented at a sufficiently high level as to allow the taking of important decisions, in accordance with the commitments made in New York on February 13.

    The four-way talks are scheduled to continue until March 31.

    [03] ND-dominated Parliament opens new legislative session

    18/03/2004 22:56:11

    Deputies elected to the 300-member Parliament following the March 7 general election were sworn-in on Thursday in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution. Thursday was also the first day of the new legislative session.

    The oath-taking ceremony was officiated by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece.

    MPs officially assumed their duties immediately after the taking of the oath.

    On Friday, deputies will convene to elect the new Parliament presidium, comprised of a president, five vice-presidents, three deans and six secretaries. Ruling New Democracy deputy Anna Psarouda-Beniki will, by all accounts, be voted in as the new Parliament president, the first time a woman has held the post in Greece.

    The new government's policy statements will be read out on behalf of PM 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. A vote of confidence for the new government is scheduled for Monday.

    [04] Greek journalists attacked by Albanians during Kosovo violence

    18/03/2004 22:51:35

    PRISTINA (ANA) - Two Greek journalists belonging to a news crew sent in by the Greek television channel Alter were attacked by Albanians in Urosevac on Thursday, who threw rocks and stones at their vehicle as they entered the town.

    Constantina Syrvou and George Venetis were going into Urosevac to report on earlier violent incidents involving Greek peacekeepers.

    The car windscreen was smashed in the attack and the two journalists were taken out by members of the U.S. peacekeeping force, who escorted them to the border between Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    [05] Memorial service held in Athens for Madrid terrorist victims

    18/03/2004 22:31:22

    A memorial service for the victims of last week's terrorist attacks in Madrid was held on Thursday at the Catholic Church of St. Dionysius in Athens.

    Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, Labour Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos, the Secretary of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement's Central Committee Michalis Chryssohoidis, ambassadors and representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Muslim community attended the service, among others.

    ''We must all address this horrible phenomenon of terrorism, united,'' Molyviatis said, while reiterating his sympathy for Spain's citizens and his revulsion at the terrorist attack.

    Panayiatopoulos said he felt the need to express his sorrow and condolences to Spanish workers who lost their lives during their daily commuting to work.

    ''Terrorism concerns us all - regardless of where we live and regardless of what we believe in. It threatens society, humanity, and must be dealt with as such,'' Panayiotopoulos stated.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Friday

    18/03/2004 18:42:43

    Sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with some early morning mist on the mainland and over the Ionian Sea. Winds variable, light to moderate, turning strong in the southeastern Aegean. Temperatures in Athens 10C to 23C and in Thessaloniki from 8C to 22C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Friday

    18/03/2004 18:39:03

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.235

    Pound sterling 0.677

    Danish kroner 7.507

    Swedish kroner 9.323

    Japanese yen 132.2

    Swiss franc 1.575

    Norwegian kroner 8.570

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.654

    Australian dollar 1.665

    [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop in jittery trade

    18/03/2004 18:27:24

    The Athens bourse finished lower on Thursday with players jittery over volatility in world markets, traders said.

    The general share index shed 0.54 per cent to end at 2,383.90 points. Turnover was 141.0 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.03 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 1.82 per cent lower; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities lost 3.0 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 281 to 35 with 40 issues remaining unchanged.

    [09] Greek PM to attend four-way talks on Cyprus issue in Lucerne

    18/03/2004 16:56:25

    Responding to an invitation sent out by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Greek government on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will attend UN-backed talks taking place in Switzerland to resolve the Cyprus issue.

    Officials said the Greek premier would attend the later stage of the enlarged four-way talks in Burgenstock, near Lucerne, on March 28.

    According to an ANA correspondent in New York, the UN chief sent out two-page letters to the leadership of Greece, Turkey and the two communities on the island republic, asking them to send representatives to the talks that begin on March 23, which seek to reunite the island republic before it officially joins the European Union on May 1.

    Annan urges Athens and Ankara and the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot leadership to reply as quickly as possible and points out that they must be represented at a sufficiently high level as to allow the taking of important decisions, in accordance with the commitments made in New York on February 13.

    The UN chief's office has so far refused to confirm whether the secretary-general will take part in the four-way talks, saying that this will depend on the level of representation at the meeting.

    The negotiations are expected to begin at the level of foreign ministers, with the two prime ministers and Annan himself joining in at a later stage, depending on how the talks progress. The four-way talks are scheduled to continue until March 31, while diplomatic sources say they will take place irrespective of whether Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash takes part or not.

    According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also be attending the next round of talks on the Cyprus issue.

    [10] Greek journalists attacked by Albanians during Kosovo violence

    18/03/2004 16:56:03

    PRISTINA (ANA) - Two Greek journalists belonging to a news crew sent in by the Greek television channel Alter were attacked by Albanians in Urosevac on Thursday, who threw rocks and stones at their vehicle as they entered the town.

    Constantina Syrvou and George Venetis were going into Urosevac to report on earlier violent incidents involving Greek peacekeepers.

    The car windscreen was smashed in the attack and the two journalists were taken out by members of the U.S. peacekeeping force, who escorted them to the border between Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    [11] U.S. president and Greek PM discuss Cyprus issue on the phone

    18/03/2004 16:54:45

    United States President George Bush and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis briefly exchanged views on the Cyprus issue on Thursday, during 15-minute conversation over the telephone.

    Bush congratulated the recently-elected Greek premier on his victory in the elections and wished him success in his work, while stressing that the United States was prepared to assist in resolving the political problem on Cyprus.

    Karamanlis replied that a solution on Cyprus had to be viable, functional and compatible with European Union standards and asked for Washington's intervention with the Turkish-Cypriot side in order to ensure a solution within this framework.


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