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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-03-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Premier Karamanlis satisfied with Council's conclusions on Cyprus
  • [02] World Bank, IMF to hold forum in Greece on combatting poverty
  • [03] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR
  • [04] Albania's Archdiocese offers to fund repairs to Kosovo church and
  • [05] Clocks to go one hour forward on Sunday, March 28
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Showers on Saturday
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday
  • [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, fuelled by markets abroad
  • [09] Cyprus negotiations noted in EU summit conclusions
  • [10] Diplomatic sources say Greek initiative for Cyprus at EU summit a

  • [01] Premier Karamanlis satisfied with Council's conclusions on Cyprus

    26/03/2004 23:24:30

    BRUSSELS (ANA/Ch.Poulidou/CNA) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis expressed satisfaction with the European Council's final conclusions on Cyprus and described as a ''positive development'' the involvement of the European Commission in the Cyprus enlarged talks, taking place in Switzerland with Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen.

    Karamanlis also said that the decision about a Cyprus settlement should be taken by those sitting at the negotiating table. Athens, he pointed out, acted in concert with Nicosia. In its conclusions, the Council reaffirmed its strong preference for the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU and reiterated its readiness to accommodate the terms of such a settlement in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.

    Speaking at a press conference, Karamanlis said the paragraph on Cyprus was included after ''our initiative'' and it was satisfactory since it clearly referred to the acquis communautaire and the framework of the basic principles of the European Union. As regards to Verheugen's presence at the talks, he said the Commissioner announced the news himself during a working lunch of European heads of state. ''We sought the Commission's presence, it is a positive development'', he said.

    [02] World Bank, IMF to hold forum in Greece on combatting poverty

    26/03/2004 23:20:47

    The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are to hold a forum in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on March 29-31 on combatting poverty, organisers said on Friday.

    The conference will focus on reducing poverty in Balkan countries, organisers said in a statement.

    The first Balkan poverty forum held in October 2002 helped countries in the region to forge clearer strategies in the sector, the statement said.

    [03] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR

    26/03/2004 23:19:30

    Eight formations of Turkish warplanes infringed on Athens's Flight Information Region (FIR) an equal number of times on Friday, press reports said.

    In all cases, the 19 Turkish aircraft were recognised and intercepted by Greek jets, while in two cases the interception process developed into a mock engagement.

    It was reported that four of the Turkish warplanes recognised and intercepted were armed.

    [04] Albania's Archdiocese offers to fund repairs to Kosovo church and mosque

    26/03/2004 23:18:16

    TIRANA (ANA) In a move to promote reconciliation between the religious communities in Kosovo, Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and all Albania Anastasios on Friday announced that the Orthodox Archdiocese in Tirana will offer 600,000 dollars for repairs to one church and one mosque in Kosovo, or for the construction of a youth centre to promote peaceful coexistence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

    ''The burning of churches and mosques does not promote justice and peace, nor of course progress. Instead, it takes us back to eras and practices that led the Balkans to backwardness, division and tragedy,'' the announcement said.

    [05] Clocks to go one hour forward on Sunday, March 28

    26/03/2004 23:05:09

    Please note that clocks will go one hour forward on Sunday, March 28, from 3.a.m. to 4 a.m., due to summer saving time.

    [06] Weather Forecast: Showers on Saturday

    26/03/2004 19:43:57

    Showers are forecast in the west, centre and north, and in the eastern Aegean islands. Winds variable, moderate to gale force. Temperatures in Athens 13C to 21C and in Thessaloniki from 11C to 18C.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    26/03/2004 19:20:34

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.227

    Pound sterling 0.675

    Danish kroner 7.506

    Swedish kroner 9.340

    Japanese yen 129.6

    Swiss franc 1.568

    Norwegian kroner 8.513

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.623

    Australian dollar 1.644

    [08] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks rise, fuelled by markets abroad

    26/03/2004 19:06:38

    The Athens bourse finished higher on Friday in robust sentiment fuelled by world markets, traders said.

    The general share index gained 1.61 per cent to end at 2,332.21 points. Turnover was 139.1 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 1.20 per cent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 3.01 per cent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities gained 2.72 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, declines led advances at 290 to 38 with 28 issues remaining unchanged.

    [09] Cyprus negotiations noted in EU summit conclusions

    26/03/2004 18:27:56

    Brussels (ANA/C. Poulidou-CNA) -- The European Council, in its final

    conclusions on Cyprus on Friday, reaffirmed its strong preference for the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU and reiterated its readiness to accommodate the terms of such a settlement in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.

    It said a just, viable and functional settlement is achievable by 1 May and urged all parties to maintain a firm commitment to an achievable outcome to the negotiating process with the collaboration

    of the governments of Greece and Turkey.

    In the conclusions, the European Council emphasizes its continuing strong support for the efforts of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to help the parties seize this historic opportunity to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem consistent with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

    The Council welcomes the Commission's continued willingness to offer assistance for a speedy solution within the framework of the acquis communautaire.

    Furthermore, it welcomes the Commission's continued willingness to offer assistance for the Commission‘s offer to organize a high-level international conference in Brussels on 15 April to prepare a donors' conference. The European Council stressed that it "remains convinced that a just, viable and functional settlement is achievable by 1 May. It urges all parties to maintain a firm commitment to an achievable outcome to the negotiating process with the collaboration of the governments of Greece and Turkey".

    Concluding, it "reaffirms its strong preference for the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU and reiterates its readiness to accommodate the terms of such a settlement in line with principles on which the EU is founded".

    [10] Diplomatic sources say Greek initiative for Cyprus at EU summit a success

    26/03/2004 18:26:42

    BRUSSELS (ANA - G. Zitouniati) An initiative by the Greek government to include the Cyprus issue in the agenda and final conclusions of the European Council meeting was greeted as a success by diplomatic sources in Brussels on Friday.

    The same sources said that the reference to the Cyprus issue in the Council's conclusions, which included all the elements that interest the Greek and Greek-Cypriot sides, acquired special significance because of the specific juncture at which the text was adopted, when exceedingly difficult and complex negotiations on the political problem were underway in Lucerne, Switzerland.

    They pointed out that similar texts adopted by past EU summits did not face the current difficulties, since they were distant in time from such a crucial and decisive phase in negotiations as that currently underway in Switzerland.

    Among the issues raised in the text was that of accommodating EU laws in any Cyprus settlement, as well as respect for the Community's principles.

    This result was apparently achieved after long and feverish deliberations by Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Deputy Foreign Minister for European affairs Yiannis Valinakis.


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