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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-03-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] US President George W. Bush phones PM, asks him to assist Cyprus
  • [02] Gov't to seek balanced economic growth, FinMin says
  • [03] President Stephanopoulos signs twin economic agreements with Moldova
  • [04] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR, violate national airspace
  • [05] Athens 2004 torch relay song released Monday
  • [06] ''Olympic Torches 1936-2004'' exhibition opens on Monday
  • [07] Tatoulis expresses sorrow over the death of British actor Peter Ustinov
  • [08] US President George W. Bush phones PM, asks him to assist Cyprus
  • [09] Weather Forecast: Cloud, scattered showers on Tuesday
  • [10] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday
  • [11] Revised Annan plan submitted to two Cyprus sides in Buergenstock (ADDS)

  • [01] US President George W. Bush phones PM, asks him to assist Cyprus solution

    29/03/2004 23:37:32

    BURGENSTOCK (ANA/A. Panagopoulos) - US President George W. Bush telephoned to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at 6.15 p.m. (Greek time) on Monday, calling on him to ''assist efforts for a solution to the issue of Cyprus.''

    Karamanlis told President Bush ''we are here to help. We are all trying. The 48-hour framework is tight but there is goodwill.''

    The prime minister also had a meeting with European Union Enlragement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen to whom, according to diplomatic sources, ''he raised issues of lack of compatibility existing in the Annan plan with the acquis communautaire.''

    The sources said Verheugen told Karamanlis he will examine the issues and return.

    Karamanlis met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as well.

    Diplomatic sources said Greece shares the scepticism of the Greek Cypriot side since ''there are problematic elements in the text.''

    Athens insists that it will not sign the text on the agreement, as UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto has requested and insists on requesting.

    The Greek side is in constant contact with the Greek Cypriot side and, according to reports, there is absolute harmony. On the question of security issues, the three rounds of negotiations which took place failed to produce any result and ''Greece and Turkey reached no agreement.''

    Greek diplomatic sources stressed that negotiations are underway with the purpose of correcting in favour of Greek interests problematic elements contained in the text.

    [02] Gov't to seek balanced economic growth, FinMin says

    29/03/2004 23:07:47

    The main economic policy goal is to achieve a balanced growth that will be spread throughout the society and boosting employment to combat unemployment, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, Mr Alogoskoufis noted that the government's

    economic policy would be growth- and social-orientated. ''We will proceed with efficiency, moderation and reforms based on consensus,'' he added.

    The immediate priority of the government's economic policy would be to strengthen sectors such as the construction and to boost other sectors such as tourism, energy production, telecommunications, transportation and manufacturing, the Greek minister said. ''These sectors could give a significant push in economic growth through a new policy that will attract investments, both domestic and foreign,'' he added.

    [03] President Stephanopoulos signs twin economic agreements with Moldova

    29/03/2004 23:07:34

    CHISINAU (ANA/N. Megadoukas)- Greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos signed twin bilateral agreements in trade and economics between Greece and Moldova, during an official visit here on Monday.

    These included measures for avoiding double taxation, an aviation agreement and a cooperation protocol for social insurance and protection issues.

    Stephanopoulos arrived in Moldova earlier on Monday accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis and a business delegation.

    He was received by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, with whom he discussed both the political and economic aspects of bilateral ties between Athens and Chisinau.

    [04] Turkish warplanes infringe Athens FIR, violate national airspace

    29/03/2004 23:05:09

    Four formations of Turkish warplanes infringed on Athens's Flight Information Region (FIR) an equal number of times on Monday which developed in 20 violations of Greek national airspace in the Dodecanese region (between Patmos and Kos), press reports said.

    In all cases, the 12 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 two of the Turkish warplanes recognised and intercepted were armed.

    [05] Athens 2004 torch relay song released Monday

    29/03/2004 23:05:01

    The first torch relay to cross all five continents in Olympic Games history with the motto ''Pass the Flame, Unite the World,'' also has its own song, released on Monday, titled ''Pass the Flame.''

    The song, written by famous composer and producer Trevor Horn in collaboration with Lol Creme, is interpreted by Greek singer Yiannis Kotsiras (in both Greek and English), while the Greek version has been written by songwriter Lina Nicolacopoulou.

    [06] ''Olympic Torches 1936-2004'' exhibition opens on Monday

    29/03/2004 23:03:37

    National Defence Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos inaugurated the ''Olympic Torches 1936-2004'' exhibition at the Athens' War Museum on Monday. The exhibition will last until April 5.

    Spiliotopoulos emphasized that the power of nations is not only a matter of weaponry but of spirit as well.

    ''The Olympic legacy is one of the most significant parts of that spirit,'' he said.

    Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, also present at the opening, pointed out that the Olympic Flame can convey a different message to a world rife with disturbances.

    [07] Tatoulis expresses sorrow over the death of British actor Peter Ustinov

    29/03/2004 21:10:27

    Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis on Monday expressed his sorrow on hearing of the death of British actor Peter Ustinov.

    ''The death of the known humanist comes at a turning point in history where his sober and clear speech with reference to peaceful cohabitation and co-existence of the peoples could have given a note of differentiality in the era of asymmetric threat and blind hate.''

    The Culture Ministry expresses its sorrow over the death of the British actor and knows that the Greek citizens will always remember him for his superb performanes.

    Ustinov died at the age of 82 in Switzerland on Monday.

    [08] US President George W. Bush phones PM, asks him to assist Cyprus solution

    29/03/2004 21:10:20

    BURGENSTOCK (ANA/A. Panagopoulos) - US President George W. Bush telephoned to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at 6.15 p.m. (Greek time) on Monday, calling on him to ''assist efforts for a solution to the issue of Cyprus.''

    Karamanlis told President Bush ''we are here to help. We are all trying. The 48-hour framework is tight but there is goodwill.''

    The prime minister also had a meeting with European Union Enlragement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen to whom, according to diplomatic sources, ''he raised issues of lack of compatibility existing in the Annan plan with the acquis communautaire.''

    The sources said Verheugen told Karamanlis he will examine the issues and return.

    Karamanlis met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as well.

    Diplomatic sources said Greece shares the scepticism of the Greek Cypriot side since ''there are problematic elements in the text.''

    Athens insists that it will not sign the text on the agreement, as UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto has requested and insists on requesting.

    The Greek side is in constant contact with the Greek Cypriot side and, according to reports, there is absolute harmony. On the question of security issues, the three rounds of negotiations which took place failed to produce any result and ''Greece and Turkey reached no agreement.''

    Greek diplomatic sources stressed that negotiations are underway with the purpose of correcting in favour of Greek interests problematic elements contained in the text.

    [09] Weather Forecast: Cloud, scattered showers on Tuesday

    29/03/2004 19:24:27

    Cloud is forecast in Thrace, the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean and the Dodecannese and cloud and scattered showers in the rest of the country. Winds southeasterly moderate in the west and northeasterly moderate to strong in the east. Temperatures in Athens 11C to 17C and in Thessaloniki from 8C to 13C.

    [10] Foreign Exchange Rates: Tuesday

    29/03/2004 18:39:52

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.221

    Pound sterling 0.672

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 9.340

    Japanese yen 129.1

    Swiss franc 1.570

    Norwegian kroner 8.520

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.611

    Australian dollar 1.641

    [11] Revised Annan plan submitted to two Cyprus sides in Buergenstock (ADDS)

    29/03/2004 18:12:52

    BUERGENSTOCK (ANA/F. Karaviti) -- UN secretary general Kofi Annan's new (4th) plan for a Cyprus settlement to the sides involved in the negotiations at the Swiss town of Buergenstock was delivered to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot delegations shortly after noon (Swiss time) Monday.

    Speaking at a ceremony in the Swiss Alpine resort on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Annan said the new plan would ''break the ice'' in the stalled talks before the March 31 deadline expired and he asked the parties to give their views on the new plan by Tuesday morning.

    He described the revised plan as a ''win-win proposal'' that the UN had worked on right up to the last minute and which incorporated as many of the changes desired by the two sides as possible, without upsetting its overall balance.

    "We have tried to be helpful to each side in a manner compatible with

    the interests of the other. Inevitably, it has not been possible to

    accommodate all proposals for amendment. The result, as it must be,

    is an overall compromise," he said.

    Annan's envoy Alvaro de Soto told reporters on Monday that the new plan was not a "take it or leave it" final text. If no agreement was reached by Wednesday, March 31, however, then the UN chief would present his finalised plan which would be put to twin referendums on the island due to be held on April 20, he said.

    The envoy did not rule out the possibility that the parties might be asked to sign some sort of document before the talks ended. Asked whether this was provided for under the New York agreement, de Soto said the New York agreement was "essentially procedural" and did not dictate how the negotiations will proceed.


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