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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM inaugurates 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, places emphasis on development of northern Greece
  • [02] Greece reminds that no EU presidency should exploit its position to advance national political choices
  • [03] ANA, MPE live web coverage of TIF highlight events

  • [01] PM inaugurates 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, places emphasis on development of northern Greece

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis inaugurated the 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (TIF) on Friday night, placing emphasis on the development of northern Greece during his address at the inauguration ceremony. Outlining the government's intentions, Karamanlis said it is forging ahead along the path of changes and reforms. He added that day by day it is creating the conditions necessary to achieve success and that the foundations are being laid to enable Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace to gain the growth and prosperity they are entitled to. The prime minister further said that the foundations are being laid to achieve the citizens' common demand for a better life for all Greeks and that this is the government's target and vision. He also stressed at this point, referring to the country's development, that "there are not two Greeces."

    "A 'Strategic Plan for the Development of Northern Greece' is being prepared (and will be ready before the end of the year). It is a plan of prospects for the three regions, technology, innovation and competitiveness, which it defines as the pylons of their prospects for development. It is aimed at promoting and utilising their comparative advantages and paves the way for a competitive regional economy having internal cohesion and an extrovert orientation," he said.

    Karamanlis said the government is aiming at turning Thessaloniki into a "Regional Convention and Exhibition Centre", adding that HELEXPO's strategy is already orientated towards this goal.

    "Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace are acquiring increasing geopolitical importance and a new momentum of development. What is even more optimistic is the prospect being shaped for northern Greece by the next European enlargement, when Greece will also be joined to the European Union geographically. Macedonia and Thrace can develop from border and distant regions of Greece into a geopolitical and economic centre for the wider region," he further said.

    The prime minister stressed that the strategy to achieve the vision of a modern Greece is being implemented with the goal of "peace-cooperation-development", saying that "we are cultivating relations of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with all countries in our region. We are working with the aim of having our wider region becoming a European neighbourhood of peace, development and prosperity for all."

    Karamanlis placed particular attention to international cooperation which is being developed in the crucial sector of energy.

    "We signed a few months ago (in Sofia) a political agreement with the governments of Russia and Bulgaria for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline. My Turkish counterpart and I have inaugurated, at the Kipi Bridge at Evros, the beginning of works for the construction of the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline. The development minister and his Italian counterpart have signed a protocol for the construction of an undersea pipeline which shall convey natural gas from Greece to Italy and from there to the heart of Europe," he said.

    Focusing on communication, the prime minister went on to say that railway links between Thessaloniki, Sofia and Istanbul have been upgraded and the time required for these trips has been reduced considerably and the creation of an International Trade Centre to be linked to the city's port and the railway network has already been scheduled.

    "The future is challenging us and we are determined to win. A great deal has yet to be done, of course. One thing, however, is more than certain: we Greeks play a leading role when we join our forces, when we utilise our culture and when we function as 'citizens of the world'," the prime minister concluded.

    [02] Greece reminds that no EU presidency should exploit its position to advance national political choices

    Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos on Friday pointed out that no EU presidency should exploit its position in order to advance purely national political choices. "The principle of objectivity is fundamental for the successful exercise of the mission of each and every EU presidency," Koumoutsakos said, replying to questions, during a regular press briefing, regarding the ongoing discussion at the EU's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) in Brussels. The Committee is formulating a reply (counter-declaration) to Turkey's unilateral declaration on July 29 that its signature of the Association Agreement Protocol -- by virtue of which Ankara extended its customs union agreement with the EU to the 10 new member states, including Cyprus -- did not mean recognition of the internationally-recognised Republic of Cyprus.

    Turkey also refused to open its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and planes.

    "I fear that the developments of the past 24 hours in the discussion in Brussels (COREPER) on this matter render it necessary to repeat this," Koumoutsakos said.

    "It is self-evident that no (EU) presidency should take advantage of its abilities for the projection of purely national political choices," Koumoutsakos concluded.

    [03] ANA, MPE live web coverage of TIF highlight events

    Greece's two news agencies, the Athens News Agency (ANA) and the Macedonian Press Agency (MPA) will directly broadcast from Thessaloniki they highlight events of the 70th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) live via Internet to the entire country and throughout the world. The programme of live webcasts by the two news agencies, which are currently in the process of merging, includes the inauguration ceremony of the 70th TIF and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' opening address on Friday, September 9, at 8:00 p.m. and Prime Minister Karamanlis' keynote address to the official banquet hosted by the Helexpo-TIF administration on Saturday, September 10, at 8:00 p.m.

    The programme also includes:

  • Prime minister Karamanlis' press conference on Sunday, September 11, at 1:00 p.m.

  • Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party leader Alekos Alavanos' visit to the TIF on Tuesday, September 13.

  • Communist Party of Greece (KKE) party leader Aleka Papariga's visit to the TIF on Wednesday, September 14.

  • Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou's address during a Helexpo-TIF banquet on Saturday, September 17, at 8:30 p.m.

  • Main opposition PASOK leader Papandreou's press conference on Sunday, September 18, at 1:00 p.m. (time tentative)
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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