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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-12

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Finance Minister presents export promotion plan for 2006
  • [02] Chickens safe to eat, health minister stresses
  • [03] PASOK MPs seek debate on Sunday opening for shops
  • [04] Greece expresses regret over Iran's nuclear programme

  • [01] Finance Minister presents export promotion plan for 2006

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Thursday presented actions and policy priorities organised by the Hellenic Organisation for External Trade (OPE) for the current year.

    Speaking to reporters, Alogoskoufis said the programme envisaged a total of 31 business trips abroad, up from 16 in 2005, while Greek participations to international trade fairs would exceed 80.

    More than 4,000 Greek export enterprises have been informed over OPE's programme for 2006, aimed to support access of Greek products to foreign markets and in particular, the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Australia, India, China and South Korea.

    The Greek minister said a National Export Council was expected to meet, soon, to approve OPE's action plan for 2006 and stressed that both agencies were spearheading Greek export growth.

    Hellenic Organisation for External Trade has set three policy priorities for the current year: accessing big foreign markets, combined presence of Greek product and services abroad and promoting goods and services.

    Alogoskoufis said government initiatives, taken so far, have already offered results with Greek exports up 12.8 pct in the first 10 months of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004.

    PASOK's V. Papandreou on OPE's action programme

    Vasso Papandreou, responsible for the Economy Sector of the Political Council of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), commenting on Thursday on the Greek economy's extroversion programme presented by National Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, said that "it is positive that the Economy and Finance Minister, after almost two years of governance, dealt with the action programme of the Greek Export Promotion Organisation (OPE)."

    She added:"However, it is irresponsible and pitiful for him to attempt to mislead the Greek people on the results of the government's policy, of a supposed increase of exports and consequently of an improvement of the Greek economy's competitiveness."

    Vasso Papandreou referred to an excerpt of a report by the Centre for Economic Planning and Research (KEPE), which, as she noted, "disproves the current minister." The excerpt says that "the improvement of the export performances in the first six-month period of 2005 is mainly due to the upsurge of revenue from the sale of ships, and secondly to an increase in the value of fuel exports. Therefore, the exports of goods not only did not increase, but showed a drop of 4.2 per cent in comparison to the corresponding six-month period of 2004, thus overturning the levels of the first six-month period of 2003."

    [02] Chickens safe to eat, health minister stresses

    Chickens safe to eat, health minister stresses

    Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis on Thursday underlined that the public should not shun chicken because of bird flu.

    He noted that nothing had changed since the bird flu scare a few months back with respect to organised poultry farms: they had no problem and people could, if they wished, fearlessly eat chicken.

    The minister also stressed that he continued to eat poultry himself, though stressing that he was not likely to repeat a public chicken meal like the one he ate on the island of Oinousses, during a previous bird flu scare that proved to be a false alarm.

    Kaklamanis was answering questions during an event marking the 15th anniversaray of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Technology.

    [03] PASOK MPs seek debate on Sunday opening for shops

    A debate on extending shop opening hours on selected Sundays during the year has been requested by 19 main opposition PASOK MPs, including PASOK sector-head Anna Diamantopoulou, in a letter sent to Parliament's Commerce Committee on Thursday.

    They stress that the proposal for Sunday opening made by Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas was not something requested by any social or business group, including supermarkets and consumers, as well as completely contradicting the minister's earlier statements promising no further changes to shop opening hours.

    [04] Greece expresses regret over Iran's nuclear programme

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman George Koumoutsakos in an announcement on Thursday evening expressed Greek diplomacy's regret over developments regarding Iran's nuclear programme.

    Koumoutsakos expressed regret because "the diplomatic procedure is being halted, an effort which Greece, like other countries throughout the world, supported."

    The foreign ministry spokesman added:"At the same time, we condemn every nuclear programme which does not respect the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The European Union had already, since last September, supported the probable referal of the matter of Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council in the event that this country continued its nuclear activities. Two days ago, the EU condemned Iran's decision to continue towards this direction and, as is kinown, the European initative was halted."

    Koumoutsakos noted that following Iran's persistence and the latest developments, "it is apparent that the referal of the issue to the UN Security Council is henceforth probable if not unavoidable."


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