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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria sign Joint Declaration of Friendship, Good Neighbourhood and Cooperation
  • [02] 'Greece in the European society of law' symposium

  • [01] Greece, Bulgaria sign Joint Declaration of Friendship, Good Neighbourhood and Cooperation

    Greece and Bulgaria signed a Joint Declaration of friendship, good neighborhood and cooperation, during a meeting on Friday in Sofia between visiting Greek prime minister Costas Karamanlis and his Bulgarian counterpart Sergei Stanishev. At the same time, the deputy foreign ministers of the two countries also signed an agreement for the opening of a new border crossing.

    "Here is Sofia, we laid down the foundations for a new cooperation between the two countries, within a framework that will enable us to take advantage of the experiences and benefits of our cooperation to date," Karamanlis told reporters after his meeting with Stanishev.

    He said that the Joint Declaration outlined this new framework of Greek-Bulgarian relations, which aimed at a concerted advancement of policies in sectors of mutual interest, while at the same time aspiring to promote the consolidation of the European principles and values in the region.

    Stanishev, in turn, stressed that the cooperation between the two countries has had "firm foundations" for many years, and would acquire a new dimension and momentum with Bulgaria's accession to the European Union.

    The Bulgarian premier also said the two countries shared common positions on regional cooperation, and both backed the European future of the western Balkan countries.

    Karamanlis said that all the preceding governments had worked in this direction, and underlined the "very good relations" in the sectors of the economy, trade, and in tourism-related investments, which he said should be further boosted, for the mutual benefit.

    At regional level, he stressed the European prospect of the wider region, which Karamanlis said carried a 'historical burden' and must become "a neighbourhood of Europe".

    At European level, Karamanlis said, Greece and Bulgaria shared common strategic aspirations, while he also made mention of neighbouring Romania's European prospect.

    Stanishev expressed appreciation for Greece's firm support for his country's European prospect.

    The Bulgarian prime minister stressed that commercial transactions between the two countries had exceeded the two billion dollar mark in 2005, while noting that Greece is the second largest investor in Bulgaria with 1.1 billion dollars.

    With respect to tourism, Stanishev said that 700,000 Greek tourists had visited Bulgaria last year, while Bulgarian tourists to Greece had exceeded 500,000.

    Turning to the problem faced by the two countries with the overflowing of the Evros River during inclement weather in the winter, Karamanlis said that the Joint Declaration contained a commitment for early warning. He said the two sides agreed to introduce an "open line" of contact and for the installation of an early warning system.

    Karamanlis said that the level of contact between the two sides was satisfactory, but added that, at practical level, the above measures needed to be implemented.

    Stanishev added that life mandates a closer cooperation, and that early warning was necesssary in order to "prevent surprises" and avert prospective problems.

    Karamanlis also expressed his support to Stanishev over the flooding problems faced with the overflowing of the Danube River.

    Replying to a question on the nuclear power plant at Kozloduy and the plans for the construction of a new plant at Belene, Karamanlis said the issue was being dealt with at EU-Bulgaria level, and stressed the need for security and environmental protection, while at the same time expressing his satisfaction that Bulgaria has committed itself to fulfilling specific terms and conditions.

    To another question on the Bulgarian workers in Greece and possible 'bad attitudes' on the part of some Greek employers, Karamanlis stressed that Greece is a well-governed state, and that the law was being strictly applied in such matters.

    Replying to another question on the social insurance rights of the Bulgarians working in Greece and the transfer of their rights from Bulgaria to Greece, Karamanlis said a long and substantive dialogue on the issue was still ongoing, adding that a resolution of the matter was anticipated in the near future, and that the agreement to be reached would take all aspects into consideratin, as well as Bulgaria's European prospect.

    Replying to the same question, Stanishev said that the two governments had the good will and desire to resolve all issues that arise, while he also said he had put forward the issue of Greece's recognition of Bulgarian driving licences, adding that the matter was heading towards resolution and was "in the final stretch".

    They two prime ministers further discussed the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, and agreed that both countries were interested in proceeding with the establishment of a relevant company, with the participation of Russia as well.

    During the meeting, Greece's deputy foreign minister Evrypidis Stylianidis and his Bulgarian counterpart Lubomir Kuchukov for the opening of a new border crossing check-point between the towns of Kyprinos and Ivailovgrad.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] 'Greece in the European society of law' symposium

    Matters concerning human rights in relation with economic growth in the era of globalisation, is being examined by a legal symposium which began at the Concert Hall in Athens on Thursday.

    The syposium is entitled "Greece in the European society of law" which is organised by the Hellenic Centre of European Studies and Research, in cooperation with the Athens Academy and the Judicial Studies Society.

    Opening the symposium, Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras referred to human rights issues in relation to globalisation and gave emphasis to matters touching European law.

    Papaligouras stressed the necessity of a "unified European network" and noted that "the establishment of a European network constitutes a necessary prerequisite worthy of the future of the European Union." He said that "the European Union is called on today to answer these matters on behalf of the entire world."

    The justice minister also referred at length to the Charter of Fundamental Rights which the EU has adopted, as well as to matters of globalisation under the prism of economic growth with the objective always the safeguarding of human rights, so that globalisation be transformed in the direction of "a society of equality, where human rights will safeguard the balance required."

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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