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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Rice visit to Athens possibly on April 27; confirmation pending
  • [02] Greece to present plan on 4th CSF in June
  • [03] PASOK's Papandreou in Skopje on Wednesday

  • [01] Rice visit to Athens possibly on April 27; confirmation pending

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Wednesday informed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias about a possible visit to the country next week by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, adding that the US official's arrival in Athens is tentatively set for April 27, although the exact itinerary is still pending.

    Bakoyannis made the announcement in response to a question by Papoulias, during his greeting of the foreign minister at the presidential mansion when she arrived to brief him on foreign policy issues. She said that Athens was waiting for office hours to begin in America, where it was still night, in order to confirm the arrangements.

    The minister also pointed out that Rice's possible visit here will partly coincide with a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Sofia on April 27-28.

    Speaking to reporters after her meeting with the president, Bakoyannis stressed that she was not yet in a position to make an official announcement. "Our information is that she will come but her programme has not been settled yet," she said, noting that the press would be informed as soon as the visit was definite.

    Bakoyannis also dismissed any concerns over protests against Rice's visit, while citing traditionally good Greek-US relations.

    On his part, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos told reporters that an invitation was issued and accepted in Washington late last month during Bakoyannis‚ official visit to the United States.

    He emphasised, however, that the exact date and itinerary will have to be confirmed via diplomatic channels by the country accepting the invitation, while Rice's itinerary might be affected by several factors that only Washington could know.

    He was also reassuring about threatened demonstrations against the visit, stressing that Greece was a "mature, modern, European democracy where there was absolute freedom of expression" and that the government was not concerned.

    Following rumours that a visit by Rice was impending, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Tuesday issued an announcement in which it termed the visit "undesirable" and warned of a protest outside the gates of Athens university next Thursday. The Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos), meanwhile, termed Rice the "chief expressor of Bush's warlike policies".

    Caption: Bakoyannis, left, and Rice appear at a joint press conference in late March 2006 following their talks at the State Department. ANA-MPA photo / D. Panagos.

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

    [02] Greece to present plan on 4th CSF in June

    Greece will be able to receive advance payments from the Fourth Community Support Framework's funds from January 1, 2007, provided that there are no delays and that the European Commission will approve the EU's general guidelines in July, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Wednesday.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting of an Inter-ministerial Commission on Coordination and Drafting of a Development Programme Policy for the period 2007-2013, the Greek minister said a draft plan would be ready in June.

    Alogoskoufis said that a National Benchmark Strategic Framework was a great development opportunity for Greece and said the government was determined to avoid mistakes made in the past. The National Benchmark Strategic Framework will focus on supporting Greek regions, by earmarking 80 percent of EU funds (20.1 bln euros), promoting skills by human resources, and supporting new technologies to boost competitiveness and productivity.

    Alogoskoufis said the Greek government would submit a total of 12-13 programmes to the EU, of which six or seven would be sectoral and five regional.

    Economy and Finance Deputy Minister Christos Folias said a framework on distributing spending would be more transparent.

    The Inter-ministerial Commission aims to coordinate procedures of drafting a growth programme for the period 2007-2013, to submitting a recommendation on the programme, to form alternative plans and to recommend on the necessary institutional, administrative and organising regulations.

    Photo: ANA/MPA file photo

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

    [03] PASOK's Papandreou in Skopje on Wednesday

    SKOPJE (ANA/MPA - N. Frangopoulos) - Greece's main opposition leader George Papandreou is due to visit Skopje on Wednesday in his capacity as Socialist International president, following an invitation from the ruling Socialdemocratic Union (SDSM) to attend an event celebrating the 15th anniversary since SDSM was founded.

    During his visit, the leader of Greece's PASOK party is scheduled to meet Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski and then address the SDSM event, which will also be attended by representatives of several socialist and socialdemocratic parties in Europe.

    The SDSM is a full member of Socialist International.

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


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