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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek foreign ministry launches 2nd phase of relief efforts for Lebanon
  • [02] Papandreou to visit Finland on Monday
  • [03] Sioufas joins energy-saving campaign
  • [04] Greece to use 20% alternative energy sources by 2008

  • [01] Greek foreign ministry launches 2nd phase of relief efforts for Lebanon

    Greece will provide free transport for humanitarian aid sent by European Union member-states to Lebanon via Cyprus, the Greek foreign ministry said on Friday, following an announcement by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis the previous day.

    Greece, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus, provides an open transportation route via which humanitarian aid from European partners and the European Commission can reach Lebanon, where it will be delivered to local authorities for distribution.

    Coordinated by the Foreign Ministry‚s Hellenic Aid International Development Cooperation Department, transfer will be carried out by Greek Navy landing craft.

    Furthermore, agencies, private individuals and NGOs have already responded to the Foreign Ministry‚s call for aid. Those wishing to contribute to the humanitarian effort for the purpose of providing aid to Lebanon, may make their deposits in the following bank accounts:

    · National Bank of Greece: 040/483100-41

    · Emporiki Bank: 85601920

    · Alpha Bank: 101002001000610

    · Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATEbank):

    0170300300058 (Account name: Ministry of Health

    and Social Solidarity, ?Lebanon?)

    The ministry also highlighted Athens' prompt response, noting that Greece was among the first countries to act swiftly and effectively, calling for the immediate termination of violence in Lebanon.

    The Foreign Ministry responded promptly to the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon through the provision of aid as well as the coordination of efforts for the repatriation of Greek and non-Greek nationals in Lebanon, while seeking a diplomatic resolution.

    Greece continues actively in efforts toward terminating the violence in Lebanon and ensuring that peace prevails.

    On the humanitarian aid level

    - To date, a total of six Air Force C-130s have departed from Elefsina airport, transferring over 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid consisting of medicine, tents, foodstuffs, water and blankets (also provided by the Hellenic Armed Forces and the Hellenic Red Cross).

    - Thus far, under the Greek initiative, a total of 2,200 persons (600 Greek and 1,600 non-Greek nationals) have been repatriated from Lebanon via air or sea.

    - The Foreign Ministry‚s Hellenic Aid has been working hand-in-hand with NGOs, as well as with the Health Ministry and the General Secretariat for Civil Protection for the collection of pharmaceutical, medical and other provisions requested by the government of Lebanon through the European Union.

    - A 24-hour hotline has been set up providing citizens with information regarding the latest developments in Lebanon.

    On a diplomatic level

    As a member of the UN Security Council and of the European Union, Greece actively sought to contribute to the easing of the crisis. Calling for the immediate convening of the UN Security Council, Minister Dora Bakoyannis attended an extraordinary EU foreign ministers session on August 1, in Brussels, and the Rome crisis conference on July 26, to assess the situation in Lebanon and prepare further EU action.

    The Foreign Ministry‚s efforts to confront the Lebanon crisis are outlined below in a five-point framework:

    1. A call for immediate ceasefire as a necessary step to put a stop to the humanitarian disaster and to allow diplomacy to act.

    2. The vital need for concentrated and coordinated efforts on an international level for the provision of humanitarian aid via secure corridors.

    3. The complete and speedy restoration of the sovereignty of the Lebanese government; immediate release of the Israeli soldiers taken prisoner and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1680.

    4. Overcoming the impasses in the Middle East Peace Process via the reactivation of the 'Road Map'.

    5. Terminating the exclusion of and engaging all countries in the region willing to contribute to the effort

    [02] Papandreou to visit Finland on Monday

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader and President of Socialist International (SI) George Papandreou will visit Finland on Monday, following an invitation by Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

    He will meet with Tuomioja, whose country currently holds the EU rotating presidency, on Monday afternoon and later attend a dinner hosted by the Finnish minister, with the participation of politicians and foreign ministers from the Scandinavian countries.

    PASOK Spokesman Nikos Athanassakis announced on Friday that Papandreou will also meet Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who is co-president of SI's Committee for the Middle East.

    Talks at the dinner and at the meetings, will focuse on the Middle East and Iran as well as on Turkey's EU accession course, given that during the Finnish EU presidency crucial decisions are expected, and the Cyprus issue.

    Athanassakis recalled previous telephone talks which Papandreou had with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, in light of the forthcoming meeting with the Finnish foreign minister.

    The PASOK spokesman also said that in the contacts in Finland the future of Europe will be discussed.

    The spokesman reiterated "the need for an immediate ceasefire and a truce in Lebanon" and added that "in this need, the international community has not as yet responded with decisions it must take."

    [03] Sioufas joins energy-saving campaign

    The Development Ministry's Energy and Natural Wealth Department, in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Consumers, on Friday began a broad campaign of public awarness on the potential which Greece's household consumers have in saving energy, without reducing their standard of living.

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, accompanied by development ministry secretary-general Nikos Stefanou, the Consumers' secretary-general Thanassis Skordas and ministry officials, took part in the campaign of briefing citizens on energy-saving.

    Pamphlets entitled "Energy-Saving", were distributed at Athens' Syntagma Square Metro Station.

    The diistribution of the pamphlet will continue in the coming weeks in Attica., in the whole of Greece and during the period of the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    After the event, Sioufas said:"We need energy-saving because energy is not endless. The potential of energy-saving is in the hands of the citizens and of the households. And the more citizens are briefed, so much the better."

    To reporters' questions whether there was a threat of a blackout, the minister said that all necessary measures have been taken for sufficient energy and for the safety of the system.

    [04] Greece to use 20% alternative energy sources by 2008

    At least 20 percent of Greece's energy requirements will be covered by sources other than oil by the year 2008, Deputy Development Minister Anastasios Nerantzis stated in Hania on Friday.

    "By 2008, in accordance with Community commitments we have undertaken and by government choice, at least 20 percent of the energy needed by the country will be produced by renewable sources, for example the sun, wind, biomass and sources other than oil," he said in response to questions.

    Nerantzis also pointed out that gradually making Greece less dependent on oil made the attempt to switch to alternative energy sources profitable as well as important, in view of constantly rising oil prices.

    The deputy minister also referred to the government's deregulation of the Greek energy market, with legislation that opened up power production to companies other than the state-run Public Power Corporation (PPC), and the government's developmental law, which he said had proved to be highly effective in practice and had benefited dozens of businesses.


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