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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't adamant over 'name issue' with FYROM
  • [02] FinMin meets Emporiki Bank's new chiefs
  • [03] FM to meet with Iran's SNSC aide

  • [01] Gov't adamant over 'name issue' with FYROM

    The "name issue" separating Athens and Skopje re-emerged on the "political radar" this week following a series of mostly inflexible statements by FYROM's new leadership, and expected reactions by Greece's foreign ministry.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis on Wednesday was the latest top Greek official to comment on the long-standing difference, again clarifying that a solution to the 16-year-old dispute absolutely does not revolve around the name that Greece will use in bilateral relations - a leitmotif of previous FYROM governments repeatedly cited by the Skopje over the past few days.

    "If the stated goal was to decide how Greece will refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) then UN Security Council resolutions would not be necessary, nor would negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations secretary general be necessary," Valinakis said when asked about comments by FYROM PM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who heads a new coalition government in Skopje that was installed on Monday.

    "These negotiations, which as we all know have been conducted between Greece and FYROM for a very long time, deal with the international name of the neighboring country. This is the objective of the negotiations and not the manner in which Greece will refer to FYROM on a bilateral level," Valinakis said, adding that he hopes the "new FYROM government will display the necessary spirit of cooperation to find a mutually acceptable solution".

    "Any other approach impugns and in the end undermines the essence and meaning of the procedure that has commenced under the aegis of the United Nations, and one that is not compatible with Skopje's European prospects and the relevant obligations that the latter has assumed," he concluded.

    On Tuesday, Gruevski reiterated, during a radio interview, that he will not change the country's "constitutional name", i.e. "Republic of Macedonia" - "The climate that exists in the country does not favor changes to the constitutional name, and no government has the right to resist citizens' will," he was quoted as saying.

    Caption: Valinakis, shown with Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis, during a meeting of SE Europe foreign ministers in Thessaloniki, May 2006. ANA-MPA/Megapress / P. Makridis.

    [02] FinMin meets Emporiki Bank's new chiefs


    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Wednesday met with Emporiki Bank's new management, chairman Jean Frederic De Leusse and chief executive Christian Jacques.

    The two bankers briefed the Greek minister over their plans to strengthen Emporiki Bank's activities and praised Alogoskoufis for the good cooperation between the two sides.

    Alogoskoufis expressed a hope that the new management, appointed by Emporiki's new owners, Credit Agricole, would contribute in strengthening competition in the domestic banking sector to the benefit of enterprises, households and the Greek economy in general.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Alogoskoufis.

    [03] FM to meet with Iran's SNSC aide

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis will meet Thursday with Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) chief aide Mohammad Nahavandian, at the initiative of the Iranian side, it was announced on Wednesday.

    The main topic of discussion will be the latest developments concerning Iran's nuclear programme, a foreign ministry announcement said.

    ANA-MPA photo

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