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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou visits flood-stricken areas in Volos
  • [02] EU Med countries determined to work closely

  • [01] Papandreou visits flood-stricken areas in Volos

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Friday visited the flood-stricken Neapolis district in Volos, central Greece, where he stressed his party's support for the local residents.

    "The damage is extensive. We are here to express solidarity to the people, who are indignant and feel abandoned. We are here to share their suffering," Papandreou said, adding that "the picture is shocking".

    He also said that those responsible for the situation should be punished.

    The PASOK leader visited small-sized industries in Volos and was briefed by their owners on the damages suffered by their businesses.

    [02] EU Med countries determined to work closely

    The EU's Mediterranean member states are determined to work closely together not only on Mediterranean issues but also on matters of wider interest to the EU, Greece's foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said Friday, speaking during a break at an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU's eight Mediterranean countries she is chairing at the coastal town of Lagonissi, near Athens, focusing on combatting illegal immigration and the Mediterranean dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

    The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in the context of the EUs 2004 enlargement, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours and instead strengthening stability, security and well-being for all concerned. In this way, it also addresses the strategic objectives set out in the December 2003 European Security Strategy.

    The meeting is a follow-up in the ongoing effort for systematising the Euro-Med dialogue, in which Greece has played an active role. The Lagonissi meeting is being attended by foreign ministers of Miguel Angel Moratinos of Spain, Luis Amado of Portugal, Dimitrij Rupel of Slovenia, and Michael Frendo of Malta, deputy foreign minister Famiano Crucianelli of Italy, and Cyprus' foreign ministry secretary general Alexandros Zinonas, while France is being represented by its ambassador to Greece Bruno Delaye. In addition to Bakoyannis, who is presiding over the meeting, Greece is also being represented by deputy foreign minister Yannis Valynakis.

    The Lagonissi meeting discussions are focusing on combatting illegal immigration and reinforcement of cooperation for the protection of the EU's southern sea borders, on which Greece has proposed the creation of a European Coastguard.

    The goal of the meeting is to formulate a common perception, which will facilitate the mobilisation of the political, economic and operational resources so as to render the EU more effective in that area, according to a Greek foreign ministry announcement.

    The problem of illegal immigration was also at the focus of the Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers' meeting on September 29 in Spain, a country with an intense problem of illegal migration, and will also be discussed by the EU '25' leaders at an informal summit meeting in Lahti, Finland on October 20.

    The ministers at the Lagonissi meeting will also discuss matters of wider European interest such as the EU's institutional course, the issue of enlargement, and also issues of international interest such as the latest developments in the Middle East and the Palestinian problem.

    The Euro-Med countries appear determined for "very close cooperation" not only on issues of a Mediterranean nature but also on wider European issues, said Bakoyannis, who is also due to give a press conference later in the day after the meeting ends.

    It is noted that Greece was among the first countries to endorse the idea of coordination among the EU's Mediterranean member states (Greece, Spain, Portugal) during discussions on the EU's fiscal prospects.

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