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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] SI to launch major environment initiative
  • [02] Greek leadership meets with Christofias
  • [03] Greek merchant fleet up 4.3% in Jan-Sep
  • [04] US welcomes natgas pipeline opening

  • [01] SI to launch major environment initiative

    The Socialist International (SI) has decided to launch a big campaign on the environment, according to a statement made by its President and PASOK party leader George Papandreou at the end of the SI's relevant Committee session at 10 Downing St. in London on Monday, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as host.

    The Committee sought progressive policies and the assumption of initiatives on the environment since, as it assessed, it is an issue threatening mankind, according to a phrase used during the session and conveyed to the press by Papandreou.

    Issues of Greek interest were also raised during the session, such as the re-election of Papandreou as PASOK leader, for which he was congratulated by his interlocutors and by Brown in particular, who also congratulated him for the good work he is carrying out at the Socialist International and promised to support all its initiatives.

    Papandreou also referred to the destructive wildfires that took place in the summer, and in the Peloponnese in particular, while his interlocutors listened with great interest to PASOK's proposal for the reconstruction of the wildfire-ravaged regions.

    The PASOK leader said in a statement that the environment is an issue of primary importance for Greece, that has a great opportunity of tackling it positively, but added that it will not have this opportunity and capability forever. He further said that Greece can play a leading role in handling environmental problems and have a comparative advantage on this issue. Papandreou also requested that every party that is a member of the SI assume specific initiatives in its country that will be evaluated and the best will be chosen and proposed for implementation in the other countries as well.

    The Socialist International's Environment Committee ascertained that adequate technology exists at present to handle problems and that the resources that must be provided also exist. What is lacking, as it was stressed, is political will on the part of governments.

    The Committee will be continuing its sessions in various parts of the planet in an effort to achieve greater sensitisation by citizens in countries where the sessions will be taking place. Sessions are scheduled to take place over the next two years in Chile, India, China, the United States, South Africa, Sweden and Greece.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou.

    [02] Greek leadership meets with Christofias

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met Tuesday with visiting Cypriot House of Representatives Speaker Demetris Christofias, the leader of the AKEL party and a Cyprus presidential candidate, with whom she exchanged views on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Christofias said that they outlined their evaluations "on the developments, or non-developments, in the Cyprus issue, and, naturally, on what must be done", adding that the discussion had been "very friendly and cordial".

    "Everyone's reservation is to more deeply investigate Turkey's intentions regarding the Cyprus issue at this time...and I think that after the elections (in Cyprus), there will be a real need for the two governments (Greece and Cyprus) and political forces (of the two countries) to sit at the table, after the Cypriots (political forces) sit at the table, and reach a unanimous decision on the future handling," he said.

    Obviously, initiatives will be undertaken, he said, adding that "we must prepare ourselves as best we can".

    "We must seek a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, which, this time, will be functional and viable," Christofias said, adding that Greece and Cyprus must decide together and work methodically in that direction.

    [03] Greek merchant fleet up 4.3% in Jan-Sep

    Greece's merchant ocean-going fleet totalled 2,052 vessels at the end of September, with a gross tonnage just exceeding 37 million DWT, the National Statistics Service announced on Tuesday.

    The statistics service said 624 vessels were cargo ships, 502 tankers and 926 passenger ferries.

    The statistics service also noted that in the January-September period, the Greek merchant fleet rose by 4.3 pct, with cargo ships down 0.2 pct, tankers up by 9.8 pt and passenger ferry ships up by 4.6 pct.

    Caption: A file photo dated March 23, 1999 shows the launching of the Greek-flagged tanker "Theodoros I.B." by the Anin International S.A. company at the port of Piraeus. ANA-MPA / A. BELTES.

    [04] US welcomes natgas pipeline opening

    The US State Department on Monday welcomed the construction of the Turkey-Greece natural gas pipeline, which was inaugurated on Sunday by Prime Ministers Costas Karamanlis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "The opening of this pipeline is a welcome development," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said during a regular press briefing, adding that "it diversifies the sources of energy delivery through a southern route".

    "This is, I believe, the first delivery of that Caspian gas into southeastern Europe and I would note that that gas is transiting to Greece via Turkey, which, again, is an important development and it shows how neighbors and countries in the region can work together," McCormack concluded.

    Caption: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (background) with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan (foreground) simultaneously activate a natural gas pipeline at the border village of Peplo, Evros Prefecture, on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007. ANA-MPA / G. ANTONIOU.


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