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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Balkans a European neighbourhood of peace
  • [02] President Karolos Papoulias to visit Austria
  • [03] Name issue talks to continue
  • [04] Town Planning debate

  • [01] PM: Balkans a European neighbourhood of peace

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking during the International University's Conference in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Monday stressed that Greece wants the Balkans to be a European neighbourhood of peace, stability, development and progress.

    Karamanlis noted that 4,000 Greek businesses are active in the region, while 3,000 Greek bank branches are also operating. He also referred to the International University's role in promoting cooperation between the countries in the region.

    The prime minister referred in turn to the unfavourable international economic conjuncture -the price of oil was 26 dollars a barrel in 2003 and today it is reaching 140- the fiscal crisis in the United States, which has conveyed its shockwaves to all over Europe, and to inflation that is developing into the greatest problem worldwide.

    "In an environment of intensifying competition, in an environment that knows no borders, governments cannot act effectively, if they do not take into consideration international factors. They must cooperate with their political and economic partners, but above all with the international organisations. They must consult each other so as to regulate the rules of international trade, capital flows, protection for the environment. They must shape conditions of extroversion so that they can adjust themselves easier, speedier and more effectively to global changes," he said.

    Focusing on European developments and on Greece's position, Karamanlis said "Greece is proceeding in the 21st century having its equal presence in the European Union as a basis and pursuing the development of relations of cooperation with all its neighbours. We believe that the EU, despite the slackness of some of its members, is the force of our common future. It is a force of change, not only for its member-states, but for the entire continent as well. Its strategy towards globalisation and the uncertainties that it entails, based on the one hand on the Stability and Development Pact and on the other on the Lisbon Strategy, guarantees a more secure and encouraging course in the difficult times of the new century."

    [02] President Karolos Papoulias to visit Austria

    President Karolos Papoulias, accompanied by his wife, will be making an official visit to Austria on July 3 for talks with the Austrian state and political leadership, focusing on the traditionally excellent relations between the two countries, the future of Europe and the Lisbon Treaty, the issue of Cyprus, Turkey's accession course to the European Union, the European prospects of the Western Balkans, the Middle East question and other current issues.

    President Papoulias will be reciprocating the official visit Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer had made to Greece in mid-May last year, while he himself had made a working visit to Austria in June, 2005, which was the first visit abroad by the Greek President, following the assumption of his duties three months earlier.

    The two presidents have been linked by a prolonged and close friendship since the time Papoulias had served as Greek foreign minister and Fischer had been the Austrian Parliament president.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek President Karolos Papoulias

    [03] Name issue talks to continue

    Matthew Nimetz, the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General in talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), will be travelling to the region this week "for the continuation of consultations concerning the issue of the name."

    According to an announcement by the UN's Secretariat on Monday, Nimetz will be in Athens on Thursday and on Friday he will be travelling to FYROM.

    As it was noted, he is expected to meet Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in Athens, as well as other Greek officials.

    Lastly, the announcement stressed, in response to questions by the press on whether Nimetz has submitted a new proposal, that "he has made no official proposals to the two sides."

    [04] Town Planning debate

    The debate for the ratification of the General Framework of Town Planning and Sustainable Development, tabled by the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works ministry began in Parliament on Monday night, with Minister George Souflias telling the House that "for the first time the country acquires a vision and targets regarding the issue."

    The four opposition parties, on their part, asked for the withdrawal of the bill, while the main opposition PASOK party questioned on the procedure of the debate, demanding that the proposal be tabled in Parliament in the form of a bill for its voting.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of an external view of Greek Parliament

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