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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Karamanlis briefed by Agriculture Minister
  • [02] Papoulias conludes China visit
  • [03] Vartholomeos to visit Rome
  • [04] 'Day against Drugs' events
  • [05] Nimetz on FYROM issue

  • [01] Karamanlis briefed by Agriculture Minister

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conferred with Rural Development and Food Minister Alexandros Kontos on Thursday, with the focus on agricultural issues. Afterwards, Kontos told reporters that he briefed the prime minister on the new cotton regulation agreed two days ago following tough negotiations within the European Union. The new regulation fully guarantees farmers' subsidies "allowing us to support local cotton producers," Kontos stated. The premier was also briefed on the debate underway in the EU as regards the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the adjustments that will have to be made to become more effective, as well as on the draft law regulating stockbreeding, to be presented in parliament soon. Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

    [02] Papoulias conludes China visit

    Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday wound up a five-day state visit to China, that included talks with senior state and government officials in Beijing and Shanghai, aimed at further expansion of bilateral relations, particularly in the economic and investments sector.

    Both Athens and Beijing reaffirmed their political volition to speed up efforts in that direction, and in that context Greek-Chinese Business Fora were held in both Beijing and Shanghai with the participation of entrepreneurs from the two countries.

    Speaking at the Business Forum in Shangai earlier Thursday, which was attended by Papoulias and the ministers accompanying Papoulias on his visit, Greek deputy foreign minister Petros Doukas invited Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Greece, a country which he explained was in the hard core of the European Union and was already dynamically active in its wider region.

    "We invite you to work together with us," Doukas said, and called on the Chinese businessmen to utilise Greece as the "center" for penetration of the wider region.

    Doukas said that the Greek President's visit to China was a culmination of the "dynamic Greek-Chinese relations", and praised the progress achieved by the Chinese economy, stressing that "we want to take part in your growth with Greek products and knowhow", and singled out Greek farm exports to China and tourism as two sectors of great interest to Greece.

    The deputy minister further invited Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in the Greek stockmarket, adding also that "we need a Chinese bank in Greece".

    He further cited the sectors of energy and alternative energy forms, organic famring and construction as areas of interest for bilateral cooperation.

    Doukas outlined the advantages of the Greek economy, the new law on investments and the "ambitious" denationalisations program set out by the Greek government, and, addressing himself to the Chinese businessmen, said that "we want you to see us as your friends" and as "your partners for China's penetration in our wider region".

    He also called on the Chinese businessmen to invest in Greece from their foreign exchange surplus so as to close the gap, which tiltes against Greece, in the trade balance between Greece and China, and stressed the need for cooperation in the sector of alternative forms of energy.

    Papoulias and the Greek delegation were also given a tour of the traditional settlement at Jhuojheng Park, while an official luncehon was hosted for them by the Governor of Jiangsu Province, before departing for the return trip to Athens.

    Caption: President Karolos Papoulias in Beijing on Wed. 25 June 2008. ANA-MPA/Nikos Arvanitidis

    [03] Vartholomeos to visit Rome

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I intends to travel to Rome to attend celebrations for the Solemnity of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul on June 28, when Pope Benedict XVI will proclaim the start of a year dedicated to St. Paul, to mark the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the "Apostle of the Gentiles".

    An announcement issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Fanar said that the Patriarch had decided to accept an invitation extended to him by the Pope to attend this year's ceremony and would be accompanied by a delegation of Orthodox Church clerics and a large group of Greek expatriates from the United States led by Archbishop of America Demetrios.

    It will be the Patriarch's first attendance of the feast day of Sts Paul and Peter since Pope Benedict succeeded Pope John Paul II and returns a visit carried out by the Pope to the Patriarchate's patron saint feast day in 2006.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos

    [04] 'Day against Drugs' events

    A number of special events are scheduled by the municipality of Athens to take place on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Addiction celebrated on June 26. The events include music concerts and awareness raising initiatives held with the participation of former addicts and their parents, aimed at informing the people of Athens on the problem of drug abuse. Meanwhile, the Detox Center "Athens-Life" relocation project will soon get underway. The Athens municipality-owned three-building complex designed to house the detox center will feature facilities for 32 adults as well as rehabilitation programmes directed to teenagers and minors.

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photo

    [05] Nimetz on FYROM issue

    In statements here in Athens on Thursday, the UN mediator in the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Matthew Nimetz said that he did not see the negotiations ending by a specific deadline at the present time.

    "I don't consider July 9 or any other date significant in these discussions," he told reporters, answering questions after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    While confirming that the use of an "adjective" in the name for Greece's northern neighbour that would make it acceptable to the Greek side was among the issues that figured prominently in the discussions, he declined to give more details or specifics about which proposals had dominated the talks.

    In response to other questions, Nimetz said that he had heard the views of the Greek side from Mrs. Bakoyannis and did not consider that direct talks between the Greek and FYROM foreign minister would help promote a solution at the present stage.

    Greece objects to the use of the name "Republic of Macedonia" by FYROM on the grounds that it is shared by a northern Greek province that shares a common border with FYROM and may conceal or give rise to expansionist designs on Greek territory. There is also tension between the two countries over claims by FYROM's Slav majority to be direct descendants of the ancient Macedonian king and general Alexander the Great, who was born and ruled in a kingdom roughly coinciding with the present-day Greek province, and to adopt the symbols of the ancient Macedonian royal family as its own.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of UN mediator in the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Matthew Nimetz.

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