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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papoulias-Erdogan meeting in UAE
  • [02] President Papoulias addresses World Future Energy Summit
  • [03] Pirates set free Greek-flagged tanker
  • [04] Greek rescue team to Haiti

  • [01] Papoulias-Erdogan meeting in UAE

    ABU DHABI) -- President of Republic Karolos Papoulias met here on Monday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan, on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit.

    Both Papoulias and Erdogan are keynote speakers at the summit.

    The two leaders held a private 40-minute meeting and exchanged views, while Papoulias informed the Turkish premier that an answer to his letter -- towards his Greek counterpart, Prime Minister George Papandreou -- will be forthcoming in the next few days.

    Ergodan also expressed a desire to visit Athens in the near future.

    Papoulias departed for Abu Dhabi on Sunday as the guest of United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan.

    During his stay in the UAE, Papoulias will have meetings with the president and his successor, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan.

    The World Future Energy Summit is taking place under the aegis of the crown prince.

    He will also have a meeting with Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, another speaker at the summit, and tour the Sheikh Zayed mosque in the city.

    [02] President Papoulias addresses World Future Energy Summit

    Abu Dhabi (ANA-MPA/N. Megadoukas) -- President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Monday stressed that a change of the energy and developmental model with the greatest possible development and exploitation of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), could decisively contribute to combating inequalities and advancing social cohesion at local, regional and national level all the way to European and global level.

    Greece's President was the keynote speaker at the World Future Energy Summit, which opened Monday in Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the invitation of the UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nayhan.

    Papoulias described the reality in environmental issues as sombre, following the failure of the Copenhagen global summit on climate change, and stressed the need for promoting green development in order to ensure a viable future.

    "Let's not let this chance, perhaps our last, go to waste," he urged.

    On the Copenhagen summit, Papoulias stressed that climate change is the biggest challenge faced by mankind today, warning that it threatens the viability of the planet and the future of the coming generations.

    The global leaders were obliged to respond to that challenge, he said. Instead of limiting themselves to a "least common denominator" agreement, they should have proceeded to a global, comprehensive and legally binding agreement with specific targets and timetables," the Greek President added.

    Papoulias said that the Copenhagen summit's failure "takes on dramatic dimensions if seen as an element of a bigger picture, that of a deep, multi-dimensional crisis -- an economic, social, energy and environmental crisis -- which is connected to the development model we, the 'developed world' adopted and followed in recent years".

    "It was a model of greed and licence in the name of profit for the few, a model of over-consumption and waste of the natural resources, a model that constantly widens the old inequalities and creates new ones," Papoulias said, adding that "this 'bigger picture' is a sombre one".

    He noted, however, that every crisis also entails an opportunity, and this crisis entails an opportunity for the adoption of policies and measures for the promotion of RES and energy efficiency, which can play a decisive role in the global economy's exit from the crisis and in a speedier recovery.

    A social movement was also gradually forming in favor of clean energy, which in turn was prompting the political leaderships towards the path of green development, he said, noting that the EU has committed itself to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing the proportion of overall energy consumption supplied by RES to 20 percent by the year 2020.

    This goal, however, was something even wider: "It is about maintaining the lead in the effort against climate change. It is a radical change of direction in production and consumption. It is linked with Europe's effort to enhance energy supply security and to limit its energy dependence on third countries. Finally, it is a structural change of developmental philosophy, in which sustainability, viability, becomes the prevalent concept. Viability not only of the natural resources, but also of the markets -- with the creation of new viable investment opportunities -- and viability of employment, with the creation of new, decentralised jobs," Papoulias continued.

    The Greek President stressed that RES can play a decisive role in the "democratisation of energy", because it is now not only the big and powerful countries or the large multinational energy giants that have a place on the global energy market. Small and medium size countries can now also have a say and a role on the 'energy chessboard', and not necessarily industries, but also small and medium-size enterprises, "which are the steam engine of Europe's competitiveness".

    But at global level as well, RES can contribute to the democratisation of energy because their potential is inexhaustible also in the developing countries, and especially in the most vulnerable countries, resulting in the opening of immense opportunities for the development and prosperity of the peoples of those countries, thus contributing to reducing the North-South chasm, he said.

    "In short, the poor countries may gain power and prospects for prosperity for their populations by taking advantage of the energy of the wind, the earth, the sun and the sea," Papoulias explained.

    The President further stressed that the development of RES is "the only credible alternative solution to the problem of depleting the reserves of mineral fuels and global warming. It is the only peaceful choice to ensure resources for global economic growth".

    Greece's orientation and priorities are in the direction of Green Development, Papoulias continued, adding that Greece has the manpower and the knowhow for the development of research and business collaborations in the sector of RES and environmental management.

    "Our aspiration is to take advantage of the specific abilities at regional level in order to render the country an important center of business and diplomatic activity. For this reason, we place special weight on the Greek initiative for Green Development and cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans, the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at confronting climate change," Papoulias said.

    "We can and must unite forces in order to ensure the transition to a new era in which growth will be to the benefit of the many and compatible with protection of the environment and the natural resources. And energy, from a means of imposition and power will evolve into a tool for the broadening of democracy, the promotion of prosperity of the peoples, and the ensurance of a viable future for our children," Papoulias stressed.

    "Let us not let this opportunity, perhaps our last, to go to waste," the Greek President concluded.

    Caption:Greek President Karolos Papoulias attends the World Future Energy Summit 2010 (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 18 January 2010. World leaders, policy makers, experts and Investors from 100 countries meet in Abu Dhabi to identify real solutions for today's climate change and energy challenges. ANA-MPA/EPA/ALI HAIDER

    [03] Pirates set free Greek-flagged tanker

    Somali pirates on Monday set free the Greek-flagged tanker ship "Maran Centaurus" they had seized in November. According to the Greek Coast Guard the 28-member crew, nine Greeks and 19 of foreign nationality, are safe and well in health.

    The Piraeus-registered vessel had been seized by pirates on November 29, 2009 while sailing 700 miles east of the Somali coast loaded with mazut enroute from Kuwait to the Gulf of Mexico.

    The ship's owner company has paid an unspecified ransom to the pirates and it was now sailing to Durban, South Africa, for refueling continuing its route to Mexico.

    International shipping companies and organisations have expressed their worry over the phenomenon of piracy, which have called on the international community to take increased measures off the Somali coasts, while also charging that the modern-day pirates have set up profitable 'industry' with the ship piracies.

    According to International Maritime Bureau figures, piracy attacks increased by 38.5 percent in 2009, during which 406 vessels were attacked, 50 percent of them were by Somalis. Although official figures of the total ransoms paid are not known, African countries' officials' estimate the overall total at 150-200 million US dollars in 2008 alone.

    Caption:ANA-MPA/EPA file photo of a Portuguese Navy handout combo of photographs shot by a maritime patrol aircraft released on 30 November 2009 showing a group of somali pirates preparing an attack on 29 November 2009.

    [04] Greek rescue team to Haiti

    A 16-member Greek rescue team, including three nurses, unit will depart for Haiti on Tuesday to offer assistance in ongoing operations in the quake-devastated Caribbean country.

    "We are going to Port au Prince to offer telecommunications support to other rescue teams; the Greek team will set up a wireless web that will coordinate all the rescue teams operating in the area," team leader Alexandros Liamos said.

    Meanwhile, the Hellenic Red Cross on Monday issued a plea to Greek people for financial support towards Haiti. The organisation has already sent 50,000 euros to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations to cover immediate needs.

    Caption:A man carries his daughter after receiving medical attention in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 17 January 2010. ANA-MPA/EPA/JORGE NUNEZ

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