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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Warm Papandreou response to Erdogan
  • [02] Farmers' roadblocks continue amid Athens con'f on farm sector issues
  • [03] Patriarch in Kalamata
  • [04] Stocks end 2.81% higher

  • [01] Warm Papandreou response to Erdogan

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was delivered on Monday in Ankara by Greece's ambassador to the neighbouring country.

    In his response, Papandreou said he is encouraged by what he called his and Erdogan's joint volition to improve bilateral relations, noting that the Turkish people are well aware of his personal contribution to the inauguration of a new period in Greek-Turkish ties in 1999, "when bilateral diplomatic activity coincided with a significant decision: the granting to Turkey of the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union".

    In his letter, an expected reply to a high-profile letter sent by Erdogan in ..., Papandreou cited several sectors where tangible progress has been achieved in bilateral relations, including in trade, investments, energy, tourism, "citizens' diplomacy" and communication between the two countries' armed forces, among others.

    Along those lines, the Greek premier said there was now a need to take account of the past 10 years in bilateral relations, "so that the remaining challenges can be ascertained in order to achieve a more viable and productive relationship and a permanent peace between the two countries."

    "Greeks and Turks, by cooperating, can develop into a force for stability and cooperation," he said, adding his hope that both countries can serve as a model for other regions of the world.


    [02] Farmers' roadblocks continue amid Athens con'f on farm sector issues

    The relevant government minister on Monday underlined that "the farmers' issue is a major national and economic issue that calls for immediate solution," speaking in the wake of a more than week-long mobilisation by protesting farmers around the country, with roadblocks of major highway intersections and border posts severely hampering trade and travel in the country.

    Addressing a two-day conference on agriculture sector problems, hosted by the Economic and Social Council of Greece (OKE) at Zappeion Hall in central Athens, Agriculture Minister Katerina Batzeli called on protesting farmers "to rise to the occasion, end the roadblocks and join forces with the government to materialise groundbreaking institutional reforms that are necessary for the sector's development."

    She announced that 2009 subsidies will be fully paid by the end of February, while the 2010 subsidies of 5.3 billion euros will be paid with no delays before the end of the year. In addition, VAT and special petrol tax refunds will be sped up and simplified. This year's state budget includes the amount of 150 million euros to cover an increase in refunds of 11 pct compared to the previous 7 pct.

    On her part, Economy, Development and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli stressed that "the market interventions will benefit consumers and boost the farmers' income," adding that "the country of origin measure will be put into effect for dairy products as well."

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party walked out of the conference pointing out that it cannot participate in a dialogue held without the presence of farmers. The ND representative called on the prime minister to meet with the protesting farmers and undertake the commitment for a solution to their problems.

    Meanwhile, the Exporters' Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) called for the immediate ending of the farmers' road blocks adding that confrontation and social conflicts should be averted.

    In a statement issued, SEVE underlined that it wishes to contribute to a substantive dialogue that will lead to the adoption of structural changes in the Greek agricultural sector aimed at making it more extravert and competitive and added that it has already submitted specific proposals to the competent government ministries.

    The farmers' mobilisations continued across the country on Monday. In northwest Greece, Grevena prefecture protesters and their tractors remained on the Egnatia motorway at the Mersina interchange on Monday without obstructing traffic, according to a decision taken earlier in the day by the local producers' coordinating committee. Their future stance will be decided in a meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning.

    Farmers from Serres prefecture blocked, with their tractors, the railroad tracks at the Promachonas site at noon on Monday, while the Promachonas border crossing with Bulgaria also remained closed.

    Protesting farmers at the Strymonikos intersection closed the Thessaloniki-Serres highway in the early afternoon, while the Serres-Kavala section on the Egnatia motorway also remained closed at the Kedryllia junction.

    In Evros Prefecture, farmers blocked the Ormenios checkpoint on the border with Bulgaria.

    [03] Patriarch in Kalamata

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Vartholomeos) on Sunday will begin a four-day visit to the Peloponnese city of Kalamata, in extreme southern Greece, following an invitation by the city's mayor.

    Bartholomew will visit the Metropolis of Messinia prefecture and attend celebrations on Feb. 2 for the port city's patron saint.

    [04] Stocks end 2.81% higher

    Stocks recovered strongly at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with the composite index of the market ending at 2,090.94 points, up 2.81 pct. Turnover was a moderate 237.793 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 3.39 pct, the FTSE 40 index rose 1.87 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 2.38 pct higher. All sector indexes ended higher with the Financial Services (8.52 pct) and Health (4.02 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    ANEK (29.31 pct), Elfico (18.45 pct), Sound-Vision (18.18 pct), United Textiles (16.67 pct) and Lanakam (15.91 pct) were top gainers, while Alma-Atermon (13.33 pct), PC Systems (10.0 pct), Maillis (7.69 pct) and Balkan Export (6.33 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 157 to 40 with another 36 issues unchanged.

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