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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM blames speculators for rising bond spreads
  • [02] Bakoyannis criticises gov't following Albanian high court's annulment of deal on territorial waters
  • [03] Greek, fYRoM FMs meet in London

  • [01] PM blames speculators for rising bond spreads

    DAVOS (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou once again blamed speculators for the rising interest-rate spread on Greek government bonds, while speaking here on Thursday, charging that they were targeting Greece in order to strike at the Eurozone.

    He also pointed out, however, that Greece had recently managed to get raise more money in loans than it had asked for and that this amounted to a vote of confidence in the country, in spite of the speculators' rumours.

    Papandreou was speaking as part of a panel that also included Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet.

    The Greek premier strenuously denied a report in the "Financial Times", according to which Greece had asked China for a loan, stressing that there had been no such contact. Again emphasising the existence of speculators and that these could cause problems to even large and robust economies, he pointed out that rumours such as these had instantly changed the climate and caused spreads to increase.

    Papandreou was supported in this by Zapatero, who also stressed that there were many targeting the euro, chiefly those that did not like its existence. According to the Spanish premier, the EU had to counter these attacks with increased coordination and cooperation on a European level.

    Replying to questions about the ongoing protests by Greek farmers, Papandreou said the government had indicated its determination by refusing to give in to demands for more money and making it clear that not one euro was to be wasted.

    "We are making deep changes, some of which may possibly be painful for many people, but we are sure that Greeks are determined to support our programme," the Greek premier added.

    On the troubles of the Greek economy, Papandreou said Greece was largely responsible for the problems because of the previous government's poor financial management combined with corruption, waste and a lack of necessary reforms that increased during the economic crisis.

    He stressed that Greece's largest problem at present was a credibility deficit, which was a bigger problem than its economic woes. He also outlined an ambitious goal to reduce the deficit by four points this year and bring it below 3 percent by 2012, through measures taken as part of Greece's Stability and Development Programme.

    Regarding the eurozone, he stressed that this served as a buffer and that the government considered it a valuable tool for carrying out its programme.

    Trichet, on his part, stressed to the two prime ministers that it was their responsibility to deal with the problems affecting their countries, while calling for better supervision of Eurozone member-state economies.

    Before the panel discussion, Papandreou had a meeting with Zapatero.

    (ANA-MPA exclusive material)

    [02] Bakoyannis criticises gov't following Albanian high court's annulment of deal on territorial waters

    (ANA-MPA) -- Former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis on Thursday sharply criticised the ruling PASOK government of what she called inertia vis-?-vis a Greek-Albanian agreement on the delineation of territorial waters in the Ionian Sea and its recent annulment by Albania's constitutional court.

    "This annulment was made following a reaction by (Albanian) nationalistic organisations and recourse by Albanian Socialist party president Mr. (Edi) Rama. None of the procedures followed (for the signing of the agreement) is questionable and everything was made according to international rules foreseen by the United Nations," Bakoyannis said in a statement.

    The agreement, signed in Tirana in April 2009 when Bakoyannis held the foreign ministry portfolio, was annulled by the Albanian high court earlier this week.

    "I do not know if (ruling) PASOK tried to inform its fellow (Albanian) socialist party on the benefits of the agreement when it received information that the latter intended to undermine this agreement," she added.

    "What I know, however, is that while Mr. Rama was announcing his intention in mid-October, the Greek government showed no haste at all in tabling the agreement for endorsement by Parliament, which opened a few days later, in order to create a positive momentum for its safeguarding as well as for the safeguarding of the high level of Greek-Albanian relations, which we had achieved," Bakoyannis concluded.

    PASOK won the general election in Greece on Oct. 4, 2009.

    [03] Greek, fYRoM FMs meet in London

    LONDON (ANA-MPA / L. Tsirigotakis) - A meeting between Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and the foreign minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), Antonio Milososki, concluded here on Thursday evening.

    According to reports, a brief review of bilateral issues and of the nagging "name dispute" took place during the meeting.

    The Greek side reportedly again pointed to the UN framework as the process for resolving the difference, while noting that Athens is expected "substantive and constructive participation" by Skopje on the issue.

    Milososki, whose office requested the meeting, presented a proposal on the upgrading of diplomatic missions of the two countries, which are currently at the liaison level, while the prospects for the signing of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation were also discussed.

    The Greek alternate minister again reiterated that Athens wants and is working towards the improvement of bilateral relations, something that has also been confirmed by the contacts that have been held at the highest political level, and following a Greek initiative.

    Within this framework, the possibility of a visit by Droutsas to the neighbouring country and a Milososki visit to Greece were also discussed. Droutsas added that the Greek side is already examining, with a positive spirit, the promotion of a double tax avoidance agreement, "on the basis of real needs".

    However, he cautioned that the Skopje government's proposal for the upgrading of diplomatic missions "is not compatible with the negative rhetoric against Greece that is being encouraged in Skopje, a stance that aggravates relations of the two countries and does not assist the prospect of solving the issue of the name."

    Finally, Droutsas expressed Greece's readiness to examine such a step positively when conditions permit, again reminding of Greece's steadfast commitment for an improvement of bilateral relations and a will to achieve a "mutually acceptable solution on a name with a geographical qualifier towards all (erga omnes), within the framework of the negotiations taking place under the auspices of the UN."

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