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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM pushes for peace in Middle East
  • [02] Holargos Metro station inaugurated
  • [03] US Ambassador-designate to Greece
  • [04] Rise at ASE opening

  • [01] PM pushes for peace in Middle East

    Prime minister George Papandreou reiterated that Greece endorses the creation of an independent Palestinian state, speaking in Ramallah after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while after talks earlier with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, he pledged that Greece will take further initiatives to promote peace in the region.

    Papandreou made a two-day official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Papandreou said in Ramallah on Thursday that Greece "more than ever before supports the creation of an independent Palestinian state."

    Speaking after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Papandreou reiterated his position in favour of the peace process and expressed his belief that all sides involved should help towards the start of a sustantial dialogue, voicing hope that the indirect talks will soon lead to direct talks.

    Expressing Greece's support to President Abbas and the Palestinian people, Papandreou said: "We support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. An independent Palestinian state, next to a safe Israel, is the only solution to the Palestinian problem."

    "All quarters must accelerate the process to bring the two sides to the negotiating table," Papandreou said.

    Regarding the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Greek premier expressed his concern. "I express from here as well my concern over Gaza. We want to see the blockade lifted. It must be understood that this is in the benefit of the people of Gaza but it will also de-escalate intra-Palestinian tensions."

    Earlier, Papandreou met with his Palestinian counterpart Salam Fayyad.

    Caption: Greek prime minister George Papandreou (L) with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (R) in Ramallah. (ANA-MPA/S. Pantzartzi)

    [02] Holargos Metro station inaugurated

    The new Athens Metro station in the suburb of Holargos officially opened to the public on Friday, the 28th station in the constantly expanding metro network, while the 29th station at Aghia Paraskevi suburb is due to open in October.

    The Holargos station, accessed from Messogion Avenue and at a depth of 22 meters under ground, will serve an estimated 20,000 commuters daily, making the route to downtown Athens Syntagma Square in just nine minutes.

    A three-level underground parking station with a capacity of 630 cars also opened to the public on Friday at the nearby Nomismatokopeio station at the Athens Mint, also on Messogion Avenue.

    A new metro line from Galatsi to Paradeisos, in Maroussi, the "U" line, will be tendered in early 2011, servicing areas without an adequate bus network.

    Caption: The new Athens Metro station at Holargos. (ANA-MPA/A. Beltes)

    [03] US Ambassador-designate to Greece

    Washington (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis) -- US Ambassador-designate to Greece Daniel Bennet Smith said that the Greek government is facing a very difficult economic situation with determination, and implementing all the commitments it has assumed in the framework of the program with the Troika, in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Thursday.

    He also stressed that the US government fully supports Greece as it applies these difficult changes and noted that encouraging steps have been made, while he also expressed understanding for the Greek citizens who wonder why they must pay for others' actions.

    Smith further said that the emphasis has been put on what needs to be done to improve the situation rather than on what happened in the past, and opined that the moves made so far by the Papandreou government have been in the right direction.

    Replying to a question, the ambassador-designate said that prime minister George Papandreou has made it clear that he is not considering the prospect of default, or renegotiation of the country's debt.

    Smith said that, as US ambassador to Greece in this difficult conjuncture, he will actively promote American investments in and increased trade with Greece.

    The envoy also congratulated the Greek authorities for their successes in combating terrorism, citing as an example the arrest of members of the Revolutionary Struggle group.

    He further lauded Papandreou's efforts in the Balkans and in the UN-brokered negotiations in the FYROM name issue, stressing that the US will adopt the mutually acceptable solution that will arise from the negotiations.

    Lastly, he underlined the policy of rapprochement with Turkey followed by Papandreou, while he also reiterated the US support for the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Daniel Smith, up to recently executive secretary at the US State Department, holds a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MA and PhD from Stanford University, and speaks German, Turkish and Swedish.

    He previously served as executive assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs from 2002 to 2005.

    Smith joined the Foreign Service in 1983, and has served in Bern, Istanbul, Ottawa and Stockholm. He has also served as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Global Affairs; Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs; and Country Officer for Czechoslovakia. From 1993 to 1995 he taught Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

    He is the recipient of various State Department awards.

    [04] Rise at ASE opening

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.20 percent, standing at 1,615.51 points at 11:30 am, and turnover at 27.894 million euros.

    Individual sector indices were moving mostly upward, with the biggest gains in Commerce, up 2.56 percent; and Insurance, up 3.05 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Chemicals, down 0.82 percent; and IT, down 0.44 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.84 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was up 0.18 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.66 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 55 were up, 25 were down, and 31 were unchanged.

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