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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek Air Force sends assistance to flood-stricken Albania
  • [02] GSEE: Crisis in presidiium following high-level resignations
  • [03] Visionary, realistic foreign policy
  • [04] Iranian FM due on Monday
  • [05] New drilling at Prinos
  • [06] FYROM asks support for EU bid

  • [01] Greek Air Force sends assistance to flood-stricken Albania

    A Hellenic Air Force Super Puma all-weather helicopter was dispatched to Tirana on Saturday afternoon, carrying 11 people, to provide assistance in flooded areas in Albania, it was made known by the Air Force General Staff (GEA).

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] GSEE: Crisis in presidiium following high-level resignations

    The secretary general and alternate president of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) resigned from their posts on Saturday during a tension-filled meeting of the umbrella trade federation's presidium, in protest over handling and choices by GSEE president Yiannis Panagopoulos.

    A furor erupted earlier in the week over reports that Panagopoulos was present at a meeting on Wednesday between the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEB) presidium and the so-called "social partners" on labor relations.

    SEB president Dimitris Daskalopoulos said on Thursday that the GSEE leadership had indeed been present at Wednesday's meeting with the social partners, and that negotiations with GSEE representatives lasted for six hours.

    Earlier Panagopoulos had denied reports of an agreement between GSEE and employers for a reduction in private sector wages, calling reports "fabricated" and an "orchestrated vileness that serves the interests of employers' circles", while he also reiterated GSEE's demand for collective labour agreements and their universal application and extension.

    On his part, Daskalopoulos said that while no agreement reached, a discussion with social partners was held regarding an agreement that will consolidate the flexibility and validity of collective work contracts. He also downgraded the proposals concerning a 6-day work week and overtime work contained in a list of 250 impediments to entrepreneurship released by SEB.

    During a heated meeting on Saturday, GSEE secretary general V. Bouzoulas and alternate president George Gavrilis resigned in disagreement with Panagopoulos' management and choices.

    Bouzoulas accused Panagopoulos of secretly negotiating with SEB without the knowledge of the federation's presidium.

    Bouzoulas and Gavrilis clarified, however, that they will not resign from the other GSEE bodies, and called for the convening of an electoral congress, which was rejected by Panagopoulos, who said that the GSEE board was recently elected with a wide majority.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Visionary, realistic foreign policy

    Greece's foreign policy is one of vision but also realism, and not a policy of impressions, foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed Saturday in an interview on state television.

    Questioned on Greek-Turkish relations, Droutsas said that Ankara's stance has not changed, but stressed that it is in Greece's interest as well for Turkey's European course to proceed, adding that "we need to create a different perception in Europe on its (Turkey's) accession course so that Turkey will realise it is in its interests to become an EU member, and for it to proceed in the right direction".

    On the issue of hydrocarbon exploration and to a question whether Turkey is averting Greece from carrying out explorations in the Aegean, Droutsas said that the Greek government has made all the necessary preparations for the establishment of an authoritative body that will carry out the explorations, beginning with the areas in which older exploration has indicated that "something is there". He named the areas as the Ionian and Western Greece, in accordance with a briefing by the environment, energy and climate change ministry which is handling those matters.

    To a question on the developments in the EU, the euro and Germany's role, Droutsas emphasised the Greek government's efforts for stability of the euro, noting that prime minister George Papandreou had been the first leader in Europe to speak of the necessity of a permanent support mechanism. "Now, everyone has ascertained that this need exists, and the determination of the final positions is underway in view of the European Council (EU summit)" later in December, the foreign minister added.

    On French president Nicolas Sarkozy's positions, Droutsas said that the Greek government has close cooperation with the French government, and that Sarkozy personally has a close cooperation with Papandreou.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Iranian FM due on Monday

    Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrives in Athens on Monday for a two-day visit to Greece, the Greek foreign ministry announced.

    During his stay in Athens, Mottaki is to meet Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas at noon on Monday for talks covering international and regional issues and also bilateral cooperation.

    The two ministers will make joint statements to the press after the meeting.

    Droutsas will also host a lunch in Mottaki's honour at the foreign ministry.

    The Iranian minister is also due to meet President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias early on Monday afternoon.

    Caption: Iranian foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki during a previous visit to Athens in July 2006. (ANA-MPA/S. Pantzartzi)

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] New drilling at Prinos

    Environment, energy and climate change deputy minister Yiannis Maniatis on Saturday inaugurated a new drilling at the Prinos oil field in Kavala bay aimed at increasing production from the deposit.

    Maniatis said that a bill on setting up a national agency for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation will soon be put to public deliberation, with the purpose of attracting investments in relevant research as was the case in all the neighboring countries.

    The deputy minister said that exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons is a matter of high priority for the government.

    The drilling is part of a 40 million dollar investment project by operator Energean that will increase production from the Prinos field to 5,000 barrels a day.

    A total of one million barrels have been produced from the Prinos field this year, while the target for 2011 is to increase production by 50 percent, to 1.5 million barrels.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] FYROM asks support for EU bid

    Skopje (ANA-MPA) -- FYROM foreign minister Antonio Milososki sent a letter to his Greek counterpart Dimitris Droutsas, in which he asks Athens to support the start of EU accession negotiations with his country at the upcoming EU summit in mid December.

    The letter was released by the FYROM by the foreign ministry in Skopje on Friday.

    In the letter, Milososki refers to the European Commission's recommendation for the start of accession talks with fYRoM, pointing out that this was the second consecutive year that the landlocked one-time Yugoslav republic had been judged ready to proceed to the next stage of the accession process, and five years since it had become a candidate for EU entry.

    "This situation is unbearable both for a candidate-country that in the next month will establish full trade ties with the EU, in the framework of the Association and Stabilisation Agreement, and for the credibility of the EU and the enlargement policy," Milososki said.

    The FYROM foreign minister noted that Greece can contribute decisively to reviving the European integration of the region by supporting the start of accession negotiations with his country.

    "With such as step we will also give a boost, together, to the necessary positive climate of mutual trust in the relations between us for a final resolution of the final bilateral difference, a viable solution that is accepted by both countries and peoples for the benefit of regional and European stability and prosperity," Milososki underlined.

    Similar letters were sent to the other EU foreign ministers on Saturday.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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