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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN envoy confers with FM, PM on FYROM name issue
  • [02] PM: Primary importance on the economy's recovery
  • [03] Gavras in Athens for premiere of new film

  • [01] UN envoy confers with FM, PM on FYROM name issue

    AMNA--The UN secretary general's personal envoy on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz is conveying ideas and proposals for achieving a mutually acceptable solution in his visits to Athens on Wednesday and Skopje on Thursday, the envoy himself said on Wednesday after a meeting with foreign minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and a brief discussion with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who paid a surprise visit to the ministry as Nimetz's meeting with Avramopoulos was taking place.

    Nimetz expressed pleasure over his brief discussion with Samaras, and underlined the frankness of the Greek stance.amna

    He said the prospect of intensification of the talks was being examined, adding that a Greek proposal for the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation "is on the table" and was a "substantial contribution".

    To a question on the appropriateness of the conjuncture, given the political crisis in Skopje, he opined that there is never an ideal conjuncture, and that is why "the time must be used productively".amna

    He also expressed optimism, noting that otherwise he would not be doing this job.

    A foreign ministry announcement later said that Avramopoulos met with Nimetz, "who is carrying out a visit to Athens and Skopje within the framework of the UN negotiation process for the resolution of the name issue," adding that Samaras also met briefly with Nimetz at the Foreign Ministry.amna

    "Foreign Minister Avramopoulos stressed Greece's support for Mr. Nimetz's mandate and efforts to achieve progress on the name issue, briefing his collocutor in depth on the Greek proposal for the signing by the two sides of a memorandum of understanding aimed at imparting momentum to the negotiation process under the UN and setting out the framework and parameters for the solution," the ministry announcement said.amna

    Avramopoulos "also reiterated Greece's firm commitment and political will to achieve progress, based on the conviction that the achievement of a solution will lead to a deepening of Greek-FYROM bilateral relations, strengthen regional stability, and lend momentum to FYROM's European and Euroatlantic perspective", the announcement added.amna

    "During the meeting, the two sides carried out a review of the talks so far and looked at the prospects for the negotiation process based on the thoughts and ideas drawn up by Mr. Nimetz. In this context, Foreign Minister Avramopoulos expressed the Greek side's readiness to participate actively and constructively in the next steps in the process," the Ministry said.

    [02] PM: Primary importance on the economy's recovery

    AMNA-Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was present at Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis statements on Wednesday unveiling the Ministry's actions for 2013.

    "My presence here indicates the primary importance placed by the government on the economy's recovery," stated Samaras, who also underlined a "better climate which we are experiencing in our meetings abroad", adding that everyone acknowledges the need to deal with the unprecedented recession and the unemployment, especially that among youth.amna

    "Our wager is to take advantage of the climate and the major structural changes in order to attract investments. This will be achieved with specific 'time/target timetables', not with wishes and public relations, but with specific steps. Investments require liquidity, which will come from the banks' recapitalization, the return of deposits from abroad, and from initiatives such as the National Fund for Business and Development (ETEAN) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) programmes," Samaras continued.amna

    Concluding, the premier said that "changes have been already made but they are continuing in order for the economy to become more competitive. The State will contribute to the exploitation of the state property and the privatizations".

    [03] Gavras in Athens for premiere of new film

    AMNA--Acclaimed Greek-born filmmaker Costa Gavras will be in Athens for the Greek premiere of his new film, the 2012 bank boardroom thriller "Capital", on January 14.

    A cynical phrase that "we gather money from the poor, which are many, and give them to the rich, which are few", by a Goldman Sacks executive, prompted Gavras to film "Capital", of which he is both director and screenwriter.

    The plot centers on the stock market world through the adventures of a 'normal' man who evolves into a ruthless banker, played by Gad Elmaleh. The theme and the public's desire to meet and discuss the 'political' cinema with him filled the hall of the Arts and Letters House in Athens on Tuesday night.

    The public defied the freezing cold to turn up for the planned event with the director, to whom they posed questions on the immense problems of our era.

    Behind the glamour of a banker, his education and cultivation, is hidden a dark side, that of businesses, Gavras said, adding that this is what he tried to find and tell in his new film, and opining that "we are living in a hard-core capitalism, which has turned us back many years, to the 19th century".

    He said that meanings have changed and that ethics have been pushed aside, noting that in France mass dismissals are being made under the title of "social planning" (plans sociaux), as if they were 'gifts' to people.

    Gavras admitted that the solution to the immense problems will not be given by a film, which was not the role of the film, or cinema, or the director. "What concerns me is resistance to the catastrophe," he said, adding that the solution will come from the people we vote for: "We must know who we chose and why we choose them. That is the problem, and chiefly a Greek problem for many years now."

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