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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] We will not vote the measures or the offset measures, says ND
  • [02] FM Kotzias concludes visit to Prague
  • [03] Greek inflation rate at 1.6 pct in April, Eurostat
  • [04] Protesters and riot police clash in Athens

  • [01] We will not vote the measures or the offset measures, says ND

    New Democracy (ND) in an announcement on Wednesday said that it will vote neither the measures nor the offset measures during the voting process on Thursday in parliament.

    "The fourth memorandum bears exclusively the signatures of Alexis Tsipras, Panos Kammenos and their deputies that vote it. New Democracy, as its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has reiterated, is totally against it. We do not vote measures of pseudo-offset measures" said ND in its announcement and clarified that it only supports the provision that equalises MPs with the citizens' taxation.

    [02] FM Kotzias concludes visit to Prague

    Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Czech counterpart Lubomír Zaorálek expressed their mutual volition to further enhance the Greek and Czech relations not only at bilateral cooperation level but also towards the establishment of a better future in Europe in their joint statements after their meeting in Prague on Tuesday.

    Kotzias, who is paying an official visit to Prague, said that the future of the European Union is a matter that concerns us both very much. We must contribute to a substantial discussion among the partners, the societies and the institutions on the future of Europe, he noted.

    "The future of the European Union is something that concerns us very much because we are countries that have approximately the same population," said Zaorálek.

    "We must agree on our vision, principles and values that will be supported in order to promote a social Europe and render it, again, attractive to its citizens and to the new generation. "We must prevent Europe's fragmentation," said Kotzias.

    "We are facing two huge and difficult geostrategic and geo-economical problems. The Brexit and the stabilisation of our relations with Turkey," he added. Regarding the second one, he underlined that "the Turkish must decide if they want to work and promote the necessary reforms in order to be included in the European Union."

    On the western Balkans, both ministers agreed that their course to the European Union and the EuroAtlantic structures should be further supported but to also contribute to the development of the political culture of consensus and compromise.

    At a press question on the condition of the Greek economy, Kotzias said: "We have many difficulties but we have a plan on how we will face the crisis and return to high growth rates. All indications show that this year will be a record year in the foreign trade between Greece and the Czech Republic. Last year we had a reduction in the tourist flow but this year it will be over 400,000 arrivals to half a million. The development of our relations with the Czech Republic is another fact that contributes to the stabilisation and growth of our economy," said the Greek minister.

    According to diplomatic sources, the two ministers all refered to the policy of the Visegrad countries while during the working lunch the two delegations agreed that the two Foreign Ministers will meet once a year and hold political deliberations between the two ministries on several issues as the migration, the future of Europe and the condition in the western Balkans.

    On the condition in the Middle East, they emphasised on Syria where the Czech Republic is the only European country that continues to have an embassy. The two countries agreed to closely cooperate on the issue provided that Greece will send, in the near future, a special delegate in Beirut who will monitor Syria's issues. They also discussed the relations with Turkey, the stance of both countries in Egypt and the migration issue.

    Zaorálek invited Greece to participate in the European Conference on Security which will be held in Prague on June 9 and expressed his country's will to open an honorary consulate on Corfu.

    Finally, they examined the possibilities for economic cooperation on several sectors as tourism. A special reference was made to the spa tourism and the cooperation between regions of central Greece with Czech region such as the spa town Karlovy Vary.

    After his meetings in the Foreign Ministry, Kotzias met with the president of the Senate Milan Štěch. Their talks focused on the migration issue and Kotzias expressed the Greek positions and reminded that Greece had warned in advance on the outburst of migration while stressing the need for the EU-Turkey agreement to be respected by both sides.

    Kotzias also referred to the Greek position on the Cyprus issue and explained the problem of Cyprus which is an issue of invasion and occupation and the clear position and there can't be a solution if Turkey maintains its intervention rights or the fulfillment of irrational demands as the four freedoms.

    On Wednesday morning, before his departure for Athens, Kotzias met with Prime Minister Buhoslav Sobotka who expressed his pleasure over the success of Kotzias' visit in Prague. The two top officials discussed the course of the Greek economy and the strengthening of the Greek-Czech relations as well as the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on the refugees, the EU-Turkey relations and the future of Europe and its institutional function. Both expressed their skepticism on ideas and proposals expressed for a two-speed Europe and also expressed their pleasure over the new chapter of a closer bilateral cooperation between the two countries that opened with Kotzias' visit to Prague.

    [03] Greek inflation rate at 1.6 pct in April, Eurostat

    BRUSSELS (ANA-Maria Aroni) - Greek annual inflation rate eased to 1.6 pct in April from 1.7 pct in March, Eurostat said on Wednesday. In a report, released here, the EU executive's statistics service said the inflation rate in the Eurozone grew to 1.9 pct in April from 1.5 pct in March, while in the EU the inflation rate rose to 2.0 pct from 1.6 pct, respectively. The inflation rate was -0.2 pct in the Eurozone and the EU and -0.4 pct in Greece in April 2016.

    Romania (0.6 pct), Ireland (0.7 pct) and Slovakia (0.8 pct) recorded the lowest annual inflation rates, while Estonia (3.6 pct), Lithuania (3.5 pct) and Latvia (3.3 pct) the highest rates. Compared with March 2017, the inflation rate fell in six member-states, it remained unchanged in three and rose in 19 member-states.

    [04] Protesters and riot police clash in Athens

    A protest rally organised by Greek trade union organisations in the centre of Athens on Wednesday has ended but not before clashes broke out between groups of protestors and riot police, who responded with use of tear gas and flashbang grenades.

    The rally, coinciding with a 24-hour general strike called by the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) and the civil servants' union federation ADEDY, was held to protest against yet another round of austerity cuts that are to be passed by Parliament in an omnibus bill to be voted into law on Thursday.

    The protest erupted into violence at the intersection of Stadiou and Vassileos Georgiou streets when anarchist groups engaged with MAT riot police, lobbing stones and fire bombs.

    A representative of a trade union coordinating committee said the unions were urging everyone to take to the streets and rally together "for a real battle today and tomorrow against the shameful fourth memorandum."

    Organisations of the Left and trade unions are urging people to turn out for rallies taking place in Syntagma Square on Thursday to protest during the final vote on the omnibus bill before the plenum.


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