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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-01-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday
  • [02] Russia calls for Security Council unity over Iraq; EU eyes 'peaceful
  • [03] Employment strategy reviewed at EU Labour Ministers Council

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rain, storms on Sunday

    25/01/2003 18:16:53

    Rainy and showery weather is forecast in all parts of the country. Snow will fall on high ground and in low lying areas of Macedonia. Winds easterly, northeasterly very strong turning gale force in the Aegean. In the north, temperatures will range from 0C to 5C; on the rest of the mainland and in the Ionian from 4C to 12C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 16C. Rain and storms in Athens with temperatures between 6C and 12C. Rain or sleet in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1C to 5C.

    [02] Russia calls for Security Council unity over Iraq; EU eyes 'peaceful resolution'

    24/01/2003 23:36:27

    All-important EU-Russia issues were the focus of a Troika meeting with the Russian foreign minister here on Friday, as a wide spectrum of issues affecting the Union and the worlds largest country were discussed amid the prism of the ongoing Iraq crisis.

    Visiting Russian FM Igor Ivanov held talks in the Greek capital with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou, who currently presides over the EU Council of Ministers, as well as EU Common Foreign and Defence Policy High Representative Javier Solana, among others.

    As expected, the situation with Iraq dominated a good part of discussions, with Ivanov later saying that UN weapons inspectors should be left to carry on their work even after Jan. 27.

    ?It is imperative that unity be maintained within the Security Council,? he said, adding that the international community must be given as much and as objective information as possible concerning Iraqs ability to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

    ?If it does (have that ability), then we must act. If not, then the process for lifting sanctions against it (Iraq) must begin,? he stressed.

    On his part, Papandreou reiterated the Unions devotion to implementing all provisions listed in Resolution 1441, while again voicing the EUs volition for seeking a peaceful resolution to the problem.

    Finally, Solana said the possibility of clashing views between Washington and the Union over Iraqi would cause a ?rift? between the two sides and make matters ?more difficult?. He added, however, that Resolution 1441 nevertheless records, in practice, the international communitys acquiescence on the matter.

    ?We are allies, and we will make every effort so that this relationship is not endangered?? he said in answer to a press question citing this weeks French-German position on Iraq.

    Both Papandreou and Ivanov also praised the level of EU-Russia relations, with the former calling them of ?strategic importance?.

    The latest Troika contacts with Moscow come amid preparations for this summers EU-Russia Summit in St. Petersburg, with Ivanov saying his government will submit a proposal there to further strengthen its ties with the bloc.

    [03] Employment strategy reviewed at EU Labour Ministers Council

    24/01/2003 23:31:37

    The review of the European Employment Strategy (EES) was the main focus during Fridays deliberations among EU Labour Ministers and EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, at the informal EU Council of Labour Ministers, taking place in the coastal Peloponnese town of Nafplio.

    The EES, to be mapped out during the Greek Presidency of the union, is to be implemented in the next three years, with the Greek Presidency focus being on issues such as the need for simpler and more effective guidelines on the basis of Barcelona Council conclusions in coordination with EU policies; assessment of the EES and contribution to creating new job positions; the impeding expansion of the EU; the current economic and international developments (recession, war on Iraq); and, the need for a more ambitious employment strategy that can quickly respond to economic changes, demographic considerations and EU expansion.

    ?Employment should be considered as a cornerstone in the EUs competitiveness and prosperity challenges?, Greek Labour and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas told participants of the meeting, stressing that social partners (employers, trade unions, etc.) be more substantially involved in mapping out and implementing the new European Employment Strategy.

    The Greek minister also referred to social integration of immigrants, attracting more women in the labour market and creation of more job opportunities for mature citizens an issue linked to active ageing policies.

    Employment Commissioner Diamantopoulou noted that meeting Lisbon targets would mean the creation of 15 million new job positions by 2010. She said more emphasis should be placed on conclusions, tools should be integrated and rationalised to avoid bureaucracy and ensure better governing and full participation by all factors.

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