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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-05-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM hosts dinner in honour of Turkish counterpart
  • [02] Trade between Greece, Turkey up due to politics, PMs say
  • [03] Transport and communications minister visiting Istanbul on Sunday
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Saturday
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday
  • [06] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop for fourth straight session
  • [07] Greek, Turkish PMs reaffirm will to further improve bilateral relations

  • [01] PM hosts dinner in honour of Turkish counterpart

    07/05/2004 23:14:28

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis hosted an official dinner in honour of visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday evening and said ''Greek-Turkish relations have entered a new orbit.''

    Addressing the Turkish delegation, Karamanlis said Greece remains steadfastly adhered to the target of the reunification of Cyprus ''so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots together can enjoy the benefits of participation in the European Union.''

    He also stressed the need for ''the corridor to remain open to seek a concerted solution to the problem of Cyprus, based on the Annan plan, harmonised with the principles and the acquis communautaire of the European Union, just and viable, which will guarantee conditions of security for all.''

    Referring to Ankara's efforts for reform, the prime minister hailed the ''decisive commitment by Mr. Erdogan to proceed along the path of reforms amd moderation and along the path to Europe'' and reiterated Greece's steadfast support for Turkey's European prospect.

    On his part, Erdogan stressed that his visit to Greece is the first official visit by a Turkish prime minister in the past 16 years and referred to the ''common cultural framework'' and the ''values which were shared'' by Greeks and Turks with the agreement between Greek and Turkish statesmen Eleftherios Venizelos and Kemal Ataturk being a milestone.

    ''The two graet national leaders, on the basis of common sense and wisdom, contributed to Greek-Turkish cooperation and friendship which continued and flourished for some years,'' he said.

    Erdogan also expressed satisfaction over the replacement of the environment of conflict by cooperation and referred in this context to 25 agreements reached between the two countries so far, adding that work groups are continuing to prepare relevant texts.

    [02] Trade between Greece, Turkey up due to politics, PMs say

    07/05/2004 22:54:57

    Business between Greece and Turkey has gained impetus due to an improvement in political ties over the last five years, bringing a fivefold increase in the volume of two-way trade, the two countries' premiers said on Friday.

    Bilateral trade totalled 1.3 billion US dollars in 2003, sharply up from 200 million dollars in 1999. ''We can soon raise this to five billion,'' visiting Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a luncheon hosted by the Greek-Turkish Business Forum in Athens.

    According to Greek premier Costas Karamanlis, seventy seven Greek companies are currently operating in Turkey with Greek investment in the neighbouring country representing 3.2 per cent of total foreign investment there.

    [03] Transport and communications minister visiting Istanbul on Sunday

    07/05/2004 19:42:13

    Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis will visit Istanbul on Sunday to attend, at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Bineli Yildirim, the laying of foundations for the undersea railway tunnel in the Bosporus which will join the railway networks of Europe and Asia.

    During his stay in Istanbul, Liapis will be holding talks with the Turkish transport minister on issues concerning the two countries in both the transport and telecommunications sectors.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Saturday

    07/05/2004 19:32:16

    Mostly sunny weather is forecast in all parts of the country, with some scattered cloud that may turn to isolated storms in Epirus and Macedonia. Winds south-southwesterly, light to moderate. The weather will be warmer. Temperatures in Athens from 16C to 27C and in Thessaloniki between 15C and 24C.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    07/05/2004 19:25:26

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.217

    Pound sterling 0.677

    Danish kroner 7.501

    Swedish kroner 9.175

    Japanese yen 134.6

    Swiss franc 1.561

    Norwegian kroner 8.157

    Cyprus pound 0.591

    Canadian dollar 1.674

    Australian dollar 1.691

    [06] Athens Bourse Close: Stocks drop for fourth straight session

    07/05/2004 19:08:54

    The Athens bourse finished lower for the fourth straight session, traders said.

    The general share index shed 0.26 per cent to end at 2,486.43 points. Turnover was 127.9 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.24 per cent down; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalisation paper 0.02 per cent down; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities gained 1.12 per cent.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 177 to 118 with 63 issues remaining unchanged.

    On a weekly basis, the general share index lost 1.24 per cent.

    [07] Greek, Turkish PMs reaffirm will to further improve bilateral relations

    07/05/2004 18:26:22

    Greece and Turkey on Friday took yet another step forward in their burgeoning rapprochement, with the prime ministers of the two neighboring countries expressing their satisfaction -- during a joint press conference in Athens -- with the level of bilateral cooperation, agreements and overall contacts.

    The paramount subject of Turkeys European Union prospects and its overall European orientation apparently dominated talks between Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The Turkish leader arrived Thursday night for an official visit, the first by a Turkish premier since 1988, heading a large delegation of government officials, entrepreneurs and media.

    ''We ascertained, with satisfaction, the progress made in Greek-Turkish relations,? Karamanlis told reporters after the meeting, adding that EU-Turkish relations and the various stages of Ankaras harmonization with the Unions acquis communautaire were discussed.

    ''We confirmed our coincidence of views with respect to the new 'orbit' into which Greek-Turkish relations have entered and ascertained with satisfaction the progress they are making"

    Karamanlis said.

    Karamanlis further reaffirmed his own and the Greek government's support for Turkey's EU prospects and the reform efforts being advanced by Erdogan in Turkey, noting that tha talks focussed mainly on Turkey's rapprochement with the EU and the stages of its adaptation to the acquis communautaire (the EU body of law).

    As regarded the delimitation of the Aegean continental shelf, Karamanlis said that the exploratory talks on that issue would continue, assessing, however, that they would not be completed in the near future, but at the same time noting that the political volition existed to seek a solution.

    Questioned on the long-standing problem of Cyprus, which became a full EU member on May 1 despite the continuing division of the island republic, Karamanlis said that ?beyond the (recent referendum) results, the goal remains for the reunification of the island, so that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots enjoy the benefits of (EU) membership''.

    Erdogan, in turn, said that progress in bilateral relations continues unabated, pointing to 25 agreements signed over the past five years and to the volition of the political leadership in both countries as well as by the Greek and Turkish peoples for continuing improvement.

    ?Let the past remain in the past,? Erdogan said in reply to a press question referring to the 1996 Imia incident, when the two countries and erstwhile rivals almost came to blows over a rocky outcrop in the eastern Aegean. He said that ''we do not want the next generations to live as we have lived'', ading that ''peace and love are deeply consolidated in the sentiments of the two peoples''.

    Erdogan spoke of his friendly relations with Karamanlis from before the two became prime ministers of their respective countries, adding that they desired to reinforce Greek-Turkish relations, and recalled that, as a youth in Isanbul, he worked for Greek businesmen, whom he remembers with gratitude.

    The Turkish premier also expressed satisfaction with karamanlis effort to support Turkey's European prospect, stressing that it was important that many matters concerning the two countries could not be discussed bilaterally, without interventions by third parties, and again underlined the political volition existing on both sides for solutions to be found.

    Immediately afterwards, Erdogan was received by President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    Greeting Erdogan, the President said his visit here was ''very iimportant'' and ''provides an opportunity for further advancing our relations'', adding that the Turkish premier's personal friendship with Karamanlis ''facilitates the discussions''.

    Erdogan thanked Stephanopoulos for his reception and conveyed greetings from the Turkish President.


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