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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-03-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis says Turkey's EU road 'long and difficult' after talks with Erdogan
  • [02] 1st Balkan Conference of Physiotherapists to be held in Drama
  • [03] Greece expects increase in tourist arrivals this year
  • [04] State Awards for Children's Books presented during gala

  • [01] PM Karamanlis says Turkey's EU road 'long and difficult' after talks with Erdogan

    BRUSSELS (ANA/A.Panagopoulos) - Turkey's European road is "long and difficult", and the European Union attributes particular importance to the respect of principles and values, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said after a dinner he hosted for his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Villa Lorraine restaurant in Brussels on Monday evening.

    Karamanlis also noted that the EU has made it clear that it has no intention of being flexible, hinting in effect at the Union's recent decision to postpone accession talks with Croatia. He also underlined that Greece supported the Turkish government's efforts towards Europe, but stressed that many things needed to be done in quite a few sectors.

    The two prime ministers' talks focused on Turkey's European course, bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue and also issues regarding the participation of Erdogan's party, as an observer, for the first time, in a summit of the European People's Party (EPP) grouping in the European Parliament, held in Brussels on Tuesday.

    Karamanlis, referring to the signing of the Ankara Protocol, which extends Turkey's customs union agreement with the 10 new EU member states - Cyprus among them - said that it must be signed before October 3, as decided at the European Council on December 17. He underlined that with regard to bilateral relations the desire of the two sides to continue efforts for cooperation in all sectors, particularly in trade, tourism and energy was confirmed.

    The Greek premier said that he raised with his Turkish counterpart the issue of Turkish violations over the Aegean, underlining that ''certain activities by Turkey in the Aegean are not compatible with relations of good neighbourliness foreseen by the European decisions''.

    On the Cyprus issue, Karamanlis reiterated his position that the aim remained the reunification of the island through negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan and in the framework of the European acquis communautaire and the European principles and values. ''Only in this way, all the inhabitants of the island, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, can enjoy all the benefits of European cooperation and prosperity'', he added.

    On his part, Erdogan said, regarding Turkey's obligation to sign the Ankara Protocol ''I will not answer you on the exact time. Our experts are working on this matter and when they conclude their work we will proceed and sign it''. On Cyprus, he said that the two sides are showing a political will for a solution to the issue and there is a willngnes by both to solve all the difficulties and proceed into talks.

    [02] 1st Balkan Conference of Physiotherapists to be held in Drama

    The 1st Balkan Conference of Physiotherapists will be held in Drama, northern Greece, from May 27-29, it was announced on Monday.

    The three-day conference is organised by the Kavala-Drama Regional Physiotherapists Department in cooperation with the Thessaloniki Regional Physiotherapists Department.

    In statements to the ANA on Monday, the president of the Kavala-Drama Regional Department, Antonis Trehas, said of the coming conference that "it is a historic moment for the physiotherapists of our country but also of the neighbouring countries, as the foundations will be laid for more substantial cooperation, exchange of views and information."

    The 1st Balkan conference signals scientific cooperation and aims at upgrading relations between the physiotherapists of Balkan countries.

    [03] Greece expects increase in tourist arrivals this year

    Tourist arrivals to Greece are expected to rise this year, Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Monday.

    Addressing the first meeting of a National Tourism Council, Avramopoulos stressed that tourist arrivals were expected to rise despite an expected decline in other South European major tourist destinations (Spain, Portugal, Italy) this year. The Greek minister added that incoming tourism would also include higher quality standards, higher foreign exchange inflows and higher budget revenues.

    "Tourism is a national issue," Avramopoulos said while he urged members of the Council to contribute with their recommendations. He said that the National Tourism Council will meet twice a year.

    "We are sending a message to the world community that Greece is gradually changing, overcoming hurdles that blocked its development," the Greek minister said.

    Avramopoulos reiterated the government's commitment to support the tourism industry in the country and announced a series of initiatives, to be taken in 2006, aimed to upgrade and expand the country's tourist product. These measures will include amending a law on hotel licencing and location, withdrawal of old hotels, a new more flexible regulatory framework to support large-scale tourism investments, new laws on ship marinas, upgrading the country's airport and ports, use of military airports for commercial air flights during the tourist season, upgrading facilities and extending opening hours of museums and archeological sites.

    The Greek minister said a tourism ad campaign, currently underway globally, was successful and harmonised with global tourism market trends.

    [04] State Awards for Children's Books presented during gala

    The awards ceremony of the State Awards for Children's Books was held Monday night at the Megaron-Athens Concert Hall. President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias attended the event, and presented the 1st prize for children's literature books, which was shared by Sophia Fildisi with her poetic collection for children and Petros Hatzopoulos with his novel "The Disappearance of Dorothy Snot".

    Also present at the ceremony was the wife of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Natasha.

    The other three prizes were awarded by Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis to Vassilis Papatsarouhas for "Little Red Riding Hood", by Education and Relgious Affairs Minister Marietta Yiannakou to Eleni Dikeou for "The Great Voyage of Odysseas" and by Lola Daifa to Bulgarian-origin Vasilev Svetlin for his illustrations in "Don Quixote", the first foreign national to receive a State Award for Children's Books.

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