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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-05-24

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet approves farm bill to spur growth, align with EU
  • [02] Orthodox Synod no longer recognises Jerusalem Patriarch
  • [03] FM Molyviatis confers with Cypriot counterpart Iacovou on Cyprus issue
  • [04] Reception held at PM's offices for Greece's winning Eurovision team

  • [01] Cabinet approves farm bill to spur growth, align with EU

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his cabinet on Tuesday approved a farm bill that aims to spur growth in the sector and align with the European Union's new common agricultural policy.

    The wide-ranging legislation is destined for parliament in coming weeks.

    "It will support young farmers, reduce bureaucracy and deal with farmers' day-to-day problems," said the architect of the bill, Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Evangelos Basiakos.

    "A series of moves contained in the (ruling) New Democracy party's manifesto will be implemented that target growth of the agricultural economy," Basiakos told a news conference.

    Among innovations in the bill are short-term, interest-free loans to aid operational spending for young farmers in mountain and deprived regions of the country, and medium-term lending in the same categories for the acquisition of key equipment and machinery. Interest-free loans will also be awarded for the purchase of farmland. In other categories, a loan-subsidy of 70% is to be offered.

    In addition, the bill will legally sanction the creation of agricultural development centres around the country that the government has begun to set up in line with EU policy from 2007.

    Each prefecture will open one centre, employing a nationwide total of 325 farming specialists. Falling under the jurisdiction of central regional authorities, the centres will provide scientific, professional, technical and technological support for farmers, the minister said.

    Services will also help farmers to keep up to date on European sector programmes and adapt crop cultivation. One of many aids on offer are data provision on the type, variety and quality of crops available to farmers.

    [02] Orthodox Synod no longer recognises Jerusalem Patriarch

    ISTANBUL (ANA/A.Kourkoulas) - The overwhelming majority of the Orthodox Synod decided to no longer recognise Jerusalem Patriarch Irineos, after convening here on Tuesday.

    The Synod's decision allows the three-member panel, currently in charge of the Jerusalem Patriarchate Synod, to proceed with the election of a new patriarch.

    Metropolitan of Caesarea Vassilios said that the panel would proceed immediately.

    Irineos was among the first to leave Phanar and did not make any statements.

    The Palestinian Authority said it would support any decision made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Phanar and the Orthodox Synod, in a letter sent to the Synod from Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie's office.

    [03] FM Molyviatis confers with Cypriot counterpart Iacovou on Cyprus issue

    Foreign minister Petros Molyviatis met Tuesday in Athens with his visiting Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou, with the agenda focussing on the Cyprus issue and the informal preliminary consultations at the UN headquarters in New York.

    "We studied the possibility of new prospects for resumption of the process to seek a solution," Molyviatis told reporters after the meeting.

    He reiterated that Athens and Nicosia were in "close and regular" cooperation "with the common goal being the reunification of the island, and negotiations on the basis of the Annan Plan, the UN resolutions, and in line with the principles and values of the European Union".

    Iacovou referred to the issues being currently faced by the Republic of Cyprus, such as the upcoming decision by the UN Security Council on the renewal of the UNFICYP's mandate, the European Union and the deliberatons on the extention of Ankara's Customs Union Protocol to the new EU member countries, and the Islamic Conference.

    Asked to comment on press allegations that Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Irineos had sold Patriarchate properties in the occued sector of Cyprus, Iacovou said that during a meeting between the Cypriot ambassador to Israel with the Patriarch himself, Irineos had categorically denied the rumours, and denied that such an action had even been considered.

    "To date, we have not ascertained anything to the contrary," the Cypriot foreign minister added.

    Iacovou will be received by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias before he departs to return to Nicosia.

    [04] Reception held at PM's offices for Greece's winning Eurovision team

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday gave a reception at his offices for Greece's winning team at the Eurovision song contest, which came first at Eurovision's 50th anniversary in Kiev with Elena Paparizou singing the song "My Number One".

    As she departed from the meeting, the Greek-Swedish singer said the prime minister had been photographed with them, given them commemorative gifts and had congratulated all those who contributed to Greece's success.

    Song writer Christos Dantis and lyric writer Natalia Germanou said the premier had appeared very happy, while Dantis noted that the Greek victory would be very beneficial for the country, Greek tourism and Greek music.

    He also rejected criticism that the response to the victory had been excessive, pointing out that Greece had been vying for a Eurovision win for the past 31 years without success.

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos also defended his decision to meet Paparizou and the rest of the Greek team at Athens airport on their return from Kiev on Monday, saying that the Greeks who achieved distinctions should be honoured.

    "We must get away from this miserly climate. This Eurovision first place has given Greece the chance to once again be heard throughout the world in a positive way. And the country must take advantage of this message to boost the tourist inflow," the spokesman said.

    Asked how much the Greek entry and its promotion had cost, Roussopoulos referred to a statement by the head of Greece's state television channel ERT, which had been in charge of the entire campaign, who said that all the costs had been covered and that there was now a surplus of 400,000 euros, as well as the huge profits from the country's international promotion.


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