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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] President Papoulias meets with visiting Romanian prime minister
  • [02] Unified consumption tax on oil will not burden households, ministers say
  • [03] European Commission satisfied with suspension of 'primary shareholder' law
  • [04] U.S. Independence Day celebrated at ambassador's residence

  • [01] President Papoulias meets with visiting Romanian prime minister

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday met with visiting Romanian prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, for talks that focused on bilateral relations, as well as regional and international including the situation in the Balkans, Turkey's EU course, and the Cyprus problem.

    According to diplomatic sources, the meeting lasted longer than scheduled, which reflected the very good level of bilateral relations between the two countries.

    Papoulias reaffirmed Greece's support for Romania's EU accession course and the country's accession to NATO.

    Romania, as well as other EU candidate countries, have become concerned to a degree over the recent rejection of the European Union's Constitutional Treaty in referenda in France and the Netherlands, which has been construed by certain quarters as an indirect criticism of the 25-nation bloc's further enlargement, the diplomatic sources noted.

    Greece holds one of the top positions in foreign investments in Romania, while mutual trade relations have marked substantial growth in recent years.

    [02] Unified consumption tax on oil will not burden households, ministers say

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas on Wednesday reiterated that government plans to unify special consumption taxes on heating and diesel oil would not burden Greek households.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with President of Republic Karolos Papoulias, Sioufas stressed that people should not worry and underlined that new regulations were aimed to effectively combat corruption in the fuel market. The Greek minister said the new system was honest and simple and reiterated that the government was examining ways to return money to the consumers.

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said the government would present, by the end of the month, a detailed plan to unify taxes on heating and diesel oil and ways to return taxes to consumers.

    Speaking to reporters, Alogoskoufis reiterated the government's will to effectively combat fuel smuggling and said the plan would not burden taxpayers.

    The Greek minister announced a media campaign aimed to better inform taxpayers over tax evasion.

    [03] European Commission satisfied with suspension of 'primary shareholder' law

    BRUSSELS (ANA/B.Demiris) - The European Commission expressed satisfaction with the letter it received from Greek authorities on Tuesday regarding the primary shareholder law.

    Specifically, the Greek letter clarified that law 3310 passed in 2005 and law 3021 passed in 2002 had been suspended, in response to a warning letter sent by the Commission.

    Oliver Drewes, Spokesman for the European Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market Charlie McCreevy, described the letter as a "very positive development."

    In its warning letter, the Commission emphasised that the 2002 law prevents companies doing business with mass media firms from bidding for public contracts and thus conflicts with EU legislation.

    [04] U.S. Independence Day celebrated at ambassador's residence

    The anniversary of U.S. independence Day was celebrated at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries on Tuesday night in the presence of many cabinet members, representatives of the country's military leadership, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and many members of the diplomatic corps.

    "Long live the independence of America, long live Greece, the birthplace of democracy," the U.S. ambassador said in a brief speech. Referring to the role played by the United States, he said the U.S. from the American Revolution and its independence to Iraq and Afghanistan today, has defended freedom and democracy.

    Guests at the reception included Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki, Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Agricultural Development and Foodstuffs Minister Evangelos Basiakos and Transport and Communications Minister Mihalis Liapis.


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