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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Transport minister meets with Turkish PM after inauguration of new Thessaloniki-Istanbul train line
  • [02] Measures to promote bio products

  • [01] Transport minister meets with Turkish PM after inauguration of new Thessaloniki-Istanbul train line

    ISTANBUL (ANA/A. Kourkoulas) - Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Liapis and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan agreed to establishing a transportation link between Evros Prefecture and Turkey, during a meeting in Istanbul on Thursday.

    Erdogan received Liapis, who was escorted by Turkish Transport Minister Yildirim Binali and a group of Greek MPs. Liapis and the Greek delegation were in Istanbul inaugurating the new Thessaloniki-Istanbul train line, which completed its maiden run at 10 am on Thursday.

    Liapis briefed the Turkish premier on progress made in the transport sector and on future plans for strengthening infrastructure and cooperation.

    The Greek minister also conveyed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' sincere regards to Erdogan.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Liapis said that the meeting was sincere and useful and said he was satisfied with the progress achieved in Greek-Turkish relations.

    Triumphant welcome ends maiden run on new Thessaloniki-Istanbul train line

    Inaugurating the new Thessaloniki-Istanbul train line, the inter-city train 'EXPRES ΦΙΛΙΑ' (Express Filia, or "friendship express") rolled into a triumphant welcome at Istanbul's flag-bedecked Sirkeci station at 10:00 on Thursday morning, after completing its maiden run.

    On board was Greece's Transport Minister Liapis, who was met by Turkish Transport Minister Binali, the head of the Turkish railway authority Suleyman Karaman, the local mayor, the Greek General Consul in Istanbul Alexis Alexandris, and dozens of TV news crews.

    As the Greek minister and his entourage alighted, traditional dance groups from the Black Sea performed a spectacular and breath-taking dance with war knives.

    "Today we are witnesses to a great historic moment, when a train linking Istanbul with Thessaloniki becomes a steady bridge of communication between our people," Liapis said in a brief speech to the welcoming committee.

    "This line does not only symbolise the closer ties between Greece and Turkey but is also a first step in completing an ambitious transport and communication plans of the European Union. The doors of the European Union are opening for Turkey, also," Liapis stressed.

    The Greek minister also noted that a new highway to Turkey was also due to be completed within the next two years.

    He said that the new train line would signal a new spurt of economic growth for the region, bringing Europe and Turkey closer together and shortening the journey from Thessaloniki to Istanbul by three hours.

    "This line is a line of friendship between our two countries and their people but also a commercial and tourist route that begins in the heart of the Thermaic Gulf (in Thessaloniki) to end up in the heart of the Bosporus," Liapis added.

    After the welcoming ceremony, gifts were exchanged between the Liapis and Binali and between the head of the Greek Railway Organisation (OSE) Constantinos Yiannakos and Karaman. The two ministers then went to a luncheon aboard a ship sailing on the Bosporus.

    [02] Measures to promote bio products

    The Ministry of Agricultural Development and Foods announced on Thursday a series of measures it is adopting aimed at monitoring more effectively and promoting biological products.

    Deputy Mnister of Agricultural Development and Foods Alexandros Kontos presented the measures he is promoting by means of a joint ministerial decision.

    They include: determining and defining the role and operation of all entities/authorities active in the biological agricultural sector; allowing the establishment of new certifying agencies in order to boost competition, which will operate according to a standard set of rules and regulations; defining and enforcing the relevant penalty system; definition and standardization of inspections - method, frequency; and drafting of national regulations in the cases where there is a lack of EU legislation, among others.

    "We called on the sector's authorities today, whom I would like to thank for their contribution in our effort to finalise a new joint ministerial decision, which places biological agriculture on a new developmental track, reinforces inspections, sets a national emblem to be used on certified Greek, biological products and supports the plans of the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Foods in boosting production, promotion and availability of these products on the market," Kontos said after the presentation.

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