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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-07

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Govt's policies begin to bear fruit, minister says
  • [02] EU foreign ministers examine fiscal prospects

  • [01] Govt's policies begin to bear fruit, minister says

    The government's policies are beginning to bear fruit, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Monday, during an address at a conference organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce on the Greek economy.

    The Greek minister stressed that despite a negative international climate, past debts and deficits, economic growth rates were three times higher compared with Eurozone's average, while he underlined a strong investment interest in the country.

    Sioufas said Greek exports grew 9.9 percent in the first eight months of 2005, compared with a fall of 0.4 pct in the same period last year, while tourist arrivals were up 8.0 percent and tourist foreign exchange inflows rose 10 percent in the first seven months of the year. The Greek minister noted that employment grew and unemployment fell in the country. Reports by UNCTAD ranked Greece high in a global list of foreign direct investments, Grand Thornton International said that the percentage of rapidly growing enterprises rose to 15 percent this year from 13 pct in 2004, while this year's Transparency International report showed clearly that Greece stopped its decline in the world list, Sioufas said.

    The Greek minister said the government was introducing a new framework envisaging joint ventures between public and private sectors, promoting privatisations, whereas it has taken initiatives to draft an integrated national town planning project to support investments in Renewable Energy Sources, Industry and Tourism.

    The government was also promoting reforms, with the support of the society, restructuring public sector enterprises and reforming incentives offered the foreign and domestic enterprises, he said.

    [02] EU foreign ministers examine fiscal prospects

    The European Union's fiscal prospects over the 2007-2013 period, the issue of Kosovo and the EU's positions regarding consultations taking place in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were examined in Brussels on Monday by the EU's foreign ministers, with the participation of Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis.

    On the question of fiscal prospects, the Greek delegation believes, as Molyviatis told reporters, that few steps of progress have been taken since June, when the summit was unable to reach specific decisions.

    According to the present state, it is difficult for one to be optimistic as to the possibilities of the problem being solved at the summit in December, the Greek minister said, adding that for the time being it is logical that member-states are appearing unyielding on their positions but this does not rule out the possibility of last-minute changes taking place.

    As regards Kosovo, an issue that will preoccupy the EU in coming months, the 25 ministers listened to the UN secretary general's representative in the region, Marti Ahtisaari.

    Molyviatis expressed satisfaction over the fact that Ahtisaari's intervention moved "in the framewok of values" determined by the EU, pointing out that it would be a mistake if the price of stabilisation in Kosovo is the general destabilisation of the wider region.

    Well-informed sources said that for the time being the view prevailing in the EU is the preservation of the status quo and nobody appears to be proposing its change on the basis of specific timetables.


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