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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader Papandreou meets contender for premier Prodi
  • [02] Sioufas addresses SEECP energy ministers
  • [03] Greece's Deputy FinMin Folias in New York
  • [04] Deputy Interior Minister Nakos in NY

  • [01] PASOK leader Papandreou meets contender for premier Prodi

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou met in Rome on Saturday with contender for premier and leader of "The Union" of the parties of the left, Romano Prodi, and was also due to meet later on with National Secretary of the Democrats of the Left, Piero Fassino. Papandreou, Prodi and Fassino were scheduled to take part later in the day in two election campaigns of the centre-left coalition. "It is with particular joy that I am here in Italy to support my very good friend Romano Prodi, a personality which will again give a voice to Europe, the Mediterranean and worldwide," Papandreou said after meeting Prodi, head of the centre-left coalition.

    "We need this progressive voice for the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Greece, for developments in Europe, for a socially just and peaceful Europe," Papandreou told reporters, adding that "I believe that the air of change which has started in Spain and Portugal is hopefully soon coming to Italy as well, to also embrace the other countries of southern Europe and of course Greece."

    On his part, Prodi said that he discussed with Papandreou matters related to Europe and the Balkans, issues of immigration and how Europe will acquire strength so as to confront international competition from the United States of America and the growing power of China.

    They also discussed the proposal for promoting the initiative in the Mediterranean, with the creation of a new Mediterranean bank but also for the strengtheing of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue with a much stronger initiative than that of Barcelona's, in which the Mediterranean countries will play the role of the steam-engine of growth.

    (Caption:'The Union' leader Romano Prodi (L) and PASOK leader George Papandreou speaking to the press after the meeting they had in Rome on Saturday)

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Sioufas addresses SEECP energy ministers

    Investments in the energy sector which will exceed 21 billion euros is expected in the coming years in southeastern Europe, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Saturday, speaking at the meeting of energy ministers from the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) and which had as its theme "Energy"Fundamental Pillars of Development in SE Europe". He underlined that "within the framework of the Cooperation Process of the countries of SE Europe, we are are working in order for our region to become a unified area."

    The minister said the area would be "attractive for investments in energy and in the other sectors of the economy, with the aim of granting high level energy products and services."

    Sioufas assessed that the operation of the Energy Community will benefit household, commercial and industrial consumers. "We all have an interest for the Energy Community to start operating as soon as possible," he said, adding that "it is necessary for every country to speed up its own internal procedures so that the founding Treaty of the Energy Community to be ratified immediately by all."

    Referring to the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, which is being promoted by Greece, Bulgaria and Russia, Sioufas stressed:"We are thus responding to the need for yet another channel for the transport of the oil of Caspia to the international markets, complementary and not competitive, towards the Bosphorous or towards other oil pipelines, which are either already in operation or are at a stage of construction."

    At the same time, the Greek development minister said that "Greece, along with Turkey and Italy, are supporting the construction of two natural gas pipelines (of the Greek-Turkish and of the Greek-Italian) which will transport natural gas from the region of Caspia and of the Middle East to the markets of Europe."

    A joint communique released at the close of the meeting said that the representatives of the SEECP countries agreed to intensify cooperation so at to improve energy effectiveness and energy saving and to continue with the implementation of the Treaty of the Energy Community aimed at achieving specific results to the benefit of the peoples of the region

    Apart from Greece, taking part in the meeting were ministers and deputy ministers from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Austria. Also taking part as observers were the United States of America, Russia and Moldova.

    (Caption: Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas)

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] Greece's Deputy FinMin Folias in New York

    Economic cooperation between the United States, Greece and Turkey can constitute a "bridge" between the peoples and cultures of southeastern Europe and the Middle East, opening up new prospects in the investment and development sectors. Furthermore, the strengthening of Greek-Turkish relations are shaping "a new environment" in the broader region, while Greece's economic infiltration in the Balkans is "a unique opportunity" for American investors.

    These were the main conclusions drawn from a conference held in New York late Friday night which was organised by the Association of Graduates of the Business School of New York's Columbia University, with the cooperation of the International Chamber of Commerce (of Greece) and of the Council of Foreign and Economic Relations of Turkey. The conference had as its theme:"Crossroad for investments and cooperation opportunities: Greece, Turkey and the United States".

    The conference was addressed, among others, by Greece's Deputy National Economy and Finance Minister Christos Folias, U.S. Ambassador to Athens, Charles Ries, and Greek Ambassador to Washington, Alexandros Mallias.

    Deputy economy and finance minister Folias spoke of "new horizons" and "new ideas", noting that "with a spirit of understanding and cooperation," the peoples of Greece and Turkey "will have a better future."

    Referring to "the progress of the Greek economy" and to "the new facts," he underlined the "encouraging developments" in the sectors of tourism, throughout the year, and of investments, calling on American investors "to come to our region."

    Folias stressed in particular "the enormous economic importance" of the agreements which Greece has signed in the energy sector.

    Speaking to reporters later, Folias said the conference was "an excellent initiative for us to discuss the opportunities of investment cooperation between the United States, Greece and Turkey."

    To reporters' remarks that efforts were also made in the past for investments in Greece but did not have a significant result, Folias underlined that "many start something but few can complete it, and we are among these few." The deputy finance minister added:"We came here to present what Greece has achieved these past two years, where our country aims for its future and how we see cooperation, of mutual benefit, with the United States of America, with our neighbours, and therefore also with the Turks and how we will be able to promote the interests of our big neighbourhood which is southeast Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, the countries of the Black Sea and of north Africa."

    Meanwhile, The Washington Times newspaper in its Saturday edition published in its diplomatic column extracts from a speech which Folias gave at Washington's Woodrow Wilson Foundation on the need for serious reforms to be made in Europe so as to enable the European economy to become more competitive internationally, and on motives to attract foreign investors in Greece.

    "We need more research, effectiveness, better coordination and innovations in services and products so as to successfully compete in an increasingly competitive world market. At the same time, we must continue to support our social model so that pensions and social insurance to be funded, for the viability of the labour market and for environment policy to be improved," Folias said.

    The deputy finance minister also underlined that Greece "has taken lessons from globalisation" and is working in order for the country to become more attractive to foreign investors. "Our aim is to support the citizens and to strengthen business activity, transforming the state into a force of impetus and not the obstruction of investment initiatives," Folias concluded.

    (Caption: Greece's Deputy National Economy and Finance Minister Christos Folias)

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [04] Deputy Interior Minister Nakos in NY

    Greece's Deputy Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Athanasios Nakos in New York on Saturday spoke at an event organised in Astoria by the Foundation of Greek Societies of New York, marking the anniversary of Greece's National Independence Day on March 25. Nakos conveyed "the personal interest and love" which Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has for the Greek-American community.

    Nakos referred in particular to the efforts being made by the interior ministry for the development of Greek regions and called on the Greek-Americans to continue to help in every way possible their village, city and neighbourhood, which they left behind, thus giving an opportunity for the development of Greece.

    The Greek-American events in celebration of Greece's National Independence Day will culminate in New York on Sunday.

    On Sunday, at 8 p.m. (Greek time) the great paradae will start at Manhattan's 5th Avenue.

    The parade will be preceeded by a Te Deum at the Holy Trinity Church and a reception with greetings by official guests.

    Apart from Nakos, the Greek government will also be represented by Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalatzis.

    This year's parade is dedicated to the Greek immigrants and to youth.

    The events will also be attended by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens, the president of "Marathon" bank, Paul Stathopoulos, and businessman John Ragos.

    (Caption: Greece's Deputy Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Athanasios Nakos)

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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