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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Papoulias received by Egyptian counterpart Mubarak
  • [02] NBG buys controlling stake of FinansBank
  • [03] Gov't on AGB charges, TV ratings law
  • [04] PM meets Personal Data Protection Authority chief

  • [01] President Papoulias received by Egyptian counterpart Mubarak

    CAIRO (ANA/MPA - N. Katsikas) Greek President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received a warm welcome here on Monday from his Egyptian counterpart, President Hosni Mubarak, whom he met during the second day of a two-day visit to Egypt.

    The meeting between the two men greatly exceeded the scheduled time and they confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and Egypt, while discussing issues concerning the region and especially the Middle East crisis, where they noted a general coincidence of views.

    Papoulias and Mubarak agreed that it was urgent to give a new impetus to the peace process and for all the parties involved to show self-restraint and avoid acts of violence.

    They also discussed the situation in Iraq and Iran.

    Regarding bilateral relations, the two presidents found that these were developing in a very satisfactory way following an official visit by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to Cairo roughly 18 months earlier, while economic relations had been significantly boosted.

    Mubarak also referred at length to the contribution of Egypt's Greek communities in Cairo and Alexandria to building bilateral ties.

    Papoulias presented his Egyptian counterpart with an invitation to carry out an official visit to Greece, which Mubarak accepted. He promised to visit Athens soon, while also expressing satisfaction at his upcoming visit by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in early May.

    Following his meeting with Mubarak, Papoulias had a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who visited Egypt for the dedication of a new cathedral, and Alexandria and All Africa Patriarch Theodoros.

    Meetings with their Egyptian counterparts were also held by Greek Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli Petralia and Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas, who accompanied the president on his trip to Egypt.

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

    [02] NBG buys controlling stake of FinansBank

    National Bank of Greece (NBG), the biggest financial institution in the east Mediterranean country, on Monday afternoon officially announced the purchase of 46 percent of Istanbul-based FinansBank's common shares as well as 100 percent of its preferred shares from the Fiba Holding group for 2.774 billion US dollars.

    According to NBG Governor Takis Arapoglou, FinansBank is viewed as an "ideal strategic partner" for National Bank's expansion into the Turkish market, stressing that FinansBank retains a 5.2-percent market share in terms of loans, 208 bank branches in the neighboring country and 1.7 million active customers.

    ANA-MPA photo / K. Mavrona.

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

    [03] Gov't on AGB charges, TV ratings law

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, who also holds the press and media portfolio, on Monday stressed the need for legislation to ensure the reliability of TV ratings and greater control on how these ratings are derived.

    Commenting in the wake of a furor involving Greece's sole TV ratings firm, AGB Nielsen Media Research, whose two top executives and a major shareholder face felony charges of fraud along with accusations that the company 'fixed' ratings without taking proper measurements, Roussopoulos said this would require cooperation between the state and all those involved.

    He also ruled out unilateral any imposition of measures by the state, saying that these could not have the desired result, and that the government proposed the foundation of a non-profit company that will be made up of organisations representing the advertising sector, market research and opinion poll firms.

    Roussopoulos said the present legal framework only allowed the government to register research firms in a list and that there was no framework of control, similar to existing regimes for newspaper and magazine circulation.

    To other questions, he said if AGB were struck from the government register it would no longer be able to undertake state contracts. Concerning AGB's role after the foundation of any non-profit company proposed by the government, he said in all issues of measurements or ethics in journalism, the government was in favour of self-regulation.

    "The role of the state is to monitor and thus the purpose of the proposed (non-profit) company will be to monitor, while the measurements will be carried out by any company," Roussopoulos said.

    ANA-MPA photo

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

    [04] PM meets Personal Data Protection Authority chief

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday met with the head of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, Dimitrios Gourgourakis, during which he was briefed on the issues handled by the independent authority and the problems that it faces. The meeting was also attended by Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras.

    In statements to reporters afterwards, Gourgourakis said that matters related to phone-tapping fell under the remit of the Authority for the Protection of Communications Privacy.

    Papaligouras said that Gourgourakis had submitted a memorandum to the premier, which would be taken into account by a committee processing new communications privacy legislation, along with those of the other independent authorities.

    Caption: The head of the country's Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, Dimitris Gourgourakis, leaves the prime minister's office on Monday, April 3, 2006, following a meeting with the premier. ANA-MPA / M. Kiaou.

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

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