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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't on right track to reduce deficit, FinMin tells PM
  • [02] Foreign minister in Sofia for NATO meeting
  • [03] Gov't to tender first private electricity plant

  • [01] Gov't on right track to reduce deficit, FinMin tells PM

    National Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis appeared optimistic regarding the economy after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday. In statements he made after the meeting, Alogoskoufis said that the budget has been satisfactorily implemented during the first quarter of 2006 adding that the goal to reduce the deficit to below 3% of GDP by year-end is also on the right track. Other areas where progress has also been achieved are reforms, privatizations, talks with public utility company (DEKO) employees as well as implementation of legislation regulating public-private partnerships.

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

    [02] Foreign minister in Sofia for NATO meeting

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is participating in an informal two-day meeting of NATO member-state foreign ministers in Sofia, Bulgaria, which began on Thursday afternoon. The meeting will focus on the political agenda for the November summit in Riga, Latvia, while the issue of Iran's nuclear programme is also expected to be raised.

    The foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will be meeting under the chairmanship of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer but they will not be adopting any official document despite the fact that the agenda includes top priority issues such as the crisis with Iran.

    Other issues will also be raised during the meeting such as the situation in the Balkans, particularly the Vienna talks on determining the final status quo in Kosovo, and progress achieved by countries in the region that wish to join the NATO alliance.

    Talks between NATO member-state ministers and their counterparts from Russia and Ukraine will also be held as part of the meeting.

    Bakoyannis might be meeting her U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice on the sidelines of the informal two-day meeting.

    Bakoyannis will be meeting her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Friday, on the sidelines of the meeting. She will also be meeting Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Georgiev Kalfin.

    After the informal meeting, Sofia will be hosting a conference on "Reorganising NATO - The new borders of security", that will be organised by non-governmental organisations.

    Moreover, the Inter-Balkan summit will be held in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on May 3-4.

    In another development, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos announced that NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will be making a working visit to Greece on May 4-5.

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

    [03] Gov't to tender first private electricity plant

    The government is to tender its first private electricity output plant, which should begin operations in 2009, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Thursday. In addition, another two private plants will be tendered - at the end of 2006 and in April 2007, Sioufas reported. "This is a major development for the economy, for growth and energy," he said.

    "The conditions have been ensured through rules of transparency for large-scale investments that in coming years will exceed four billion euros in the energy sector," the minister added.

    The ministry's secretary general, Nikos Stephanou, noted that this was the third and most significant step in deregulation of the electricity market.

    Total investment in the three natural-gas fired plants is estimated at 750 million euros in current prices, Stephanou added.

    Tenders for the three plants will be called by the national system manager. A winner of the tender for the first plant should be named early in 2007.

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


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