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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM to chair SEECP summit on Thurs. in Thessaloniki
  • [02] Economy to grow by 3.8 pct in 2006, FinMin says
  • [03] Greece to acquire embassy in Qatar
  • [04] Greece not asked to assist any U.S. operation in Iran, gov't says
  • [05] FM briefs KKE leader, comments on Iran crisis

  • [01] PM to chair SEECP summit on Thurs. in Thessaloniki

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will chair a closed-door South East Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP) summit in the northern city of Thessaloniki on Thursday, while afterwards he will preside at a news conference.

    Of particular interest is a meeting on the summit's sidelines between Karamanlis and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Heads of state and governments from member countries will meet on Thursday, while foreign ministers will convene on Wednesday.

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is expected to have separate meetings with her counterparts from FYROM, Albania, Serbia-Montenegro, as well as the session's guest speaker, Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Akiko Yamanaka, UN special envoy for Kosovo Maarti Ahtisaari and OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.

    Finally, SE European transport ministers are expected to sign an agreement envisioning improvements in the region's rail networks.

    Issues up for discussion at the summit include regional cooperation and SE European countries' course towards the European Union; cooperation to boost regional infrastructure; the role of SEECP in a future modification of the SE Europe Stability Pact as well as timely issues currently facing the region.

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

    [02] Economy to grow by 3.8 pct in 2006, FinMin says

    The Greek economy will grow by 3.8 percent this year, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Tuesday.

    In his recommendation during an Inner Cabinet meeting, the minister said the outlook for the Greek economy was favourable this year, predicting a 3.8 pct growth rate in 2006, from 3.7 pct in 2005, while he attributed a lower GDP growth rate last year to an unexpected jump in international oil prices.

    The report made particular mention to shipping revenues, up 40 percent in 2004 (contributing 2.3 percentage points to the country's growth rate) with a marginal increase in 2005.

    The report said all sector indices in manufacturing, services, commerce and construction would improve significantly this year, combined with a speed up of lending to the private sector (up to 17.6 pct in February, from 14.4 pct in the same month last year).

    Retail sales (volume) rose 5.9 pct in February, while exports jumped 21.2 pct in the first two months of the year.

    Greek inflation fell to 3.2 pct in the first quarter of 2006, from 3.3 pct in the corresponding period in 2005, while core inflation fell significantly to 2.6 pct from 3.3 pct over the same periods respectively.

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

    [03] Greece to acquire embassy in Qatar

    Greece and Qatar have agreed that they will each establish embassies in Doha and Athens, respectively, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis said on Tuesday after talks with local government officials in Doha.

    He said that an article of law for the new embassy would be incorporated in the first foreign ministry bill that will be tabled in Parliament concerning the World Council of Hellenes Abroad. According to the minister, the new Greek Embassy in Qatar is expected to open by next November.

    During his talks in Doha, the deputy minister also secured a plot of land on which to build an Orthodox Church to serve the needs of Qatar's numerous Greek and Cypriot community.

    Kassimis was among the ministers that accompanied President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain that began last Saturday.

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

    [04] Greece not asked to assist any U.S. operation in Iran, gov't says

    Greece has not been asked to contribute in the event of a military operation by the United States against Iran, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos stressed on Tuesday.

    "This issue has not been raised by anyone," the spokesman said in response to questions.

    Asked to clarify related statements made by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis regarding the naval base in Souda, Crete, Roussopoulos said that the minister was merely pointing out the country's obligations under international treaties.

    Asked what line Greece will adopt at the UN Security Council regarding Iran's nuclear programme, the spokesman reiterated that Greece was "in the front line of the group of countries that believe that we must take great care so that there is no proliferation of nuclear weapons - becase we are preparing a peaceful world for our children"

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

    [05] FM briefs KKE leader, comments on Iran crisis

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Tuesday stressed that the Greek people desired a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the problem regarding Iran's nuclear programme, after a meeting with Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga.

    "This is a fact that unites us all," Bakoyannis underlined, adding that her meeting with Papariga concluded the briefing of the political parties on current foreign policy issues.

    "We are in the midst of a diplomatic effort that will be long drawn-out and that I hope will have the result that we all expect," the minister said in comments on the issue of Iran, while noting that the political parties also had a role in the tone of Greek diplomacy.

    Bakoyannis underlined that the briefing of the political parties in Parliament should be continuous and in depth:

    "We will continue to do this because, regardless of the views expressed, the parties should have substantial and full information on the country's foreign policy," she said.

    Papariga, on her part, said treaty obligations that would lead to the break-out of war in new areas should not be honoured by Greece, regardless of the agreements signed by successive governments.

    "We have every reason to be concerned about what is happening today with Iran, with the escalation of intervention and blackmail, as we see it. We therefore, and I do not think we are the only ones, want to avert every military development that would have tragic repercussions for the people in the region and the people of Greece," Papariga said.

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


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