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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Premier confers with FM Bakoyannis on foreign policy issues
  • [02] Greek exports up 22.8 pct in Jan-March, yr/yr
  • [03] Papandreou wraps up two-day visit to Tripoli
  • [04] KKE declaration on local gov't elections
  • [05] PM inaugurates state broadcaster's 3rd digital channel

  • [01] Premier confers with FM Bakoyannis on foreign policy issues

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday met with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, with whom he discussed foreign policy issues.

    Responding to press questions on former president of the republic Kostis Stephanopoulosâ proposal to refer all problems with Turkey to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Bakoyannis said that the government's foreign policy was firm, and the newspaper article in question signed by the former president contained concerns, with interesting points.

    Bakoyannis stated that foreign policy is a complex issue, adding that she does not wish to be called on to give a "black or white" response.

    Responding to another question concerning a Sunday newspaper report according to which a set of ideas on the Cyprus issue is being processed, Bakoyannis cited the statements made by foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos.

    The foreign ministry spokesman on Sunday flatly dismissed a same-day front-page headline in an Athens daily regarding the Cyprus issue.

    "The contentions in the said article are untrue," spokesman George Koumoutsakos said in reference to a press question focusing on a report in the Sunday edition of "Eleftherotypia", entitled "Athensâ Plan for Cyprus".

    Among others, the paper claimed that Athens was promoting a "set of ideas" to be conveyed to the Cypriot government and then to the European Union, including a proposal for "high supervision" by Brussels of economic relations in occupied areas and a special status for occupied Famagusta.

    [02] Greek exports up 22.8 pct in Jan-March, yr/yr

    Greek exports jumped 22.8 percent to 3.841 billion euros in the first three months of 2006, up from 3.126 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, the Hellenic Export Promotion Organisation said on Monday.

    In an analysis of trade figures released by National Statistics Service, the Organisation said of the 714 million euros increase in exports in the first quarter, 176 million euros accounted for exports of oil products, 194 mln in exports of food and 171.6 mln euros in industrial goods.

    The organization said a widening trade deficit (up 2.4 pct in Jan-March) exclusively reflected higher fuel costs and noted that the country's trade deficit, excluding oil, fell 7.5 pct over the same period.

    Export activity to EU countries rose 12.3 pct in January-March to 1.98 billion euros, with Italy recording a 37.9-pct increase to maintain its top position, while exports to Turkey jumped 57.2 pct.

    Exports to third countries totalled 1.859 billion euros, up 36.6 percent, with Balkan states ranked high in the list of top Greek export destinations. Bulgaria was fourth, Romania 10th, Albania 13th and FYROM 14th.

    Greek exports soared 1,074 pct to Algeria, 175 pct to India, 59.6 pct to China, 53 pct to Romania, 44.4 pct to Egypt and 31.15 pct to Russia.

    Exports to Japan also soared by 125 pct in the first quarter of 2006, after three years of steady decline.

    Exports of steel pipes jumped 224.8 pct, heating machinery rose 151 pct, virgin olive oil was up 108 pct, power distribution materials rose 65.76 pct, cheeses rose 37.9 pct and cotton was up 59 pct.

    [03] Papandreou wraps up two-day visit to Tripoli

    Main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou on Monday wrapped up his two-day visit to Tripoli, southern Greece, after meeting with farmers and stock breeders in the region of Nestani.

    Papandreou stressed that Greece has huge potential for development and prosperity in all sectors, but needs a government with the vision and the will to materialize its plans.

    He said that in the past two years, Greek farmers have experienced only abandonment and referred to high production costs caused by high fuel, fertilizer, and drug prices.

    [04] KKE declaration on local gov't elections

    The Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) central committee on Monday issued its customary declaration on upcoming (October) municipal and prefectural elections, more-or-less precluding cooperation with other major parties.

    The declaration says KKE's goals are to continue to reduce ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK's influence in local government while at the same time increasing its own influence or that of affiliated tickets.

    In the lengthy declaration, KKE reiterates most of its policy positions against the free market, potential reforms in the labour sector and higher education, against the EU and NATO, among others.

    [05] PM inaugurates state broadcaster's 3rd digital channel

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday inaugurated the new digital channel Sport+, the third digital channel established by Greece's state broadcaster ERT.

    The inauguration took place at the ERT Radio Building, in the presence of Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos, who is in charge of media issues.

    Shortly before the new channel officially began broadcasting, the prime minister noted that ERT was capitalising on the gains made during the Olympic Games in Athens and was making progress, investing in media diversity, objectivity and quality.

    "It is entering the new digital age with the broadcast of a land-based digital signal in portal form. It's making use of modern technology to make television accessible to people with special needs, to promote Greek culture and tourism worldwide and to become a bridge of communication between Greece, the surrounding region and the rest of the world," he said.

    Karamanlis was afterwards shown around the digital TV facilities by ERT President Christos Panagopoulos.

    Sport+ will be dedicated mainly to sports, covering all the official Olympic sports events but also others that are less widely known. It will also broadcast sports and general information content from Greece and abroad, news programmes and a daily half-hour news programme in English.

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