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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek-Turkish relations scrutinised by nat'l foreign policy council
  • [02] NBG moves closer to Finansbank purchase
  • [03] Ship sinks after collision; 1 death reported
  • [04] Eurostat: Greece's GDP growth tops eurozone

  • [01] Greek-Turkish relations scrutinised by nat'l foreign policy council

    Main opposition PASOK repeated a call for a new "road map" in relations with Turkey, during a meeting of the National Council for Foreign Policy convened on Thursday with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis chairing.

    In statements after her talks with representatives of opposition parties in Parliament, Bakoyannis said her plans concerning an upcoming trip to Istanbul were unchanged. She also stressed the importance of seeking the greatest possible consensus in foreign policy issues, in order to strengthen the "central national goal".

    The minister said the next meeting of the Council and the issues it would address had already been announced and underlined that the meetings will continue with the same intensity, since there were a great many issues that arose in Greek foreign policy.

    Bakoyannis echoed a call made by Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) former president Nikos Constantopoulos for more responsible reporting by local media, stressing that she agreed on the need to inform public opinion correctly and responsibly.

    PASOK MP Christos Papoutsis, who had represented his party at the meeting, said the main opposition had asked for a change in policy and a new national strategy to defend Greece's sovereign rights.

    "We need initiatives toward European institutions, toward Turkey but also domestically," he added.

    Papoutsis underlined the significance of an initiative announced by PASOK leader George Papandreou on Thursday, who said he would approach all the leaders of the political parties to discuss a new "road map" and a new national strategy, based on Greece's constant striving for "peace, security, cooperation and good neighbourly relations with all the peoples of the region".

    Asked if the Council had agreed concerning the referral of outstanding issues with Turkey to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, PASOK's representative stressed that this question did not have a simple 'yes or no' answer.

    "What matters is the process, the road map, the conditions that might lead to the International Court - as regards the Aegean continental shelf," he added.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) did not send a representative to Thursday's meeting.

    Caption: Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, centre, talks with PASOK deputy and former EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, left. Deputy Foreign Ministers Yiannis Valinakis and Evripides Stylianidis, second right and right, respectively, also attended the meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2006.

    [02] NBG moves closer to Finansbank purchase

    National Bank of Greece (NBG) shareholders approved an approximately ā¬3.0-billion share capital increase to allow the purchase of Istanbul-based Finansbank, during a repeat general meeting held in Athens on Thursday.

    Addressing the tense meeting, NBG chairman and chief executive Takis Arapoglou sought to reassure shareholders that National Bank would remain independent and continue its autonomous course, while at the same time stressing that it was not becoming "less Greek".

    He said the share capital increase would fully cover NBG's needs for the purchase of the Turkish bank and leave funds to spare for further "selective acquisitions" in SE Europe.

    [03] Ship sinks after collision; 1 death reported

    The body of a merchant seaman was recovered Thursday afternoon following a collision between a small tanker and a Panamanian-flagged motorship southeast of the Saronic holiday island of Hydra -- south of Athens -- that resulted in the sinking of the latter vessel.

    Another five sailors, all believed to be Turkish nationals, were still missing at 4 p.m. local time (2 p.m. GMT).

    Conversely, seven crewmembers from the sunken cargo ship were rescued by the coast guard. The vessel was identified as the "Han". The tanker, meanwhile, was identified as the Greek-flagged "Alios Artemis". The tankerās crew recovered the body of the dead merchant seaman, Greek authorities said.

    Meanwhile, the seven rescued crewmembers of the Han -- loaded with steel and headed from Turkey to Casablanca, Morocco -- were being transported by helicopter to an Athens-area hospital. The tanker had departed a refinery west of Athens and was headed for Irakleio, Crete. The collision occurred approximately 16 nautical miles southeast of Hydra.

    Caption: A file photo of a coast guard patrol boat. ANA-MPA.

    [04] Eurostat: Greece's GDP growth tops eurozone

    Greece's GDP increased by 4% in the first three months of 2006 compared with the same period in 2005 and by 2.7% compared with the last trimester of 2005, the European statistics agency Eurostat announced on Thursday.

    This makes Greek GDP growth the highest among all Eurozone countries, both on an annual and a quarterly basis, in the period.

    Average GDP growth rates in the Eurozone during the same period were 1.9% on an annual basis and 0.6% compared with the last three months of 2005. Among the 25 EU member-states, GDP growth rates on an annual basis were 2.2% and on a quarterly basis 0.7%.

    ANA-MPA file photo.


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