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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] First int'l symposium on highways opens in Athens
  • [02] PASOK party spokesman on Greek-Turkish contacts

  • [01] First int'l symposium on highways opens in Athens

    In a few years' time, Greece will be the number one country in the world with respect to kilometres of highway constructed via collaboration between the public and private sector, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said Monday, opening the first international symposium on highways, which is being organised in Athens by Attikes Diadromes S.A.

    Bakoyannis said that the collaborations in the construction of major roadworks were very important for the construction of such works, noting that Greece had wide experience in this area, citing as examples the Attiki Odos highway, the Rion-Antirrion Bridge, Athens' new Eleftherios Venizelos international airport, etc.

    In the coming years, 1,000 kilometres of highway was slated for construction in Greece, she said, adding that highways were a new reality in Athens, which gave a new prospect for all of Greece. Bakoyannis said that Greece had the most mature economy in the Balkan region, while its GDP rose by 4 percent, noting the largest increase in recent years. She said the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens had assisted in that direction, but added that Greece's neighbouring countries were also showing signes of change, given that growth in the Balkans was estimated at 4.5 percent.

    Greece, she continued, was playing an important economic role in the Balkans, and was transferring its experience to those countries.

    Addressing the same symposium, US ambassador to Greece Charles Ries stressed that the first image seen by visitors when reaching Greece was the Attiki Odos highway, and it was their good first impression of modern-day Greece, revealing that US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, during her recent visit to Athens, had told him that she had been impressed by the quality of the highways in Greece.

    Ries spoke highly of public/private sector collaborations in the sector of major works, explaining that such projects were constructed quickly and efficiently.

    The ambassador further said that the electronic information systems on the highways were also very important, and technology was a great assistance in that direction.

    [02] PASOK party spokesman on Greek-Turkish contacts

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman Nikos Athanassakis on Monday commented once again on the issue of exploratory contacts with Turkey in the framework of the decisions taken in Helsinki, saying that all relevant documents had been delivered to the new (New Democracy) government in April 2004.

    Athanassakis' comments were prompted by a statement made on the same day by the government spokesman by which, according to PASOK's spokesman, "the impression could be created that not all evidence had been delivered by the previous government to the present one."

    Athanassakis said that everything was delivered to (former foreign minister) Petros Molyviatis and indeed with a "long memorandum" by PASOK former alternate foreign minister Tasos Yiannitsis.

    The PASOK spokesman, referring to a relevant question, said that the party's president "never expressed support for the demilitarisation of the islands, as the defence minister (Vangelis Meimarakis) had mentioned last week," adding that Meimarakis "was obliged afterwards to use other formulations."

    He also expressed the hope that the defence minister "will not follow the same tactic in the future."


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